* * *Subscribe to the Mercury News and East Bay Times for $40 a year and receive a free Warriors championship coffee table book* * *After an overtime loss to the Houston Rockets, the Golden State Warriors get back some momentum with a win on the road versus the Sacramento Kings. In this week’s editions of Warriors Looking Forward, Mark Medina discusses if the win versus Sacramento was what Golden State needed, the teams upcoming games with the New York Kicks and the Chicago Bulls and how the …
Scientists have a lot to learn about living animals before presuming to speak of long-lost extinct ones.Tree croc: Scientists have confirmed anecdotal reports that some crocodiles and alligators can climb trees. “When most people envision crocodiles and alligators, they think of them waddling on the ground or wading in water — not climbing trees,” Science Daily reported. “However, a new study has found that the reptiles can climb trees as far as the crowns.” Scientists from U of Tennessee found 4 species on 3 continents (Australia, Africa and North America) engaging in tree climbing. They think the reptiles do it to regulate their body temperature by basking, or to improve their view for surveillance. Small ones could venture farther than big ones, but “the ability to climb vertically is a measure of crocodiles’ spectacular agility on land.”Alpine bumblebee: Science Magazine reported that bumblebees appear capable of flying higher than Mt. Everest. “The last thing you’d expect to see out your airplane window is a bumblebee cruising by,” the article says. “But a new study suggests that the insects might be capable of such high-altitude jaunts.” Chinese researchers studied some bees found at high altitude, and experimented with their limits, finding some capable of thriving 100 meters above the elevation of Everest. The bees appear to compensate for the lower air pressure by flapping at the same speed but with greater amplitude.High wings: Quick: What bird flies the highest altitude? According to the BBC News, its Reppell’s vulture, found at 37,000 feet (presumably with bumblebee companions). The article gives “Seven surprising facts about vultures,” including their big appetites, ability to fly high and for long distances, and their varied diet and strong stomachs for digesting carrion. “Bearded vultures are the only animals known to have a diet of 70-90% bone and their stomach acid allows them to take nutrients from what other species discard,” the article says, noting that the stomach acid can neutralize cholera, anthrax and even botulism toxin – the strongest poison in the world (one gram could kill a billion humans). Thanks in part to vultures, the world is cleansed of decaying dead animals. One vulture carrying two dead rats was blocked at the airport gate recently. The reason? He was only allowed one carrion.Flying snakes: A video clip on the BBC News, and an accompanying article, show that some snakes in Southeast Asia can shape themselves a bit like an S-shaped Frisbee and glide through the air for long distances after flinging itself off tree branches. “Scientists say that the serpents radically alter their body shape to generate the aerodynamic forces needed to perform this feat.” A photo caption reads, “The aerodynamic forces are comparable with those generated by a plane’s wing.”Weightlifter ants: Ants are capable of sustaining “astounding pressures” on their necks, Science Daily said, calling their necks “amazing” and worth studying for improving robot strength. These aren’t specially trained ants, either, but just common American field ants. Measurements with centrifuges show the neck can withstand 5,000 times the ant’s body weight, due to a combination of materials and the structure of the joints. These leave the muscles free to lift and position objects.Sneezing sponges: This headline on Science Daily says it all: “Sneezing sponges suggest existence of sensory organ: Discovery challenges assumptions about ‘primitive’ organism.” How can an animal without a nervous system have a sense organ? That was the question a young biologist, Danielle Ludeman, decided to ask at the University of Alberta. “The sponge is a filter feeder that relies totally on water flow through its body for food, oxygen and waste removal,” the article explained. “Sneezing, a 30- to 45-minute process that sees the entire body of the sponge expand and contract, allows it to respond to physical stimuli such as sediment in the water.” This seems to presuppose sensory ability, but where did it reside? Ludeman and her supervisor, Sallie Leys, found ciliated cells lining the osculum. As evolutionists, they are trying to figure out whether this evolved uniquely in the sponge or is common to all animals. For a sponge, one of the simplest multicellular animals of all, to have a sense organ is “totally new,” not found in textbooks; “this doesn’t appear in someone’s concept of what sponges are permitted to have,” Leys said.Controlled power dive: Peregrine falcons can dive at 200 miles an hour, an article on Science Daily says. Experiments with specially designed wind tunnels shows that their feathers appear to act as “self-adaptive flaps” during dives. The body also changes shape during descent.Monarch crisis: Long live the king! We end with a sad story of the precipitous decline of Monarch butterflies, reported by Live Science and Science Now. These long-distance travelers, highlighted in the Illustra film Metamorphosis: The Beauty and Design of Butterflies, are in trouble – this time, it appears truly