Section VI Delays Start Of Low, Moderate Risk Sports To Mid-December

first_imgPixabay Stock Image.JAMESTOWN – The Section VI Athletic Council is delaying the start date of low and moderate risk winter sports.Winter sports deemed low and moderate risk will now start on December 14.Originally, sports like bowling, boys swimming, indoor track, rifle and alpine skiing were approved to start competing on November 30.Brett Banker, President of Section VI, says, “much like the recently completed fall season when we did all we could, our leadership groups across the section are working tirelessly for our athletes, families, and our coaches.” High risk sports are still due to start on January 4. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Ecommpay’s Anthony Medica: How fast payouts are key to boosting customer loyalty

first_img Betsson falls foul of Spelinspektionen with SEK20m penalty June 10, 2020 StumbleUpon Related Articles Share The relationship between payments and sports betting is one that’s constantly evolving as operators seek to maximise customer engagement through the most efficient processes possible. As such, the need for an efficient payment experience has grown exponentially in recent years. That view is supported by Anthony Medica, Business Development Manager at ECOMMPAY, who believes that payments in sports betting are evolving and betting operators need to be on top of payment trends to stay competitive. He noted: “As this is an industry in which transactions flow in both directions – from customer to merchant and from merchant to customer – businesses must ensure their e-payment platform accepts not only online payments, but can also issue mass payouts to various stakeholders. “Payment service providers must equip their operator clients with capabilities to facilitate payouts to the same payment methods used for incoming payments: alternative payment methods as well as cards. ECOMMPAY supports automated, mass payouts on its e-payments platform, ensuring successful transactions in whichever direction a sports betting client requires.”He went on to outline the importance of partnerships with Mastercard MoneySend and Visa Direct, specifically in Europe. “There is a small selection of Visa and Mastercard Principal Members,” he explained. “ECOMMPAY is one of the few. These partnerships ensure a fast, reliable service. To facilitate mass transfers to international payment system cards, Visa and Mastercard enable automated payouts on cards worldwide by deploying Visa Direct and Mastercard MoneySend. “International payment networks offer speed and global reach. Visa Direct, for example, is accessible in 200 countries across the globe, ensuring that issuers can quickly access funds to facilitate payouts to their customers. However, speed is not the only factor to consider. The payout must be conducted in the same currency as the card holder’s account.”Direct card acquirer ECOMMPAY offers mass payouts in local currencies. Operator clients can facilitate transactions to their customers in a single click. The speed, however, will depend on the capabilities of local banks.“Mass payouts to payment cards is a flexible solution,” Medica added. “Intelligent routing and cascading enable payment service providers to configure the routes across which payments and payouts travel, reacting promptly to rectify any disruptions across payment channels in order to achieve a higher success rate.”Further mapping out the key elements that ensure a thriving relationship between operators and the payment sector, he underlined the importance of not solely relying on payment cards. “Payment cards can’t be the only payment method through which sports betting operators facilitate mass payouts. After all, a growing number of consumers prefer to pay – and to receive money – through alternative means.”Identifying where operators should turn in their desire for the expansion of options, he detailed: “E-wallets are one example of an alternative payment method popular among a large segment of the European consumer audience. Last year, e-wallets grew by 20% in Europe, accounting for $42 billion of the market share. Meanwhile, Visa and Mastercard transactions amounted to $35 billion in 2019.“The modern payment landscape is dominated by large corporations, known as big tech, and open APIs. Big tech companies have developed their own payment infrastructure to support online business. Mass payouts are part of the functionality they offer, and many platforms and payment gateways enable merchants to issue mass payouts to e-wallets as well as traditional payment cards.“For instance, the PayPal Mass Pay API provides automated payouts using one CSV file of up to 5,000 emails linked to PayPal accounts. All that remains for the payout issuer to do is define the amount and currency code. If desired, the transaction identifier and an optional message to the customer can be provided.” Automated mass payouts is an element that’s elevated in importance as operators embark on global expansion and significantly grow their customer bases.Medica cited system crashes as a potentially pivotal factor in hindering engagement for payment partners, stating: “System crashes during complex operations can cause significant delays. E-payments are no exception. Software and hardware errors are responsible for financial losses at best and reputational damage at worst. “Payment service providers invest into system reliability to ensure an optimal level of service to their merchant clients.“ECOMMPAY’s continuous improvements have paid off, resulting in 99.99% system availability paired with a higher mass payout success rate. Monitoring the entire payout process carefully, it’s why we always strive to ensure system continuity even in cases of unforeseen errors on the side of external payment partners.” While seamlessness is the focus and e-payments are thrust into the forefront of operations, Medica insisted that security isn’t hindered in the slightest. “All payment transactions, including mass payouts, must be protected by an additional layer of security. ECOMMPAY’s security solution is the proprietary FraudStop risk management system, which is complemented by manual transaction monitoring.“This comprehensive solution detects unauthorised activity in the early stages, which enables the payment service provider to work collaboratively with its operator clients to negate the threat. The combination of automated and manual review ensures suspicious transactions are swiftly identified.“To achieve high conversion and reliable payouts on a global scale, merchants receiving high volumes of incoming traffic must ensure they have the necessary infrastructure in place. A combination of reputable partners, various payment methods, sophisticated technologies, and optimal security is key for sports betting operators looking to grow their business.” Share MuchBetter launches CashDuster to bridge payments and marketing dynamics November 28, 2019 Submit Betting on Sports to deliver biggest ever exhibition space June 14, 2019last_img read more

