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Sports Briefs

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first_imgRef’s home burned, Greek leagues suspended ATHENS, Greece (AP) Greece is enlisting anti-terrorism police to investigate a suspected arson attack on a top referee’s home, which prompted the suspension of all league games. Sports Minister Giorgos Vassiliadis says the left-led government is also prepared to pull domestic clubs out of European competitions unless “normality” is restored. Greek football has been plagued for years by persistent fan violence and allegations of corruption and match-fixing. The government briefly delayed the start of the top division in September, arguing that a festering squabble involving the federation, league organisers, and clubs posed serious security concerns. League matches were indefinitely suspended after Wednesday’s blaze, in which nobody was hurt. Former Venezuelan football boss pleads guilty in NY NEW YORK (AP) Former Venezuela football federation president Rafael Esquivel has pleaded guilty to federal charges in New York. The case is part of a U.S. investigation into corruption among senior figures in the sport and its top governing body, FIFA. Esquivel pleaded guilty yesterday to racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. Prosecutors say he participated in bribery schemes related to the awarding of contracts for the media and marketing rights. He faces up to 20 years in prison on each count. Esquivel was president of the Venezuelan football federation from 1988 to 2015. Rangers terminate Barton’s contract GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) Joey Barton’s ill-fated stint in Scottish football is over after less than six months. The hot-headed and outspoken English midfielder had his contract terminated by Rangers yesterday, seven weeks after being suspended by the Glasgow club over a training-ground row with his manager and a teammate. Rangers announced Barton’s departure in a two-sentence statement. Barton left Burnley in the offseason after helping get the team promoted to the English Premier League, and arrived at Ibrox saying he would prove himself to be the best player in Scotland. He made only eight appearances for Rangers. In his last week at the club, he was off work suffering from stress.last_img read more

Chelsea won the Premier League title LAST SUMMER, says Glenn Hoddle

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first_imgGlenn Hoddle believes Chelsea’s business in the transfer window last summer was the main reason behind their Premier League victory.The Blues have sealed their first title in five years with three matches of the season remaining.Chelsea sold David Luiz, Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku during the summer of 2014, and replaced them with Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Loic Remy, among others.And former manager Hoddle claims those acquisitions are behind the west London club’s title triumph.“Jose Mourinho won the Premier League title because of his purchases last summer,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show. “He’s such a shrewd operator.“He replaced really top players who were maybe in the autumn of their careers with Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa.“That has elevated the squad from day one. Add that to Eden Hazard, Willian, John Terry and Thibaut Courtois.“That was the icing on the cake. It was like a big jigsaw that he built. You saw in the first half of the season they played some magnificent football, people have forgotten that.”last_img read more

Liverpool transfer news: Wijnaldum deal clincher and Klopp targets Serie A stars

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first_img 5 5 Jurgen Klopp has already had a good look at his Liverpool squad after three pre-season friendlies so far.The Reds have looked impressive, winning all three of those games against Tranmere, Fleetwood and Wigan and have yet to concede a goal.New signings Joel Matip, Loris Karius and Sadio Mane all featured in those games, but they are unlikely to be the only arrivals at Anfield this summer.SEE HOW LIVERPOOL COULD LINE UP WITH NEWCASTLE’S GEORGINIO WIJNALDUMClick the arrow above, right, to see all the latest Liverpool transfer rumours. 5 Gary Medel and Marcelo Brozovic – read all about it, below, then click the arrow, right, to see more Liverpool transfer rumours – Liverpool are interested in Inter Milan duo Medel and Brozovic, according to Italian outlet Corriere Dello Sport. The Reds are the only real contenders for the pair, with Medel having already spent a season in the Premier League when at Cardiff City. Jeremy Mathieu – Liverpool have made contact with the Barcelona defender in a bid to solve their defensive crisis. Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel have left the club and with injuries to Joel Matip, Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren is the only fit defender. The Sun say Klopp sees Mathieu as the solution as his days at the Nou Camp appear to be coming to an end after the signing of Samuel Umtiti. 5 5 Mario Gotze – The Reds are set to miss out on Gotze after Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed he was in talks with ex-club Borussia Dortmund. Klopp wanted to lure his former player to Anfield with him but it appears that Gotze has now decided to stay in German. Georginio Wijnaldum – The Daily Mail report that Liverpool’s best chance of signing Wijnaldum is by offering Newcastle a player-plus-cash deal. They claim the Magpies are interested in bringing either Jon Flanagan or Lucas Leiva to St James’ Park in exchange. Mario Balotelli – Balotelli’s former Italy teammate Andrea Pirlo has warned the Liverpool striker against a move to China this summer. Balotelli is unwanted by the Reds as they struggle to find a buyer but Pirlo told the Mirror that while he is not where the New York City midfielder expected him to be, he should stay in Europe and resurrect his career rather than move to China. last_img read more

