Government in Brief

first_imgND Department of Constituent Services The Department of Constituent Services executed town-hall discussions about the Office of Community Standards, mental health concerns and sexual violence. The department plans to host a conversation about Notre Dame Food Services. It developed the “One Is Too Many” campaign that seeks to combat sexual violence at a grassroots level. The Department is investigating increased movie-rental options and developing a community-improvement award to recognize students who serve South Bend. ND Department of Community Relations The department coordinated the Northeast Neighborhood Welcome Back Picnic, uniting students and local residents to celebrate the beginning of the school year. The community summit facilitated goal sharing between local leaders and the University administration. The department also sponsored a bus tour to expose new students to entertainment spots and South Bend’s history. They created committees of students from all higher education institutions in South Bend, connecting them with community leaders to learn about internship and entertainment opportunities. Through this, they expanded students’ lives beyond campus and into South Bend, earning them the A. ND Department of Social Concerns The department co-sponsored a day of service, sports and networking in Chicago with the varsity lacrosse team called Playing for Peace and also implemented the Serve ND website to aggregate all the on-campus service groups. In addition, the department orchestrated a prayer services and discussion in response to the crisis in Syria. They planned spring events including a benefit dinner for Syria, a local food campaign, another Playing for Peace event and a Social Action Network to facilitate collaboration among service groups at Notre Dame. These events and the ones in progress earned the department an A-. ND Department of Academic Affairs The Department of Academic Affairs met with administrators to discuss potential improvements to “DARTing” and PIN distribution. It continued its Last Lecture series, introduced a First Lectures series and teamed up with several University offices to bring TEDxUND to campus in January. It also created a study-space map, available on InsideND and mobileND. The department has many ambitious initiatives planned but has much to do in order to accomplish all of its goals by the end of the term. ND Department of Campus Technology The department successfully organized a mobile summit this semester and facilitated a Dorm Tech Liaison initiative to help students with technical difficulties in their dorms. However, they have a low grade because they failed to successfully improve policies on campus. They do have potentially significant projects in progress, such as upgrading the DART and printing systems, creating an updated mobile app and purchasing a new scanner for the Coleman-Morse Center. Each of these improvements would drastically enhance student life, but the department needs to make more headway. ND Department of University Affairs The Department of University Affairs increased the hours of access to DeBartolo Hall and worked with NDSP to repair emergency phones outside dorms. It partnered with Notre Dame Food Services to promote food sustainability. The department hopes to establish an easy and affordable transportation system for off-campus students and to implement a bike rental program. To improve from its B- ranking, the department will have to see more tangible results and must make significant progress toward implementing its other ideas. ND Department of National Engagement & Outreach This department devoted great attention this semester to benchmarking Notre Dame’s policies regarding gender relations, financial programs, food services and museums with peer and aspirational universities, examining how such programs, policies and student outreach are structured at other schools. These efforts can show Notre Dame students the relevance and fairness of University policy, but the department has yet to endow its outreach work with great relevance for the student body. This department earns a B+ for its work. ND Department of Residential Life This department developed the first annual Irish State of Mind Week to raise awareness about mental health on campus, working with SMC and Holy Cross College. In addition, they are developing a formal proposal for open dining hall hours, a Grab and Go satellite and a swipes plan. Hopefully, they will fulfill their pledge to improve RecSports and student housing next semester. The Department deserves an A- for completing a number of very important issues affecting student life, and making progress on even more. ND Department of Gender Issues The Department of Gender Issues worked with NDSP to revise its sexual-assault alert emails – specifically, to change “forcible fondling” to “sexual battery” and to make the language more clearly supportive of victims. The department organized prayer services to follow alert emails and partnered with the Gender Relations Center to promote Sexual Violence Awareness Month. It will team up with PrismND to coordinate transgender awareness events in the spring and will continue to investigate the effects of updated dorm alarm policies. ND Department of Internal Affairs The department successfully addressed technical problems regarding language in the Constitution but has not successfully completed initiatives that affect the wider student body. In fact, their ongoing projects also are fairly trivial – most address clarifications regarding the Senate or the Constitution. They competently take on behind-the-scenes work and small tasks, but they need to evaluate ways to work toward a larger-scale initiative that can impact student life or student government as a whole. Because of this, the department earned a B. SMC Residence Hall Association Saint Mary’s Residence Hall Association (RHA), part of the larger Council of Activities, implemented constitution changes for a productive fall semester. This year, RHA updated its constitution to create a “smaller and more dynamic” governing body, RHA president Kaitlyn Baker said. Because of these transitions and its work promoting events like its annual spirit week, Cookies and Coasters Freshmen Social, all-hall kickball tournament and hall directors’ tea parties, the association deserves an A for its work. SMC Student Activities Board This semester, the Saint Mary’s Student Activities Board (SAB), part of the larger Council of Activities, worked with the Notre Dame, Holy Cross and greater South Bend communities to host Belles Bash, Turkey Bowl, Fall Break Rescue, Bella-Boo, Winter Wonderland and Study Day Massages. The club has hosted several successful events but should work on advertising their events more. Because of this, the board deserves an A-. SMC Student Diversity Board Saint Mary’s Student Diversity Board (SDB), part of the larger Council of Activities, chose a theme of “Rethinking Leadership and Diversity.” This semester, the board hosted more than 700 people at the S’more Diversity Bonfire and closed the semester with a Hunger Banquet. It will host its annual Diverse Students’ Leadership Conference this March. The board deserves an A for its unique way of expressing diversity.  