Dino Horns: Is Smaller More Evolved?

first_imgOne can never tell which way the evolutionary path will take to determine fitness.  Could be bigger, could be smaller.  Could be faster, could be slower.  Could be better camouflaged, could be flashy.  Michael Ryan (Cleveland Museum) decided that shorter horns on his dinosaur constituted better fitness.  CNN says his discovery, a 20-foot dinosaur in Alberta, was on the way to evolving shorter horns.  Associated Press began, “A new dinosaur species was a plant-eater with yard-long horns over its eyebrows, suggesting an evolutionary middle step between older dinosaurs with even larger horns and the small-horned creatures that followed, experts said.”    A dinosaur alleged to be 12 million years older also had large horns.  Dinosaurs thought to be later in the fossil record had smaller horns.  One paleontologist had predicted something like Ryan’s specimen would be found.  When it was, he exclaimed, “Lo and behold, evolutionary theory actually works.”    David Tyler commented on this story on Access Research Network.…which wins Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week.  Do you think this paleontologist had any doubts?  Was he relieved that his colleague was able to stuff data into a preconceived set of assumptions?  This is like the magic trick where a jokester says to his dupe, “pick a finger – any finger.”  Once selected, the magician scrambles his fingers rapidly then – alacazam! He finds the correct finger that the victim had selected.  Evolution is a foregone conclusion in spite of the data.  If horns were getting bigger, that would mean evolutionary theory actually works.  If they were getting bigger then smaller, or smaller then bigger, that would also mean evolutionary theory actually works.  Evolutionary theory is a GIGO game (garbage-in, garbage-out) where any combination of input produces a satisfying confirmation of expectations (for swine).(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more



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Spotify Co-Founder: Notion of Overnight Success “Misleading and Harmful”

first_img9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Related Posts In a surprisingly candid post on Spotify’s blog, company co-founder Daniel Ek recently shared his thoughts about where the popular streaming music company stands today and where he hopes it can go in the future. The main point of his post was to clarify that Spotify, despite being a media darling these days, is nowhere near becoming a sustainable company with a stable revenue model. However, that’s their end goal, Ek says, and they’re in it “for the long haul” with no intention of simply “flipping” the company after the hype reaches its crescendo. But in the meantime, the company struggles with the exorbitant per-play fees enforced by the music industry while not finding success with an ad-supported model. Don’t Count on Overnight SuccessAccording to Ek, the notion of overnight success is “very misleading and actually rather harmful to any hope for long term and sustainable growth in this industry.” Despite this fact, he calls out the music industry for doing just that and expecting to see business models proven “within months of inception.”  That’s just not how it works, he says, reminding us how iTunes was not initially the powerhouse it is today. In its first year, the company missed its revenue targets by 30% and most label executives doubted its staying power at the time. While Ek realizes that comparing iTunes to Spotify is wrong given the very different business models for each company, it does prove the overall point: success in this industry takes time.Spotify, which is currently hugely popular in Europe, has yet to launch in the U.S. due to contract negotiations over licensing agreements. However, as popular as the service is, it still has a long way to go in terms of both product and monetization. Ek acknowledges that one thing which needs to be addressed is how difficult it is for Spotify users to actually buy the music they’re listening to. Yet despite the fact that nearly 80% of the company’s users are unaware that they can purchase the tunes they’re hearing, Spotify is still one of the biggest affiliates to music downloads. Another challenge facing the company is how to earn a profit considering the large costs of licensing the music it plays… especially when reliant on an ad-supported model. (Spotify offers multiple service levels, one being ad-supported. It also offers subscriptions.) Earlier this year, another streaming service, Last.fm, had to do away with its ad-supported model for the same reason. The Music Industry Needs to ChangeIf it was up to Spotify, the music industry would be embracing the future instead of constantly fighting against it. Ek says that in order for the industry to find success, it needs to realize that the new business model is “a mix between ad-supported music, downloads, subscriptions, merchandising and ticketing where the user comes first and where the key to monetization comes from portability and packaging access rights.” If willing to adapt, the music industry could then have the potential to become a $40-50 billion industry and one that could grow stronger than it ever was. Until that time, it looks like Spotify has a long road ahead of it, but it’s good to know that it is up for the challenge. “We aren’t interested in just trying to hype the company and then flipping it,” Ek says. “We are in this for the long haul.” Tags:#music#news#NYT#web 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnoutcenter_img sarah perez 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more



