Standhardinger leads PBA Best Player of Conference race

first_imgJapeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Banchero, who is enjoying his best conference in the PBA so far, leads all comers in assists (8.7) while Anthony paces the field in steals (2.25).In contrast, the the Best Import contest is closer than ever.Alaska’s Mike Harris (60.4), Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee (59.1) and Phoenix’s Eugene Phelps (58.0) are bunched tightly in the top three.Aaron Fuller (57.4) falls closely behind, but is essentially out of the race after NLEX bowed out early in the quarterfinals.ADVERTISEMENT Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball02:14Carpio 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 At the end of eliminations, the Fil-German dynamo is averaging double-double in scoring and rebounding for a whopping average of 43.1 statistical points per outing.But despite his numbers of 23.2 points, 13.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists a game, the Beermen finished at no. 6, putting them at a disadvantage against Alaska in the playoffs. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissTrailing Standhardinger in the BPC race is Ginebra big man Japeth Aguilar, who is at far second with 34.8 SPs per outing for his averages of 19.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists. The race gets a little tighter after Aguilar with Alaska’s Chris Banchero (34.2), NorthPort’s Stanley Pringle (34.0) and Phoenix Petroleum’s Calvin Abueva (31.9) rounding out the top five. Adamson enters UAAP Final Four, sends UST to second straight loss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Putting up import numbers all conference long, it’s no surprise that rookie Christian Standhardinger has built an insurmountable lead in the Best Player of the Conference race in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup.ADVERTISEMENT Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal View comments LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewlast_img read more

Kepa Arrizabalaga defies coach as Chelsea loses to Manchester City in final shootout

first_imgChelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga reacts after stops a shot from Manchester City’s Leroy Sane during a penalty shootout at the end of the English League Cup final soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley stadium in London, England, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)LONDON — Watching goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga appearing to struggle with cramp, and with a penalty shootout looming to settle the League Cup final, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri summoned a substitute from the bench.Kepa was furious.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying But Kepa’s behavior wasn’t fine at all, according to former Chelsea captain John Terry.“Once your number goes up you have to come off and show a bit of respect,” Terry said in the Sky Sports television studio at Wembley. “Deal with that after.”Publicly humiliated with his authority undermined, Sarri was furious and initially headed down the tunnel before returning just in time for extra time to end.In the shootout, Kepa made only one save from Leroy Sane as Raheem Sterling completed the shootout victory to defend City’s title and keep the team in contention for a quadruple.“In no moment was it my intention to disobey, or anything like that with the boss,” Kepa said. “Just that it was misunderstood because I had been attended to by the medics twice, and he thought that I wasn’t in condition to continue.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Wildly gesticulating with his arms, the world’s most expensive goalkeeper forcefully indicated to Sarri he would be ready to face penalties against Manchester City with the Wembley showpiece locked at 0-0 and extra time about to end.But Sarri was determined to bring on Willy Caballero, who saved three spot kicks in the 2016 League Cup final while in City’s winning side.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsSo Kepa, who joined Chelsea in August for 80 million euros (then $93 million), simply would not leave the field.“It wasn’t that I was refusing to be substituted,” Kepa said later, after being beaten by four penalties in City’s 4-3 victory in the shootout. “It was a way of trying to tell the bench that I was fine.” Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 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 Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Ja Rule taking heat on social media after NBA halftime show Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said seeing Sarri undercut by Kepa made him “really sad.”“I don’t like that he leaves his coach and the assistant coach in a situation of great fragility,” Mourinho said while covering the match in Spain for the internet streaming service DAZN.Mourinho was fired by Chelsea in 2015 over “palpable discord” with his players.“Luckily I never had to go through this,” Mourinho said of Kepa’s onfield behavior. “The goalkeeper wants to show his personality, his confidence, wants to show that he is there and wants to be at the shootout and make saves — and I like that.”The episode also took the focus off Pep Guardiola winning his third major trophy in three seasons at City.City did lose top spot in the Premier League on Sunday after Liverpool drew 0-0 at Manchester United. But City is only a point behind Liverpool and the Abu Dhabi-owned team remains in contention for the Champions League and FA Cup as well.“The only problem is we will miss a lot of important players for the next few weeks,” Guardiola said. “Being in four competitions is so demanding, so tough. We don’t know where we’re going to arrive.″(Aymeric) Laporte, Fernandinho are injured, but it’s much better of course when you win.”And win calmly — without a flashpoint like Kepa defying his manager.“I’ve never seen it (before),” City captain Vincent Kompany said. “I wish I could do it every now and then when I don’t want to get subbed off.” “It was two or three minutes of confusion until the medics got to the bench, and they explained everything well.”After collecting his runners-up medal, Sarri sought to diffuse the controversy.“It was a big misunderstanding,” Sarri said. “I understood the goalkeeper had cramp and for me he was unable to go to penalties but the problem was not cramp so he was able to go to penalties.”Not that Sarri wants to see a repeat.“Kepa was right but in the wrong way,” Sarri said. “He was right for the motivation but not for the conduct.”Even Kepa realized the incident was damaging for the club’s reputation as images flashed around the world.“I understand that on television, on social media, they’re talking about this but I am here to explain it, to say that it wasn’t my intention to go against the manager,” Kepa said. “We have spoken now, and I was only trying to say ‘I’m fine.’ He thought I wasn’t fine. It was in tense moments, with a lot happening.”The insubordination exposes the player power that has appeared to often cause problems for Chelsea managers. It leaves the 60-year-old Sarri without a trophy in his career and Kepa’s defiance adds to the manager’s problems with Chelsea down to sixth in the Premier League.The incident distracted attention from how Sarri had set up his team to successfully thwart City two weeks after a 6-0 loss in the Premier League.“Today the players played exactly the match we prepared,” Sarri said. “I think I am fully in control of this situation. … We conceded nothing to the best team in Europe.” Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history View commentslast_img read more

