– Advertisement – Article 77(a) of the Liberian Constitution states that “Since the essence of democracy is free competition of ideas expressed by political parties and political groups as well as by individuals, parties may freely be established to advocate the political opinions of the people. Laws, regulations, decrees or measures which might have the effect of creating a one-party state shall be declared unconstitutional.”This constitutional right has brought about multiplicity of political parties, and one of them is the Congress for Democratic Change that has over the past two successive elections remained a formidable opposition party to the ruling Unity Party.Since it came to political prominence in the post-war election of 2005, CDC has lost the presidency in the two elections Liberia has had, yet has been fortunate to dominate the Legislature in both the Senate and House of Representatives. George Weah’s loss in the presidential election in 2005 was predicated upon the fact that he was an inexperienced politician with low level of education. Although CDC supporters have argued that they were cheated, many political candidates and commentators including CDC’s current Vice Standard Bearer, Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, all pledged their support to Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that year, on ground that she is more educated and experienced than Weah. Besides her education and experience, voters observed that Sirleaf had international contacts and could easily embark on the international community to help Liberia’s post-war reconstruction.Concurring with this public observation, Weah after losing the election in 2005 decided to seek university studies in the United States, where he is said to have acquired bachelor’s and master’s degrees; though there was doubt when observers compared his output with his degrees.This same public sentiment about Weah’s incompetence and low level of education led him and the party to bring Cllr. Winston Tubman on board as CDC’s standard bearer, while he (Weah) stood as running-mate in the 2011 election.Again, CDC lost the election to the Unity Party on what voters termed as “Unfinished business” of President Sirleaf’s first term. They claimed that there were some projects that were not completed and therefore President Sirleaf should be given her second term to complete them.Now, Liberia is about to go to election and CDC, which has morphed into a coalition of several political parties of some questionable characters, is in the race. To add insult to injury, CDC has gone ahead to elect in its primary men of character problems in the Legislature and public. The men elected to contest in the Legislative Election on CDC’s ticket in Montserrado County include Solomon George of District #7, Acarus Gray of District #8 and Mulbah Morlu. Morlu is for the first time surfacing in in legislative election, and he aspires to represent District #10.What do we know about these men?Solomon George is a representative who is was involved in a fist fight in the National Legislature. About a year ago, Solomon George and his CDC comrade, Acarus Gray, insulted each other with George claiming to be the boyfriend of Gray’s mother. This district 7 lawmaker is the same who is on record for stating on radio that he will drag Mary Broh and throw her in a pit latrine for the thousands of people in West Point to defecate on her. Our reporter that covered the primary said some of the partisans see the election of Solomon George as a loss for CDC in the district because of his personal conduct.Acarus Moses Gray is a man whose criticism has never been constructive, but insulting. He insults the President of the country under the pretext of opposition. He is the same that has been alleged of misapplication of Ebola money in district 8.Mulbah Morlu: A man who told Liberians that he met with then U.S. President Barack Obama for six minutes in Accra, Ghana, a claim the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia said was completely false. He always incites young people to violence as was witnessed last year at the Temple of Justice and the University of Liberia’s Capitol Hill campus. He led a dollar-campaign wherein thousands of CDC sympathizers paid US$1.00, but since then, there has been no account. Like Gray and George, Mulbah Morlu insults leaders without any respect for the statutory office.It is quite surprising that members of the CDC, knowing the character of these men, will go ahead to elect them in party’s primary, injecting in them feelings of achievements and civility. Can non-partisans and undecided voters be convinced of the choices made? Does CDC know that it is not all Liberians in these districts are its sympathizers?Besides the above-mentioned political shortcomings of CDC, this opposition party has not made its platform known to Liberians since it came into existence. Its indispensable political leader, George Weah, has always said, “I want to be President because my people love me and I have passion for my country and people.” Amid the political shortcomings of CDC, can Liberia trust it with leadership of this country? How prepared is this political party to be trusted with the highest position of the land? The Daily Observer challenges CDC to clearly convince Liberians how competent it is to be trusted with state power.