Basketball has been an integral part of my life. Over a long and fortunate career, I’ve had the opportunity to play at St. John’s University, twice in the U.S. Olympics, and in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors and Indiana Pacers. My time on the court eventually led to other opportunities on the sidelines, including becoming the Warriors vice president and general manager and most recently returning to St. John’s as the head coach for the men’s basketball team.Over the years, I had the …
Science and religion, those uneasy combatants in turf wars, do not get equal treatment in the media. The referees in the science news media frequently overlook invasions by science into religious territory, but fail to heed calls of foul by the invaded.World religion: Last month in New Scientist, Kate Douglas theorized about what an “ideal religion” would look like if humans could start one from scratch. She acknowledged that religion is “good for some things” like a sense of community and promotion of happiness, but she accepted the speculations of researchers who treat religion as something that can be classified like plants, focusing on outward ritual activity instead of epistemology. (The article was posted, after all, on New Scientist.) From there, Douglas speculated about how an ideal world religion would promote a blend of physical activities like chanting and dancing “to stimulate the release of endorphins” and “social cohesion” It could even include few tame myths to keep people coming back. It would even be polytheistic: “With many gods and great tolerance of idiosyncratic local practices, the new religion will be highly adaptable to the needs of different congregations without losing its unifying identity,” she continued. “The religion will also emphasise worldly affairs – it would promote the use of contraceptives and small families and be big on environmental issues, philanthropy, pacifism and cooperation.” She even proposed a name for it: Utopianity.Free willy nilly: Theologians have debated free will for centuries; does science have a better position to provide answers? New Scientist has posted several articles recently about the subject. In one, MacGregor Campbell promoted the answer from some secular neuroscientists that free will is an illusion. The short article includes a video beginning with a cartoon of a tea-party patriot SUV waving American flags, whose owner turns out to be a murderer. The video states without criticism that “every choice you have ever made was predetermined billions of years ago at the moment of the big bang” accompanied by a cartoon of evolutionary progress. It continues claiming our brains are lying to us, and that murderers (like said tea party patriot) are not responsible for their actions. As scientific justification for these radically deterministic views, the narrator says, “Many neuroscientists think that what we call free will is just the result of electrical and chemical signals in the brain, explainable ultimately by the laws of physics.” (No critics were called on to point out that the narrator was predetermined to say that, or that laws of physics are not composed of matter.) The narrator continued, with apparent scientific authority, to opine that belief in free will and moral accountability is a useful fiction, because “a society that doesn’t believe in free will would suck.” It ended by advertising the April 16 issue of New Scientist, with its cover story, “Free will: the illusion we can’t live without.” In a follow-up article on New Scientist that showed the same video, freelance writer Dan Jones again gave the scientific edge to neuroscientists who present the “manifest truth of determinism”. He made matter-of-fact statements claiming materialism is scientific truth, such as Francis Crick’s remark, “you are nothing but a pack of neurons.” Jones did acknowledge that when people are taught that free will is an illusion, their ethics, altruism and values plummet. But he never questioned the materialistic view; he just presented arguments that belief in free will is so ingrained, we will probably not have to worry about an amoral society.Convert the Muslims: In another article in New Scientist, Michael Bond interviewed “scientist imam” Usama Hasan, who thinks Muslims need to talk about evolution. “I want Muslims to question creationism, says the physicist and imam who has had death threats for supporting evolution.” As could be expected, there were no calls for any scientists to question Darwinism.Experimental cheating: Psychologists at the University of Oregon used human guinea pigs to measure the effect of one’s view of God on the propensity to cheat. The write-up on Medical Express includes a video that tried to correlate cheating on a sample test with the student’s view of God as forgiving and loving or God as vengeful and punishing. According to the results, “students who specifically perceived God as punitive, angry and vengeful showed significantly lower levels of cheating.” Nowhere did the press release question the ethics of this kind of experimentation – or its validity as a scientific investigation. Should a priest, rabbi or preacher have evaluated the psychologists instead?Psychological swearing: Swearing isn’t a sin; it’s good for you. That was the message of an article on PhysOrg taken from the Los Angeles Times based on experiments at Keele University, England. The “researchers” found that swearing helped subjects endure pain when their hands were immersed in ice water. The “experimental research” described above begs some epistemic questions on several levels. Are moral experiments on human guinea pigs ethical? Do they generate knowledge, or merely reinforce the researcher’s bias? Are psychological investigations of religion scientific? A rare article that questioned the validity of psychological/psychiatric research was posted recently on Medical Express, “Rethinking Psychiatry” by Candace O’Connor. She started by noting the difference between positions of the American Psychiatric Association today