Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A former senior Southold Town Justice Court clerk has admitted to stealing $230,000 in fines, bail money and other revenue from the court to pay for her personal expenses.Christine Stulsky pleaded guilty Wednesday at Suffolk County court to grand larceny.Prosecutors said the 65-year-old New Suffolk woman began stealing the money in 2009 while performing her duties of depositing fines and balancing the court’s bank accounts.Judge John Collins is expected to sentence Stulsky on March 11 to six months in jail and five years’ probation, with drug and alcohol conditions.She has also been ordered to pay the stolen funds back and will make her first payment of $50,000 this week.Stulsky, who started working for the court in 1980, resigned following her arrest last year.
Facebook5Tweet0Pin0Submitted by City of OlympiaOn Monday, April 23, the City’s contractor, Totem Electric of Tacoma, will begin making improvements to pedestrian crossings at various locations. This project will replace the existing in-pavement flashing crosswalk lights with new flashing beacons at the following locations:Capital Mall Drive at Capital Medical CenterBlack Lake Boulevard at 14th Avenue5th Avenue at Capitol Lake Dam5th Avenue at Sylvester Street4th Avenue at Bayview Thriftway4th Avenue at Sylvester StreetCapitol Way at Tivoli FountainState Avenue at Wilson StreetMartin Way at Chehalis Western TrailTravelers should expect lane restrictions and traffic delays during construction. Flaggers will direct motorists and pedestrians through the construction areas. The project is expected to be complete by the end of July 2018.
Mahrez scored Algeria’s second goal on Sunday. (PHOTO/Agency)AFCON 2019Algeria 2-0 Kenya30 June Stadium, CairoSunday, 23-04-2019Riyad Mahrez shined as Algeria humbled Kenya 2-0 in a group C Africa Cup of Nations contest played on Sunday at 30 June Stadium, Cairo.Following their disappointing 2017 AFCON campaign, Algeria only needed to start the tournament this time in brilliant fashion.The desert foxes nearly hit the front inside 60 seconds but Baghdad Bounedjah’s effort went wide. Youcef Belaili also went close on two occasions.With the pressure mounting on the East African side, Dennis Odhiambo fouled Youcef Atal in the penalty area. Boundejah calmly converted past Patrick Matasi to send the Algerians into a bouncing frenzy.Mahrez who was a constant threat to the Harambee starts, doubled Algeria’s advantage at the stroke of halftime turning in a superb Ismael Bennacer’s cross from 12 yards with a cool finish.In the second period, both sides created limited opportunities though Algeria continued to dominate possession. It was entirely a turgid affair but Djamel Belmadi’s men got the job done.Algeria made the following changes, Yacine Brahimi, Mehdi Abeid and Andy Delort for Youcef Belaili, Adlene Guedioura and Baghdad Bounedjah.Kenya introduced Johanna Ochieng Omolo for Johana Omondi and Ismael Athuman for Dennis Odhiambo.Harambee pair of Philemon Otieno and Aboud Omar were the only players cautioned on the evening.Algeria will next face off with Senegal in a mouthwatering contest on Thursday 27th June whereas Kenya’s next clash is against East African neighbours Tanzania.Algeria take on Senegal in their second game.The other games played on Sunday-Morocco 1-0 Namibia-Senegal 2-0 TanzaniaMonday fixtures-Ivory Coast vs South Africa @5:30pm-Tunisia vs Angola @8pm-Mali vs Mauritania @11pmComments Tags: AFCON 2019AlgeriaKenyaRiyad Mahrez
As reported in our 10/14/2004 entry, mutations do not work in isolation; even the good kind usually conspire against the host. This fact has been largely ignored by neo-Darwinists. Some researchers at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, writing in Nature,1 tested the interaction of mutations (epistasis) on proteins. They found, in short, that harmful mutations usually accelerate the loss of fitness above what would occur in isolation. Some organisms exhibit robustness against mutations, though, as in well-known cases of antibiotic resistance. The team tested the robustness of E. coli while mutating a gene for a lactamase (TEM-1) that confers some resistance to ampicillin. They found that, at best, the organisms could hold out at a threshold level of fitness only temporarily. Beyond the threshold, death was speedy and inevitable. This was even after they removed the bad mutations:Subjecting TEM-1 to random mutational drift and purifying selection (to purge deleterious mutations) produced changes in its fitness landscape indicative of negative epistasis; that is, the combined deleterious effects of mutations were, on average, larger than expected from the multiplication of their individual effects. As observed in computational systems, negative epistasis was tightly associated with higher tolerance to mutations (robustness). Thus, under a low selection pressure, a large fraction of mutations was initially tolerated (high robustness), but as mutations accumulated, their fitness toll increased, resulting in the observed negative epistasis. These findings, supported by FoldX stability computations of the mutational effects, prompt a new model in which the mutational robustness (or neutrality) observed in proteins, and other biological systems, is due primarily to a stability margin, or threshold, that buffers the deleterious physico-chemical effects of mutations on fitness. Threshold robustness is inherently epistatic—once the stability threshold is exhausted, the deleterious effects of mutations become fully pronounced, thereby making proteins far less robust than generally assumed.Their study also casts doubt on the ultimate survivability of so-called “neutral” mutations. These initially have no obvious effect on the fitness of the organism. This may be due to