About Town

first_imgSANDY HOOK – The Sandy Hook Child Care Center (SHCCC), a parent-run nonprofit day care and state-licensed preschool, is hosting its first tricky-tray/gift auction fundraiser on Sept. 27.SHCCC is located in the Sandy Hook National Recreation Area in Monmouth County. Like most areas impacted by Super Storm Sandy, Sandy Hook was devastated and forced the facility to close for more than six months. Although SHCCC reopened on April 29, the closure took a toll on the school financially and its future remains in jeopardy.In order to remain fully operational for current and future children and families, and to help it get back on its feet and continue its mission, SHCCC will hold the tricky-tray/gift auction fundraiser from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27 at the VFW Post 2179, 1 Veterans Lane, Port Monmouth.During the tricky–tray auction guests buy tickets and place them in a container next to the item they would like to win. Gifts can be a single item or a group of items based on a theme. Once everyone has had the opportunity to place their tickets in the container, the prize drawings begin.Admission is $25 and includes dinner, catered by Taliercio’s Gourmet, and dessert. Presale ticket packages are $30; $40 at the door. A la carte tickets will also be sold at the door. Other highlights will include: Live band Racin’ Time, special guest MC Greg T from Z100-FM; 50/50 drawing, prizes and cash bar.Established in 1980, for more than 30 years the Sandy Hook Child Care Center’s mission has been to provide a one-of-a-kind learning experience for the children of the community. Nestled inside historic Sandy Hook National Recreation area the environment is their curriculum. This small, nonprofit, parent-run center offers affordable child-care to local families and an unparalleled learning environment for children. For more information, visit SHCCC on the web at or on social media at and LITTLE SILVER – Red Bank Regional (RBR) has announced that two of its Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) students, Patrick Martini of Union Beach and Matthew Rosen of Little Silver, have been accepted as members of the prestigious All-National Honors Ensembles.The RBR students are among 637 top high-school music students in the country to earn the honor. Both will perform, Patrick in the mixed chorus and Matt in the concert band, at a gala concert on Oct. 30 in Nashville, Tenn.We are so pleased to have Matt and Patrick both be selected for the All-National ensembles,” said RBR’s lead VPA teacher Kris Zook. “Their hard work and dedication in getting to this level are a testament to their talent and musicianship. They continue to make all of the RBR Visual & Performing Arts proud to count them among our ranks.”Patrick, a music and drama double major, has steadily risen in the ranks of the honor choirs since he entered RBR as a freshman in the VPA program. He was selected for three years to the All-Shore Chorus and made first chair for two years. He advanced to All-State Honor Chorus for the past two years and was the top scorer of 350 male singers.Patrick also was selected for All State Opera and has appeared in many school musicals and dramas taking lead roles in RBR’s productions of As You Like It, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Little Mermaid, Jr., and Little Women. He also performed a lead role in the school’s opera presentation of Dido and Aeneas. Patrick has performed in community theater in Phoenix’s production of Sweeney Todd and with the Garden State Players in a music theater showcase.Patrick said he was “really happy and felt a real sense of accomplishment and so honored to be going to Tennessee to perform among the best students in the country.”Matthew is an instrumental music major in RBR’s VPA with a concentration in clarinet, bass clarinet and saxophone. His acceptance to the All-National Honors Band is on bass clarinet. This past spring Matthew won the first chair, principal bass clarinet for the All-Eastern Concert Band. Matthew has been studying clarinet since the fourth grade and began competing for honors bands in middle school. By eighth grade he had won seats in the middle school All-Shore Band and the Middle School Region II Orchestra.As a freshman he had the distinction of being accepted to the High School Region II Band on two instruments. By sophomore year he was accepted to the All-State Wind Ensemble on all three instruments.Matthew has seized many opportunities to expand his musical experiences. He has spent his high school summer vacations playing alongside professional musicians under the direction of John Luckenbill, performing in a shore-area concert series. He also held the position of concertmaster, principal clarinetist at the 2012 and 2013 New York Summer Music Festival in Oneonta, N.Y. He has played bass clarinet in the Rutgers University Symphonic Band, the only high school student to ever play with that ensemble. Additionally, Matthew studies the soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones with the well-known saxophonist Paul Cohen from Manhattan School of Music and Rutgers. Matt is currently playing clarinet in the Manhattan School of Music Pre-college Philharmonic Orchestra. Of his many musical accomplishments Matt said, “Nothing for me has been as notable as my acceptance to the All-Eastern Band, my junior year, until this. I still can’t believe that I made All-National.” Volunteers Needed for Holmdel Domestic Violence Response Team FAIR HAVENJoin Susan Elbin, Ph.D., when she presents her program, “Fascinating Feathers,” at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Monmouth County Audubon Society. The meeting will be held at the Church of the Nativity on Ridge Road. The public is welcome; admission is free.Elbin will discuss how feathers play a wide variety of roles in the lives of birds that are critical to their specific lifestyles. Besides flight, facets that will be discussed include how feathers impact attracting mates; breeding success; territorial dominance; regulating body temperature; and camouflage.Elbin is New York City’s Audubon’s director of conservation and science and an ornithologist who has worked in the field of behavioral ecology and conservation for more than 25 years. Her specialties are avian behavioral ecology and conservation of colonial waterbirds. She is the chair of the Ornithological Council and, locally, co-chair of the Harbor Herons Subcommittee of the Restoration Committee for the Harbor Estuary Program. Elbin also is an adjunct professor at Columbia University, where she teaches courses in ornithology and migration ecology.Further information can be obtained by visiting the organization’s website at, or via email at [email protected] * * * * *Alison Block, Ph.D., will speak about how the Internet and social media have changed family life at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, at Middletown High School North, 63 Tindall Road.A licensed psychologist, Block’s talk: “Are the Internet and Social Media Putting Our Children’s Relationships in Jeopardy? Learn the Importance of Small Talk & Its Big Rewards,” is hosted by the Middletown Township Friends of Different Learners.Attendees will learn how the Internet and social media have changed family life and the difference between real conversations and intimate relationships, versus texting and sharing on Facebook.Registration is available by visiting mtfodlsmalltalk2013. Additional information