Thales Will Digitize Deutsche Bahn Stuttgart Signalling System to Substantially Improve Capacity, Punctuality and…

first_img PARIS LA DÉFENSE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb 16, 2021– As a part of the initial “Digital railways Germany” package, Deutsche Bahn is equipping the Stuttgart region with a digital signalling system (DSTW*), the European Train Control System (ETCS*) and Automatic Train Operations (ATO*) with driver. The tender covering the implementation of modules 1 and 2 of the “Digital node Stuttgart” project until the end of 2025 was won by Thales at the end of November 2020. The contract with a value of approximately 127 million euros covers the installation of the digital signalling system, the installation of ETCS, preliminary work for the implementation of the track-side automatic operations and the Capacity & Traffic Management System (CTMS*), a modern technology and operating site, in excess of 6,000 electronic kilometre markers (balises), more than 1,300 axle counting points and approximately 650 point machines. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210215005014/en/ Project “Digital node Stuttgart” @Deutsche Bahn / Arnim Kilgus This project “Digital node Stuttgart” lead by Thales is part of the “Digital railways Germany” program, which will add up to 20% extra capacity to the rail network. It includes an important innovation partnership for Thales Germany with the customer, Deutsche Bahn, concerning the development and co-design of new, leading-edge technologies for the roll-out of the “Digital Railways Germany” initiative. “The first digital node in Germany is going to be the reference point for other metropolitan regions throughout Europe for years to come. Together with Deutsche Bahn AG, DB Netz AG, DB Projekt Stuttgart-Ulm GmbH and all project participants we are pleased to help design the blueprint for future digitizing projects”, explained Oliver Dörre, Chief Executive Officer and Country Director Thales Deutschland. “We meet all the conditions to successfully implement this large project. We are very familiar with the node Stuttgart from earlier projects and now look forward to actively cooperating with our customer at the highest level of technology in the improvement of the offering for rail passengers”, Dörre continued. “Our employees are, of course, highly motivated by this project and proud to be able to contribute to “their” station.” From 2025, the trains of the long distance, regional and S-Bahn traffic in the node Stuttgart will travel on a network equipped with the latest digital technology. In addition to the new main station and other stations, tracks with a scope of more than 100 kilometers are the first to be equipped with digital signalling technology, the train control system ETCS and highly automated operations. Stuttgart is thus the origin and blueprint of digitizing the entire German rail network, scheduled to be completed almost in its entirety by 2035. For the development of the S-Bahn, the “Digital node Stuttgart” project is also an important step into the future. On the main S-Bahn route, Germany’s most modern signalling system will in future control the shortest ever implemented block sections of only 30 meters in length. S-Bahn trains will therefore travel in closer succession than anywhere in Germany so far. This not only reduces and better eliminates delays but also allows many more trains to travel than today – safely and without having to build a single meter of additional tracks. Note to the editors: *Digital signalling systems The basis for digitization is digital signalling systems (DSTW). Using encrypted data links, a highly secure computer system connects to peripheral elements, such as sensors or points. Like every modern signalling system, a DSTW ensures in particular that trains only enter empty track sections and points are closed in the correct position. Unlike the hitherto common electronic signalling systems (ESTW), the DSTW separates energy supply and data. Using glass fibres, almost any distances between the core of the signalling system and the peripheral elements can be implemented. In Stuttgart, a DSTW controlling more than 100 track kilometers is initially being created. This includes three of the 21 electronic signalling systems planned as part of Stuttgart 21 and other legacy signalling systems. Electronic or digital signalling systems are the basis for ETCS Level 2. *European Train Control System (ETCS) The European Train Control System (ETCS) is a success story. Designed during the 1990’s as a uniform “signalling system” for cross-border European traffic, it is now used worldwide. In the “Digital node Stuttgart“, it is initially used in its Level 2 form. The train and track continuously exchange data via an encrypted radio link. At yellow Eurobalises – a kind of electronic kilometer marker on the track – the trains determine their precise location at regular intervals. Using distance and speed sensors, including wheel revolution counters and radar, the vehicle continuously measures the path travelled and its speed. Together with the data transmitted by the track, including the clear track ahead of the train, the ETCS on-board computer continuously calculates e.g. the clear path ahead of the train and the permissible speed. Unlike conventional old signalling technology, where light points at signals transmit comparatively simple information about a maximum of two sections ahead of the train in a system comparable to a traffic light, the driver is given a much more precise and continuously updated picture with ETCS Level 2. Whereas with conventional control and safety technology such a section is typically at least one kilometer long, it can be reduced to any length with ETCS. *Automatic Train Operation with driver (ATO GoA 2) Automatic Train Operation (ATO) will in future be used in the Digital node Stuttgart with a Grade of Automation of 2 (GoA 2). The system works as a kind of remote-controlled cruise control, with the track telling the train when it should be at which location. The vehicle device controls the speed accordingly. In case of delays, the highest permissible speed is applied, and during operations on schedule, the speed that conserves most energy. At platforms, ATO permits a highly precise stop. The driver is on board, monitors the journey and can intervene at any time. Based on ETCS, ATO facilitates high precision journeys. This avoids delays and reduces the distance between two trains. *Capacity and Traffic Management System (CTMS) The Capacity and Traffic Management System (CTMS) is a central component of future rail operations and is intended to facilitate better utilisation of existing infrastructure through, for example, automatic acceleration and braking operations. This leads to increased capacity and better operating quality. With the current development, the CTMS is based on the latest algorithms in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Operations Research (OR). About Thales Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global high technology leader investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations –connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum technology – to build a future we can all trust, which is vital to the development of our societies. The company provides solutions, services and products that help its customers –businesses, organisations and states – in the defence, aeronautics, space, transportation and digital identity and security markets to fulfil their critical missions, by placing humans at the heart of the decision-making process. With 83,000 employees in 68 countries, Thales generated sales of €19 billion in 2019 (on a basis including Gemalto over 12 months). PLEASE VISIT Thales Group Market page View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210215005014/en/ CONTACT: PRESS Chrystelle Dugimont Thales, Ground Transportation Systems, Media Relations +33 6 25 15 72 93 [email protected] Pitt Marx Thales Deutschland, Head of External Communications Phone: +49 7156 353 34977 Mobile: +49 172 404 83 46 [email protected] KEYWORD: EUROPE GERMANY FRANCE INDUSTRY KEYWORD: NETWORKS RAIL TRANSPORT PUBLIC TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGY SOURCE: Thales Copyright Business Wire 2021. PUB: 02/16/2021 02:00 AM/DISC: 02/16/2021 02:01 AM http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210215005014/en Pinterest Pinterest Previous articleThales wird die Signaltechnik der Deutschen Bahn in Stuttgart digitalisieren, um Kapazität, Pünktlichkeit und Komfort deutlich zu verbessernNext articleThales va digitaliser le système de signalisation de la Deutsche Bahn dans la région de Stuttgart pour améliorer considérablement la capacité, la ponctualité et le confort Digital AIM Web Support Twitter Facebook Local NewsBusiness TAGS  center_img Twitter Thales Will Digitize Deutsche Bahn Stuttgart Signalling System to Substantially Improve Capacity, Punctuality and Comfort By Digital AIM Web Support – February 16, 2021 Facebook WhatsApp WhatsApplast_img read more

