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Brazil in Preparation for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games

first_img Interview with Lieutenant General Roberto Carvalho, Deputy Chief of International Affairs of the Brazilian Armed Forces Joint Staff During an exclusive interview with Diálogo at the South American Defense Conference (SOUTHDEC 2012), in Bogotá, Colombia, between July 24 and 26, Lieutenant General Roberto Carvalho, Deputy Chief of International Affairs of the Brazilian Armed Forces Joint Staff, emphasized the importance of the security coordination performed by the Armed Forces for the upcoming mega events that Brazil will host: the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. Diálogo: The Military World Games’ security was considered a success by the Brazilian authorities with regard to presentation, and considering the upcoming mega events that Brazil will host. Will that strategic base of intelligence exchange with other countries also be used in the World Cup and the Olympic Games? Lieutenant General Roberto Carvalho: Yes, we count on support from the United States. We have already received many visits and obtained information. We observed England closely during the Olympic Games in London, and for a while now we have been preparing for that series of events, which we consider major events. The Military World Games and also the Rio+20 Conference served as practice. The events provided two different experiences, both successful from a security standpoint. They were coordinated by the Armed Forces and strongly supported by us [the Air Force]. Naturally, all the security units in the country get involved: Federal Police, Federal Highway Patrol, Military Police, etc. But the coordination of these events was basically done by the Brazilian Army. The upcoming events will have a different approach because President Dilma Rousseff created an organization for major events within Civil Affairs, through 2016. Therefore, we have been working and preparing, as needed, seeking and calculating resources to be ready for execution since the creation of this organization. Diálogo: Regarding national security, what is the main current threat against Brazil? Lt. Gen. Carvalho: Unlike our neighbors, Brazil fortunately has no disputes. All the territorial border disputes that may have existed in the past are now resolved. So, we consider that we don’t have external threats against our country, but we have threats originating internally, as well as some coming from other areas, like transnational crime. Our main concerns today are the crimes that we addressed here at the conference: drug trafficking, human trafficking, these transnational crimes are the new known threats. Diálogo: Now that Brazil is the country with the highest rate of drug consumption, does that constitute a threat? Lt. Gen. Carvalho: Yes, this shows how society evolves for either better or worse. We really must curb this process. We all know it is very difficult; it is a constant struggle, and we hope to see the results of this effort. I would like to emphasize the fact that in Brazil the war on drugs is not under the scope of the Armed Forces, but basically it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Defense contributes to the work of the Ministry of Justice in all possible ways, within its capacity. I would like to clarify that despite our concern and the fact that we all suffer with this problem, the first line of action belongs to the Ministry of Justice. Diálogo: Does Brazil have any interest in increasing bilateral agreements? What about transnational agreements? Lt. Gen. Carvalho: Well, we have many agreements with several countries. The Ministry of Defense’s mandate is that our external activity is limited to cooperation. The orders from our current [Defense] Minister Celso Amorim, is that South America cooperates and assists countries with fewer resources so that this subcontinent, as a whole, can exert dissuasive actions. In the past, the country used the idea of dissuasion, so it had to have the strength for it. The current vision in South America is that we must be strong as a whole to deter [direct] threats, which, fortunately, do not exist. Diálogo: There is a recurring theme in these meetings, which is the possibility of creating a regional organization to combat drug trafficking and to coordinate other events such as natural disasters, humanitarian assistance, etc. Because of its work, Brazil is normally mentioned as a possible natural regional leader. What are your thoughts on this? Lt. Gen. Carvalho: The war on drugs, as I mentioned before, is mainly the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice, and the natural disasters are handled by the Brazilian Civil Defense agency. However, the Ministry of Defense is always involved in these matters. They are normally handled within the scope of the South American Defense Counsel, including the previously mentioned attributions of other ministries. I have no knowledge of the creation of a regional organization. Countries are meeting frequently at the South American Defense Counsel and handling matters of defense. Diálogo: Particularly regarding the Air Force, why isn’t there better promotion of the Brazilian peace missions in Haiti, Lebanon, etc.? Lt. Gen. Carvalho: I think that this is in part due to the line of work of the forces: the Army is a ground force and occupies the land, the Navy has more presence, and the Air Force has more of a support role. Our mission is to defend and control the air space, therefore it is not so much our calling, but we are planning to further develop the Aeronautic Infantry. For this reason we created management groups to deploy pelotons to Haiti, and to learn with the Army and Navy how to develop our personnel in terms of motivating, training and providing knowledge to them. We have selected the best from specific parts of the country to be sent there, hoping that our Aeronautic Infantry’s personnel may also improve professionally. Diálogo: And internally, are there internal civic-military activities in Brazil? Lt. Gen. Carvalho: This is routine for us. We provide support wherever it is needed, including to the government and the forces. We are always present; everything that requires support, the Brazilian Air force will offer it. We are very visible whenever there are disasters like mudslides, floods, or airplane crashes, so we are widely seen. But even in areas with no visibility, I guarantee that we work hard. All forces, including Aeronautics, are always ready to support, especially because of to the dimensions of our country. Airplanes are important, otherwise it takes a long time or may even be impossible to reach affected destinations. By Dialogo September 14, 2012last_img read more

