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Half-time: Fulham 1 Blackpool 2

first_imgFulham trail at the break to the Championship’s basement club but will be up against 10 men after Tony McMahon’s sending off.An error from Nikolay Bodurov allowed Ishmael Miller to net after just 90 seconds and the lively Blackpool forward set up debutant Jacob Murphy to double the visitors’ lead.In between the two goals, Bryan Ruiz guided a header just over the bar and Hugo Rodallega forced Blackpool keeper Joe Lewis into a good save.Fernando Amorebieta and Moussa Dembele, both back in the starting line-up, combined on 28 minutes but the striker put the Spanish defender’s cross into the side netting.With five minutes left to play in the first half, Blackpool had their captain dismissed when McMahon kicked out at Rodallega following a drop ball.Fulham replied before half-time when their skipper Scott Parker applied the finishing touch from Rodallega’s pass after Blackpool failed to clear a corner.Amorebieta, who had been very impressive at left-back, was replaced shortly before the goal as he limped off.Fulham (4-1-2-1-2): Bettinelli; Zverotic, Bodurov, Burn, Amorebieta (Stafylidis 42); Parker; Christensen, G. Williams; Ruiz; Dembele, Rodallega.Subs: Kiraly, Hutchinson, Roberts, Woodrow, Hyndman, Smith.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

