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49ers Solomon Thomas’ mental health comeback embodies NFL’s mission

first_imgSANTA CLARA – Life in the NFL is stressful. High risks. High rewards. Sudden lows.Compound all that with your sister’s suicide and the 49ers’ Solomon Thomas will tell you how painfully hard life can be.Thankfully for Thomas — and at least partly because of him — the NFL has begun recognizing mental health as a pertinent issue and has mandated that every team must have a “behavioral health clinician” available weekly at its facility.“In the NFL, it’s a big problem,” Thomas said after 49ers …last_img read more

Deities for Atheists, or Atheism for Dummies?

first_img(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Michael Shermer wrote a book review in Science entitled “Deities for Atheists.”1  The article reviewed George Basalla’s recent book, Civilized Life in the Universe: Scientists on Intelligent Extraterrestrials (Oxford, 2005).  Basalla (historian of science and technology, U of Delaware) contends that SETI is the continuation of an ancient religious quest.  If so, who are the deities?    Shermer discusses Basalla’s assumptions. He proceeds to outline three assumptions that underlie thinking about extraterrestrial intelligence from antiquity to the present: the universe is very large or infinite, there are other inhabited worlds, and these other complex and intelligent beings are vastly superior to us….    As for the third assumption, if we did make contact with an ETI, they would have to be vastly superior to us (since we just recently mastered radio and spaceflight).  On an evolutionary time scale, an ETI species only slightly ahead of us biologically could be millions of years ahead of us technologically. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)At this point, Shermer announced a new scientific law to add to the collection of Murphyisms.  Imitating Arthur C. Clarke, ’Shermer’s Last Law” posits, “Any sufficiently advanced extra-terrestrial intelligence is indistinguishable from God.”1Michael Shermer, “Astrobiology: Deities for Atheists,” Science, 3 March 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5765, p. 1244, DOI: 10.1126/science.1126115.Isn’t it amazing that whenever other inhabited worlds are discussed, the assumption is that they are always “vastly superior to us.”  Suffice it to say that even if we met an advanced extra-terrestrial being it would be quite easy to distinguish it from God.  God doesn’t need a spacecraft for travel.    Question: what’s an article advancing atheism doing in a scientific journal?  We thought that Darwinism was perfectly compatible with Christianity.  That’s what they always claim, at least.  Though belief in advanced extraterrestrials has spanned the spectrum of religions and philosophies, Shermer, who abandoned his childhood Christianity when he learned about evolution, made it clear that (in his opinion) atheism is the religion of choice for scientists.  He concluded, “If we do make contact with intelligent celestial beings, all of this speculation and conjecture will fall by the wayside in favor of real science.  So in the spirit of scientific inquiry, the search must go on.  Ad astra!”    So the radio telescope is his cathedral, the stars are his heaven, and his deities are other evolved beings who will perish in the heat death of the universe.  Whosoever will, may succumb.last_img read more

