Diego Costa in scoring slump before Atletico hosts Barcelona

first_imgFILE – In this Thursday, April 26, 2018 file photo, Altetico’s Diego Costa sits on the bench before the Europa League semifinal first leg soccer match between Arsenal FC and Atletico Madrid at Emirates Stadium in London. Costa hasn’t scored in the Spanish league this season, and he will be under even more pressure to end that slump when Atletico Madrid hosts Barcelona on Saturday Nov. 24, 2018 with the Liga lead on the line. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)BARCELONA, Spain — With his imposing frame, aggressive attitude and talent for scoring difficult goals, Diego Costa has rightfully earned his reputation as a terror for defenders.But that status is in serious danger after a scoring drought in the Spanish league that dates back to February.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew After an erratic start to his career when he was loaned out to several smaller clubs, Costa found a backer when Simeone took over the team in 2011. The match was perfect. Costa gave Simeone the enforcer on the field that he needed to inspire his code of maximum effort from his players.The result was the club’s most successful era. Costa helped win the 2013 Copa del Rey title and was the driving force in attack for Atletico’s 2014 league win.“He gives us strength and energy,” Simeone said about Costa last month. “It is important to have his personality and force. … He gives a boost to our fans, his teammates and our coaching staff.”Costa returned to Atletico midway through last season after spending three years at Chelsea, where he won two Premier League titles. Despite only scoring three goals in the league, he helped Atletico win the Europa League title and finish second to Barcelona in the league.After scoring three goals for Spain at the World Cup, the Costa of old appeared to have resurfaced at the start of this season when he netted two goals in a 4-2 win over Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in August. But his only other goal in any competition since then came on Sept. 18 when he scored in a 2-1 win at Monaco in the Champions League.ADVERTISEMENT Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college The 30-year-old Costa hasn’t scored in nine appearances for Atletico Madrid in the league this season, partly because he has been hampered by two muscle injuries which have also cost him a place on Spain’s national team.Saturday offers an ideal scenario for Costa to break out of his slump when Atletico hosts Barcelona on Saturday with the league lead on the line. Barcelona leads the competition by one point ahead of three teams, including Atletico in third place.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissCosta is expected to be cleared to play against Barcelona after returning to practice this week following an international break.True to coach Diego Simeone’s emphasis on keeping a clean sheet, Atletico is in the title hunt thanks to a stingy defense that has given it six wins, five draws and one loss. The team leads the league with only eight goals allowed, while scoring 16. That contrasts with Barcelona, which has scored a league-leading 34 times and conceded 18 goals. Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title JaVale McGee flourishing in opportunity with LeBron, Lakers Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil MOST READ Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Simeone still values Costa’s contributions even when he is not scoring goals. That said, Costa’s problem is not a question of lacking his scoring touch or running across inspired goalkeepers.He is not producing the scoring chances of a top-notch striker.Costa has only managed to generate seven shots in the league this season. Teammate Antoine Griezmann has three goals from 24 shots, while Barcelona counterpart Luis Suarez has scored nine goals from 36 shots.And it seems that Simeone may be losing faith in the player.Simeone substituted Costa at halftime of the 3-2 win over Athletic Bilbao after seeing he was incapable of threatening to score or set up a teammate.Simeone, however, doesn’t have a great second option if he wants to sit Costa against Barcelona. His only other true striker is the untested Nikola Kalinic. Otherwise, he could align another playmaker like Angel Correa or forwards Victor “Vitolo” Machin or Gelson Martins, or just bulk up his defense to slow down Lionel Messi.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

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Cara Lodge Hotel turns 20

first_img― honours Mercy Boys HomeThe Cara Lodge Hotel has celebrated its 20th anniversary. The business marked this event by hosting an awards ceremony for its staff.  One of the two founders of Cara Hotels, Shaun McGrath, explained how he and fellow co-founder, Paul Stephenson, conceptualised the business in 1996 after they were approached by Heritage. Cara Lodge is the former Woodbine House. Nine employees with 20 years of service and seven with 10 years of service were specially honoured as the company recently celebrated its anniversary.Founders and owners of the Hotel, Shaun McGrath and Paul Stephenson“The House has seen a number of special visitors from Edward VIII when he was Prince of Wales; the home of the first local Mayor of Georgetown, G B Forshaw; and the first ballet school. Since becoming Cara Lodge, the historic hotel has welcomed Princes Charles, Andrew and Edward, President Carter and Mick Jagger and numerous other guests from around the world,” a press statement noted.It was further noted that at time of its opening, Cara Lodge offered 14 hotel rooms; but a new wing with an additional 22 rooms was added later on – notably, the Woodbine Room and the Ballet Room.Davina Stephenson who represented co-founder Paul Stephenson observed that “over 50 per cent” of the hotel’s staff has 10 years of service.The release noted that Cara Lodge intends to sponsor the publication of a book of the articles and research of Guyanese historian, Sister Noel Menezes.“Cara will also be offering an internship to one of the boys living at the Mercy Boys Home (which caters to youths aged 16 and above. The Home prepares them for life outside of the orphanage). Cara will also take one lucky young man and train him in all departments at Cara Lodge for 18 months and then send him to their sister hotel, Cara Suites in Trinidad for junior management training lasting six months and will guarantee a job at Cara at the end of the training period if he so wishes,” the release added.Cara Lodge staff honoured for over 10 and 20 years of serviceReceiving the gifts on behalf of Sister Noel and the Mercy Home, June Mendes noted that the printing of Sister Noel’s works will afford Guyanese the opportunity to read their history.Business Minister Dominic Gaskin, was also present at the event. He congratulated the hotel for its “long service to Guyana and to Guyana’s tourism”.last_img read more

