Dinolava Theory Back in Eruption

first_imgMeteor impact or volcanic eruption?  Science Now reports that the volcano theory of dinosaur extinction has rejuvenated, challenging the long popularity of the Chicxulub impact hypothesis.    Notwithstanding all the dramatic animations on science documentaries of a cataclysmic meteor wiping out the dinosaurs, the article by Carolyn Gramling states that “Scientists have long wrangled over the cause of the extinctions….”  A new French study of magnetic alignments of lavas in the Deccan Traps of India, some of the biggest lava fields in the world, suggests that the cataclysmic eruptions occurred over a much shorter time period than previously believed – 30,000 years instead of millions – short enough, they claim, to affect worldwide climate.  Some of the older eruptions may have happened even more rapidly because there is no evidence of weathering between successive layers.    A Dutch proponent of the impact scenario is not convinced, however.  He said we don’t know enough about behavior and variability of the Earth’s magnetic field to make strong arguments based on magnetic alignments in rocks.  Gramling says, “He also questions whether any known geophysical mechanism could have spewed out so much lava in such a short time.”Readers, take note: the Science Channel and all the documentaries present their scenarios as fact, and try to make them seem so certain that all scientists agree.  The dating of events, especially, is rarely if ever questioned.  Here, one side is claiming that the old dates of the Deccan Traps are wrong; the other side is questioning whether we can tell anything from magnetic alignments (even though they are commonly used to convince the viewing public of the precision of dating methods).  Since, in the above article, neither theory overlaps the other (see 10/01/2003 entry), each must independently make its case.  Do you begin to get the idea that neither side knows what on earth they are talking about?  Good.  Your eyes are open.    We need to realize how little we can know about prehistory by empirical methods (cf. 11/05/2003)  We need to acknowledge to what extent the data are subject to being molded to human interpretations and presuppositions.  Data exist in the present, not the past (visualize this).  Scientists build models to incorporate the present observations, but short of a time machine or eyewitnesses (02/17/2003 commentary), the past is forever out of reach, and getting more so all the time.  This is not to overlook that some models are more plausible than others (cf. 04/22/2004).  But while seemingly plausible now, today’s leading model can be (and often is) overturned with the next finding.  The Chicxulub story attained such a consensus in recent years as to be nearly enshrined as The Official Story of the Death of the Dinosaurs, but now look; it’s got major problems (04/10/2003, 09/25/2003, 11/25/2003).  Reporters, TV producers and writers of children’s books have not, for the most part, caught up with this development (see 05/13/2004 example), but it is another case of a popular model becoming a has-been.  Such turnarounds litter the history of science.  Writing with an air of certainty about prehistory, therefore, mars otherwise good books like The Privileged Planet (e.g., pp. 22ff) that speak of events in the unobservable past, including magnetic field signatures, as if recorded on steadily-moving tape to be just read off by the unbiased eyes of scientists.  The Dutch critic here reminds us that we know too little about planetary magnetic fields to speak so confidently.  That goes for other dating methods as well.  Discerning minds do well not to attribute infallibility to mortals.As we have pointed out before (10/06/2004 commentary), it is much safer to play conservative and not extrapolate observed measurements recklessly into the past.  It is easier to set upper limits on time than lower limits.  For example, estimating the lifetime of a comet into the past by a few more orbits than have been observed is reasonable, but claiming it came into existence a million years ago extends the observations far beyond human experience.  The former stretches observed behavior a little way back; the latter extrapolates a few data points into unknown territory by many orders of magnitude.  Who knows what perturbations might have changed the orbit before we observed it?  It’s more justifiable to project how long the comet might last given its present rate of mass loss (an upper limit), than to claim it has had to exist for at least umpty million years (a lower limit).  In the current case, the lack of weathering between layers would seem to place an upper limit to the amount of time that must have transpired during the sequence of eruptions.  An upper limit is, of course, a limit; the actual age could have been much lower.  For more examples, see 05/01/2004 story about tufa formations, and the 05/10/2004 article about caves.The admission about whether any known geophysical mechanism could have spewed out so much lava in such a short time is revealing.  Whatever happened to uniformitarianism?  (Notice: it’s gone; catastrophism rules—see 11/04/2003 and 05/22/2003.)  But don’t let these guys puzzle about that problem only here at home.  Have them tell us why big eruptions should be happening right now on Io (05/04/2004), Triton (06/05/2003), Titan (06/09/2005) and Enceladus (07/29/2005) after billions of years, each of them smaller than the Earth (and therefore possessing less gravitational heat), or why comets should still be erupting after so many trips around the sun (03/27/2003).  It’s not that the moyboys* can’t concoct a good story, but to do so, they must keep inserting ad hoc assumptions to keep processes going that would otherwise fizzle out in far less time.  In today’s case, we see two sides (both naturalistic and evolutionary) undermining the credibility of each other’s tale.  The proper lesson is that neither idea can be trusted, and neither side knows what happened, because they weren’t there.*A new word meaning scientists and reporters who toss around the terms millions of years, billions of years with reckless abandon.    The upshot is that, despite all the appearance of scientific rigor, the measurements and jargon, neither story explains the extinction of the dinosaurs, or why some organisms carried on through the catastrophe as if nothing happened (11/08/2004).  A corollary is that any sufficiently advanced model resting on uncertain premises is indistinguishable from a novel.  After all, a good novel usually takes place in the real world and deals with observable, tangible things.  Some novels even describe historical personages and places in exquisite detail (cf. the detailed measurements of magnetic field orientations in present-day rocks).  It does not follow that the events described ever happened, or even if they did, that they happened when the believer claims they happened, or in the way they happened, or that nothing else happened that might bear on what happened.  Another corollary is that a newer model is not necessarily better.  A fancier mansion built on the same shifting sand has the same underlying vulnerability (see 05/13/2004).  It is a specious response, therefore, to retort, “Well, then, what is your model?”  Some choose not to build on the sand, but on the rock.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Flare-up over land in Noida leaves 3 men dead

