A Husband’s Tribute

first_imgMy Dearest “Archmar”,            It has been 8760 hours  since you were snatched away from us  by the cold hands of death…these have  been the most difficult days of my life thus far… for death is the only natural phenomena of life that we are  never prepared for nor can we accept no matter when it occurs , how it occurs or how old the person is… yet we must all experience it… how it is handled by us differs from individual to individual and from situation to situation…. but there are certain elements that are just unique to death itself… it creates an illusion as to whether it  is real or not… is this really happening to us… am  I in a dream .. is she/he  really dead…. Ultimately, you come to grips with reality that your loved one is no longer with you physically…this creates a very deep seated pain that you must bear… such a pain is like a gigantic hole in your heart.…then the grief  period begins…very difficult time that has no specific time frame…. At times you get mad with your loved ones for leaving but was it up to them?… certainly not…it was all  another natural act of God… you  have to bear the various stages of grief…. These come without any time frames and are not to me in any specific order… there is the shock & denial period.. when you cannot realize what just happened….the excruciating pain and guilt  follows…. This must be experienced by you…For it  cannot be hidden…Anger and frustration set in .  We  began to ask “why us”…. did we deserve this ??…Depression / frustration set in…the magnitude of one’s  lost is realized….Then comes the upward turn…the adjustment period without the one you loved….Is this possible  you asked yourself…then comes the reconstruction period….The hope  that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.. this is the belief that will take you through all of this… without this you are forever down…finally will come the acceptance & hope period  that  will allow you  to deal with the reality of the situation… such an acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness…given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy…But you will find a way forward…Friends and family members  would say  to you…you need  to move on… some will say it this is life….it happens all the time…you will get over it…you are being too hard on yourself…..you will hear all sorts of words that are sincerely meant to comfort you…Yet  they do not realize that they are not in your shoes… but  in your mind, you only want to believe for the moment that this  is not really happening… it is a dream…. they do not know your situation and perhaps have not yet experienced  such a lost….. all that is left with you as an individual are the loving/ cheerful  memories of the fun , good  and sad times that you encountered over the years  As I reminisce about my “kidoh”, my “archmar”, all I can think about  is her desire to live a good life…. indeed, she did…she achieved the goals she set for herself….she even went beyond them…Her day was done on this earth….the Good Lord took her from labor to eternal rest…all of us miss her uplifting  smile…her unique cheerful giggle, her comforting  laugh  and her warmth  that she showed us whenever she was around….she loved folks…She cared for her family, her friends , co-workers and even her known enemies…the sad thing is that we did not get to grow old together as a couple to reach the promised “three scores and ten”  and by his Grace, years beyond that  point …..But above all I am grateful that I struck that conversation with her back in  1994…neither of us ever thought that this was  the beginning of a lifelong relationship…yet it turned out to be an indelible, enchanting and amazing encounter for  us …… She  will always be my amazingly, loving wife that  I so dearly miss…. Without whom I am very lost…but by His Grace, I do believe that true love will come around again…rest in peace my love…Until the resurrection….ANS Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Local wrestlers earn spot at Nationals at Kamloops tournament

first_imgFollowing the tournament, FSJ Wrestling Club coach Paul Kalas said he was extremely impressed with the outcome of his team. He adds that the results were some of the best from his team in a long time.Nationals will begin April 3, 2013, this year being held in Saskatoon. The Fort St. John wrestlers showed they had the skills to compete with the best, as five of the athletes placed in the top six of their respective divisions, and some of which earned a spot to compete at the national level.Roylene Oliarny executed her shut down defence to perfection, keeping her opponents off the score sheet en route to a silver medal, a performance that earned her a spot to compete for a national medal for the third consecutive time.Devon Shelkie showed some great tenacity, losing only a single match to the eventual champion, and earning a bronze medal in Kamloops. As a result, Shelkie will compete at Nationals for the second straight year, earning the spot as the youngest of his age group.- Advertisement -Explosive wrestling rookie Thomas Pope was faced with an even tougher weekend, having to move up an age group in the competition, and eventually placing fourth, losing only to the eventual champion and bronze medalist.Leslie Erker had her best outing of her wrestling career in Kamloops, wrestling her way to an eventual sixth place.Finally, Connor White faced the most challenging weight class in the competition, and to make matters even more challenging, had to wrestle his final three matches in the final thirty minutes of the tournament. White, the youngest competitor in his division, used his relentless style to push the pace, earning himself a sixth place finish.Advertisementlast_img read more

