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Darwinism Confirmed!  How?  Finch Beaks Got Smaller!

first_imgRandolph E. Schmid of Associated Press (see ABC News) seems hardly able to contain his excitement.  “Finches on the Galapagos Islands that inspired Charles Darwin to develop the concept of evolution,” he wrote, “are now helping confirm it by evolving.”  This sounds like big news.  How, exactly, are they evolving?  “A medium sized species of Darwin’s finch has evolved a smaller beak to take advantage of different seeds just two decades after the arrival of a larger rival for its original food source.”    There is no question that Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos Islands have achieved iconic status.  Charles Darwin believed that the 13 species (although the term species is loosely applied, since many are interfertile) originated from one ancestral species on the mainland.  All the species are quite similar except for the size and shape of their beaks.  Books have been written on this group of birds, often called the best example of natural selection at work in the wild.  Now, according to the Associated Press story, we have witnessed the action of selection in just 24 years.    A Princeton husband-and-wife team has devoted 33 years of study to documenting the evolution of Darwin’s finches.  Peter and Rosemary Grant published their latest paper this week in Science1 (see earlier work in 08/24/2005, 09/03/2004, 04/26/2002 entries).  In 1982, the large ground finch (Geospiza magnirostris) invaded Daphne island, posing competition to the medium ground finch (G. fortis) that ruled the roost there.  The competitor ate them out of house and home.  Because of the new food fight, G. fortis beaks shrunk so that they could adapt to eating alternate food, the seeds of cacti and other plants.    A specific morphological change caused by competition is termed character displacement – in the Grants’ words, “an evolutionary divergence in resource-exploiting traits such as jaws and beaks that is caused by interspecific competition.”  They judged this change of beak size in G. fortis, due to the competition from G. magnirostris, “the strongest evolutionary change seen in the 33 years of the study.”  Sounds like a Q.E.D. in the bag.  The mean change in beak size was about 0.7 standard deviations, “exceptionally large” in their view (actually, it represents a shrinkage of less than a millimeter on average, or 5%).  Nevertheless, they hedged, the “evolutionary changes that we observed are more complex than those envisaged by [D.] Lack” who had published a book on Darwin’s finches in 1947 on the role of competition in selection.  That’s because other factors were implicated in the population dynamics of the birds.    Surprisingly, they said no one ever studied this before, here or anywhere else.  “The process of character displacement occurring in nature, from the initial encounter of competitors to the evolutionary change in one or more of them as a result of directional natural selection,” they began the paper, “has not previously been investigated.”  That seems very surprising, almost shocking, given the fame of these finches and how they are used to support Darwin’s theory, to say nothing of the wide acceptance of Darwin’s theory itself and the number of evolutionary research studies performed around the world since 1859.    Yet even with this apparent success, the Grants cautioned that “Replicated experiments with suitable organisms are needed to demonstrate definitively the causal role of competition, not only as an ingredient of natural selection of resource-exploiting traits but as a factor in their evolution.”  That seems to suggest that this 33-year experiment did not establish a definitive cause-and-effect relationship between competition and natural selection, or clear evidence for evolution, either.     Nevertheless, Elizabeth Pennisi in the same issue of Science2 summarized the work in glowing terms:Evolutionary biologists consider the paper important because it demonstrates the interplay between population numbers and environmental factors: The shift in beak size occurred only when there were enough large ground finches and large seeds were scarce enough to cause a problem, says [David] Pfennig [evolutionary biologist at U. of North Carolina].  “This study,” he adds, “will motivate researchers to go into the field and see if they can document other examples of character displacement in action.”Pennisi also quoted a biologist who feels this study “will be an instant textbook classic.”1Peter R. Grant and B. Rosemary Grant, “Evolution of Character Displacement in Darwin’s Finches,” Science, 14 July 2006: Vol. 313. no. 5784, pp. 224 – 226, DOI: 10.1126/science.1128374.2Elizabeth Pennisi, “Competition Drives Big Beaks Out of Business,” Science, 14 July 2006: Vol. 313. no. 5784, p. 156, DOI: 10.1126/science.313.5784.156Folks, ignore the hype and look at the data.  There were already specimens of medium ground finches on Daphne with beak sizes in the final range.  The shrinkage was less than a millimeter, on average!  The only evolution was in the relative numbers of birds with an average length of 10.6 millimeters instead of 11.2 millimeters, and an average depth of 8.6 millimeters instead of the 9.4 millimeters before.  That’s it!  This is what evolutionary biologists are proclaiming as a textbook classic?  If this is all the textbooks can point to as actual field evidence for Darwinian evolution, our students need alternatives.    Any fair-minded reader of the Grant paper would have to ask some very serious questions about the methodology used and the empirical quality of the research, and especially what it signifies.  The Grants are very good at measuring beaks down to the submillimeter range, but think of the problems.  