___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Southern Conference has canceled its fall conference seasons, shifting competition to the spring because of the pandemic. UCA athletic director Brad Teague said his school was “moving forward with its fall campaign in all sports, playing a reduced schedule.”Tom Burnett, commissioner of the Southland Conference, said the board determined that an entire fall sports season wasn’t likely.___Five lower-level tennis tournaments in the United States in September have been called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.The U.S. Tennis Association — which plans to hold the U.S. Open and another tournament in New York starting Aug. 20 — announced Thursday the cancellations of all ITF World Tennis Tour and ATP Challenger events in other cities around the country next month. Those tournaments are ATP Challengers in Cary, North Carolina, and Columbus, Ohio, and ITF stops in Champaign, Illinois; Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Lubbock, Texas.The USTA says the sort of “controlled environment” that will be used for the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows “would logistically and financially be difficult to create” at the smaller tournaments that are being scrapped.___New Mexico State has postponed its football season because of COVID-19 concerns and state restrictions.The Aggies are the third independent FBS program to decide not to play in the fall, joining Connecticut and Massachusetts. They are the 53rd major college football program overall to opt out. The NCAA Division I league’s Council of Presidents voted on the move Thursday. The decision affects football, volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country and men’s and women’s soccer. The panel said any nonconference competition would be up to the individual school. The conference is made up of 10 schools spread across Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. It competes in the Football Championship Subdivision. Southern Conference Commissioner Jim Schaus said the move was supported by the conference’s medical advisory committee. “Ultimately, we felt it necessary to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff,” Schaus said. ___ ___Houston Baptist and Central Arkansas are still planning to play non-conference football games after the FCS-level Southland Conference decided Thursday to postpone league games this fall with the intent to explore playing those in the spring.Southland Conference presidents also authorized planning for spring semester championship events for volleyball, soccer and cross country, while allowing schools to participate in limited fall competition if they choose to do so.Houston Baptist plans to honor its existing contracts to play non-conference football games against North Texas, Texas Tech and Louisiana Tech. Central Arkansas intends to play its scheduled opener Aug. 29 against Austin Peay, and a game at Arkansas State.“While not unexpected, it is still a sad day for our fall sport student-athletes,” HBU athletic director Steve Moniaci said. “We are taking measures to ensure they can compete safely in a limited capacity this fall and be prepared should the league resume play and reschedule the championships for the spring.” ___The West Coast Conference has postponed all conference fall competition because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The conference announced the decision on Thursday, saying the “welfare” of the student-athletes was the “guiding principle.”The league says it is working on plans to ensure a safe environment to conduct the 2020-21 WCC men’s and women’s basketball seasons in the winter.The postponement does not preclude schools from scheduling non-conference competitions in low-risk sports in the fall. Tulane University officials say they’re “actively pursuing” a new opponent for the school’s Sept. 3 home opener after the Southland Conference announced on Thursday it was postponing football and all other fall sports.Tulane had scheduled Southland Conference member Southeastern Louisiana for its season-opener at Yulman Stadium on the Thursday night before Labor Day weekend.The Southland’s decision to postpone fall sports while investigating the possibility of playing in the spring has put the Green Wave’s first game in doubt.Tulane plays in the American Athletic Conference, which for now has maintained its fall football schedule.Tulane was scheduled to play 12 games before the Southland’s decision, which for now has at least temporarily reduced the Green Wave’s 2020 slate to 11 contests. The first three MotoGP rounds were held without fans and no spectators will be allowed into the upcoming doubleheader in Austria.