SMC Council of Clubs The Saint Mary’s Council of Clubs, part of the larger Council of Activities, oversees the allocation of student government funds to various clubs and organizations on campus. This semester, the council used increased advertising to encourage students to take advantage of the money available to them via student government. The council deserves an A because this year, it gave out more sponsorships than ever before and went through its entire budgeted amount for on-campus events, as well as for travel grants.  ND Freshman Class Council Freshman Class Council (FCC) coordinated a Halloween dance, a concession stand during the Brigham Young game weekend and a class rosary event at the Grotto this semester. “Overall, our goal in FCC is to create freshman unity,” president Andrew Green said. “All our events have been reasonably successful in that aspect.” Green said FCC hopes to improve its communication with the freshman class via the class Facebook page, “Notre Dame Class of 2017,” the Twitter account, @ND17_, and email address, [email protected] “Our hope is to have our class outreach grow,” Green said. Other plans for next semester include a skate night at the Compton Family Ice Arena, a First Year of Studies event and a “FROSH week” in March with social and service events for the class.  ND Sophomore Class Council This semester, Sophomore Class Council (SCC) aimed to create events that “draw people from different quads, majors and social groups,” president Jake Grefenstette said. SCC’s most successful event this fall was a Great Gatsby-themed dance outside Bond Hall in September. SCC co-sponsored the dance with the Junior Class Council. “One NDSP officer counted over 2,000 attendees [at the dance] and said it was the biggest and liveliest event he had seen is his 30 years at Notre Dame,” Grefenstette said. Next semester, SCC hopes to host a spring dance, a class retreat and faculty talks. It aims to create opportunities for long-term service projects, capitalizing on the Council’s relationship with the South Bend Center for the Homeless. ND Junior Class Council Junior Class Council tried to cater to the wishes of the junior class this semester by sponsoring a Great Gatsby dance, planning a volleyball tournament called “Santa, Set, Spike” and organizing a “Day in South Bend,” when local businesses offered discounts to members of the class of 2015. Other popular events included the “Star-Spangled Send-Off,” which targeted students who will study abroad in the spring, and discounted tickets to the show “Cabaret.” “Next semester, we plan on holding more study breaks around finals, an organized trip to Chicago and a retreat for members of the class of 2015,” president Olivia LaMagna said. ND Senior Class Council In an effort to bring the class of 2014 together, Senior Class Council hosted a class Mass, an apple-picking event and a Cornhole tournament that benefitted the Center for the Homeless. President Carolina Wilson said the council hopes to continue to organize fun events that include food, while also giving seniors resources that will benefit them after graduation, like information about financing, budgeting and investments. She said to look for the upcoming “Sip and Taste South Bend” restaurant tour. “We want to provide seniors with a year that is fun and memorable, but also beneficial,” Wilson said. “This way, when graduation rolls around, seniors will not only be ready for whatever comes next, but will also look back on their last year at Notre Dame with great memories.” SMC First-Year Board The Saint Mary’s Freshman Class Board aspired to cultivate sisterhood within the community while simultaneously raising awareness for mental health. Freshmen worked alongside Sophomore Class Council to co-host Barn Yard Belles in Dalloway’s Coffeehouse. Ellen Raymond, freshman class president, said the event provided an opportunity for first- and second-year students to form friendships through country dancing, eating and pumpkin-decorating. “Next semester, the Freshman Council will be participating in Love Your Body Week,” Raymond said. “All of these fun and relaxing activities will cater to the student body’s mental health.” Raymond said her board is also looking forward to hosting a Masquerade Formal for the class of 2017. SMC Sophomore Class Board The Sophomore Class Board aims to promote a sisterly atmosphere on the Saint Mary’s campus through event-planning and fundraising. This semester, the board exceeded its fundraising goal of $500. Brie O’Brien, president of the sophomore class, said members of her board planned and executed Barnyard Belles Fall Festival, sold class gear on two occasions and adopted an underprivileged family for Christmas. Next semester, the board will host Sophomore Parents’ Weekend and a class of 2016 ice skating event in the Compton Ice Arena – both of which the team has begun to plan. “As a board, our overall goals are to raise funds for our class’s line account and provide opportunities for the class of 2016 to practice the core values of Saint Mary’s, form friendships and have an amazing experience at SMC within their own class, as well as with the entirety of the Saint Mary’s community,” O’Brien said. SMC Junior Class Board The Junior Class Board provided Saint Mary’s students with a variety of experiences, products and fundraisers this semester. Board president Nicole O’Toole said the group played a key part in planning the Navy Dance for the Naval Academy Midshipmen in October and sponsored a student trip to Chicago in December. Both events were open to all students and crossed class aisles. The board fundraised with a Let’s Spoon give-back day, and members sold personalized products created by Courtney Bock Designs, a local business run by an alumna. This semester, the board participated in the Adopt-a-Family program and donated toys, clothes, and a WalMart gift card for its adopted family’s Christmas dinner. Next semester, the group will prepare for Junior Mom’s Weekend in April, continue its philanthropy and host a T-shirt sale. SMC Senior Class Board The Saint Mary’s Senior Class Board kicked off the fall semester with Senior Dads Weekend, an annual event that invites seniors’ fathers to campus to spend quality time with their daughters.  The weekend began with a beer garden and a silent auction that benefitted the senior class, president Carolyn Backes said. Fathers and daughters played golf, toured campus and celebrated Mass. The two-day event closed with a game-watch at CJ’s Pub on South Michigan Street. After Dads Weekend, the senior class board focused on co-hosting the Navy Dance, Backes said.  