The reptile whisperer

first_imgHagan said those not knowledgable about herptiles will get a good idea of what they are all about by attending the event. “The goal is to expose and introduce people to (herptiles), and not just what they would find in the local area, but also around the world,” he said. “You have the opportunity to see some animals up close that you probably wouldn’t have an opportunity to see otherwise.” [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4586160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! During the event, society members displayed pets from their personal collections of animals. For example, visitors saw a display of the shell of a 650-pound Galapagos turtle, as well as venomous snakes and rare species of reptiles and amphibians. Education is important when it comes to these often-misunderstood animals, said society member Don Davern of Glendale, who brought several of his collection of about 15 reptiles and amphibians. “A lot of people have an unrealistic fear of snakes,” he said. “Here they can learn more about snakes, and that’s good for people, especially young people.” San Gabriel resident and exhibit contributor Tom Hagan recalls how as a child he was always told to stay away from snakes. Now, he is a reptile and amphibian fan, he said. “I decided I wanted to have some sort of a pet, but I wanted something out of the ordinary, something more than just a pet – a project,” he said. “I searched around and I settled on reptiles.” “At first I just wanted to keep them to look at, but I got interested in learning how to breed and raise them,” he said. “It’s that reward of knowing that you’re caring for something.” Morquecho’s creepy, crawling things were among dozens of the scaly creatures displayed at the exhibit, put on by the Southwestern Herpetologists Society – which has a San Gabriel Valley chapter to which Morquecho belongs – along with the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. The society provides information about and works toward the conservation of reptiles and amphibians, which are often referred to as “herptiles.” “It’s an event that happens only once a year and it’s free to everybody,” said Sophia Wong, a member of the society’s Los Angeles chapter. last_img read more

