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  • Eat. Stay. Play. Calvert County, MD

    first_imgSTAY Maryland. Be Open For It With all the water access in Calvert County, you know there have to be beaches! We have some of the nicest beaches on the bay and you don’t have to drive all the way across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to access them. Search for shark teeth and shells at any of the beaches dotted along the bay, peruse local museums and galleries and stop for an ice cream cone to finish off your perfect day away!   When in Rome! Calvert County is right on the Chesapeake Bay so make time to partake in a traditional crab feast or seafood platter. To the north of the county lies the twin beach towns of North Beach and Chesapeake Beach with several superb restaurant options. To the south is Solomons, a tiny waterside town with a big waterfront restaurant selection.  center_img PLAY EAT All of the accommodations in Calvert County are top notch. Plan a quick stay in an affordable hotel, stay for a few days in a tent, camper or vacation home, treat yourself to a luxurious stay in a bed & breakfast or plan something unique and book a stay at the base of the Cove Point Lighthouse in the keeper’s quarters (featured in the top image).  For decades, families have flocked to Calvert County, Maryland, to escape the city heat in Baltimore and D.C. and experience the Chesapeake Bay lifestyle, complete with bay breezes and crab feasts. With over 100 miles of shoreline along the Patuxent River and the bay, water sports like kayaking, paddle boarding, crabbing and charter boat fishing for that big catch are a must. Afternoons offer visits to local wineries and breweries followed by dinner at sunset overlooking the water.  last_img read more