Huskies sweep weekend series versus St. Paul

first_imgAssistant Coach Todd Alexander said, “the team did some really good things that they have been working on in training camp and that these games are the ones where you want to shake off the dust.” On his team’s scoring outburst even with the lose of offensive threats Jacob Lang and Adam Bowie from last year Alexander said, “the funny thing about junior hockey is you never know where your offence is going to come from, as guys grow and develop with the puck.”Team captain Jarrod Lang said, “it was a good start to see where the team is against a provincials team last year in the Canadians.”The Huskies begin their regular season on the road against the Sexsmith Vipers this Saturday at 8:00 p.m. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Huskies swept both games against the St. Paul Canadians this past weekend.The Huskies would use an offensive outburst to defeat the Canadians by a combined score of 17-4 on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Game One saw the Huskies dominate from start to finish, as they skated away with an 8-0 win.The Huskies would open the scoring just under two minutes into the first, as Jacob Lang scored his first of three on the night assisted by Gary Loewen and Matthew Apsasssin. Lang would collect his second of the period less than seven minutes later, with Apsassin double dipping in assists and Josh Robinson picking up his first helper.- Advertisement -Tim Rice would add to the lead 6:32 into the second on a pass from Lang on the powerplay making it 3-0. Gary Loewen would add another midway through second with the lone assist going to Nolan Legace. The Huskies held a 4-o lead going into the final 20 minutes. The Huskies would switch goaltenders in the third period with Travis Viens replacing Jonathan Bateman.The Canadians would also make a goalie switch after Kolby Pauwers gave up four goals. That didn’t seem to spark the Canadians, as Gary Loewen would make it 5-0 just over a minute into the third, with assists going to Geoff Dick and Nolan Legace. Dick and Jacob Lang would score a minute apart to make it 7-0 midway through the third. Legace, Loewen and Nathan Bragg had the helpers on those goals. Geoff Dick would round out the scoring with 2:56 remaining as Legace would pick up his fourth assist of the night.St. Paul would finish the game 0 for 6 on the powerplay, while the Huskies went 1 for 7 and shots were 52-12 for the boys from the energetic city.Advertisement The afternoon affair on Sunday resembled much the game played the previous night. St. Paul flipped the script and opened the scoring 18 seconds into the game. Matthew Apsassin would tie things up nearly 2 minutes later with the man advantage, getting a pass from Josh Robinson and Jeridyn Loewen. The back-and-forth play would continue for the rest of the first frame as Sebastian Powsey and Nolan Legace added tallies.Both teams would make a goalie switch in the second as Aidan Harding tended the crease for the Canadians and Brody Greggain for the Huskies. The Canadians would tie the game up 3:30 into the second stanza, but the Huskies would respond with three straight goals from Lou Geisbrecht, a powerplay tally from Jeridyn Loewen and Christian Stokes. The score after two periods was 6-3 for the Huskies.Aaron Gagne would make it 6-4 early in the third on the man advantage. However three goals within five minutes would seal it for the Huskies as Christian Stokes, Jacob Lang and Nolan Legace lit the lamp.The Huskies would go 2 for 5 on the man advantage. The Canadians were 1 for 6. Shots were 58 to 34 once again in the Huskies’ favour.Advertisementlast_img read more

The City of Fort St. John reacts to the evacuation of Hudson’s hope

first_imgHe says there’s not currently a water shortage, however if the Mt. McAllister fire directly reaches Hudson’s Hope, we may experience power outages that will limit the ability to continue filling the city’s water reservoirs from the Peace River.Residents are asked to not use water for washing vehicles, watering lawns, filling hot tubs, pools and ponds, ect. Finally, Klassen says Highway 29 has been closed as a result of the fire and evacuation.  The highway is closed from the north end of Moberly Lake to the Peace View Rest Area near Hudson’s Hope.Advertisement Councillor Gord Klassen led the conference, as Mayor Lori Ackerman is out of town, and said Hudson’s Hope residents are asked to register at the Emergence Social Services Reception Centre, located at 9805, 96th Avenue.That’s where you’ll be provided information in regards to food, clothing and lodging.If you have plans to stay elsewhere with family or friends, the district is sill asking for you to register at the centre, or call 250-787-8182. to ensure you’ve been accounted.- Advertisement -“As people come to town, we need them to head to the North Peace Arena and report there so we know their whereabouts, and also we can assist them if they need that,” Klassen said.Klassen also says there’s a need for pastor and feed to accommodate larger animals, as well as other volunteer initiatives, which can be forwarded on a new Facebook page or by calling 250-794-5178.Klassen is also reminding residents of Fort St. John to conserve their water usage. Advertisementlast_img read more

