Five keys for Raiders against Texans and Deshaun Watson

first_imgHunter Renfrow knows what the Raiders are up against.The last time Renfrow caught a pass from Deshaun Watson, it was a 2-yard touchdown with one second to play that delivered a 35-31 national championship win for Clemson against Alabama at the close of the 2016 season.Watson entered the draft and is one of the NFL’s top young quarterbacks for the Houston Texans, who host the Raiders Sunday at NRG Stadium (1:25 p.m. PST). Renfrow played two more seasons for the Tigers before joining the …last_img

Kurtenbach: For Derek Carr, Raiders vs. Titans should be win-or-find-a-new-home

first_imgRaiders head coach Jon Gruden said in his postmortem press conference Monday that he was not going to “sit here and criticize my quarterback.”So I guess I’ll do it for him.Derek Carr has done plenty of admirable things in both his Raiders career and this past season, but with his team’s playoff hopes on life support following two embarrassing blowout losses, we’re back to where we were this past offseason and the offseason before that:Carr is playing for his job — yes, once again — over the …last_img

Were Dinosaurs Cold-Blooded?

first_imgA paper in Science1 shows that at least one dinosaur species came in large and small forms.  Martin Sander and Nicole Klein studied fibrolammelar bone on plateosaurs (a heavy two-legged dinosaur with an elephant-like body and long neck), and found that the growth rates were poorly correlated with body size.  Some plateosaurs were full-grown at five meters, others at twice as big.  It suggests that the creatures were dependent on environmental factors for warmth.  This calls into question the conventional wisdom, held for 20 years, that dinosaurs were warm-blooded, because most warm-blooded creatures grow steadily to their adult size (see the BBC News and National Geographic News).    This find also suggests that the earliest dinosaurs were not the two-legged fast-running kind, but the four-legged, lumbering kind.  Sander calls this a paradigm shift: “The idea that it [the earliest dinosaur] walked on two legs has been pretty much dogma for the last 20 years.”    The paper also calls into question some assumptions about dinosaur evolution.  “Since the common reptilian ancestor of the dinosaurs, and their closest relatives, the pterosaurs, or flying reptiles, was believed to have been warm-blooded,” the BBC News article states, “the [University of] Bonn discovery could throw ideas about their evolution into disarray.”  To salvage the idea of warm-blooded dinosaurs, some are seriously suggesting warm-bloodedness evolved multiple times: “My hunch right now is that maybe there was repeated evolution of warm-bloodedness,” Martin Sander told BBC News.  If so, warm-bloodedness was not inherited from a common ancestor.    Carolyn Gramling, commenting on this paper in the same issue of Science,2 quoted Thomas Holtz (U of Maryland) remarking about how little we still know about early dinosaur evolution.  “There has been the tendency to infer that features found in all advanced dinosaurs were found in all of their ancestors,” he said.  “This emphasizes the importance of tree-based thinking.  We have to look at as many branches of the evolutionary tree to get as big a picture as possible.”1P. Martin Sander and Nicole Klein, “Developmental Plasticity in the Life History of a Prosauropod Dinosaur,” Science 16 December 2005: Vol. 310. no. 5755, pp. 1800 – 1802, DOI: 10.1126/science.1120125.For more on tree-thinking, see the 11/14/2005 story.  Tree thinking is an escape into the briar patch (11/26/2005) where Darwinists can hide from scrutiny within the tangled web of varying interpretations.    Warm-bloodedness is not just a trait; it is a complex suite of traits involving fine-tuning of the circulatory system, the developmental system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, the skin – basically, of the whole animal.  When evolutionists want to take such an improbable event (in evolutionary terms) and multiply it several times just to keep their common-ancestry belief intact, it becomes evidence once again that evolution is a theory in crisis.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Ancient Israeli City Was Already Advanced