The numbers of birds counted varied drastically from one year to the next.  How did they know they were getting an adequate sample?  Were they taking into account the age of the birds, assuming that beak size could vary in individuals throughout their lifetimes?  Think how much your beak has changed since you grew up.  How much did their presence and picking up the birds to measure them influence the poor critters’ fitness?  Peter and Rosemarie claimed to have ruled out all factors other than natural selection, but remember, this is their life work to shore up evidence for Charlie darling.  How much does their need for success and fame play into their findings?  Their dedication to this work is admirable, but human nature strongly influences the NSF grant money (if you’ll pardon the expression) and desire to bring back the goods when you want to honor your alma mater and go down in history as the best researchers on the most famous icon of evolution.  Even assuming their honesty, they couched their conclusions with safety valves and downplayed the significance of the study, saying more work is needed.    Yet the news media, as usual, chirped up a storm over any hint of a suggestion of a possibility that Charlie has (finally) been vindicated.  “Darwin’s finches evolve before scientists’ eyes,” writes Sara Goudarzi triumphantly in LiveScience, echoed on MSNBC.  The only glimmer of hope in this media circus is that it somehow seems less bombastic than before.  Some of the other usual Darwin trumpets (New Scientist, BBC, National Geographic) chose not to sound off on this song for some reason.  Maybe they knew they would get a thrashing on the blog.  Update 07/15/2006: well, we spoke too soon.  National Geographic, naturally, fell for this story hook, line and sinker.  In a stupidly gullible report, Mason Inman wrote about “instant evolution” and won Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week with this groaner:David Pfennig at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill agrees that the study has important implications.    For Pfennig, the study’s greatest surprise was “the apparent speed with which the character displacement occurs—within a single year!”    Usually we think [sic] of evolution as being a slow grind, he says.    But, Pfennig added, the study suggests that evolution due to competition between closely related species “paradoxically may often occur so rapidly that we may actually miss the process taking place.”So, evolution is usually so slow we can’t see it, but then it happens so fast we may miss it.  In no other avenue of life where truth claims are debated would such flimsy evidence get any respect.  Beaks shrink, and thus prove natural selection can create scientist brains from a chemical soup.  This is plain silly.  What will our grandchildren think?  We document this stuff to show that at least some people in 2006 still had their heads screwed on, otherwise historians may wonder what caused the mass imbecility back then.    In their lists of references and quotations, the Grants (and the media) did not even pay one ounce of attention to the long and loud disputations by creationists and intelligent-design leaders about the finch beak problem.  From Duane Gish to Jonathan Wells and beyond, reputable scientists not polluted with Darwin addiction have argued that this is not evolution!  David Berlinski (no Christian fundamentalist) said that this evidence doesn’t even rise to the level of anecdote.  If Darwin gave us the great theory to which we are all supposed to give our allegiance, the best idea anyone ever had, the only theory worth mentioning in the science classroom, then we are going to need a lot better evidence than finch beaks varying by less than a millimeter in response to climate and food supply.  Neo-Darwinism by mutation and natural selection is supposed to explain all the complexity of life from ameba to man, and they get excited about beak size?  Come on!    Lest someone at Panda’s Thumb or Pharyngula get self-righteously indignant about our picking on Darwin’s finches without mentioning the “mountains and mountains of evidence” throughout biology, remember, that numerous evolutionists have pointed to Darwin’s finches as the best example of natural selection ever found.  This means that all the other examples are weaker and less convincing.  Not only that, the other studies on these same finches have produced nothing more than oscillating changes around a mean, certainly dubious as evidence that birds evolved from pre-bird ancestors.    Weak evidences do not add up.  A thousand buckets of sand do not provide a strong foundation.  This is especially true when other interpretations of the evidence are available.  Only a commitment bordering on religious zeal would look at this evidence as confirming of evolution over the common-sense interpretation that these birds look designed.  They fly, they digest food, they reproduce, they have eyes and ears and whole systems of complex, interrelated parts.  Under the most favorable light, the Darwinists might be able to claim that existing small beaks became more predominant when the food was gone.  OK, even creationists buy that.  Now tell us about the rest of the bird, please.    This nonsense continues because the gurus of the Cult of Darwin have safely ensconced themselves in the castle of academia, renamed it Daphe, and have barred entry to all who will not swear the oath of allegiance to King Charles the Usurper.  But now we have the internet.  It’s going to take an army of persistent Visigoths to storm the walls (cartoon and 05/09/2006 entry) and restore truth and justice.  From outside the castle, the evidence is accumulating for Darwin’s flinches.  We’ll Grant them that.  Once inside, we shall see if a little competition forces their beaks to shrink.(Visited 61 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