and that of a few decades ago, when “Everywhere, psychiatry departments were dominated by psychoanalysts, who focused on Freudian theory.” She quoted George E. Murphy, who said, “I remember one meeting, when I told a psychiatry professor about a study I had read showing that no two psychiatrists could agree better than chance on diagnosis,” implying the obvious: “our diagnoses don’t mean anything.” Since then, instead of relying on Freud like a modern Moses, the field has tried to live up to “evidence-based approach to clinical psychiatry.” She seemed supportive the latest iteration of the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), but ended by quoting a psychiatrist eager to keep asking questions: “We want to keep reminding people that we haven’t done enough and to keep asking: ’Where is the next thing coming from?’” (See 02/17/2010.) Admirable as that inside-skeptical spirit may be, it leaves open the possibility, illustrated by the evolution from DSM-II to DSM-V, that the “next thing” may undermine today’s current thing. By contrast, religions tend to be stable over centuries, an observational fact that may lead to questions about science’s pretensions of epistemic authority.The presumption that science can study religion and answer ultimate questions is a kind of religion itself. Instead of the gamesmanship between the Science Building and the Arts and Humanities Building, academics need to realize they are fallible human beings, not purveyors of absolute truth. The secular materialists who honor themselves as “scientists” disqualify themselves, when making claims about free will and the “ideal religion,” by committing the self-refuting fallacy. If beliefs are determined, so is their belief in determinism. It cannot make any independent claims to validity or truth. The ideal religion proposed by Kate Douglas sounds a lot like the end-times mythology predicted by the Apostle Paul (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Prediction is supposed to be valued in science. Here’s a prediction 2,000 years old that was right on. Notice also that Paul did not have to keep revising and repudiating his documents like the APA does. Since the observational evidence for Paul’s validity appears superior to those who have disqualified themselves by shooting their own feet, it seems justified to take seriously Dr. Paul’s advice, “Avoid such people” (2 Timothy 6:5) and “Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called ‘knowledge,’” (I Timothy 6:20-21).(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Asked by Jacaranda FM DJ Darren Scott whether he would like to participate in both the London Olympics and Paralympics, Pistorius said: “I would like to. I’ve run one qualification time for the Olympics and I need to run another time next year, I think between January and June, but I’ve first got to qualify for the Paralympics. After making history by becoming the first athlete with a disablity to qualify for an able-bodied World Championships, South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius left a huge impression in Daegu, South Korea. Running in the outside lane in his heat, he turned in the second-best time of his career, clocking 45.39 seconds to secure a spot in the semi-finals. “I’m extremely excited about that and I think I’ll be running the 100, 200, 400 and then for the first time the 4 by 100 in the Paralympics, so I’m extremely excited about that. The 400 metre runner had qualified for the event at the last possible opportunity by running a personal best time of 45.07 seconds in Italy in June. 31 August 2011 “I think we’ve got a great year coming up and there’s a lot of hard work [ahead] to prepare for both of those [events] next year.” With the 14th-fastest qualifying time out of 16 for the semi-finals, the “Blade Runner”, as Pistorius is known, was given lane seven in his semi-final. Unfortunately for him, a poor start set him back and he failed to get into his stride, finishing last in the event, but making a massive stride for athletes with disabilities. After the race, Pistorius was somewhat disappointed, but spoke with his customary humility, saying: “I would really like to have performed better tonight. My goal was to make the semi-final when I came out here, and that I did, and it’s just been a great experience. Wenda Theron, running in the women’s 400 metres hurdles, bowed out in the semi-finals, but managed a personal best time of 56.13 seconds in the heats. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Ruben Ramolefi, competing in the 3 000 metres steeplechase, turned in the second fastest time in the qualifying rounds of the event. His time of 8:11.50 was also a national record. However, despite his fine performance in achieving the A-qualifying standard, Pistorius was not expected to progress beyond the heats, but, as he has done so often before, he proved his doubters wrong. “I think even if I had run faster tonight, I wouldn’t have made it to the final. It would have taken a miracle for that to happen and I’ve got a lot of respect for the guys that made the final. ‘A great oportunity’“It’s just been a great opportunity to come out here and I’ve learnt a lot from this experience,” he added. “The IAAFs is a phenomenal event and being one of the athletes to be able to come out here has just been a huge blessing.” Already a popular figure among Korean fans, Pistorius was loudly cheered by the locals, who had taken him on as one of their own. Even before the start of the event, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak paid a visit to the athletes’ village and met Pistorius. LJ van Zyl and Cornel Fredericks continued the rich tradition of South African 400 metres hurdlers by qualifying for the final of the event after both claimed second places in their semi-finals. South Korean support Top South African performersWhile South Africans have failed to land any medals in Daegu, there were other promising and excellent performances by Team South Africa athletes during the first three days of competition.