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A GAA fan has paid a staggering and simply ludicrous €11,900 for a ticket to the All-Ireland Football final between Dublin and Kerry.Traditionally Dublin V Kerry deciders have been classic affairs and Sunday’s offering promises to be another cracking encounter. The sides met last met in the final in 2011 and a late, late free from Stephen Cluxton ended Dublin’s 19-year wait for another All-Ireland title.However, it’s absolutely scandalous that someone would pay that much money for an All-Ireland final tickets – and it’s also a disgrace that someone is allowed to make that much of a profit from selling their ticket.GAA executives promised to crack down on shameless ticket touts but so far there solution to sort out the problem clearly hasn’t been effective.It is unknown whether the supporter is from Kerry or Dublin. The ticket was bought on E-BAY earlier today and it has sparked a massive reaction on social media.What are you thoughts on this, should the GAA do more to prevent this scenario from happening on a recurring basis?CRAZY! GAA FAN PAYS ALMOST €12,000 FOR ALL-IRELAND FINAL TICKET was last modified: September 15th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:newsSport
A disqualified driver is to appear in court after being arrested at a checkpoint in Bundoran for driving under the influence of drugs.The motorist was caught driving under the influence of cocaine and cannabis during a roadside test on Friday, May 10.The vehicle was first stopped by the Donegal Town Roads Policing Unit at a Mandatory Intoxication Testing (M.I.T.) checkpoint. The driver was subsequently tested for the presence of drugs and the test came back positive. The driver has been ordered to appear in court in the near future.Disqualified driver arrested at checkpoint after testing positive for drugs was last modified: May 14th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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)
The cover of Science News has a strange cartoon explained on the inside in an article by Ron Cowen:Imagine peering into a nursery and seeing, among the cooing babies, a few that look like grown men. That’s the startling situation that astronomers have stumbled upon as they’ve looked deep into space and thus back to a time when newborn galaxies filled the cosmos. Some of these babies have turned out to be nearly as massive as the Milky Way and other galactic geezers that have taken billions of years to form. Despite being only about 800 million years old, some of the infants are chock-full of old stars. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)So that explains the star with the face of Jimmy Durante cuddled with infant starlets with their blankies in the maternity ward. Astronomers, though, aren’t laughing. Finding galactic geezers in the stellar nursery is throwing their cosmological models out of whack:These chunky babies may be pointing to a cosmic crisis. They don’t seem to fit the leading theory of galaxy formation, which cosmologists have relied on for more than 2 decades to explain an assortment of puzzling features of the universe. The theory posits that a pervasive, slow-moving, invisible type of matter vastly outweighs the observable matter in the universe. Under the gravitational influence of this unseen material, known as cold dark matter (SN: 4/23/05, p. 264), galaxies start out as small, starry fragments that merge to become much bigger objects. That’s usually a gradual process, according to the theory.Cowen said that astronomers might tolerate a few exceptions, but most of the anomalous findings are relatively recent. “But over the past 18 months, several teams have found so many massive galaxies from this early epoch that the theory is being stretched to its breaking point,” he stated as the feeling among astronomers. These disturbing findings have a ripple effect:Even if the theory of cold dark matter survives this onslaught, the new observations of big galaxies in the most ancient of times have important implications. The findings suggest that the earliest galaxies formed stars in a great hurry, much more rapidly than galaxies that were born even a billion years later did. What’s more, that first generation of stars might have been rife with heavyweights much more massive, on average, than stars from any later epoch.An example in Cowen’s article was also reported by Robert Roy Britt in Space.Com. They both spoke of a galaxy in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (03/09/2004) that bulked up “amazingly quickly” if understood in the context of leading theory (09/29/2005). Proponents of the cold dark matter theory are not yet ready to admit defeat, but are concerned if more and more mature galaxies with mature stars in them will continue to show up in surveys from earliest epochs of the universe. One astronomer admitted, “There could be a problem with the theory.” Another feared, “the theory won’t be salvaged with just a small bit of tinkering.” Meanwhile, another pair of astronomers is saying, “Cold dark matter – who needs it?” Cooperstock and Tieu published a paper on ArXiv that demonstrates how galaxy rotation curves could be understood without invoking massive, unseen halos of dark matter. Britt also took note of that proposal on Space.com. Their model, which uses ordinary general relativity instead of dark matter, was tested initially with individual galaxies. Next, they want to test it with clusters of galaxies.Instant galaxies and stars with appearance of age – that sounds like creation, not evolution. If God stretched out the heavens in the beginning, as it says multiple places in the Bible, it could have done weird things to space and time, such as making things look older than they really are. But abrupt appearance would be the rule, just like it is in the fossil record of life on earth.(Visited 55 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