With the first semester of the members’ last year out of the way, the Senior Class Board has begun preparations for Senior Week. “The board has a schedule of that week with events including an aumnae brunch, a wine-tasting [event] in Michigan and a blessing of Saint Mary’s traditional class rings,” Backes said. “The Senior Class Board is very excited to begin our last semester at Saint Mary’s College, where we have already made a number of unforgettable memories.”,ND Department of Constituent Services The Department of Constituent Services executed town-hall discussions about the Office of Community Standards, mental health concerns and sexual violence. The department plans to host a conversation about Notre Dame Food Services. It developed the “One Is Too Many” campaign that seeks to combat sexual violence at a grassroots level. The Department is investigating increased movie-rental options and developing a community-improvement award to recognize students who serve South Bend. ND Department of Community Relations The department coordinated the Northeast Neighborhood Welcome Back Picnic, uniting students and local residents to celebrate the beginning of the school year. The community summit facilitated goal sharing between local leaders and the University administration. The department also sponsored a bus tour to expose new students to entertainment spots and South Bend’s history. They created committees of students from all higher education institutions in South Bend, connecting them with community leaders to learn about internship and entertainment opportunities. Through this, they expanded students’ lives beyond campus and into South Bend, earning them the A. ND Department of Social Concerns The department co-sponsored a day of service, sports and networking in Chicago with the varsity lacrosse team called Playing for Peace and also implemented the Serve ND website to aggregate all the on-campus service groups. In addition, the department orchestrated a prayer services and discussion in response to the crisis in Syria. They planned spring events including a benefit dinner for Syria, a local food campaign, another Playing for Peace event and a Social Action Network to facilitate collaboration among service groups at Notre Dame. These events and the ones in progress earned the department an A-. ND Department of Academic Affairs The Department of Academic Affairs met with administrators to discuss potential improvements to “DARTing” and PIN distribution. It continued its Last Lecture series, introduced a First Lectures series and teamed up with several University offices to bring TEDxUND to campus in January. It also created a study-space map, available on InsideND and mobileND. The department has many ambitious initiatives planned but has much to do in order to accomplish all of its goals by the end of the term. ND Department of Campus Technology The department successfully organized a mobile summit this semester and facilitated a Dorm Tech Liaison initiative to help students with technical difficulties in their dorms. However, they have a low grade because they failed to successfully improve policies on campus. They do have potentially significant projects in progress, such as upgrading the DART and printing systems, creating an updated mobile app and purchasing a new scanner for the Coleman-Morse Center. Each of these improvements would drastically enhance student life, but the department needs to make more headway. ND Department of University Affairs The Department of University Affairs increased the hours of access to DeBartolo Hall and worked with NDSP to repair emergency phones outside dorms. It partnered with Notre Dame Food Services to promote food sustainability. The department hopes to establish an easy and affordable transportation system for off-campus students and to implement a bike rental program. To improve from its B- ranking, the department will have to see more tangible results and must make significant progress toward implementing its other ideas. ND Department of National Engagement & Outreach This department devoted great attention this semester to benchmarking Notre Dame’s policies regarding gender relations, financial programs, food services and museums with peer and aspirational universities, examining how such programs, policies and student outreach are structured at other schools. These efforts can show Notre Dame students the relevance and fairness of University policy, but the department has yet to endow its outreach work with great relevance for the student body. This department earns a B+ for its work. ND Department of Residential Life This department developed the first annual Irish State of Mind Week to raise awareness about mental health on campus, working with SMC and Holy Cross College. In addition, they are developing a formal proposal for open dining hall hours, a Grab and Go satellite and a swipes plan. Hopefully, they will fulfill their pledge to improve RecSports and student housing next semester. The Department deserves an A- for completing a number of very important issues affecting student life, and making progress on even more. ND Department of Gender Issues The Department of Gender Issues worked with NDSP to revise its sexual-assault alert emails – specifically, to change “forcible fondling” to “sexual battery” and to make the language more clearly supportive of victims. The department organized prayer services to follow alert emails and partnered with the Gender Relations Center to promote Sexual Violence Awareness Month. It will team up with PrismND to coordinate transgender awareness events in the spring and will continue to investigate the effects of updated dorm alarm policies. ND Department of Internal Affairs The department successfully addressed technical problems regarding language in the Constitution but has not successfully completed initiatives that affect the wider student body. In fact, their ongoing projects also are fairly trivial – most address clarifications regarding the Senate or the Constitution. They competently take on behind-the-scenes work and small tasks, but they need to evaluate ways to work toward a larger-scale initiative that can impact student life or student government as a whole. Because of this, the department earned a B. SMC Residence Hall Association Saint Mary’s Residence Hall Association (RHA), part of the larger Council of Activities, implemented constitution changes for a productive fall semester. This year, RHA updated its constitution to create a “smaller and more dynamic” governing body, RHA president Kaitlyn Baker said. Because of these transitions and its work promoting events like its annual spirit week, Cookies and Coasters Freshmen Social, all-hall kickball tournament and hall directors’ tea parties, the association deserves an A for its work. SMC Student Activities Board This semester, the Saint Mary’s Student Activities Board (SAB), part of the larger Council of Activities, worked with the Notre Dame, Holy Cross and greater South Bend communities to host Belles Bash, Turkey Bowl, Fall Break Rescue, Bella-Boo, Winter Wonderland and Study Day Massages. The club has hosted several successful events but should work on advertising their events more. Because of this, the board deserves an A-. SMC Student Diversity Board Saint Mary’s Student Diversity Board (SDB), part of the larger Council of Activities, chose a theme of “Rethinking Leadership and Diversity.” This semester, the board hosted more than 700 people at the S’more Diversity Bonfire and closed the semester with a Hunger Banquet. It will host its annual Diverse Students’ Leadership Conference this March. The board deserves an A for its unique way of expressing diversity.  