Sacramento ABC News reported that the Roseville school district voted 3 to 2 against the “Quality Science Education Policy” after months of debate. The policy would have provided supplementary materials critical of Darwinian evolution. Even a compromise position considered Tuesday night was rejected. The proposal had been submitted by a parent who felt students should know about scientific objections to evolution. World Net Daily reported that NPR, at the last minute before airing an episode of Science Friday about evolution teaching, canceled an appearance of a teacher critical of evolution. The guest, Roger DeHart, had been a respected biology teacher for 27 years before being reassigned by his Burlington, Washington high school for the controversy caused by providing his students scientific criticisms of Darwinism from secular journals. DeHart was told he would not be on the program just hours before it aired. As a result, the pro-evolution teacher was free to present his views on the NPR program without opposition, even though Discovery Institute claims he misrepresented their position. The Discovery Institute has issued press releases accusing NPR of misinformation and censorship, and has documented a pattern of factual errors in their reporting about the teaching of evolution.The campaign of obfuscation, marginalization, and misrepresentation continues. Although the ACLU was not mentioned in the Roseville news report, we have seen in the recent Los Angeles County Seal controversy that merely the threat of a lawsuit has been sufficient to stifle fair and honest debate on the real issues. The only way the Darwin Party can survive is to prevent their critics from getting a hearing, because their critics have an unfair advantage, as Lee Strobel says: they have the truth on their side. Better not tell students about Creation-Evolution Headlines. It might destroy their childlike faith in Father Charlie.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Scientists are finding that it’s not just having the right parts that makes a body go; it’s having those parts controlled by the right regulators. Recent stories make the case with their headlines: “‘Guardian of the Genome’: Protein Helps Prevent Damaged DNA in Yeast,” announced Science Daily. “Scientists find gas pedal – and brake – for uncontrolled cell growth,” reported PhysOrg. Another PhysOrg article about stem cells gave “New insights into how stem cells determine what tissue to become.” Still another on PhysOrg said that “Researchers find key step in body’s ability to make red blood cells.” Finally, also on PhysOrg, another use was found for large pieces of RNA transcribed from the big stretches of code between genes. In “‘Linc-ing’ a noncoding RNA to a central cellular pathway,” the opening paragraph announced, “The recent discovery of more than a thousand genes known as large intergenic non-coding RNAs (or ‘lincRNAs’) opened up a new approach to understanding the function and organization of the genome. That surprising breakthrough is now made even more compelling with the finding that dozens of these lincRNAs are induced by p53 (the most commonly mutated gene in cancer), suggesting that this class of genes plays a critical role in cell development and regulation.” All that was announced in just 3 days of science news, suggesting this is a hot area of research. Without precise regulation of the parts of a cell and its genes, bad things happen.This brief entry today is a teaser to go and read the articles, look for mentions of evolution or design, and think about which point of view found these discoveries surprising or not. Of course, don’t expect to see the words “intelligent design” anywhere, since that phrase is effectively banned from secular science journalism. Look instead for indirect inferences that design is the best explanation. Or, look for the lack of attempts to explain the regulation by evolution.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Ubuntu is guided by a simple, all-encompassing, yet radical mission: to help raise Port Elizabeth’s orphaned and vulnerable children by giving them what all children deserve – everything (Images: Ubuntu Education Fund Facebook Page)It all started when Banks Gwaxula and Jacob Lief had a meeting… and now the Ubuntu Education Fund was born and today it is one of Port Elizabeth’s success stories.Banks from PE and Jacob from the US, decided to launch an organisation driven by the community in 1999. And 15 years later,they are a reference for a number of NGOs working in education, health and household stability.In an interview with SparkTour Africa, Banks, co-founder and senior administrator of the Ubuntu Education Fund, said: “Jacob Lief came to South Africa from the US and we worked together in the townships of Port Elizabeth for seven months.“In 1999 we decided to launch the Ubuntu Education Fund. We started small by distributing academic supplies to orphaned and vulnerable children,” Banks said.