is available by visiting or contacting Jennifer Smiga at [email protected] or 201-892-9403. UPPER FREEHOLD – Monmouth County has scheduled its fall 2013 Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5 at the county highway garage on Route 539 so that residents have an additional opportunity to get rid of items that are not permitted in the regular or recycling disposal process.Acceptable items for the disposal program include pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, solvents, thinners, corrosives, cleaners, pool chemicals, oil paints, varnishes, aerosol cans (full or partially full), used motor oil, antifreeze, gasoline, batteries (rechargeable, button or automotive) and propane barbecue tanks.Each item must be in its original container with its original label (with the exception of used oil, gas or antifreeze). Also, the maximum amount of dry material that may be dropped off is 200 pounds and/or 20 gallons of liquid, with no container larger than five gallons.Items not accepted are lab re-agents, concrete, electronics, car tires, explosives, radioactive materials and asbestos. Unknown or unidentified items are not allowed, either.Year-round hazardous waste disposal appointments are available at the county’s household hazardous waste facility at 3211 Shafto Road in Tinton Falls. Information, hours and appointments are available by calling 732-683-8686, ext. 5210.School and municipal agencies must make alternate disposal arrangements. Businesses must contract privately for proper disposal of hazardous waste materials. County to Hold Household Hazardous Waste Day RBR Students Selected for All-National Honors Bandcenter_img HOLMDEL – The Holmdel Township Police Department is recruiting volunteers to serve on its Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT).In affiliation with 180 Turning Lives Around (180), and with the assistance of the response team volunteers, the police department continues to make available this service to victims of domestic violence during the initial stages of a highly emotional and traumatic experience. 180 will be conducting an intensive 40-hour mandatory training course for Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT) volunteers from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thurs­days, Oct. 1 – 24, in the courtroom at Neptune City Municipal Court, 106 West Sylvania Ave., Neptune City.The volunteer advocates with 180’s DVRT Program are members of the community who work collaboratively with law enforcement to provide support, information and referrals to victims of domestic violence at Holmdel Police Headquarters.Advocates also discuss with victims safety planning and their legal rights in regard to obtaining a temporary restraining order. By providing empathy and crucial perspective of the situation, the highly trained advocates help to empower victims to make informed decisions for themselves and their families.Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, have access to reliable transportation, possess a valid driver’s license, be willing to serve on an on-call shift basis, participate in an interview process, submit to background investigations and fingerprinting and successfully complete the mandatory training.The Holmdel Police Department and 180 are committed to a culturally diverse team to better serve the community, so bilingual capability is helpful. Prior knowledge of domestic violence is not required.The identities of the DVRT volunteers are kept anonymous. Those interested may contact Holmdel Police Lt. Michael Pigott at 732-946-9690, ext. 1742, or [email protected] to obtain an application or for additional information. MIDDLETOWNRebecca’s Reel Quilters of Poricy Park will hold its annual handmade quilt raffle to benefit Poricy Park. The handmade quilt is designed, created and donated by members of Rebecca’s Reel Quilters Guild of Poricy Park. The quilt is queen/king sized. The design was created using earth tones with soft blue accents, and is valued at $1,000. Raffle tickets are $1 per ticket with 100 percent of the proceeds to benefit Poricy Park Conservancy.The drawing will be held 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the park, located at 345 Oak Hill Road. Dec. 8 is the last day of the annual holiday and craft shop. The winner need not be present to win.For additional information or to purchase a ticket, visit the Poricy Park Nature Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends. Tickets may also be purchased at Rebecca’s Reel Quilters Guild meetings and events. Police Departments Honored by Boy Scouts Sandy Hook Child Care Center Sends Out S.O.S. – Save our School * * * * *Children can get into the Halloween spirit at the Middletown Township Public Library during October with favorite holiday stories, songs, and movies and holiday-themed activities for all ages.Halloween Crafternoon for children ages 4-9 will be held from 4 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 and Tuesday, Oct. 22. A fun story will be featured and children can make a Halloween necklace for boys or girls during the “dress for mess” activity.Dress for Mess-Halloween Surprise for children ages 4-5 will be held 4 to 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15. Is it science? Is it art? It’s both! Discover “invisible pictures” during this “science art” program.Tween Mythbusters-Halloween Edition for children in grades 4-6 will be held 7 to 7:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17. Levitating broomsticks, hair-tangling bats, exploding candy? During our “Myth­busters” program, we will conduct science experiments to find out the truth behind these holiday happenings.Halloween Family Movie Night for children ages 5 and older will be held at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29. Bring a pillow and blanket or cozy up in our chairs for a Halloween Family Movie Night featuring Hocus Pocus by Walt Disney Pictures starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najima. Rated PG; running time 96 minutes. Drop in; no registration required.Halloween Parade for children ages 2-6 will be held from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30. Come in costume, share a story and join the Halloween Parade! A favorite for kids and adults!Preregistration at is required.  Funding for the library’s public programs comes from the generous support of the Middletown Township Public Library Foundation, Inc. The Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach police departments were recognized recently at a Sea Bright Borough Council meeting by the Monmouth Council, Boy Scouts of America, with the William Spurgeon Award and for the departments’ long-standing joint sponsorship of the Scouts’ Law Enforcement Exploring program. Exploring is the career-education program of the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women, ages 14 through 20. Through the Exploring program, young men and women have the opportunity to gain an inside look at a career field and gain hands-on experience in a possible future vocation.Members of the departments’ Exploring Post have the opportunity to learn about law-enforcement operations, participate in community projects and crime-prevention programs and gain insight into careers in law enforcement.To learn more or to join please call officer John Arias at the Sea Bright Police Department at 732-842-0010 or officer Aaron Rock at the Monmouth Beach Police Department at 732-229-1313.last_img read more

