Loud cheers but no magic in Pablo Sandoval’s likely last cameo

first_imgClick here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.SAN FRANCISCO — There was no magical finish for Pablo Sandoval on Sunday, just as it appears there won’t be one for the Giants this season.Sandoval, three days before he’s scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery and a month before he enters free agency, got one final at-bat on a sunny afternoon at Oracle Park.The popular third baseman and one of the team’s final connections to their World Series glory days was sent …last_img read more

How to Use Your Brain

first_imgThe fact that you can ponder how to use your brain implies it is a physical tool your soul uses.  New findings support the idea that we can improve our brain function through effort, like we can learn to become better computer users.Clear the cache:  Just as browser performance can bog down with too many cached resources, we can “clean” our machine for better prediction, according to a story on Medical Xpress:In normal situations, the brain selects a limited number of memories to use as evidence to guide decisions. As real-world events do not always have the most likely outcome, retrieved memories can provide misleading information at the time of a decision. Now, researchers at UCL and the University of Montreal have found a way to train the brain to accurately predict the outcome of an event, for example a baseball game, by giving subjects idealised scenarios that always conform to statistical probability. Dr Bradley Love (UCL Department of Cognition, Perception and Brain Sciences), lead author of study, said: “Providing people with idealized situations, as opposed to actual outcomes, ‘cleans’ their memory and provides a stock of good quality evidence for the brain to use.”Google a search:  The brain stores a lot of memory.  Accessing pertinent details when you have lost your keys is part automatic, but can be enhanced through targeted effort.  Another article on Medical Xpress quotes a neuroscientist saying, “Our results show that our brains are much more dynamic than previously thought, rapidly reallocating resources based on behavioral demands, and optimizing our performance by increasing the precision with which we can perform relevant tasks.”  That sounds automatic, but the article speaks of concentrating on a task, like a search – a choice.  For instance, when looking for a cat, your brain becomes your tool: “As you plan your day at work, for example, more of the brain is devoted to processing time, tasks, goals and rewards, and as you search for your cat, more of the brain becomes involved in recognition of animals.”  The brain cannot plan a day at work by itself, or choose to search for a cat, unless the mind makes those choices.Remember to make a fist:  Science Daily posted a story that clenching your right fist helps you remember an event or action.  It sounds dubious, and might be, but it presupposes people can choose to improve operation of their brain tool, if they can remember to make the fist.  Other bodily actions may have the same result, the study suggested: “The findings suggest that some simple body movements — by temporarily changing the way the brain functions- can improve memory,” perhaps by associating the movement with the event.Built-in antivirus security:  If a computer might not function when security is breached, a brain can become inoperable if it doesn’t constantly guard against external attacks.  Science Daily discussed the role of microglia cells in the brain as the “first line of defense” against brain disease.  Like constantly-running background processes on a computer, these cells “move quickly to the affected area and release an arsenal of molecules that protect the nerve cells and clear away damaged tissue.”  This implies that prevention is not the only automatic safeguard.  Microglia are also trained in hardware repair.A tool for every occasion:  Live Science discussed asymmetries in primate brains, such as between the left and right lobes, as structural features that evolved for “plasticity,” a flexibility that “allows the brain to adapt to the conditions of its environment” according to reporter Tracy Lewis.  But if she thinks human cognition evolved by an undirected process, she falls into the self-refuting trap: the possible truth of that proposition undermines its own credibility.Intelligence test:  As physicists are wont to do, one decided to reduce intelligence to an equation.  Live Science reporter Chris Gorsky allowed Harvard physicist Alexander Wissner-Gross to wax on about how intelligence is like entropy.  The Harvard professor even wrote a computer program to describe how “many intelligent or cognitive behaviors, such as upright walking and tool use,” can be described as mathematical relationships, producing “spontaneously induce remarkably sophisticated behaviors.”  It seems to have been lost on Wissner-Gross and his trusting reporter that if that were the case, then his own theory is just a “remarkably sophisticated behavior” that emerged from a mathematical relationship.  How, then, could it be true?  That problem is exacerbated by the fact that his “provocative” and “very ambitious” notion is “the exact opposite” of thinking by others whose ideas also presumably emerged from mathematical relationships.  Wissner-Gross described his paper as an attempt to describe intelligence as a “fundamentally thermodynamic process.”  If that were the case, he could take no credit for thinking up the idea himself.  It was just physics at work.  Maybe his thinking is a mere dissipative system, like a tornado in a junkyard.The mentalists:  Over at Current Biology, Michael Gross is worried that the new edition of the psychiatrists’ bible has “gone mental“.  The summary states, “The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), to be published in May, will include highly controversial changes. Some diagnoses have been broadened to include a range of behaviours hitherto considered normal. As the coverage of mental disorder diagnoses increases, is there any space left for normal biological variability in human behaviour?”  Quiz: By “gone mental,” Gross implies that (1) the manual is treating mental illnesses in abstract terms, implying non-physical causes; (2) the manual is crazy.Hardwired crime?  Science Daily reported a U of Chicago study that says psychopaths lack the wiring to feel empathy.  “New research finds that prisoners who are psychopaths lack the basic neurophysiological ‘hardwiring’ that enables them to care for others,” it says.  Such claims imply that some people are born criminals, but fail to take into account the possibility that their personal choices over a long time deactivated or damaged those brain circuits.  For an examination of the long history of defining crime as a disease rather than a moral choice, see the book Darwin Day in America by John West.No rest for his soul:  A new collection of Darwin’s correspondence has been published on the Darwin Correspondence Project.  Kate Hoyland for the BBC News thinks it expresses the emotional side of the bearded buddha of evolutionary theory.  The correspondence includes the famous line to Joseph Hooker that his new idea of transmutation of species “is like confessing a murder“.  Darwin is largely credited with having “naturalized” the human soul into the product of a long series of unguided variation and selection by unguided processes.  That’s why many of his contemporaries, including Adam Sedgwick and Alfred Russell Wallace, opposed its application to the human mind.  “It is clear that Darwin was aware of the revolutionary nature of his ideas, and Hooker was to argue strongly in support of his friend in the religious debate that followed,” Hoyland wrote.  But is it a mere religious debate to ask whether the mind can be reduced to its physical resource, the brain?  It would seem a logical debate whether awareness, emotion, ideas, argument, support, and debate have any coherent meaning in such a reduction.Every time you use your brain to ponder the truth or falsity of propositions, you undermine Darwinism, materialism, and determinism.  This becomes so clear when you watch some of the researchers above using their minds to say the mind is a product of natural causes.  They shoot themselves in the foot.  Their readers can justifiably deny them any credibility. For understanding the power of the argument from reason that C. S. Lewis and others employed, the new book The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism and Society (2012) from the Discovery Institute is a great read.  The argument is explicated with great clarity, considering all the objections.For the rest of us who accept the brain as a gift from our Maker, each new finding should increase our awe at what a wonderful gift it is.  It’s like having received a powerful computer, but taking years to find out all the features and capabilities that came with it.  Give thanks by thinking clearly and using it to connect with the Giver.(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