___French golfer Alex Levy has been withdrawn from the Celtic Classic, which started on Thursday.Levy came into contact with a friend who has tested positive for the coronavirus, the European Tour said in a statement.The contact happened while Levy was at home in France last weekend. When he arrived at Celtic Manor Resort in Wales on Tuesday, he tested negative. He is showing no symptoms, the tour said, but he has been withdrawn from the tournament as a precaution and must self-isolate for 14 days. The Latest: Southern Conference scraps fall conference play Fans will be allowed into MotoGP races for the first time this season, at the Misano circuit in Italy next month.The region of Emilia Romagna has given the circuit permission to open to a maximum of 10,000 fans a day for the doubleheader of the San Marino and Emilia Romagna MotoGP rounds.There will be strict measures in place to protect against the coronavirus, and fans will not be allowed to roam around. The circuit has a capacity of around 110,000 including more than 40,000 in the stands and welcomed approximately 160,000 people across the three-day weekend last year.Organizers say in a statement: “It is a decision that makes us emotional because it also represents a green light for the restart of world sport finally in front of the fans.” New Mexico State noted it had four games left on its schedule, plus the state of New Mexico has a 14-day quarantine for those traveling into and out of the state.New Mexico State says it will explore playing football in the spring.“Rival New Mexico has postponed its season as part of the Mountain West’s decision to attempt to play in the spring.New Mexico State competes in the Western Athletic Conference for other sports, and that conference also announced it would not have fall sports this year.___ Associated Press August 13, 2020
September 17, 2020
After a long, successful offseason, USC’s men’s and women’s tennis teams will play their first tournaments of the fall season this weekend. The teams finished last season ranked No. 5 on the men’s side and No. 6 on the women’s and look to improve upon their accomplishments as they embark upon their 2013-14 campaigns.The men’s team will begin their season by heading to Tulsa, Okla. for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships. This year, three Trojans automatically qualified for the singles draw: senior Ray Sarmiento and juniors Roberto Quiroz and Yannick Hanfmann.Sarmiento enters the season ranked No. 8 in the nation, a career high for him.Last year in the ITA All-American Tournament, Sarmiento advanced to the quarterfinals, but a calf injury in the third set forced him to retire. Hanfmann fell in the first round, while Quiroz, who fought his way through the qualifying rounds to make the main draw, was defeated in the Round of 16.“During the offseason I played a lot of tournaments so I feel sharp and ready to go even if it’s our first tournament of the year,” Sarmiento said. “[I’m] looking forward to competing and seeing my teammates playing well too. We have our whole team pretty much playing All-Americans … so that’s great to see and it shows how deep we are as a team”Three more Trojans earned spots in the qualifying rounds of this year’s tournament: senior Michael Grant and juniors Jonny Wang and Eric Johnson.Though the qualifying rounds might be daunting, Wang promises to keep his head down and work to make it into the main draw like Quiroz did last year.“[A qualifying match is] just like another match. No added pressure,” Wang said. “I’m just focused on doing my best and enjoying the experience because it’s my first time in Tulsa.”This season, the Trojans welcome two newcomers in Robbie Bellamy and Nick Crystal. Though the freshmen won’t be competing in the season-opening tournament, they are bound to make an impact soon, as they have six teammates ranked in the ITA Top 100 to learn from.Some of the USC’s women’s team will head to Berkeley, Calif. to compete in the Cal Nike Women’s Invitational, while others will remain Los Angeles to play in the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades this weekend.Junior Sabrina Santamaria enters the fall season ranked No. 1 by the ITA. Last year, she was knocked out in the Round of 16 at the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships, but bounced back and played a nearly undefeated spring season. She enters this year’s tournament as the top seed.Santamaria also represented the United States at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia, this summer, making it to the gold medal match, in which she fell to a player from Japan.“I’ve had some really great competition over the summer,” Santamaria said. “It’s my third season so I have gained a lot of experience and momentum from a really great season last year”Santamaria’s impressive singles play is matched, if not exceeded, by her success with doubles partner junior Kaitlyn Christian, with whom she won the 2012 NCAA Women’s Doubles Championship. Christian and Santamaria, who sit atop the preseason doubles rankings, look to repeat as champions of the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships this year.While Santamaria and Christian look to continue their dominance, Brynn Boren is simply aiming to make a name for herself at USC. The senior transferred from Tennessee at the end of last season and will make her debut for the Women of Troy this year. Based on her No. 19 preseason singles ranking, it’s safe to assume Boren will immediately contribute to the team’s success.The men’s and women’s teams are stacked with talent and appear poised to continue their perennial success this upcoming season, and this weekend will set the tone for the year.Follow Aubrey on Twitter @aubreykragen
