Likely, Evolution May Be a Fact, Presumably

first_imgWhen reading evolutionary science papers, one gets the feeling there are more than the usual number of words indicating conjecture, doubt and uncertainty.  We decided to check this out in the July 11 issue of Current Biology.  Scans for the words perhaps, probably, might, possibly, likely, may, apparently, seem and presumably and their derivatives were conducted on two papers dealing with evolutionary research and two papers of similar length on cell biology research that did not concern evolution.  On average, the two evolutionary papers had 3.7 times as many conjecture words than the non-evolutionary ones.  Some examples:The phylogenetic distribution of some of these mutations indicates that they probably occurred before the divergence of the two groups of whales.Trichromatic colour vision in monkeys probably evolved from an ancestral dichromacy present within the arboreal environment of early primates, where the driving force was the ability to distinguish the redness of ripe fruits or reddish young leaves from a green background of foliage of highly variable luminance.…this is therefore a possible explanation for the evolution of colour vision so early in vertebrate evolution.The intriguing possibility is, therefore, that in marked contrast to placental mammals, the RH2 opsin gene has been retained and is expressed in these marsupials.Animals have evolved their visual sensitivity to match aspects of their photic environment, and it is likely that the primary adaptive selective pressure is the spectral range and intensity of daylight.Why these losses have occurred is not immediately apparent.  Superficially, as these animals are all nocturnal, it could be concluded that colour vision is of little functional significance and that the loss of the SWS1 cones is therefore of little consequence.  However, many of these species have close relatives that are also nocturnal but retain both cone types and presumably exhibit dichromacy.The same issue contained an editorial that began, “As creationists seek to increase their influence on the scientific agenda, the world’s leading scientists urged schools and colleges last month to stop denying the facts of evolution.”  Nigel Williams spoke out against public schools where “scientific evidence, data, and testable theories about the origins and evolution of life on Earth are being concealed, denied or confused with theories not testable by science.”There’s the shell game (see top right quotation).  Evolutionists preach about science and criticize faith, but look at their research.  This is why Colin Patterson, in a moment of frankness, asked his evolutionary colleagues if they could point to one thing about evolution that they knew was true.  All he got was silence.    Four papers from one journal, of course, cannot represent a statistical sample, but maybe this anecdotal evidence can interest someone in performing a larger study on the comparative numbers of conjecture-words between evolutionary papers and research papers on observable, testable lab science.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Injunction pauses enforcement of LEBOR

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  Leave a CommentEditor’s Note: Below is an update from Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Adam Sharp regarding the next development in a Wood County farmer’s lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the Lake Erie Bill of Rights: For several weeks your Farm Bureau has been making you aware of the possible threat of lawsuits against farmers after Toledo citizens passed an ordinance that would give Lake Erie rights in court. While there’s still a long road ahead, there is some positive news to share with you.On March 18, U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary issued a preliminary injunction pausing enforcement of the recently passed Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR). This action stems from a lawsuit filed by a Wood County farmer the day after Toledo voters passed LEBOR in a special election. Farm Bureau stands with the farmer and his family and we appreciate that this injunction will prevent the law from taking effect while the case is litigated. The court decision brings us one step closer to protecting farmers in the Lake Erie Watershed from costly lawsuits brought on by LEBOR.Although Ohio Farm Bureau understands that this process will take time, a quick resolution is of the essence. Soon, the 2019 planting season will begin and it is our hope that our farmers in the Lake Erie watershed can get their seeds into the ground without the possibility of LEBOR lawsuits hanging over their heads.We will be watching all developments in Toledo as it pertains to this case and will keep you updated as new information becomes available.Sincerely,Adam J. SharpExecutive Vice President   Leave a Commentlast_img read more

Move Over Flipboard: Qwiki is the iPad’s Newest Killer App

