Loftus Road is the centre of attention for today’s big west London derby between QPR and Chelsea.Terry will be under the spotlight.Inevitably the focus will be on Anton Ferdinand and John Terry after allegations that the latter racially abused the R’s defender when the two sides met in October. Terry strongly denies doing so.QPR manager and former Chelsea player Mark Hughes has continually stated that Ferdinand is relaxed about facing Terry despite the furore surrounding the game.Last night Hughes again insisted he had no doubt that the player was in the right frame of mind for today’s FA Cup fourth round clash.Hughes said: “He’s very positive about the game and looking forward to it like the rest of us. He’s given me no sign that there’s anything weighing on him.”Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas is also adamant that he has no qualms about selecting Terry, who is sure to get a hostile reception from the home fans.Villas-Boas’ side will be out to avenge their 1-0 defeat against their neighbours three months ago.Blues duo Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa were sent off in that game, yet Chelsea dominated much of it even with nine men – perhaps a sign of the task facing QPR this afternoon.Click here to follow West London Sport on Twitter for updates from Loftus Road from around 11am.
Tom Carroll says Saturday’s match against promotion rivals Leicester City is part of a “massive month” for QPR as they pursue a return to the Premier League.Rangers will also face tricky away games at Nottingham Forest – where they have never won – and Watford before the new year.And Carroll, on loan at Loftus Road from Tottenham, knows that wins in those key games would be priceless as the R’s look to pull away at the top of the Championship.“It’s a big game [against Leicester] and December in general is a massive month for us,” Carroll said in an interview for Hoops magazine, QPR’s matchday programme.“Leicester, Nottingham Forest and Watford are all top sides. They’re tough games and hopefully we can come out of December still top of the league, and maybe a few points clear. If we can, it will have been a great month for us.“Saturday’s fixture gives us the chance to pull away from Leicester slightly if we win. But they’re a good side as well who have got a lot of quality in their squad. It should be a good game.”See also:The goal that gave QPR victory over Leicester on their way to promotionRedknapp wary of Leicester’s pace and feels Brighton could emerge as challengersFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
A moth weighs little more than a piece of paper, but it does things no paper blowing in the wind can do: it can navigate with and against the wind to get where it needs to go. Science Daily reported on work by UK scientists who used “entomological radar” to monitor where the little insects go in the dark of night. Their subjects were silver moths that migrate high in the air for hundreds of kilometers to their breeding grounds. These moths, they found, “rely on sophisticated behaviors to control their flight direction, and to speed their long-distance journeys into areas suitable for the next generation of moths.” The work was published in Current Biology.1 The scientists were not overly surprised that the moths take off on the most favorable days, and use the wind to their advantage. What was most unexpected was that the moths are not at the mercy of the winds. The article states, “the moths compensate when the wind direction is substantially off target.” This ability, called compensation for wind drift, had been seen in low-flying insects like butterflies. For moths to do this high in the air in the darkness of night means “the moths must have a compass mechanism,” similar to that found in migrating birds. Though the research was limited to this one species, they suggested “that these mechanisms might prove to be widespread among large windborne insect migrants.” The scientists calculated that the silver moths they studied were able to travel 300 km per night – achieving speeds of 30 km per hour. How they achieve this feat is not clear. Did they explain how evolution produced flight navigation in insects independently of birds? No; they just assumed it: “Taken together, our results show that nocturnal migratory moths have evolved a suite of behaviors to facilitate successful migrations to temporary breeding and overwintering areas.”1. Chapman, Reynolds, ouritsen, Hill, Riley, Sivell, Smith and Woiwod, “Wind Selection and Drift Compensation Optimize Migratory Pathways in a High-Flying Moth,” Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 7, 8 April 2008, Pages 514-518.At the end of the press release, they tagged on a line about global warming. The scientists should have focused, instead, on the remarkable evidence for design. Can you imagine a featherweight machine that knows how to sail in the air? We won’t even bother thinking about how similar wonders could have evolved separately in birds and insects, which are nowhere near each other on Darwin’s tree of lie (04/11/2008).Exercise: Make a list of the items of hardware and software you would have to add to a 2-inch scrap of paper blowing in the wind to make it be able to arrive at a precise point 300 km away. Extra credit: Add to your list how many more items of hardware and software you would have to build onto the paper for it to reproduce itself with copies that could fly back home, having never been there before. Notice that this implies a requirement: the hardware needs to be lightweight enough to make your scrap of paper not plummet to the ground.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
