DES MOINES, Iowa – Fans to the Knapp Center for Thursday’s men’s basketball season opener against Buena Vista University and throughout the men’s and women’s basketball season will notice many enhancements to the fan experience at the Knapp Center, including the sale of beer and new, lower concession prices.”We have an incredible group of fans that have supported us for years, and we are excited to find new ways to enhance their experience at our basketball games” said Drake director of athletics Brian Hardin. “As our fan base continues to grow and evolve, we strive to meet their expectations to provide a first-class experience and make the Knapp Center an exciting venue to support Des Moines’ Hometown Team.”Outside the Knapp Center, upgraded exterior lighting will help guide fans safely and efficiently from adjacent parking lots into the Knapp Center.Once inside the Knapp Center fans will see a brand new Ron Pearson Court and state-of-the-art lighting array that was installed during the summer. In addition to providing a more even, consistent light throughout the Knapp Center, the technology allows for customized lighting configurations and special effects to enhance the gameday experience for fans and student-athletes alike. The enhancements inside and outside the Knapp Center will provide sustainable lighting at Drake University and over time the efficiencies of the fixtures will lower energy costs and save the University money.Additional concession options also greet fans, along with the sale of beer to the general public as Drake becomes the first Division I collegiate basketball venue in the state of Iowa to offer the amenity to all ticket holders of legal age arena-wide. Initial beer offerings will include a selection of national and local craft brands and will be available on the main concourse and off the court in the northeast atrium. As this new offering is made available to fans of legal age, Drake has designated two sections in the Knapp Center as alcohol-free seating sections. Patrons will not be permitted to possess alcohol in Sections J, K and L on the west end of the Knapp Center, traditionally held for Drake students and band, and General Admission seating sections R, S and T on the east end of the Knapp Center. Additional security measures and an expanded security presence will be in effect throughout the Knapp Center.The revamped, fan-friendly concession prices include 15 items priced at less than $5 and seven items for less than $3. Two special meal deals have also been created, including a Family Four Pack that offers four hot dogs, four soft drinks and four popcorns for just $24, a savings of $12. An individual Drake Meal Deal is available with a hot dog, soft drink and popcorn for $7. These concession choices continue to bolster the selection at the Knapp Center that also features menu items from Chick-Fil-A for the second-straight season.Fans can fully experience these enhancements to gameday at the Knapp Center through Drake Athletics’ Hometown Team Starter Kit. For $15, fans will receive a ticket to Thursday’s men’s basketball home opener, a ticket to a future game, an official ‘Des Moines’ Hometown Team’ t-shirt and a small popcorn. To order the Hometown Team Starter Kit, use promo code HOMETOWN at DrakeTix.com/promoSeason ticket packages as well as six-game and 10-game flex packages are also available for both Drake men’s and women’s basketball via DrakeTix.com or by calling 515-271-3647. Story Links Buy Tickets Print Friendly Version
Has there ever been a controversy among scientists more acrimonious than the current one over intelligent design? It seems all the big science Goliaths are determined to eradicate intelligent design from the earth, yet the I.D. Davids are standing their ground. “History is written by the victors,” wrote Henry Gee in Nature this week (see 02/23/2006 story); though stated in an unrelated context, his proverb fits here as well: “This is as true for our account of evolution as it is for purely human affairs.” Here are some examples of the bellicose rhetoric emanating from scientific institutions:Support our troops: Nigel Williams in Current Biology this week1 said, “Evolutionary biologists in the US got a little early seasonal cheer in December with a detailed and comprehensive attack on the increasingly widespread notion of intelligent design.” Though he repeated the caution that it is far from over, he called Judge Jones’ decision “a coruscating attack on the intelligent design case.” Calling Darwin’s ideas of evolution “rock solid,” Williams was surprised that so many British disbelieved his views, as shown by a recent poll (01/26/2006). Williams repeated common criticisms about ID, that it is religiously motivated, a right-wing American phenomenon, and if successful, would bring science to a halt.Political science: Nature2 praised Al Gore’s new global-warming documentary, and took note of Randy Olson’s advice in Flock of Dodos that the evolutionists need to beef up their public relations (see 02/17/2006).Medical emergency: Donald Kennedy in Science,3 accompanied by some evolutionary friends, called