‘It became a religion to me’: With the Yankees in town, Ramon Laureano reflects on the team that inspired him to play baseball

first_imgRamon Laureano’s love for baseball didn’t start outside on the diamond. There were no childhood indications that his laser arm could be unearthed, his killer competitive instinct didn’t necessarily manifest from innocuous childhood games with teammates or friends.Laureano’s love of baseball blossomed during hot summer nights in Santo Domingo. In front of the television with his family, a 7-year-old Laureano would fixate on the day’s Yankees game.As frustrating the media bias for the classic …last_img

Asian Darwinist Profs Call Creationists Barbarians

first_img“We have kept the creationist barbarians from the gate,” announced a professor at Hong Kong University triumphantly.  A news article in Science this week described tensions in the city over the teaching of evolution.  The Darwinists won a vote over a change in wording in the science curriculum that would have “opened the door to teaching creationism and intelligent design in secondary schools.”  The door must be shut tight, apparently.  Even the possibility of this happening created a furor.    Reporter Richard Stone said, “As a year of honoring Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution draws to a close, scientists in Hong Kong are celebrating a partial victory in what is likely to be an ongoing war against proponents of teaching creationism and intelligent design in secondary schools.”  He called the partial victory “bittersweet” because it did not revise the guidelines, nor did it rein in “the few dozen schools in Hong Kong that openly espouse creationism.”    Stone said that most schools in Hong Kong, though publicly funded, are run independently – and many are affiliated with churches.  The author of the “barbarians” comment, David Dudgeon (faculty board chair at U of HK) complained, “Fundamentalist Christianity percolates through schools, government, and other authorities in Hong Kong, and it informs attitudes towards gays and other social issues.”  What homosexuality had to do with this article was not clear.  Nonetheless, he and Sun Kwok, the science dean, agitated colleagues to begin “raising a ruckus” over proposed revisions to the science curriculum:Many changes were positive, but one rang alarm bells.  The previous guidance suggested, vaguely but reasonably, that teachers “guide students to review the differences between scientific theories and other nonscientific modes of explanation, e.g. religious, metaphysical or philosophical.”  The new wording seems to put religious beliefs on an equal footing with evolution: “In addition to Darwin’s theory, students are encouraged to explore other explanations for evolution and the origins of life, to help illustrate the dynamic nature of scientific knowledge.”Presumably this qualifier could be taken to give Darwin’s theory pre-eminence by contrast with other explanations, but the Darwinists were incensed still.  In a statement that conflated alternatives to Darwinism with kook theories, Kwok railed against opening the door a crack for “pseudoscience subjects such as intelligent design, astrology, and UFO studies [that] have no place in our science curriculum.”  The newspapers “ate it up” Stone said.  In addition Kwok and colleagues formed a “Concern Group for Hong Kong Science Education” to pressure the school board to lobby for shutting doors to alternatives to Darwinism.    At this point, Stone did give a few lines of favorable press to the other side:But many religious leaders rallied behind the Education Bureau—as did some members of the scientific community.  In May, a group of academics and high school teachers called the new guidance “stimulating, balanced, and nonbiased.”  Their statement said that “there is a real legitimate scientific controversy over Darwinian Theory. … Alternative explanations to Darwinian macro-evolution should thus be explored so long as they are based on rational and empirical grounds.”    One of the signatories, HKU physicist Chris Beling, argues that intelligent design concepts should be taught in addition to Darwinian theory.  Intelligent design “may or may not be the answer to present problems in biological origins,” he says, “but if the [HKU] science faculty keeps on shouting that Darwinian theory is the answer and drowning out other voices, it is clearly unhealthy for the progress of science and for the promotion of critical thinking amongst students.”The Education Committee sided with “the Darwinian camp,” Stone said, continuing the battlefield metaphor, after weeks of rancor.  Their decision stated, “Creationism and Intelligent Design are not included in the Biology Curriculum framework nor are they considered as an alternative to Darwin’s theory.”    For Kwok, that was not sufficient punishment.  At the University he and his colleagues are working on foundation courses that “ensure that all students are exposed to the scientific way of thinking.”    Hong Kong’s secondary schools may be more resistant to change, Stone reported.  He said the Concern Group discovered that “one biology textbook published by Oxford University Press (China) Ltd. and endorsed by the Education Bureau refers to intelligent design ideas and two creationist Web sites.”  This was too much for information technologist Virginia Yue, a founder of the Concern Group.  She said, “We were shocked and appalled by such shameless religious proselytizing under the guise of science.”  They are now mulling their next move.1.  Richard Stone, “Science in Society: Hong Kong’s Darwin Defenders Declare Victory in Teaching Fracas,” Science, 23 October 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5952, pp. 510-511, DOI: 10.1126/science.326_510b.If you recall the rancor at the Scopes Trial of 1925, you remember that the Darwinistas (spelling intended) raised a firestorm over the prevention of evolutionary teaching and called for fairness.  That was before the slow revolution that brought on the totalitarian dictatorship the Darwin Party holds over science.  Now, instead of fairness, they scream and rant and express outrage and shock at any hint of suggestion by fair-minded leaders that students should have a chance to question the Darwin idol.  Any dogmatism the creationists in Dayton, Tennessee might have expressed (which has often been exaggerated in popular portrayals contrary to the facts) pales in comparison with the intolerance of these bigots.  Employing simplistic definitions of science, with misunderstanding of philosophy and ignorance of religion (particularly Christianity, which seems always the one targeted for rage), they demand total thought control.    The Darwin-Only, Darwin-Only (DODO) radicals are satisfied with nothing less than utter domination of anything related to the word science.  Their rhetoric is imbued with the discredited science-vs-religion characterization.  They portray themselves as the wise, and everyone else as “barbarians.”    Watch out for people who behave like this.  There’s been a long history of similar tactics among radical groups.  Like the democratic socialists, communists or fascists of the 20th century dictatorships, they only preach fairness till by scheming and stealth they steal a majority in the parliament or congress.  Then they attack.  They rip up the constitution and outlaw their opponents.  They master the media for propaganda.  They take over the institutions of education, science, law and government.  They cannot stand debate, because they cannot stand the truth.  It’s; all about power.Exercise:  Where else do you see this mentality in society today?(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA’s ninth botanical garden