‘£48m Arsenal target’, ‘£60m United deal’ and Liverpool signing? 14 HUGE deals rumoured to be on the cards this summer

first_imgTo the amusement of everyone, Pedro has joined Chelsea.The Spain forward had been tipped to leave Barcelona for Man United, but it appears the Red Devils dropped their interest in the 28-year-old, with reports claiming Southampton’s Sadio Mane is a target. FUNNIEST REACTION AS UNITED LOSE OUT IN PEDRO RACEHis is the latest big transfer and across Europe, players like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Jackson Martinez and Sami Khedira have all moved clubs.But there are still plenty of other moves reportedly being lines up by clubs before the 1 September deadline and here, talkSPORT looks at 14 of the biggest names to keep an eye on. 14 4. David De Gea: Will he be Man United’s goalkeeper this season? Click the arrow above, right to see other big names who could be on the move – De Gea’s future at Man United is still not sorted and it is unclear whether the goalkeeper will be at Man United after the transfer window closes. Real Madrid are circling. 1. Kevin De Bruyne: Man City have been linked with Wolfsburg attacker – to find out which other big players could be on the move, click the arrow above – Now the Pedro transfer saga has been concluded with the forward joining Chelsea, NOT Man United, what other deals can we look forward to before the end of deadline day on 1 September? One mega money deal may involve De Bruyne, who move from Wolfsburg is still on, according to his agent, Patrick De Koster. In an exclusive interview with talkSPORT, he said: “We will see in the next few hours or days what is going to happen.” De Koster explained he and the player were not amused by what he called a ‘practical joke’ during an awards ceremony in Germany. One report claims £56m-rate De Bruyne could follow Nicolas Otamendi, who completed his move to the Etihad. 14 14 14 5. Karim Benzema: France and Real Madrid striker heading to the Premier League? Click the arrow above, right to see other big names who could be on the move – Arsenal have continued to be linked with the Real Madrid striker, who has so far been quiet on the speculation himself. However, talkSPORT have been told a £48m offer from Arsenal has been ACCEPTED by the Spanish club. Time will tell! 7. Charlie Austin: He WILL leave QPR but for the right price – Click the arrow above, right to see other big names who could be on the move – The England striker is still at QPR, who are holding out for a £15m fee from interested clubs. It’s a fee Rangers manager Chris Ramsey told talkSPORT is “reasonable.” 12. Ezequiel Lavezzi: The tattooed trickster’s time in Paris is coming to an end – Click the arrow above, right to see other big names who could be on the move – Lavezzi, Higuain’s international team-mate’s future is also up in the air. He is reportedly out of favour at Paris Saint-Germain with Tottenham, West Ham and Arsenal three Premier League clubs linked with the 30-year-old forward. 14. Thomas Muller: Will he leave Bayern Munich? – According to reports in Germany, Man United have have launched a huge £60m bid for Muller. The club are looking for a new forward following the exit of Robin van Persie and the uncertainty surrounding the future of Javier Hernandez. Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola doesn’t appear to be entirely in tune with the Bavarians’ local links, letting local hero Bastian Schweinsteiger leave and getting rid of highly respected club doctor Hans Muller Wohlfahrt. Could Muller be disillusioned enough to leave? 14 2. Mario Gotze: World Cup winner’s Bayern future is uncertain – click the arrow above, right to see other big names who could be on the move (to your club?) – There are rumours the Bayern midfielder has a difficult relationship with manager Pep Guardiola. Arsenal, Man City and Juventus, who sold Arturo Vidal to Bayern, have been linked. 11. Gonzalo Higuain: HUGE offer could see the striker leave Napoli – Click the arrow above, right to see other big names who could be on the move – Over the last few days, Chelsea have been interested in Napoli’s 27-year-old striker. Higuain has been a Napoli player since he left Real Madrid in 2013, but a fee in excess of £60m has been thrown around. 14 14 10. Julian Draxler: Long term Arsenal transfer target leaving Germany? Click the arrow above, right to see other big names who could be on the move – Juventus are interested in Schalke’s 21-year-old midfielder Draxler, with Vidal gone and uncertainty surrounding Pogba. With Schalke not in the Champions League, the lure of a move is obvious. 6. Hugo Lloris: Tottenham fans still worried about their goalkeeper – Click the arrow above, right to see other big names who could be on the move – While the window remains open, Tottenham fans will not rest easy until 1 September and Lloris is a Tottenham player until at least January. Man United remain interested. 14 14 9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic: The PSG striker could leave on the cheap – Click the arrow above, right to see other big names who could be on the move – Ibrahimovic will be 34 in October and is apparently available for a cut price this summer. Milan are strongly linked with the PSG striker, but Man United and Arsenal have been too, which is something something that has fans drooling. 14 14 8. Asier Illaramendi: Midfielder to be forced out of Real Madrid – Click the arrow above, right to see other big names who could be on the move – Isco’s agent said there is no truth in rumours he will leave Real Madrid, but someone has to leave, considering Inter midfielder Mateo Kovacic is on his way to the Bernabeu. It will mean playing time in the middle will be even more limited as Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are first choice. A deal with Liverpool could happen… 14 14 13. John Stones: Will Everton get £35m for their defender? Click the arrow above, right to see one more big name who could be on the move – Chelsea REALLY want Stones, but is being reported the Blues’ offer of £30m is not good enough and Everton are holding out for more. 14 3. Paul Pogba on the way out of Juventus? Click the arrow above, right to see other big names who could be on the move – Juventus’ director general Giuseppe Marotta said the club would like to keep the 22-year-old midfielder, but are powerless to stop him leaving. “We can’t afford to do anything crazy in terms of salaries and some clubs can guarantee twice what we can,” he said. last_img read more

