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Cambrian Fossil: What Is It?

first_imgA Cambrian fossil discovered in China may represent a new phylum, reports BBC News.  Vetustodermis, discovered in 1979, looks like a flatworm with eye stalks and antenna.  It resembles a mollusk or arthropod in some ways, but scientists aren’t sure how to classify it.  Forcing it into any existing group requires “pushing and pulling” that is “messy,” the article states.  David Bottjer (USC) seems willing to open up a new category.  “We have always been intrigued by the many molluscan features of these fossils,” he said, “but in the great menagerie of organisms that have inhabited Earth through life’s long history, we may come to conclude that Vetustodermis indeed represents a new phylum.”  (Within each kingdom, a phylum [pl. phyla] is the highest rank of classification.)    Jonathan Todd (Natural History Museum, London) doesn’t want to create new phyla willy-nilly any time a new organism is found with unique features.  His reasoning is evolutionary; he criticizes fellow taxonomists who are “not thinking in the phylogenetic sense” to establish where each discovery fits into “the greater evolutionary tree” of life.  He reasons, “recent phyla have got to connect somehow.”One thing is for certain: this animal was complex.  Within the evolutionists’ own dating scheme, this animal is right at the beginning of multicellular life, and already has antennae, eyes, and propulsion.  Only the cartoonish Popeye theory of evolution (05/31/2005) could believe such complex systems emerged suddenly without precursors.    When playing connect-the-dots, the more dots, the better.  Collecting more fossils is like adding dots.  When the underlying picture that slowly emerges does not fit one’s preconceptions, it is not fair to push and pull the dots toward where one wants them to be.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Beaming education to the nation

first_img17 July 2003Mindset Network, a new R225-million multimedia satellite television network, has been presented as an 85th birthday “gift” to Nelson Mandela. Mindset will tackle South Africa’s key educational and healthcare challenges – issues that are closest to Mandela’s heart.It is the first time in the world that such a comprehensive, integrated multimedia approach is being taken to tackle these issues. All Mindset Network channels will provide content that can change lives, the aim being to reach as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.Speaking at the Mindset launch on Wednesday night, Mandela said the network was doubly important because it would also reach out to schools in remote rural areas. “It will make a difference to the lives of millions”, Mandela said.The first channel of the Mindset Network, Activate, is currently broadcasting on channel 82 of DStv, targeting grade 10, 11 and 12 learners and educators and focusing on maths, science and English.A time-tabled curriculum is broadcast in the mornings and late afternoons to allow for school and home viewing, and in the early afternoons for educators. Broadcasts run from 8.30am to 5.30pm on weekdays.Activate encompasses the innovative use of satellite broadcast television, print supplements in the largest national weekly newspaper, the sunday Times, and comprehensive support material on the Internet.According to Mindset’s Melanie Naidoo, the network does not just “dump” content into schools, but also provides the equipment, training and support for people to be able to access the content and use it properly. “These kits include a television, satellite dish, decoder and video recorder, and we even provide generators as a power source for rural schools”, Naidoo said.The content is provided free of charge, and hardware and teacher training is also provided for free to economically disadvantaged schools.Activate has been piloted in 300 schools and will be rolled out into 1 000 schools and 800 000 homes by the end of 2003. “Over the long term, we hope Activate will be available in every school in this country, as well as in other countries too”, Naidoo said.A health channel will be launched in October 2003, focusing on HIV/Aids, and eventually broadcasting into 7 000 clinics and hospitals around the country, with information for patients and training for healthcare workers.Next will be two more education channels, one for early high school, and another focusing on early childhood development and primary school content.Mindset also aims to launch a livelihood channel teaching entrepreneurship, life skills and vocational training.12 hours a day, seven days a weekThe Liberty and Standard Bank Foundations, lead partners in the initiative, have committed R74-million to kick-start Mindset. Founding partners include the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Sunday Times, PanAmSat, Sentech and Multichoice Africa, while the SABC is a support partner.“It is testimony to the great need for what we are doing that Mindset Network has been put in place in a year, including partnerships valued at R225-million, along with support from the government departments of education, communications and health”, said Mindset chief executive Ann Lamont.Liberty Foundation executive director Hylton Appelbaum, who conceptualised the network, said: “We realised that two hours a day on TV was never going to be enough to make the necessary impact across all schooling.”According to Appelbaum, SABC TV’s “The Learning Channel” has played a vital role in support the country’s matric pupils, “but we need to address the earlier years as well as the last two years of schooling. For this reason, Mindset Network will be available at least 12 hours a day, seven days a week.”Shortage of maths and science teachers“Due to the legacy of apartheid education, our challenge in schooling is that learners’ maths and science scores are among the lowest in the world”, Lamont said.“While South Africa has many dedicated teachers, there is a desperate shortage of those that teach maths and science. So much so that almost 30% of learners are taught maths by teachers with no qualifications in maths and almost 40% of learners are taught science by teachers with no qualifications in science.”Andile Ngcaba, director-general in the department of communications, says his department will partner with Mindset Network to deliver “the most powerful learning technology that has ever been seen in Africa”.Dr Mamphela Ramphele, MD of human development at the World Bank, described Mindset Network as the “best comprehensive programme I have seen so far that addresses the key constraints to enhance the quality of education in South Africa.“The teaching of maths, science and English using multimedia approaches, and embodying in it the social reality of the pupils in South Africa, will go a long way to building strong foundations for the futures of these young people.”SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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NDP implementation framework unveiled

