MLB Winter Meetings: Five things to watch including Gerrit Cole, trade talks and more

first_imgNeither the Giants nor the A’s have been particularly active in pursuing trades or free agents so far, but many other teams have kept the hot stove burning this offseason.The Atlanta Braves have committed more than $75 million to various free agents, the San Diego Padres have already executed a few significant trades and clubs such as the New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers have all been linked to the top available players on this year’s market.At the 2019 Winter …last_img

Stretching Credibility in Evolutionary Stories

first_imgImprobable events happening numerous times; selective extinctions; voodoo phylogenetics – at what point do evolutionary explanations exceed the threshold of credibility a trusting public grants to the gurus of the culture, scientists? Four miracles:  Getting one central nervous system by an unguided process would seem unlikely enough, but now, without a twinge of shame, Ferris Jabr at New Scientist tells us it happened four times.  Jabr relayed, without any cross examination, the new idea of an evolutionary biologist at Auburn University, summarizing it thus: “The new findings expand a growing body of evidence that in very different groups of animals – molluscs and mammals, for instance – central nervous systems evolved not once, but several times, in parallel.”  (While at it, the evolutionist rearranged the mollusc family tree.)  Because the new family tree shows that gastropods and cephalopods are not as related as once thought, it can only mean one thing: “they must have evolved their centralised nervous systems independently, at different times.”  If this was a crackpot view from one university it might be forgiven, but a neurobiologist at Georgia State chimed in, “This is more evidence that you can get complexity emerging multiple times.” Imaginary feathers redux:  National Geographic News takes the cake for leaping from amber fuzz to dinosaur feathers: “Incredible” Dinosaur Feathers Found in Amber.”  In the picture show, not one hint was given that these feather pieces might have all come from birds (see 9/15/2011).  Ditto for a video posted by BBC News where BBC reporter Pallab Ghosh.  Spilling pieces of amber on the table top, he says “Here’s the proof” (cue up the artist animation of feathered dinosaurs) – “actual feathers from dinosaurs living 85 million years ago.”  It’s not sure what Ghosh proved other than his own assumptions, but he filmed co-author Phil Currie sharing his excitement.  Isn’t this the same Phil Currie who told the makers of Voyage that Shook the World that scientists tend to see what they want to see? Fossil record gap caulk:  Ashamed of those embarrassing systematic gaps in the fossil record, the trade secret of paleontology?  Need to reconcile them with the embarrassing mismatch with molecular phylogenetics?  No problem; just selectively massage the data in a new model, and everything matches.  That’s what Penn State scientists did.  Read about it on Science Daily, “New Technique Fills Gaps in Fossil Record.”  Just don’t look under the rug. Your father tongue:  It may not seem clear to the average reader how this reporter got from here to there: “Your mother tongue may come from your father,” New Scientist announced, based on genetic comparisons.  “The language of some cultures correlates with a prehistoric influx of foreign males.”  How genes create a language was not explained, or how one could know what language the inflowing males spoke. Selective extinction:  According to the evolutionary timeline, dinosaurs occupied a tremendous range of habitats for tens of millions of years, surviving everything till a meteorite hit the Earth.  Even though they came in all sizes and shapes, this meteorite killed off every last one of them, but left a few spare birds and mammals around to repopulate the planet.  That’s what Science Daily said in “Primitive Birds Shared Dinosaurs’ Fate,” that only the “primitive” birds died. Nicholas “Longrich [Yale] believes a small fraction of the Cretaceous bird species survived the impact, giving rise to today’s birds.”  But in almost the same breath in another article, Science Daily announced, “NASA’s WISE Raises Doubt About Asteroid Family Believed Responsible for Dinosaur Extinction.”  The prime candidate family of impactors couldn’t do it.  Readers are offered a mystery story in exchange: “the family of asteroids some believed was responsible for the demise of the dinosaurs is not likely the culprit, keeping open the case on one of Earth’s greatest mysteries.”  It must have happened, though, because Live Science posted a picture of the asteroid on the way in. Evolution of overconfidence:  Narcissism evolved because “Overestimating our abilities can be a strategy for success,” National Geographic reported based on a study at the University of Edinburgh.  In “Evolution of Narcissism: Why We’re Overconfident, and Why It Works,” Reporter Christine Dell’Amore posted art of David slaying Goliath, displacing the object of David’s confidence from God onto himself.  She also failed to ask if study leader Dominic Johnson was perhaps a bit overconfident of his own theory.  It’s also not clear how this squares with the epidemic of low self-esteem psychologists were warning everyone about for years. If you need a laugh, or enjoy getting mad, read evolutionary explanations.  They are the most creatively funny but deadly things in the news.  No reporter ever questions these stories, either logically, historically, philosophically, evidentially or any other which way; they constantly reinforce a cultural myth, a religion, that is utterly intolerant of intelligent design.  Reporters completely ignored the groundbreaking premieres of the film Metamorphosis that just took place in California, Oklahoma and Texas, but have a slobbering love affair with Richard Dawkins (NY Times), acting as his veritable publicity agents, and chant their praises to atheists who deign to tell us how religion evolved (LA Times).  Pulling the thread that unravels their sweater is remarkably easy.  If hubris evolved, like the last article claimed, then their own hubris also evolved.  This short-circuits the evolutionary explanation when you think about it.  They are just bragging about evolution because evolution made them do it.  Anything they say, therefore, is not true, but pre-programmed nonsense.  Nonsense cannot be an explanation; the alternative, therefore, that they are depraved sinners, stands.  Q.E.D.(Visited 68 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Quebec special constables seek judgment to increase their ranks at courthouses

