Tag: 苏州龙凤419

  • First Bondy, now Messi: The incredible rise of Kylian Mbappe

    first_imgBut the mural has now gone, with Mbappe instead popping up a few kilometres away at the Stade de France.Outside the national stadium, Nike have reworked their famous Eric Cantona advert from the 1990s: “’98 was a great year for French football. Kylian was born.”Two decades after Zinedine Zidane’s face was projected onto the Arc de Triomphe in the wake of France’s World Cup final win over Brazil, Mbappe carries the hopes of a nation into Saturday’s last-16 tie with Argentina in Kazan.Back in Bondy, they are proud of a player who is already a superstar despite not turning 20 until December.“It had become a tourist attraction in the town. Lots of people would come especially to take photos, even Asian tourists,” says 17-year-old Wael of the now-departed mural.“He is our boy from the street who has gone on to be a success, so he is an example for us all.”From the town’s Stade Leo-Lagrange to Monaco, a record transfer to PSG and now a World Cup tie against Lionel Messi’s Argentina, Mbappe’s trajectory is the stuff of dreams.“The example of Kylian means that all the youngsters see themselves in him,” Athmane Airouche, the president of the local club AS Bondy, told AFP.Kylian Mbappe training with the France team ahead of their clash with Argentina © AFP / FRANCK FIFE“He is the best player to come out of Bondy but we have brought through a fair few: more than 30 professionals!“We really work hard at youth development. The advice that Kylian got is the same that the youngsters get now. For us there is no difference between a good player and an average one.”He adds: “The main thing is to explain to them that while football is great, their studies are even better. If things are not going well at school, they don’t play football.”– A sporting family –The young Kylian was determined to follow in the footsteps of his “brother” Jires Kembo, who was raised by the Mbappe family after moving to France from what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, and who went on to become a professional, moving from Bondy to start out at Rennes.Mbappe began playing as a four-year-old and it was only a few years later that it became clear he had an extraordinary talent that would eventually lead PSG to make him the second most expensive player in the world at 180 million euros ($210 million).“Kylian was very quickly spotted and in local tournaments he sort of became the ‘starlet’. He is a boy who has never been anonymous, never just one player among many others,” explained Ilyes Ramdani, who came up against Mbappe on the pitches of the Paris suburbs and is now a journalist.“Physically, he was much more frail and slender, but he was just as talented on the ball, and he had this exceptional ability in one-on-one situations that I have never seen since.“He has progressed, obviously, but you get the impression that he is still the same kid today.”Mbappe was mollycoddled by parents heavily involved in the local community and sporting scene — his father Wilfried is a coach at AS Bondy, his mother Fayza is a former handball player.They helped nurture his career along from the French national football centre at Clairefontaine to the Monaco academy and now PSG and the national team.“He wants us to be like his son, so that we succeed in life. He tells us to keep training hard, never give up. He is a great coach,” says Chakib, who played under Wilfried Mbappe in AS Bondy’s under-15 team last year.“He was an extraordinary player, a midfielder, a number 10. As a coach, he can be hard, even towards his friends,” adds Airouche, who played with and under Mbappe senior.That upbringing has been key to the rise of Kylian, who on Saturday has the chance to take the next step to French national hero.0Shares0000(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Des collégiens de Bondy, la ville où a grandi Kylian Mbappé, posent avec l’attaquant de l’équipe de France, à la fin d’un entraînement à Istra en Russie, le 27 juin 2018 © AFP / FRANCK FIFEBONDY, France, Jun 29 – Only a short cycle up the canal from central Paris towards the French capital’s deprived northern suburbs lies Bondy, the hometown of boy wonder Kylian Mbappe.Until recently, next to the canal and the busy flyovers, on the side of a block of flats, was a mural of Mbappe, arms crossed in a Paris Saint-Germain shirt. It was accompanied by the slogan “Bondy, Villes des Possibles” — the town where anything is possible.last_img read more

