Nessma TV trial adjourned until controversial date

first_img Tunisia : RSF asks Tunisian president’s office to respect journalists TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa November 12, 2019 Find out more News Organisation After several postponements, Nessma TV owner Nabil Karoui’s trial on charges of causing offence by broadcasting the Franco-Iranian animated film Persepolis last October resumed yesterday before a Tunis court. The film, which contains a portrayal of God, triggered violent demonstrations by Tunisia’s Salafists when it was screened last October.Opposition leaders, national constituent assembly representatives, Tunisian and foreign human rights activists, and many lawyers and journalists went to the court in show of support for Nessma TV. Reporters Without Borders, which is calling for Karoui’s acquittal, also attended. At the end of yesterday’s hearing, the court announced that it would issue its verdict on 3 May, when activities to mark World Press Freedom Day are to be organized under UNESCO’s aegis in Tunis.“The decision by the judges to issue their verdict on 3 May does not seem to a coincidence and raises questions,” Reporters Without Borders said. “From the outset, this trial has has a political character. It must not now be used by the authorities to spruce up their image on World Press Freedom Day.”Two days after Nessma TV broadcast Persepolis on 7 October, around 300 people tried to storm the TV’s stations premises and then, the next day, 144 lawyers filed a complaint against the station. Both the attack and the complaint were condemned by Reporters Without Borders at the time.The complaint is based on articles 44 and 48 of the former media law and article 121-3 of the criminal code, which says that: “The distribution, sale or public display – or the possession with the intent to distribute, sell or display for a propaganda purpose – of leaflets, newsletters or stickers, whether of foreign origin or not, likely to disturb public order and decency, is forbidden.”The complaint also cites articles 226 and 226 (b) of the criminal code, which punish “causing offence to religions,” “public outrage,” “gross indecency” and “affront to public decency and morality.”Reporters Without Borders calls for the withdrawal of all the charges against Nessma TV, just as it calls for the dismantling of the legislative arsenal developed under former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to gag the media, and calls for the implementation of the new media law, decree law 115.“The articles on which this complaint is based are no longer applicable because decree law 115 has taken effect,” Reporters Without Borders said. “By modifying the charges on which the prosecution is based, the judges would have a unique opportunity to give the new press law the force it deserves.”Karoui’s trial has had a high profile but the media have paid much less attention to other cases that have produced rulings harmful for freedom of expression and media freedom.Photo : Reuters / Anis Mili Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” Help by sharing this information News Receive email alerts Related documents Nessma TV trial adjourned until controversial date – In arabicPDF – 244.82 KB April 20, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Nessma TV trial adjourned until controversial date News RSF_en to go further December 26, 2019 Find out more News Follow the news on Tunisia November 11, 2020 Find out more Eleven organizations from civil society create the Forum on Information & Democracy, a structural response to information disorder TunisiaMiddle East – North Africa last_img read more

What is an expert?

first_imgRead full article What is an expert?Shared from missc on 9 Dec 2014 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlecenter_img During our working lives, almost by default, we look at the long tenured staff members in our organisations with reverence. We see them as professionals to look up to, fountains of knowledge and information, given the years of service. Quite rightly so. In that time, they must have learned a fair amount about the industry in which they operate. But surely having 10, 15, 20 years of experience in an industry doesn’t constitute immediate ‘expert status’?In my opinion, it’s the breadth of experience you have in your chosen skill-set that will differentiate you. Let’s take the recruitment industry for example. Recruitment isn’t the type of industry that has one clear cut way to do things that’s considered “correct” and does not follow a specific formula or set of rules. Success in recruitment will come from tackling a range of recruitment challenges in your career and the way in which you handle them, along with the experience you gain from them. The length of time in an industry can of course ensure a certain depth of knowledge in one or a number of things and in my opinion, I would put a higher value in less depth of knowledge of 10 recruitment challenges learned over 20 years, than 20 years of experience facing one recruitment challenge.It’s the age old “1 year of experience 10 ways, or 10 years of experience 1 way” adage. I believe the most successful recruiters who can legitimately call themselves experts fall into the “1 year of experience 10 ways” group. We operate in an industry where our skill-set is not an exact science. It will be our adaptability and ability to be agile in our approach when grasping the intricacies of any given talent acquisition problem, (whether it’s internal or agency, large enterprise or SME, volume or not etc.) and offering expertise on efficient and effective ways to manage it based on previous experience, that will genuinely ensure the worthiness of the reverence you will receive. Comments are closed.last_img read more