(Visited 32 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Origin-of-life researchers assume that intelligently-designed experiments in the lab can inform them about the emergence of life without design – in short, that design proves non-design.Life uses chemistry; that’s not controversial. What’s at issue is whether abiotic reactions on a primitive earth led to life without design. Observing chemistry in the lab cannot speak to that question logically. Astrobiologists assume that experiments they design for small portions of their story can be strung together into “scenarios” about life’s origin without design. It doesn’t follow. No one stage logically leads to another. If each step is improbable, the improbabilities grow with each added step, becoming vanishingly small quickly. Maintaining the story requires ample insertion of imagination —the very thing the scientific method was intended to overcome. (Anyone can imagine that a scenario “could” happen. Science seeks demonstrable proof.)Moreoever, astrobiologists never entertain serious criticisms from those outside their field; i.e., from experts who do not believe life could have emerged naturally. All their squabbles are internal. It creates a self-reinforcing belief in naturalism, with disagreement only in the details. Naturalism itself becomes immune to falsification. In addition, astrobiology literature is rife with oversimplification and extrapolation, seasoned with hedging words about what “could” happen or “might” happen. A few recent examples showcase these logical fallacies.Kick-starting life: The leading controversy in origin-of-life theories these days concerns whether metabolism came first or genetics came first (see the two falsify each other in our 1/26/08 entry). The metabolism-first view of Michael Russell at JPL is getting good press these days (see 12/03/04 and 2/15/08). He claims that chemical reactions at hydrothermal vents started chain reactions that life later co-opted for metabolism. Using a kick-starting metaphor, Astrobiology Magazine claims that “Three new papers strengthen the case the life on Earth first began at alkaline hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the oceans.” Russell co-authored all three of these papers, so it’s no wonder they strengthen the case for his belief. He claims his theory is testable, but the only thing he is testing is his intelligently-designed apparatus. The observable present-day chemistry of vents, or the formation of acetate, does not logically concern the origin of life. Imagination replaces demonstration with the use of the “could” word:Once this early chemical pathway was forged, acetate could become the basis of other biological molecules. They also describe how two kinds of “nano-engines” that create organic carbon and polymers — energy currency of the first cells — could have been assembled from inorganic minerals.The question is, who is the kicker? In evolutionary theory, there is no mind or goal. If acetate formed at a hydrothermal vent, nobody was guiding it toward bigger and better things.Giving vent to imagination: In a PNAS commentary, Rogier Braakman of the Santa Fe Institute attempted to support the metabolism-first scenarios at hydrothermal, again with ample use of the “could” word:In particular, much remains unknown about what forms of prebiotic organic chemistry could have been possible at vents, and whether they could have produced abundant biological precursors.Several authors have argued (5–8 [including Russell]) that on the early Earth, this would have created a global network of geochemical reactors that could have seeded life by generating and trapping organic substrates from simple inorganic inputs.While providing an attractive conceptual framework, the strength of such arguments will ultimately depend on experiments that confirm that prebiotic chemistry at hydrothermal vents could have indeed produced analogs of pathways seen in modern metabolism.Studies of this sort can thus help improve our understanding of the variability of prebiotic chemistry within and across hydrothermal vents while also making it possible to consider how the parallel activation of different (sub)networks at different vent locations could have allowed access to pathways not possible under single environmental conditions.Mass concentration within abiotic networks was likely important, because if matter was distributed over too many different pathways it could have significantly decreased the likelihood of more complex structures and functions emerging.Thus, even if total abundances of such organic inputs were high, scenarios depending on them require plausible mechanisms to explain how only small subsets of compounds could have been selected out of highly distributed sets to become part of living systems.If instead metabolism emerged directly from geochemical networks with inorganic inputs, and studies indicate that the number of significantly contributing pathways at hydrothermal vents was likely somewhat limited, then the sparseness of metabolism could in part be a reflection of the sparseness of hydrothermal geochemistry.Before he died in 2007, Leslie Orgel (veteran origin-of-life researcher with Stanley Miller of spark-discharge fame) gave at least 15 reasons why metabolism-first scenarios will not work (1/26/08). None of them were addressed in this new article. The prior year, James Shapiro gave equally potent reasons why genetics-first scenarios will not work (2/15/07).Flowery rhetoric is not enough: PhysOrg gave ample space to another believer in metabolism-first scenarios, Elbert Branscomb from the University of Illinois, an admirer of Russell’s vent hypothesis. “Cracking how life arose on Earth may help clarify where else it might exist,” the headline reads, using three hedging words in one sentence. The grinning face of Branscomb, and his