Parenti named FDLA president

first_img September 1, 2005 Regular News Parenti named FDLA president Parenti named FDLA president Gail Leverett Parenti of Coral Gables was recently sworn-in as president of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association at its annual meeting in Coral Gables.Other new FDLA officers include President-elect John Richards of Ft. Lauderdale and Secretary-Treasurer Michael J. Corso of Ft. Myers.The FACDL also handed out a number of awards, including: The Joseph P. Metzger Outstanding Achievement Award to Thomas E. Dukes III of Orlando; the 2005 President’s Award recognizing “outstanding service,” to Michael J. Corso of Ft Myers; the 2005 Amicus Award to Matthew J. Conigliaro of St. Petersburg; the 2005 Trial Advocate Quarterly Award to Esther E. Galicia of Ft Lauderdale; the James A. Dixon Young Lawyer Of The Year Award to Francisco Ramos, Jr., of Miami; the 2005 Continuing Legal Education Award to Francis E. Pierce III of Orlando and Daniel P. Mitchell of Tampa; the Defense Research Institute Outstanding Recognition Award to Spencer H. Silverglate of Miami; the 2005 Florida Liability Claims Institute Award to Ralph L. Marchbank, Jr.; and the 2005 Community Service Award also presented to Ramos.last_img read more

Are your Gen Y staff satisfied enough to stay?

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Education and training can help make sure Millennials not only like their jobs but plan to keep working at them.By Lisa HochgrafAs you look around your credit union office, are your Millennial-aged employees looking pretty happy? If they are, you probably should give yourself a pat on the back.But a Harvard Business Review survey suggests you might want to look deeper. It found that 69 percent of Gen Y professionals working in Fortune 500 companies reported being satisfied at work. At the same time, 48 percent said they planned to stay at their current job two years or less.One of the reasons, according to another Harvard Business School report, “Danger in the Middle: Why Middle Managers Aren’t Prepared to Lead,” is that many of these “satisfied” but “planning to leave” staffers are in middle management–a place where more training is needed if staff are to do two key things: a) find success in executing strategy and b) transform from “order givers” to leaders.Amy Fox, CEO and founder of Accelerated Business Results, Cincinnati, offers three insights for better training these members of your team: continue reading »last_img read more

Who Won The Election? It’s a Biden, Trump Stalemate for Now

first_imgIn Georgia, as Biden mentioned in his speech, Democrats are feeling bullish. Many more votes are yet to come in from the Atlanta area; in DeKalb County, for instance, one of the state’s largest, early in-person votes had not even begun to be counted until last night. In many of these still-uncalled states, Trump holds the lead in terms of ballots counted — but that could easily change as more mail-in ballots and some in-person votes continue to be tabulated.- Advertisement – But Democrats also picked up two Senate seats, in Colorado and Arizona, and close races remain uncalled in North Carolina, Georgia, Michigan and Maine — most of them potential Democratic pickups. The party’s path to a Senate majority may have narrowed somewhat, but the fate of the chamber, it’s safe to say, still hangs in the balance.Where we’re atBased on the states that have already been declared, Biden needs 43 more electoral votes to get to the golden number of 270, and Trump needs 57.The three Northern states that flipped for Trump in 2016 — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — remain uncalled. So do North Carolina and Georgia, both of which went for him in 2016 but have been heavily targeted by Democrats this cycle, and both of which are double-whammies: They have contested Senate races hitched to the presidential contest. Nov. 4, 2020, 6:08 a.m. ET “I’m here to tell you tonight, we believe we’re on track to win this election,” he said. “We knew because of the unprecedented early vote and the mail-in vote, it was going to take a while. We’re going to have to be patient until the hard work of tallying the votes is finished. And it ain’t over until every vote is counted, every ballot is counted.”Republicans yesterday did win closely contested Senate races in at least two states, Alabama and Iowa, and flipped at least six House seats, giving them a four-seat net gain in that chamber so far.- Advertisement – Updated – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

