Sigourney Weaver & Kristine Nielsen Visit David Hyde Pierce at It Shoulda Been You

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 9, 2015 David Hyde Pierce isn’t just the director of the new musical It Shoulda Been You—he’s also the former star of Frasier, a Tony winner and the headliner of the 2013 Broadway comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, alongside Kristine Nielsen and Sigourney Weaver. Whoo, he’s one busy guy! His former co-stars said “I do” on April 3, when they stopped by to see the new wedding musical comedy at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Check out these Hot Shots of their visit, then see It Shoulda Been You, opening April 14! View Comments Related Shows It Shoulda Been You Star Files David Hyde Piercelast_img

Half-time: Middlesbrough 1, Brentford 0

first_imgBrentford trail at the break to a cracking effort from distance from Grant Leadbitter.Middlesbrough’s captain broke the deadlock after 34 minutes with a strike from outside the box which left Bees keeper David Button with no chance.Brentford had a fair chunk of the ball in the first half but the vast majority of chances fell the home side’s way.Middlesbrough’s on-loan Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford, making his home debut, flashed a shot just over the top in the opening seconds, Button collected a header from Belgian striker Jelle Vossen and Emilio Nsue sent a chip over the crossbar.Former Harrow Borough winger Albert Adomah was lively throughout and sent an effort just wide but Brentford couldn’t keep Boro’ at bay for long, as Leadbitter struck.The midfielder almost repeated the trick just before the break but this time his shot flew over the bar.Jota and Alex Pritchard both sent shots off target as the first half drew to a close.Brentford (4-1-4-1): Button; McCormack, Dean, Tarkowski, Bidwell; Douglas; Odubajo, Pritchard, Jota, Judge; Gray.Subs: Bonham, Craig, Moore, Tebar, Toral, Betinho, Proschwitz-Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Scientists Invade Religion

first_imgScience 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0last_img read more

Cable Companies Still Whistling Past The Cord-Cutting Graveyard

first_imgA collection of statistics released this month is creating doubts about the trend of “cord cutting” – when home viewers replace cable TV service with streaming video-over-Internet and over-the-air content. Cable companies are declaring victory, but when you dig deeper, there are signs that cable is still in trouble — and that what we’re hearing are the sounds of denial.In its Fourth-Quarter 2012 Cross-Platform Report, ratings service Nielsen reported that in the U.S., there were more than five million households in 2012 that fit its definition of “Zero TV” homes. Zero TV is Nielsen’s neutral, but still kind of inaccurate, description of cable-cutting households that get video entertainment via computer, smartphones and tablets.Five million homes seems like a lot, especially when you consider that this is up from two million homes in 2007. Indeed, there were a lot of headlines proclaiming “Cable Cutting Up 150%! Comcast in Flames! Time Warner Out of Time!”Well, actually, nothing like that. Because in reality, that’s just 5% of the total TV market. Hardly enough for the cable companies to get worked up about. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts has repeatedly made public comments dismissing the impact of cable cutting, and for now it appears that he’s right. Cable’s dominance would seem to reflect that there is not much to worry about with these cable companies.Of course, that’s what the Empire said about the Rebel Alliance.Or, you know, what the telephone carriers once said about people who were giving up land-line phones in favor of wireless. The carriers used to insist the trend wasn’t real, until better cell coverage and services like E911 accelerated it to the point that no one could deny it any more. Telco companies now offer TV and Internet service. Cable and satellite TV company may face a similar shift.Pay TV Numbers Aren’t So Hot, EitherAnother set of statistics were released this month that point to a troubling sign for the cable and satellite companies: SNL Kagan reported that multichannel service providers (cable, satellite, and telco) managed to add just 46,000 customers in 2012, a lot of it in the fourth quarter, when 51,000 mew customers managed to reverse the shrinking number of subscribers in the second and third quarters of last year.Forty-six thousand new users, out of a total of around 100.4 million, isn’t even a statistical blip — 0.04% growth is by most definitions flatter than a pancake. The average year-over-year growth of Zero TV homes was pretty low, too – 0.59% since 2007 — but that’s still a a factor better than paid TV subscriptions last year. You have to wonder if the television providers’ claims that subscriptions were slow just because of the economic downturn were entirely accurate.The U.S. is still in a slow recovery, so we will have to see if the upward trend of pay TV subscriptions continues before making any determination about pay TV’s flatline growth being connected to the economy.For all of the hand-waving about cord-cutting “not existing” or being unimportant, a key fact is being blissfully ignored: those 600,000 new Zero TV users each year have to come from somewhere. They are either existing cable TV customers or incoming customers who have decided to go to the Internet/streaming model instead. Either way, that’s 5 million customers the pay TV providers don’t have.Last year, the NPD Group estimated that the average monthly cable bill would hit $100/month sometime this year or next. Using that estimate for some back-of-napkin math, that means $6 billion in annual revenue is not going to pay TV.Is it any wonder, then, that Comcast recently introduced a free sampling of its premium on-demand content in order to pull in more ongoing subscriptions to that content? Speculation about this promotion ranged from Comcast trying to better penetrate non-coastal markets that have a lower rate of on-demand video use to Comcast looking to juice up its margin.(See also: Comcast’s Awesome Watchathon Reminds You It’s Still the Boss)Given flat growth, why not both reasons?Watch Out For The Killer AppWhat the pay TV services need to watch out for is the killer app for cable cutters. In the transition from land lines to cell-only for my home phone, it was the E911 service that made the decision for us: making sure emergency services knew exactly where we were calling from was very important.I suspect that a similar killer app for cable-cutters will be a way to get access to live sports content. Yes, you can get content from MLB, NHL or the NBA – but special events or sports that are not covered by these media packages can be a hassle to watch.I myself am lamenting the ongoing coverage of the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament on the ESPN channels this month, because I can’t watch Notre Dame progress through the tournament. Unless one of the over-the-air networks broadcasts a game, I’m out of luck. Unless, I get cable again.Sports are perhaps the biggest reason (on the content side) holding people back from switching away from pay TV. If a network like ESPN or the new Fox Sports Channel were to take its oh-so-important broadcast rights and offer its content to Internet subscribers directly, that would probably be a nightmare scenario for pay TV companies.It’s hard to imagine a situation where that would happen today, but if sports networks see a chance to make more revenue without giving TV providers a cut, would they take the shot?Image courtesy of Shutterstock Tags:#cable#Internet TV Related Posts brian proffitt 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe Appcenter_img 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