Lessons of the brain: The Phineas Gage story

first_imgImagine the modern-day reaction to a news story about a man surviving a three-foot, 7-inch, 13½-pound iron bar being blown through his skull — taking a chunk of his brain with it.Then imagine that this happened in 1848, long before modern medicine and neuroscience. That was the case of Phineas Gage.Whether the Vermont construction foreman, who was laying railroad track and using explosives at the time of the industrial accident, was lucky or unlucky is a judgment that Warren Anatomical Museum curator Dominic Hall puzzles over to this day.“It is an impossible question, because he was extraordinarily unlucky to have an iron bar borne through his skull, but equally lucky to have survived, on such a low level of care,” said Hall. “We are lucky, to have him.”Gage’s skull, along with the tamping iron that bore through it, are two of the approximately 15,000 artifacts and case objects conserved at the Warren, which is a part of the Center for the History of Medicine in Harvard’s Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.The resultant change in Gage’s personality — when he went from being well-liked and professionally successful to being “fitful, irreverent, and grossly profane, showing little deference for his fellows” and unable to keep his job — is widely cited in modern psychology as the textbook case for post-traumatic social disinhibition.But as the years have gone by and we’ve learned more about his life, argued Hall, the teachings have changed.“In 1848, he was seen as a triumph of human survival. Then, he becomes the textbook case for post-traumatic personality change. Recently, people interpret him as having found a form of independence and social recovery, which he didn’t get credit for 15 years ago.”When Gage died 12 years after the accident, following epileptic seizures, his body was exhumed, while his skull and tamping iron were sent to the physician who had cared for him since the accident, John Harlow. Harlow later donated the items to the Warren, where they have remained for 160 years.“In many ways, I see Gage similarly to how you would see a portrait of one of the famous professors hanging on the wall — he’s an important part of Harvard Medical School’s identity,” said Hall. “By continually reflecting on his case, it allows us to change how we reflect on the human brain and how we interact with our historical understanding of neuroscience.”last_img read more

Dictionary to Change Definition of “Racism”

first_imgRecent graduate, 22-year-old, Kennedy Mitchum who studied law, has successfully argued that Merriam-Webster should change its definition of “racism.”So she was surprised when an editor responded to her email and even more surprised that the company agreed to update the entry.Mitchum has gotten into a lot conversations about racism and injustice where people have pointed to the dictionary to prove that they’re not racist. It’s happened a lot more lately as the world reacts to the death of George Floyd while in the custody of four Minneapolis police officers.“I kept having to tell them that definition is not representative of what is actually happening in the world,” she told CNN. “The way that racism occurs in real life is not just prejudice it’s the systemic racism that is happening for a lot of black Americans.”Merriam-Webster’s first definition of racism is “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”Mitchum said many people she’s talked to use that to dismiss her concerns about racism and overlook broader issues of racial inequality because they don’t personally feel that way about people of color.Mitchum said she sent her email on a Thursday night and got a reply from editor Alex Chambers the next morning.After a few emails, Chambers agreed that the entry should be updated and said a new definition is being drafted.“This revision would not have been made without your persistence in contacting us about this problem,” Chambers said in the email, which was provided to CNN. “We sincerely thank you for repeatedly writing in and apologize for the harm and offense we have caused in failing to address this issue sooner.”Mitchum said she hopes the vocabulary change helps people have more productive conversations about race. She said she appreciated them taking her concerns seriously and talking through the issue.“I was super happy because I really felt like that was a step in a good direction for a lot of positive change for a lot of different positive conversations that can really help change the world and helps change how people view things,” she said.last_img read more

