Kurtenbach: 6 thoughts on the NBA Finals (one for each game it’ll go)

first_imgClick here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.The Warriors are going to win their fourth title in five years.At least that’s what I’m predicting.And while it’s easy to buy into their opponent, the Toronto Raptors — a strong team led by a truly exceptional player in Kawhi Leonard — I’m picking the Warriors — with or without Kevin Durant — to win in six games. Yep, I’m calling for the final game at Oracle Arena to end in a title celebration.There’s …last_img

Crystal Mysticism Invades Astrobiology

first_imgMystical ideas about the life-giving power of crystals usually go with New Age movies and storefronts.  Science is above all that, right?  Then what is a reader supposed to think of this opening line by Leslie Mullen on Space.com?One of the greatest mysteries about the origin of life is how the necessary ingredients consistently came together in a workable way.  On a planet full of raw chemical materials, what happy accident of nature led to the first tiny glimmer of life?To Alexander Graham Cairns-Smith, that glimmer may owe something to the sparkle of a crystal….Proponents of intelligent design (ID) have long argued that the specified complexity of the DNA code differs from the repetitive order of crystal structures.  Cairns-Smith (U of Glasgow) recognizes that repetitive patterned order is more common in the inorganic world than in living cells.  He knows that DNA is not repetitive.  It contains highly-specific sequences, like language.  “One of the miracles of life, to my mind, is the accuracy with which DNA gets itself replicated in the cell,” he said.  “It has to be that unbelievably accurate, otherwise we’d all die out in no time.”  So far, the evolutionist agrees with the ID position.  In the Space.com piece, though, he compared the replication of crystals with DNA replication – the basis of heredity.  Where did the genetic information in DNA come from, though?In 1949, the Irish scientist J.D. Bernal suggested that clay minerals may have created a meeting place for life’s first molecules.  Such a scenario could explain how the randomly dispersed molecules of life managed to come together in the diffuse primordial soup.Cairns-Smith’s idea takes Bernal’s theory a step further.  In his view, clay mineral layers not only attracted certain chemicals from the environment to their surfaces, the mineral layers also acted as the first genetic information carriers, much as the base pairs in DNA do today.Cairns-Smith attributed the origin of genetic information to random stacks of clay crystals that were able to make copies of themselves.  Mixed-layer crystals might have acted as primitive information carriers, he proposed.Cairns-Smith doesn’t think the clay mineral crystals were “alive” anymore than a DNA sample is thought to be alive.  Instead, by acting as the first genetic materials for early life, clay mineral crystals created a link between the worlds of inorganic and organic chemistry.At some point, life launched free of its inorganic genetic origins – the organic substances that evolved from chemical interactions on the mineral layers became stable enough to live apart from their birthplace, and complex enough to replicate themselves into the future.Some mineral layer combinations probably worked better than others when it came to marshalling the organic molecules that were to eventually become genetic materials.  One of his favorite contenders for life’s early mineral template is authigenic chlorite, which can create complicated shapes that resemble brussels sprouts.  Such chlorite crystals growing inside sandstone often coat the sand grains and do not block the flow of solutions within the rock – a potentially important quality for the very first evolving systems.  However, rather than one particular mineral layer sequence leading to life, Cairns-Smith thinks many different mixed layer structures might have contributed to life’s evolution.Why has Alexander Graham Cairns-Smith rung this bell since the 1960s?  Mainly, because the other theories that focus on sugars, amino acids and RNA are too incredible.Cairns-Smith thinks such a chain of events was improbable on the early Earth – the nucleic acid and protein system of life is too complex to have sprung outright from simple ingredients.  Even the RNA world hypothesis, which envisions RNA playing dual roles that today are carried out by DNA and proteins, is a relatively advanced and sophisticated process.He can live with crystals – but not with an intelligent Creator.“A simpler kind of evolution came first, and then what are now the molecules of life came to be produced in a consistent way,” says Cairns-Smith.  “Of course there was no foresight here, but as soon as an evolutionary process was underway, the world would have changed and nature would have had a new set of toys to play with.”Space.com envisioned this vision illuminating the cosmos.  “If Cairns-Smith’s theory is correct,” Leslie Mullen ended, “then the spark of life may be shimmering on crystal surfaces throughout the universe.”We hope you were entertained by this clown act.  This is the kind of clown act where one clown carries a 2×4.  As he turns, he whacks the other clown in the face.In case you needed program notes, here’s what happened.  Cairns-Smith, as the fortuneteller Chlorite the Magnificent, looked into his crystal ball and saw brussels sprouts emerging from the sparkle of randomness.  He told his witless, breathless customer, Leslie Mullen, that he could visualize her emergence unfolding in the crystal, from random bits, to codes, to cells, to brussels sprouts and Space.com reporters.  As she rushed off to write this all down, he picked up his scepter to leave, put it over his shoulder, turned, and inadvertently whacked Gerald Joyce in the face with it, who had just come in to complain that Chlorite the Magnificent is a fake (02/15/2007, 11/29/2007, 07/11/2002).(Visited 41 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Crafts partnership empowers women

