Medford Armed Home Invasion Probed

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police are investigating an armed home invasion in Medford last month.Two men armed with handguns knocked on the door of a Torrey Pine Lane home and when a resident opened the door, the duo pushed their way inside and stole cash at 6:23 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24.The victim and her brother were not injured. The suspects fled the scene.No arrests have been made and no description of the suspects was available.Fifth Squad detectives are continuing the investigation.last_img

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The Fascist & The Scarecrow: If Only Donald Trump Had A Brain

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Arnold Dodge“When somebody hurts you, just go after them as viciously and as violently as you can.”—Donald Trump“If I only had a brain!”—The Scarecrow, “The Wizard of Oz”At the recent Republican National Convention, former New Hampshire Sen. Gordon Humphrey had submitted a petition from delegates like him to force a roll call vote in a last-ditch attempt to derail the Donald Trump juggernaut. The negative reaction from the podium reminded him of another era.“I sought to be recognized to raise a point of parliamentary inquiry and was immediately drowned out by people I would refer to as ‘brownshirts,’” he told MSNBC reporter Jacob Soboroff. When asked what he meant by “brownshirts,” the conservative Senator, who’d served in Congress from 1979 to 1990, replied: “I mean people who act like fascists.”With Humphrey’s accusation in mind, let’s examine Trump’s quest for the White House now that the billionaire has ascended to the top of the GOP food chain as the standard bearer of his party. His newest campaign team swears that he will pivot to become presidential timber.Presidential? Hardly.Trump continues to binge on adolescent tantrums, engage in personal attacks, lob incendiary salvos at will. Among the cringe-worthy moments were an attack on a Gold Star mother and a ghastly suggestion that “the Second Amendment people” may be able to stop Hillary—a not-so-veiled call to arms for gun owners to take matters into their own hands.But the most troubling of all these outrages could be Trump’s assertion that the only way he can lose Pennsylvania in the general election is if the Hillary Clinton camp cheats. Here he crosses a new boundary, no mean feat for a serial boundary-crosser. This time he is looking to breach a firewall, one that is a bulwark against tyranny. This time he is signaling the end of democracy.Not too long ago another self-centered, self-styled demagogue (who had no regard for the commonweal) used this playbook to transform a nation and pursue world domination. Lest we forget, on August 19, 1934, Adolf Hitler was elected the absolute ruler of Germany through a democratic process, receiving 90 percent of the vote in a plebiscite.Here is the Nazi dictator in his own words:“The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. As soon as you sacrifice this slogan and try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away, for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered.”Read more about the rise of totalitarianism in 1930s Germany and brace yourself. Here are some ideas about the period from Haig Bosmajian, a scholar of rhetoric and freedom of speech and the recipient of the 1983 George Orwell Award for his book, The Language of Oppression:“Hitler and the Nazis recognized that if the German people had a group mentality, they would be much more receptive to Nazi ideology and propaganda. To reinforce this mindset in the German people…the Nazis held events that required mass participation and did not invite individuality… Anyone who did not openly participate or share the emotion of the rest of the crowd was easily identified and dealt with by either the crowd itself or by security personnel.“[Another tactic Hitler used] was convincing his audience that the rest of the world thought of Germany as inferior, second-class citizens. This angered the crowd, who had been comprehensively indoctrinated to believe that they were the master race.”Sound familiar?Where to now?There may be hope yet.While Trump accuses Hillary of playing the woman’s card, sane people may have their own card to play:Trump doesn’t have a brain.If he were intelligent, he would be able to coherently express an idea without bombast; be aware that he contradicts himself from one speech to the next; understand that he repeatedly reveals his ignorance about domestic and foreign policy; change his pattern of doubling down when caught in a lie, and realize that he offers a juvenile’s simplistic response to the most complex and important issues of the day.If Trump somehow were to stay on message and deliver even a modicum of rationality in his remarks, then the fabric of American democracy as we know it might become unraveled.That’s not to say that, whether Trump wins or loses, there won’t be domestic instability. His followers are in such a lather that they can’t help but continue the ruthless onslaught begun by the Donald—and they don’t care in the least that he is completely witless.“Hitler and the Nazis recognized that if the German people had a group mentality, they would be much more receptive to Nazi ideology and propaganda.”But let’s trust—for the moment—in the ability of those who have been smitten with Trump fever to calm down when they can take a deep breath. If they begin to realize that their champion is clueless, maybe they will come to their senses. For those thinking of voting for Trump, perhaps the sheer magnitude of his ignorance will steer them toward a wiser choice.Trump’s advisors would be of service to their boss if they had the guts to penetrate the implacable redoubt that he has erected to keep out advice. Unlike the Scarecrow, Trump doesn’t realize he is brainless. The Scarecrow, on the other hand, laments throughout his journey on the yellow brick road, “If I only had a brain.”At the end of the tale, the Wizard comes to his rescue:“Back where I come from, we have universities–seats of great learning–where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts, and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven’t got: a diploma! Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the University…I confer upon you the honorary degree of Th.D.: Doctor of Thinkology!”Too bad for The Donald that his diploma will be issued by Trump University.Trump as Hitler? Maybe a bridge too far.Trump as fascist? Getting closer.For now, let’s go with Fascist Lite.And hope that the better angels of our fellow citizens will win out over the dark energy tapped into by the Trump machine.But let’s be vigilant. Let’s be on the lookout for an unrepentant narcissist who manages to capture public attention through hate-filled rhetoric.The next one may have a brain.Arnold Dodge, PhD, is an associate professor of education at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, where he serves as the chairperson of the Department of Educational Leadership and Administration. Dr. Dodge is a former teacher, principal and superintendent. In his 45th year in education, he is particularly focused on the effects of high-stakes testing on schools.(Featured photo credit: Michael Vadon)last_img read more

