President Bush Votes Yes on ID

first_imgAsked whether ID was a valid alternative to evolution, President Bush told reporters August 1, “Both sides ought to be properly taught … so people can understand what the debate is about…. Part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought.  You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes.”  According to Answers in Genesis, Bush’s science advisor John Marburger tried to soften this statement by claiming that evolution is the cornerstone of biology.  Regardless, the Discovery Institute commended the president for his stance.  See Fox News for the context of the remarks.  Science magazine took note, quoting the director of the Biodiversity Research Center at the University of Kansas, who said that if Bush wanted to promote ID as an alternative to evolution, “that would be a terrible mistake.”  On the other side, David Limbaugh, in an editorial on TownHall.com, thought the anti-ID folks were making the mistake.  The remarks caused enough notice to make the cover of Time Magazine.Update 08/04/2005: On Breakpoint August 4, Chuck Colson also praised President Bush for his position, then added some interesting new information about the former atheist Antony Flew (see 12/09/2004 story).  Colson met Flew in Oxford last week and verified that ID had shaken Flew’s evolutionary beliefs.  Then, Colson posed a follow-up question that made Flew admit it was a provocative point worthy of thought: “He [Flew] could prove theism was the only philosophically sustainable position, but he could not prove who God was.  I said, ‘If you could prove who God was, you could not love God—which is the principle object of life.”  Whether further reflection on that question will move Flew from atheist to deist to Biblical theist is a story in progress.Predictably, the usual heathen (NCSE, ACLU, AUSCS, etc.) beat their voodoo drums over the president’s remarks.  Who will heed the call, and send missionaries to these tribes, lost in darkness and ignorance?  We want to hear Antony Flew respond, “Here am I: send me.”(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South African inventions