What you need to know about Indonesia’s vaccine development

first_imgAs Indonesia struggles to contain the COVID-19 epidemic, the country, like many others, is pinning its hopes on vaccine development.Indonesia is looking to secure access to candidate vaccines, with its diplomats and local companies seeking cooperation with producers such as Sinovac Biotech of China and Genexine Inc. of South Korea, as well as the Bill Gates-backed Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).Meanwhile, for a longer-term, self-sufficient strategy, a national consortium under the Research and Technology Ministry is working on developing its own vaccine, helmed by the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology. The vaccine will be named after Indonesia’s flag colors, Merah Putih, or red and white. Kusnandi said the previous first two stages of trials showed a few minor side effects, such as swelling and pain in the injection area as well as fever. All volunteers in the phase III trials, therefore, would be insured so that they could receive free treatment if they were to develop complaints, he said. Kusnandi said the vaccine would be gradually given to all the subjects, estimating 25 subjects per day for five days a week at each of the six trial centers.Read also: Indonesian COVID-19 vaccines to undergo strict human, animal testingBio Farma said it was expecting the preliminary results of the clinical trials to be submitted for emergency use authorization by the Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) by the first quarter of 2021. Topics : He was referring to the process of producing recombinant proteins by isolating genes of the spike protein and nucleocapsid protein and inserting them into mammalian cells. The team, comprising around 10 young researchers, is now waiting for the cells to reproduce the recombinant proteins, which might take two months, before isolating, purifying and testing the proteins on animals. The Merah Putih vaccine, meanwhile, is a recombinant vaccine. It is a type that “includes only the components, or antigens, that best stimulate the immune system” that can make vaccines safer and minimize side effects, according to the United States’ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The clinical trial research team leader, Unpad professor Kusnandi Rusmil, told The Jakarta Post that about 500 people had applied for the trials, which involve at least 30 doctors and 20 specialist doctors. The vaccines under development mentioned fall into different types. The Merah Putih vaccine, Amin said, was expected to cover at least 50 percent of Indonesia’s vaccine needs, given the country’s large population. The Sinovac vaccine is an inactivated virus vaccine, a traditional category of vaccines which consists of entire pathogens that have been killed with chemicals, heat or radiation. Hence, this type cannot cause diseases but still has antigens to elicit an immune response, experts said. Should the applicants pass the administrative and other preliminary procedures, the team will administer them with the first dose of the experimental vaccine or a placebo, and then a second dose of the vaccine 14 days later. What vaccine types will be offered? Bio Farma and Unpad are now recruiting 1,620 volunteers — all of whom must be healthy adults between the age of 18 and 59 years old with no history of having contracted COVID-19 — to participate in the clinical trials. The team is making a vaccine specifically for the virus strain spread in Indonesia, which, according to Amin, has similarities to the strain circulating around Asia. The company said it would produce 40 million doses for the first batch of vaccine, but the number would increase gradually as the company aims to see its production capacity reach 250 million doses per year by the end of this year. Indonesia is launching the phase III trials — the last stage of clinical testing in humans during which the vaccine is given to thousands of people to confirm and expand results on safety and efficacy from phase I and II trials — along with several countries like Brazil and Bangladesh. The Genexine vaccine is a DNA vaccine which will also be administered twice. According to the WHO, this type of vaccine is a rather new invention that offers “potential advantages over traditional approaches”, such as improved vaccine stability and the absence of any infectious agents. The Sinovac phase III clinical trials in Bandung are to run for six months. As for the Merah Putih vaccine, Eijkman director Amin Soebandrio said his team was now entering the “critical” process that would “determine the success of the vaccine in the future”. All of these attempts are progressing at different paces, while also offering various timelines, production targets and types of vaccines. But they are expected to complement each other, given the broad need to cover Indonesia’s large population of some 270 million people.How is the progress so far?State-owned pharmaceutical company PT Bio Farma has partnered with Sinovac, with the former soon to be launching phase III clinical trials in humans of a Sinovac vaccine alongside Padjadjaran University (Unpad) in Bandung, West Java.It is one of 26 candidate vaccines that are in clinical evaluation according to a compilation made by the World Health Organization (WHO) on July 31. There are 139 candidate vaccines in preclinical evaluation. Bio Farma is also deliberating a contract with the Bill Gates-backed CEPI, with no decision yet made on the number of vaccines that it would “fill and finish” during the manufacturing process, Bio Farma’s R&D project integration manager Neni Nurainy told the Post.Read also: Indonesia teams up with global manufacturers in vaccine huntMeanwhile, homegrown health giant Kalbe Farma is cooperating with Genexine for the trials of Genexine’s DNA vaccine GX-19. Indonesia is expected to run phase II clinical trials for the potential vaccine in September or October, continuing from the phase I trials underway in South Korea until August. What are the timelines and production targets? This vaccine must be injected twice to develop immunity. The government, meanwhile, has given Eijkman 12 months starting from April to develop vaccine prototypes that have been tested on animals, to be given to Bio Farma for clinical trials. Bio Farma aims to mass-produce the vaccine by 2022 after earning approval from the BPOM.last_img read more