Depressed? Believe in a Caring God

first_img“Belief in a Caring God Improves Response to Medical Treatment for Depression, Study Finds.”  That’s what Science Daily said.  The statement assumes, of course, that psychiatry knows what depression is.  Another story on Science Daily worried that “Psychiatry’s Main Method to Prevent Mistaken Diagnoses of Depression Doesn’t Work.”    It makes sense that diagnosis must precede treatment.  The psychiatry industry’s manual, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM (see 02/17/2010) contains the criteria for diagnosing depression.  A patient needs 5 of 9 listed symptoms to be diagnosed.  “However, these symptoms can also occur in normal responses to loss and stress.”  Because of false positives resulting from the old DSM criteria, the new DSM-IV tried to correct them with a Clinical Significance Criterion (CSC), in order to reduce over-diagnosis (some studies suggested that 33% of the population suffer from depression).  A new study, though shows that the CSC does not reduce false positives.    Even if the dividing line between clinical depression and normal distress or sadness is fuzzy, there is no question that many people are afflicted with grief, sadness, and feelings of despair that can be debilitating.  A study of 136 adults at Rush University Medical Center tried to quantify the effect of belief in a caring God on medical treatment for depression.  Science Daily said the doctors used “the Beck Depression Inventory, the Beck Hopelessness Scale, and the Religious Well-Being Scale” to assess the depth and intensity of depression, and “feelings of hopelessness and spiritual satisfaction.”  According to the article, “the study found that those with strong beliefs in a personal and concerned God were more likely to experience an improvement.”  Therefore, “clinicians need to be aware of the role of religion in their patients’ lives.”Articles like this might encourage some readers, but it is questionable whether “scientific” assessments by secularists can state anything meaningful on questions of this sort.  If they can’t even decide what depression is, how are they going to measure the “religious well being” of a patient who claims he or she is depressed?  Is hopelessness measured in ohms or centimeters?  There are so many variables in the human soul, and so many differences between souls, it seems hopeless to try.  Information of this sort is usually conveyed soul-to-soul, not by means of brain scans or arbitrary scales.    Not all “caring God” beliefs are equivalent, either.  Suppose somebody believes in Elvis, or in the Force, or in Jupiter, or has false beliefs about “the man upstairs” without any basis for them other than subjective feelings.  Assuming there is a true God for the sake of argument, would you rather have depressing beliefs about a true God, or comforting beliefs in a false god?  Would you rather have a false hope that makes you feel good, or a true hope that tugs on your conscience?  Better get that question settled first.  If feeling good is your highest priority, then there is no point in reading further; you’re irrational.    Of the possible contenders for true God who is also a caring God, not many options are available.  Buddha doesn’t care; he didn’t even want to be a god.  Hinduism has thousands of gods; which are you going to pick?  Which one really cares about you anyway, seeing you are obligated to follow your own karma?  Confucianism is a system of teachings without a personal God.  It’s doubtful readers of these pages will take seriously animism, polytheism, or any of the defunct religions of history.  Dittos for recent man-made cults like Scientology that made its founder filthy rich; who thinks for a minute that L. Ron Hubbard cares for you?    Of the religions with a personal God, there’s Islam, but imams teach it is impossible to know Allah, because his will is capricious.  There is no peace or assurance.  A Muslim never knows if Allah is satisfied. He can only hope at death he has done enough good works to make it.  That is the problem, too, with cults and misrepresentations of the God of the Bible.  If peace with God is based on our works, there is never a way to have assurance of salvation.  Judaism, having rejected Jesus Christ, keeps looking for a Messiah that never comes.  Without a temple or sacrificial system in place, it has no assurance of pleasing God.  Post-Christian Judaism has devolved into another religion of works, rituals and moral teachings.  Jews today do not “love” God.  They try to obey him, but they don’t generally have a sense of God as a caring father.    As a religion that tells of a caring God, Christianity stands alone and uncontested.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but has everlasting life.”  That’s the most favorite and well-known Bible verse on God’s care for His creatures (see it in every tongue), but it is certainly not the only one.  He so loved us that He did that.  Knowing that we could never reach up to Him, God reached down to us.  Knowing we could never do enough works to please Him, He did all the work himself.  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5).  Now he offers reconciliation as a free gift (Romans 6).  We receive that gift by receiving Christ himself (John 1).  We receive Christ by acknowledging our sin and turning from it, and confessing Him as the Lord (Romans 10).  Confessing Christ means saying He is Lord, trusting that what He did for us when he died on the cross and rose again was for our salvation.  By receiving Christ, we are born again (John 3, Romans 1-10) – saved from eternal death, and started on a new life.    If that were not enough care for the hopeless and broken-hearted, look at what else God’s gift provides: a full pardon from all our sin (Isaiah 55); a new nature capable of pleasing God (II Corinthians 5); the Spirit of God to live within us (Romans 8); access to God at all times through prayer (Luke 18), illumination to understand his Word (John 16); a family of believers to encourage and build us up, (Ephesians 2, Hebrews 13), a real purpose for life (I Corinthians 10) and the sure hope of heaven: a new, uncorrupted creation, beyond anything we can imagine (Revelation 21).  Talk about a cure for depression!  That kind of caring God can provide a peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4), and inner joy, confidence and assurance of His care even in trials (Romans 5, II Corinthians 4).Of course, you can play the pompous scientific elitist if you choose to.  You can reject all this, and mock belief in a caring God as superstitious nonsense.  Fine.  Depressed?  Who cares?  Tough luck.  Stuff happens.  Get over it.  Evolve, and may the farce of Darwin bewitch you – that is, till your protoplasm becomes manure for something else just as meaningless until the ultimate vanity – the heat death of the universe.Godless philosophy, pointless for me,None to cause us, but Cosmos–All that is, was, and ever shall be.From the big bang, to the slime soup,To the heat death, dark and old:Godless philosophy, it leaves me cold;Godless philosophy, it leaves me cold.Oh, and what was that issue about sense and nonsense again?  No comprendo, bud.  Get outta my way.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Myth of Objective Science Busted

