NASCAR tries to end slide with push for more exciting racing

January 18, 2020

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first_imgPhivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra NASCAR pushed forward and the new rules are here with major implications. The health of the sport is riding on the belief that, if nothing else, the racing will be better, more drivers will win, more teams will succeed, and fans, of course, will give it a chance.Making the racing more entertaining is critical in getting fans to pay attention again.“On the optimism scale of a 1 to 10, I’m a 15,” said Marcus Smith, who as CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc. last year pushed hard for the rules package and also altered his track last season to create the hybrid oval-road course “Roval” that created some buzz during last year’s playoffs.“The racing is the most important part of NASCAR and the quality of racing is similar to the quality of a show, a movie or the quality of a story in a book,” he said. “If it’s exciting, you want to watch it, you want to be there. This package is going to be more exciting and I believe it will have a huge positive impact on the sport.”NASCAR will continue to emphasize its rising young talent, led by Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones and Kyle Larson, all playoff drivers last season. Elliott was voted NASCAR’s mostpopular driver, an award won a record 16 times by his Hall of Fame father, Bill Elliott.Even so, the spotlight still centers on NASCAR’s aging stars, who are adamant they can still win championships.Leading the veteran charge is seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson in a new-look No. 48 team. Johnson and Chad Knaus, the only crew chief he’d had in his Cup career, split at the end of last season and longtime sponsor Lowe’s left NASCAR.Johnson suffered through the first winless season of his career last year but is certain he can still win a record eighth championship.“There is a lot of ‘new’ to it, there’s no way around that,” Johnson said. “It definitely is a new challenge and I welcome it. I’m just excited to get this fresh start and see where it takes us.”Truex, a year removed from his Cup title, moved to Joe Gibbs Racing for 2019 because his title-winning team closed. He replaced Mexican driver Daniel Suarez, the only non-American in the field, and Suarez was signed last month by Stewart-Haas Racing. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? FILE- In this Nov. 11, 2018, file photo Kevin Harvick (4) leads the field for the green flag start during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race in Avondale, Ariz. NASCAR has radically revamped its racing packing in an aggressive push to improve its on-track product. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The reset button for NASCAR was triggered as soon as Joey Logano wrapped up last year’s championship celebration. There was massive work to be done to stop the stock-car series from a spiral to the bottom and the fix is nothing short of a radical reboot.The critical change is the introduction of an overhauled rules package designed to make the racing watchable again. And it comes under new leadership at the top.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil View comments LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ Jim France replaced his nephew as chairman of NASCAR in August after Brian France took a leave of absence following his arrest for driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of oxycodone. Jim France is now listed as chairman and CEO, has routinely represented the family at NASCAR events and is addressing NASCAR’s five-year freefall in nearly all meaningful categories.The downturn happened during Brian France’s reign, and fans essentially exiled him over his extreme changes to the championship format and his detached — often absent — style of leadership.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ SPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsJim France has been at every event since taking over and NASCAR at last is showing a sense of urgency in attempting to fix its mess.“It is a business, but his first love is racing,” said Hall of Fame owner Rick Hendrick, who added Jim France and his niece, Lesa France Kennedy, have been accessible to teams and have voiced their commitment to motorsports. “I wish he had stepped out years ago.” Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Kurt Busch vacated that seat and replaced Jamie McMurray at Chip Ganassi Racing, and McMurray’s career will come to a close after the Daytona 500. He and AJ Allmendinger are among the many drivers moving into television work, opening opportunities for lesser-known drivers.Logano, who used two victories in the last four races of 2018 to become the unlikely champion, is a firm believer that NASCAR is making moves to stop its downturn.“Our sport is not in the dumps, that’s not the case at all,” Logano said. “I think there’s a lot of upside, a lot of great things we are doing, and when it comes to motorsports in America there is none better than NASCAR.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cuban says Mavs want Kristaps Porzingis, Luka Doncic for long haul France is overseeing the most collaborative atmosphere in NASCAR history. All stakeholders — the sanctioning body, teams, drivers, track operators and television partners — have brainstormed improvements and ideas to stop the plunge in attendance and television ratings. The solution is a new rules package aimed at markedly improving the on-track product.The new package uses aerodynamic ducts and a tapered spacer to reduce engine horsepower — in simplest turns, it should slow the cars and bunch them closer together to increase passing attempts and improve the overall competitiveness. It will debut in the second race of the season, at Atlanta Motor Speedway.The old package permitted a handful of teams to move so far ahead of the competition it took too long for anyone to catch them, the racing suffered and fans stopped watching. Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. combined to win 20 of 36 races last season, though the “Big Three” lost to Logano in the championship finale.The new package is controversial because it is supposed to level the playing field, and elite drivers believe it will diminish the advantage their talent has given them.An early version of the package was used in last year’s All-Star race and fan feedback seemed genuinely enthusiastic until drivers raised enough complaints about it to muddle expectations. Until the rules were tested last week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, few dared to predict what the racing will look like this season.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more


