Indiana’s primary election moved to June 2

first_img Indiana’s primary election moved to June 2 Pinterest TAGScoronavirusgovernor eric holcombIndianaJune 2primary election Indiana’s primary election will be moved from May 5 to June 2.Governor Eric Holcomb made the announcement Friday alongside Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Republican Party Chair Kyle Hupfer and Democratic Party Chair John Zody.All dates corresponding with the primary election will be moved by 28 days to reflect the new date of the primary. For example, military and overseas ballots are required to mailed 45 days prior to the primary election, so they’ll move 45 days prior to June 2.Gov. Holcomb signed an executive order to suspend Indiana’s election statute and move the dates. The executive order is posted here: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htmIn addition, the following recommendations were made Friday to the Indiana Election Commission.Suspend absentee by-mail rules to allow all Hoosiers the option to vote by mail in the upcoming primary election.Allow county clerks to continually mail ballots from now through 12 days out from the new primary election date.Confirm ballots with a May 5, 2020 date will be valid.Enable medical professionals to be eligible members of traveling boards to vote nursing home and hospital patients.Give family members the ability to deliver absentee ballots. Currently only a member of a voter’s household may take possession of their ballot.Indiana Election Commission Chairman Paul Okeson has called a meeting of the Indiana Election Commission on Wednesday, March 25 at 10 a.m. to discuss the recommendations. The meeting will be held in the south atrium of the Indiana Statehouse. Google+ Pinterest Twitter By Brooklyne Beatty – March 20, 2020 0 459 CoronavirusIndianaLocalNewscenter_img Twitter WhatsApp WhatsApp Google+ Facebook Facebook Previous articleCoronavirus cases in Indiana jumps to 79Next articleIndiana University postpones all commencement activities on all campuses Brooklyne Beattylast_img read more

Magic’s Jonathan Isaac explains standing for national anthem by himself amid NBA protests

first_imgIsaac, who became the first NBA player not to protest during the anthem following the league’s restart this week, said he informed his locker room of the choice before the team’s 128-118 win over the Nets.He’s an ordained minister who said he believes his life has been supported by the gospel and that religion is the way “to get past skin color.””I believe that Black lives matter,” Isaac said. “Kneeling while wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt doesn’t go hand-in-hand with supporting Black lives.””It’s my thought that kneeling or wearing a ‘Black Lives Matter’ t-shirt don’t go hand in hand with supporting black lives,” Jonathan Isaac.Isaac spoke about his choice to not take a knee during the national anthem and how it felt to be out there playing meaningful basketball. pic.twitter.com/Lrnv5ZJymI— FOX Sports Magic (@FOXSportsMagic) July 31, 2020Jonathan Isaac chose to stand for the National Anthem without a BLM shirt(h/t @TopBallCoverage ) pic.twitter.com/WSevfbolxl— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) July 31, 2020MORE: Charles Barkley explains his support for those who don’t kneelIsaac suffered what would have likely been season-ending injury in January when he hyperextended his knee on a fast break. Before going down, he was having the most complete year of his career. Magic forward Jonathan Isaac said his decision not to kneel with his teammates for the national anthem on Friday or wear a Black Lives Matter shirt came from his critical view of the gesture as a form of seeking change.NBA competitors have been using anthem kneeling as a way to protest racial injustice in the U.S. Because of the four-month delay in action this season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Isaac has been able to recover in time to suit up for the Magic for the final weeks of the campaign. He came off the bench Friday and poured in 16 points in 16 minutes.His relationship with his team does not appear to be strained by his decision to stand for the anthem, at least according to coach Steve Clifford and guard Evan Fournier.Magic coach Steve Clifford said himself, the players and the franchise support Jonathan Isaac’s decision to stand during the anthem and not kneel. Isaac also didn’t wear the BLM t-shirt.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) July 31, 2020″That’s his choice and he doesn’t need to (explain),” Fournier added.last_img read more

