Dinosaur Extinction Rewritten Again

first_imgWho will go back and fix the animations?If the Chicxulub meteor finished off the dinosaurs, they were already on the edge anyway, a new theory proposes. The BBC News says dinosaurs were on the decline 50 million years before the impact. And why was that? With apologies to Bob Dylan, “A team suggests the creatures were in long-term decline because they could not cope with the ways Earth was changing.” Yes, music lovers, the times they were a-changing, just like climate change afflicts us today. “Your sons and your daughters /Are beyond your command,” Darwin told T. rex. “Your old road is rapidly agin’ / Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand / For the times they are a-changin’.” T. rex didn’t have much of a hand to lend anyway. Climate change had determined that it was time for the mammals to take center stage.The asteroid impact is commonly thought to have paved the way for mammals to take over. But the new study suggests that mammalian supremacy might have occurred eventually, without a space impact.Co-author Prof Mike Benton of Bristol University, told BBC News: “World climates were getting cooler all the time. Dinosaurs rely on quite warm climates and mammals are better adapted to the cold.“So there might have been a switch over in any case without the asteroid impact.““Might” makes right in evolutionary storytelling; the power of suggestion raises the perhapsimaybecouldness index. Earth needed to make “room for mammals,” Science Daily says. What better way than to chill out the dinos?Those interested in the case for dino decline can look at the paper in PNAS. It begins, “Whether dinosaurs were in decline before their final extinction 66 Mya has been debated for decades with no clear resolution.” But by using a “Bayesian phylogenetic approach to model the evolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction through time,” they guarantee an evolutionary outcome (see DIGO in the Darwin Dictionary).Back to the Drawing BoardThis is most unfortunate for Darwinians, since they thought they finally had a flag up the pole everyone could salute: an asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. A team is even out there right now trying to drill into the impact site in the Yucatan. Is their work in vain? Not completely; the new study has a partial role for the impact, just not a complete one. It just gave dinosaurs the final shove.Brian Switek on National Geographic took the opportunity to review past “wild ideas” about the death of the dinosaurs. First, though,Here’s his list of previous “crazy conjectures” that came and went:Dinosaurs put too much energy into being big and spiky.They had a predetermined lifetime as a species, and time was up.They developed slipped discs.Their hormones got out of control.Their sex drives declined.They all got sick.They were afflicted with cataracts and couldn’t see the mammals taking over.They were just stupid.Caterpillars ate all the vegetation.They took up smoking [actually, that was Gary Larson’s theory on The Far Side]Before the laughing is over, Switek admits that the impact theory has problems of its own:While the giant impact is the most likely weapon in this ancient murder case, we know surprisingly little about how the strike translated into widespread death and destruction. Paleontologists have debated aspects of the impact’s ecological fallout ranging from blazing wildfires to an impenetrable cloud of debris in the atmosphere. But exactly what happened and how such environmental shocks would have killed some species while sparing others is still up for debate.Will future paleontologists consider the impact theory just another crazy conjection? Not likely; it has too much momentum to not survive this latest crisis. Previous studies, after all, had suggested the dinosaurs were not in decline; they were doing just fine up till the day of destruction. Others promote their pet theory that volcanoes did it. A new theory claims a “trickle of food” kept deep sea creatures alive during the catastrophe (Science Daily). That, however, doesn’t explain the land animals that survived. Whatever the theory, it has to explain the selective extinction of particular reptiles on land (dinosaurs), in the ocean (plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs) and in the air (pterosaurs), while leaving mammals, birds and everything else able to carry on amidst all the carrion.Selective OutrageSpeaking of climate change, the lead paleontologist promoting the new extinction theory found a way to blame humans. “Our study strongly indicates that if a group of animals is experiencing a fast pace of extinction more so than they can replace, then they are prone to annihilation once a major catastrophe occurs,” Dr. Manabu Sakamoto preaches. “This has huge implications for our current and future biodiversity, given the unprecedented speed at which species are going extinct owing to the ongoing human-caused climate change.” Those wishing to hear some diversity in opinion may wish to see Dr. Richard Lindzen, emeritus professor of atmospheric science at MIT, explain the current climate change debate in a short video on Prager University.Why is it, incidentally, that the scientific consensus is so intent on blaming the current apex predator (humans) for climate change, but never accuses the dinosaurs of the same ecological sin? Maybe they passed too much greenhouse gas. And why are impacts so bad, if they kickstarted life on Earth? (see Christian Schroeder thank comets for life on The Conversation).How Many Dinosaurs?Most dinosaur species are still undiscovered, Brian Switek says in another National Geographic piece. In a PLoS Paleo Blog, Jon Tennant shows diagrams from a new study that tries to count the species we know. Based on ecological models, researchers think we have probably found far less than half of the dinosaur species that existed—unless you count birds, which Tennant considers “just mostly a bit smaller and fluffier than their Mesozoic ancestors.”Evolutionists have a love/hate attitude about impacts. Asteroids and comets bring life, but they also destroy life. They do whatever the storyteller needs them to do; that’s why they are so useful for professional storytellers like Darwinians.The Flood model does a better job explaining (1) the selectivity of the extinction, (2) world-wide observations by humans of dinosaurs after the Flood, (3) the high level of intelligent design in dinosaur anatomy. But since it is not atheistic/materialistic, it cannot get traction in the Big Science cabal. (Visited 69 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