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… marshall kirkpatrick Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Related Posts Tags:#Product Reviews#web “It’s clear that the future of media consumption is tablets and mobile…if there’s anywhere to be experimenting as a company, it’s in the acceleration of content off the desktop. It’s a whole new world and now we need new tools.” So says Doug Imbruce, founder and CEO of Qwiki, a mostly-automated multi-media content creation system that today launches what Imbruce calls its true potential, unleashed: Qwiki on the iPad (iTunes).All I’ve wanted to do since seeing it is spend time wandering through this app. It’s fabulous and it’s just beginning. If the company can execute its plans then this is going to be some seriously disruptive stuff. Some people hate Qwiki; those people will pay a high price for their cynicism – they’ll miss out on one of the most enjoyable information consumption experiences to emerge in some time.What is this magical app? Qwiki is a technology that takes raw text, photos and videos and attempts to weave it all together into a short, dynamic presentation that makes sense. The system notes data types like dates and locations and creates original infographics to represent it. There’s simply something about having articles read to you, with pictures, maps and charts moving around the page dynamically and ready to touch that is captivating. The first use case, the desktop and now iPad app, uses text from Wikipedia and media from elsewhere around the web. Could you just read the Wikipedia articles for yourself? Sure you could – but will you? That’s a fundamentally different experience from the lean back meandering through reference material that Qwiki makes you want to pour time into. There’s simply something about having articles read to you, with pictures, maps and charts moving around the page dynamically and ready to touch that is captivating. If you’ve tried Flipboard on the iPad – that does something similar, it transforms content into something tablet-friendly. Qwiki does that too, but whereas Flipboard’s content is entirely human-driven, Qwiki has location and algorithms driving its editorial decisions. Both are great apps. Flipboard uses the famous iPad swipe motion far more than Qwiki does, Qwiki’s use of big maps and swirling images is great on the iPad.“Most companies don’t have the DNA of both Art and Science,” Imbruce says. “We do and that’s why we can create such compelling products.”Is it perfect? No, but if you want to spend your time complaining about its shortcomings you just go ahead and do so – I’ll be busy learning about everything from the history of my neighborhood to famous baseball players to the Ed Sullivan Show. I’ve consumed more encyclopedic content in the past week thanks to Qwiki than I have in a year otherwise. Maybe longer. Sometimes I wish the Qwikis were longer, but if I’m really interested in learning about a topic in-depth I can click through to the Wikipedia article and then to original sources. That viewers are left feeling just a little unsatisfied after each bit might be part of why the next one is so easy to click on.Qwiki isn’t for every situation. It’s not a quiet activity and some people might not like the sound of the female robot’s voice. If you try to use the Qwiki iPad app on public transit (as I did yesterday) people may look at you like you’re a major snob from the future, given how futuristic and fancy the app looks.Qwiki wowed people when they saw it demonstrated on the desktop – but the iPad app is much, much better. It’s made for that form factor. That your iPad is mobile is significant too. The first thing the Qwiki app will ask you is for permission to access your location. Then, in addition to the Qwiki of the day, you’ll be shown a map you can click to zoom into. Click on that map and you’ll be taken to the city you’re in. Zoom out, zoom in, wherever you move the map view too, Qwiki will flag the 10 most popular geo-located Qwiki items within your current view. I first tested the app while visiting San Francisco. That was cool. Then I tested it when I got home – that was engaging and felt useful. Then I zipped the map down to the town I grew up in. That was an emotionally evocative experience.Imbruce knows it, too. “It feels really good to see a 16 year old view the Qwiki on Leonardo Da Vinci or to see my mother browse her grandparents’ home town in Italy,” he says. “This is a serious company, we’re going to build something that’s generationally significant.”Qwiki iPad App Demo from Qwiki on Vimeo.Qwiki as PlatformWhile the Qwiki app today is pretty cool, it has platform aspirations. Here’s what we wrote about Qwiki in our January post In Defense of Qwiki: The Machine That Reads to You:Qwiki wants to let a robot make beautiful movies for you to passively learn about any topic, any text, that you choose. The web is an interactive place, but sometimes it’s good to sit back and enjoy the fruits of that interactivity in a way that asks less of you as a user.Traditional multi-media content is too expensive to scale to serve the long-tail of would-be consumers. The days of broadcast, mass-media as “the only game in town” are gone. If we’re all going to get multi-media satisfaction, for all our obscure interests, a lot of it is going to need to be created by robots. Not all of it, but a lot of it. “Within 6 months to a year we will have a platform that ingests content, makes it intelligently summarized and makes it available on all kinds of different devices including interactive television,” Imbruce told me. “Publish once, play anywhere.”Imbruce says the company is choosing publishing partners to pilot with now. “We see extreme scale with 3rd parties deploying their content into Qwiki and we’ll remix it without human effort.”A big part of the platform, in addition to ordering the images in time with the read text, is the creation of infographics. “If you boil down Qwiki it’s the infographics,” Imbruce says. “We’ve only got a handful of those now but we’re going to offer a platform for thousands of types of infographic, most recent tweet, charts, foursquare check-ins. All the different types of infographics will become re-usable, too.”Qwiki and Legacy PublishersPublishers have raised major objections to the transition of their content into other iPad formats that were different and not completely under their control. How will they react to the prospect of being Qwiki’d?