“Objective origins” is against the law in Darby, Montana (see 02/27/2004 headline). A policy change proposed by a local minister would have encouraged students to “analyze scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories, including the theory of evolution.” It didn’t lose because of a vote on the policy, or because of the threats of litigation by Americans United for Separation of Church and State. It lost because “evolution supporter Erik Abrahamsen handily defeated incumbent chair Gina Schallenberger in a 4 May election,” according to a news item in Science.1 The Missoulian said the election was driven by the origins debate, a “rancorous battle over a controversial science policy.”1ScienceScope, Science, Volume 304, Number 5673, Issue of 14 May 2004.Science took glee in the Darwin Party victory: “Creationism Loses in Montana Town – The residents of Darby, Montana, have doused one creationist brushfire by tipping the balance of its school board.” (This was nothing about creationism, you recall; it was about letting the students hear about teaching students critical thinking skills. There was nothing at all about creationism, church and state, or religion in this policy proposal – see 04/29/2004 headline.) This story underscores the fact that ministers have no standing in public policy debates. They are disqualified before they even open their mouths. If a minister suggests anything that affects public policy, no matter how innocently worded, no matter how lawful and logically sound, it can be completely disregarded because, everyone knows, he has a religious agenda. The ACLU and the secularists in the Darwin Party have no such handicap; they present themselves as scientific, value-free, religiously neutral and objective. Pastors and ministers have been confined inside the walls of their churches. They are forbidden to have a voice in their communities. Only in church can they speak their minds, but how long can even that last? It is conceivable on the horizon that ministers will feel intimidated to speak out against the Darwin Party even to their own congregations, just like teachers are at school. Would you have suspected such harassment in the Old West? This decision shows that Darwinian evolutionism does not just affect metropolitan academia, but touches every small town school district. It also shows that critical thinking and analytical skills are not valued when the reigning dogma of Darwin is threatened. Should the Darwin Party be proud? They won an election by wearying the public over non-issues, and intimidating the townspeople with threats. Like Islamic fundamentalists, they made it illegal to criticize or even analyze their theory. They didn’t win by a reasoned debate over the evidence. Losers, take courage. Truth and politics are not synonymous. Things are going better in Alabama, it’s not over in Roseville, and a majority of Californians still favor the students’ right to hear both sides, according to two new surveys, reports the Discovery Institute. It takes time to overcome authoritarian dogmatism, but it’s worth it.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
9 December 2015Consensus on how all media, including online, can play a vital role in encouraging more gender equality and understanding not only in the global media but also in promoting general social cohesion by the year 2030, is the aim of the first General Assembly of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s Global Alliance on Media and Gender (Gamag).Gamag is a global movement to promote gender equality in and through the media.The First GAMAG General Assembly will take place on 9 – 10 December in Geneva. @UNESCO #GenderInMedia pic.twitter.com/8cnrJn63ql— GAMAG (@tweet_gamag) November 29, 2015The South African team will be led by the acting director-general of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Johannes Rantete. The team will join other global government media departments, as well as private media organisations, civil society and media academics in Geneva from 8 to 10 December to discuss practical ways to achieve the desired outcomes.South Africa would use the platform to encourage media houses across the world to involve women in the sourcing, production, delivery, analysis and broadcasting of news to create a global media that better reflected the voices and interests of women, said GCIS.The objectives of Gamag align closely with the aims of the National Development Plan’s Vision 2030 to actively encourage gender equality through job creation, education and social and health welfare.The Gamag assembly takes place during 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.Topics to be discussed in presentations and roundtables include the structure and details for a global development co-operation framework on gender and media. The gathering will also look at the effect and importance of the relationship between emerging online media and youth in achieving the goals of Gamag.Also under discussion will be gender and media as a business and development model, and the strategic link between policy and research on gender and media.An International Development Co-operation meeting will precede the Gamag gathering, hoping to outline and provide useful indicators on the direction of supporting, enabling and financing gender equality in and through the media.Both events will aim to provide a platform for dialogue and establish an International Development Co-operation Framework on Gender and Media.According to Unesco and Gamag, the conference objectives include initiating processes to:Expand the mandate and reach of key stakeholders to promote gender equality through the design of an International Development Co-operation Framework on Gender and Media that can give support to actions at the national, regional and global levels – in particular the activities of the Global Alliance on Media and Gender;Recognise the critical area of concern of the Beijing Declaration, the resolution adopted by the UN in 1995 to promulgate a set of global principles concerning the equality of men and women;Analyse and discuss the declaration’s Platform for Action, as well as the Women and the Media Diagnosis element of the declaration as central to all other