HitFilm 4 Pro: Easier, Faster, and Sexier Than After Effects

first_imgExpressions:  HitFilm currently does not support expressions or scripting of any kind. This means it’s probably not a great option for creating templates, as there are no expression controllers like sliders, checkboxes, and color boxes. However, the staff at HitFilm have said that they are “very interested in including [expressions] in future developments.”Pick Whips: One of the best hidden features in After Effects is the pick whip tool. This tool, when coupled with simple expressions, will radically change the way you work with motion graphics. Unfortunately, HitFilm’s closest answer is simply a dropdown parent menu, which is nice — but it’s certainly not enough to keep AE users happy.Multi-Cam Editor:  A good litmus test to see if a video editing program is serious about targeting the professional market is to look for a multi-cam editor. Unfortunately, there is not one in HitFilm at this time. But if DaVinci Resolve or FCPX are indicators of what the natural feature progression of a software might be, it’s safe to say we could very likely see a multi-cam editor in the future.Shape Layers: Sorry, motion designers. There are no shape layers or layer styles inside of HitFilm. It seems complex shape-based designs are near impossible to create in HitFilm Quick Answer: Sometimes How Is It Different Than After Effects?HitFilm is a compositing software before anything else. The developers of HitFilm have clearly spent a lot of time perfecting the individual effects, and their hard work is much appreciated by the PremiumBeat team. HitFilm is a great software for quickly adding ‘cool’ effects to your project. In fact, a lot of the effects and presets found in HitFilm can’t be found in After Effects by default (fire, smoke, snow, etc.).HitFilm’s compositing workflow is incredibly fast. Simply clicking a tab is so much easier than using the Adobe Dynamic link or exporting footage. After Effects users will be surprised that you can even watch footage without having to render it first (gasp).The software is designed for beginner-to-intermediate level VFX artists and compositors. Its large, sleek interface makes it incredibly easy to use, but somewhat difficult to organize once you begin to have more than ten layers.With HitFilm, what you see is what you get. This is great because you can easily learn and use the software. But it’s bad in that there is clearly a creative ceiling you will hit when using HitFilm. You could spend your entire career learning new things in After Effects. I don’t think the same could be said about HitFilm.HitFilm is faster at compositing than After Effects, making it a powerful tool for VFX artists. If all you do is compositing and VFX work, you would probably be more happy working inside of HitFilm than After Effects (once you get used to the workflow).HitFilm vs. After Effects: Who Wins?Here’s our quick (and highly opinionated) feature comparison between After Effects and HitFilm.3D Compositing: HitFilmVFX Work: HitFilmColor Grading: HitFilmImporting 3D Models: HitFilmLens Flares: HitFilmParticle Generators: HitFilmSimulations: HitFilmTemplate Creation: After EffectsTitle Generation: After EffectsMotion Graphics: After Effects3D Animation: HitFilm2D Animation: After EffectsRender Speed: HitFilmEase-of-Use: HitFilmCustomization: After EffectsExporting: After Effects with Media EncoderRotoscoping: Slight Edge to After EffectsCamera/Footage Tracking: After EffectsThird-Party Plugins: After EffectsSupport/Tutorials: After EffectsScore: HitFilm 10, After Effects 10Can it Replace After Effects? With a slick interface and advanced editing features, HitFilm 4 Pro is a post-production powerhouse.Editor’s Note: PremiumBeat is not paid by any software manufacturer or developer. All of our reviews reflect our honest opinions of the software. It’s hard to remember the last time we’ve been really excited about a new software launch. While it seems like other software companies have been slowly plateauing, the good people at HitFilm have quietly been perfecting their software. Their latest release, HitFilm 4 Pro, is an amazing reminder that video innovation is not dead. HitFilm gave us the opportunity to review their new software. Here’s our experience.The InterfaceThe professional video editing world is notorious for creating very unapproachable products, but HitFilm is completely the opposite. Users with just a very basic understanding of video editing software will be able to figure out