“Since 1999, all our projects have been community-based. We support people from cradle to career, as we believe a good foundation is the most important thing lacking in Mzansi.“Our activities revolve around education, health and household stability. For example, we have a project called Early Childhood Development which takes care of vulnerable kids during the day.“Another example is the UP programme where we prepare young people for the world of work. More than 60 people are working for us in PE and they do an incredible job,” Banks explained.Ubuntu Education Fund founders Jacob Lief and Banks GwaxulaTo him, Ubuntu means a lot. “A child from next door is your own child. If your neighbour doesn’t have bread, they can come to your house and ask for that.“You give, you share whatever you have,” he said. Asked which three words would best describe the spirit of The Hope Factory, Banks explained: “Grassroot – because we don’t impose anything or take people for granted. People – we work with the people, not for the people. And Quality – because we don’t say that people in the townships need containers, instead we have built them a structure that received a lot of awards.”Banks went on: “The biggest challenge at the beginning was to start something that was unusual: Putting up a computer hub in the townships.“People feared to touch the buttons, so we had to encourage them a lot. Today, more than 100 teachers have been trained and are computer literate!” Banks said.About future plans, Banks had this to say: “I’d like to increase the number of children taking part in this project. A lot of children really need help.”And his advice to young entrepreneurs: “There is always a start for everything – and this is often a complicated period! ”Focus is the most important thing to sustain any business venture, Banks says.“Say no when it’s needed and you’ll be respected and get help.”First published in the Sunday Sun on 29 June 2014.
Billie Zangewa will be appearing in the next episode of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part TV series on Sunday, 31 August at 9pm on SABC2.Billie Zangewa’s works in silk have been exhibited around the world. (Image: Billie Zangewa)• Billie [email protected] Davie“My art career took off so effortlessly that I felt this was a sign of what direction I should take,” says artist Billie Zangewa, winner of the 2004 Absa L’atelier Gerard Sekoto Award.Born in 1973 in Blantyre in Malawi, Zangewa, who describes her art as “self-exploratory, visually sensual”, has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with majors in graphics and printmaking, from Rhodes University in Grahamstown.At the age of 10 she started drawing fashion illustrations, and was by then a fashion fanatic, devouring Vogue magazine and watching Video Fashion Monthly.After her studies she settled in Gaborone where she first worked with oil pastels, often depicting glamorous women. This organically grew to experimenting with textiles, in particular silk. She made handbags finished with embroidery depicting Botswana flora and fauna, and in 1996, she participated in a group show in Gaborone. This was followed by a solo exhibition entitled Gestures, at the Alliance Francaise in the city. In 1997 she was the winner of an Artists in Botswana Award for the Visual Arts in the graphics category.From Gaborone to JoziLater that year she moved to Johannesburg where she spent a few years working in fashion and advertising. “The landscape of the Johannesburg CBD then became a source of inspiration and she began to do deconstructed interpretations onto her handbags,” indicates her website. In 1999 she participated in a Rhodes University retrospective, entitled Printwork.When she drove down Commissioner Street in Johannesburg soon after arriving in the city, she was “awed by the reflective quality of a number of the high rise buildings along that street. Later, upon visiting a fabric shop, she noticed how the raw silk swatches behaved in a similar manner to the glass, their reflections changing tone and hue as they shifted,” writes Michael Smith on the artthrob.co.za website.He goes on to say that she “clearly revels in the quality of the silk”. “She soon began experimenting with this fabric, allowing it to assert a new, painterly identity in the context of her street scenes, group scenes and portraits.”In 2001 she took part in a group show at the Spark Gallery in Johannesburg, and in 2003 she showcased her work in three exhibitions in the city, one of which was entitled Handbags.