THE BOOK OF MORMON View Comments SPRING AWAKENING Tony fever has officially hit the Great White Way, and to celebrate, we asked you a very, very tough question: Of every hit show to win the prestigious Tony Award for Best Musical, which is the best of all time? Hundreds of fans cast their votes on the top-ten ranking website Culturalist. Ready to see which shows came out on top? Check out the results below! CABARET THE LION KING SWEENEY TODD THE SOUND OF MUSIC A CHORUS LINE LES MISERABLES THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA RENT
Practical Railway Engineeringby Clifford F BonnettThis 210 page hardback provides an introduction to basic engineering techniques as applied to railways. Designed as a textbook for Imperial College’s MSc course in Transport, it includes a foreword by Professor Tony Ridley. Brief but informative chapters cover all aspects of the railway operation from ticketing and planning to signalling, drainage and escalators. ú19·00 from World Scientific Publishing, 57 Sheldon Street, London WC2H9HE, Great Britain.Fax: +44 171 836 2020UIP ManifestoThis trilingual 30-page document presents the background to the International Union of Private Wagon Owners Associations, and private wagon operations in Europe. It discusses deregulation, environmental safety, and new markets, and advocates a ’law for rail vehicles’ plus a co-ordinated approach to replacing old wagons. UIP, Boulevard du Souverain 47, Boîte 17, B-1160 Brussels, Belgium.Fax: +32 2 672 8114Arab Railway Statistics 1995Amongst the statistics for 13 Arab railways, these figures show that Moroccan Railways employed 1921 more traffic staff than Syrian Railways but carried over 6 million more passengers, while Saudi Railway Organisation transported 460458 passengers with 451 staff. Tunisian Railways, at over 27 million, carried the most passengers. Other statistics give passenger and freight traffic, rolling stock, and lengths of narrow gauge and electrified lines. There are no figures for Sudan or Mauritania. A directory of 20 Arab railway organisations with personnel is included.Union Arabe des Chemins de Fer, BP6599, Aleppo, Syria .Fax: +963 21 225697
Memphis acquired a 2024 first-round pick from a Warriors … Earlier this week, word was that Andre Iguodala might face the Warriors in a playoff matchup for the Lakers next May.But that outcome has become less likely, according to ESPN’s Tim McMahon.Instead, it appears the Grizzlies — who took Iguodala off the Warriors’ hands as Golden State made room for guard D’Angelo Russell — would rather trade the former NBA Finals MVP than simply buy out his contract.And why shouldn’t they?
We continue with looks at how plants supposedly evolved, drawing from latest news from the leading journals and science media outlets.More Plants That Didn’t EvolveDinosaur plant found: “Imagine you’re at work and suddenly, a cheetah pokes its head through your window.” That’s a strange way for an article on Science Daily to begin. Cheetahs used to live in the western hemisphere, but we don’t expect to see them here now. “That’s about what Richard McCourt, PhD, and his colleagues dealt with when they came across Lychnothamnus barbatus, a large green alga that was thought to have died in the Western Hemisphere long before the cheetahs here died out.” Has it evolved in all that time? No mention of that in the article. In fact, McCourt thinks the plant could have been living here unchanged all this time, but had not been recognized.Ugly stepsister or beautiful dodder? Maybe you’ve seen unsightly strands of orange fibers wrapped around chaparral plants. Cuscuta, or dodder, has many names indicative of its bad reputation: “strangle tare, scaldweed, beggarweed, … fireweed, wizard’s net, devil’s guts, devil’s hair, devil’s ringlet, … hailweed, hairweed, hellbine, … pull-down, strangleweed, … and witch’s hair” (Wikipedia). Maybe this parasitic plant should get more respect. A paper in PNAS suggests that those threads provide a kind of information channel to send warning signals to their hosts. Notice that “conserved” means unevolved:Here we show that herbivore attack on one of the Cuscuta bridge-connected plants induces gene expression and increases the activity of trypsin proteinase inhibitors, and thus elevates the resistance to insects in other undamaged but Cuscuta-connected plants. This Cuscuta-mediated interplant signaling is rapid, conserved, far-reaching, and partly requires the plant hormone jasmonic acid. Although Cuscuta parasites can negatively influence their host plants, under certain circumstances, they