first_img28 September 2007South Africa’s ninth national botanical garden, the Nieuwoudtville National Botanical Garden, has been officially unveiled in the Northern Cape, where it will serve as a centre for biodiversity research in the world-renowned Bokkeveld Plateau.Speaking at the unveiling in August, Environmental Affairs Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said the SA National Biodiversity Institute would use the garden “to promote nature-based tourism, the conservation of the area’s unique biodiversity, environmental education opportunities and long-term ecological research in this botanical hotspot of global significance.”Located on the farm Glenlyon, the garden covers over 6 300 hectares of land on the Bokkeveld Plateau, which is famous for its range and density of bulbous plants, to the extent that Nieuwoudtville is often referred to as the “bulb capital of the world”.Some 40% of the local flora consists of bulbs that create spectacular displays every autumn and spring. The garden also incorporates large natural patches of renosterveld fynbos and succulent karoo vegetation.Almost a third of the species endemic to the Bokkeveld Plateau are threatened with extinction.The purchase of the farm Glenlyon was made possible by funding from the SA government, Conservation International through the Global Conservation Fund, and the Leslie Hill Succulent Karoo Trust through the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF South Africa).South Africa’s first national botanical garden, Kirstenbosch, was established in 1913; its eighth, the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden in Roodepoort/Mogale City, Gauteng province, was established in 1982.National botanical gardens have been defined internationally as institutions holding documented collections of living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, display and education.The Nieuwoudtville National Botanical Garden will open to the public from January 2008.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