Datebook

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first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Panorama City Neighborhood Council will meet, 6:30 p.m., Mission Community Hospital medical building, second floor, 14860 Roscoe Blvd., Panorama City. Call (818) 374-9895. New Line Cinema will host a screening of “Take The Lead” to benefit LA’s BEST, 7 p.m., Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Call (213) 978-0801. North Hollywood North East Neighborhood Council will host a candidates forum, 7 p.m., Park Plaza Apartments Library, 7655 Rhodes Ave., North Hollywood. Call (818) 756-9625. Mail Datebook entries – including time, date, location and a phone number – to Daily News City Desk, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365; fax (818) 713-0058; e-mail dnmetro@dailynews.com. THURSDAY: Las Virgenes School District will hold a special board meeting, 8 a.m., 4111 N. Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas. Call (818) 880-4000. Students from Chaminade, Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Van Nuys and Louisville high schools will be competing in the Southern California Regional Robotics Competition, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Great Western Forum, 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood. Free. Call (800) 871-8326. The Physical Therapy Center for Advance Clinical Practice will hold an open house, 4-7 p.m., in Jacaranda Hall at California State University, Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge. The center supports research, community service and education related to physical therapy. Call (818) 677-2203 or e-mail pt@csun.edu. United Chambers of Commerce will host a Mega Mixer, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Beverly Garland’s Holiday Inn Hotel, 4222 N. Vineland Ave., North Hollywood. Free parking and admission. Reservations required. Call (818) 981-4491. last_img read more

‘FA accused of preventing people taking part in football’