SMC Council of Clubs The Saint Mary’s Council of Clubs, part of the larger Council of Activities, oversees the allocation of student government funds to various clubs and organizations on campus. This semester, the council used increased advertising to encourage students to take advantage of the money available to them via student government. The council deserves an A because this year, it gave out more sponsorships than ever before and went through its entire budgeted amount for on-campus events, as well as for travel grants.  ND Freshman Class Council Freshman Class Council (FCC) coordinated a Halloween dance, a concession stand during the Brigham Young game weekend and a class rosary event at the Grotto this semester. “Overall, our goal in FCC is to create freshman unity,” president Andrew Green said. “All our events have been reasonably successful in that aspect.” Green said FCC hopes to improve its communication with the freshman class via the class Facebook page, “Notre Dame Class of 2017,” the Twitter account, @ND17_, and email address, [email protected] “Our hope is to have our class outreach grow,” Green said. Other plans for next semester include a skate night at the Compton Family Ice Arena, a First Year of Studies event and a “FROSH week” in March with social and service events for the class.  ND Sophomore Class Council This semester, Sophomore Class Council (SCC) aimed to create events that “draw people from different quads, majors and social groups,” president Jake Grefenstette said. SCC’s most successful event this fall was a Great Gatsby-themed dance outside Bond Hall in September. SCC co-sponsored the dance with the Junior Class Council. “One NDSP officer counted over 2,000 attendees [at the dance] and said it was the biggest and liveliest event he had seen is his 30 years at Notre Dame,” Grefenstette said. Next semester, SCC hopes to host a spring dance, a class retreat and faculty talks. It aims to create opportunities for long-term service projects, capitalizing on the Council’s relationship with the South Bend Center for the Homeless. ND Junior Class Council Junior Class Council tried to cater to the wishes of the junior class this semester by sponsoring a Great Gatsby dance, planning a volleyball tournament called “Santa, Set, Spike” and organizing a “Day in South Bend,” when local businesses offered discounts to members of the class of 2015. Other popular events included the “Star-Spangled Send-Off,” which targeted students who will study abroad in the spring, and discounted tickets to the show “Cabaret.” “Next semester, we plan on holding more study breaks around finals, an organized trip to Chicago and a retreat for members of the class of 2015,” president Olivia LaMagna said. ND Senior Class Council In an effort to bring the class of 2014 together, Senior Class Council hosted a class Mass, an apple-picking event and a Cornhole tournament that benefitted the Center for the Homeless. President Carolina Wilson said the council hopes to continue to organize fun events that include food, while also giving seniors resources that will benefit them after graduation, like information about financing, budgeting and investments. She said to look for the upcoming “Sip and Taste South Bend” restaurant tour. “We want to provide seniors with a year that is fun and memorable, but also beneficial,” Wilson said. “This way, when graduation rolls around, seniors will not only be ready for whatever comes next, but will also look back on their last year at Notre Dame with great memories.” SMC First-Year Board The Saint Mary’s Freshman Class Board aspired to cultivate sisterhood within the community while simultaneously raising awareness for mental health. Freshmen worked alongside Sophomore Class Council to co-host Barn Yard Belles in Dalloway’s Coffeehouse. Ellen Raymond, freshman class president, said the event provided an opportunity for first- and second-year students to form friendships through country dancing, eating and pumpkin-decorating. “Next semester, the Freshman Council will be participating in Love Your Body Week,” Raymond said. “All of these fun and relaxing activities will cater to the student body’s mental health.” Raymond said her board is also looking forward to hosting a Masquerade Formal for the class of 2017. SMC Sophomore Class Board The Sophomore Class Board aims to promote a sisterly atmosphere on the Saint Mary’s campus through event-planning and fundraising. This semester, the board exceeded its fundraising goal of $500. Brie O’Brien, president of the sophomore class, said members of her board planned and executed Barnyard Belles Fall Festival, sold class gear on two occasions and adopted an underprivileged family for Christmas. Next semester, the board will host Sophomore Parents’ Weekend and a class of 2016 ice skating event in the Compton Ice Arena – both of which the team has begun to plan. “As a board, our overall goals are to raise funds for our class’s line account and provide opportunities for the class of 2016 to practice the core values of Saint Mary’s, form friendships and have an amazing experience at SMC within their own class, as well as with the entirety of the Saint Mary’s community,” O’Brien said. SMC Junior Class Board The Junior Class Board provided Saint Mary’s students with a variety of experiences, products and fundraisers this semester. Board president Nicole O’Toole said the group played a key part in planning the Navy Dance for the Naval Academy Midshipmen in October and sponsored a student trip to Chicago in December. Both events were open to all students and crossed class aisles. The board fundraised with a Let’s Spoon give-back day, and members sold personalized products created by Courtney Bock Designs, a local business run by an alumna. This semester, the board participated in the Adopt-a-Family program and donated toys, clothes, and a WalMart gift card for its adopted family’s Christmas dinner. Next semester, the group will prepare for Junior Mom’s Weekend in April, continue its philanthropy and host a T-shirt sale. SMC Senior Class Board The Saint Mary’s Senior Class Board kicked off the fall semester with Senior Dads Weekend, an annual event that invites seniors’ fathers to campus to spend quality time with their daughters.  