A Georgia first

first_imgBy Faith PeppersUniversity of Georgia For decades, Georgia’s rural counties have searched for partners to help solve social, economic and academic issues at home. Jasper County found help in an area philanthropist and a community bank.Robert Fowler is committed to exploring the potential of young people in his area. He wanted to open doors for them to better education, leadership and citizenship opportunities. So he partnered with BB&T, one of the nation’s largest community banking companies, to donate $1.2 million to the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Together, they helped establish the Robert and Jean Fowler 4-H Agent Endowment, the first endowed UGA Cooperative Extension county agent in Georgia.”Rob Fowler’s vision for Georgia is courageous,” said J. Scott Angle, CAES dean and director. “Our collective future is brighter because of his commitment to Georgia’s children.”The endowment will fund a UGA Extension 4-H agent to work with youths in Jasper County and the surrounding area. Georgia 4-H is the youth development outreach program of UGA Extension, serving more than 185,000 Georgia youths in grades 5-12.”This is a unique opportunity to help UGA Extension better serve the future leaders of this community,” said Beverly Sparks, CAES associate dean for extension. “We know this is the first endowed agent position in Georgia. And it may well be a first in the nation.”UGA Extension leaders expect this position to enhance efforts to get youths involved in 4-H activities. Youths in 4-H take leadership and citizenship trainings. They learn research and presentation skills, character development, wellness and life skills.”Our 4-H program is among the largest in the nation,” Sparks said. “With the type of community commitment Mr. Fowler has shown, we hope others will follow his lead and help us serve even more Georgia children at this crucial time in their lives, when they are learning skills and forming attitudes that will serve them well in life as they become vital contributors to our state and society.””We join Mr. Fowler in creating this fund to continue our long history of community support and, ultimately, to help communities in our service area provide positive programs and experiences for youths,” said Lars Anderson, BB&T’s Georgia state president.”This innovative public-private funding partnership for a county 4-H agent,” he said, “supports education and economic development in targeted communities to enhance quality of life.”last_img read more

CLE on your laptop? Perhaps

first_imgCLE on your laptop? Perhaps August 1, 2003 Regular News CLE on your laptop? Perhapscenter_img Imagine sitting at your desk and with a couple clicks of a computer mouse button taking part, live, in a CLE seminar.The Practice Management and Development Section is hoping to make that a reality soon, along with other plans to help members in their practices.Eric Virgil, new chair of the section, said at the section’s executive council gathering during the Bar’s Annual Meeting, that the section is looking to make its CLE offerings available through the Internet and via teleconferencing. That will offer all members, whether they are in large or small firms, the option of attending while in their offices.The teleconferencing would require some advance planning, so sponsors could send the written materials to the firm, which could reproduce them and distribute those to participating firm members.“We like to give them alternatives,” he said.The section is also looking at putting information and forms useful to lawyers on its Web site, www.flapmd.org. That site also has an extensive list of links that can help lawyers, and the section uses it to distribute its newsletter and conduct e-mail forums, Virgil said.At the council meeting, members discussed setting up an e-mail listserv where lawyers would discuss management and technology issues.The section is also planning CLE programs aimed at helping lawyers with both technology and office management matters.“Members could participate and share ideas,” Virgil said. “Forms that come from that discussion would end up on the Web site.”On CLE, Virgil said there are several existing seminars that the section could offer through the Internet or teleconferencing. Those include How to Implement Value-Based Billing, Technology in the Law Office, and 10 Effective Management Practices. The section is looking at making those available.For more information about the section and its activities, contact Carol Kirkland, program administrator, at (850) 561-5631, e-mail [email protected]last_img read more

