Warriors whip Portland in opener

first_imgOAKLAND, California (AP):Klay Thompson scored 37 points as fellow ‘Splash Brother’ Stephen Curry watched injured and the Golden State Warriors again dominated without their MVP to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 118-106 on Sunday in Game One of the Western Conference semi-finals.Draymond Green had his second career postseason triple-double with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for the defending champions.With Curry sidelined because of a sprained right knee, Green and Thompson took charge again. Thompson hit seven more three-pointers to become the first player in NBA history to make at least seven threes in three straight playoff games.Game Two of the best-of-seven series is tonight at Oracle Arena.Golden State reserve Anderson Varejao and Portland’s Gerald Henderson were ejected late in the third quarter after receiving their second technical foulsPortland’s Damian Lillard had another slow start back home in the Bay Area, missing 11 of his first 13 shots before finishing with 30 points – 10 on free throws.HEAT 106, HORNETS 73Goran Dragic scored 25 points, Gerald Green added 16 and Miami ended Charlotte’s season, beating the Hornets in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference first-round series.The Heat will open the second round at Toronto tonight.Luol Deng scored 15 points, Dwyane Wade added 12 and Hassan Whiteside had 10 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for the Heat. They have won their last four Game Sevens – each of the previous three coming along the way to winning NBA championships.Frank Kaminsky scored 12 points for Charlotte.RAPTORS 89, PACERS 84DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 rebounds and 10 points and Toronto beat Indiana in Game Seven of the first-round series.Rookie Norman Powell added 13 points, Kyle Lowry had 11 points and nine assists and Patrick Patterson had 11 points to help Toronto win a seven-game series for the first time in franchise history.The Raptors won their first postseason series since a five-game triumph over the New York Knicks in 2001, ending the NBA’s longest active drought between playoff series victories.Paul George led Indiana with 26 points and 12 rebounds, George Hill scored 19 points and Monta Ellis had 15.last_img read more

Raiders broadcaster Brent Musburger makes controversial joke about Elizabeth Warren’s heritage

first_imgLongtime national sports broadcaster Brent Musburger took to Twitter on Saturday to make a “joke” that predictably divided his audience.Musburger posted a photo from President Donald Trump’s rally in Montana in which several men appear in American Indian headresses. Under the photo, Musburger wrote: “Elizabeth Warren’s ‘relatives’ backing Trump in Montana!”Elizabeth Warren’s “relatives” backing Trump in Montana! pic.twitter.com/JbkqdkbW1s— Brent Musburger (@brentmusburger) November 3, 2018 …last_img read more