Exceptional trio celebrated at coaching awards

first_img14 Dec 2016 Exceptional trio celebrated at coaching awards Three exceptional men who support the country’s most promising golfers were celebrated at an awards dinner at the England Golf coaching conference. Standing ovations marked the announcement of Yorkshire’s Steve Robinson as 2016 Coach of the Year, Sussex’s Alan Covey as Volunteer Manager of the Year, and Cheshire’s Alan Thompson as the winner of the Lifetime Service Award. Nigel Edwards, England Golf Performance Director, commented: “These are truly exceptional people who stand out for the support and encouragement they provide to our golfers, helping them to be the best they can.” The conference, attended by county, regional and national coaches and managers, had the theme of creating a winning culture – and the achievements of the three award winners helped to highlight this. Steve Robinson (pictured top © Leaderboard Photography) has enjoyed a spectacular 2016, inspiring the England women’s team to become European champions for the first time in 23 years. Victory was particularly sweet because his teams had been involved in bronze medal play-offs in the previous three years, but have left the championships empty handed on each occasion. His players included Bronte Law, who has just turned professional after a stellar amateur career when she was ranked second in the world, played in three Curtis Cup teams, won the Annika Award as the top US college player and was European amateur champion. She sent a message to the conference saying: “The gold medal represents all Robbo’s work as a coach and mentor. He is not just a coach to me, he is a friend and I could not think of anyone who deserves this award more.” Robinson, who is based at Sandburn Hall, also coaches the Yorkshire boys’ and women’s teams – and between them they’ve won 11 English county championships. This year, three boys from the six-strong county squad have represented England and Robinson is also the personal coach to Charlie Thornton who won the England Golf Boys’ Order of Merit. He summed up how he creates a winning culture by saying: “It’s all about building relationships with the players and making sure you know their vision and their mission.” Alan Covey (pictured right © Leaderboard Photography) is the Sussex junior manager and an England Golf regional manager – and has such an impact that he received three separate nominations for the award of Volunteer Manager of the Year. One of his proposers summed him up: “One major factor of his success is that all the juniors like him. His encouragement and dedication to them is very evident and rewarded by their respect for him. I know many players who are now over 18 that keep in regular contact with him letting him know how they are progressing.” Within Sussex, Covey helps to organise coaching development for young players who wish to progress, and works with the county squads for players from U12 to U18 age groups. As an England Golf regional manager he is generous in sharing his knowledge and experience with other managers. He organises many events, including a national start-of-season championship for U16 boys and girls – and he also took an England team to the 2016 Canadian International Junior Challenge and encouraged them to victory. Covey commented on his award: “This isn’t just about me, it’s about every manager out there and all of us want to make a difference.” Alan Thompson was unable to be at the presentation of the Lifetime Service Award but delegates were told how he has dedicated his career to helping golfers achieve their full potential at all levels, working with club players, county golfers, elite national amateurs and top professionals. He was Cheshire coach for 25 years and was the professional at Heswall Golf Club until 2012 – when he retired to concentrate on his coaching. He’s been assistant coach to the England Men’s A Squad for many years and this season has been especially memorable with squad player Scott Gregory winning the Amateur Championship and the England Golf Men’s Order of Merit. He’s also taught many European Tour players, including Lee Slattery and Ryder Cup player Jamie Donaldson. Steve Burnett, the England Golf Men’s Performance Manager, paid tribute to Thommo’s achievements and said: “We want to say thank you for all your years of dedication, there are a lot of players out there who are very grateful.” During the conference delegates also heard from speakers including Sergio Lara-Bercial who has studied ‘serial winning coaches’ and Baroness Sue Campbell, who discussed turning ‘good into great.’  She chaired UK Sport from 2003-2013, presiding over Team GB and Paralympic GB’s largest medal haul in living memory; she has been the chair of the Youth Sport Trust since 2005 and she is the FA’s head of women’s football. Ben Stow and Ashley Chesters, who were top England amateurs before embarking on their professional careers, attended a Q&A session with delegates. Stow was the Brabazon Trophy champion and is now a Challenge Tour player, while Chesters was the double European amateur champion and has just won his European Tour card. Both have been supported by England Golf’s Give Back scheme which provided them with a number of Challenge Tour starts; in return they give back a proportion of earnings over a certain level to support the squad programme.last_img read more