DCW notice to EC over Nirbhaya case convict’s photo on hoardings

first_imgThe Delhi Commission for Women on Monday issued a notice to the Election Commission over a Punjab district poll panel allegedly putting the photograph of a death row convict in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case on a hoarding.An EC official said that a report has been sought on the same from the Punjab Chief Electoral Officer by Tuesday morning.Mother’s complaint The DCW took cognisance of media reports as well as a complaint by Nirbhaya’s mother who apprised the commission of a picture circulating on social media in which the convict, Mukesh Singh, was seen on display flex boards put up by the electoral office in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur to encourage people to vote.In its notice to the EC, the women’s commission stated that the matter is of “great shame” and an “attempt to glorify a rape convict”.DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal said, “The convict whose photo has been displayed on advertising boards played a major role in the 2012 gang rape of Nirbhaya. In fact, he has been heard stating on record that women invite rape. Is he a model citizen that his photo should be publicised?”Ms. Maliwal also said that instead of ensuring that the convict is given death penalty as ordered by the Supreme Court, government agencies are “glorifying” him.The matter came to light last week when a visitor to Hoshiarpur district administration complex reportedly identified the photo of Mukesh on a display board.The photo has since been removed from all hoardings. Hoshiarpur Deputy Commissioner Isha Kalia has ordered an inquiry into the matter. (With inputs from Vikas Vasudeva)last_img read more