may also provide ecologically relevant information-based benefits.Fern innovation or extinction? A paper in Phys.org seems poised to show evidence for evolution in ferns. But does it deliver? “Fern fossil data clarifies origination and extinction of species” is the title. We learn about extinction, but origination gets a little complicated.The observed variation in the fern diversity was compared with the variation in other groups of plants and in the environment, such as continental drift and climate change. The results show that changes in the environment strongly influence extinctions but surprisingly not the origination of new diversity. Instead, the formation of new fern species is accelerated when the fern diversity is low (e.g. after mass extinctions). The study suggests that origination of new species is mainly a neutral process in which the probability of speciation increases when diversity is low.Got that? Looks like all the ferns are still ferns, just varying in a neutral way. Unless Darwinism confers upon ferns some novel, innovative new structure or function, this kind of change is something any young-earth creationist would yawn at.The leaves of Jurassic Park: Swedish evolutionists are looking at fossil leaves to try to determine evolutionary relationships, reports Science Daily. The article makes an important admission about DNA survivability for those finding it in fossils much older: “The oldest DNA fragments ever found are scarcely one million-years-old.” Still the evolutionists feel they can infer DNA characteristics indirectly by looking for organic molecules in the leaves. Wait a minute; those leaves are supposed to be 200 million years old! How can any organic molecules remain?“The results from the fossil leaves far exceeded our expectations, not only were they full of organic molecules, they also grouped according to well-established botanical relationships, based on DNA analysis of living plants i.e. Ginkgoes in one group, conifers in another,” says Vivi Vajda.That presents two problems for evolutionists: (1) How did organic molecules survive in fossils for 200 million years, and (2) Where is the evolution if the molecules sort themselves the same way they are sorted in living plants? What has evolved?Leaf database; where is the evolution? Nature tells about a massive database of 182,000 leaves being used to interpret family relationships of plants. But readers will look in vain for the keywords evolution, phylogeny, or selection. Degrees of relatedness are not controversial—even to creationists—as is evident from the work of Linnaeus and John Ray. The huge database of leaves seems profoundly uninformative about the concepts that drove Darwin: survival of the fittest and progress by competition. Who is surprised that leaves come in different shapes? This is about morphology, not phylogeny.Evolutionary burn-out: The Geological Society of America is looking for charred flowers and charcoal in the fossil record of plants, Science Daily says. We learn in this article that wildfires can make charcoal, but they can also destroy it. This leads to a cautionary message, not to evidence for evolution: “paleontologists must now consider that the charcoal fossil record of flowers is unlikely to preserve all types of flower equally, and as a result, they may be missing information about the early evolutionary history of angiosperms.” But why should any carbonized material remain after over a hundred million years?How to Cheat the ReadersAn open-access paper in Current Biology promises insight into “The Evolution of Calcium-Based Signalling in Plants.” Aha! We have found just what we were looking for. We’re going to learn how a complex system evolved! Alas, the reader finds at the end, that the only mentions of “innovation” are locked in futureware. Under the final section, “Unanswered Questions and Opportunities,” the reader gets the message that evolutionary insight (if there is any) is on back order:In particular, an increase in the number of genome sequences will provide the increase in the granularity required to investigate whether there is a correlation between, for example, the increased diversity in the Ca2+ signature-decoding proteins and the appearance of key innovations in plant morphology and physiology. Likewise, increased granularity will permit the overlaying of paleoclimate data on the timeline describing the evolution of the Ca2+-signalling toolkit and the evolution of plant morphology. Mapping major losses to, or expansions of, the plant Ca2+-signalling toolkit onto a timeline