Walking Fish Gets Good Mileage

first_img The book hit bookstores January 15.  In addition, Shubin gave special lectures to the public at Chicago’s Field Museum, where he works as provost. In 2006 (04/06/2006), 05/03/2006), Neil Shubin of the University of Chicago announced his missing link: Tiktaalik, a fish with wrist bones that he claimed were transitional between fish and four-footed creatures, or tetrapods.  Since then he has taken his fish on the road and is getting good mileage for evolution.     Tiktaalik shows up right off the bat as evidence for evolution in Chapter One of the newly-revised National Academy of Sciences booklet, Science, Evolution and Creationism.  It was given a prominent place in the PBS film Judgment Day (11/14/2007) last November.  Now, Shubin is promoting his new book that takes Tiktaalik all the way on the road to humans.  This is clear from the title, Your Inner Fish: A Journey Through the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body.  Despite the amount of arbitrary inference that must be asserted to connect a fish fossil with a lineage outside its class (see 10/20/2006) commentary, Shubin has made his pet fish the centerpiece of a vast ancestor’s tale covering billions of years.     Donald Johanson, discoverer of the austrolopithecine fossil he named Lucy, was delighted.  “I was hooked from the first chapter,” he said, according to press release from Shubin’s campus.  “Creationists will want this book banned because it presents irrefutable evidence for a transitional creature that set the stage for the journey from sea to land.  This engaging book combines the excitement of discovery with the rigors of great scholarship to provide a convincing case of evolution from fish to man.”     The theme of the book is mentioned in the press release.  Shubin writes, “The best road maps to human bodies lie in the bodies of other animals.  The reason is that the bodies of these creatures are often simpler versions of ours.”  The book mentions similarities in limbs, teeth, head, ears and eyes between humans and other animals.     Yet similarities have never been controversial, even to creationists.  Asserting that they came about through an evolutionary process of descent with modification by an unguided natural process assumes what needs to be proved.  Though the book recounts the “epic expedition to arctic wastelands” where Shubin’s team found the fossil, only scientific evidence that can be adduced to establish the claim of common ancestry is germane to the argument that these similarities evolved, rather than were created.     Nevertheless, “In 2006, the public was overwhelmed with news on the discovery of Tiktaalik roseae, a fossil ‘fishapod’ that represents the transition between fish and four-legged animals, known as tetrapods,” the press release continues.  Shubin seemed to take his fishapod on a very long walk of faith when he mixed the uncontroversial observation of similarity with the Darwinist assumption of unguided common descent over billions of years: Ancient fish bones can be a path to knowledge about who we are and how we got that way.  We are not separate from the rest of the living world; we are part of it down to our bones and even our genes….    I can imagine few things more beautiful or intellectually profound than finding the basis for our humanity, and remedies for many of the ills we suffer, nestled inside some of the most humble creatures that have ever lived on our planet. Again, even creationists acknowledge the similarities Shubin mentions.  Our common traits, including a universal DNA code, bilateral symmetry, similar genes that code for similar traits, even susceptibility to diseases, could have different explanations than Darwinian common ancestry.  Creationists would say they point to a single Creator who designed all life according to a plan for living on a shared biosphere.  Creationists also celebrate man’s connectedness to the world and all of life.  Your Inner Fish begs the question that Darwin had the only explanation for the data.  Since there are other species of fish that exhibit walking behavior, (e.g., mudskippers, walking sharks), and the previous missing link Coelacanth had bony fins but did not use them for walking, the insertion of Tiktaalik as a definitive missing link in an evolutionary timeline seems arbitrary.     Shubin found an inner human in his fish.  Carl Zimmer, in a book review in Nature,1 said that Shubin went so far as to propose stories about the evolution of hiccups and hangovers: The simple, passionate writing may turn more than a few high-school students into aspiring biologists.  And it covers a lot of ground.  Shubin inspects our eyeballs, noses and hands to demonstrate how much we have in common with other animals.  He notes how networks of genes for simple traits can expand and diversify until they build new complex structures such as heads.  Also, that hangovers explain how our ears evolved from sensory cells on the surface of fish.  He investigates the hiccup, the result of a tortuous nervous system. 1.  Carl Zimmer, “Twenty-first-century anatomy lesson,” Nature 451, 245 (17 January 2008) | doi:10.1038/451245a. Shubin’s broad-brush conclusions, extrapolated from a few bits and pieces of bone, go wildly beyond any justified scientific inference.  It is one thing to examine similarities between species in a lab in the present.  It is quite another to tie them together into a speculative historical sequence that is unobservable and non-repeatable.  Moreover, the conclusions rest on dating methods that assume the very evolutionary story Shubin describes so passionately.  In science, empiricism is king.  Simple, passionate writing, while admirable in rhetoric or theater, is not a substitute for observability, testability and repeatability in scientific work.     Creationists are not book banners; good grief.  Does Johanson forget what the Darwin Party did to Of Pandas and People?  The radical Darwiniacs didn’t even want students in Pennsylvania to even know the book existed in the library.  Talk about banning books.  Creationists want the public to do more reading, not less, and learn more about evolutionary theory than he, Shubin and the NAS are revealing.  Go ahead; read up about your inner fishie.  Munch on some goldfish crackers while you’re at it, so you can experience your inner fish as you read.  Then wake up, grow up and read books with more philosophical substance.  (Suggestions)     A little bit of data morphed into a grand, sweeping tale – this is propaganda, not science.  It would be like a Stalinist pointing to a pitchfork as evidence for the class struggle in history that requires the state to take over the property of the bourgeousie and move the peasants to the collective farms.  Support the Five-Year Plan!  Is that the only interpretation of the pitchfork?  Send the capitalists to Siberia!  Come now.  Neither Shubin, the NAS nor Johanson have any justification for drawing such broad conclusions from the bits and pieces of data they exhibit, by any standard of logical inference that can withstand critical scrutiny.  It was instructive that the press release said that the “public was overwhelmed with news on the discovery of Tiktaalik”.  Does this sound like overwhelming evidence, or an overwhelming marketing campaign?  The news media were all primed for the unveiling, and pushed out the most shameless hyperboles imaginable (review them at 04/06/2006).     You can evolve the word diorama from data by mutating the t (truth) into m (misinterpretation), adding r (recklessness), and rigging the io (input-output, as in GIGO).  But because the diorama is the goal, it would be a rigged form of evolution using a twisted form of intelligent design.  Don’t be dazzled by the diorama in the Shubin commercial.  Look at the data and ask if other dioramas fit the very same observations just as well or better.  The only way Tiktaalik got such good mileage was with a lot of pedaling (and peddling) by its salespeople.(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Learn How to Operate Your Body