How to Break a Script Down Into a Shot List

first_imgThe primary purpose of the shot list is to help break down the scene into specific steps which will serve as a blueprint — and safety net — to your day of production. There are hundreds of shot list templates you can download for Microsoft Word and Excel. I find the shot list included in the video below (via Delta Film Academy) to be incredibly detailed and helpful.It goes so far as including the length of the shot on the script page, and the predicted setup time for that shot. It’s ideal for efficiently planning shots. For further reading on the language of the script, I highly recommend the above-mentioned book Script Supervising and Film Continuity by Pat P. Miller. Although the primary purpose of the book is to study the craft of script supervising, it also breaks down a lot of other aspects such as the shooting schedule, how to break down a script, and so on.Do you have any specific shot list templates you always use? Let us know in the comments. There are a few different ways to create a shot list, but what matters most is that you take the time to do it. Here’s one tested method to try next time you break a script down into a shot list.Top image via Delta Film AcademyFilmmaking procedures will often change from production to production, studio to studio, and from region to region. There isn’t just one way to do something or one word to describe that particular function. Regarding shot lists, I’m sure you could find several different ways to create one.In the book Script Supervising and Film Continuity, author Pat P. Miller, explains expertly explains the formal process. Yet even Miller says “You may design any format that serves your purpose, so long as the following information is properly recorded…”Essentially, as long as your production crew is familiar with your format, you’re good to start shooting. First, you need to break down the shots on your script page. In the example piece above, I’m going to breakdown and visualize the information into different shots. As seen below, you do this with a line which is closed off at the top and the bottom top to signify the end of that shot.When you do this in your script, it’s best to use a pencil — if you use a pen and change your mind halfway down the page, your script will get messy.center_img In the marked page above, I have four different lines, each representing a different shot. You may notice that some lines overlap one another, such as shot 2) and shot 2a). This conveys a few things:Shot 2) is longer than shot 2a).Because the length of 2a) is just a single line, all that’s to be filmed is the information ahead of the marking — turning the radio on.In the edit, we would like shot 2a) to play out and then return back to shot 2).There is a common misconception that the first shot in a scene is called by the scene number and then the letter a. For example, 2a). This is incorrect.The first shot of a brand new scene is just the scene number on its own — 2). Every proceeding change (lens change, camera position, frame rate change) after the initial shot is when you add a letter.As a side tip: You can also put a wiggly line next to the character who is speaking but isn’t on camera. This is really more something a script supervisor would do for the editor, but if it’s going to help you distinguish who the camera is on when it comes to typing up your shot list, then use it to your advantage. You need to do this with your entire script. After all that is complete, start to implement this information into a more comprehensive and cleaner shot list.It’s really up to you how involved you want your shot list to be. It’s going to depend on the size of your production and budget level. Below is a basic shot list that I’ve put together from all the information outlined above.last_img read more

Jawan killed as Maoists blast vehicle in Gadchiroli

first_imgOne commando was killed and 18 others were injured when an IED exploded in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on Wednesday night. The commandos were part of Maharashtra’s elite anti-Naxal Unit C-60. Maoists blew up the commandos’ anti-land mine vehicle with the IED, Inspector-General Shivaji Bodkhe of Maharashtra confirmed.Five of the injured have been airlifted to Nagpur and seven more are on their way. One jawan is said to be in critical condition.last_img

CBI summons Lalu and Tejashwi again

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation has issued fresh summons to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and his son Tejashwi Yadav in a case of corruption in the award of maintenance contracts of two Railway hotels to a Patna-based private company.The agency has asked Mr. Prasad to appear before the investigating team on Monday and his son the next day. The agency has registered a case against Mr. Prasad, his wife, Rabri Devi, and son under Sections 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, read with provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Ms. Devi for Tuesday for recording her statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. It is alleged that during Mr. Prasad’s tenure as Railway Minister, contract conditions were changed to favour Sujata Hotels in awarding the maintenance contracts of Railway hotels in Ranchi and Puri, in lieu of about three acres of commercial property in Patna.last_img read more