first_imgMONTREAL – The union representing Quebec’s special constables took the government to court Monday, seeking a judgment that would bolster their numbers across the province.Special constables have long argued that there are too few of them at the province’s courthouses, where they are increasingly being replaced by private security.They first filed the action against the province in June 2016, calling on the government to reverse that trend.A union representative said in an interview Monday that more constables would help put an end to situations like the shooting of a young man at the courthouse Maniwaki, Que., last week.Quebec’s bureau of independent investigations is probing the altercation between a special constable working alone at the Maniwaki courthouse and an 18-year-old man.The man was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the head following the scuffle with the constable, part of which was caught on film.Franck Perales, president of the union, said it has been sounding the alarm since 2014 about a shortfall of constables, but their warnings have fallen on deaf ears.The union argues the province has opted for private security for financial reasons, but they lack experience and proper training.Perales said despite this, they routinely perform tasks that should fall to special constables.He said the presence of private security gives the false illusion of a secure environment, citing what happened in Maniwaki on Wednesday as a prime example.Last Friday, the government assured that in the wake of last week’s shooting, courthouses that previously only had one constable on duty would now have two.Perales called that move a step in the right direction.The union has two goals with the court challenge being heard in Quebec City this week by Superior Court Justice Jean-Francois Emond.They want to prove that the province’s Public Security and Justice Departments aren’t respecting their obligations by entrusting courthouse security more and more to private security firms instead of special constables who should perform the tasks.And they want the province to remedy the situation.The union alleges a lack of adequate staffing compromises the safety of employees, the public and constables themselves.last_img read more

Apple Mac Pro design inspires cheese grater jokes and theyre pretty gouda

first_img Love the new Mac Pro design— Harm Hölting (@HarmHoelting) June 3, 2019 See also Apple iOS 13: New Siri voice, camera tools, Dark Mode for iPhone New Mac Pro makes its debut, starts at $5,999 Apple gives the iPad its own OS Returning to Apple’s WWDC after 20 years, now with 5 OSes instead of 1 Get all the latest from WWDC Tags WWDC 2019 Share your voice Naturally, this must lead to a pun. Now playing: Watch this: Now that you’ve seen the little alien faces on the new Mac Pro you’ll never be able to unsee them #wwdc19— Rich DeMuro (@richdemuro) June 3, 2019 Random Everyone say hi to iGrater #WWDC2019— unōrsk (@un0rsk) June 3, 2019 See All 0 Ok is it me or does this look like a cheese 🧀 grater? #macpro #wwdc19— Vane Hand Orellana (@VaneHand) June 3, 2019 Ya’ll say the Mac Pro is a cheese grater, but I’m gonna use mine to get beach ready feet. #WWDC19— 🙈🙉🙊 (@shehasnophile) June 3, 2019 I can honestly say that this #Mac Pro is #grater than any other Apple product #WWDC19— Nick Chapsas (@nickchapsas) June 3, 2019 Jul 5 • RIP, iTunes. This is what happens to your Apple music now Jun 14 • Apple Music vs. Apple Podcast vs. Apple TV: What’s the difference? Apple unveils all-new Mac Pro While most people had dairy products on the mind, Nice Fi Wah thought the Mac Pro was hot, hot, hot like a radiator. Tech reporter Rich DeMuro noticed something out of this world about the holes: they look like little alien faces. If you squint, you can also see a certain resemblance to a foot rasp used to smooth out rough heels. James Martin/CNET Apple wowed its 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) crowd in San Jose, California, on Monday when it unveiled a glorious new Mac Pro stuffed with top-tier hardware specs such as a 28-core Intel Xeon processor and an Afterburner movie-editing graphics card. But looking at the new machine made some observers hungry. Yeah, it totally looks like a cheese grater.Read more: Meet the new Mac ProThe new Mac Pro look is inspired by an earlier Mac Pro design that featured a boxy silver case with matching feet and handles. That Pro had a mesh pattern on the front and back. The big holes on the new Mac Pro give it an even more intense grater flair than the original model.  Twitter user unōrsk would have liked to see Apple stick with its famous “i” branding and just call it the “iGrater.”  Twitter was quick to welcome the shiny silver design with the handles on top. “Love the new Mac Pro design,” wrote Harm Holting along with a photo of a classic box-style cheese grater. Why does the new Mac Pro look like a radiator 😂😂 #WWDC2019— Nice Fi Wah (@Ashley_DaCosta1) June 3, 2019 reading • Apple Mac Pro design inspires cheese grater jokes, and they’re pretty gouda Apple Post a comment Originally published 11:46 a.m. PT. Update, 12:14 p.m. PT: Adds more tweets.  46 Photos WWDC focuses on the nerdier side of Apple’s endeavors and is the usual launchpad for new operating system updates, app advancements and the occasional piece of hardware. We expected to hear about the new Mac Pro; we just didn’t realize it would look like a kitchen tool. Jun 30 • iOS 13 and iPadOS public betas: How to download and install them now • 6:00 WWDC 2019: A quick visual recap of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote But, hey, it’s still a big step up from the previous cylindrical Mac Pro design, which looked for all the world like a trash can.Follow all of today’s Apple news.   Aug 19 • iOS 13 and iPadOS: How to join the beta, use the best new features on your iPhone and iPad WWDC 2019 Apple Eventlast_img read more