Air Force eyes semis anew

first_imgEthel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ After succumbing to the full force of defending champion Pocari Sweat last Wednesday, Air Force vies to cruise to the semifinals against an inexperienced Adamson at 6:30 p.m.Also-ran teams Power Smashers and University of the Philippines collide at 4 p.m. in a bid to close out the conference on a winning note.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe Jet Spikers bowed to the Lady Warriors, 25-19, 25-20, 29-27, in a match that assured the latter a semifinal seat with unbeaten leader Creamline.Iari Yongco, Wendy Semana, Jocemer Tapic and May Ann Pantino banner the Jet Spikers’ bid. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Grounded the last time, Air Force hopes to complete its flight to the semifinals against a struggling Adamson-Akari in the Premier Volleyball League Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ MOST READ National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo PH team asks injured Dolor to stay in camp El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes View commentslast_img read more

9 months agoReal Madrid in contact with Genoa striker Krzysztof Piatek

first_imgReal Madrid in contact with Genoa striker Krzysztof Piatekby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid are in contact with Genoa striker Krzysztof Piatek.AS says sources close to the player have confirmed the approach.This contact claimed that conversations have taken place between Real Madrid and the Genoa striker’s representatives and that the Bernabéu “is following him” closely.These same sources also stated that they have been talking with “many great clubs” that are interested in the 23-year-old.However confirmed that Barcelona was not amongst those clubs, and that, as of yet, no formal offer has been made by any clubs. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Video: LSU Student On Jeopardy Can’t Answer Questions About Derrick Henry, Steve Spurrier

first_imgJeopardy question asks what university Derrick Henry plays for.Twitter/@KenzieThirkillWhen college football is a category on Jeopardy, it almost never goes well. In the past, we’ve had a former LSU lineman say that Syracuse was in the Ivy League, contestants failed miserably on a question about the Big Ten, they’ve avoided a question about the sport’s stadium nicknames like the plague, and perhaps worst of all, one man thought Auburn is  called the “Crimson Tide.”College students from LSU, Northeastern, and Wright State competed on the show tonight, and you’d think someone at an SEC powerhouse would fare better when asked about the sport. You’d be very, very wrong. When asked questions about former Florida and South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier and Alabama Heisman winner Derrick Henry, LSU student Kevin didn’t even try to give an answer. I. JUST. CAN’T. pic.twitter.com/Z8LBfGOQu9— Mackenzie Thirkill (@KenzieThirkill) February 3, 2016SEC fans on Twitter are ROASTING him, as you’d expect.the LSU senior on college jeopardy who couldn’t get a spurrier quote or where derrick henry went to college shouldn’t be allowed to graduate— arflora (@arflora) February 2, 2016An RA from LSU is on college Jeopardy! and failed to get “where did Derrick Henry play” and “who is the Head Ball Coach” and I’m mad.— Robby Kalland (@RKalland) February 3, 2016Kid on jeopardy enrolled at LSU and doesn’t know who Derrick Henry, 2015 Heisman trophy winning running back, played for.. Study less.— Luke Longfield (@Lukers17) February 3, 2016Ain’t NO WAY IN HELL the kid from LSU in College Jeopardy didn’t know Derek Henry went to Bama. He just didn’t want to say it— Ken Carman (@KenCarman) February 3, 2016Man the peeps on college @Jeopardy stink. Dude from LSU had no idea who Derrick Henry is. Really? What the hay?— Ben Spalding (@DangerSpalding) February 3, 2016An LSU student on Jeopardy doesn’t know who Steve Spurrier and Derrick Henry are? God this is mortifying. https://t.co/lewNR8x7su— David Helman (@HelmanDC) February 3, 2016Maybe mix in a trip to Death Valley sometime, Kevin. You’ll probably enjoy it.last_img read more