  • Dino Soft Tissue Confirms Creationist Prediction

    first_imgGleanings from the original paper show discoverers excited but surprised. Creationists are excited and gratified.Yesterday’s announcement of dinosaur soft tissue in Nature Communications by scientists from Imperial College London sets a new high hurdle for critics. It’s not really news, since soft tissue in dinosaur bones has been reported for over a decade now (see Bob Enyart’s list of journal papers).  This new paper, however, is noteworthy in many respects that will challenge naysayers:The team used ordinary, common bones from museum specimens. “Models proposed to account for such preservation indicate that it should be the exception rather than the rule,” they noted. “….Here, we examined eight dinosaur bones from the Cretaceous period, none of which are exceptionally preserved.“The outside of the bones gave no hint of what was inside. “Incredibly, none of the samples showed external indicators of exceptional preservation and this strongly suggests that the preservation of soft tissues and even proteins is a more common phenomenon than previously accepted.”The bones they sampled came from both major classes of dinosaurs. “Specimens representing both major dinosaurian clades (Ornithischia [bird-hipped] and Saurischia [lizard-hipped]) and different osteological elements were chosen.”The bones came from different parts of the anatomy. “…an ungual claw of an indeterminate theropod dinosaur…”, “… a hadrosaurid tibia,” “an astragalus of a hadrosaurid” and others.The team took great pains to prevent contamination. “The sections were obtained from the interior of each sample, ruling out modern surface contamination.” Again, “this method rules out the possibility of modern contamination, as the surface exposed is inaccessible to any contaminant.”The team used multiple methods for observation: SEM, TEM, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and focused ion beam (FIB) mass spectrometry.  “These results show that to determine the presence of soft tissue in fossils a new synergistic approach needs to be applied where micro/nano-analytical methods are utilized to their full potential.”They used controls by running the same tests with rabbit bone, another bone lacking the fibers, emu blood and a copper grid. “Sections were obtained from an agglomeration of erythrocyte-like structures and cement surrounding these from specimen NHMUK R12562, fixed emu blood, three fossils showing calcified fibres (NHMUK R4493, NHMUK R4249, NHMUK R4864), rabbit bone and a fossil not presenting sign of calcified fibres (NHMUK R12562). As a control, a mass spectrum from the copper grid holding the samples was also obtained.”Six of the eight samples contained soft tissue. “….in this study, putative soft tissue (either erythrocyte-like structures, collagen-like, fibrous structures or amorphous carbon-rich structures (Supplementary Fig. 7)) was observed in six of our eight dinosaur specimens (Supplementary Table 1).”Two distinct kinds of soft tissue were reported: collagen and red blood cells. “In one sample, we observe structures consistent with endogenous collagen fibre remains …. Furthermore, we observe structures consistent with putative erythrocyte remains that exhibit mass spectra similar to emu whole blood.”The collagen structure had not degraded; it still displayed the quaternary structure characteristic of collagen’s triple-helix configuration. “One sample (NHMUK R4493) also showed, for the first time in a dinosaur bone, a clear ~67 nm banding, that is typical of the banding observed in collagen (Fig. 3e), for the length of the preserved fibre.” The fibers are obvious from the electron micrographs shown in the paper and the popular news.Amino acids were detected that are characteristic of collagen: “The positive mass spectrum obtained from NHMUK R4493 showed peaks corresponding to fragments of the amino acids glycine, alanine, proline and others…. Detection of fragments of the amino acids normally found in collagen supports the results obtained from TEM analysis where the ~67 nm banding is consistent with potential preservation of the original quaternary structure of the protein.”Blood cells were found. Though shrunken in size, this confirms Schweitzer’s original claim of finding blood cells. “The spectra obtained from four different regions of the dinosaur bone containing erythrocyte-like structures are surprisingly similar to the spectra obtained from emu blood.” Why would the dinosaur cells be smaller? “Within the dinosaur samples on average, the erythrocyte-like structures are ~2 μm in length. This is somewhat smaller than erythrocytes of birds, which range from 9 to 15 μm in length; emu blood cells in our sample were 9±2 μm (n=17). The structures consistent with putative erythrocytes in the fossil could well have been deformed and it is quite probable that these structures have undergone some shrinkage during fossilization.”Another standout feature of this paper is the undercurrent of emotion. Scientific papers tend to be stodgy and understated in tone. These scientists used “exciting” twice, and a scattering of other “surprise” words:Therefore, the observation of a ~67-nm banding in the fibrous structures of fossilized samples here is very exciting, as it is consistent with a preservation of the ultrastructure of putative collagen fibres over a time period of 75 million years. Before this finding, the oldest undegraded collagen recorded (based on mass spectrometry sequencing and peptide fingerprinting) was about 4 million years old.The common preservation of soft tissues could pave the way for cellular investigations of extinct animals, shedding light on aspects of physiology and behaviour that have been previously inaccessible to palaeontologists and inaugurating a new and exciting way to do paleontology.Unexpectedly, from three of the samples (NHMUK R4493, NHMUK R4249 and NHMUK R4243) TEM micrographs showed obvious fibrous structures (Fig. 3a,b,c and Supplementary Fig. 10) containing carbon.The spectra obtained from the erythrocyte-like structures are surprisingly similar to the spectra obtained from the whole blood of an extant emu.The paper is timely, seeing that the latest dinosaur movie “Jurassic World” hits the theaters in two days. Reporters, so far, are sticking to their story that the evidence merely demonstrates that soft tissue can last for 75 million years.  This estimate, however, is about 18 times longer than the previous “expert” opinion about the longevity of collagen, especially in its quaternary structure. Can this giant leap be simply assumed? Four million years was already a stretch for many who said soft tissue degrades quickly after death. Moreover, they thought it could only be preserved for 4my under exceptional conditions of preservation—not on common bones in museum collections.Another noteworthy discovery from the current paper is “structures enriched in carbon.” They write, “Elemental analysis using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) established that all these structures are enriched in carbon, in contrast with the surrounding denser tissue/cement.” This raises the possibility of running carbon-14 tests on the samples. None of the authors or reporters mentioned this rather obvious follow-up step. If the bones were older than about 100,000 years, there should be no carbon-14 at all remaining, due to its 5,730-year half-life.Bob Enyart discusses this paper with CEH editor David Coppedge in a special edition of his radio show today (June 10).Bob Enyart keeps a list of objects containing carbon-14 that should have none, such as coal, diamonds and other “dinosaur-era” fossils. A few years ago, he spoke with famous dinosaur hunter Jack Horner, who was the inspiration for the scientist in Jurassic Park, and consultant on all the Spielberg dinosaur movies. When Enyart offered him $23,000 to carbon-date the soft tissue in his T. rex, he refused the generous grant and donation to his museum. Recognizing that Enyart is a creationist, he revealed his real reason: “The spin you guys could get out of this,” he admitted, “would not help us.” But it isn’t spin! It’s a scientific test. Who is interested in facts as opposed to spin? You can hear the whole conversation here.The world’s leading scientists are less scientific than this pastor in Denver. Enyart keeps lists of predictions by creation scientists, many of which have been confirmed. This paper now confirms #2 of his dinosaur soft tissue predictions: “For now, dinosaur tissue will be found not only in rare circumstances, but rather easily, i.e., when looked for.” Prediction confirmed! He was spot on. Did the secular evolutionists predict this? No! They were totally surprised (see the reactions in yesterday’s post). His lists also show that DNA from dinosaurs has already been found, contrary to what the reporters on the current story are saying.Sooner or later, someone will do a carbon-14 test on dinosaur soft tissue. If there is any C-14 found at all, it will defeat the geologic column with its “Age of dinosaurs” ending millions of years ago. Don’t be alarmed if the age comes out to tens or hundreds of thousands of years, because the error bars go out of control beyond dates that can be checked against recorded history, and creationists expect different atmospheric conditions in the pre-Flood world. The point is that C-14 should be completely absent from dinosaur bone—unless dinosaurs died only thousands of years ago, not millions. That’s the Genesis Flood prediction. Want to gamble on who will be right?We want to see a fair, unbiased suite of accurate carbon-14 tests on dinosaur soft tissue. Bring it on. We’ll see who is interested in empirical science.(Visited 804 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享3last_img read more