Serena excited for Coco-Osaka; ‘future of women’s tennis’

January 6, 2020

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first_img0Shares0000US 15-year-old wildcard Coco Gauff prepares to practice Friday ahead of her US Open showdown with top-ranked defending champion Naomi Osaka © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP / CLIVE BRUNSKILLNEW YORK, United States, Aug 31 – Serena Williams is usually playing in the matches that thrill her most, but she’s going to join a host of fans in watching Saturday’s US Open third round showdown between teen sensation Coco Gauff and top-ranked defending champion Naomi Osaka.The blockbuster night matchup at Arthur Ashe Stadium pits 15-year-old American Gauff, who made a fourth-round Wimbledon run in her Grand Slam debut, against 21-year-old Japanese star Osaka, the reigning US and Australian Open champion. “I definitely think it’s the future of women’s tennis,” Williams said. “And I’m really excited to just be a fan girl and kind of watch.”Williams, the 37-year-old American chasing a 24th Grand Slam title to match Margaret Court’s all-time record, sees them as the hottest young talents in the game.“It will be a really interesting match. I think it’s super exciting tennis,” she said. “Coco is much younger than Naomi, if you could say that, because Naomi is incredibly young.”Even world number one and defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic can’t wait to see what Gauff and Osaka do.“Coco is definitely a new superstar of tennis. It’s great to see her fighting spirit, her intensity,” Djokovic said. “She’s only 15. She brings so much maturity in her game for such a young age. It’s very impressive.“Definitely a fan of her and fan of Naomi, as well, what she has done in the last couple of years. It’s going to be really interesting because they’re both very likable players and girls. They have a lot of fans. It’s going to be definitely a great match.”Gauff, the youngest player in the US Open third round since Russia’s Anna Kournikova in 1996, prepared to face Osaka by joining partner Caty McNally for a first-round doubles victory Friday.– ‘Sky is the limit’ –Gauff teamed up with 17-year-old compatriot McNally to beat Germany’s Julia Goerges and Czech Katerina Siniakova 7-6 (8/6), 6-2 and said the doubles helped prepare her for Osaka.“I think it helped me a lot to practice several serves,” she said. “You have to hit a lot of different shots in doubles. I think it will come in handy tomorrow.”Gauff and McNally won last year’s US Open junior girls doubles title and united for their first WTA doubles crown earlier this month at Washington.“I dream of winning singles and doubles Grand Slam titles,” Gauff said.She’s hoping to make a dream come true this week.“We’ve had a good chemistry since the first match,” said McNally, a second-round singles loser to Williams. “The sky is the limit for us.”Gauff says being teens helps their on-court bond.“We’re both young and still learning,” Gauff said. “We can relate to each other on and off the court and our communication is really good.”A huge crowd watched the match on an outer court, Gauff having become a fan favorite quickly.“Both of us were really feeding on the crowd,” Gauff said.Such support doesn’t surprise Williams.“She’s just incredibly talented. Anyone that’s 15 playing like that, people are going to be drawn to them,” Williams said.“I think that’s pretty awesome. I think she’s really pretty cool. I love her excitement on the court. I’m a big fan of hers.”0Shares0000(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