first_imgStudents and citizens are taught a very distorted view of what science is and how it actually works.Basic science is not an unbiased knowledge generator. Daniel Sarewitz pulls no punches in Nature this week. “Kill the myth of the miracle machine,” he shouts in his column that stabs one of science’s most treasured sacred cows: the value of “basic science.” The very, very few cases where undirected investigation has actually produced some worthwhile findings do not justify calls for non-targeted political funding, he argues, nor do the leftist attacks on funding cuts for basic research justify labels of a “war on science.” Science is not some kind of “miracle machine” where you turn a crank of scientific method and out pops knowledge. “Exceptional science is produced not by a miracle machine, but by institutions that tie scientific curiosity to problem solving,” he says. In fact, promoting the myth of the miracle machine can actually backfire.Vast improvements in the scientific system could be had if science agencies strengthened the ties that link research agendas to societal needs, and counteract the perverse incentives that commit scientists to careers measured by publications and grant dollars rather than the creation of socially valuable knowledge.Impact factor has been a counter-productive measure. Speaking of killing old myths, Nature is also glad to read an obituary for the dubious measure of scientific value called “impact factor.” What was supposed to provide a “bibliometric” measure of scientific value actually did the opposite. “It should never have been used and has done great damage to science,” complains Richard J. Roberts. “Let us bury it once and for all.”The impact factor is often used, improperly, to provide a mathematical measure of a scientist’s productivity, on the basis of where they published their results. It has proved popular with bureaucrats, and even with many researchers, because it seems to offer an easy way to determine the value of a scientist’s output for someone who is either unable or too lazy to read that scientist’s papers and judge their true worth (see P. Stephan et al. Nature 544, 411–412; 2017).Science is not supposed to be a money prize. The Editors of Nature worry about perverse incentives at work in China, where the government rewards scientists too quickly with grants and bonuses for what they consider successful research. “Don’t pay prizes for published science,” they argue. “For one thing, it creates a culture in which scientists look at their research as a means to make quick cash.” It also “rewards science that is not yet proven.” Like impact factor, metrics for what constitute successful research are often “greatly overblown.”Scientists are not above data manipulation. We asked last month (6/12/17), “If science is superior, why does it need fixing?” More evidence that scientists are like other fallible humans led Nature to complain about the problem of “image doctoring” in scientific papers – a problem that has mushroomed with the rise of digital manipulation tools like Photoshop. Publishers and editors do not always catch the digital trickery, and algorithms to detect image doctoring are not good enough yet. “By both human and technological means, research organizations, researchers and journals need to do more to counter the image-manipulation challenge.” But wait; weren’t we all taught the myth of the unbiased scientist seeking only truth for its own sake?Models do not always catch important details. Mathematical models, frequently used in science, try to simplify reality by focusing on pertinent details. But which details are pertinent? Researchers decided to check a popular “quarter vehicle” model used by auto manufacturers to gauge ride dynamics. They added in other factors omitted by the model and compared the results. They found that omitted details do make a big difference. Their paper in PLoS One says,The results clearly indicated that these details do have effect on simulated vehicle response, but to various extents. In particular, road input detail and suspension damping detail have the most significance and are worth being added to quarter vehicle model, as the inclusion of these details changed the response quite fundamentally. Overall, when it comes to lumped-mass vehicle modeling, it is reasonable to say that model accuracy depends not just on the number of degrees of freedom employed, but also on the contributions from various modeling details.What other models in science, for the sake of convenience and simplicity, are failing to consider significant details that could fundamentally change the conclusions? The more complex the problem, such as with global climate, the more it seems the simplicity is the enemy of accuracy – especially when conclusions are not readily testable as they were in this case.Language can manipulate rather than enlighten. We shared examples recently (7/02/17) of leftist bias in science. Sometimes leftist researchers are open about their manipulation. Phys.org reports on psychologists who found that saying “climate change” instead of “global warming” reduces the “partisan gap by 30 percent in U.S.” This is a clear attempt to nudge voters rather than educate them (6/11/17). We can also add to the list another manipulative article posted by Phys.org that claims, “How bills to replace Obamacare would especially harm women.” Conservative researchers could easily argue the exact opposite conclusion from well-grounded data; so why don’t they get the microphone of Phys.org or The Conversation?Bad definitions of science prevent scientists from finding truth. The editors of Nature tried to be nice to Catholics on May 15, only to be shouted down by a reader, who repeated the myth of scientism in the June 22 issue of Nature. According to Frank W. Nicholas, the editors forgot to be naturalistic enough:Your Editorial suggests that Pope Francis’s meeting with patients and researchers is evidence of “a new openness [of religion] towards science”, in the spirit of his 2015 encyclical Laudato si’ (Nature 545, 265–266; 2017). This is tempered by your view that the encyclical nevertheless illustrates “a chasm between religion and science that cannot be bridged”.In my view, the encyclical’s most fruitful comment on science and religion is that they have “distinctive approaches to understanding reality” (paragraph 62; see go.nature.com/2swk22m). The essence of this distinctiveness is that the modern scientific approach never invokes God as an explanation for any phenomenon. This restatement of ‘methodological naturalism’ is not science being anti-God: it is science being science. All scientists adhere to this approach, including scientists who believe in God. In the religious approach, by contrast, God is at the heart of phenomena.It follows that the fundamental distinction between science and religion has nothing to do with the question of whether or not God exists.These insights can inform the debate around what should and should not be taught in science classes on, for example, evolution. In shedding light on the nature of the “chasm” between science and religion, these insights can also inform the new openness to which you refer.It seems lost on Nicholas that methodological naturalism of this sort is guaranteed to come to wrong conclusions if God does exist and was involved. For instance, if God did create life, all the efforts and funds to find a natural origin are doomed to failure. If evolution is false, then all the published papers about natural selection creating man from molecules are also false. By excluding intelligent causes, would Nicholas insist on a natural explanation for Stonehenge? Would he insist on unguided natural causes as the only tools to explain his own righteous indignation? If so, his arguments would implode.Nicholas bought into the NOMA myth of Stephen J. Gould without apparently being aware of its weaknesses. His letter illustrates the unchallenged assumption of a particular philosophy in scientific institutions – methodological naturalism – which, as intelligent design advocates have frequently argued, becomes indistinguishable in practice from philosophical naturalism (for some of the debate, search on ‘methodological naturalism’ at Evolution News). Causation is a long-standing debate where the extreme positions obfuscate the productive middle ground. Surely no theistic scientist is going to attribute the precipitation of chemicals in a flask to the direct intervention of God. But neither should an atheistic science rule out convincing evidence for intelligent causes just to maintain his materialist philosophy. That could guarantee a false conclusion.The list above reports only some of the most recent debunkings of the myth of scientism from secular sources themselves. Big Science is a political force that once in awhile discovers interesting facts about nature, just like Big Education is a political force that once in awhile teaches something valuable to a student, or like Big Labor is a political force that once in awhile helps a worker. The real contributions usually come not from the top, but from the individuals who, through their own integrity and moral character, decide to help their fellow man. (Visited 688 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Soweto housing market soars