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Police, Immigration, Joint Security, Please Find Caroline’s Baby

first_imgObserver Correspondent Omari Jackson’s sad and tragic story of the sudden disappearance of Caroline Wolo’s two-day-old infant daughter has alarmed the entire nation. It calls immediate action by the Police, Immigration and the entire Joint Security to find Caroline’s baby and return her safely to the mother.It is always amazing that evil and criminally-minded people would, for reasons no one can understand, go so far to inflict distress and anguish upon other people, such as this alleged baby thief has done.Many questions come to mind. Why did the mother and father leave their infant daughter even for one moment with someone they did not know? Who is this lady, known only as “Chantal?” If indeed she had been living in the United States, how long had she been in Liberia?  If she intends to take the infant back to the States, how will she get a passport for the child?  Tenema Sirleaf, Director of Passports, should be immediately alerted to watch out for any babies for whom passports are being sought; such persons should be extensively questioned, with birth certificates produced and rigorously authenticated.How did the parents, especially a mother just coming from the hospital after giving birth, agree to go cook palm butter, one of the most time-consuming Liberian dishes to prepare, for someone she did not know?Couldn’t the boyfriend detect any suspicious when the woman sent him on an errand while the baby’s mother was busy in the kitchen?  What time did the baby ma have to go prepare palm butter when she should have been minding her baby?Is it possible that the baby thief plans to smuggle the infant out of the country?  That is where the Police,  Immigration and the entire Joint Security should be on the massive and widespread alert, not only at air and sea ports, but at ALL Immigration checkpoints throughout the country.  Every handbag, box, parcel, or suitcase or even kinjah should be thoroughly and rigorously checked.In addition, ALL neighborhoods and suburbs in Greater Monrovia should be thoroughly searched to find Caroline’s baby.The mother and father should give a detailed description to the woman, Chantal, and have an artist do a sketch of her that can be posted throughout the city and at the various out of town bus and taxi stations.  The Daily Observer volunteers its Artist and Cartoonist, Leslie Lumeh, to undertake this task.  We would be willing to underwrite the cost–paper, pencils and inks–in this emergency situation.  The sketch should be placarded throughout the country to intensify the man (woman) hunt.The issue of women looking meticulous (carefully, fussily) after their babies and even older children can never be overemphasized.  There are all kinds of reasons why evil minded people engage in such nefarious practices.  It may not be a woman looking for a baby she does not have.  It may very well be–and we desperately hope and pray that it is not–for ritualistic purposes.  Is Chantal–or whatever her name is–looking for a husband of her own and some medicine man told her to go bring an infant as sacrifice?  Or was she looking for money?  What could be the reason for her engaging in so despicable an act?Whatever the reason, our Security forces have a major challenge on their hands, and the sooner they tackle it, with extraordinary vigilance and vigor, the better.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Convicted murderer gets additional 22 years