critical areas of concern, in order to endorse and build Gamag as a mechanism to accelerate implementation and systematic follow-up; and,Encourage commitment to mainstream or strengthen gender and media objectives in the programmes and budgets of the development partners as well as through their communication strategies of their own media services.Millennium and Sustainable development goalsThe Gamag assembly is an answer to the call for global partnerships as stated in the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal 8. Also, the mission statement of the conference resonates with the proposed Sustainable Development Goals 16 and 17. These are to target 10 concerning measures to promote public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, as well as strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development by the year 2030.Addis Ababa Action AgendaThe Gamag meeting will also seek to advance the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and Action Plan on Transformative Financing for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.Women are underrepresented in media staffing at all levels. This is fact, but we must change it. #GenderInMedia pic.twitter.com/Xc78Ls0OeT— GAMAG (@tweet_gamag) November 30, 2015Decades of research has shown that despite many advancements in gender equality, there remains much work to be done. “Women remain consistently under- represented in media staffing at all levels, in particular in executive decision- making and technical areas, and [are] often misrepresented in editorial content,” GCIS said in a statement about the meeting.The South African government holds that women are under-represented in media regulatory and professional organisations. It is determined to help the media, traditional and emerging, to promote women’s full participation in the industry. “Media houses and government communications wings have [the] potential to promote editorial policies in favour of gender equality in media content, eliminating stereotypes and portraying a fair representation of men and women.”GCIS highlighted the need to bring more online access to women in general, around the world, allowing them a voice to speak about what mattered most to them, including health issues, human rights promotion and overall gender equality. In addition to allowing them the platforms to speak, the media, GCIS said, should offer women the information needed to promote their participation in every aspect of life and in achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment.“Media can give women a voice in news and current affairs, in all types of coverage and in all subject segments, including news on war and peace making, finance, science, technology and politics.”Ultimately, GCIS concluded, the media, working together with governments, the private sector and academia, “must enable time or space for women to express themselves and promote coverage and awareness of gender equality in work, working conditions, and property rights. A high priority [is] the situation of women in conflict zones, as well as violence against women.”Media can give women a voice in news and current affairs, in all types of coverage. #GenderInMedia pic.twitter.com/xtfoBfHScH— GAMAG (@tweet_gamag) December 2, 2015Source: South African Government News Agency
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As harvest is completed across the Eastern Corn Belt, seed companies, universities, and growers will have the chance to compile and analyze data from yield testing. One of the most important decisions a farmer will face all year is deciding what variety to plant and in which field to plant it. To ensure that the best possible decision is made next spring, it is important to spend some time looking at yield data. While reviewing data is critical, knowing how to determine whether it is accurate and useful is equally important. Below are some tips for using data to make sound planting decisions next spring.Look for Replicated DataDon’t rely on yield results from one strip plot on a farm or from a single plot location. Look for data from randomized tests that are repeated multiple times and across multiple locations. Replications in testing increase the reliability of the data and help to remove variables that can skew results.For strip plot data, was a “tester” used?Strip plots planted on farms can cover large areas of a field. In many fields in the Eastern Corn Belt there are several soil types. If a plot crosses several soil types how can you be sure it is accurate? By planting a “tester” variety at regular intervals within the plot, you can calculate adjusted yields based on the variability of the tester yield across the plot. The use of a tester minimizes the effect soil type variability has on the plot results to ensure more accurate data.Look for consistencyAccording to Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension Agronomist, “Documented consistency in yield performance is still the key to success in selecting hybrids that will perform well in your farming operation.” When choosing a variety based on plot data, it is important to look for consistent performance—across several plot locations and between multiple years. Choose varieties that consistently performed well in 2014 and 2015, in multiple locations, and different growing conditions.Statistical SignificanceOn published data look for foot notes that indicate the least statistically significant yield difference, or LSD. In many plots, the performance of the top 5 or 10 varieties may not be statistically different. Although there are small differences in yield, statistical analysis of the data indicates that all varieties within the LSD have an equal chance of winning the plot.While plot data can be very useful in making decisions, some plot data is significantly more accurate and reliable. The key to getting the most out of yield data is having the ability to sort through the large amounts of information to identify the data that most accurately and reliably represents varietal performance.