how to use HitFilm 4 Pro. The software is essentially Premiere Pro/Final Cut Pro and After Effects combined into one editing platform. The sleek design is easy to navigate and the buttons and icons are all virtually self-explanatory.There are two main layouts which you will use when working inside of HitFilm: Edit and Compositing. In this regard, it’s very similar to DaVinci Resolve or Adobe Lightroom.The editing workspace looks and feels like a modern NLE, complete with video and audio effects. While it doesn’t have all of the features associated with modern day professional video editing applications, it has all of the basic tools you need to do a simple-to-intermediate editing project. In my experience with HitFilm’s editing interface, I never once ran into any playback issues or bugs, which is more than I can say about Premiere Pro.The compositing interface is essentially a hybrid 3D version of After Effects — but unlike After Effects, you don’t have to open a separate software. Compositing is a great descriptor for this tab because that’s clearly what HitFilm was designed to be. Inside the compositing interface, you will find a series of effects, tools, and features that are ‘sexier’ versions of After Effects plugins and effects. Unlike other high-end compositing softwares, HitFilm is a layer-based software, just like After Effects.The buttons and icons are big in HitFilm, which is fantastic. You don’t have to squint your eyes to see them. However, this can occasionally lead to some cramped working conditions if you are working on a laptop screen.Learning CurveDifficulty: 3/10If you have any experience with modern video editing applications, you’ll quickly be able to pick up HitFilm. We were able to jump right in and use HitFilm without any problems whatsoever. HitFilm uses human language to label their software and it makes the entire editing/compositing process very easy. If you’re completely new to HitFilm, you could probably learn most of the features within just a few hours of messing around in the software.When you launch HitFilm, you are immediately welcomed with a page that has tutorials and articles about HitFilm. They also have an ever-growing network of forums online that answered all of the questions we had about the software when we did a quick Google search.Non-Exclusive FeaturesIf you’ve spent time with Adobe After Effects, you’ll quickly be able to jump into HitFilm. There are a lot of features that you will immediately recognize:Masks: Masks work very similarly to those found in After Effects. There’s a pen tool that can quickly be used to mask out certain areas of your layers along with an ellipse tool and rectangle tool.Graph Editor: If you’re a fan of organic animation, you’ll be happy to see that HitFilm has a graph editor that can be used to smooth out keyframes.Parenting: While you won’t find a pick whip anywhere, you can still parent objects together in HitFilm. You can also use the null object (point) trick to quickly move a camera and rotate it around a fixed point of interest.Effects: HitFilm has virtually all of the basic effects you’ll find in all of the major video editing applications. You’ll find levels, curves, blurs, sharpens, and every other basic effect you can imagine built into HitFilm.Rolling Shutter Repair: Like many modern NLEs, HitFilm has a built-in rolling shutter repair tool.There are also many other basic features that HitFilm includes, like blending modes, audio tools, and editing tools.Exclusive HitFilm FeaturesHitFilm’s exclusive built-in features are impressive… really impressive. Here are a few of our favorites.Pro Skin Retouch: If you’re working on a fashion film or commercial, the skin retouching tool inside of HitFilm is a really great feature. You can easily select skin and smooth it out. You can also adjust skin saturation, exposure, and glow in this effect. There’s even an option to convert your skin selection into a black-and-white mask.Hyperdrive: While this effect is rather specific, if you’ve ever wanted to create a Star Wars-esque hyperdrive effect, you can easily do so using the Hyperdrive Effect in HitFilm.Action Tools: Working on an action film? Using the built-in gunfire effect, you can customize and create 3D muzzle flashes without having to use pre-rendered action effects like Action Essentials from Video Copilot. Users can adjust cone shape, flare distance, and color all from inside the gunfire effect. There are also amazing smoke, explosion, tornado, debris, fire, and rain effects all