NFL power rankings: Saints No. 1 and bad year for the Bay Area vs. Los Angeles

first_imgA look at how NFL teams rank going into Week 16:1. New Orleans (12-2)Drew Brees’ ability to lead an offense and complete short passes combined with legitimate balance and a stout defense make the Saints NFC favorites.Last week: 2  Next: Pittsburgh 2. L.A. Chargers (11-3)Have pretty much taken Philip Rivers for granted, considering he’s never mentioned here as a contender for the MVP. He should be. And don’t you want to see an AFC title game in StubHub?Last week: 4 Next: …last_img

Video: Check out “Bohemian DubCity,” the Golden State Warriors 2019 Playoff Song

first_imgWATCH: “Bohemian DubCity”Former Bay Area music producer Jeremy Wells teamed up, pun intended, to bring Golden State Warriors fans this fun video to the tune of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Here’s the lyrics, click here for a free download on Soundcloud.Draymond just blocked a manWatch the ball bounce off his head, off and running once again,Draymond the fast break just begunDriving down the lane then throw it out to Klay,Boogie ooooohhoooo, KD will let it flyAnd Bogut’s back again you know …last_img

Tampa Bay Rays topple A’s

first_imgOAKLAND — A confidence boost from the starting rotation felt pertinent following the announcement that Frankie Montas, the A’s ace, would be suspended for 80 games for testing positive for PED use.Granted, Montas’ shoes were large to fill — Tanner Anderson, in his third start with the A’s this year, left a little too much space for comfort, taking his second loss in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 5-3 win on Friday night.Anderson’s sinker started him off strong, but the Rays had him decoded the second …last_img