“Newspapers didn’t want to go online 10 years ago, either,” Imbruce told me. “There’s a survival instinct where most publishers have a bureaucracy that prevents them from producing a compelling UX. Just as the shift online left publishers unable to exert the level of control they wished, that same shift will happen in the shift to mobile. We haven’t seen that reaction though, we’ve just seen enthusiasm.“In 2011 any company’s goal has to be to satisfy users or else they will die. Users have such a voice now that successful companies have to be user-centric. You can’t monopolize media any more and tell people your product is good, it has to be good.”Is Qwiki good? I think it’s great, but try it out for yourself and let me know what you think. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some fresh Qwiki content to consume.last_img read more

The American Passive House Institute Responds to Dr. Feist

first_imgA new letter: Now it’s slanderLate on Friday August 19, Katrin Klingenberg issued a new letter to Dr. Feist. In her latest volley, Klingenberg wrote, “I would have wished for you to respond … in a more civil, mutually respectful way and without the decision to slander our company publicly with our client and stakeholder base. … Slander is against the law in this country and I believe it is equally serious to target the client base of a company directly to intentionally defame the business partner in any way.”In the main body of the letter, Klingenberg’s accusations (and prose) get a little dense, as when she writes, “It appears that they [employees of PHI] have a sense of a tenuous hegemony and respecting the work and collaborating with those who have significant experience by now apparently does not fit this worldview.” Tenuous hegemony, indeed.The latest letter explains one point: it appears that the the straw that broke the camel’s back was the low pass rate for students taking the international Passivhaus exam in the U.S. Klingenberg wrote, “In the meantime the exam situation had gotten untenable. Lack of communication from them, seriously late receipt of the exam prior to the exam date for translation into IP units, climate misunderstandings, German details and a surprise change in weighting points made only 15 out of 63 pass the exam. People were extremely unhappy. It was a disaster. PHIUS was soon blamed for not preparing people to pass the European test.” The Passivhaus Institut in Germany Disowns Its U.S. SatelliteRound 3: Wolfgang Feist Discusses the PHI-PHIUS SplitPassivhaus Combatants Continue To Speak OutResponding on August 20 to rumors that the Passivhaus Institut would insist that all U.S. documentation must use metric units, Dr. Feist posted the following comment on the Brute Force Collaborative blog: “We (PHI) do not insist in using the metric system in America – that would be ridiculous. There will be an easy to use converter available for IP within PHPP. What we do not agree to is to hide the whole open PHPP structure and to make such a discussion out of this tiny little units conversion.”For American observers who remain bewildered by the origin of the dispute between PHIUS and the Passivhaus Institut, PHIUS suggests that all mysteries will be revealed in time. According to the PHIUS letter, “We intend to respond to some of Dr. Feist’s more objectionable assertions item-by-item, and will post that response shortly.”More perspective on the PHIUS-PHI divorce can be found at the Environmental Building News website; see the EBN report, “Passive House Schism Leaves U.S. in Limbo.”Bloggers are also beginning to chime in. See: Mike Eliason at Brute Force Collaborative Eric Lin and Roger Lin at Arlington Passivhaus Adam Cohen at Zero Energy ConstructionGregory Duncan in Brooklyn Andrew Michler at InhabitatPaul at the MinnePHit House blog Nichole Reber at ArchitectureTravelWriter Douglas Resier at the Builders Counsel blogRoger at the EdgewaterHaus blog Michael Hindle at the Chesapeake Passive House blog Mel Starrs at the Elemental blog UPDATED 9/7/2011 with a new blog linkThe Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) has published a response to Dr. Wolfgang Feist’s August 17 letter announcing a severing of all ties between PHIUS and the Passivhaus headquarters in Germany. The PHIUS letter has been posted on the PHIUS website.According to the official PHIUS response, Dr. Feist’s letter:Includes “several claims that can most charitably be characterized as inaccurate.”Is “unfortunate and somewhat bewildering.”Is a “broadside attack on PHIUS.”Is “not only inaccurate, it’s destructive, disappointing and hurtful to those of us who have worked closely with him.” For those who want to dig deeperThe Passive House Institute has posted an interesting document: the notes prepared by PHIUS to document a meeting held between representatives of PHIUS and representatives of PHI in Innsbruck, Austria, on May 30, 2011. The meeting was an apparent attempt to iron out differences between the two organizations.As might be imagined, the notes document a host of petty differences and inabilities to agree, and most of the document makes for fairly boring reading. Here are a few interesting tidbits, however:“PHIUS expressed that there are concerns about the use of the ‘Passive House’ label in the US market and that if the label is not protected, anyone is free to call anything a Passive House, which may lead to market confusion and a reputation for the standard that has been compromised by projects claiming to be Passive Houses, which in fact are not.”