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first_img 3 Despite being responsible for grassroots sport in England it is alleged that Sport England is “too closely aligned with the FA” talkSPORT has been made aware of an incident in Lincolnshire in 2018 that saw referees pull out of a newly established Leisure Leagues competition when players had already arrived at the venue, resulting in the matches being cancelled and players immediately returning home.Leisure Leagues’ claims come as the FA considers a £600m offer for Wembley Stadium, which it says could provide ‘unprecedented’ funding to increase participation in community football.Referee obstructionThe document reveals referees are prevented by the FA from officiating matches organised by Leisure Leagues.In 2015 Cornwall FA emailed referees with a list of FA-affiliated leagues, stating: “If the league you referee at is not on this list then…you will be refereeing in non-affiliated football and this could affect your registration and ability to referee 11 a side football.”A year later a prospective client pulled out of working with Leisure Leagues because the FA had told her she would risk losing her referee badge.Leisure Leagues claims the FA’s insistence on the matter has been such that Leicester and Charnwood Sunday Football League’s referee secretary commented on a Leisure Leagues Facebook post in 2017: “Referees beware this league is not affiliated to fa (sic). So qualified referees not allowed to referee on this league.”The report reveals County FAs have suggested to referees that they would be uninsured if an incident occurred during a Leisure Leagues match, despite Leisure Leagues holding its own insurance policy.The FA’s handbook reads – “Appointments. 9 (a) – Registered Referees shall not officiate in any competition, which is not sanctioned, or match in which unaffiliated clubs compete.”The FA told talkSPORT: “This rule exists because affiliated football has a base line of insurance that is covered by The FA and County FAs, covering the referee should there be any misconduct towards them or potential legal issues arise. Also, any misconduct in non-affiliated football will not be reported to The FA and/or County FA.”UK Competition LawLeisure Leagues claims the FA seeks to prevent it from operating at Astroturf facilities and leisure centres across the country. It is alleged this occurs because Leisure Leagues is the only major UK league not affiliated to the FA and therefore its existence presents competition that threatens the FA’s power.Whilst Leisure Leagues was trying to book a 3G pitch at Teignmouth Community School in Devon in 2017 it received an email from Devon FA, which stated: “As a commercial provider of 5 a side that does not affiliate with The FA we do not support this booking and will discuss direct with the school.”In 2016 Westfield Academy in Watford informed Leisure Leagues that it could not rent their pitch to the company. “Our new astroturf pitch is funded by the Football Foundation and Herts FA and within our football development plan, we have to insure (sic) that the county FA are the sole provider of small sided football…”Leisure Leagues claims the correspondences demonstrate County FAs have acted contrary to the FA’s official stance that the owner of a facility is permitted to work with any football operator.As Leisure Leagues provides a similar product to County FAs at sports facilities, Leisure Leagues insists the request for it to affiliate to the FA compromises the free market.Senior Lecturer in Competition Law at Queen Mary University, Dr Maria Ioannidou, believes Leisure Leagues’ claims appear strong: “It seems from the report that the Football Association has been engaging in a number of exclusivity tactics. Given is is dominant in the market there may be a problem from a competition law perspective because it is excluding its competitors.”The FA told talkSPORT: “There is no directive from the FA to state affiliated leagues should be given priority over anyone else.”The Football Foundation enforces the FA’s unfair practicesLeisure Leagues’ extraordinary report takes aim at the UK’s largest sports charity, The Football Foundation, claiming an overlap at boardroom level raises questions about how money is distributed.The Football Foundation funds improvements to football facilities across the country as well as financing new community pitches. It is to receive £21.7m from the Football Association in 2018.Leisure Leagues suggests the process to apply for Football Foundation funding encourages venues to partner with FA-affiliated clubs, which causes independent leagues to suffer.In 2017 the Football Foundation informed Leisure Leagues: “If a school wants a new 3G pitch then they have to have a discussion with the County FA who will decide this, but they would need to have a partner club who the County FA approve of.”The University of Wolverhampton cancelled a planned Leisure Leagues booking in 2016 after a meeting with the Football Foundation, which “…informed us that as part of the funding bid we cannot allow a private league operator like yourselves use of the pitch during peak times…”A Football Foundation spokesperson told talkSPORT: “Grant recipients may well prioritise bookings towards those organisations that will help deliver their development plan obligations. This can include priority being given within the Programme of Use to these organisations for access to what are often referred to as the ‘peak time’ slots.” The report includes the following allegations:The FA’s actions prevent thousands of people from playing sportThe FA prevents referees from officiating Leisure Leagues matchesThe FA could be breaking UK competition lawThe Football Foundation enforces the FA’s unfair practicesSport England has failed to stand up to the FALeisure Leagues is the largest provider of small-sided football, which has more than 1 million weekly participants.The company operates more than 1,000 divisions and has more than 150,000 registered players. The firm believes that its affiliation fee (quoted to it by the FA in 2002 as £100,000) would be more costly than beneficial and that non-affiliation allows it to implement discipline more effectively.Its report was completed in 2017 but has not been made public until now.The FA told talkSPORT: “There is no directive from the FA to state affiliated leagues should be given priority over anyone else.”Lower Participation LevelsCentral to the claims made is that the FA’s actions preventing Leisure Leagues’ matches taking place have resulted in fewer people playing football across the country.The report details that when King Charles I School in Kidderminster unexpectedly cancelled Leisure Leagues’ booking after 17 years the school attributed its decision to guidance it had received from the FA and Sport England in 2015.Leisure Leagues says this resulted in more than 500 players no longer participating in sport. 3 talkSPORT has obtained the Leisure Leagues report center_img Leisure Leagues’ claims come as the FA considers a £600m offer for Wembley Stadium, which it says could provide ‘unprecedented’ funding to increase participation in community football. Sport England has failed to stand up to the FADespite being responsible for grassroots sport in England it is alleged that Sport England is “too closely aligned with the FA” to force changes when concerns are raised about the Football Association.The document reveals that having complained to Sport England that it was being discriminated against by the FA and The Football Foundation, a response provided to Leisure Leagues advised: “It would be more appropriate for any such instances to be identified to The FA for them to deal with directly…”Leisure Leagues claims this demonstrates Sport England trusting the FA to self-regulate and that Sport England has not responded to its questions since 2014.Among the report’s 44 recommendations is that Sport England is reformed and The Football Foundation’s existence is reconsidered.Phil Smith, Sport England’s Director of Sport, told talkSPORT: “We welcome and encourage private providers of sports participation. We met with Leisure Leagues more than six years ago to discuss their concerns that some venues were insisting on competitions being affiliated to the FA. That, however, is a matter for those venues and we have no regulatory powers to intervene.“Our over-riding interest is to protect the interests of the consumer, ensuring that no-one is being unfairly prevented from participating in sport and activity. At that time we saw no evidence of this but if Leisure Leagues have any new information we would be happy to look at this again.”This story will be discussed on Kick Off on talkSPORT, 7:30pm-8pm on Wednesday 1 August here. 3 An extraordinary document produced by the UK’s leading provider of five-a-side football accuses the Football Association of unfairly restricting its business and preventing people from taking part in football since the 1990s.Leisure Leagues’ 450-page report, revealed exclusively by talkSPORT, claims its treatment by the FA stems from the fact that its leagues are not affiliated to the FA.last_img read more