first_imgThe Noida district administration’s effort to rescue three officials held hostage by agitating farmers turned violent on Saturday, with the district magistrate being wounded and three people losing their lives in the crossfire.At least one farmer and two Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) men were killed in the firing that lasted nearly six hours at Bhatta Parsaul village in Greater Noida.About two-dozen farmers and an equal number of PAC men were wounded. Unofficial sources, however, put the death toll of farmers at four.Top district administration officials, along with a convoy of PAC personnel, reached the site of the farmers’ protest around 2 pm and sought the release of three UP State Road Transport Corporation staff held hostage by the villagers since Friday evening.The three – supervisor Niranjan Das, station in-charge Durgesh Jha and driver Jitendra were taken hostage when they went there to survey the route for a proposed bus service.When the farmers refused to release the hostages, the PAC resorted to lathicharge. The farmers retaliated by pelting stones on the PAC and officials.Consequently, the PAC personnel started firing indiscriminately.On seeing the protesters getting wounded, more villagers joined in and fired at the PAC with country- made pistols.Earlier, the farmers had planned dig up the Formula 1 racing site of Jaypee Sports Company.District magistrate Deepak Aggarwal was struck by a bullet his leg, while SSP Surya Pratap Singh encountered a volley of stones and sustained injuries.Both were admitted to hospital. We were willing to talk to them but they gave us no other option. The DM used foul language and said the authorities will destroy the village within 24 hours,” said Harish Singh, a Bhatta Parsaul resident.advertisementThe police said they were trying to contact the village leaders hold talks but most of them had switched off their phones.Senior police officers said the villagers were demanding that chief minister Mayawati come to the spot and hear their grievances.The PAC set ablaze the tents and vehicles parked at the protest site. Later, they also set some houses on fire.Villagers alleged that the PAC men later entered their houses and assaulted women and children.”They entered our house and started beating us up. They also pushed us out of our houses,” Nirmala Devi, a villager, said.Half of the village, especially young men, remained outside the village till late evening. The PAC men also assaulted journalists who tried to enter the village.DGP Karamvir Singh blamed the violence on a small group of miscreants. “A very small group led by Manvir Tewatiya is behind the incident. Earlier also, they had taken government employees hostage to fulfill political ambitions of certain people,” Singh said at a press conference in Lucknow.Singh also claimed that the unrest was not because of land acquisition. “The Tewatiya’s gang took the officials hostage and instigated the villagers to attack the PAC,” Singh said.(With Rajat Rai in Lucknow)last_img read more

a month agoGermany job favoured option for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Germany job favoured option for Liverpool boss Jurgen Kloppby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveThe agent of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admits the Germany job could be a future option.While Marc Kosicke’s claims the local weather could force Klopp to leave the Reds have been denied, the agent has also admitted succeeding Jogi Low is an ambition.He told Die Welt earlier this year: “Jürgen himself once said that in the event that Jogi Löw would not want to be a national coach anymore and the constellation was such that he could do that, this would be an option for him.”For now, however, Klopp is focused on the Reds and winning the Premier League.Kosicke told Spox: “That’s right, there are these six top teams in the league. Jürgen recently said so nicely: Our biggest problem in Liverpool is Manchester City.” last_img read more