2 Al-Qaeda supporters arrested

first_imgTwo supporters of the Al-Qaeda affiliate Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind were apprehended by the police in J&K on Saturday, while six other terrorist supporters were counselled to resume normal life. A semblance of normalcy returned in the Valley after six days.A police official said Rafiq Ahmad Dar of Awantipora, a member of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, was apprehended in Pulwama. “One hand grenade, which he was about to lob upon security forces, was also seized,” the official said.According to the police, he helped identify the group’s another supporter, Abid Majeed Shiekh, alias Raj Gada, of Dadsara. In a separate initiative of the police, six youths were handed over to their families after counselling, in south Kashmir.last_img

DP World Bags 30Year Port Concession Deal in Congo

first_imgzoom Dubai-based port developer DP World has won a 30-year concession with an option of a further 20-year extension for the management and development of a greenfield multi-purpose port project at Banana, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).The Port of Banana will be the first deep-sea port in the country along its small coastline of 37 kilometres, which currently only has the riverine port of Matadi.Under the deal, DP World plans to set up a joint venture with 70 pct control with the government of DRC holding a 30 pct share, to manage and invest in the port.The first phase of the greenfield project, with an estimated initial investment of USD 350 million, will include a 600-metre quay and 25-hectare yard extension with a container capacity of 350,000 TEU and 1.5 million tonnes for general cargo, DP World said.The construction is expected to start in 2018 and will take approximately 24 months to complete.The initial investment of USD 350 million will be spread over 24 months and the total project cost of more than USD 1 billion over four phases will be dependent on market demand for the port, industrial and logistics zone infrastructure, DP World said.The development gives the Democratic Republic of the Congo the opportunity to reduce its dependency on the neighbouring countries’ ports.“ Investment in this deep-water port will have a major impact on the country’s trade with significant cost and time savings, attracting more direct calls from larger vessels from Asia and Europe, and ultimately acting as a catalyst for the growth of the country and the region’s economy, “ Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said.As explained, for DP World, the investment in Congo is part of the company’s push to enlarge its footprint in Africa and promises to deliver attractive returns to shareholders over the longer-term.“The Port of Banana will offer the first deep-water port to the Democratic Republic of the Congo that will dramatically improve the cost and time of trade as the majority of the cargo is still handled by neighbouring countries,” Jose Makila Sumanda, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Transport and Communications, Democratic Republic of the Congo, said.“The project will provide us with a first-class marine facility comparable to other African countries in terms of capacity, draft and ability to handle the latest generation of vessels.”Separately, the company reported that it has signed two framework agreements with the government of Kazakhstan relating to the acquisition, governance and management of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in Aktau and Khorgos.Following the agreements, DP World now plans to acquire a 51 pct stake in the Khorgos SEZ and 49 pct in the Aktau SEZ in line with the development of the New Silk Route and the Belt and Road Initiative.last_img read more

