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Ex-49ers QB Alex Smith on comeback path: ‘I have to learn to run again’

first_imgAlex Smith has said it. The former 49ers quarterback who suffered a grisly double fracture (tibia, fibula) in his right leg in November while playing for the NFL’s Washington franchise, has stated his intent to return to the playing field.“That’s the plan,” Smith recently told Angie Goff of Fox 5 DC (see the entire interview here). “I’m looking forward to (walking on a playing field). I’ve got to conquer more steps before I get there.”Smith’s 4-year, $94 million extension signed with …last_img read more

Earth Magnetic Field Still Decaying

first_imgOld-earth belief tries to paper over a disturbing fact with speculative models, but 160 years of measurements show the strength of our planet’s magnetic field is dropping fast.How do secular geophysicists deal with one of the longest-running measurements in the history of science? The strength of the magnetic field was first measured 183 years ago by Karl Friedrich Gauss in 1835.  For the past 160 years or so, continuous measurements have been made. Early measurements show the field was 5% stronger than it is now. Continuous measurements plotted on a curve show an exponential drop in the overall strength of the field year by year. If this were to continue, it would put life at risk on the planet in mere thousands of years. Extrapolating backward, a stronger field would have made the earth uninhabitable a few tens of thousands of years ago.The secular geophysicists have comeback arguments, of course. They postulate magnetic reversals based on field measurements showing the orientation of the north/south poles in rocks. While reversals probably occurred, as the data indicate, that does not necessarily solve the problem. A reversal does not increase the strength of the field without a mechanism to pump energy into the field.A press release from the University of Rochester waltzes past these difficulties in its discussion about reversals that supposedly took place hundreds of thousands of Darwin Years ago. They postulate that a “South Atlantic Anomaly” may shed light on patterns of behavior in the field over long ages. John Tarduno of U of Rochester is excited about the opportunity to take a trip to Africa.“We were looking for recurrent behavior of anomalies because we think that’s what is happening today and causing the South Atlantic Anomaly,” Tarduno says. “We found evidence that these anomalies have happened in the past, and this helps us contextualize the current changes in the magnetic field.”Despite the data taken from “ancient clay remnants from southern Africa dating back to the early and late Iron Ages,” Tarduno’s team does not know how reversals occur or whether we are due for another one. No mechanism is proposed for how these occur, when they occur, or whether they form a pattern of field behavior. Most importantly, reversals do not provide a power source that could build the strength of the field back up and maintain it for long ages.The press release was echoed by NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine, and Tarduno’s research was funded by the National Science Foundation. Perceptive readers should notice the clear admissions that the field strength is dropping:“We’ve known for quite some time that the magnetic field has been changing, but we didn’t really know if this was unusual for this region on a longer timescale, or whether it was normal,” one team member said.Nearly 800,000 years ago, the poles were switched: north pointed south and vice versa. The poles have never completely reversed since, but for the past 160 years, the strength of the magnetic field has been decreasing at an alarming rate.A weakening of the magnetic field might also mean more harmful radiation reaches Earth—and trigger an increase in the incidence of skin cancer.Even if a complete pole reversal is not in the near future, however, the weakening of the magnetic field strength is intriguing to scientists, Tarduno says. “The possibility of a continued decay in the strength of the magnetic field is a societal concern that merits continued study and monitoring.”In his book Spacecraft Earth: A Guide for Passengers, Dr Henry Richter spends most of the time discussing evidences of design that challenge evolutionary theory. For one chapter, though, he engages readers with the mystery of the decay of earth’s magnetic field. Without being dogmatic, he asks whether the evidence suggests that the long-age view is wrong.Van Allen belts, a product of the geomagnetic field (Illustra Media)There are only three possibilities to generate a magnetic field, he writes: (1) a permanent magnet, (2) a dynamo generated by currents in the earth’s core and mantle, or (3) residual currents from the earth’s origin that are decaying away. The first possibility is ruled out because the core would exceed the temperature at which a permanent magnet could exist. The