first_imgTamara O’ReillySoweto is chiefly known for its role in the country’s anti-apartheid movement but with the developments taking place there having a ripple effect, it’s also making a name for itself as the township with the most expensive properties.The price of residential properties in Soweto appears to be playing catch-up to the rest of South Africa, having only begun accelerating in 2005. Property prices in townships were rising less sharply than property prices in the suburbs because of concerns over crime, people’s reluctance to buy and the lack of amenities such as shopping malls and banks to support a middle-class lifestyle.With all the roads tarred two years ago, street lighting in place, people paying more attention to aesthetics of the area and of course mall mania having hit Soweto with the opening late last year of the Maponya Mall, it’s no wonder that both residents and those from outside the township are looking to buy here.This boom is evident in areas of Soweto such as Protea North, Diepkloof and Diepkloof Extension, where properties are trading at nearly double those in Khayelitsha and Langa townships in Cape Town.Township properties have an average of seven potential buyers, according to First National Bank’s Property Barometer for the third quarter of 2007, which is based on the perceptions and expectations of estate agents. The Barometer notes that it takes around three weeks to close a deal in Soweto suburbs. In formerly white suburbs of Johannesburg it takes on average three months before a property is sold.AffordabilityThe survey also reveals that while affordability was important, factors such as the lower charges for rates, lights and water in the township compared to more affluent areas of Johannesburg also influenced buyers. Many people also felt attachment to the area, having grown up there and being familiar with the environment.Rising disposable income due in part to tax cuts, low inflation and the growth of the black middle class has ensured that there are now more individuals in income brackets that banks are comfortable with, and they are more willing to finance home purchases.It was also found that about 94 percent of sellers in the Johannesburg townships achieved their asking prices, compared with only 47 percent in other areas, including the most affluent suburbs to the North, such as Sandton and Illovo.John Loos, property strategist at First National Bank, said other factors influencing this trend included rapid economic growth, which was boosting township purchasing power, and a shortage of property stock coming onto the township markets.“Through the main part of the property boom, a lot of developments were focused on the higher end of the market and in the traditional suburbs. Many of the upwardly mobile township residents moved into the more affordable former white areas.“These more affordable former white areas are becoming less affordable because of rising prices and as a result, the township markets, typically far more affordable, are becoming more appealing to some,” said Loos.Useful linksSoweto Tarred roads lead to investmentFirst National BankProperties in Sowetolast_img read more