Steve Kerr on Warriors roster changes: ‘We don’t know who we are’

first_imgWarriors coach Steve Kerr on D’Angelo Russell: “He’s going to fit right in with our group. We’re going to need him, desperately.” pic.twitter.com/r5qrMB23Ck— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) August 5, 2019Veteran Andre Iguodala also was traded to the Grizzlies, and Shaun Livingston was waived. Additionally, Klay Thompson will be out for the foreseeable future as he recovers from an ACL injury. “It’s so different from the last few years where we could, barring disaster, we knew we were going to win a whole lot of games,” Kerr said (via the San Jose Mercury News). “It was a lot more about preparing for the playoffs and whether we won 57 games or 65 games, it didn’t really matter that much. What a luxury to be able to say that. Related News “Now with all the new additions and the losses we’ve had, it’s really about establishing who we are as a team. We don’t know who we are. We knew who we were the last five years. It’s a brand new challenge.”With the departure of many key players, one question that remains is whether Kerr will increase Stephen Curry’s and Draymond Green’s workloads.“It’s tough to say before we even get on the floor,” Kerr said. “But I’m not throwing them out there for 40 minutes a night. I know that.” Draymond Green agrees to 4-year, $100M extension with Warriors, agent says Klay Thompson says Warriors’ dynasty is far from over: ‘It would not be smart to count the Dubs out’ While Kerr is ready for a new challenge with the players who are returning and with many young, new players, he said one area they will have to focus on is the defensive end. “I’m confident we’ll score points. We’ve added some guys who can put the ball in the basket. A bigger concern is defensively,” Kerr said. “We’ve lost really our ability to switch at multiple positions and do so with size and aggression.”As for how Kerr plans to handle the rest of his roster? He said “the first month or two will be critical in terms of establishing our identity as a team.” Warriors’ Klay Thompson speaks on knee injury, motivation for next season Coach Steve Kerr addressed the Warriors’ recent roster changes as he explained how he envisions using key players in a starting lineup that will be vastly different than the past few seasons. Kerr acknowledged that while coaching is a little different every year, “(t)his will be a lot different.” The most notable change comes with the loss of Kevin Durant, who joined the Nets in free agency this summer. Golden State managed to offset that loss, somewhat, by acquiring guard D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade.last_img read more

Not a bad gig if you can get it

first_imgNot a bad gig if you can get it. When most people are on their way to work, there’s a group of skiers out on Kootenay Lake.The trio, led by Nelson’s own Bruce Ramsay, take to the water near the Regional District of Central Kootenay transfer station where the waterski course is located.The boys up early when the water is like glass, before 7 a.m.last_img