A Museum Will Build, Then Sell, a Passivhaus

first_imgIt remains to be seen which part of the exhibit “Climate Change: The Threat to Life and a New Energy Future” will make the bigger impression on visitors to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History: its exploration of changes to the earth’s oceans, ice sheets, land mass, weather patterns, and atmosphere, or the accompanying 2,500-sq.-ft. house that will be built to the Passivhaus standard on the museum grounds.More likely than not, “Climate Change,” a touring exhibit scheduled for display at the museum from July 23 through December 31, will leave many people thinking seriously about ways we can improve stewardship of the earth. But many of those same people also might be so impressed with the comfort, quiet, and performance of the Passivhaus home – which will be on display from June through September – they’ll never again be satisfied with a home built to code.That, at least, was one of the reasons for including the Passivhaus standard prominently in the display, said Evalyn Gates, the museum’s director.“I want to bring something in that really gets people’s attention and gets them thinking differently,” Gates told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.“If we could go to scale with this our dream would be that it creates an employment base for people,” added Chuck Miller, a partner at Doty & Miller Architects, which designed the house, known as SmartHome Cleveland.SmartHome’s journeyGates asked that the house be designed to fit in architecturally with homes in some of the city’s older communities, and Doty & Miller complied. Functionally, though, the plan is to incorporate all of the insulation, airtightness, HVAC requirements, and, when the house is moved to its permanent location after September, siting strategies needed to aim for certification by Passive House Institute U.S.The exterior wall system of the two-story three-bedroom house will feature structural insulated panels and provide, at a minimum, thermal resistance of R-55, according to the Doty & Miller detail drawings shown above. The second-floor ceiling will be insulated at least to R-75.The Plain Dealer notes that the house will be relocated to a neighborhood known as University Circle, in northeast Cleveland, where it will be sold for between $300,000 and $400,000 – a substantial discount from the expected $525,000 cost of the project, which was funded in part by a $40,000 grant from the Cleveland Foundation, a museum-program investment of $250,000 that will be recovered upon the sale of the house, and a number of sponsors.Meanwhile, “Climate Change,” which was organized by the American Museum of Natural History in collaboration with the Cleveland museum and several partners, will continue touring after it closes in Cleveland. The exhibit first opened at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York City, in October 2008.last_img read more