first_img(Visited 25 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 You have built-in machinery and software that’s beyond your awareness. Here are ways to enlist your equipment for better health.Navigation:  How do you know where you are? Some German scientists went looking in the brain for the equipment that keeps you from getting lost. A press release from Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum (RUB). Here’s their tip of the day after researching with ten epileptics given a navigational task: focus, and don’t let irrelevant details distract you.“Distributed and local activity patterns appear to be related: the brain regions that contributed to distributed spatial representations also contained fairly precise information on a local scale,” explains Nikolai Axmacher. “The accuracy of spatial representations was rather variable; interestingly, more reliable representations occurred if the brain’s overall activity in a rapid frequency range was comparatively low.” These results suggest that spatial navigation is particularly successful if other, irrelevant activities can be suppressed.“Fight cancer from the inside:  This tip will have to wait for years of clinical trials, but it appears you have a potent anti-cancer agent inside you. A press release from Concordia University starts with this teaser:Where can you find the next important weapon in the fight against cancer? Just do a little navel-gazing. New research from Concordia confirms that a tool for keeping the most common forms of cancer at bay could be in your gut.The molecule with “massive potential” is called lithocholic acid. It’s a bile acid produced in the liver. In tests of cancer cells in a petri dish, lithocholic acid showed the most potential to kill cancer cells of thousands of body chemicals they tested. “When entering a cancer cell, the acid goes to ‘energy factories’ called mitochondria and then sends molecular signals that lead to the cells’ demise.” Here’s another benefit the molecule may have for all of us: it appears to slow down aging, too.Save your hearing: We all know we should avoid loud noises, but perhaps you didn’t know your body is trying to help you. A press release from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine explains:Our hearing has a secret bodyguard: a newly discovered connection from the cochlea to the brain that warns of intense incoming noise that causes tissue damage and hearing loss, according to new research by Northwestern Medicine scientists.Scientists believe they have identified the ear’s own novel pain system that protects it from very loud or damaging noise. It may be the reason you jam your fingers in your ears when a fire engine or ambulance wails close by. The nerves that normally alert you to pain – like touching a hot burner on a stove – are not present in your inner ear. So, it needs its own private alert system.Those who suffer from hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) may benefit from this discovery. For now, stay away from excessive noise when you feel that pain signal.Breathe deep for your brain:  Nature posted a short item that will make you gasp—with a smile. When you breathe in deeply, it boosts the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in your brain. “Cerebrospinal fluid cushions the brain, flushes out waste and in rodents seems to be controlled by pulsating blood flow,” the article says. So before starting a mentally-intensive task, try taking three deep breaths and letting the air out slowly.Taste your health: Quick! Name the four tastes. Sweet, salt, sour, bitter, right? Wait: you forgot umami, the fifth one. MSG is a food additive that activates this taste. Did you know that the umami taste may benefit health? Medical Xpress says so. “Despite the widely held belief that monosodium glutamate (MSG) is an unhealthy addition to food, researchers from Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry, Japan, show that the taste it triggers, umami, is important for health, especially in elderly people.” A taste test with 44 elderly participants showed that loss of this sense was associated with poor health ( including low appetite and weight loss).  