first_imgConvicted murderer Lakeraj Fredericks was on Monday handed an additional prison term of 22 years, for killing another individual just a few days after he had murdered his own relative.Convicted murderer: Lakeraj FredericksIn May last year, Fredericks was sentenced to a total of 65 years by Justice Navindra Singh for brutally executing his brother-in-law Clifton Bonus on June 3, 2011.The 38-year-old farmer and father of two of La Grange, West Bank Demerara (WBD) on Monday admitted to unlawfully killing Vernon Romaldo, who was stabbed twice to the chest at Land of Canaan, East Bank Demerara.Attorney-at-law Maxwell McKay appeared for Fredericks. Counsels Lisa Cave and Mandell Moore appeared for the State. Fredericks agreed with the Prosecution’s facts that during a late-night drinking spree on June 10, 2011, he committed the act, which caused Romaldo to die the following day.The court heard that Fredericks, Romaldo’s brother and Romaldo were imbibing at the home of the sister of the deceased. During the night, an argument ensued, and the woman admonished them to stop arguing.After retiring to bed, she was awoken by her brother’s groaning, and she saw him lying in a chair. She did not see the accused, but noticed the back door open. The Police were contacted, and her brother died on arrival at the hospital.In pleading to the lesser count of manslaughter, Fredericks told the court that he and the two brothers were drinking rum that he had bought. He turned and apologised to Romaldo’s many relatives at court, telling them that he was not in his right frame of mind.The murder convict begged for mercy, citing several scripture verses and noting that “a man who confesses his sins shall gain forgiveness”, but Justice Kissoon found that the actions of Fredericks were premeditated given that both the killings of Romaldo and Bonus had stemmed from disputes over the farmer’s marijuana cultivation.The judge said that while the matters were separately indicted, Fredericks’s actions could not be viewed as isolated incidents.Justice Kissoon started the sentence at a base of 30 years, and subtracted a total of 14 years for his guilty plea, acceptance of his crime, time spent on remand, and for him “bearing his soul to the mercy of God”. Justice Kissoon, however, added six years for aggravating factors that stemmed from the offender’s premeditation.Speaking to Guyana Times moments after being sentenced, the convict said he had expected leniency, but conceded that the prison term was not harsh. The now baptized man added that he would continue to turn his life around, even claiming that he would stop using marijuana.“Being behind bars, I will be going to church. I glad that God find me in prison, and I will live my life good in prison, because I already lived seven years there and I don’t get no problem,” the offender highlighted.His past actions, however, caused Romaldo to die from perforation of the kidney and stomach via 2 stab wounds. Just days prior to this incident, he had shot his brother-in- law Clifton Bonus twice to the head with .32 calibre pistol at a marijuana field at Old England Backdam in Linden.Fredericks was jointly charged with a then 16-year-old accomplice who had allegedly helped him to bury Bonus’s body, but the teenager was released after a no-case submission was upheld in the Magistrates’ Courts. (Shemuel Fanfair)last_img read more

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Zombies to roam Centennial Park Saturday afternoon

first_imgPrizes will be awarded for the best costumes, and there will be a photo booth on site as well.Last year’s event brought in 676 pounds for the food bank and over 300 people took partEveryone is welcome to attend as the walk is primarily attended by children and families. People are encouraged to bring non perishable food items once again this year for the Fort St. John Salvation Army Food Bank.- Advertisement –last_img

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Officials debate veterans project

first_imgLA PUENTE – A councilman wants to build a veterans monument in the city. Councilman John Solis requested that the city’s staff look into constructing a veterans memorial park on an empty triangular patch of land at Central Avenue and Abbey Street. But some council members said they are concerned with the idea of putting something new on the budget considering the stalled projects the city is having trouble funding. “Off the top of my head, there are six or seven projects that are not complete,” Councilman Louie Lujan said. “Not only are they not complete, the costs are increasing dramatically. I personally would rather have staff resources and time focusing on how to get the youth center done than I would building a memorial.” The city has a memorial honoring all veterans in front of City Hall. The concrete slab, built 10 years ago, includes La Puente’s seal and a dedication plaque. “The problem is there are always kids on skateboards riding around,” Solis said. “(The veterans) don’t have the time to go and reflect on the war.” At the patch of land at Central Avenue and Abbey Street, Solis envisions a concrete slab with monikers from all services and benches where veterans can sit and meditate. While Lujan stressed his support of veterans – his father was in the Army – he brought up concerns about the way in which Solis brought the idea to the table. “If he were to set a precedent, any council member could bring a major project to the agenda and get it passed while ignoring the realities of our budget,” Lujan said. “That’s a dangerous precedent to set.” Mayor Lou Perez also raised concerns about the proposed site. “The city once had a welcome sign there and it got hit by a car,” he said. “I would hate to have a veteran meditating there and a car comes plowing right through them.” But the most pressing issue for the two officials seems to be cost. La Puente has limited staff and money, Lujan said, and a project like this won’t be cheap. “Because of the location, we’re talking engineering, traffic studies … This could take a least a year for analysis,” he said. “And once it’s built, we’re looking at the cost of upkeep, staffing.” According to Baldwin Park city officials, a similar project there cost about $35,000. Solis said he is looking at ways to raise money and said that in La Puente, city maintenance workers could handle landscaping and installation of benches, with little impact to the budget. “Just because we take on this project, doesn’t mean we can’t do anything else,” he said. Perez questioned having two memorials, considering all the work local veterans groups put into the memorial at City Hall. “Are we going to have two monuments – two ceremonies when it’s Veterans Day? I wonder what they’ll think of that,” he said. Dan Holloway – who was on the committee to build the memorial at City Hall – said he is in support of the research. “I would like to see the staff report to see if another memorial, banners on flagpoles honoring those currently serving or some other method would be best to accomplish this,” he said. City Manager Carol Cowley said staff will be contacting other cities and will have a report ready by December, in time for the midyear budget review. One La Puente resident and veteran who supported the idea said he hoped the city would consider the second monument. “That would be great to have something close by,” La Puente resident and World War II veteran Tony Mesa said. “We’re in passing stages now. It’d be nice to know there is such a memorial for guys like me when we go away.” tania.chatila@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2109160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Trojans are road warriors