Boy champion Fitzpatrick in England training squad

first_img10 Oct 2012 Boy champion Fitzpatrick in England training squad Matthew Fitzpatrick, the British Boys champion, has been named among 15 players to form the England training squad for the 2012 and 2013 coaching programme. Fitzpatrick, 18, has made rapid progress over the past four years, being capped at under 16 and boys levels, and is now on the verge of a full England cap. The full England squad is: Matthew Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire, Yorkshire), Jack Hiluta (Chelmsford, Essex), Craig Hinton (The Oxfordshire, BB&O), Nathan Kimsey (Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire), Max Orrin (North Foreland, Kent), Garrick Porteous (Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland), Neil Raymond (Corhampton, Hampshire, IoW & CI), Jamie Rutherford (Knebworth, Hertfordshire), Callum Shinkwin (Moor Park, Hertfordshire), Jordan Smith (Bowood G&CC, Wiltshire), Toby Tree (Worthing, Sussex), Josh White (Chipstead). Also part of the squad but at college in the United States: Seb Crookall-Nixon (Workington, Cumbria), Ben Stow (Rushmore, Wiltshire), and Ben Taylor (Walton Heath, Surrey). Ten members of the home-based squad are full internationals while Fitzpatrick and Orrin are boy caps. Fitzpatrick won the British Boys Championship at Notts (Hollinwell) in August and finished third on the Titleist/FootJoy England Golf Boys Order of Merit. His other successes this season include victory in the Selborne Salver, runner-up in the Hampshire Salver and Berkshire Trophy and third in the Carris Trophy. Orrin, 18, has won the Titleist/FootJoy England Golf Boys Order of Merit after a successful season in which he won the Kent Championship and the Malcolm Reid Salver for the best aggregate from the McEvoy and Carris Trophies, finished second in the Darwin Salver, McEvoy Trophy, the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and the Duke of York Young Champions event. Hiluta, 23, is the Spanish Amateur champion, who made his full England debut against France in May, while Hinton, 24, the Welsh Open Stroke Play champion, gained his first full cap in last year’s Home Internationals. Kimsey, 19, a semi-finalist in the English Amateur Championship, debuted in the recent Home Internationals, while Porteous, 22, became a full England cap in last year’s Home Internationals and helped England win the European Challenge Trophy in Iceland in July. Raymond, 26, has been the English Stroke Play champion for the past two years, having made his full England debut against Spain last year, and also represented GB&I in this year’s St Andrews Trophy, while Rutherford, 20, was capped for the first time in the recent Home Internationals having been the Men’s County Champion of Champions in 2011. Shinkwin, 19, the English Boy champion in 2010 when he became a boy international, won all four of his games on his full England debut against France in May while Smith, 19, debuted in the recent Home Internationals having reached the English Amateur semi-finals and been a member of the victorious Wiltshire team in the past two English Men’s County Championships. Tree, 18, was the English under 14 champion in 2008 and has been capped at every level, making his full England debut against France in May. A quarter finalist in this year’s English Amateur, he represented GB&I in the Jacques Leglise Trophy and Europe in the recent Junior Ryder Cup, while White also debuted against France, won the Berkshire Trophy and was joint winner of the West of England Stroke Play. Of the players currently based in America, Crookall-Nixon, 19, was the English under 16 champion in 2008 and 2009 and made his full England debut in this year’s Home Internationals, Stow, 20, made his full England debut in last year’s Home Internationals and was the top individual in the European Challenge Trophy, while Taylor, 20, also debuted in last year’s Home Internationals and represented GB&I in the St Andrews Trophy. There are 13 players in the ‘A’ squad including boy champion Patrick Kelly and Edward Richardson, an England international in 2005 and 2006. The full ‘A’ squad is: Jack Bartlett (Worthing, Sussex), Oliver Carr (Heswall, Cheshire), Harry Casey (Enfield, Middlesex), Joe Dean (Lindrick, Yorkshire), Ryan Evans (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire), Paul Howard (Southport & Ainsdale, Lancashire), Patrick Kelly (Boston West, Lincolnshire), Nick Marsh (Huddersfield, Yorkshire), Edward Richardson (Hemsted Forest, Kent), Michael Saunders (Dartford, Kent), Darren Timms (Mid Kent, Kent), Jerome Titlow (Knole Park, Kent), Dan Wasteney (Bondhay, Yorkshire). Bartlett, 23, has won the Berkhamsted Trophy and the Hampshire Salver this year and was fourth in the Brabazon Trophy, Carr, 19, is an England boy cap who won the South East of England Links Championship this year, while Casey, 19, was English boy champion last year when he also won the Duke of York Young Champions title. Dean, 18, won the Dutch Junior Open this year when representing England Golf, debuted in the Boys Home Internationals and won five of his six games in helping Yorkshire win this year’s Boys County Championship, Evans, 25, won the South of England Amateur, while Howard, 22, is a regular member of the Lancashire county team and played in the recent County Finals at Beau Desert. Kelly, 18, won the English boys title this year after a four hole playoff as well as the Fairhaven Trophy and scored 5½ points from his six games in the Boys Home Internationals, while Marsh, 18, won five of his six games in helping Yorkshire to the County Boys title and was unbeaten in his six games in the Boys Home Internationals. Richardson, 44, has returned to tournament golf this year with considerable success after a long battle with illness. A former Kent champion, this season he has finished runner-up in the Midland Open, third in the Lagonda and Waterford Trophies and fifth in the Berkshire Trophy. His Kent colleague Saunders, 22, won the Lagonda Trophy and finished sixth in the Berkhamsted Trophy, while Timms, 22, another Kent man, won the Lee Westwood Trophy in a playoff, and finished runner-up in the Lagonda Trophy and the BUCS Student Tour Finals. Titlow, 20, finished joint second in the Hampshire Hog, equal fourth in the Waterford Trophy, sixth in the Tillman Trophy, while Wasteney, 20, a former winner of the Yorkshire Open, was an invitee to the 2011/12 England squad and finished equal sixth in the Lagonda Trophy. Image Matthew Fitzpatrick copyright Tom Ward.last_img read more