  • Mormons and Psychologists Burn Their Brains

    first_imgCan an MRI scan tell anything about spiritual experience?Some neuroscientists at the University of Utah decided to put Mormons in an MRI scanner and watch their brains light up when they felt spiritual. Science Daily describes the experiment:During fMRI [functional MRI] scans, 19 young-adult church members — including seven females and 12 males — performed four tasks in response to content meant to evoke spiritual feelings. The hour-long exam included six minutes of rest; six minutes of audiovisual control (a video detailing their church’s membership statistics); eight minutes of quotations by Mormon and world religious leaders; eight minutes of reading familiar passages from the Book of Mormon; 12 minutes of audiovisual stimuli (church-produced video of family and Biblical scenes, and other religiously evocative content); and another eight minutes of quotations.During the initial quotations portion of the exam, participants — each a former full-time missionary — were shown a series of quotes, each followed by the question “Are you feeling the spirit?” Participants responded with answers ranging from “not feeling” to “very strongly feeling.”The neuroscientists measured a connection between self-professed spirituality and activity in the prefrontal cortex, involved in rational decision making, and in the nucleus acumbens, a part of the brain involved in reward feelings. “Religious and spiritual experiences activate the brain reward circuits in much the same way as love, sex, gambling, drugs and music,” the article says. Here’s how the headlines came out:This is your brain on God: Spiritual experiences activate brain reward circuits (Science Daily)Spiritual Mind: What a Religious Experience Looks Like in the Brain (Live Science)Rachael Rettner at Live Science cautions, “The researchers noted that more studies, including those that look at people from different religions and cultures, are needed in order to identify other brain regions linked with religious experiences.”Philosophers warn that correlation is not causation. What does the experiment signify? What does it mean? Can any conclusions be drawn? If Mormon spiritual feelings produce the same results as gambling, drugs or sex, does the experiment mean anything at all?Apparently the radiologists forgot to include a control group. If any of the scientists were non-Mormons or atheists, they should have scanned themselves when thinking about nothing at all, or when thinking about doing science. Others could be measured when thinking about their favorite football team scoring a touchdown, having ice cream, or petting their dog. If all these things produce similar levels of reward activity in the brain, what could the scans possibly signify, other than the observation that human beings are easily aroused by pleasurable thoughts of all kinds?Such measurements certainly could not speak to the truth or falsity of a religion’s truth claims. Yet the authors of the paper in Social Neuroscience focus on the “evolution of complex religious systems” as if those are distinct from complex scientific systems within a materialistic, evolutionary framework. Here’s their conclusion:Theoretical models of religious cognition have proposed that networks comprised of ventral striatal and prefrontal regions may play a critical role in the development and maintenance of religious ideation….Given commonalities in brain architecture across individuals with limited neural mechanisms for representing euphoria, a search for shared neural mechanisms for intense religious and spiritual feelings across cultures may provide insight into the evolution of complex religious systems and opportunities for cross-cultural understanding of deeply held religious beliefs and experience. Ultimately, the pairing of classical reward responses with abstract religious ideation may indicate a brain mechanism for attachment to doctrinal concepts and charismatic in-group religious leaders.How, exactly, did doctrinal concepts (concepts being in the realm of rational thought and logic) become attached to purely physical pleasure responses? Do concepts even fit into an evolutionary worldview? Where did concepts come from? How did they evolve by mutation and selection?If religion evolved, so did Darwinism. If religion is an epiphenomenon of neurons, so is Darwinism. That implies that any “pairing of classical reward responses” with abstract scientific ideation may indicate a brain mechanism for attachment to scientific concepts and influential in-group scientific leaders. Let these scientists prove otherwise, using only Darwin’s toolkit of natural selection on random variations.We would like to know the motivation of these scientists. Why are they performing such experiments, which are doomed from the start to be meaningless? Knowing the mindset of today’s naturalistic secular scientists, we suspect their motivations include trying to prove that religion is nothing more than a neural activity in the brain that evolved because it makes people feel good. Like Marx, they want to show that religion is an opiate of the people, producing the same response as drugs. If so, let us remind them that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. That self-refuting motivation equally implies that doing science is nothing more than a neural activity in the brain that makes scientists feel good.This research was funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health. If anyone thinks this was a well-designed scientific activity, let’s start asking some questions: What is the significance of a pleasure response if it applies equally well to all kinds of non-spiritual activities, including drugs and gambling? If natural selection would prevent harmful activity like taking drugs, why would it reward it? It could kill the individual before he or she could pass on their genes. Why did they measure only self-induced “spiritual” activities and not rational activities like a debate on the truth claims of Mormonism? Why did they choose only Mormons and no control group? The paper astonishingly says that “each subject served as their own control,” hardly a good model of experimental setup. (Visited 63 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 If the scientists are secularists and believe that religion evolved because it produces pleasure, why would natural selection reward anything they would presume to be irrational? If the scientists were scanned and showed responses, would they be upset if religious people drew conclusions that the scientists were sinners and this was their guilt manifesting itself in their brains? Why not? How do they know that the fMRI activity was not a secondary response to some other concurrent stimulation? I say it’s time to put the neuroscientists in the scanner and analyze them. We need to cure their Yoda Complex. We need to teach them about the argument from reason for the existence of God. We need to warn them about the danger of engaging in self-refuting belief systems.Exercise: Add to our list of questions that scientists never ask who perform these kinds of experiments on “the evolution of religion.”A note to Mormon readers: If your religion makes you feel warm and happy, that’s nice, but it has nothing to do with the truth of your church’s doctrines. You can get the same warm fuzzies from sex and drugs. The same warning applies to all religions and systems of ideas. Better do your homework on what you believe. Why did they not compare feeling-based religions like Mormon with rational-based religions like Presbyterianism, and atheism as an outgroup? How about scanning a Christian suffering persecution? or a PhD theologian writing a book on systematic theology? Would the scientists be willing to get into the scanner and let religious people run scans on them? Why not? Can they point to fMRI signatures of other intense feelings, including hate, pride, anger, fear, or laughter? Are those always distinct from pleasure responses in predictable ways? Why didn’t they measure the brain activity when the subjects thought about fear of hell or concern they are involved in a cult? Are the scientists presuming that the more the response, the better the religion? or that all religions that produce the same fMRI scan are equivalent? On what basis?last_img read more