first_imgLINCOLN, Neb. – USC’s Trojans did their Caesar- in-Gaul thing again. They came. They saw. They kicked serious butt. Veni, vidi, victim. As in 2003, 2004 and 2006, USC has an early signature victory ? a blowout, actually ? on its resume. The home team is left to deal with the embarrassment of being trashed in its own house. And the disappointed folks behind the Trojans in the polls (hello, LSU and Oklahoma) have to hope USC fails some other test somewhere down the line because the Trojans just burnished their reputation in an intersectional game before a very large audience. In 2003, USC opened at sixth-ranked Auburn and won, 23-0. In 2004, USC began the season before an overwhelmingly pro-Virginia Tech crowd in Landover, Md., and won, 24-13. In 2006, USC traveled to Arkansas and bombed the Razorbacks back to the Stone Age, 50-14. If you want to include Hawaii among “traditional powers” (and the Rainbows are working on it), USC is five-for-five in early-season, away-from-home thrashings. USC opened with a 63-17 blitz at Hawaii in 2005. Not for the first time, the Trojans were deemed to be ripe for the picking as they settled into their hotel. To listen to Nebraska analysts, the Trojans were as vulnerable as Lillian Gish. They had won “only” 28-10 in the team’s meeting at the Coliseum a year ago, and the Big Red Nation was convinced its team had improved dramatically. There was other fodder for doubters, including this one. Start with USC’s underwhelming 38-10 performance against Idaho two weeks before. Questions were raised about the competence of USC’s receivers. They had scads of tailbacks, but did they have one who could carry a load? Was John David Booty all that? And were the Trojans? All those questions were answered in a burst of five touchdowns on five possessions just before and after halftime. USC went from 10-7 down to 42-10 up faster than you could say “that’s why we’re No. 1.” The breakout star was sophomore tailback Stafon Johnson, of whom USC coaches have been raving since last spring – when he jumped up the depth chart from irrelevant to in-the-mix. With Nebraska concentrating early on stopping Booty, Heisman Trophy candidate, Johnson blistered the Huskers for 144 yards and a touchdown on only 11 carries, appearing to stamp himself as The Man among the crowd of USC tailbacks. He was quick, elusive and powerful. If and when the Trojans next get in a tight game we would expect Johnson to get most of the work. USC’s line dominated proceedings when the game was being decided, bashing open enormous holes in the Nebraska front seven. USC finished with 326 rushing yards. And while the offense was doing its thing, USC’s defense throttled Nebraska and quarterback Sam Keller, who failed to get a first down ahead of the four USC touchdowns that got the game to 42-10. When it was over, USC had scored more points in Lincoln than any Nebraska opponent since Minnesota rolled up 61 in 1945. And only two late Cornhuskers touchdowns against USC’s second-team defense kept the Nebraska margin-of-home-defeat from historic depths, as well. What does it all mean? It means this USC team can be, in fact, very good. As opposed to, say, the Bruins. It means USC has a tailback to go with a quarterback, and at least some candidates (David Ausberry, Patrick Turner) for the go-to receiver job. And it seems clear nothing focuses Pete Carroll’s Trojans like traveling long distances to play somebody of whom they’ve actually heard. Someone who allegedly can hang with them, push them, maybe even knock them down. Virginia and Ohio State may want to take note. They get USC at home in early 2008 and 2009, respectively. Might want to start planning where the women and children will be hidden. paul.oberjuerge@sbsun.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! For the fourth time in five seasons, the Trojans made an early-season incursion into a traditional power’s territory … and tore out their hearts. On national TV. This time, it was Nebraska. A proud, history-suffused program with a roaring, capacity crowd to boost the 14th-ranked Cornhuskers. Put to the sword by the top- ranked Trojans. USC 49, Nebraska 31 at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, and it wasn’t remotely that close. last_img read more

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Empty Promises from Darwin Storytellers