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Dhoni fans to vote in large numbers for ICC award

first_imgTeam India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s home town fans are all set to cast vote for their favourite star in large numbers to boost his chances in the ICC’s People’s Choice Award.Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni”I have inquired with my friends about the online voting system. I will vote for my former rival teammate Dhoni,” said Ajay Kumar, who had represented Youth Sporting as all-rounder and played against Railways and Commando Club represented by Dhoni in 1996-97 Ranchi cricket league.”I hope Dhoni would win the award for India for the second straight year after Sachin Tendulkar got the inaugural award last year. My family members will vote for Dhoni,” said Chanchal Bhattacharya, who used to be the coach of Commando Club when Dhoni was with the team.Stating that Dhoni’s parents had called on him on June 6, Bhattacharya said their family members were happy to learn about Dhoni being nominated among the five players vying for the coveted award.”Winning the World Cup and his innovative game plans will see through Dhoni on the top of the chart,” said former Bihar captain Adil Hussain.”All our former teammates are getting in touch to vote for our former star teammate,” Hussain, under whom Dhoni played in the Sheeshmahal Trophy from Central Coalfield of India, added.Dhoni’s challengers are Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara, England’s Jonathan Trott, South Africa’s Hashim Amla and West Indian Chris Gayle. The winner’s name will be announced on September 12.- With inputs from PTIadvertisementlast_img read more



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Manchester attack: ICC responds to BCCI’s concerns over Champions Trophy security

first_imgThe Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday wrote to the International Cricket Council (ICC) expressing its concerns over the safety of its team which will travel to England soon to defend the ICC Champions TrophyBCCI sent the letter to the ICC after at least 19 people were killed and 59 wounded in an explosion at the end of a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande in the English city of Manchester on Monday.India Today had learnt earlier that the ICC assessed security measures for the Champions Trophy and decided to get call all stakeholders to assure them that it would look into the safety and security of all participating teams.”The ICC is concerned with what has happened in Manchester and will have a conference call later in the day with stakeholders joining from various places. How and what happens will be conveyed to all the participating teams,” a top ICC official told India Today.Meanwhile, CK Khanna, acting president of BCCI said  the Indian board was in constant touch with the ICC. “We are in touch with the ICC and are keeping a close eye on the security aspect. Neeraj Kumar, ACSU chief, is going to the UK tonight. And he is in regular touch with us.”Amitabh Choudhary, acting BCCI Secretary said the ICC responded quickly and stressed there was no change in India’s plans.”When I woke up, the first thing I learnt was the UK attacks. BCCI sent out a message raising concerns about travel, accommodation and security. Thankfully, ICC responded in two hours and they have been sensitised about our concerns,” he saidadvertisement”Obviously these attacks being terrorist attacks, can affect any individual on the planet and therefore security concerns are that much more intense.”Amitabh insisted that there was no change in schedule but the board was concerned nonetheless.The blast took place on Monday night during a pop concert performed by American singer Ariana Grande, in which 22 people were killed and about 50 injured.The Manchester Police confirmed that a lone male suicide bomber was behind the explosion.The attack is being touted as the worst in Britain in a decade.Last England saw such a deadly terror attack was in 2005 when on July 7, which killed 52 people after terrorists carried out a series of coordinated suicide bomb attacks in central London targeting civilians using the public transport system during the rush hour.Also, in 2009, the Manchester police had thwarted a major terror bid to attack Manchester ‘s Arndale shopping centre on the busy Easter bank holiday weekend.With up to 90,000 shoppers in or near the shopping centre at the time, police believe an attack would have killed hundreds and maimed thousands.A student identified as Abid Naseer, 29, who plotted the mass suicide bomb attack was jailed for 40 years in 2015.(With inputs from ANI and Reuters)last_img read more