DD TRAVEL: PORTAVENTURA A HOLIDAY DESTINATION FOR BOTH YOUNG AND OLD

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first_imgBY TIM HEDGLEY: PortAventura is preparing for a major party to mark the beginning of the summer season this Saturday. The first White Night of 2014 promises many surprises and is a perfect opportunity to enjoy the resort in a unique atmosphere.On 31st May, when the sun is beginning to set, the first major event of the season will kick off welcoming the summer with a magic evening full of exclusive shows. Attendants will be able to enjoy the entire park until 2 am taking advantage of the nice weather and experience PortAventura from a different perspective enjoying throughout the night most popular PortAventura Park activities and attractions.Fun for young and oldThe first White Night of 2014 will also include a special live performance by the group Blaumut in La Cantina (in the area of México) at 9 pm.Tickets for the concert are limited and must be acquired from 7 pm in China Square an Mediterranean. In addition, a musical orchestra will perform on an open-air stage and two bands will play on the streets of PortAventura theme park to liven up the atmosphere of a magic evening full with exclusive shows as well as performances in the Saloon and Teatro Imperial.Visitors will also have a great time at the disco and the customary foam partyand dive into six theme areas, feel the adrenaline of Dragon Khan, wander through Polynesia and cool down on Tutuki Splash, visit the Far West or dance to the traditional rhythms of México.For visitors with small children, the fun awaits in SésamoAventura with a special activities throughout the night.Tickets for the event can be booked at www.portaventura.co.uk only €15 (adult entry).DD TRAVEL: PORTAVENTURA A HOLIDAY DESTINATION FOR BOTH YOUNG AND OLD was last modified: May 29th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DestinationEntertainmentFeaturesholidaysnewsNoticesPortaventuralast_img read more

NAOMH MUIRE PLAYERS DARREN AND LEANNA SAY: ‘WE DO’

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first_imgOver the bar…sorry, over the moon. The happy couple with Fr PatCongratulations to Darren Gallagher and Leanna O’Donnell who confirmed their love at a beautiful ceremony in St. Mary’s in Kincasslagh yesterday.There will never be a row in their house over club football.Both of them play for Naomh Muire!  NAOMH MUIRE PLAYERS DARREN AND LEANNA SAY: ‘WE DO’ was last modified: August 22nd, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Darren GallagherKINCASSLAGHLeanna O’DonnellNAOMH MUIREweddinglast_img read more

BRUCKLESS SHOWS IT DOES HAVE A HEART!

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first_imgBreffni Gorman, Regional Manager IHF & Teresa Byrne, walk organiser handing over a cheque for €1,550.The people of Bruckless recently showed they really do have a heart when it comes to good causes.The people of the village came out in force for a 5k walk which was held on World Heart Day.More than 100 people came out for the walk which was organised by Danny and Teresa Byrne. And together the group raised a marvelous €1,550 for the Irish Heart Foundation and Letterkenny Cardiac Services.Well done to all concerned.Getting ready for the big walk! BRUCKLESS SHOWS IT DOES HAVE A HEART! was last modified: November 7th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:5kBrucklesscharitydonegallast_img read more