Pitt beats No. 15 UNC 80-75 in ACCs

first_imgPittsburgh’s Talib Zanna (42) grabs a rebound over North Carolina’s James Michael McAdoo (43) during the second half of a quarterfinal NCAA college basketball game at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Talib Zanna had 19 points and a career-high 21 rebounds to help Pittsburgh beat No. 15 North Carolina 80-75 in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals Friday.James Robinson also scored a career-best 19 points for the fifth-seeded Panthers (25-8), who used a dominating start to build a huge lead before having to hold off a late rally by the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (23-9).Pittsburgh led by 20 points with 7:22 left before UNC’s frantic comeback behind Marcus Paige, who scored 20 of his 27 points after halftime before fouling out with 25.4 seconds left.UNC got it to 78-75 on Nate Britt’s jumper with 11.4 seconds left but couldn’t complete the comeback. James Robinson knocked down two free throws to make it a two-possession game again right after Britt’s score, then Lamar Patterson rebounded a hurried 3-pointer by James Michael McAdoo with 4.3 seconds left to essentially seal it.last_img read more

Paper View: Darwin, of All the Nerve

first_imgAmerican neurons are due to get a workout this day.  The taste buds and olfactory neurons will get their exercise first at Independence Day barbecues across the land, then the visual cortex and auditory neurons will max out as the fireworks start after dark.  Escorted by the Editors of Science Magazine, Darwin is here in America and wants to get in on the action for his 200th birthday tour.  Surely his handlers will have something evolutionary to say about all this electrical stimulation going on that makes the revolutionary holiday joyous.  Picture a bandstand in the park with an audience eager to hear about the old man’s viewpoint on nervous systems.    Greg Miller, in a series celebrating the white beard of evolution for Science,1 tackled the question in Darwinian style with his essay, “On the Origin of the Nervous System.”  Let’s see if it wins applause from the crowd.  The editors give the introduction to the man of the hour: “What did the first neurons and nervous systems look like, and what advantages did they confer on the animals that possessed them?  In the seventh essay in Science’s series in honor of the Year of Darwin, Greg Miller discusses some tantalizing clues that scientists have recently gained about the evolutionary origins of nervous systems.”  Drum roll.  Miller steps up to the mike.  Will he be nervous?  It always helps to start an essay with a grand parade of amazing facts:The nervous systems of modern animals are amazingly diverse.  A few hundred nerve cells are all a lowly nematode needs to find food and a mate.  With about 100,000 neurons, a fruit fly can perform aerial acrobatics, dance to woo a mate, and throw kicks and punches to repel a rival.  The sperm whale’s 8-kilogram brain, the largest on the planet, is the navigation system for cross-ocean travel and 1000-meter dives and enables these highly social creatures to communicate.  The human brain—one-sixth that size—is the wellspring of art, literature, and scientific inquiry.He’s won some applause for those lines, but has not yet answered the question.  Might as well dive right in: “But how did they all get started?  What did the first neurons and nervous systems look like, and what advantages did they confer on the animals that possessed them?”  Miller detours briefly into history to absolve Mr. Darwin.  The old man was ill-equipped to answer that question, he said.  Neuroscience did not really begin till after he died.  It has taken decades to develop the tools to even begin to understand the subject matter that needs explaining by Darwinian theory.  With the father of evolution thus exonerated, how are modern researchers doing?Using such modern tools, scientists have recently begun to gain some tantalizing clues about the evolutionary origins of nervous systems.  They’ve found that some of the key molecular building blocks of neurons predate even the first multicellular organisms.  By looking down the tree of life, they are concluding that assembling these components into a cell a modern neuroscientist would recognize as a neuron probably happened very early in animal evolution, more than 600 million years ago.  Most scientists agree that circuits of interconnected neurons probably arose soon thereafter, first as diffuse webs and later as a centralized brain and nerves.    But the resolution of this picture is fuzzy.  The order in which early branches split off the animal tree of life is controversial, and different arrangements imply different story lines for the origins and early evolution of nervous systems.  The phylogeny is “a bit of a rat’s nest right now,” says Sally Leys of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.  Scientists also disagree on which animals were the first to have a centralized nervous system and how many times neurons and nervous systems evolved independently.  Peering back through the ages for a glimpse of the first nervous systems is no easy trick.The audience, naturally, is only going to tolerate excuses for so long about how hard the question is.  So far, they have only heard about “tantalizing clues” and “story lines” and low-resolution pictures compounding the problem – followed by the suggestion that this complicated system arose several times independently.  No answer is yet in sight.    Surprisingly, Miller tries to soften up the audience on the radical idea of multiple independent origins by quoting an evolutionary colleague who said, “If you look at any other organ or structure, people easily assume it could evolve multiple times,” so, by implication, why the heartburn about nervous systems?  The audience looks this way and that as if asking, What people are you talking about?    Miller next sets up the problem: “How to Build a Neuron.”  He discusses the varieties of neurons, how they all transmit electricity in one direction, and other empirical facts.  Dendrites, neurotransmitters, all the objects of study in the neuroscience lab get a brief mention.  Then he tells what they’re good for:Arranged in circuits, neurons open up new behavioral possibilities for an animal.  Electrical conduction via axons is faster and more precise than the diffusion of chemical signals, enabling quick detection and a coordinated response to threats and opportunities.  