first_imgMediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporter The dolos, a South African invention in which interlocking blocks of concrete are used to protect seawalls and preserve beaches from erosion, at the Coega deep-water port.(Image copyright Coega)Where would you expect to find the inventor of the CAT scan, the makers of the “speed gun” used in cricket ovals the world over, or the world’s first oil-from-coal refinery?There’s a wide range of innovative and entrepreneurial activity in South Africa, backed up by a number of organisations that provide support for budding inventors and innovators.Q20CAT scanOil from coalHeart transplantSpeed gunKreepy KraulyAPS therapyPratley PuttyDolosseQ20, a multi-purpose lubricant The product was developed back in 1950 in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, by a Mr Robertson, who reportedly had come up with an effective water repellent that kept rust at bay, eased squeaky door hinges, and made it easy to release rusted or seized nuts and bolts.Apparently Robertson did not know what to call it but he told his neighbour that it certainly had 20 answers to 20 questions, and the name Q20 stuck.Today the product, and others in the range, is used widely in South African offices, workshops and homes, and has set the standard for all subsequent similar products from around the world. It is also sold in the US and UK/Europe.According to Q20 manufacturing company Triton-Leo, the secret to the wonder substance’s efficiency is that unlike oil, it is heavier than water. Once Q20 is sprayed on water, it sinks to the bottom, where it acts as a water displacer and lubricant on the problem area.Triton-LeoCAT scanThe computed axial tomography scan, or CAT scan, was developed at Tufts University in the UK by South African physicist Allan Cormack and Godfrey Hounsfield of EMI Laboratories. Their achievement secured them the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.Cormack’s interest in the problem of X-ray imaging of soft tissues or layers of tissue of differing densities was first aroused when he took up the part-time position of physicist for a hospital radiology department.The two-dimensional representations of conventional X-ray plates were often unable to distinguish between such tissues. More information could be gained if X-rays of the body were taken from several different directions, but conventional X-ray techniques made this procedure problematic.In the early 1960s Cormack showed how details of a flat section of soft tissues could be calculated from measurements of the attenuation of X-rays passing through it from many different angles.He thus provided the mathematical technique for the CAT scan, in which an X-ray source and electronic detectors are rotated about the body and the resulting data is analysed by a computer to produce a sharp map of the tissues within a cross-section of the body.Nobel e-Museum: Allan CormackOil from coalSasol is the world’s first – and largest – oil-from-coal refinery. It is situated in Sasolburg in South Africa and provides 40% of the country’s fuel.The history of Sasol began in 1927 when a White Paper was tabled in Parliament to investigate the establishment of a South African oil-from-coal industry.It was realised then that, because South Africa did not have crude oil reserves, the country’s balance of payments had to be protected against increasing crude oil imports. After many years of research and international negotiations, the South African Coal Oil and Gas Corporation was formed in 1950.Major milestones include the first automotive fuel (1955), the construction of the National Petroleum Refiners of South Africa (1967), the establishment in 1990 of its first international marketing company, Sasol Chemicals Europe, and a joint venture agreement signed with Uzbekneftegaz in 2009 to establish a gas-to-liquids venture in Uzbekistan.Sasol has developed world-leading technology for the conversion of low-grade coal into value-added synfuels and chemicals.SasolHeart transplantThe world’s first heart transplant was performed by Dr Christiaan Barnard in Cape Town on 3 December 1967.Barnard was born in the town of Beaufort West in 1922. The seeds of his future career were sown when one of his patients delivered a baby boy with a heart defect which could not be remedied. The baby died, causing him to think deeply about the need for remedial surgery and the replacement of heart valves.A turning point came when Barnard was offered a chance to work in Minneapolis in the US under Professor Wagensteen, a great teacher of experimental surgery. The heart-lung machine was perfected, and this turned out to be the gateway to cardiac surgery.The idea of transplanting occurred to Barnard. If it was possible with kidneys, why not the heart? After more years of study in the US, he returned to South Africa with a parting gift from Prof Wagensteen – a heart-lung machine.Groote Schuur hospital was waiting his return in 1958 to start the first heart unit to perform a cardiac bypass operation.After performing the first successful kidney transplant on Edith Black, in October 1967 Barnard informed Professor Val Schrire, who had built up the cardiac clinic: “Everything is ready for a heart transplant. We have the team and we know how to do it.”In November 1967, Schrire called Barnard and told him that there was a suitable patient for a heart transplant. Louis Washkansky was suffering from heart failure and was prepared to take the chance. The rest is history.Barnard passed away in Cyprus, Greece on 2 September 2001 from an acute asthma attack.Speed gunThe South African-made speed gun, developed by Somerset West inventor Henri Johnson, was formally launched at The Oval in England during the 1999 Cricket World Cup.In 1992 Johnson, an engineer witha background in sonar and radar, invented the Speedball which was manufactured by South African firm Electronic Development House. The device accurately measures the speed and angles of speeding objects such as cricket and tennis balls.Generally referred to as a “speed gun”, Johnson’s gizmo is sold in cricketing countries and in the US and Europe. It has also been adapted for other ball sports such as tennis and golf. Johnson has since moved his company to Orlando, Florida, to better keep up with world trends.Kreepy KraulyThe swimming pool vacuum cleaner was invented by Ferdinand Chauvier, a hydraulics engineer who came to South Africa from the Belgian Congo in 1951.Chauvier quickly realised that there was a huge market for taking the hassle out of cleaning swimming pools, and went about inventing a machine that would do the job automatically, efficiently powered by the ordinary operation of the pool’s filter.But it wasn’t until 1974 that the first Kreepy Krauly was born in Chauvier’s Springs home.He died in 1985, but Kreepy Kraulys continue to keep thousands of pools clean in South Africa and the world over.APS therapyGervan Lubbe was flicking through an American medical journal one day when he stumbled across an article about pain relief. After reading all he could on the topic, he wondered whether it would be possible to electronically stimulate the body’s natural nerve impulses to relieve pain.Lubbe, had always had a keen interest in medicine, but never thought he was clever enough to be a doctor. So in his spare time he studied human anatomy and physiology until he thought he knew enough about the causes of arthritic pain. Then he set out inventing a device that would alleviate the problem.After building the first prototypes and obtaining approval from the health department and the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, Lubbe formed the company Tech Pulse in 1993 to produce, market and distribute the Action Potential Stimulation device.Today, Lubbe’s devices are sold in 41 countries, including the US, Europe and the Middle East. In South Africa alone, over 40 000 people use the little machines to relieve pain.APS TherapyPratley PuttyPratley’s famous glue is the only South African invention that has been to the moon. In 1969 the putty was used to hold bits of the Apollo XI mission’s Eagle landing craft together.Krugersdorp engineer George Montague Pratley invented his famous sticky stuff in the 1960s while looking for a glue that would hold components in an electrical box.Pratley died in 1983 and today the company is run by his son, Kim. Hundreds of tons of Pratley putty have been exported all over the world, and the company has diversified into other products.PratleyDolosseDolosse are large, unusually shaped concrete blocks weighing up to 20 tons. The structures are designed to break up wave action and protect harbour walls and coastal installations.Designed by Eric Merrifield and first installed in East London harbour, they are now used all over the world.The Coega Project, comprising an industrial development complex and deepwater port 20 kilometres east of the city of Port Elizabeth, recently made history with the casting of the biggest dolosse on the African continent.A layer of 25 000 30-ton dolosse has been laid on the two breakwaters for the deep-water harbour of Ngqura.According to Deon Retief, the partner responsible for the Nqura breakwater design at Prestedge Retief Dresner Wijnberg, the dolosse comprise the top layer of the main breakwater which, at 2.5 kilometres long, is the “largest by far” in Africa.Q20 extract by Emily van Rijswijck. Other information taken from Great South African Inventions by Mike Bruton, published by Cambridge University Press in their Indigenous Knowledge Library series. ISBN 978 0 521 74663 2.Useful linksAcademy of Science of South AfricaCouncil for GeoscienceCouncil for Scientific and Industrial ResearchDepartment of Science and TechnologyInnovation FundInnovation HubNational Advisory Council on InnovationNational Research FoundationNational Science and Technology Forum AwardsNational Science and Technology ForumPublic Understanding of BiotechnologySABS Designs InstituteSouth African Aids Vaccine InitiativeSouth African Biodiversity Information FacilitySouth African Bureau of StandardsSouthern African Large TelescopeSquare Kilometre Array South AfricaTechnology Top 100last_img read more