  • McGrane assumes Bar presidency

    first_img McGrane assumes Bar presidency Associate Editor On the morning Coral Gables attorney Miles A. McGrane III was sworn in as the new president of The Florida Bar, he told the story of the feared warrior tribe of Africa, the fabled Masai.“When one warrior greeted another, the greeting was, ‘And how are the children?’“The traditional answer given, even by warriors with no children, was, ‘All the children are well.’”Looking out at those gathered at the General Assembly June 27 in Orlando, McGrane continued: “Just think: If every lawyer helped just one child, we could assuredly say, ‘All the children are well.’”Giving thanks for his blessings of a devoted wife Patty, and three fine children — Blake, Ashley, and Miles IV — McGrane’s first official act as the Bar’s 55th president was a passionate plea for lawyers to rise to the challenge to do more to help all of Florida’s children.The General Assembly ceremony, with the procession of past presidents and Florida Supreme Court justices, was a time to acknowledge the good works of lawyers and others, an opportunity to hear highlights from Tod Aronovitz’s year as president, and a time to look forward to reaching new goals set by new Bar leaders.And McGrane made it clear during his term as president this will be the year of the child.He praised the Young Lawyers Division for committing $25,000 toward his goal to raise $250,000 in The Lawyers Challenge for Children program that will be administered by The Florida Bar Foundation.“While this is an unprecedented sum we are seeking, we have unprecedented needs for children in Florida that must be addressed,” McGrane said.He asked lawyers to redouble their efforts in pro bono work by representing non-profit organizations that help children.The blueprint of where to begin on many reforms to help children embroiled in court proceedings already exists with the 2002 final report and recommendations of the Bar’s Commission on the Legal Needs of Children.“During this year, we will complete the commission’s work for the children,” promised McGrane, who has made helping children his top priority of his presidency.When Rev. Philip Craig, a mentor to the McGrane children and a close family friend, gave the invocation, he, too, remembered the children.“We pray this day for all children,” Rev. Craig said. “They are growing up in an unsteady and confusing world.. . . Carry them to safety.”McGrane recalled when he was young he watched a television show called “Lamp Onto my Feet,” with Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.“He ended each program by saying, ‘If everyone lit just one little candle, what a bright world this would be.’”McGrane challenged Florida’s lawyers to be a beacon of positive change for children caught up in foster care, languishing in mental health facilities, trying to survive alone on the streets, and bounced around various courts – from dependency to delinquency to divorce.Other goals in the upcoming year, McGrane said, will be to continue spreading the word about the good lawyers and judges do through the Dignity in Law program launched by outgoing President Tod Aronovitz.“Though our profession is often maligned and we are used as scapegoats for our country’s ills, it is truly our profession that guarantees liberty and equal justice for all,” McGrane said.He quoted constitutional lawyer John W. Davis: “We build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures. But, we smooth out difficulties. We relieve stress. We correct mistakes. We take up other men’s burdens. And by our efforts, we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”McGrane described the process of shifting the costs of the courts from the counties to state government as “a painful process which will not be completed until after the next legislative session.”The Article V, Revision 7 issue, McGrane said, should not be left to Bar leadership alone.“I call on all lawyers in Florida to join with our Chief Justice to speak out on this issue,” McGrane said. “We must educate the citizens of Florida and the members of the Florida legislature the vital role our courts play in our day-to-day lives.“If fully funded, as needed, the total cost of this third branch of government— in the nation’s fourth largest state—will be only slightly more than 1 percent of the entire state budget. When the day is done, our courts must have the capacity they have today. Nothing less is acceptable. Chief Justice Anstead, you have our commitment to continue our role as guardians of the independence of the judiciary.”McGrane also pledged to continue to try to get full funding of $10 million annually for the Florida Access to Civil Legal Assistance Act, the hallmark of Terry Russell’s 2001-02 term as Bar president. While grateful for the legislature giving $1.5 million during this year’s extremely tight budget, McGrane vowed to try for much more next year.“Hopefully, we can identify a permanent funding source in the legislature so that we can count on a stable and relatively fixed amount of dollars each year,” McGrane said.McGrane has what it takes to lead Florida’s lawyers toward ambitious goals, said Frank Brogan, former lieutenant governor and now president of Florida Atlantic University, McGrane’s alma mater.“As we search for our leaders, we should look for the very best we can find. Our times dictate that we do so,” Brogan said in introducing McGrane.“In this particular case, while many will come no doubt after, the man you have called upon to represent this very, very important collegial body, that of The Florida Bar association, I can tell you without fail that he will provide for you a compass that will take you forward, with honesty, integrity and dignity.” State of The BarDignity was the catchword of outgoing President Aronovitz’s 2002-03 term. Aronovitz was proud of a huge statewide public awareness campaign called Dignity in Law that got out the message: “Our courts are open to all Floridians. The Florida Bar is the gold standard of all bar associations. And our lawyers and our judges work hard every single day for our clients, in our courtrooms, and in our communities.”His late father, Miami lawyer and federal Judge Sidney Aronovitz, was the role model for Dignity in Law.“A year ago, I stood before you asking you to help me draw a line in the sand and to stand up for our profession. We started with an idea and a lot of heart and not much more,” Aronovitz said.A year later, he shared documented results and statistics that showed the negative stories about the legal profession declined, while positive stories increased. From meetings with editorial writers, columnists, and reporters, Aronovitz said, he turned some “from foe to neutral to friend.” There were consumer promotions around the state, including halftime shows at college football games. A bi-lingual Web site gets 4,300 hits a month from people seeking to learn more about The Florida Bar. The All-Bar Conference, chaired by Alan Bookman, explored ways local bars could carry out the Dignity in Law message in their communities. A creative campaign of Blast emails sent to legislators reaped the highest award given by the Public Relations Society of America.Positive stories were pitched to the media and those stories were told.“My favorite headline was in Tallahassee: ‘Tallahassee attorney is angel of law,’ talking about an attorney named Richard Smith and his pro bono work and his efforts on behalf of senior citizens,” Aronovitz said.He beamed as he ticked off other positive stories:• Coral Gables attorney Matthew Dietz, incoming chair of the Public Interest Law Section, who made headlines when he refurbished an apartment to be accessible for a wheelchair-bound woman.• Eleventh Circuit Judge Norman Gerstein’s work to expand a summer camp program for foster kids.• Third District Court of Appeal Judge Mario Goderich, founder of the Cuban-American Bar Association, who made the news for his great work as a lawyer and judge committed to community service.“My vision of Dignity in Law is best described by author John Grisham in A Time to Kill, the compelling account of a criminal trial in a Southern town,” Aronovitz said.“In the novel, the author describes the defense attorney on the eve of trial by saying, ‘I want to be in the courtroom. I love criminal trials, big trials, where there is a life on the line and pressure so thick you can see it in the air.’”Later, Grisham describes the proud state attorney in that criminal trial: “The magnificent district attorney rose slowly and walked importantly to the bar. He explained that he was the people’s lawyer, his client the state of Mississippi. He had served as their prosecutor for nine years and it was his honor for which he would always be grateful to say that he represented the fine folks of Mississippi.’“Who presides over a case like that? The wise and fair judge of the courtroom,” Aronovitz continued. “In each civil and criminal trial, the judge is the voice of reason and the protector of the rights of the litigants, all too often criticized and not recognized enough for their diligence.“The author captured the essence of Dignity in Law. Proud attorneys and judges working hard every day for our clients, in our courtroom, and in our communities,” Aronovitz said.“I urge our Board of Governors to continue to speak to editorial boards, to our neighbors, about the pride in our profession. And the Dignity in Law program can make a difference.“Lastly, I reflect upon one of my favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson: ‘Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.’ It has been my honor to serve as your president.”One last time, Aronovitz summoned up his favorite motto, words spoken by Willie Marabel, who worked in Aronovitz’ college fraternity house, a black man with humble beginnings and an infectious positive spirit: “Don’t never give up.” McGrane assumes Bar presidency July 15, 2003 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