This year marks the 50th year of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute and one of its most outspoken spokesmen, made the cover of Sky and Telescope’s November 2010 issue. He stands proudly over his Allen Telescope Array in his feature story, “Closing in on E.T.” celebrating “SETI: 50 Years and Beyond.” He also got space on the Sky & Telescope website to discuss “The Future of SETI.” They’re mostly technology articles, discussing the old and new ways of looking for signals as hardware and software improves. Did he say anything to scientifically justify the search? Not much. “Despite a half-century of SETI experiments,” he began in the print article, “we still don’t know if there’s anyone out there as clever as we are.” The web article began, “As far as we know, we’re alone in the universe.” No sense looking close by, he continued: “But nearby life, if it exists at all, is undoubtedly dumb. If we want to look for smarter extraterrestrial biology – the kind that could rival or perhaps far surpass us humans for reasoning, inventing, and building – we have to look much farther afield, among the stars. And we don’t know where.” What keeps him going is the fact that even the best current searches are sampling only a paltry amount of space in one galaxy – our Milky Way – out of billions. Shostak’s articles provide an entertaining way to learn all about radio waves, optics, antennas, statistical search strategies and interferometry. He assumes that every reader wants to find aliens – indeed, many in the public find it fascinating and think it worthwhile. But what is really important about this search program are the philosophical and possibly theological implications for a successful detection of alien intelligence. About this, he said nothing. Neither did Paul Shuch of the SETI League, a group of radio amateur SETI enthusiasts, who added another article in the November issue about their ham radio approach to detection. “So far the SETI League’s search has been exactly as successful as every other SETI project!” he beamed whimsically, aware that they are “hearing nothing.” The fun is in just trying. “There’s no denying that SETI is an uncertain enterprise,” Shostak said, hedging his bets a little. “No one can tell when or if success will ever come.” He placed his SETI crew in the tradition of great explorers, “akin to that of Christopher Columbus as he sailed past the breakwaters of Palos de la Frontera in August 1492 and headed into the rolling swells of the Atlantic” – i.e, at just the start of the trip. “It’s still very early days, and the great excitement lies before us.” Columbus, however, had high confidence in success at landing somewhere. Columbus knew that China was out there, and it had Chinese intelligences willing to trade their goods. Shostak and most SETI enthusiasts base their entire hopes on a sample of one – human beings – whom they assume evolved from particles. The same positivist confidence was palpable in a NASA Astrobiology symposium this week, featuring panelists and scientists working on various aspects of the origin of life. It seemed only a matter of time before we find life of some kind, intelligent or not. One questioner in the audience, however, offered up a question that only got blank stares: what if life is not found? The panelists had apparently not given much thought to the possibility of failure. David Grinspoon, who was on the webcast, also wrote about this in the November Sky & Telescope in the context of discussing a strange ballot initiative in Denver seeking to set up an “Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission” (see campaign website, something Grinspoon, an ardent astrobiologist, opposes because of its alien conspiracy leanings. But he had this to say about the possibility of not finding life out there:I do believe in aliens – as much as I can, being a scientist – believe in anything without actual evidence. A universe teeming with life is consistent with what we have learned about the history of the Earth, the apparent requirements for life, and the materials and environments that exist elsewhere in the universe. Given all this, to propose that life, and even intelligent life, is unique to Earth seems the