Natural Selection Favors Illogic

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first_imgNothing in Darwin’s mechanism guarantees humans will think rationally. Fitness might actually favor illogic. For proof, look at the reasoning of people who believe in natural selection.It was Darwin’s “horrid doubt” the year before he died. In a letter to his friend William Graham, he expressed doubt that the convictions of the human mind, if evolved from an ape’s brain, could be at all trustworthy. He had good reason to worry. His disciples have gone bonkers.What’s in a Magic Spell? (Live Science). As we pointed out yesterday, Live Science reporter Stephanie Pappas gave good press to witchcraft and spell-casting, especially spells directed at Donald Trump. She is also a consistent Darwinian, justifying all kinds of deviant sexual behaviors and moral vices as products of evolution and therefore not immoral (2/13/15, 2/21/14). In this post, though, we will focus on silly Darwin stories that don’t make any sense, even by the principles of natural selection.SUNDAY FUNNIESDid seaweed make us who we are today? (Science Daily). A profound thought. We can see a resemblance in some modern hair styles. Question: if you were a contented ape, and seaweed came along, “allowing” you to become a stupid human being, would you take the allowance, if the seaweed offered to drive you there?Millions of years ago something happened, [see Stuff Happens Law] allowing early Homo sapiens to branch out from the primitive hominoid family tree. Was this crucial turn in human evolution partly driven by seaweed and its particular content of essential nutrients?How protein misfolding may kickstart chemical evolution (Science Daily). A taste of this evolutionary logic [see sophoxymoronia in the Darwin Dictionary]: “Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurodegenerative conditions involving abnormal folding of proteins, may help explain the emergence of life — and how to create it.” Any questions? NASA liked this story (your tax dollars at work).Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is well-established — organisms adapt over time in response to environmental changes. But theories about how life emerges — the movement through a pre-Darwinian world to the Darwinian threshold — remain murkier.The researchers started with single peptides and engineered in the capacity to spontaneously form small proteins, or short polymers. “These protein polymers can fold into a seemingly endless array of forms, and sometimes behave like origami,” Lynn explains. “They can stack into assemblies that carry new functions, like prions that move from cell-to-cell, causing disease.”Volcanic hydrogen spurs chances of finding exoplanet life (Phys.org). A taste of the reasoning in this article: “Hunting for habitable exoplanets now may be easier: Cornell University astronomers report that hydrogen pouring from volcanic sources on planets throughout the universe could improve the chances of locating life in the cosmos.” Then why stop with exoplanets? Stars have lots of hydrogen! Obviously life “could” exist in stars, since we’re considering what ‘could’ happen (see perhapsimaybecouldness index in the Darwin Dictionary). Maybe life ‘could’ be found even in the cold molecular hydrogen gas clouds between the stars. (NASA liked this tale, too.)Why the Octopus Lost Its Shell (Live Science). Storytime, kiddies; snuggle up and listen to Jakob Vinther “tell the tale of evolution.” Once upon a time, squid and octopus had shells. But then, they lost them. “The reason? The loss of shells made the ancient relatives of the modern-day octopus, squid and cuttlefish nimbler, a feature that likely helped these animals catch prey and evade predators, Vinther said.” But teacher, how can evolution make progress by losing things? “Reducing the shell to this great extent gave them an even bigger advantage than their ancient counterparts with larger shells inside [had],” Vinther said. “These old fellows would have struggled to jet themselves away in the same ease.” The heavy shells “led to the demise of many cephalopod ancestors, because they couldn’t ‘keep up with the ‘new [shell-less] kids on the block,’” Vinther told Live Science. But teacher, why do some cephalopods still have shells? Nighty-nite, kiddies. Don’t think so hard.Tiny cavefish may help humans evolve to require very little sleep (Phys.org). Just close your eyes like cave fish do, and let your imagination take over. This study “sheds light into the evolution” of sleep differences; unfortunately, the blind fish can’t see the light. Maybe if you ate less you would evolve to sleep more, too. Or is it the other way around? Who knows; stuff happens.Want to eradicate viruses? They made us who we are (Edward Emmott on The Conversation). Embrace your inner cold and flu. Hold hands and repeat together, “I am virus” [actual quote from article]. You might even by part HIV: “viruses very much like it have been infecting us and the creatures we evolved from since long before humans even existed,” Emmott says.Giving weight to Darwin’s theory of ‘living fossils’ (Science Daily). Evolution is rapid except when it is slow. In the case of the tuatara, it is practically at a standstill, and has been for 240 million years. No matter what happens, “We are with Darwin,” the authors say.Changes in precipitation patterns influence natural selection at global scale (Phys.org). “What matters more for the evolution of plants and animals, precipitation or temperature?” begins this