Square Enix E3 conference recap Avengers Final Fantasy VII Remake and a

first_img $6 • CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Aug 3 • E3 journalists see their personal info exposed by security flaw The Last Remnant: Remastered Kingdom Hearts III Re:Mind DLC Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition Walmart Final Fantasy Brave Exvius: War of the Visions Post a comment Oninaki Outriders All of the E3 press conferencesSaturday, June 8Electronic Arts — The game maker showed off 15 minutes of gameplay for its upcoming adventure game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It also announced new features for its free-to-download Apex Legends last-man-standing battle royale game, offering a new character and weapon to play with. The company also showed off a new paid update for The Sims 4, called Island Living, that brings the series to a tropical beach. Finally, the company did discuss drama over the mixed reviews for its Anthem action adventure game, saying it “learned a lot” and had more updates and features planned soon.Sunday, June 9Microsoft / Xbox — The gaming giant’s biggest news was Project Scarlett, its next-generation Xbox, coming in 2020. The new device is up to 4x more powerful, the company said, and like the next-gen PlayStation it’ll include a fast non-mechanical SSD hard drive, and it’ll be powered by custom innards built with the help of chipmaker AMD.  The company also announced that Halo Infinite will launch alongside Project Scarlett next year. Meantime, Microsoft is starting public tests of its Project xCloud streaming service in October, promising people the ability to play high end games on their mobile devices while away from home. While fans wait, Microsoft announced an update to its Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 as well as a slew of new games. And action star Keanu Reeves, fresh off the success of John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, was on stage to announce his involvement with Cyberpunk 2077, which is coming next year.Bethesda — Bethesda kicked off its event with humility over the mixed response to Fallout 76, but quickly went back on the offensive. Fallout 76 got a new Battle Royale mode, Wolfenstein Youngblood received a new trailer and a co-op mode. We got a new game called Deathloop from the clever folks behind Dishonored and Bethesda introduced us to Orion, a piece of tech from ID Software designed to make game streaming better on services like Google Stadia. The lion’s share of attention, however, went to Doom Eternal, which looked fantastic in both single player and multiplayer.Monday, June 10PC Gaming Show — This annual PC Gaming Show is held at a theater a short walk from the Los Angeles Convention Center, but still draws a large crowd, filling the 1,700-person capacity downtown Mayan Theater. Inside, the usual suspects, from Halo to Doom, were nowhere to be found. Instead, the crowd cheered for PC-centric games including Zombie Army 4, Baldur’s Gate 3 and Terraria: Journey’s End. (No, the game sequel problem isn’t any better on PCs.) The highlight was a brief onstage appearance by legendary game designer Yu Suzuki, responsible for classics such as Hang-On and Virtua Fighter. His long-awaited Shenmue 3 is expected in November, 18 years after Shenmue 2. Ubisoft — The French gaming giant announced its next big dystopian hacking adventure game, Watch Dogs: Legion, launching March 2020. The new game is set in near-future post-Brexit London, where the economy is failing and government is breaking down. The company also announced a new television show, called Mythic Quest, that will launch on Apple TV Plus. And it celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Just Dance party games. Square Enix — Aside from the Final Fantasy 7 remake release date announcement, Square Enix also showed off its new comic book tie-in, Marvel’s Avengers: A Day. Though the new game is different from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, some fans criticized the character’s looks. It’s coming in 2020.Tuesday, June 11Nintendo — The Mario maker surprised fans with announcement of a new Legend of Zelda game, which appeared to be a direct sequel to the critical darling The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This new title appears to be a sequel to Breath of the Wild, too. It also announced its newest Animal Crossing game is being delayed to 2020, and gave a look at Luigi’s Mansion 3, coming later this year. See It See it E3 2019 Video Games Gaming Tags Mentioned Above Tomb Raider (Xbox 360)center_img See All Preview • E3 2019 Developed by Crystal Dynamics, the team behind the beloved new Tomb Raider games, Avengers is the new comic book-based video game to get hyped about. (Even if these don’t look like The Avengers you know and love.) Square Enix has been teasing the reveal of the game since late May. We saw Thor, Iron-Man, The Hulk, Captain America and Black Widow try to save New York — again — in the trailer shown at the end of Square Enix’s press conference.Shaun Escayg, from Crystal Dynamics, and Marvel Games’ Bill Roseman took the stage to walk us through the blockbuster game. It’ll be both a single- and multi-player game, Escayg said. Rosemann explained that this is Crystal Dynamics’ take on The Avengers, not a spin-off