scientifically less plausible condition.Yet anything can seem plausible in the absence of evidence. His wording did not rule out an intelligent cause for extraterrestrial life, but later he did say, “To think deeply about the possibility of alien intelligence we need to ponder our origin, evolution, and uniqueness.” He ended by encouraging “critical thinking and teaching people how to evaluate evidence and avoid being taken in by bogus claims.” Apparently he was thinking of extraterrestrial conspiracies – not his own belief in aliens. The editor of Sky & Telescope, Robert Naeye, was less hopeful in his opening editorial to the SETI issue. He even considered humans as potentially unique: “Given the lack of reproducible evidence for E.T., and that humans have a highly anomalous combination of abilities that makes us unique in our planet’s history, I wouldn’t be surprised if the closest technological civilization lives in another galaxy,” he said. We need to “keep our minds wide open,” he continued, jesting, “but not so open that our brains fall out.” His pessimism was a foil for the confidence of Shostak and Shuch. “The history of astronomical discovery suggests that if we ever detect another civilization, it will probably be serendipitous. Unfortunately, I don’t expect this to happen in my lifetime.”Secularists and the religious know so little about what is out there, it is foolhardy to be dogmatic. There is no basis for making rational estimates from either an evolutionary or a theistic position. Consider the extremes: to an evolutionist, life could be common or unique. To a theist, life could be common or unique. The evolutionist would be more surprised if life is unique, and some theists might be surprised if life is common, but no firm prediction can be made either way. No matter the result, both camps will doubtless find a way to incorporate it into their world view. So isn’t it better to do something and search? Won’t this alleviate our ignorance? The diagrams in Shostak’s article are not encouraging. Even with the Allen Telescope Array’s expanded reach, the search space is a relatively small sphere in one spiral arm of the Milky Way. It has taken years and millions of dollars to search that far. Would people still be giving money in 2079 if nothing has been detected by then? What are the criteria for failure? The public cannot be led along the primrose path forever. Undoubtedly some spin-off benefits will come in radio and optical technology and in software design, but those could be found through traditional science. But you can’t have a science without evidence. Shostak is doing a great job demonstrating the sophistication of his ignorance. The history of science can provide illuminating examples. The classic case is alchemy. This “science” was highly respected for centuries. Even the great Isaac Newton dabbled in it with some passion. Alchemists used the tools of chemistry to search for a hidden reality that existed only in their mind’s eye: the possibility of turning base metals into gold. They had much of the same intense confidence in their quest seen in today’s SETI folk. They felt they were getting warmer, and warmer, and their tools and techniques better and better. It was only a matter of time. And they knew gold existed! SETI doesn’t even know that much. They know humans exist, but humans are not aliens in the way they think of them evolving independently. Alchemy finally had to be abandoned, as real chemistry began to supplant it. It was eventually deemed a pseudoscience. It had never been a science in the first place. What if SETI succeeds? Will it then become a science? Will the years leading up to detection count as scientific work? Perhaps. But what if it fails? Like alchemy, will it be abandoned or replaced with a new science acknowledging human uniqueness? Nobody knows. All we can say for now is that, like alchemy, it is not a science merely for using the tools of science, because no evidence exists for life beyond the earth, let alone intelligent life (08/12/2010). SETI could be a fool’s errand. With no criteria for failure, with no end-point in sight, it will look more and more foolish as time goes on, while its proponents can always claim they are getting warmer. It’s been 50 years so far. How much time do they get? A century? A millennium? Eventually watchers will complain that SETI has become a perpetual job-security gimmick. By assuming that detectable physical signals carrying a message with purposeful intent might exist, and by employing their intelligence to make contact with it, SETI researchers are accomplishing something many of them would resent hearing: they are validating the legitimacy of intelligent design science (12/03/2005), and they are recognizing their own uniqueness as rational, mindful creatures capable of acting with purpose and intent. This is something that an unguided process like natural selection is incapable of generating. Intelligence must be viewed as existing in the conceptual realm, not the physical realm. The conceptual realm presupposes immutability and integrity. For greatest likelihood of success, therefore, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence should begin looking in places where the purpose that brought sentience into the physical realm has been revealed.