  • How to save $100 in a week

    first_imgThink you don’t have $100 to spare? Think again.Even if your budget is tight right now, there might be ways to save money that you aren’t considering. Not only are some people spending unnecessary cash on a regular basis, but many of us are sitting on untapped sources of money in our own homes. Here are five examples of ways to find extra cash in your budget. Combined, these tips could add up to $100 in savings a week— and some might be worth that much alone.1. Check Bills for ErrorsThe next time you get a bill from a doctor’s office, medical clinic or hospital, wait to pay it until you know that the amount you’re being asked to spend is accurate. According to a recent ABC News report, auditors hired by an insurance company found errors in more than 90 percent of the medical bills they examined. These discrepancies can prove devastating for patients’ budgets.Recently, I received a bill of about $200 for some laboratory tests. According to the letter, my insurer denied coverage because I couldn’t be identified as a member. However, I quickly discovered that the lab had the wrong insurance ID number for me by comparing the number on my insurance card with the one on the bill. By making a quick call, I was able to inform the biller of the mistake so a claim could be submitted to my insurer to cover the cost. continue reading » 31SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

  • Member service: If you’re not elating don’t bother participating

    first_imgElate: To make someone ecstatically happy.I’ll fully own the cheesy rhyme in the title of this article. What I will not own (and what credit unions cannot afford to own) is something as mundane and trivial as member satisfaction.What’s that? Member satisfaction is not a good thing? Of course it is. Gartner research shows that marketing directors across multiple industries are now spending an average of 18% of their total marketing budgets on consumer experience. Clearly, it’s a good thing. Just like a baseball player batting .300 is a good thing. Just like your local weather person getting the forecast right maybe half the time is a good thing. These are “good” things. But they’re not great. They do not elate. A baseball player batting .400 elates his fans. A weather person getting the forecast right 90% of the time would elate her viewers. Satisfying a consumer is, indeed, a “good” thing. However, it is not elation.Why this fixation on elation? Over Christmas a colleague of mine purchased a cool little artificial intelligence robot for his children. He had some trouble getting it to hook up to their home Wi-Fi and contacted the company for support. As he relayed the story, the company quickly replied and resolved the issue and then followed up with an email asking if he was “elated” by the service he had received. My colleague says he stopped and reread that sentence several times and noted, “I know what elate means and I’ve seen it in the dictionary, but I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve ever seen it in a piece of consumer marketing.”Member satisfaction? Boring.Member elation? That’s the ticket.According to Digital Onboarding, only one in 10 financial institutions successfully engages new members after they open a checking account. And that’s just the beginning of the relationship. Unless your member service experience goes for elation every single time, you’re not going to stand out from the competition. Unless your member service experience strives for elation on a daily basis, your members will have little reason to remember you. Unless your member service experience achieves elation at every member interaction, you’re pouring water into a leaky bucket. Sure, you’ll probably keep adding members at the relatively slow pace most credit unions do. However, those you lose to attrition (the idea of that leaky bucket) are wandering off, seduced by your competitors with marketing tales of how much greener the grass is on their side. Had you wooed them, had you gone for more than satisfaction, had you achieved member elation, there’s a much better chance they would’ve stayed in your bucket.Credit Union Times reported that more people leave financial institutions due to poor experience than to fraud. CUToday.info similarly found that for the first time banks are beginning to pass credit unions in customer satisfaction ratings. Credit unions must find ways to enhance member experience. Go back to the very first line of this article — the dictionary definition of the word of elate. Honestly answer the question “How many members left my credit union today feeling ecstatically happy?” If you’re being honest, the answer is probably a relatively low number. How much higher could it be? How much higher should it be? How much higher must it be in order for your credit union to thrive in this ridiculously competitive and ever-changing financial services marketplace?Credit unions that truly seek to elate their members and cement their future as a growing and dynamic financial institution focus on the member experience with an eye toward elation. If your credit union does not look to every single telephone call, online chat, social media interaction, drive-through intercom conversation and (yes, they still happen) lobby interaction as a member elation opportunity, your participation in our little niche of the financial services marketplace is, frankly, not needed and potentially damaging to  those progressive credit unions that do seek to relate their members.Which culture would you choose? Member satisfaction or member elation? The answer to this relatively simple question is a good indicator of whether or not you should bother opening your doors tomorrow morning. It may sound blunt and probably is but it’s also the truth. Credit unions that seek to stand out and make their members ecstatically happy are those that will still stand in this gladiatorial arena of financial services. Those that do not should exit stage left, satisfied (defeated) but not elated (ecstatically victorious). 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Mark Arnold Mark Arnold is an acclaimed speaker, brand expert and strategic planner helping businesses such as credit unions and banks achieve their goals with strategic marketing insights and energized training. Mark … Web: www.markarnold.com Detailslast_img read more