  • South Africa’s economy not declining but it faces difficulties

    first_imgIn the current challenging economic climate, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), delivered to Parliament on 26 October 2016, focused on social development and transformation. The biggest challenge South Africa faces, Gordhan said, is slow global growth and its effect on investment and trade in South Africa.This is one of the reasons for a R23-billion shortfall in projected revenue, a deficit that will have to be recouped through raised tax rates. The minister conceded that he faced a challenge of implementing measures that raised government revenues without inhibiting investment.Gordhan’s solution is to stabilise and consolidate national debt and prioritise capital investment.Over the next three years, R900-billion will be invested in infrastructure development with an emphasis on the telecommunications, energy and transport sectors.Additional funding will be channelled into health services, tertiary education and social programmes.Minister Gordhan stressed that government priorities remained:Progress in providing housing, clean water and sanitation for all.Creating equal access to health care.Accelerating job creation and small enterprise development.Expanding access to further education and advancing the country’s technological capabilities.South Africa’s economy faces difficulties, but the economy is not in decline, Gordhan stressed.To take advantage of the opportunities for growth, government would prioritise the financing of education. “We are especially mindful of the need to expand access to post-school education opportunities,” Gordhan said, but added “this is not enough: our progress rests on improvements in the entire education system.”In addition to a R16-billion boost to the higher education budget, a further R9- billion is earmarked for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. The effect of fee increases will be bankrolled by an additional R8-billion to aid households with an income under R600 000. These measures recognise that graduates do contribute, through taxes and loan repayments, to the next generation of students.All of these objectives, the minister explained, had to be met without leaving a legacy of debt for future generations. These aims, summed up as social transformation and inclusive economic growth, would ensure opportunities and the chance of a better life for all South Africans.Economic growth would ensure a stable and vibrant democratic South Africa.By prioritising where the government can best spend revenue and, more importantly, cut unnecessary and wasteful government expenditure, the ministry will be able to increase social grants. This modest increase – an additional R10 a month – has been necessitated by rising food costs.Other social programme spending includes:An expansion in government HIV/Aids programmes, which now reach 3.5 million people.Increases in the National Health Insurance’s conditional grant to continue the contracting of general practitioners and bring professional capacity into the School Health Programme.New conditional grant for employment of social workers.Extended child support grant for orphans.Funding for 39 000 Funza Lushaka bursaries for prospective teachers.Minister Gordhan’s statement also covered economic development, especially growth that encouraged the building of a more inclusive economy. Over the medium term the minister has proposed:R45-billion to promote industrialisation, economic transformation and sustainable resource management.An agri-parks initiative to help small farmers with production, marketing and training.A reassignment of housing funds to speed up investment in rental housing units and planning of catalytic projects in large towns and cities.Establishment of the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute.Funding for the N2 Wild Coast road, the Moloto road and improved maintenance of both national and provincial roads.High-speed internet access in government buildings.“Fifty-five million South Africans want to see and experience real change in their lives, and continuous progress,” Gordhan emphasised.The minister challenged all South Africans to embrace a collective and concerted effort to find solutions for sustainable growth and eradicating poverty. If South Africans want the promise of the National Development Plan to be realised, Gordhan said, the country needed to embrace stable and sustainable public finances, as well as economic reforms and a transparent monetary policy.There are promising “green shoots” in the economy that can only be nurtured if the finance ministry’s holistic package of measures to grow the economy are enacted. “No one measure will work,” Gordhan said, “our approach is to mobilise efforts across many fronts, and to recognise a diversity of contributions in an open and multi-faceted development framework.”Gordhan’s MTBPS once again reaffirms an approach to building a national consensus on development and transformation. The minister set out the aims of his budget:The objective is inclusive growth.Limits would be set on government debt and expenditure while the administration would encourage public and private sector investment.The government-endorsed nine-point development plan would guide policy.Broadening inclusive participation, growth and development will require multi- ministerial policy initiatives.“All of us have expectations of government, of the economy and indeed of our political system. We expect delivery,” Gordhan concluded. “We expect change for the better. We expect progress in South Africa. Above all, we expect a better future for our children – particularly through education.”SouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