Did you know that your gut also has umami taste sensors? This suggests that “the umami taste sensation functions in nutrient sensation and modulating digestion in the gut, which could be important for maintaining a healthy daily life.”Reset your travel clock: The body’s circadian clock has a reset button, claims a press release from Vanderbilt University. Experiments on mice, either stimulating or suppressing the neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, showed promise for adjusting their daily cycles. It’s not ready for human testing, but offers hope to “lead to new treatments for conditions like seasonal affective disorder, reduce the adverse health effects of working the night shift and possibly even treat jet lag.”Unclog your arteries: The right diet can assist a ‘cleaner’ protein that is trying to protect you from blood clotting and atherosclerosis, a major cause of heart attack.  Medical Xpress tells how A1M (alpha-1 microglobulin) patrols your vessels, working to “clear out oxidised heme and other harmful molecules,” converting them into harmless substances.“You could say that the tissue is rinsed by A1M in a 5-10 minute cycle, with the protein absorbing the free radicals and heme-groups. A1M acts like a bin that captures and neutralises toxic substances throughout the body – in and around all cells – that would otherwise cause inflammation and damage to surrounding tissue”, said Professor Åkerström.A1M appears to also “clean and reduce oxidised blood fats from LDL,” a primary risk factor for atherosclerosis. Some day, there may be A1M supplements; for now, help your cleaning crew by sticking to healthy dietary guidelines so that the cleaners are not overwhelmed.Fast! put out the flames: Maybe there’s something to all those Biblical admonitions about fasting. Beyond meditation and supplication, fasting appears to reduce inflammation, too. A Yale press release says the anti-inflammatory mechanism of dieting and fasting has been “revealed”.Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found that a compound produced by the body when dieting or fasting can block a part of the immune system involved in several inflammatory disorders such as type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.In their study, published in the Feb. 16 online issue of Nature Medicine, the researchers described how the compound β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) directly inhibits NLRP3, which is part of a complex set of proteins called the inflammasome. The inflammasome drives the inflammatory response in several disorders including autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, and autoinflammatory disorders.Experiments on diet-regulated mice showed that BHB was able to tame the flames of the inflammasome; it probably would work for humans too. In addition to fasting, low-carb dieting and high-intensity exercise appear to have the anti-inflammatory response. The press release didn’t offer any guidelines for fasting, but it might be worth a try for better health, not that meditation and prayer are any less beneficial. New Scientist says it’s not necessary to starve to get the benefits of fasting.Stay in circulation: Walking keeps the circulatory system in good operation, but what about whose who are bedridden? They are in danger of ailments such as deep vein thrombosis, a life-threatening condition that allows clots to form. To help immobilized patients, researchers at the National University of Singapore have developed bio-inspired socks that wave like the tentacles of corals. This is better than anti-coagulant drugs, because it stimulates the body’s own protective mechanisms. “Equipped with soft actuators that mimic the tentacle movements of corals, the robotic sock emulates natural lower leg muscle contractions in the wearer’s leg, thereby promoting blood circulation throughout the wearer’s body,” the press release says. “In addition, the novel device can potentially optimise therapy sessions and enable the patient’s lower leg movements to be monitored to improve therapy outcomes.” That will be nice to know if it happens to you, but until then—if you are on your feet—give your legs a lot to do.We hope you enjoy these news clips. They are but a few samples that showcase the wonders inside your body. The Creator thought of everything. How many of these and a thousand other systems could have developed through aimless processes of chance? No; we have been blessed with dwellings for our souls that surpass the most magnificent palaces one could dream of owning. Our body palaces come equipped with billions of willing servants who know just what to do—within limits. Be a good king or queen. Treat your servants with respect and care, and they will care for you. Even in this world under the curse of sin, we have much to appreciate, enjoy, and be grateful for. And for those who love the Lord Jesus Christ, a better body awaits after this one wears out.last_img read more