To Transition from Sugar Cane Farming to Food Crops

first_imgDespite the need for more farmers to grow food to sustain food self-sufficiency in the country, it is observed that many residents in Arthington, Lower Montserrado County are engaged into the cultivation of sugarcane on a large scale for income generation.Although the Arthington farmers’ intentions may not be wrong per se, it is important that the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) gets involved in sensitizing the community to prioritize the production of food crops rather than sugarcane.Research shows that sugarcane plantations have dramatic impact on the environment. Major environmental concerns associated with sugar plantations include air and water pollution, not to mention the improper disposal of the resulting wastes.Interestingly, when the Daily Observer visited Arthington recently, residents of that area disclosed that they were accustomed to the production of the crop.They said that sugarcane farming has become a traditional crop that has been cultivated for generations.The farmers, however, acknowledged that they would like to prioritize other crops such as vegetables but were lacking support from the MoA.They pointed out that the activities of the MoA were not available in Arthington, such as the teaching of new farming skills.Arthington is one of the historical settlements in Liberia where the free men and women, who had left shores of the United States of America first settled before spreading across the country. Their descendants are still there today.It is a fewmiles away from the nation’s capital, Monrovia, but it is in abject poverty.The residents complained that their community has been neglected over the years, making mention of basic social services such as sanitation and safe drinking water as key facilities that government would provide.   They further said that the road conditions in the area were deplorable, making transportation difficult.Besides sugar farming, the Arthington residents are also involved in coal mining for livelihood with the exception of a few back yard gardens.Mr. Genius White, mayor of Arthington told this paper that some of his citizens were also engaged in pig raising and needed help.He said animal feed was a major challenge for swine farmers in his township. Meanwhile, an official of the MoA told this paper in a telephone conversation that considering the urgent need for Liberians to grow food, the MoA prefers to encourage farmers to cultivate food crops.Minister Chea B. Garley, Assistant Minister for Technical Services confirms the need for farmers in Arthington to change their farming habits.He said there is project at the MoA that will involve farmers in peri-urban communities such as Arthington.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

