49ers Kittle, Juszczyk make Pro Bowl; were others snubbed?

first_imgSANTA CLARA — Tight end George Kittle’s record-setting season earned him his first Pro Bowl invitation Tuesday, and 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk will join him at next month’s all-star festivities.Three other 49ers are Pro Bowl alternates: defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, kicker Robbie Gould and special-teams player Mark Nzeocha.Other 49ers who were thought to draw consideration but got snubbed were cornerback Richard Sherman and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey.Kittle, a …last_img read more

Van Allen Belts Protect Earth from Solar Wind

first_imgGeophysicists are still puzzling over how the earth’s magnetic field and Van Allen radiation belts protect the surface from deadly particles in the solar wind.The Van Allen belts are lobes of high-energy particles above the atmosphere, formed as a consequence of the geomagnetic field. First discovered in 1958 by Dr James Van Allen of the University of Iowa, using instruments aboard the Explorer satellites designed by JPL spacecraft pioneer Dr. Henry Richter, these belts have long puzzled scientists. A pair of spacecraft called the Van Allen Probes have been gathering data about the belts since 2012. NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) also gathered data since 2015. Elizabeth Howell provides this overview of the Van Allen Belts on Space.com. She says,On the 60th anniversary of Explorer 1, NASA said that studies of the Van Allen belts are even more important today. “Our current technology is ever more susceptible to these accelerated particles because even a single hit from a particle can upset our ever smaller instruments and electronics,” said David Sibeck, Van Allen Probes mission scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, in a 2018 statement. “As technology advances, it’s actually becoming even more pressing to understand and predict our space environment.“Here are additional news items about what these structures do for us.Shock at the BowHow Solar Wind Drops from Gale to Gentle Breeze as It Hits Earth’s Magnetic Field (University of Maryland). Animations of the solar wind often show particles streaming out from the sun directly at the earth, but our planet actually plows through the field along its orbital path, increasing the speed at which the particles impinge on our home were it not for planetary protection provided by the magnetic field.  The press release explains,Bow shock (blue) with Van Allen Belts inside (pink). Credit: NASA. Click image for details.As Earth orbits the sun at supersonic speed, it cuts a path through the solar wind. This fast stream of charged particles, or plasma, launched from the sun’s outer layers would bombard Earth’s atmosphere if not for the protection of Earth’s magnetic field.Just as the nose of a motorboat creates a bow-shaped wave as it pushes through the water, Earth creates a similar effect—called a bow shock—as it pushes through the solar wind. A new University of Maryland-led study describes the first observations of the process of electron heating that happens in Earth’s bow shock.The paper is published in Physical Review Letters. They found bad news before they understood the good news:The researchers found that when the electrons in the solar wind encounter the bow shock, they momentarily accelerate to such a high speed that the electron stream becomes unstable and breaks down. This breakdown process robs the electrons of their high speed and converts the energy to heat….“If you were to stand on a mountaintop, you might get knocked over by a fast wind,” explained Li-Jen Chen, lead author of the study and an associate research scientist in the UMD department of astronomy. “Fortunately, as the solar wind crashes into Earth’s magnetic field, the bow shock protects us by slowing down this wind and changing it to a nice, warm breeze. We now have a better idea how this happens.”It’s not friction, therefore, that slows down the killer electrons; it’s breakdown of the electron stream due to instability. This is a new discovery from spacecraft measurements. “The study of electron heating is important not just for understanding how the bow shock protects Earth, but potentially for satellites, space travel and maybe exploring other planets in the future,” says Li-Jen Chen of the University of Maryland, lead author of the study. Her comment raises the question whether exoplanets could be habitable without such mechanisms. Richter’s book Spacecraft Earth raises the question whether a protective magnetic field could survive for millions of years.Earth’s Magnetic Field is A Ruthless, Solar-Wind-Shredding Machine (Space.com). Brandon Specktor notes that the breakdown of the electron stream occurs in just 90 milliseconds – nine one-hundredths of a second. If it weren’t for this