colorful prose (“The answer should help us discover what is truly necessary to spark the fateful transition from the lifeless to the living, and thereby, under what conditions and with what likelihood it might happen elsewhere”) cannot compensate for his illogic. In a single bound, Branscome leaps from the thermodynamics of hydrothermal vents to the intricate machinery of life that produces ATP, as if that is how “life got launched,” given “a free gift of geochemistry on a wet, rocky, and tectonically-active planet.” From there, Branscomb launched himself into an egregious display of personification:“It’s only later when life set out to take its act on the road that it had to figure out how to make its own membranes, pump protons uphill across these new membranes, tap into other sources of energy to do the pumping, etc.,” Branscomb said. “But once hooked on the free stuff, the trans-membrane proton gradient in particular, life never broke the habit. And here we are, every living thing, still frantically pumping protons as if just staying alive depends on it—which it does.”This dreamer was rewarded with an $8 million five-year grant to the University from the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the article said. (He claims his hypothesis is testable, but again, he’s only testing observable chemistry, not the origin of life.) The comments at the end of the article degenerated into name-calling, with angry evolutionists flinging Bible-thumping accusations against one who simply pointed out the improbabilities.Lewis and Clark they’re not: Fresh with more government money from the Lewis and Clark Fund, some young researchers are traveling the world for evidence of life on other planets. That’s right; they are assuming, illogically, that they can “Use Earth to Understand Possible Life in the Universe,” according to Space.com. Out they journey, looking for evidence of early oxygen and other things, on the only planet in the universe where life is known to exist. As much fun as these free vacations might be, they cannot logically speak to the origin of life on other planets from a sample of one. “The Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology is supported by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and the American Philosophical Society (APS),” Michael Shirber of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute wrote, noting that the APS also had a role in the original Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804. (That journey, though, was not trying to discover life on other planets.) One young researcher was so happy to take part, he said (with “could”), “The fact that other planets, which are seemingly inhospitable from a distance, could in fact have a prolific biosphere that is actively shaping their environment blows me away.” In science, no amount of emotion can justify an illogical conclusion.SETI self-refutation: Another Space.com article about SETI used the same non-sequitur fallacy, arguing that research into whale songs can inform them about life in outer space. Drake equation in hand, describing the history and current status of “SETI Evolution,” writer Laurence Doyle of the SETI Institute unwittingly stumbled onto an argument for intelligent design (without calling it that):But a new SETI idea is even farther out than that. The idea is that there is a SETI-type “calling card” in the human genome. In order for this to be isolated, one would have to show that this particular region in the human (or perhaps another species’) genome was not just non-random (any process with a rule structure of any kind is non-random), but that this certain region of the genome was incompatible with the processes that shaped or altered the present genome. The idea is that if a region of the human genome could be shown to not be like any other parts of the genome, and — much more difficult — to not be producible by natural selection, for example, then it would have to have been made by a pre-human and very advanced intelligence. I think information theory here would be very useful, as one could perhaps isolate regions of the genome that had unusual structure.From there, he pondered what alien intelligences might be thinking, apparently unaware that if alien intelligences could leave artifacts of their presence that we humans could discern, then design detection is a legitimate scientific approach for viewing the genome.The perhapsimaybecouldness index (PCMI) of these articles is off the charts. We invite you to re-read a commentary from 5/22/2002 about why individual parts of their scenario cannot logically support the scenario, using the analogy of a helicopter holding a girder over a canyon as a “possible” part of a bridge.Our online book and Meyer’s Signature in the Cell have destroyed, many times over, the imaginations of these origin-of-life Imagineers to the point that the rubble is bouncing. Suffice it to say that the Astrobiology fantasyland express continues at full steam (and full funding) despite literally decades of falsification, from the Wistar Institute study that Meyer discusses in Darwin’s Doubt, to numerous subsequent studies and books, even some by evolutionists. Remember when Astrobiology was rushed into a new government-funded science after an emotional press conference about the Mars meteorite? The meteorite was later debunked, but Astrobiology didn’t get ejected with it. Now they are still doling out millions of tax dollars in a down economy to keep the naturalistic myth going. Why do thinking people put up with something that is demonstrably untenable, illogical, and useless? For corroboration (and fun), re-read our 2/15/07 (“OOL on the Rocks”) and 1/26/08 (“Pigs Don’t Fly) entries.