of plant innovations and significant changes to climate and environment might reveal the identity of the key selective pressures that shaped the evolution of Ca2+ signalling in plants. Ideally, such approaches should be paralleled by experimental determination of quantitative Ca2+-binding characteristics and enzymatic kinetics of the Ca2+-signalling components to aid understanding of their functional differentiation and diversification during evolution.That calcium signaling exists in plants is not controversial. But where is the answer to “the evolution of calcium-based signaling?” ‘Tain’t here, folks. Just the usual tricks: convergent evolution, microevolution, and heavy doses of the power of suggestion, like, “the selection pressures likely to operate on the evolution of intracellular signalling in plants,” or, “one of the major selective pressures would have been the transition from the saline to the freshwater environment.” The ending sentence before “Unanswered Questions” wins the prize for suggestion: “Likewise, it is tempting to assume that the abundance of different signal decoders (CDPKs, CBL–CIPKs, CMLs) that we see in extant plants is reflective of an increase in the ability to colonise a diverse array of environmental niches that have occurred over evolutionary time,” the authors say. “In this scenario, the ability to respond appropriately to an increasing range of environmental stimuli would be of selective advantage to evolving plants.” Pure storytelling based on imagination is not evidence.A Better Way to Do Plant ScienceMedicine man: John de la Perra is an ethnobotanist – someone who searches ethnic communities to see how they use plants. “Ethnobotany is the scientific study of traditional plant knowledge. It’s what gave us morphine, aspirin, and ephedrine, to name a few. And there is still untapped potential,” Phys.org says without a word about evolution. How did a blind, evolutionary process give plants the ability to synthesize thousands of complex compounds, many of which contribute to the healing of human diseases? In the Darwinian account, humans were not even around when plants first appeared. John doesn’t seem to need evolutionary theory in his work; evolution is not mentioned anywhere in the article. He just wants to help people use plants for healing.Dear readers: we give you links to the very best evolutionary evidence from the leading journals and academic institutions. You can read what they say and see if it sounds convincing. But when you strip away the fogma, the Darwin Flubber and perhapsimaybecouldness spikes; when you are not intimated by Jargonwocky; when you disallow incestuous Darwin assumptions; when you examine their methods; when you just look at the raw data and see what it indicates, what do you find? Creation! All the Darwinese reduces to hot air and storytelling. Evolution is a narrative gloss painted on the facts, not an inference from the facts themselves. Darwin paint turns beautiful flowers into black, hideous products of the Stuff Happens Law. People need to see the how the Darwin Party subverts science into Darwinolatry.See yesterday’s post for more examples. (Visited 330 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
27 June 2013South African state-owned defence equipment manufacturer Denel has signed a R157-million agreement with Airbus to manufacture tail plane parts for the A400M strategic airlifter.The contract will last eight years, with production beginning in the next few months; the first finished parts will be shipped to Airbus’ manufacturing plant in Stade, Germany in August 2013.It demonstrates the confidence that international manufacturers have in South Africa’s aerospace industry, according to Denel Group chief executive officer Riaz Saloojee.“We have proven ourselves to be a reliable and innovative top tier supplier to one of the most sophisticated aircraft manufacturing programmes in the world,” he said in a statement last week.“Airbus’s decision to place a third major order with Denel shows satisfaction with the quality of our design and manufacturing processes and our ability to deliver on time and within budgets.”The deal includes the manufacturing of vertical beams known as spars, horizontal composite machinings called ribs and a connecting plate at the bottom known as the sword.All of these parts are constructed from carbon fibre composites and covered with a metallic skin and added to the internal tail structure before the plane is assembled.