Researchers Violate Separation of Science and State

first_imgWhat are the limits of science?  Many of us envision men and women in white lab coats holding test tubes, studying readouts on instruments, or hacking rocks with picks.  A look at headlines from science news sites, though, shows some scientists inserting their opinions in areas traditionally led by scholars in the humanities – and doing so as if their opinions carry the presumed authority of science.Abortion policy:  PhysOrg, normally concerned with science news, reprinted an AP story about “abortion foes’ tactics” on their site.  The article portrayed crisis pregnancy centers as somehow devious in their attempts to help women find alternatives to abortion, even though New York City’s abortion rate is 41% – the highest in the nation, double the national rate.    Reporter Cristian Salazar disparaged the “small number of pregnancy service organizations accused by abortion rights groups and city officials of misleading women about their reproductive health options and disguising themselves as medical clinics,” as if abortion clinics could not be similarly accused.  Salazar also mentioned Margaret Sanger having “opened a family planning clinic in Brooklyn in 1916” without any mention of her racist eugenics policies.Wisdom science:  To whom do you go for wisdom?  A pastor, priest, or rabbi?  A holy book?  A trusted friend or academic?  Never fear; science is here – science in the form of psychology.  “What the world needs now?  More wisdom,” is the headline of a press release from Concordia University reprinted by PhysOrg.  While the headline is true, is science the one to tell anyone how to get it?  Isn’t science concerned with natural laws and material processes?    Dolores Pushkar defined wisdom as “something that benefits society as a whole as well as the self.”  Yet that definition might well be disputed; perhaps it is wise to sometimes stand alone against a whole society bent on evil, as did Bonhoeffer against the Nazi society at the cost of his own life.  Paul wrote of a “hidden wisdom” that God performed in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, a move that at the time seemed futile in Roman society.  Does Pushkar, as a scientist, have more wisdom than King Solomon on wisdom?  “No single definition of wisdom exists,” the press release admitted.    To be sure, the article described how the psychology department was engaging the philosophy department in research on wisdom, and was funded by sources in the Social Sciences and Humanities.  Interdepartmental initiatives can be seen as wise moves; science can bring observational and statistical data to bear on questions about wisdom.  Yet the press release frequently discussed research being done by Pushkar’s team.  At some level, it implies that moral qualities like wisdom are amenable to scientific analysis.Government spending:  Live Science – the website name tells what it’s about.  Why, then, did Chad Brooks write the following un-scientific headline: “Don’t Like How Tax Dollars Are Spent?  Get Used to It.”    It’s part of a series the website whimsically calls “$ci-Fi: The Science of Personal Finance,” described as “an ongoing LiveScience series that explores the science of personal finance to help you navigate everyday life.”  Again, science seems to be inserting itself into the wisdom business.  Can science, though, provide anything more than raw data and statistics?  Whose job is it to tell individuals how to live their lives?  Does a science site have any more presumptive authority than a financial adviser or a research staffer in a senatorial office?    The article provided data about government spending, and made the inductive claim that things are not likely to change soon.  Moreover, the article heavily quoted Scott Lilly, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a radically liberal think tank funded by multibillionaire George Soros.  So not only is it unclear how science can do any better job of analyzing government spending, or helping individuals navigate everyday life, it here risked soiling its objectivity with accusations of partisanship.Right-to-work:  PhysOrg published another “scientific” finding that leans to the left.  “Right-to-work laws not only hurt labor unions financially, they also may jeopardize worker safety,” according to “research” by Roland Zullo that conveniently plays into the liberal desires of union bosses to deny freedom of choice to workers.    Whether science should be concerned if labor unions are hurt financially seems a moot point.  Zullo was quick to paint the unions in a favorable light; “Unions appear to have a positive role in reducing construction industry and occupation fatalities, but only in states without right-to-work laws,” he claimed.  At least one reader wrote an angry comment about this article, focusing on the rights of individuals to work without being forced to join a labor union.Girl scout cookies  What can science say about Girl Scout cookies?  Science Daily apparently thought the presumptive authority of science can judge that traditional Boy Scout and Girl Scout activities are guilty of gender stereotyping.  Looking under the hood shows that Science Daily reprinted, under its banner of science, a press release from Sociologists for Women in Science, an organization that supports “feminist sociological research, activism and scholars.”    One might think that the standards of scientific objectivity would provide equal time for scholarly views from conservative organizations (perhaps Focus on the Family or the Family Research Council), but a Google search finds not a single mention of these prominent organizations in Science Daily’s listings, but three from the feminist Sociologists for Women in Science and nine from the ultra-liberal Center for American Progress.The science of sin:  Update 04/11/2011: in perhaps the most blatant act of usurpation by scientists of the humanities, McMaster University researchers decided they would find “scientific solutions to sin.”  Is their solution theological?  Do they have a new method of salvation?  Are they suggesting moral teachings, or offering psychological counseling?  No; their working assumption is that all sin has molecular underpinnings.    Their solution, therefore, was to look in the chemical cabinet for antidotes to human moral deficiencies.  “Most people are familiar with the seven deadly sins – pride, envy, gluttony, lust, wrath, greed and sloth – but could there be molecular solutions for this daily struggle between good and evil?” (assuming science has the taxonomic tools for such distinctions).  Groups of students were told to get out of the theological box and into the scientific box: “By getting students to think outside the box, the aim was to come up with the best molecule and design for a drug, or remedy, that counteracts sin.”    Looming questions rise when political ramifications of this research are considered.  Who will control the medicine chest?  Who will prescribe, and who will partake?  The researchers apparently didn’t ask whether there is a drug to combat scientific hubris.Paul Feyerabend, a post-Kuhnian firebrand in philosophy of science, thought that science was a threat to democracy.  The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy described his concern:The separation of church and state should therefore be supplemented by the separation of science and state, in order for us to achieve the humanity we are capable of.  Setting up the ideal of a free society as “a society in which all traditions have equal rights and equal access to the centres of power” (SFS, p. 9), Feyerabend argues that science is a threat to democracy.  To defend society against science we should place science under democratic control and be intensely sceptical about scientific “experts”, consulting them only if they are controlled democratically by juries of laypeople.Law professor Phillip E. Johnson found another Feyerabend quote to end his article on the pretensions of science for world conquest: “Scientists are not content with running their own playpens in accordance with what they regard as the rules of the scientific method, they want to universalize those rules, they want them to become part of society at large, and they use every means at their disposal—argument, propaganda, pressure tactics, intimidation, lobbying—to achieve their aims” (Objections Sustained, Inter-Varsity Press, 1998, p. 66).  Feyerabend is widely regarded as extreme in his views, but readers can judge for themselves (as “juries of laypeople”) to what extent his fears have become realized.All the so-called “secular” science news sites and institutions are uniformly leftist in their politics.  They are the same ones that give uncritical acceptance of Darwinism.  That’s why they are secular; they adore the secular religion Darwin founded, and science is their primary tool for spreading their intolerant bigotry around the world.  Let the reader beware.    Science does not have to be that way; clearly it was not before the Darwinian revolution.  But that’s what it has become.  Many individual scientists are not that way, just as many hard-working Americans in labor unions hold views far more conservative than the union leaders, whose views are also uniformly leftist – often radically so, and just as bent on world conquest.    One cannot get genuine science out of science news or scientific papers these days without first a severe acid wash.  By that, we mean not applying acid to the news, but applying heavy doses of pure water instead, to wash out Darwin’s universal acid that corrodes everything it touches.  Another technique is to apply Darwin Acid to Darwinism itself, which causes an implosion, leaving a vacuum that intelligence rushes in to fill.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Shibu Soren asks Jharkhand CM to recall officials from London