FDA seeks comments on controversial anthrax vaccine

first_imgJan 13, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – As a result of a federal court ruling that stopped the US military’s anthrax vaccination program last October, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is asking for public comments on its finding that the anthrax vaccine is safe and effective. A week after the ruling, the FDA responded with a statement, based on the findings of an expert panel in 1985 and subsequent research, that the vaccine is safe and effective for all forms of anthrax. In response, Sullivan lifted his injunction against the DoD vaccination program. But in October 2004, Sullivan said that the FDA had failed to follow its own rules in not soliciting public comments before confirming (in December 2003) that the vaccine is approved for all forms of anthrax. Citing a 1998 law that bars DoD from forcing military members to take drugs not approved for their intended use, Sullivan said military personnel could not be forced to receive anthrax shots without a special presidential order. DoD then suspended the vaccination program. In the notice, the FDA concedes that the 1950s clinical trial data on which its licensing decisions were largely based included too few cases of inhalational anthrax to show clearly that the vaccine prevents that disease. But the notice says the trial data show that the vaccine’s efficacy against all types of anthrax combined was 92.5%. In 1985, an FDA expert panel recommended confirming the approval of the anthrax vaccine, along with various other bacterial vaccines and toxoids. In December 1985, FDA proposed to confirm the approvals and gave the public 90 days to comment on them. The agency received no specific comments on AVA at the time. AVA, also called BioThrax, is made by BioPort Corp. of Lansing, Mich. HHS announced last November that it planned to buy 5 million doses of the vaccine for potential civilian use. HHS also has contracted with VaxGen, Inc., to produce 75 million doses of a new, not-yet-licensed anthrax vaccine that officials hope will require fewer doses and have fewer side effects than the existing vaccine. The existing vaccine requires six doses over 18 months, followed by annual boosters. Last month, DoD officials asked the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for emergency authority to resume the vaccination program because of what they said was an increased risk of anthrax attacks on US forces. HHS officials were still reviewing that request as of yesterday, Marc Wolfson of the HHS Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness told CIDRAP News. A federal judge in Washington, DC, ruled in December 2003 and again in October 2004 that the FDA acted improperly in authorizing the use of the anthrax vaccine to prevent inhalational anthrax, as distinguished from cutaneous anthrax. The military vaccination program has been on hold since the October ruling. The FDA rules that Sullivan said the agency ignored went back to 1972, when the FDA took over the licensing of drugs and vaccines from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The FDA then set up a procedure for reviewing products that had been licensed by the NIH. The procedure included reviews by independent expert panels and inviting public comments before confirming the product approvals. The FDA notice is the latest chapter in a dispute between the government and military personnel who are fighting the anthrax vaccination program because of concern about side effects. Since 1998, about 1.25 million Department of Defense (DoD) personnel, mostly those serving in the Middle East and Korea, have received the vaccine. But some have resisted the shots and been disciplined or forced out of the military as a result. The two court rulings came in a lawsuit filed by six military members and civilian contractor personnel. In the first ruling, in December 2003, US District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan concluded that AVA had never been specifically approved or labeled for use against inhalational anthrax, which is the form the military is most concerned about. In the controlled trial, called the Brachman study, 1,249 workers at four textile mills that processed goat hair received either AVA, a placebo, or no treatment. Five cases of inhalation anthrax occurred in the trial, all in unvaccinated workers. There also were 21 cases of cutaneous anthrax, all but three of them in unvaccinated workers. The agency concludes that the vaccine label doesn’t need to state what route of anthrax exposure the vaccine is intended for. “We propose the indication section of the labeling for AVA [Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed] not specify the route of exposure, and the vaccine be indicated for active immunization against Bacillus anthracis, independent of the route of exposure,” the notice states. In the Federal Register notice, the FDA describes the 1950s clinical trial of AVA and later epidemiologic data on the vaccine’s efficacy and safety. In an effort to overcome the court’s objections, the FDA on Dec 29 quietly published a Federal Register notice explaining its proposal to reaffirm the vaccine’s approval and also inviting the public to comment on the matter. The deadline for comments is Mar 29. The notice also cites some epidemiologic data in support of the FDA proposal to reconfirm the AVA approval. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collected data on anthrax cases in industrial settings from 1962 to 1974 and also monitored adverse reactions to the vaccine in about 7,000 at-risk workers from 1967 to 1971. From the latter study, the expert panel concluded that the vaccine was “fairly well tolerated” and that severe local reactions and systemic reactions were “relatively rare.” Also in support of the vaccine, the FDA notice cites a small clinical study conducted by DoD after 1985 and data collected by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. In addition, the report cites the 2002 analysis by the Institute of Medicine, which found that the vaccine was “acceptably safe” and effective against inhalational and other forms of anthrax. The 1985 expert panel said that ethical concerns and the low incidence of anthrax make it impossible to conduct further controlled clinical trials of the vaccine, according to the notice. The expert panel concluded that the vaccine provided 93% protection overall but that cases of inhalational anthrax were too few to assess the vaccine’s effect against that form of anthrax, the Federal Register notice says. According to Sullivan’s October 2004 ruling, the FDA never followed up with specific confirmation of the AVA licensing until after his December 2003 ruling. When the FDA then said the vaccine was effective for all forms of anthrax, it relied partly on post-1986 research findings, on which the public never had a chance to comment, according to the judge. “FDA agrees that the five cases of inhalation anthrax reported in the course of the Brachman study are too few to support an independent statistical analysis,” the notice states. But it adds that the study included all types of anthrax, the overall efficacy of the vaccine was 92.5%, and no inhalational cases occurred in vaccinated workers. Therefore, the FDA proposes to label the vaccine for anthrax immunization without specifying the route of exposure.last_img read more