doctors to the fray. “Medicine needs evolution,” he said. Stressing the positive, they said, “training in evolutionary thinking can help both biomedical researchers and clinicians ask useful questions that they might not otherwise pose.” On the negative, evolutionary training can help biomedical researchers “understand that both the human body and its pathogens are not perfectly designed machines but evolving biological systems shaped by selection under the constraints of tradeoffs that produce specific compromises and vulnerabilities.” Examples: lower back pain in humans, wisdom teeth, narrowness of the birth canal, etc. “There is growing recognition that cough, fever, and diarrhea are useful responses shaped by natural selection,” he claimed.Das Boot: Constance Holden reported with an air of triumph in Science4 that Ohio “booted out” ID. She quoted evolution supporters who called the decision to remove a “creationist-inspired” sentence allowing for criticism of evolution a “stunning victory.” The article included a political cartoon of a Trojan Horse in the shape of a Panda, referencing the suggested alternative textbook, Of Pandas and People. She discounted the surveys that show strong public support for ID, quoting a professor who touted, “anyone can play the survey game” because another poll found 84% of respondents had never heard of ID (although the poll noted by the Discovery Institute was not about ID, but about whether criticisms of evolutionary theory should be allowed; see 02/15/2006). In an editorial in the Cincinnati Inquirer, Roddy Bullock regretted that Ohio had “turned back the clock” on intelligent design, thus granting Darwinism state protection as a dogma to be believed, not merely learned.All the Bias That’s Fit to Print: Evolution News has had several entries this week criticizing the New York Times for continuing to misrepresent ID even when they have been repeatedly corrected by the Discovery Institute.Sunday School for Anti-ID Warriors: Science Daily reported on the recent AAAS Sunday conference for educators on how to deal with creationism and intelligent design (see 02/20/2006). “Evolution on the Front Line” also produced a strong statement on the teaching of evolution and opposition to intelligent design (see AAAS website, PDF) taking its cue from Judge John Jones’ ruling that ID is religion, not science. It stressed that there is “no significant controversy within the scientific community about the validity of the theory of evolution.” The soldiers are all in uniform and lined up in straight ranks. The AAAS also posted a press release about the event, showing Animal Planet star Jeff Corwin at the podium and giving prominent place to Vatican astronomer George Coyne who called creationists “a plague in our midst.” The release has a link to audio and powerpoint files from the meetings.Not Backing Down: The Discovery Institute, despite all this criticism, announced that its list of scientists encouraging criticisms of Darwinism has swelled to over 500 (see also World Net Daily story). Discovery Institute has opened a new website to post the names: www.dissentfromdarwin.org. Given the climate, each signatory has taken somewhat of a career risk to become associated with the statement, “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” 1Nigel Williams, “Growing challenge of Darwin’s detractors,” Current Biology, Volume 16, Issue 4, 21 February 2006, Pages R107-R108, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.02.015.2News, “Grizzlies, dodos and Gore put science on film,” Nature 439, 902 (23 February 2006) | doi:10.1038/439902a.3Randolph M. Nesse, Stephen C. Stearns and Donald Kennedy, “Editorial: Medicine Needs Evolution,” Science, 24 February 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5764, p. 1071, DOI: 10.1126/science.1125956.4Constance Holden, “Ohio School Board Boots Out ID,” Science, 24 February 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5764, p. 1083, DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5764.1083.What if they held a war, and nobody came? The elitist science institutions are increasingly out of touch with reality, let alone American culture. A huge undercurrent of American sentiment finds Darwinism unconvincing and wants it to be open to critical examination. They also find arguments for ID compelling. Nevertheless, mirroring the coastal blue states that surround a vast red-state middle America, you will notice that the same journals that trash ID praise political liberals (Al Gore), and never have anything good to say about political conservatives (George W. Bush). They love religious liberals who capitulate 100% to Darwinism (see 02/11/2006) but hate religious conservatives who think the Bible might actually have something worthwhile to say. These scientific elitists tend to congregate in government-funded institutions rather than for-profit businesses. They occupy the campuses where Democrats outnumber Republicans 20 to 1, where Political Correctness rules allow Marxist radicals to gain tenure and a platform to trash America with reckless abandon while conservatives (or even