first_imgJMM supremo Shibu Soren has asked Chief Minister Arjun Munda to recall two senior Jharkhand bureaucrats, who are in London for the Olympics, in the face of drought-like situation in some parts of the state.Chief secretary S.K. Choudhary, principal secretary to chief minister D.K. Tiwary and sports secretary Ajay Kumar Singh took off to London on July 25 to catch Olympics live on a 10-day “exposure trip” with sports minister Sudesh Mahto and hockey player Asunta Lakra, leaving ruling alliance partner JMM frowning. Opposition JVM isn’t too thrilled either.The ailing JJM chief Shibu Soren was irked enough to send two of his emissaries – party core committee members Supriyo Bhattacharya and Vinod Pandey – to chief minister Arjun Munda on Sunday to ask why top bureaucrats would be away in London for 10 days. Wasn’t the state supposed to chalk out plans to face drought and resolve the Nagri land row, he asked.It isn’t certain if the mercurial Soren would have been upset had a certain Hemant been on the plane too. High moral ground apart, it is not too difficult to fathom why those left behind are turning a fine shade of emerald.”At one hand, the threat of drought is looming large because of poor monsoon, while on the other the agitation against acquisition of land for educational institution at Nagri is taking an ugly turn. Under these circumstances, such senior officials should not have gone to London. I, through the letter, requested the chief minister to ask the officials to immediately return and work to find the solution to such serious problems instead of staying in London and enjoying the game,” Soren said.advertisementThe Olympics will offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience to spectators. And wives and children of the minister and officials are accompanying them, something that is certainly the icing on the cake.Bhattacharya said Guruji (Soren) had told them to apprise Munda of the party’s concern over “unbridled functioning of officials”. He also wanted Munda to call back at least Choudhary and Tiwary from London as they were key men as far as decision-making went.”The visit of sports minister and departmental secretary can be justified to an extent so that they get an idea about holding a big-ticket event, but the trips of the chief secretary and Tiwary aren’t justified,” Pandey added.He further pointed out that the chief secretary was to retire after four months. “The state won’t be benefited by his exposure in any way,” he added, in what seemed to be the unkindest cut of all.Munda was sporting enough. He assured JMM leaders that the government was taking action to fight the drought-like situation in the state. On the trip of the bureaucrats, he said that the visit had been planned some two-three months ago when the problems had not cropped up.Bhattacharya said Munda gave them a patient hearing. “The chief minister agreed that the situation was very serious but he did not stop them because the programme was planned well in advance. The chief minister said he was keeping a close eye on developments and if needed the officials would be called back without any delay,”But there were more salvos in store. JVM supporters staged a demonstration against the trip at Albert Ekka Chowk. JVM boss Babulal Marandi castigated the state for sending top bureaucrats to London. “The Central government has restricted foreign travel of officials, reserving them for only the most necessary and unavoidable engagements. The Centre has also made it clear that the government should ensure that officials of appropriate levels who deal with the issue are sponsored. The size of the delegation and the duration of the visit has to be kept to the absolute minimum,” Marandi said, referring to the Centre’s guidelinesUnion Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay termed as ‘unfortunate’ the team going to London when Jharkhand faced a drought like situation while other states were busy in dealing with such a situation.last_img read more

