San Francisco Giants need history to repeat with pick No. 10

first_imgNEW YORK — No front office in Major League Baseball lands future stars in every draft, but that won’t stop Farhan Zaidi and the Giants from pursuing perfection.Developing a track record of success starts in year one, and no one has to remind Zaidi and Co. why this year’s draft is so important.The Giants’ farm system is considered one of the weakest in baseball, but that could begin to change after Monday’s amateur draft. For the first time since 2007, the Giants hold the No. 10 pick in the …last_img read more

SETI: Search for Educational Targets Inc.

first_imgSETI may be the laughingstock of Congress, refused funding since William Proxmire gave it his Golden Fleece Award in the 1980s, but privately it is moving apace.  The Science Channel gave it prominence in its weekly report Friday, visiting with pioneering signaler and listener Frank Drake.  It surveyed everything from the first humble attempts to listen and broadcast, to the upcoming hardware and software that will increase the search capability exponentially.    For SETI Thursday on Space.com, Pamela Harman, SETI Education and Outreach Manager for the SETI Institute, detailed the many ways her organization is teaching the young about SETI and all its ancillary subjects.  In particular, the SETI Institute and its like-minded organizations are teaching teachers how to provide the foundation for SETI thinking, with courses like Understanding and Teaching Evolution, Extreme Life Forms on Earth and Elsewhere, Becoming Human: Hominid Evolution from Voyages Through Time, and Origins: The Questions in Life Science.  “Our astrobiology expertise is of great interest,” she said, “as the perpetual student lament ‘Why does this matter?’ can be answered.”  Her answer recalls Carl Sagan’s famous phrase.  “The response in all disciplines from astronomy and physics, to chemistry and biology is ‘We are star stuff!’”Speak for yourself, babe.  This oft-repeated line suggests a modification of the old distinction between stuff and junk.  Junk is the stuff natural selection throws away, and stuff is the junk natural selection keeps.    Aside from the fact that it is hard to envision any teenager getting excited over being told he or she is star stuff – unless they think their talent has finally been recognized – the reductionist, naturalistic philosophy inherent in this epigram betrays profound ignorance of western philosophy going back millennia.  Only recently have materialists gained ascendency in intellectual circles, and atheistic materialism permeates SETI through and through.  Their forefathers are Democritus, Lucretius and Epicurus, with few takers till John Locke and David Hume built their systems on sense experience alone.  Others dabbling with atheistic materialism were shunned or outmaneuvered with trenchant rational arguments by philosophers as varied as Thomas Aquinas, Rene Descartes, Thomas Reid, and Immanuel Kant.  Even most Enlightenment deists did not deny a rational design principle in the universe.  The early Newtonians and proponents of the mechanical philosophy were nearly all Christians to various degrees.  They never would have suggested that “star stuff” gave rise to the rational human soul.    Without even considering the long history of theological arguments for natural theology, great philosophers have long debunked atheism with finesse.  Thomas Reid and Kant, for example, undermined the empiricist viewpoints of the materialists from first principles.  They argued forcefully that such views are reductionist and self-refuting.  To even speak about observation and empiricism presupposes a rational power that is not reducible to sense experience.  In addition, nothing inherent in the physical mechanisms of the body can account for the operation the mind or grant its rational arguments legitimacy.  The same arguments can be wielded just as effectively today against the modern materialists.  Unfortunately, they rarely get a hearing.  Atheists routinely run amok in the science journals with tall tales about game theory producing human morals, DNA developing into souls, and collections of neurons generating the mind.  The peer review process fails to call them on the carpet for illogic or carelessness, and so they get away with it; why?  Because Darwin’s bulldogs succeeded long ago in gaining control of the scientific institutions and codifying their world view into the very definition of science.    SETI is part and parcel of a conspiracy to create a culture of materialists.  If it were not so, they would engage their critics and opponents in serious debate.  Instead, just like the astrobiologists and evolutionary psychologists, they shun scrutiny and usurp authority by co-opting the banner of “science” and conflating their materialism with the otherwise worthy goals of scientific research.  To a person, they idolize Father Charlie, because he liberated them from the need for both scientific and philosophical rigor.  Without apologies to Dawkins, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually-foolfilled atheist.    Now that the Intelligent Design Movement has mounted the first volleys against the Darwinist naturalistic empire, the materialists are resorting to subterfuge instead of honorably engaging their opponents on the intellectual battlefield.  Pamela Harman has revealed that a huge educational program for the recruitment of young minds into philosophical materialism is underway: the Search for Educational Targets to Indoctrinate.  All that is necessary for foolishness to triumph is for good philosophers to think nothing.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

