What’s driving 49ers’ Damontre Moore into final audition?

first_imgSANTA CLARA – Damontre Moore may make the 49ers roster. His pass-rushing prowess shows that. His urgency to win a job is one that any parent can relate.Moore became a father nearly three months ago, motivating him to straighten up and get serious about his career, which is approaching another crossroads.“It definitely makes you see things in a whole new light,” Moore, 26, said. “You’re no longer worried about yourself. You have a family to feed.”Miami Dolphins defensive end Damontre Moore …last_img read more

Design of Life Update: Birds

first_imgConvenient quicksleeve copies of the entire film are available from Illustra’s distributor Go2RPI.com. These can be used as ministry give-aways for friends, family, students, churches, clubs, or anywhere there’s an open mind willing to follow the evidence. Illustra Media’s Design of Life documentaries only began to explore the marvels of life. In this entry, we look at more wonders among birds.Eggs come in a variety of sizes and shapes, as shown in a rapid-fire series in the Illustra film. In an “Egg Mythbuster” piece, Phys.org explains why some eggs are pear-shaped. The beautiful spotted eggs of the guillemot, long prized by egg collectors (a practice now banned), are shaped to prevent breakage when other birds lands on the rocks where they build their nests. In a video clip, Professor Tim Birkhead (U of Sheffield) describes guillemot eggs as “one of the most beautiful and extraordinary eggs in the bird world” because of their varieties of colors and markings. “It’s a testament to the powers of natural selection,” he adds, personifying the Stuff Happens Law with creative genius.Aside from that slip, Birkhead shows spectacular drone shots of the sheer cliffs where the seabirds rear their young. He then tells about the “climmers” of the 19th century. Their goal of collecting unusually-colored guillemot eggs had the effect of making them “citizen scientists” who had learned more about the birds’ biology than professional scientists of the time. His main point, though, is to explain the egg’s shape, which may have “a variety of reasons” behind it. After debunking two popular myths, he gives his favorite hypothesis, which has to do with the strength of the eggshell. It is thickest on the long axis which is the most subject to breakage as the mother incubates it. If another bird crash lands on top of her, the egg will likely survive the blow. This still does not explain the colors and markings. Birkhead’s new book is titled The Most Perfect Thing after a descriptive phrase by Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911), American abolitionist, who said,‘I think that, if required on pain of death to name instantly the most perfect thing in the universe, I should risk my fate on a bird’s egg’ — Thomas Wentworth Higginson, 1862Update 3/10/17: Speaking of guillemots, Science Daily just posted a possible explanation for why guillemot chicks leap hundreds of meters off the cliffs where they were reared into the water before they are ready to fly. Their fathers of the guillemots (also called murres) guide them on this “remarkable leap” that has baffled scientists. Many hours of observation showed that the fathers work very hard providing food for the chicks up on the cliff for up to 5 to 7 weeks. As soon as the chick is able, the father guides it down to the sea where it can learn the art of feeding itself. Scientists “discovered that chicks at sea grew at roughly twice the speed of those at the colony, because the murre fathers no longer needed to fly back and forth to the colony to feed them.” The classic documentary Winged Migration includes a scene of a guillemot chick doing the leap, landing with a splash, to the relief of the exhausted father.Embryos. In the sequence on a developing chick embryo in the Illustra film, scientists describe the “elaborate dance” that takes place, with molecular machines doing jobs, moving systems, and committing parts of the embryo irreversibly toward their roles in the adult. A new paper in PLoS One describes just one stage in the 21-day period when gut motility (peristalsis) begins— i.e., the muscle contractions that will move food through the digestive tract. They watched the sequence unfold on days 6 through 9.We found that the emergence of an uninterrupted circular ring of smooth muscle correlated with the appearance of propagative contractile waves, at E6 in the hindgut and midgut, and at E9 in the caecal appendix. We show that peristalsis at these stages is critically dependent on calcium and is not mediated by neurons as gut motility is insensitive to tetrodotoxin and takes place in the hindgut in the absence of neurons.