December 19, 2019
Darwin predicted that life would become more diverse over time, like the branches on a tree. The pattern of trilobites in the fossil record is just the opposite: more diversity appears in the lower layers, and less diversity in the upper layers. Surprisingly, evolutionary paleontologists are turning this into evidence for Darwin’s theory. Science Daily titled their article, “Fossils Older Than Dinosaurs Reveal Pattern Of Early Animal Evolution On Earth.” Acknowledging that trilobites appeared in “an unprecedented explosion of life on Earth” in the Cambrian strata, the article doesn’t hint that this causes any problem for evolution. It quotes Mark Webster (U of Chicago) explaining the evidence in support of evolution: “From an evolutionary perspective, the more variable a species is, the more raw material natural selection has to operate on.” The idea is that trilobites started out in a more plastic state – more variable – and became channelized into specific body patterns later. Maybe this was because ecological niches forced the later trilobites into particular habitats that inhibited variation. Or maybe developmental processes within the early trilobites caused fewer constraints on the appearance of the organism. Or maybe neither. Webster said, “We need to tease apart what’s controlling this pattern of high within-species variation. There’s a lot more work to do.” Regardless, evolutionary theory itself was not pictured in any danger. The article did not explain how the complex body types arose almost instantly by an evolutionary mechanism. Instead, it just claimed they “emerged” rapidly: “during the Cambrian Period, more complex creatures with skeletons, eyes and limbs emerged with amazing suddenness.” Webster gave his explanation a warm, fuzzy feeling. The article paraphrased him saying that it appears that organisms displayed “rampant” within-species variation “in the ‘warm afterglow’ of the Cambrian explosion.” Trilobites had bilateral symmetry, specialized body segments, articulated limbs for mobility, and some of the most complex eyes known in marine invertebrates (09/18/2003, No precursors to trilobites in earlier strata have been identified. The first trilobites were already fully formed with all their complex organs and structures. Because the data were found to be opposite what evolutionary theory would have predicted, Gene Hunt of the Smithsonian won Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week for the following statements in Science that spun the contrary evidence into support for evolution (words indicative of miracles are highlighted in bold):This study, in establishing the reality of increased Cambrian variability for trilobites, implies that evolutionary processes in the distant past may have acted differently, or in a different balance than in more recent periods of time. The cause or causes for these differences likely relate to the proposed explanations for the extravagant evolutionary inventiveness of this period. These explanations fall into two broad categories: genetic and ecological. The former suggest that Cambrian genomes were less constrained, or otherwise less apt to generate profoundly novel morphologies, whereas the latter invoke the relative sparseness of early animal ecosystems in allowing large evolutionary jumps to become successfully established. As Webster notes, either or both of these explanations may account for the greater variability of Cambrian trilobites; more loosely organized genomes might be expected to produce a greater range of morphologies, and less occupied adaptive landscapes might be more permissive of the broad production of variants. Nevertheless, this work highlights the uniqueness of the early Cambrian interval in the evolution of animals and thereby the importance of placing broad evolutionary patterns in a historical and paleontological context.Mark Webster also used the term “evolutionary inventiveness” in the original paper in Science.21Gene Hunt, “Variation and Early Evolution,” Science, 27 July 2007: Vol. 317. no. 5837, pp. 459-460, DOI: 10.1126/science.1145550.2Mark Webster, “A Cambrian Peak in Morphological Variation Within Trilobite Species,” Science, 27 July 2007: Vol. 317. no. 5837, pp. 499-502, DOI: 10.1126/science.1142964.When the media, museums and universities are able to propound these magical fairy tales without any critical scrutiny, creationism doesn’t stand a chance being heard above the din. Anything goes in ev-illusion (07/27/2007 commentary), including cartoons like Popeye (05/31/2005 commentary). How can this multiply-discredited theory ever get falsified? The evidence can be 180° opposite Darwin’s prediction, and yet they turn it into a great victory. Nobody asks any hard questions. Nobody calls foul. Nobody sees the intellectual crime being committed. They get away with it, time and time again. Doesn’t anyone in the scientific and media establishments have any sense any more? For a detailed look at the Cambrian explosion and a prominent evolutionist’s attempts to explain it, read our entry “Cambrian Explosion Damage Control” from 04/23/2006.(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