“The vertical tail plane is a flight critical part of an aircraft of the size of the A400M and contributes to its unique ability to land and take off carrying payloads in excess of 35 000 kilograms,” the company said.“The new contract places the company at the core of the global aerospace manufacturing industry,” said Denel Aerostructures CEO Ismail Dockrat.Denel Aerostructures has also just completed a relocation of its operations to one location, which will cut costs and improve efficiency, as well as position the company to take on more manufacturing work.Dockrat said the contract also confirms that Denel is at the forefront of global trends to use composite materials for high-tech manufacturing and is driving the trend in the country.“Denel Aerostructures has made significant investments in a composite facility in which it is able to manufacture products ranging from simple aircraft parts to complex main rotor blades for helicopters,” the company said.“Government, in its Aerospace Sector Development Plan, recognises the immense potential of the composite sector, noting that it will be dominant in aerospace going forward and should be integral to future business planning,” Dockrat said.SAinfo reporter
LIVE FROM SEVILLE: Griezmann free-kick wins point for Atletico Madrid against Sevillaby Andrew Maclean10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWhile some of Europe’s top leagues were enjoying their winter break, the sun was shining bright in the south of Spain for Sunday’s highly anticipated La Liga fixture between Sevilla and Atletico Madrid.The sublime conditions only furthered the excitement within the stadium for what was an enthralling contest between second and third on the table.The opening 25 minutes played out much as you would’ve expected from both sides; the hosts controlled the majority of possession early while Diego Simeone’s dogged outfit were happy to sit back and soak up the pressure. Despite their control down the middle of the ground, Atleti afforded their opponents far too much space on the wings, with Jesus Navas having a field day against makeshift left-back Saul Niguez.The Spaniard’s dominance almost paid off when, on the 30th minute mark, his teasing cross was floated to the back post, only for Sergio Escudero to send his header two metres over Jan Oblak’s goal. With their tails up, Sevilla’s relentless attack resulted in the match’s first goal after 36 minutes through Wissam Ben Yedder. After Andre Silva’s long range strike smacked off the post, the resulting corner saw Ben Yedder in the right place in the right time, receiving a pass from Daniel Carrico on the edge of the six yard box and finishing neatly past Oblak for his ninth La Liga goal of the season.The home supporters weren’t celebrating for long, however. With the last kick of the half, Atleti’s superstar, Antoine Griezmann, drew his side level with a superb curling free-kick that left goalkeeper Tomas Vaclík fixed to his line.The 15 minute interval done nothing to quell the growing tension from both sides. Referee Mateu Lahoz awarded three yellow cards within the first nine minutes of the second stanza – and would hand out 12 by the final whistle – as the match ramped up in intensity with both sides searching for another goal.Ben Yedder once again found himself in a wonderful position inside the box after receiving Roque Mesa’s knockdown. But this time the Frenchman’s shot, which had Oblak beat, dragged across the far post. With eight minutes remaining, it was Griezmann who would squander Atleti’s best chance of winning the game. Must to the confusion of an otherwise strong Sevilla back three, the World Cup winner found himself onside, but his tame effort was hit straight at the outstanding Vaclik.The result means Barcelona can extend their lead at the top of the table to five points with a win over Getafe on Sunday night. TagsOpinionAbout the authorAndrew Maclean FollowShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd keeper David de Gea eyeing off Elcheby Paul Vegas20 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United goalkeeper David de Gea could buy Segunda Division Elche.Sport says should the deal was to go ahead it would cost the Spain international around €18million (£16million), as reported by Sport.Jose Sepulcre, Elche’s maximum shareholder, had been negotiating a possible sale with player agent Christian Bragarnik, but talks have cooled recently.De Gea has a strong connection with Elche – he is a season ticket holder at the club and spent part of his childhood in the area, with his father having been born there.Elche are currently in 12th place in the Segunda Division table.