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Appear Somewhere in this Database of 1.25 Million Plants

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#Real World#web curt hopkins The Plant List is the largest, most exhaustive listing of plants in the world’s history. In fact, it is a list of every single known plant on earth, over a million. And it’s all available in one place online to anyone, not just academics. The Royal Botanic Gardens and the Missouri Botanical Garden are the prime movers in this attempt to sort what Discovery News called the “taxonomic jumble” of plant names that has grown up around the study of botany. The Plant List brought together scores of databases and lists from scores of institutions into one place and standardized most, identifying those whose naming is still a matter of discussion. Use of plants as food, for medicinal, for pharmacology and conservation purposes may be made more efficient with this project. The public announcement was the culmination of the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity. The project grew from a the UN Biodiversity Convention last year mandating the creation of just such a database. Experts still do not agree on between 200,000 and 300,000 of the names. The role of botanists in the next 9 years, when the database is due to be “finished” is to reduce that number to zero. If there’s a fault in the list, it’s an ironic one. It’s more difficult to find things, either via search or browse, than it ought to be. When I searched on the genus “rosa” the result was a statement that the genus was not available. When I browsed, allowing the titanic list of genera load (which took several minutes), I found it. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Militant attacks continue in Valley amid shutdown

first_imgJammu cops to donate a day’s salary to martyrs’ kin Tension prevailed in Kashmir Valley for the second consecutive day on Sunday as restrictions continued in parts of Srinagar.Meanwhile, militants opened fire at security forces in three places. In Bijbehara, militants fired at army’s road opening party. “Militants fled immediately after opening a few shots,” said a police spokesman. Militants also opened fire on the Army and CRPF camps in Bijbehara and Budgam on Saturday night.Meanwhile in south Kashmir, where two civilians and three militants died in Friday’s gunfight, a spontaneous shutdown impacted life. There were also sporadic incidents of stone-pelting.Locals alleged security forces barged into their residences following an incident of stone pelting in Astan Pora in Anantnag and “thrashed inmates”.Meanwhile, train services resumed services after halting it for two days. The service on Budgam-Srinagar-Anantnag- Qazigund- Banihal track has been resumed, said an official. Most separatist leaders were also placed under house arrest.A 26-year-old youth, who was injured after unknown gunmen opened fire at him at Pingleena area of Pulwama in south Kashmir on Saturday evening, succumbed to injuries in Srinagar hospital on Saturday night.The victim has been identified as Aijaz Ahmad Malik. He had received two bullets in the abdomen.Also Read  ‘No threat to pilgrims’Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani said on Sunday that there was no terror threat to the Amarnath Yatra pilgrims.“The people of Kashmir have always been friendly and generous to visitors, especially the Amarnath pilgrims. They have treated the Amarnath pilgrims with unique hospitality,” he said.“An adverse propaganda is being launched by the media suggesting that the pilgrims are facing a threat from the people of the State. Terror threat to the Amarnath Yatra is a brazen lie, aimed at maligning the people’s movement,” he said. He said the people of Kashmir “are not against any religion.” “Fanatical forces in India are desperate to give a bad name to the freedom movement and are relying on negative propaganda…”last_img read more