With a few upgrades, a nervous system can remember past experiences and anticipate the future.The audience is sensing this is another distraction from the subject.  Miller responds to their impatience as if to say I’m getting there, but gives another excuse: “Although the advantages of going neural are clear, how it first happened is anything but.”    On come the stories, or “plausible scenarios” as he calls them.  Maybe jellyfish were the first pioneers to explore the possibilities of nerves.  Back in 1970, “George Mackie of the University of Victoria in Canada envisioned something like the sheet of tissue that makes up the bell of a jellyfish as starting material.”  Those cells respond to touch and contract.  Perhaps these multifunctional cells “may have given rise to” additional cell types, and the ions began to flow.  “With further specialization, the distance between the sensory and muscle cells grew and axons arose to bridge the gap,” he said, embellishing this story without any appeal to observational evidence.  “Eventually, ‘interneurons’ appeared,” (how?  from where?) “forming synapses with sensory neurons at one end and with muscle cells at the other end.”  The audience is puzzled.  He seems to have conjured up the evolutionary rabbit out of a hat of pure speculation.    So far this “plausible scenario” is tall on imagination and short on empirical support.  Miller calls on another evolutionist who seems to have stronger faith in the power of convergent evolution: “Neurons may have appeared in multiple lineages in a relatively short time.”  That doesn’t calm the rustling in the audience much.    Realizing he needs some factual support quick, Miller appeals to Paramecium and other single-celled organisms that can respond with a cascade of signals when they touch an obstacle.  Voltage-gated channels in the membrane allow ions to flow as part of the response mechanism.  It strikes some in the audience strange that Miller appeals to one complex system to explain the origin of another complex system.  He works up his nerve to say, “Electrical excitability, it seems, evolved long before neurons made it their specialty.”  A critic in the audience jots down a note that he has not described any of this in terms of mutations and natural selection.  So far, it sounds Lamarckian.    Miller wipes his storyboard with a sponge.  His next plot line is that sponges may have been a transitional link.  After all “Many scientists think” that sponges “are the living creatures most similar to the common ancestor of all animals.”  The audience shuffles restlessly again: who is he talking about?  “And to many researchers, sponges look like animals on the verge of a nervous breakthrough.”  That pun gets a brief courtesy giggle followed by furrowed brows.  He continues, “Sponges don’t have a nervous system, or even neurons, but they do have a surprising number of the building blocks that would be needed to put a nervous system together.”    Miller shows they have these building blocks by referring to the genome of a marine sponge that can build some proteins used in synapses of neurons.  These sponges, of course, lack synapses, but they appear to have some genes for neurotransmitter receptors.  The audience perks up at this revelation.  What does it mean?  Miller is not sure: “the function of these synaptic scaffolding proteins in a sponge is a mystery….”  Some in the audience are toying with alternative explanations.  Simultaneously, Miller seems to realize his vulnerability.  He just failed to explain why Darwinian selection would build equipment for an animal that appears to lack any use for it.    Surprising revelations might just keep the audience off guard.  Miller describes some sponge larvae that “express a handful of genes that spur neural precursor cells to develop into full-fledged neurons in more complex animals.”  These genes, he continues enthusiastically, stimulate the formation of extra neurons when inserted into fruit flies.  Isn’t it therefore possible that these sponge larvae have “protoneurons”?  The audience listens, but some are wondering what a protoneuron would be good for.  “Bernard Degnan speculates that they may somehow help the free-floating larvae sense their environment and find a suitable place to settle down and metamorphose into their adult form.”  The audience is listening intently now.    Miller continues with stories of how these sponges seem to have a kind of “neural foreshadowing”.  The critic jots down another note: in Darwinian theory, evolution acts only for the present and cannot see possibilities down the line, so ‘neural foreshadowing’ makes no sense  One sponge, Miller continues, seems to have a reaction potential and a slow-but-effective reflex response.  How this improves on Paramecium is not clear, but he says Leys and Mackie think it’s interesting.All in all, says Leys, sponges provide a tantalizing picture of what an animal on the brink of evolving a nervous system might look like.  Their cells have many of the right components, but some assembly is still required.  And although they have a wider behavioral repertoire than most people realize, Leys says, their “reflexes” are far slower than those of animals with a nervous system.The thought of a sponge as a primitive link between single-celled organisms and animals with nervous systems is on the audience’s minds.  But before they get too enthusiastic about this possible evolutionary transition, Miller pauses to caution them that “some researchers argue that sponges aren’t the most primitive living animals.”  The audience goes from elation to deflation.    Now what?  It might be, Miller continues, that comb jellies lie at the base of the evolutionary tree.  This is very bad news for the sponge believers.  “Like true jellies, ctenophores have bona fide neurons and a simple netlike nervous system,” Miller reveals.  “Their position at the base of the animal family tree—if it stands up—would shake up many researchers’ views on nervous system evolution.”  The audience gasps.  This has other “unpalatable implications,” he moans: “if ctenophores came before sponges, the assorted nervous system components that have turned up in sponges may not be foreshadowing after all but rather the remnants of a nervous system that was lost after the sponge lineage split off from that of ctenophores.”  The audience groans in disbelief.  Sixteen paragraphs into the lecture and he is back at square one.    What will he do next?  