Misleading traffic signs

first_imgDear Editor,For the longest while, there have been two misleading traffic signs at the junction of Thomas Street and parallel roads of Stanley Place and Vlissengen Road. Thomas Street is one-way going east from Vlissengen Road to Lamaha Street in Kitty. However, the arrow sign at the junction of Stanley Place and Thomas Street directs traffic to proceed west on Thomas Street. Confoundingly, a stop sign is also incongruously painted on the road surface of the Thomas Street bridge connecting Vlissengen Road to Stanley Place.Recently while driving north along Stanley Place, I slowed at its intersection with Thomas Street as a precaution. In the process, I exchanged greetings with two traffic ranks who were on duty nearby. The two traffic policemen were appreciably courteous, and appeared undaunted by the seething heat of the day.During my pause, a brief conversation arose regarding the misleading signs. One of the ranks confessed that the Police were aware of the erring signs, and said that he even had prior confrontations with some road users who were abusing the signs’ misrepresentation. He added that the issue was raised “higher up” several months ago, but, to date, the situation remains uncorrected.As I continued my journey, I thought about the misleading signs’ potential for accidents. I thought about the oblivion or indifference by those responsible for the maintenance of roads and traffic safety. I thought about the evolved apathy of many citizens, now moved to silence, because ventilated matters like these invariably seem to bounce off of deaf ears fastened upon the brain-boxes of the powers that be. I thought about the apparent disconnection and incoherence of the arms of state – something that has seriously affected the ability of certain entities to successfully prosecute those who were, and still are, fingered in massive acts of corruption against the state.Effective networking and seamless collaboration among relevant entities – namely the Guyana Police Force, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and City Council — on matters like these misleading road signs would have seen their correction ages ago. Do we now have to import “experts” from somewhere to produce a report with recommendations to fix this teeny matter?Sincerely,Orette Cuttinglast_img read more