Biological Big Bang: Another Explosion at the Dawn of Life

first_imgEugene Koonin and two friends from the NIH went tree-hunting.  They examined almost 7,000 genomes of prokaryotes.  They found trees all right – a whole forest of them.  They even found 102 NUTs (nearly universal trees) in the forest.  Unfortunately, it’s not what they wanted to find: a single universal tree of life that Darwin’s theory requires.  They had to seriously consider the question: was there a biological big bang?    Publishing in an open-access article in the Journal of Biology,1 they began with the founding father’s vision: “The tree of life is, probably, the single dominating metaphor that permeates the discourse of evolutionary biology, from the famous single illustration in Darwin’s On the Origin of Species to 21st-century textbooks.”  Alas, that 150-year-old icon must be dismantled.  In their conclusion, they said, “the original tree of life concept is obsolete: it would not even be a ‘tree of one percent’.”    What happened?  It appears that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has scrambled the genes in prokaryotes so much that any trace of common ancestry has been lost.  This means that Darwin’s metaphor lacks empirical evidence.  A fair-minded scientist would have to consider the possibility of a biological big bang (BBB), in which all the diversity in prokaryotes arose explosively.  And that’s what they did.  They evaluated their evidence with the BBB model and a slower type of explosion, called compressed cladogenesis (CC).2  Whichever was better, it was not very tree-like.  The strong tree-of-life image is unsupportable in the data.  They asked, “However, is there any hope of salvaging the tree of life as a statistical central trend?”  Searching diligently, they thought they found some things that “suggest a positive answer to this crucial question.”The message from this analysis is twofold.  On the one hand, we detected high levels of inconsistency among the trees comprising the forest of life, most probably due to extensive HGT, a conclusion that is supported by more direct observations of numerous probable transfers of genes between archaea and bacteria.  On the other hand, we detected a distinct signal of a consensus topology that was particularly strong in the NUTs.  Although the NUTs showed a substantial amount of apparent HGT, the transfer events seemed to be distributed randomly and did not obscure the vertical signal.  Moreover, the topology of the NUTs was quite similar to those of numerous other trees in the forest, so although the NUTs certainly cannot represent the forest completely, this set of largely consistent, nearly universal trees is a reasonable candidate for representing a central trend.  However, the opposite side of the coin is that the consistency between the trees in the forest is high at shallow depths of the trees and abruptly drops, almost down to the level of random trees, at greater phylogenetic depths that correspond to the radiation of archaeal and bacterial phyla.  This observation casts doubt on the existence of a central trend in the forest of life and suggests the possibility that the early phases of evolution might have been non-tree-like (a Biological Big Bang).  To address this problem directly, we simulated evolution under the CC model and under the BBB model, and found that the CC scenario better approximates the observed dependence between tree inconsistency and phylogenetic depth.  Thus, a consistent phylogenetic signal seems to be discernible throughout the evolution of archaea and bacteria but, under the CC model, the prospect of unequivocally resolving the relationships between the major archaeal and bacterial clades is bleak.Keeping some hope alive in the bleakness, therefore, they thought they could discern a weak central phylogenetic (evolutionary) trend in their data.  But it was, at best, only a composite of “nearly universal” trees that was obscured by a thicket of cross branches.  The same data seem to fit just as well with the big bang or compressed cladogenesis models (see footnote 2 for explanation).  The short message is, “A central trend that most probably represents vertical inheritance is discernible throughout the evolution of archaea and bacteria, although compressed cladogenesis complicates unambiguous resolution of the relationships between the major archaeal and bacterial clades.”    