Fishing the North Coast: Tuna fever hits Humboldt

first_imgTuna fever is spreading quickly amongst Humboldt County saltwater fishermen. There’s warm water sitting off the coast of Eureka, and there are patches lined up all the way to Charleston, Oregon, giving anglers a few different options. A small three-day weather window opened up for Eureka on Wednesday and a few boats made the 27-mile run due west to the where the water turned 60 degrees. Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing was one of the boats to venture out and boxed 11 albacore in the …last_img

Seamounts: No Speciation Here, Mate

first_imgThese isolated habitats should be ideal labs for studying Darwin’s origin of species, but the evidence just isn’t there.Seamounts are undersea mountains that rise at least 1,000 meters above the sea floor. Usually volcanic in origin, many are steep-walled, with tops hundreds of meters below the ocean surface. Quite a few have flat tops, believed to have been leveled by the waves when sea levels were lower; those are known as guyots.The study of seamounts is still in its infancy. Because of their isolation, seamounts should be labs for Darwinian evolution. We should be seeing new species unique (endemic) to individual seamount habitats. A book published in March 2010 made that prediction. In Seamounts: deep-ocean laboratories of faunal connectivity, evolution, and endemism, Timothy M. Shank of the reputable Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution wrote:Seamount systems that are geographically, hydrographically, topographically, and/or genetically “isolated” are likely to have developed highly endemic taxa and ecosystems. Although current estimates of endemism are challenged by inconsistencies in sampling approaches, the physical, biological, and geological processes intrinsic to seamount systems can undeniably serve to connect or isolate populations, stimulate genetic divergence, drive the formation of new species, and structure diversity and endemism. In fact, the large variety of interconnected mechanisms that promote or impede the genetic connectivity of seamount communities via dispersal (and the long-term maintenance of species or the subsequent divergence of populations leading to speciation) are key unknowns to understanding the fundamental evolutionary processes that structure both the diversity and biogeography of deep-sea fauna.Here we have a Darwinian prediction. Will it stand up to the test? Notice that Shank left himself an out, saying that not much is known about dispersal and connectivity of habitats. Still, one would think that at least some new species arising on a seamount would have a hard time colonizing the rest of the ocean.Later that same year (2010), five oceanographers writing for Marine Ecology were already casting doubt on the paradigm that seamounts are hotspots of endemism. This year we have more new data to test the Darwinian predictions.A team of three oceanographers publishing in PLoS One carefully surveyed life on the Cobb Seamount (see Wikipedia), an isolated undersea mountain in the northern Pacific, 500 km off the coast of Washington State. Using underwater vehicles, they explored numerous habitats and ecosystems on 220 square kilometers of its surface area, taking 1,600 images all the way from the summit that is 34 meters below the water to terraced slopes as deep as 1154 meters (almost 3,800 feet). They identified 74 taxa from 11 phyla, including sponges, algae, corals, lamp shells, lobsters, crabs, sea cucumbers, fish and much more. How did Darwinian theory fare from the observations?The results of the study support the paradigms that seamounts are diversity ‘hotspots’, that the majority of seamount communities are at risk to disturbance from bottom fishing, and that seamounts are refugia for biota, while refuting the idea that seamounts have high endemism.In plain English, while the seamount provided numerous hotspots for a wide variety of living things, all the species they observed are “commonly found on the North American coast.” Not only did the observations refute the hypothesis of “high endemism” – the scientists state flatly, “There was no recorded endemism on the seamount.” The Darwinian prediction by Shank has been refuted by the evidence.There are several possible comeback arguments evolutionists can use to rescue Darwinism. We know the Cobb Seamount is not pristine, having been subject to fishing activity for years. Perhaps humans mixed up the ecology. Maybe coral polyps and other larvae get around better than thought; they evolved on the coast, and made it to the top of the seamount on their own, or were transported there by ocean currents. Or they evolved on the seamount and were spread outward from where they originated. Maybe they hitchhiked on nets or boat hulls. All kinds of processes could have scrambled the ecosystems. In short; maybe seamounts are not as isolated as previously thought.Several considerations make these auxiliary hypotheses implausible. For one, geologists date the Cobb Seamount at 3.3 million years old (Wikipedia). That should allow plenty of time for radical innovation of remarkably unique species endemic to that location. For another, many species tend to have limited ranges even on the seamount. Deeper ecosystems are different than shallow ecosystems. Would there not be very protected spots in this vast area immune to mixing? Moreover, an article on NOAA by Woods Hole biologist Susan Miller explains that colonization of seamounts is rare, particularly for delicate coral polyps that don’t live long and are weak swimmers. She describes ocean currents called “Taylor columns” that spiral around seamounts, keeping the organisms isolated. Seamounts really should be labs for watching evolution in action. The scientists seem to have expected to confirm the paradigm of endemism, judging from their first sentence:Partially owing to their isolation and remote distribution, research on seamounts is still in its infancy, with few comprehensive datasets and empirical evidence supporting or refuting prevailing ecological paradigms. But then, the last sentence of the Abstract confirms the biodiversity paradigm “while refuting the idea that seamounts have high endemism.”One other factor should cast doubt on the Darwinian story that life has been evolving on seamounts for millions of years. Isn’t that a long time for corals to build up deep reefs many meters thick? Wouldn’t every square inch of the mountain by now contain the remains of dead organisms that lived millions of years ago? Yet the scientists didn’t find that.Bedrock was a primary substrate in nearly all images (82%). Sand was always present (100%), but its coverage was nominal (a veneer or a pocket of sediment on the steep bedrock pinnacle). The most abundant substrate category was Bedrock-Sand (82%).This implies two challenges for Darwinism: a lack of speciation, and a far younger age for the seamount than thought. Interesting that the explorers of the Cobb Seamount did not mention evolution, speciation, or any Darwinian term at all, anywhere in their report.This refutation of Darwinian predictions parallels another one we reported in the case of the Brazilian tepui, those steep-sided “islands in the sky” that should have isolated species on their summits for millions of years. No endemic speciation was found there, either (see 8/09/12). We recall another case in the Grand Canyon, when explorers of Shiva Temple (a flat-topped butte isolated within the canyon) in 1937 expected to confirm Darwin’s origin of species taking place there, but found only the same species that exist on the rim, despite the butte having been isolated (in the evolutionary timeline) for many tens of thousands of years (see Creation Research Society report). Here are three examples where evolutionists predicted to find new endemic species forming, but they found none. Sure, there are variations in existing species, like the unique animals on the Galapagos, but even there those animals are related to species on the mainland. No new organs, systems, or new types of animals are found even after millions of years of isolation, and some of the species, like birds and insects that can no longer fly, represent degeneration, not evolution. Remember that evolutionists believe whales evolved from walking land animals in just 9 million years, and humans from apes in about 6 or 7 million years. Wouldn’t they expect at least some new phyla, orders, classes or families on seamounts after millions of years? or even new genera? They aren’t found. If prediction matters in science, and falsification, consider Darwinian theory falsified.Readers may be interested in Dr. Walt Brown’s theory of how seamounts relate to the Genesis Flood. Noting that almost all of them occur in the Pacific, he explains them as artifacts of the rapid separation of the continents when the “fountains of the great deep” burst open along the mid-Atlantic ridge. Click here to read his account. (Visited 63 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA in tough Davis Cup loss to Lithuania