Calgary quadruple homicide Owner of burnedout car believed to be main target

first_imgCALGARY – A man and two sisters found dead in a burned-out car may not have been the intended targets in what Calgary police are describing as a brutal and ruthless quadruple homicide.Investigators are exploring the possibility that Cody Pfeiffer, 25, Glynnis Fox, 36, and Tiffany Ear, 39, were “simply at the wrong place and at the wrong time with the wrong people,” acting Insp. Paul Wozney said Thursday.Lorenzo Ear, the younger brother of the two women, said his sisters leave behind 16 children between them.“The younger ones, they don’t know yet,” he said. “That’s going to be something that we as family are going to have to find out how to explain to them, that their mothers are no longer around.”The bodies of Pfeiffer, Fox and Ear were found Monday after firefighters extinguished a burning 2011 Chevrolet Cruze at a construction site in a new subdivision on Calgary’s northwestern edge.Wozney, with the major crimes unit, said it’s believed the Cruze’s owner, Hanock Afowerk, 26, was the target.Police confirmed that Afowerk was found dead in a rural area west of Calgary on Wednesday and that it was a homicide. They had earlier appealed to the public for help finding him and expressed concern for his safety.It’s possible Fox and Ear — from the Stoney Nakoda Nation west of Calgary — were caught up in a targeted attack against Afowerk, police said.All four victims suffered significant traumatic injuries, but Wozney declined to elaborate.“I will say that it … certainly has been surprising to some very seasoned investigators.”Police believe multiple people may have been involved and that it’s possible there are several different crime scenes.“We know that there’s people in the community that have information regarding this event. We know that people know what happened. If they’re scared, if they are in any way hesitant to contact us, they can do so anonymously through Crime Stoppers or through our tip line,” said Wozney.It appears the sisters got to know Pfeiffer and Afowerk recently, he added.Lorenzo Ear said his sisters were generous, caring and kind mothers who loved their children. Tiffany had nine, and had recently become a grandmother.“I believe she really enjoyed that role. Even though it made her seem a little bit older, she was still happy.”Glynnis had seven children and was about to become a grandmother when she died.Both women were working on upgrading their education, their brother said, adding Tiffany loved books and Glynnis had a passion for learning about First Nations culture.They wanted to one day find jobs as teachers or in other professions that would allow them to help people, he said.An aunt who did not want her name published said in an email that Tiffany had been through a lot and struggled to make ends meet at times.“She kept her head up, always positive and recently completed a treatment program in December of 2016 and changed her life around,” said the aunt.The sisters were among 11 siblings, Lorenzo said, adding he wants to speak out about them to help the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.The family has been gathering at Tiffany’s home to get it ready for the wake, finding comfort in sprucing up the lawn and putting a fresh coat of paint on the inside.“What we’re doing is being a family unit, being together, being closer, laughing with each other, helping each other.”last_img read more

First phase rerun EC removes Malda SP 3 days before polls

first_imgKolkata: The Election Commission on Saturday removed Malda Superintendent of Police Arnab Ghosh and resisted him from performing any poll duty. Ajoy Prasad, commandant of the State Armed Police (Second Battalion), was asked to take charge of the district, latest by 10 am on Sunday.The five Lok Sabha constituencies of Malda North, Malda South, Balurghat, Jangipur and Murshidabad will be going to polls on Tuesday, April 23. Incidentally, the Malda SP happens to be the sixth IPS officer to be removed, including the Commissioners of Kolkata Police and Bidhannagar City Police, after the announcement of polls. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe removal of Ghosh barely three days before the polls in the district is reminiscent of a similar move by the EC just two days before the first phase of polls, when Cooch Behar SP Avishek Gupta was removed. Sources in the Commission said that BJP had raised allegation against Ghosh because he was just two months short of the ECI mandated ‘three years term in the same post’. Incidentally, in 2016 Ghosh – the then SP of South Dinajpur, was removed before the Assembly polls. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayPrasad, who is taking charge of Malda, is a 2010 batch IPS officer and had served as Special Superintendent in the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Meanwhile, it has been learnt that the Commission is satisfied with the scrutiny of the first phase of polls in Cooch Behar and will write to the EC for holding re-poll in only one booth at Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar. The BJP has demanded re-poll for 350 booths in Cooch Behar but the Commission, after two rounds of scrutiny, has disagreed. Meanwhile, Special Observer for Bengal Ajoy V Nayak said on Saturday that the condition of Bengal is similar to that of Bihar 10-15 years ago. “This is not good for democracy. The people and the political parties of Bihar had understood that the situation could not continue and so there was a change,” he said. When asked about the deployment of force, the Special Observer who was instrumental in conducting the 2015 Bihar election successfully, said: “At present we have a force that is enough to cover more than 92 percent of the booths. We have a target of making it 100 percent. But this not good for a healthy democratic situation,” he added.last_img read more