“Her works are made from fabric, sewn painstakingly onto a base in a way that allows her to build a picture and suggest the illusionism of painting or photography, but which lets the textures of the various fabrics disrupt easy consumption,” states SmithCreating award-winning arts and fashion piecesIn 2004 Zangewa won the Absa L’atelier Gerard Sekoto Award with a triptych of handbags depicting Johannesburg cityscapes called Faith, Love and Hope, in a tribute to the city. “Whilst working on the solo exhibition that was part of the award, she decided to transplant her silk works onto a two-dimensional surface which she then called silk tapestries although the technique is more appliqué.”The award was followed by a five-month arts residency at the Cité International Des Art in Paris.In 2004 she participated in a South African group exhibition in Pujols sur Dordogne in France. In 2005 she took part in the Black Fine Art Show in New York, and in the same year she held another solo exhibition in Johannesburg.In 2006 Zangewa was the winner of the Res Artis (artist residency) in Antwerp in Belgium, where she spent three months. That year she participated in two exhibitions, in Dakar in Senegal, and in Turnhout in Belgium.In 2007 she held another solo exhibition, entitled Silk Tapestries, at the Afronova Gallery in Johannesburg, and two group exhibitions – one in Cape Town, another in Joburg.In 2008 she went back to Afronova for Stitch by Stitch, and her Fragments solo exhibition took place in Paris. She participated in two group exhibitions the same year, in New York, and Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. She held another solo exhibition at the International Contemporary Art Fair in Tokyo, entitled 101 Tokyo.Zangewa was busy in 2010, with four group exhibitions in Joburg, a solo exhibition in Madrid, another one in Joburg, and a group exhibition in Paris, as well as appearing in several art fairs. The following year she took her art to Morocco, Paris and Dakar again, as well as exhibiting in Joburg.In 2012, she participated in a group show entitled Hollandaise, in Amsterdam. Her pieces incorporated photography into textile works, with classic Vlisco fabric patterns. Her silk tapestries continue to be exhibited around the world.Zangewa, who describes herself as “an introvert who loves spending time at home. Although from time to time I like to surprise myself and get out”, has also ventured into singing, taking the name Billie Starr.She says at present she is “working on a series of silk tapestries called The Final Frontier and these tell the story of the days and nights of a woman living in urban contemporary Africa.”
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseToday Governor John Kasich signed an executive order to take action on water quality in Lake Erie with Ohio’s agriculture in the crosshairs. The measures will impact roughly 7,000 farmers and over 2 million acres in northwest Ohio.“This is just requiring farmers to figure out a way to manage their land in a more effective and more environmentally friendly way. I believe the farmers want to do that. Sometimes some of them do not know exactly what that means. To put a plan in place where we can fund them on whatever it takes to do that makes a lot of sense,” Kasich said. “[But] if the agricultural community says we are going to do nothing, that is not acceptable.”The executive order signed by Kasich targets eight watersheds in the western basin of Lake Erie that will be considered for designation under state law as “Watersheds in Distress,” based on their high nutrient levels, especially phosphorous. These include:Platter CreekLittle Flat Rock CreekLittle Auglaize RiverEagle CreekAuglaize RiverBlanchard RiverSt. Marys RiverOttawa River.The Ohio Department of Agriculture is directed by this order to consider these watersheds for the official designation “Watersheds in Distress” and to seek consent of the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission, as required by law. Watersheds receiving this designation will require the farmers within them to develop and implement nutrient management plans.“It will be our responsibility to work with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health, and Department of Natural Resources, look at the data they provide us, and make recommendations to the Soil and Water Commission about whether or not a watershed should be declared distressed. If that happens then we will submit rules…that will deal with what will be required for those watersheds in distress, very similar to what has happened with Grand Lake St. Marys,” said David Daniels, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “The nutrient management plans require regular soil testing and every operator farming over 50 acres will be required to have one of those for their farming operation sometime before the 2020 crop season. Hopefully everyone recognizes that a lot of people already have nutrient management plans and they are probably already compliant with the law. They will have to report to us that they have them and then we go through a process to make sure they are being followed.”These plans include rules for the use, storage, handling and control of nutrients and the development of management plans for all agricultural land and operations within each designated watershed. If implemented, a “Watershed in Distress” designation can only be removed after the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture has confirmed the sustained recovery, restoration and mitigation of factors leading to the original designation.Leaders in Ohio’s agriculture watched a press conference held by Governor John Kasich with great concern. Agriculture groups were not consulted on the plans for the executive order and not asked to participate in the announcement.