moderates) must guard their every word, like Larry Summers who was finally ousted from the presidency of Harvard this week (see Ben Shapiro epitaph). As shown many times here, this is not a battle of science vs. faith. We all have the same scientific evidence. It is understandable that religious conservatives would be attracted to intelligent design, because they already believe in a Designer. But the pro-Darwinians project themselves as unbiased, religiously-neutral, scholarly lovers of truth who were led to their position merely by the preponderance of evidence (but compare the next two entries). Why, then, are they almost uniformly political liberals and far leftists? (see Michael Fumento column). The same battle went on in the 19th century in Britain. At about the time a consensus on “science” was firming up, and the word “scientist” became a new title taken up by what had been “natural philosophers,” similar political forces opposed one another. The battle lines became drawn between younger, anti-establishment types in the British Association and the older, more conservative natural theologians in the universities. The BAAS tended toward mechanical philosophy that viewed the universe as a machine governed by laws, as opposed to the romantic science championed by Schelling and Goethe that viewed nature as an organism of which humans were intertwined. Ironically, the mechanists viewed man as an evolved animal, but tended to discuss science as if objective, outside observers. The human dynamics of the 19th century battles are instructive. At about the same time, science became a career, and large institutions took shape. In many respects, the ones who gained control of the institutions and journals were the liberal, radical followers of the likes of Darwin, Tyndall and Huxley. It was not that their science was better than that of Maxwell, Faraday, Sedgwick, Agassiz, Pasteur and other “people of faith” (whatever that vapid phrase means). Darwin’s “people of froth” managed to steer a movement that had the presumptive authority of “science” toward the acquisition of power for those who were predominantly liberal and anti-establishment. This complex history should not be oversimplified, but it underscores the fact that science is inescapably a human enterprise. It is not purely an objective process of gathering facts toward unbiased conclusions. Philosophy and politics are inextricably involved, and the more removed from the observable and testable, the more the worldview of the practitioner matters. Nothing in science could be more worldview-laden than the origin and meaning of life. Should the mechanists and materialists have the final word on such important subjects? What if one party were to gain control of the centers of power and manage to ostracize the competition? Is that not what has happened? “History is written by the victors,” Henry Gee reminded us. It is the duty of all fair-minded and knowledgeable observers to ensure that the Darwin Party, which usurped power in the late 19th and 20th centuries, does not succeed in their ongoing efforts to write their critics out of the history books and shut off all accountability for their disreputable shenanigans.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Some people were pleased with the enforced use of public transport over the month-long EcoMobility World Festival in Sandton. For others it meant traffic jams and loss of income. But the general sentiment was that it was a good idea and got people thinking. The Sandton CBD has been closed to cars for the duration of the month-long EcoMobility World Festival, which ran through October. (Image: South African Tourism) • Sandton goes car-free for a month • Frank and honest: the Women On Sex web series • The SABR provides breast milk to babies in need • Active citizenship in South Africa at a healthy level • South Africa’s women in politics Ray MaotaThe Sandton CBD has been closed to cars for the duration of the month-long EcoMobility World Festival, which ran through October.People were encouraged to use public transport, cycle and walk. This had both positive and negative effects on people; others were indifferent to it.The eco-mobility festival had clear links with Johannesburg’s long-term growth and development strategy, Joburg 2040. The blueprint envisions the metro as a smart city, which is an environmentally friendly city created out of a combination of concepts and technologies. These include the enhancement of energy efficiency, and water and waste management, coupled with the conservation of resources.“The festival will demonstrate to the world that an eco-mobile future is possible and that public transport, walking and cycling can be accessible, safe and attractive,” Johannesburg Executive Mayor Mpho Parks Tau said at its launch.“We want to close off certain streets in Sandton, our second largest CBD, to car traffic and instead use these lanes for public transport, walking, cycling and other forms of eco-mobility during the entire Transport Month.”The people have spokenIn the heart of the Sandton CBD, Mack Ndlhovu, a driver for Mzansi Cabs, had harsh words for EcoMobility month.