Photo finish: S Paul bids goodbye with his camera

first_img(Eds: Recasting overnight story)By Kunal DuttNew Delhi, Aug 18 (PTI) Celebrated photographer S Paul, who died two days before his 87th birthday, left all his belongings behind, except one — his camera.Pauls illustrious career spanned several decades, during which he shot some iconic images, capturing the dramatic quality of nature and human behaviour with equal aplomb.His love for photography was so intense that he always sported a camera around his neck. So, in his death, his family accorded him his most cherished treasure, the camera that served as his friend, philosopher and guide.The 86-year-old photographer, who was born on August 19, also celebrated as World Photography Day, was cremated yesterday at the Nigambodh Ghat here in the presence of his family, friends and admirers.”As his body was being put into the crematorium, his son put one of his cameras on his chest, a symbolic and loving gesture that perhaps could be captured only through a lens, more than through words. It was a gesture befitting for a man who lived and loved photography,” said a photographer and family friend who attended the funeral.Paul Saab”, as he was fondly known, died August 16 at a private hospital. He had been ailing for the last few months.The elder brother of renowned photographer Raghu Rai, he leaves behind an enviable body of work.In an interview to a photo magazine, Paul had once said, “Each of my photographs is like a child to me. I cannot compare them nor say that this one is better than the other.”advertisementPhotographer Ram Rahman also reminisced of his career and recalled the monochrome and colour photographs, many of which became celebrated images showcased at various exhibitions.Born in 1930 in Pakistan, Paul moved to India after the Partition.His affair with the camera began when he bought his first one — a Zeiss Ikon Nettar — and The All-in-One Camera Book, which he read from cover to cover over one night.The affair soon turned into a passion and eventually translated into a career that earned him awards and accolades, at home and abroad.He served in the photo department of the Indian Express for over 25 years, retiring from the paper in 1989 as its chief photographer.Other than the awards to his credit, his work was widely published across the world.He remained a prolific photographer till the end. And the last image of the photographer was, as always, with a camera on his chest. PTI KND BDS ANB 08172248 MINlast_img read more

I played the perfect match: Ashleigh Barty after French Open 2019 triumph

first_imgAshleigh Barty, the Australian who ditched tennis to play professional cricket for a year, smashed Marketa Vondrousova for six on Saturday to lift the French Open crown at Roland Garros.Boasting a bewildering array of shots and spins, the eighth seed crushed her Czech teenage opponent 6-1 6-3 to win her first Grand Slam title, and Australia’s first French women’s singles crown in more than four decades.”It’s unbelievable… I played the perfect match today. I am so proud of myself and my whole team… it has been a crazy two weeks,” said Barty, the ninth different female champion in the last 10 grand slams.”This is a special place for Australian players… it has been a magical two weeks.”Not since Margaret Court’s triumph in Paris in 1973 has an Australian won the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen but this victory was in very little doubt from the moment the final began.In a match-up where guile and artistry always trumped power, Barty was simply smarter throughout.Producing angles so sharp they might have come with a health warning, the 23-year-old carved apart Vondrousova in the opening set, clinching it in half an hour.While the match was no classic, those fans who had taken a break after the conclusion of the Dominic Thiem-Novak Djokovic men’s semi-final which had caused the women’s final to run more than an hour late, missed some of the more thoughtful tennis played on the Roland Garros clay this past fortnight.Vondrousova, who herself has bamboozled a succession of opponents here, repeatedly found herself outfoxed by Barty, whose doubles excellence was always on display with her net-play and cleverly angled serving.advertisementBarty, who returned to tennis in 2016 after a successful stint with the Brisbane Heat in Australian cricket’s Women’s Big Bash League, took nary a backward step, breaking instantly in the second set to deprive her 19-year-old opponent any foothold.Cracking a stiff-armed, two-handed backhand, in the manner of Jim Courier, Barty was able to counter Vondrousova’s attempts to pull her wide with her loopy left-handed backhand, and the Czech rapidly ran out of ideas.Vondrousova turned to ever riskier strategies – her drop shots became finer, her drives more firmly struck – and she earned a little breathing space, holding serve three times after that early break.But the irrevocable damage had been done and when Barty slammed a short smash high into the stands it was all over and she raised her arms in triumph.The victory lacked drama but lifts Barty to number two in the world – a feat last accomplished by an Australian woman in 1976 by Evonne Goolagong.Considering her goal at the start of the year was to break into the world’s top 10, it has been a remarkable rise.”I think it’s just been an amazing journey we’ve had over the last few years,” she told reporters.”I just tried to say to myself today on the court: ‘I may never get this opportunity again, so enjoy it, try and grab it with both hands and go out there and smile’.”Australia was smiling with her.Also Read | French Open 2019: Ashleigh Barty clinches historic Roland Garros title in one-sided finalAlso Read | French Open 2019: Dominic Thiem ends Novak Djokovic streak to reach finalAlso Seelast_img read more

Gwichin sign onto NWT devolution deal

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe government of the Northwest Territories is one step closer to devolution.The Gwich’in Tribal Council is the latest Aboriginal group to sign on to the agreement in principle that would give the territory province-like powers over land and resources.APTN National News reporter Cullen Crozier has this story.last_img