first_imgMainstream science media cast a false illusion of Darwinism’s success by making promises in the headlines that the articles don’t deliver.If all you read are the headlines at major science sites, you are being tricked when it comes to evolution. They regularly announce that some evolutionary mystery has been solved, but then the details down below don’t show that. The headline promises a scientific explanation, in the form, “How the [whatever] got its [whatzit],” but then all you read is a Kipling-like just-so story. Reporters and journals seem preoccupied with making Darwin look good at all costs. Below are some examples of the Darwin media racket at work.First, however, some clarity: Darwinian evolution is not just about “change.” Ultimately, it’s about design without a designer. Darwin presumed to explain all of life from a common ancestor, presumably a primitive cell. Think of the major innovations that had to take place: eyes, wings, ears – all your body’s systems had to come from natural selection acting on random mutations. Since creationists believe that small degrees of variation and degeneration happen within created kinds, Darwinians must distinguish their theory from those kinds of “change.” Darwin tried to explain a special kind of change: a ratcheting up of increased functional complexity by unguided natural processes that blindly generated whole new cell types, tissues, organs and body plans. That’s what we are looking for in the following articles.Keeping our balance: A tale of two systems (Science Daily). This article promises an explanation for human balance starting with the first tetrapods crawling out of the sea. Perhaps the emphasis in the headline should be on “tale,” because it only describes two signaling systems in the brain, then assumes they are “related to the major evolutionary changes in our pasts” without explaining how either system arose by random mutations and natural selection.DNA clue to how humans evolved big brains (BBC News): Once upon a time, this article says, a point mutation turned apes into humans. How is that possible? Well, Helen Briggs writes, the species of Homo all have a gene that is absent in chimpanzees. Is that it? Ratcheting up her perhapsimaybecouldness index, she continues, “It may have paved the way for the brain’s expansion by dramatically boosting the number of brain cells found in this region.” Surely there’s more to intelligence than the number of brain cells. “Still, many questions remain about how early humans evolved larger brains,” Briggs says, giving herself an escape hatch. “It is likely that the gene is one of many genetic changes that gave humans their unique intelligence and thinking ability.” Those last sentences effectively erase the promise in the headline.Snakes Used to Have Legs and Arms … Until These Mutations Happened (Live Science). Since Laura Geggel only points out loss of function, this article does not score points for Darwinian evolution. Same for National Geographic‘s coverage, “Snakes Evolved Out of Their Legs—but They Still Have the Gene.” Some creationists will have a different explanation. The original paper from Current Biology makes it clear this is not a story of innovation: it only raises “the possibility that re-emergence of hindlimbs during snake evolution did not require de novo re-evolution of lost structures but instead could have resulted from persistence of embryonic legs.”Scottish fossils tell story of first life on land (BBC News). Helen Briggs is at it again, telling a “story” about evolution. Tetrapod hunter Jennifer Clack is the heroine, who found five complete fossils of animals in Scotland that she says are 355 million years old. Nick Fraser, her colleague, started having ecstatic visions.“These are the oldest animals with four legs that were able to move around on land,” he said.“If you want to draw the analogy to Neil Armstrong’s first step on the Moon – it was one small step for man but a giant leap for mankind, well, this in some ways is a small step out of the water for these animals but it’s a giant leap forward for the future evolution of life on land.““Without this step of vertebrates – animals with backbones – coming on to land, we wouldn’t be here, birds wouldn’t be here, crocodiles wouldn’t be here, lizards, frogs, dinosaurs would never have roamed the Earth – all these things would not have evolved,” he told BBC News.Yet the fossils resemble those of newts and even crocodiles. We have those today. There is nothing about random mutations and natural selection producing all the coordinated structures and systems required to move about on land.Biologists discover origin of stomata (Science Daily). This article doesn’t deliver on the headline’s promise. It only shows that mosses had some commonalities with the stomata (gas exchange pores) of higher plants, then presumes they “came into being” from a common ancestor. Came into being? How? There’s no explanation how the first stoma arose by random mutation and natural selection. It doesn’t matter; a true believer can make a Darwin mountain out of the slightest of molehills. That makes Ralf Reski tied for SEQOTW, where he masks a vacuous explanation with phrases like “the development of” and “originated.” How, exactly?“Our results show that the development of stomata originated over 400 million years ago and predated the development of roots, stems, and leaves,” explains Reski. “This evolutionary innovation fundamentally changed the global cycles of carbon, water, and energy and thus was a prerequisite for all life forms on the mainland, including us humans.“‘Bickering’ flies make evolutionary point: Biologist shows how aggression among fruit flies alters social environments (Science Daily). Some male flies stand and bat each other, proving that humans have bacteria ancestors. Next.Flower forms in the primrose: Biologists unlock 51.7-million-year-old genetic secret to landmark Darwin theory (Science Daily). This article promises to vindicate Darwin by solving the secret of a “landmark theory” of his. “Darwin hypothesised that some plant species with two distinct forms of flower, where male and female reproductive organs were of differing lengths, had evolved that way to promote out-crossing by insect pollinators.” But since this involves minor changes in length to existing organs in one genus of flower, it is something creationists would accept as fitting their explanation that organisms reproduce within their own created kind. Yet the researchers from the University of East Anglia gush on Darwin, saying “To identify the genes which control the biology noted by Darwin is an exciting moment.” They call this minor change “a key evolutionary innovation of flowering plants,” a gross exaggeration.New Just-So StoriesHow Humans Lost Their Tail, Twice (Live Science). Apparently Jen Viegas didn’t get the message that the “vestigial tail” idea is caput, and so is the old Haeckel recapitulation theory. She perpetuates these myths in this account of a so-called tail in the human embryo, which actually is not a useless vestige at