Johnson meets Cotter in Canadian Direct Insurance A-Final Thursday at Nelson Curling Club

first_img“It’s kind of a new team that we put together and we haven’t played a lot together so we focused a lot in practice and his paying off in the game.”They did it the hard way, scoring single points in six ends to edge Craig.Trailing 5-4 with last rock in the tenth, Craig missed on is final attempt to give Johnson the win.Meanwhile, Cotter, third Ryan Kuhn, second Tyrel Griffiths and lead Rick Sawatsk continue to roll as the Okanagan rink dumped Glen Jackson of Victoria 7-4 in the other A semi final.Cotter scored consecutive points in the third, fourth and fifth ends — in the fifth the rink counted three — to open a 5-1 lead.Jackson scored a single in the sixth before stealing another point in the seventh but could never further cut into the Cotter lead.In B Event play, Kootenay Rep Chris Ducharme of Creston edged out Stephen Schneider of Vancouver 7-6 in 11 ends; Jeff Richard of Kelowna doubled Chase Martyn of New Westminster 10-5 and Daniel Wenzek of Langley sent pre-tournament favourite Joanisse to his second loss in as many games, 8-7.Action continues today with two draws at 2 and 7 p.m. Michael Johnson is betting against the odds, and winning.The underdog Victoria rink knocked off its second heavyweight at the 2016 Canadian Direct Insurance BC Men’s Curling Championships, outlasting club mate Wes Craig 6-4 during Thursday’s morning draw to advance into the A final tonight at 7 p.m.Wednesday, Johnson doubled another top rink, Dean Joanisse of New Westminster, 6-3.Johnson, third Chris Baier, second Ty Diello and lead Mitch Young hope to continue their mission against defending BC Champion Jim Cotter of Vernon.”We practiced a lot going into this event and I think it’s paying off on the ice,” Johnson said after the latest victory Thursday.last_img read more