first_img7 April 2014 South Africa suffered a heart-breaking 2-3 loss to Lithuania in their Euro Africa Group 2 second round Davis Cup tie at the Irene Country club outside of Centurion on Sunday, having led 2-1 heading into the final day’s play. The advantage was with the home team after Jean Andersen and Raven Klaasen won the doubles on Saturday to give them the lead, and an enthusiastic crowd was on hand to cheer them on, but it wasn’t enough as the Lithuanians staged a strong fightback. Friday’s reverse singles had been shared, with Ricardas Berankis beating Jean Andersen 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 and Rik de Voest running out a 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 7-6 (7-4) winner over Laurynas Grigelis.Thriller In Sunday’s first match, Berankis defeated De Voest 6-2, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5 in a three- and-a-half hour thriller. Berankis, who was ranked 67th in the world last year in May before suffering an injury, worked the South African number one hard on his way to a crucial victory. De Voest put up a big fight, in what was his 20th and last Davis Cup rubber for his country. He will be retiring from tennis later this year.‘Emotional’ “Berankis was the quality player out there today,” De Voest said afterwards. “Walking onto court, I really felt emotional, knowing that this was my last match for my country, but with the unbelievable support from the crowd, I was able to put my nerves behind me and focus on the task. Unfortunately the win wasn’t to be and Ricardas was just too good and solid today.” De Voest had a big chance to get ahead in the tenth game of the fourth set when he held three break points, but he failed to capitalise on them. “Things may have been different if I had broken in that tenth game,” he admitted.Tactical change After the Berankis victory, the tie was level at 2-2. South African captain, John- Laffnie de Jager then made a tactical change and named Ruan Roelofse for the final rubber instead of the originally nominated Jean Andersen. Although Roelofse has limited Davis Cup experience, De Jager felt his big game could upset the rhythm of the Lithuanians. Unfortunately it did not go well for the 24-year-old South African, and although the powerfully-built Roelofse put up a gallant effort, he went down to Laurynas Grigelis 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 4-6 in just over three hours.Chances Roelofse certainly had his chances. He was up a break in the third set at 4-2 and had he capitalised on that advantage, it could have been a different ball game. “Yes I had my chances and when I look back it upsets me I didn’t take them, but overall I felt I played a good game and did myself and South Africa proud,” he said afterwards.Credit to Lithuania A disappointed De Jager said that all credit should go to Lithuania for coming to South Africa and taming the altitude and putting up a really good performance. “The Lithuanians must be applauded for their effort. It is never easy playing away from home but they arrived early, worked hard, and adapted well by the time the tie started,” De Jager said. He also praised for his team, saying: “My team and squad overall gave their best and put in a real good week. I am proud of them. Now we need to regroup and work hard for 2015.” After the defeat, South Africa will remain in Euro/Africa Group 2 for 2015. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Kuş Evi / Bird House (GC4W8G4) — Geocache of the Week