How A Data Scientist Whod Never Heard Of Basketball Mastered March Madness

A 13-year-old in Illinois. A 47-year-old English woman. A 70-year-old Vegas oddsmaker. At first blush, there isn’t much linking them. But last year, all three were among the most successful March Madness prognosticators. That’s where the similarities end.With methods ranging from gut instinct to computational learning theory, these three characters demonstrate just how wide and varied the spectrum of strategies can be. But which strategy will you employ for your own bracket? Watch this video collaboration between FiveThirtyEight and Fictionless and decide for yourself.

NOW HIRING 10 New Job Openings In Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are some of the newest job openings in Wilmington:Full-Time Solutions Analyst at UniFirstFull-Time Assistant Account Manager at HUB InternationalPart-Time Track Operator at K1 SpeedFull-Time Junior Energy Consultant at TSEFull-Time Technician I at Charles River LabsFull-Time Project Management Specialist at Charles River LabsFull-Time Resin Operator at Lubrizol CorporationFull-Time Maintenance Worker at CareOne at WilmingtonFull-Time Residential Life Coach (Overnight) at NuPathFull-Time Lead Technician at New England Carpet Master(NOTE: Wilmington businesses — Feel free to send me your job postings at wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedNOW HIRING: 10 New Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”NOW HIRING: 10 New Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”NOW HIRING: 10 New Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”last_img read more

Nintendos Mario Kart mobile game delayed until summer

first_img Share your voice Mario Kart Tour won’t out for a while yet, but doesn’t just seeing Mario Kart 64 make you feel better? Nintendo Mario Kart Tour won’t launch until this summer, Nintendo announced Thursday.The kart racing game was due to speed onto mobile devices by the end of March, but the Japanese company wrote in its latest earnings report and its Twitter account that it’s taking a few more months to improve the application’s quality and expand the post-launch content offerings. Playing the beloved racing series on our phones and tablets is an exciting prospect, but Nintendo Life notes that Mario Kart Tour remains pretty mysterious — we haven’t yet seen any footage or many concrete details.Shortly after it was announced, we heard it’d be a free-to-start app and Nintendo said in a previous earnings report that it’ll operate “a service” for Mario Kart Tour — implying regular updates and changes to keep it fresh.If you absolutely must get your Nintendo fix on mobile, you can try out Dragalia Lost, Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Walmart Review • Nintendo Switch review: Pure fun on a big-screen TV or on the go Mentioned Above Nintendo Switch (Gray) See It 3:15 Now playing: Watch this: Nintendo Switch: Pure fun on a big-screen TV or on the go.Gaming: All of our video game coverage. スマートフォン向けアプリ『マリオカート ツアー』は、アプリの品質向上および配信後のサービス内容拡充のため、配信予定を2019年夏とさせていただきます。 pic.twitter.com/YhtI2DWw4H— 任天堂株式会社 (@Nintendo) January 31, 2019 See It Preview • Nintendo Switch: All the latest details $299 Post a comment See It $309 0center_img Nintendo Switch Nintendo Video Games Mobile Apps Phones $299 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the first great multiplayer game… CNET may get a commission from retail offers. News • Are you a Nintendo Switch docker or hander? $289 29 Photos Tags See it Best Buy Amazon Nintendo sold 9.41 million Switch consoles in the last three months on 2018, Engadget highlighted, which brings its lifetime sales to 32.27 million — just 660,000 short of the Nintendo 64 and far more than the GameCube and Wii U. It still has a ways to go to catch up with the Wii’s 101.63 million though.The earnings report also highlighted the success of some big hitters on Nintendo Switch — Super Smash Bros Ultimate sold 12.08 million copies after coming out in December, Pokémon: Let’s Go shifted 10 million after its November release, while Super Mario Party moved a comparatively modest 5.3 million units since October. The 29 best games on the Nintendo Switch How To • How to transfer your Nintendo Switch account to a new Switch V2last_img read more