Fruit Flies Not Evolving

first_imgA long-running experiment trying to get fruit flies to evolve has failed.  A research team forced selection on the flies to explore the limits of natural selection.  Only minor changes were detected after 600 generations.  The research team was disappointed and surprised; there was even less evolution in these sexual organisms than in similar experiments with microbes, like bacteria and yeast (but see 07/12/2010).  And all this was under ideal lab conditions.  Success is even less likely in the wild.    The Editor’s summary of a paper in Nature was titled, “Experimental evolution reveals resistance to change” and ended that the authors “conclude that unconditionally advantageous alleles rarely arise, are associated with small net fitness gains, or cannot fix because selection coefficients change over time.”  Nature this week published the results of a 35-year study by UC Irvine and University of Southern California (USC).  Here is the abstract:1 Experimental evolution systems allow the genomic study of adaptation, and so far this has been done primarily in asexual systems with small genomes, such as bacteria and yeast.  Here we present whole-genome resequencing data from Drosophila melanogaster populations that have experienced over 600 generations of laboratory selection for accelerated development.  Flies in these selected populations develop from egg to adult ~20% faster than flies of ancestral control populations, and have evolved a number of other correlated phenotypes.  On the basis of 688,520 intermediate-frequency, high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms, we identify several dozen genomic regions that show strong allele frequency differentiation between a pooled sample of five replicate populations selected for accelerated development and pooled controls.  On the basis of resequencing data from a single replicate population with accelerated development, as well as single nucleotide polymorphism data from individual flies from each replicate population, we infer little allele frequency differentiation between replicate populations within a selection treatment.  Signatures of selection are qualitatively different than what has been observed in asexual species; in our sexual populations, adaptation is not associated with ‘classic’ sweeps whereby newly arising, unconditionally advantageous mutations become fixed.  More parsimonious explanations include ‘incomplete’ sweep models, in which mutations have not had enough time to fix, and ‘soft’ sweep models, in which selection acts on pre-existing, common genetic variants.  We conclude that, at least for life history characters such as development time, unconditionally advantageous alleles rarely arise, are associated with small net fitness gains or cannot fix because selection coefficients change over time.In other words, they looked for evidence of a “selective sweep” – the signature of a beneficial mutation becoming fixed in the population – and could not find it.  They did the selection artificially, forcing the fly embryos to evolve toward faster embryonic development.  Despite lots of mutations, they found the flies resistant to change.  Not only that, the flies underwent “reverse evolution” – they said, “forward experimental evolution can often be completely reversed with these populations, which suggests that any soft sweeps in our experiment are incomplete and/or of small effect” (a soft sweep meaning selection is acting on standing variation instead of new mutations).  Possibly any beneficial mutations were hindered by linked deleterious alleles (canceling out the benefit) or antagonistic pleiotropy (in which one good mutation to a gene can cause one or more bad effects elsewhere).  Either way, the evolution is like one step forward, one or more steps back.    There was even more bad news for neo-Darwinian theory: the lab situation was more optimistic than the wild, where adaptive evolution is expected to occur.  You can get a lot of variation and mutation to appear in genomes, but no unconditionally beneficial mutations.  Their last paragraph expressed surprise at this, with a subtext of disappointment:Our work provides a new perspective on the genetic basis of adaptation.  Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles.  This is notable because in wild populations we expect the strength of natural selection to be less intense and the environment unlikely to remain constant for ~600 generations.  Consequently, the probability of fixation in wild populations should be even lower than its likelihood in these experiments.  This suggests that selection does not readily expunge genetic variation in sexual populations, a finding which in turn should motivate efforts to discover why this is seemingly the case.This experiment was begun in 1975.  After 35 years and 600 generations, accelerated by artificial selection, the net evolution (in terms of adaptation and improvement in fitness) was negligible if not nil.1.  Burke, Dunham et al, “Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila,” Nature 467, 587-590 (30 September 2010); doi:10.1038/nature09352.Natural selection is always presumed to be the wonder-worker that can produce eyes, ears, sonar, flippers, jaws, hearts, and brains with its gradual, step-by-step improvement of natural variation, without design (07/20/2010, 05/04/2010).  OK, where is it?  It doesn’t work theoretically (09/28/2010, 06/11/2010, 03/21/2010, 03/17/2003), it doesn’t work rhetorically (04/17/2010), it doesn’t work historically (08/05/2010), and it doesn’t work experimentally (09/22/2010).  It doesn’t work in the lab, and it works less in the wild.  Unless you include “reverse evolution,” (06/26/2010), it doesn’t work at all.  Game over, Charlie (05/14/2010).  Stop the hype (08/13/2010).(Visited 218 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa’s Black Mambas inspire Hollywood film