7 Ways to Make Your Corporate Videos Exciting and Fun

first_imgCorporate video doesn’t have to suck the life out of the room. Here are seven simple ways to make your corporate video as entertaining as it is informative!Cover image via ShutterstockCorporate video production has been a mainstay of the film and video production world for as long as cameras have been around. However, for almost just as long, they have suffered a negative reputation as unimaginative, uninspired, and downright boring to watch, shoot, or edit. That does not have to be the case.Sure, they often feature subjects, people, and companies that are not usually the most interesting or extreme, but with the right tricks, you can make your corporate videos fun again. If you still have soul enough to be up for the challenge, here are seven ways to make your corporate videos exciting, fun, and wildly watchable. 1. Animate LogosIn this day and age, knowing that some videos still have flat, non-animated logo reveals at their beginnings and ends is kind of ridiculous.For those who think a logo card fading in from black or white is still an acceptable way to grab your audience’s attention, well, you’re wrong. You’re actually losing your audience from the get-go. Aside from a plethora of tutorials available online that show you how to create animated logos, there are several free and cheap options available on this site alone (like the one featured above). You’ll find a few more resources below. Use them!3 FREE Animated Logo RevealsFree Logo Reveals and Animated FontsBest Animated Logo Reveal Tutorials2. Use After Effects TemplatesAlong with an animated logo reveal, using a full After Effects template throughout your corporate video can make a world of difference in style and storytelling. A good AE pack will feature eye-catching logo reveals, lower thirds, slide animations, animated fonts, and customizable colors, all of which can be dragged and dropped into your original footage with ease. Here are some resources below, or just head straight to RocketStock and browse their selection online.9 FREE After Effects Templates10 MORE FREE After Effects TemplatesTypography After Effects Templates3. Get Your Subjects Out of White SpaceImage via VimeoThe white cyc wall was all the rage after Apple’s successful run of minimalist commercials — however, it’s become somewhat of the norm in corporate videos ever since. While not necessarily a bad thing in the right circumstances, if you’re looking to give your videos a boost, try taking out the shots that literally offer nothing besides their subjects. Offices may not be sexy, but bringing subjects to life creatively in their actual workspaces and environments can give your videos an instant boost.4. Use Better Stock FootageWhether you’re using it for a pick-up shot or editing a full video off a stock budget, there are times when you need to call upon some dynamic stock footage to show corporate synergy and collaboration.Sure, there are almost as many places to get stock assets as there are miscellaneous shots of workers pointing at white boards, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find quality. Using a service like Shutterstock is a great way to get your video to stand out.5. Try to Avoid Flat Compositions and Straight LinesImage via BTV Business TelevisionWhen shooting corporate video, it’s important to remind yourself that you’re already down in the count against boring an audience. Filming for convenience (i.e. setting an interview against a wall for minimal set dressing) may be a common urge — but you should resist that urge when possible.It might not look like a big difference, but the image above at the very least gives some depth in space and color, as well as several different line planes to direct the eye back to the subject — all helpful devices in giving your audience a reason to keep watching.6. Minimize Corporate BuzzwordsVideo via AvayaThis may be easier said than done (following the next step listed below might help), but one of the biggest flaws in the realm of corporate video is the amount of buzzspeak, buzzwords, and industry terms that — while helpful to those with explicit knowledge — can instantly take any bystander or less business-savvy viewer out of the video. If you hear one of these words dropped in an interview, make a point to get the speaker to explain things in a more rudimentary fashion.7. Have Conversations, Not ScriptsImage via Black Label Film StudioWhich brings us to our final tip. Some videos need to be tightly scripted — like whiteboards or animated pieces — but for those that rely on corporate employees talking into the camera, scripts can be devastating when read poorly and unconfidently.One of the best ways to entice the best out of your subjects is to get them talking to you in a conversational way, straying away from rigid, scripted reciting of information. Get them comfortable in a spot in the room and focused away from the camera. If they’re any good at their jobs, they’ll usually be excited to talk about it — just, you know, to another person, not a camera lens.How do you keep your corporate videos from boring the audience? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Was not in the know of CBI raids, says Bihar government

first_img PMO role?Some reports from New Delhi said the Prime Minister’s Office had informed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar prior to the raids, apprehending law-and-order problems and seeking adequate security measures.“Information regarding raids was given by the CBI to the Director-General of Police around 7.30 a.m., some time after the raids began following which the police made necessary security arrangements in view of law and order,” the official statement said.Also Read  CM awayChief Minister Nitish Kumar has been away at Rajgir in his home district of Nalanda since Thursday afternoon reportedly because of health issues.Mr. Kumar and his party, Janata Dal(U), have remained tight-lipped about the raids, while the Congress, another RJD ally, has backed Mr. Prasad’s claim that those were part of “vendetta politics” by the BJP and the Modi government.Security reinforcementsAdditional security personnel were deployed at the offices of the BJP, the RJD and the JD(U) in Patna while the raids were on.Additional Director-General of Police (Headquarters) S.K. Singhal said a general alert was sounded across the State in view of the political ramification of the raids. The Bihar government on Saturday rejected news reports that senior civil and police officials were tipped off about the CBI raids on locations linked to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and his family on Friday.“It is a totally baseless news,” an official release said.Quoting sources, reports said Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh and State Police Chief P.K. Thakur were alerted by the CBI on Thursday night to the impending raids on the premises of Mr. Prasad, Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and other members of the family.Also Read Won’t be cowed by such raids, says Lalu ED raids premises of Lalu’s daughter Misa Bharti in Delhilast_img read more

Amurskaya Neftebaza Orders Six Bulkers from Yangzijiang

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Amurskaya Neftebaza Russia’s transportation and logistics firm Amurskaya Neftebaza has placed an order for six bulk carriers with Chinese shipbuilder Yangzijiang Shipbuilding.According to the agreement between the parties, which was unveiled on April 20, the new vessels will feature 120,000 dwt.The units are scheduled for delivery to their owner in the second half of 2019, data provided by Asiasis show. The parties did not reveal any financial details related to the order.In late March, the Russian company placed an order for a 4,500 cbm small clean tanker at China’s Jiangsu Dajin Heavy Industry. The unit, which is scheduled for delivery in May 2019, was priced at USD 7.1 million.For Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, the order comes on the back of a Letter of Intent (LOI) signed for the construction of up to twenty LNG-fueled bulk carriers for Forward Maritime, a part of Arista Shipping Group.The Kamsarmax vessels, which would feature 84,000 dwt, would join the fleet between 2020 and 2023, provided that Forward Maritime signs firm contracts for the units.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more