He takes a brief foray into discussing another contender for the earliest animals: cnidarians (which includes true jellyfish, sea anemones and corals).  But that is not much help, because cnidarians have more complex neuronal components than sponges, just like ctenophores.  Hemmed in by “unpalatable implications,” Miller abandons all pretence of empirical support, and projects an imaginary world on the screen:Just as sponges, comb jellies, and sea anemones may hold clues to how the first nerves and nerve nets arose, other creatures may shed light on the evolution of more complex neural circuitry.  “I think everybody agrees that nervous systems were at first diffuse and then evolved to be centralized,” with a concentration of neurons in the front end of the animal—that is, a brain—and a nerve cord connecting it to the rest of the body, says Arendt.  “But there’s no consensus yet on exactly when this happened.”  Arendt and others have argued that a centralized nervous system existed in the ancestor of all bilaterally symmetrical animals, or bilaterians.To make the point, he alleges that genes that control development of the existing nervous system in fruit flies, worms and vertebrates all play similar roles.  What does that mean?  “That implies that these genes were already present in the last common ancestor of all these creatures—the ancestor of all bilaterians—and suggests to Arendt and others that this ancestor had a centralized nervous system.”    The audience appears poised to riot.  Did Miller really just say that the evolution of the central nervous system happened because the ancestor already had one?  Well, then, how did it evolve before that?  It appears Miller has only pushed the problem further back in time to some mythical ancestor that already had a central nervous system.    This is certainly an embarrassing moment on stage.  Miller backtracks: “But not everyone is so sure.”  He presents a “range of possibilities” (from a range of disagreeing scientists).  The responsibility for explaining the evolution of the nervous system passes back and forth between them like a hot potato.  Miller employs Truman’s Rule: “If you can’t convince them, confuse them” —Because most but not all modern bilaterians have a centralized nervous system, there will be awkward implications no matter what.  If the bilaterian ancestor had a diffuse nervous system, centralized nervous systems must have originated multiple times in multiple bilaterian lineages—a far less parsimonious scenario than a single origin.  On the other hand, if the ancestor had a centralized nervous system, several lineages, including that of Saccoglossus, must have later reverted to a diffuse nervous system—an apparent down-grade that’s hard to explain.    The puzzles don’t end there.  Fastforwarding a bit in evolutionary time raises a new set of questions.  What is the origin of the myelin insulation that speeds conduction down axons and ensures the fidelity of neural signals?  Or of the glial cells that are proving to have important roles in brain function and appear to be more numerous in complex nervous systems?The audience is reeling.  It’s as if all the props on stage are falling apart and the stage hands are running in random directions not knowing what to do next.  Miller reaches for a tried-and-true audience pleaser: prove that modern scientists are smarter than Aristotle.    The grand old Greek philosopher influenced people well into the 20th century, Miller says, by suggesting that animals could be “arranged in a linear series, with man and the angels at the top.”  But of course, “we now know that’s just nonsense.”  So even though we have no clue how a nervous system evolved, at least we are smarter than Aristotle.    As the audience sits down from its threatened riot, Miller lets loose with the whole evolutionary bag of tricks and miracle stories to end like a 4th of July Grand Finale:Most researchers now agree that equally complex—but anatomically different—brains have evolved in birds, mammals, and other animal lineages, Northcutt says: “At least four or five times independently, … major radiations of vertebrates have evolved complex brain structure.”  But whether brains that are put together differently operate on similar principles is still an open question.  And then there is the enduring question of what, if anything, is special about the human brain.  Perhaps the emerging clues about the long evolutionary path we’ve taken will one day help us decide where we are.The audience leaves, shaking their heads.  One jokes to another that if they weren’t enlightened, at least they were entertained.1.  Greg Miller, “On the Origin of the Nervous System,” Science, 3 July 2009: Vol. 325. no. 5936, pp. 24-26, DOI: 10.1126/science.325_24.You have to laugh at the predicament of these Darwinists.  We could dismiss this as a silly slapstick sideshow except for the fact that they have all power over the media, schools and scientific institutions with this malarkey and insist it is the only story fit to teach.  What utter nonsense!  It’s all fiction, imagination, speculation, futureware and miracles, with complex systems just emerging, giving rise to and appearing left and right without links, causes or evidence.  This was exactly like the performance Marshall gave about the Cambrian explosion back in 045/23/2006.  What the audience had come for, a scholarly scientific lecture on a matter of serious debate, turned into a circus of silliness camouflaged in jargon: Marshall’s explanation for the sudden emergence of all the major body plans in a geological instant was, in effect, “they evolved because they evolved!”  Evolution gets served to the masses as its own circular justification.    Isn’t that exactly what Miller did here?  He sidestepped this way, and that, more nimbly than Michael Jackson in a moonwalk, never getting around to answering the question except to say, in effect, “Nervous systems evolved, because… they evolved multiple times independently!”  Clueless would be a compliment for this kind of answer.  That’s really walking backward when appearing to walk forward.  We could not possibly add to the shame the Darwinians should be feeling for giving Miller a clown act to have to play for Seventh Lecturer in the Darwinian Bicentennial than to let you read his words for yourself – that they published anyway.  Of all the Nerf.(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Watch: Nelson Mandela’s first television interview