second possibility, a dynamo, requires input energy, or it will decay also, because there is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine. On earth, we can keep dynamos running with hydroelectric power, wind, fossil fuels or nuclear power, but none of those work in the earth’s core. Richter says:This leaves the third explanation, that there are residual electric currents in the interior of the earth which are slowly decaying as they do anywhere in a laboratory or in our machinery. Let us surmise that perhaps these electric currents were created when the earth was formed. Electric currents die away because electrical resistance dissipates their power. On the other hand, currents tend to be maintained because of the phenomenon called inductance, which is an interaction between magnetism and electricity that tends to keep currents flowing if the current decreases.We know that the rocks of the interior of the earth possess both resistance and inductance. If some simple calculations are made about the resistivity of the rocks of the earth’s mantle and outer core, and also of the inductance characteristic of such matter, we can calculate the expected decrease of the current. (p 142)Richter shows that the calculated decrease matches the measurements of magnetic field over the past 160 years. This provides powerful support for the third source, because it is based on laboratory experience with electomagnets, and empirical data from the earth itself. A consequence of magnetic field decay is that the earth cannot be billions of years old. Richter explains what would happen if the empirically measured trend were extrapolated back in time:What this inevitably leads to (and it certainly led me to), is the realization that our Spacecraft Earth is young. Instead of an earth that is 4.5 billion years old (an assumption never questioned by earth scientists and evolutionary biologists these days), it must be only thousands of years old. Why? If the earth were more than 12,000 to 15,000 years old, life could not exist. If we extrapolate backward in time the observed decay rate, huge magnetic fields would have existed at that time, and the earth would be physically unstable. Electric currents that powerful, flowing in the mantle to create these huge magnetic fields, would cause tremendous heating, to the point of melting the earth’s crust.Can secular geophysicists rescue their long age beliefs, on which evolutionary theory depends? Tarduno’s paper in Geophysical Research Letters discusses anomalies, reversals and patterns, but provides no power source to sustain the field.Earth’s dipole magnetic field is presently undergoing a rapid decay, best expressed by a deepening area of low field called the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA). This apparent collapse of the geomagnetic field, and speculation about a future field reversal, has captured the public imagination. But we know little about the history of the SAA, limiting our ability to place current changes within a long-term context. Here we present a new magnetic record from sites of southern Africa. The new record supports our prior inferences that the SAA is just the most recent manifestation of a recurring phenomenon in the core beneath Africa—called flux expulsion—that is having a profound impact on the expression of the geomagnetic field.Nothing in this statement, or in the rest of the paper, answers the question of how the decay of the field’s intensity can be reversed. A “flux expulsion” only affects a particular region of the field centered on southern Africa. Even then, the team’s field measurements can only account for behaviors back to the first millennium: i.e., the days of the Roman empire. What about those billions of years? Did they even exist?Creationists have pointed to the decay of the earth’s magnetic field for decades as prima facie evidence that the earth is young. Evolutionists laugh it off because they just ‘know’ that the earth is old, because it has to be old for Darwin’s theory to work. This paper and press release show that models to keep it going are based on speculation, not the hard data going back 160 years. They realize that the field is decaying “at an alarming rate.” Science should follow the evidence where it leads, not depend on rescue devices to sustain a favored philosophy.Richter prefers empirical data to speculation:However, let me comment that science can only accurately examine what it can measure. No geophysicist has witnessed a reversal of the earth’s magnetic field. The variations, moreover, are independent of the field strength. Think of a flashlight spinning slowly as its batteries wear down; it’s that kind of thing. The magnetic energy is radiated out to space, where it cannot be used to regenerate the field.” (p. 137).Richter’s book Spacecraft Earth is available from CMI, the publisher.   (Visited 2,236 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Michael Jordaan still leading South African business