3-D Printing Is a Simplified Form of Biomimetics

first_img(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 One of the hottest industrial revolutions in progress is 3-D printing.  It can’t hold a candle, though, to biological materials construction.In a story on PhysOrg, Chad Henry of CSIRO proudly holds two large insect models he made with a 3-D printer.  His 40x creations, originally made as art, are shedding light on insect anatomy, the article goes on to say.  Live bugs, however, build up their tissues and organs with far more precision than any human machine.“The Future of 3-D Printing,” also on PhysOrg, is a good look at the new technology – especially the embedded video clip interview with Richard Hague, who found himself an early pioneer of the technique that may become as important as the personal computer.  A photo with the article shows a prosthetic arms complete with electrical connections inside, just like – well, the real thing, except vastly simpler.Hague’s team at the University of Nottingham has its sights set high: a revolution in manufacturing, returning the power of design and implementation to the people:“At the moment, 3D printing uses single materials, a polymer or a metal, which are fused together with a laser. You can create interwoven geometries but they’re still passive. What we’re looking to do, is activate those and make them functionalise. So rather than make a component, you make the whole system—an example might be rather than print a case for a mobile phone, you make the whole phone—all the electronics, the case, the structural aspects, all in one print.”In a very real way, that’s exactly what organisms do: they build materials layer upon layer under controlled conditions.  Nacre (mother-of-pearl), for example, achieves its desirable strength without becoming brittle by depositing successive layers of mineral and protein (see 7/26/04).  Materials engineers have been trying to mimic nacre and other biological materials for years (3/27/10, 2/07/11).  3-D printing may help this assembly of ideal materials.  It is also highly scalable.  Some day it may be used for nano-manufacture as well as for airplane parts.3-D printing imitates another biological technique: following a kind of “genetic code,” a set of programmed instructions that tell the printer where to deposit the individual ingredients.  These codes can be shared in a kind of “lateral gene transfer” one might say, so that humans across the world can duplicate toys, machines, or even edible artworks using the same instruction set.None of these articles referred to biomimetics, yet their examples of 3-D printed products include mimics of insects and human limbs.  Exciting as the new technology looks, it comes nowhere close to the assembly of materials from an embryo to an adult organism.  Some future 3-D printed art gallery will only be able to boast very cheap imitations of living systems, even if they are capable of movement.  Let one of those plastic beetles lay eggs and grow whole new adult beetles using available materials following an embedded code, and then humans may be a little closer to boasting of intelligent design.Update 10/21/13: Space.com posted a gallery of 3-D objects created out of metals and alloys, with its report of Europe’s Project AMAZE Conference (Additive Manufacturing Aiming Towards Zero Waste and Efficient Production of High-Tech Metal Products), showing the precision and versatility of 3-D printing.We are at the forefront of a technological revolution comparable to cell phones and home computers.  Already, hobbyists are sharing downloadable designs for printing all kinds of models.  NASA won’t have to launch parts up to the space station; they can just beam up the code and let on-board 3-D printers make them on the spot.  What 3-D printing will do to the manufacturing industry and the economy is hard to say; similar worries were voiced at the advent of personal computers and other industrial revolutions.  Most likely, it will be a boon to the economy, opening up entrepreneurial opportunities and offering new high-paying jobs, while rendering other jobs as superfluous as Pony Express riders or telegraph linemen.  Who knows what useful products are forthcoming?  Hospitals may be able to print customized prosthetics on the spot.  Your garage may just need the design codes to build parts in the shop rather than ordering them from across town.  The Lego company may have to sell programs with bottles of resins instead of hard plastic parts.  Villains will find ways to use the new technology for harm, as usual, and governments will have new challenges for national security or pollution.  Most new technologies have potential for a lot of good, though.Soon, prices will fall to the point where every home will have to have a 3-D printer, just like it needs a microwave or internet connection.  Local stores will fill shelves with raw materials instead of finished products.  Websites will have downloadable codes ready to use on home printers.  Art galleries will show off the latest creative applications.  If you thought the golden age of invention was over, 3-D printing may be the next “Wow!” breakthrough.  Just remember, though, with all the whiz-bang devices coming forth, nature had it first.  The ability to assemble a living organism from a fertilized cell is the ultimate masterpiece of 3-D manufacture.  Most human designs are flimsy, cheap imitations of the Creator’s ultimate handiwork.  But that’s OK; our clumsy attempts at design give us all the more reason to glorify the omniscient Lord of life, who can make a butterfly cross continents, a tree pumping water nearly 400 feet from the ground, an arctic tern that can fly from pole to pole, and a human mother bringing forth a new baby, able to grow into a rational adult capable of composing music, breaking a pole-vault record, or writing a treatise on the nature of subatomic particles.  The more we try things, the more we can appreciate perfection.last_img read more