The new structural-fingerprint classifier uses a combination of the structure and arrangement of a fingerprint’s features for identification purposes. (Image: wikimedia) The new classifier makes it possible to analyse both rolled and scanned fingerprint features. (Image: http://www.psni.police.uk) MEDIA CONTACTS • Tendani Tsedu Media Relations Manager CSIR +27 12 841 3417RELATED ARTICLES • SA scientist joins top MIT class • SA varsity leads way in geosciences • Africa leads solar laptop revolution • Ground-breaking find by SA researcher • SA whizz-kid in line for Google awardWilma den HartighIn a world first, South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a fingerprint-recognition technique that has the ability to identify prints with greater accuracy and speed, even if only partial information is available.Unlike conventional fingerprint-recognition technology, the new device uses a combination of the structure and arrangement of a fingerprint’s features for identification purposes.“There are similar fingerprint-recognition systems used elsewhere in the world, but what makes this one different is its classification component,” says Ishmael Msiza, one of the researchers from the CSIR Modelling and Digital Science Unit involved in the development of the new tool.The structural-fingerprint classifier is unique as it uses two types of fingerprint features, located at different points on the finger. It reads the “core”, which is the turning point of the innermost loop of the ridge lines on the finger tip, as well as the “delta”, which refers to the triangular-shaped ridge located at the lower end of the side of the tip.Msiza explains that although there are similar systems used elsewhere in the world, such devices are not able to classify a fingerprint with only partial information. “If one aspect is missing, a fingerprint will be classified as unknown,” he says.The dual-functionality of the new structural fingerprint reader will reduce the time needed to identify prints and increase the crime-solving success rate.The new classifier makes it possible to analyse both rolled and scanned fingerprint features.Answer to a challengeWhen applying for an identity document, people have always been required to roll their fingers on an ink pad to produce what is known as a rolled finger print. Msiza says that this method captures all the information needed for fingerprint recognition.However, recently there has been a move to scanning fingerprints, instead of rolling. “The only problem with this method is that a scanned image might miss important fingerprint information such as not capturing the delta point located on side of finger,” he says.The new classifier is the answer to this challenge, as is able to read and identify both rolled and scanned fingerprints.Research into the new device, which started in 2009, was in response to a request from the Department of Science and Technology (DST). “The department wanted us to develop a fingerprint scanner that is aesthetically pleasing, small and compact,” he says.Now that the research phase is over, the team is building a commercial prototype of the device. Once completed, the working prototype will be handed over to the DST for approval and distributed to various government departments for testing.Msiza says the classifier will be of great use to organisations such as the South African Police Service, South African Revenue Service and the Department of Health, as well as the private sector.
The city council in Palo Alto, California, has voted unanimously to require that new houses built within city limits be equipped with rough-in wiring for an electric car charger. According to The San Jose Mercury News, councilors also agreed to streamline the permitting process for chargers and come up with other strategies that would encourage the use of electric vehicles.“Let’s figure out as a council what we can do to remove the obstacles to owning electric vehicles in Palo Alto,” the newspaper quoted Mayor Greg Scharff as saying. “I think what we really need to do is make it convenient, easy and economical.”Schraff said the electrical work would add about $200 to the cost of a house, one-quarter the cost of doing the work as a retrofit.As Green Car Reports noted, Palo Alto is a wealthy Silicon Valley community where average houses cost more than $1 million, so the pre-wiring won’t be much of a strain for most homebuyers.Palo Alto also is home to Tesla Motors, which produces luxury plug-in cars.