  • South Africa’s first vegan magazine

    first_imgMedia24 has launched South Africa’s first vegan focused magazine, The Vegan Life. Besides vegan friendly recipes, there are also informative articles on a wide range of relevant topics, from getting enough protein to buying cruelty-free beauty products.The Vegan Life launches on 30 January 2017. (Image: Screengrab via digital version of the magazine)Priya PitamberIn the newly launched magazine, The Vegan Life, numerous questions relating to the lifestyle are tastefully answered:How can a vegan include more protein in their diet?Do vegans need to take supplements?How to respond to frequently asked questions?What is safe and not safe for a vegan to eat?Those who follow a vegan diet exclude meat, poultry, eggs, dairy and other animal related products from their menus.“The huge shift towards veganism is really interesting,” said Marianne Erasmus, publisher of The Vegan Life.“It reflects a growing awareness of our impact on the world because the basis of veganism is not only about what is good for the individual, but also what is best for the planet.“We support the decision to live ethically and the activism behind it, and are very proud to launch the first vegan magazine in South Africa.”Thokozani Mashigo has been a vegan for just over a year, eating organic, plant-based food. “I adopted an alkaline-based diet which meant cutting out acid-based foods, of which animal-based foods are a part.”But his decision has not been without its difficulties.“Being a vegan,” he said, “especially a black vegan, posed many challenges for me, from explaining such a foreign concept to friends and family to finding suitable eateries that cater for vegans, to understanding the labelling on almost every single item of food I purchase.”The magazine got his attention, he said, by the cover because of the “beautifully shot food and the layout of the magazine”.“I immediately got the earthy, natural organic feeling that comes with being a vegan,” he said.He enjoyed that the magazine contained an abundance of information. “I loved the answers to the many questions one asks oneself when embarking on such an unpopular diet choice.”The list of vegan-friendly restaurants was also appreciated, as was the article about which supplements vegans could buy.“This magazine has helped me to understand veganism even better, to plan my meals and the ingredients, and it has helped me from a nutrition point of view.”Mashigo is also interested in trying out the dessert recipes.Animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or Peta, said 2016 would be #TheYearofVegan and it was that exactly, reads the magazine.“In the UK, where veganism is widely regarded as one of the fastest-growing lifestyle trends, the number of vegans rose by more than 360% over the past 10 years.“Here in South Africa, although we don’t have the exact statistics, veganism is clearly a path more and more people are choosing to take.”@JoziStyle @media24 @XXXSHEWOLFXXX @TheLifesWay Looks great! Even though I am not vegan, #healthyeating ideas are always welcome! ? ? https://t.co/NtR3UxAGFv— Roelia (@GPBoozyFoodie) January 27, 2017Progress, well done! https://t.co/HotIiZAoLX— Tim Harper (@timharper) January 30, 2017Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