France gripped by Sarkozy divorce rumors

December 30, 2019

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first_imgPARIS – Will they or won’t they? One question has risen above the cacophony over President Nicolas Sarkozy’s sweeping reforms of France: Will he divorce his wife, Cecilia? Persistent rumors of an impending split materialized into a newspaper article Friday claiming an announcement of divorce plans was imminent. Losing the elegant but enigmatic Cecilia would be the first real blow to the popular Sarkozy since he took office in May. Sarkozy’s emotional attachment to the first lady, who shuns that title, is not questioned. She worked with her husband when he served as interior minister, and her counsel is assumed to have guided his presidency, including Cabinet appointments. Since then, Cecilia Sarkozy has been mostly absent from her husband’s side, and it became public knowledge that she failed to vote in the final round of the elections that made him president. Is she willfully enigmatic? Ill at ease as a first lady? Or out of love? Her role in the release of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor jailed in Libya added to her mystery. Sent by her husband, she negotiated directly with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. But she shunned the limelight when Bulgaria wanted to award her its highest state honor, pulling out of the trip and leaving Sarkozy to pick up the medals alone. She also bowed out early from the couple’s first state event, a G-8 summit in Germany in June. And she was a no-show at a lunch offered by President George W. Bush in August, when the Sarkozys vacationed in New Hampshire. Sarkozy said his wife had a sore throat. The vacation was the last time the presidential couple was seen together. On its nightly news Friday, France 3 television showed footage of Cecilia’s last public appearance – when she landed in Bulgaria with the medical workers on a French presidential plane. A close-up of the first lady faded into static and the voice-over asked the question nagging at France: “Where is Cecilia?”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Numerous photographs, some clearly staged for the media, have showed a couple in the full bloom of life. But there have been no photos recently, only questions. Sarkozy’s spokesman, David Martinon, said he would not comment on Friday’s report in the daily L’Est Republicain, which cited unidentified sources close to the presidential Elysee Palace. The first lady’s spokeswoman, Carina Alfonso-Martin, said: “We can’t comment on all rumors like that.” The couple’s 11th wedding anniversary is Oct. 23; they separated for several months in 2005. Rumors about their relationship began long before Sarkozy took office, fueled by sightings of Cecilia with another man. The current crescendo of unconfirmed reports comes barely five months after the presidential inauguration, in which the couple cut a cozy family portrait. Sarkozy, 52, and his wife, 49, each has been previously married. In photos splashed around the world, the family was lined up in the gilded halls of the Elysee Palace: Cecilia and her two daughters, the president’s two sons and the child from their marriage, Louis. In one photo, Sarkozy caressed his wife’s cheek. last_img read more


U-21 ULSTER FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: DONEGAL BEAT ANTRIM IN BALLYBOFEY

December 27, 2019

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first_imgDONEGAL beat a tough Antrim side in Ballybofey last night by just three points as they aim to go one better in the Under-21 Football Championship.Last year’s beaten finalists had to come from behind in a poor start.Donegal were held scoreless in the opening 23 minutes of a tight match but eventually went on to register an 0-8 to 0-5 win over the Saffrons. Antrim led by 0-2 to 0-0 lead after nine minutes with Martin Kane among the scorers.Dermot Molloy registered Donegal’s first score in the 23rd minute and following further points from Molloy and Mark McHugh, the hosts took a 0-4 to 0-2 interval lead.A brace of Michael Armstrong points levelled the tie inside five minutes of the restart.However, scores from Thomas McGinley, Daniel McLoughlin, Odran McNicholas and Caolan McFadden paved the way for a home win. Donegal will face Cavan in the semi-finals following the Breffni side’s 1-13 to 1-7 triumph over Fermanagh at Breffni Park.Down and Tyrone failed to be separated after extra-time, while Monaghan registered a win a 1-12 to 1-08 win over Derry.U-21 ULSTER FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: DONEGAL BEAT ANTRIM IN BALLYBOFEY was last modified: March 17th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