  • Intan Jaya pastor third churchman allegedly killed by security personnel, church says

    first_imgHe said the TNI had also denied this allegation, claiming that Elisa had died at the hands of Goliath Tabuni, a separatist leader based in the district.Read also: Churches union condemns shooting that killed pastor in Papua, urges Jokowi to take actionSocratez strongly condemned the recent killing of Yeremia, as well as the other two cases, saying that it was “an accursed act before God and man.”“The cruelty, violence and savagery of the TNI against the pastors is an affront to humanity and should be condemned,” he said.Local news in Papua reported that Yeremia was shot dead on his way to his pig pen on Saturday, at the same time as a military operation was taking place.Socratez said at least seven churches had been emptied, with many members of the congregations fleeing into the forests, as a result of military operations in Papua.Yeremia was the head of a theological school in Hitadipa district in Intan Jaya and a pastor in the Imanuel Hutadipa congregation of the Indonesian Evangelical Christian Church (GKII). He was also a Bible translator and a community leader of the Moni tribe.Executives of the GKII and the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI), as well as figures from the Moni tribe, are currently probing the incident.The PGI has sent a letter to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, urging him to establish an independent team to thoroughly investigate this case, with support from the Papuan Police and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) in Papua.Socratez urged Jokowi to end military operations in Papua. He also urged the Papuan Council of Churches (WPCC) to write to the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) and the World Council of Churches (WCC) to urge Pacific island nations to raise the issue at a United Nations forum.Read also: After a year of Papuan antiracism rallies, discrimination remains an everyday occurrenceKomnas HAM commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara said the commission had received a report regarding the latest incident from Papuan Students Alliance head John Gobay on Monday, and had immediately launched an investigation into the case.“We have not concluded who is responsible. However, Komnas HAM believes that the government needs to evaluate its security approach in Papua to stop the cycle of violence involving TNI, armed groups and civil society, to which a long list of people have fallen victim,” Beka told the Post on Tuesday.Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid urged the government to investigate Yeremia’s case and provide an explanation whether TNI personnel were responsible for the incident.“This shooting again shows the failure of the state to bring peace to Papua. Since the beginning of the year, there have been at least 15 cases of extrajudicial shootings there. When can Papuans be free to live in peace?” Usman said in a statement on Tuesday.The Papua Police said the latest incident was committed by an armed group, aiming to attract global attention ahead of the UN General Assembly scheduled for the end of this month, although the police were investigating the motive behind the shooting.TNI spokesperson for the Joint Regional Defense Command III in Papua Col. Gusti Nyoman Suriastawa also said Yeremia had been shot by an armed group, although he said he was still waiting for the results of an investigation by the Cendrawasih Regional Military Command.“I don’t know [if there were two previous cases]. It’s been a long time. I’m afraid I might provide an incorrect statement. Let’s all wait for the investigation while we mourn the deceased,” he told the Post.Cendrawasih Regional Military Command spokesperson Lt. Col. Reza Patria said on Tuesday that his team was still investigating the incident and declined to elaborate further.Topics : Geyimin was killed in Mapenduma district, Nduga regency, on Dec. 19, 2018, he said, adding that the victim was reportedly forced to dig a grave in the backyard of his house, before being shot dead and his body burned.“[Geyimin] had been a church pioneer since 1963. He was an old man, a figure who had received the gospel in Nduga,” Sokratez told The Jakarta Post on Monday.Socratez said a TNI spokesman at that time had denied the allegation, saying Geyimin was alive and well. However, he added, the results of an investigation by the Papuan Human Integrity Justice and Peace Foundation showed that Giyimin had died, allegedly at the hands of TNI personnel.Meanwhile, Elisa was reportedly handcuffed and shot dead by members of the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) in Tingginambut district, Puncak Jaya regency, on Aug. 16, 2004, Sokratez said. The recent killing of pastor Yeremia Zanambani in Intan Jaya regency, Papua, allegedly carried out by personnel from the Indonesian Military (TNI) is the third case targeting a churchman in Papua since 2004, a church fellowship has said.The TNI has denied involvement in all three killings, accusing separatists of killing two of them and claiming that the other one was not actually dead. Human rights institutions have called on the government to open an independent investigation to shed light on the killings.President of the Papuan Baptist Churches Fellowship, Sokratez Sofyan Yoman, has alleged that prior to Yeremia, TNI members shot dead two other pastors, namely Geyimin Nirigi and Elisa Tabuni, in separate incidents.last_img read more