December 18, 2019
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October 24, 2019
The project, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, aims to enhance resilience to climate change among targeted fishing and aquaculture communities of Jamaica. The Government has allocated $75.3 million for the promotion of community-based climate resilience in the fisheries sector. Story Highlights The Government has allocated $75.3 million for the promotion of community-based climate resilience in the fisheries sector.The project, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, aims to enhance resilience to climate change among targeted fishing and aquaculture communities of Jamaica.Details of the project are provided in the 2018/19 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.Among the targets over the 2018/19 period are the engagement of a consultant to design and prepare specifications for the upgrade of the existing (fish) hatchery, and the procurement of advisory services to the Fisheries Division in order to strengthen its capacity.The money will also be used to conduct a baseline assessment of gender and youth dynamics in the fisheries subsector in select communities.Funding is being provided by the Government of Jamaica and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). Among the targets over the 2018/19 period are the engagement of a consultant to design and prepare specifications for the upgrade of the existing (fish) hatchery, and the procurement of advisory services to the Fisheries Division in order to strengthen its capacity.
September 17, 2019
The Portuguese superstar is on first place in the goal scorers list, but he’s being closely followed by many playersLast season Cristiano Ronaldo scored 26 goals in the Spanish La Liga tournament with Real Madrid.He ended up being second to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who scored 34 goals in 38 matches.But after moving to Juventus, Ronaldo is currently in first place of the top goalscorers lists with 14 goals.Fiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.He is being closely followed by Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek with 13 and Sampdoria’s Fabio Quagliarella with 12.And with 10 goals each, Ciro Immobile from Lazio, Duvan Zapata from Atalanta and Arkadiusz Milik from Napoli are closely following Ronaldo.Will the Portuguese superstar be crowned top goalscorer in the Italian Lega Serie A for the first time?
August 31, 2019
Delhi BJP on Monday claimed to expose the lies of former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal by circulating the information obtained through a couple of Right to Information (RTI) queries. The party’s city president Satish Upadhyay flanked with some leaders of traders’ fraternity claimed that all the claims of his 49 days ‘business friendly’ government were wrong.“Contrary to the claims of Kejriwal that his government did not conduct even a single raid in the city, 51 raids were conducted on 151 commercial establishments from January 5 to February 14,”said Upadhyay citing the information from RTI. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreHe further alleged that when it became clear that his government was going to fall, 100 raids were conducted in Delhi in the last 14 days of his government which means about 10 raids every day,” he added. He went on allege that Kejriwal’s secretary was such an officer that he harassed the traders of Delhi so much in his capacity of Value Aadded Tax commissioner that the traders had to take the help of strike and agitation to remove him from the post of Commissioner. Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedThe general secretary of traders’ union, CAIT, Preveen Khandelwal said that the claims of more tax collection and business friendly government of Kejriwal are complete lies. “As against the claims of collecting Rs 5,666 crore, only Rs 2033 crore were collected during his tenure,” he added quoting the RTI.Upadhyay also enumerated the trader-friendly policies and decisions of present BJP government including protecting the traders from ceiling till 2017 which would benefit five lakh traders. He also highlighted the decision of his government to regularise all the unauthorised colonies and illegal construction till June 2014 which would benefit over 50 lakh families in the city, including three lakh traders. “The announcement of the policy to convert lease hold properties into free hold properties by central government, lakhs of traders will get right to ownership, he added.