(Updated with County Clerk response) The 3 “W” city council candidates could be at a disadvantage with the election ballots

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — There appears to be some concern over the electronic ballot for the Wellington City Council race. If your last name starts with “W”, you may be at a disadvantage. Sumner County Clerk Debra Norris provided a response to the question this afternoon.An e-mail was sent to Sumner Newscow about the layout of the ballot in next Tuesday’s City/School Board election. The e-mail from a local citizen reads:“When I (advanced) voted today, the first 12 names were on first page of my electronic ballot. The next three names: Chase Weber, Vincent Wetta and Kim Woodrow, were on the second page. I had to go and find the three Ws on the second page to select the six Wellington City Council members. It looks to me the three men with the ‘W’ last names are at a disadvantage on April 2, 2013.” The Wellington City Council election switched from a “district” to an “at large” format this year. The ballot issue occurred due to the large number of candidates who filed for the at large position. There are 15 candidates on the ballot. The candidates are listed alphabetically (as they are with Sumner Newscow forums). When they were listed the bottom of page 1 separates the first 12 from the final three on page 2.Sumner Newscow forwarded the concern to the Sumner County Clerk’s office. Debra Norris responded this morning:“We are aware of the questions on the electronic ballots. We are researching and will get you an answer soon.”This afternoon, she provided a follow-up e-mail:“In response to concerns regarding the two pages required to list all 15 candidates for Wellington City Council on the electronic ballot, please be advised of the following:With 15 candidates and 6 write-in lines, it was necessary that Wellington City Council races be placed on two screens.  It was impossible to put 21 lines on one screen.Even using the smallest font available, two pages would be required to list the candidates for Wellington City Council.In past elections candidates have been listed in alphabetical order.  It is a well established procedure.The voter must go to the second page of City Council Candidates in order to complete the ballot.  A voter cannot “skip” the second page of the City Council Candidates.At the bottom of the first page of City Council Candidates the ballot advises “CONTEST CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE”At the top of the second page of the City Council Candidates the ballot advises “CONTEST CONTINUED”A review of the voter’s choices for the six candidates is provided before the actual ballot is cast.I encourage any voter with a question about the ballots or election to contact my office for clarification.” Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (6) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +1 Vote up Vote down Marilyn McLain · 385 weeks ago I advanced voted this week and the three names mentioned above were on my ballot on the same page as the others. i rec’d my ballot on Monday and sent it back yesterday. Report Reply 0 replies · active 385 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Atlarge · 385 weeks ago Mrs Mclain: did you vote by Paper ballot? The article is referring to electronic voting machine ballot. Report Reply 1 reply · active 385 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Marilyn McLain · 385 weeks ago Sorry about that, it was a paper ballot Report Reply -3 Vote up Vote down atlarge · 385 weeks ago THE US Presidential Election of 2000 was decided by 536 votes out of 375 million US Citizens because of a confusing ballot Report Reply 0 replies · active 385 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down Billy · 385 weeks ago “The voter must go to the second page of City Council Candidates in order to complete the ballot. A voter cannot “skip” the second page of the City Council Candidates.” Voting can be hard sometimes. This is exactly why we have an electoral college. Report Reply 0 replies · active 385 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Atlarge · 384 weeks ago The three men on second page are at a slight disadvantage. If anyone believes they are at not disadvantage. They do not understand elections. It has been proven over and over again the people do everything including voting with the “path of least resistance” What ever is the easiest way to do anything in life. Report Reply 0 replies · active 384 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

