No monkeying around now

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Wednesday in Chicago, an umpire’s right fist in the air signaled a gross lapse of competence by MLB’s Finest and set up the ninth-inning White Sox victory over the Angels that tied the American League pennant series at a game apiece. Tonight at Angel Stadium, at a Game 3 likely to be played amid an atmosphere of most un-O.C.-like edginess, fans’ right fists can signal determination in a way that no amount of angry screaming can. In the four decades before their 2002 World Series victory, the Angels and their public had many occasions to feel like losers, like chokers, like tragic figures. They never felt like the victims of a sporting injustice, though, the way they do now. First nature turned against them, raining out an opening-round game at Yankee Stadium and forcing the Angels to play in New York, Anaheim and Chicago in the span of three nights. Then a home-plate umpire named Doug Eddings ruled against them. They were good enough to overcome nature. They weren’t good enough to trump the ump. ANAHEIM – Raise your right fist tonight. Assuming you’re an angry Angels fan, if that phrase isn’t redundant right now. Tuck your fingers into your palm, cock your elbow, pump your fist. Make it the gesture of the 2005 Angels fan, an emblem to replace the monkey and the ThunderStix. center_img The White Sox’s A.J. Pierzynski swung and missed at a low pitch from Kelvim Escobar to end the bottom of the ninth with the score tied, and Eddings raised his fist in an “out” sort of way, and Angels catcher Josh Paul rolled the ball to the mound and jogged to the dugout. Then Pierzynski bolted toward first base and Eddings froze and wondered what the batter knew that the umpire didn’t know. Eddings reversed himself, figuring the pitch from Escobar might have been in the dirt, giving Pierzynski the base and Chicago the runner who came home on Joe Crede’s double. Eddings would say later that the fist in the air didn’t mean “out,” it was just “my strike-three mechanic.” Tonight, show him the Angels fans’ new You Screwed Up mechanic. The Angels themselves can’t play angry, and with manager Mike Scioscia establishing the usual even tone, they probably won’t. That doesn’t mean the home crowd can’t root angry, knowing their club was robbed of a chance to atone in extra innings for their weak hitting and erratic fielding. The question is what to say, what to do. No need to yell crude things about the umpires, to drag their families into this or to impugn the dignity of innocent farm animals. Absolutely no call to throw things. This isn’t a political revolution (the revolution will not have instant replay), so there’s no bloody shirt to be waved. Not even a Curt Schilling bloody sock. Just a little baseball championship at stake here. A simple quiet wave of the fist will do. The Angels flew home right after Wednesday’s game. They canceled an off-day workout, preferring to get some overdue rest and maybe to hide from whatever dark forces are next in line. The White Sox took batting practice at Angel Stadium. They know they stole one, and they only jokingly feigned uncertainty about whether the third strike to Pierzynski had hopped into Paul’s mitt. “We were flying last night, so I didn’t see any replays,” Crede said to laughter from the writers around his locker. “And I slept all day today. I guess I think he made the right call. We’ll take it any way we can get it.” Nice try by the umpires afterward to say the ball must have hit the dirt because “there was a change of direction there.” Thanks to the Warren Commission for that analysis. Nice diplomacy by the TV guys laying part of the blame on Paul for not tagging Pierzynski even though the catcher thought he caught the ball, knew he caught the ball, did catch the ball, saw Pierzynski take a first step toward the dugout and would have seen – if his back hadn’t been turned by then – Eddings put up his fist for an out. Why should Paul have thought there was any doubt about the pitch? You can blame the Angels for not hitting Mark Buehrle, for throwing the ball all over the South Side, for not getting Crede out. You can’t blame anybody else for the third-strike screw-up until you blame the umpire. Make this a rallying point tonight. With a five-knuckled salute, five times better than one finger. Raise that right fist, as if it’s holding a hammer of baseball justice, at the pregame introductions, after Angels hits, after White Sox strikeouts. Especially White Sox strikeouts. Kevin Modesti’s column appears in the Daily News three days a week. He can be reached at heymodesti@aol.com. 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