Notable Vertebrate Fossils

first_imgVertebrate fossils are only a tiny fraction of the record, but they are usually the most interesting to us.Underwater Fossil Graveyard Reveals Toll of Human-Caused Extinction (Live Science): “If humans had never set foot in the Bahamas, the islands today might be teeming with Cuban crocodiles, Albury’s tortoises and rock iguanas,” this article says. Remains of these creatures have been found in a flooded sinkhole, providing evidence they survived the ice age. They should have been there except for the arrival of humans later, the article argues.  PhysOrg‘s coverage suggests this is still a theory being tested.Meet Jane, the Most Complete Adolescent T. Rex Ever Found (Live Science): The authors of a study of “Jane” the teen-age T. rex have called into question the status of Nanotyrannus. Some are now arguing that Nanotyrannus is just a juvenile T. rex. Old dino digger Robert Bakker is not backing down on his claim it’s a separate species; he discovered it and named it, after all. Meanwhile, PhysOrg offers a new theory that dinosaur nasal passages kept the animals cool, and a Live Science video shares the exciting suggestion that the tail of Apatosaurus, cracking like the whip of Indiana Jones, may have broken the speed of sound.Treasure trove of late Triassic fossils discovered in Utah (PhysOrg): This “fantastic site” has creatures like pterosaurs, crocodile-like reptiles and dinosaurs. Brigham Young University is excavating the site, dubbed “Saints and Sinners” because one is a Mormon and two others are not.  Some 11,500 bones have been found so far, some of them remarkably well preserved:“It is absurdly rare to find delicate, small skeletons from anywhere in time, anywhere in the world,” said Adam Pritchard, a Yale paleontologist not part of the discovery team. “To have them from the Triassic period, which is the very beginning of the age of reptiles, is really unprecedented, especially in western north America.”76-million-year-old extinct species of pig-snouted turtle unearthed in Utah (Science Daily): The Miss Piggy of fossil turtles turned up in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Two feet long from head to tail, this “weird turtle” that walked with dinosaurs. “The new specimen includes not only the skull and the shell, but also a nearly complete forelimb, partial hindlimbs, and vertebrae from the neck and tail,” the article says. While this turtle is unlike any other ever found, “those fossil beds also hold the remains of many crocodilians, turtles, lizards and amphibians that don’t look much different from their modern relatives” in spite of being over 75 million Darwin years old.Dilophosaurus – less of a frilly, venom-spitting lizard than we thought (PhysOrg): Time to revise Jurassic Park I. The scary, frilly poison-spitter Dilophosaurus wasn’t what the filmmakers portrayed, paleontologist Robert Gay explains in a lengthy article from a PLoS blog. Three individuals are known from the Kayenta formation in Utah. Conclusions drawn from earlier studies are now in doubt. “So where does this leave the state of early theropod evolution? Pretty unsettled.”Everything’s Bigger in Texas: Ancient Supersize Shark Fossils Unearthed (Live Science): An enormous “supershark” has been found in Texas, some 25% longer than a great white. “Supershark lived before the age of the dinosaurs, which emerged about 230 million years ago. Until now, the oldest giant shark was found in rocks dating to 130 million years ago,” meaning that evolutionists have to dial back the origin of giant sharks to “much further in the fossil record than previously thought,” the article admits.Evolution: An avian explosion (Nature): This is another paper claiming that the fossil record of bird evolution can be reconciled with molecular evidence. The solution, however, requires near stasis for millions of years till after the extinction of the dinosaurs, then an explosion of diversification afterward. “Indeed, the early diversification of birds may have been so rapid that it resembles a network, or bush, rather than a beautifully bifurcating tree of life.” The latest solution requires “hopeful caution” while calling for more fossils. “In the absence of a perfect fossil record, the best we can do is experiment with different calibration dates and levels of uncertainty around those dates.” See also Current Biology‘s lengthy entry, “The Origin and Diversification of Birds,” which puts a more confident macroevolutionary face on the confusing picture. Confident, that is, if one is willing to accept bursts of evolution at arbitrary junctures, and poof-spoof excursions like, “although early birds and even some non-bird dinosaurs had volant capabilities, powered flight as we know it in modern birds most certainly developed after the origin of birds themselves.” (See Flight: The Genius of Birds for challenges to the origin of powered flight by Darwinian processes.)The horse series 3.0 (Current Biology): This primer by Ludovic Orlando describes Equids, both fossil and living horses, donkeys, and zebras. He takes the old museum line that “The evolutionary transition from multiple-toed to one-toed animals can be followed in great detail in the fossil record and represents one of the most popular textbook examples of macroevolution.” He shows the old four-toed to one-toed illustration. His tale, though, requires multiple migrations:The Old World was colonized several times by distinct equid groups, including Hipparions 12 million years ago, which, except for their three toes (Figure 2), resembled modern horses. It was not until two million years ago that the most recent common ancestor of present-day asses and zebras crossed Beringia. Within the following 500,000 years, their ancestors rapidly expanded across Eurasia and entered Africa at least twice independently. The descendants of the first migration later radiated into a diversity of zebras while those of the second migration gave rise to modern donkeys and African wild asses (Equus africanus; Figure 1).Horses entered the Old World in a separate migration, probably no earlier than 700,000 years ago, and expanded into Eurasia throughout a territory already populated by ancestors of Asiatic Wild asses. Their demographic history was punctuated by major cycles of expansions and collapses, probably related to the major glacial and interglacial cycles of the Pleistocene. Reduction in grassland cover during the Last Glacial Maximum led to a massive horse population crash in Eurasia, and to a total extinction in the Americas about 10,000 years ago. Therefore, all present-day American horses, including the free-roaming Mustangs, living symbols of the American West pioneering spirit, descend from European horses brought in after the Spanish conquest.Yet he talks very little about actual fossils. This scenario seems highly contrived to fit the dating scheme that evolutionists need to maintain against the fossil evidence. In addition to multiple migrations, the story requires seemingly reckless tales of interbreeding and hybridization. And surely there must be a lot more to macroevolution than losing toes or changing body size; what about all the organs and internal systems? Each one is clearly an Equid. Even young-Earth creationists accept that today’s horses look different from the original created kind.Sound familiar? Everything appears earlier than thought, exceptionally preserved, often just like modern representatives, buried instantly in flood conditions. Evolution is a highly-contrived “scenario” twisted and contorted to fit preconceived notions. See the process in “How not to work a puzzle” in the 5/01/2008 commentary.(Visited 37 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Person-Centered Thinking and Planning

