Has Anti-Semitism Been Good for Jewish Evolution?

first_imgNational Geographic News gave favorable coverage to a controversial theory by anthropologists at University of Utah that anti-semitism was a form of natural selection.  The racism against Jews in Europe, while selecting for higher intelligence, also selected for certain types of diseases.  Reporter James Owen did point out that not all anthropologists agree with the hypothesis that IQ differences can have a genetic basis.That such poor reasoning and lousy science would get prominent coverage in the leading popular geographic magazine in the world is an illustration of the pernicious influence of evolutionary thinking on our society.  This hypothesis downplays the intellectual and moral factors involved.  Consistently followed, it would lead one to believe that anti-Semitism has been a good thing, if it led to the genius of Einstein.  If this kind of sloppy research, based on faulty assumptions and selective statistics, were published in some other field, it would be quickly scorned by academics.  The phrase “natural selection” is like a free pass around the security guards of science.  Should evolutionary anthropologists watch an Auschwitz as detached observers, measuring what genetic traits are being naturally selected by the process?  It’s time to call moral evils evil instead of rationalizing them on evolutionary grounds.  Let’s see how they explain it when the public has had enough, and there is a widespread outcry against Darwinian thinking.  Would that prove survival of the fittest ideas?(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Free schooling for five million

first_imgThe department of education announced that the amount of no-fee schools and learners will more than double in 2007.Currently there are 7 800 no-fee schools in the country, but in 2007 the total of schools will be more than 13 000. This means more than 5 million learners from poor households will not have to pay school fees. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterOver five million children across South Africa will benefit from the country’s no-fee schools policy in 2007, the Department of Education said on Wednesday.In total, 5 001 874 learners from 13 856 schools across the country have been listed by the provincial departments as beneficiaries of the policy for the 2007 academic year.This follows Education Minister Naledi Pandor’s recent announcement in Parliament that 40% of the country’s learners would benefit from the policy next year.There are currently 7 800 no-fee schools in the country, benefiting approximately 2.5-million students.The government introduced the no-fee school policy to end the marginalisation of poor learners. This is in line with the country’s Constitution, which stipulates that citizens have the right to basic education regardless of the availability of resources.The policy was introduced early this year as part of the Education Amendment Act, signed into law by President Thabo Mbeki in January.The no-fee policy empowers the minister of education to exempt certain schools from charging fees, based on poverty levels of the area they serve. The government determines which schools qualify to be no-fee schools using data from the Poverty Index supplied by Statistics South Africa.Up to R530 per learner is allocated for each designated school.In addition to this, the department is developing a framework which will allow schools in more affluent areas to receive subsidies if they enrol non-fee learners.Schools are compelled to inform parents of the school fee exemption for poor learners.The province with the highest number of learners not paying fees next year is KwaZulu-Natal, which will have 1 173 503 beneficiaries enrolled at its 3 341 no-fee schools.The Northern Cape – the country’s least densely populated province – will have the lowest number of non-paying learners, with 102 244 children at its 335 no-fee schools.Source: South African Government News Agency.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