EBOLA, CURSE OR TRIAL, (PART TWO)

first_imgShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST COMPASSIONATE, THE MOST MERCIFULAll praise belongs to Allah; and may His peace and blessings be upon His Prophet, his household, his companions and all those who rightly follow their foot-steps. Ameen!In continuation of our discourse whether or not ebola is a curse or trial and our determination to first address ourselves to what constitutes “curse”; we shall, by Allah’s will, attempt to focus on the worse of all curse. Of course, Al-Qur’an-the Holy Scripture of Al-Islam gives several causes that can provoke curse. Worse among them is the tempering with Divine Revelation. Tempering with the Words of Allah includes, but not limited to concealing (failing and/or refusing to state or pronounce with particularity), misquoting or misinterpret its actual meaning or revealed purpose. Tempering with the Words of Allah in any form or manner has the tendency to mislead, misdirect and misguide thousands of people and cause them to fall prey to Divine curse. For example, Al-Qur’an-the Holy Scripture of Al-Islam makes emphatically clear thus:“Those who conceal anything of the clear teachings and true guidance which We (Allah-the Majestic) have sent down even through We (Allah) have made them clear in Our (Allah-the Almighty’s) Book, Allah curses such people and so do all who curse; those who repent and make amends and openly declare (what they had concealed), such shall We (Allah-the Most High) pardon for We are Much-Relenting, Most Compassionate. As for those who disbelieved and died and died disbelieving, surely the curse of Allah and of the angels and all persons is on them. Thus shall they abide and their chastisement shall not be lightened, nor shall they be given respite” (2:159-161.The just quoted verses address three categories of people. The first verse talks about those who have acquired certain religious knowledge but for selfish reason decided to hide what they have learnt. The second are people who initiated such spiritual misbehavior patterns, but later on cam to themselves, amended their attitudes and repented. And the third are those who totally failed or refused to make a stop and reflect over the past. There and then continuously engaged themselves in such wrong doings until death do them part. These three categories are, by and large, people who have acquired certain religious knowledge. The first and third categories are those who are doomed to moral degradation and spiritual perdition.   As Al-Qur’an is all-comprehensive and all-pervasive in all aspects of its teachings, did not stop to the three categories outlined above. Rather, it goes further to elaborate on the other side of the coin.  In doing so, the Scripture says: “And among them are also the unlettered folk who do not know about the Scriptures but cherish baseless wishes and merely follow their conjectures. Then, woe unto those who write out of the Scriptures with their own hands and then in order to make a trifling gain claim: ‘Thus is from Allah.’ Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they thus earn” (2: 78-79)Al-Qur’an is replete with several other Scriptural provisions pin-pointing at these kinds of theologians who cause a community or nation to fall prey to the Divine curse. However, time will not permit us detail all. Notwithstanding, we believe that what have enlisted here is enough to let us know that the attitude of misguided theologians plays pivotal roles in falling upon nations and peoples the curse of Allah, as well as the curse of the angels, human-kind and all other created beings. Indeed, it is no exaggeration that a critical conduct of survey in our social religious arena will certainly reveal the prevalence of these categories of people in the midst of our people. Hence, nothing behooves us but to be at watch-out of such character in order to avoid dragging us into self humiliation, degradation and destruction. This can be done through analytical scrutiny and objective alliance.The fact remains is that holders of the Divine Message can now be found in all religious groupings the adherents of the Torah, the Psalms (Zabu’r), the Injil (Gospel) and AlFurq’an (Al-Qur’an). The quoted verses also elucidate that the biggest felonious criminals are scholars who entertain the audacity of hiding the teachings contained in the Book of Allah. For such hiding has the tendency of limiting the delivery of the valuable Message either to the self or a certain class of people, instead of spreading it to the generality of humankind. In many, if not in all cases of withholding such Message, is designed to gain a price that is not only miserable but also despicable, nefarious and diabolical. Furthermore, such withholding has the tendency of corrupting the society and depriving humanity from appreciating the Message of Allah including its Moral Code of Decorum.Allah is the Creator, Cherisher, Sustainer of the universe and all within its realm. The Holy Scripture therefore makes it crystal and clear that none of the creature within this universe that was created aimlessly or purposelessly. These aims and objectives are clearly spelled-out in Allah’s Divine Scripture; their acceptance and adherence makes human valuable beings, something all aspire. One of the imperative rationales behind mandating scholars to deliver the Divine Message at all times, all areas and all causes, is that there would be among the listeners who will better understand the spiritual pros and cons of such message and make good use of same than the one who is engage in delivering it. No doubt, to filter such Message through selected members of one owns society to the exclusion of others is indeed act of naivety, malicious and mischievous. Of course, the prevalence of such misguided religious scholars, does not only demoralize the society, but also dump it into social chaos and carnage. To avoid the society falling prey to social tumult and destruction, Al-Islam enjoins every Muslim-male and female-old and young to seek for knowledge; and to do so from the cradle to the grave. The fact remains is that there can in no way be a comparison between the knowledgeable and unknowledgeable. For, the former are well prepared to: “apply their minds and the ears of their hearts to the acquisition of learning and by consequence well-informed…”; “who exercise thei intellect (and) who lift to Allah their inward sight” (39:9). last_img read more