  • Food label translation

    first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest “There is nothing to eat in this house!” I’m sure you have heard these words and know it’s time to head to the store. Our days when our farm is open for business, my time for shopping is limited. The most I look at a food label is to make sure I’m getting the right thing. Obviously, yesterday after planting our 20K strawberries my brain was fried and when I got home, I realized I had reached for Bryer’s Black Raspberry Chocolate ice cream and had gotten Cherry Vanilla instead! After much examination and sarcastic delight I discovered I had purchased ice cream that was gluten-free and was produced with milk from cows with no artificial growth hormones (even though the FDA states there is no significant difference in milk), rainforest alliance certified vanilla and country-harvested cherries from a sustainable farm. Holy cow that’s a lot of claims in addition to the normal label and food facts. It is no wonder the food label is confusing to the consumer.For the most part we don’t think much about the labels on our food. Believe it or not the food label is highly mandated by the FDA. All food labels must include:Product name, name and address of manufacturer; size.Ingredients by descending order of weight or predominance.Nutrition facts that include per serving values for calories, total fat, saturated fat, Trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbs, dietary fiber, sugars and proteins. If a claim is made about a specific vitamin or nutrient that also must be included.Percentage of Daily Values based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Mandated are also % daily values of Vitamin A, C, Calcium and Iron.Nutrient Claims such as high, good, more, light, -free, low, very low, reduced, no or healthy can be made when manufacturers meet strict criteria set by FDA. Most consumers don’t know that criteria. Check this out for a great chart on all the definitions.http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/food/pdf/hgic4061.pdf or http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm064911.htm.Health Claims can be made if there is a relationship between a food or nutrient and a reduced risk of a disease or health related condition. Again these are highly regulated by the FDA. http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm064919.htm.Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) of any imports is required not by the FDA but by U.S. Customs since 1930. If a product is then later processed in yet another country then it must also be included. I have become familiar with this, as I have been trying to buy more fish. It is extremely difficult to find fish from this country. I haven’t noticed this on red meat because we eat meat locally.As a dietitian, I can see that the food label continues to be very confusing to the general consumer. Products are allowed to be labeled “Gluten-free” even if they never contained gluten to begin with. People are avoiding gluten who don’t need to be and are missing essential nutrients. “No hormone fed” labeled chicken is thought to be better for families than the chicken without the label, even though chickens are not given hormones to begin with. Mayhem is just around the corner with the GMO labeling issues coming into heated debate. “Non-GMO verified” labels have begun making debuts on the shelves, again labeling foods that are not even GMO to begin with and adding fuel to the fire of the GMO scare. All these labels are meant to give consumers a choice but in my opinion, add to the confusion. Not only does the general consumer not know what they mean, don’t take time to learn what they mean, they just “know” they are bad for them. Terms such as GMO, rBST (to name a few) are unfamiliar and therefore scary. For consumers needing to stretch their food dollar, labeling issues may mean increased prices at the marketplace.A couple of my friends were very concerned and recently sent me an e-mail circulating regarding China and our nation’s food supply. First, it stated that live hogs are being shipped to China for processing and being shipped back. Birdseye veggies were being grown and processed in China and other similar companies are doing the same. My husband, Paul with his experience in exporting live cattle, explained to me that the pork export statements would never happen due to:1. The cost, time and effort to export live animals. Just the cost to ship them back to the U.S. would be prohibitive and2. Processing plants are readily available in the U.S.Birdseye has a map on their website showing where their veggies are coming from. For the consumer with little agriculture, food knowledge and no time to search for the truth, these types of e-mails are super scary — just another reason why our real agriculture conversations are important. You may not feel comfortable being an “agvocate” with the media or in front of a crowd, but know that a simple, genuine conversation the next time you reach for ice cream is just as important as well as a one-on-one conversation with your congressman regarding the food label. We live in a country producing the safest food supply in the world. Be proud of it and share it with others.Enjoy these recipes I found on the labels amongst my pantry shelves.Decadent Truffle Bottom Chocolate Cream Pie Hershey Special Dark Chocolate Chips1 (1/2 of 15-oz. pkg.) refrigerated pie crust2 cups miniature marshmallows or 20 large marshmallows1/2 cup milk2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips1 cup (1/2 pt.) heavy whipping creamSweetened whipped cream or whipped topping (optional)Chocolate curls (optional) Prepare and bake pie crust in 9-inch pie plate as directed on package for unfilled 1-crust pie.Place marshmallows and milk in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Add chocolate chips; stir until melted and mixture is smooth. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, just until chips are melted when stirred. Spread 1 cup chocolate mixture over bottom of crust; refrigerate. Cool remaining mixture to room temperature.Beat whipping cream until stiff; gradually blend into chocolate mixture, combining thoroughly. Spread over chocolate layer in pastry crust. Cover; refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or until well chilled. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate curls, if desired. Cover; refrigerate leftover pie. Makes 8 servings.  Chicken Barley Chili Quaker® Quick Pearled Barley  1 (14 1/2 ounce) cans tomatoes, diced, undrained (you can use seasoned tomatoes)1 (16 ounce) jars of your favorite salsa1 (14 1/2 ounce) cans fat free chicken broth, reduced sodium1 cup quick-cooking barley3 cups water1 tablespoon chili powder1 teaspoon cumin1 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed1 (15 1/4 ounce) cans corn or 1 (15 1/4 ounce) cans corn mixed with chopped peppers, undrained1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts, cooked and diced (3 cups)Cheddar cheese (optional)Reduced-fat sour cream (optional)  In a large saucepan, combine first 7 ingredients (tomatoes through cumin).Over high heat bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, corn and chicken; increase heat to high until chili comes to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for another 5 minutes, or until barley is tender. If upon standing the chili becomes too thick, add more chicken broth or water until chili is desired consistency.If desired, top each bowl of chili with a little shredded cheddar and a dollop of sour cream. Makes 11 cups Nutrition per 1 cup serving; 270 cal; 4 g fat; 60 mg chol; 700 mg Sodium; 27 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; 32g Protein Ultimate Chicken Quesadillas Rotel Mexican Lime & Cilantro PAM Original No-Stick Cooking Spray1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces1 can (10 oz each) Ro*Tel Mexican Diced Tomatoes with Lime Juice & Cilantro, undrained 4 flour tortillas (10 inch)2 cups shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend (2 cups = 8 oz) Spray large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add chicken and undrained tomatoes; cook 10 minutes or until chicken pieces are no longer pink in centers and liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently. Spread chicken mixture evenly onto bottom half of each tortilla to within 1 inch of edge. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over chicken mixture on each tortilla. Fold each tortilla in half to cover filling. Clean skillet. Spray with additional cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Cook quesadillas 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown on both sides. Cut into wedges to serve. Canadian bacon Quiche                       Kraft Shredded Swiss Cheese  1/2 pkg. (15 oz.) ready-to-use refrigerated pie crusts (1 crust)1 ½ c KRAFT® shredded Swiss cheese divided3 oz. Canadian bacon, chopped4 eggs¾ c milk2 green onion1 Roma tomato, thinly sliced    Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare pie crust as directed on pkg. for unfilled 1-crust pie, using 9-inch pie plate sprayed with cooking spray. Arrange Swiss cheese pieces evenly on bottom of pie crust; top with the Canadian bacon.Beat eggs and milk with wire whisk until well blended; pour into crust. Sprinkle with onions and shredded cheese; top with tomato slices.Bake 15 min. Reduce heat to 350°F; continue baking 25 to 30 min. or until center is set and top is lightly browned. Let stand 10 min. before cutting into 6 wedges to serve.last_img read more