Darwinians Still Justify Genetic Determinism

first_imgOne of the most dangerous philosophies in the history of mankind is still embedded in modern Darwinism.In a recent post, we laughed at two evolutionary just-so stories that extrapolated animal behavior into human behavior. Remember, though, that animal behavior is encoded by their genes, and that’s no laughing matter when genetic determinism is extrapolated to humans. It sucks all the air out of morality, making humans pawns of an amoral, aimless natural process with no accountability.Some personal beliefs and morals may stem from genetics (Science Daily). The authors at Penn State try to qualify their genetic determinism with the word “some” — “some personal beliefs and morals” may stem from genetics. What other source is there? To evolutionists, genetic change by mutation and selection is ultimately all there is.“Most people assume that parenting shapes the development of virtuous character in children via entirely environmental pathways,” Neiderhiser said. “But our results suggest there are also heritable influences. This doesn’t mean that if parents are conscientious that their children also will be regardless of how the children are parented. It does mean, however, that children inherit a tendency to behave in a particular way and that this shouldn’t be ignored.”Who decides what is virtuous in Darwinland? The only standard is survival, isn’t it? That is completely amoral. Genocide qualifies for the fittest group that survives. Later, the determinists again qualify their stance, saying,“Your genes are not totally deterministic of who you are,” Ramos said. “Genes simply give you a potential. People still make their own choices and have agency in shaping who they become.”But once again, Darwinists have no choice or agency in their toolkit. It’s all mutation and selection, resulting in genetic changes. To have choice, you have to have free will and a soul.How did reading and writing evolve? Neuroscience gives a clue (The Conversation). Your clue that Derek Hodgson is a genetic determinist is in the thought that reading and writing “evolved.” No free will in that idea; you just carry out behaviors when you scratch on a stone or type at a keyboard. The self-refuting nature of this assertion is self-evident, because Hodgson’s genes made him say this. It could be argued that language and writing “evolve” by convention, which implies human minds that can freely choose how to represent their thoughts on material substances and in vocal sounds, but that is not what he is talking about.But how was this possible? Neuroscientific research has shown that writing text involves the premotor cortex of the brain, which drives manual skills. My theory therefore suggests that reading and writing evolved when our passive perception for discerning things started to interact with manual dexterity.In other words, you are a passive marionette governed by invisible strings reacting to natural selection. Words in a book are mere marks on a page like scratches on a stone.That said, some researchers believe that early marks were symbolic rather than aesthetic and that writing evolved from encoding information in them. However I argue this now seems increasingly unlikely. Early marks look similar to each other over an immense period of time. If the marks were symbolic, we would expect to see far more variation across space and time, just as we do in modern writing systems. But this is not the case.All this points to the probability that the earliest marks were aesthetic in that they derive from the early visual cortex’s preference for basic configurations. And it could have begun as early as Homo erectus, which lived from about 1.8m to 500,000 years ago.How evolutionary theory guides policy (Nature). This is the scariest of the three articles we are taking a look at. David Sloan Wilson, the New Teacher who wants Evolution for Everyone, is back. He sees all the detailed negotiations in national governments and foreign policy as mere manifestations of Darwinism. And Nature likes his new book about it. Even the title is scary for lovers of liberty and justice for all: This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution. Head for the hills! The Brave New World is upon us.Wilson’s passion for multilevel selectionist thinking, and his relentless optimism, give the book something of a messianic flavour: in places, I detect leaps of faith, for example in the belief that well-functioning groups can solve our problems of collective action. There is no false advertising, however. The very title (albeit cribbed from the end of Charles Darwin’s 1859 On the Origin of Species) portends a personal perspective. The result is utterly fascinating and beautifully written.He addresses deep questions about humanity: how we can avoid physical or mental illnesses, raise children, make groups more effective, create sustainable economies and nurture better planetary stewards.This is a recipe for global socialism, which always brings with it totalitarianism, elitism, and slavery. The elites will try to keep the peasant hens producing eggs for them.Things get more interesting for policy when Wilson turns to what he calls the “problem of goodness”. Literature on the evolution of cooperation — such as the 2011 A Cooperative Species by Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis — gives us plausible scientific reasons for goodness triumphing over evil, or selflessness over selfishness. Multilevel selection is important here. Wilson’s favourite example is an experiment showing how to increase caged hens’ egg production. You select not for the most fertile hens in each generation (co-housed, they will peck each other to death), but for the multi-hen cages with the highest productivity (where more positive social interactions predominate).Humans don’t live in cages, but group living is a fundamental adaptation of our species. In a wink of geological time, humanity moved from small pre-Neolithic tribal groups to large nation-states, with transnational religious identities and (albeit weak) global governance institutions. All this reasonably suggests a role for multilevel selection. We know that social groups work effectively when they have clearly delineated membership, are relatively egalitarian and police themselves. Wilson recounts the huge success of a “school within a school” programme with these features for students in Binghamton, New York, who were at risk of dropping out of high school. He also discusses the effectiveness of local “block clubs” in run-down parts of Buffalo, New York, and other often well-controlled studies demonstrating the success of groups that follow these design principles in producing socially preferable outcomes.Isn’t that nice to speak of “design principles” for multilevel selection? Beware fake words. Who defines what is “good”? Who designs “socially preferable outcomes”? The powerful elites who run everything, of course, and teach the peasants that they are products of selection. The elites, meantime, excuse themselves from the same rules of “multilevel selection” that everyone else is enslaved to. They make the selections now. They have reached godhood.Reviewer Monique Borgerhoff Mulder welcomes this study on Darwinian solutions to social issues. She says Wilson’s book should be on everyone’s bedside table. Everyone’s cell table, that is, next to the hole in the floor.People have no idea the horrors they are in for if this kind of thinking goes mainstream. The 20th century was a huge, awful demonstration of “selectionist” thinking imposing itself on national policy. Now that we have instant access across the globe and orbital surveillance, there will be no place to hide. We will be praying for a Rapture. (Visited 416 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