11 security personnel injured in IED blast in Jharkhand

first_imgEleven personnel of the CRPF and the State police were injured in an IED blast triggered by Naxals in Jharkhand’s Seraikela Kharsawan district in the early hours of Tuesday, officials said.The blast took place around 5 a.m. when a joint team of the CRPF’s special jungle warfare unit, Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), and the State police was carrying out an operation in the forests of Kuchai area in the district, they said.According to officials, the improvised explosive device (IED) is suspected to have been buried under the dirt track. The injured troops, eight of the CoBRA and rest belonging to the State police, have been airlifted to Ranchi, they said.The joint team was being led by the 209th battalion of the CoBRA of the CRPF deployed in the State for anti-Naxal operations, officials said.last_img read more

Missouri President Tim Wolfe Resigns Amid Student Protests

first_imgMissouri President Tim Wolfe on the streets.Twitter/@Qiana_JadeOver the weekend, protests broke out at Missouri following a string of racially charged incidents on campus. A student group called “Concerned Student 1950” called for school president Tim Wolfe to resign due to ineffective leadership in combating the issues, and today he stepped down after an emergency meeting by the school’s Board of Curators.Mizzou President Tim Wolfe resigning right now amid student and faculty protests.— Kate Bolduan (@KateBolduan) November 9, 2015On Friday night, video of Wolfe struggling to answer a question about systematic oppression began to go viral.Oh really @UMPrez this is what you think Systematic oppression is?!? @umcurators @CNN @Oprah pic.twitter.com/eSuOqPfT2b— QianaJade (@Qiana_Jade) November 7, 2015By Saturday night, the Tigers football team boycotted football activities until Wolfe resigned, following the lead of grad student Jonathan Butler, who is currently in a hunger strike in order to oust Wolfe. We hope that this move helps quell the unrest on campus in Columbia.last_img read more

Vice Prez PM greet engineers on Engineers Day

first_imgNew Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday greeted engineers on Engineers Day, describing them as those synonymous with diligence and determination. Engineers Day is observed to mark the birth anniversary of acclaimed civil engineer M Visvesvaraya. “Engineers are synonymous with diligence and determination. Human progress would be incomplete without their innovative zeal,” the prime minister said in a tweet. Greeting the “hardworking engineers”, Modi also paid tributes to Visvesvaraya. Naidu said Visvesvaraya was a civil engineer par excellence, who harnessed India’s water resources through dams. “He was a visionary. The nation is ever grateful to his invaluable contribution.”last_img