A play about homophobic bullying rings true for a theatregoer whos experienced

first_imgJessica Grey, who identifies as bisexual and was bullied in school, says seeing the play Outside has opened her eyes to the ways that theatre can make issues real for people. (BERNARD WEIL) Advertisement I was curious how someone with experience of the issues in the show might respond and, through Roseneath and Buddies, found Grey.She identifies as bisexual, experienced bullying in school and has struggled with mental health issues. Through her current work as a youth intern at Central Toronto Youth Services, Grey is “using my own stories and my own experiences to help other people get through.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “I didn’t know there were plays like this, telling the truth, basically.”That’s 24-year-old Jessica Grey’s response to Outside, Paul Dunn’s play about the effects of homophobic bullying on one young man and his wider community. Grey and I attended a recent daytime performance at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, in the company of a full house of 7th to 12th graders.Roseneath Theatre’s production of Outside, directed by the company’s artistic director, Andrew Lamb, has toured Ontario schools on and off since 2015 and has been seen by over 35,000 young people. Along the way it earned two Dora nominations and, this weekend, will have two public evening performances at Buddies. Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement But a play about this material is a new wrinkle for her. Outside is the story of 15-year-old Daniel (G. Kyle Shields), whose life is turned upside down when his schoolmates create a cruel game that revolves around calling him “faggot.” While those of us who are long out of high school might like to think this kind of homophobic abuse is a thing of the past, Grey says the premise rings true.“It is real,” she says, “and it’s sad and it shouldn’t be that way, but it is a real thing still. It’s still a stigma that’s being broken down. People are still learning to catch themselves when they’re saying things. There are lots of micro-aggressions all the time.”The play treats its material with considerable complexity and does not provide easy answers. Daniel comes out as gay to himself and others in the course of the play but doesn’t admit how difficult his situation at school is becoming. That “would be making it real, what was happening, and I didn’t want it to be real,” the character says.This resonated strongly with Grey: “I know what that’s like, in the sense that you don’t want to talk about it with your family because you think they won’t understand; you don’t want to talk about it at school because it’s going to cause more of a problem. Realistically you’re the only one that’s dealing with it. No one understands what you are going through, and you get more and more used to keeping it to yourself.”The action in the play moves between Daniel talking about his experience to the Gay-Straight Alliance in his new school; and the attempts of friends at his old school, Krystina (Mina James) and Jeremy (Giacomo Sellar), to set up a similar organization. In flashback scenes we learn about how the three became friends and about Daniel’s downward spiral, which involves depression and a suicide attempt.I wonder why Daniel doesn’t reveal the depth of his personal struggle even to his closest allies. Grey says she gets it: “It’s easier to be, like, OK you’re my friend and you’re here, and we don’t need to be that deep and open because if you’re not OK with it then I have nobody.”Grey balks at my suggestion that the play has to do with society needing to show more sensitivity to difference: “It’s not just about being sensitive. There’s something that irks me about that whole thing . . . we’re all just humans. It shouldn’t matter where we came from, how we identify, how we got here, whatever. It should just be that I’m a human, you’re a human and we co-exist together. We have to get to the place where it’s not about ‘accepting’ each other.”Is there a risk, I wonder, in putting this play in front of young people for whom the subject matter might be close to home?“When we were leaving there was a girl — it kind of broke my heart a bit — but she said she was crying during the show,” Grey recounts. “She has tried to kill herself four times. Four times! The play was making her feel comfortable enough to say that. That’s one of the reasons why I’m doing the project I’m working on right now, getting the voice out there that these things happen with youth all the time and that you shouldn’t be afraid to talk about what you’re going through.”Grey says that seeing this play has opened her eyes to the ways that theatre can make issues real for people. “You can ignore a poster or an ad on TV, but when you sit down to watch a play and you listen to the words coming through and the actions, like a short skit of real life, it gets under your skin.”At the Theatre With . . . is an occasional series in which theatre critic Karen Fricker brings people with specialist perspectives to performances.by Karen Fricker Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