built-into HitFilm.All-in-One Color Grading Tools: While you’ll find your normal vibrance, sharpen, and levels effects in HitFilm, there are also a few special color grading tools that deserve a mention. The coolest color grading tool is the bleach bypass effect which can easily be dropped onto any layer. Users can adjust the bleach bypass intensity using a slider. There is also a cine-style effect designed to emulate cinematic color grades. While I wouldn’t say any of these features would ever replace color grading by hand, they can be quite fun to mess with.Distortion Tools: HitFilm includes built-in distortion and noise tools that can be used to simulate a distorted video or film. Most notably, HitFilm has an awesome ‘Film Damage’ effect which can be used to create a Grindhouse effect to your footage.3D Object Importing: You can easily import 3D models into HitFilm just like video files. This is a fantastic feature that gives HitFilm a considerable advantage to After Effects, which utilizes the Cineware effect to import 3D objects. In a way, HitFilm 4 Pro’s native 3D tools work a lot like Element 3D.Form-Based Particle Emitter: HitFilm has a an amazing tool called Atomic Particle Effect which essentially creates a particle system that surrounds both 2D and 3D objects alike. This tool works a lot like Trapcode Form, but it’s included in the software.There are plenty of other exclusive features in HitFilm, but these are just a few that stood out during our review. HitFilm has a few particle generator effects that are extremely customizable and support 3D. In a way the particle generator built-into HitFilm is like Element 3D and Trapcode Particular, and Trapcode Form combined. You can even use moving 3D animated models in the particle generator. For more info on the particle generator I recommend checking out HitFilm’s site.  It should also be noted that HitFilm is incredibly fast at rendering out all of the effects listed above. There were only a few moments during our review that HitFilm didn’t play all of the effects in real-time. However it did have a few crashing issues while we were reviewing it.center_img Features HitFilm Is LackingWhile I’m sure there are a few features missing in this list, here are a few of the features we found lacking:Advanced Text Editor: The text editor inside of HitFilm isn’t as advanced as those found in Adobe Software. For example, there are only a limited number of paragraph options, no align tool, and you must make a text box in order to create text. In this regard, it’s clear to see that HitFilm is more of a compositing software than motion graphics software. HitFilm 4 Pro will never be able to replace After Effects entirely, but I don’t think that’s what its designed to do. HitFilm is an easy-to-use alternative to After Effects that offers users a set of powerful features that would be incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to simulate in After Effects. In most cases it felt like HitFilm 4 Pro was at least twice as fast as After Effects.There are some situations in which you would probably want to use HitFilm over After Effects. If you’re working on an indie action sequence, you’d be mistaken to use After Effects over HitFilm. But if you’re working on a 2D animation, there’s no way you would want to use HitFilm over After Effects.If After Effects is beginning to annoy you, or if you’re looking for a quick 3D compositing solution, I highly recommend downloading the free trial from HitFilm. After you begin to familiarize yourself with the effects, you’ll be able to get a better idea as to when you might want to use HitFilm over After Effects and vice-versa.ConclusionHitFilm 4 Pro is the most exciting video software I have ever used. The program was clearly designed with artists in mind. From fast playback to 3D models, HitFilm 4 Pro has virtually everything an aspiring filmmaker, compositor, or VFX artist needs to create amazing works of art. Sure it’s not After Effects, but in a lot of ways it’s better. HitFilm is trailblazing a new era of video editing software, and if Adobe doesn’t up their game, they may be left in the dust.CostHitFilm Pro 4 Costs $349 and can be purchased directly from HitFilm’s website. You can also download a no time-limit free trial from HitFilm’s website. Just keep in mind that you will only be able to export 30 seconds of YouTube SD quality footage in the trial. Hitfilm is compatible with both Mac and PC.What do you think of Hitfilm 4 Pro? Share in the comments below.last_img read more