first_img In each of these outcomes, the MTSF document outlines goals, indicators, targets, actions and responsibilities. Regarding the rapid economic growth outcome, Radebe said the MTSF would set the wheels in motion to grow the economy by a rate of 5% by 2019. “Government’s programme of radical transformation is about placing the economy on a qualitatively different path that ensures more rapid, sustainable growth, higher investment, increased employment, reduced inequality and deracialisation of the economy.”Targets for the economy MTSF targets include increasing the investment rate to 25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), increasing public sector investment to 10 percent of GDP, adding 10 000 megawatts of electricity to the national grid, and reducing the country’s unemployment to 14 percent. MTSF also includes actions aimed at diversifying in order to reduce economic concentration. “It focuses on ensuring growth in the core productive sectors of manufacturing, mining and agriculture, and opening new areas of economic growth such as the oceans economy, the green economy and shale gas.” There are also actions to ensure that small business can make a much larger contribution to growth and job creation, as well as actions to promote increased private sector investment. This is critical for higher growth, Radebe said, as the private sector accounts for 70 percent of production and employment. “The MTSF includes actions aimed at achieving an economic environment that encourages business investment and rewards competitiveness, especially in sectors that can catalyse longer term growth and job creation.”More opportunities for young people He said the NDP and MTSF included a range of actions aimed at creating more opportunities for young people, many of whom did not currently share in the benefits of economic growth and development. “The priority areas of youth development are employment creation, entrepreneurship support and education. By rapidly absorbing youth into the mainstream development of our country, we will have responded effectively to the fact that of the approximately 25 percent unemployed in South Africa, the vast majority are young people between the ages of 15 to 35 years.”Local government outcomes Radebe said the MTSF also introduced a range of actions to improve municipal management, such as providing basic water, sanitation, refuse removal and road services as well as fixing potholes, traffic lights, service interruptions and billing problems. He said the Auditor-General’s 2014 audit outcomes report indicated that local government was far from achieving the vision of an efficient and effective local government as outlined in the NDP. Actions in the MTSF related to improving local government include addressing maintenance and new infrastructure requirements in each municipality; addressing water and sanitation challenges among water services authorities; improving the financial management and governance of municipalities; and tackling corruption at local government. The MTSF also aims to expand the Community Work Programme sites in 234 municipalities in order to reach one-million participants.Reducing crime and corruption South Africa has unacceptably high levels of crime, especially serious and violent crime, according to the NDP. This affects economic development, undermining people’s well-being and their ability to achieve their potential. Some progress has been made over the past five years in reducing serious crime rates. But weaknesses in forensic, detective, investigation and prosecution services hamper the government’s efforts to reduce the overall levels of crime, particularly contact crimes. “The NDP highlights the need to address the crime that is damaging our communities, and the MTSF contains a range of actions and targets in this regard,” Radebe said. The NDP vision is that, by 2030, people living in South Africa feel safe at home, at school and at work, and enjoy a community life free of fear. Women should be able to walk freely in the street and children should be able to play safely outside. Businesses should be able to invest confidently and create jobs without the threat of livelihoods being undermined by crime. Source: SAnews.gov.za Quality basic education.A long and healthy life for all South Africans.Safety, and sense of safety, for all people in South Africa.Decent employment through inclusive growth.A skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path.An efficient, competitive and responsive economic infrastructure network.Vibrant, equitable, sustainable rural communities contributing towards food security for all.Sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household life.A comprehensive, responsive and sustainable social protection system.Responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government.Protected and enhanced environmental assets and natural resources.An efficient, effective and development-oriented public service.A diverse, socially cohesive society with a common national identity.A better South Africa contributing to a better Africa and a better world. 8 August 2014 Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe on Thursday released the government’s comprehensive framework for implementing the National Development Plan (NDP) over the next five years. The Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) will serve as a prioritisation framework to focus the government’s efforts on a set of manageable programmes, as well as the principal guide to the allocation of resources across all spheres of government. Radebe said the MTSF was a mechanism through which all five-year strategic plans and annual plans across government were being aligned to the NDP and made to pull in the same direction. “The aim of the MTSF is to ensure policy coherence, alignment and coordination across government plans.” He added that the MTSF would form the basis for performance agreements between the President and ministers. “Cabinet will use the MTSF as the basis for monitoring the implementation of the NDP over the next five years. Cabinet will consider progress reports for each of the outcomes at least three times a year, and these progress reports will be made public through the Programme of Action website managed by the [Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency]. “We will use our monitoring and evaluation work to inform improvements to our plans and programmes as we implement the MTSF.”14 priority outcomes The MTSF is structured around 14 priority outcomes, covering the focus areas identified in the NDP, namely:last_img read more

