Click here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device. PHOENIX — With each bullpen session he throws, injured starter Johnny Cueto is moving closer to rejoining the San Francisco Giants pitching staff.With each day Cueto spends at the Giants’ minor league complex in Scottsdale, the veteran pitcher is helping to change an important part of the organization’s culture.Cueto, 33, left the Scottsdale complex Saturday to throw a 40-pitch bullpen in front of Giants coaches …
The Little Colorado River makes a dramatic drop over a lava cliff in Arizona after going around a lava flow. Previous estimates dated the lava at the falls at 150,000 years old (150ka). Now, a team of geologists publishing in GSA Bulletin1 used multiple methods that dated it at no more than 19,600 years old (19.6ka) – one eighth the earlier age estimate. Here were some of their reasons for the revision:The ca. 150 ka age of the Grand Falls flow provided by whole-rock K-Ar analysis in the 1970s is inconsistent with the preservation of centimeter-scale flow-top features on the surface of the flow and the near absence of physical and chemical weathering on the flow downstream of the falls. The buried Little Colorado River channel and the present-day channel are at nearly the same elevation, indicating that very little, if any, regional downcutting has occurred since emplacement of the flow. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Many people might expect radiometric dating of lava to be straightforward, but the authors began by casting doubt on the most widely-used methods: “Dating Quaternary mafic volcanic materials has proven to be challenging in many cases,” they said. “K-Ar and 40Ar/39Ar are the most common dating methods, but results may be difficult to interpret because so little potassium is present in these rocks and because the rocks may also contain excess Ar from mantle or crustal sources.” They employed four independent methods that more or less converged on the approx. 20,000 year figure. That would seem to settle the matter, but in their discussion, they said: “The question remains of how to decide what relative weight to apportion to each dating technique in trying to accurately define when the lava dam formed. Each technique includes its own set of assumptions and uncertainties.” Perhaps eyeball dating should be given more weight. The authors took notice of how little erosion had occurred in this area. They estimated downcutting rates, but then said of four lava flows in the area, “These emplacement units lack evidence of physical erosion or chemical weathering, both within the stack of flows and at the basal contact of flows with underlying columnar basalt. The flows may simply represent overlapping lobes of a single lava flow.” Speaking of dust on top of the flow, they said, “All features not covered by eolian [wind-blown] sediment appear to represent original or nearly original surfaces of lava that have been little weathered or eroded, if at all, since their formation.” Considering that whole cities have been embedded in dust in recorded history, perhaps even 20,000 years is too much. They ended by discussing possible reasons why the earlier estimate was so much older, and warned of misinterpretation because excess argon may be a bigger problem than previously realized. Even so, “However common excess Ar may be in lava of the volcanic field, caution is advised in all time-related generalizations about the growth of the field, including interpretation of the 100 m/m.y. rate of regional downcutting calculated from whole-rock K-Ar ages for samples from the two older lava dams along the Little Colorado River.” Does anybody really know how old this lava flow is?1Champion et al., “Multiple constraints on the age of a Pleistocene lava dam across the Little Colorado River at Grand Falls, Arizona,” Geological Society of America Bulletin, doi: 10.1130/B25814.1, : Vol. 118, No. 3, pp. 421�429.Unless you subscribe to the Creation Research Society, Institute for Creation Research or the Creation Technical Journal, you may have been completely unaware of the quality of young-earth creation research that has been independently published for decades. Such research is so completely barred from the usual journals, creation geologists, astronomers and biologists have continually published their own work, with a few exceptions making it into the mainstream. Many of their papers are just as rigorous and scholarly as those in the secular journals. They would be indistinguishable except for the rags they’re printed in. Recently, Carl Froede and Emmett Williams investigated the same Grand Falls area. This gives you an opportunity to compare one example of OEE (old-earth evolutionist) and one example of YEC (young-earth creationist) interpretations of the same spot. Publishing in Creation Research Society Quarterly, Froede and Williams found much more evidence for youthfulness of the area than admitted in the GSA paper. They found delicate structures, very little erosion of the basalt, and lack of evidence of substantial weathering. Their common-sense approach based on clear, observable features was