first_imgOne of the earliest archaeological sites ever found in Israel is being described as the ‘New York’ of its day.Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority have been excavating a fascinating site in Israel north of the city of Tel Aviv called En Esur. It was discovered two and a half years ago during construction of roadworks. This week, the researchers made their findings public. It’s an Early Bronze Age site they estimate was built 5,000 years ago, contemporaneous with the first Egyptian pharoahs. That’s not all; the site shows another occupation at the site 2,000 years earlier. Here are some of the news sites announcing the find with photos and descriptions:Archaeologists Uncover an Early Bronze Age ‘New York’ in Northern Israel (Newsweek). The site “would have dwarfed the more well-known cities of Megiddo and Jericho in southern Israel,” this article says.Not only was En Esur large in its heyday compared to other ancient Levantine cities, but it was also intricately planned, Haaretz reported. It had large silos designed for efficient food storage, and the roads of its intricate network of streets were covered with plaster and stones to help prevent flooding.Gigantic Prehistoric City Found in Israel During Roadworks (Haaretz). “En Esur, with its monumental temple and huge population, was vastly bigger than anything thought possible in the Southern Levant 5,000 years ago.”While the people at En Esur had not yet developed a writing system, they had very strong trading contacts with other regions, as evidenced by the presence of pottery that came from as far as the Jordan Valley and Egypt, Paz says.All this points to a complex and stratified society, which was probably ruled as a chiefdom by a local elite, the archaeologist notes.Ancient Megalopolis Uncovered in Israel Was the ‘New York City’ of Its Time Period (Live Science). The site was ten times larger than Jericho. Photos show a well-organized system of buildings, both homes and public facilities.The archeologists also uncovered millions of pottery fragments, flint tools, basalt stone vessels and a large temple filled with burnt animal bones and figurines — such as one of a human head containing a seal impression of human hands lifted into the air. In the temple’s courtyard, archaeologists found a huge stone basin that held liquids, most likely for religious rituals, according to the statement.This ancient city spanned 0.65 kilometers and was likely home to around 6,000 people.Ancient ‘New York’ discovered in Israel as archaeologists uncover lost Bronze Age city (Fox News). This article includes other recent archaeological finds that support Biblical passages. Regarding En Esur, the lead archaeologist says it is re-writing textbooks:“There is no doubt that this site dramatically changes what we know about the character of the period and the beginning of urbanization in Israel,” said Itai Elad, Yitzhak Paz, and Dina Shalem, who are directing the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, in a statement sent to Fox News. “This is a huge city – a megalopolis in relation to the Early Bronze Age, where thousands of inhabitants, who made their living from agriculture, lived and traded with different regions and even with different cultures and kingdoms in the area.”5,000-Year Old City, Largest in Ancient Israel, Exposed in Sharon Valley (Jewish Press). The IAA has brought in thousands of students to take part in the excavation project. One thing they are learning with hands-on experience is that the experts were wrong about urban planning so long ago.“Such a city could not develop without a guiding hand in the form of an administrative mechanism. Its impressive planning, the tools brought over from Egypt which were found at the site, and the seal impressions, are proof of this. It is a huge city – a megalopolis in the context of the Early Bronze Age, where thousands of inhabitants, who made their living from agriculture, lived and traded with different regions and even with different cultures and kingdoms in the area,” they said.Biblical Archaeologists in Israel Make Stunning Discovery of 5,000 Year Old City of Ein Esur, Largest Ancient Settlement Ever Found in Region (NTEB). This evangelical Christian website includes a video clip by the IAA, where the discoverers describe the significance of the find, with flyovers of the site and close-ups of the work. This may be the best way to get introduced to Ein Esur in terms of photos and information. Dr Paz calls it “one of the most important sites today in the land of Israel,” and even outside the land of Israel as far as Jordan, Lebanon and southern Syria. Paz says that this will change forever what we know about urbanization at the time, and “What we know now will change what is written today in the traditional books, when people read about the archaeology of Israel.”It’s always exciting to see discoveries that touch on what the Bible says. There’s no need to quibble right now about the dates; some will object to 7,000 years and the date of the Noah, etc. The important thing to note is that the experts were stunned and surprised. The evolutionary storytellers want to see slow-and-gradual development in everything. Here, a complex, well-planned city took only a short time to develop, long before Abraham, Moses, and King David. It shows that humans have always had the capacity for organization and design. When some secular archaeologists are looking at a complex ‘megalopolis’ right there in Israel, why would they ever think that later kings and leaders were incapable of urban planning, language and culture? By the time of Abraham, Ein Esur would have already been old news. The massive cities in Mesopotamia and Egypt, furthermore, popped up rapidly without slow and gradual evolution.This fits what the Bible says about mankind, and the dispersal at Babel after the Flood. There would only have been a short fuse after the Flood before the explosion of urban and cultural wonders all over the Fertile Crescent and beyond. Archaeologists continue to marvel at the megalithic monuments around the world. Sites like Gobekli Tepe amazed scientists at the highly-organized and creative structures even without written language evident. Certainly spoken language, with translation ability, was very common to establish trade with distant kingdoms and carry out urban organization. Before long, clay tablets were recording ordinary financial transactions and legal disputes. When evolution-trusting ‘experts’ are surprised at the capabilities of early man, we should take the cue to toss out their assumptions. People have always been intelligent and capable of great cooperative projects. It may be the case that we have devolved from our ancestors. Our only advantage is in the collective memory of discoveries written in books, and taught to the young, that sustains the human race from inevitable decay. Sadly, we see the tendency to idolatry that began at Babel continued on through the dispersal of the descendants of Noah. But God carved out one civilization—Israel—to learn the laws of the true God and transmit through their lineage the “Seed” that would come to crush the serpent’s head.(Visited 484 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA transport on track for World Cup