“PHI stated that they have been told PHIUS has contracts with individuals that prohibit them from speaking with PHI. PHIUS responded that this was not the case…”“PHI stated that PHIUS is welcome to run its own program in the US, but that PHI wishes to be left out of it, and if this is what PHIUS wishes to do, there is no need for PHIUS to have agreement for project certification from PHI or for us to waste time on further conversations.”“PHI stated that if PHIUS wishes to work with PHI that it wants symmetrical collaboration and at this point feels taken advantage of and that PHIUS is only taking and not contributing anything.” PHIUS releases answers to FAQsThe latest PHIUS document to be posted contains the organization’s answers to frequently answered questions on the PHI-PHIUS divorce. The document is titled Town Hall Summary and FAQ. No organization owns the standardMoreover, PHIUS claims that:The Passivhaus Institut (PHI) in Germany has made “often-capricious, bureaucratic and cumbersome demands.”The Passivhaus Standard “belongs to no one or no organization.”“Dr. Feist and PHI long ago lost control of the European certification process and with it lost its legitimacy on this issue.”The PHIUS response lists only one substantive dispute with the Passivhaus Institut in Germany, and the issue is fairly obscure and technical. According to the PHIUS letter, “PHI continued to deliver the metric exam only 2 days before the exam date and not five as stated in the contract — this was too little time to translate the test into metric and rewrite the answers.” RELATED ARTICLES Interesting commentsThe following interesting comments have been posted on the Inhabit website:A reader using the nickname PHbuilder wrote, “There are many people unhappy with PHIUS’s lack of professionalism, undermining tactics, and poor/misleading educational classes. They have been leveraging the regional grassroots Passive House organizations with big brother tactics via chapter affiliation contracts all over the country. And when the local people questioned their odd organizational terms or speak directly with PHI, PHIUS would start another local chapter to undermine these communities. They are power hungry and their motives are not inline with the community that is actually building Passive Houses! If PHIUS wants to go it on their own, so be it. Most people I speak to would rather be affiliated with the international movement that has brought these amazing structures to fruition. Better air quality, massive energy reduction and longer building shell life are just a few of the elements that are gained by sticking to the PH plan. And America would have none of these without PHI’s commitment and effort. Thank You Dr. Feist! (Diff between SI and metric units? seriously?)”A reader using the nickname PHarchitect wrote,”On July 22, 2011, PHIUS issued a letter to its members stating that they, PHIUS, would be breaking away from the German organization. The reasons given were that the German standard, while highly tuned to their specific climate, is not relevant to the much more diverse and demanding North American climate; requiring consultants to input data in SI made the planning package needlessly cumbersome and seriously impeded its implementation by a larger US audience; and the certification exam was presented in broken English with largely irrelevant content. Attempts by PHIUS to remedy these issues in order to make this excellent standard viable for North American implementation were met with refusal. Hopefully the two organizations will make amends and find common ground; in the mean time, however, the US program stands a better chance of moving forward without the burdensome control of the German organization.”A reader using the nickname PHengineer wrote, “I also got that letter on July 22 saying that PHIUS was breaking from PHI, mainly over complaints from trained consultants about PHI’s certification exam. It is interesting to see it spun like this…who broke up with who?”A reader using the nickname PHhan wrote, “The PHI exam wasn’t in ‘broken English’ – no more than previous exams prepared by PHIUS were. And the questions weren’t ‘irrelevant’ – it just featured a number of issues (e.g. economics) that we had absolutely ZERO education on during training. Frankly, this is highly unfortunate and the ‘go it alone’ attitude of PHIUS was the wrong choice (guessing one of a series of horribly incorrect choices). Everyone who took the training and exam thinking they would be dealing w/ a logical PHIUS that would be working in conjunction w/ the PHI to certify actual buildings to the passivhaus standard, needs to be refunded their money. or maybe the PHIUS board needs to be disbanded. Did it really come down to, ‘The European exam is too hard, but I paid $2,500 for this training – I deserve to pass!’