“Our work sets a baseline for further investigations of motility development in this important animal model,” the four authors say.Chick embryo, from Flight: The Genius of Birds (Illustra Media)Hummingbirds have a flight stabilization system in their neurons. Current Biology has a paper by M. R. Ibbotson about how it works.The pretectal visual motion processing area in the hummingbird brain is unlike that in other birds: instead of emphasizing detection of horizontal movements, it codes for motion in all directions through 360°, possibly offering precise visual stability control during hovering.Interestingly, the Allen’s Hummingbird has a subspecies that migrates and another subspecies that does not. Phys.org says that birders miscounted the two and came to a wrong conclusion that the hummingbirds were in decline, when actually the non-migrating kind were doing quite well at backyard feeders and parks in southern California. The Allen’s hummingbird was on conservation watchlists because it was thought to live only on the Channel Islands offshore. The Audubon Society’s eBird tool allows citizen birders to record their observations. This allowed Christopher Clark to publish corrected statistics in The Auk , a journal of the American Ornithological Society. He says that Channel Island species colonized southern California urban areas sometime before 1966. eBird.com reported this story on its news page, with photos of the bird and maps where they were observed.Collective Motion is performed by many birds, like the starlings shown in Flight. Hummingbirds, too, engage in “group mobbing” to scare off owls and other predators by divebombing them, says Science Daily. Whether this is a form of sexual selection to impress females seems dubious, since it would appear difficult for a female to distinguish a single male in a crowd. Even if she could, will she connect his prowess with fatherhood skills? Instead, it may “teach younger birds to distinguish friend from foe” – a function not necessarily independent of giving the girls a good air show.Starling murmurations, from Flight: The Genius of Birds (Illustra Media)Migration is undertaken by many bird species in addition to the Arctic terns shown in Flight. The behavior may play more of a role in the general ecology, though, than thought. Phys.org says that wintering ducks spread plant seeds from one body of water to another, thereby connecting wetlands to each other. This helps prevent habitat loss and fragmentation of ecological zones, and thus improves biodiversity. Some plant seeds move through the birds’ digestive tracts unharmed; plants, therefore, can use birds as a form of air mail for seed dispersal.Dinosaur-to-Bird Evolution was “not as straight as thought,” Phys.org says —as thought by evolutionists, that is. Paleontologist Stephen Brusatte debunks various myths of bird evolution, particularly the idea that one can draw a straight line from a dinosaur to a bird in the fossil record. Put his statements in your philosophy pipe and smoke it; do evolutionists really have a story of bird evolution more firm than mere suggestions that stuff happened?To truly understand the evolution of flight in dinosaurs, Brusatte suggests, will require the melding of mathematical models used to measure the likelihood of flight in a given fossil species and biomechanical studies (based on engineering) that take more into account than just feathers—some fossils have been found, for example, that appear to more closely resemble bats than birds, with membranes for wings. The breakthrough, he suggests, will be the development of anatomical models of dinosaurs that truly represent the evolutionary history of early birds., i.e. creatures capable of powered flight.He concludes by suggesting that as research continues, it appears likely that some of the current evidence attributed to flight evolution will be thrown out even as new evidence of true development is added, eventually giving us a true picture of what transpired.Readers are encouraged to watch the Illustra film Flight: The Genius of Birds for evidence and reasons why biologists should, instead, consider intelligent design. At the end of the film, Paul Nelson says,Here’s the bottom line. You look at the anatomy of a bird, its behavior, its metabolism, the structure of its feathers, the structure of its muscles and so forth — these are multiple independent points in a complex space, out of which flight emerges. And I think from a biological standpoint, to fly at all requires a cause that is able to visualize a distant functional endpoint, and bring together necessary to achieve that endpoint. Uniquely, and universally in our experience, only intelligence is capable of that kind of causal process.Tim Standish adds,An engineered system is the product of a mind that anticipated a problem and figured out a multi-step way of addressing that problem. In birds you see exactly that kind of process. I believe intelligent design is the best explanation for avian flight, because it’s the best explanation for every other kind of flight that we see. So why would I suddenly change the rules when I go from a 747 to a pigeon? … They’re engineering marvels. They’re works of art. We know where engineered things come from. We know where works of art come from. So why would we attribute a bird to anything other than intelligence or mind?Go outside and watch your local birds. Then toss a rock into the air. What would it take to make the rock take off against gravity and fly under its own power? (Visited 83 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Virginia Tech Preps Lumenhaus for the 2009 Solar Decathlon