Modern Crustacean Found in Early Cambrian

first_imgA “crown-group crustacean” that is “markedly similar to those of living cephalocarids, branchiopods and copepods” has been found exquisitely preserved in early Cambrian fossil beds from China, an international team reported in Nature.1  Though such organisms have been found in middle and later Cambrian rocks, this pushes the origin of eucrustacea (crustaceans of modern aspect) back another 25 million years.  The authors of the paper said nothing, however, about the implications of this discovery to the problem of the Cambrian explosion (see 04/23/2006).    Not only was the crustacean modern-looking, it was so well preserved that even soft parts and eyes were visible.  Even fine parts of setae on the tips of the legs are clearly seen in the organisms representing different developmental stages.  Examples of “Orsten-type” Cambrian lagerstatten (exceptionally preserved fossil beds) were known from Sweden, but this one is from China.  The species Yicaris dianensis resembles “living minute and blind cephalocarids, both in its head and trunk-limb design.”  In other words, modern cephalocarids are blind, but this Cambrian representative had large twin eye lobes.  Other resemblances were noted in the “post-mandibular limbs with their elongate, rather fleshy basipods armed with up to seven setiferous, soft endites medially,” and the existence of epipodites:Epipodites and a sophisticated combined locomotory and food-gathering apparatus, as present in Yicaris and, presumably, in the eucrustacean ancestor, may have been a significant factor leading to the successful diversification of eucrustaceans already by the Cambrian.  Some authors consider that insect wings may have originated from epipodites; the early Cambrian occurrence of this trait is of potential significance to the debate regarding the emergence of winged (pterygote) forms within euarthropods.That speculation notwithstanding, the crustacean found here apparently had a system for sweeping food toward its mandibles using these epipodites and antennae.  Plus, it had eyes, a head shield, a developmental process from larva to adult, and was probably capable of swimming.    The authors mentioned nothing about the Cambrian explosion.  Their only reference to the evolution of this complex creature shielded the problem of missing evidence by claiming that evolutionists are getting warmer in their search for an ancestor:Discussion.  The material of Y. dianensis is important in two respects.  First, it displays the post-embryonic ontogeny of an animal as old as the Early Cambrian.  Second, Y. dianensis is temporally close to evolutionary events deep in arthropod and, specifically, crustacean phylogeny.  Its development should, therefore, be closer to the original developmental pattern of the stem forms and less changed than that of recent in-group taxa, which have accumulated lineage-specific modifications.  With such ontogeny data and having the age of the fossil as a time marker, it is possible to more precisely include ontogenetic evolutionary pathways in the reconstruction of relationships and ground patterns of stem species and monophyla.  According to our analysis, Y. dianensis represents the first undoubted eucrustacean known from the Lower Cambrian (the single previously described Lower Cambrian putative eucrustacean species lacks eucrustacean characters) and can serve as a substantial tool for testing relevant character acquisition and phylogenetic hypotheses.  This is of particular importance because crustacean phylogeny has gained new interest by recent studies using neurobiological, developmental-biological and molecular investigations.Yet the authors did not explain how this organism was any more primitive than modern crustaceans.  The claim above, therefore and the following one from the Abstract, seem unsupported by the evidence at hand: “Its stratigraphical position provides substantial support to the proposition that the main cladogenic event that gave rise to the Arthropoda was before the Cambrian.”  No evidence for that “cladogenic event” (in plain English, the genesis of a new kind of animal) was provided.  The statement basically means only that evolutionists must now search earlier than the Cambrian for clues to where arthropods came from, assuming they evolved from more primitive ancestors.    The Editor’s Summary, similarly, avoided mention of the Cambrian explosion.  “Newly unearthed Orsten-type fossils from China include the earliest known eucrustacean in exquisite three-dimensional detail, significantly extending the fossil record of this group.”  In summary, true crustaceans now are established to exist at the Atdabanian layer of the early Cambrian, just slightly above or in the layers where the first trilobites and echinoderms appear.1.  Zhang et al, “An epipodite-bearing crown-group crustacean from the Lower Cambrian,” Nature 449, 595-598 (4 October 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature06138.No sooner had we reported the exceptional finds reported in Geology (next entry), when this one showed up.  They think they can get away with it, hiding their announcements in expensive journals that the public is unlikely to see, using fancy words like “cladogenic” and “monophyletic” to pull the wool over our eyes.  Need plain English?  They found another modern-looking animal in the lowest fossil-bearing rocks, without any trace of an evolutionary sequence from simple to complex.  Their claims about “cladogenic events” before the Cambrian leading up to this critter, eyes and all, is pure fiction dressed up with euphemism and obfuscation.  There is no evidence this animal evolved.  There it is, fully formed in this early layer, without any Darwinian tree.  Cladogenic is a miracle word inserted to hide a lack of evidence.  Tell it like it is.    It is shameful that scientists persist in propagating their myth without any evidence to support it, and lots of evidence against it.  Sudden appearance is not evolution.  Darwin-doubters need to call them on the carpet and demand honesty and accountability.  The Darwin Party knows all about the Cambrian explosion.  Few are the ones that want to talk about it, because it embarrasses them, just like it did Charles Darwin, who called it one of the strongest arguments against his theory.  Charlie hoped that continued searches for more fossils would eventually find the missing links.  Wrong!  Increasing evidence has made his problem worse.  The Cambrian explosion is louder than ever, booming out the message: life appeared abruptly, fully formed, as if it had been created.    To see the Darwin Party squirm, go to the Wikipedia page on the Cambrian explosion and click on the discussion tab.  Now search on the word creationist:How much to say about how Creationists, supporters of Intelligent Design and some Islamists quote the CE as a refutation of Darwinian evolution?  Pro: it’s a hot topic and some readers will be disappointed if they don’t see coverage.  Cons: hard to do briefly in what is a long article anyway; hard to avoid charges of partisanship (either way) unless the discussion is long.Come on, cowards: the Internet has plenty of space.  Go ahead and take all the time you need to explain how modern, complex life “emerged” without ancestors by an evolutionary process.  We have the time.  Make our day.  Give us the whole tale.  See if you can do better than the Master of Disaster, Charlie Marshall, did (04/23/2006).    One of the tricks they try to play is to say that the Cambrian explosion was not that sudden a bang; it extended over 40-80 million years or more, if certain trace fossils from the Precambrian are tossed into the story.  They compare the Cambrian explosion with the rise of mammals which, according to their mythology, diversified into all our modern forms in just 40 million years.  First of all, it is really dumb to use one myth as evidence for another.  It’s like saying that life must have evolved on Europa because it must have evolved on Mars.  Foul: double drivel.  Evolution is the issue, and claiming it happened fast twice at two different times just begs the question.    More important, the appearance of each type is virtually instantaneous.  Trying to stretch the Cambrian explosion out, or link it earlier with the Ediacaran fauna presumably earlier (see 12/02/2002 and 08/19/2004) is not going to help.  The fact remains that each complex creature, whether trilobite, crustacean, echinoderm, worm, or vertebrate fish (08/21/2002), shows up suddenly, fully formed, at first appearance in the record.  They don’t see incipient trilobites becoming half-trilobites then full trilobites over a period of ten million years, such that they could make a claim that Darwinian evolution was working on steroids for awhile.  No; the first trilobites and crustaceans just show up – no ancestors at all.  Whatever the Ediacaran organisms were, they were not on the way to becoming trilobites; they were a distinct kind of organism that also appeared abruptly and went extinct.  (Speaking of trilobites, remember that the record is the reverse of evolutionary expectations: see 07/28/2007).  However they may wish to draw out the process, the Cambrian explosion was really a set of multiple independent explosions at roughly the same time.  The ones they think showed up millions of years later, like this eucrustacean, keep turning up earlier and earlier.  All the basic animal types (phyla) and body plans show up on the lowest layers.  Evolution is falsified by the only tangible record of the past.    Because of the awareness of the Cambrian Explosion most readers have, we would expect to see some acknowledgement of it by the paleontologists who report their Cambrian discoveries.  Instead, we still get worthless evolutionary promissory notes, like “this new fossil will shed light on the origin and ancestry of arthropods” when there is no collateral.  Stop accepting trust deeds from the Darwinian loan sharks.  Their deeds are not worthy of anyone’s trust.    For more entries on the Cambrian explosion, see 09/04/2007 on genetic mechanisms, 04/03/2007 on comb jellies, 01/16/2007 on alleged Precambrian embryos, 08/10/2006 on Cambrian embryos, 07/13/2006 on mollusks, 06/18/2006 on alleged Cambrian explosion precursors, and 04/23/2006 on Cambrian Explosion Damage Control, 02/14/2006 on hand-waving solutions offered by the Darwinians.  The last entry contains links to earlier entries about Cambrian vertebrates, long thought to be not represented that early; see especially 01/30/2003 about 500 fossil fish found in the early Cambrian.  You might recall from 07/25/2003 that many high school biology textbooks gloss over this little problem for Darwin, if they mention it at all.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Minding the Brain, or Braining the Mind?