GAA: UNDER-AGE FOOTBALL, SOUTHERN BOARD RESULTS

December 27, 2019

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first_imgMinor Div 1 ChampionshipDateTeam 1ScoreScoreTeam 2VenueComment17-Aug-2011Naomh Conaill2 – 123 – 12St JohnsNaomh ConnaillQuarter Final 1st LegMinor Div 2 ChampionshipDateTeam 1ScoreScoreTeam 2VenueComment17-Aug-2011Naomh Columba3 – 80 – 9Four MastersNaomh ColumbaSemi Final 1st LegMinor Div 1 ChampionshipDateTeam 1ScoreScoreTeam 2VenueComment17-Aug-2011Ardara4 – 201 – 6Naomh MhuireArdaraQuarter Final 1st LegU-14 Div 1 LeagueDateTeam 1ScoreScoreTeam 2VenueComment17-Aug-2011Naomh Conaill4 – 191 – 6Aodh RuadhDonegal TownFinalMinor League FinalDateTeam 1ScoreScoreTeam 2VenueComment15-Aug-2011Ardara2 – 121 – 7Aodh RuadhDonegal TownGAA: UNDER-AGE FOOTBALL, SOUTHERN BOARD RESULTS was last modified: August 21st, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DONEGAL GAA: UNDER-AGE FOOTBALLSOUTHERN BOARD RESULTSlast_img read more


GAA: KILCAR GAA CLUB NEWS – EASTER CAMP THIS WEEK

December 27, 2019

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first_imgEaster Camp is on Tues 26th & Wed 27th of March .From 10am-2pm ,for children from 7years to 14years.Contact Kevin Lyons or Michael Mc Shane.All children to bring a packed lunch and a drink, all children must have the registration/membership form filled out before the camp starts.The Senior league starts this weekend with St Eunans away on Good Friday and Four Masters at home on Easter Sunday.Underage, Minors are away to Bundoran on Friday and away to Na Rossa on Wed 3rd . Our under 14’s are at home on Good Friday to A. Ruadh ,and home again on Easter Monday to Dungloe.Club Donegal Card,(This card entitles you into all adult club C’ship and League games,plus a Donegal club Jacket) Limited amount of cards,Price €150.Contact any Club OfficerBingo ,Bingo on Easter Sunday is at 4pm ,due to the “Stars in their Eyes”show which is on in the Blue Haven on Easter Sunday night. Club Gear;Full range of Club Gear for sale in Towney. Please contact Mary Football (087) 6168779 or Carol McBrearty on 9738343Lotto;There was no winner of the GAA lotto. Numbers were 18,23,24,26 and lotto plus numbers were 10,16,17,23. GAA lotto next week will be €1800. Consolation prizes went to Kathleen Dorrian, Mary Ann Byrne, Eunan Murray.Bingo; There was no winner of the Bingo Jackpot. Jackpot next week will be €2,500 on 48 numbers. Bingo winners were €70 Margaret Doherty, €70 Margaret Brady, €70 Eimear Doherty, €75 Michael Doherty, €75 Aaron McShane, €80 Jacqueline Gallagher, €80 Bernard Shovlin.Congratulationt to Donegal Team on beating Tyrone.The Best of Luck to all the acts participating in “Stars in Their Eyes” on Easter Sunday night in the Blue Haven. Doors open at 7.30pm, show starts at 8pm sharp.GAA: KILCAR GAA CLUB NEWS – EASTER CAMP THIS WEEK was last modified: March 25th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:GAA: KILCAR GAA CLUB NEWS – EASTER CAMP THIS WEEKlast_img read more