“This has been a bad month for me,” he said. “The frequency of my clients has decreased because of this. I think they are staying away from Sandton. I grew up cycling everywhere and I think you can’t force people to do such; it has to be their choice.”Traffic had been worse than usual during the month, Ndlhovu said. Also, that the city spent so much money on this while students had no money for fees saddened him.Jerri Mokgofe, a well-known blogger and photographer, was less critical. “I haven’t been negatively or positively affected by it,” Mokgofe said. “I still think it would have had a better impact if people were schooled on its effects before it was introduced.“Another thing is, I think we are too quick to adopt international, American, European things when we are not ready in terms of infrastructure.”Humphrey Letsapa, who works at Sandton City, the shopping mall in the heart of the district, said: “For me it has improved the time I spent in a taxi because of the separate lanes for public transport so it has been a good month.“It has also helped us a lot in terms of alternatives to motorised transport. It is also good for the environment and I’m all for it in the future.”Another metred taxi driver, Vukani Gasa, said the month had been very problematic. “Metre taxis are also public transport but they have been taking our cars out of the dedicated public transport lanes.” Gasa drives for Gautrain Metre Taxis.“This has had a negative impact on the business with the street closures because I end up taking an hour going to a place it usually takes 10 to 15 minutes. I still charge a base price but it takes longer for me and it’s not viable.”Louis Tshakaone, a young entrepreneur, said: “It hasn’t done much of a difference in terms of traffic when using the car but when I used buses or tuk-tuks it was a breeze to move around Sandton.“I think people need to be educated on the positives of using non-motorised vehicles or public transport and this will work. For now I still believe this was thrown at us and more work (was) needed on educating the society on its benefits.”It seems the people of Sandton are open to new ways of getting around, but their common gripe has been infrastructure that will get them to comfortably leave their cars.
Which teams are most likely to make college football’s first-ever four-team playoff? And which have the best chance of coming away with the national title?The quick answer is the obvious one: The Alabama Crimson Tide lead the way on both counts. They’re No. 1 in the playoff selection committee’s current rankings and No. 1 according to most computer systems, including ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI). Alabama is no stranger to postseason success, having won the national title in 2009, 2011 and 2012.But it won’t be easy for Alabama, or anyone else. To win the national title, the Crimson Tide may need to prevail in four very challenging football games — against arch-rival Auburn on Nov. 29, in the SEC Championship on Dec. 6, and then in the national semifinal and championship games. Alabama is more likely than any other team to win the title, but its chances are still only about 28 percent.That number comes from a new model we’ve developed that simulates the rest of the college football season and considers how subsequent games might affect the playoff committee’s rankings. The model is speculative: Statistical models are grounded in history and there’s zero history to go by when it comes to the college football playoff. But we hope to have some fun with it over the next few weeks and use this season as a guide for how to improve it in future years.The key characteristics of the model are that it’s iterative and probabilistic.1In contrast to our usual 10,000-word manifesto when launching a new forecasting model, I’m only going to provide a brief description of it for now. We’ll circle back later on with more detail. By iterative, I mean that it simulates the rest of the college season one game and one week at a time instead of jumping directly from the current playoff committee standings to national championship chances. By probabilistic, I mean that it hopes to account for the considerable uncertainty in the playoff picture, both in terms of how the games will turn out and in how the humans on the selection committee might react to them.Games are simulated using ESPN’s Football Power Index. To take one example, FPI has USC with about a 40 percent chance of upsetting UCLA in the game they’ll play Saturday in Pasadena, California.The next question is how the teams’ standings in the playoff rankings might change given the possible outcomes on the field. We’ve principally used the historic record of the Coaches Poll for guidance. The simulations account for the fact that some wins and losses matter more than others.Let’s say that USC wins. It’s currently ranked No. 19 in the playoff committee’s rankings. On average in the Coaches Poll, teams ranked in that position have moved up to only No. 17 or No. 16 after a win.Our model sees more upside potential for USC, however. A victory for the