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2006 SUMMIT COVERAGE: How will the infrastructure fare in a flu pandemic?

first_img Although telecommunications depend extensively on the power grid and therefore will be affected if the power goes out, Sanders emphasized that the industry can sustain capacity to serve customers for a limited period of time by, for example, relying on generator-based power. He also emphasized that the communications infrastructure is provided with priority assistance under the National Security Emergency Agency planning structure that was created under the Kennedy Administration in the 1960s. Echoing this concern, Anne Marie Kappel, Vice President, World Shipping Council, Washington, DC, reiterated the impact of a pandemic on a system (in this case, transportation) that is already stressed and that relies heavily on people. “If we talk about a pandemic that will impact 25% to 30% of the workforce and you have an industry that is structured with millions of dollars of assets, none of which can operate without people, this will have an impact on the system.” Any business that relies on goods has to factor this into their preparedness plans, she emphasized. “Can we handle unexpected demands on a system that is already stressed if a major global disruption occurs?” he asked. Among the most important areas of contingency planning for such an event is how to manage workers, both those who are ill and those who remain well. In addition, strong leadership is needed at all levels of government to help businesses prepare for such a pandemic, concluded participants in the panel, titled “Cross-Cutting Critical Infrastructure Availability and Business Continuity.” Feb 15, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Putting an additional stressor, such as a flu pandemic, on an infrastructure that is already stressed and running at a stretched capacity merits great concern, said experts convening yesterday at a national summit on business planning for pandemic influenza in Minneapolis. For Marshall C. Sanders, CPP, Vice President, Global Security, Broomfield, Colorado, a key point for businesses in pandemic planning is looking at the capacity requirements to support the 25% to 50% of the workforce that might be called upon to work remotely during a pandemic. Issues include identifying who the workforce is (eg, the percentage who need to work onsite, who can telecommute, and who need to be online), ensuring access to licenses in advance, making sure support services are available, and addressing privacy issues. Speaking on the vulnerability of the power grid to a pandemic flu outbreak, Massoud Amin, DSc, Director of the Center for the Development of Technological Leadership and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota, said that “the system is already close to the edge” in terms of available fuel sources as well as the entire infrastructure, including transmission, high voltage, and distribution. Former governor of Minnesota Arne Carlson agrees that leadership is key to successful pandemic planning. “The only institution that has the capacity to bring people together is government,” he said, adding that government needs to provide a clear, broad understanding about what the pandemic is, what its potentialities are, and what kind of role individuals need to play. As current chairman of RiverSource Funds, a large Minneapolis employer, Carlson said he has not yet received even one phone call regarding the pandemic. “That’s wrong,” he said, adding that businesses need to contact their state and federal government officials to get basic information about contingency plans in the event of a pandemic. According to Dr. Amin, one of the key concerns is the availability of enough people to operate systems if a pandemic occurs. “Organizations have gotten to a point where they have been downsized, right-sized, and they are nearly capsized,” he said. Given the already reduced workforce in businesses, what will happen in a pandemic that is projected to reduce the workforce by 35%? he questioned. Along with factoring in the reduced workforce because of illness, an equally important focus needs to be on how to manage workers who remain healthy. “Part of dealing successfully with the pandemic will be dealing with the healthy,” Kappel said, stressing the need for healthy transportation so workers can get to work. The message that it is safe for people to go to work in the midst of a pandemic must come from the government, according to Kappel, similar to what happened during the SARS episode when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stepped in to reassure cargo workers that they couldn’t contract SARS from handling cargo. She emphasized the need for strong leadership in mitigating this “fear factor” that would further reduce the workforce and slow operations. Steven Ross, MD, Director, Enterprise Risk Services, Deloitte & Touche LLP, New York, commented that developing a plan for how to deal with employees working remotely underscores the need to focus on good management versus planning. “The point is [that] this is not a planning issue, it’s a management issue,” he said, adding that the workforce can be made much more productive if people are given the ability to work from wherever they are. Also, if connectivity slows down during a pandemic, he noted, businesses can try to stagger workers so that, for example, some workers work mornings and some work afternoons. To best prepare for a pandemic, the need for all sectors of infrastructure to work together was emphasized by Dr. Amin who reiterated the need for integrated assessments and collaboration among sectors to prepare and deal with a pandemic. The Business Planning for Pandemic Influenza national summit, held Feb 14 and 15, was hosted by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of this Web site; the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce; and the US Chamber of Commerce.last_img read more