first_imgDuring the World Cup the Gautrain will be running between Sandton and the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.(Image: Bombardier)South Africa’s public transport is being beefed up ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and will be ready to serve thousands of people visiting the country for the football spectacular, government has said.Minister of Transport Sibusiso Ndebele unveiled the country’s Transport Action Plan for 2010 at a media briefing at OR Tambo International Airport on 20 April. The plan details transport arrangements that have been put in place for the tournament and South Africa’s readiness to cope with the movement of fans, officials and players during the month-long period.“We have constantly emphasised that the Fifa World Cup is not only about sport, it is [also] more about transport,” Ndebele said. “… [We] will put our best forward to ensure that all those who use our transport services are able to do so effectively and efficiently.”Almost all modes of transportation available in the country, from air to road travel, will be widely used during the tournament. The Department of Transport, both at national, provincial and local level, has set up various projects to run from as early as 1 June to 31 July.Through the newly formed Operating Managing Entity, the department will facilitate the movement of fans to and from stadiums. The scheme will be responsible for a fleet of 110 79-seater Man Lion Explorer luxury buses “specially procured by government for this event”, Ndebele said.The vehicles, which have already been delivered, form part of a greater fleet of 570 buses to be procured from Man and Mercedes-Benz, all to be used during the World Cup. The entity will also run 800 smaller “midi-buses”.There will be inter-provincial and regional luxury bus transport as well, with pricing ranging between R140 (US$18) and R300 ($40) for a one-way ticket.More than 1 000 drivers will be recruited for the bus fleet, said Ndebele.The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is already operational in Johannesburg, the city that will host the most matches, including the opening and the final. The BRT, dubbed Rea Vaya, operates along dedicated lanes and is currently shuttling people from Soweto to a station closer to Ellis Park Stadium. It will also have a station next to Soccer City, making it easier for fans to reach the action there.Minibus taxis are expected to play a crucial role during the tournament, transporting fans within the host cities. A project similar to Gauride, which Gauteng province set up during the Fifa Confederations Cup in 2009, is expected to involve the entire industry. Last year’s scheme roped in scores of taxis to efficiently transport fans to stadiums in Johannesburg and Pretoria.Improving train servicesTrains are also being lined up to transport football fans. Ndebele said the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa will arrange 418 dedicated trains for the tournament. “We want to encourage travel by train during the World Cup,” he said.Metrorail trains are expected to play a more critical role in Gauteng to get fans to Ellis Park in Johannesburg via the renovated Doornfontein Station, which joins the stadium’s precinct.Loftus Station is linked to Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria’s host stadium, and provides a simple gateway. Nasrec Station, currently undergoing a revamp, will be ready in time and will provide easy access to Soccer City.Plans are also in place to avoid massive train delays, according to Ndebele. “A multi-disciplined operational team is currently working on the issue of train delays in certain areas.”The multimillion-rand Gautrain will be up and running during the tournament, with the first phase starting to operate between Gauteng’s Sandton and OR Tambo International Airport in June “to improve mobility of fans and tourists”. The entire project is set to be completed by December 2010.Air travel readyMost airports in the country have been revamped through projects worth billions of rands ahead of the World Cup. The upgraded facilities include two international hubs, OR Tambo and the Cape Town airport, and a range of domestic terminals. The new King Shaka International Airport in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, will be operational by 1 May.Airports Company South Africa has said that all airports will be ready to accommodate the crowds of people expected to visit the country between June and July.Call centre to speed up mobilityGovernment will launch its Transport Command and Call Centre programme in June. The project, to be run from Gauteng, includes a national transport command centre, a call centre and an “interactive” website.The aim is to ensure that “as many people as possible, both locals and foreigners, are able to conveniently access information that will make their lives easier during these exciting and busy times”, Ndebele said.The call centre, which will be open 24 hours a day, will give out information on available transport options and other traffic matters related to the World Cup. It will operate between 1 June and 31 July. The website www.findyourway2010.co.za, which is already running, will also provide relevant information.last_img read more