Lamb wasn’t bad in the sixth-man role, scoring 16 points to hand the Wizards their sixth loss in the last eight games. He said he still wants to be a starter, but added that he’s OK with the move if it means getting into the playoffs.Beal kept the Wizards in the game until late in the fourth quarter, proving to be a one-man wrecking crew. He finished 16 of 25 from the field and made all 10 of his foul shots.“I just have to elevate my play, that’s all I know I can do is elevate my play and my leadership to do whatever it takes,” Beal said of trying to help the Wizards turn things around.TIP INSWizards: Beal had 20 points in the first half on 8-of-12 shooting. … Turned the ball over on three straight possessions at midcourt in the second quarter on poor passes.Hornets: Outrebounded the Wizards 53-43.BEAL’S PLAYING TIMEBeal played 41 minutes on the first night of a back-to-back, which Wizards coach Scott Brooks said he doesn’t like to do. But he thought it was necessary for his team to have a chance to win an important game against a conference foe they’re battling with for a playoff spot.“We’ve got another game (Saturday) and then we’ve got three days off. We just had a long break,” Brooks said. “So that’s all in consideration, but we need some better all-around play with everybody in the game.”BRIDGES’ ROLE ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ Kemba Walker had 27 points and 11 assists in his first outing since the All-Star game, Batum added 20 points — one shy of his season high — and Charlotte beat the Washington Wizards 123-110 Friday night.“That’s me,” a smiling Batum said of playing shooting guard.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesThe Hornets overcame a season-high 46 points from Washington’s Bradley Beal to improve to 20-9 at home and pull within two games of .500.Hornets coach James Borrego made the decision to move Batum to shooting guard on Thursday, opting to replace Jeremy Lamb in the starting lineup with rookie small forward Miles Bridges, giving the team more size. Lamb had started all 54 games he was healthy before the All-Star break. It’s the first time Borrego has deviated from the starting lineup for a reason other than an injury. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Borrego said the Hornets want to groom Bridges to guard the opposition’s best offensive player, something he believes the athletic rookie has the talent to do. But it will be a work in progress, as Bridges struggled in the times he tried to cover Beal.CODY’S BIG PLAYSCharlotte took control of the game in the third quarter behind defense from Zeller. Zeller swatted Thomas Bryant’s shot in the paint twice, then raced down court to score a layup in transition to give the Hornets their first double-digit lead at 78-67. Zeller finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.UP NEXTWizards: Host Pacers on Saturday night.Hornets: Host Nets on Saturday night. LATEST STORIES Charlotte Hornets forward Nicolas Batum (5) drives past Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) and Washington Wizards guard Tomas Satoransky (31) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Nic Batum is back in his comfort zone.The Hornets moved the 10-year NBA veteran back to shooting guard — a position he’s played for the better part of the last seven seasons — and it paid immediate dividends.ADVERTISEMENT Pistons survive Blake Griffin’s ejection, top Hawks Urgent reply from Philippine football chief US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Batum responded by shooting 7 of 13 from the field with five 3-pointers, and had eight rebounds after coming into the game averaging just 9.3 points. He was taking heat from home fans who wanted him to produce more, given he is making $24 million per season. He had 17 points by halftime, helping the Hornets outscore the Wizards 38-22 in the second quarter. He mostly played the role of facilitator in the second half.“He came out aggressive offensively, ignited a lot of our offense in transition,” Borrego said. “He was aggressive with his shot and he defended like he does every night.”Bridges finished with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting in his first career start.He said he was excited to learn the news at practice on Thursday, just five days after participating in the NBA All-Star dunk competition.“I definitely got a lot of confidence playing on a big stage, or dunking on a big stage, in front of everybody,” Batum said. “Just being around all that talent just gave me extra motivation, I want to be there playing (in the All-Star game) on Sunday someday.”ADVERTISEMENT Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