Mane, Sakho star as Senegal book WCup slot

first_imgVictory gave Senegal an uncatchable five-point lead over Burkina Faso and Cape Verde in Group D with one round left.The only previous World Cup appearance by Senegal was in 2002 when current coach Aliou Cisse captained a team that reached the quarter-finals in South Korea and Japan.Bottom-of-the-table South Africa lie seven ponts behind Senegal ahead of a return match in Dakar next Tuesday, with Burkina Faso hosting Cape Verde at the same time.South Africa defeated Senegal 2-1 in Polokwane last November, but FIFA ordered a replay because of “match manipulation” by Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey, who was banned for life.“It was not an easy game for us, but we took the chances that came our way,” said Mane, who returned to Premier League action last Saturday after a hamstring injury.“Our coach stressed before the match the importance of qualifying for the World Cup and we gave everything throughout the match.“We are going to represent all of Africa in Russia next year and will do our best to make everyone proud.”Senegal are the third African qualifiers for the World Cup in Russia after Nigeria and Egypt, who secured places during the penultimate qualifying round last month.The other two slots will be filled Saturday with north African countries Tunisia and Morocco needing draws to qualify.Tunisia host out-of-contention Libya in Group A holding a three-point advantage over the Democratic Republic of Congo, who play Guinea in Kinshasa.Morocco are one point in front of the Ivory Coast ahead of a showdown in Abidjan with the visitors hoping to end a 20-year absence from the World Cup.South Africa goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune played with a protective white mask after fracturing a facial bone in a club match last weekend.Senegal took the lead after 12 minutes when Sakho raced on to a Mane pass and side-footed the ball to the right of onrushing Khune.Stung by falling behind so early, South Africa sought an equaliser and came close midway through the opening half at Peter Mokaba Stadium.Goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye failed to grasp a fierce close-range Themba Zwane shot, but recovered to catch the rebound after the ball struck the onrushing Percy Tau.South Africa came even closer soon after when Lebogang Manyama swept a low cross against the crossbar and Senegal hastily cleared the loose ball.The Senegalese Teranga Lions doubled their lead after 38 minutes against the run of play with another goal involving Sakho and Mane.Sakho broke clear and crossed to Mane, whose shot was blocked by Khune only for the clearance to hit Mkhize and trickled back into the net.As half-time approached, Manyama went close again to scoring, this time from a free-kick that Ndiaye tipped over.South Africa introduced midfielders Andile Jali and Siphiwe Tshabalala midway through the second half, but neither made an impact.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Senegal midfielder Sadio Mane (R) fights for the ball with South Africa defender Dean Furman during their match in Polkowane on November 10, 2017 © AFP / PHILL MAGAKOEJOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Nov 10 – English Premier League pair Diafra Sakho and Sadio Mane played key roles as Senegal defeated South Africa 2-0 in Polokwane Friday to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.West Ham striker Sakho opened the scoring off a pass from Liverpool attacker Mane and both were involved in the move that led to a Thamsanqa Mkhize own-goal before half-time.last_img read more