supported by photographs and measurements. They challenged,The flow appears to be of a recent origin by nature of its excellent preservation. This is empirical evidence. Why do uniformitarians force the time issue by adopting inappropriate age-dates?. Unfortunately, they are forced to interpret and skew data in an attempt to bolster an archaic, unrealistic, and nonscientific model of Earth history.Note that the Grand Falls lava flow does not appear any older than lava flows known to have been emplaced within historic times. One other thing. How many earth science students were told confidently by evolutionary geologists in the 1970s that this lava flow was 150,000 years old? Did any of the students question the Biblical chronology based on what is now known to be false? Should any of today’s students trust the new estimate of 20,000 years, when the authors admit that “caution must be exercised in interpreting” dating methods? When fallible experts cannot agree, when they keep changing their numbers, when they are forced into their positions by a priori assumptions about the age of the earth, and come up with conclusions that go against common sense, shouldn’t new ideas be given a fair hearing?(Visited 41 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
South Africa’s Department of Housing and Anglo Platinum, the world’s leading producer of platinum group metals, have signed a deal to build houses for mining employees in Limpopo and North West provinces. Financial sector commitment According to the department, South Africa’s four major banks had last month informed Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu that they had already spent R38-million of the R42-billion they had committed as part of the Financial Services Charter. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material In terms of the agreement, signed in Johannesburg last week, Anglo Platinum is to invest R1.4-billion to buy land and to service the 20 000 housing stands, while the government subsidy contribution is expected to amount to more than R900-million over 10 years. SAinfo reporter Public-private partnerships Housing Department acting director-general Kaba Kabagambe said the deal was an example of the government and the private sector working together to accelerate social projects. 17 November 2008 Those funds where directed towards people who earned between R3 000 and R8 000 per month, the department said, adding that both the minister and the banking sector were verifying the figures and discussing further partnerships. Together with the government contribution, the total investment in the project comes to over R2.5-billion, including social and economic amenities. The 40-square-metre houses feature two bedrooms, a kitchen and a living space. “One of our biggest challenges to fast-track housing delivery is servicing land,” Kabagambe said in a statement last week. “We are indeed breaking new ground together.” Anglo Platinum CEO Neville Nicolau added that by assisting their employees to get houses, the company was contributing to improving their lives and those of their families. Through the partnership, the housing department will release the necessary subsidy for those who qualify for houses under the Breaking New Ground housing project, which is aimed at creating sustainable communities complete with schools, clinics and other amenities.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday kickstarted a drive to enrol nearly one crore new members into the party in the run up to the upcoming Assembly elections in October. Senior leaders present during the launch said the party is set to rule for the next 25 years with a strong member base and would receive 50% votes in Maharashtra in the next elections. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the party once strengthened would go on to scrap Article 370, which gives special powers to Kashmir, within the next five years. Other senior BJP leaders present on the occasion said they had already achieved 25 lakh of the the one crore target in a previous drive launched before the Lok Sabha polls. About 18 lakh of those members have already been verified. “The total voters for Lok Sabha polls were 5.5 crore. If we register 1 crore families, we will secure half of State’s vote share (2.5 crore). Our ambition to achieve the 50% target of vote share will give us a sound base for the future,” said Mr Fadnavis said adding that Kashmir is an integral part of the India and about time it is fully made part of the country. Former cabinet minister and senior BJP leader Suresh Prabhu said the party is set to rule the country for the next 25 years. Mr. Fadnavis used the occasion to enlist the achievements of his government, including Metro works worth ₹1.10 lakh crores and development of Dharavi slums. “I request all workers to participate in this induction drive with full heart. Amitbhai Shah (party president) has also directed workers to participate in a plantation drive and other measures to help party secure a second term in Maharashtra ,” Mr Fadnavis said. “We will come back to power again in Maharashtra and win by a record margin,” he asserted.