  • Analyst: Worst is Behind Ethanol

    first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Todd NeeleyDTN Staff ReporterORLANDO (DTN) — Ethanol margins continue to be depressed at the start of 2019, as evidenced by the losses DTN’s hypothetical ethanol plant continues to experience.The ethanol industry as a whole is looking and waiting for any kind of good market news.Pavel Molchanov, senior vice president and equity research analyst for Raymond James and Associates, said during the National Ethanol Conference in Orlando on Tuesday that not only is the worst behind the industry, but there is reason for optimism.“The good news is that, all over the world, there is more and more implementation of renewable fuel standards,” he said. “Let’s not lose sight of the fact that there are well over 30 jurisdictions that have a fuel standard. They’re not going to be able to get there without ethanol from you. There’s not enough ethanol that could possibly be produced in China.”In addition, Molchanov said there are new emerging export markets in Mexico and Ukraine, coming off a record 1.6-billion-gallon export year by the ethanol industry in the United States.The latest look at DTN’s hypothetical 50-million-gallon plant based in South Dakota shows the negative margins have moved little since our last update in January. The plant currently is showing a 31.9-cent loss, down from January’s 29.7 cents. This number includes continued debt service.Most ethanol plants are not paying debt, however. If the hypothetical plant were not paying debt, it would have recorded a 1-cent-per-gallon loss — a drop from a 2-cent-per-gallon profit in January.Last month, a $160-per-ton price for dried distillers grains bolstered margins. In our latest update, the price dropped to $141.The ethanol rack price for this update came in at $1.385 per gallon, up from $1.36 last month. The price of corn paid by the hypothetical plant remained steady at $3.78 — the Chicago Board of Trade price.GROWTH SUFFERS FROM CHINAIn 2018, Molchanov said, ethanol production grew at a 1.3% clip — the slowest growth since 2013. He said the growth suffered from the effective closing of the Chinese market.Molchanov said he expects to see about 1.5% production growth in 2019 and around 2% in 2020.Ethanol’s 2018 closed with a thud, much like the rest of its year.“Quarter four was one of the worst quarters in the modern era of this industry,” Molchanov said. The industry was hurt by a 30% drop in oil prices.“In any quarter we look at, ethanol production is higher than the year before,” he said. “Quarter four was the exception.”Year over year, 2018 fourth-quarter production dropped by 1.5% compared to the final quarter of 2017.As ethanol futures prices hit some of their lowest levels in a decade in 2018, Molchanov said, ethanol producers benefitted from fairly stable corn prices.“With corn, the price was a straight line $3 to $4 a bushel,” he said. “You would prefer stable feedstock prices. With ethanol at lows, you’d prefer corn to adjust accordingly, but it doesn’t.”EXPORT STRENGTHEven without the Chinese market, Molchanov said, 2018’s record United States exports of 1.6 billion gallons show how widespread ethanol demand is around the world.Even then, the closing of the trade window with China has been a significant factor in depressed U.S. margins.“It would have been even higher had it not been for the trade war with China,” he said. “Ethanol will have to live with whatever high-level political relationship [there is] between our two nations.”That trade window may reopen at some point, he said, placing the odds at better than 50-50 that a trade agreement will be reached with China.Despite hope going forward, Molchanov said ethanol’s market picture for the next six months is “touch and go” and that there is likely to be additional production cuts in the industry.“The industry has put rock-bottom in the rear-view mirror,” he said.THE DTN MODELDTN established Neeley Biofuels in DTN’s ProphetX Ethanol Edition as a way to track ethanol industry profitability. Using the real-time, commodity price data that flows into the “corn crush” in ProphetX and some industry-average figures for interest costs, labor and overhead, DTN is able to track current profits. It also tracks how much Neeley Biofuels would make or lose under an infinite number of “what-if” scenarios.DTN uses industry-average figures from Iowa State University economist David Swenson. Included in the figures are annual labor and management costs, transportation costs, debt-servicing costs, depreciation and maintenance costs. Although Neeley Biofuels is paying debt-service and depreciation costs on its plant, many real plants are not in debt.Also, it should be noted the calculations include all other costs such as chemicals and yeasts, electricity, denaturant and water. While DTN uses natural gas spot prices for these updates, many ethanol plants lock in prices on the futures market, so they are not as vulnerable to natural gas market volatility.Todd Neeley can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @toddneeleyDTN(AG/SK)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

  • 2007 — Year of the SaaS EcoSystem

    first_imgSAP has one.  There’s Salesforce.com’s AppExchange.  There’s WebEx Connect.  And there’s Progress Software.These companies are creating ecosystems of enterprise on-demand applications — and they are all about SaaS and SOA.  While the approach taken by these vendors varies significantly in terms of how much control is applied by the infrastructure sponsor, they’re all targeting the creation of an environment where software partners can contribute specialized on-demand applications that are interoperable with applications developed and offered by other partners.The SAP ecosytem, for example, is an expansion of the SAP NetWeaver platform, allowing partner solutions to run alongside SAP software.  Salesforce is building out their ecosystem from the user base of their highly successful on-demand Salesforce Automation/CRM system.  WebEx Connect is seeking to expand on the WebEx base of two million registered users and 25,000 customers — WebEx Connect is is based on infrastructure provided by Cordys, a startup company founded by Jan Baan.  The approach taken by Progress is the least restrictive and has no requirements about where partner applications are hosted.SOA/Web Services tout interoperability of services as a key feature, but this first generation of ecosystems is developing in much the way as the huge number of social networking sites have evolved, as sets of closed communities that are difficult to communicate between.  Applications built for one ecosystem won’t work (or won’t easily work) with the applications developed for a different ecosystem.  One advantage of a closed community is the ability to control quality, to test and certify interoperability, for example.  But, in effect, lack of good interoperability still implies a lock-in to a particular platform.  Long-term that will need to change. SAP, Salesforce, WebEx and Progress are all are targeting 2007 as a year for expansion and there should be a lot of activity in this area.  It will be interesting to see where these vendors go and what new ideas evolve from these emerging ecosystems.last_img read more