first_imgThe South African team of female game rangers, the Black Mambas, have been recognised globally for their committed efforts to protect wildlife. Their story is now set to become a Hollywood film.CD AndersonThe all-women Black Mamba anti-poaching unit is renowned around the world for their committed efforts to protect South African wildlife, in particular the rhino. Now a film that tells their story is being planned by a production company headed Hollywood actress Jessica Chastain.The film, a dramatisation of the unit’s story, will be written by Zimbabwean-American actress and writer Danai Gurira, according to a 29 November article on Indiewire.com. Gurira is best known for her role as Michonne in the hit American show The Walking Dead.The Black Mambas won a United Nations Champions of the Earth award in 2015, and were named the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Best Conservation Practitioner in 2016.Formed in 2013, the original Black Mambas were made up of six female game rangers. They patrolled the Olifants West nature reserve in Limpopo, part of the larger Balule protected area, including the western boundary of the Kruger National Park.The team now consists of almost 50 rangers, and continues to train women from the community for the additional units. “Other women want to join us, but we need more funding,” ranger Felicia Mogakane said in an interview with Refinery29.com in November 2016, adding: “If you really want to protect the animals you must have the people to do the hard work.”Aside from patrolling the reserve, the Black Mambas also do education drives in the area to highlight the benefits of conservation, focusing particularly on the protection of the country’s endangered species, such as elephant, pangolin and rhino, and other high-profile Big Five animals, including lion and buffalo.They work in team shifts across the park for three weeks at a time, operating from a rudimentary base camp in the bush. They track movements of the animals and look for poachers.The Black Mambas’ primary role is searching the area for poachers and illegal hunters, eradicating traps and destroying bush-meat kitchens. Between 2013 and 2015, they identified and destroyed 12 poachers’ camps, as well as reduced snaring and poisoning activities by 76%.Suspicious tracks lead to 2 arrests of bush meat poachers in adjacent farm. Investigation still on-going. pic.twitter.com/G3fxRQNEQe— Black Mamba APU (@blackmambaapu) November 4, 2015Ladies remove another snare from the bush! @Juliapic @blackmambaapu #girlpower #community #rhino #conservation #women pic.twitter.com/95uGbzTiwa— Black Mamba APU (@blackmambaapu) September 17, 2015But poachers’ methods are continually becoming more sophisticated, leading to some significant wildlife losses in the region – this is something the women of the Black Mambas want to make their focus over the next three years.“The best part of being a Mamba is getting together and encouraging each other to do the work. We support each other and get stronger every day,” ranger Everjoy Mathebula told Refinery29.com.Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has called the team a shining example of South Africans taking on the responsibilities of protecting the country’s natural heritage. “The country and the world salute these young women who have shown dedication and commitment to the conservation of our natural world.”No further details have been given about when production will begin on the Black Mambas film.The scourge of poaching and illegal trade in animals, particularly elephant ivory, is a hot button topic, thanks in part to a new Netflix documentary, The Ivory Game, produced by actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The film has received positive reviews and buzz at top international film festivals.Watch the trailer below:Source: News24last_img read more

Publication outlines pesticide risks for pollinators

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A new publication available from Purdue Extension could help crop producers minimize pesticide risk to pollinator species.Protecting Pollinators in Agronomic Crop Production, the latest publication in the Protecting Pollinators series, describes some of the risks pollinators may face when pesticides are applied to field crops, such as corn, soybeans or wheat.“Honeybees don’t necessarily need to be sprayed directly with pesticides to be harmed,” said co-author Rick Foster, entomology professor and Extension integrated pest management specialist. “Honeybees consume pollen, nectar and water to survive, and any of these can be sources of pesticide exposure. Additionally, planting dust or pesticide droplets may be suspended in the air as they fly through it. This publication will help agronomic crop producers to recognize some of the risks associated with pesticide use and reduce some of those harmful side effects.”Foster co-authored the publication with fellow Purdue entomologists Christian Krupke and Greg Hunt, Purdue Extension educator Michael O’Donnell and Phil Sutton, St. Joseph County Extension director.The publication includes sections describing why honeybees and other pollinators are important to the agricultural system, ways in which pesticide poisoning may occur, and best management practices to minimize the impact of pesticides, particularly insecticides.Protecting Pollinators in Agronomic Crop Production is available for free download from Purdue Extension’s The Education Store.The Protecting Pollinators series is funded by a Purdue Extension Issue-Based Action Team (IBAT) award, and is part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiative to protect pollinator health across the country. Pollinator species include honeybees as well as flies, butterflies, moths, beetles and hummingbirds.last_img read more

The Onion Releases an iPhone App

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Comedy website The Onion has released an iPhone application called The Onion Microfiche Reader. It’s pretty cool. The app lets you flip through very short joke-headlines in an interface that looks like the old microfiche readers. There’s no satire news stories associated, just funny headlines. The Onion understands that “you must be very busy to have such an important phone.”The app also offers easy download of the company’s video and audio podcasts and easy sharing on Facebook and Twitter. It’s definitely worth the 99 cents they are charging for it. Unless you’re broke, in which case don’t bother. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Tags:#humor#NYT#web marshall kirkpatrick Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Will this “flip through the stories” application end up making more money than Google’s too-serious (yet light-weight) Fast Flip, launched yesterday? That doesn’t seem outside the realm of possibilities.last_img read more