newly-discovered process, he says, earth would be fried:Earth is constantly being bombarded by a hot, soupy plasma of protons, electrons and ions loosed by the sun in the form of solar wind. These winds blow all day and in all directions, blasting out of our nearest star at speeds of up to 500 miles per second (800 kilometers per second) and temperatures of up to 2.9 million degrees Fahrenheit (1.6 million degrees Celsius), according to NASA. You’d think that would be more than enough to bake our planet into a giant, orbiting lump of ash, but Earth and its atmosphere remain largely unscathed thanks to the planet’s strong magnetic field.Scientists are still trying to understand these processes, the article ends. “But for now, enjoy the gentle winds of summer — and know, somewhere out there, that Earth’s magnetic field is violently ripping billions of solar electrons to bits on your behalf.”Van Allen Radiation Belts within the magnetic field (NASA).Chirping Birds and Swing PushersWhat Causes Radiation Belt Enhancements: A Survey of the Van Allen Probes Era (Geophysical Research Letters). With an animation of electrons under the influence of the magnetic field, a press release from NASA-Goddard explains how electrons become excited within the belts.Encircling Earth are two enormous rings — called the Van Allen radiation belts — of highly energized ions and electrons. Various processes can accelerate these particles to relativistic speeds, which endanger spacecraft unlucky enough to enter these giant bands of damaging radiation. Scientists had previously identified certain factors that might cause particles in the belts to become highly energized, but they had not known which cause dominates.Now, with new research from NASA’s Van Allen Probes and Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms — THEMIS — missions, published in Geophysical Research Letters, the verdict is in. The main culprit is a process known as local acceleration, caused by electromagnetic waves called chorus waves. Named after their characteristic rising tones, reminiscent of chirping birds, chorus waves speed up the particles pushing them along like a steady hand repeatedly pushing a swing. This process wasn’t a widely accepted theory before the Van Allen Probes mission.Additional InformationRadial Transport of Higher‐Energy Oxygen Ions Into the Deep Inner Magnetosphere Observed by Van Allen Probes (Geophysical Research Letters). “We suggest that the higher‐energy oxygen ions are transported to the inner magnetosphere selectively by the combination of two resonances: drift resonance and drift‐bounce resonance.”Explaining the apparent impenetrable barrier to ultra-relativistic electrons in the outer Van Allen belt (Nature Communications).Recent observations have shown the existence of an apparent impenetrable barrier at the inner edge of the ultra-relativistic outer electron radiation belt. This apparent impenetrable barrier has not been explained…. Contrary to earlier claims, sharp boundaries in fast loss processes at the barrier are not needed. Moreover, we show that penetration to the barrier can occur on the timescale of days rather than years as previously reported, with the Earthward extent of the belt being limited by the finite duration of strong solar wind driving, which can encompass only a single geomagnetic storm.Update 6/12/18: Astrobiology Magazine reports that European Space Agency (ESA) scientists are seeking to understand how the solar wind impacts rocks on the moon and Mercury. Most solar wind particles consist of hydrogen ions (protons) and helium ions, but some heavier atoms are in the mix, too. These particles can impact surface rocks at speeds of 400 to 800 km per second, shattering the rock and dislodging atoms in a process called sputtering. The erosional damage does not affect Earth:The planets and moons of our solar system are continuously being bombarded by particles hurled away from the sun. On Earth this has hardly any effect, apart from the fascinating northern lights, because the dense atmosphere and the magnetic field of the Earth protect us from these solar wind particles. But on the Moon or on Mercury things are different: There, the uppermost layer of rock is gradually eroded by the impact of sun particles.Constant bombardment and liberation of particles by sputtering creates a thin “exosphere” around the moon and Mercury that scientists can study remotely for clues about surface composition. “The effects of solar wind bombardment are in some cases much more drastic than previously thought,” the article explains, because heavier elements not only have more mass but can carry multiple levels of charge (i.e., they lack several electrons). Their impact on a surface can atomize rocks in a flash of kinetic and electrical energy.The article notes that “the uppermost layer of rock is gradually eroded by the impact of sun particles,” but