first_imgShare with your Friends:More Intrepid geocachers in an attempt to disguise themselves as monkeys. The cache itself. The puzzle box that contains the cache. The making of the cache. Geocache Name:Left: | Right:ş Evi / Bird House (GC4W8G4) — by haoralLocation:Üsküdar, TurkeyN 41° 02.075 E 029° 01.926Difficulty/Terrain Rating:D3.5/T3.5Why this is Geocache of the Week:This week, we’re recognizing a creative geocache in a country that just got its first souvenir: Turkey!Birdhouses, or Kuş Evleri in Turkish, are literally built into much of the Ottoman architecture in Istanbul and other cities in Turkey. This geocache was placed in tribute to those birdhouses.“Kuş Evi / Bird House”  is a tree-climbing cache, the first of its kind in Turkey, in fact. Finding it qualifies you to add a special banner to your profile. Starting this week, you’ll also earn the brand-new Turkey souvenir for finding this, or any other geocache, in Turkey.What geocachers have to say about it:“This cache was my main target this afternoon: I like tree-climbing and I like banners . This one combined both. At least after I had found it! There were quite a few people around, thus I had to look carefully. After a looooong while I found a short trail and the tree. Getting to the cache was no problem but then there was the locking system that needed to be overcome. It wasn’t too difficult but something new to me! I really liked it! This whole cache is definitely worth a favourite point! Greetings to the owner! TFTC!” –kinderarzt“I wanted this one to be my 300. cache, so i saved itaccordingly during our Kuzguncuk tour. I have bern listening to the praises of this cache for months. I found some bird house caches in Europe before but i encounter one with a puzzle for the first time. Initially, my wife went up the tree. But when she had some difficulties with opening the lock, we switched places. I also could not open it immediately. The numbers must be aligned precisely to open it. I didn’t have a magnet with me but a swiss army knife. The rest eas not so difficult. And for sure, it deserves a fav point.” –blastrulaWhat the Cache Owner has to say about it:Tell us a little bit about why you decided to hide this cache?“There were not many handcrafted caches in Turkey or Istanbul. I saw a lot of nice, maker caches in the web and want to make one myself. It should be not to difficult but should have some field puzzle elements in it. And it should be a example of handcrafted caches for the growing community in Istanbul.”There don’t seem to be many tree caches in Turkey. Do you know if yours was the first?“I am very sure it is. It is a tree cache where searchers have not to use technical equipment, but have to climb nearly 3 meters high. Today there are more caches in Turkey like this.”Do you think this cache requires more maintenance that your other geocaches?“No the place is more secure than the other caches in the city. Also it is chained to the tree, so Muggles are less a problem.”Do you have anything in particular you’d like to say to the geocaching community?“I produced this and some other caches in Istanbul to show the community that nice crafted caches are more fun than simple ones.”Photos: View from the cache.Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog.If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form. The littlest geocachers may need some help finding this one. SharePrint RelatedThe Director’s Travel Bug Hotel (GC3MFAD) — Geocache of the WeekOctober 15, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”Rubik’s Cache (GC5YGFM) – Geocache of the WeekJuly 30, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”Reach new geocaching heights!March 15, 2016In “Community”last_img read more