This paper is the latest in a series of “bleak” findings by Koonin about the missing tree of life (see “Mystery of Intron Evolution,” 09/03/2003; “Introns Stump Evolutionary Theorists,” 03/09/2006, “What Are Human Genes Doing in a Sea Anemone?”, 07/08/2007; “Will Darwinism End in a Big Bang?”, 10/08/2007).1.  Puigbo, Wolf and Koonin, “Search for a ‘Tree of Life’ in the thicket of the phylogenetic forest,” Journal of Biology, 2009, 8:59doi:10.1186/jbiol159.2.  “More specifically, we considered two models of early evolution at the level of archaeal and bacterial phyla: a compressed cladogenesis (CC) model, whereby there is a tree structure even at the deepest levels but the internal branches are extremely short; and a Biological Big Bang (BBB) model under which the early phase of evolution involved horizontal gene exchange so intensive that there is no signal of vertical inheritance in principle.”  But even with CC, a tree without branches is not really an evolutionary tree; it is a lineage.The Darwinists are in the throes of withdrawal.  The thought of not having a tree to comfort them is too much to endure.  Their tree at the Cambrian exploded, and now they are hearing a big bang at the origin of the most primitive forms of life.  Darwin hates those explosions.  They ruin his whole day.    Get a load of this line from the paper.  It is almost unsurpassed as an example of euphemism covering up a crisis: “The results of this analysis do not rule out the BBB model as the generative mechanism underlying the divergence of archaea and bacteria….”  Did you catch that?  That is hilarious!  A big bang as a generative mechanism?  What are they saying?  Generative – Genesis – they’re talking about creation, folks!  The prokaryotes just burst onto the scene.  Explosions are generally not considered to be creative mechanisms, you realize.  They just hid their little “problem” inside a big bang, hoping the concussion would distract you from what they just admitted.  A big bang as a generative mechanism?  Ha!  However that happened, it was definitely NOT a Darwinian process.  It sounds like creation.  There is no possible, conceivable way that Darwin can account for the sudden appearance of prokaryotes and bacteria, with all their molecular machines, systems, networks, genetic codes and complexity.  Why don’t they just admit it?  Why don’t they follow the evidence where it leads?  Why this craving to smoke the Darwin dope and push it on the youth? (DOPE = Darwin-Only Public Education).  They said the DOPE is still in 21st century textbooks.  Come clean!  Break the habit.  Clean up your act.    Darwinism’s only tenuous grasp on science is empirical evidence.  Admittedly, Darwin was a good storyteller.  He was a genteel guy with a lot of friends.  But who cares if his book makes a nice story or one long argument?  Science wants data.  The empirical evidence has been slipping from his disciples’ grasp since the Origin hit the bookshelves.  It sent his disciples on many a wild goose chase, looking for missing links that were trumpeted only to be falsified later (like Piltdown Man), Precambrian transitional forms that never appeared, pangenesis that was challenged by Mendelian discrete alleles, and promissory notes they kept delaying to pay.  They kept distracting us with little finch beaks and peppered moths to make us believe they had everything explained.  Their grip on empirical evidence was nearly lost when the genetic code was discovered.  Now this: no tree of life!  A biological big bang.  Face it, Darwinists: it’s over.  The tree was a myth.  It’s obsolete.  Stop trying to imagine a tree in the thicket.  It’s not even “a tree of one percent.”  Five percent is the usual scientific minimum threshold for statistical significance; this is way below that.  The data do not “suggest” an imaginary tree that might be used to “salvage” the icon.  If there’s anything “suggested” by the empirical evidence, it is a loud, clear call of design.    Stop the doubletalk and the moonwalk.  “Compressed cladogenesis” (another euphemism for “hurry-up origin of groups”) is not going to save the theory now.  They tried that with the Cambrian explosion, too, remember?  They tried to stretch it out a few more million years, from 2 minutes on a 24-hour clock to 4 minutes.  It’s not going to work.  Give it up.  Let’s all pitch in, clean up the mess and move on.  There’s work to do.  Systems biology has some gold to mine (07/21/2009) and we can at least learn some things that might improve our living standards from the intelligent designs in biology (07/11/2009, 06/25/2005, 10/29/2005).(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Gautrain: JHB-PTA route in final testing