OOL Follies: Evolutionists Ignore the Obvious Questions

first_imgIn origin-of-life (OOL) research, any partial solution seems good enough, even if the big questions go unanswered.Stack of Plates Sans CodeScience Now got real excited about a new kind of RNA that, with a sufficient kind of design, can organize into a stack that reporter Robert Service (not the Alaskan storyteller) believes mimics DNA.  In “Self-Assembling Molecules Offer New Clues on Life’s Possible Origin,” he spoke of problems with certain RNAs called CA and TAP that stubbornly refuse to self-assemble in water.  A little tweaking got them to cooperate the way scientists wanted:Unfortunately, in water CA and TAP clump together in large ribbons and sheets and quickly fall out of solution, making it hard to conceive of how these proto-RNAs could have stored genetic information in the earliest stages of life.Now, however, Hud and his colleagues at Georgia Tech and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona, Spain, have solved this solvent problem. The researchers gave TAP a short chemical tail, transforming it into a chemical they call TAPAS, as they reported on Friday in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. And that one change encourages it to assemble with CA to form rosettes in water. What is more, the rosettes stack atop one another, forming long genelike chains made up of as many as 18,000 individual TAPAS and CA components—quite a stack of small plates.Unfortunately for Service, this serves no purpose without a code to organize the sequence of the plates (which don’t even resemble DNA’s double helix and paired bases – the foundation of the genetic code).  He was content to call this “a step in the right direction.”Assault on BatteryTia Ghose in a story on NBC News said, “Theorists are pumped up about their new origin of life proposal.”  This one has nothing to do with RNAs, but rather theoretical natural “batteries” in hydrothermal vents where “life may have gotten started.”  The gaps in one quote are astonishing:Somehow, the precursors of life harnessed carbon dioxide and hydrogen available in those primitive conditions to create the building blocks of life, such as amino acids and nucleotides (building blocks of DNA). But those chemical reactions require a power source, said study co-author Nick Lane, a researcher at the University College London.Ghose seemed close to a solution merely by having the battery, without the need to explain the computer and software.  Live Science asked, “Origin of Life: Did a Simple Pump Drive Process?” but did not offer a critique of Lane’s suggestion.  In its coverage, Nature News didn’t address DNA or codes at all, but exposed Nick Lane to SEQOTW by stating a conundrum:It is assumed that the rocky proto-cells would initially be lined with leaky organic membranes. If the cells were to escape the vents and become free-living in the ocean, these membranes would have to be sealed. But sealing the membrane would cut off natural proton gradients, because although an ATP synthase would let protons into the cell, there would be nothing to pump them out, and the concentration of protons on each side of the membrane would rapidly equalize. Without an ion gradient “they would lose power,” says Lane.Proteins that pump protons out of the cell would solve the problem, but there would have been no pressure for such proteins to evolve until after the membranes were closed. In which case, “They would have had to evolve a proton pumping  system in no time, which is impossible,” says Lane.Lane implies that given some time, the impossible becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain, as George Wald claimed decades ago in a widely-criticized article on the origin of life.  On PhysOrg, Nick Lane swept aside the problem of the genetic code with a hand wave: “Life is, in effect, a side-reaction of an energy-harnessing reaction.”It Rocketed from SpaceIntoxicated by the phrase “building blocks of life,” Tia Ghose looked to the wisdom of NASA scientists who think they found hydroxylamine.  What?  Well, given access to acetic acid, this “white, unstable crystalline, hygroscopic compound” (Wikipedia) whose nitrate form can be used for rocket fuel, can form amino acids, Ghose claimed in Live Science.  And once you have amino acids, can’t you envision proteins?  Again, nothing was said about the genetic code, or even how those amino acids could be filtered into a one-handed population.  Instead, Ghose imagined worlds in collision: “In turn, hydroxylamine could react with other compounds, such as acetic acid, to form amino acids that could be dumped onto other worlds during space-rock collisions.”Get your local OOL researcher to take the following pledge: “I will not publish anything that contains the words may, might, could, perhaps, or possibly.”  They won’t do it because they would be out of a job.  For the rest of us, their storytelling under the banner of “science” is unbearable.For an explanation of why partial steps in their story are of no value, we turn to a quotation from the 5/22/2002 commentary:They took a giant leap of faith. “But at least they were in the lab experimenting; isn’t that better than just giving up and claiming ‘God did it’?” (This is a favorite criticism of Eugenie Scott and the NCSE.) It depends.To illustrate this, picture a large canyon, representing the origin of life, that the evolutionists must cross by building a bridge over it. They think they are making progress when they hire a helicopter to hold a steel girder out in mid-air and say, “We have demonstrated that this girder would work as part of our bridge, if all the other parts were in place.” But what happens the moment they let go of the girder, and the pilot flies away? It crashes to the bottom of the canyon, accomplishing nothing. In their write-up of their results, they might refer to other helicopters that have held up other girders and cables at other points, none of which could have ever hung out there in mid-air waiting for the next piece to join up, yet they boast about the progress they’re making.An evolutionist may retort that they are not holding their girders in mid-air, but building from the sides to meet in the middle. No they are not; every one of their experiments independently cheats by invoking intelligent design (the helicopter or the prefabricated girders), which is unlike what nature would do. To imitate nature, they would have to take their intelligently guiding hands off the apparatus, and wait for millions of years in despair while nothing happens. Besides, nature would only be able to build from one side of the canyon, and would have no directionality or will to aim for the other side, or to build on any previous “successes”. (How do you define success, by the way, without a mind?) Invoking natural selection prior to replication is also cheating; but without it, there is no building on prior successes.Our bridge analogy is actually generous toward evolution; we gave them helicopters and steel girders, which are all designed objects built or manipulated by intelligent minds. The evolutionists’ task is to tell us how mindless nature, using raw materials like iron ore, built the bridge itself, without help, and tell us why nature would even want to do such a marvelous thing. And why even grant them the iron ore? Go back far enough, and they have to explain the origin of all the raw materials from nothing.(Visited 68 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Malawi: Africa’s warm heart