Prospects for corn trade in 2018/19 and beyond

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Ben Brown, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, The Ohio State UniversityThe agricultural industry is a global economy with buyers (consumers), sellers (producers) and traders. In the United States, producers of corn have a comparative advantage- the ability to produce it cheaper per unit or at higher quality- over most other parts of the world. However, genetics, changes in weather patterns, land limitations, politics and global gross domestic product affect quantities of production and consumption.Long-term trade projections for U.S. corn published by the Economics Research Service of the USDA look positive due to the expected rise in world GDP and population; however, increases in competition from other exporting countries continue the decreasing trend of the United States’ share of world exports. Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are in the middle of a 90-day trade truce, which ends the beginning of March. It is uncertain what, if any, resolution will surface before or at the deadline. In December 2018, commodity indices declined before the previous trade deadline, but rallied at the announcement of the 90-day extension. Long-term projections include a continuation of current policies, accounting for tariffs from Mexico, the European Union, Mexico and Canada.The USDA World Production Report, published Feb. 8, 2019, puts the size of the 2018/19 world corn crop at slightly more than 43 billion bushels. With production in the United States estimated at 14.4 billion bushels, any reduction in world supply will likely come from Brazil’s short season corn crop.Long-term trade estimations for world corn continue to see growth, with corn trade expected close to 163 million metric tons in 2018/19, up from 147 million metric tons in 2017/18. This increase in trade comes from expected strong corn production in Argentina and Brazil after last year’s drought.last_img read more

Everything You Need to Know About the OxygenTec ProPanel

first_imgThe new OxygenTec ProPanel is aimed at the traveling colorist or the beginning colorist on a budget. Is it the right device for you? Let’s take a look. Top image from icoloristThe new OxyenTec ProPanel’s relatively simple interface comes with the most important features for a control surface: the triple rings and dials for controlling shadows, midtones, and highlights. These are commonplace to every single control surface out there, including Blackmagic’s premium surface, which features all the bells and whistles. At only around $800, OxygenTec’s panel is definitely a cheaper alternative to the JL Cooper Eclipse, the Avid Artist Color, the Tangent Element and even the older Tangent Wave model.The ProPanel is available now and integrates natively with DaVinci Resolve, connecting via USB. Aside from the main dials and trackballs, several buttons line the top of the control surface. From left to right, you have commands for:UndoRedoGrab StillPlay StillPrevious NodeNext NodeStart DynamicMark for KeyframingBase Memory (resets just the node you’re on)There are also reset buttons for the dials and trackballs. The list of commands available means you’ll still be navigating around the timeline with your mouse, and likely using a lot of keyboard commands in general. Still, even just having the dials and trackballs will make you much faster at grading. A panel is a must in any session, since making adjustments on the color wheels inside DaVinci Resolve’s software tends to be cumbersome. It’s not really my idea of fun.Here’s a video review from fellow colorist Warren Eagles and his thoughts on the ProPanel:In my opinion, the Tangent Element is a better purchase since it’s expandable. The beginner colorist requires the dials and trackballs that come standard on every control panel to approach grading seriously. The other panels in the Element set can be purchased at a later date as business expands. They’re also easy to transport and lightweight to boot. Since OxygenTec’s ProPanel is a new product, I’m hoping the company aims to release several additions similar to the Element which seems to be its main competitor. As of now though, at this price point you’re better suited to investing in a product from Tangent.Interested in learning more about the colorist lifestyle? Check out these articles from PremiumBeat:5 Reasons to Get a Color Grading Control SurfaceDaVinci Resolve Workflow Roundtrip BreakdownTips for Achieving Real-Time Playback in DaVinci ResolveThink you might get an OxygenTec ProPanel? Tell us why (or why not) in the comments below!last_img read more