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Batangas rape suspect hiding in Santa Barbara

first_imgAccording to Sta. Barbara police chief Major Raymund Celoso, Zara has been living in the town for almost nine years because he has a live-in partner there. “He is known here (Sta. Barbara) as Arnel Perez Alegrea and he told us that he registered his new name in the town of San Rafael, Iloilo because he knows that he is wanted for crimes in NCR,” said Celoso. Arrested in Santa Barbara, Iloilo, rape and homicide suspect Valintine Zara of Batangas would be shipped to the courts concerned in Batangas to face his charges. PRO-6 PHOTO The police team that arrested Zara were composed of personnel from the NCR-Southern’s Regional Intelligence Unit, the Police Regional Office 6’s Regional Intelligence Unit and Santa Barbara police station. * for rape (Criminal Case No. 2010-198-199) issued by Judge Noel Lindog of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), 4th Judicial Branch 87 in Rosario, Batangas, issued on Sept. 29, 2010 They served two arrest warrants for Zara:center_img * for homicide (Criminal Case  No. 17605) issued by Judge Albert Kalalo of RTC 4 Batangas City, Batangas, issued on Jan. 24, 2012No bail bond was recommended for Zara’s rape case. Zara was taken to the Santa Barbara police station. He would be shipped to the courts concerned in Batangas./PN ILOILO – The most wanted person in the National Capital Region (NCR) for the crimes of rape and homicide in the province of Batangas was arrested in Santa Barbara town around 9:20 a.m. yesterday. Valintine Zara, 29, was a resident of Barangay Sto. Domingo, Batangas. He had been hiding in Purok IV, Barangay Inangayan, Santa Barbara under the name “Arnel Perez Alegrea”.last_img read more

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3 things Jim Boeheim and Josh Pastner said on the ACC coaches teleconference

