PSC: Children’s Games should be blueprint for nationwide program

first_imgLATEST STORIES PH’s Rogen Ladon boxing flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) PLAY LIST 03:30PH’s Rogen Ladon boxing flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends03:34PH’s Carlo Paalam boxing light flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Children’s Games in Baguio City.BAGUIO CITY—The Children’s Games of the Philippine Sports Commission here in the country’s Summer capital should serve as a template for other communities to replicate.Professor Henry Daut, PSC head for grassroots sports development, said making the Games designed for 12-year-old kids and younger a regular activity in the city’s 128 barangays would not only promote fun and fitness but also expand the talent base of future elite athletes.ADVERTISEMENT 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano 2 nabbed in Bicol drug stings PSC chair Butch Ramirez said the Games would return to Davao in Turil town this weekend, which will gather children from different religious and tribal backgrounds to play together and socially interact.“The more kids that can play, the more talents we can discover. These Games, however, are not just about producing excellent athletes. It’s also about increasing the participation and the awareness to motivate more kids to get into the playing field,’’ said Daut.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano View comments Double duty for water polo stars: Canete, Anota fielded in open water swimcenter_img Vilma Santos, Luis Manzano warn public of fake account posing as her MOST READ Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Albay to send off disaster response team to Batangas “Having it here can encourage other communities to do the same,’’ said Daut on the second day of the Children’s Games Thursday at the Baguio Athletics Bowl. “But these communities should not be totally dependent on what the PSC has been giving. They should also be self-reliant in terms of looking for support,’’ added Daut, who is also deputy national training director of the Philippine Sports Institute.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Over 400 kids from the area began to play in various team sports such as volleyball, football, basketball and running in the three-day competition that will end Friday.It was the fourth offering of the Unesco-cited Children’s Games after holding it in Davao City, La Trinidad, Benguet and Iligan City for the children of evacuees from war-torn Marawi City. Teen gunned down in Masbate End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendlast_img read more

Half-time: Brentford 0 Brighton 0

first_imgBrentford were left frustrated by solid defending after having much the better of the first half.As in the 4-2 win over Huddersfield last Saturday, the Bees started on the front foot but this time couldn’t turn their superiority with the ball into clear-cut chances.Liverpool loanee Sergi Canos shot over the bar early on after good work from Alan Judge and Lasse Vibe, who both looked bright in the first 20 minutes.Brighton, who had been unbeaten all season until last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Middlesbrough, did go close in fortunate circumstances when Rajiv van la Parra’s cross deflected off Tomer Hemed and went wide.But the third-placed Seagulls were largely forced to dig in and keep their shape as Dean Smith’s Brentford probed.John Swift and Vibe had shots blocked by a hard-working Brighton defence, while former Fulham keeper David Stockdale gathered an effort from distance from Ryan Woods.As Brentford cranked up the pressure late in the half, Chelsea loanee Swift sent a low drive just past the post and Woods drilled over from just inside the box.Brentford: Button; Yennaris, Dean, Tarkowski, Bidwell; Diagouraga, Woods; Canos, Judge, Swift; Vibe. Subs: Bonham, O’Connell, McCormack, McEachran, Saunders, Jota, Hofmann.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