Capitec gets nod from Swiss

first_imgCapitec Bank is one of 27 brands fromaround the world which, according toCredit Suisse, are the brands of the future.(Image: Capitec) MEDIA CONTACTS • Sumarie BrandCapitec head of communications and PR+27 21 809 5955• Walter JacobsCredit Suisse+27 11 384 2217Janine ErasmusSouth Africa’s Capitec Bank is the only African brand to crack the list of “Great Brands of Tomorrow”, issued by the renowned Swiss-based financial services group Credit Suisse.The Stellenbisch-based bank, which celebrates its ninth anniversary in March 2010, eclipsed its more  established – and far bigger – rivals to score a mention as one of the Zurich-based Swiss bank’s up-and-coming brands of the future.Capitec was in illustrious company – there were 26 other brands nominated, among them Facebook, Apple, Polo, Swatch, Hyundai, Mahindra, and Amazon.com.“Using our framework and global network of analysts,” said the report, “we identified 27 Great Brands of Tomorrow at various stages of development that we believe will significantly outperform the market over the next three to five years as they build and leverage brand equity to grow in size, scale, and profitability.”Credit Suisse also said that it believes the future for brands, especially from an investment point of view, is very bright, because top brands reach millions of people around the world.Over the coming years, said the institution, there will be thousands of new consumers in developing countries who will use their new-found spending power to support their favourite brands.A group of 3 000 analysts in 50 countries participated in the survey, which aimed to distinguish those brands that were likely to outperform the competition in the future and rise to the top in their respective markets.Credit Suisse rated its top brands on three main factors: innovation, aspiration, and scale. The first factor is self-explanatory. The second focuses on the tactics the brand uses to grow its influence with customers, and the third factor refers to use of the brand’s own power to develop advantageous relationships, cutting costs and maintaining its competitive edge.“In our view, Capitec Bank is one of the exciting ‘new’ brands in South Africa,” said securities analyst Walter Jacobs of Credit Suisse. “Through the bank’s recent branding exercises like the new logo and TV advertising campaign, we also expect that its brand awareness will yield positive results for the bank and ultimately its shareholders.”Innovative business modelThe Swiss company commended Capitec on its low-cost banking model, which attracts customers for whom value for money is an important issue and who are looking for a better alternative to the established options.Capitec marketing and corporate affairs executive Carl Fischer said the bank was pleased to be the only South African company on such a prestigious list, and that it was honoured.“At Capitec Bank we have based our business model on innovation and doing things differently,” said Fischer. “We have applied a pioneering approach to traditional banking by using technology, which have enabled us to simplify banking, so this international recognition is a powerful endorsement of the success of our strategy so far.”He added that the success and wide acceptance of Capitec’s money management solutions, which involve a minimum of red tape, was seen in the bank’s rapidly growing client base.Capitec’s plans for the 2010 fiscal year include the opening of 40 new branches across South Africa, bringing the total number to just over 400. Part of the strategy is to secure space in high-visibility shopping centres for at least 10 of these new branches, which is possible now because of the current economic climate and the resultant availability of space.Capitec plans to challenge the four big established local banks, setting its sights on middle income earners who have traditionally supported either First National Bank, Standard Bank, Absa Bank or Nedbank.The bank currently services around 2.1-million customers, but the next benchmark is 2.5-million by the end of the 2010 fiscal year, and looking further ahead, 5-million by 2016/2017.Credit Suisse maintains that most of Capitec’s growth remains in the unbanked or underbanked market and that there is still huge potential among the 37% of all South Africans who do not have banking facilities.Steady growthCapitec began operations in March 2001 and listed on the JSE less than a year later, in February 2002. It has 371 branches countrywide, with approximately 3 400 employees.The bank provides loans, savings accounts, and other transactions through branches, debit cards, the internet, ATMs, or through retail partnerships with chain stores Pick n Pay, Boxer and Score, Shoprite, Checkers and PEP stores. It also offers an internet-based payroll facility.Capitec has introduced innovations, such as a 30-day loan that can be arranged entirely via a mobile phone, that simplify the often complicated banking business. The customer sends a text message with the loan amount needed, the loan is processed, and once it is approved the funds are available immediately in the customer’s account – with no filling out of interminable forms required.Strategies used to grow the brand include a stint on popular soapie Generations, which increased visibility and awareness.last_img read more