first_imgDocumenting Person-Centered Thinking & Planning for Your FamiliesAn excellent way to begin to document the process of Person-Centered Thinking and Planning is through a one-page description.  In this document, the child, along with parents, caretakers, doctors, teachers, case-workers, therapist, or anyone else who knows and cares for the child, come together to detail the following:Things That Are Important TO MeThings That Are Important FOR MeHow You Can Support MeWhat You Love About MeAnything else you need to know… Person-Centered Thinking & PlanningPerson-centered planning is most helpful for parents of children with disabilities (those eligible for special education).  However, we believe that this process can also be used for all children with special needs, particularly for military families who are facing the challenges of relocation.Person-Centered Thinking and Planning is a process based on what the child (the Person) wants in life.  The most important aspect in this process involves deciding what is important to and for a person, which eventually leads to development of the child’s future plans.  This process happens when a group of people that know and care about the child partner with the child to develop the plan.  Note that all perspectives are important regarding what works and does not work for the child.  Parents/guardians using a Person-Centered Thinking and Planning approach can determine when to begin this process based on the child’s growth and development. References:Helen Sanderson Associates, Person-Centered Thinking Tools.National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) (2017).  Retrieved on March 13, 2018.The Learning Community for Person-Centered Practices. Retrieved on March 13, 2018.This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on April 6, 2018. Keeping this document updated is particularly helpful for military families who relocate and will need to share information with those who work with their child.  This succinct document can lead to discussions and planning regarding how a person would like to be involved in the community, procures supports at school, etc.  Additionally, the document details the manner in which the person would like to live life now and in the future. Written by Rebecca Bardenhagen, M.Ed. and Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D.Month of the Military ChildApril is the Month of the Military Child, which underscores the important role that children play in the armed forces community.  As the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) explains, “Care of military children sustains our fighting force, and strengthens the health, security, and safety of our nation’s families and communities” (2017, para. 1).  This is a perfect time, therefore, for parents, caregivers, and service providers to focus on the military child with special needs.  This entails thinking about the child’s future role in life, what strengthens the child’s health, safety and security and the child’s general life transitions.  Particularly, this April we ask that you initiate a process called Person-Centered Thinking and Planning for the child.  Person-Centered Thinking and Planning takes into consideration the child’s strengths, interests, needs and desires.  Those who are familiar with this way of planning enable the child to make informed choices and become a fulfilled and productive member of the community. Download this example of Person-Centered Thinking & Planning and a template to create your own!  Important To and ForDiscerning what is important to a person involves determining:What activities a person enjoys (swimming, movies, video games)Rituals and routines that are important (drinking orange juice each morning, taking the dog for a walk after dinner)Ways to relieve stress (listening to music, talking to a trusted adult, physical activity)Relationships (family, friends, teachers, service providers)Faith (participating in religious rituals, praying)Anything else that a person controls in life (participating in school meetings, choice of clothing, recreational activities)Important for includes things that are necessary in order to keep a person healthy and safe, both physically and emotionally.  This may include:Medications (including knowledge of allergies)Diet and exerciseRegular doctor visitsNecessary medical equipmentEnvironmental safety measures may include:Comfortable seatingWell -lit areasQuiet zonesAwareness of allergensKeep in mind that discussions regarding what is important to and important for a person may change over time.  This is especially so for military families as they relocate from one place to another.  For this reason, keeping an ongoing discussion about these things is necessary as the military child with special needs grows and changes.Person Centered Thinking and Planning can lead individuals to become better advocates for what they need and want out of life.  Ultimately, it empowers military families to allow their child with special needs to lead a more connected, healthy, and fulfilling life.last_img read more

Tainted athletes await decision on Asiad

first_imgThe three dope-tainted wrestlers will be waiting with bated breaths to know their fate which is likely to be announced on Thursday and will decide their participation in next month’s Asian Games. Eleven sportspersons, including six wrestlers, were tested positive for methylhexaneamine, a banned stimulant, during the dope tests conducted ahead of the Commonwealth Games.Provisional suspensions on all of them were lifted after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) reclassified the stimulant as a ‘specified substance’. The athletes have so far appeared twice before the antidoping disciplinary panel headed by Dinesh Dayal but no decision has been reached so far.It was only in the last hearing in September that the panel concluded that the tests, which were done on the wrestlers, were incompetition and therefore their cases will continue with other accused athletes. After that, RK Anand, the counsel for all the athletes, had sought more time to prepare the case and the three-member panel agreed to his request.The list of 11 sportspersons includes six wrestlers, three swimmers, two athletes and a weightlifter. Among the six wrestlers, Arjuna awardee Rajiv Tomar, Mausam Khatri and Gursharanpreet Kaur were on Tuesday named in India’s Asiad squad but if any sanction is imposed upon them by the threemember disciplinary panel, they will be dropped from the team.The swimming and athletics federations included the athletes in the final squad for the Commonwealth Games despite a case pending against them with the NADA panel. Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) however, chose to be on a safer side and did not pick any of the four wrestlers who were originally part of the CWG team.advertisementBut their stand has changed as well and WFI president GS Mander is confident that all the athletes will be let off with warnings. “Things have changed now and we are sure that they (wrestlers) will get away with a warning,” Mander said. However, Tomar, for whom it was a heart break to miss out a place in the Commonwealth Games, is optimistic about the outcome.”It was very disappointing to miss out on a place at the Commonwealth Games for which I had prepared so well,” Tomar told MAIL TODAY.”I have spoken to our counsel and he is very confident. Hopefully, we all will come out clear tomorrow,” he added. But there is also a possibility that the case may not be decided on Thursday as well and could well go for another hearing. The documents that Anand is likely to come up with would be cross examined and argued upon by the NADA counsel and could take time.last_img read more