By land and by sea, 2018’s hotel happenings & cruise news TORONTO — Vertical integration is still the name of the game so it’s no wonder tour operators pressed on with plans for new resorts, and new resort alliances, in 2018.Rounding up the industry stories making headlines this year, we also look at the 2018 good-news recovery stories from the wild 2017 hurricane season, and a volcano that seemed to attract twice as many visitors as it kept away. Plus, a major closure that could hit the travel compensation funds in Ontario, Quebec and B.C. for millions of dollars.Through it all agents kept doing what they do best: counseling their clients, selling just about everything under the sun and staying sane knowing that no matter what the industry comes up with, they can handle it.HOTEL HAPPENINGSSunwing Travel Group, already a major player on the resort scene with its Blue Diamond Resorts hotel division with 15,000+ rooms across more than a half dozen brands, fortified its position even further with a blockbuster deal with Planet Hollywood. Announcing the venture in February 2018, Sunwing Travel Group and Planet Hollywood said initial plans called for two resorts in Mexico and Costa Rica, with more to come. Right on time, Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica opened in fall 2018. In Mexico, Planet Hollywood Resort Cancun is slated to open in spring 2019. Sunwing is also transforming the site of the former Sonesta Great Bay in St. Maarten into a Planet Hollywood resort. And in October Sunwing announced plans to expand its hotel division again with the addition of six of Rex Resorts’ Caribbean hotels, part of a newly formed strategic alliance that will see Sunwing grow its presence in destinations including Grenada, Tobago and Barbados.Transat’s resort plans meanwhile are taking shape like never before, as the company makes good on its decision, first divulged in 2017, to develop its own hotel chain in the Caribbean. In September 2018 Transat announced it had purchased a stretch of land in Riviera Maya, in Puerto Morelos on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, is ideally situated midway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen some 20 kilometres from Cancun International Airport.More news: CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionThe company has also entered into a promissory agreement to purchase a second adjacent property for a total consideration of between US$54 and $57 million to build a new beachfront resort.Transat says its new hotel division will include some 5,000 owned or managed hotel rooms at its main Sun destinations by 2024.There was more hotel news from Hilton and Playa, with the introduction of Hilton La Romana, an All-inclusive Resort, and Hilton Playa del Carmen, an All-inclusive Resort, adding 1,269 new Hilton guest rooms to its existing global portfolio as part of a strategic alliance. In September 2018 Playa took over management of the resort currently known as Dreams La Romana (rebranded as the Hilton La Romana) while The Royal Playa del Carmen became Hilton Playa del Carmen, an All-inclusive Resort. The agreement between Playa Hotels and Hilton also includes the potential for the conversion and management of eight additional resorts by 2025.And in other news, Sandals Resorts released new details about its ground-breaking Tobago development, saying it planned to build a Sandals Resort and a Beaches Resort side by side, with close to 300 rooms and 450-500 rooms respectively.WILD WEATHERThis was the comeback year for destinations like Puerto Rico, Dominica, Anguilla and St. Maarten, all of which took a hit from 2017’s hurricanes. Sunwing Travel Group’s newest Planet Hollywood resort is taking shape on the site of the former Sonesta Great Bay, which had closed after Irma hit the island in September 2017. Meanwhile AMResorts is bringing a new Secrets resort to St. Martin, on the site of the former Riu Palace St. Martin. A $20 million reno will get the place in shape in time for its 2019 reopening.In October 2018 Hawaii confirmed it was ‘open for business’ despite a volcano eruption and two close calls with hurricanes. Kilauea volcano’s eruptions began May 3 with lava flowing continuously until Aug. 6, and generated headlines worldwide, but it was only a small area that was affected on the Island of Hawaii.More news: Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaSINORAMAIn August 2018 Sinorama Holidays closed its doors after 13 years in business, with a voluntary termination of its Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002 registration.Over its 13-year history Sinorama Group expanded from Canada into Europe, Australia/New Zealand and the U.S., began trading as a public company in the States and reportedly sold $123 million worth of travel in 2017, up 27% over the previous year.And yet by April 2018 the company was allegedly running a $10.9 million shortfall and scrambling to bring in new money to cover the deficit, at least according to reports in consumer paper La Presse, which covered Sinorama’s financial tailspin