Canucks Defeat Wild to Extend Northwest Division Lead

first_imgLeigh Ramsden lives in Vancouver and is an avid Canucks fan, having been a partial season ticket holder for over 10 years. He’s old enough to have witnessed all three Stanley Cup losses, as such, his prime goal is to remove those scars by seeing a Cup brought to Vancouver. Leigh is Fighting For Stanley’s (www.fightingforstanley.ca/vancouver) west coast correspondent, and will also blog after all Canuck games for The Nelson Daily. Also, I thought that before the season started, NHL head office decreed that players giving a goaltender a needless snow shower would be assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.  This clearly happened to Schneider tonight, but no call was made.Broadcast Observation of the Day:  Two items of note tonight:  First, I was wholly unimpressed at Shorthouse’s attempted revival/homage of Jim Robson’s famous call after game 6 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final, when while referring to Trevor Linden, he proclaimed “He’ll play, you know he’ll play… he’ll play on crutches if he has to.”  Shorthouse attempted this one before the game in reference to Henrik… and it just didn’t come off very well.  Something like that should be saved for a really important game, not an early-February divisional game.Also, again, Garrett delivered a great little story about how the old rink in Minnesota back in the WHA days had clear glass boards.  I had never heard of that, and found it quite amazing to think that would have been the case.  Garrett was pointing out that as a goalie, it was next to impossible to pick the puck up without the white background of the boards.  I found this web page with a writeup of the old St. Paul Civic Center, and it contains a picture which shows the clear boards – very unique!Looking ahead: Vancouver travels to Calgary to face the motivated Flames on Saturday night. With his team down 5-2, and with less than a minute to play, he decided to ice forward Brad Staubitz, who is the Wild’s tough guy.  Staubitz went after Edler with a clean check, however, then decided to give rookie Cody Hodgson a cheap shot on the way by. In the ensuing scrum, Lapierre was assessed a five minute major for spearing along with a game misconduct.  In a post-game interview, Lapierre stated he was merely trying to lift his stick, and that he didn’t think his stick even made contact with the Wild player.  Replays support his version of the story, although I can see how maybe a two minute minor could have been assessed.  Expect the league to reverse this game misconduct upon review tomorrow morning.At the next whistle, Wild pest Cal Clutterbuck decided to “square off” with Dan Hamhuis of all people.  This actually led to one of the funnier things I have seen in a long time – Kevin Bieksa, tied up by a linesman in front of the net, did the only thing he could, which was throw his glove at Clutterbuck!  Unfortunately, it hit Hamhuis in the back.  He was immediately assessed a ten minute misconduct for his trouble.  This was a very amusing moment.All in all, Yeo was silly tonight.  I know he must be frustrated with his team, but throwing out guys like Staubitz at the end of what was a one-sided game is a very schoolyard tactic. There’s a time and place to put your tough guys out but at the end of a game when you’re down by three on home ice is not that time nor place. As John Garrett pointed out on the telecast, Brad Staubitz played only 6:39 tonight, so Yeo put him out in the last minute?  An earlier shift saw Staubitz attempting to goad Bitz into a fight as well, who declined.Anyway – I don’t really know what Yeo was trying to prove, but whatever it was, it didn’t work.  His team is in a tailspin (now 5-14-5 in their last 24 games) and they aren’t coming out of it – and trying to “act tough” against the Canucks is not going to change anything in the standings. VIGNEAULT SPREADS ICE TIME OUT, TEAM PLAYS BETTERAlain Vigneault has changed his lines up the last couple of times out.  As I mentioned, tonight he stuck with the lines from the third period of the Nashville game. This meant the lines were Sedin-Sedin-Bitz, Kesler-Burrows-Booth, Malhotra-Hansen-Raymond, and Hodgson-Lapierre-Duco.  Also of note, Keith Ballard was a late scratch with some neck issues, so Andrew Alberts drew into the lineup on the third pairing with Aaron Rome.One thing that struck me tonight was that AV seemed to really balance the ice time, more so that he has done for most of the year.  The Sedin line only played 12 minutes at even strength, approximately the same amount as the Malhotra and Hodgson lines. All four lines were effective tonight, which has been a rare occurrence of late.  In addition, the third defensive pairing of Alberts and Rome also played an equal amount of minutes as the other pairings.  All in all, it was a very balanced game for the team, and they responded with a very good overall effort.  It was a nice change from the coach. As I’ve mentioned before, AV is going to need to be comfortable using all the lines in the playoffs if the team is going to be successful.GM Mike Gillis has done a considerable amount of work upgrading his bottom-six forwards.  To my chagrin, Vigneault seems hesitant to use these players – I think the team is better when everyone is involved and getting in on the action.  Tonight, however, was a different story, and I hope that AV learned something tonight. PARTING SHOTSQuick comments:  Minnesota’s top line of Koivu-Heatley-Setoguchi was dangerous all night.  Unfortunately for the Wild, they were the only line that displayed any level of skill whatsoever. The Vancouver Canucks continued their road trip on Thursday night, paying a visit to the Xcel Energy Center to face the Minnesota Wild in a Northwest Division tilt.  Vancouver was full value for a 5-2 win.The Canucks gave up a goal just 13 seconds into the game, failing to score first in for the first time in their last 13 road games.  Alex Edler, who had a pedestrian first period, stood still at his own blue line while Devin Setoguchi pushed the puck past him, where Dany Heatley skated in on Canuck goaltender Cory Schneider and scored to give the home side the early lead.After that, the game was all Canucks.  Vancouver scored twice before the first period was done, Daniel Sedin scoring on a 5 on 3 power play, and Max Lapierre shoveling home the puck after a scramble in front of Minnesota netminder Niklas Backstrom.  The Canucks were the better team in the first period.Henrik Sedin then scored 50 seconds into the second period, converting a beautiful backhand saucer pass from new linemate Byron Bitz.  The balance of the second period featured the Canucks consistently frustrating the Wild, limiting their offensive opportunities.  It was the first time in recent memory that the Canucks have “won” the second.The third period featured chippy play as the Canucks scored again to extend the lead to 4-1, after a nice deflection by Manny Malhotra.  The goal came against the run of play, as the Wild had ramped up their level as the Canucks went out to play a “good road period” with a two goal lead. Minnesota got to within two when Setoguchi scored on a late power play, before Ryan Kesler put the Wild out of their misery with an empty-netter.  The shots actually wound up in Minnesota’s favour, 24-20, but this does not tell the story of the game.Vancouver was never threatened in this contest.  Although they spotted the Wild a 1-0 advantage right off the hop, the Canucks just played their game and created enough offense to get back out in front. More importantly, the Canucks were very responsible in their own end.  Schneider played well, but did not have to deal with any odd-man rushes or other crazy gaffes by the team in front of him. Vigneault stuck with his line combinations from the third period of the Nashville game, with the exception that Mike Duco was recalled in Dale Weise’s absence and played alongside Lapierre and Hodgson. MINNESOTA RESORTS TO SCHOOLYARD TACTICSMinnesota coach Mike Yeo, who must have been frustrated given his post-game comments, embarrassed himself late in the third period.  NHL officiating continues to be a problem.  I try not to complain about it too much, but sometimes the decisions made are baffling.  Tonight, Bitz received a penalty for goaltender inference when he was clearly pushed into Backstrom by a Wild defenseman; his skates were turned sideways as he was trying to stop.  Also, the decisions at the end of the game were also suspect. If you’d like a humorous look at the Bieksa glove-toss, see this recap and video posted at the Legion of Blog.  Pay special attention to Bieksa’s post-game quote, it’s hilarious.center_img Bitz continued to impress.  His pass to Henrik was a thing of beauty, as he saucered it over the defenseman’s stick.  His skating looked better tonight as well.  If he continues to play well, he provides a nice option as a Sedin linemate. Henrik’s consecutive game streak was in doubt after suffering a deep bone bruise in his foot after blocking a shot in the last game.  He played the game and looked no worse for wear.  He and his brother appeared to continue their slow climb out of their slump, each registering a goal tonight. Lapierre and Clutterbuck fought early in the third period.  Lapierre is now tied for the team lead in fights with Dale Weise. Minnesota played very chippy and were constantly trying to push, prod, annoy, or fight the Canucks.  This isn’t a tactic that we have seen from recent Wild teams, and I’m not sure why they started now.  They do better as the Minnesota Mild than the Minnesota Wild.last_img read more