Film, TV are focus for Honthaner talk

December 25, 2019

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first_imgEve Honthaner, author of “Hollywood Drive” and “The Complete Film Production Handbook,” will give a free presentation about what it takes to break in, hang in and make it in the entertainment industry. The program will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library, 18601 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country. Honthaner has worked in the entertainment industry for many years in the field of production management, as a staff production executive and in various freelance capacities. She has worked in features, cable and television, on shows budgeted from $1 million to $250 million, and has worked on projects that have been shot locally, throughout the U.S. and internationally. She has been associated with such companies as Orion Pictures, DreamWorks, 20th Century Fox, Disney and New Regency. The book “Hollywood Drive” is based on a unique and popular course Honthaner designed and has been teaching the past seven summers at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television, and it was written for those thinking about getting into the business – film students, those just starting their careers and individuals already working in the entertainment industry who still don’t fully understand how to move their careers to the next level. For information about this program, call (661) 251-2720. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


Mbarara City FC leave Kakyeka, to host games in Bombo

December 22, 2019

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first_imgMbarara City have in the past hosted their games at Kakyeka Stadium. (PHOTOS/File)MENGO – Mbarara City FC are on the move again!Having hosted their games at Kakyeka last season, the Ankole Lions will now play their home fixtures at the UPDF Stadium in Bombo.This was confirmed by the licensing board on Tuesday evening.Sources close to the club told PML Daily that Kakyeka which was initially rejected by the board early last season, became unaffordable for Mbarara City promoting the switch.It should be remembered that Mbarara hosted their first three home games of last season at Kavumba Recreation playgrounds after the licensing board had deemed Kakyeka inappropriate to host league games.Bombo is the home ground of Big League side UPDF FC and it is understood that the two sides will share the stadium for the upcoming season.It was also confirmed on the same day that only 8 other teams had been given the go-ahead to host their games at the stadiums which they had early proposed to the licensing board.URA FC will return to Namboole where they hosted their games last season.Newly promoted Wakiso Giants will play their games at Wakissha Resource Center in Wakiso.The Purple Sharks hosted their Big League games at the Kyabazinga Stadium in Bugembe but after asking to relocate, the move has been approved. It is the same stadium which was used by Wakiso Giants in their 2-0 loss to KCCA FC in the Pilsner Super 8 on Tuesday afternoon.For the StarTimes Stadium in Lugogo, it will once again be the home ground for KCCA FC and Proline FC, the two sides that used the stadium in 2017/18.Last season, Police FC alongside KCCA FC used the venue due to the fact that Proline was playing in the Big League but after their return to the top tier, Proline will return to the Stadium.As usual, Vipers SC will host their games at the St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende.Vipers SC will once again host games at Kitende.There will be a change at Muteesa II Stadium in Wankulukuku. In the past, only Express FC have been hosting their games at the stadium but of recent, other side have been playing their too.A few years ago, it was Lweza FC. Last season, both Nyamityobora FC and Tooro United host some of their games there and it has been confirmed that Bright Stars will use the facility in the 2019/2020 season.Elsewhere, Maroons FC club have retained the rights to host their games at the Luzira Prisons Stadium in Luzira.With the nine teams given the green light to host their games at their respective stadiums, it was also confirmed that 7 sides are still waiting for confirmation from the licensing board due to different reasons.Police FC who intend to move to Kabaka Kyabaggu Stadium in Wakiso, are still waiting for approval as the board claims their is no letter from the stadium owner.The Cops hosted their games at the StarTimes Stadium in Lugogo last season but were forced to move after the return, of Proline FC to top flight football.Onduparaka FC who have since inception played their home fixtures in Arua, have been eyeing a switch to Luzira Prisons Stadium. However , the move is yet to be approved as their is no official communication of an understanding between the Caterpillars and the stadium owners.For Bul FC, they are also still waiting for the go ahead to host games at Bugembe Stadium.Bul who decided to switch from Njeru Technical Center to Bugembe, have been told that Bugembe needs re-inspection before it can be approved by the board.Busoga United have been told that Njeru Technical Center needs a perimeter fence before hosting next season’s games.Busoga United (former Kirinya JSS) decided to move from the Mighty Arena where they played their home games last season, to Njeru.Tooro United who want to host games at Bombo Barracks Stadium have been told to get a latter of approval from the stadium owners.Kyetume have also received communication that Mehta Stadium will need a re-inspection before it is given the green light.For SC Villa who intend to host games at Namboole, they have been told to first approve a coach before they are given the go ahead.Comments Tags: Bombo Barracks StadiumMbarara Citytoplast_img read more