a month agoWatford defender Cathcart: Players to blame for Gracia axe

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Watford defender Cathcart: Players to blame for Gracia axeby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford defender Craig Cathcart says the players are to blame for Javi Gracia’s sacking.Cathcart was visiting his parents when he found out the news about Gracia’s sacking – and subsequent replacement by Quique Sanchez Flores – and said he and his team-mates could have done more to keep him at Vicarage Road.”I think as players if a manager gets sacked you do feel a sense of responsibility of not doing your job properly,” said Cathcart.”I think a few of us have to look at ourselves for that, the results weren’t going the way anybody wanted them to, as a whole group of players and staff and obviously the club have made a decision to let the manager go and bring in Quique.”We have to take responsibility, but we have to look forward now and do what the new manager wants to do and look forward to the rest of the season.” last_img read more


Video: Roy Williams Dabbed In The Locker Room After Beating Duke

first_imgRoy Williams dabs in the locker room.Roy Williams DabWhen you beat your rival on the road and clinch the seventh ACC regular season title in your tenure as head coach, there’s only one thing you can do: dab. North Carolina head coach Roy Williams did his best Cam Newton impression and broke out his dab in the post-game locker room tonight, much to the delight of his players. Not bad, Roy. That’s one thing we can’t see coach K doing.last_img


Path Beneficiary Receives Tertiary Scholarship: Pursues Medicine at UWI

first_imgAshroan Fraser strongly believes in the philosophy that success is not determined by where one begins in life, but is instead influenced by how well an individual moves on from where they started. It is this mindset that motivates this young man, who is one of the 2012 Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) tertiary scholarship recipients. Born and raised in Truro,Westmoreland, the aspiring neurosurgeon says he is grateful for the tremendous support received from PATH over the years, including the recent scholarship that he was awarded, for outstanding academic performance at the secondary level. “Having received the scholarship, valued at $1million, is truly a heart-warming feeling. It has opened up new doors for me to pursue my studies in the field of medicine,” he says. He tells JIS news that before receiving the scholarship, he often wondered how his parents would fund his tertiary education at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona. Committed to succeed, he managed to obtain nine Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, and 10 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exams (CAPE), at Monroe College, which allowed him to pursue his studies in the field of medicine at UWI. Because of his exemplary performance at the CAPE level, he was awarded top science student for 2011, which he considers a major achievement. The scholar says his passion for the sciences developed in his first year at Monroe College, and he then decided to pursue medicine at the tertiary level. “I believe that going into this field will actually put me in the position, to make a difference in my community, because most of the residents there normally resort to herbal doctors and medicines, so my aim is to educate them about acquiring proper health care,” he says. Ashroan recalled that while growing up, he faced some challenging times, because his parents were unable to provide for him effectively, particularly his high school education. “I remember the days when I had to walk to school, which was about seven miles away from home. I did this because I didn’t have the required textbooks to facilitate my studies, so I would save my bus fare, in order to purchase my books, because I was determined to pass my exams,” he says. He tells JIS News that he was enrolled in PATH in 2005, when he started high school, which helped him tremendously. Ashroan says he benefitted from the school feeding programme during that time, which provided him with lunch three days per week, and to a large extent, eased some of the financial burdens he faced. He adds that as a result of his circumstance, he became stronger, and was more determined to succeed, because he realised that he had to successfully complete his secondary education, which was the key to pursuing his dreams. “I was contented with what I had, because I knew that I would rise above my circumstance, despite the struggles faced. I am from a very humble beginning, and I knew that my parents weren’t in the position to provide for me in many ways, so I just accepted that fact,” he says.                                                                   The youngster says the hard times he faced helped him to realize that education was the only vehicle to drive him out of poverty, so he became more committed to academic success. The Monroe College past student says, during secondary school, he was engaged in a number of social activities, which contributed to his overall development. “I am the founder and former president of the mathematics club; a former member of the inter-school Christian Fellowship and Science Clubs at Munroe College. I also tutored 5th form students at Frome Technical High School, in a number of subject areas, including mathematics, biology, physics and chemistry on Saturdays,”he informs. Reflecting on how PATH has impacted his life positively, he encourages beneficiaries to be proud of such a programme that has touched so many lives. He urges beneficiaries to accept where they are in life, and use their situation as a driving force to move forward, and excel in their academic endeavors. “I am imploring beneficiaries at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels to feel good about themselves, and make the best of the programme, given the fact that it is the only social security programme that caters for the most vulnerable in Jamaica,” he notes. He is especially encouraging boys at the secondary level to complete their high school education, which will prevent them from becoming unattached youth in society, and will therefore break the inter-generational cycle of poverty. Ashroan however points out that there are certain aspects of the programme that needs to be improved, such as customer service, and how information is transmitted to the public regarding the programme. He adds that most persons in the rural areas are unaware of some of the benefits that currently exist, such as available grants and scholarships. In concluding, he advises youngsters to choose a career path that they are passionate about, so that they can give of their utmost best throughout their school life, and when they enter the world of work. Ashroan Fraser is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery(MBBS) at the UWI, Mona, with an emphasis in pediatric neurosurgery.last_img read more