Extensive search operation launched in Twin Towns overnight

first_imgAn extensive search operation was launched yesterday (Sat) by the Gardaí in the Twin Towns, it has emerged. The Rescue 118 helicopter and Gardaí were dispatched on Saturday night, with other agencies also involved.It is not understood at this time the nature of the operation in Ballybofey/Stranorlar area. We will bring you more as we get it.Extensive search operation launched in Twin Towns overnight was last modified: September 8th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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)last_img read more

A Whale of a SETI Tale

first_imgDisney’s Fantasia 2000 had an episode that pictured whales gliding through the air as if in outer space.  Lawrence Doyle of the SETI Institute connected whales with space in another way.  His article discussed whale language as a sign of intelligence.  Appealing to information theory and entropy, Doyle discussed how scientists deduce the syntax and entropy of whale messages, even when we can’t figure out the meaning.  By entropy, he means the “number of choices in a given communication system.”  For instance, squirrel-monkey language does not have enough entropy for Shakespeare to be translated into it. An important measure of entropy is the highest “entropic-order” at which the communication systems peaks.  In measuring this, we ask how dependent the signals are on each other.  In human speech we have grammar and in human writing we have spelling (or brush strokes, etc.) that depend on each other.  If you made a copy of a written page, but the toner in the copy machine was low, you would find that you could nevertheless recover some of the missing words because there are rules of spelling and grammar superimposed on our language system.  It is these rules that allow error recovery – and this works in both vocalization as well as written communication systems (as well as any others, e.g., chemical signaling units, bee dances, visual facial features, etc.)   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Scientists are not yet sure if whale language has the entropy level anywhere near that of humans.  But he argued that observing correlations between language and sociality of whales can help us, when we find life in space, deduce something about the social structure of the aliens:And how might this apply to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence?  If there is a relationship between social complexity and vocal complexity, then the measure of one will be a measurement, to some degree, of the other.  If a SETI signal is received, and is a normal (i.e., un-coded) communication, it will have to obey the rules of information theory in order to transmit information.  Thus, a measure of the information complexity of such SETI signals could also be a first direct measurement of the social complexity of an extraterrestrial species, irrespective of the actual decipherment of the meaning of such a message itself.  Exciting prospect indeed!Until such a signal is detected, however, it remains only a prospect for the space-intelligence prospectors.Wait a minute.  We heard Seth Shostak say last month (12/03/2005) that SETI wasn’t looking for an information-bearing message, like the proponents of intelligent design claim, but only for a persistent narrowband whistle in an unusual context that they could claim was non-natural.  What’s all this talk about information theory?  Now the SETI institute is going even beyond the inference to intelligence to an inference about social complexity.  That’s a lot of inference from a persistent narrowband whistle.  Is it not more credible to infer an intelligent cause for a language with sufficient entropy to generate tens of thousands of precision protein machines, like DNA?(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Stephen Hawking His Atheism