first_imgIn 1961 Nelson Mandela was a younger man of 42, on the run from the police for organising strike action in protest against South Africa’s independence from British rule. The decision to make the country a “republic” had been determined by a referendum in which only white people could vote. As freedom from British rule meant the freedom to implement apartheid, most white voters chose freedom from British rule.Mandela organised a labour strike to protest the new racist republic, and by doing so made himself a marked man. His increasingly militant solutions to the problem of apartheid also made him a target for the police. He was on the run. Yet, despite apartheid lunacy, way back then – over 60 years ago – Mandela remained outspokenly committed to racial tolerance and peace.Watch Mandela explain his views in his very first televised interview, in 1961.last_img read more

Audio Editing: Mixing Speech and Music in Premiere Pro

first_imgHone your audio editing skills and learn how to seamlessly blend speech with music in Premiere Pro.There’s a big chance you’re going to have both music and vocal tracks in your next video, and mixing those elements correctly involves more than simply turning down the music volume. It takes a little work for sure, and the following video tutorial shows us how adding just a few quick effects can make your finished audio sound great.The tutorial covers:Using the Audio MixerWorking with Multiband CompressorsScooping MidtonesBasic Music MasteringThe tutorial highlights a process known as the “scoop” method, where you drop the frequencies in the music that will be in conflict with your vocal track. It’s a quick way to make your audio mesh better in Premiere Pro.This tutorial was created by Ben Saffer. Thanks for sharing, Ben!Want to learn more about mixing audio in Premiere Pro? Check out a few of the following resources:Converting Stereo Tracks to Dual MonoAutomatically Syncing Audio to VideoHorizontal Audio Meters in Premiere ProEven better, check out the Premiere Pro section of the PremiumBeat blog. We have hundreds of articles dedicated to helping you become a better video and audio editor.Have any other tips for mixing speech with music in Premiere Pro? Do you have the scoop on the scoop method? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