first_imgEven those with only a mild case of green-building fever realize that a certain level of tech celebrity is conferred on the academic teams participating in the Solar Decathlon, whose fourth edition is scheduled for October 8-18 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.So much work goes into preparing a Decathlon project proposal for review by the Department of Energy’s team of engineers, scientists, and other experts that being chosen to compete against 19 other teams is itself a major victory. But then the real work – almost two years of further development, including construction and testing of the 800-sq.-ft. net-zero-energy home – will have just begun.We’ve seen a renderings of a few entries for the 2009 showcase, including those from University of Minnesota, Santa Clara University and California College of the Arts, Rice University, and ”Team Boston” (a collaboration between Tufts University and Boston Architectural College).But the one that’s currently generating substantial web traffic is Virginia Tech’s Lumenhaus, a rectangular structure that the school’s Solar Decathlon team says was inspired by architect Mies Van Der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, a Bauhaus-style landmark in Plano, Illinois. One of the principal strategies behind the Lumenhaus design is to exploit sun exposure not only for electricity but to flood the house with as much light as possible without compromising its interior comfort. While the house’s north and south walls are all glass, the Virginia Tech team says, daylight penetration through those walls is controlled by layers of specially developed screens – an automated system of louvers called Eclipsis. (Virginia Tech, which already has competed in two Decathlons, showcased the Eclipsis system June 12 through August 23 in a special exhibit at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia.)Specially designed doors in central core of the house allow its occupants to easily tailor the interior spaces to a variety of uses, from office space to storage to private bedroom. And the building’s modular construction is designed to allow additional units to be stacked on top of the original, where they’d be connected via plug-in stairs, or aligned to expand the house laterally.The team has produced a slick video, accessible on the Lumenhaus website, that is intended to illustrate the project’s transportability and principal components.last_img read more

What Assistance is Available to Service Members in Serious Financial Trouble?

first_imgBy Carol ChurchIn a perfect world, all military service members would be able to consistently pay all their bills and meet their financial needs with ease. However, in real life, financial emergencies do occur. They could be the result of an excess of debt, medical problems, or family situations beyond the member’s control. Sometimes a delay in receiving military pay or disability payments creates an emergency. Whatever the cause, sometimes service members need help—and fast. So, what options exist for a service member who needs this kind of emergency aid? Here are some programs that can help. These organizations typically offer services to active duty or retired members, survivors, veterans, and qualified family members. Most will help to pay bills, such as rent, car and mortgage payments, and medical and/or dental expenses. They may also help with food, emergency travel, or funeral expenses. Some only give grants, while others give grants and small, interest-free loans. Several are specially intended for those injured during service. Some offer financial counseling to help make sure that these situations do not recur.Official Charities for Every BranchAir Force Aid Society—The AFAS provides emergency loans and grants to members of the Air Force and their families. They can help with needs like shelter, food, medical bills, moving costs, child care, and more. Members can apply online or in person at a base. The Falcon Loan program is of particular interest.Army Emergency Relief—The AER can help with a wide variety of needs, including food, health care, home repairs, housing, emergency travel, and more. They will not charge interest or fees, and you can apply online or in person. The AER has a dedicated Wounded Warrior program especially for those seriously injured in action.Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society—Offers financial counseling, grants, and loans of $500 or less. Can help with food, medical bills, car payment, moving costs, emergency travel, and more. This organization also offers free financial counseling and education on a variety of topics.Coast Guard Mutual Assistance—The CGMA offers help with the typical range of emergencies, as well as more general needs like insurance and childcare. They also offer financial counseling.Other Private Organizations Offering AssistanceAmerican Military Family—While this assistance is limited to Colorado residents, the program can provide help with rent, utilities, and other basic needs. It is limited to those with a VA diagnosis of PTSD or TBI.American Red Cross–The Red Cross can provide money for travel, food and shelter, burial, and various other needs to military service members and families, including widowed spouses and military retirees. You will need to submit qualifying information. The Red Cross can also help connect service members and families with organizations that help in their area.America Serves—This network of interconnected agencies and service providers provides many benefits to veterans and service members, including direct financial assistance.Operation Homefront—This is a nongovernmental charity that helps with a variety of needs, including car expenses, childcare, moving costs, medical bills, and more. They also have programs providing mortgage-free homes to service members and retired members who qualify, and provide safe, comfortable transitional housing to wounded members and their families who are in need.Semper Fi Fund—This organization provides financial assistance to post-9/11 wounded, ill, or injured service members and their families. They offer grants that can help with mortgage payments and with travel, lodging, and everyday expenses incurred while a service member receives medical assistance.USA Cares—This organization does not provide money or loans directly to members, but instead makes payments for them (to banks, utilities, etc.). Their grants are focused on post-9/11 veterans whose financial hardship relates to their military service. They specialize in rapid assistance, working to respond to requests within 48 hours. (Mortgage assistance requests will take longer.) Apply online.These groups and organizations offer a vital service by extending a helping hand to those who are in immediate need of funds or loans. However, it’s also important to address the underlying issues that created the emergency. There are abundant resources here at MFLN to help; one key strategy is to build an emergency fund.last_img read more