The weekend began with a beer garden and a silent auction that benefitted the senior class, president Carolyn Backes said. Fathers and daughters played golf, toured campus and celebrated Mass. The two-day event closed with a game-watch at CJ’s Pub on South Michigan Street. After Dads Weekend, the senior class board focused on co-hosting the Navy Dance, Backes said.  With the first semester of the members’ last year out of the way, the Senior Class Board has begun preparations for Senior Week. “The board has a schedule of that week with events including an alumnae brunch, a wine-tasting [event] in Michigan and a blessing of Saint Mary’s traditional class rings,” Backes said. “The Senior Class Board is very excited to begin our last semester at Saint Mary’s College, where we have already made a number of unforgettable memories.”last_img read more

Tales from the CryptoLocker: Dealing with ransomware

first_imgHello and welcome to my first blog post. I’m Andrew Morris, Regulatory Affairs Counsel at NAFCU, and I help develop NAFCU’s advocacy with regard to payments and cybersecurity issues. Today’s blog post will focus on ransomware and address what credit unions can do to prevent, respond to and recover from these types of attacks.As you have probably heard, a notorious variety of ransomware called “WannaCrypt” locked and disabled computer systems in at least 150 countries this past weekend. Beginning late last Friday, hospitals belonging to the U.K.’s NHS reported that their systems had been compromised, and not long after, the attack reached global proportions, with a second wave of attacks hitting countries in Asia on Monday. continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Complex Eyes of ‘Simple’ Clams Confound Darwin

first_img‘Simple’ Clams Have Eyes that Confound Darwinby Jerry Bergman, PhDDarwin is famous for admitting that the origin of complex structures made him sick: In The Origin of Species, we read:“To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”[1]Darwin then speculated a thought experiment to imagine a plausible set of events if one thought backward from a vertebrate eye to a simple eye:Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory.[2]The problem is, to reason backward to the past is subjective and easy. What is difficult is to reason forward into the future. ‘Thought scenarios’ as Darwin gave are neither proof nor evidence. Darwin assumed that normal “variations” would provide the material required to evolve eye spots into vertebrae eyes. From our modern experimental knowledge, mutations are the only possible source of variations that could do what Darwin proposed; namely, to produce “a perfect and complex eye.” We know today that mutations do not produce, but damage, and damage moves organisms away from Darwin’s imaginative scenario of upward evolutionary progress.No doubt this concern of Darwin issued from his reading of William Paley which he was required to study in Cambridge as a student, and which he admitted he enjoyed reading. As a youth, Darwin was a nominal Christian and accepted much of Paley’s Natural Theology that argued for the existence of God from the evidence of design all around us. In a letter to John Lubbock dated November 22, 1859, Darwin wrote, “I do not think I hardly ever admired a book more than Paley’s Natural Theology. I could almost formerly have said it by heart.”[3] All this soon changed: His Origin of Species book was largely an attempt to refute Paley’s ‘Watchmaker’ analogy. Professor Williams makes it clear thatDarwin attempted to exterminate natural theology by refuting William Paley’s book by that name, which argued from apparent design in nature to a Designer. Darwin built On the Origin of Species based on Paley’s structure and content, but stood his argument on its head. Current biologists aim to complete the slaughter, calling religion a meme that infects us, an epiphenomenal superstition, and a Darwinian adaptation—but religion cannot be all of these things without contradiction.[4]New Research on Clam EyesAside for the problems noted above falsifying Darwin’s rationalization, we now know that so-called simple eyes are not at all simple, but in some ways are more complex than the so-called highest, most evolved, eye type. One review of a new article on scallop eyes concluded their eyes “function similar to telescopes, are even more complex than scientists previously knew.”[5] Scallop is the common name of any one of numerous species of saltwater clams or marine bivalve mollusks, also commonly called clams. The scientist added scallops “have up to 200 tiny eyes along the edge of the mantle lining their shells, although scientists still don’t know exactly how they all work together to help the mollusks.” Another researcher added “For over half a century, the multitudinous mirror eyes of the lowly scallop have continuously amazed us with their visual eccentricities. The latest surprise is the mirror itself, which turns out to be an extraordinary optical wonder.”[6]Only three design solutions exist to focus the light entering the eye onto the retina.[7] The most common is a lens, such as used in human eyes, and another very rare solution is a tiny aperture called a pin hole “lens” in which the pin-sized opening bends the light, serving as a crude lens which works the same way as a pinhole camera. An example is the deep-sea cephalopods of the genus Nautilus. The third solution, using mirrors that work like a reflecting telescope, is used in some deep-sea fish and crustaceans, plus the scallop Pecten.Credit: Rachael Norris and Marina Freudzon / Mayscallop (Wikimedia)In scallops, “the remarkable eyes of which have been a continuous source of surprise for decades, this mirror is concave and focuses an image onto an overlying retina by reflection” like a reflecting telescope.[8] A new study, published in Current Biology, showed that the pupils of scallop eyes dilate and contract in response to light levels, just like human eyes.[9] Specifically, their pupils “constrict to ∼60% of their fully dilated areas within several minutes of light exposure.”[10] University of California, Santa Barbara biologist Todd Oakley acknowledged it is  “surprising how much we’re finding out about how complex and how functional these scallop eyes are.”[11] In short, when light enters the scallop eye it firstpasses through the pupil, a lens, two retinas (distal and proximal), and then reaches a mirror made of crystals of guanine at the back of the eye. The curved mirror reflects the light onto the interior surface of the retinas, where neural signals are generated and sent to a small visceral ganglion, or a cluster of nerve cells, whose main job is to control the scallop’s gut and adductor muscle. The structure of a scallop’s eye is similar to the optics systems found in advanced telescopes.