Lampert blames Sears Canada management for exacerbating the retailers woes

first_imgTORONTO – Eddie Lampert, the chairman and chief executive of Sears Holding Corp., is blaming Sears Canada for exacerbating its problems before it filed for creditor protection.Lampert’s ESL Investments is the largest shareholder in Sears Canada, which is in the process of liquidating and closing its remaining stores.In a post on his blog, Lampert says the retailer’s reinvention strategy was risky and untested.“In particular, ESL noted that it would be risky and unwise for the company to pursue additional borrowings on onerous terms to fund a new, untested strategy,” he wrote.“Despite this advice, management decided to proceed with these actions and the company’s operating losses and cash drain rapidly worsened.”Lampert posted the comments in response to a report by the Globe and Mail that chronicled Sears Canada’s troubles.Sears Canada has been operating under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act since June, but had been struggling for years.It had hoped to restructure and keep many of its stores open, but the retailer received court approval earlier this month to begin its liquidation sales after failing to find a buyer for its operations.A group led by Brandon Stranzl, who stepped down as the company’s executive chairman following approval of the liquidation sales, had been in talks to purchase the retailer and continue to operate it, but no deal was reached.last_img read more

Freeland steps up diplomatic pressure on Venezuela warns of refugee crisis

first_imgTORONTO – Canada is concerned that the political and economic turmoil in Venezuela will spark a refugee crisis for the South American country and its neighbours, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday.Freeland said that she and Peru’s foreign minister would take that message to the United Nations in New York City on Monday, following her appearance at a business conference in Toronto.Canada and Peru co-chaired a meeting of ministers from the Lima Group of countries last week in Toronto. Freeland and Peru’s foreign minister Ricardo Luna were delegated to meet with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.Apart from Canada, the group’s 12 members are in Latin America.But Freeland said Monday that Venezuela and Canada are in the same geographic “neighbourhood” and that Canada has a role to play in supporting the country’s democratic institutions and respect for human rights.“I do think. . . this is a humanitarian crisis as well as a political one. We are seeing real preventable suffering of the people of Venezuela,” Freeland said at the Toronto Global Forum before heading to New York for the U.N. meeting.“And I think . . . there are mounting signs of a regional refugee crisis as well. Colombia and Brazil are facing a lot of pressure. So I think it is an area where Canada needs to be very engaged.”Venezuela — an oil-rich country that was led by outspoken socialist Hugo Chavez from 1999 to 2013 — has suffered an economic meltdown since his death.The dramatic drop in global oil prices since late 2014 and the devaluation of the country’s currency have fuelled triple-digit inflation that has resulted in shortages of food, medicine and other basic necessities.The government of President Nicolas Maduro, who succeeded Chavez, has also been accused of grabbing power by creating a new constitutional assembly that claims supreme authority over other arms of the government, including the opposition-controlled congress.In September, Freeland announced that Canada had imposed sanctions against 40 key figures in the Venezuelan regime, including Maduro, who she said had helped undermine the country’s stability.Freeland said Monday that support from allies would help pressure Venezuela further.“So I think it is an area where Canada needs to be very engaged. . . . We’d be delighted to see the EU joining us in applying pressure on the government of Venezuela,” Freeland said.Earlier in an on-stage interview by Frank McKenna, a former Liberal premier of New Brunswick and a former Canadian ambassador to the United States, Freeland acknowledged that the NAFTA trade talks have included some “troubling” proposals from the United States.Freeland specified two issues: the U.S. insistence of removing dispute-resolution measures contained in Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement as well as its proposal to review the trade pact every five years.But she said the Canada-U.S. relationship is “robust and very deep” — noting the two countries are partners in the NATO and NORAD military alliances and that Canada is a bigger market for the United States than China, Japan and the United Kingdom combined.Freeland also said that barriers to trade under World Trade Organization rules have been reduced since NAFTA was signed by the United States, Canada and Mexico.“We looked at the actual trade — not the just the agreement but the actual trade that is happening — we found that around 40 per cent of Canadian exporters to the United States don’t use the NAFTA preferences that are available to them,” Freeland said.That suggests the differences between WTO and NAFTA rules have decreased and that administrative red-tape involved is a bigger barrier to trade than preferential tariffs in the three-country agreement, she said.“It’s very technical. Things like electronic forms at the border, things like regulatory harmonization,” Freeland said.“It really matters to Canadian and U.S. businesses and in most chapters (of the agreement) we’re going gangbusters in a very positive way.”last_img read more