SAN FRANCISCO — After his final start of the season Friday, Madison Bumgarner passed on the opportunity to speculate about his future with the Giants.Bumgarner has little to gain from discussing what lies ahead, but this offseason there will be no shortage of dialogue about what’s next for the Giants ace.The left-hander, who authored one of the greatest postseason pitching performances in baseball history in 2014, is closing in on his 10th full season with the Giants, but is set to enter the …
While some Darwinists feel that the Intelligent Design (ID) movement is a major threat to science, many scientists unconnected to ID are acting as if it provides for them a more fruitful approach to research. Several recent examples illustrated what might be called a silent “de facto” intelligent design movement.Purposeful proteins: PhysOrg reported work at the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute in Japan with the eye-catching title, “Searching for purpose in proteins.” It’s not that the team is invoking a deity or searching for ultimate meaning in their work; they just want to understand what some enigmatic proteins do. Going on a kind of “fishing expedition” with fishing tackle known as bioprobes, they have demonstrated the ability to watch how proteins bind, and deduce their role in biological processes. The case reported in the article concerns tumor progression in cancer, but the methodology assumes that enigmatic proteins have a purpose and are not just cellular junk.Imitating insects: Meanwhile, inventors at Penn State, Harvard and the Naval Research Laboratory have their eyes on water striders and butterflies. They have developed “an engineered thin film that mimics the natural abilities of water striding insects to walk on the surface of water, and for butterflies to shed water from their wings.” The natural material has what is known as “superhydrophic properties” and is an “active area of research” because producing artificial materials with those properties would have many applications – “The nanofilm produced by this technique, called oblique angle deposition, provides a microscale smooth surface for the transport of small water droplets without pumps or optical waves and with minimal deformation for self-powered microfluidic devices for medicine and for microassembly.” Inherent in biomimicry is the belief that the thing being imitated is well designed.Biophysics on birds: Researchers in Australia were curious why ostriches are such good runners compared to humans, so they compared their leg physics with a computer analysis. PhysOrg summarized the resulting paper by saying it’s spring in their step. Ostriches store so much elastic energy in their tendons, they can run as if on pogo sticks. The BBC News includes a video showing the difference in gait efficiency.Only the third team even mentioned evolution. A leader of the team from the University of Western Australia hoped that “the findings could provide insight for biologists looking at the evolution of bipedalism, both in humans and in dinosaurs,” but clearly the focus of the story was on the biophysics, not the phylogeny. Notice how many previous entries with the “Intelligent Design” chain link were not about scientists actively promoting ID, but were about subjects that assumed design and had no use for Darwinism (e.g., 10/27/2010, 10/25/2010). Most of the Biomimetics articles fall in this category (09/24/2010, 09/12/2010, 09/11/2010). Join the silent ID revolution. You don’t have to use the maligned phrase, or declare your allegiance to the Discovery Institute. Just stay focused on the design in your subject, and gradually say less and less about Charlie D. After enough good design science, fewer people (except for the diehard blowhards) will even miss him.(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
India’s 170-year-old tea industry is gasping for survival and needs the government’s help to reverse the downtrend, members of the Consultative Committee of Planters’ Associations said.Climate change, the CCPA said, has added to tea price stagnation, increasing labour and other input costs, mismatch between demand and supply leading to oversupply, high transaction costs and fair price discovery challenges at the auctions.The CCPA has asked the government to bail the industry out by taking over schools and hospitals in tea gardens, allowing the estates to use up to 20% of the “tea grant area” for agricultural and commercial diversification to augment income, and backing campaigns for boosting per capita domestic consumption from 786 gm, a low compared to that of other tea-consuming countries.Second largest producer “India is the second largest tea producer and the world’s fourth largest exporter. The industry offers direct employment to 1.2 million people and supports more than 3 million dependents of tea garden workers, with women accounting for 50% of the employment. The beverage has contributed significantly to socio-economic development in far-flung, remote and interior areas. But the cup of cheer for tea drinkers is brewing misery for the industry,” said CCPA chairman Vivek Goenka.Data provided by the CCPA shows that tea production in India has increased from 1,207 million kg in 2014 to 1,339 million kg in 2018. But the average tea auction prices have remained stagnant or dipped. The price per kg was ₹130.91 in 2014, ₹128.60 the following year before increasing marginally to touch ₹138.83 in 2018.Financial stress“While tea prices have grown at a compound annual growth rate of around 1% over the last few years, the cost of inputs such as coal, gas, sulphur have increased at a CAGR of 6-7% during the same period. Wages for workers increased by around 22% in 2018 in Assam, thereby increasing the financial stress of the industry further,” Mr. Goenka said.Seeking repeal of the mandatory sale of 50% of the produce through auctions, the CCPA asked the government to consider taking over the employers’ contribution to the provident fund for at least three years, include non-cash benefits such as housing, medical, and water supply within the definition of ‘wage’ in the Code on Wages 2019.Total cost Each worker is paid about ₹170 per working day. Planters say the total cost with other benefits works out to more than ₹350 per day, much higher than in other countries. The resultant cost pressure is increasingly making Indian tea falling to competition from low-priced teas exported by countries such as Kenya and Sri Lanka.