First Nations poised to challenge Nova Scotias marijuana monopoly

first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia First Nations appear poised to take on the province’s marijuana monopoly — including one Mi’kmaq community that has enlisted Olympian Ross Rebagliati to roll out a “seed to sale” cannabis operation.Sipekne’katik First Nation in Indian Brook, N.S., has plans to grow cannabis and sell it directly to consumers, while Millbrook First Nation is considering retail locations, bypassing the provincial Crown corporation slated to control sales once the drug is legal on Oct. 17.The government says selling cannabis from a privately owned storefront will remain illegal in Nova Scotia, but Rebagliati argues that First Nations lands are federal jurisdiction and they are within their rights to set up dispensaries.The disagreement could set the stage for a potential constitutional showdown over cannabis sales.“This is precedent-setting,” Rebagliati, a gold-medal snowboarder, cannabis expert and entrepreneur said in an interview this week after his second visit to the Mi’kmaq community formerly called the Shubenacadie First Nation. “It’s rather unfortunate (the province) is taking that route.”Canada’s provinces and territories have opted for one of three retail models for over-the-counter cannabis sales: Private, public or a hybrid of the two.In Nova Scotia, sales will be government-controlled.“We have said all along that our approach to legalization is through a public health lens and that we will start well-regulated and tightly controlled,” a Department of Justice spokeswoman said in a statement.“At this time, we are not considering a retail model outside of the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation.”The province’s stringent stance doesn’t appear to deter First Nations communities, with the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs indicating it is exploring the economic opportunities of cannabis.Rebagliati said the Mi’kmaq community in Indian Brook has a strong plan, and he’s put together a “gold-medal team” to help them reach their goal.“The model is to go seed to sale and that boosts the margins quite substantially and gives them a competitive edge,” he said from B.C. “They came to me with their ideas and they are super progressive.“First Nations are looking for job opportunities and economic opportunities for their people, and this is a new industry that has a lot of those opportunities and potential for substantial financial gain.”Chief Bob Gloade of Millbrook First Nation said the community has invested in a cannabis company and is considering opening a storefront.“We’re focusing on the retail side of it going forward and we’re working on details in that respect,” he said, adding that for now the community isn’t considering launching its own production.“We’re still looking at a couple of years out before we’ll start seeing the benefits from an economic standpoint … but it will have a significant impact,” Gloade said.Sipekne’katik Chief Michael Sack did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but Rebagliati confirmed that he met with the community leader in March and again this week.Rebagliati founded Ross’ Gold, a medical marijuana business, in 2013. Earlier this year he launched LegacyRR, which focuses on growing cannabis and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.Although he said the details of an agreement between LegacyRR and the Sipene’katik First Nation are still being worked out, he said the Indigenous community’s dispensaries could be branded Mi’kmaq Legacy.McGill University constitutional law professor Mark Walters said the situation raises important and controversial legal and constitutional issues.“Legal conflicts on this point are bound to flare up in many places across Canada,” he said in an email, noting it appears many First Nations are making plans to grow and sell cannabis.Walters said it’s difficult to say whether provinces have the right to prevent First Nations from selling cannabis on reserve.He said the “orthodox” legal answer would be that provincial laws on cannabis sales will apply on reserves, unless a First Nation could show that regulating the sale of cannabis was a custom, practice or tradition integral to its distinctive culture, which might be extremely difficult to do.However, Walters said there’s a strong argument that federal law protects a much broader right to Aboriginal self-government than the courts have so far acknowledged.“There is considerable room here for an interpretation of the law that would acknowledge Indigenous rights of self-government over this issue,” he said.Wayne MacKay, professor emeritus of law at Dalhousie University, called it a “very complex” issue.He said one the strongest arguments for the Mi’kmaq community would be a treaty rights claim to a moderate livelihood under the Supreme Court’s Marshall decision.MacKay added that “the core of their argument would likely be the right of First Nations to manage their own resources as part of their constitutional rights to self government.”last_img read more

Akshay defeated by woman officer in mock fight

first_imgNew Delhi: Ahead of the release of his film “Kesari”, actor Akshay Kumar visited a BSF camp and performed a mock fight with a woman officer here. Akshay on Tuesday took to Instagram and shared a video in which he can be seen engaged in a mock fight with a woman officer. The actor started the fight with some clever tricks but was quickly pinned to the ground by the officer. Appreciating the officer’s stint, Akshay wrote: “Woman strong, mother strong, sister strong, then country strong.” Akshay also posted a video in which he can be seen performing fake kickboxing with another woman officer. “Always treat to meet the jawans from BSF India. Their training, passion and enthusiasm is top-notch, always a learning experience,” Akshay captioned the video. “Kesari” is based on the 1897 Battle of Saragarhi, in which 21 Sikh soldiers of the British army fought 10,000 Afghan invaders. Directed by Anurag Singh, the film also stars actress Parineeti Chopra. It is due to release on Thursday.last_img read more