  • Modern style draws $700k sale in Scarborough

    first_img3/51 Landsborough Ave, ScarboroughA RENOVATED apartment with ocean views has sold at Scarborough for $700,000.Forty 20 Property sales agent Steve Hart said a middle-aged couple bought the unit at 3/51 Landsborough Ave as an investment property.He said they had been in the building to inspect another unit when they decided to take a look at this one.“They loved it the moment they saw it,” Mr Hart said.More from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019“There’s two things about that property that sold it — one is its position and two, it’s just beautifully presented. 3/51 Landsborough Ave, Scarborough“It’s in an older block — they were built in 2003 — (but) to my knowledge, it’s the only renovated one there.”Mr Hart said its modern style was what attracted the considerably higher price than other units in the building.He said apartments were much more popular than houses on the Peninsula of late, particularly among retirees and buyers looking to downsize or invest.“I can’t see that stopping for a while, there’s a lot of people in that market place,” Mr Hart said.He said a lack of modern houses in the area could be responsible for the trend.last_img read more

  • Corrie Sanders: Ex-heavyweight champion dies in shooting

    first_imgFormer heavyweight world boxing champion Corrie Sanders has died after being shot during an armed robbery.The 46-year-old was attending a family celebration at a restaurant near Pretoria in his native South Africa. He died in hospital.Sanders pulled off one of boxing’s major shocks when he beat Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBO heavyweight title in 2003.He retired in 2008, having won 42 of his 46 fights.A police spokesman said Sanders was attending his nephew’s 21st birthday party when gunmen entered the restaurant.“In the midst of the celebrations, about three suspects came in,” the spokesman explained. “They were planning to commit an armed robbery. Then in the armed robbery they shot randomly. Corrie was shot in the hand and also the stomach. “They fled with a digital camera and also a handbag of one of the people who was in the restaurant.”Police have not yet made any arrests but the spokeman said they were “in hot pursuit”.Sanders vacated the WBO title in December 2003 to concentrate on a challenge against Wladimir’s older brother Vitali for the vacant WBC belt.But he was stopped in the eighth round of the fight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Sanders retired in December 2004 after beating Alexei Varakin in the second round of their contest in Austria, but returned to action two years later.He lost his final bout, against Osbourne Machimana, for the South African heavyweight title in February 2008.last_img read more

  • Former Ivory Coast boss Herve Renard sacked by Lille

    first_imgLille have sacked Herve Renard just five months after he was given a three-year contract to manage the club.After helping the Ivory Coast to win the Africa Nations Cup in January, Renard, 47, took over from Rene Girard at Lille in May.But the former Sochaux boss was let go on Wednesday after Lille picked up just two wins and scored only seven goals in his first 13 Ligue 1 matches in charge.The 2011 French league and cup winners are currently 16th out of 20 teams in the standings, which a Lille statement said was “a perilous position and certainly not up to the objectives of the club.”The club statement noted that Renard had left on amicable terms and that both sides admitted a “shared failure.”However, it also said that results under the ex-Zambia coach had not reflected the “ability and potential” of the squad available to him. Renard is the first Ligue 1 manager to be relieved of his duties this season and the first Lille coach to be sacked mid-campaign since Michel Seydoux became chairman of the club in 2002.According to several French media outlets, the current manager of Algeria, former Lorient boss Christian Gourcuff, is top of Lille’s wish list to replace Renard.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