first_imgThere’s a battle brewing over who controls your brain: nature or your mind.  Materialist scientists are recognizing that creationists are getting a foothold on this hill and “declaring war over the brain,” according to an article in New Scientist.  Psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz fired this salvo: “Materialism needs to start fading away and non-materialist causation needs to be understood as part of natural reality.”    Amanda Gefter, author of the article, also took note of the book The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist’s case for the existence of the soul by O’Leary and Beauregard.  Schwartz and Beauregard were among the speakers at an international symposium in Manhattan called Beyond the Mind-Body Problem: New Paradigms in the Science of Consciousness.  Gefter listed several fronts in the war to reclaim the mind: “Schwartz and Beauregard are part of a growing ‘non-material neuroscience’ movement,” she explained.  “They are attempting to resurrect Cartesian dualism – the idea that brain and mind are two fundamentally different kinds of things, material and immaterial – in the hope that it will make room in science both for supernatural forces and for a soul.”    After giving adequate white space for proponents of the non-materialist view (including Angus Menuge, J. P. Moreland and the Discovery Institute), Gefter clearly wanted to throw her vote to the reigning materialist paradigm on this matter of mind.  She commented on an experiment Schwartz used to support the independent existence of mind, saying, “these experiments are entirely consistent with mainstream neurology – the material brain is changing the material brain.”    In the middle of her article, Gefter got really serious:Clearly, while there is a genuine attempt to appropriate neuroscience, it will not influence US laws or education in the way that anti-evolution campaigns can because neuroscience is not taught as part of the core curriculum in state-funded schools.  But as Andy Clark, professor of logic and metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh, UK, emphasises: “This is real and dangerous and coming our way.”    He and others worry because scientists have yet to crack the great mystery of how consciousness could emerge from firing neurons.  “Progress in science is slow on many fronts,” says John Searle, a philosopher at the University of California, Berkeley.  “We don’t yet have a cure for cancer, but that doesn’t mean cancer has spiritual causes.”    And for Patricia Churchland, a philosopher of neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, “it is an argument from ignorance.  The fact something isn’t currently explained doesn’t mean it will never be explained or that we need to completely change not only our neuroscience but our physics.”To Gefter, the debate is just a quibble over words:The attack on materialism proposes to do just that, but it all turns on definitions.  “At one time it looked like all physical causation was push/pull Newtonianism,” says Owen Flanagan, professor of philosophy and neurobiology at Duke University, North Carolina.  “Now we have a new understanding of physics.  What counts as material has changed.  Some respectable philosophers think that we might have to posit sentience as a fundamental force of nature or use quantum gravity to understand consciousness.  These stretch beyond the bounds of what we today call ‘material’, and we haven’t discovered everything about nature yet.  But what we do discover will be natural, not supernatural.”Andy Clark continued his tone of alarm over this battle, calling the intelligent-design position “an especially nasty mind-virus” because it “piggybacks on some otherwise reasonable thoughts and worries.”  He argued that it is a non-sequitur to leap from the empirical evidence that we can change our brains with our minds to the conclusion that the mind is non-material.  “That doesn’t follow at all,” he said, applying his material brain to the process of logic.  “There’s nothing odd about minds changing brains if mental states are brain states: that’s just brains changing brains.”    Gefter became enough alarmed over this new front in the creation-evolution battle to suggest some strategy.  “If people can be swayed by ID, despite the vast amount of solid evidence for evolution,” she worried, “how hard will it be when the science appears fuzzier?”  She reminded scientists of criticisms that they have already been too lax in teaching the public about evolution.  It’s time to get on offense.  “Maybe now they need a big pre-emptive push to engage people with the science of the brain – and help the public appreciate that the brain is no place to invoke the ‘God of the gaps’.”Apparently the irony of this article was completely lost on Amanda Gefter and her materialist experts.  They were all using their minds to argue and debate about immaterial concepts.  If nothing more was happening than molecules bouncing around in their skulls, how could they even know what they were saying?    Remember when Mom, Dad, or some other childhood mentor showed you that when you point an accusatory finger at someone else, three other fingers are pointing back at you?  Clark just lectured us on logic.  Flanagan just lectured us on definitions.  Gefter just lectured us on God-of-the-gaps arguments.  All three have just shot their little finger-guns right back into their own skulls.  Example: Gefter dismissed Schwartz’s empirical evidence that the mind can change the brain by saying, “the material brain is changing the material brain.”  OK, class, what’s the next question?  Think about it (yes, think), [Jeopardy tune plays], and the bell rings – Aha!  Who is making the material brain change the material brain?  And who is observing the change?    Now, if you think that is just a logical trick, you have to realize that without a person doing the changing, no one would ever know a change had occurred.  This is a mind-body problem that cannot be so easily swept away.  If you could shrink yourself to the size of a cell and wander through the brain, you would no more see thought than if you wandered through Big Ben could you see time.  Time and thought live in the conceptual realm, not the material realm.  Suppose you walked through a computer chip like a pedestrian on the streets of London.  Would you see Boolean logic?  Oh, you might see certain switches light up, and perhaps you could perceive electrons in a diode or transistor junction flowing one way instead of the other.  But it is not the chip that would be sensing that logic is occurring: it would be you, the Observer.  The operation of a physical system is not the same as concept behind the system.  A system cannot tell itself the purpose of the system in a way that brings understanding.  That takes a Person.  Consider: if Amanda’s mind is not directing her argument, how could she have any free will to believe that her argument is true, and that ID is so false it should be pre-empted?  And to what is the pre-emptive strike referring, if not some well-intentioned but misguided appeal to immaterial truth and morals?    Gefter and Flanagan dismissed this all as quibbling over definitions.  But look at the fingers pointing right back at them: they suggested that any possible concept might be enveloped within the words material or natural – even things like sentience, a quantum-gravity theory of consciousness, or any future discovery of science.  “These stretch beyond the bounds of what we today call ‘material’, and we haven’t discovered everything about nature yet.  But what we do discover will be natural, not supernatural.”  This is a rescuing device to end all rescuing devices.  No matter what the evidence, they can envelop it, like The Blob, into their materialistic worldview.    OK, let’s push that envelope.  Suppose they find irrefutable evidence for angels.  Will they call them material?  Will they be a part of the “natural” universe?  Even God has a divine “nature.”  The word nature or natural is so slippery it can mean a dozen different things – including immaterial things like natural laws (Note: material things may obey natural laws, but laws are not material).  Materialists constantly invoke non-material things in their reasoning: mathematics, abstract logic, scientific methods to name just a few.  They also frequently make reference to unobservable entities – information, feedback, signal transduction, classification, reason, honesty and much, much more.  They help themselves to immaterial concepts and stuff them into their materialist bag, oblivious to who is doing the classifying.God-of-the-Gaps:  J. P. Moreland, who was mentioned in Gefter’s article, has three comeback arguments to the perennial charge that Christians fill gaps in scientific knowledge with appeals to God.  Paraphrasing, he says, (1) Christians would not expect there to be many gaps.  The Biblical worldview indicates that the world runs according to predictable patterns (natural laws) most of the time.  In fact, it is only the Biblical worldview that makes sense of the concept of natural laws.  (2) Some gaps are getting wider.  Scientific discoveries about the cell and the origin of life and the fine-tuning of the universe are resisting all attempts at materialist explanations.  We should follow the evidence where it leads.  If that evidence is pointing to design, so be it.  (3) Materialists are just as guilty of the charge.  Whenever some incredibly-complex mechanism is discovered in a cell, for instance, they assume that natural selection produced it, or assume that some day in the future, a material cause will be discovered.  This is nothing more than naturalism-of-the-gaps.The material/spiritual and natural/supernatural distinctions are false dichotomies.  They cannot stand up to a half-hour of scrutiny by a skilled philosopher.  What it boils down to is this: naturalism is anything and everything that allows a scientist (or a party animal on drugs) to avoid responsibility to their Maker.  That’s the real argument from ignorance.  They can believe in space aliens or unobservable multiverses – anything, no matter how crazy, as long as they never have to bow the knee and confess, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for Thou hast created all things, and by Thy will they exist, and were created” (Revelation 4:11).    You can put a brain into a jar of formaldehyde, and you can throw a used computer onto a junk pile, but the concepts of mind and design, like Halloween ghosts, will always find the materialist’s haunted house and come back to join the party.(Visited 24 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Muzzleloader deer numbers up from 2016