did not mention what effects could be expected over millions or billions of years. The ESA’s first mission to Mercury, called BepiColombo is scheduled for launch in October 2018.We need to keep in mind these physical mechanisms as we “enjoy the gentle winds of summer,” realizing that multiple laws of physics and chemistry appear to have ‘conspired’ to work together for our benefit. Secular scientists would have us believe that there are so many stars and planets, life must be commonplace. They have a very permissive view of what chance can accomplish, both biologically and physically. In Spacecraft Earth, Dr. Richter identifies some 15 factors that work together to make our planet habitable. Using reasonable estimates of probability, he estimates that less than one planet in the universe would have all 15 factors! Of course, we know there is at least one. But is it reasonable to assume that habitable planets are a dime a dozen? Think how uncanny it is that physical processes that have nothing to do with life, like bow shocks and chorus waves, would play a role in protecting life far below, on the surface of a planet out of the range of their operations. The same argument could be made for physical processes under the earth’s surface, such as mineral transport and plate tectonics, and for physical processes within the biosphere, such as ocean currents and atmospheric circulation patterns. Additionally, there are astronomical considerations that make earth habitable, such as having the right kind of star, being the right distance from it, and having an axial tilt that gives rise to seassons. This doesn’t look like a haphazard arrangement of independent mindless processes. It supports what the Lord revealed in Isaiah 45:18For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the Lord, and there is no other.”(Visited 1,125 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Science Is Nothing Without Integrity, cont.

first_img(Visited 334 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 This entry continues yesterday’s news about scientific integrity.Replication CrisisReplication failures in psychology not due to differences in study populations (Nature). Psychologists cannot just blame their replication failures on differences in the study groups. “Half of 28 attempted replications failed even under near-ideal conditions.”Researcher discusses the the science replication crisis (Phys.org). “If there’s a central tenet that unites all of the sciences, it’s probably that scientists should approach discovery without bias and with a healthy dose of skepticism,” this article begins. “The idea is that the best way to reach the truth is to allow the facts to lead where they will, even if it’s not where you intended to go.” Sounds like a great idea. When do they start?The Call for OpennessTime to break academic publishing’s stranglehold on research (New Scientist). Publishers have a vested interest in their power to decide what gets communicated as science. “Science journals are laughing all the way to the bank, locking the results of publicly funded research behind exorbitant paywalls,” this article complains. “A campaign to make content free must succeed.”Scientific impact increases when researchers publish in open access and international collaboration (PLoS One). This journal may have a bias, since it is an open-access publication. One can read it and check their conclusions against the data.No more first authors, no more last authors (Nature). Scientists desire to be first authors, so that their papers can be cited by their names, as in ‘Adams et al.’ Often, too, the last author is the most prestigious one in the group. In the day of increasing collaboration, this practice does more harm than good.Funders flesh out details of Europe’s bold open-access plan (Nature). If Europe’s ‘Plan S’ catches on, it will bring sunshine into science, allowing all the stakeholders – including the public – to see the research. Understandably, the journals behind paywalls stand to lose money big time. This article is fair, but is quick to point out problems the plan might create. See also Science Magazine‘s take on this development.Related SubjectsWhy academia reminds me of my childhood cult (Nature). In its daily briefing, Nature noted a piece in the Washington Post about Andrew Marzoni, who ‘blew off’ a pseudo-Christian cult in his childhood only to find similar methods of mind control in academia. “No one says it aloud, but every graduate student knows: This is the price you pay for a chance to enter the sanctum of the tenure track. Follow the leader, or prepare to teach high school.”Should All Nobel Prizes Be Canceled for a Year? (Live Science). Prizes are shiny objects the media loves, but they take eyes off of what science should be about: a search for truth. The quest for a prize can corrupt motives, and prizes often leave out worthy