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseThere is no doubt: it is not always convenient, or easy, or enjoyable to focus on farm safety issues. But the time and effort involved with a focus on farm safety is always worth the investment compared to the heartbreak resulting from tragedies that take place on farms every year. National Farm Safety Week is Sept. 16 to 22 this year and it is an important opportunity for farmers to re-focus on farm safety heading into the busy harvest months, not only for themselves and their families, but also their farm employees.“Agriculture is still one of the most hazardous industries not only in Ohio but in the U.S. Safety in agriculture is a key component to preventing severe injuries and fatalities,” said Kent McGuire, Ohio State University’s Health and Safety Coordinator in the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. “As an agricultural employer it is important to make safety a priority and take the time to train your employees on safe work practices and recognizing hazards. When we look at agricultural hazards, we can break those down into physical injuries and potential health issues. It is very important to consider the overall health and well being of not only farmers, but also agricultural workers. This includes stresses and mental aspects associated with agricultural production as well as some of the current issues we are trying to address like the opioid crisis. We have to look at getting those resources and that help out to the rural farm communities.”A focus on farm safety starts from the top management on down, and it needs to be embraced by everyone.“Safety needs to be a priority and one of the biggest things you can do for family members and employees is to build a culture of safety to create moments where people can recognize a hazard and address the situation. There are such a variety of hazards in agriculture from equipment, to livestock handling, to slips trips and falls and even confined spaces. The emphasis on taking the time to provide safety training and creating an awareness for your employees is vital to preventing health issues or injuries,” McGuire said. “We have put together a safety program for CFAES that can provide resources for the agricultural industry out in the state.”National Farm Safety and Health Week is coordinated by the U.S. Agricultural Centers funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to highlight agricultural health and safety and create opportunities to start or continue to build safety programs for farm workers, farm families, and everyone involved in agriculture. Following are the daily themes through the week highlighting different safety focus areas for farms, and McGuire offers more specific items to consider for each topic. Monday: Rural roadway safety Throughout the year it is necessary for farm equipment and regular motorist to share the road. It is important that the equipment operator and the general motorist use the proper precautions on roadways.As an equipment operator:Make sure that all warning flashers and lights are in proper operating condition, and ensure the Slow Moving Vehicle emblems, are clean, and easily visible.Use turn signals or proper hand signals to give plenty of warning to other motorist of your intentions to turn.Plan ahead and watch for roadside obstacles.If possible, move equipment at off peak hours and use an escort vehicle if needed.Always have your brakes pedals locked together, Rollover Protective Structure in place and seat belt fastened.As a motorist sharing the road with agricultural equipment:Understand that most ag equipment today will not fit in one lane of the road.Operators also have to navigate around roadside obstacles like steep ditches, mailboxes, road signs, and bridge railings.Consider that operators of farm equipment my have limited vision to what is behind them because of the size of equipment they are towing.Take into account, most farm equipment is traveling at 25 miles per hour or less, as a motorist traveling at 55 miles per hour, reaction time to closing distance is greatly reduced. Use caution in order to prevent a rear end collision.For more visit umash.umn.edu/farm-safety-check-roadway-safety/ Tuesday: Health/suicide/opioids It is very important to consider the overall health and well being of the farmer or farm worker. This also includes the stresses and mental aspects associated with ag production. Common health hazards in agriculture include respiratory hazards, hearing loss, exposure to chemicals, working in extreme temperatures and sun exposure.Another aspect of living healthy is minimizing stress, however farming can be a consistently stressful occupation. Farmers experience stresses associated with most occupations such as high demand, time pressures, and increased workload; however, farmers have added pressures associated with agriculture, such as uncontrollable weather, machinery breakdowns, variable crop prices, or even economic survival.Finally, the challenges of dealing with the impacts of opioid use and addiction in the agricultural workplace and rural communities are growing. Educate employees about the dangers of addiction and the harm of abusing illegal drugs and prescription medications. Watch for warning signs of addiction and be extra vigilant if employees work in safety-sensitive positions or with heavy machinery.For more visit www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/agricultural-worker-protection-standard-wpshttp://nasdonline.org/1246/d001050/health-hazards-in-agriculture-an-emerging-issue.htmlhttps://articles.extension.org/pages/70313/production-agriculture-and-stressand www.usda.gov/topics/opioids. Wednesday: Child/youth health and safety For generations, youth have had an active part in agriculture. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than 2 million youth under the age of 20 are exposed to farm-related safety hazards each year. As a result, it is important to understand and comply with the federal and state agricultural youth employment rules, stress safety practices and make sure that they are doing age appropriate work tasks that they can handle physically and mentally. Training young workers to recognize hazards is essential to reduce the risk of physical injury or health related exposures.For more information visit: www.osha.gov/SLTC/youth/agriculture/workers.html and https://www.dol.gov/whd/AG/ag_pocket_guide.pdf Thursday: Confined spaces in agriculture There is such a variety of confined spaces in the agricultural industry from grain handling facilities to manure storage areas, to bulk processing storage. An agricultural confined space can be identified as any space found in an agricultural workplace that:Was not designated or intended as a regular workstationHas limited or restricted means of entry or exitAssociated with potential physical and/or toxic hazards to workers who intentionally or unintentionally enter the space.It is important that those areas are identified and procedures are followed when working around or entering those areas. Hazards associated with agricultural confined spaces include: toxic atmospheres, combustible atmospheres, engulfment, entrapment, and equipment hazards.For more information visit: www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3939.pdf Friday: Tractor safety Tractors are the most widely used piece of equipment in agriculture, and still cause the most agricultural related fatalities in Ohio and nationally. The three main causes for severe injury include: roll-over, run-over, and being caught in moving parts. It is important to understand how to safely operate tractors, understand their capabilities and limitations, and use the safety features such as Roll Over Protective Structures.For more information visit: extension.psu.edu/national-safe-tractor-and-machinery-operation-program.“There are benefits to better safety and health practices in agriculture. Obviously the primary benefit is the reduction of illnesses, injuries and agricultural related fatalities. Additionally, there are cost and productivity benefits such as reduced worker’s compensation and insurance premiums, minimal medical expenses, and increased productivity and morale with employees,” McGuire said.Additional information on managing safety and resources for employee safety training in the agricultural industry can be found at https://agsafety.osu.edu/programs/cfaes-osha or contact Kent McGuire, OSU Agricultural Safety & Health, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-292-0588.
Declaring that the federal government has no right to tell Americans what kind of light bulbs to use in their homes, Representative Michael Burgess last week offered an amendment to a 2012 energy and water spending bill that would withhold funds to enforce a 2007 law requiring increases in the energy efficiency of light bulbs.As noted in a number of news stories, including an overview of the light bulb controversy published by the New York Times, the provision was approved on a voice vote, and the energy bill itself was approved on a vote of 219 to 196.While it’s hardly certain the amendment will survive a vote in the Senate or the scrutiny of the White House, many House Republicans see it as a demonstration of their resistance to overreaching federal regulation – a talking point for the next election cycle.An inconvenient provenanceOne awkward aspect of this political contortion, though, is that the light-bulb efficiency regulations – which are part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 – were co-authored by a Republican congressman, Fred Upton, current head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Representative Jane Harman, a California Democrat. Signed into law by President George W. Bush, the bill requires most light bulbs to be 25% to 30% more efficient by 2014 and at least 60% more efficient by 2020.Democrats say the reversal by Upton, who supports the new amendment, and other Republicans who originally supported the 2007 law shows that the party is pandering to the far right and is playing into the fact that light-bulb efficiency requirements have become a popular point of discussion for conservatives.But as noted in a recent Miami Herald story on the subject, the economic savings associated with energy-efficient light bulbs may determine the final outcome of this debate. Department of Energy researchers say the efficiency and longevity of the devices could, under the 2007 regulations, save about $6 billion a year by 2015. And with prevailing economic pressures continuing to dog consumers, the demand for incandescent bulbs is expected to decline, regardless of the ongoing political debate.
Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Friday accused the West Bengal police of “arresting” party spokesperson Samanay Bandopadhyay for circulating posts critical of the Trinamool Congress government.‘Arrested from home’ Family members and party sources said that Mr. Bandopadhyay was “arrested” by a team of Purulia district police from his home in North 24 Parganas district on Thursday evening. The West Bengal police and Purulia district police neither confirmed nor denied having arrested or detained Mr. Bandopadhyay. “We will get back to you,” a senior official of Purulia police said when enquired about the alleged arrest. Mr. Bandopadhyay is known for his staunch criticism of the TMC government through his social media posts. “The arrest of Samanay Bandopadhyay is a classic example of intolerance of the highest order. Mr. Bandopadhyay was arrested from his home for criticising the State government. Such blatant attack on the freedom of speech and expression by the government will not stop us from protesting against the ruling dispensation. We condemn such undemocratic assault on the freedom of speech and political terrorism unleashed by the Mamata Banerjee government,” Mr. Chowdhury said. Reacting to the allegations, senior TMC leader and party Chief Whip in State Assembly Nirmal Ghosh said, “Mr. Bandopadhyay has been arrested as there were several criminal charges against him. It has nothing to do with criticism of the State government.” The BJP leadership also slammed the State government over the arrest. The CPI(M) and Congress activists on Friday staged a protest outside Khardah police station against the alleged arrest. Mr. Bandopadhyay’s house at Sodepur falls under the jurisdiction of Khardah police station. The incident is reminiscent of the arrest of Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra in April 2012 for posting cartoons of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the Internet.