Lanka Catholic churches stop public mass for now

first_imgColombo: Sri Lanka’s Catholic churches on Thursday suspended all public services until the security situation improves as the head of the church urged politicians to leave aside differences to rebuild the country struck by the Easter Sunday bombings that killed nearly 360 people. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the head of the local Catholic church, said that Easter Sunday’s attacks were coordinated by an organised group with powerful nations behind them and also noted that these attackers had no religion. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USAll Catholic churches were asked to stop public mass until the security situation improves, Cardinal Ranjith’s office quoted him as saying. “There will be no public mass said until further notice,” an official said. He urged the government to leave aside all political differences and work together at this time to rebuild the country again. Sri Lankan media and some ministers have criticised the rift between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe after it emerged that authorities had prior intelligence from India and the US about the possible attacks by the National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ) jihadist group.last_img read more

College Football Playoff Update 7 Teams Competing For 4 Positions

The college football playoff picture would have become much blurrier had Auburn held on to defeat No. 1 Alabama on Saturday. Instead, the Crimson Tide prevailed 55-44. There were some losses to teams ranking behind Alabama — No. 4 Mississippi State, No. 8 UCLA and No. 9 Georgia were all beaten — but they tended to clarify how the teams will line up heading into conference championship weekend. Here’s how FiveThirtyEight’s college football forecast model expects the playoff committee’s rankings might look when they come out on Tuesday evening:The top four seem reasonably clear. Alabama, Oregon and Florida State are likely to remain No. 1 through No. 3 in that order. TCU, No. 5 entering the week, will probably be promoted to No. 4 after demolishing Texas 48-10.Ohio State, No. 6 last week, might give the committee more to think about. Buckeye quarterback J.T. Barrett was injured (and knocked out for the season) late in a win against Michigan. The committee has said it will consider “key injuries that … likely will affect [a team’s] postseason performance.” (The FiveThirtyEight model does not make any assumptions about injuries and so it might overrate Ohio State’s chances of making the playoff.)But the team ranking just behind Ohio State, Baylor, turned in one of the less impressive performances of the week, prevailing over Texas Tech by just 2 points, 48-46. Texas Tech, 4-8 on the season, could have tied the game and probably sent it into overtime with a successful two-point conversion.Michigan State and Arizona, No. 10 and No. 11 entering the weekend, are almost certain to move up in the rankings given the losses ahead of them. But only Arizona has realistic playoff hopes; the Wildcats will face Oregon for the Pac-12 championship after having beaten Arizona State. How far they move up on Tuesday should tell us something about how seriously the committee takes them.Here’s how the FiveThirtyEight model projects the committee’s final rankings on Dec. 7, which will determine the four teams that make the playoff:Even with just one one week to play, the scenarios are reasonably complex. So let’s briefly discuss the playoff from the perspective of the seven teams that are most likely to make it:Alabama (94 percent chance of making playoff). Are the Crimson Tide guaranteed to be in? Not quite. But in addition to catching a few breaks against Auburn, Alabama also benefitted from Missouri winning and advancing to face them in next week’s SEC Championship game. At least according to the computer rankings, Missouri is a weaker opponent than Georgia would have been. And Missouri (No. 17 heading into the weekend) is probably coming from too far behind to leap Alabama in committee standings even with a win in Atlanta. In fact, the model gives Alabama a 67 percent chance of making the playoff even with an SEC Championship loss.Oregon (82 percent chance). Oregon controls its destiny but has less ability to survive a loss in their championship game; the model gives them a 30 percent chance of making the playoff if they lose. That’s, in part, because Oregon’s opponent, Arizona, could plausibly enter the playoff if it wins the Pac-12 championship.TCU (80 percent chance). Although TCU will likely remain behind Florida State in Tuesday’s rankings, the model has them as a safer bet to make the playoff. That’s mainly because TCU’s upcoming matchup is easier. TCU will play a previously-scheduled game against a middling Iowa State team next week (the Big 12 does not host a championship game). Florida State will face a more difficult opponent, Georgia Tech, in the ACC Championship.TCU’s case may be more complicated than the model implies, however, because it lost earlier in the season to Big 12 rival Baylor. But last week’s performance may give the committee a good excuse to ignore the head-to-head result and instead look to factors like results against common opponents like Texas Tech. While Baylor only narrowly escaped Texas Tech, TCU had beaten them 82-27 on Oct. 25.Florida State (70 percent chance). The undefeated Seminoles helped their cause with a win against Florida. But they’re only 65 percent favorites to beat Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship. If the Seminoles lose, they’ll have only a 15 percent chance of making the playoff, according to the model.It didn’t help Florida State that the No. 5 through 7 teams (TCU, Ohio State and Baylor) all won last weekend. The committee isn’t especially fond of the Seminoles, and a loss in the ACC Championship could allow TCU, Ohio State or Baylor to leap frog them.Ohio State (39 percent chance). The model gives Ohio State a 66 percent chance of making the playoff should it beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship (and almost no shot if it loses that game). That doesn’t account for the injury to Barrett — although if backup Cardale Jones is good enough to beat the Badgers, that arguably ought to resolve the committee’s questions. Still, this wasn’t a great weekend for Ohio State. In addition to Barrett’s injury, they would have benefited from more chaos ahead of them in the standings. The Buckeyes could beat Wisconsin and still be left out.Baylor (23 percent chance). The Big 12 doesn’t play a championship game, but the Bears, will have the chance to impress the committee as they’ll face a challenging opponent in Kansas State next weekend. Still, it may be wishful thinking to expect Baylor to suddenly leap ahead of TCU or other teams in the rankings. The committee, to the extent it evaluates head-to-head performance, seems to have decided that Baylor’s win against TCU isn’t enough to outweigh what it sees as TCU’s better resume.Arizona (7 percent chance). This sounds like a real long shot, but it’s partly because the model gives Arizona just a 26 percent chance of beating Oregon. Should they win that game, the Wildcats will have a 27 percent chance of making the playoff, according to the model. The Wildcats might need one or two of the teams ranked ahead of them to lose (in addition to Oregon) to feel great about their chances. Overall, Alabama and TCU were helped the most by the past weekend’s action. Alabama’s chance of winning the national championship — not just making the playoff — is up from 26 percent last week to 32 percent. TCU’s chances improved from 9 percent to 15 percent. read more