SME Indaba calls for business investment in South Africa

first_imgThe first SME Indaba organised by AHI South Africa discussed why big and small businesses should work together.Former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas (left) and AHI South Africa president Bernard Swanepoel. Jonas was a speaker at the SME Indaba on 5 April 2017. He says bringing small and big business together is a powerful tool. (Image: Melissa Javan)Melissa JavanPay invoices on time, AHI South Africa president Bernard Swanepoel challenged owners of big corporates, the government and members of his organisation. “Think small [businesses] first. Consider the effects on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).”Swanepoel gave the welcoming address of AHI South Africa’s first SME Indaba, held in Centurion on 5 April 2017. The theme of the one-day conference was “Creating jobs against all odds”.Swanepoel’s second challenge was that his members commit this year to creating two entry level jobs. “Take your business and create a job.”He added: “If there is no growth in your business, it will die. You cannot stagnate as a business… Invest in your businesses. Invest in the future of the country.”Businesses, get involvedFormer deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas was the keynote speaker. He said the future of the country was in South Africans’ hands. “We need to strengthen leadership.”There was a need for the business sector to be involved in and to collaborate with government programmes, especially when it came to training emerging entrepreneurs, he said.Jonas also urged businesses to invest in doing research so that relevant training could be given to students. Businesses should go to where students who needed relevant industry training were, in colleges and universities.Members should not underestimate the power of an organisation such as the AHI, he said. “[An organisation like this] can provide a stronger network of enterprises. Bringing small and big business together is a powerful tool.“You can see how you can use the supply chain to promote growth – you enhance growth where there is an organisation of big and small business.”The AHI is a national multisectoral, inclusive business organisation consisting of corporate, medium and small enterprises and affiliated business chambers. It represents more than 100 business chambers, more than 4,000 businesses and has trained 740 entrepreneurs, it says.The AHI’s mission is to promote the economic and business interests of its members and to facilitate networks and interaction between businesses and the government.DowngradeAsked about South Africa being downgraded to junk status by ratings agency S&P Global Ratings on 5 April, Jonas said: “We will bounce back as a country but it will require that we become more robust. We need to boost things such as our agricultural programmes and other programmes that are working.”He added: “We need to do more about scaling.”A national dialogue was needed so we could talk about where we should be going as a country. “I fear that if we don’t have a national dialogue we’ll be replacing the white elite with the black elite. That is not right.”Chief executive officer of AHI South Africa, Dr. Ernest Messina, Prof. Edith Vries of the Department: Small Business Development and Ashraf Adam of the South Africa Local Government Association are panellists discussing “How national and local governments enable or stifle SMEs” at the SME Indaba on 5 April 2017. (Image: Melissa Javan)SMMEs’ challengesBusiness Unity South Africa (Busa) had found the number one barrier for many SMEs was access to skilled staff, said Tanya Cohen, the organisation’s CEO. She spoke about the challenges SMEs faced.Skills training and relevant transformation was necessary, said Cohen. It was important that the South African economy was open to all. “We need to do this; [South Africa must be] inclusive of black people, women, people with disabilities and those living in rural areas.”Cohen also spoke about the country’s minimum wage and its effect on SMMEs. A quarter of small, medium and micro enterprises were able to afford the minimum wage, but three-quarters of SMMEs “are going to struggle to pay [it]”.Negotiations were ongoing to exempt SMMEs from paying the minimum wage. “It’s something that we will have to continue to motivate for.”It was Busa’s mission to secure conditions so that business could thrive, Cohen said. “Our focus is what we can do for business.”Other discussionsEntrepreneurs on the panel “Negotiating the minefield of regulation and bureaucracy affecting SMEs”, had advice for businesses:Paul Marias: “My best investment advice is read, read and read. Also comply with the legislation.”Octavia Motloa: “A lot of people think that if they are a small business they can do mediocre work. No, it shouldn’t be. The quality of your work must be exceptional. As you excel in that it creates opportunities.”Annie Malan: “Continuously ask yourself ‘how do I re-evaluate myself?’ You have to stay ahead [of the game].” Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast — June 26, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  We squeeze out another mostly dry day across Ohio today, with sunshine and pleasant temperatures. Moisture is moving east, though ,coming out of Illinois this morning and it will take all day to spread across Indiana. This will put scattered rain showers into western and NW Ohio overnight tonight. The moisture then spreads across the rest of the state through tomorrow and into the early part of Thursday.  Rain and thunderstorm action should trigger .25”-1.5” of rain over 100% of the state. There are very good chances of strong thunderstorms and a threat of severe weather. We will need those to see precipitation totals get up toward the higher end of the range.We dry down Thursday midday and will stay dry for the following 4 days in a row. That means we have sunny and dry weather in the forecast for Friday through Sunday. Temps will build to slightly above normal levels but will not be overly hot.Scattered showers and thunderstorms develop overnight Sunday night into Monday, starting in NW Ohio and then spreading east and sagging south. This will bring rains to the entire state for the period from Sunday overnight through Tuesday midday. Rain totals will be from a quarter to three quarters of an inch with coverage at 80% of the state. Clouds break later Tuesday, but only for a short time.For the Independence Day holiday on the 4th, we are going to have to increase our rain chances this morning. It looks like the minor front we had been looking for on the 5th has decided to speed up slightly and arrive for the 4th. Moisture totals are not impressive, perhaps a few hundredths to a tenth or two, but we can’t say we stay completely dry either. So, just be away of the minor action.We are then dry for the 5th through the 8th.Changes in the extended 11-16 day window means we are looking at our front there to shift back to the 9th, allowing for .1”-.5” to develop over the eastern corn belt, and coverage will be around 70%. A strong high still will try to develop by the end of the 16-day window, and that would promote a dry stretch into mid-month.Temperatures today will stay below normal, but tomorrow through the rest of the 10-day period, we will be a bit above normal. There is not significant heat, as we mentioned above, but we think that highs will average about 2-4 degrees above normal for this time of year as we flip the calendar into July and go through the holiday weekend.Our general sentiment is unchanged this morning. We still think this pattern still brings timely moisture, but just not as much of it the farther out we go. At right is an updated map of cumulative 10-day rains for the region.last_img read more