SETI: A Fact-Free Occult Cult with Money

first_img(Visited 426 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The science behind SETI is just window dressing. Believers obsess on space aliens with religious zeal, not evidence.Aliens could be purple, new study says (Fox News Science from Live Science). Sure, they could be purple. They could be pink. Perhaps they are yellow, or lime green. When you have no facts, you can say space aliens “could be” any color or shape. Why, even the Earth “could” have been purple before there were observers to prove it. The absence of facts doesn’t shame writer Stephanie Pappas, who gets rewarded with prime internet real estate on a science news site to engage in fact-free speculation. Why? Because it comports with Darwinism.Credit: Illustra MediaBreakthrough Listen To Incorporate The Meerkat Array in Search for Technosignatures (Astrobiology Magazine). This is another pet project of Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, who breathed new life into SETI by pumping some of his millions into the search. The MeerKAT array of radio telescopes in South Africa will search a thousand more objects than previous attempts. Its method will be to look for “technosignatures” of stars. Are they allowed to use intelligent design principles to infer intelligent design? Don’t you dare say that phrase! See also Mike Wall’s article on this. And wherever you hear the word “alien” around, you can be sure Astrobiology Magazine reporters will come running.Could ‘Oumuamua be an extraterrestrial solar sail? (Astronomy Today via Matt Williams looks at a burned-out comet that whizzed past Earth last year and imagines alien technology. Maybe the cigar-shaped rock was a spacecraft that used light energy for sailing the cosmos. Williams got help from “astronomers” thinking about this. But were they doing scientific astronomy when they turned off fact-gathering, and turned on their imaginations?Interestingly enough, there has also been some speculation that based on its shape, ‘Oumuamua might actually be an interstellar spacecraft (Breakthrough Listen even monitored it for signs of radio signals!). A new study by a pair of astronomers from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) has taken it a step further, suggesting that ‘Oumuamua may actually be a light sail of extra-terrestrial origin.Sure, it “could” or “might” or “may” be anything if you are willing to red-line your perhapsimaybecouldness index. As the saying goes, if pigs had wings, they could fly.Universe’s mysterious dark force could lead to life (Fox News Science). Our headline calls SETI “a cult with money.” That’s a play on words; it also sounds like “Occult with Money.” This article begins with a play on words, too:Nothing is important. We’re almost sure it’s there. But we don’t know what it is. But this nothing could control the fate of the universe. And there may even be entire solar systems made of it.Physicists have been grappling with dark matter — and dark energy — for decades.It’s where many of our laws of physics disappear in a puff of smoke.But nothing “could lead to life.” Yes, and there goes science in a puff of smoke, too.Bayesian approach to SETI PNAS). Let’s get serious. People at the National Academy of Sciences are serious, aren’t they? With a little Bayesian inference (a popular scientific reasoning method), they can speculate without any evidence at all.Ongoing and future initiatives in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) will explore the Galaxy on an unprecedented scale to find evidence of communicating civilizations beyond Earth. Here, we construct a Bayesian formulation of SETI to infer the posterior probability of the mean number of radio signals crossing Earth, given a positive or a null outcome of all-sky searches for nonnatural radio emissions. We show that not detecting signals within ∼40 kly from Earth is compatible with the absence in the entire Galaxy of detectable emitters of a wide range of radiated power. The discovery of even a single emission within ∼1 kly implies instead that over 100 signals typically cross our planet from the Milky Way.Now, there’s only one little problem to mop up: finding that “single emission.” Interesting phrase they use: “nonnatural radio emissions” — aren’t most SETI believers naturalists? Don’t philosophical naturalists believe that nature is all there is?Science Daily‘s entry on this paper doesn’t answer that question. The French cultists make the argument that if we don’t find them, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Logically, that’s true. But try that argument on SGI, the search for ghost intelligence.Astronomer Jill Tarter discusses the search for intelligent life ( Jill Tarter, one of the queens of SETI, was given royal treatment in a Harvard interview. The interviewer could have asked some hard questions, but one never treats royalty that way.For me, after millennia of asking priests and philosophers what we should believe, I just thought it was very exciting that right then in the middle of the 20th century we were beginning to have some tools—telescopes and computers—that allowed scientists and engineers to try to figure out what is, and not have to take somebody’s belief system. I thought that was really important and I got hooked.Without realizing, she was being treated as a priestess herself. She created a belief system with no evidence. The interviewer was now asking her what we should believe. Tarter had inspired a movie, but has produced not a single point of data to confirm her childhood imagination: “It just always seemed to me that probably walking along the beach on some other world there was some other creature with their father, looking and seeing our sun as a star in their sky.”To Jjill Tarter, pretending to be a scientist but having no data doesn’t matter. “Even not finding it but trying to find it is important because it helps to give people a more cosmic perspective.” That’s a faith quest. It also ignores many theists who have a ‘cosmic perspective’ without ascribing to her cult based on her feelings about what “just always seemed to me.”Imagine a world without facts (Science Magazine). Who lacks facts? Jeremy Berg undoubtedly had his usual bogeymen in mind, the ones who dare criticize the scientific consensus, or totalitarian science, as John West calls it (Evolution News). It’s hard to disagree with his generalities:To avoid sliding further into a world without facts, we must articulate and defend the processes of evidence generation, evaluation, and integration. This includes not only clear statements of conclusions, but also clear understanding of the underlying evidence with recognition that some propositions have been well established, whereas others are associated with substantial remaining uncertainty. We should acknowledge and accept responsibility for, but not exaggerate, challenges within the scientific enterprise. At the same time, we should continue to call out statements put forward that are factually incorrect with reference to the most pertinent evidence. Without taking these steps forcefully, we risk living in a world where many things do not work as well as we need them to.Berg need look no further than his materialist friends in the SETI cult to imagine a world without facts. And they get away with it. Big Science loves those fact-free imagineers.Most reasonable people love facts. Acts & Facts Magazine at ICR loves facts. ICR has a film series called That’s a Fact. Where are the facts in SETI? The facts about pulsars, neutron star mergers and radio frequencies are interesting, but they do not bear on the question at hand: do space aliens exist? For that, there are no facts at all. Why do the SETI cultists get a pass? The same people who will scream at theists, demanding “evidence” for God, will let the occult cult of SETI get by with no facts – not even a single fact by which one could infer their presence indirectly, like a “technosignature” or an artifact incapable of natural formation.“We are looking for signals at some frequency, some wavelength that don’t look like what Mother Nature produces,” Jill Tarter said in 2014.The SETI cultists are incapable of seeing their hypocrisy. They use the exact same reasoning to intelligent causes employed by the Intelligent Design movement, but they don’t get the message, even when it is explained to them. They insist on calling ID religion, but what they do “science.” Case in point: at JPL, when my boss accused me of “pushing religion” with intelligent design DVDs I would occasionally share with co-workers, he shouted at me “Intelligent design is religion!” In response, I asked him point-blank about SETI. I asked him, “What about SETI? Aren’t they using intelligent design to infer intelligent causes from radio signals?” I couldn’t even finish the sentence before he interrupted me. He said, “That’s different. The scientific community has determined that SETI is science.”Go figure.This shows that my boss, who grew up believing the Bible but junked it in college, did not really leave religion behind. He just exchanged one religion founded on historical, verifiable facts for another religion with no facts: an occult religion—a cult religion. Its god is Darwin; its angels are space aliens, and its altar is a radio dish. This cult, moreover, turns its devotees into totalitarian bigots. Don’t believe it? SETI fakery gets a complete pass in the media, but intelligent design material is vigorously censored. And look how vehement my boss got when I tried to use logic and reason with him. Darwin bigots cannot tolerate anyone disagreeing with their religion. They will fight anyone who tries to share material pointing out their lack of facts. In my case, it cost me a lucrative career.Note: if the intellectual world falls for a cult, it is still a cult. If intelligent people fall for a cult, it is still a cult. And if the cult must rely on dark forces no one can detect, it is still occult.last_img read more