individuals. Since the rules only allow three winners per category, group discoveries suffer. And what about the other sciences that the Nobel Committee left out? Why should a few political leftists in Sweden be the determiners of who has made a “worthy” discovery? These are a few reasons to ask whether Nobel Prizes should not just be canceled for a year, but forever.The Moral Machine Experiment (Nature). Researchers in this paper claim to have made progress in defining morality policies for artificial intelligence, particularly moral dilemmas that autonomous vehicles will face. Obviously, “moral” cannot be defined by the scientific method. These authors truck their assumptions about morality into their work.Scientists struggle with confusing journal guidelines (Nature). Even if a scientist wants to do the right thing, how can he or she know what it is? This is especially a problem for researchers who do not speak English.To dispel myths, redirect the belief, study says (Medical Xpress). The very title of this article should raise red flags. Who granted scientists the right to decide how to change other people’s beliefs, especially when they have issues of integrity and fake science themselves? Falling for bad scientific ideas is undoubtedly a problem for many people lacking discernment, but when scientists become arbiters of effective methods for changing people, their methods could feed dictatorial regimes who want to enforce conformity.Science knowledge shifted along religious, political affiliations (Phys.org). Two social scientists at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln find that biases are hard to eradicate from research. Another sociologist says, “”Scientists hope that science is apolitical,” she said. “But we take in and code information based on our perspectives – including political ideology and religious beliefs.”First law of leadership: be human first, scientist second (Nature). Alison Antes gives social advice to researchers about building relationships in the lab. But to an evolutionist, what does it mean to “be human” if not to use cutthroat tactics for survival? She borrows Christian ethics, like “model desired behavior,” without attribution to the Apostle Paul, who said, “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things” (Philippians 4:9). Her article does illustrate, however, that science is done by humans who need to build character.Rogue science strikes again: the case of the first gene-edited babies (G. Owen Schaefer, The Conversation). The media are abuzz with ethical judgments about a Chinese researcher’s claim to have edit the genes of two baby girls. Boardman and O’Neill, one a geneticist and the other a social scientist, weigh in on the subject in another piece on The Conversation. The development opens up a huge can of worms, all admit, and many say further research of this type should be outlawed.Shock greets claim of CRISPR-edited babies (Science Magazine).Can scientists use gene editing for disease prevention but not human enhancement? (Phys.org).Editorial: The (somewhat obvious) ethical problems with creating gene-edited babies (The Times Editorial Board via Phys.org)Notice that science cannot be neutral here. Science “can” do things that it “should not” do. Read Wesley J. Smith’s comments on this development at Evolution News.One thing Big Science needs to do is get out of politics. We have collected a large number of new examples of political bias in scientific papers and articles that we will be sharing soon. Today’s entry provides foundation for questioning Big Science’s ability to be unbiased.Scientist, research thyself.Recommended Resource: J. P. Moreland’s new book Scientism and Secularism: Learning to Respond to a Dangerous Ideology puts into print many of Moreland’s ideas on philosophy of science (his PhD specialization), extending them since his 1999 book Christianity and the Nature of Science. Hear an interview about the book on ID the Future. He defines scientism, and shows three major reasons it is indefensible as a philosophy or way of knowing. When interviewer Michael Keas (PhD in history of science) says that historians and philosophers need to work together, Moreland gives the following response that is worth sounding throughout the churches of America.We really have to alert the public. Youth leaders, our Christian school teachers, parents that are raising their kids, we need to alert them to the fact that scientism is really at the bottom of the turmoil we’re facing at culture. Barna did a study recently and found that the six reasons that people are leaving Christianity for atheism are all intellectual reasons, and a couple of them deal with the inability of the church to help believers know how to relate their theology and their Biblical beliefs to science – and science trumps! And so we have retreated to “faith,” and the culture has become morally