first_imgScience reporters are creating sensationalist headlines about Stephen Hawking claiming there is no God.  His new book has a title, The Grand Design, that sounds theistic but in fact claims that God is not necessary because our existence is a consequence of the law of gravity.    The headlines like PhysOrg’s “God did not create Universe: Hawking” or the BBC News quotelet, “Stephen Hawking: God did not create Universe” are misleading because this is not a new position or discovery by the ALS-afflicted physicist, but more of a restatement of his beliefs elucidated in his 10-year-old best seller, A Brief History of Time.  Roger Highfield in New Scientist says, “Hawking hasn’t changed his mind about God.”  In fact, his beliefs are as old as Einstein’s, and Spinoza’s, who believed that whatever we mean by “God” is just a restatement of the laws of physics.  Einstein famously said, “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.”  Hawking told Highfield, “If you believe in science, like I do, you believe that there are certain laws that are always obeyed.  If you like, you can say the laws are the work of God, but that is more a definition of God than a proof of his existence.”  One thing that is new is that Hawking appears to have abandoned the hope that mankind would come up with a “theory of everything” as promised in A Brief History of Time.    Craig Callender, writing for “Culture Lab” at New Scientist, had perhaps the most nuanced coverage of the latest Hawking-atheism claim.  Reviewing The Grand Design, Callender was doubtful Hawking had achieved his goal of removing a personal, intervening God from the universe.  For one thing, Hawking appears to have cast his dice on M-theory, a future hope for a reality that is only partly glimpsed by various string theories.  M-theory can also mean the set of all current string theories.  For another, Hawking’s confidence relies on an unknowable multiverse.  Callender elaborated,M-theory in either sense is far from complete.  But that doesn’t stop the authors from asserting that it explains the mysteries of existence: why there is something rather than nothing, why this set of laws and not another, and why we exist at all.  According to Hawking, enough is known about M-theory to see that God is not needed to answer these questions.  Instead, string theory points to the existence of a multiverse, and this multiverse coupled with anthropic reasoning will suffice.  Personally, I am doubtful.    Take life.  We are lucky to be alive.  Imagine all the ways physics might have precluded life: gravity could have been stronger, electrons could have been as big as basketballs and so on.  Does this intuitive “luck” warrant the postulation of God?  No.  Does it warrant the postulation of an infinity of universes?  The authors and many others think so.  In the absence of theory, though, this is nothing more than a hunch doomed – until we start watching universes come into being – to remain untested and untestable.  The lesson isn’t that we face a dilemma between God and the multiverse, but that we shouldn’t go off the rails at the first sign of coincidences.Calendar’s critical thinking was refreshing from the other articles’ regurgitations of the Hawking view, but he failed to identify what he meant by “the rails” that he thinks Hawking and his co-author Leonard Mlodinow got off of.  Where do the rails begin?  Where do they end?  What direction are they headed?  How does one know that one is on or off?    Even more alarming, Calendar asserted that Hawking’s position risks perspectivalism – an anti-realist ontology that asserts multiple independent views of reality are possible, each one model-dependent, each one hopelessly incomplete.  “This radical theory holds that there doesn’t exist, even in principle, a single comprehensive theory of the universe,” Callender explained.  “Instead, science offers many incomplete windows onto a common reality, one no more ‘true’ than another.”  This philosophy, he warned, leads to “an alarming anti-realism” that would seem to preclude any defensible position by Hawking or anyone else, because “not only does science fail to provide a single description of reality, they say, there is no theory-independent reality at all.”  Indeed, it sounds indistinguishable from postmodern relativism.  What may be true for Hawking would not be true for you or me, so why even do science?    Hawking’s assumption that laws of nature will produce guaranteed results may be vulnerable to falsification, undermining much of his world view.  The Economist printed an eye-opening story that suggests the fine-structure constant, itself dependent on several physical constants, may vary from place to place in the universe, contrary to the assumptions of most physicists for centuries.  If so, it has other consequences – that measurements of the universe’s age and distance scale might also vary, and that humans might occupy an even more privileged location in the cosmos than previously acknowledged.  Sounds like a “Grand Design” beyond Hawking’s limited view.  For more of a taste on what cosmologists can and cannot know, see the debate about dark energy theory in New Scientist, “Void that is truly empty solves dark energy puzzle.”  (If you thought a void was empty by definition, it takes a theoretical physicist to provide the necessary circumlocution.)  Surprises in cosmology in just the last decade should make it seem dubious that any living cosmologist has a firm grip on reality.You may have noticed that we added a long-overdue “Philosophy” chain link.  Many of our entries over the past decade have needed this tag.  Perhaps some day a volunteer can help add it to the back issues where appropriate.  It will include philosophy of science, history and sociology of science, and related topics that do not necessarily invoke theology (though it is arguable that philosophy, logic and reason themselves cannot be isolated from the presupposition of an all-wise, independent, immutable Mind).  A good lecture series that explores perspectivalism as a running theme in the history of science and philosophy is the Teaching Company product Science Wars by Steven Goldman (see Resource of the Week for Dec. 19, 2009).    A simple principle can make you wiser than Stephen Hawking.  Not necessarily smarter, but wiser.  It’s the ability to spot the self-refuting fallacy and its relatives: arbitrary beliefs, begging the question and unargued presuppositions.  While Hawking was busy typing away on his speech synthesizer telling us God is out of a job because the laws of nature will do all the work, he was invoking mind, reason, logic and intelligence.  None of those are laws of nature.  They deal in the rational realm of concepts.  What’s more, the concept of a “law of nature” is loaded with questions begging for answers: are laws of nature decrees of God, or mere observed patterns in experience?  In what realm do laws of nature exist, and how do they impress their will on mindless reality?  What do we mean by the fine word “nature” in the first place?  Hawking cannot employ a concept he cannot justify.    Even more devastating to Hawking’s view is that he started with something – laws of nature and a multiverse – instead of nothing.  Then he had the gall to tell us it explains why there is something instead of nothing.  The late Francis Schaeffer reminded his students that theists can turn the tables on atheists who love to invoke the “Who made God?” argument by pushing back on the “something” that they typically presume already existed: e.g., where did the laws of nature come from?  Where did gravity come from?  Where did the multiverse come from?  Schaeffer insisted that secularists cannot tell us that the universe came from nothing unless they mean nothing nothing: no laws, no fields, no quantum energy, no categories, no mind, no evolution – really nothing.  He would illustrate it by drawing a circle on a blackboard and announcing that within the circle was everything that is.  Then he would erase the circle.  Stephen Hawking’s failure to go all the way back is the latest incarnation of the “Get your own dirt” joke (see Humor Page).    Once again, Hawking and his followers cannot defend their world view without stealing goods from the Judeo-Christian smorgasbord.  One cannot get something from nothing nothing, and if something material pre-existed, it cannot be eternal by the law of entropy.  Also once again, the evidence for creation (suggested by their “anthropic reasoning” and Callender’s amazement at our luck at being alive, as if “pure dumb luck” constitutes a scientific explanation) is overwhelmingly evident to everyone.  For all his brains and education, therefore, Stephen Hawking is a fool (“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools”) for ignoring the abundant evidence for God (Romans 1:16-22).  A fool is arbitrary or inconsistent, or both.  As such, a fool can prove anything, and therefore can prove opposite things.  That’s what fools do (see Alice in Wonderland and 04/26/2010).  If you understand this, and are therefore wiser than Hawking, help him and his followers gain some wisdom.  How?  Speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).  Pray also for Stephen Hawking.  The Lord has been longsuffering with the poor sophoxymoroniac (02/02/2008 commentary), whose disease normally would have taken his life many years ago.  Pray that he will see the light in time.  Wouldn’t it be great to imagine him fully restored to perfect health in heaven?(Visited 43 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa gains from global energy expertise