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Feeling a bit out of it? Want to connect with some people who know where you’re coming from? Get some community away from home? Check out our directory of websites, clubs, societies, newsletters and e-magazines for South Africans living abroad.There is always a community of South Africans, no matter where you may find yourself in the world. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterWorldwideUnited States of AmericaCanadaAustraliaNew ZealandUnited Kingdom & IrelandEuropeAsia & the Middle EastSouth AmericaThe South African High Commission in London, England. This consulate offers a variety of services for South African abroad, including remote voting services and travel information. (Image: Wikipedia)WORLDWIDEGlobalBuzz SAffers provides information, and a way to connect via forums and live chat, for anyone with an interest in South Africa, regardless of their nationality or country of residence. Homecoming Revolution is a non-profit organisation aimed at encouraging and helping South Africans living abroad to return home.RainbowNation.com is the international South African’s online community.RSA-Overseas is a portal for South Africans living overseas.SA Promo Magazine is aimed at South Africans abroad.SA Reunited is a South African site for tracking down your long-lost school and varsity friends – both those at home and overseas.UNITED STATES OF AMERICAAfrican Hut has the largest online selection of South African foods and groceries in the United States. They ship to anywhere in the country.AmaBoston is for South Africans in Boston, Massachusetts.Braai News is a social club in Tampa, Florida, that offers braai get-togethers and a regular newsletter.Madiba Restaurant and Shebeen is in Forte Greene, Brooklyn. The menus and wine list are all about South Africa. A percentage of the proceeds is given to, among others, the Ubuntu Education Fund, Ethembeni School of the Blind and Achilles.New York New Jersey Springbok Club meets twice a month and hosts three braais a year. Check out their schedule on the website.South Africans in Seattle operates out of Seattle, Washington and serves ex-patriates in the Pacific Northwest. Its activities include social (picnics, braais, and wine tasting), information (lectures and speakers), and sponsorship (hosting Southern African visitors, dignitaries, and sports people).SA Colorado serves fellow and ex-South Africans, whether living in or only visiting Colorado.SAUSA Forums is a forum for South Africans in the USA with lots of useful information relating to a wide variety of subjects. Well worth a visit.South African Chamber of Commerce in America is a not-for-proft organisation dedicated to the encouragement, facilitation and expansion of business, trade, tourism and investments opportunties between South Africa and the Americas, and to promote sustainable economic growth and job creation.South Africans Dallas Fort Worth is a site to inform those that live in the Dallas, Fort Worth metroplex and beyond for networking, socializing and support for Southern Africans.South Africans in Austin arranges social events for South Africans living in the Austin area.South Africans in Charlotte – Club that brings together South Africans living in both North and South CarolinaSouth African Expat Social Club, San Diego, California arranges events and activities such as winery tours, sports activities, social nights, braais, getaway tours, comedy, parties, live music and restaurant outings.SpringDucks is the online home of the South African Club in Portland, Oregon.The Texaspotjie Festival is a well-established weekend of fun for all the family, South African style. Naturally food is an important part of the festival and competitions include The Best in Texas Boerewors contest, as well as the Texas Potjie Cook-off. There is even a church service on Sunday morning…in Afrikaans!The annual Texas Potjie brings South Africans from across Texas together for a weekend of food and kuier. (Image: Texas Potjie)CANADACanada Coffee Club – An online bistro for immigrants coming to Canada.SACanada Forums is a discussion forum for prospective and existing South African Immigrants to Canada.South Africans in Saskatoon provides a platform for South Africans living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to meet up from time to time and ‘celebrate our heritage’.South Africans in Calgary help to coordinate network and social activities for ex-South Africans in the city.South Africans in Nova Scotia is for Southern Africans, their spouses, partners and children and friends