[12]The problem is images on the proximal retina are out of focus, which at first appears to be very poor design. A new study found this arrangement was not poor design, but rather ingenious design. The scallop pupils can dilate and contract, changing the size of the pupil opening by about 50 percent. Their eyes lack irises like human eyes. Instead, the cornea cells change shape from thin and flat to tall and long. These contractions also change the cornea’s curvature, indicating the scallop eye changes shape to respond to light to form more crisper images on the proximal retina.Credit: TelescopeReviewsOnline.com/Category/InformationThe retina is located between the lens and the mirror, suspended a short distance above the mirror. The retina is separated into two layers, a distal layer lying closer to the lens, and a proximal layer, lying closer to the mirror, and “Incredibly, the light-sensitive portions of the photoreceptors in each of these two layers are of two fundamentally different types.”[13] Warrant adds the cellsof the distal layer resemble those found in vertebrates, being constructed of cilia and hyperpolarizing in response to light; those of the proximal layer are instead constructed of microvilli and depolarize in response to light, characteristics typical of invertebrate photoreceptors. The mirror, which is very nearly hemispherical, reflects the light back towards the retina, there focusing an inverted and minified image of the outside world. [14]Thus, the mirror serves as a lens in a system that otherwise looks like the ancient invertebrate borrowed from a modern vertebrate that was not scheduled to evolve until far into the future according to evolutionists. Adaptive mirrors are not the scallop eye’s only wonder. The researchers also determined that scallop eyes have three times as many light-sensitive proteins called opsins in the photoreceptor cells as humans.[15] Some opsins may be expressed in the proximal retina, others in the distal retina. The paper concluded thatwhat remains undisputed is that with their spectrally-tuned concave mirror of tiny guanine crystals and their double-layered retina containing both ciliary and rhabdomeric photoreceptors, the eye of the scallop is one of nature’s most extraordinary — and curious — optical inventions.[16]The paper then detailed why the visual system was designed this way, producing an eye in so-called primitive lowly clams which evolutionists claim were among the first organisms to have evolved on Earth an estimated 2.3+ billion Darwin years ago, yet are every bit as complex as that in modern humans. (For more on scallop eyes, see Evolution News 5 Dec 2017).More Big Problems for EvolutionOpsins in the retina mediate the conversion of light into electrochemical signals which are sent to the brain for processing. The molecular proteins that translate light into electrical signals vary considerably. Clams, mollusks that live inside two matching cupped shells connected by a hinge, use several eye types, including compound eyes, eyes with multiple visual units, though they differ from the well-known compound eyes used by insects. All of this seemingly unnecessary variety baffles evolutionists. They do not see it as necessary, but as an unnecessary luxury that they assume evolution could not create from survival of-the-fittest mechanisms.Another question, actually, “The big evolutionary question … is, how do these [visual] proteins evolve to sample light? And then, how does it become specified to the different types of light environments that the animals can occur in?”[17] Evolutionists have no idea of the answer, and resort to co-option, the claim that the opsins are being repurposed from some other function within the animal to be used in the eyes. One theory is evolution evolved opsin in response to light-induced stress. Ultraviolet damage causes specific molecular changes that an organism must protect against and the co-option theory speculates, was the beginning of eye evolution!This claim is a pure just-so-story, often a desperate attempt to explain something that is not only unexplainable by evolution, but argues against evolution. Not only does the diversity of eye morphologies and of photoreceptors across animals baffle evolutionists, but the fact that the genes that control eye development are remarkably similar across all life forms with eyes, does as well. The classic example is the Pax6 gene which is critical for both scallop eye as well as mammal eye development. In short, according to Darwinian theory, fifty million years of evolution has, in this case, produced virtually no changes in the gene and its function, and in other cases has produced designs unthought of by evolution until eons later after clams evolved.Humpty Darwin sits on a wall of foam bricks held together by decayed mortar. Cartoon by Brett Miller commissioned for CEH. All rights reserved.References[1][1] Darwin, Charles. 1859. The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle For Life. London, UK: John Murray, p. 159.[2] Williams, Patricia. 2005. “Darwinian Heresies.” The Quarterly Review of Biology, 80:225-226, p. 226..[3] Burkhardt, F. The Correspondence of Charles Darwin,Vol 7. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 388.This is not the first time Darwinians have blundered about what natural selection can do.[4] Williams, 2005, p. 226.[5] Callier, Viviane. 2019. “What Scallops’ Many Eyes Can Teach Us About the Evolution of Vision.” Smithsonian Magazine.[6] Warrant, Eric. J.  2018. “Visual Optics: Remarkable Image-Forming Mirrors in Scallop Eyes.” Current Biology, 28:R254–R277, March 19.[7] Land, M.F. 1965. Image formation by a concave reflector in the eye of the scallop, Pecten maximus. Journal of Physiology, 179: 138-153.[8] Warrant, Eric. J.  2018, p. R262.[9] Miller, Hayley V. Alexandra C.N. Kingston, Yakir L. Gagnon, and Daniel I. Speiser. 2019. The mirror-based eyes of scallops demonstrate a light-evoked pupillary response. Current Biology, 29(9):R313-R314, May 06.[10] Miller, et al. 1919.[11] Callier, 2019.[12] Callier, 2019.[13] Warrant, 2018, p. R262.[14] Warrant, 2018, p. R262.[15] Palmer, B.A., et al. 2017. The image forming mirror in the eye of the scallop. Science, 358: 1172-1175.[16] Warrant, 2018, p. R264.[17] Callier, 2019. Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology at several colleges and universities including for over 40 years at Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored, are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.(Visited 1,231 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

No headaches for wine lovers