7 DIY Filmmaking Techniques Using the Versatile Wheelchair Dolly

first_imgThe wheelchair dolly is a tried-and-true DIY tool — for projects of all sizes. Check out these 7 tips on how to use one to improve your film.Cover Image of Jean-Luc Godard on the set of Breathless (via Studio Canal).There are plenty of dolly options available for filmmakers at all levels of production. Even for those looking for DIY options can find tons of great resources to put something together on the cheap. However, if you’re looking for one simple solution (which can actually be much more versatile and fun), consider the indie-filmmaker’s favorite — the wheelchair dolly.While there are some wheelchair-style dollies specifically for filmmaking (all great options), let’s focus on using a standard-issue wheelchair, which you can often find secondhand at thrift stores or online (here’s a link to Ebay). Once you’re all set, here are seven creative ways to put your DIY wheelchair dolly to use.1. Push or PullImage via AMC.Let’s start with the basics. Using a wheelchair dolly is great for pushing in or pulling out shots. You’ll usually see these types of shots in large-scale productions, as they both see a lot of use for narrative effect (creating important moments) or for clarity of composition. If you keep the movement short and straight, the wheelchair will work very much like your standard track-dolly setup, but without all the assembly and breakdown.Bonus Tip: if you’re shooting solo or with an extremely small crew, you can always sit yourself in a wheelchair and do some short push or pull movements using only your feet. Try it — even a few inches can add style and depth to what would normally be a regular set shot.2. Walk and TalksImage from The West Wing via NBC.Along with straightforward push and pull shots for dramatic effect, a wheelchair is a great option for long tracking shots like the now-recognizable Aaron Sorkin-style Walk and Talk shot (which you can see parodied here). The wheelchair is great because your camera operator can face your subject or subjects while someone pulls them backward.3. Tracking Low AnglesImage via Tumblr.The flexibility a wheelchair offers to the camera operator while sitting is also great. You usually won’t need to lock the camera operator in, and they’ll have almost a full range of motion from the seat. As such, to get many low-angle tracking shots, you don’t need to assemble a tricky low-to-the-the floor dolly setup; you can simply direct your camera op to lean over and hold the camera at a low angle. This may make things a little less steady, but for shorter moves (and with surer-handed ops), it’s a solid technique.4. Curved Tracking MovesAnother aspect of the wheelchair dolly that makes it unique is the simple fact that it is not bound to a set of tracks. The wheelchair, by its nature, is more mobile and can perform complex and curved maneuvers. Try laying some track to recreate this famous circle move from Jean-Luc Godard’s French New Wave classic Breathless.5. Extremely Long Tracking ShotsImage via monnomestdavid.Similar to the Walk and Talk trick, using a wheelchair dolly for extremely long tracking shots is a great way to consolidate resources on DIY productions. The wheelchair can be quite effective, even with only a two-person crew: one to sit and one to move the wheelchair around. If you’re going over long distances, try situating your camera operator in a more relaxed and flexible position (they can also use a Steadicam or some other stabilizer). Be careful, though, with different floor textures (like thick carpet), thresholds between doorways, etc.6. Dolly ZoomsThe wheelchair dolly can also make it easier to perform dolly zooms (which is also known as the Hitchcock zoom or Vertigo Effect). With the camera operator sitting (or kneeling), their hands should be free enough to manually perform a zoom while someone pushes them in the chair at a medium to fast pace. You may have to do several takes, as hitting the focus will always be difficult during such a move, but the effort is worth it in the end.7. Using Natural GravityImage via Film Riot.Finally, one of the riskier wheelchair dolly tricks is to let things like gravity and inclines take control of your movements. These opportunities might not come up often, but if you ever need to simulate a character POV or follow a movement that rapidly increases in speed while slipping or sliding down, using a wheelchair in a controlled free fall move is a daring option. (Be sure to have plenty of people around to help guide and catch the camera op.)For more DIY production tips, check out some of these resources.Gear Hacks: DIY Camera Stabilizers and Rigs for Under $255 DIY Tutorials and Gear Hacks for Filmmakers5 DIY Tips for Your Next ShootPremiumBeat DIY ArchivesThree Ways To Light A Tent Scene On a Low Budgetlast_img read more