living in the Maritimes.South Africans in OntarioSouth Africans in Toronto is for South Africans who live in the Toronto and Greater Toronto Area (GTA).AUSTRALIAAfrikaanse Klub Australia includes a newsletter and an events calendar.SAAustralia Forums is a discussion forum for prospective and existing South African Immigrants to Australia.SAbona is a magazine for South Africans in Australia.South Africans in Adelaide is a group of friends who have a common interest in South Africa. They have either lived in South Africa or have some passion for the country.NEW ZEALANDAfrikaanse Klub in Nieu- Seeland offers, among other things, offers Southern African immigrants support, including social networks, cultural activities, and business networks.South Africans in New Zealand offers new immigrants from Southern Africa an opportunity to organise groups and activities that will improve their social and professional life in New Zealand.Sinzasa – South Island New Zealand Association of Southern AfricansUNITED KINGDOM & IRELANDRoyal African Society – Everything African in the UK. News, entertainment, business, networking, discussion forums, listings of African organisations and service providers based in the UK.Community Heart – Manchester-based charity focused on health, education and reconstruction projects in South Africa, needing volunteers.London South Africa Rugby Football ClubSA Business Club – Allows South Africans and those with South African connections to network and pool resources.Sanza – A site for Sanzas (South Africans, Kiwis and Aussies) living in the UK.SA PROMO Magazine – SA Promo’s magazine for South Africans abroad.South Africans in Ireland – provides some SA links useful for those living in the Emerald Isle.The Africa Centre – The heart of Africa in the heart of LondonThe South African – Another free newspaper, read by an estimated 80 000 South Africans throughout the UK and Europe.WORKgateways – Helps organise engineering, town planning, construction, nursing and other jobs in the UK for travellers from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.EUROPEThe Bavarian Springbok Club is for South Africans and friends living in and around Bavaria, Germany. It was established in 1992 and meetings take place about every six weeks. Check in on the newsletter, what’s on, report backs on the last event, and find useful links.Doringboom – Afrikaanstalige skakel in Berlyn, Duitsland (also in English).South African’s in Finland works brings together the small South African population living in Finland.Friends of South Africa – Austria functions as a sounding board and a mouthpiece for all aspects of South African culture and promotes South African interests in Austria. Conversely, FoSA provides information about Austria to South Africans, both within Austria and abroad.Luso- SouthAfricans.com – Brings together the Portuguese and South African communities living in South Africa and Portugal.Southern Africa – Netherlands – Chamber of Commerce is the key intermediary agency for companies, organisations and entrepreneurs doing or seeking to do business between the Netherlands, South Africa and the Southern African region.South African Club, the Netherlands, brings South Africans and people interested in South Africa together during various events which are organized by the SA Club committee.South Africans in Portugal first started in the end of 2009 as a “voice” to South African expats living in Portugal. Its main goal is to help South African expats reach out and connect with each other.South African Social Club in Denmark – a place for people from anywhere to meet other South Africans, Danes, Swedes and any other South African-afflicted or -affiliated person.South Africans in Austria – for all those South Africans who find themselves in the Austrian Alps or nearby.The South Africa House, the Netherlands, includes four institutions striving to keep the Dutch interest in South Africa alive: the Netherlands-South African Society (NZAV), the South African Institute (SAI), the Study Fund Foundation for South African Students and the Maandblad Zuid-Afrika.The South African Society in Norway is a voluntary forum for the cultural and social interests of its members and other individuals or groups affiliated with South Africa in any way.The South African Society in Sweden aims to bring together people who hold a common interest in South Africa, its people, its development, its natural environment and its food and wine.SA Braai Switzerland organises an annual braai.South African International Association of the Riviera – Based in the south of France.ASIA & MIDDLE EASTSouth Africans Living in Shanghai is an open Facebook group connecting expats living in the city. There is useful information on living in the city and events.South African Social Group in Qatar is a vibrant website for the South African community in Doha, Qatar.The South African Business Council unites business partners by offering a networking and business development forum for business professionals with South African connections living and working in the United Arab Emirates.The Southern African Group in Oman is a social group catering for expatriates living and working in Oman, including people from the southern part of Africa and their friends.SOUTH AMERICADie Roepstem is for ex-pats from the Netherlands and Suriname and South African Afrikaners in Argentina.