Dino Extinction Story Is a Fable, Paleontologist Says

December 19, 2019

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first_img(Visited 158 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 What they tell you on TV and in biology class about birds outlasting the dinosaurs has paltry little evidence.Stephen Brusatte [U of Edinburgh] knows a few things about dinosaur fossils (3/16/16, 12/04/15). He also knows what he doesn’t know—what no paleontologist knows (10/06/15). The usual story of dinosaur extinction, summarized in his piece in Current Biology, “How Some Birds Survived When All Other Dinosaurs Died,” goes like this:It almost seems like storytelling: the dinosaurs had their day, most died, some birds survived, and then those birds blossomed into today’s species.He had opened his article with the TV drama version—the one showcased by many natural history museums about “The dinosaurs that got away” —Sixty-six million years ago a ten kilometer wide asteroid smashed into the Earth, impacting with the force of several million nuclear bombs. The world changed in an instant. First came the global heat pulse and the earthquakes, then the tsunamis and wildfires. Volcanoes went into hyperdrive. Dust spewed up from the collision and blocked out the sun, a nuclear winter set in and ecosystems collapsed. It was a bad time to be alive. Tyrannosaurus rex, that most fearsome of dinosaurs, suddenly found itself the victim. One moment it was at the top of the food chain, the next it was gone. Many other dinosaurs went extinct as well: smaller meat-eating cousins of T. rex, the colossal long-necked sauropods, horned plant-eaters like Triceratops, the duck-billed and armored dinosaur species. But one peculiar type of dinosaur made it through the apocalypse and survives today: birds.But then, at the end, he suggests this account is worse than storytelling:It’s a great narrative, sure, but it’s more than just a story. It’s actually more of a fable.A fable is defined as “a story not founded on fact.” Have evolutionary scientists been engaging in confabulation?Brusatte’s remarks come in the context of his opinions about a new theory recently put forth in Current Biology by Derek Larson and colleagues. Larson suggests, from a study of teeth before and after the extinction, that birds survived because they lost their teeth and grew beaks. Since seeds can survive catastrophes than other food sources, the birds with beaks were able to eat them, and survived.It’s a “clever” hypothesis, but is it true? Brusatte can think of a lot of alternative explanations for why one branch of birds, the neornithines (“new birds”), survived.It’s an ironic twist that a study of dinosaur teeth concludes that losing teeth may have been the key to enduring the end-Cretaceous asteroid impact. But this may not be the final word on the subject. There may be other ways that neornithines differed from the more primitive toothed birds that perished: perhaps they grew faster, had higher metabolic rates, or had a more advanced system of muscles that allowed them to fly better, farther and more efficiently. Maybe some, or all, of these features were superpowers that gave the neornithines better odds of surviving when the asteroid hit, a better lottery ticket for dealing with a global meltdown.May, perhaps, may have been… these words ratchet up the perhapsimaybecouldness index. And his references to “odds” in a “lottery” make his speculations about as scientific as the Stuff Happens Law. Brusatte can’t help it. For the evolutionary scenario, there just isn’t enough evidence to go from fable to fact.Even many fossil specialists have grown weary of a riddle that was once exciting but now seems played out. But the sheer volume of research on the end-Cretaceous extinction belies an inconvenient problem: we still know very little about how dinosaurs were changing during the waning days of the Mesozoic, during the run-up to the asteroid impact. That’s because fossils of these last-surviving dinosaurs are virtually unknown outside of western North America, and even in these celebrated dinosaur