New York Mary is crowned Mary from Dungloe 2019

first_imgNew York Mary Roisin Maher has been crowned as this year’s Mary from Dungloe.Roisin, a Construction Project Manager, laid the foundations for a victory by showcasing her building skills onstage at tonight’s Crowning Cabaret.The 27-year-old treated host Daniel O’Donnell to a demonstration in bricklaying as her ‘party piece’. The New York Mary was stunned to be selected from the 14 hopefuls as this year’s winner.She was presented with her crown by the 2018 Mary, Dungloe woman Caroline O’Donnell.And she beamed with joy as Daniel sang the famous ‘Mary from Dungloe’ to close the show.Comhghairdeas ó chroí le Róisín Maher (New York Mary) buaiteoir ‘Mary From Dungloe 2019’.#mfd52 pic.twitter.com/uccnqkfPn2— TG4 (@TG4TV) August 4, 2019 Roisin MaherRoisin is originally from Co. Carlow and moved to New York to pursue her career.She has an honours degree in Event Management and was accepted into City University of New York to complete a Construction Management degree.Roisin is a keen fundraiser, having run the New York City Marathon in 2016 and again 2017 for charity. She is also a volunteer with the American Red Cross’ Service to Armed Forces (SAF) team.In 2017, Roisin received the Irish Echo Community Champion Award for her active involvement with all things Irish in New York.An exciting year awaits the new Mary from Dungloe as she represents the festival at home and internationally.Her first official duty will take place tonight, as she stars in a parade down Dungloe Main Street. New York Mary is crowned Mary from Dungloe 2019 was last modified: August 8th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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

Giants’ desire to change takes early hit, ‘opener’ experiment backfires

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — The Giants are wading their way into a new era, and on Tuesday against the Blue Jays, they took another big step into uncharted waters.Manager Bruce Bochy called on reliever Nick Vincent to serve as an “opener” against Toronto, adopting a modern pitching strategy that maximizes the impact of a strong bullpen.As soon as Bochy, Vincent and the Giants took the plunge, they were wiped out by the first-inning tidal wave that arrives wherever they play on a daily basis.Vincent gave …last_img