More medals from PH gymnastics as De Guzman, Capellan bag silver, 2 bronzes

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games Read Next LATEST STORIES LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Reyland Capellan, the floor exercise champion, bagged bronze in the vault, the same output he had two years ago.All in all, the country harvested two golds, one silver and two bronzes in artistics. The Philippine gymnastics team will compete in rhythmic starting Thursday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses View comments MOST READ SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NBA pros, fans react to Irving-Thomas megatrade Kaitlin de Guzman of the Philippines competes in beam event of women’s artistic gymnastics competition of the 29th Southeast Asian Games. She scored 12.3 to clinch the bronze medal. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SEA GAMES POOLKUALA LUMPUR — The Philippines hauled a silver and two more bronze medals Wednesday at the close of artistic gymnastics in the 29th Southeast Asian Games here.Kaitlin de Guzman added a silver in floor exercise and a bronze in balance beam to earlier gold medal in uneven bars to become the most productive in the entire Team Philippines so far.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Gameslast_img read more

If There Are Questions About Ray Rice Former Honey

Remember the “Honey Badger,” the LSU safety who seemingly ruined his NFL career because he could not stop smoking marijuana? Remember how he was ridiculed when he was kicked off the No. 1 team in the country, how he seemed to be the sad example of talent wasted?Well, look at him now. Tyrann Mathieu is a star safety for the Arizona Cardinals, one of the league’s top defenders. He missed the Atlanta Falcons game last week because of injury, one reason the Falcons were able to pass the ball so well.Mathieu could miss a few more games with the broken thumb. But he’s already established himself in his second season as a force on the field and reliable off of it.He goes by his name now, not the moniker because, while catchy, it symbolizes a time in his life that he regrets.It took losing his college career and the threat of a pro career for Mathieu to smarten up.“I didn’t have everything together back in college,” he said to SI.com when he arrived in Arizona. “I had everything together as far as football, but when it came to my social life, my personal life, I didn’t have everything intact. I didn’t have my emotions intact. Spiritually, I wasn’t intact.“Once you take football away, you are able to work on the person. These last six months, that is all I had was Tyrann the person. I attacked the person, I attacked my issues. . . Back when I was the Honey Badger, I didn’t have everything intact. Going forward, I am going to focus on being Tyrann Mathieu and that is the person I want to control right now.”Coach Bruce Arians said: “He’s a good kid. . . he knew his mistakes, owned up to his mistakes and he was just looking for an opportunity. The football part spoke for itself, and he’s been nothing but a dream to coach ever since.”Mathieu’s case of taking advantage of his opportunity comes at a time when Ray Rice is seeking a second chance, too. The cases are different but the same in this way: They are talented athletes who made mistakes. Mathieu’s errors hurt him; Rice’s actions hurt his wife, making some feel he should not set foot on an NFL field again as a player.Mathieu shows that a second chance can be a real life-saver. . . if handled properly. He went into rehab, moved by himself to Florida where he cleared his head and lungs and committed himself to a better life.That better life meant no drugs, understanding that if he stayed true to that personal mandate, the NFL was his to be had. To this point, Mathieu has been on point. He’s the playmaker scouts projected him to be.Rice is a proven football commodity who surely has been scared straight. He’s paid a penance. And for those looking for examples of second-chancers who kept it together, look to Mathieu. That’s something few would have even considered less than two years ago. read more