Do you want to make a difference to South Africa?

first_imgA key challenge is to achieve a common understanding of and commitment to Brand South Africa within government, the private sector and civil society, and ensuring alignment of all role players behind the brand. The IMC has a staff of 35, and a marketing budget of over R100m/year. The IMC’s Board consists of senior leaders from across South Africa’s public and private sectors.Download details on the following available positions:Chief Executive OfficerChief Marketing OfficerDownload advertistment in PDF format [ 1.4Mb]last_img read more

South African conservationist wins WWF award

first_img5 August 2015Andrew Zaloumis, the long-serving chief executive of iSimangaliso Wetland Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal, has been awarded World Wildlife Fund South Africa’s 2015 Living Planet Award.In making the award, the conservation group noted Zaloumis’s inspirational conservation work and the economic turnaround of the nature reserve, once an apartheid operational zone with one of the lowest human development indices in the country.The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is South Africa’s third-largest protected area, covering 280km of coastline, from the Mozambique border to St Lucia. The park is a Unesco World Heritage Site, recognised for its rich biodiversity and the unique variety of irreplaceable ecosystems contained within its relatively small area.The park’s sites include coral reefs, dune forests, wetlands and savanna grassland. It is home to a large wildlife population, including elephant, leopard, black and white rhino and buffalo, as well as whales, dolphins and endangered marine turtles.The management of iSimangaliso, for which Zaloumis has been recognised by WWF SA, co-ordinates the administration and protection of the park. It also offers meaningful job empowerment and benefits for local communities. In awarding Zaloumis the recognition, the WWF highlighted his inspirational work over the last 30 years in making the area one of South Africa’s conservation tourism hallmarks.In his acceptance speech, Zaloumis said that in order for places like iSimangaliso to continue to exist, society would have to think beyond the extractive values of conservation economics and rather acknowledge the real value of nature – the impact it has on the soul.Zaloumis spoke of a time, in 1994, when industry threatened to dredge-mine the dunes of Lake St Lucia for titanium, stripping the wetlands of its most vital resource: water. Inspired by Nelson Mandela’s dedication to conservation-based ecotourism, half-a-million South Africans signed a petition to stop the development and focus on preserving the natural importance of the area.“The (then) new democratic government of South Africa. showed the world that there were socially- and environmentally-sustainable economic alternatives to smoke-stack industries,” Zaloumis said.iSimangaliso, he added, “offers hope and a new model of conservation to other wild places. It is a real privilege being able to work for the economic turnaround of a region and see tangible benefits for local people, while, and at the same time, restoring original game populations, ecosystems functioning and the natural wonders of the park.”Another notable highlight for Zaloumis was the reintroduction of the lion population in 2013. It was the first time in over 40 years lions were seen in iSimangaliso.Zaloumis accepted the award on behalf of the iSimangaliso team, the local community and his family, but paid special tribute to his father, who inspired his love of nature and the area where he had come as a boy to study the wetland’s duck population.WWF SA chairman Valli Moosa said the award was an important recognition of Zaloumis’s passion for conservation, rewarding “his boldness, visionary approach and courage to bring an inclusive form of conservation to an area that was once an apartheid operational zone and had one of the lowest human development indices in the country”.Source: World Wildlife Fund South Africalast_img read more