“I’m not the one who would run away from inquiry. I make others run”, said former Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi , facing charges of corruption in connection with the mega sports event held in Delhi last year.Putting up a brave front in the face of a widening CBI probe into the alleged CWG scam that has led to arrests of his close aides, Kalmadi said he was not the one who would run away fearing an inquiry.Reacting to media reports saying he was “missing” for the past few days when his bank lockers in the city were searched by CBI sleuths, Kalmadi, who returned from Bangkok last night, told Congress workers, “I was not missing. I am not the one who would run away. I make others run.”Kalmadi was in Bangkok earlier this week in connection with organisation of an Afro-Asian athletic meet.The Pune Lok Sabha MP reiterated that he was ready to face any inquiry and answer all questions and was fully cooperating with the investigating agencies.”I have not done anything wrong to bring disrepute to Pune. The CBI searched my house and opened bank lockers but they did not find anything incriminating. They came across only those things mentioned in my income and wealth tax returns,” Kalmadi maintained.Even as he made a spirited speech to his loyalists, the high-profile MP now under scanner looked visibly tense. – With PTI Inputs
Students at the Yavatmal primary school: Sordid episodeThe packed central hall of Bombay’s towering Vidhan Sabha building, usually the scene of deafening exchanges between ruling party and opposition legislators, was this time reduced to a stunned silence.Replying to an adjournment motion by the Opposition, Maharashtra’s Minister of State for Home,Students at the Yavatmal primary school: Sordid episodeThe packed central hall of Bombay’s towering Vidhan Sabha building, usually the scene of deafening exchanges between ruling party and opposition legislators, was this time reduced to a stunned silence.Replying to an adjournment motion by the Opposition, Maharashtra’s Minister of State for Home Affairs, Vilas Deshmukh, admitted before a shocked house on March 30 that the superintendent and the cook of a government-run residential primary school for Adivasi children in the state’s backward Yavatmal district stood accused of raping 14 young girls in their charge.Informing the Assembly that the two accused had only four days before been arrested and formally charged, Deshmukh stated that preliminary enquiries with the girls – mere children between the ages of six and 10 – had confirmed reports by a teacher at the ashramshala that they had been repeatedly assaulted for some months.Widespread Concern: The reaction, both from treasury benches and the Opposition, was a shocked outcry. There were calls for an investigation of the 313 ashramshalas which offer Maharashtra adivasis free residential schooling. Since their inception a decade ago, ashramshalas have become popular with the backward community and today the tiny boarding schools have over 40,000 students in Maharashtra’s tribal belts.Less than a week later the news broke of yet another molestation charge being made by ashramshala students. Alleging that the assistant teacher who accompanied them to a sports match with a rival school “tried doing things” on the bus while returning, two 14-year-olds from the Nanza village ashramshala, just 120 km from Harshi village where the earlier charges originated, complained to Yavatmal’s tribal welfare officer of maltreatment and attempted rape.advertisementSaid V.N. Gajibe, tribal welfare officer for Yavatmal and Buldhana districts, who filed both complaints with the local police: “The ashramshala scheme has been very successful so far, since even the poorest Adivasi parents are now encouraged to send their children to these schools, and girls who were not earlier getting any education at all are now increasingly enrolled. But if this kind of abuse takes place it will set back the entire programme and lead to withdrawal of children.”Swift Action: Last fortnight, the Government moved rapidly to stem the rot. N.S. Umbharkar, assistant teacher at the Nanza ashramshala, was arrested and formally charged under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, and in Harshi the police started by arresting Superintendent Govind Mahakale and Maruti Sitaram Rajne, the cook. A week later, after enquiries and intensive questioning of the schoolgirls revealed that Charandas Bhadikar, the original informant who had alerted Gajibe to the abuse, was equally involved in its perpetration, Yavatmal’s Pusad taluk police promptly picked him up and had him remanded to their custody for further questioning.Moving rapidly to sew up the matter and avert widespread panic, Maharashtra’s Additional Inspector-General of Police (CID), Ramakant Kulkarni, dashed to Harshi to personally assess the situation.Further Revelations: In Yavatmal district the sordid affair grew murkier as police investigations revealed a complicated web of child abuse and adult intrigue. News of the original allegations against Mahakale and Rajne first broke when their colleague Bhadikar informed a group of Harshi villagers on March 9 that they had continually abused their young wards.Though swift village justice followed, a