SETI Ignorance Gets Stronger

first_img“Science is not about blind faith” begins a video posted on MSNBC about SETI.  Part of an article by AP reporter Seth Borenstein, “Evidence for E.T. is mounting daily, but not proven,” the video explains Frank Drake’s famous equation that tries to quantify the probability for extraterrestrial intelligence (09/29/2010, 11/24/2008).  Though Drake confidently asserts the probability that 50,000 advanced communicating civilizations exist in the Milky Way, Borenstein’s subtitle asserts, “So far, first signs of life elsewhere are more likely to be closer to slime mold.”    Confidence exudes like a strong perfume from both the video and the article.  “Lately, a handful of new discoveries make it seem more likely that we are not alone – that there is life somewhere else in the universe,” Borenstein began, diving immediately into Wolf-Simon’s claim that some microbes can imbibe arsenic as a substitute for phosphate in their proteins and DNA (12/02/2010).  Then Carl Pilcher, director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, was given the microphone to say, “The evidence is just getting stronger and stronger” that “There’s got to be life out there.”  After a brief caveat that “Since much of this research is new, scientists are still debating how solid the conclusions are,” Borenstein reassures the reader that even if something simple, like slime mold, is detected first, “It can evolve from there.”    Borenstein’s confidence is based on the premise that the search for E.T. is based on “Some science, some pure guesswork.”  Since every non-scientist has access to guesswork, to what science does he refer?  Admitting that the Drake Equation includes guesswork factors, “such as the likelihood of the evolution of intelligence and how long civilizations last,” Borenstein strips it down to two factors: “How many places out there can support life?  And how hard is it for life to take root?”  Bolstered by Wolf-Simon’s arsenic microbes, he beamed, “That means the probability for alien life is higher than ever before, agree 10 scientists interviewed by The Associated Press.”  He said additionally, “nothing topped last week’s news of a lake bacterium that scientists could train to thrive on arsenic instead of phosphorous.”    Perhaps Borenstein celebrated too soon.  Live Science said, “Many skeptical scientists not involved with the study have raised questions about its methods and findings.”  Later, Karl Tate on Live Science included the arsenic claim as #10 in his list of top ten “Kerfuffles” – “The debate over arsenic-based life is just the latest example of science — blown out of proportion or just plain misunderstood — exploding across the news media.”  (Others included Martian bacteria and overhyped human ancestors).  And Nature News said that the announcement got a “toxic response” from other scientists, who called it “premature at best” and complained about the way it was publicized.  Steve Benner, an origin of life researcher, “used the analogy of a steel chain with a tinfoil link to illustrate that the arsenate ion said to replace phosphate in the bacterium’s DNA forms bonds that are orders of magnitude less stable.”  Not only that, the NASA Astrobiology team failed to show that the microbes actually incorporated arsenic into their molecules.  Some scientists were upset that NASA’s teaser to the press had them thinking life had been discovered beyond Earth; indeed, even Fox News reporters were expecting an announcement that life had been discovered on Titan.    Did Borenstein have any other science, less dubious, to amass in favor of his contention that the evidence for E.T. is getting stronger and stronger?  Indeed he did.  Calling on SETI Institute senior astronomer Seth Shostak, who “ticks off the astronomical findings about planet abundance and Earthbound discoveries about life’s hardiness,” he agrees that these points “have gone in the direction of encouraging life out there and they didn’t have to,” – so much so, that denying the existence of extraterrestrial life, Shostak alleged, is tantamount to believing in miracles (i.e., that life only exists on earth).  Time out for a brief reality check:Astronomers, however, do believe in proof.  They don’t have proof of life yet.  There’s no green alien or even a bacterium that scientists can point to and say it’s alive and alien.  Even that arsenic-munching microbe discovered in Mono Lake in California isn’t truly alien.  It was manipulated in the lab.With that brief time out over, Chris McKay assured readers that, “There are real things we can point to and show that being optimistic about life elsewhere is not silly.”  He called on the red dwarfs to sing in agreement – red dwarf stars may not be the anti-life districts once thought; “That didn’t just open up billions of new worlds, but many, many times that,” Borenstein chimed.  The giants chimed in, too: “scientists now believe that as many as half the stars in our galaxy have planets that are two to 10 times the size of Earth ? ‘super Earths’ which might sustain life.”  With a recent estimate that the universe may contain six times as many stars as thought, the chorus just keeps getting louder.    Of course, 300 sextillion lifeless locations would still be lifeless.  “The other half of the equation is: How likely is life?” Borenstein continued, calling briefly on Donald Brownlee to debunk the notion that intelligent life is common, but agreeing that microbial life could be.  “By making life more likely in extreme places, it increases the number of planets that are potential homes for life,” astrobiologists agree – even though all those extreme places studied are right here on Earth.  But does a potential habitat rise to the level of scientific evidence?  Never mind; potential is enough: Mars, Europa, Titan, Enceladus – places where no life has been found – put dollars on the bet that aliens inhabit the universe, so much so that “Shostak puts his money behind his optimism,” Borenstein ended.  Apparently Shostak bets a cup of coffee at his lectures that scientists will find proof of alien life by 2026.  “The odds, he figures, have never been more in his favor.”Got odds?  We do.  Read our online book, especially chapters 6-7.  How convenient to bet a cup of coffee when he won’t have to pay up for 16 years, by which time he may well need embalming fluid instead, if there’s a difference.    Let’s unpack this reasoning about odds in this SETI coffee klatch.  “The odds, he figures, have never been more in his favor.”  What are the odds when your sample size is one?  You have one example, and you want to extrapolate the odds to 100 billion planets in the galaxy.  This is like winning the world’s biggest lottery on your first draw the only time you play, and thinking the odds are great of winning many more times because there are a lot of convenience stores where you can play the game.  But even that is overly gracious to this gratuitous line of thinking that depends on fortuitous causes (11/14/2010).    Statisticians like to think about urns with colored marbles, so let’s say you are walking on your terrace, and discover an iPhone, not yet aware of its purpose or function; also on the terrace you find an urn with marbles in it, but you know nothing about what kind of marbles are inside.  You reach in and pull out an orange marble, then a red one, a pink one, another orange one, and a white one (these represent Venus, Mars, Europa, Titan, and Enceladus), along with a lot of black marbles.  Because your iPhone contains some of the same colors that are in the marbles, you concoct a theory that iPhones evolve out of marbles.  Then you look off into the distance and see many more urns you think must have marbles, too – billions of them.  You get all excited, thinking that the odds of finding more iPhones must be astronomical.    In your ecstasy, you produce an equation you call the Flake Equation, and calculate your odds: N is the number of iPhones that must exist in all the urns.  R(u) is the rate of formation of urns, f(m) is the fraction of those urns with marbles, n(i) is the number of urns large enough to contain iPhones, f(c) is the number of urns where circuits begin evolving from the marble material; f(i) is the number of marbles that evolve into iPhones (after all, once the process starts, “It can evolve from there”), f(c) is the number of iPhones capable of calling you up, and L is the lifetime of the average iPhone battery.  According to your calculations there could be 50,000 iPhones out there – even though the only one you have ever seen is in your hand.  So great is your faith, you organize a Search for Extra-Terracetrial iPhones, and try to find rich suckers to fund it, assuring them that it is not silly to be optimistic.  (A quote from David Berlinski comes to mind: “Wearing pink tasseled slippers and conical hats covered in polka dots, Darwinian biologists are persuaded that a plot is afoot to make them look silly.”)    Even if there is an iPhone out there that calls you up some day, it would not support your theory that the device evolved out of the marbles, even if it calls itself a Droid Evo.  It would validate the view that both devices were intelligently designed.  But in our day, such reasoning is disallowed a priori, because it’s not “science.”  Thus, science has devolved into absurdity, where sophisticated ignorance is glorified, because intelligent causes have been excluded from the very definition of science.  The cult of Darwin has given birth to the cult of SETI (11/13/2010), where marbles evolve into iPhones, and molecules evolve into minds.(Visited 24 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Prefabricated Foam Forms for Slab Foundations