first_imgSouth Africa’s wine industry is one of the most prolific and successful in the world. Exports are up by 35% for the first quarter of 2008, compared with the same period last year. (Image: Hein Von Hörsten, SA Tourism image library) Wine lovers will now be able to enjoy their favourite beverage without worrying about the side-effects.Janine ErasmusUV technology company Surepure, based in Cape Town, has developed a method of wine purification that eliminates the need for use of sulphur in the winemaking process. The sulphur content is one of the main causes of headaches and other undesirable side effects.Former Springbok rugby player Guy Kebble, CEO of Surepure, says that the internationally patented Surepure technology makes it possible for winemakers to reduce or completely omit sulphur in their red and white wine products. The process also eliminates the need for sterile filtration, a technique that removes spoilage organisms from wine – but it can also strip wine of its flavour and attenuate the aroma.“We use ultraviolet (UV) technology to purify liquids, ridding them of harmful microbes so that it is now possible to bottle wines without adding this chemical,” he says. The company claims a world first in the wine industry.Surepure is best known as a developer and supplier of UV purification solutions to the dairy industry to reduce the need for pasteurisation. Now it has adapted its technology for the liquid egg, cheese, juice and wine industries. The company is in the process of establishing overseas distribution channels for its products.A number of respected wineries, among them L’Ormarins, Steenberg and the Stellar Organic Winery in Namaqualand, Northern Cape, have successfully tested the technology on batches of young wine during the recent harvest. Kebble says that winemakers have reacted positively to the new technique – described as “revolutionary” – which has generated much interest in the industry.South Africa is a major producer of wine for the local and international market and the industry could find itself a nose ahead of the rest with this technology, says Johan van Rooyen, CEO of the SA Wine Industry Council. “By being the first country to offer wines af lower sulphur levels to the discerning international wine market could be a massive boost for our reputation as a technologically advanced wine nation.”Using sulphur judiciouslySulphur, in the form of sulphur dioxide or SO2, acts as a preservative in wine by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms such as yeast and bacteria, and by slowing down the oxidation process. Oxidation happens when the wine reacts with oxygen, which alters its colour and odour with the result that the wine becomes darker and dryer.While too much oxidation will ruin a wine, controlled oxidation can add character and complexity and in some cases, such as with certain sherries, is a crucial part of the production and aging processes.In South Africa, legislation states that dry white wine produced after January 1995 may not contain more than 160 mg/l sulphur. Off-dry and sweeter wines may contain up to 200 mg/l while Late Harvests are allowed up to 300 mg/l. The limit for dry red wine is at 150 mg/l. Organic wines still contain sulphur, albeit at very low levels – however, if the level of sulphur is below 10 mg/l, the product may be labelled “no sulphur added”. The shelf life of these wines is necessarily limited.The Surepure technology blasts microorganisms with UV-C light at a wavelength of 254.1 nm (nanometres). This affects their DNA and causes the organisms to become inactive, preventing them from proliferating. The process, says Surepure, is non-thermal, chemical-free, fast and reproducible, and leaves no effect on the wine.Wine lovers who suffer from sulphur intolerance will now be able to once more enjoy a good bottle of red. Says Kebble, “Many people avoid wine altogether because of the sulphur levels in the liquid. The Surepure system has, however, made it possible for wine to be bottled with no added sulphur or at substantially lower sulphur levels of between 20 and 50 parts per million.”Not only does Surepure cut down on the need to add sulphur, bit it also eradicated the Brettanomyces yeast that is typically found in red wines. Brettanomyces at low levels can impart a positive effect on the wine, but has the great potential to spoil the wine. It is therefore seen as a wine spoilage yeast, and its presence in wine is classed as a wine fault.Once the yeast has found its way into a winery it is hard to eradicate, but it is particularly sensitive to SO2, the traditional method of control.Useful linksSurepureSouth African Wine Industry CouncilSouth African wineStellar organic wineryWines of South AfricaWine-of-the-Month ClubSouth Africa tourism – official sitelast_img read more

SA’s 2010 stadiums near completion

first_imgWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material 1 October 2009 South Africa’s four new built-from-scratch 2010 Fifa World Cup stadiums, as well as the flagship upgraded Soccer City stadium, are on track for completion by the end of the year, Fifa’s experts reported after a six-day, six-city inspection tour. A 50-member delegation from Fifa and the 2010 Organising Committee South Africa (OC) travelled 4 000 kilometres across the country this week to run the rule over the five stadiums, along with venue-specific team hotels and training sites. Physical construction of most of the stadiums is virtually complete, with almost all permanent seating in place and pitches newly laid at Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium, Nelspruit’s Mbombela Stadium, Polokwane’s Peter Mokaba Stadium, and Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium. “Overall we are very impressed with the achievements made,” Ron DelMont, the head of Fifa’s South African office, said in a statement on Wednesday. “In addition to the stadiums coming together, we were equally pleased that the teams of the OC, host cities and Fifa are working on a common vision on the delivery of the event.” The OC’s Derek Blanckensee described the inspection tour as “very fruitful … Where before we had to visualise walls and seats, we now have been able to walk around freely in the stadiums as they will be during the tournament.” Danny Jordaan, CEO of the Organising Committee, said many had questioned whether South Africa would be ready in time for 2010. “This tour has provided ample evidence that indeed we will be,” Jordaan said. “Now the work of the Organising Committee and Fifa begins in earnest as we take these stadiums and get them ready to host World Cup matches.” This will involve setting up the temporary overlay infrastructure required to stage the tournament, such as the stadium media centres, hospitality areas, accreditation centres, signage and media tribunes. The tour comprised operational experts in broadcasting, media operations, medical, transport, logistics, safety and security, protocol, marketing, information technology, hospitality, ticketing and risk management. It also included a consultant from the South African Disabled Alliance, to oversee the provisions that have been made for access for spectators with disabilities. Of the 650 527 World Cup tickets sold to date, 7 863 are wheelchair tickets. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Hazard has improved under Sarri says Sean Dyche