  • Will Clark gets a big bronze statue, but not in San Francisco (yet)

    first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos or video on a mobile deviceWill Clark went back to college last week. Not to complete a degree-gone-dormant. And not to settle a decades-old parking fine. And not because he just happened to be in the neighborhood.He came to be honored along with former Mississippi State teammate Rafael Palmeiro to celebrate the recommissioning of the school’s baseball stadium — Dudy Noble Field.The locals call it The Dude. The makeover, …last_img read more

  • Olympic Plants Perform in Place

    first_img(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 They may be rooted in the ground, but plants run their own Olympic organization.Command and control center:  Running any large organization requires command and control.  Plants have one, too – one that runs on hormones.  A command and control center needs to respond to emergencies; plants can do that, too.  To see how they accomplish these functions, read “Lighting up the plant hormone ‘command system’” on PhysOrg.  The article ends with words from Zhiyong Wang of the Carnegie Institution:“This command system seems not only to accept various inputs, but also to send branches of output signals, too, because each component acts interdependently on shared targets, but also independently on unique sets of target genes,” Wang said. “This complex network contains multiple layers and controls major plant growth and developmental processes. We believe this network will be a major target for engineering high-yielding crops.”Intelligence agency:  Another article on PhysOrg has the attention-getting title, “Tel Aviv University researcher says plants can see, smell, feel, and taste.”  The first paragraph adds to the wonder:Increasingly, scientists are uncovering surprising biological connections between humans and other forms of life. Now a Tel Aviv University researcher has revealed that plant and human biology is much closer than has ever been understood — and the study of these similarities could uncover the biological basis of diseases like cancer as well as other “animal” behaviors.Prof. Daniel Chamovitz’s new book What a Plant Knows “could prompt scientists to rethink what they know about biology,” the article states.  “Ultimately, he adds, if we share so much of our genetic makeup with plants, we have to reconsider what characterizes us as human.”  He wasn’t thinking of people who “veg out” instead of working out, but noted similarities, such as the human response to light in their circadian rhythms that is similar to that in plants.  They “see” by using light “as a behavioral signal, letting them know when to open their leaves to gather necessary nutrients.”  They “smell” and have “memory” too–And that’s not the limit of plant “senses.” Plants also demonstrate smell — a ripe fruit releases a “ripening pheromone” in the air, which is detected by unripe fruit and signals them to follow suit — as well as the ability to feel and taste. To some degree, plants also have different forms of “memory,” allowing them to encode, store, and retrieve information.Even more intriguing, plants have some of the same genes that are implicated in breast cancer and cystic fibrosis in humans.  “Plants might not come down with these diseases, but the biological basis is the same, says Prof. Chamovitz,” a remarkable fact hard to square with evolutionary theory which would put the common ancestor of plants and humans far back in the microbial world.Chelsie Eller gave Chamovitz’s book a good review in Science (20 July 2012: Vol. 337 no. 6092 pp. 295-296, DOI: 10.1126/science.1224876).  “Although he doesn’t make any controversial arguments, he does suggest that we reconsider what it means to be aware,” she concluded.  “If plants can see, smell, feel, know where they are, and remember, then perhaps they do possess some kind of intelligence. Maybe that is worth reflecting on the next time you casually stroll past a plant.”Communications hub:  The sight of a whole field of wildflowers blooming simultaneously is beautiful, but raises the question: How do they know when to flower?  In a featurette about women in science, PhysOrg reported about professor Carolyn Dean who studied that very question.  The short answer is that plant flowering genes have repressors that prevent flowering until environmental factors remove them.  “The way this memory works is very conserved which means it works in a similar way in many organisms including humans.”Environmental responsibility:  Plants are certainly part of “green” energy use and pollution control, but now, the American Chemical Society says that “Green plants reduce city street pollution up to eight times more than previously believed.”  City planners would do well to include more ivy, hedges and planters in “urban canyons” to clean up their act, reported PhysOrg.As usual, these articles had little or nothing to say about evolution, because none of the findings are helpful to evolutionary theory.  They provide negative arguments against Darwinism, such as requiring the complexity to appear inexplicably far back into some microbial common ancestor; and they provide positive evidence for intelligent design, such as the ability to “encode, store, and retrieve information.”  The natural inference from our experience is that commonality in complex features implies common design.  Follow this evidence to its logical conclusion, and you will undoubtedly enjoy the plants around you more.last_img read more