first_imgThe forms are too bulky to import from EuropeBygghouse had considered importing forms from Europe and selling them here, but there were a couple of problems. For one, forms made in Europe are manufactured to unfamiliar metric dimensions that don’t coincide with the 4-foot increment that U.S. builders use. Also, shipping the lightweight but bulky foam pieces didn’t look attractive financially.“There’s so much to learn from them that they’ve already vetted and done well,” La Verdara said of Swedish builders. “It’s actually very frustrating to us to see how we sort of flail around trying to invent this stuff when there are already very well vetted solutions sitting there.”He added that at least one other North American company, Legalett, sells a similar product used in conjunction with its hot-air radiant system, but doesn’t appear interested in selling the slab forms separately. Lay out the forms, place the concreteLa Vardera mentioned WarmFörm in a GBA post earlier in October. He said the firm hoped to see the system gain the kind of popularity here that it has in Sweden, “where nearly all new houses are placed on this kind of foundation system.”“The Swedes have refined this to an extremely efficient, and economical way to build. They build this way not only because it is energy-efficient, but because it is faster and less expensive than digging footings below grade,” he said.The forms sold by Bygghouse are made from two types of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation. Horizontal sections which support the weight of the slab and a reinforcing grade beam are Type IX foam. Vertical pieces are made from BASF Neopor, a graphite-modified Type VIII EPS with an R-value that approaches the R-value of extruded polystyrene (XPS), LaVardera said.The outside of the vertical part of the form, part of which would be exposed after the slab is finished, is protected by a polyester-reinforced cementitious coating. The vertical part of the form is 4 inches thick except for a tapered section at the top. The horizontal leg under the thickened edge of the slab is also is 4 inches thick, while the field of crushed stone in the center of the building would typically be covered with 12 inches of horizontal EPS, La Verdara said.Bygghouse isn’t in a position to stockpile an inventory of foam shapes, but works with a fabricator and coater in New Jersey and is ready to supply forms to builders who want to use the system. Forms cost $25 or less per lineal foot. Borrowing an idea from Swedish builders, a New Jersey company has begun marketing prefabricated foam forms that make it possible for two workers to install a frost-protected shallow foundation in a single day with little or no digging.The New Jersey company, Bygghouse, got its start when Scott Hedges studied building materials and techniques while working as a carpenter in Sweden. There, expanded polystyrene (EPS) forms are routinely used for slabs (often called “insulated raft slabs”) as an alternative to deep footings and concrete foundations. To create an insulated raft slab, concrete is placed in a shallow bathtub-like enclosure made of EPS foam.Hedges and architect Greg La Vardera developed a prototype for their product, WarmFörm, in conjunction with Bensonwood, the New Hampshire-based firm led by Tedd Benson, and placed its first raft slab in the ground in 2012. The company began providing quotes to potential customers this summer.A WarmFörm foundation would typically be placed on an 8-inch-deep base of crushed stone, with the top of the crushed stone at about 8 inches below finished grade.A conventional foundation usually includes concrete stem walls on footings that are located below the frost line so they don’t heave in winter. That could be 48 inches or more below grade in colder parts of the country.center_img The approach is decades oldFrost-protected shallow foundations aren’t new. In fact, this type of foundation was used by Frank Lloyd Wright in the Chicago area during the 1930s. The NAHB Research Center (now the Home Innovation Research Labs) published a paper on how to make them a decade ago, although builders had to cobble them together with sheets of rigid foam insulation and conventional concrete forms.GBA senior editor Martin Holladay wrote about insulated raft slabs in a blog in 2010. In it, he listed several European manufacturers of EPS forms intended for raft slabs.last_img read more