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Australian Masters Games

first_imgAustralia’s largest multi-sport festival is coming to Geelong in 2009. The Games will be held from 20 February to 1 March 2009 and will attract 10,000 participants from across Australia and overseas. The Games are open to anyone over the age of 30, for most sports. The Confederation of Australian Sport (CAS) owns and runs the Games since their inception in 1987. The Games are held biennially in different cities across Australia. It is the first time Geelong will host the games and is expected to be the biggest event to be held in regional Victoria. The Games will offer over 60 sports and ten days of entertainment.Further details can be viewed from www.AustralianMastersGames.comThanks to Brad Stewart for providing the article content.last_img



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Former cabinet minister Tootoo wont seek reelection this fall in Nunavut

first_imgOTTAWA — Former Liberal cabinet minister turned Independent MP Hunter Tootoo says he is not running in this fall’s election.In a statement, Tootoo says he has decided to leave public life after much consideration.He says it has been a great honour and privilege to serve the people of Nunavut first as a member of the legislative assembly and then as a member of Parliament beginning in 2015.Less than a year later, Tootoo quit Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet and the Liberal caucus, apologizing for a “consensual but inappropriate relationship” with an unidentified person.The former fisheries minister took a two-month hiatus to seek treatment for what he described as an alcohol addiction that he said took over his life and left his judgment clouded.In his statement today, Tootoo thanks his family, friends and parliamentary colleagues who helped him through a difficult period in his life, adding he encourages anyone who suffers from addictions, mental illness or trauma to seek help they need to heal.The Canadian Presslast_img read more



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Norwegian technology employs artificial magma to stifle Alberta gas well leaks

first_imgCALGARY – New technologies employing brute force as well as artificial volcanic action are being developed to better seal thousands of inactive oil and gas wells in Canada that are leaking methane, a greenhouse gas with an outsized impact on global warming.The technology is advancing as federal and provincial governments embrace new goals to cut fugitive methane gas emissions that the industry concedes are difficult to measure, much less control.A Norwegian company is working in B.C. and Alberta with a technology that creates a pool of volcano-inspired “artificial magma” underground to plug wells by melting and fusing the steel pipe with surrounding rock.Michael Skjold said he came up with the idea to use thermite — a metal-chemical powder that burns at around 3,000 C — to seal oil and gas wells about eight years ago. It has advanced from backyard testing to a full-scale commercial test program to plug oil and gas wells.“The reaction lasts for maybe two or three minutes and then it acts like magma that’s erupting from a volcano. A small man-made volcano. Very controllable,” said the innovation and business development manager for Interwell Norway AS during an interview in Calgary.“Actually, we’ve used the volcano as inspiration because … we are creating something very similar to igneous rock and basalt formations.”Thermite has been used for decades in exothermic bonding, a welding technique used to join railway track segments together by melting the steel ends. It’s considered safe to handle and store because it requires a substantial amount of electrical energy for ignition.The Interwell technology was targeted at Norway’s offshore oil and gas industry but Skjold said Alberta’s inventory of nearly half a million wells, compared with Norway’s cumulative total of about 5,000 wells, convinced the company to focus on Canada instead.The leaking well problem is also better known in Alberta than in Norway because it is more visible, he said, pointing out it’s hard to tell whether wells hundreds of metres deep in the cold and stormy North Sea might be leaking small amounts of natural gas.Interwell has tested its technology on four Alberta wells and one in B.C. for producers Shell Canada, Imperial Oil and Canlin Energy in the past 18 months and plans to test eight to 10 more this year. Skjold said the testing has been successful so far, but the next tests will be performed on “problem wells,” where standard plugs have failed.Most wells in Alberta that no longer produce profitable volumes are plugged with a cast-iron-and-rubber plug inside the steel casing and sealed by pouring cement on top, said Will Butler, lead, regulatory efficiency, for the Alberta Energy Regulator’s oil and gas operations group.If a leak develops outside the casing, the standard fix is called “perf and squeeze,” where the casing is perforated from within and cement squeezed through the holes to make a better seal with the surrounding rock.He said perf and squeeze is successful on the first attempt about half of the time, but often needs to be repeated, which adds to the cost.Skjold said the Interwell technology is probably too expensive to compete on simple well plugs, but can likely be cost-competitive with perf and squeeze and similar methods.The problem with cement is that it tends to shrink and pull away from the metal casing over time — wells that are sealed today may still leak in the future, said Dale Kunz, president of Winterhawk Well Abandonment Ltd.The private Calgary company is developing a tool that can be lowered into a well and then expanded with enough force to make the steel casing bulge outwards to create a tighter seal with the surrounding rock.He said natural gas can leak from oil wells, too, because producers often drill through gas-bearing rock to reach deeper oil-bearing formations. The shallower gas formations are normally sealed off with cement while the oil is produced but that cement seal can also deteriorate over time.Between 80,000 and 100,000 of Alberta’s wells are inactive — in other words, no longer producing but not yet permanently abandoned and reclaimed — said Butler.He said 10 to 12 per cent are probably leaking at least some natural gas.“We know there are many, many hundreds if not thousands of wells that the industry doesn’t realize are leaking,” he said.“They’ve been abandoned previously in the past, maybe decades ago, but not to the standards of today and they may be leaking again … Industry is of the mindset this is no longer their issue. But it is.”Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more