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Hunters checked 15,843 white-tailed deer during Ohio’s muzzleloader season, Jan. 7-10, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). During last year’s muzzleloader season, 12,503 white-tailed deer were checked.Hunters still have opportunities to pursue deer this winter, as archery season remains open through Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017.The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication.Find more information about deer hunting in the Ohio 2016-2017 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.gov. An updated deer harvest report is posted online each Wednesday at wildohio.gov/deerharvest.last_img read more

Farm Bureau launches energy program

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  3 CommentsOhio Farm Bureau is partnering with an Ohio-based energy management firm, Community Energy Advisors, to establish the Ohio Farm Bureau Energy Program. The program will assist members in making energy choices, shopping for energy, learning about rebate options and the best ways to manage their energy resources.“We have worked together to develop this program to provide education, protection and savings to members statewide,” said John Marihugh, OFBF director of member services. “The program can provide highly competitive pricing to members in shoppable electric and natural gas regions.”Ohio Farm Bureau’s newest member benefit takes the guesswork out of energy costs and gives members an opportunity to save money. It doesn’t matter if power is generated through a cooperative or a municipal utility, or in one of the large, for-profit utility regions, the OFBF Energy Program provides tips and tools to help better manage electric and natural gas costs. The program evaluates rebate opportunities that can add up to savings for Farm Bureau members. Members served by for-profit utilities may see an average 10 percent cost savings on electricity or natural gas through a process that requires suppliers to compete for the member’s business.It also provides alerts regarding scams and fraudulent activity to protect member’s homes and businesses, no matter what part of the state members live in.“For many members, energy is one of the biggest costs they assume they have no control over,” said Kevin Lauterjung, principal and co-founder of Community Energy Advisors, noting that “Farm Bureau staff went through a rigorous process with us” to ensure that all members find value in the program.Farm Bureau chose to partner with Community Energy Advisors because of its experience in designing and managing programs for member organizations, understanding utility tariffs and supplier pricing and strong credibility in the industry. For a limited time, all members can sign up for the OFBF Energy Program Sweepstakes and be eligible to win $500.  3 Commentslast_img read more