Buckeyes seeking lucky No 7

Six years ago, the Ohio State Buckeyes were at the end of arguably their most disappointing season under coach Jim Tressel. Heading into the last week of the regular season, the Buckeyes were 6-4 and looking ahead to what would be the first non-January bowl game of the Tressel era. Then one game changed the outlook of not only the entire season, but also the entire OSU football program. On Nov. 20, 2004, the Buckeyes stunned the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines in Ohio Stadium behind 391 yards of total offense from quarterback Troy Smith. In one game, the Buckeyes went from a disappointing team that lacked an identity to a team with a quarterback of the future who provided them with just that. It was also the start of a streak of domination in the rivalry for the Buckeyes, who have won six straight contests against the Wolverines, outscoring them 181-101 in that stretch. Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez is hopeful that a win Saturday against the Buckeyes will provide a similar reversal of fortunes for the Wolverines. “It’d mean an awful lot, certainly for our fans and for our university, but more importantly for our seniors and our players because they haven’t had the chance to win that,” Rodriguez said. “We’ve got to perform better and get some wins to make us feel better and make our fans feel better.” In his first two seasons as Michigan’s coach, Rodriguez’s teams have lost 42-7 and 21-10 to the Buckeyes. This year’s Wolverine team is the most formidable — at least offensively — that Rodriguez will bring into “The Game.” Unlike Rodriguez’s first two seasons, Michigan’s offensive personnel now fit its spread scheme. The Wolverines have found success behind dual-threat quarterback Denard Robinson, an early-season Heisman candidate who fell out of contention because of injuries and a three-game losing streak in the middle of the season. Robinson has rushed for 1,538 yards and 14 touchdowns and has thrown for 2,229 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, leading the Wolverines to a 7-4 record that will land them in their first bowl game under Rodriguez. Tressel said Robinson’s ability to both run and throw the ball makes him difficult to prepare for. “It’s impossible to simulate him because there’s no one like him,” Tressel said. “It’s a tremendous challenge because it gives you all of the problems that a Wildcat offense gives you with a great running back back there. But along with it, it has all of the passing problems.” Robinson has played a critical role in Michigan’s offense, which is ranked 10th in the nation in rushing, with 257.4 yards per game, and 15th in the nation in points scored, with 36.8 points per game. Michigan’s defense has failed to find the same success that its offense has, as it is ranked 99th in the country in scoring, giving up 33.5 points per game. Despite the statistics, Robinson said he hasn’t lost confidence in his team’s defense. “I think our defense is one of the best defenses in the nation,” Robinson said. “I don’t care what nobody say. We play against them every day, and they help us get better.” Tressel agreed that the statistics don’t necessarily tell the tale of the Michigan defense. “They’ve given up too many big plays, but the thing I love about them is I see them flying around and I see a lot of young guys who aren’t young anymore,” Tressel said. The longest streak in the rivalry thus far came from 1901-1909, when the Wolverines got the better of the Buckeyes for nine straight years. A win on Saturday would move OSU two games away from matching that streak. “There’s been pressure every year. It’s something that comes with it,” OSU wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher said. “Nobody wants to be the team that breaks the streak.” With a share of the Big Ten title and a potential sixth straight trip to a BCS bowl game still within grasp, the Buckeyes have more than just pride to play for. OSU defensive end Cameron Heyward said the Buckeyes understand the high stakes. “A lot. A share of the Big Ten title and our biggest rival,” Heyward said. “Michigan is always going to play their best against us. We wouldn’t have it any other way to go out against a quality opponent. It’ll be a rough one, but we’re ready for it.” Regardless of bowl game implications, the Buckeyes remain focused on extending their winning streak over the Wolverines to a lucky No. 7. “The Ohio State-Michigan game is the focus,” Tressel said. “There are tons of by-products for everybody, but the single most one everyone knows that’s ever coached or played at Ohio State is that you’re defined by your Ohio State-Michigan games.” read more