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Twitter/@thatboycam1LSU’s roster is littered with impressive athletes every season, and they will be adding another one in 2016 athlete Cameron Lewis. The four-star plays quarterback and safety for Wossman High School, and shined in a recent scrimmage against Peabody. Lewis threw for two touchdowns, and added one each on the ground and as a receiver, but none was more impressive than this wild 35 yard scramble.Recap of yesterday I make it look easy pic.twitter.com/pKNpUD21xt— Cameron Lewis (@thatboycam1) August 24, 2015Lewis is expected to play safety at the next level, but based on this, he could make one heck of a punt returner as well.[TigerDroppings.com]
HALIFAX – Ikea is set to officially open its only store in Atlantic Canada on Wednesday as thousands from across the region are expected to descend upon the popular Swedish furniture chain’s new Halifax-area location.The store in the Dartmouth Crossing retail district — the size of four football fields, including its parking lot — features a bright, streamlined showroom with rooms that were furnished based on the needs of Maritimers.Ikea Canada president Marsha Smith said the company visited more than 70 local residences to determine what people in the Halifax area needed in their homes, such as waste storage solutions.“We have a lot of local architectural features such as fireplaces. The size of the windows are locally relevant. There are a lot of areas where you will see familiarity with what you see locally,” said Smith during an exclusive tour of the new store with The Canadian Press on Monday ahead of an evening media event.“We take a lot of time to do home visits and studies in the local area so that when you walk into the store, you should really see yourself.”Overlooking the store’s restaurant and seating area is a “living wall” — a floor-to-ceiling surface filled with green and yellow plants meant to help purify the air. Ikea Halifax also has a children’s play area and a massive warehouse stacked high with brown boxes containing the company’s trademark unassembled furniture.Social media has been abuzz since Ikea announced about two years ago it was opening a store in the region. It previously had a smaller location in the Halifax area, but it closed nearly three decades ago.“We really have seen a huge enthusiasm from the community and from the coworkers,” said Smith while sitting on a cream-coloured couch in a model living room at the entrance of the store’s showroom.Smith said the Halifax store is Ikea’s most sustainable in the country and also the first store to be LEED-certified.“That’s something that’s incredibly important to us,” said Smith, adding there are charging stations for electric vehicles in the parking lot and also a free light bulb and battery take-back service.“We have solar panels on the roof which help to generate electricity, which we then use in the building. We also have a solar wall on the side of the building and the way that works is that as air passes through, it actually heats the air and which reduces the heating we need to tap into.”The store employs about 250 people.The arrival of Ikea recently stirred up some local online controversy from people who took issue with the store being called Ikea Halifax. The building is in Dartmouth, which was once a separate city.Smith says the Halifax name was chosen because the company wanted to reach as many people as possible, from the Halifax area and beyond. The company compared this approach to other stores such as Ikea Montreal, located in the Saint-Laurent area of that city.The grand opening is on Wednesday.Follow (at)AlyThomson on Twitter.
TORONTO – Enbridge Gas Distribution Ltd. says its typical Ontario residential customer’s natural gas bill will go down about $29 a year.The gas distribution company says its received approval from the Ontario Energy Board for new rates starting next month.The Ontario government’s cancellation of the cap and trade program will decrease rates by $80.Higher transportation costs and natural gas prices, among other things, will partially offset those savings.The company says the typical residential customer’s annual bill will be about $873.Enbridge distributes natural gas to more than two million customers in Ontario.
NEW YORK — The following is a list of initial public offerings planned for the coming week. Sources include IPO ETF manager Renaissance Capital, and SEC filings.Week of Nov. 26.No IPOs scheduled for next week.The Associated Press