Read to your children today

first_imgDuring World Read Aloud Day in 2015, the Nal’ibali story reached the ears of nearly 166 000 children thanks to the efforts of parents and caregivers who took part. (Image: Nal’ibali)The Nal’ibali national reading-for-enjoyment campaign invites people from across the country to enjoy their story during this year’s World Read Aloud Day on Wednesday, 24 February.Reading out loud to your children is an important part of developing a young child’s understanding of language and this, coupled with a story that appeals to the child, can develop and reinforce a love of reading.To mark the day, the Nal’ibali campaign has issued a brand-new story for the enjoyment of adults and children throughout the country. It calls on parents and caregivers to read its new story out loud to the children in their care.This year the campaign has also called on the help of celebrated South African musician Yvonne Chaka Chaka to lend her support in making this year’s campaign a success.The Princess of Africa, as the singer is known, will be giving her own special reading in isiZulu to children at Orlando Stadium in Soweto together with players from the Orlando Pirates Football Club. The footballers will also launch their own reading club, the Orlando Pirates Reading Stars.This year the campaign has also called on the help of celebrated South African musician Yvonne Chaka Chaka to lend her support in making this year’s campaign a success.A READING NATIONDuring World Read Aloud Day in 2015, the Nal’ibali story reached the ears of nearly 166 000 children thanks to the efforts of parents and caregivers who took part.“If we want our children to grow up as strong and powerful readers, we must demonstrate reading for them,” said Jade Jacobsohn, the managing director of Nal’ibali.“When you read aloud to a child, you show them what reading looks like and how to make sense of text. Exposing them to new words and expressions used in stories helps to develop their vocabularies and provides a rich pool of language for children to draw from when they want to read and write on their own.”Carole Bloch, the executive director of Praesa, the Project for the Study of Alternative Education South Africa, said that the power of reading out loud was enriching for parents and children. It was a way of establishing foundational knowledge and motivating young children as they learned to read.Praesa was one of the bodies most heavily involved in the establishment of the Nal’ibali campaign as a co-founder and major contributor to the successes of the campaign.To boost the number of children who benefited from the event in 2015, the campaign sought the input of other organisations, such as partners Rotary District 9350, Western Cape; Love Life Nongoma; the Family Literacy Project and Zisize Ingwavuma Educational Trust in KwaZulu-Natal; and the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal departments of education.As a collective, these organisations have pledged to read to as many as 100 000 children across the country.Now, Nal’ibali is calling on teachers, librarians, parents and grandparents, caregivers, reading club leaders and fellow literacy organisations to do the same.“Last year through a huge and wonderful celebration we created something very special: a joyful reading of the same story in 11 different languages to children across South Africa,” said Bloch.“There are over 17 000 000 children in South Africa with only around 5% being read to by their caregivers. World Read Aloud Day celebrates the joy of sharing a good story and we hope that even more adults in South Africa will join us this year.”GET READING OUT LOUDThis year’s story is entitled Neo and the Big Wide World, and is written by Vianne Venter. It is available for free for download on Nal’ibali’s website and mobile site.It has been translated into all 11 official South African languages as well as Braille and South African Sign Language to make sure everybody can enjoy the story in their preferred language.Members of the public are encouraged to sign up via either one of these sites and share how many children they will be reading to and add it to the national tally.PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part in developing South Africa and its citizens? If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more