first_imgLake Malawi’s secluded beaches and gentle currents attract throngs of tourists each year. With more than 600 different species of brightly coloured tropical fish – known as cichlids – living in the warm, tropical waters, the lake is ideal for snorkelling and diving. (Image: Wikimedia) MEDIA CONTACTS • Malawi Tourism Association 00265 1 770 010 [email protected] ARTICLES • Victoria Falls rising • African farmers land juicy deal • Prison island to tropical paradise • Rhinos return to Uganda  Richard HolmesSun-dappled beaches and clear waters, rolling plains teeming with wildlife and vibrant street markets await visitors to Malawi: a once castaway British colony that’s now making a name for itself as the “warm heart of Africa”.Like so many former African colonies, it has endured decades of dictator rule and struggled to build a viable economy since independence in 1964. Although Malawi remains one of the world’s poorest countries today, an ever-increasing number of tourists are being drawn to its diverse attractions.Laying low in LilongweChances are you’ll start your Malawi adventure after landing at the Lilongwe International Airport. Most tourists soon head straight out of the capital, but the city does have a few places of interest if you’re there on business, or waiting for a flight.But keep in mind Lilongwe’s quite spread out and grabbing taxis to travel through it can be exhausting when the tropical heat is at its most intense.Divided into Old Town, to the south, and New Town, to the north, the Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary neatly carves the city’s two districts in half.Slap-bang in the middle is the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre – a wild animal rescue and rehabilitation facility that also teaches visitors about the rich diversity of the country’s fauna.A lodge has opened in the sanctuary, giving tourists a “wild” experience in an urban jungle, and a portion of its profits go to the rehabilitation centre.The sanctuary is significant as it’s the only place where residents in the city can get a taste of the wide-open landscapes beyond its borders.From the sanctuary, explore Old Town’s thriving market on Malangalanga Road, visit the street vendors and their colourful ware, and stop in at the more upmarket shops, bars and restaurants in the Old Town Mall to experience daily life in Lilongwe.But few visitors come to country and never leave the capital. The real highlight is Lake Malawi, two hours to the east of Lilongwe, forming a shimmering natural border with Mozambique.Flaming watersThe jury’s still out on the exact origin of the name Malawi, but the best guess is that it’s derived from the word for “flaming water” in the local Chichewa language.If you’re short of time, the beautiful Senga Bay is the best place to head. Just 90 minutes’ drive from Lilongwe, you’ll pass through the bustling town of Salima en route, where there’s an interesting market to shop for souvenirs. A short way beyond that is the bay with a range of hotels, guesthouses and camp sites to suit pretty much every pocket.If you can stay longer, an adventure to the northern town of Nkhata Bay is well worth the long road journey. The great African explorer David Livingstone, who first set eyes on the lake in 1859, once visited there and it has since become the hub of the lake’s fishing industry.In recent years it’s attracted a growing throng of tourists who come to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and soothing waters. You won’t find many glitzy hotels here, but small guesthouses and camp sites are abundant and won’t put too much of a dent in your travel budget.You’ll also find a scuba school offering affordable diving courses. Lake Malawi is famous for its more than 600 different species of brightly coloured tropical fish – known as cichlids – and the warm, clear water with few currents makes it an ideal spot for learning how to dive.Nkhata Bay is also the northern stop for the Ilala ferry, which makes trips to the distant Likoma and Chizumulu Islands. Nestling in the eastern reaches of the lake, closer to Mozambique than Malawi, these islands are a tranquil hideout offering tourists their own, secluded beach. You can stay at a basic guesthouse, in camp site accommodation or at the impressive new eco-lodge.Unless you can afford to charter a plane, the Ilala is the only way to get to and from the islands, and while you’re on board you might as well take the opportunity to travel down south as well, but keep in mind the ferry service is not a speedy one.Built in the 1960s, the Ilala travels the entire length of the lake each week, from the northern ports to its home base in Monkey Bay down south. It is by no means a luxury liner, but if you book yourself into cabin class you’ll find it’s usually clean and the food is edible. It’s a legend in African travel and suited to daring tourists with time to spare.In his book Livingstone’s Lake, Oliver Ransford describes the colourful chaos on board as the Ilala pulls into port: “Amid the excited bell-ringing, siren shrieks and hooting that seem inseparable from all maritime arrivals and departures, crowds of Malawians line up on the Ilala’s deck to disembark, cluttered up with baggage that includes bicycles, cages filled with squawking fowl, sewing machines and even tethered goats.”Some 36 hours after leaving Nkhata the Ilala drops anchor in Monkey Bay on Cape Maclear, the tourist hub of the lake. From the relaxing beach bungalows on the cape to the upmarket resorts further south, this is where most visitors come to play. Diving, fishing, sailing, swimming, kayaking – and just plain lazing about – are all on offer here.Discovering BlantyreWhen you’ve had enough of lakeside living, head south to Blantyre. It may not be the capital, but it’s the country’s largest city and the commercial centre.Named after Livingstone’s birthplace in Scotland, Blantyre is home to a number of fine buildings, including the historic Mandala House and the National Museum of Malawi, also known as the Chichiri Museum.SSweeping plains and plateausMost tourists use Blantyre as a gateway to the scenic natural attractions of the south.Just 160km from the city is the Liwonde National Park, the most popular wildlife spot in Malawi. With the Shire river flowing along the western border on its way from the lake to the Indian Ocean, the lush park is home to large herds of elephant and antelope, and also offers excellent bird-watching.Towards Blantyre, the imposing Zomba Plateau rises above the plains. Although heavy pine plantations fill the area, there are still sizeable tracts of Afromontane forest for nature-lovers to enjoy.Serious hikers come to this southern corner of Malawi to tackle the country’s highest peak, Mount Mulanje, which soars above 3 000m. A number of tour companies offer assisted trekking on the mountain, but you can also contact the Mount Mulanje Conservation Trust about hiring guides and accommodation.Although colonials may have called this fascinating and diverse country home for many years, the Malawi of today is distinctly African. From beach resorts for sun-worshippers, to adventure activities for thrill-seeking travellers, this warm heart of Africa is well worth a visit.last_img read more