West Palm Beach man arrested after boy, 12, escapes kidnapping

first_imgA West Palm Beach man is behind bars after he allegedly kidnapped a 12-year-old boy from a bus stop Wednesday afternoon.According to Boynton Beach police, 26-year-old Timothy Miller picked up the boy saying he “gives kids rides all the time and not to worry because he won’t do anything weird.”When Miller began driving erratically, the boy tried to open the car door, and Miller told him he was not allowed to leave.The boy then jumped out of the car, hit the pavement, and was reportedly knocked unconscious.Two witnesses came to the boy’s aid, and then followed the suspect on I-95 blocking his vehicle until police arrived at the scene.Miller was arrested and later told police he thought the boy was around 14-16 years old and attempted to purchase drugs from him.He is charged with kidnapping, child neglect, and resisting arrest with violence.Miller appeared before a judge Thursday morning and was denied bond.last_img read more


first_imgTRIPLE CROWN CHAMP AMERICAN PHAROAH JOGS, TWO-TIME ECLIPSE CHAMPION MARE BEHOLDER GALLOPS THIS MORNING AT SANTA ANITA ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 16, 2015)–Triple Crown Champion American Pharoah and multiple Eclipse Champion Beholder each went through their morning paces this morning at Santa Anita Park.With trainer Bob Baffert at the annual Keeneland Sales, “Pharoah” came on the main track at 8:20 a.m. and backtracked one mile before heading back to Baffert’s Barn 5.American Pharoah Link: https://youtu.be/vELLbDTvOYQBeholder, out before sunrise at 6:30 a.m., came on the track in the quarter mile chute, jogged straight off and galloped a crisp seven furlongs, according to Xpressbet’s Millie Ball.  The 5-year-old Henny Hughes mare, fresh off a smashing win versus males in the Grade I Pacific Classic Aug. 22, is being pointed by trainer Richard Mandella to the Grade I, $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 26.Owned by Spendthrift Farm, Beholder exited the main track via the Grandstand tunnel adjacent to the finish line and walked through Santa Anita’s paddock area en route to Mandella’s Barn 4.Beholder Link: https://youtu.be/fPbRgRTHSlQlast_img read more