Groklaw Shuts Down, A Self-Described Casualty In The Privacy Wars

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market You may not have heard of Pamela Jones, creator of the legal blog site known as Groklaw, but you may have heard of the legal case that she helped dismantle through patience, research and no small amount of moxie: the $1 billion lawsuit leveled at IBM by The SCO Group in 2003.Through that case, and the other SCO lawsuits that appeared on the docket in 2003-2004, Jones endured repeated attempts of exposure and no small amount of intimidation by The SCO Group or its proxies… but it would take something else entirely to drive Jones from the Internet once and for all.See also Death Before Dishonor: Secure Email Services Shut Down Rather Than Comply With FedsOn Groklaw today, Jones has announced that she is shutting down the site and removing herself from the Internet. The reason? Recent moves from private e-mail services like Lavabit and Secret Circle to shut down their businesses in order to protect customers from government surveillance.The owner of Lavabit tells us that he’s stopped using email and if we knew what he knew, we’d stop too.There is no way to do Groklaw without email. Therein lies the conundrum.Concerned that Groklaw’s email communications will be or could now be monitored, Jones has opted to end the work on the site entirely.I hope that makes it clear why I can’t continue. There is now no shield from forced exposure. Nothing in that parenthetical thought list is terrorism-related, but no one can feel protected enough from forced exposure any more to say anything the least bit like that to anyone in an email, particularly from the US out or to the US in, but really anywhere. You don’t expect a stranger to read your private communications to a friend. And once you know they can, what is there to say? Constricted and distracted. That’s it exactly. That’s how I feel.So. There we are. The foundation of Groklaw is over. I can’t do Groklaw without your input. I was never exaggerating about that when we won awards. It really was a collaborative effort, and there is now no private way, evidently, to collaborate.It might be a surprise to some that Jones would elect to take this option, rather than make a stand and fight, perhaps with Groklaw itself. The site used crowdsourced research and education to help dispel The SCO Group’s claims that as the owner of the copyright for the UNIX operating system, it was entitled to a licensing fee from any user of the Linux operating system, which SCO also claimed had copied code directly from UNIX.Those claims were never really settled because ultimately Novell would step forward and successfully challenge SCO’s copyright ownership of UNIX. It turns out that you can’t sue for something you don’t actually own, and SCO’s cases melted like snow on a hot summer’s day.Through the legal twists and turns of the SCO legal battles in 2005, odd efforts to disclaim Jones would occur. Many of her detractors claimed she was nothing more than an astroturfing front for IBM itself, claims which were made to me as a journalist . In 2005 Sys-Con reporter Maureen O’Gara attempted to track Jones down at her Hartsdale, NY home using, Jones claimed, private investigators to do the leg work the story. That story, later struck down by Sys-Con, painted a less-than-flattering picture of Jones and also appeared to use SCO-delivered clues to track the blogger down.In 2007, before the Novell case blew SCO’s claims out of the water, accusations that Jones—which may have always been a pen name for the Groklaw editor—was working for IBM came to a head. SCO attempted to serve Jones a subpoena for a deposition with an unknown reason, but the attempt was unsuccessful, according to then-Forbes writer and former ReadWrite Editor in Chief Dan Lyons. Jones claimed she would be taking a “health break” from the site and was unavailable at the time.Deserved or not, no one can deny that Jones has endured a lot of scrutiny in her tenure at Groklaw. After putting up with the deliberate attacks on her site and character, Jones has demonstrated that she is no wilting flower.But Jones is, by many accounts, a deeply private person. I have never met her in person, as she has kept her distance, preferring to communicate via e-mail over the years. People who have met her have repeatedly emphasized Jones’ need for personal privacy.With that in mind, then, Jones’ need to withdraw from the Internet, while frustrating for her and her readers, becomes a little more understandable. Jones has demonstrated a fierce capacity to fight for the law, but her Achilles’ heel has always been the need to protect her own private life and the work done behind the scenes at Groklaw. If the U.S. intelligence community is indeed taking steps to intercept e-mails in a non-targeted manner, then it is clear why Jones is stepping away: she cannot feel safe working in this medium any longer.My personal decision is to get off of the Internet to the degree it’s possible. I’m just an ordinary person. But I really know, after all my research and some serious thinking things through, that I can’t stay online personally without losing my humanness, now that I know that ensuring privacy online is impossible. I find myself unable to write. I’ve always been a private person. That’s why I never wanted to be a celebrity and why I fought hard to maintain both my privacy and yours.Oddly, if everyone did that, leap off the Internet, the world’s economy would collapse, I suppose. I can’t really hope for that. But for me, the Internet is over.Given all that Jones has had to put up with, her pulling away from the Internet now should serve as a signal to others that the actions of the U.S. intelligence services will have broad and far-reaching consequences on how much users should trust the Internet.The casualty of Groklaw may be among the first of many to fall in the privacy wars.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#nsa#privacy#spying A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Related Posts brian proffitt Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