relativistic because the major things about religion and politics and ethics can’t be known scientifically. So what scientism has done is funded relativism in culture and blind faith commitments in Christianity. And that isn’t sustaining people when they get out of our youth groups and go to college or go into the workforce and meet thoughtful, intelligent unbelievers who will say things like, “Well, prove it– you can’t prove Christianity scientifically, so I don’t have to listen to you.” They don’t know what to say. And so my book is an attempt to do what you’re calling us to do, and that is to work together with our Christian leaders and parents to give them a tool they can learn about themselves and teach our kids and inoculate them responsibly so that they’re not sucked into a culture of scientism.When you tie these thoughts into what you have just read above in Nature and Science about Big Science’s own admissions of bias and unreliability, we should ask: why should anyone bow to the false idol of scientism? Integrity is the foundation of trust for any claim by any person in any field, not appeal to some “method” that scientists self-righteously assert protects them from error.How leading experts can be fooled.Another helpful resource is Jerry Bergman’s recent book Evolution’s Blunders, Frauds and Forgeries (2017). When you learn about how leading scientists fell for fraudulent claims in the past (like Piltdown Man and much more), you begin to realize that scientists are just as prone to error as anyone, especially when their Darwinian ideology motivates their research.[What Piltdown hoaxes are floating about these days, to be exposed some future day? We can suggest several candidates.]last_img read more

Mayweather unfazed by ‘dirty’ McGregor

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The undefeated former welterweight king, who is coming out of retirement to fight McGregor in Las Vegas, said he had spotted rabbit punches in footage of McGregor’s sparring session with Paulie Malignaggi.McGregor, who has never fought in a professional boxing contest, appears to floor Malignaggi in the footage.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingMayweather, 40, was unimpressed.“I had a chance to see it and my thought were, it was interesting,” Mayweather said of McGregor’s Malignaggi knockdown. Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Korea ousts Gilas Pilipinas Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor. AFP/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTOLOS ANGELES—Floyd Mayweather has accused Conor McGregor of “fighting dirty” in training but is confident of a clean battle when the two men meet in their August 26 superfight.Mayweather told reporters on a conference call on Thursday he believed mixed martial arts star McGregor had used illegal tactics in sparring sessions.ADVERTISEMENT Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View comments NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters MOST READ “A lot of rabbit punching, a lot of illegal shots, behind the head,” he added.READ: McGregor vows fast finish against MayweatherMcGregor has hired veteran referee Joe Cortez during his training camp to help advise on boxing rules and ensure he fights clean.“He’s had Joe Cortez in his training camp and I’ve still seen him being extremely dirty,” Mayweather said.Veteran referee Robert Byrd will be responsible for managing the fight and Mayweather is confident he will maintain control of the contest. Byrd officiated in Mayweather’s 2013 win over Robert Guerrero in Las Vegas.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “I truly believe the referee is going to do a great job,” Mayweather said.“The referee’s job is to keep the fight clean. He don’t have anything to worry about. I’m looking forward to following the Queensberry rules of boxing,” he added.Mayweather retired from boxing in 2015 with a perfect 49-0 record to emulate former heavyweight legend Rocky Marciano. A win against McGregor would see the welterweight become the only man to ever hold a perfect 50-0 record.Mayweather insisted however that moving clear of Marciano’s historic benchmark was not on his mind.“Even though this is my 50th fight, this is not my focus,” Mayweather said. “Rocky Marciano is a legend, he did it his way. I just like to do it the Mayweather way.”Win or lose, Mayweather is adamant that nothing will be able to tempt him back into the ring following his return against McGregor. He reiterated an earlier statement that this month’s fight will be his last.BACKSTORY: Mayweather ‘out of retirement for McGregor’“This is my last one. I gave my word to (adviser) Al Haymon, I gave my word to my children, I don’t want to break that,” Mayweather said.“I’m going to stick to my word — this is going to be my last fight.” Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’last_img read more