graveyards there are very few specimens of small dinosaurs, especially birds and their very closest meat-eating cousins, such as the dromaeosaurids (the Velociraptor clan) and troodontids (a group of fast running brainy dinosaurs). Their skeletons were so fragile that few of them endured the requisite rigors of death, fossilization and burial so that they could be found by intrepid paleontologists some 66 million years later.Presumably the impact (the Chicxulub crater near the Yucatan) occurred closer to western North American than to other parts of the globe, so why aren’t good fossils found farther away? Isn’t China where the most detailed fossils of “feathered dinosaurs” are found? Fragility of skeletons doesn’t seem to be a problem there or in the Solnhofen beds of Germany.Another “inconvenient problem” is evident from his graph: all the dinosaurs went extinct (in the evolutionary account, based on the millions-of-years geologic column), but these did not: amphibians, mammals, lizards, crocodiles and birds. Even butterflies survived, as well as many delicate plants and insects. Why didn’t a single small reptilian dinosaur make it through?Because there is no convincing proof of the evolutionary account in the record, Brusatte turns hopefully to Larson’s tale on the far side:If we want to understand what happens during sudden extinction events—what lives, what dies, how the world is reshaped afterwards—we need to peer deep into the fossil record, where even humble dinosaur teeth can tell an important tale.Remember: this is from one of the world’s leading authorities on fossils and dinosaurs.No Evolution Here, MateAggravating the dinosaur extinction problem is the complete disappearance of marine reptiles, while numerous flimsier animals and fish survived just fine. What many may not realize is that they appeared abruptly in fossil record, too. Science Daily says that a new fossil is “breaking all the rules about what ichthyosaurs are like.”The way this new species evolved into such a different form so quickly sheds light on how evolution actually works. “Darwin’s model of evolution consists of small, gradual changes over a long period of time, and that’s not quite what we’re seeing here. These ichthyosauriforms seem to have evolved very quickly, in short bursts of lots of change, in leaps and bounds,” says Rieppel.One would think Darwin would be embarrassed by this falsification, but he gets credit anyway. He always does (5/21/16, 8/13/12, 8/24/07).Horner Told a TaleJack Horner, well-known dinosaur hunter, was the model for the Jurassic Park scientist. He was the advisor on that movie and all the sequels. Live Science posted an interview with Horner, who curates the museum at Montana State. Because of dyslexia growing up, Horner could not meet the requirements of college for a degree. “No, I do not have a degree of any kind,” he told reporter Laura Geggel. “I got two honorary doctorates, but I do not have a normal degree — not a bachelor’s, a master’s or a Ph.D.” That has not stopped him from achieving expertise on dinosaurs in other ways. His latest work, nicknamed “Chickenosaurus,” attempts to retro-engineer a bird by making it look more like a dinosaur.In this article, he did not mention the discovery of soft tissue in T. rex that left him “shocked” when Mary Schweitzer found it (CBS 60 Minutes, 8:50 ff). “How could that be?” he comments. Leslie Stahl says the find poses “a radical challenge to the existing rules of science, that organic material can’t possibly survive even a million years, let alone 68 million.” She recounts how Schweitzer and Horner were initially attacked when they published these findings, indicating that no scientist would have predicted that stretchy soft tissue and blood vessels could survive so long. Since then, of course, numerous other examples of soft tissue in fossils have been discovered (6/10/15), some even older (1/21/16). See lists with references compiled by Brian Thomas (ICR) and by Bob Enyart.Darwinians are masters of confability. We think people deserve truth from their scientists, not fables.last_img read more