Brazil will be team to watch out for at home, predicts S. Kannan

first_imgFor the developed world, rubbishing underdeveloped and developing countries is nothing new. Yet, in four days’ time, when the brand new Adidas Brazuca ball is kicked when Brazil meet Croatia in Sao Paulo, the FIFA World Cup will roar to life.The hype over Brazil as host has been very high but in recent months, a lot of negative stuff has been written about some venues still not being ready and security being a concern.Today, when most of the top football leagues are in Europe and offer ridiculous salaries to professionals, one tends to forget the nationalities of players. It’s the star value which matters if your favourite club wins or loses.There is no club football for the time being and it will be a matter of pride as the best 32 teams in the world strive to win the world’s most coveted trophy.There could not have been a better venue for football as Brazil symbolises the romanticism of the beautiful game. To borrow a famous line from a former player, after kicking around for 90 minutes in the field, only one team wins. Likewise, for the champion to emerge on July 13, it will require skill, style, guts and immense energy.For romantic relics like me who grew up first hearing about Brazilian football and then seeing it on television, this is a wonderful chance for the hosts to win the World Cup.The last time the World Cup was held in Brazil in 1950, they lost the decider 1- 2 to Uruguay. The entire nation went into mourning and till date they have not been able to come to terms with the loss on home turf.advertisementThere are any number of books which have been written on Brazilian football, yet the ones written in the local language after the 1950 loss vilifying goalkeeper Moacir Barbosa define what passion is all about, even in a negative sense.Today’s young generation of fans who watch satellite TV channels may need to do a Google search on Barbosa, but Brazilians know how the innocent goalkeeper was riled till death.This is indeed a good chance for Brazil to exorcise the ghosts of 1950 as they have a good team.The Samba flavour is essentially about fast pace, attacking style and excitement.Just to jog the readers’ memory, in 1982 when Brazil had giants like Zico and Socrates, they failed to defend against the Italians. A 2- 2 draw would have sufficed but they chose to attack and messed it up. That Brazilian side was probably the best one not to win the World Cup.In 1994, when the World Cup was played in the United States, again Brazil discarded the aggressive style and chose a mixed strategy where players like Romario and Bebeto caught the eye.The fifth World Cup win came in 2002 when they showed what Brazilian flair was all about with Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho hogging the limelight.Nothing can be more special for Brazil than winning at home. Agreed, Spain is the team to beat and their style has been very successful in the last World Cup as well as in two European championships.But if one flips through the annals of history, the strong European teams have struggled when they are playing outside their continent. To discount the chances of Spain or a solid German team would be stupid but you could be sure England does not have the class to go the full distance.Apart from Brazil, another Latin American team to watch out would be Argentina. Playing in familiar conditions, the Argentine side has a fine line- up which boasts of Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Angel di Maria.Messi has looked low key in club football recently but who knows, he may be preserving the best for the most vital burst in Brazil.At home, even though our own football languishes deep down in the FIFA rankings, the interest level is very high. The World Cup will give many homes from Jammu to Kanyakumari sleepless nights as high voltage football awaits us.Today, you can even pick up World Cup merchandise of various teams through online shopping and not wait for some friend to get you jerseys from abroad.One aspect which cannot be ignored in this World Cup is how many star players are not fully fit. From Franck Ribery to Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi to Neymar, injuries have taken their toll with Ribery ruled out.And lastly, when one talks of who will win the Golden Boot award this year, some of the names which come readily to the mind still include Messi, Neymar, Arjen Robben, Luis Suarez, Ronaldo and Mario Balotelli.advertisementUnlike a sport like hockey, football is very easy to follow. Even if you are not a regular junkie who watches the EPL, Serie A, La Liga or Bundesliga, you can fall in love with the FIFA World Cup. It sure gives you a [email protected] mailtoday.inlast_img read more