Confederations Cup: Bafana Bafana

first_img12 June 2009The 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup will be the biggest football tournament to take place on South African soil since the 1996 African Nations Cup, and fans of Bafana Bafana will be hoping that the national team can recapture the verve and fighting spirit it displayed in 1996, when it won the continental title.The highs achieved by Clive Barker’s team have, however, long faded into memory, and recent years of middling results will have tempered the hopes of Bafana fans.Nonetheless, playing a major tournament at home – in familiar conditions and with passionate support – suggests that the team, under coach Joel Santana, could spring a surprise or two.Bafana historyThe first team to represent all South Africans only played its first match in 1992 – two years before the country’s first democratic elections. Under the Brazilian, Bafana Bafana managed five victories in succession in the latter half of 2008, which have led some to believe that a corner has been turned. Recent losses to Chile and Portugal, although they have been followed by wins over Mauritius and Poland, have shown that Santana’s charges still have some way to go before they make a consistent climb up the world rankings from their present position of 72.Benni McCarthySantana appears to have a good idea of which players constitute the core of his squad. Sadly, though, one man who will be missing after yet another instance of letting Bafana Bafana down due to his questionable unavailability for matches against Norway and Portugal is Benni McCarthy.South Africa’s leading international goal scorer, it seems, has let the side down once too often and there might not be a place for the Blackburn Rovers star in the 2010 Fifa World Cup squad.The good news is that Bafana Bafana might have a ready replacement for McCarthy in Red Star Belgrade striker Bernard Parker. Earlier this year he moved from Thanda Royal Zulu to Serbia after impressing in both club and international matches.High on ParkerMike Makaab, managing director of Prosport International and a Fifa-accredited agent who has many of South Africa’s leading footballers on his books, believes Parker has got what it takes to make a real mark on the game. Makaab is an astute observer of talent and his opinion should count because he knows what it takes to win; in 1995 he coached Orlando Pirates to the African Champions League title.Interestingly, Parker finished tied for fourth in goal scoring in the Premier Soccer League despite having played only part of the season in South Africa.Another striker, one who many thought deserved to be in the Confederations Cup squad, Richard Henyekane of Golden Arrows, was one of the most controversial omissions from the line-up.PSL goal scoringHenyekane was in superb form throughout the PSL season and topped the goal scoring charts by finding the back of the net 19 times. That’s three goals more than Mabhuti Khenyeza scored for Ajax Cape Town. Khenyeza was in the provisional Confederations Cup squad, but was then axed after running foul of team management.Instead, Parker will be supported by Orlando Pirates’ Katlego Mashego and Mamelodi Sundowns’ Katlega Mphela. Mashego netted nine times in the PSL season, while Mphela, astonishingly for a man selected to play in the national side as a striker, scored only three times! Coach Santana was questioned about the omission of Henyekane, but declined to discuss individual players.The other striker among the four selected in the 23-man squad is Maccabi Haifa marksman Thembinkosi ‘Terror’ Fanteni. The former Ajax Cape Town star has ably led the Israeli club’s frontline, but has just two goals at international level.Lack of experienceGoal scoring has long been Bafana Bafana’s biggest concern, and the lack of experience among the chosen strikers means SA’s strike force is a worry yet again.Parker, in 14 games, many of them as a substitute, has scored five times. Fanteni has one goal in 16 appearances. Mashego has scored once in seven appearances and Mphela four times in 10 outings. That means that between them the four strikers have earned only 47 caps and scored 11 goals.Aaron Mokoena will be the leader in defence. The Blackburn Rovers’ man, despite not being a regular starter for his club, has earned 81 international caps, more than any other player in Bafana Bafana history. Experience is a valuable asset in the international game and he will be a key man at the back.However, he won’t have Nasief Morris, arguably South Africa’s best central defender, alongside him. Morris, in a big shock, was left out of the pared-down 23-man squad, allegedly after he broke the team’s code of conduct.Difference makersCoaches are always on the lookout for players able to make things happen in the midfield, and Santana is fortunate in that he has two men who fit that bill: Orlando Pirates’ Teko Modise and Everton’s Steven Pienaar.Modise is capable of changing a game with both his passing and scoring and is a threat to score from distance with his powerful long-range shots. Pienaar is a silky-skilled midfielder who is able to make things happen with his astute touches.With both Modise and Pienaar in the line-up, Santana, as is his wont, will likely employ a holding midfielder just in front of the defenders. Golden Arrows’ Kagisho Dikgacoi appears most likely to get the call for such a role. He has previously filled it, along with Aaron Mokoena, who has since returned to defence.Besides goal scoring, another valid concern about the squad is the lack of playing time that some overseas-based, such as Rowen Fernandez and Bryce Moon, have experienced. Even Lance Davids, since his move to SuperSport United, has not played that much.Coach Santana, as a Brazilian, likes to use his outside backs – the wingbacks – to attack. In the Confederations Cup, Bafana Bafana will have the opportunity to watch Brazil themselves in action.SpainThe five-time World Cup winners are in Group B and are not scheduled to meet South Africa, unless that happens in the playoffs. South Africa, however, will have to face Spain in Group A – a team loaded with world class talent in every position.The Spaniards, the European champions, enjoy a record lead at the top of the Fifa world rankings and are unbeaten in 32 matches. Given South Africa’s traditional struggles against European opponents, Spain should have far too much class for Bafana Bafana when the teams meet in Bloemfontein on 20 June.That will likely leave SA battling Oceania champions New Zealand and Asian champions Iraq for a place in the semi-finals. In the latest Fifa world rankings, Bafana are ranked 72nd, Iraq is in 77th position, and the All Whites are in 82nd place.Home advantageThe matches between the three teams should be tight and Santana will hope that home advantage against sides of roughly the same standard will help SA win a place in the semi-finals.It is important that South Africa claim a place in the Confederations Cup semi-final ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. That result would help instill confidence in Bafana’s fans and also help raise interest and hype in the World Cup.With that in mind, a semi-final place, at the least, should be a non-negotiable goal.BAFANA BAFANA SQUADGoalkeepers: Brian Baloyi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany) Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs)Defenders: Siboniso Gaxa, Matthew Booth (both Sundowns), Morgan Gould, Bongani Khumalo (both SuperSport United), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth, United Kingdom), Bryce Moon (Panathinaikos, Greece), Innocent Mdledle (Orlando Pirates), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa, Israel)Midfielders: Steven Pienaar (Everton, United Kingdom), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Chiefs), Elrio van Heerden (Blackburn Rovers, United Kingdom), Teko Modise, Benson Mhlongo (both Pirates), Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan, Russia), Lance Davids (SuperSport United), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Golden Arrows)Strikers: Terror Fanteni (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Katlego Mashego (Pirates), Bernard Parker (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia) and Katlego Mphela (Sundowns).Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Team SA optimistic ahead of WEF Davos