first_img16 March 2012The lives of rural women in parts of KwaZulu-Natal are changing for the better now that their arts and crafts are being properly marketed and sold, with help from the Siyazisiza Trust.The Trust, started in 1987, operates in Nongoma, northern KwaZulu-Natal, and opens up distribution channels for the women. It also provides the women with training and financial literacy.The Trust works with affiliate organisation Khumbulani Craft, which provides job skills and practical business training to crafters in the KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces.Deputy Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa visited Nongoma on Monday to see for herself how women are trying to eradicate poverty and sustain their lives through their art.Xasa urged the women to persevere with their businesses because apart from financial gains, their craft also told stories about the country’s history and culture.Phumla Mnganga, chairperson of the Siyazisiza Trust, told BuaNews that illiteracy rates among rural women were high, “so they don’t always understand the concepts of costing. We provide organisational capacity and help them create proper structures for their work.”Some of the women’s work has been used to decorate the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, and had it not been for the Trust, they would not have had such an opportunity, despite being highly skilled in their craft.Tourism company Tourvest is another distribution channel made possible by the Trust.“We are aware that often such partnerships tend to be exploitative,” Xasa said. “We are assured that, through the involvement of the Siyazisiza Trust, the women receive a fair price for their crafts.”Xasa said the partnership was a great example of how, through socio-economic development, rural craft women were being empowered.The government has prioritised the development of a culture and heritage strategy for South Africa, which will identify ways of turning culture and heritage into sought-after attractions.“We also are looking at unlocking the economic development of these products,” Xasa said.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

10 months agoFulham eyeing Besiktas defender Domagoj Vida

first_imgFulham eyeing Besiktas defender Domagoj Vidaby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFulham are eyeing World Cup star Domagoj Vida.Fotomac says Fulham are looking to strengthen their defence with the World Cup finalist.Croatia’s Vida – currently at Besiktas – is a target for Claudio Ranieri.Besiktas have already lost Pepe, who cancelled his contract earlier this month, so the club may try and drive a hard bargain for Vida, although their money troubles may mean that they can’t afford to be too stubborn. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

Florida Releases Official Depth Chart For Opening Contest

first_imgFlorida Gators depth chart for opening day.Florida Gators PlaylistThe Florida Gators take on New Mexico State this Saturday, and of course, fans want to know which quarterback – Will Grier or Treon Harris – will be starting under center. They’re going to have to wait until the game actually kicks off. Monday, Florida released its official depth chart, and both quarterbacks were listed. It specifically reads “Will Grier or Treon Harris.”#Gators depth chart for Week 1 vs. @NMStateFootball: pic.twitter.com/fagneeqMB1— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) August 31, 2015#Gators release official depth chart. pic.twitter.com/N8ZB2abf4E— Nick de la Torre (@NickdelaTorreGC) August 31, 2015It was already known that both Grier and Harris would be playing in the season opener. It’ll be interesting to see which player gets more snaps – and – which player performs better.last_img read more

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Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor’s lawyer would not disclose who is paying the quarterback’s legal bills, but he did tell The Lantern on Thursday that he does not anticipate any further sanctions for his client regarding the cars he has driven during his time at OSU. Larry James, a Columbus attorney who represents Pryor, explained the quarterback’s vehicle history and said his client did not commit any infractions. “In order to have infractions, he would have to receive something of a benefit that other students or the public would not normally receive,” James said. James said Pryor’s mother, Thomasina Pryor, purchased a Hyundai Sonata in 2008 for her son, then a high school senior in Jeanette, Pa. James said the car died sometime during the first year and a half, and was traded in for a Dodge Charger, for which Thomasina also paid. When the Charger began having problems, Pryor traded it in for about $7,800, and purchased a Nissan 350Z for about $11,000 after the trade-in. “The monthly payments are $289 a month,” James said. “That is about a nickel difference between the Charger and the 350Z.” Pryor drove three or four loaner cars during the times the Charger was being serviced, James said. “The idea of getting a loaner when your car is being serviced is pretty standard,” he said. James would not identify who is paying for his client’s legal bills. “I can’t tell you and wouldn’t tell you, and it’s inappropriate to tell you,” James said. “The public does not get to know that.” James said Pryor had his license reinstated since receiving a ticket for running a stop sign Feb. 17. “He has his license as we speak,” James said. “He went down today to show proof of insurance.” James said he doesn’t understand the current media scrutiny. “Particularly for a young student-athlete, I think it’s been awful,” James said. “If you look at allegations about the cars, they have been anything but factual. It has been punitive and I don’t get that.” read more