first_imgThe Department of Energy hopes its partnership with the International Energy Agency will expose the local sector to untapped expertise. (Image: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Ndivhuwo Khangale Spokesperson Department of Energy +27 12 444 4283 or +27 82 465 6090  RELATED ARTICLES • Eskom to tap into public expertise • More wind power for SA • Huge savings from green light bulbs • Eskom build programme powers aheadBongani NkosiSouth Africa’s public energy sector stands to gain from increased exposure to international trends and skills, thanks to agreements signed between the Department of Energy and International Energy Agency (IEA) on 4 July 2011.The department’s minister Dipuo Peters announced the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with IEA. The MoU will help strengthen cooperation between the local industry and IEA, ensuring that the country gains advanced expertise.The agreement focuses on projects involving renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean technologies, data management and analysis, and policy analysis, among others.“This MoU will further enable us to leverage on the international expertise that the IEA embodies and will ensure streamlined cooperation where the entire sector benefits as opposed to only certain pockets of the sector,” said Peters in a media statement.IEA executives are visiting South Africa between 4 and 6 July for a bilateral conference with the Department of Energy.A strong relationship already exists between South Africa and IEA, and the MoU will take cooperation efforts a step further, said Peters.“This MoU is an important milestone for us because it seals the cooperative engagement that we enjoy with the IEA and also provides a common document which will enable both organisations to check and review the arrangement long after the two of us have left our respective portfolios.”Peters said a working group that will concentrate on ensuring that the MoU produces “tangible outputs” has been proposed for establishment.Need for new ideasWith various critical projects in the pipeline, the energy department will certainly gain from access to advanced expertise and prototype ideas.The creation of a R150-billion (US$22.2-million) solar park in Upington, Northern Cape, is currently the department’s largest venture, and it needs modern technology at its disposal to make success of it.When complete, the solar park will produce 5 000MW of power for the national grid. A section of the park is expected to start generating electricity by late 2012.The Department of Energy also has to work with state electricity utility Eskom to ensure that its upcoming major coal-fired power stations in Mpumalanga and Limpopo are not harmful to the environment.It is important for South Africa to work closely with reputable organisations as it’s looking for modern ways to expand capacity for energy generation and use, said Peters.“The IEA is one such organisation and this cooperation will ensure that we are able to catch up and are not left behind in this important global space.“This MoU is a symbol of the importance of creating conditions in which exchange of information and expertise can contribute to the reaching the goals of energy security, economic growth and environmental protection in South Africa and in the member countries of the IEA,” she added.Although South Africa is not a member of IEA, Peters said the country’s participation in its programmes is invaluable.Some 28 OECD countries belong to the IEA, which focuses on ensuring the availability of “reliable, affordable and clean” electricity among member states.“South Africa has benefited from participation in the IEA and wishes to continue deriving value from the IEA as well as also contributing to the wealth of knowledge and expertise that is embodied by the IEA,” Peters said.last_img read more