first_img Published on February 27, 2017 at 4:25 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse has one regular season game left to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume ahead of next week’s ACC tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Following a buzzer-beating win against then-No. 10 Duke, Syracuse (17-13, 9-8 Atlantic Coast) suffered its worst defeat in conference play since joining the ACC thanks to a 20-point clobbering at the hands of then-No. 7 Louisville. SU next faces Georgia Tech (16-13, 7-9) on Senior Day in the Carrier Dome Saturday at 4 p.m.Five days out of the teams’ second matchup in two weeks, here were three talking points from Orange head coach Jim Boeheim and GT head coach Josh Pastner.Despite precarious bubble position, Boeheim maintains he doesn’t think about itThe SU head coach has reiterated time and time again that he doesn’t think about the NCAA Tournament and Syracuse’s potential standing in it until the field of 68 is released. This year SU presumably finds itself on the bubble again, with a 17-13 record but five wins at home against teams that will be in the Tournament or are on the bubble – Miami, Florida State, Wake Forest, Virginia and Duke.There’s one more chance for a home win on Saturday against the Yellow Jackets, and two losses to a fellow bubble team would likely inflict significant damage on Syracuse’s Tournament hopes and force the Orange out of a first-round bye in the conference tournament.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textStill, Boeheim insists on pondering only what his team can control.“I don’t think about that, I’m not concerned about that,” Boeheim said regarding what’s at stake in Saturday’s game. “…We had five games in 15 days … What happens outside of that is not something we have any control of.”Beyond Saturday, the ACC tournament will be one to remember — at least on paperWith the ACC potentially being the deepest conference in college basketball history when it comes to bids in the NCAA Tournament, next week’s five-day event in Brooklyn should be nothing short of entertaining.Eleven teams are alive for berths in the field of 68, with eight already likely locks. Syracuse, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest could be playing for their inclusion in that group next week, and the Orange will hope to have better fortunes than the first time it visited the Barclays Center this season.“We’re looking forward to playing in Brooklyn,” Boeheim said. “We played this year already. It should be a great tournament. We’ve got a great league and there will be great teams in New York.”That Georgia Tech is in NCAA Tournament contention is a ‘modern miracle’The Yellow Jackets, once picked to finish 14th out of 15 ACC teams, have reeled off enough wins to jump into the NCAA Tournament discussion. Pastner, formerly at the helm of Memphis and in his first year at Georgia Tech, inherited a team with not a single player who averaged more than 5.0 points per game last season. Georgia Tech won eight conference games a year ago, but when Pastner took over in April, he was told by coaches in the league that this was a rebuilding year.“‘You’re not winning a game in the ACC,’” Pastner was told. “‘You’re not winning. If you do, you’ve got to be prepared to go winless in your first two years. Prepare to go winless in 20 games.’”But a 75-63 upset over North Carolina in December, followed by a 22-point rout of No. 6 Florida State last month, pushed the Yellow Jackets to the middle of the conference pack. A few days later, they beat No. 14 Notre Dame on a buzzer-beating layup. The unranked Yellow Jackets, who beat Syracuse 71-65 at home on Feb. 19, are now in NCAA Tournament contention. Georgia Tech is an inexperienced team with little depth that could punch a ticket to its first NCAA Tournament since 2010 if it beats Pittsburgh on Tuesday or Syracuse on Saturday.Pastner said he thinks if Georgia Tech gets a victory this week, it deserves a spot in the Tournament. The Yellow Jackets need to play near-flawless basketball to notch an eighth conference victory, he said. Despite a scoring average of only 68 points per game — 292nd in all of NCAA — GT ranks 20th in field-goal percentage defense. SU shot only 35.7 percent from the field in the teams’ previous meeting.It’s that defense that has allowed Georgia Tech to stay with top teams in the conference and poke into Tournament discussion with two regular-season games left.“That we’re even mentioned or even talking about being .500 in probably the greatest year this league has ever had,” Pastner said, “I literally think it’s a modern miracle.” Commentslast_img read more

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Sea Bright Talks Infrastructure and Flooding