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Twitter acqui-hires quote sharing app Highly

first_imgSan Francisco: Twitter has acqui-hired quote sharing app Highly for an undisclosed sum. Highly allows users to quickly highlight quotes from articles and share via email or social media. Twitter could develop its own version of Highly or other ways to excerpt the best content from websites and get it into the timeline. “We are excited to welcome the Highly team to Twitter. Their expertise will accelerate our product and design thinking around making Twitter more conversational,” Twitter told TechCrunch on Wednesday. Highly would shut down its iOS and Slack apps on April 26. “Social highlights can make sharing stories online feel personal, efficient and alive, like retelling a story to a friend over coffee. They give people shared context and spark meaningful conversations,” said Highly CEO Andrew Courter. “Highly exists to enable awesome convos, and we’re looking forward to bringing our Highly-informed perspective to Twitter’s work serving the public conversation,” he posted on Medium.last_img read more



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Traders will teach BJP a lesson in upcoming polls: J P Aggarwal

first_imgFour-time MP in Lok Sabha and one-time in Rajya Sabha, Jai Prakash Aggarwal has again been fielded by the Congress from Chandani Chowk Parliamenatry Seat. Aggarwal thrice represented Chandni Chowk in 1984, 1989 and 1996 while he represented North-east Trans-Yamuna parliamentary Constituency in 2009. In an exclusive interview with Roushan Ali, Aggarwal said that traders will teach BJP and its sitting MP a lesson in the upcoming Lok Sabha poll. Excerpts: Do you feel any Modi wave or under-current wave in Walled City areas? There is not any sort of wave in our constituency, rather anti-incumbency is in very high-level due to three big challenges such as demonetisation, GST and commercial sealing. Traders will teach BJP sitting MP HarshVardhan a lesson in this seat as he did not help the traders. Do you consider now a triangular contest in your seat? Not at all, both the BJP and the AAP candidates are far behind me in political race, because Chandni Chowk is hub of business, where demonetisation had already hit the en masse traders hard with the shortage of money. The sealing of thousands of shops in Delhi has made the lives of thousands families of traders miserable. But when the issue of sealing surfaced in 2006, Congress led UPA government had brought 170 amendments to the master plan, built 2,700 roads, and 22 areas were declared industrial hubs which generated massive employment. Do you feel nationalism could be big poll theme this election? Present Modi government is complete failure as their promises made just before 2014 elections such as jobs, 100 smart cities, start-up and stand-up India scheme and infrastructural development. India is passing through a major crisis such as jobs, farmers’ distress and intolerance in society. People think that AAP candidate Pankaj Gupta may damage Congress’ vote banks. Is it so? I don’t feel so, because AAP candidate Gupta is completely a fresher and unknown face in this constituency. Both BJP at Centre and AAP in the national have been involved in cat fights but they never really thought about the welfare of the business class and people. Chandni Chowk seat has huge Muslim voters but the Congress doest not have any MLA. The Congress does not believe in communal polarisation and BJP could also not get in polarisation on the basis of communal line. Congress does not have any MLA while AAP has nine MLAs and Muslim face as minister. There is a talk that AAP candidate Pankaj Gupta may get extra edge. What you think? It is hardly a matter because the parliamentary election is always different from Assembly polls. AAP is still not considered a serious player.last_img read more