first_imgSulaiman PhilipAs a cadet officer at the Gordon’s Bay Naval Academy Dr Michael Jordaan, outgoing chief executive officer (CEO) at First National Bank (FNB) was trained in the art of pouring the perfect glass of port. He was also trained to time his departure from a party perfectly. A useful skill as it turns out for the 2013 Sunday Times Business Leader award winner.Jordaan walks away from a bank that, under his leadership, has been crowned the most innovative bank globally, a pacesetter for using mobile technology in banking. He has also helped grow it into the second-largest retail bank in the country and the largest supplier of mobile devices – smartphone and tablets – in South Africa.Tech-savvy Jordaan is not leaving FNB for a sedentary life on his Stellenbosch wine farm. He has accepted a non-executive position at South African social network and messaging service Mxit. He believes home-grown success stories like Mxit can show the way toward building a more diverse and stronger South African economy. Loathe to handpick industries that will grow in the future he argues, “The market will be the ultimate arbiter of how our economy will grow and diversify, but the kids growing up with companies like Mxit are comfortable with the devices and programming that will drive growth.” Celebrate business achievements Jordaan believes that government, with the assistance of business, needs to build the launch pad to improve South African competitiveness, especially in Africa. South African businesses are world class, as reflected by the recent World Economic Forum’s competitiveness report, and have the potential, he says, to lead Africa into an era of self-sufficiency. This is why he is a cheerleader for the country wherever he goes.“For investors the risk-reward trade-off is good, governance is excellent and we have world-class skills in many industries. However we need to improve our education system to retain our place as the leading economy on the continent. Like every South African I love sport but there are times I wish we got as passionately excited about education as we do about sport.”With more than 36 000 Twitter followers, Jordaan is comfortable sharing his opinion on a variety of subjects without the filter of a corporate communications team. Among his more contentious opinions is that Black Economic Empowerment needs to be amended and refreshed.“Broad-based transformation and skills transfer has been a huge success but personally I am not a fan of those structures that benefitted a few well-connected individuals.”“South Africa is in the unique position of having both high unemployment as well as a critical shortage of key skills so going forward I would like to see greater emphasis on job creation as a category of transformation.”Jordaan served part of his banking apprenticeship under Paul Harris at Rand Merchant Bank where his role model tasked him with establishing an internet-based commercial bank. Without the infrastructure to make it viable the idea evolved into RMB Private Bank. Under Harris’s tutelage Jordaan learnt two valuable lessons; role models are important and business matters.“We need to celebrate business achievement and accept that it can be a huge force for good. Business leaders need to give back by sharing insights and lessons, especially with entrepreneurs because small business is the driver of economic growth.”His advice for entrepreneurs is to find a role model. They are, he says, the best tool for someone starting a business. They are a resource whose ability to help is built on experience. Business success however is built on passion.“Be obsessive about your product or service. Don’t do it for the money. Surround yourself with great people and shower them with credit when they achieve. Leave your ego at home or better yet lose it altogether.” Entrepreneurship and innovation breed success FNB’s CEO describes himself as entrepreneurial at heart, and like all entrepreneurs his mind-set is: find a solution rather than fixating on the problem. This ethos has allowed FNB, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, to develop a model that allows a new business to open a bank account and complete the business registration within 24 hours as part of the same process. “Regulations are a way of life and many are well intended but I feel passionately that we should streamline the start-up process as much as possible. Small business can be the engine of growth but we need to remove obstacles, not set up hurdles.”Innovation is at the heart of Jordaan’s success but it’s his management style that has allowed FNB staff to think beyond what is possible. Since 2004 the bank has run the FNB Innovators Programme to encourage lateral thinking. Accepting the BAI – Finacle award in 2012, Jordaan revealed that 8 166 innovative ideas were born as a result of the programme.“The trick in life is to surround yourself with people who are better than you, agree the goal, then get out of their way. People are inherently good and want to achieve. Nine times out of ten they will surprise you with great outcomes as well as new ways of doing things.”Jordaan finds it easier to not micromanage staff, believing that people who are allowed to find solutions without a manager looking over their shoulder helps build a stronger organisation. Interference, as he calls it, does not allow companies to use its employees’ skills.“Mediocre people like being told what to do and exactly how to do it; great people want to work in an empowered environment.”          As Jordaan steps away from his high-profile role toward new challenges he feels assured that he will find success. And if he does not, he believes there are lessons to be learnt in failure as well. A lack of success is just a different way of learning a lesson, he has explained in interviews.Jordaan, who took over for one three-hour shift from Talk Radio 702 personality Redi Thlabi, while she was on maternity leave, embraces challenges that remove him from his comfort zone and would encourage every business leader to do the same.“I enjoyed connecting with people who would not otherwise cross my path; things like Twitter break down all organisational boundaries. The most important lesson I have learnt is this: one learns nothing in the ivory tower and everything by connecting with South Africans from all walks of life.”last_img read more