Ebony Park Residents Receive Property Titles

first_img This engagement forms part of the government’s priority strategy for effective social inclusion to uplift and empower citizens. Homeowners in the Ebony Parkhave finally received the priceless document, after waiting for more than 30-years to formalize their holdings. The recipients were among 110 beneficiaries earmarked to receive titles. The remaining 40 certificates will be issued to the other residents following the completion formalities, inclusive of their signing the documents. Story Highlights As the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing intensifies its efforts to deliver titles to property holders island-wide, the latest recipients to benefit from this undertaking are homeowners in the Ebony Park Housing Scheme in Clarendon.They have finally received the priceless document, after waiting for more than 30-years to formalize their holdings.Ebony Park was developed in 1979 under the Project Oasis initiative, which targeted the provision of housing solutions, and lands for young farmers, in an effort to boost agricultural production for subsistence and export.The development was financed with funding allocated by the Organization of American States (OAS), and supported with technical assistance provided by the Government of Israel.On October 11, some 70 persons, mostly farmers, publicly expressed their joy when they opened the large brown envelopes they received, containing their titles, which were presented during an official handing over ceremony in the community.The recipients were among 110 beneficiaries earmarked to receive titles. The remaining 40 certificates will be issued to the other residents following the completion formalities, inclusive of their signing the documents.“I am feeling so good. Words cannot explain how I am feeling. I heard about the titles coming through; but seeing the reality this evening, it gives me cold bumps. I just feel in my body, a different feeling,” said farmer, Napthali Morant.Mr. Morant cultivates pumpkins, potatoes, onions, and banana on the farm land he occupies, and used the proceeds from generated from previous harvests to improve his house and finance the education of his four children, Nordia, Marlon, Tashnia, and Melissa. They are now married and are also happy to see their father finally getting his title.Mr. Morant says he is “in no hurry” to use his title for any transaction at this time and just wants to “keep it safe”. “I am already going forward with my crops; so the title will be put up safely while I continue with my crops,” he told JIS News.Another recipient, Michael Plummer,says he began farming in Ebony Vale in 1979, and currently cultivates hot peppers, cassava, pumpkin, and most vegetables. He explains that the community has developed significantly, since its establishment.“When we came here, it was all wood land. (But) a lot of development has taken place since then,” he said, citing construction of the HEART Academy among the examples of infrastructural development taking place.He, too, is elated at receiving his title. “Having your title, now, can assist with our farming. I am presently doing active farming and one of the small farmer’s biggest challenges is finance. So this title can help us in this aspect,” he said.For Elaine Thompson-Ranger, getting her title is “like icing on the cake”, while her friend, Anjella Beezer, could not contain her joy.“This is the greatest achievement I could ever get. There is nothing more important than this. I don’t need anything more; I just want life now, to enjoy what I have,” Mrs. Beezer said.Among the other joyful recipients were two members of the Clarendon Parish Council, Deputy Chairman and Councillor for the York Town Division, Councillor Uphel Purcell, and Councillor Godfrey Knight of the Toll Gate Division. They, too, have resided in the community since its fledgling years.Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, noted the importance of the titling exercise in renewing social and economic activities, particularly in rural communities. This, he indicated, by the holder using the document as collateral for business transactions or financing their children’s education, among other pursuits.“This is, indeed, a life-changing document, and we are working harder to put more power in the hands of the people. Home ownership is one of the cornerstones of community and family development, and we will continue to work assiduously to advance the welfare of the Jamaican people,” Dr. Guy said.He also informed that the Ministry’s land titling programme will be further accelerated with the aim of bringing joy to an additional estimated 5000 persons by the end of the 2013/14 fiscal year.  This engagement forms part of the government’s priority strategy for effective social inclusion to uplift and empower citizens.Earlier this year, while making his contribution to the 2013/14 sectoral debate, Dr. Guy noted the countless financial possibilities which property titles can unlock for the holders, which can yield both local and national economic benefits.This, he pointed out, would yield a rippling effect in spurring economic growth and development, and raising many Jamaicans standard of living.last_img read more