first_imgJack Sanders He also shared concern about the current government’s lack of transparency, made up of “mostly the same people” who have been in leadership positions for some time. “It’s developed a bubble,” he said. Specifically, Sanders said the council should be more transparent about development plans and potential school district changes. As an attorney, Sanders has been “dealing with holding governments accountable” for the majority of his career. He got involved politically in Sea Bright when developers proposed river-front development near his home downtown with little concern for potential flooding impacts, he said. John M. Lamia Jr. Samuel A. Catalano Brian Kelly Lamia is a former councilman and served from July 2014 through Dec. 31, 2017. During his time on council, he facilitated a fundraiser to replenish lost beach and lifeguard equipment, reestablished dunes, helped bring lifeguards to Anchorage Beach and more. He was a member of the grant, finance and Lead on the Beach committees. “I am committed to community progress, prudent spending, fairness, diversity and improved communication,” he said. If elected, Kelly said his goal is to keep taxes as low as possible, bring in revenue, be inclusive of people’s ideas and improve flood and storm resilience initiatives. During his time on council, Kelly said he has helped the borough benefit from more than $40 million in grants and insurance monies after Super Storm Sandy for economic recovery. That included seawall repairs, two new borough buildings, bulkheading and streetscape and beautification projects, he said. SEA BRIGHT – A newmayor will soon be named inSea Bright after seven yearsof leadership under currentMayor Dina Long. Long has endorsed current council president Brian Kelly for mayor. Kelly, a Republican, has lived in Sea Bright since 2000 and has been visiting the community since the 1970s. Kelly is the father of two children. He has been on the council for 15 years and served as council president for three. He said he is “always willing to assist a friend, neighbor and the community,” and added that he is a good listener and has “favorable understanding of what can go wrong with a proposed activity, which if considered in advance will typically minimize errors and oversight.” Kevin P. Birdsall Kelly, the president of Sea Bright Solar since 2003, said the opportunity to work with so many Sea Bright residents and business owners has been “a priceless, satisfying experience” that he hopes to continue as mayor. Noting his love for Sea Bright, Birdsall said he wants to run for re-election to keep things in check, especially overdevelopment. He voiced disapproval of high-rise development similar to that of Long Branch or Asbury Park. “ We really cannot support it. We’re a barrier island.” Currently the borough’s ordinance allows for a height limitof38feet.“We have a lot of areas in this town that could at any minute be sold to a developer and could just be overdeveloped,” citing any of the five marinas in town. His big concern right now, however, is flood mitigation. One way to do that is to keep the water in the river for as long as possible. Birdsall is also looking into ways to best keep flooding out of the streets and out of the sewer systems. Additionally, three candidates are vying for two open council seats in the November election: incumbent Independent candidate Kevin P. Birdsall, former councilman and Republican John M. Lamia Jr. and Democratic candidate Samuel A. Catalano. Candidate Lamia has been a Sea Bright resident for 13 years where he lives with his wife and four children. He has been involved with the YMCA as a community sports director, as a volunteer with the Sea Brighters Embracing Action and as a member of the Sea Bright Dunes Committee. He has 43 years of experience in problem solving and service delivery education, he said, nine with Exxon Corp. and 34 with Siemens, now ATOS Inc. Candidate Catalano has owned a home in Sea Bright for three years and has been in the area for about 10 years. He is the owner of Amerifence LLC and deals with large government contracts, which he said would be beneficial to borough projects and the future of the town. Kelly said some of the main concerns facing Sea Bright are the need to keep up revenues to of fset property taxes, manage borough operation costs for efficiency, finish bulkhead work, flood mitigation and public access along the downtown riverside, address the onerous regional school tax levy and to continually improve effective storm response. He also said he wanted to see the completion of new municipal facilities, a new Master Plan, storm readiness procedures, a Hazard Mitigation Plan and more. As a fisherman and boatowner, Catalano said he wantsto run for council because heloves the town and wants tokeep it the “best beach townit can be.” Democratic mayoral challenger Jack Sanders has lived in Sea Bright for five years with his wife and son. He is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, and said moving to Sea Bright was a big step for him after living in the industrial Midwest. Running for one of the two open council seats, the incumbent Birdsall has lived in Sea Bright since 2012. He has worked in several fields including road and bridge construction, welding and corporate America. “You name it, I’ve done it,” he said. He has been a council member for about three years and said his background is helpful because he understands the functionality of what needs to be done in the borough, especially with construction projects. He hopes to continue Long’s momentum and all that she’s done since Super Storm Sandy. He feels some of the main concerns facing Sea Bright are flooding and traffic and he has been working with current councilmen Charles H. Rooney III and Marc A. Leckstein to brain- storm ideas to make things “run smoother.” He also hopes to keep taxes as low as possible with ratables.last_img read more