Zidane happy with Madrid squad, Perez relationship

first_img0Shares0000‘I am happy’ said Zidane of the Real Madrid squad © AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUMADRID, Spain, Aug 31 – Zinedine Zidane insists his relationship with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is strong and he is happy with his squad ahead of the transfer window closing on Monday.Madrid have spent around 300 million euros this summer but Zidane has not selected a single new signing in his first starting line-ups for the first two games of the season. Zidane hoped the club would sign Paul Pogba, but Manchester United would not sell, and sell Gareth Bale, but the Welshman remains determined to see out his contract, which expires in 2022.“The decisions that are up to me are on the pitch,” said Zidane in a press conference on Saturday, ahead of Sunday’s league game away at Villarreal.“My relationship with Florentino Perez has always been very good, he will always be the president that brought me here and I will never forget that.“Sometimes it is better to clarify things and I say the relationship is good, I don’t care what anyone says. The important thing is my day-to-day work and that I have the chance to coach this great team.”Madrid have brought in Eden Hazard from Chelsea but the Belgian has a thigh injury and will not return until after the international break. Hazard began training alone on Friday.Real have also signed Eder Militao, Luka Jovic, Rodrygo and Ferland Mendy, with Zidane refusing to rule out further additions before the window shuts.Neymar’s future at Paris Saint-Germain remains uncertain while Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen and Ajax’s Donny van de Beek are also believed to be targets.“Until Monday at midnight, everything can happen, one surprise, two surprises, but the match is tomorrow,” Zidane said.“I am proud of the players I have, for me they are the best players. Even when you say you want to make some changes, the important thing is when the season starts, you are happy and I am happy.“I cannot complain about the squad that I have. If I complain, I can change jobs.”Keylor Navas has fallen behind Thibaut Courtois in the race to be Madrid’s first-choice goalkeeper and is expected to join PSG.“It could happen,” Zidane said. “Keylor will be with us for the game against Villarreal and until the window closes, anything can happen.”Madrid started the season with an encouraging away win at Celta Vigo but were held to a draw at home to Real Valladolid last weekend.0Shares0000(Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

‘Exceptional’ star pleases Arsene Wenger as Arsenal get back to winning ways

first_imgArsenal boss Arsene Wenger has praised Mesut Ozil after his showing helped them defeat Sunderland 3-1 at the Emirates.The Gunners hadn’t won either of their last two matches but managed to claim victory despite another shaky display against the Black Cats on home soil.One man who did impress was German star Ozil though, and Wenger was left to purr over his performance after the match.“He was tremendous again today and it’s just a pleasure to watch,” said the French boss.“We struggled a little bit to find our fluency at times but when the ball comes to him you know things will be more serene and technically right. He gives you hope that something will happen.“He’s an exceptional player and gave the ball for the first goal.“I believe I faced some press conferences where people were being sceptical about him but he has grown and has a real stature now.“It’s very impressive what he is doing.”last_img read more

Strachan: Scotland players should be proud after victory in Prague

first_img Gordon Strachan named ten uncapped players over two squads for the matches in Prague and against Denmark 1 Gordon Strachan told his Scotland players they should all be proud of themselves following their battling 1-0 friendly win over the Czech Republic at the Generali Arena.The national team boss named ten uncapped players over two squads for the challenge matches in Prague and against Denmark at Hampden Park next Tuesday night, as he looks to build towards the 2018 World Cup qualifiers which begin later in the year.Midfielder Kenny McLean started for the first time as Ikechi Anya’s goal after ten minutes was ultimately enough to secure the win, and forward Tony Watt and defender Paul Caddis came on late in the game to make their debuts.The visitors had to survive a first-half battering as the home side fought ferociously with pace and power in their bid to draw level, but Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor was in inspired form with a string of saves and his defence helped out after the break to hold out for the morale-boosting win.Strachan said: “There was a lot of players not here you would have expected to be here.“It was a bit of a gamble when you come to places like this when you don’t have a full squad, but the group made it a good night and they can all be proud of what they done, even the ones who didn’t get on.“They had to work hard. They did a double session the other day because we are not a great side but we can turn ourselves into a decent side by working hard. It was good for them.“They keep learning and it was great learning from the first half to the second half, about how small things can change a game.”Asked about Fulham forward Ross McCormack, back for the first time in two years and originally left out of the squad until an injury to Steven Naismith, Strachan sidestepped the individual to stress the collective.The former Celtic boss said: “As I keep saying, the whole squad did themselves favours tonight.“We improved dramatically in the second half.“I don’t think anyone needs to worry about their performance, especially in the second half.”last_img read more