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A Bad First Date

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Imagine you are on a first date. Your suitor has been badgering you for this date for a long time, and you’ve finally relented. Now, the person with whom you on this date sits down to dinner and begins to talk about themselves. Endlessly. I mean, seriously, it never ends.Your date tells you everything that you might ever want to know about them, and they tell you even more about things in which have absolutely no interest.You know this just an awful first date, isn’t it?Why then would you treat your initial meeting with your dream client this way? Why would you spend the majority of the time talking about you, your company, your product, and all the other things that make you so wonderful?A Better First DateDo you want to be better first date? Do you want to be immensely interesting and compelling to dream client? You can, but it’s more difficult than it sounds.The one thing that will make you most compelling and most interesting to your dream client is your ability to listen to them. That’s it. Listen.Listening is the ultimate act of caring. It tells your first date that they are, to you anyway, the most interesting thing in the whole world. Listening telegraphs your intentions. It demonstrates that you are going to discover what your date values, what’s important to them.When you talk about yourself, your company, and you’re offering you’re telling your dream client that as far as you’re concerned you are the most interesting thing in the world. Maybe you did hang the Moon and the Sun in the sky. But if you want your date to feel like you hung the Moon and Sun in the sky, you listen.Too much you, you’re boring. Very little you with a true interest in them, you’re fascinating.A few weeks ago, a client told me how much they enjoyed our conversation. We were together for over an hour. Maybe I spoke six complete sentences.last_img read more

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25 days agoBarcelona president Bartomeu to meet with Pique to clear the air

first_imgBarcelona president Bartomeu to meet with Pique to clear the airby Carlos Volcano25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is set to meet with defender Gerard Pique to clear the air after the latter’s recent comments.Sport says Pique has questioned the board twice in the last week. He said he did not like the team’s pre-season tours of Japan and the US, claiming “we did more travelling and less training and we’re feeling it.”Then he hinted that the board were planting stories in the media against the players.The objective of the meeting will be to smooth things over and stop Pique’s digs which in Madrid they are using to do more damage to Barcelona. About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Finnlines Stretches Breeze Fleet

first_imgzoom Finnish RoRo and RoPax operator Finnlines will lengthen four of its “Breeze series” ferries, with an option for two additional vessels, in response to increased demand.Finnlines has signed a contract with Remontowa S.A. shipyard in Gdansk, Poland where the actual work will commence in mid September 2017.The yard is committed to perform this work in less than two months for each vessel, Finnlines said.The whole lengthening programme will be completed in May 2018 and is expected to increase vessel capacity by around 1,000 lane metres.The close to 30% capacity increase is expected to reduce the energy consumption per transported unit compared to the original vessel.Remontowa shipyard is currently installing inline hybrid scrubbers and new propeller blades on MS Finneagle. Furthermore, the passenger capacity of the vessel will be increased to 800 by building new passenger areas.The above investments will amount to approximately EUR 70 million (USD 74.7m), Finnlines said.last_img read more

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HC grants time to ED to file response on maintainability of Robert