Rural Maharastra can drink without hassle

first_imgThe new year has brought some good news to alcohol consumers and sellers in rural Maharashtra, as the State government has decided to allow liquor shops under gram panchayats to renew licences, a procedure that was on hold since April 2017. As per a government circular issued on January 1 and a letter sent by the State Excise Commissioner to all district collectors, except for the dry districts of Wardha, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli, the licences can be renewed in any gram panchayat which fulfils at least one of two criteria. The first is that the population under the gram panchayat should be at least 3,000 as per the 2011 census. Alternatively, the area should be located within 3 km of the limits of a municipal corporation or within a kilometre of a municipal council or municipal panchayat. According to a government official, the decision will benefit 1,500 permit rooms, and 400 country liquor and 700 beer shops. As per a Supreme Court decision of December 2016, wine shops and permit rooms within 500 m of highways were stopped from selling alcohol. Later, the move was amended to exclude highways within city limits.“A number of licence holders who still could not get their permits renewed had approached the Bombay High Court through writ petitions. In May 2018, the court directed the State government to hold hearings of these cases. Following the hearing, the government has decided to allow renewal of licences,” an official from the Excise Department said.last_img read more

London Olympics: Saina Nehwal wins against Sabrina Jaquet in badminton opener

first_imgIndia’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal made a rousing start to her bid for an Olympic medal as she beat Swiss Sabrina Jaquet in straight games in women’s singles group stage opening match on Sunday. The world number five Saina was too good for the 65th ranked Sabrina as she took just 22 minutes to complete a 21-9 21-4 victory at the Wembley arena.Sabrina, who had qualified for the Games by reaching the quarter finals of the 2012 European Championship in Karlskrona, Sweden, could not provide any resistance to Saina, who launched her campaign on a dominating note.The 22-year-old Indian, who came into the tournament after winning the Thailand Grand Prix Gold and Indonesian Super Series Premium last month, took 12 minutes to wrap up the first game, before sealing the issue in her favour by winning the second game in just 10 minutes.Such was the domination of the Indian that Sabrina was reduced to a bystander as the Indian kept lapping up her points in quick succession. The girl from Hyderabad led by a massive 12 and 17 points in the first and second game respectively.Saina, who had reached the quarterfinals in her Olympic debut at the Beijing Games four years ago, will take on Lianne Tan of Belgium in another group E match on Monday.last_img read more

QuickSketch PEI Green Leader Peter BevanBaker

first_imgCHARLOTTETOWN — A look at Peter Bevan-Baker, leader of Prince Edward Island’s Green party.Age: 56.Early years: Bevan-Baker grew up in Scotland. He was a member of the Cub Scouts and later the Sea Scouts. He immigrated to Canada in 1985, living in Newfoundland and then Ontario before settling in Prince Edward Island in 2003. He became a Canadian citizen in 1992.Education: He earned a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.Career: He ran a dental clinic, cafe and community hall in Hampton, P.E.I. He ran unsuccessfully nine times federally and provincially for the Green party before becoming the first Green member of the P.E.I. legislature in 2015.Family: Married to his wife Ann for 28 years. They have four children.Quote: “On P.E.I. we face lots of problems ranging from mental health to sustainable agriculture to securing predictable long-term economic prosperity. Governing well means recognizing them all and bringing forward a coherent, integrated suite of policies and actions to deal with them in a balanced and cohesive way. But it also means recognizing what things must take precedence; what issues must be placed prior to the others. All issues are critical to some people, but some issues are fundamental to everyone’s well-being.” – From a recent blog post.  The Canadian Presslast_img read more