Flying the South African flag

December 18, 2019

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first_img(Image: Bongani Nkosi,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For morefree photos, visit the image library.)The 2010 Fifa World Cup has hit South Africa, and the country’s striking six-colour national flag is everywhere – wrapped around buildings, on car windows, radio aerials and rear-view mirrors, lining the highways and flying outside homes from suburbs to townships.The new South African national flag first flew on 10 May 1994 – the day Nelson Mandela became president, two weeks after the country’s first democratic elections of 27 April 1994.So it’s a potent symbol of unity and progress. It’s also the only six-coloured national flag in the world, and one of the youngest. Yet whatever shape it takes – and it’s taken more than any other national symbol – it’s instantly recognisable to South Africans everywhere.The South African flag has become integrated into butterflies, bow ties, company logos, trees, top hats, hot air balloons, umbrellas, underwear … the list goes on. In this respect, it seems to have no equal.Brand South Africa has launched the Fly the Flag Fridays campaign, which aims to sustain the spirit of the 2010 Fifa World Cup by asking South Africans to wear the colours of the flag, or the shirt of a national team – Bafana Bafana, the Springboks, or the Proteas – every Friday.Red on top: how to fly the flagThere are definite rules on how to fly the South African flag, as set out by the government [PDF, 468 KB] and explained by Southern African Vexillological Association.When displayed horizontally, the black triangle should be to your left and the red band uppermost. If the red band is at the bottom, the flag is flying upside down – the traditional sign of surrender – or if you’re at sea, the international maritime signal of distress!When draped vertically, a flag should not merely be rotated through 90 degrees, but also reversed. In the case of the South African flag, the black triangle must be uppermost and the red band to your left. (One “reads” a flag like the pages of a book – from top to bottom and from left to right – and after rotation the results should be the same.)The flag may not be defaced by placing slogans or any writing or design directly on the field of the flag. Any writing should appear next to or underneath the image of the flag. Most of all, the flag must always be treated with dignity and respect.For full information on how to handle and display the flag correctly, see SouthAfrica.info’s South African Flag Guide.The making of a flagSouth Africans love their flag, both as a symbol of freedom and simply for its colourful and refreshing funkiness. Yet it was originally commissioned as an interim flag only – and was a last-minute job, barely making it onto the country’s flagpoles in time to herald the democratic South Africa.Choosing a new flag was part of the negotiation process set in motion when Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990. When a nationwide public competition was held in 1993, the National Symbols Commission received more than 7 000 designs. Six designs were drawn up and presented to the public and the Negotiating Council – but none elicited enthusiastic support.A number of design studios were contracted to submit further proposals – again without success – and Parliament went into recess at the end of 1993 without a suitable candidate for the new national flag.In February 1994, Cyril Ramaphosa and Roelf Meyer, chief negotiators of the African National Congress and the National Party government respectively, were tasked with resolving the flag issue. A final design was adopted on 15 March 1994 – derived from a design developed by South Africa’s former state herald, Fred Brownell.The proclamation of the new national flag was only published on 20 April 1994 – seven days before the flag was to be inaugurated on the 27th, sparking a frantic last-minute flurry for flag manufacturers.Constructing South Africa’s flag1. Draw a rectangle in a proportion of 3 in the length to 2 in the width (18cm x 12cm is a convenient size).2. Using a pencil, divide the rectangle into three equal horizontal stripes.3. Join the four corners by means of a diagonal cross.4. On each side of the diagonal cross, which provides the centre line in each case, draw parallel lines. The distance betweeneach set of lines should beone third of the width of theflag. Join the various linesin the manner indicated.5. Within the V-shaped area,which extends from the cornersat the flagpost to the outeredge of the fly, draw a seriesof parallel lines, the distancebetween which is in each caseone fifth the width of the flag.Join the appropriate lines asindicated and erase theremaining pencil lines.6. Colour specifications:  Textile colours:Green – CKS 42 c Spectrum greenBlack – CKS 401 c Blue blackWhite – CKS 701 c National flag whiteGold – CKS 724 c Gold yellowRed – CKS 750 c Chilli redBlue – CKS 762 c National flag blueApproximate Pantone equivalents:Green – 3415 cGold – 1235 cRed – 179 cBlue – reflex blue cThe South African flag is the symbol of our rainbow nation. The Fly the Flag Fridays campaign aims to sustain the spirit of the 2010 Fifa World Cup by asking South Africans to wear the colours of the flag, or the shirt of one of our national teams – Bafana Bafana, the Springboks, the Proteas – every Friday.last_img read more