I guarantee there will be no more riots in Gujarat, says Modi

first_imgGujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that his state had turned development into a people’s movement to achieve all-round success and expressed confidence that India could emerge as a great power if it adopted the same mantra  and set its goals after precisely assessing its strengths.Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi speaking at the India Today Conclave 2011 in New Delhi on Friday, March 18, 2011.Drawing repeated applause from the audience at the 10th India Today Conclave for his sharp speech as a keynote speaker for the session ‘How India can develop into the next decade’, Modi said Gujarat was now focusing on the service sectors like tourism after achieving success in the industrial and agriculture sectors.Modi also gave an insight into how Gujarat had achieved success in various fields by following an approach that was both forward-looking and integrated.The biggest success of Gujarat, he observed, is that it had proved that success could be achieved by using the same instruments which have been found defective in the past, thus removing the atmosphere of negativity among the people and giving them hope.  Modi said the way to India’s future is through education. “Skills get you jobs, but knowledge creates jobs,” Modi pointed out. With this in mind, Gujarat had created separate universities for subjects like petroleum, forensic sciences and for creating teachers. He said the last Vibrant Gujarat Global Investment Summit in Gandhinagar saw participation by representatives of 33 universities from across the world, who interacted with university representatives of Gujarat for starting courses in new disciplines.advertisementGujarat, Modi said, was focusing on the minutest human and social aspects in its developmental planning and revealed that it had also set up a new university for children’s development to shape their future in an age that is fast changing. He said Gujarat had triggered a public movement in 2005 for restoring its skewed sex ratio and after five years its sex ratio had improved to 924 from 820.Speaking on Gujarat’s climate change and energy initiatives, Modi said the state was set to emerge as the biggest hub for solar power generation following the robust measures taken by the state Government. The state has a 2,200-km long gas pipeline and there were many villages that are getting domestic gas through the pipeline.After his speech, Modi was not found wanting in repartee when questions were put to him by the audience. Modi, expectedly, found himself being asked about the battering his image has taken following the riots of 2002. Did he hold a meeting of top officials, as alleged, to orchestrate the events? Modi said that the Special Investigative Team had questioned him thoroughly on the riots and he had answered them as well as he could.”The matter is with the Supreme Court and it would be proper now that only the apex court commented on the issue,” he said.Pressed further on whether he could assure that Gujarat would not see a repeat of communal violence, Modi recalled a history of Gujarat being “communally sensitive since 1736”, where not a single month passed without curfew being imposed somewhere in the state. After 2002, he said, there have been no curfews, not a single incidence of communal violence, despite incidents like the attack on Akshardham temple and the Ahmedabad bomb blasts. “This should indicate our determination on ensuring that Gujarat believes in peace and harmony,” Modi said.The question of his image was the subject of some other questions too, though in a different light. Modi was queried whether his spin doctors had consciously tried to change the image, even in sartorial terms, in preparation for a bigger role away from the state, in fact in New Delhi as the prime minister.Modi said that though he had not spent even a minute on image correction, people drew their own inferences and it was up to them to answer the question in whatever way they wanted to.  As for prime ministership, he said, “I deal in realities, not in dreams. I am concerned with the realities of my state.”Modi added that much was being made of the western attire he sported at times. “This is not an effort at rebranding myself,” he said. “I used to wear a trouser and shirt when I worked for the party in places like Himachal Pradesh, and I wear those clothes during the cold season in Gujarat.”Asked about how the measures he had so successfully adopted for Gujarat could be replicated in other states, Modi replied that each state had its own priorities and there could be no automatic adoption of Gujarat’s method to redress the ills in other states. But he said states could share their experiences and learn from the best practices that other states adopted to reach development to people.advertisementWhen the subject of corruption was broached, Modi retorted that corruption was in poor health in Gujarat and faced death. But he also added that if Gujarat, using the same institutional systems as in the rest of the country, had bucked corruption’s forward charge, the rest of the country could too.When asked about the need for electoral reforms in the light of the present electoral system breeding corruption, Modi said he didn’t believe clean governance couldn’t be delivered in the present system but there was as dire need for poll reforms. He said the biggest reform that had to be carried out was the holding of state and parliamentary elections simultaneously and at a stipulated time every time.Reminded of how the income tax department had raised questions about his meeting with western investors and how this could be construed as an example of a skewed federal system in India, Modi conceded that though the system has worked for over 60 years, there are encroachments on state turf by the Centre.”Things have changed from the time one political party controlled governance from Panchayat to Parliament and the thought on federalism in India has to factor in the changed circumstances where different powers reigned in states and the Centre,” he said.last_img read more