extensively.Quebec’s travel regulator, the Office de la protection de la consommateur (OPC), first notified the Montreal-based operations of Sinorama that its license would not be renewed in that province, citing insufficient funds. Soon alarm bells were going off at Consumer Protection B.C. too.At the same time, TICO issued a closure advisory for Markham-based Sinorama Holidays Inc. as the company voluntarily terminated its Ontario registration. The hit to Ontario’s Travel Compensation Fund from the Sinorama Holidays Inc. closure could exceed the $5 million legislated maximum. The six-month window to file a claim is Feb. 11, 2019.CRUISE CONTROLAccording to CLIA’s latest stats, some 30 million passengers are expected to cruise in 2019, up from 28.2 in 2018. Close to 20 new ships will debut in 2019, bringing the number of CLIA-member ship to 272. Revenues are up, yields are up and interest in cruising continues unabated, especially thanks for headline-grabbing newcomers like Symphony of the Seas (March 2018), Norwegian Bliss (May 2018) and Celebrity Edge. Sales for river cruising, despite difficulties with low water levels in Europe in 2018, are still through the roof. And all eyes are on the first of Virgin Voyages’ four new ships, Scarlet Lady, getting ready to set sail, and set new benchmarks for adults-only cruising, in 2020. Tags: Norwegian Cruise Line, Planet Hollywood, Sinorama, Transat, Virgin Voyages Posted by Share Travelweek Group Thursday, December 27, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>
Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Cardinals also signed tackle Kelvin Palmer to the practice squad. He was released from the practice squad, where he had spent the entire season, last week. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Arizona Cardinals shuffled their roster a bit Monday, releasing veteran linebacker Desmond Bishop and elevating rookie offensive lineman Anthony Steen to the active roster from the practice squad.Bishop, who was signed as a free agent in training camp, spent time on the roster, but didn’t play a down for the Cardinals this season. Steen, an undrafted rookie from Alabama, has spent the entire season on the practice squad after being released Aug. 30. The 6-foot-3, 309-pound lineman played in 51 games for the Crimson Tide in college, starting 36.
Internet service provider Free has communicated its vehement opposition to parts of the French broadcasters’ plans for streaming platform Salto to the competition watchdog currently assessing the project, according to a report by Le Monde.According to the paper, Free has sent a letter to the Autorité de la Concurrence outlining its concerns about plans to offer the broadcasters’ live channels on the platform, in addition to video-on-demand.Le Monde reports that Free has denounced the plan to distribute the country’s main channels on the digital platform as the creation of a “cartel” that will disadvantage other distributors.According to Free, Salto, by providing a platform for channels that account for 80% of the national audience, will effectively have a stranglehold on access to them.Free is reportedly far from being assuaged by commitments recently made by the broadcasters to secure a regulatory green light for Salto. These concessions include providing access to the channels on a non-exclusive basis at non-discriminatory prices. However, according to the letter sent by the ISP, as cited by Le Monde, Free believes that the television groups will have a clear incentive to hike up the prices paid for carriage by Salto, giving them further leverage in negotiations with ISPs.Free’s opposition follows a bitter battle over several years between ISPs and commercial broadcasters TF1 and M6 over the terms of carriage for their channels. That dispute ended with a victory for the broadcasters, which were able to levy financial contributions from the ISPs in exchange for carriage of their channels and associated digital services.OTT TV platform Molotov has also expressed its opposition to the project, according to Le Monde. The OTT provider has reportedly compared the project to being akin to a combination of France’s three leading supermarket chains, Leclerc, Monoprix and Carrefour.Molotov has been in dispute with TF1 over its failure to strike a new deal to distribute the latter’s channels on its platform following the expiry of its previous agreement at the end of June.According to Le Monde’s report, other ISPs are either more sanguine or have declined to comment. Orange has asked the Autorité de la Concurrence to ensure that it will be able to distribute Salto without minimum guarantees. Bouygues Telecom, which declined the paper’s request for comment, has shared ownership with TF1, while Altice France/SFR, which also declined to comment, is currently demanding carriage fees for its own channels from rival ISPs.