Congratulations to the Class of 2014

first_imgBrand South Africa urges Class of 2014 to Play Their Part in building our countryTop performers in the 2014 national matriculation exams at the announcement of the results on 5 January 2015.Johannesburg, Tuesday 6 January 2015 – Brand South Africa congratulates all the Class of 2014 for successfully concluding their formal school careers. We wish the matriculants well as they pursue opportunities beyond the walls of their schools and urge them to play their part to positively contribute towards building our country.South Africa has produced sterling examples of how dynamic, tenacious and inspiring young people can play their part to fly our national flag beyond our shores including, amongst others, Mandla Maseko who is the first black South African astronaut as well as Siya Xuza who has had a minor planet named after him by NASA based on his ground-breaking work. A little piece of South Africa lives in space through the planet named Siyaxuza.South African’s such as Siya and Mandla show us why it is critical that the National Development Plan be implemented with haste since all young people in our country must be empowered to achieve their full potential which will contribute to our country’s global competitiveness and reputation.The NDP has adopted a “youth lens” in preparing its proposals to ensure young people become active, contributing citizens and will see young people receiving quality education – particularly around maths and science programmes, skills transfer and training.The NDP also prioritises leadership as a pillar our country’s growth and development. The building of leaders begins at the foundation stages of a child’s life and the education system as well as the community must be part of this process. Leaders are not built by governments rather by families and communities. How can we therefore play our part to ensure that we nurture the development of leaders in, amongst others, our homes, communities, workplaces? This is something that all South Africans must begin to reflect on.To the class of 2015, Brand South Africa encourages you to take up the challenge to improve upon the 2014 matric results and to grow the skills base that South Africa has to offer. We wish you luck in the year ahead and urge to seize all the opportunities this county has to offer.Notes to the editorAbout the 2014 Matriculation exams• A total of 688 660 candidates were registered to write the year-end examination• Of this number, 550 127 were full time students• Kwazulu-Natal had the largest group of full time candidates and Gauteng had the lowest• Girls dominated the cohort of 2014 candidates, making up 54.6 per cent of the matric group• Examinations were written across 6740 locations with 65 000 invigilators overseeing the five-week writing period• A total of 41 000 markers at 118 marking venues then tackled the assessment of the examination papers produced.About Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, helping to improve its global competitiveness. It also aims to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, contributing to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.About Play Your PartPlay Your Part is a nationwide campaign created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.More resources from Brand South AfricaMedia are invited to visit SouthAfrica.info and Media Club South Africa for further resources that can be reproduced without any copyright infringement. Kindly attribute to Brand South Africa.last_img read more

