first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceLONDON — Greetings from across the pond, everyone.I touched down in London around 7 a.m. local time Wednesday, a little over two days before the Raiders land here for their Sunday game against the Seahawks at 6 p.m. local time (10 a.m. PST). Feel free to send over any recommendations for what to do these next two-plus days.For now, let’s get to some of your Week 6 mailbag questions. There were some good ones among …last_img read more

first_imgHall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson has shaved the price on his Pleasanton, Calif. home to $2.275 million.Click here if viewing from a mobile device.The six-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath property that was previously listed at $2.35 million spans 4,592 square feet. It features a solar system, pool and outdoor entertaining area among many other amenities.The home was purchased in 2004 for $1.6 million, according to public records. Janna Chestnut with Alain Pinel is the current listing …last_img read more

first_imgKing Kong Platypus.  Platypus-zilla.  That’s what they’re calling a new fossil that is shaking up the platypus family tree.Before proceeding, we should note that the new platypus fossil is being deduced from a single tooth.  The news articles explain that platypus teeth (see picture on Live Science) are distinctive enough to not only identify the animal, but also gauge its size.  Experts believe this one was probably a meter in length (twice the size of living specimens), large enough to eat frogs and small turtles.  Artwork of the giant platypus gulping down a turtle begins National Geographic‘s coverage.  “King Kong platypus was an ancient bone cruncher” was Michael Slezak’s headline on New Scientist, ready for a movie blockbuster screenwriter.So what are the evolutionists saying about this?  National Geographic put “Shakes Up Evolutionary Tree” in its headline.  Basically, it shakes up the idea that the platypus enjoyed a nice, uncomplicated, linear descent, growing smaller and losing teeth as adults over time.  This species”doesn’t fit that narrative.”  It must have been on an evolutionary “side branch,” the new narrative goes.  It’s larger than the previously-believed ancestor – which was already a fully-fledged platypus.  New Scientist isn’t quite sure how to evolve this monster, quoting Michael Archer, one of the discoverers:“Fossils showed they were getting steadily smaller, that they were losing their teeth and becoming hyper-specialised. And then suddenly this gigantic King Kong platypus turns up. It shows platypuses were experimenting with side branches [on the evolutionary tree],” says Archer. “This new giant platypus-zilla, it raises more questions than it answers. If it was so divergent, what was its lifestyle? Did it have venomous spurs? Did it have a flat tail? Was it aquatic?”Science Daily says of the lineage, “The oldest platypus fossils come from 61 million-year-old rocks in southern South America” (but see the claim of one 112 million years old from Australia, 11/27/07, its stasis rationalized by slow rates of evolution).  This new fossil is much more recent, estimated at 5-15 million years old in the evolutionary sequence, in the time frame of a previous but smaller record holder thought to be 15 million years old.  Yet both have been classified in the same genus, Obdurodon (“durable tooth”), whereas the living platypus is classified as Ornithorhynchus (“bird snout”; its species name is, appropriately, paradoxus).  Wikipedia‘s article on the platypus admits, “The platypus and other monotremes were very poorly understood.”  Slezak, nevertheless, tries to sound confident amidst the puzzled looks:“Monotremes [platypus and echidna] are absolutely fascinating subjects for evolution,” says Jenny Graves from La Trobe University in Melbourne who was part of a team that sequenced the platypus genome in 2008. “Although they are definitely mammals, they retain many reptile characteristics like laying eggs – they are real evolutionary intermediates.”“But it’s sometimes hard to tell if a feature was ancestral to all mammals, or specific to platypus or echidna,” she says. Any further information about this new species could therefore be important to understanding how mammals evolved.It’s unfair to call the platypus a “real evolutionary intermediate” when its earliest known ancestor was already a platypus, and when it’s “hard to tell if a feature was ancestral … or specific.”  It’s also doubtful that egg-laying was retained in this one lineage after mammals supposedly split from reptiles.  Certainly no evolutionist would claim that the poison spur on the male’s foot evolved from snakes or sting rays, or that its electric sense evolved from electric eels, or that its webbed feet evolved from ducks.  Rather than looking like an intermediate, the platypus represents more of a mosaic of traits that defies evolution.National Geographic linked its coverage to a video from 2009 that shows researchers trapping, handling, and studying living platypuses.  Today, they inhabit isolated populations in the north of Australia (Queensland) and south in Tasmania, with no known way for the populations to intermingle.  The southern ones are up to three times larger than the northern ones.  Biologist David Blair notes that the platypus has five X chromosomes and five Y chromosomes.  “You can ask the question why,” he says.  “I can’t give you an answer.”  (See 12/18/09 and  11/16/09, bullet 10, “nothing random about it.”)  See 5/09/08 for evolutionary puzzles found in the platypus genome.The giant platypus has attacked, all right: it has attacked evolutionary theory.  It is vain for evolutionists to champion this animal for Darwin.  They don’t understand it; it has no clear lineage; it is poorly understood.  Evolutionists were so astonished by it when it was first discovered, they thought it was a practical joke.  Do you see how today’s evolutionists trick readers by couching their failures in passive voice verbs?  “Poorly understood” by whom?  Not by creationists, who see God’s design all over these highly successful, sleek, delightful animals.  And no, it wasn’t made by a committee.  A committee-designed animal would be as successful as the Obamacare website.   With all its paradoxus traits, the platypus does just fine; swaggering, “No worries, mate; we’re doing just swimmingly.”  With all its fine-tuned adaptations for its habitat, the platypus thrives just as well as an otter or beaver does in their respective habitats.  It’s almost as if God made the platypus to shame anyone who would try to account for it by aimless common descent: Here; evolve this. 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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Department of Agriculture will be sponsoring a collection for farmers wishing to dispose of unwanted pesticides on Aug. 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Crawford County Fairgrounds, 610 Whetstone Street, Bucyrus, OH 44820. The pesticide collection and disposal service is free of charge, but only farm chemicals will be accepted.  Paint, antifreeze, solvents, and household or non-farm pesticides will not be accepted.Pesticide collections are sponsored by the department in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  To pre-register, or for more information, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at 614-728-6987.last_img read more

first_imgThe railings around the East Crescent feature a recurrent circular motif. Achieving an accurate replica was one of the challenges for current workshoppers in the metal shop. [Photo & Text: Jacob Schwartz] After a thorough introduction to the use of metalworking tools, November 6th workshop participants Joshua Kuensting and David Hershberger will spend their workshop on metal shop projects. [Photo & Text: Jacob Schwartz] November 22, 2004The current Metal Shop project is a steel railing for one of two access bridges at the back of the East Crescent. Each steel piece was cut to length in the Metal Shop, according to drafted specifications, and now the railing is welded in place.The current Metal Shop project is a steel railing for one of two access bridges at the back of the East Crescent. Each steel piece was cut to length in the Metal Shop, according to drafted specifications, and now the railing is welded in place. [Photo & Text: Jacob Schwartz]last_img read more

Local residents can meet with Rep Webber on Jan 12

first_img08Jan Local residents can meet with Rep. Webber on Jan. 12 State Rep. Michael Webber will host his monthly office hours on Friday, Jan. 12 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Tim Hortons, 2258 Crooks Road in Rochester Hills.“I am committed to making state government accessible and accountable to the people,” Rep. Webber said. “Hosting regular office hours is a great opportunity to meet local residents in the greater Rochester area.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Webber at 517-373-1773 or via email at [email protected] Categories: Webber Newslast_img read more