first_imgTeam South Africa is heading to the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos in an upbeat mood. Believing that the political and economic climate is taking a turn for the better, delegates are heading to the Swiss town with the message that South Africa is an ideal partner for growth.Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is leading a hopeful Team SA to Davos for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. He believes South Africa is renewing itself and is set for a year of growth. (Images: GCIS)Shamin ChibbaMembers of Team South Africa heading to the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, next week are feeling optimistic about the country’s fortunes for the coming year.At a pre-WEF breakfast held at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton on 18 January, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is leading the delegation to Davos, assured everyone that South Africa had a better story to tell at the global event. “South Africa is renewing itself and is underpinned by unity in everything we do. We are looking forward to a great year. A year of unity and growth.”He added: “It is going to be a mammoth task getting us out of this trench as a country, but if we work together it is possible.”Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba was equally confident about Team South Africa’s trip to the Alpine town, saying the team would highlight the investment potential of both South Africa and the continent.“The Davos platform is critical for South Africa, not only to profile South Africa but to also showcase our continent as a whole. We provide a platform for many international investors to access the African market. There should not be any doubt that South Africa is open for business.”Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, and Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, at the Pre-WEF Davos Breakfast. The latter believes it is critical to use WEF Davos as a platform to showcase Africa’s economic potential.Business Unity South Africa CEO Tanya Cohen noted that the political uncertainty experienced last year had resulted in a directionless economic policy. She said there was greater certainty for the near future, which would make a difference to the investment climate.“If one looks at some of the issues we have been challenged with, [for instance] our whole energy framework, it has not been settled. In fact, last year it was bouncing back and forward. We now have the opportunity to move that forward in a coherent direction,” Cohen said.“With the new leadership in place, there is an opportunity for us to really create an environment in which businesses feel safe to invest and unlock the potential of the country.”Business Leadership SA CEO Bonang Mohale said South Africa had an “amazingly good story to tell”.“There is no other country that presents a return on investment like South Africa. We [might be] below investment grade but we are hopeful. That is the message we will be taking to Davos.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