During the 2013-14 regular season, the Los Angeles Kings were the NHL’s fifth-lowest scoring team, notching just 2.4 goals for every 60 minutes they were on the ice. On paper, no team headed into the postseason with as anemic an offense. Yet fast forward a month and a half and Los Angeles is on the verge of closing out the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals partly because the Kings’ offense is sizzling. They put together a five-goal barrage in Game 4 against Chicago, and Los Angeles’ 3.3 goals per 60 minute mark leads all teams in scoring during the postseason.How did the Kings’ offense suddenly become so potent? During the regular season, LA converted their shots into goals at a paltry 7.6 percent rate, which tied the Vancouver Canucks for the second-worst shooting percentage in the entire NHL. In the playoffs, though, they’ve upped their conversion rate to 11.3 percent (including 14.5 percent against the Blackhawks), which ranks second among playoff teams. Since they’re not shooting more often (to the contrary — they’re actually averaging 1.6 fewer shots per 60 minutes in the playoffs than during the regular season), the Kings’ goal-scoring increase can be traced to the huge uptick in shooting accuracy.The Kings’ increased shooting percentage hasn’t been driven by facing a particularly easy set of goaltenders. Weighted by the number of shots they had against each opponent, Los Angeles’ playoff foes have had a composite save percentage of .913 during the regular season, which is slightly higher than the overall league average of .911 — certainly nothing that would explain a 3.7-percentage-point leap in shooting percentage. Nor has it been fueled by more time on the power play, where shooting percentages are higher: during the postseason, LA spent about 28 fewer seconds per game with a man advantage than they did in the regular season.One other place to look is where the Kings’ goals have been coming from. For example, during the regular season, LA’s shooting percentage was well below the NHL average on shots from the high slot, the space between the two face-off circles and above the hash marks. And in their Game 1 loss to Chicago, the Kings attempted three shots from that area, missing all three. But ever since, they’ve scored three goals on eight shots (a shooting percentage of 37.5) from a zone of the ice where they usually turn only 6.7 percent of their shots into goals. Since goals are such rare events, even a shift like that on just one section of the ice can lead to a big overall increase in scoring.Likewise, the late-season addition of Marian Gaborik, who leads LA in shots during the playoffs, and whose lifetime shooting percentage of 12.9 percent is well above the league average over his career, explains part of the team’s scoring burst. But it bears mentioning that while shot quality — and converting those chances into goals — makes a big difference in retrospect, it’s hard to tell how much is luck and how much is skill.In other words, the biggest reason the Kings’ offense has caught fire in the postseason may simply be good fortune, with some regression to the mean thrown in for good measure. Los Angeles wasn’t ever as bad at shooting as their regular-season percentage suggested (they were in the middle of the pack the season before), nor are they as good as their postseason run would indicate. The truth lies somewhere in between, and as we’ve seen before with hockey stats, it’s a truth mixed in with a lot of noise.
The Ohio State men’s hockey team celebrates a goal from Freddy Gerard in a game against Michigan on Nov. 24. Credit: Ric Kruszynski | Ohio State AthleticsThe idea of playing video games as a career is a dream for many teenagers. It is a thought that will always be there but most of the time will never become a reality.Not many could do it, but Freddy Gerard achieved this dream at the age of 16.Gerard, a junior forward on Ohio State’s men’s hockey team, played “Call of Duty” just like many other kids — except he quickly turned this time-killer into a skill.“I wanted to see how good I was. So then I started doing little online tournaments,” Gerard said. “I started meeting better players I was playing against and playing with, and after a while I ended up finding a pretty good team, a set of guys to play with, and we ended up being pretty good.”Gerard joined OpTic Gaming, one of the biggest names in video games, at 16 years old under the name “Folsom.”“Folsom’s actually my middle name,” Gerard said. “I wasn’t sure if it would be cool at first.”Gerard made YouTube videos for two years under OpTic, which became very popular. It became so well-known, in fact, that some of his current Ohio State teammates watched him without even realizing.“I actually saw one of his YouTube videos, but I didn’t realize it was him until I played with him on Xbox,” Ohio State sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski said. “I think that was pretty cool that a pretty well-known guy in the video game world was on my team.”Gerard’s YouTube videos with OpTic continued to grow a following while he balanced school and practiced for a junior hockey team. He said he went to school at 8 a.m., then had practice after school for most of the afternoon until he resumed gaming at night.Hockey and gaming became integral parts of Gerard’s life. That only grew when he moved from YouTube to competitive gaming and began traveling across the country.