3 plead not guilty in Malibu wildfire

first_imgThree men pleaded not guilty Friday to causing a wildfire that destroyed 50 homes in Malibu, and their lawyers said outside court they were being made scapegoats by an outraged community. Even the judge took the unusual step of denying from the bench that his Malibu neighbors had pressured him. “Nobody’s putting pressure on me,” said Superior Court Judge Michael K. Kellogg, who works in the San Fernando Valley but lives in Malibu. “No one has come down from Malibu and knocked on my door and said, `Hey Judge, we know where you live!”‘ Five men have been charged with recklessly causing the Nov. 24 fire that swept through 4,000 acres of Malibu canyon land. Six firefighters were hurt and 50 homes and 35 other buildings were destroyed. “There is nothing to show me that there wasn’t this callousness and a high level of carelessness,” Kellogg said. “And all the sorrys in the world don’t change that.” The judge did lower Franks’ bail from $230,000 to $100,000, saying that, according to witnesses, he tried to put out the fire. “Everybody else was packing up their gear and getting ready to head for the parking lot,” the judge said. Franks’ public defender, Douglas Jay Goldstein, said his client still cannot raise the money and would spend the holidays in jail. All five are charged with recklessly causing a fire with great bodily injury and recklessly causing fire to inhabited structures. They also face an allegation that the crimes were committed in an area that was in a sate of emergency. An extreme fire danger warning was in effect for the area at the time. If convicted, they could face more than a decade each in prison. Arson investigators said food wrappers and precut logs led them to determine the blaze started with an illegal campfire in a cave-like depression on state park land in Corral Canyon that was known as a favorite drinking and partying spot for young people. Sparks and embers from the fire were pushed by hot, dry Santa Ana winds into surrounding brush. Authorities have said a group of people started the fire and had been partying in the cave before Anderson, Coppock and Franks arrived. Their attorneys contend that they tried to put out the fire before they left and believed they had succeeded. Anderson kicked a burning log out of the cave and told Franks to stomp out the embers, according to an investigator’s report. After Friday’s hearing, attorneys repeated contentions that the three have been made into scapegoats.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champAttorneys entered not guilty pleas for Brian David Franks, 27; William Thomas Coppock, 23; and Brian Alan Anderson, 22, all of Los Angeles. The judge scheduled a preliminary hearing Jan. 7 to determine whether there is enough evidence to hold the three for trial. Dean Allen Lavorante, 19, and Eric Matthew Ullman, 18, of Culver City face arraignment in February. They and Anderson are free on bail. During Friday’s hearing, the judge denied requests to free Coppock and Franks from jail without bail until trial. Their attorneys have argued the men were not a danger to the community. Prosecutors said their actions during the blaze put other people’s lives in danger. last_img

How a Darwinist Explains “Living Fossils”