11 Features to Watch for in Windows 8 (Part 2)

first_imgThe location awareness features shown in the slides is another indication of Microsoft’s intention for Windows 8 to be a multi-device OS. Windows 8 will supposedly include support for location sensors, which will be controlled by the user. To address privacy concerns, the applications will have to ask for location access and users will be able to grant permission on a per-request basis or on a permanent basis.9. Multiple desktopsMultiple desktops are nothing new, and third-party applications have provided the feature for years. However, it’s one of the features shown in the portfolio of Microsoft India R&D developer Manoj Manduva. Stephen Chapman of ZDNet drudged the portfolio up while searching for clues about what the next Windows OS would look like.10. Smart Sticky NotesAnother concept from Manduva’s portfolio is “smart” sticky notes – sticky notes with features like reminders and hyperlinks. There’s not much detail on this.11. Skew Window Managment for TouchThe last piece from Manduva’s portfolio is a mock-up for a skew windows management tool. Chapman thinks this is actually a concept for the Windows 8 touch UI, since it is remarkably similar to the existing 3D windows manager in Windows 7. Perhaps this could also be a means for switching between windows while using Kinect?Bonus: A Radical New Interface and/or Name? ConclusionIt’s easy to be underwhelmed by the proposed features, especially since most of them are already available from competitors or third-parties and Windows 8 won’t even be available until next year. But consider some of them as a whole: instant-on, facial recognition, 3D support and Kinect-esque gestural support. Even without a mad new interface, these could add-up to a radically different experience.It’s hard to believe that a Minority Report-style system is coming to a desktop near you in the next couple years. And if it follows the recent “dud, hit, dud, hit” pattern that ME, XP, Vista and 7 are following, this one will be a dud. But it could be the start of something genuinely new, and that’s worth paying attention to. In part one we took a look at several features expected in Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows 8 operating system, including facial recognition, instant-on and tablet support.Now we’ll delve into a few more, including a special bonus section with some improbable but possible changes to the flagship Microsoft product.7. Kinect SupportOK, this is the exciting one: Kinect for Windows. WinRumors claims to have a source at Microsoft who confirmed that a Kinect SDK for Windows will be released.8. Location Awareness Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie demonstrated a concept earlier this year based around a bubble interface. It seems unlikely that something as radically different as this would actually become a part of Windows as soon as the next release. On the other hand, Steve Ballmer said last year that the next version of Windows will be Microsoft’s “riskiest product bet,” and Business Insider reported a rumor that the Windows 8 tablet interface will be based on the Windows Phone 7 interface.If it does go with the new bubble interface above, or the WP7 “panels” interface, is it possible that Microsoft might even change the OS name? Tech Republic’s Brien Posey writes “I think that in an effort to lose its dated image, Microsoft may rebrand Windows as something completely different. It might even lose the name Windows.”Stranger things have happened, but I wouldn’t get too carried away. The (again, supposed) screenshots leaked earlier this year show off a new look for Windows, but not THAT new. 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now klint finley IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Related Posts Tags:#enterprise#Products Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Photo Exhibition Celebrates 20 Years Of Stars Helping Children