The Life and Death of Oxygen

first_imgThe oxygen in our atmosphere has the energy equivalent of 20 thousand billion billion hydrogen bombs.  To maintain the oxygen level in our atmosphere, that amount of energy would have to be spent in manufacturing molecular oxygen every 4 million years (a thousandth the assumed age of the earth).    Now that we have your attention, let’s think about the role of oxygen and life.  The statistics above were estimated by Paul G. Falkowski and Yukio Isozaki in Science this week.1  Unlike nitrogen, which is inert, oxygen is lively – it oxidizes, or burns things – not only in fire, but in cells, where the element must be handled gingerly by molecular machines to avoid damage.  That’s also why you take antioxidants in your food.  Keeping oxygen away from the primordial soup at the origin of life is understandably a serious problem (10/20/2008).    Evolutionary biologists do not believe earth’s oxygen is primordial (i.e., that it formed when the earth formed).  They believe it was generated by living organisms when they evolved to use oxygen for electron capture in metabolism.  This conveniently keeps oxygen out of the picture at the origin of life (though some atmospheric oxygen forms spontaneously by the dissociation of water).  Oxygen could also be sequestered from the air in continental rocks: silicates, carbonates and sulfates.    Oxygen reached levels of 10 to 30% only in the last 550 million years, evolutionists say.  Its 4-million-year lifetime is 0.4% the estimated 1 billion year lifetime of the atmosphere’s most abundant gas, nitrogen.  How did oxygen, with its relatively short lifetime, become the second most abundant gas in the atmosphere?  “The story is not as simple as it might first appear,” said Falkowski and Isozaki.  One has to calculate when and how it was first generated, and how it persists in its high concentration.    Some oxygen is continuously formed by the breakup of water molecules by ultraviolet light in the atmosphere (at least till ozone forms and shields the upper atmosphere from excess UV).  If biology is the source, how does life produce it from water and minerals? The overwhelming source of O2 on Earth is photobiological oxidation of water; neither the evolution nor the mechanism of this process are completely understood.  Apparently it arose once in a single clade of bacteria and was then appropriated via a single event, in which one cell engulfed another (endosymbiosis) to form a new symbiotic organism.  The latter became the progenitor of all photosynthetic eukaryotes, including algae and higher plants.    The core of the oxidation machinery is photosystem II, a large protein complex containing four manganese atoms that are photocatalytically oxidized to create electron holes upstream.They stressed that this “arose” once most likely because of the improbability that a “large protein complex” of “oxidation machinery” could arise by chance.  Nevertheless, assuming plants and bacteria produce it, the equation is balanced by the animals that consume it:On time scales of years to millennia, these reactions are closely coupled to the reverse process of respiration, such that net production of O2 is virtually nil.  That is, without burial of organic matter in rocks, there would be very little free O2 in the atmosphere.  Hence, the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis was a necessary but not a sufficient condition to oxidize Earth’s atmosphere.So the second problem is getting molecular oxygen up to the level of 10-30% that has been maintained for 500 million years.  If a small amount is subducted into the mantle by plate tectonics, or captured in stable continental rocks, an atmospheric excess could be built up to a stable concentration without runaway production.  “The balance between burial of organic matter and its oxidation,” they said, “appears to have been tightly controlled over the past 500 million years.”  This balance requires an ongoing process of long-term storage within the earth.  The picture becomes complicated by the fact that volcanoes can re-release oxygen back into the atmosphere.  “The presence of O2 in the atmosphere requires an imbalance between oxygenic photosynthesis and aerobic respiration on time scales of millions of years,” they said; “hence, to generate an oxidized atmosphere, more organic matter must be buried than respired.”    How well do scientists know how oxygen concentration has varied over geologic time?  “Perhaps surprisingly, not very well.”  Comparison of isotopes in carbonates and sulfates provide clues.  They believe the initial oxygen concentration produced by the first photosynthetic bacteria was quite low.  It rose when eukaryotes appeared, and then, according to the evolutionary timeline, became much more abundant in the Neoproterozoic – corresponding to the period just before the Cambrian Explosion.  The eukaryotic oxygen increase would have had to coincide with enhanced subduction in the lithosphere.    Was the Cambrian Explosion a cause or effect of the rise of oxygen?  They suggested the latter: “The burial of large amounts of organic carbon over the past 750 million years is mirrored in a substantial rise in atmospheric O2, which may have triggered the Cambrian explosion of animal life.”    Another balance of geology and biology would have had to occur in the Carboniferous.  The doubling of oxygen production by trees and ferns had to be balanced by “further increases in burial efficiency” they said.  How the continental plates coordinated their behavior with the evolution of plants, they did not say.  Throughout the remainder of earth history, this balance was maintained within comparatively narrow limits – 10 to 23%.  “The relatively narrow range of variability suggests tight controls on the rate of burial and oxidation of organic matter on Earth’s surface.”  They did not say who or what is controlling these rates, other than to say that “the burial of organic carbon is roughly balanced by oxidation and weathering.”    How valid is this story?  They think the broad picture is understood, but “the details remain sketchy” – particularly, how photosynthesis splits water, how oxygen concentration is controlled in the atmosphere.    Could Woodward W. Fischer in Nature help the story?2  How good is the evidence to support the rise of the first photosynthetic bacteria?  “Go back to Archaean time, the interval of Earth’s history between about 4 billion and 2.5 billion years ago,” he began, “and we’re in largely unknown biological territory.”    While Fischer was concerned primarily with debunking claims of eukaryotes too early for comfort (i.e., before the rise of atmospheric oxygen), his report contained reason to doubt the validity of the timeline.  The new evidence may remove an embarrassing puzzle of how photosynthesis could arise 300 million years before the rise of atmospheric oxygen, but “does it close the gap between the morphological and molecular-fossil records of the evolution of eukaryotes?” he asked himself.  He answered himself, “Not yet.”  Other scientists are not conceding the debunking of 2.7-billion-year-old photosynthesis.  A news item about this on Nature News agrees the debate is far from over.    For problems with oxygen at the birth of the solar system, see bullet one of the 09/24/2008 entry.1.  Paul G. Falkowski and Yukio Isozaki, “The Story of O2,” Science, 24 October 2008: Vol. 322. no. 5901, pp. 540-542, DOI: 10.1126/science.1162641.2.  Woodward W. Fischer, “Biogeochemistry: Life before the rise of oxygen,” Nature 455, 1051-1052 (23 October 2008) | doi:10.1038/4551051a.OK; how convinced are you that the evolutionary storytellers are compelled by the evidence to embrace their billions of years saga of a history they cannot observe?  It’s a magical history, in which complex oxidation machines “arise” by some unspecified natural magic.  (Note that if something “arose once,” it is not following a natural law).    Lacking evidence, they can build models that include the natural magic built-in.  By tweaking parameters here and there, and trying to debunk contrary evidence, they can get it to work – sort of.  It continues to amaze them how finely balanced it is.    So much for this space fantasy.  The atmosphere on Darwin’s imaginary world is too rarefied to breathe.  Let’s head back to the real world.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Did Fitbit try to buy longstanding rival Jawbone for Christmas?