Pusad taluka advocate and journalist A. Aparwo Maind, who edits a weekly paper called the Chawdi Varta, informed the police circle inspector about the allegations. No formal complaint was registered for over a week.Meanwhile Bhadikar, who had first instigated the villagers against the ashramshala superintendent and cook, made a similar complaint to Gajibe in Yavatmal, and the tribal welfare officer promptly visited Harshi to verify the charges.”At that time all 14 of the girls interviewed – two were not present – confirmed what Bhadikar had told me,” said Gajibe, “so I went ahead and filed a police complaint against the two.”Under the more exacting interrogation of the police, however, the little girls broke down and stated that Bhadikar himself had constantly molested them since the past Diwali and had finally cajoled them to condemn the other two.Said Vasudev Potdar, deputy superintendent of police at Yavatmal: “Investigations are going on, so at this stage all we can say is that the girls now state that even Bhadikar used to molest them; so we have arrested him also. But the case has become considerably more complicated, since according to the medical examination none of the 16 girls has actually been raped. The doctor has stated that their hymens are intact and there are no visible signs of rape.”advertisementDepravity: But this is small consolation for the girls themselves. Subjected daily to harrowing questioning sessions for over a fortnight, the Harshi ashramshala’s 16 girl students’ were last fortnight distraught, with fear and worry about a crime which lay almost outside’ their comprehension.Rudely jerked out of their childhoods into an incomprehensible world of adult perversion and depravity, the group huddled in their miserable temporary school room, bursting into tears each time a stranger came in. Chandrakala, a pretty eight-year-old along with Ganga, an alleged favourite of Bhadikar’s, haltingly explained that the assistant teacher-frequently called his charges to his rooms at night to perform small chores for him, often seizing the opportunity to strip them off their clothes and molest them.”He used to call me to his chulha (kitchen) to do some work and then take off all my clothes and his own,” said the young girl unselfconsciously, “and then he used to do things.” Added Ganga: “Bhadikar used to call me at night and he used to touch me down there.”Shobha, barely six and certainly unaware of the reasons for the furore around her, nevertheless adds to the astonishing charges of depravity. “Once he took me also to his room,” she says, almost by rote, clamming up thereafter and refusing to elaborate on what was done to her. The others, harassed from days of questioning by the police, burst into tears each time they are asked about the incidents.Cruel Neglect: The testimony of the ashramshala students notwithstanding, little was actually known last fortnight about the extent of molestation, how long it had gone on, or the exact involvement of each of the accused. But the Harshi case raised several questions.No women teachers or attendants were provided in the Harshi ashramshala even though its 16 girls and 52 boys are all between the ages of six and 10. The teacher’s control over his students is absolute, and statements by the young Adivasi girls make it clear that they are frequently made to perform menial tasks and housework for the ashramshala staff.Involvement of the villagers in the children’s welfare is almost nonexistent, possibly because it is a school for tribals in a village dominated by non-tribals. Political workers in the Pusad-Harshi area insist that even the funds allotted for the upkeep of children are often diverted from some ashramshalas, and as a result their running has become a high-stakes business handed out as patronage by the ruling party.R. H. Atre, BJP worker from Pusad, points out that only last fortnight the sanction of an ashramshala for Pedhi village in Yavatmal’s Mahagaon taluk was abruptly cancelled and handed over from Kuddus Mirza, who was originally to have run it, to Manoharrao Naik, brother of Maharashtra Education Minister Sudhakar Naik.Naik, who already administers the Parvatibaji Charitable Trust in Pusad, will set up the ashramshala at Saathghari, a village next to Pedhi. “Even the running of something as desirable as ashramshalas has become a prestigious thing to be handed out to favoured persons,” said Atre. “The Government grant of Rs 105 per student per month is an incentive for persons to take up the running of these schools.”advertisementBut Patil’s Government last fortnight appeared determined to put the ashramshala scheme right; it pulled out all the stops to speedily solve the Harshi and Nanza cases and restore confidence in the institutions. A senior official in the Tribal Welfare Ministry admitted that “this scheme shows more potential for tribal uplift through education than perhaps all other welfare schemes put together”. The official added that the Government was trying to set things right. “I would be the first to admit that it is at present far from perfect,” he said, “but ashramshalas are the one way of encouraging the desperately poor to educate their children, and the success so far shows that it can easily be extended.”