?”A reader using the nickname Kgregoire wrote, “What is even more frustrating is PHIUS’ attitude and language in reference to the ‘North American’ market. CanPHI, the Canadian Passive House Institute, has no such issues and has worked with PHI since its’ inception to ensure compliance with the greater global community. It has been clear for a while now that PHIUS was pursuing the business model of the USGBC and looking to generate fees via regulation. Compliance with the international community is critical in maintaining the integrity of the designation and the standard. PHIUS is doing harm and a disservice to the PH moevment and concept through their cavalier attitude. America may want to look north for compliance and future certification.”A reader using the nickname AGbuilds wrote, “I too recently took the PH training course through PHIUS at Parsons. There was a lack of organization throughout the entire course, and in the end, most participants felt that they had not been adequately prepared for the exam with the material covered during training. Personally, I feel that I paid to take the consultants training, which should have covered the material necessary to pass the exam.”last_img read more

The History of Memoji Videos and How to Make One Yourself

first_imgMash-up Music VideosUpon viewing the clips, it’s evident that these videos offer a lot more flare than what you can obtain using memoji tools. There are excellent compositing and motion graphics included within the ads. However, over the last year, we haven’t seen any official releases from artists, only mashup music videos like this one:This user has built an entire channel by taking popular music and creating memoji music videos. With 165 thousand subscribers in less than 12 months, this is no easy task.“Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X Featuring Billie Ray CyrusThe song, whether you’re a fan or not, has continued to break streaming record after streaming record. Which is why, up until now, it’s been surprising that there hasn’t been an official music video. The original track was released with an accompanying video of Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay, and the remix was released with just a static picture of two horses. The artist has since tweeted that fans are to expect an official music video next week. But, before that release, fans were treated to this:A memoji video of “Old Town Road.” Yes, it’s as bonkers as that sentence was to read. Unlike the grandeur of Apple’s ads, this Memoji music video just features the two animated artists, along with an abundance of relatable emojis. I’ve perhaps never seen a more primitive music video, and yet it works so well. It capitalizes on popular culture with how the majority of online users communicate using iconography, without sacrificing the playfulness of the track.More importantly, I think this video highlights the simplicity of creativity in an age where everyone is trying to do more and go bigger. With just a set of precomposed icons, the team was able to reel in millions of views and thousands of positive comments. Of course, we can’t discount the popularity of the song influencing these numbers. But as several fans have stated on Twitter: “If this is the official music video, I’m ok with that.”I think it’s easy to scoff at such a basic premise, especially when the video may appear inherently childish due to the animated characters. Regardless, the video is undoubtedly a living example of how creativity has no limits. What was conceived as a tool to share memes or to call your auntie as an animated blue character has instead turned into a viable means to make low-budget music videos with nothing more than an iPhone.How long until we see the first memoji film created by an online content creator?Create Your Caricature: A Tutorial Learn the origins of memoji music videos and check out our favorite viral hits. Bonus: we show you how to make one of your own.In 2018, with the release of iOS 12, iOS devices that had Face ID gained a new feature called Memoji. If you have been entirely oblivious to this new feature, or the online content it’s spurred, it’s Apple’s tool to create an animated emoji character based on your facial movement.As you can fully customize the appearance of your memoji, the feature became an instant online hit. Users can create Memojis with the appearance of characters in movies and viral videos, then copy the dialogue of a scene to later replace it with the film’s audio. These short fun videos are good snippets of entertainment to pass the time while you wait for the train.As someone who admittedly doesn’t like to appear on camera for tutorials, I thought about using a memoji as an on-screen avatar to give my tutorials a face. But it was a fleeting thought, and besides, my iPhone couldn’t support this feature.Then, earlier this year, Apple started to release ads for their Apple music Grammy campaign, using Memojis to create short music videos for the current leading pop stars.“7 Rings” by Ariana Grande “Simple” by Florida Georgia Line “Talk” by Khalid Top image via Lil Nas.Want more filmmaking tips? Check out these articles:Lighting in a Pinch: Five Tricks Using Your Mobile PhoneSet Tone and Atmosphere by Mastering the Establishing Shot7 Things Clients Look For in a Video Production CompanyFirst-Time Filmmakers: How Do You Build a Cast Without a Budget?Four Reasons You Should Use (and Love) Your Camera’s Stock Lenslast_img read more