Justices adopt digitalage privacy rules to track cellphones

first_imgWASHINGTON – Police generally need a warrant to look at records that reveal where cellphone users have been, the Supreme Court ruled Friday in a big victory for privacy interests in the digital age.The justices’ 5-4 decision marks a big change in how police may obtain information that phone companies collect from the ubiquitous cellphone towers that allow people to make and receive calls, and transmit data. The information has become an important tool in criminal investigations.Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by the court’s four liberals, said cellphone location information “is detailed, encyclopedic and effortlessly compiled.” Roberts wrote that “an individual maintains a legitimate expectation of privacy in the record of his physical movements” as they are captured by cellphone towers.Roberts said the court’s decision is limited to cellphone tracking information and does not affect other business records, including those held by banks. He also wrote that police still can respond to an emergency and obtain records without a warrant.But the dissenting conservative justices, Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, cast doubt on Roberts’ claim that the decision was limited. Each wrote a dissenting opinion and Kennedy said in his that the court’s “new and uncharted course will inhibit law enforcement” and “keep defendants and judges guessing for years to come.”Roberts does not often line up with his liberal colleagues against a unified front of conservative justices, but digital-age privacy cases can cross ideological lines, as when the court unanimously said in 2014 that a warrant is needed before police can search the cellphone of someone they’ve just arrested.The court ruled Friday in the case of Timothy Carpenter, who was sentenced to 116 years in prison for his role in a string of robberies of Radio Shack and T-Mobile stores in Michigan and Ohio. Cell tower records spanning 127 days, which investigators got without a warrant, bolstered the case against Carpenter.Investigators obtained the records with a court order that requires a lower standard than the “probable cause” needed for a warrant. “Probable cause” requires strong evidence that a person has committed a crime.The judge at Carpenter’s trial refused to suppress the records, finding no warrant was needed, and a federal appeals court agreed. The Trump administration said the lower court decisions should be upheld.The American Civil Liberties Union, representing Carpenter, said a warrant would provide protection against unjustified government snooping.“This is a groundbreaking victory for Americans’ privacy rights in the digital age. The Supreme Court has given privacy law an update that it has badly needed for many years, finally bringing it in line with the realities of modern life,” said ACLU attorney Nathan Freed Wessler, who argued the Supreme Court case in November.The administration relied in part on a 1979 Supreme Court decision that treated phone records differently than the conversation in a phone call, for which a warrant generally is required.The earlier case involved a single home telephone and the court said then that people had no expectation of privacy in the records of calls made and kept by the phone company.“The government’s position fails to contend with the seismic shifts in digital technology that made possible the tracking of not only Carpenter’s location but also everyone else’s, not for a short period but for years and years,” Roberts wrote.The court decided the 1979 case before the digital age, and even the law on which prosecutors relied to obtain an order for Carpenter’s records dates from 1986, when few people had cellphones.The Supreme Court in recent years has acknowledged technology’s effects on privacy. In 2014, Roberts also wrote the opinion that police must generally get a warrant to search the cellphones of people they arrest. Other items people carry with them may be looked at without a warrant, after an arrest.Roberts said then that a cellphone is almost “a feature of human anatomy.” On Friday, he returned to the metaphor to note that a phone “faithfully follows its owner beyond public thoroughfares and into private residences, doctor’s offices, political headquarters, and other potentially revealing locales.”As a result, he said, “when the government tracks the location of a cellphone it achieves near perfect surveillance, as if it had attached an ankle monitor to the phone’s user.”Even with the court’s ruling in Carpenter’s favour, it’s too soon to know whether he will benefit from Friday’s decision, said Harold Gurewitz, Carpenter’s lawyer in Detroit. The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will have to evaluate whether the cellphone tracking records can still be used against Carpenter under the “good faith” exception for law enforcement — evidence should not necessarily be thrown out if authorities obtained it in a way they thought the law required. There also is other evidence implicating Carpenter that might be sufficient to sustain his conviction.last_img read more