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Womens volleyball Buckeyes still hungry as first half of season wraps up

Players of the Ohio State women’s volleyball team celebrate a team point during a game against Nebraska on Oct. 14. OSU lost, 3-1. Credit: Jenna Leinasars | Assistant News DirectorSo far this year, OSU has played 19 different teams, traveled to seven states, moved up and down the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association poll and seen the floor of St. John Arena only three times. OSU will be on the road yet again on Wednesday when they will battle the last remaining undefeated conference team, the No. 9 Penn State Nittany Lions. Penn State sits at 16-3 overall this season.  The 19th-ranked Buckeyes (13-7) will then come back to Columbus to take on No. 11 Michigan State (16-4) on Saturday. Last time around, the Spartans swept OSU in East Lansing, Michigan, 3-0 (Oct. 7). OSU is nearing the homestretch of its season and facing, arguably, its toughest string of games yet. OSU coach Geoff Carlston said his team is anything but sluggish.“This team is hungry,” he said. “As long as we keep working hard and stay together…that’s going to pay some dividends at the end.” The Buckeyes will have to be hungry for a win when they travel to Happy Valley to face the Nittany Lions. Penn State boasts the second-highest hitting percentage in the nation. The team is also on a 14-match win streak – their last loss came on Sept. 4 against Stanford.Carlston admitted the dominance of Penn State’s 6-foot-3 junior middle blocker Haleigh Washington, but also said he sees a lot of opportunities for OSU to capitalize on. “If we can do what we’re planning on doing, which is staying aggressive and play with poise,” he said. “I like a lot of the matchups.”The Buckeyes will have three days after the Penn State match to make adjustments before their second go-round with Michigan State. Members of OSU’s team say that the quick turnaround from the first time they faced the Spartans is actually to their advantage. “It’s a little bit fresher in our minds,” senior setter Abby Fesl said. “We’ll analyze what happened last time so that we can be a little bit more prepared and more able to execute.” Fesl is new to the OSU sisterhood this season after transferring from the University of North Florida. She also said her team makes weekly goals in order to stay motivated for its grinding schedule ahead.  “We break things down kind of weekend by weekend, game by game,” she said. “We set goals for ourselves and try to accomplish those, so when we do, it’s a really great feeling.” Fesl’s teammate, junior defensive specialist Kalisha Goree, added that at this midpoint in the season, she’s seen her team’s play change but it still hold true to its spirit. “We’re the same team in a lot of senses, like the personalities are still the same,” Goree said. “We’re still having fun together, but we are a different team because we’ve grown in a lot of different ways,” she said. Carlston also said that playing a constantly tough schedule is easier because of OSU’s investment into their team and themselves. “Our freshmen have kind of grown up before our eyes, but also our leadership has matured and really ‘bought in’ to the journey. It sounds cliché, but you need to,” he said. The Buckeyes’ journey will continue on Wednesday at 8 p.m. when they face Penn State. OSU will then take on Michigan State at St. John Arena at 6 p.m. on Saturday for the breast cancer awareness match. read more



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