Beware of Holiday Frauds

first_imgPhoto by karenwarfel via CC0 Public DomainBy Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, [email protected] families are a frequent target for holiday scams. With the holiday season in full swing, so are various frauds associated with it. Frauds tend to follow current events whether they are natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and tornados or seasonal events like income taxes and end-of-year holidays. Unfortunately, the holidays can bring out the worst, as well as the best, in people as thieves, both in person and online, steal victims’ money and/or identity.Below are some common holiday scams to caution service members about:Online ScamsBeware of e-mails asking you to provide personal information to receive a package. These are often phishing schemes to obtain personal identification information (PII) to commit identity theft. Don’t click on links from unknown sources.Beware of “too good to be true” sales offers for relatively inexpensive high-end goods and electronics that request personal identification information. Fake retailer websites, may send shoddy merchandise or nothing at all and steal victims’ PII.Beware of phony web sites with “off” logos and spelling and grammar mistakes and sales offers that require wire payment.Use an application like Norton SafeWeb to warn you about unsafe websites.Look for contact information on retail websites. For example, a phone number and physical location rather than a PO box or sole e-mail address. Another indicator of a reputable retailer is a “Terms and Conditions” link for return policies.Beware of offers for “too good to be true” holiday season travel. The accommodations that are offered may be substandard or non-existent. Always deal with reputable travel agents and tour package providers.Make sure that online orders are secure by looking for https:// in the website URL of an online merchant.Postal ScamBeware of postcards for “undeliverable” packages. Some of these scams request PII or are a ploy to make expensive phone calls. For example, callers may be directed to the “hotbed” fraudulent area codes of 284, 809, and 876 in the Caribbean.ShoppingUse a credit, instead of a debit card, for large purchases. Not only can you receive rewards, but the credit card company may be able to reverse charges for shoddy or damaged goods. With a debit card, check, or cash, your money is gone.Carry a minimum amount of cash, plastic, and personal information when shopping or traveling during the holidays and make sure that your wallet or purse is secure at all times and not left unattended (e.g., on the back of a chair).Charitable DonationsNever provide donations and/or credit card information to telephone charitable solicitations. Some are outright scams and many have such high administrative expenses that very little money actually goes to the charitable cause.Donate money only to charities you know that are registered with the IRS. Check their 990 form at GuideStar.Beware of phony charities that sound like legitimate ones (e.g., National Cancer Society instead of American Cancer Society).Beware of phony charities that make highly emotional appeals for disabled police, firefighters, and military veterans.Package DeliveryAvoid having unattended packages left for delivery on your doorstep. Some criminals actually follow delivery trucks to steal victims’ holiday packages.Require a signature for package delivery. If no one is at home, request that the package be given to a trusted neighbor or held at the nearest package pick-up depot.Gift CardsInspect gift cards before you buy them to make sure that they have not been tampered with (e.g., having the activation code scratched off). Thieves who steal these codes can often use a gift card before the rightful owner.Buy gift cards that are kept behind a store counter or near the cash register so clerks can keep an eye on them to discourage tampering.Get a gift card receipt for each gift card that you buy and include the receipt with gift cards as proof of activation and payment so recipients can obtain a replacement, if necessary.last_img read more