By Saumojyoti S Choudhury Bhubaneswar, Dec 15 (PTI) The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Saturday announced that henceforth the Junior World Cup will be held every two years but the world body seemed clueless about the host nation and exact timing of the next edition. The Junior World Cup was last held in 2016 at Lucknow, where India went on to lift the title and as per the new decision the event should have been hosted this year itself. But the FIH said as the decision was taken in its Executive Board meeting only on Friday, they are yet to figure out the host nation and exact timing of the next edition. “The Junior World Cup will be held every second year from now on. We need to support youth in sport and give every generation a chance to participate in Junior World Cup. If we don’t, we lose a generation of players,” FIH CEO Thierry Weil said at a press conference here on Saturday. The FIH CEO, however, was clueless when asked about when and where the next edition of the Junior World Cup and Senior World Cup will be held. “I think it is in 2021, but please let us confirm that to you before putting out a wrong message,” Weil said. Weil said they already invited bids for the next editions of Junior and Senior World Cup and a decision on the matter will be taken next year. “We had already presented the plan for selection (of venues) for the 2022 World Cup. We have launched the (invitation of) bids. We have set two windows in July 2022 and in January 2023. The bidding process will finish in February. Then we will collect all the documents,” he said.advertisement “We will start bids for potential candidates for the Junior World Cup soon. This decision will also have to be taken in 2019.” Besides, the FIH also took a few important decisions on the launch of Hockey 5s, a new upgraded ranking system and international calendar during its meeting on Friday. “By the end of February 2019, we will take a decision how we want to conduct Hockey 5s. It’s nothing new. It’s just that FIH has decided to bring it to a new level, in areas where people are, to showcase the beauty of hockey. “There are a lot of people out there who have never seen the game. The short format will allow us to go in areas where 11-a-side cannot be played,” he said. “We will also work on a new ranking system that is simple and allows every country to collect points. That’s quite important.” Talking about the revival of the game in Pakistan, Weil said: “Hockey is not dead in Pakistan, they participate in every big event. It is a sport that is played around the globe but not in their home country (Pakistan). “It is extremely difficult (situation) to get support, especially fan support if they can’t see their team playing in their own country. We all know there are some reasons for that. “But we will work on a plan to bring the game back to Pakistan.” The FIH CEO also made it clear that from now on the World Cup will be a 16-team affair but said they will work on curtailing the duration of the tournament. “There is no intention to increase but maintain the number of teams in the World Cup. We will definitely stick to it (16 teams). It’s long for some people. “We will listen to the national associations who are participating. I cannot tell you now, how will it exactly work. Potentially more games in one day,” Weil said. He also said that there will be no title sponsor and broadcaster for the upcoming Pro League and it will be known as FIH Pro League. Meanwhile, FIH President Narinder Batra on Saturday courted an unwarranted controversy after he spoke rudely to a senior journalist for inquiring about the unsavoury episode involving Hockey India CEO Elena Norman and a few India players. Norman had yelled at some players including Manpreet Singh for entering the VIP Lounge a day before India’s quarterfinal match against Netherlands. PTI SSC ATKATK
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