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Rebels close in on Murdoch Division title, edge Hawks 4-3

first_imgBy The  Nelson Daily SportsTwo seasons ago the Castlegar Rebels made it to the Murdoch Division only to be swept in four games by the Nelson Leafs.There’s not much of a resemblance between the two Castlegar teams.Taylor Anderson had three points to lead the Rebels to within one game of advancing to the Kootenay Conference Final after Castlegar edged Beaver Valley 4-3 in Murdoch Division Final action Tuesday in Fruitvale.The Rebels lead the best-of-seven playoff series 3-1 and can advance to the next round with a win Thursday in the Sunflower City.The difference Tuesday was a 20-minute span from late in the first and into the second frame when Castlegar scored four consecutive goals — three on the power play — to take a 4-1 lead.Nelson Minor Hockey grad Ryon Sookro scored to cut the lead to 4-2 before the period ended.The Hawks’ leading scorer during the regular season, Sookro, added a power play goal late in the third but that would be as close as the host team would get.For the second straight game on the road the Rebels out shot the Hawks 26-14, including 12-4 in the third period. In the two games in Fruitvale, Castlegar held a 69-28 advantage.Ryan Aynsley, Stuart Walton, Anderson and Kootenay Ice affiliate player Jesse Knowler, scored for the Rebels.Tyler Collins scored 36 seconds into the game for the other Beaver Valley marker.Around the KIJHL . . . .Hewitt pulls Cats even with RidersA goal by Ryan Hewitt with nine seconds remaining in the second period proved to be the winner as Creston Valley Thunder Cats edged the Fernie Ghostriders 2-1 to even the best-of-seven Eddie Mountain Division Final at 2-2 Tuesday in Creston. Game five is Thursday in Fernie.Laslo gives Dogs series sweepKyle Laslo stopped 19 shots to power the Osoyoos Coyotes to a 5-0 victory over the Kelowna Chiefs Tuesday in Rutland. The win allows the Dogs to sweep the best-of-seven series 4-0. Grizz can stop Storm tonightDefending KIJHL champ Revelstoke Grizzlies can advance to the Okanagan Conference Final against Osoyoos with a win at home Wednesday against Kamloops Storm. The Grizz lead the series 3-1. [email protected]last_img read more

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Jones tops Ted Allen’s Jewellery Low Net Tournament title

first_imgCathie McLaren, with a 76, edged out Bev Stevens for fourth spot by retrogression with Michell Palm finishing sixth at 77. Veronica Jones fired a net 69 to run away with the top prize at the Ted Allen’s Jewellery Low Net Tournament held recently at the Granite Pointe at Nelson course.Jones edged out Lorna Maxwell and Dorthy Garland for the winner’s trophy. Both Maxwell and Garland finished the day with scores of 75.last_img

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Fossil Fish Pushes Evolutionary Time