first_imgDarwinism is a flexible concept that must embrace a wide variety of observations, from apparently fast-evolving plants (see 10/12/2004 item on maize) to organisms that seem to remain unevolved for eons.2  Darwin himself saw this flexibility as a strength for his unifying concept of common descent; others criticized it as rationalization (i.e., a concept that can explain anything explains nothing).  Take the case of so-called “living fossils,” organisms whose modern counterparts are virtually identical to fossils sometimes hundreds of millions of years old.  If a land animal could evolve into a whale in 50 million years, for instance, why would a horseshoe crab show no change at all for 10 times as long, 500 million years? (see 06/21/2002 headline).  How can the fluidity of constant evolutionary change over time be reconciled with observations that many different kinds of creatures – trees, salamanders, ostracods, reptiles, insects and fish – have apparently not evolved at all?    This subject was recently tackled by Lee Hsiang Liow of the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago.  Examining fossil crinoids (branch-like echinoderms that attach to the seafloor, also called sea lilies and feather stars), Liow tested “Simpson’s Rule” of “the survival of the relatively unspecialized,” a rule George Gaylord Simpson proposed in 1944 as an explanation for living fossils and long-lived taxa.  Basically, it suggests that specialists evolve, but generalists persist.  Liow applied the rule to crinoids and published the results in American Naturalist.1  She studied 1,195 species, representing 752 genera, and concluded that long-lived crinoid genera seem relatively unspecialized, in accordance with Simpson’s Rule, but the reverse is true for higher taxa.  The conclusion seems to raise doubts about the utility of Darwinian explanations.Prolonged stasis in a world of change is a puzzling biological phenomenon.  Extremely long-lived or geologically long-ranging taxa have been a popular subject of discussion for paleontologists and neontologists alike ever since Darwin ([1859] 1964) coined the term “living fossils.”….Whether it is called bradytely, arrested evolution, morphological stasis, long-lived taxa or something else, or whether “living fossils” are dubbed paradoxical, relictual, primitive or specialized, the phenomenon of stasis has rarely been studied in a quantitative manner.  This Liow set out to correct, at least in the case of crinoid evolution.  The crinoid class is ideal for study because it span much of the geological column and contains many well-characterized examples, both fossil and living.  She compared samples and deduced a morphological average, then tried to determine if longevity was a function of “bizarreness.” Simpson implicitly took a comparative approach when he wrote about the “rule of the survival of the relatively unspecialized” (1944, p. 143).  He thought that unspecialized subgroups of a clade seem to persist for longer periods of geologic time but did not explicitly define “specialization.”  Here, I quantify specialization by comparing individual morphologies to a group mean; the closer a morphology is to a group mean, the less specialized it is.  I ask whether long-lived genera … in any given crinoid order occupy regions of morphospace that are random with respect to the mean morphology of that order.  Could survival be correlated with morphological bizarreness or a deviant morphology …?  Or would long-lived genera have morphologies close to the mean morphology…?The short answer is: Simpson seems to be right on one level.  “I find that the morphologies of long-lived crinoid genera are, in general, closer to mean morphologies than shorter-lived genera in the same order.”  But when higher taxonomic categories are examined, the rule fails:Similarly, but from a completely different conceptual perspective, I ask whether long-lived crinoid genera in any given crinoid higher taxon (e.g., suborder, order) occupy regions of morphospace that are random with respect to a basal morphology of that higher taxon.  I find that mean morphological distances of long-lived genera from basal morphologies are seldom distinct from those of their shorter-lived relatives.In other words, she found a contradiction in the trend between lower and higher taxonomic groups.  Part of the problem is the fuzziness of the evolutionary record:There is no available phylogenetic framework for comparing rates of character transformation in the global pool of fossil crinoids.  Likewise, there are no detailed samples of crinoid lineages in a stratigraphic column for investigating character reversals, convergence, or the lack thereof.Nevertheless, she found a way to compare features: “The morphological characters used here are not assumed to be strictly homologous but are assumed to reflect only general fossilizable morphology determined consistently within the crinoid bauplan [body plan].”  Also, the fossil history was determined from location in the geological column, both first and last appearance (see 05/21/2004 headline), and when dealing with fossils, the classification into genus and species is not always clear cut.  Geological history adds to the confusion:Just as in previous analyses when genera are grouped according to orders, genera in each period are mostly short lived.  However, rarefied samples of shorter-lived genera through each period inform us that the long-lived taxa can be more, less, or equally deviant compared with shorter-lived taxa of an equivalent sample size (table C2).    Genera that are extremely long lived within each order are also more likely … than other genera in the database to have passed through one or more mass extinctions even though passing through mass extinctions does not necessarily ensure persistence.I.e., the longer you live, the more dangers you have faced, but facing dangers doesn’t make you Supercrinoid.  She claims, nevertheless, that “the likelihood of the occurrence of ‘living fossils’ or long-lived taxa increases with time,” a truism given the evolutionary and geological-time assumptions.    Liow addresses more factors that confuse the picture and could bias the results, such as taxonomic lumping, limited range of some species, the tendency for long-lived species to swamp short-lived ones, “issues of stratigraphic resolution of age dating,” and disagreement over how to define a “long-lived” taxon.  This discussion seems intended to cushion the next paragraph, the conclusions.  Before opening the curtain, she cautions, “In summary, longevity is relative and dependent on taxonomic inclusiveness.  