Hazard still wants to reach the top four

first_imgChelsea managed to beat Swansea 1-0 away from home and it was a crucial win for them as they managed to stay in the race for the top four finish – and Hazard still believes in achieving it.The Belgium international spoke about his side’s chances of playing the Champions League next season as they are trailing on the top four places but they still have got a chance of reaching them.The former Marseille player spoke about his team’s ending of the season as he said, according to chelseafc.com:Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“It was important to keep momentum. We are in good form, we are winning tough games, so now we have three games to left play in the league and then we will see what’s happened at the end.”“Of course, we want to reach the top four, it’s not depending only on Chelsea, but we can do it if we are like we were against Swansea if we keep fighting together.”“We are in the race. Like I said, we have three games to play, we play Liverpool so that is a big game for us next week, so now we can prepare for that game and we have one week to be ready for this big game.”last_img read more

Iniesta denies interest in Man City move

first_imgAndres Iniesta has revealed that Pep Guardiola sent him messages after his announcement that he will be leaving Barcelona in the summer, but has denied any interest in joining at Manchester CityThe veteran playmaker has previously revealed that he is now close to making a final decision on his future and expects an announcement to be made soon.Iniesta is expected to join either the Chinese Super League or the J-League in the summer, but that has not stopped reports emerging that the Spaniard has been in contact with his former Barcelona boss over a move to the Premier League instead.The 34-year-old has now denied he has ever had any interest in joining City and stated that his loyalty to Barcelona means that he will never be able to allow himself to join a rival club.“Yes, Pep Guardiola has sent me messages, but reports came out that I did not understand,” said Iniesta, when asked about City (via Marca).“I will not compete against Barcelona.“My period in elite football ends with Barcelona.”norwich city, manchester city, premier leagueReport: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…The departing midfielder is hopeful that he can return to Barcelona at some point in the future on a non-playing capacity, but for now intends to prolong his playing career.“I would love to return, this is my home,” he said. “I have grown up here since I was 12.“I would love to keep forming part of this club.“The itch to move into coaching is starting to hit me.“I will obtain a coaching badge, but I still have time left to play right now.“I don’t know how everything will be in seven years or in 10.”last_img read more

Spalleti adamant penalty decision was spot on

first_imgLuciano Spalletti insists Inter Milan deserved victory despite an improved performance by Fiorentina and a debatable penalty in their 2-1 win at the San Siro.Goals from Mauro Icardi and Danilo D’Ambrosio ensured a win for Spalleti’s men with Federico Chiesa grabbing one for Fiorentina.“In terms of belief, character and fitness levels has improved a great deal. It’s true we were too deep at the start, but then we couldn’t do anything else.“We’ve not put together some results that improve our position in the Serie A standings,” Spalletti told Sky Sports Italia.Keita Balde Diao seemed very upset after Spalletti shouted at him at the final whistle and had to be consoled by his teammates.Romelu Lukaku, Serie A, Inter MilanCapello calls Lukaku “a modern striker” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The former Italian manager believes Romelu Lukaku is perfectly suited for Antonio Conte’s Internazionale Milan in the Serie A.“I know you like to cause controversy, but I told Politano and Keita at the final whistle. As Fiorentina were pressing us, we had all three forwards wide, but I wanted both Politano and Keita to track back more.“When Keita came on as a support striker, he helped out a lot, as he kept the ball to feet and took men on, putting us in the opposition half by himself.“When he moved out wide, he couldn’t figure out what I wanted, and we tried to get the message to him. Communication isn’t easy when you’re on the bench, but it’s a way of talking you do in the tension of the moment.“We can bite each other in the locker room if we have to, but that’s what happens in football.”last_img read more