first_imgMoving pictures taken by High Profile UNICEF Supporters have gone on display for the first time, including never before seen snaps taken by Sir Chris Hoy, Michael Sheen and Eddie Izzard, for a new photo exhibition in London.Ewan McGregor and UNICEFEleven well known faces feature in the exhibition, some in photos themselves alongside children they have met around the world and others where the stars have got behind the lens, including a couple of selfies.The full line-up includes Robbie Williams, Lewis Hamilton, Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Roger Moore, Sir Chris Hoy, Michael Sheen, Orlando Bloom, Ewan McGregor, Eddie Izzard, Jessie Ware and Claudia Schiffer, all of whom have supported Unicef’s work for children around the world.On display from the 14th of November at the Le Meridien Hotel in Piccadilly, London, the exhibition celebrates 20 years of partnership between Unicef and Starwood, which has improved the lives of over 4.5 million children. Since 1995 Starwood guests and employees have raised almost $35 million to help Unicef immunise children against killer diseases, provide clean water for communities, distribute life-saving mosquito nets, establish schools, provide counselling for vulnerable children and much more. The exhibition is free to the public and runs until 29th of November.Unicef UK Supporter Lewis Hamilton said: “I remember my first trip with Unicef so well. My mum was with me after the Malaysian Grand Prix, and we flew over to the Philippines to see Unicef’s programmes for children living on the streets of Manila. I couldn’t believe, and still can’t, that over 85,000 children live and work on the streets in the capital city. I met three young boys who lived on a vegetable cart with their parents but thanks to Unicef’s support were able to attend education classes for street children. I met so many children playing in the streets but I’ll never forget the smell of the river in the middle of town where children bathed and swam and the dangers that they face there.”Unicef Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore said: “I’m proud to say that I was there at the very beginning of Check Out for Children and even prouder that the partnership is still going strong two decades later. I have visited Unicef programmes around the world and have seen first-hand the incredible difference that is being made to children’s lives.”Among the stars who have taken their own photos for the exhibition, Michael Sheen shared a photo of a young Syrian boy in a refugee camp in Lebanon, Eddie Izzard and Sir Chris Hoy both shared selfies with children they met on their Unicef visits, Jessie Ware shared a photo of children in a Unicef centre in Cameroon and Emma Bunton shared a picture from her visit to meet children in Madagascar.Over 370 hotels across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia are involved in the Check Out for Children partnership. The initiative gives Starwood guests the opportunity to add $1, £1 or €1 to their bill to support Unicef. The funds raised will help Unicef provide clean water and safe sanitation for children and families across Africa and the Middle East.Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East said: “Back in 1995 we teamed up with Unicef and Sir Roger to launch Check Out for Children at The Park Tower Knightsbridge (formerly Sheraton Park Tower) where I was general manager. Two decades later, the initiative expanded widely across our hotels helping improve the lives of over 4.5 million children in more than 40 countries around the world. We are extremely grateful to our guests and employees for sharing our passion to do the right thing and raising nearly $35 million for children in need. I believe this partnership will continue to bring hope and opportunities to many more.”As part of its support, Starwood fundraising has helped Unicef to: • Provide nearly 460,000 Syrian children with an education between 2012 and 2015 • Provide life-saving clean water for 1.8 million people across central and southern Somalia in 2011 (with support of other partners) • Establish 65 schools in Pakistan following devastating floods to help 10,627 children continue their education in 2011 • Distribute 20,000 mosquito nets to remote communities in Ethiopia in 2009 • Immunise an estimated 1 million children against six killer diseases when the partnership began in 1995last_img read more

Man stabbed while trying to break up fight outside Ocean Beach bar

first_img KUSI Newsroom Man stabbed while trying to break up fight outside Ocean Beach bar Posted: January 17, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter January 17, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A 21-year-old man was stabbed in the arm this morning while trying to break up a fight outside of an Ocean Beach bar, police said.It happened shortly before 12:10 a.m. outside Winston’s Beach Club on Bacon Street northeast of Newport Avenue, San Diego police Officer John Buttle said.The 21-year-old man was walking out of the bar when he saw his friend in an altercation with another man, Buttle said.The victim stepped in to break up the fight then the suspect stabbed him in the right arm before fleeing in an unknown direction, Buttle said.The victim was transported to a hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, he said.The suspect was described as a white man in his 20s who has tattoos on his right arm. He was last seen wearing jeans and no shirt. last_img read more

Possible governmentfunded health care for illegals

first_img May 20, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter AP, SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers are considering proposals that would make the state the first in the nation to offer government-funded health care to adult immigrants living in the country illegally.Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed covering immigrants 19 to 25.A proposal in the state Senate would expand that coverage to include people 65 and older, while the Assembly is considering a bill that would extend benefits to all low-income immigrants 19 and older.California already covers immigrants 18 and younger regardless of their status.A final decision on wider coverage may come down to cost.Newsom estimates his plan covering young adults would cost $98 million a year. Legislative staffers estimate the Senate’s plan could cost $304 million and the Assembly proposal $3.2 billion annually.Newsom estimates California will have a $21.5 billion budget surplus. But he has urged lawmakers to constrain spending, warning the next recession could cost the state $70 billion in revenue. Possible government-funded health care for illegals Posted: May 20, 2019 AP last_img read more