article, posing a false dichotomy. “Scientists have found a surprising answer: rain and snow may play a more important role than how hot or cold it is.” Hold hands and say, I am weather. The evolutionist expert in the article, fresh with money from the National Science Foundation, boasts, “We wanted to know if we could explain variation in selection across diverse plant and animal populations through a few simple climate variables. It turns out that, yes, we can.” Everyone chant, Yes we can! Yes we can! The NSF will be pleased he was able to insert the word “climate” into the just-so story. “These results show that changes in precipitation can have surprising evolutionary effects on plants and animals worldwide.” Imagine the possibilities! Think of all the life flourishing under the methane rain on Titan!Tooth be told: Millions of years of evolutionary history mark those molars (Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg, anthropologist, on The Conversation). No doubt she’s telling the tooth. Millions of years; she should know; she was there! She even knows what future evolutionists will say about our teeth. “That versatility probably contributed to our ability to survive in a variety of environments and, ultimately, to our evolutionary success,” she says confidently. Of course, if we had evolved to eat bamboo, we would be an evolutionary success by the same measure.When mammals took to water they needed a few tricks to eat their underwater prey  (Hocking, Marx and Park from Monash University, on The Conversation). We’ll let these evolutionists drown their own theory.Have you ever watched a dog retrieve a ball thrown into water? On land, dogs are swift and agile, but in water they become slow and ungainly.Kicking relentlessly at the water, they snap at the ball with their jaws, only to find that they are pushing it further away. Having eventually caught the ball, they inevitably go into a fit of coughing and sneezing, as they try to shake off water from their nose and face.Most other mammals have a similarly hard time in water. Yet a select few have come to dominate the world’s rivers and seas, from the poles to the Equator and from the water’s surface to the depths of the abyss.To achieve this, mammals had to learn to swim, to keep warm, and to find, capture and handle their prey in water.So how did that happen? Well, what organisms need, Darwin delivers. “Behavior informs evolution,” they claim. The whales, otters and seals learned to suck, filter or modify their paws to be able to eat in the water. (It’s not clear how genetic accidents achieved this and got into the gonads; but a little Lamarckism comes in handy.) Along the way, mammals learned some more tricks, like echolocation, having sex with interior genitals, diving without getting the bends, inventing blubber, moving nostrils on top of the head, and a few other minor things. Stuff Happens when you let your imagination take over.So imagine again a dog, struggling with the ball in the water. If we wanted to engineer it to perform better next time, these are the stages we’d have to go through: teach Rex to capture the ball underwater; next, teach him to handle the excess seawater; finally, teach him to suck the ball towards his snout, rather than accidentally pushing it away.The same process happened for real at least three times in the evolutionary history of mammals. Who knows where it might go next – suction-feeding otters, anyone?So does natural selection favor illogic? We rest our case, your honor.We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Sunday Funnies. What’s even funnier is that evolutionists actually believe these things. What’s not so funny is that they teach these tales to school children as fact. What’s tragic is that public school students are not allowed to question any of it.We take issue with this last article’s assertion that “Behavior informs evolution.” Not only is that Lamarckian, it’s backwards. Evolution informs behavior. That’s why there are so many nutcases in the halls of Big Science, Big Education and Big Media: evolution actually requires illogic for the same reason that gave Darwin horrid doubts: if your mind evolved from a monkey’s brain, and is physical only, it is impossible to have confidence that any of your convictions are trustworthy— including Darwinian evolution! (See Self-Refuting Fallacy.) For some of the many evil ways that ‘evolution informs behavior,’ see Dr. Jerry Bergman’s new book, How Darwinism Corrodes Morality.Exercise: Teachers and parents may wish to assign the following articles as homework. Assignment: Does this article make any sense in Darwinian theory? Explain your answer. Refer to the Darwin Dictionary and Baloney Detector as needed.Shedding light on the evolution of the squid (Science Daily).Squid evolved in marine wars more than 100 million years ago (New Scientist).In the developing ears of opossums, echoes of evolutionary history (Phys.org). Use divination to see “one possible version of the evolutionary path” that led to ear evolution.Humans Really Are Made of Stardust, and a New Study Proves It (Space.com).‘Marvel microbes’ illuminate how cells became complex (Science Daily).Shark study reveals taste buds were key to evolution of teeth  (The Conversation).Evolution: Catastrophe triggers diversification (Nature).How dinosaurs learned to stand on their own two feet (Science Daily).Why pandas are black and white (Science Daily).(Visited 116 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Cape Town’s creature creators