because of human interference. It’s not just their home in the mountains of Mexico that is threatened by logging. Use of pesticide-resistant crops in the USA has allowed many farmers to spray their fields with Roundup, killing off the milkweed on which the butterflies depend. Drought in Texas may also be a factor. Once a billion butterflies met in Mexico; now, 33.5 million were estimated during a 9-year decline. Unless quick measures are taken to restore the milkweed, this long-distance migration, a wonder of nature, is at risk of being lost.No matter where you look, the living world is filled with astonishing design. How can anyone attribute these feats to blind, aimless forces? Evolution amounts to a cop-out explanation, like saying, “Well, if they weren’t that way, they would have gone extinct” or “Stuff happens.” Come now, and let us reason together. Mistakes, in our day-to-day experience, do not generally cause exquisite design. Good design is a product of engineering. Why not make the logical inference? These animals don’t just show passable design. They show elegant, exquisite, astonishing design, as if Someone with omniscience, omnipotence, and wisdom had a plan. Follow the evidence. (Visited 71 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
A Cape ganglands coming-of-age thriller ‘Four Corners’ is being touted as a serious contender in the best foreign language category for the 2014 Oscars.(Image: Vimeo)MEDIA CONTACTS• Genevieve Hofmeyr Founder, Partner & ProducerMoonlighting Films+27 21 447 2209Melissa Jane CookA Cape ganglands coming-of-age thriller ‘Four Corners’ is being touted as a serious contender in the best foreign language category for the 2014 Oscars.Directed by Ian Gabriel, the film has been selected as the official South African submission at the 86th Academy Awards.Threading together universal themes of love, loss, kinship, betrayal and redemption, Gabriel acutely reveals the gritty realities of a vicious gangland subculture. Harvesting depravation and violence, at the pinnacle of the narrative is a captivating message of inspiration and hope.The cast of Four Rooms is an ensemble of talent and combines veterans including Lindiwe Matshikiza (Zindzi Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), and many actors and bit players drawn from a pool of real people and actors, schools and chess clubs, all familiar with life on the Flats in the various gang-associated areas where filming took place.With the exception of the lead supporting actor Farakhan ( Brendon Daniels) and the lead actor Ricardo ( Jezriel Skei ) all the prison cast (youths and adults) were cast either from Victory Outreach, an outreach rehabilitative programme for ex -gang and drug users, and the Ottery Reformatory where actual juvenile offenders appeared in the juvenile quad scene.Filmed over five short weeks the film centres on a 13-year-old chess prodigy who’s drawn into Cape Town’s notorious child-gang culture. His absent father, recently released from prison, tries to break the pattern of violence and keep his son away from the ‘Four Corners’.Four lives change forever as the destinies of a reformed prison ‘general,’ a local cop, a charismatic gang leader and a surgeon back from London intersect with Ricardo.“Four corners, four lives and sounding boards influencing one boy’s life, reflecting the Four Corners of a chessboard and the Four Corners of a prison cell (literally ‘Vier Hoeke’ in Sabela prison slang – the secret language of the prison Number Gangs); each of these simple stories connected with the next to make up the Four Corners in the chessboard of Ricardo’s life,” says director Ian Gabriel on the Four Corners movie website.South Africa’s Cape Flats, located just outside Cape Town, an area of brutality and struggle. A society that spawned gangs and the gangs’ violent retaliation within it. For generations this hostile environment has been plagued by issues of poverty, depravation and disorder.Gabriel states on the website: “The world of the Cape Flats is so unique and such a different world that I knew the more we told the more we would need to tell. It wasn’t only with the actors that I wanted to achieve the sense of being ‘in the moment’ – I wanted that from the audience as well if that was possible, so that when finally there is a chase or there is a gun fight, which are staples of the gangster film genre, I wanted people to really feel and be in those moments and experience them, just as the community of families in the Cape Flats experience gangster turf outbursts from day to day on the streets, school-fields, playgrounds and block yards which are the chosen ‘battlegrounds.’”According to the Twitchfilm.com website, the Cape Flats district of Mitchells Plain has the highest rates of murder, violence and property crime in the nation by a large margin, with neighbouring districts having what are described as ‘abnormally high’ murder rates for more than a decade.Cape Town is home to South Africa’s toughest maximum security prison – Pollsmoor, so this space makes for a compelling setting for Gabriel’s Four Corners.This is the first film to delve into the hundred year-old war between South Africa’s Numbers Gangs, the 26s and the 28s. It blends Sabela, Tsotsi taal (slang originally used by criminals), Cape Afrikaans and English.In an article titled South Africa Comes of Age, the pre-eminent industry trade publication, The Hollywood Reporter, enthused about “the high hopes for the child gang thriller Four Corners, the country’s contender in the foreign