from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.Scott Amos and Meagan Marie, both from Crystal Dynamics, came out next. They revealed we’ll have online four-person multiplayer, and that the roster of superheroes will grow over time. “Every new superhero, and every new region, will be delivered at no additional cost,” Amos said. Marie promised no Loot Boxes or pay-to-win scenarios. The crowd loved that.Avengers will launch May 15, 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and even Google Stadia. PlayStation 4 owners will get early beta access and “unique benefits we’ll be revealing in the future,” according to Amos.Final Fantasy VII Remake: A two-part taleSquare Enix announced Final Fantasy VII Remake’s release date, March 3 2020, 24 hours before its E3 2019 press conference. So what did the company have left for its big event?A lot. Aug 28 • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order trailer, gameplay footage and everything we know Yoshinori Kitase opened Square Enix’s show and announced that the game will take part in two parts, one within Midgar and one outside it. The entire Remake will take up two entire Blu-ray discs, similar to how the PlayStation 1 original took up three CDs.We then got a combat explainer from Neal Pabon, senior manager of product marketing. Remake will use a hybrid combat system, using real-time hacking and slashing plus a bullet-time tactical mode from which you can use magic, items and Limit Break attacks.You can also add shortcuts that bypass the bullet-time mode, making it more like a Kingdom Hearts battle experience. The demo ended with Cloud and Barrett’s boss battle with the Scorpion Sentinel. The Final Fantasy VII Remake portion of the press conference ended with an extended trailer, which gave us our first glimpse of Tifa in the Remake.Then, we got a slew of trailers for upcoming sequels, remasters and remakes.Final Fantasy XIV Aug 19 • Borderlands 3: FL4K, new endgame content and everything else we know $29 Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix’s flagship online game, was the next game to get the big on-stage spotlight. Naoki Yoshida, producer of Final Fantasy XIV online, came out to talk about Shadowbringers, the third expansion pack, which will release on July 2.Shadowbringers is more than an expansion pack, Yoshida says. Square Enix is looking at it more like a standalone game. It’ll brings two new Jobs and two new Races to the game, which first launched in 2010 and then essentially relaunched as A Realm Reborn in 2013.On top of these games which got on-stage presentations, we also saw a whole lot of trailers. Like, an overwhelming amount. Some are for brand-new games, others are ports or remasters. Either way, there’s bound to be one game here for everyone. Here’s the lot of Square Enix’s trailers.Dragon Quest Builders 2 0 Final Fantasy VII Remake opened the show, Avengers closed it. Square Enix Square Enix announced Final Fantasy VII Remake’s release date before its E3 2019 press conference on Monday night — but the company still had plenty up its sleeve for the E3 schedule.The mic drop game was Avengers, unveiled after about two weeks of social media teases, and you’ll be able to play it next May. There was also plenty of Final Fantasy love — for both VII Remake and XIV — and a whole suite of trailers.If you need to play catch-up, we have conveniently put every single trailer so far in this handy post. Next up and lucky last for press conferences is Nintendo Direct, and then CNET will hit the show floor and the real fun begins. Marvel’s Avengers Share your voice Jul 26 • Doom Eternal: QuakeCon ‘Year of Doom’ keynote shows more ‘Battlemode’ action Romancing Saga 3 & SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions Tomb Raider reading • Square Enix E3 conference recap: Avengers, Final Fantasy VII Remake and a whole lot of trailers Nintendo Squarelast_img read more

Migraine can up heart diseases in women

first_imgThe findings showed that women with migraine have a higher risk of stroke or heart attacks than those without the condition. “Our analysis suggests that migraine should be considered  to be an important risk marker for cardiovascular disease, particularly in women,” said lead researcher Tobias Kurth, Head of the Institute of Public Health (IPH) at Charite – Universitatsmedizin Berlin, a teaching hospital in Germany.Their findings are based on an analysis of data collected as part of the US-based Nurses’ Health Study II. A team of researchers analysed data from more than 115,500 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study II. The participants were aged between 25 and 42 years at baseline and free from cardiovascular disease and, of them, 17,531 reported a physician’s diagnosis of migraine.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Between 1989 and 2011, cardiovascular events were observed in 1,329 of these women; 223 died as a result.“The risk of developing cardiovascular events was shown to be 50 per cent higher in women with a diagnosis of migraine,” Kurth said.“When compared to women unaffected by the condition, the risk of developing a heart attack was 39 per cent higher for women with migraine, the risk of having a stroke 62 per cent higher, and that of developing angina 73 per cent higher,” Kurth explained.last_img read more