Trojans would come in what is technically a road game for them (a few freeways away from their campus in Los Angeles). More importantly, it would come against a higher-ranked opponent in UCLA. Historically — and quite reasonably — human raters have given more credit to wins like those, so our simulation would have USC moving up to No. 15 or No. 14 on average if it wins instead. But there’s considerable uncertainty in the outcome. We have USC moving as high as No. 10, or even into the high single digits, in some simulations; in other cases, a number of other teams ranked near it in the standings might have impressive wins also, and USC would barely move up at all.The simulations also account for the potential margin of victory in each game. Voters in the coaches and media polls have mostly looked at wins and losses, but our research suggests they give a little bit more credit to especially lopsided victories or especially close ones.USC, although an interesting case for the model, is almost no threat to win the national championship no matter the scoreline in Pasadena. Even if it beats UCLA this week and Notre Dame next week — and wins the tiebreaker for the Pac-12 title and then wins that game against Oregon as well, it will be coming from too far behind. Our simulation gives the Trojans only a 0.2 percent chance of making the playoff.Other teams have a more credible chance of contending. Take Mississippi State. On the positive side for the Bulldogs, four teams will get into the playoff and they’re currently ranked No. 4. But Mississippi State has more downside than upside scenarios. It will almost certainly be out if it loses against No. 8 Mississippi — a game in which FPI has the Rebels favored. And even if Mississippi State wins that game, it won’t advance to the SEC Championship unless Alabama loses to Auburn. If Alabama wins, the Bulldogs would be denied another chance to impress the committee. Thus, our simulation has Mississippi State with just a 27 percent chance of making the playoff.These permutations can get complicated, which is why it helps to take things one week at a time. What might the playoff committee standings look like after this Saturday’s games, for instance? The heat map you see below reflects our model’s effort to account for all the possibilities:The top four probably won’t look much different when the playoff committee releases its new standings on Tuesday. They all have fairly easy marks: Alabama will play a Division I-AA opponent, Western Carolina. No. 2 Oregon is at home against 2-8 Colorado. No. 3 Florida State is heavily favored at home against Boston College. And Mississippi State is also at home, playing Vanderbilt, the worst team in the SEC.There’s more action outside the top four. I already mentioned the high-leverage game in Pasadena. If you look carefully at the chart, you’ll see that USC’s probability distribution is bimodal. In other words, it probably won’t stay at No. 19, where it is now. If it beats UCLA, it could gain several positions in the rankings; if it loses, it will have taken its fourth loss and might be knocked out of the top 25 entirely.USC’s opponent, UCLA, also has a lot on the line. UCLA would need a lot of help, but it still has an outside chance — our model puts it at 8 percent — of making the playoff. Beating both USC and Stanford would give UCLA an entry into the Pac-12 championship game. If it beat Oregon then, and a team or two ahead of it endures a loss, it could get in.We might compare the Trojans against their Hellenic-themed rivals, the Michigan State Spartans. Not that MSU, already having lost twice, had much chance to begin with (it pains me to say that as an East Lansing High School alum). But the Spartans are a good example of a team that just doesn’t have enough opportunities to impress committee voters even under its best-case outcomes. MSU’s only remaining scheduled games are against unranked Rutgers and Penn State — and it will only make the Big Ten Championship game if it wins twice and Ohio State loses twice.The Georgia Bulldogs, by comparison, despite being just one position ahead of Michigan State in the rankings, have a better hand to play. They’ll make the SEC Championship if Missouri loses either of its remaining games. If Georgia makes the conference title game and beats Alabama, it would give committee members a lot to think about.Here’s how our model sees the potential lay of the land on Dec. 7, when the selection committee will release its final rankings:As you can see, playing out three weeks’ worth of games increases the uncertainty a great deal as compared to just this coming weekend’s outcomes. No team is more than 75 percent certain to make the playoff.Florida State, despite being undefeated and No. 1 in the Coaches Poll, is not all that well positioned. The selection committee has it at No. 3, which implies that a loss would probably knock it out of contention. FPI, along with other computer systems, is not high on the Seminoles, who have won by middling margins against a so-so schedule.Oregon’s position is better. The Ducks will probably have to win out also, but they’ve