first_imgAfter settling patent infringement lawsuits in the run-up to Christmas, Fitbit supposedly offered to acquire Jawbone for an undisclosed amount.The two firms have been at each other’s throats for a few years, accusing each other of patent infringement and stealing trade secrets. Jawbone originally sued Fitbit in May 2015 and Fitbit filed a counter-suit later in the year.See also: Will Jawbone’s future mean no more wearables?Talks quickly ended once Fitbit revealed its offer, which was much lower than the $1.5 billion valuation Jawbone received last year, according to The Financial Times.Jawbone has been under pressure to find a solution to its financial problems by Blackrock, a major stakeholder in the firm. According to sources inside the company, it has been unable to find a buyer or investor willing to value the company “fairly.”The private company dropped in value from $3 billion to $1.5 billion in a year, and it seems most bidders have devalued Jawbone even more in 2017.The acquisition of Jawbone may have raised questions about Fitbit’s total dominance of the wearables market, as it would have come on top of the Pebble and Vector acquisitions.Fitbit has been scooping up a few wearable startups in the past few weeks, possibly due to analysts cooling their predictions on industry growth. The withdrawal of interest may have lowered the value of some startups, making them cost effective for the firm. Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Follow the Puckcenter_img Tags:#Fitbit#fitness tracker#jawbone#smartwatch#wearable Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… David Currylast_img read more

BJP jumps from No. 4 to No. 1

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) impressive performance in 25 Zilla Parishads and 283 Panchayat Samitis has elevated it to number one position among the four major political parties in the State. It previously stood at number four.As per results made available by State Election Commission (SEC), BJP topped the chart by winning 406 seats out of 1,509 which went to polls. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) steps down to second position with 360 seats and Congress to third from its previous second with 309 seats.Despite the tough fight it offered the BJP in Mumbai and Thane, Sena finds itself at number four with 271 seats.In 2012, the seats won by NCP, Congress, Sena and BJP were 511, 419, 243 and 165 respectively.“Our wins have made us more humble than ever before. Now it is our responsibility to deliver on the promises that we made,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said after the victory on Thursday.Spectacular performanceThe BJP’s spectacular performance can be gauged from the fact that except for Jalgaon, Jalna, Beed, Wardha and Chandrapur the party could not reach double digit mark in 2012.While it retained dominance in Jalgaon, Jalna, Wardha and Chandrapur it wrested Congress strongholds Latur in Marathwada and Sangli in western Maharashtra.The BJP also managed to dent the Congress bastion of Kolhapur and Ahmednagar.For the Congress, the polls have turned out to be a forgettable affair. Except for senior leader Narayan Rane’s hometown of Sindhudurg and State unit chief Ashok Chavan’s home pitch Nanded, it does not enjoy any power on its own.Consolation win for NCPIn Pune, though the BJP all but routed other major political players in the municipal corporations, the NCP managed to retain the ZP, bagging 41 of the 75 seats. The Shiv Sena came second, winning 13 while the BJP secured only six seats.“The results of the ZP and Panchayat Samiti elections prove we still have the support of the rural voters in Pune district. Likewise, in the case of Satara and Ahmednagar,” said NCP MP Supriya Sule.The NCP coasted along in the Satara ZP, winning 34 of 64 seats. It emerged as the single-largest party in the Solapur ZP as well, winning 23 of the 68 seats. The BJP came second here, securing 15 seats.But the NCP’s brightest spot was a small upset it managed in Marathwada, by denting the BJP’s base in Beed, winning 25 of the 60 seats.This setback for BJP leader Pankaja Munde on her home-turf caused her to offer to resign soon after the results were announced.The chief architect of Ms. Munde’s defeat was her estranged cousin, NCP leader Dhananjay Munde, which made her defeat personal.In fact, both the NCP and the Congress made decent gains in Zilla Parishad elections in the Marathwada division. The NCP won the Osmanabad ZP, snaring 26 of the 55 seats.The Congress came off even worse than the NCP in the municipal polls. It performed abysmally in the Solapur Municipal Corporation and was routed in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, where it failed to open its account.Yet, as consolation, it emerged as the single-largest party in the Ahmednagar Zilla Parishad poll, winning 20 of the 72 seats. The NCP came a close second bagging 17 seats.Another commendable win was in the Konkan region, where the Congress scored an absolute majority in the Sindhudurg Zilla Parishad, winning 27 of the 50 seats.Century for GadkariIn Nagpur, the BJP has become the first party to get a clear majority in 40 years.Despite being at the helm of the Nagpur Municipal Council in the last two terms, and was dependant on other parties for outside support.“I was expecting 80 to 85 seats but 108 out of 151 is a great victory,” Union Minister and Nagpur MP Nitin Gadkari told reporters at his residence on Thursday.According to political observers, infighting in the Congress was one of the main reasons for the BJP’s victory.Until 2014, Nagpur was a Congress bastion. In the Lok Sabha elections that year Mr. Gadkari defeated seven-time Congress MP from Nagpur, Vilas Muttemwar, by 2,84,000 votes. In the Assembly elections four months later, the BJP defeated Congress in all six Assembly segments.last_img read more