Controversial Rajasthan bill sent to Assembly select committee

first_imgRajasthan tables Criminal Laws Amendment Bill amid uproar  The move has been severely criticised by the Congress and the National People’s Party (NPP) and senior BJP MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari. The Editors Guild of India too opposed the “harmful ordinance” and demanded its withdrawal.On Tuesday, Mr. Tiwari protested when he was not allowed to raise a point of order. He objected to Speaker Kailash Meghwal giving permission to the Home Minister for giving his statement during Question Hour.  At the beginning of Question Hour on Tuesday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore said Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje held a meeting of Ministers on Monday night to discuss the Bill and that the Home Minister would apprise the House of the development.The Home Minister said that prior approval of the President was sought before introducing the ordinance in September.On Monday, Independent MLA Manik Chand Surana raised the point that no approval of the President was attached with the Bill. As the Opposition MLAs rushed into the well of the House demanding withdrawal of the Bill, Mr. Kataria said the government would consider the suggestions put forward by the members. He then moved a proposal to refer it to the select committee. The proposal was passed by the Assembly. The select committee was asked to submit a report in the next session.The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, seeks to protect serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants in the State from being investigated for on-duty action, without government sanction. It also bars the media from reporting on such accusations till the sanction to proceed with the probe is given by the government.Also Read Rajasthan Criminal Law Bill will check motivated complaints: Prasad Facing flak from various quarters, the Rajasthan government on Tuesday referred a controversial bill that seeks to protect public servants and judges from prosecution without its prior sanction to a select committee of the Assembly.Amid an uproar from the Opposition Congress, the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill was tabled in the Assembly by Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria on Monday to replace an ordinance promulgated on September 7.Also Readlast_img read more

Ajay Yadav confident of winning Gurugram

first_imgCongress’ Gurugram Lok Sabha candidate and former Haryana Finance Minister Capt. Ajay Yadav has expressed confidence that he would emerge the winner, saying that the people had seen through the empty promises of the BJP and the Modi wave has also ebbed. The Congress had on Saturday announced the name of six Lok Sabha candidates for Haryana, including Capt. Yadav.Of the nine Assembly constituencies in the Gurugram Lok Sabha constituency, six are held by the BJP and none by the Congress, but Mr. Yadav said his party always had a strong presence and a dedicated vote bank in South Haryana. He said the election in 2014 was an exception as the people were swept away by the Modi wave, which he said has ebbed now.Capt. Yadav is pitted against BJP leader and Union Minister of State for Planning (Independent Charge) Rao Inderjit Singh, a former Congressman. The Aam Aadmi Party-Jannayak Janata Party alliance, announced two days ago, is yet to name its Gurugram candidate.Of the 27 Assembly constituencies in South Haryana, comprising Faridabad, Gurugram and Bhiwani-Mahendergarh Lok Sabha seats, the BJP holds 15 and Congress just four.Chosen over former Transport Minister Aftab Ahmed and ex-Chief Parliamentary Secretary Rao Dhan Singh — the other two candidates in fray seeking tickets from Gurugram — Capt. Yadav, the party’s most senior Ahirwal leader in the region, said Gurugram recently earning the dubious distinction of being the most polluted city in the world was the biggest “achievement” of the National Democratic Alliance government.‘No varsity campus’ “Under the BJP rule, Gurugram has ceased to be the most sought after IT hub. In five years, the BJP could not construct the campus for the State-run Gurugram University. It is still running from a college building as a stop-gap arrangement. We laid the foundation stone of the Defence University in Binola village, but it has not been completed. The announcement for AIIMS at Manethi in Rewari appears to be yet another empty promise,” said Mr. Yadav.last_img read more