all, nor is the coccyx, to which important muscles are attached. Sample from the just-so story: “The origins of this mysterious vestigial tail go back to fish.” Viegas weaves a tale about two tails that disappeared. Does this help Darwin? “This discovery overturns at least two centuries of scientific belief that the modern adult fish tail fin was simply added to the end of an ancestral tail shared with land animals,” she says. Misunderstanding evolutionary theory, she describes why tails are good things to have if you walk on all fours, without explaining how blind, random mutations could produce an organ system involving structure, nerves, and muscles.Fish that evolved to become semi-aquatic and then land-dwelling animals lost the flexible back fin, but kept the fleshier one that over time became the familiar appendage we now see on dogs, cats, cows and many other animals. As dogs show, tails are useful for visual communication, slapping away flying insects and other functions.Adult apes, including human ancestors, took the tail loss process a step further, [Lauren] Sallan said, “losing the remaining bony tail for better upright movement. Like fish, the remnants of an embryonic bony tail are buried in our lower backs—the coccyx or tailbone—stunted by a loss of molecular signals that would otherwise cause it to grow out like an arm or leg. Thus, humans and fish embryos share mechanisms for controlling tail form.”Since apes and humans don’t have them, the story goes, tails must have gotten in the way of upright walking. So did the apes choose to get rid of their tails by intelligent design? Neo-Darwinism doesn’t work that way. It’s not teleological. It cannot say, “A tail would be useful, therefore I will evolve it” or “This tail gets in my way, so I will get rid of it.” If a “mechanism” controls something, it’s not happening by accident.Why the flounder is flat (Science Daily), or Why baby flatfish grow into the wonkiest animals in the world (New Scientist). “The puzzle of how these changes could occur in the course of evolution has been intriguing scientists for a long time,” the first article says. “Even Darwin was at a loss to explain the ‘remarkable peculiarity’ of flatfish anatomy.” Coming to rescue Darwin from his embarrassment, an international team compared two genomes and found the key: “a key developmental trigger: retinoic acid.” This magic acid has wondrous powers. It makes the eyes move to the top of the head, while simultaneously altering the fish’s pigment cells, conferring camouflage. To help readers buy the idea, the evolutionists appeal to their culinary instincts: “Understanding how these unique creatures develop not only solves a long-standing evolutionary puzzle, it also serves the fishing industry and helps feed a continuously growing population.” New Scientist, by contrast, tries to keep things Darwinian, using the power of unsupported assertion combined with suggestion and the Stuff Happens Law: “The process probably evolved from a random mutation that was naturally selected due to its advantage at the bottom of the ocean,” reporter Alice Klein writes.How the peacock got its tail, or “Study explains evolution phenomenon that puzzled Darwin” (Science Daily). Why do deer grow unwieldly antlers and horned beetles grow horns so large they handicap the insect? Even the master Darwin couldn’t figure this out, the authors from Northwestern claim, as they set themselves up to prop up Darwin. Playing natural selection and sexual selection off each other, they have a new idea: “Animals with extravagant ornaments are showing just how fit and strong they are — that they can overcome the costs of these ornaments — and this attracts the opposite sex,” according to study author Daniel Abrams. But this idea is “completely independent of the underlying genetic mechanism that causes these ornaments to grow,” another scientist says (and considers “fascinating”). How wearing a ball-and-chain structure shows fitness is not explained, nor why the opposite sex finds them attractive. But if the story has no genetic mechanism, how can it function as a scientific theory? It’s a just-so story, wherein animals seem to decide to grow ornaments the same way some people go shopping for jewelry or clothes to look trendy. Next thing you know, Abrams will have deer and beetles holding fashion shows.Are caesareans really making us evolve to have bigger babies? (New Scientist). Even Clare Wilson can’t stomach this evolutionary tale by Philipp Mitteroecker of the University of Vienna, Austria. It’s not that evolution can’t happen fast, she says, but “even if evolution is having an effect, it would be hard to disentangle from all the other factors driving the rise in C-sections.” Don’t doctors use intelligence to make such decisions? If evolution is as fast and creative as Darwinians believe, perhaps moms and their doctors can look forward to the day when natural selection puts zippers on pregnant mother’s abdomens.Vacuous yet alluring, a worse shell game pretending to explain nature has never been foisted on the mind of man than Darwinian evolution. Yet there is hope. If a discovery can overturn “at least two centuries of scientific belief,” then continued unmasking of Charlie’s Grand Myth, like we do regularly here at CEH, might one day topple the idol of the Bearded Buddha. Keep the pressure on.Not being the type to cast aspersions on well-meaning suckers who’ve only been taught Darwinism from their youth up, we’ll cast a Spurgeon instead—some quotes from Charles H. Spurgeon, the enormously popular preacher of London who was a contemporary of the other Charles:“The worst sort of clever men are those who know better than the Bible and are so learned that they believe that the world had no Maker, and that men are only monkeys with their tails rubbed off.““You cannot convince the simplest boy in the street that somehow or other he was developed from an oyster, or some creature inferior to that, and yet these profound thinkers bow down to such a belief as this.”“Within fifty years children in the school will read of extraordinary popular delusions, and this will be mentioned as one of the most absurd of them.”“The philosophy now in vogue labours to shut God out of his own creation. They inform us that by some means this world and all that is therein were evolved. Even this will not long content the men of progress: they care nothing for evolution in itself, but only so far as it may serve their purpose of escaping from the thought of God.““Notwithstanding all that great men may say about what they evolve from their own consciousness, I think that the only thing a man can evolve from his own consciousness is folly and sin; for there is nothing else there.““They will speak, amid roars of laughter, of evolution; and the day will come, when there will not be a child but will look upon it as being the most foolish notion that ever crossed the human mind.“(Visited 98 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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The Best GoPro Alternatives in 2016