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted more time to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file an affidavit regarding the maintainability of Robert Vadra’s plea seeking quashing of a money laundering case in which he was questioned by the probe agency.A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Vinod Goel directed the ED to file the response within a week and listed the matter for further hearing on July 18. The court asked Vadra and his close aide Manoj Arora to file their rejoinder to the ED’s affidavit in two weeks thereafter. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghCentral government standing counsel Amit Mahajan, appearing for the ED, said the short affidavit was almost ready and they require some more time to file it. The court had earlier on March 25 asked the probe agency to file its response in the form of an affidavit regarding the maintainability of two separate but similar petitions by Vadra and Arora within two weeks. The ED had opposed Vadra’s plea, saying it was not maintainable as he “wilfully suppressed” material facts from the court. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadIt had contended that the plea of Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, was an abuse of process of law. When he feared that “law will catch him, he challenged the PMLA provisions”, it had added. The ED case relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square, worth 1.9 million pounds. The property is allegedly owned by Vadra. Vadra has also sought that various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, be declared unconstitutional. Vadra has sought in his plea that Sections 3, 17, 19, 24, 44 and 50 of the PMLA be declared ultra vires or unconstitutional.last_img read more

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Massachusetts Public Schools grant Muslim student a day off on Eid

first_imgFez- On a cold winter day of Cleveland- Ohio, an American friend who happened to be driving me to Westside Market within the city glimpsed a catchy billboard. Since I was not the one behind the steering wheel, I glued sight on the big capital letters forming the statement: AMERICA IS A CHRISTIAN country. I still remember neither concurred  with what that board said. My friend is Jew and I am a Muslim. This was few years ago.Today, the Revere public schools in Massachusets approved our (my friend’s and mine) standpoint from the content of that Billboard. The Revere Public schools took a leading initiation to grant the students a Holy day on Eid  Al Adha (a Muslim celebrated- day of Sacrifice), which falls this year on the 15th of October. The school board (administrators and school committee) reached a unanimous decision to modify the holy days calendar for this Academic year. Good Friday (April 18th, 2014) will not be the only religious day off for students. The Jewish Rosh Hashanah (September 5th, 6th) and the Muslim Eid Al Adha (one day off) will make the total religious days off grow to four.The Decision was reached based on the conspicuous growing number of the Muslim community in the school district. Last year, a major problem of absenteeism among Muslim students happened on Eid Al Adha when kids preferred to spend the day with their families to celebrate the Holy Day.Last year, it was Cambridge Public Schools and this year it is Revere Public Schools that recognize the religious holidays of the multi-cultural community. The experience is expected to get cloned in many other school districts and with this recognition the Muslim community is amply satisfied.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

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Confirmed Kepa and Jorginho handed Chelsea debut

first_imgChelsea kick off their Premier League campaign against Huddersfield in what will be Maurizio Sarri’s first league game in chargeSarri who replaced compatriot Antonio Conte at the helm at Stamford Bridge will be hoping for a positive start to his tenure when they confront Wagners’ men.The Italian tactician has gone with a strong line-up as expected, handing new boys Jorginho and Kepa their debut in a Chelsea shirt.Eden Hazard starts on the bench having returned late for pre-season training due to being given additional time off following his World Cup exploits.With an attack boasting the likes of Alvaro Morata, Willian, and Pedro, the Blues will be aiming for the maximum three points.The last time both sides met, Huddersfield held on to a shocking 1-1 draw that derailed Chelsea’s Champions League aims.Maurizio Sarri, JuventusMaurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.Team to play Huddersfield: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Barkley, Willian, Pedro, MorataSubs: Caballero, Hazard, Loftus-Cheek, Moses, Giroud, Zappacosta, ChristensenTeam to play Chelsea: Hamer, Hadergjonaj, Zanka, Schindler, Kongolo, Lowe, Hogg, Mooy, Billing, Pritchard, MounieSubs: Lossl, Smith, Diakhaby, Sobhi, Van La Parra, Depotire, Stankoviclast_img read more

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Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech discusses Arsenal move

first_imgArsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has discussed the new planing style under new manager Unai Emery.The former Chelsea shot-stopper was in fine form against Manchester City on Sunday making some important saves despite struggling to help the team play out from the back.“They’re a team that’s full of confidence and last year’s champions, so obviously it will always be difficult, but I have to say that we came to the game with our objectives to grow up as a team, to learn our way, how we want to play and obviously we had the task of doing it against one of the best teams, so it was difficult. But at times we did really well, and we put them under some pressure as well. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t find that final pass to finish the opportunities off,” Cech said as regards to City, according to the club’s official website.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.Cech also spoke about his struggles to play the ball from his pots, saying:“They pressed really well and obviously when you make one pass slower than it should be the player doesn’t have the time to use the ball quickly. Obviously you can be under pressure but at times we managed to get out pretty well. We didn’t want them to feel comfortable and have the ball always at their feet so that they could control the game.”Arsenal next travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea next weekend.last_img read more

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