already survived the tougher parts of their schedule. Oregon has been good enough, in fact, to make duck-hunting an appealing proposition; UCLA’s outside shot of making the playoff relies upon the possibility of beating it in the Pac-12 Championship.Our simulation also accounts for what might happen beyond Dec. 7. Here are the teams most likely to win the national championship, according to our model:A few teams might be overlooked in the title hunt. Although none of its teams ranks in the top four now, the Big 12 is more likely than not to advance one team (TCU or Baylor) into the playoff. Ohio State’s position as a potential one-loss winner of a major conference will start to look better if any teams ahead of it slip. Ole Miss is a longshot to make the playoff — it will have to beat Mississippi State and perhaps hope that Alabama loses also so that it can get into the SEC Championship — but it’s at the top of the pecking order as far as two-loss teams go.There’s still a lot that these simulations aren’t accounting for. There’s no mechanism in the model to account for head-to-head results even though the committee has said it will consider them if the standings are otherwise close. That potentially works to the benefit of Alabama, which might finish close to Mississippi State in the standings if it loses to Auburn or in the SEC Championship, but which beat the Bulldogs in Tuscaloosa last week.The selection committee may also place more emphasis on conference championships than the simulations do. But we have no evidence yet for how that might play out — nor for how resistant the committee might be to choosing two or more teams from the same conference. We hope you’ll join us as we sort through the scenarios.CORRECTION (Nov. 22, 3:20 p.m.): An earlier version of this article misstated the division in which Western Carolina plays. It is not Division II, but the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-AA.
Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, October 11, 2017 – Providenciales – Despite the challenges and setbacks faced by the TCI, as a result of hurricanes Irma and Maria, the commitment to the development of persons through UK higher education remains steadfast and strong. Hence, the Governor’s Office is extremely pleased to announce that Ms. Jasmine Parker, the Director of Youth Affairs in the Ministry of Education has been awarded a prestigious Chevening Scholarship for the 2017/18 academic year.Ms. Parker will be studying a one (1) year Master’s degree in Child Youth and International Development at Birkbeck, University of London in the UK starting October 2017. Chevening Scholarships are awarded each year to outstanding individuals with leadership potential who wish to contribute to the development of the Turks & Caicos Islands.Ms. Parker is currently the Director of Youth Affairs, responsible for developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the three year strategic plan and National Youth Policies. In addition, she has responsibility for developing annual national operational plan and forecasting financial allocations.Further, in her role, Ms. Parker is mandated to promote youth mainstreaming and participation in youth development, democracy, governance at local and national levels, and active citizenship to advance the involvement of youth in the decision making process in the Turks and Caicos Islands.The Applications season for this year’s 2017/18 scholarship is still open until 7th November 2017 and we encourage all eligible persons to apply.IN ORDER TO SUMBIT AN ELIGIBLE CHEVENING SCHOLARSHIP APPLICANTS MUST:Be a Citizen of TCI, and return to TCI for a minimum of two years after completing their scholarship.Have completed an undergraduate degreeHave at least two years work experienceBe able to receive an unconditional offer from a UK universityChevening Scholarship offers a monthly stipend, travel to and from TCI, a thesis or dissertation grant and tuition fees.Applicants should read the online guidance and be able to demonstrate how they meet the Chevening selection criteria before submitting an application. Further details of closing dates and priority subject’s areas are available atwww.chevening.org/applyFor more Information Contact the Chevening Officer- Mr Neville Misick or Damian WilsonEmail: [email protected] / [email protected]: +1649 -916-2308/9Applications open 7th August 2017 – 07 November 201711
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#UnitedStates, December 20, 2017 – Washington, DC – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis and Mrs. Patricia Minnis, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Darren Henfield and Mrs. Deidre Henfield on Friday, December 15, 2017 visited and toured the Embassy of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas & Consular Annex in Washington, DC, with Ambassador, His Excellency Sidney Collie & Consul General, Mr. Theo Neilly.The visit preceded a Reception the next evening for Bahamians and Friends of The Bahamas residing in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland.(Photos/Yontalay Bowe, OPM Media Services)