first_img28 June 2011Final details and tests on the Gautrain route from Johannesburg to Pretoria are under way and the final operating permit could be issued in July, the Railway Safety Regulator said on Friday.“We are in the final phase of assessing all the last outstanding details, and provided that the current system stability tests are successful, we should be in a position to consider the issuing of the final operating permit in the course of July,” the regulator said in a statement.The route from Johannesburg to Pretoria, via Rosebank, Sandton, Midrand and Centurion, was due to open on July 1.Rigorous safety testing“The Gautrain’s Bombela Operating Company (BOC) will have to satisfy the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) that rigorous safety testing and trial runs have been successfully completed and that all the required safety measures are in place before a safety permit is granted for the Johannesburg to Pretoria route.”The RSR had worked closely with BOC since 2007 on the safe completion of the Gautrain.“All these efforts are aimed at ensuring the rapid rail project operates safely once introduced for commercial operation.”‘Expected snags’The RSR said since the BOC took charge of the system in March to conduct tests there had been some snags.“The RSR observes that as expected with a new system of this magnitude a number of snags emerged during this ‘settling in’ period, which have been systematically addressed by BOC and its partners.”The RSR said the operator had co-operated fully during this phase.Sapalast_img read more

2 upcoming personal finance webinars

first_imgThe Personal Finance group will be presenting a two-part webinar series in March on investments and mutual funds. Speaker Dr. Barbara O’Neill will discuss the basics of investing on Monday, March 4 at 11 a.m. ET. She will continue with part 2 on Thursday, March 14 at 11 a.m., ET and this session will focus on the management of mutual funds.Part 1, Investing for Your Future: Basic Concepts and Investment Products will cover: a discussion on finding ways to discover money to invest; an explanation of how to calculate net worth; review of compound interest using “The Rule of 72;” discussion of the risk-reward relationship and risk tolerance; an explanation of basic investment terminology; explanation of the characteristics of stocks and bonds; discussion of common investment frauds and scams; a review of state and federal investor protection resources.Part 2, Investing for Your Future: Mutual Funds and Tax-Deferred Investments will cover: a discussion of the characteristics and types of mutual funds; mutual fund fees and other screening factors; characteristics of annuities and exchange-traded funds (EFTs); a review of sources of investment information; a discussion of benefits and types of tax-deferred investing; a discussion of how to invest with small dollar amounts.These sessions will be hosted by the Department of Defense. Please review these instructions for connecting to the webinar prior to the event. This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on February 20, 2013.last_img read more

Nadal’s no good with numbers? He seeks No. 10 at French Open

first_img1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Cavs avoid elimination, overpower Warriors in Game 4 Nadal is 9-0 in French Open finals.But he hasn’t played in one since 2014, because he lost to Djokovic in the 2015 quarterfinals, then withdrew from the tournament before the third round last year due to an injured left wrist.That wrist propels his intimidating, topspin-heavy forehand, which might be the best shot in the game when at its best. Another contender for that accolade: Wawrinka’s flat one-handed backhand, which is so smooth and so dangerous.Because 2015 French Open champion Wawrinka is a righty, and Nadal’s a lefty, when Wawrinka hits his backhand cross-court — his preferred destination — it will wind up heading toward Nadal’s forehand.Quite a matchup.It worked in Wawrinka’s favor (as did his opponent’s bad back at the time) when he beat Nadal in the 2014 Australian Open final. Wawrinka had lost all 12 earlier matches against Nadal; their series currently stands at 15-3.After playing most of his career in his Swiss countryman Federer’s considerable shadow, Wawrinka — at 32, the oldest men’s finalist in Paris since 1973 — has blossomed lately. He is 3-0 in Grand Slam finals, beating Djokovic at the 2015 French Open and the 2016 U.S. Open.“Stan is a big obstacle. But all the players are. He is a very good counter-attacker,” Toni Nadal said. “He won all the finals he played in Grand Slams, and Rafael never lost a final here. Let’s see who will be the first one to lose.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage “Every time we come here, we just take one match at a time, we never think about the next title,” Uncle Toni said. “But of course, if he wins Sunday, it will be very special, incredible.”Those last two words also aptly describe his nephew’s path to this final. Not only has Nadal not conceded a set, he has dropped a total of only 29 games along the way.“So far, so good,” as Uncle Toni put it.A couple of other numbers: Nadal is 78-2 for his career at Roland Garros, and 101-2 anywhere in best-of-five-set matches on red clay.“To play Rafa on clay, in (the) French Open, in a final is probably the biggest challenge you can have in tennis. He’s the best player ever on clay,” said Wawrinka, who beat Novak Djokovic for the title at the 2015 French Open. “It’s, for sure, going to be really difficult. But … it’s the final. The pressure is on both players. No one (can) go on the court thinking he has no pressure.”ADVERTISEMENT Well, perhaps he should brush up. If Nadal beats Stan Wawrinka in the final at Roland Garros on Sunday, so much of the story would be about the statistics.It would give Nadal his 10th French Open championship, more than any man or woman has won at any major tournament in the nearly half-century professional era. It also would raise Nadal’s overall Grand Slam haul to 15, alone in second place and three away from the men’s record of 18 held by his great rival Roger Federer.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAfter dismissing Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in the semifinals Friday, Nadal was asked whether No. 10 would constitute his greatest achievement, especially given the wrist injuries he dealt with last season. Predictably, the 31-year-old Spaniard shrugged, then joked: “Nine or 10 — (it’s) only 10 percent more.”Both Nadal and his uncle Toni, who has served as a mentor and coach since Rafael was 4, have been downplaying the significance of “La Decima” — which means “The 10th” in Spanish. What ‘missteps’? World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning against Austria’s Dominic Thiem during their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Friday, June 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)PARIS — Rafael Nadal acknowledged during the French Open that he’s never been all that good with numbers.“Math,” he said, smiling as he turned his right thumb upside-down, “was the only subject that I failed in the last year that I had the chance to go to school.”ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more