WTA Championships Williams and Sharapova Showdown

Serena Williams is not the type to show mercy to weakened opponents and Saturday proved no exception as the American demolished Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska to reach the final of the WTA Championships.Williams roared through her round robin group, winning all three matches, and proved unstoppable again in a 6-2 6-1 victory that set up a final against Maria Sharapova.Sharapova beat Victoria Azarenka, who will finish the year as No.1 in the rankings, with similar ease 6-4 6-2.Williams has yet to drop a set in the showpiece tournament while Sharapova has only conceded one set.World number three Williams, the outstanding player on the tour during the second half of the year in which she won Wimbledon, the Olympics and the U.S. Open, rattled off 39 winners against the leg-weary Radwanska.Radwanska, who took three hours and 29 minutes to beat Sara Errani on Friday, just about stayed with Williams until 2-2 in the first set but her resistance quickly crumbled against the 15-times grand slam champion.“Those last two matches really killed me, especially that I didn’t have the day off,” Radwanska, who was beaten in a tight three-setter by Sharapova in the group, said.“I really needed that. And especially that surface. It’s very sticky, so three and a half hours is a lot. I’m really tired today and I really wanted to run, but my legs didn’t.”Sharapova went into her match with Azarenka having lost four of their five meetings this year, including losing to her in three finals, but looked much fresher on Saturday inside the Sinan Erdem arena.Azarenka, who had sealed the year-end number one ranking by advancing to the semi-finals, lacked her normal power and foot speed and was no match for Sharapova who broke the Belarussian’s serve twice in the first set with some vicious returns.Read the rest of this story on read more

US embassy to remain closed on Pahela Baishakh

The US embassy, including the consular section, will remain closed on Sunday (14 April), in celebration of the Bengali New Year, a Bangladeshi national holiday, reports UNB.The American Center with the Archer K. Blood American Center Library and the Education USA Student Advising Center will also remain closed on the day.However, emergency services for American citizens will be available, said a press release on Thursday.