This 16-Year-Old Makes Stunning Timelapse Videos

first_imgWe talk timelapse camera gear and more with 16-year-old Yuri Palma, an exceptionally talented photographer and videographer.All images via Yuri Palma/Fabio PalmaYuri Palma is a 16-year-old photographer and videographer from Italy. Based on his expertise in timelapse photography and editing, you’d hardly know that. Yuri shoots on a variety of cameras like the Panasonic GH4 and Nikon D7100, and he edits in Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere Pro. He often collaborates with other photographers — including his father, Fabio Palma.Take a look at one of his most recent projects, 4K Motion Vol. 3 (featuring the PremiumBeat royalty free track “True Genesis” by Tenacious Orchestra).We wanted to know more about Yuri’s work and his workflow, so we asked him.PB: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How long have you been a photographer and videographer?YP: I’ve been interested in photography since I was a child, and that was because I used to watch an incredible amount of documentaries, especially about wild places, and I just loved the sceneries and the way they were captured in those documentaries. I thought about becoming a photographer at the age of eleven.While reading National Geographic magazine, I saw an advertisement for the Nikon j1, a little mirrorless which I still use for some of my timelapses today. I decided to buy it, without knowing too much about photography itself. In fact, I was shooting completely in auto and I didn’t understand half of the settings.A few months later, I received some video clips (at the time I didn’t even know about videomaking at all) which were taken during an alpine expedition. I installed a very old copy of Pinnacle Studio on my first computer. I decided to try to edit those video clips just for fun. It was from there that photography and videomaking came together, and I was hooked. I spent hours in front of my computer watching every type of tutorial I could find on YouTube, and I still do today. I’ve been a videographer and photographer for about five years now.PB: What drew you to shooting timelapse videos?YP: That was a pretty simple choice. Like I said, I became interested in videomaking. The camera I had first was really, really bad at taking video, but it was surprisingly good at taking photographs. It took high-quality RAW files, which were fantastic for me once I understood how to work with them. So when I first heard of timelapse videos, it was obvious for me that they were what I was searching for.PB: Can you give some insight into your work? What type of projects do you frequently find yourself working on?YP: In the past few years I found myself doing every kind of short video I could. That was from commercials to documentaries and even music videos. But the type of work that I like the most is timelapse. With that being said, I’m introducing video at normal speed or slow motion into my work, like I’ve started to do in my series, Motion.PB: Can you go into more detail about the gear you use?YP: If you are into nature timelapse photography, you know that the most important thing is weight. You can’t hike to a spot hours from the closest road while carrying a two-meter slider and a heavy-duty tripod. You have got to be efficient with what you decide to carry.My go-to setup for timelapse videos is very simple. I have a Manfrotto backpack in which I have my three cameras of choice: the Nikon d7100, the Panasonic GH4 (that I can also use for 4K video), and the Sony RX100 Mark II.For lenses, a Tokina 11-16 f2.8, a Sigma 18-35 f1.8, and a Tamron 70-200 f2.8. The tripods I use are the Manfrotto 055, the Triopo GE-3228x8C, and a small Manfrotto Befree I use for the RX100.PB: How many batteries and memory cards do you find yourself going through for a shoot like this?YP: I always carry a minimum of three to four spare batteries, but the most important thing are memory cards. Shooting all of my timelapses at the highest quality RAW possible and the videos at 4k, I need an incredible amount of space. Even more important, I need really fast cards to handle that kind of data, so I carry a small bag with eight to ten 64GB memory cards. I use Gobe Magic, SanDisk Extreme, and Lexar Professional.PB: What types of things do you carry that are not gear-related that can be helpful to other shooters?YP: I found that a lot of the times when I go on location, the most important things are the ones not directly related to photography. I always carry with me a headlamp, duct tape, and the most important of all — some coins to lock tripods and slider plates. Other than that, if you have to do a long night timelapse, carry a good book to read while the camera is operating and you won’t regret it.PB: What resources have you used over the years to become a better photographer and videographer? Do you frequent any websites, forums, or have colleagues that have helped you over the years?YP: As I said before, the most important resource I used to become a better videographer and photographer was YouTube. The amount of tutorials that are on YouTube is incredible, and they are the easiest to access.I also read some photography blogs now and then, but I think that reading about some technique is very different than watching someone do it, and that is the reason why I prefer YouTube. Also, during the past few years I have met some really talented photographers. The experience of working with them just can’t be replicated.PB: Where can our readers see more of your work?YP: You can see my latest videos on my YouTube channel and follow me on Instagram.last_img read more