language Oscar race”.Gavin Hood, director of the 2006 Academy Award winning South African film Tsotsi introduced Four Corners at a VIP screening on the 24 November in Beverly Hills in Los Angeles in the United States. He said: “Watching your beautifully made, heartfelt film brought tears to my eyes. Tears of sadness, and of pride.”Hood specifically acknowledged the outstanding performances of undiscovered, bright new talent alongside more seasoned actors. “This is a story about a group of young people, many of whom have never acted before, seeing their community on screen for the first time, making a searingly honest piece of art.”Giant Films’ Cindy Gabriel and Moonlighting Films’ Genevieve Hofmeyr produced the independent and South African-financed Four Corners – which is director Ian Gabriel’s second feature film, following the highly acclaimed Forgiveness.Producer, Genevieve Hofmeyr, said that they were able to produce the picture – which was in development for four years – with the assistance of the National Film and Video Foundation and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa. The Little Film Company is handling international sales.The movie releases on 7 February 2014 in South Africa through Indigenous Film Distribution.“It’s a great privilege for us to be representing such a prestigious film,” says Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution. “As it is South Africa’s official submission for the Oscars, we are all keen to see how the world responds. It’s an ambitious film that delves deep into the human story behind the longstanding gang warfare that has a daily impact on the lives of people living on the Flats.”The soundtrack for Four Corners is composed by South African composer Markus Wormstorm. The film uses ‘found’ and original South African music by musicians as diverse as Felix laBand, Khuli Chana, Hemelbesem, Rattex, Jits Vinger, Cream, Kyle Shepherd and Isaac Mutant.“I hope to leave the audience with an experience that will stay with them after they leave the cinema. If they remember that this special world of the Cape Flats exists and is not only more dangerous, but also much richer than they knew, that will be very satisfying for us as film makers and for the communities and families we worked with,” concludes Gabriel.
A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Twenty-year PR veteran Sean Garrett just announced that he’s leaving the communications startup he helped found five years ago and taking a new position as vice president of communications at Twitter. Garrett says he’s been consulting for Twitter for the past few months, via 463 Communications. Twitter has been hiring fast lately, often picking up smart people working at partner companies. Garrett is a UCLA grad in Political Science and first worked in the office of California Governor Pete Wilson in 1990. He went on to do PR with many of the biggest tech companies in Silicon Valley.Garrett created an account on Twitter on March 8th, 2007 (co-incidentally, one day after I joined, so our anniversaries are coming soon, Sean!) and pays attention on Twitter to people like Mike Masnick of the tech blog TechDirt and maverick PR guy Jeremy Pepper.Twitter desperately needs communications help. The company has grown in importance faster than it’s been able to keep up with. Garrett’s phone will no doubt be ringing off the hook.He’ll be working in the Communications Department with Jenna Sampson, who came from Yahoo!, former CNN correspondent Alexa Lee and Emily Pinkerton, among others. You can follow all four on Twitter via this list. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#news#NYT#web marshall kirkpatrick 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Molly C. HerndonThe Personal Finance team will be presenting at the AFCPE Symposium on the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 17. We hope you’ll make plans to attend our session Best Practices for Conducting Web Conferences and Facilitated Discussion Thursday in Salon 7 at 4:30 p.m.ET.National eXtension Conference, 2016: From left: Dr. Martie Gillen, Dr. Barbara O’Neill & Molly HerndonDuring this presentation, we’ll cover the steps we take to prepare for our monthly webinars, and share best practices and lessons learned so that practitioners and educators can replicate our efforts in their educational outreach. We are also eager to hear your tips. What have you learned when producing webinars or streaming educational content? What has worked well? What hasn’t worked as well?Social Media Specialist Molly Herndon will introduce the project and the presentation. Outreach Coordinator and veteran webinar presenter Dr. Barbara O’Neill, will begin the discussion about process of creating a webinar. Project Investigator Dr. Martie Gillen will continue the discussion on engaging webinar participants and fostering discussion. Practitioner Consultant Jerry Buchko will wrap up the presentation by taking a look at the technical details of producing a webinar.AFCPE Symposium, 2015. From left: Jerry Buchko, Molly Herndon, Dr. Barbara O’Neill & Dr. Michael GutterCan’t make it to our presentation on Thursday? That’s ok – stop by our table where we’ll have copies of the presentation, an archived webinar handout and a technical webinar how-to guide.Can’t make it to the AFCPE Symposium this year? Check out all the materials we’ll be sharing:Presentation SlidesArchived Webinar HandoutWebinar Technical How-To HandoutContinuing Education MFLN-Personal Finance Course (register, then search for “MFLN”)