first_imgBurnley manager Sean Dyche believes Chelsea’s playmaker Eden Hazard improved this season under new manager Maurizio Sarri.If fit, Eden Hazard will return to Chelsea’s starting lineup on Sunday as they travel to Turf Moor to face Burnley, and Sean Dyche is aware of the threat the Belgian poses.Hazard missed Chelsea’s 3-1 Europa League win against BATE Borisov at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, owing to a back injury.“He continues to improve I think and he continues to show that again this season,” Dyche told Sky Sports.“I think he’s shown his flexibility as a player, under different managers as well. I think most managers would like to have the chance to fit him in their side.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“Top player. But you can pick out top players in all the teams in the Premier League, but particularly the top sides.“The real big sides don’t just have one, trust me. Chelsea are a fine outfit you saw that last night [against BATE Borisov] they made eight changes and you saw what happened, still a very, very strong outfit.“We certainly don’t rely on what might happen with one player but you’ve got to be aware of how good some of those players are and he’s certainly right up there.”last_img read more

Quintero gives River Plate a historic Copa Libertadores

first_imgAn absolute screamer from the Colombian in extra time against Boca Juniors, gives River Plate the Copa Libertadores at the Bernabeu.After so much drama during the last couple of weeks with the Copa Libertadores final, Sunday finally arrived with Boca Juniors and River Plate playing a very anticipated match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid.The tension was quite evident after so much talk that was barely related to football, the loser from today’s match would live with that stigma of losing this final against the hated rival forever.The stadium was filled with people who were impatiently waiting for the match to begin, many football personalities attended this match and watched it from the VIP rooms inside the Bernabeu.People like Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi were spotted in there as none of them wanted to miss this final. Even a Juventus contingent attended the match with Cristiano Ronaldo nowhere to be seen, but Dybala and Bentancur were part of that expedition.All the players who were playing the match didn’t seem comfortable, having this final in the city of Madrid was already pretty weird in the first place and it was going to have to take a little getting used to.Both squads started this match with a 2-2 aggregate after the draw from the first match at La Bombonera, both sides were literally starting with no advantage.¡ASÍ FUE EL GOLAZO DE BENEDETTO!#LibertadoresxFOX El ‘Pipa’ recibió un pase magnífico por parte de Nández y con mucha clase, definió ante la salida de Armani para el 1-0 de Boca.Revive la definición del examericanista desde nuestro #AnguloFOX pic.twitter.com/oJX9Lxu68c— FOX Sports MX (@FOXSportsMX) December 9, 2018The first half was a huge reminder of how massive the difference between European and South American football really is, with several interruptions in this match and much less fluidity throughout the whole 90 minutes.The first half was more dominated by Boca Juniors and their ability to prevent River Plate to create spaces and link passes in midfield, they were waiting for a lost ball to get a chance that could give them the initial advantage.This moment came near the halftime whistle, as skipper Pablo Perez recovered a ball, served it to Nandez and the Uruguay international saw Dario Benedetto making the move for a pass between the lines.As soon as ‘Pipa’ intercepted the pass from Nandez, he only needed a single touch to position himself alone in front of the goalkeeper and bury his shot to the right bottom corner.Boca Juniors was winning it thanks to another crucial goal scored by Benedetto, ‘Pipa’ had now scored in both semifinal matches and both of the final games.The second half would be more fluid for the fans, for River Plate as well.¡PRATTO LO EMPATÓ CON UNA GRAN JUGADA!#LibertadoresxFOX Una pared entre ‘Nacho’ Fernández y Palacios terminó con un centro atrás para que el ‘Oso’ consiguiera la igualada.Revive la jugada desde el #AnguloFOX pic.twitter.com/yzEWIT9ucRRiver Plate v Boca Juniors - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2018Match Preview: River Plate vs Boca Juniors Boro Tanchev – September 1, 2019 It is time for one of the most intense derby games in the world, as River Plate and Boca Juniors go head-to-head tonight at 22:00 (CET).— FOX Sports MX (@FOXSportsMX) December 9, 2018The ‘Millonarios’ took control of the ball during the second half, they were able to control the ball for extended periods of time and managed to create more opportunities due to how tired the Boca Juniors players were.After several opportunities in which River was denied by the defense, a chance finally appeared for Lucas Pratto before the 70th minute, in which he was able to finish a collective effort in which Exequiel Palacios produced an exceptional skill that gave Nacho Fernandez the chance to assist Pratto.Lucas scored his fifth Copa Libertadores goal in this fashion, he became the tournament’s top scorer with this one.It was only fitting that the world’s longest football final in history would go to extra time, fortune was better for River Plate as Wilmar Barrios got booked for a second time at the start of the first extra time and left Boca Juniors with 10 players.This advantage was all that River needed, the critical moment of the night came from Colombian Quintero’s left foot in the form of a potent screamer from outside of the box that went in through the top corner for River Plate’s goal that gave them the trophy.At the end with Boca playing with 9 after Fernando Gago’s injury, Martinez sealed the result with an easy goal with no goalkeeper to stop him.River Plate is the worthy and historic Copa Libertadores champion after beating Boca Juniors 3-1 (5-3 ag.).❤ ¡Impresionante zurdazo y GOLAZO de Quintero! ❤Lo gana River#CopaLibertadores2018River 2-1 Bocapic.twitter.com/bC2n9hHTNb— MedioTiempo (@mediotiempo) December 9, 2018¡RIVER SENTENCIÓ!#LibertadoresxFOX Ya sin portero, Gonzalo Martínez hizo el 3-1 definitivo, que le da el campeonato al Millonario pic.twitter.com/vpdtZZF85K— FOX Sports MX (@FOXSportsMX) December 9, 2018What did you think about the whole drama of this Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more