TSX ends down along with US markets Cdn dollar makes slight gains

first_imgCanada’s main stock index joined U.S. markets in the red Monday as a Federal Reserve meeting looms and a share price hit at Facebook over improper data use weighed on the tech sector.The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 121.94 points to 15,589.39, led by declines in energy and base metals as both oil and copper prices slipped.Aeroplan parent company Aimia Inc. was a bright spot on the TSX, up 25 per cent to $2 after announcing a partnership with online giant Amazon that will offer members rewards for shopping with the world’s largest retailer.The Canadian dollar made slight gains, closing up 0.05 of a US cent at 76.46 cents US, but could be tested later this week when the U.S. Federal Reserve gives more details on its rate hike plans, said Michael Currie, vice-president of TD Wealth Private Investment Advice.“With the Fed meeting Wednesday that’s definitely going to be putting some pressure on Canada.”The amount of pressure depends on how many rate hikes the Fed indicates, especially since the Bank of Canada isn’t giving any signs of a rate hike coming any time soon, said Currie.The potential hit to the Canadian dollar comes after steep declines in recent weeks, but it’s more of a return to the expected range, he said.“It’s still trading in the range. I think everyone was surprised a month or so ago when it was trading at 81 and a half, didn’t seem to be a lot of fundamental support on that one. So even though it’s been pulling back, it’s pulling back from a high point. Most people see it in the seventies.”In U.S. markets, the Nasdaq composite index was down 137.75 points to 7,344.24. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 335.60 points to 24,610.91 and the S&P 500 index was down 39.09 points to 2,712.92.Facebook was a drag on the Nasdaq, down 6.77 per cent after facing criticism from reports that a data mining firm working for the Trump campaign improperly obtained and then kept data on tens of millions of users.“You’ve got people in Canada, U.K., the States, EU all talking about the allegations they want to have hearings go on, so they’re obviously taking this pretty seriously around the world,” said Currie.The decline in the Nasdaq comes after the market hit a recent high, with it still looking quite healthy, he said.“We have to take it in the context that even though the Nasdaq is down pretty heavy, it’s still up five per cent year to date, and just last week it was at a record high. So probably more of a breather here on the tech stocks than a correction.”On the commodity front, the May crude contract closed down 28 cents to US$62.13 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was down four cents to US$2.65 per mmBTU.The April gold contract closed up $5.50 to US$1,317.80 an ounce and the May copper contract was down three cents to US$3.08 a pound.last_img read more

John Bogle Vanguard founder dies at 89

first_imgVALLEY FORGE, Pa. — Vanguard Group founder and investing pioneer John C. Bogle has died at age 89, according to the company.Bogle simplified investing for the masses by introducing the first index mutual fund for individual investors in 1976. Vanguard also shook up the industry by ending the company’s reliance on outside brokers by directly marketing its funds to investors without charging upfront fees known as sales loads.Bogle served as Vanguard’s chairman and CEO from its 1974 founding until 1996. He stepped down as senior chairman in 2000, but remained a vocal critic of the fund industry and Wall Street, writing books, delivering speeches and running a markets think-tank that bears his name.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Modi urges supporters to take main bhi chowkidar pledge draws flak from

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday urged his supporters to take the ‘main bhi chowkidar’ (I too am watchman) pledge and said he was not alone in the fight against graft and social evils, drawing ridicule from Congress president Rahul Gandhi. “Your Chowkidar is standing firm & serving the nation. But, I am not alone. Everyone who is fighting corruption, dirt, social evils is a Chowkidar. Everyone working hard for the progress of India is a Chowkidar. Today, every Indian is saying-#MainBhiChowkidar,” the prime minister wrote on Twitter. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day He also posted a short video to drive home his message. Soon after, Gandhi mocked Modi and tweeted, “Defensive tweet Mr Modi! You feeling a little guilty today” while a tagging a picture of Modi along with businessmen such as Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, Anil Ambani and Gautam Adani. The Congress president earlier alleged that Modi only served the interests of his industrialist-friends. Modi has often described himself as a “chowkidar” who would neither allow corruption nor get corrupted himself. Also Read – Don’t use ‘lynching’ to defame India: Bhagwat Gandhi has been repeatedly hurling the “chowkidar chor hai” (watchman is the thief) jibe at Modi to claim irregularities and favouritism in the Rafale fighter jet deal, a charge the BJP-led government has rejected. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala hit back at Modi accusing him of being the “only chowkidar who is a thief”. “One who wears a suit worth Rs 10 lakh and who helps Bank fraudsters Modi-Mehul-Mallya, one who wasts public money to the tune of Rs 52,000 crore for his own propaganda, one who spends Rs 2,010 crore to travel to 84 countries on people’s money and one who helped in theft of Rs 30,000 crore in rafale jet deal, only one Chowkidar is a thief,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.last_img read more