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first_imgAn animatronic gorilla fabricated by CapeTown special effects company CFX, andthe skull that animates it.(Image: CFX)MEDIA CONTACTS• Rob CarlisleCFX+27 82 925 3226+27 21 5552377admin@cfx.co.za• Nicole KlassenMarketing officerCape Film Commission+27 82 552 7500+27 21 483 9070info@capefilmcommission.co.zaGlenneis KrielThe famous family film Free Willy, released in 1993, made the world fall in love with Keiko, the live killer whale who played the role of Willy. Ironically, while the film was about the escape of a captive orca, Keiko himself was confined to a Mexican amusement park. The film prompted an international campaign to have the whale returned to his natural habitat.Free Willy and its two sequels used phenomenal animatronics, but Keiko was always needed to add naturalism. Seventeen years later the fourth instalment of the franchise keeps that naturalism without the need for a live animal, thanks to animatronics created by Cape Town special effects company Cape Commercial and Cine Effects, or CFX.“Our challenge wasn’t so much the physical building of the orca, but rather the creation of a character with which viewers can identify and believe in,” says CFX director Rob Carlisle. “Disappointment can cause a whole movie to flop.”Free Willy 4: Escape from Pirate’s Cove, set for release on DVD in 2010, was shot in Cape Town. The film tells the story of an orphaned Australian girl called Kirra who is sent to live with her grandfather in South Africa. The old man owns a rundown water theme park and when a baby orca, Willy, gets washed ashore, there is conflict over whether the little whale should be kept as an attraction or rehabilitated and sent back to his family.Bringing the orca to life was one of CFX’s greatest challenges yet, Carlisle says. The company has previously created an animatronic gorilla, anteater, moose, hippo, elephant, hamster and two-metre great white shark – as well as prosthetics, miniatures, costumes, props and gadgets.Its work has been used in such upscale movies as 10 000 BC – where CFX was head of fabrication and set dressing – as well as Blood Diamond, Lord of War, Last House on the Left, The Poseidon Adventure and Flight of the Phoenix.The whole CFX crew, except Carlisle, consists of freelancers – a core group of 12, which grows to 40 in peak periods. They have diverse backgrounds. Carlisle studied electronic engineering before joining a film school in Pretoria. He then apprenticed in various film departments across the world before ending up fabrication. He started CFX in 2000 as a fabrication company manufacturing items for the film industry.“There wasn’t a large company that catered for the international market, employed large numbers on big movies and provided training,” he says.Carlisle ascribes CFX’s success to a combination of hard work, passion for the film industry and freedom of creativity. “You don’t need formal training. We have to retrain people even if they studied at varsity.“Instead we prefer people that love the industry and understand the nature of the work. Fabrication involves long hours of work and harsh deadlines – you’re not going to make it if you don’t work hard.”He says formal training sometimes dulls innovation. “If we tell an engineer we want to build an orca that swim at this budget within a month or two, the engineer would, 10-to-one, say it is impossible. Whereas somebody who knows little about the limitations might come up with great ideas to overcome challenges.”CFX nevertheless still makes use of engineers on contract basis, as the engineering required requires high specs.But life skills are also important, so Carlisle prefers freelancers who are a little older to those who just finished school. He also depends heavily on his crew for inspiration.“I am not a solo operator. When people have ideas I listen to them. People work 10 times harder on their own ideas than on rigid top-down instructions.”This management style has brought much innovation to CFX and helps the company remain at the fringe of development. Partnering with people from abroad and opening the workshop to international groups has added to this effect.The fun factor is also a high priority for success. “A fun informal work environment helps to ensure that people continue to enjoy their work – and this is translated into the end project,” Carlisle says.CFX mainly works on international productions being shot in South Africa, for which importing fabrications would be too expensive. The company also builds puppets for live performances and has recently expanded into animation.Carlisle plans to eventually build his company into a one-stop shop for international filmmakers – from early to post production. The local industry is currently dominated by boutique-like companies offering specialised services – resulting in much repetition.“By enhancing communication or creating one-stop shops, we would enhance efficiency and reduce production costs,” Carlisle says.last_img read more