first_imgQuick!  When was the Age of Fishes?  If you said “Devonian,” you were correct according to the textbooks and museums, but where’s your evidence?  Look at this diorama in the Smithsonian depicting the seas of the Silurian, the period preceding the Devonian: crinoids, trilobites, corals and nautiloids, but no fish.  It may be time to change the artwork and the textbooks.  A fully-finned fish, jaws and all, has been found in Silurian rock in China.    Prior to the announcement in Nature,1 the only tentative fossil evidence of a gnathostome (jawed) fish in the late Silurian consisted of head fragments dated 416 million years ago (Mya).  Now, a nearly complete fossil of a jawed fish the discoverers named Guiyu oneiros pushes the date three million years earlier, well into the Silurian.  The fact that it is already fully a boned fish means its non-fish predecessors had to have evolved, according to Darwin’s theory, much earlier than that.  “As the oldest articulated sarcopterygian, the new taxon offers insights into the origin and early divergence of osteichthyans [bony fish], and indicates that the minimum date for the actinopterygian�sarcopterygian split was no later than 419 million years ago,” the authors said.  “No later than” translates to “probably a lot earlier than.”    This puts pressure on the whole fish family tree.  Prior to the division between actinopterygians (which includes most familiar fish species) and sarcopterygians (lungfish, Coelacanth, and all four-footed animals, including us), there was supposed to be some branching points within the osteichthyes (bony fish) and chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish), and between jawed and non-jawed vertebrates.  How well documented have these major branching points been in the fossil record?Osteichthyans, which fall into two major monophyletic groups, namely actinopterygians (bichirs, sturgeons, gars, bowfins and teleosts) and sarcopterygians (coelacanths, lungfishes and tetrapods), make up 98% of recognized living vertebrate species.  The rise of osteichthyans from other primitive gnathostomes is a key transition in vertebrate evolution, yet this transition is poorly documented by the fossil discoveries of the last century.  Major morphological gaps existed between actinopterygians and sarcopterygians, and between osteichthyans and non-osteichthyan gnathostomes (chondrichthyans, acanthodians and placoderms).  The past decade has seen the gap narrowing with fossil discoveries such as Psarolepis, Ligulalepis and Dialipina, which show fascinating combinations of osteichthyan and non-osteichthyan gnathostome characters, providing new opportunities for studying the polarity and evolution of these characters.  However, the basal osteichthyan phylogeny remains uncertain owing to the large number of unknown character states in these early forms and the provisional assignment of disarticulated remains to a single taxon.  A better understanding of these fishes is therefore crucial in reconstructing the part of phylogeny close to the split between actinopterygians and sarcopterygians.That’s where Guiyu comes in.  It is unquestionably sarcopteryginian.  Before now, evolutionary paleontologists drew their phylogenetic trees of the Silurian in the absence of evidence about jawed vertebrates.  The three specimens mentioned above are all well in the Devonian, except for Psarolepis, “an indeterminable osteichthyan” tentatively dated to the late Silurian.  Now, Guiyu puts one of the major branching points well into the Silurian.  Whatever led to the evolution of the sarcopterygians had to happen earlier, and more rapidly, than previously believed.    Michael I. Coates (U of Chicago) commented on this find in the same issue of Nature.2  “Discovery of an unusually intact and ancient fossil fish provides further evidence that the search for modern vertebrate origins requires breaking out of the Devonian and into the preceding period,” he began.  Usually, the earliest fossils are scrappy and indistinct, concocted into “conjectural species” from fragments, but this one is remarkably well preserved.  Coates agrees that it comes from a “poorly resolved patch of vertebrate evolution.  Crucially, this piscine offshoot of our own distant past is both unusually intact and exceptionally old.”    What does this find indicate about our knowledge of past eras?  After discussing other remarkable recent finds, some of which have surprising mosaics of features, he said that “The straightforward message is that the origin of modern gnathostomes is not a Devonian phenomenon, after all.”  Add some fish to that Silurian diorama.  In fact, in his article he showed a 1940s-era artwork of a fishless Silurian sea, and said, “What else might be absent?  Evidence of early actinopterygians (ray-finned fishes) and chondrichthyans (sharks and chimaeras) must be lurking out there, somewhere in the Silurian sediments.”  Here’s another straightforward message by Coates: “By pushing a whole series of branching points in gnathostome evolution out of the Devonian and into the Silurian, the discovery of Guiyu also signals that a significant part of early vertebrate evolution is unknown.”  He encouraged paleontologists to take a new look at their Silurian fossils and dig up evidence that must be there.1.  Zhu, Zhao, Jia, Lu, Qiao and Qu, “The oldest articulated osteichthyan reveals mosaic gnathostome characters,” Nature 458, 469-474 (26 March 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature07855.2.  Michael I. Coates, “Palaeontology: Beyond the Age of Fishes,” Nature 458, 413-414 (26 March 2009) | doi:10.1038/458413a.The collapse of a mythology – the fishless Silurian sea – occurring before our eyes.  Evolutionists like to quote the maxim “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” when they are confronted with the lack of transitional forms.  That maxim cuts both ways.  They jeer creationists about the lack of any “Precambrian rabbit” fossils, but notice two things about that: (1) use the same maxim against the evolutionists, and (2) the evolutionists have rigged the names and dates of the strata to prevent such a thing from being found.  We’ve seen them reclassify a stratum from one end of the geological column to the other when it suited their purposes (01/03/2007).  Finding a rabbit in a Precambrian bed would not make them abandon Darwin Daddy.  They would just say, “Well, what do you know; this bed is Pleistocene.”    When you find anomalies like this within their own dating scheme, the case for falsification is more convincing.  Notice that the “earliest” fossils are not transitional.  They neither show primitive features nor clear-cut lineages.  Prior to Guiyu, they said the earliest specimens like Psarolepis had a mosaic of features.  This means it did not clearly fall into a single lineage.  Now, an even earlier specimen is unquestionably sarcopterygian and 100% fish.  The artist conception shows a fish you could catch and eat.  It’s got teeth, gills, scales, fins, eyes and all the equipment a fish could want.  It wasn’t becoming a fish from something else, and it wasn’t evolving into something else.  Think how many lucky mutations must have been required to get all these parts working together from some non-fish predecessor.  Since vertebrates have now been found all the way back to the early Cambrian (01/30/2003), it’s not that big a stretch to imagine finding a mammal in Cambrian or Precambrian strata some day.  After all, the skeletal system, immune system, digestive system, circulatory system, central nervous system had already “emerged” by then, so what’s the big deal shaping the outward morphology a little?    Another case of the “absence of evidence” maxim bears repeating.  The world is full of “living fossils” – species alive today that left no trace for supposed tens or hundreds of millions of years (see list on CreationWiki).  There are two possible lessons here.  One is that Precambrian rabbits could conceivably be found.  If you accept the evolutionary timeline, you would have to believe that the tuatara, coelacanth and Wollemi Pine lived through tens of millions of years, catastrophes and all, without leaving a trace in the fossil record – because they are still alive today.  There you go – “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”.  Secondly, living fossils argue against the evolutionary timeline altogether.  Is it plausible to think that these organisms survived unchanged for all that time?  Where is the evolution?  Just maybe those millions of years are fiction.  It would make more sense to believe that not much time has passed between the fossil and living representatives.  Whichever way you take it, today’s entry should shame the Darwinists into admitting they don’t know what they claim in their museum dioramas.(Visited 50 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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SA looks to nuclear power