Interview: The Brilliant Mashup Editor Behind ‘Fan.tasia’

first_imgWhat software or programs did you use to put this together?Premiere Pro for sorting and syncing, and After Effects for everything else.What was your workflow for pulling all the footage?First I pulled all the clips I wanted from each movie, I could usually get it down to about 10 minutes of usable clips per movie.After I had my clips I created three sequences: Sorting, Assembly, and Final. I put all the scenes with similar elements (thematic, color, similar kinetics) together into Sorting. Then I pulled clips I knew I wanted (trying to keep a segment of the song in mind) into Assembly and converted them to AE compositions via Dynamic Link.In AE, I rotoscoped or applied motion using the Camera tool, etc. Then back in Premiere I would just play around with clips until something clicked. Once I had a sequence I liked I put it into Final, which had the audio track.About halfway through I was familiar enough with the footage that I could recall a scene I wanted to go with another, which was a huge time saver.Did you primarily rely on rotoscoping in AE, or do you use any masking or your own technique?I would say it was about 90% manual rotoscoping frame by frame, 8% using the rotobrush if the background or foreground were delineated enough, and 2% chromakeying — which felt like winning the lottery.Were there certain clips you always had in mind, or did you sit down and watch all the movies and take notes? Was there a plan, or were things more random?No plan whatsoever; most of the time I felt like I was just bashing my head against the keyboard until I accidentally did something I liked. Rinse and repeat.Gif via Lindsay McCutcheon — Fan.tasia/DisneyCan you tell us about any technical problems you may have had? Any tips or tricks fellow editors can use?I didn’t run into too many technical problems since I used pretty simple techniques. Most problems were conceptual and solved after messing around for a while until something clicked.The best tip I could give is to work really hard on an idea until you get frustrated, then walk away from the project and come back after your subconscious digests what you’re trying to do. Half the time I could finish an idea fairly quickly after coming back to it with a fresh perspective.Where do you go for inspiration or to read up on technical help?Mostly AMVs, since they were so similar to what I was trying to do. But also Leonardo Dalessandri’s Vimeo channel which has some amazing travel videos. Although sometimes this was counterproductive and the extent of their talent just discouraged me. That’s when you try and find bad videos made by kids to make yourself feel better. I’m pathetic.For technical help my gold standard was Andrew Devis. The guy knows every NLE/Compositing Application intimately and is a genius at explaining the underlying reasons for everything that’s happening.Gif via Lindsay McCutcheon — Fan.tasia/DisneyAny advice to fellow editors?Don’t be afraid to abandon an idea you’ve spent a lot of time on just because of the potential waste of time.It was difficult knowing that after spending hours cutting up a two second clip, there was a strong chance that I wouldn’t even end up using it for whatever reason, but if I forced it to fit, the video would have suffered.For me it was also important to be in a positive state of mind while I was working, I think if you’re having fun with the project it will show in the finished product.What’s next for you?I was working on a video for Studio Ghibli films, which I put on the back burner while I worked on Fan.tasia, so I’ll finish up that one soon. I also have a rough cut of a Marvel video using some new techniques that I’m trying to get the hang of.Where can readers see more of your work?I’ve only uploaded one other video featuring Pixar releases which is on my Vimeo channel. (You can subscribe to her YouTube channel here.) I lost all my other projects during a hard drive reformat a couple of years ago before I decided to start uploading things. Thankfully nothing very good was lost though. Thanks to Lindsay McCutcheon for the great interview. Let us know what you think of her work in the comments below. We caught up with editor Lindsay McCutcheon to learn more about her incredible Disney mashup video, Fan.tasia.Top image via Lindsay McCutcheon/DisneyTo say the latest edit from Lindsay McCutcheon took the internet by storm would be an understatement. Scoring over 1,000,000 views in 24 hours, the mashup video struck a chord with viewers because it features beloved Disney characters cut together in stunning fashion.Take a look at the Disney mashup video, Fan.tasia.The video features plenty of wonderful transitions, each meticulously calculated. I wanted to know more about the production behind the video, so I reached out to Lindsay with a few questions.Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?I’ve been editing as a hobby since middle school, but only really started trying to improve this past year after I switched from Final Cut Pro X to Adobe CC so I could start editing seamlessly alongside After Effects.How long did this project take?I started in December and worked on it until the day I uploaded it — July 23. Some time periods were more productive than others, there were entire months and weeks where I didn’t work on it at all.What was your inspiration to put this together?I wanted to learn After Effects and decided something like this would be the best way to familiarize myself with it.As far as inspiration from other works, I drew a lot from AMVs (Anime Music Videos) which has a community of a lot of really talented editors. I wanted to apply the same techniques I saw in videos like Bakka Oppai’s A Piece of Toast and BBSNYPUR’s Imagine to another medium.I happened to have a collection of every Walt Disney Animation Studios release on hand. I limited myself to post-renaissance releases for the sake of sanity and time.A Piece of Toast by Bakka OppaiImagine by BBSNYPURlast_img read more