  • First Glimpse at How Google Apps Accounts will Integrate with Other Google Services

    first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#enterprise#news#Products#saas Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowcenter_img Gina Trapani points to a Google Accounts Help page that explains part of how Google will allow Google Apps users to access Google services such as Voice, Reader, Buzz and Analytics with their Google Apps accounts. At present, users must maintain a separate Google account to access services that aren’t part of Google Apps. Google has previously announced this coming functionality, but this is the first indication of how it will work in practice.Based on the help page, it appears that rather than allowing Google Apps users to import their regular Google Accounts into their Google Apps accounts, the company will simply allow the use of Google Apps e-mail addresses as logins for other Google services.Users who created a regular Google Account using their Google Apps e-mail address would have a conflict, but Google already has a solution: users who use their Google Apps e-mail addresses for Google Accounts will be able to access their existing Google Accounts using an new, automatically created e-mail address in the form of “[email protected]”Trapani laments the lack of a way to merge Google Apps accounts and regular Google Accounts, but notes that it is possible to export data from most Google services, and move Google Voice accounts from one Google Account to another, so consolidation of accounts will be possible.The changes haven’t been officially rolled out yet, but businesses can sign-up to to be testers here. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair klint finleylast_img read more

  • Is hearable tech really the latest thing in wearables?

    first_imgCate Lawrence Tags:#audio#Bose#FIIL#headphones#Hearables#hearing#Internet of Things#IoT#Jabra#Valencell#wearable Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Follow the Puck Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Accuracy is crucial in wearable biometricsAccuracy in biometric wearables is critical for enabling the most compelling use cases in sports, fitness, and health. Valencell technology gives hearable devices the ability to continuously and accurately measure blood flow signals even during extreme physical activity or when the optical signals are weak.These signals can be translated into accurate, motion-tolerant biometric data, including continuous heart rate, VO2 and VO2 max, resting heart rate, heart rate response, heart rate recovery, continuous energy expenditure (calorie burn), cardiac efficiency and heart rate variability assessments.Dr. LeBoeuf noted,“I can tell you some of the challenges in today’s technology marketplace. One of the biggest noise sources is that you often pick up the cadence of the person’s motion rather than the heart rate — picked up so strongly by optic signals that it dominates. You can’t trust it to give good values. For example, the step rate and the heart rate are often the same for runners — they need to be separated. Another example is sunlight. We had to remove this data, and that took a substantial amount of R&D. We have state-of-the-art technology, and we’ve also developed physiological filters to use the body’s own info to support the filtering process. Many times body processes work in relation to each other.”Dr. LeBoeuf remarked that the hearables market is increasing, with in-ear products dominating most of their queries:“We have been a bit surprised that most of the market pull for mobile health wearables is coming from companies interested in ear-worn products,” said LeBoeuf. “Because the ear location can be employed to measure more biometrics more accurately than for the wrist location, most of Valencell’s medical collaborations have focused on small earpieces that can be worn 24/7.”It’s likely that Valencell’s place in the hearables innovation will continue to grow over the next few years, particularly as they offer product licensing and patent licensing, to enable customers to create custom-designed biometric hearable and wearable devices. Will we reach a time when hearables outsell other wearables? It’s entirely possible if this year is anything to go by. How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… While wearable tech has been thrown a few curve balls over the last 12 months, leading to ultimately a consolidation in wearables (think Fitbit’s purchase of Pebble Watch) and a decline in the sale of wearable devices, one subset that continues to advance significantly is hearable tech. From wearable in-ear language translators to Sgnal’s fingertip phone calls to Horus, a machine learning powered device that provides a verbal account of the world around for the hearing impaired, biotech is creating amazing innovations.See also: Hearables market could reach $16B in 2020With experts predicting that the hearables market could surpass $16 billion by 2020, the sky seems to be the limit. One organization enjoying the success of audible tech is Valencell, a company that develop performance biometric sensor technology and provide patent-protected technology to consumer electronics manufacturers, wearable and hearable device makers, sports and fitness brands, medical device makers, and gaming companies for integration into their products. I spoke to their founder and president, Steven LeBoeuf, to learn more.Valencell has invested years into the research and development of its PerformTek sensor technology, independently validated by the Duke Center for Living, North Carolina State University, the Human Performance Laboratory and a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.With dozens of granted patents and 60+ patents pending around the world, Valencell’s technology continuously and accurately measures real-time biometric and physiological data that powers meaningful customer engagement. Valencell’s PerformTek technology enables wearables and hearables to continuously measure biometrics such as heart rate, blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, heart rate variability, respiration rate,VO2 and other parameters for health and fitness assessment.Ten new Valencell-powered products came to market in 2016, many of them hearables, including the Bose SoundSport Pulse, Jabra Elite Sport, Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition, and the FIIL Carat Pro, which are all wireless earbud devices. Valencell also continues to provide patent licenses to a broad range of innovative and exciting companies. In all, there are 17 Valencell-powered products currently in the market, with a strong pipeline of additional products scheduled to launch in 2017.“This year we saw the market for hearable devices take off, particularly in the sports and fitness market, where consumers are frustrated with the user experience and accuracy of low-performance wrist-worn devices and looking for high-performance wearables and hearables in form factors that better fit their lifestyles,” said Dr. LeBoeuf.“The marketplace has discovered how combining Valencell’s accurate sensor technology with compelling audio experiences can drive consumer interest and engagement. Consumers use audio earbuds during exercise far more often than wrist-worn fitness trackers, and the combination of new wearable technologies has made the dream of seamless audio sport computers a reality.”last_img read more