Sanlam in R2bn Indian investment

first_img3 October 2012 South African financial services group Sanlam finalised a R2-billion investment in Indian group Shriram Capital Limited, acquiring a 26% stake in the business, the company announced on Tuesday. The investment was first announced in September 2011 and was undertaken by Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM), the division responsible for financial services in emerging markets outside South Africa. The most recent acquisition grows Sanlam’s portfolio of businesses in the rest of Africa and Asia and supports the company’s “target of sustainable value creation in these growth markets”, it said. Sanlam’s focus remains on India and the rest of Africa, chief executive officer Johan van Zyl said at the release of the organisation’s interim results for six months in September. “Strategically, Sanlam previously into insurance joint ventures with the Shriram Group to participate in and benefit from the growing financial services industry in India,” chief executive officer of SEM, Heinie Werth, said in a statement. The two groups began their partnership in life insurance in 2005 and short-term insurance in 2008. “[It] is an important and logical next stop for SEM in our relationship with Shriram as it will provide us with access to Shriram Capital Limited’s wider financial services exposure in India and will see SEM diversifying its earning base.” Werth said that despite current challenges in the Indian economic environment, he remained confident of long-term potential. “Sanlam’s partnership with us has been catapulted to the next level with this investment,” said executive director of the Shriram Group, Gopalasamudram Sundararajan. The Shriram Group has interests in various sectors, ranging from financial services to manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Could drone beehives solve delivery issues in tomorrow’s cities?

first_imgHow IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Related Posts David Curry Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Citiescenter_img Amazon has presented a few weird ideas for delivery and its latest, a skyscraper beehive filled with drones, is no exception. The patent application is another look at how Amazon plans to integrate drones and improve ‘last mile’ delivery.Most of Amazon’s warehouses are located on the outskirts of cities and it would take too long for a drone to reach the city center before needing a refuel. The beehive removes this problem by placing the drones in the city, reducing the overall distance to customers.Sketches of the beehive interior show how this would work. Trucks supply the beehive with goods on the ground level, then workers move the products to the appropriate level. Once a customer purchases a product, it is then lifted onto the drone.Having the drones in the center of a city would improve the speed of delivery, says Amazon, and would also reduce the amount of drones flying at pedestrian level. Drones would only need to lower to that level when arriving at the customer’s home.See Also: What will Amazon’s buying of Whole Foods mean for our smart fridges?The beehive idea comes alongside some general improvements that Amazon has cooked up for drones to be less noisy and less likely to fall on someone’s head. While both are patents, like the beehive, the rotor and motor changes are more likely to be implemented, at least in one form or another, over the coming years.It is not Amazon’s first stab at bringing drones to cities, the last involved a zeppelin flying over the city, with drones being sent from the mothership to deliver packages. Both ideas are still just ideas however, and even if the patent is given it doesn’t mean the company will go ahead with the zeppelin or beehive project. Tags:#Amazon#Delivery#drone#e-commerce#featured#fulfilment center#Industrial Internet of Things#IoT#patent#top#warehouse IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A…last_img read more