first_imgPolaroid Cube HDImage via PolaroidGeared more towards casual, on-the-fly videography, the Polaroid Cube is one of the simplest action cameras on the market. It covers the basics, like photography and 1080P video, but doesn’t offer much beyond that.Not factory-waterproof, nor built to sustain heavy impacts, the Cube is best for capturing risk-free moments. With a 124-degree lens (significantly narrower than the Xiaomi) it provides a flatter, more honest image than other similar cameras. Possibly the coolest feature of the Cube is the magnetic base. If you’re looking for a pocket-sized device that you can instantly shoot with at any moment, the Polaroid Cube is likely what you need.Price: $80-$100 USDBattery Life: 1.5 hours of recordingVideo Quality: 1080P [30FPS]Maximum Card Size: 32GBImage Stabilization: NoExternal Audio: NoWiFi: NoMegapixels: 6MPPROS:Magnetic mountCan record indefinitely when chargingEasy to useCONS:Records .MOV formatNo burst photosVideo clips are broken into 5-minute segments1080P compresses audio more than 720P Sony FDR-X1000V/WImage via SonyBy far the most popular alternative to the GoPro, Sony’s camera is built like many action cameras were prior to the success of GoPro. The cylindrical shape makes it a bit more flexible in many mounting situations (especially on helmets), and with the help of a Zeiss lens and Sony’s fantastic sensor technology, it produces stunning, wide-angle video quality that in many ways even trumps that of the GoPro Hero 4 Black. Despite occasional complaints regarding the clunky software and the camera’s limitations in 4K (e.g. no image stabilization and halved battery life), the camera has received overall positive feedback.It includes GPS functionality, but only records basic data like speed and timing. Though it isn’t built quite as tough as its competitors, it compensates for it with high-fidelity images, multiple accessory bundle options, and its notable WiFi capabilities (multi-camera control and live streaming). If you’re more concerned about how your footage looks than the conditions under which it is shot, this is probably the best choice for you.Price: $398 USDBattery Life: 50 minutes to 2 hours of recordingVideo Quality: 4K [30FPS], 1080P [120FPS], 720P [240FPS]Maximum Card Size: 64GBImage Stabilization: Yes [Digital]External Audio: YesWiFi: YesMegapixels: 12.8MP [10FPS burst]PROS:Accessory bundle optionsExcellent video qualityZeiss LensBuilt-in tripod mountMulti-camera simultaneous WiFi supportMany recording modesWide Field of ViewLivestream capabilitiesIn-Camera editingVersatile ShapeCONS:Only waterproof up to 3 metersFisheye distortionLess durable than competitorsClunky softwareLow photo resolutionDoes not support cards over 64GB The GoPro Hero has established itself as the preferred action camera for everyone from adrenaline junkies to budget filmmakers — but there are other options. Here are a few of the best GoPro alternatives.Top image via PolaroidGoPro rules the action camera marketplace, but there are plenty of reasonably priced alternatives to be found. Let’s take a look at some of the best GoPro alternatives available in 2016.Xiaomi YiImage via XiaoyiArguably the best bang for your buck on this list, the Xiaomi Yi is a Chinese GoPro lookalike with surprisingly impressive performance considering the price.Unfortunately, it doesn’t include any accessories, and it is only compatible with Android phones. Featuring a f2.8, 155-degree lens and a plethora of video modes to choose from, this is still a better option than, say, the Polaroid Cube for those who want a little more control over their camera or shoot primarily first-person footage.Price: $78 USD ($89 USD with housing)Battery Life: 45 minutes to 2 hours of recordingVideo Quality: 2.7K [30FPS], 1080P [60FPS], 720P [240FPS]Maximum Card Size: 64GBImage Stabilization: NoExternal Audio: NoWiFi: YesMegapixels: 16MP [7FPS burst]PROS:Lots of recording modesPriceSimple designWide angle is great for first-person viewCONS:Only supports Android phonesChinese instructions and supportNo accessories includedPoor battery lifeFish-eye distortion Regardless of what you plan to shoot, at least one of these action cameras should meet your budget and technical needs.Do you think the GoPro will continue to dominate this increasingly saturated market? Let us know in the comments below. Garmin Virb XEImage via GarminGarmin, a leading name in the GPS Navigation industry, presents its answer to the GoPro Hero. The most similar to the Hero 4 in appearance