Katrina’s latest blow

first_imgNEW ORLEANS (AP) – Mayor Ray Nagin said Tuesday the city is laying off as many as 3,000 employees – or about half its workforce – because of the financial damage inflicted on New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. Nagin announced with “great sadness” that he had been unable to find the money to keep the workers on the payroll. He said only non-essential workers will be laid off and that no firefighters or police will be among those let go. “I wish I didn’t have to do this. I wish we had the money, the resources to keep these people,” Nagin said. “The problem we have is we have no revenue streams.” Nagin described the layoffs as “pretty permanent” and said that the city will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to notify municipal employees who fled the city in the aftermath of Katrina, which struck about a month ago. The mayor said the move will save about $5 million to $8 million of the city’s monthly payroll of $20 million. The layoffs will take place over the next two weeks. “We talked to local banks and other financial institutions and we are just not able to put together the financing necessary to continue to maintain City Hall’s staffing at its current levels,” the mayor said. Meanwhile, former President Clinton met with dozens of New Orleans-area evacuees staying at a shelter in Baton Rouge’s convention center. And officials ended their door-to-door sweep for corpses in Louisiana with the death toll Tuesday at 972 – far fewer than the 10,000 the mayor had feared at one point. Mississippi’s Katrina death toll was 221. A company hired by the state to remove bodies will remain on call if any others are found. Clinton, working with former President Bush to raise money for victims, shook hands and chatted with the evacuees, some of whom have been sleeping on cots in the Rivercenter’s vast concrete hall for more than a month and complained of lack of showers, clean clothes, privacy and medical care. “My concern is to listen to you … and learn the best way to spend this money we’ve got,” Clinton said. Robert Warner, 51, of New Orleans said he and others have struggled to get private housing set up through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “We’ve been mired in the bureaucratic red tape since Day One,” he said. Clinton later was driven through New Orleans’ heavily damaged lower Ninth Ward, where houses were caved in or pushed off their foundations. “I saw things I’d never thought I’d see,” Clinton said later before a meeting with residents of the largely untouched Algiers neighborhood. Clinton told people at an Algiers high school that state officials are committed to creating a comprehensive plan to help Louisiana residents. “We’ve got a much better chance of giving people a fair shake in the long-term than we did in the short-term,” he said. Associated Press writers Amy Forliti in New Orleans and Doug Simpson in Baton Rouge contributed to this report. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Amazing Insects Defy Evolution

first_imgTwo recent articles about insects call for the ring buoy on the H.M.S. Darwin.  The first is about fossil amber from India, reported by the BBC News.  “We have complete, three-dimensionally preserved specimens that are 52 million years old,” one of the discoverers announced with astonishment, “and you can handle them almost like living ones.”  The insects are so perfectly preserved they look like they could crawl out if released from their gooey prison.    Several things about the discovery challenge conventional evolutionary wisdom.  One is that they contradict the theory of endemism, the notion that organisms living in isolation will tend to become more unique.  The insects found resemble those from other parts of the world.  Gondwana and Laurasia were supposed to have drifted apart slowly for 100 million years, but here in the Indian amber, the diversity of insects resembles specimens from Asia, Africa, and even South America.  “This means that, despite millions of years in isolation in the ocean, the region was a lot more biologically diverse that previously believed.”  To rescue the theory, the team envisioned insects flying long distances or drifting on ocean currents.    Another challenge from these fossils is that rain forests were not supposed to exist in this region 50 million years ago.  Finding evidence of a tropical environment twice as old as previously thought, the team had to say that they hadn’t found such environments before because “fossil deposits are simply very uncommon in tropical regions.”  A photo with the article shows where the amber samples were found in lignite mines in western India.    New Scientist also reported the story, underscoring the falsifying evidence that calls for theory revision: “India spent tens of millions of years as an island before colliding with Asia.  Yet the fossil record contains no evidence that unique species evolved on the subcontinent during this time, so India may not have been as isolated as it seemed to be.”    Living insects defy evolution, too.  The Guardian wrote a fascinating article about honeybees’ computational abilities.  “Bees can solve complex mathematical problems which keep computers busy for days, research has shown.”  One well-known puzzle, the so-called “traveling salesman” or “Chinese postman” problem, tries to solve for the optimal route between a number of points.  If computers had to calculate every route and then try to solve for the shortest one, it could take days.  “Bees,” however, “manage to reach the same solution using a brain the size of a grass seed.”  This is, in fact, their specialty: “Foraging bees solve travelling salesman problems every day.  They visit flowers at multiple locations and, because bees use lots of energy to fly, they find a route which keeps flying to a minimum.”  It’s unclear whether bees use a heuristic algorithm (by which computers could converge on solutions more rapidly, too), but the bee succeeds somehow, and with dramatically smaller hardware.  A team at the University of London thinks humans could learn from honeybees how to solve such problems more efficiently.  “Despite their tiny brains bees are capable of extraordinary feats of behaviour,” a researcher remarked, daring not explain how evolution could have produced a brain the size of a grass seed that can challenge our best computers.Darwinism is like the patient who has more bandages than skin, or the traveling salesman that lost money on every sale but thought he could make it up in volume.  In either case, the outcome will not be pretty.  Time for a body transplant and a new product.(Visited 116 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more