August 26, 2019
At the 32nd annual NeurIPS conference held earlier this month, Edward William Felten, a professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University spoke about how decision makers and tech experts can work together to make better policies. The talk was aimed at answering questions such as why should public policy matter to AI researchers, what role can researchers play in policy debates, and how can researchers help bridge divides between the research and policy communities. While AI and machine learning are being used in high impact areas and have seen heavy adoption in every field, in recent years, they have also gained a lot of attention from the policymakers. Technology has become a huge topic of discussion among policymakers mainly because of its cases of failure and how it is being used or misused. They have now started formulating laws and regulations and holding discussions about how society will govern the development of these technologies. Prof. Felten explained how having constructive engagement with policymakers will lead to better outcomes for technology, government, and society. Why tech should be regulated? Regulating tech is important, and for that researchers, data scientists, and other people in tech fields have to close the gap between their research labs, cubicles, and society. Prof. Felten emphasizes that it is up to the tech people to bridge this gap as we not only have the opportunity but also a duty to be more active and productive in participating in public life. There are many people coming to the conclusion that tech should be regulated before it is too late. In a piece published by the Wall Street Journal, three experts debated about whether the government should regulate AI. One of them, Ryan Calo explains, “One of the ironies of artificial intelligence is that proponents often make two contradictory claims. They say AI is going to change everything, but there should be no changes to the law or legal institutions in response.” Prof. Felten points out that law and policies are meant to change in order to adapt according to the current conditions. They are not just written once and for all for the cases of today and the future, rather law is a living system that adapts to what is going on in the society. And, if we believe that technology is going to change everything, we can expect that law will change. Prof. Felten also said that not only the tech researchers and policymakers but the society also should also have some say in how the technology is developed, “After all the people who are affected by the change that we are going to cause deserve some say in how that change happens, how it is used. If we believe in a society which is fundamentally democratic in which everyone has a stake and everyone has a voice then it is only fair that those lives we are going to change have some say in how that change come about and what kind of changes are going to happen and which are not.” How experts can work with decision makers to make good tech decisions The three key approaches that we can take to engage with policymakers to take a decision about technology: Engage in a two-way dialogue with policymakers As a researcher, we might think that we are tech experts/scientists and we do not need to get involved in politics. We need to just share the facts we know and our job is done. But if researchers really want to maximize their impact in policy debates, they need to combine the knowledge and preferences of policymakers with their knowledge and preferences. Which means, they need to take into account what policymakers might already have heard about a particular subject and the issues or approaches that resonate with them. Prof. Felten explains that this type of understanding and exchange of ideas can be done in two stages. Researchers need to ask several questions to policymakers, which is not a one-time thing, rather a multi-round protocol. They have to go back and forth with the person and need to build engagement over time and mutual trust. And, then they need to put themselves into the shoes of a decision maker and understand how to structure the decision space for them. Be present in the room when the decisions are being made To have their influence on the decisions that get made, researchers need to have “boots on the ground.” Though not everyone has to engage in this deep and long-term process of decision making, we need some people from the community to engage on behalf of the community. Researchers need to be present in the room when the decisions are being made. This means taking posts as advisers or civil servants. We already have a range of such posts at both local and national government levels, alongside a range of opportunities to engage less formally in policy development and consultations. Creating a career path and rewarding policy engagement To drive this engagement, we need to create a career path which rewards policy engagement. We should have a way through which researchers can move between policy and research careers. Prof. Felten pointed to a range of US-based initiatives that seek to bring those with technical expertise into policy-oriented roles, such as the US Digital Service. He adds that if we do not create these career paths and if this becomes something that people can do only after sacrificing their careers then very few people will do it. This needs to be an activity that we learn to respect when people in the community do it well. We need to build incentives whether it is in career incentives in academia, whether it is understanding that working in government or on policy issues is a valuable part of one kind of academic career and not thinking of it as deter or a stop. To watch the full talk, check out NeurIPS Facebook page. Read Next NeurIPS 2018: Rethinking transparency and accountability in machine learning NeurIPS 2018: Developments in machine learning through the lens of Counterfactual Inference [Tutorial] Accountability and algorithmic bias: Why diversity and inclusion matters [NeurIPS Invited Talk]