These important axioms are often neglected in articles that address extreme persistence or morphological conservatism.”    Conclusion time.  What can be claimed based on this detailed analysis of crinoids?“First, most taxa (genera and families) are short lived and ‘average”…. which implies that experiments in morphology are usually not long lived.”  This seems to suggest Mother Nature is a bumbling tinkerer.“Second, long-lived genera within orders are often less morphologically deviant or less specialized than expected when compared with rarefied samples of corresponding shorter-lived genera.”  This was apparently a big surprise.  “In other words, long-lived genera are not only not unusual, some are unusually average!” (exclamation in the original).“Third, patterns of morphological deviations from basal morphologies versus durations are unclear.”  Enough said.Fourth, there appears to be an increase in long-lived groups through time, but this appears to be an artifact of the assumptions of phylogeny and geologic ages.“Fifth, taxonomic ranks and inclusiveness of higher taxa are critical factors when discussing longevity because identities of long-lived taxa may dramatically change according to these factors.”  This suggests that previous investigators failed to see the big picture.“Last, identities of long-lived taxa may change with respect to which definitions of longevity are used.  This may or may not (as was the case for this article) change conclusions being drawn on long-lived taxa.”  This seems to say that conclusions are a function of definitions, not data.She lists a few suggestions that have been offered for why some species persist.  Maybe “extinctions are not biologically random,” for instance.  Overall, though, she is confident that “Based on the results of the current study, I rule out the idea that long-lived genera are morphologically deviant or unusual when compared within the realm of an order.”  This seems to say, “Simpson was wrong” at higher taxonomic levels.    What are more instructive in this paper are the zingers in the last paragraph:There are of course many unanswered questions.  This study focused on persistence, but there is no available information on actual rate of character evolution.  Do long-lived taxa experience rapid rates of character reversals or zig-zag evolution (Henningsmoen 1957), such that apparent persistence is only a sampling artifact, or does persistence necessarily mean slow change or cryptic change (Knowlton 2000)?  …. To remain similar enough to an ancestor so a lineage retains a single taxonomic identity requires whole chains of more or less identical events (Gingerich 2001), but what causes these identical developmental events to occur generation after generation?  What relative proportions do ecology, biogeography, morphology, and phylogenetic inertia contribute to longevity?  Patterns and statistical correlations do not imply causation; tests using techniques from fields ranging from paleontology and phylogenetics to molecular biology and genetics need to be designed to investigate the existence and workings of mechanisms that promote longevity.Go to the top of the paper.  Infinite loop.1Lee Hsiang Liow, “A Test of Simpson’s ‘Rule of the Survival of the Relatively Unspecialized’ Using Fossil Crinoids,” The American Naturalist 2004, Vol. 164, pp. 431-443, University of Chicago, 0003-0147/2004/16404-40222.2For examples, see previous headlines about coelacanth fish, pine trees, horseshoe crabs, tuatara reptiles, salamanders, bacteria, protozoa and termites, and butterflies.Every word of this long paper was scrutinized for a hint, somewhere, of an explanation for living fossils.  It was like taking a long, hard hike with a confused guide and at the end of the day finding yourself right back where you started, and on top of that, finding out that your destination was much farther off than you first expected.  Nothing in this paper was any help to the Darwinites.  Simpson’s Rule was tested and found wanting.  The number of variables outnumbered the constants, and the validity of any formula was questionable to begin with.  There is no reason to suspect that fragile little sea lilies would outlive dinosaurs through mass extinctions, and there was nothing within the known diversity of crinoid classes to predict why some would last long and others would disappear quickly.    This is not to pick on Dr. Liow.  After all, she meant well and tried to be scientifically rigorous, at least more so than predecessors who relied on comparative rather than quantitative methods.  She did her homework and referred to all the prior literature on this subject.  And she is, after all, an expert, being on the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago.  But in the end, it didn’t matter; the doubts swamped the claims.  Just when we were about to give her credit for finding at least half a trend, she let loose with a barrage of major questions that cast doubt on the validity of any evolutionary explanation for living fossils.  Notice also that her subject was not a minor matter.  The debate about stasis is a major issue that bears on the very heart of evolutionary theory.  If the Darwin Party cannot explain how things change or how things stay the same, then they cannot explain anything.    Notice what she admitted in that last paragraph: there is no available information on actual rate of character evolution, she said, and she’s not restricting that statement to crinoids.  In lieu of explanations, she tosses out alternative plot lines and made-up concepts, like “zig-zag evolution” and “cryptic change” and other head-scratchers, then unloads a dump truck load of devastating statements that say, in effect, that Darwinists don’t know anything.  She just hopes that some day, somebody else will figure it out.  From our experience, this paper was not an isolated case.  The more in depth evolutionary theorists try to support their hunches with evidence, the more trouble they find.    Evolutionary explanations are like hot potatoes.  The Darwin Party brags about how many players are in the game and how many potatoes are being tossed around, but there is no potato anyone wants to hold onto and eat.  Dr. Liow held it long enough to decide that, “yes, it is hot,” then tossed it to someone else.  This game goes on and on in the literature while Eugenie Scott and the other Darwinite salespeople speak of this frenetic activity as if a healthy meal of science is being cooked up.  We’re tired of waiting.  When do we get served, and how do we know the spuds are even palatable?  The ones we have glimpsed so far are pretty gross.  No amount of heat will fix a rotten potato.(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more