Gabrielles Angel Foundation To Host Angel Ball 2018

first_imgGabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research announced today that they will honor Dottie Herman, Douglas Elliman CEO; Monte Lipman, Founder and Chairman of Republic Records,Avery Lipman, Founder and President of Republic Records; and Harvey Spevak, Executive Chairman & Managing Partner, Equinox at Angel Ball 2018 on Monday, October 22nd at Cipriani Wall Street.The evening will be emceed by Queer Eye host Karamo Brown and will feature a show-stopping performances by the legendary Morris Day and The Time and recording artist Julia Michaels. Additional performers and presenters will include Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, DJ Kiss, Star Jones and many more surprises. In addition, guests will be treated to an exclusive interactive installation by artist Fer Da Silva, which will be on display at Cipriani Wall Street.The highly-anticipated annual black-tie benefit is hosted by Grammy-nominated songwriter Denise Rich and her daughters Daniella Rich Kilstock and Ilona Rich Schachter. The evening honors the memory of Gabrielle Rich Aouad and benefits Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research, which funds the best and brightest early career scientists whose research focuses on finding less toxic treatments for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other related blood cancers.“I made a promise to my daughter, Gabrielle, that I would not stop funding research until we find a cure for cancer,” said Denise Rich, “Dottie, Monte, Avery and Harvey have all used their enormous influence to help raise awareness and much needed funds for cancer research and it is an honor to recognize this incredible group of entrepreneurs and philanthropists.”Sponsors for the event include celebrity jeweler Lorraine Schwartz, Porsche Cars North America and ALECIA.Camilla Olsson, Michèle Rella, Ofira Sandberg and Lorraine Schwartz will serve as the Gala Chairs, alongside Honorary Chairs Amy and Brian France.Simon de Pury will lead the event’s live auction which will include a not-yet-available 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster Concept; the opportunity to throw the ceremonial First Pitch at Yankee Stadium and incredible jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz.For more information about the Angel Ball and Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research, visit gabriellesangels.org.last_img read more


Without Big Ten title Ohio State mens basketball coaches miss out on

The Indiana men’s basketball team’s Sunday win at Michigan clinched the outright Big Ten regular-season championship. By virtue of that result, Ohio State was denied a share of the title as well as almost $80,000 in bonuses paid to its four coaches. OSU coach Thad Matta would have received $20,000 for a share of the league’s regular-season title on top of his base salary of $3.2 million, as well as an additional year added on to his current contract, according to OSU athletics spokesman Dan Wallenberg. Matta’s contract expires in July 2019. The three OSU assistants – Dave Dickerson, Chris Jent and Jeff Boals – missed out on a combined $58,334. Each of Matta’s assistants would have received “supplemental compensation in the amount of one month’s salary” had OSU won a share of the Big Ten title, Wallenberg told The Lantern in a Monday email. For Dickerson, the team’s associate head coach and highest-paid assistant, a Big Ten title would have resulted an additional $21,667. Jent and Boals would have received $20,000 and $16,667, respectively. OSU, which defeated Illinois, 68-55, Sunday afternoon to improve to 23-7 overall and 13-5 in the Big Ten, needed a Michigan win to claim a share of the regular season title for the fourth consecutive year. The Wolverines, which led by as many as five points during the final minute of play against the Hoosiers, collapsed down the stretch before eventually losing, 72-71, in Ann Arbor, Mich., hours after the Buckeyes defeated the Illini. Wallenberg did not immediately respond to The Lantern‘s Monday afternoon request for information regarding whether these or other bonuses would be awarded if OSU wins this weekend’s Big Ten Tournament. Matta, who is in his ninth year at OSU, has led the Buckeyes to two Final Fours and five Big Ten titles. He and the Buckeyes will chase their third Big Ten Tournament title in four seasons when the team, seeded No. 2, begins play Friday against the winner of Purdue-Nebraska. OSU’s game against either the Boilermakers or Cornhuskers is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at the United Center in Chicago. read more