backup copies of a gene, suppressors of the mutated gene, and other mechanisms the cell uses to mask the damage. Eventually, however, the threshold is exceeded and the system collapses just as rapidly as a cell toppled by interacting harmful mutations. The authors of this study gave no indication that beneficial mutations can add up and help an organism. In fact, they failed to say anything about evolution that would provide hope for progress. By contrast, they offered a “new model” that sounds distinctly anti-evolutionary: cells are programmed to hold off the damage of mutations as long as they can, but will ultimately collapse under a mutational load. They concluded that “proteins may not be as robust as is generally assumed.” Their real-world experiment on bacteria showed robustness to mutations only to a certain point, then everything raced downhill:Thus, theory and simulations have predicted a tight correlation between robustness and epistasis. Our work provides an experimental verification of this correlation and proposes a mechanism that accounts for it. Our model implies that any biological system that exhibits threshold robustness, or redundancy robustness, is inevitably epistatic. In such systems, mechanisms that purge potentially deleterious mutations, such as recombination (through sexual reproduction and other mechanisms) are of crucial importance, as they help to maintain this threshold. In this way, recombination, threshold robustness and negative epistasis may be interlinked—each being an inevitable by-product of the other.They seem to be saying not only that mutations are not sources of positive fitness gains, but other proposed mechanisms like recombination are only stopgap measures to protect against the death spiral that would result when “randomly drifting proteins” gang up (negative epistasis) to cause a terror attack in the organism.1Bershtein et al, “Robustness-epistasis link shapes the fitness landscape of a randomly drifting protein,” Nature 444, 929-932 (14 December 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature05385.It is extremely important that followers of the creation-evolution debate understand this story and the earlier one (10/14/2004), because they cut to the heart of Darwinist claims that mutations and natural selection can create brains out of atoms given millions of years. This is where the rubber meets the road: can mutations and recombination under selection act in concert to produce evolutionary progress, including wings and eyes and sonar and powered flight? Complex systems need an explanation at the genetic level. The modern synthesis of evolutionary theory (neo-Darwinism) maintains that mutations are the source of evolutionary novelty, and that natural selection preserves the rare beneficial mutations in a cumulative way. This is the machine room from which “endless forms most beautiful” (06/29/2005) emerge without a Designer. Two scientific papers reported here, that would likely be little noticed otherwise, have essentially falsified neo-Darwinism in the lab. Theory and experiment both show it does not work. In the previous entry (10/14/2004) we likened the situation to a victim held up by robbers but protected by guardian angels. The bad news was that the robbers either shoot each other or shoot the victim simultaneously, and the guardian angels fight each other instead of helping the victim. It’s like a Murphy’s “Non-Reciprocal Laws of Expectations” that state, (1) Positive expectations produce negative results, and (2) Negative expectations produce negative results. The neo-Darwinists have put all their hope in positive expectations, but real-world experiments show that mutations do not and cannot add up for good. They conspire for bad! Only the built-in safety mechanisms in the cell hold off mutational catastrophe. This same lesson should have been learned from the important 03/17/2003 entry almost four years ago; presumed benefits actually cause “slippage on the treadmill” to keep the organism, at best, just running in place. Another analogy may illuminate what this new outwardly dry, boring, technical paper said. Picture a large, well-run factory with numerous modern systems for safety, backup and security. Along comes a motley gang with no plan other than to wreak havoc at random. Some are blocked by the entrance controls. Those that get inside start overturning tables, knocking out factory workers, setting off alarms and creating general mayhem. The security systems each come into play as planned, trying to isolate the damage, restore backups, and start the redundant processes. Workers scramble to copy off the important data to other sections of the factory where the work can continue. Security guards manage to neutralize some of the attackers, but more keep coming in. Some gangsters plug the real workers then steal their lab coats and badges, wandering around to do their harm by stealth. To an outsider, it may not be apparent that anything is wrong – for awhile – because the factory continues to function; supplies come in, goods go out. In time, however, the best-prepared factory may not be able to carry on. Fires are set at random. Automatic sprinklers respond as designed, but now they have damaged the computers. Gangsters pull fire alarms here and there, confusing workers who don’t know whether to ignore them or run outside. Security forces are eventually overwhelmed. Backup systems are damaged as soon as they are brought online. It’s too much; the factory implodes in a catastrophe, and everything shuts down. If this is really the way mutations work in a cell, it should be obvious to everyone that trusting any random mechanism to produce order is a vain hope and supreme folly. This, of course, is what anti-Darwinists have been maintaining since 1859. That it would take two research