Saina Nehwal slips to World no. 3

first_imgRiding on her Swiss Open triumph, ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal has regained the number three place in the latest world ranking.Saina, who missed a couple of tournaments early in the year because of a nagging ligament injury and then suffered early exits from the Korean Open and the All England Championships, notched up her first title of the season in Switzerland last week.The 21-year-old now has 69721.2637 points in her kitty and is currently behind Shixian Wang (83506.4) and Yihan Wang (73988.9106) at one and two respectively.The Swiss Open title was her third Grand Prix Gold title win after Chinese Taipei (2008) and the Indian Open (2010).The girl from Hyderabad also won four Super Series finals in Indonesia (twice), Singapore and Hong Kong over the last two years.In men’s singles, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist P Kashyap was at the 21st place with 38415.2559 points, while Ajay Jayaram moved to 28th. Anand Pawar and Arvind Bhat are at 42nd and 45th spot respectively.Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa dropped one place to 19th spot, while Jwala and V Diju slipped two spots to 18th in mixed doubles.In men’s doubles, Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas jumped seven places to be placed just outside the top 20 bracket at 21st place.last_img read more

Australian opener Simon Katich retires from T20s, not to play CLT20

first_imgAfter quitting Tests and ODIs, veteran Australian opener Simon Katich on Saturday bid goodbye to his Twenty20 career. He will not play in Champions League T20 in India.”It’s always difficult when it comes to making these sorts of decisions,” said Katich, who played 118 T20 games and scored 2483 runs at an average of 30.28 and a strike-rate of 126.61. Of these, only three appearances came for Australia.FILe – Captains Simon Katich of NSW Blues and Daren Ganga of Trinidad and Tobago pose for a photograph with the Champions League Twenty20 Trophy before the start of the final match at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, in Hyderabad. PTI PhotoThe 38-year-old, who quit first-class cricket in 2012, had captained Perth Scorchers to KFC Twenty20 Big Bash League title earlier this year, making the team eligible to play in the CLT20, scheduled from September 8 to 30 in India.”I’ve obviously been in a similar situation when I made the decision to retire from first-class cricket in Australia a few years ago. Having been through that before, it helped me understand the process a bit better and the more I thought about it, I felt the time was right.”I have a young family, I’ve had a great run and for my last game at the WACA, my home ground, to be a win in a successful (BBL) campaign; it’s the stuff you dream of. I’ll finish on a high and that was a big part of the reason I decided to pull up stumps,” PTI quoted him as adding.advertisementKatich said he made decision after much deliberation. “My decision certainly wasn’t for any reason other than I felt I’d had my time and now it’s the boys’ turn. The past three years have been outstanding at the Scorchers; we’ve been really consistent and getting to three finals, then getting over the line last year was very rewarding for everyone involved,” he said.”Justin, the coaching and support staff and all the players made the end of my playing years very memorable and very special. That’s something I’ll always be grateful for; to have finished at my home ground and in front of family and friends, with a great bunch of lads.”Katich played 56 Tests for Australia, averaging 45.03 for his 4188 runs. His 45 ODI appearances yielded 1324 runs for the country at an average of 35.78.Perth coach Justin Langer, a Test team-mate of Katich’s through the early 2000s, saluted his retiring champion. “Simon’s contribution to Western Australian and Australian cricket has been immense and, whilst I’m disappointed he’ll no longer play for the Scorchers, I respect his decision to move on,” Langer said.”As a person of extremely high integrity, I know ‘Katto’ has given this decision a lot of thought and I respect that he wants to finish his playing career as the captain of the triumphant Scorchers team last summer. I am glad he was able to retire on a high and where he started his illustrious career here at the WACA. In terms of leadership; there have been few stronger leaders in Western Australian cricket history,” said Langar.last_img read more