first_img2 May 2007The South African government is looking to increase its reliance on nuclear power generation as a means of ensuring energy security, diversifying the country’s current energy supply and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.Addressing the Nuclear Energy and Uranium Renaissance Conference in Johannesburg in February, Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said there was a need to develop advanced, efficient, non-polluting, cost-effective energy technologies, especially for use in developing countries.“You are all aware that currently the South African electricity generation is dependent on coal. The over-reliance on coal will need to be reduced, particularly as investment is being made into new national electricity generation capacity,” Sonjica said.South Africa is to spend R97-billion to increase the capacity of its electricity grid over the next five years.In February, the government backed state-owned power utility Eskom in its plans to build a second nuclear power station in the southern part of the country, to contribute upwards of 1 000 megawatts of base-load power.The country is also busy experimenting with the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor concept, with a demonstration reactor set to be operational outside Cape Town by 2010.To prepare for an expanded nuclear programme, the Department of Minerals and Energy is putting together a strategy that will outline the future of nuclear energy in South Africa, while also ensuring investment in uranium beneficiation, given the presence of the mineral in the country.“[The] government is strongly encouraging the beneficiation of our minerals resources,” Sonjica said. “It goes without saying that beneficiation of uranium comes with its own responsibilities and sensitivities, and we should pursue this beneficiation within our national and international obligations.”‘Shift in mindset’According to Sonjica, developing a nuclear industry of such magnitude requires a shift in mindset from all role players in the local industry. South Africa would have to invest in nuclear research and development – currently being undertaken by the Nuclear Energy Corporation of SA (Necsa), as well as in manufacturing capacity.She said, however, that current rates of skills development were not sufficient, and that the government had to look into other methods, such as twinning local talent with international experts, to accelerate skills development.The department has since introduced initiatives such as the South African Young Nuclear Professionals Society and Women in Nuclear South Africa to promote the industry among previously disadvantaged people.Necsa chief executive Rob Adam told Engineering News that the corporation had been given R10-million a year for the next three years to establish a National Nuclear Manufacturing Centre.The centre will incorporate Necsa’s existing facilities at the Pelindaba complex outside Pretoria, including Fabritek (the manufacturing component of the old Atomic Energy Corporation), an existing design centre, and Necsa’s current fuel manufacturing activities at the Safari-1 research reactor.“What we have discovered is that South African companies are finding it hard to manufacture to nuclear specifications, and we fear that, when the building of new nuclear power stations starts, local companies will find it difficult to respond and money that we had hoped would be spent in South Africa will have to be spent abroad,” Adam told Engineering News.“This centre would both do its own manufacturing and help other South African companies to meet the required standards and be able to manufacture for nuclear.”Sonjica also called on the National Nuclear Regulator to strengthen its capacity to evaluate different technologies, adding that the state would also have to improve its system for ensuring compliance with its non-proliferation obligations.“Nuclear safety is going to be paramount in the pursuit of our objectives,” she said.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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