“I didn’t quite expect the jump of how good these kids actually were, because I thought I was pretty good. I’m the best kid in every public lobby I play in by miles,” Gerard said. “I found out real quick how much I need to improve so it was an adjustment for sure, but after sticking with it, I knew I had something.”From an outside perspective, hockey and competitive gaming might seem like two talents on opposite sides of the spectrum, but Gerard said there are more similarities than one would think.“I don’t think people understand how team-oriented it is to play competitive video games like that. There’s four guys on your team, you and three other guys, and you are communicating nonstop,” Gerard said. “On the pressure side of things, yeah, absolutely. I remember my first time playing in front of a huge crowd like that. It’s nerve-wracking. You’re not sitting in your room anymore. There’s a spotlight on you, so that took an adjustment.”While the gaming was taking off, Gerard found himself traveling for hockey, as well. He first moved to Boston to play on the Junior Bandits. Then in 2014, he moved to play for the Madison Capitols in Middleton, Wisconsin, where Ohio State eventually discovered and recruited him.In Boston, however, Sally Gerard, Freddy’s mom, said hockey and professional gaming became too much to handle all at once, and it left Freddy with a decision to make.“I think that was hard for him to do both, at that point,” Sally said. “This was kind of like the cross in the road.”Hockey was his passion his entire life, Freddy said, and gaming was slowly becoming a second priority. Especially with his hopes of going to college, Freddy knew it wasn’t entirely his decision to quit gaming back in 2013.Freddy said he was cut by his gaming team a month before a major event, and this was the eventual breaking point for him.“I was like, ‘All right well hey, hockey it is, let’s do it,’” he said.While she was supportive of Freddy’s passion for gaming, Sally said she had no complaints about her son’s ultimate decision.Ohio State junior Freddy Gerard competed both in the rink as a forward on the men’s hockey team and in the spotlight of the competitive gaming community. Credit: Courtesy of Freddy Gerard“We were happy about him choosing hockey, I have to say. I think he is too, at this point. I don’t think it was, probably, an easy decision for him at one time,” she said. “I think he saw that it would be a big market, that gaming was going to be a big deal, and he was kind of ahead of it.”Moving to hockey full-time is a choice Freddy said he doesn’t regret, but he will always look back fondly at his time at the top of the gaming world.“It was definitely a different experience than most kids I would say, because for a while you’re kind of like a little celebrity,” Freddy said. “I went out to an event in Anaheim and I was signing autographs for half an hour, me and like three of my other teammates, so it was cool…I’m a 16-, 17-year-old kid and I’m signing autographs.”Freddy eventually found his way to Ohio State when he said it approached him after the 11th or 12th game of the season in Dubuque, Iowa, a game Freddy remembers because of how exciting it was for him. Though the Rocky River, Ohio, native took some time to think about it, Freddy said it was a no-brainer to accept the Buckeyes’ offer.“I had finally been told that my dream was going to come true and let alone at Ohio State,” he said. “It’s my state school. It’s a couple hours away from home. It’s an awesome place to be.”In his junior campaign for the sixth-ranked Buckeyes, Freddy has 10 goals and 17 points, more points than his first two seasons combined. Plus, Ohio State should have a NCAA tournament bid on the horizon.It’s been a long road for Freddy, who has seen the ups and downs of two unique fields that both took one major component: hard work.“I worked all my life to play hockey. That was my first love, and I did it every single day for as long as I could,” Freddy said. “I worked my ass off for that year-and-a-half, two years in my last couple years of Juniors to make that happen, and I did it and I made it here, and I’m just trying to love every second of that.”Freddy still plays video games from time-to-time, not with professionals, but with his teammates on the ice.Freddy doesn’t have any plans to return to competitive gaming, at least not while at Ohio State. He might have loved competitive gaming at a time, but Freddy said there are just some things hockey has that gaming does not.“There’s just no feeling like playing hockey,” Freddy said. “That was my first love. I fell in love with it right away. I loved the feeling you get when you score a goal or even just when you’re out there playing, you forget about everything. There’s not a care in the world.”