Cricket humour is the new flavour on the sets of Comedy Nights With Kapil. Standup comedian Kapil Sharma has been shooting with a string of cricketers in the upcoming episodes.Virat Kohli, vice-captain of the Indian cricket team, is the latest celebrity hailing from the sport to make an appearance on the show and amuse the audience with his funny bone.Forthcoming episodes will also feature the Pathan brothers – Irfaan and Yusuf – pulling each other’s leg.Kapil made Virat blush by cracking tongue-in-cheek jokes on his alleged affair with actress Anushka Sharma.Veteran cricketer Sunil Gavaskar set the ball rolling, which led several other cricketers to appear on the show. Sunny made an appearance with Virendra Sehwag, reportedly on the insistence of commentator-turned- politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, and floored the audience with his humour.The episode was a revelation for cricket lovers as they got a glimpse of the rare, funny side of Gavaskar. “The ratings have been consistently strong, however the episodes featuring Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev created a frenzy on social networking sites as the audience for the first time saw the relaxed and comical side of their cricketing heroes,” said a source from the channel.Kapil Dev made an appearance with wife Romi and unabashedly cracked jokes on her raw cooking skills. Sehwag confirmed his shy nature, while Harbhajan Singh made fun of his lack of proficiency in English.Irfaan and Yusuf Pathan were also seen pulling each other’s leg on the show.The production unit of the show has been articulately chalking out theme for episodes featuring cricketers.”The attempt is to make the cricketers reveal funny anecdotes and create greenroom humour,” said a member of the unit.advertisementIn an upcoming episode, Kapil made Virat blush by making tongue-in-cheek jokes on the alleged affair with actress Anushka Sharma.”Did you go to Spain to watch the football World cup?” joked Kapil, hinting at Virat’s much-talked about reported romantic rendezvous with Anushka in Spain.
Story Highlights He was speaking at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) inaugural Economic Growth Forum, which was held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew on Thursday (March 14). “We have attained macroeconomic stability, while incrementally improving the levels of growth and gradually reducing debt. Additionally, our investment climate is increasingly improved. Our leading investment promotion agency, Jamaica Promotions Corporation, can attest to the fact that investors are calling,” the Minister said. Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says Jamaica is proving its capability to overcome impediments to growth, based on economic out-turns recorded over the last several years. Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says Jamaica is proving its capability to overcome impediments to growth, based on economic out-turns recorded over the last several years.“We have attained macroeconomic stability, while incrementally improving the levels of growth and gradually reducing debt. Additionally, our investment climate is increasingly improved. Our leading investment promotion agency, Jamaica Promotions Corporation, can attest to the fact that investors are calling,” the Minister said.He was speaking at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) inaugural Economic Growth Forum, which was held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew on Thursday (March 14).Mr. Shaw noted that successive Governments have worked to attain economic stability “under the watchful eyes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)”.“But it will now require our collective and sustained focus to ensure that we not only continue to grow but to accelerate the growth,” he emphasised.Mr. Shaw acknowledged that the current Administration is still grappling with issues such as crime, high energy costs, and bureaucracy in the business environment, “which slow the pace at which we should be moving”.“We are dealing with the crime rate… and we are working on energy [by] rapidly diversifying into liquefied natural gas, and solar and wind energy. So, despite the [challenges], there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we will get there together,” he said.The Minister emphasised, however, that doing so will require sustained focus on human development.“Our greatest opportunity for advancement in Jamaica is to develop our people, [who] are our greatest natural resource,” Mr. Shaw said.The forum featured research paper presentations and a panel discussion on the theme ‘From Elusive to Inclusive Growth’.The occasion was also used to launch the PIOJ’s 2019 Growth Inducement Programme Research Report, a collection of eight research papers encompassing economic growth-related areas.These include financial inclusion, tertiary education, labour market developments, and social interventions.