R113m growth grant for Liberia

first_imgLiberia signed a R113-million grantagreement with the US MillenniumChallenge Corporation to financedevelopment in the country (Image: Hannelie Coetzee,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Amanda Burke +202 521 3850 [email protected] RELATED ARTICLES • SA allocates R500m for black farmers • Poor schools score textbooks • SA colleges get $6.7m boost • $90bn boost to Africa’s economyNosimilo RamelaLiberia has been awarded a R113-million (US$15-million) grant from the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to help it fight poverty, improve primary education for girls, broaden access to land and boost trade.The signing took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Liberia’s capital city of Monrovia on 6 July 2010. Speaking at the event, MCC senior advisor Cassandra Butts said the grant would help finance key development areas identified by the Liberian government.“The areas of priorities represent key constraints to economic growth, identified by Liberians as part of their own national development strategy,” she said.Set up by US Congress in January 2004, the MCC is an independent US government aid agency that assists countries committed to economic and political development.The grant will be made available to Liberia through a three-year threshold programme that will focus on challenges highlighted in Liberia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.One of the objectives is to increase the number of girls enrolling in primary schools and keep them in the school system for as long as possible. The creation of a scholarship programme for girls, providing grants to communities to improve the education environment, mentoring programmes and awareness campaigns are some of the means of achieving this.“Liberia has made tremendous progress in its development effort and this grant will help buttress our poverty reduction strategy,” said Amara Konnah, Liberia’s planning minister.Turning to land issues, the threshold programme is expected to promote equal access to property and increased land security. This will go hand-in-hand with the Liberian government’s plan to boost citizens’ understanding of property rights issues, rebuild land administration and surveying capacity, and make the land registration and transfer process more efficient for locals.The grant will also help the country improve trade policy and practices, particularly when it comes to harmonising tariffs, working with regional and global bodies, and strengthening the regulatory environment.According to the grant agreement, the threshold programme will be administered by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which will be responsible for coordination, contracting and financial management. The MCC will oversee the programme.The MCC board of directors, who decided that Liberia should get the grant, said the country had made significant progress in many MCC eligibility indicators.USAID said the country showed a strong commitment to transformation aimed at fostering economic growth and poverty reduction.Africa’s long-term ambitionSpeaking at the signing ceremony, Donald Payne , chairperson of the US House Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, congratulated Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the people of the country for meeting what she called “strict criteria which warrants the threshold agreement”.Payne stressed the importance of schooling in Liberia, especially for girls, and noted Sirleaf’s commitment to this issue. As an accomplished female leader herself, Sirleaf is seen as the ideal role-model for this sector of the population.At the ceremony Sirleaf thanked the host of delegates for visiting Liberia and praised President Barack Obama’s administration for continuing with the MCC programme.She then spoke about the establishment of the Liberian Education Trust, which is providing scholarships for girls to breach the gender gap, but warned that far more still needs to be done.“Retaining them in school is the issue,” she said. “While there may be many girls at the primary level now, by the time they reach upper classes, they begin to drop out due to poverty or sexual abuse. The MCC programme will help our government tackle those problems.”Switching from education to commerce, Sirleaf outlined one of her country’s key policies, which favours moving away from a reliance on aid towards economic growth driven by trade. She concluded that this policy is Africa’s long-term ambition.last_img read more

Build Your House (file)…and Keep It Tidy, Too

first_imgDraw a map. Create a flowchart. Put together some document with all of your database fields and the naming conventions for those fields. Clean up duplicate records often. If you have the time to do this regularly, it can save you time in the future.Essentially the most important ingredient to keeping your housefile (list) clean is to dust it regularly. Empower your organization by coming up with a clear and outlined process of how you collect and store your data. Doing so will allow you keep a tidy housefile that is easy to report on and analyze. Make sure all individuals in your organization have that document. This will ensure that everyone in your organization will use the same naming conventions and mapping process when creating the online forms you use to collect constituents’ information. Source: Connection Cafecenter_img If you have uniform response options you want to have listed on multiple choice questions (that are going to be used on many of your online forms), decide upon the answer options and make sure everyone in your organization has a document outlining those response options. Building your housefile (list) is one of the key ingredients in developing a strong online presence. It is important to welcome a constant flow of constituents into your online home. But, what are the next steps in maintaining that list? Once you have a good list going, it is vital to keep that list clean, dust and clutter-free. Mom always told you to keep your room clean. Why should your constituent list be any different?Here are some tips to keeping a clean list:Decide on what data you want to collect and how you want it to be organized in your database. For example, if you want to have a field in your database to store information on constituents’ pets’ names, decide where you want that information to live in the database and how you want to get it there.last_img read more

Make your business card a marketing hero

first_imgI have a pretty boring business card, but that’s about to change. Ever since a designer friend handed me a clear plastic business card with a field for inking a personal note, I realized this is a neglected opportunity.What are you doing to make your card about your cause?Here’s a great source of inspiration from librarians. Librarians rock. Not only do I love them, I think they are marketing superheroes. Here’s the proof. Is this a fabulous card or what? I share her source of power, by the way: coffee.Write me if you have a heroic business card.last_img

Key Components for Fundraising in a Downturn Economy

first_imgHow do you get people to buy into your organization and donate during tough times?This comes down to understanding the concept of a benefit exchange:An immediate reward to someone for taking actionThe benefit is something personal and deeply related to their valuesThat reward is coming from a messenger they trustThe messenger is key during tough times. One idea would be to frame fundraising appeals such that they come from other donors talking about why they gave. Their reasons for choosing your particular organization elevate the value of your nonprofit in the eyes of the recipient.If you can plug into topical issues, your message is more likely to get through. Another hot point is to try to key into some of the issues that are front and center in the news. For example, if your organization is focused on the environment, compose your appeals to talk about how you’re working to try to combat the $4 gallon of gasoline.This may be a great opportunity to ask people to sign up for monthly donations. Wallets are tight right now, so donors may appreciate the option to give a little bit each month, rather than making a large credit card donation in December.Source: Adapted from the Nonprofit 911 Presentation “The Experts Are In! Your Online Fundraising and Nonprofit Marketing Questions Answered.”last_img read more