SA, Boeing in titanium technology deal

first_img “Our research and development agreement with the CSIR adds a new dimension to Boeing engagement in South Africa,” said Boeing’s international vice president for Africa, J Miguel Santos. “We are collaborating to leverage expertise and resources to advance South Africa’s development goals and the competitiveness of Boeing products,” Santos said. “Boeing Research and Technology conducts its own research and works with partners around the world to find technologies that are innovative and affordable.” SAinfo reporter 13 June 2013 South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and US aerospace giant Boeing have signed an agreement to collaborate on the research and development of titanium powder for industrial manufacturing processes in the aviation industry. South Africa boasts the second-largest reserves of titanium ore in the world, and the CSIR has developed and patented technology that converts titanium tetrachloride to titanium powder. “This mutually beneficial agreement, bolstered by South Africa’s rich titanium ore reserves, supports the nation’s long-term economic development goals that include the supply of titanium to many industries, including aerospace,” the CSIR said in a statement on Tuesday. The deal cements the titanium beneficiation cooperative research plan agreed on by the two organisations in 2012. “Boeing’s competencies and experience regarding the applications of titanium in aerospace parts and structures will hugely complement the CSIR’s drive towards commercialisation of the titanium technologies,” said Titanium Centre of Competence director, Willie du Preez. The centre of competence is hosted by the CSIR and features collaboration with the national science department, various South African universities, science councils and commercial entities. ‘Significant cost, efficiency advantages’ A titanium pilot plant was launched in Pretoria last week in a partnership between CSIR and the Science and Technology Department and will assist in the up-scaling of the technology and the agreement with Boeing. “It is a breakthrough in the production of titanium metal powder using a novel continuous process, instead of the more conventional batch process,” Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom said at the launch of the plant. “This proprietary technology offers significant cost and efficiency advantages and is expected to give South Africa a comparative advantage in the production of titanium metal and finished products.” The success of the pilot plant will drive the commercialisation of the country’s titanium beneficiation strategy and is expected to stimulate development in various sectors.last_img read more

SC allows 7 more girls to reunite with their families

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Friday allowed seven more girls, who were at the Muzaffarpur shelter home where allegations of sexual assault surfaced last year, to reunite with their families. The top court had earlier allowed eight girls, out of 44 in all, to be reunited their families but only six of them have been able to do so. TISS project‘Koshish’ — a field action project of TISS — in its report told the court that 12 more girls, besides these 15, have been identified to be restored with their families. Several girls were reportedly sexually assaulted at the NGO-run shelter home in Bihar. The issue had come to light following a report by TISS, which had conducted a social audit. A Bench of Justices N.V. Ramana and Krishna Murari said that as and when their families are identified and the verification done, these girls can be reunited with them. Counsel for TISS told the Bench that out of the eight girls, only six have so far been restored with their families. It asked the State Child Protection Societies of West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Punjab to provide all necessary help to identify and verify the family members of the girls. The Bench clarified that it cannot monitor the restoration on day-to-day basis but in case of any problem, the matter could be mentioned for hearing. On September 12, the apex court had allowed eight of the 44 girls of Muzaffarpur shelter home to be reunited with their families. The top court had directed the Bihar government to provide all necessary financial and medical assistance to these eight girls identified by ‘Koshish’ as fit for being sent to their families.It had also directed the State government to assess the compensation liable to be paid to the girls under the victim compensation scheme and submit a report to the court in eight weeks. The decision came after TISS filed its report before the SC in a sealed cover, saying the eight girls were fit to be handed over to their families.last_img read more