teams with no ties to creationist organizations or the intelligent design movement, published in two of the most adamantly anticreationist scientific journals in the world (PNAS and Nature) to finally figure this out should be of great interest to historians and sociologists. What is it about Darwinian faith that generates negative epistasis against common sense? Evolutionary theory is coasting downhill on a dead-end track with no fuel in the engine, while the passengers are being served cheese and wine, not knowing anything is wrong. Creation-Evolution Headlines is like the tattler running down the aisles warning everybody about bad news only the engine crew is aware of, despite the pleasant announcements on the intercom. We think the customers who paid for the trip deserve to be told the truth: despite how smoothly things appear to be running, they just got sold a dead-end trip to destruction.(Visited 73 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Unesco’s World Heritage Committee has included South Africa’s ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape on its list of world heritage sites.The ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape is inscribed as a world heritage site in July 2017. (Image: Francois Odendaal Productions, via Unesco)Priya PitamberSouth Africa’s ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape in the Northern Cape has been inscribed as a world heritage site.The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) World Heritage Committee also inscribed two other sites from Africa – in Eritrea and Angola – during its 41st session in Krakow, Poland.‡Khomani Cultural Landscape inscribed as world heritage site by UNESCO at its 41st session. See » https://t.co/0QEVWv6738 pic.twitter.com/uUe656SpUe— Environmentza(@environmentza) July 12, 2017“The decision that was taken today marks a long-awaited historical moment for us, the ‡Khomani San, and all other San/Bushman communities,” said Dirk Pienaar, a ǂKhomani community member, addressing the session.He said it was an acknowledgement of universal value and importance. “This listing will thus provide a foundation for us to continue to preserve, protect and practise our ancient culture and traditions with minimum threat of extinction within the current society.”What it isThe ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape is located at South Africa’s border with Botswana and Namibia in the northern part of the country. It falls within the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park.The landscape covers an area of 959,100ha, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs.“The ǂKhomani and related San people are unique in that they descend directly from an ancient population that existed in southern Africa some 150,000 years ago,” said the department. “[They are] the ancestors of the entire human race.”This area, with its abundance of red dunes, had changed minimally since the Stone Age. The ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape had been home to people who learned to survive in the extreme desert because of their knowledge of the land, said the department.“They [the ǂKhomani San] developed a specific ethnobotanical knowledge, cultural practices and a worldview related to the geographical features of their environment,” said Unesco. “The ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape bears testimony to the way of life that prevailed in the region and shaped the site over thousands of years.”Other sitesAngola’s Mbanza Kongo and Eritrea’s Asmara were the other African sites inscribed as world heritage sites.Mbanza Kongo, said Unesco, was the political and spiritual capital of the Kingdom of Kongo, one of the largest states in southern Africa from the 14th century to the 19th century. When the Portuguese arrived, stone buildings were added. “Mbanza Kongo illustrates, more than anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa, the profound changes caused by the introduction of Christianity and the arrival of the Portuguese into Central Africa.”#Angola– The ruins of a 16th century cathedral (built in 1549) at #MbanzaKongo, said to be theoldest church in sub-Saharan #Africa. pic.twitter.com/5Vjws5ZHDs— Africasfacts (@africasfacts) July 17, 2017Asmara, 2,000 metres above sea level and the capital of Eritrea, became a military outpost for Italy, its colonial power. After 1935, the city went through a massive construction project. “It is an exceptional example of early modernist urbanism at the beginning of the 20th century and its application in an African context.”South Africa already has eight world heritage sites: Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa, Maloti-Drakensberg Park (Transboundary with Lesotho), Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, Vredefort Dome, Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape, Robben Island Museum, iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas.A great recognitionIn her acceptance speech, the director-general of the Department of Environmental Affairs, Nosipho Ngcaba, said South Africa was committed to supporting efforts of economic development in the area, contributing to job creation, enhancing tourism experiences, and contributing to skills development.Pienaar said the community would continue to respect their culture and pass it on to future generations.“Conservation for us is not a planned action or a buzzword to use to impress when needed,” he said. “It is [not] a choice but a way of life that is instilled within all San people from a very tender age.”He also gave thanks to the elder community members, including “Oupa Dawid Kruiper and Ouma Una Rooi, who died sadly whilst fighting for our cause”.Source: Unesco, Department of Environmental AffairsWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.