and structure, the Garmin Virb XE is an especially appealing option to Garmin fans and lovers of the outdoors.While some customers have occasionally reported software bugs and battery decay, the Virb is generally a very durable camera, built to take anything you throw at it. With underwater resistance of up to 50 meters (far deeper than any of its competitors), a quick-record on/off toggle switch, GPS data logging, and support for wireless audio input, the Virb XE is an extremely versatile action camera. You can even control it wirelessly with other Garmin devices!Price: $333 USDBattery Life: 2 hours of recordingVideo Quality: 1440p [30FPS] 1080P [60FPS]Maximum Card Size: 128GBImage Stabilization: Yes [Mechanical]External Audio: YesWiFi: YesMegapixels: 12MP [30FPS burst]PROS:Accessory bundle optionsGPS DataWaterproof up to 50 metersManual exposure and white balanceQuick-Record toggle switchCompatible with most GoPro mountsWireless audio inputWeather-proof cableCONS:Battery lifePotential software bugsProprietary cableNo 4KNo tripod mountAwkward shape TomTom Bandit Polaroid Cube+Image via PolaroidA slightly beefed-up version of the successful Cube, the Cube+ brings higher resolution, higher frame rates, higher SD card capacity, and additional features like WiFi and image stabilization.Whether or not these extra features are worth the higher price is up to you, though compared to similarly priced competitors, it’s certainly lacking in included accessories. Regardless, the Cube+ is a very capable rugged action camera with a simple design and interface. It will get the job done.Price: $148 USDBattery Life: 107 minutes of recordingVideo Quality: 1440P [30FPS], 1080P [60FPS], 720P [120FPS]Maximum Card Size: 128GBImage Stabilization: Yes [Digital]External Audio: NoWiFi: YesMegapixels: 8MPPROS:Compact designEasy to useShockproof even without housingHigh SD card capacityMagnetic mountCan record indefinitely while chargingCONS:Prevalent audio issues in current modelFew accessories for the priceStill not factory waterproof Image via TomTomAn often overlooked option, the TomTom Bandit excels primarily in its convenience. With a 3-hour battery life, compact build, and built-in media server, it is designed to make your video sessions as productive as possible. Like the Garmin Virb XE, the Bandit records extensive data in tandem with video, such as speed, G-force, altitude, and even heartbeat! It has a cylindrical, but rather unique design with a built-in USB stick. The TomTom also features the ability to mark highlight points with a single button press while recording, so as to later locate your best moments instantly.Unfortunately, the TomTom struggles in low-light conditions, and only records 4K at 15 frames per second, making the 4K mode largely useless. With that being said, it’s worth noting that they at least pushed the hardware as far as they could and included 4K at all, even if the framerate voids its general use. It does still record 2.7K at 30 frames per second, which is still a step above the resolution abilities of the Garmin Virb. Despite its slight shortcomings in video quality, this little action camera has a lot to offer in convenience and data.Price: $396 USDBattery Life: 3 hours of recordingVideo Quality: 4K [15FPS], 2.7K [30FPS],1080P [60FPS]Maximum Card Size: 128GBImage Stabilization: NoExternal Audio: YesWiFi: YesMegapixels: 16MP [10FPS burst]PROS:GPS Data/Heartbeat BandCordless USBOn-the-fly highlight markersHigh resolution photosCONS:No PC/OS X software4K’s low framerate makes it mostly uselessPoor low-light performance Sony AZ1Image via SonyThe Sony AZ1 is designed mainly for the first-person perspective. With a field-of-view of up to 170 degrees, and crisp, high-bitrate video, the AZ1 holds its own against similar cameras like the mid-range GoPros. It even includes GPS functionality, a rare feature in this price range. While its battery life has its limits, it remains impressive how much technology Sony managed to cram into this little device.Price: $148 USDBattery Life: 1.5 hoursVideo Quality: 1080P [60FPS], 720P [120FPS]Maximum Card Size: 128GBImage Stabilization: Yes [Digital]External Audio: NoWiFi: YesMegapixels: 11.9MP [8FPS burst]PROS:Compact designMultiple field-of-view modeHigh-bitrate XAVC S CodecIncludes adequate accessoriesMultiple color modesCONS:No wireless file transferNarrow-angle modes automatically use stabilizationSuffers in low lightFisheye distortionlast_img read more

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