“We are pretty disappointed that agriculture got shut out of this process. The governor came into office on the promise of transparent and open government and we did not see that in this process. If there had been more open conversation things might have turned out differently, but they didn’t,” said Joe Cornely, with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “Now we are looking through the executive order and trying to figure out what it means. We are going to file a public records request so we can get more information because this two-page executive order doesn’t really tell us what farmers are facing.“On the assumption that this does go into effect or parts of it actually go into effect, our biggest concerns are about resources and time. With 7,000 farms and 2 million acres, that is a significant amount of farmers and land. How do you implement this if it actually becomes law and the changes that this executive order is mandating? How do you get the farmers trained? How do you pay for all of this? As this develops, those are questions we are going to be raising. If we have to comply, we have to comply, but how? That is the biggest thing.”In addition to the use of executive action on this issue, the order will likely increase the bureaucratic red tape and it is not clear that science was being used to determine the watersheds being targeted.“Today, Governor Kasich and administration officials made it seem that if farmers do a nutrient management plan for their farm, Lake Erie will never see an algal bloom again. That is wrong,” said Tadd Nicholson, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association executive director. “What is true is that farmers have adopted best management practices including nutrient management plans, have invested millions of dollars in research and education, and even supported reasonable regulations to address water quality.”In addition to the measures outlined in the executive order, Kasich also signed bipartisan legislation known as Clean Lake 2020. The bill will invest significant new resources to protect water quality throughout the state, providing up to $20 million in a targeted phosphorus reduction fund, $3.5 million to support soil testing and the development of nutrient management plans, among other provisions. Clean Lake 2020 enjoyed broad support from Ohio agriculture.“We were big supporters of Clean Lake 2020. We were very encouraged when it passed unanimously in both the Senate and the House. We encouraged lawmakers to vote in favor of that. What we like about that is that it recognizes the complex solutions we are going to need to find on farms and it recognizes it will take time and money to make that happen,” Cornely said. “Clean Lake 2020 puts resources on the ground, but I don’t think the money in Clean Lake 2020 is sufficient to cover the massive number of farmers and ground this [executive order] could apply to.”The Kasich administration unsuccessfully lobbied to include the regulatory measures in Clean Lake 2020, but after being turned down by the legislature, Kasich pursued an executive order for the other regulations issued today.“Although Governor Kasich has worked productively with our farmers in the past, the administration is now acting without our input,” said Kirk Merritt, Ohio Soybean Association executive director. “Farmers are willing to do what needs to be done to solve this problem, but now we’re not even being invited to the table.”In recent years, Ohio farmers have implemented new best management practices on their fields to protect water quality while also funding research and education initiatives such as the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program, edge-of-field testing and an update of the tri-state fertility guide. For more information about what Ohio farmers are doing, please visit formyfarm.com.Now, instead of proactive efforts, Ohio agriculture is being forced into a reactive position based on Kasich’s executive order today.“We can’t even react to the specific regulations he’s proposing; we haven’t seen them,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “We’re also curious why the order deals with only agriculture and not other pieces of the water puzzle, especially since the administration has prioritized other water quality initiatives instead of farm conservation programs.”The Kasich administration said it has invested more than $3 billion to improve Lake Erie water quality. But an examination of the expenditures, reported by Cleveland Public Broadcasting station WCPN, found that only 1% of that money was used to address agriculture’s portion of the water quality challenge.“If we weren’t a priority for state resources, why are we a priority for state regulation?” Sharp said.View Tuesday’s press conference in its entirety.