David and Josephine Tie the Knot

first_imgDavid Gwee and Josephine S. Keller fulfilled their scriptural obligation that a man and a woman will both leave their parents and become one as husband and wife. They did this when they exchanged wedding vows in a joyous holy matrimony on Saturday, November 7 at the Faith Assembly of God Church in Harbel Hill, Firestone, Margibi County. The occasion was graced by the congregation, many relatives, friends and well-wishers from Harbel community and around Liberia. In his words of admonition to the couple, Reverend Jacob M. Wilson of Presbyter Section #3, Harbel City, called on them to remain committed and truthful to one another in order to prevent confusion, which he said would not mean well for their family. “For married couples to succeed in life they should make known their income to each other, take the money home at all times and must do budget planning before spending any amount from the account,” Rev. Wilson advised the couple, adding, “when you are married, you have become one flesh.”Police Lt. Colonel (Retired) Ezra D. Keller, representing the Keller family, willingly and openly agreed to the marriage of their daughter Josephine to David Gwee as members of the congregation applauded.The couple lived in the Firestone community for over 29 years before their marriage. They expressed gratitude to God, their families, friends and well-wishers “because they helped us until we realized our dream of getting legally married.” They expressed special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Keller. They also thanked the Church of Faith Assembly of God and the Lord for bestowing on them His bountiful blessings.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Takeaways: The Joes rediscover some chemistry in Sharks’ win over Ducks

first_imgSAN JOSE — The Sharks will have to pack some warm clothes for their upcoming three-game road trip that goes through Edmonton, Calgary and Denver, Colorado.But they’re leaving behind the baggage of a three-game losing streak, which ended Thursday with their 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Brent Burns broke a 2-2 tie with a goal at the 10:21 mark of the third period, as he celebrated his 1,000th career NHL regular season game in style.Still, it was a predictably ragged affair, with the rust of …last_img

Biblical Archaeology Finds to Watch

first_img(Visited 109 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Are Moses and Jesus corroborated by extra-Biblical artifacts? Here’s the good and the bad about two interesting yet controversial finds.Was Ancient Hebrew the First Language?An article on Science News, accompanied by a photo of a rock with scratch marks, is titled “Oldest alphabet identified as Hebrew.” Bruce Bower’s sub-headline states, “Controversial claim argues that ancient Israelites turned Egyptian hieroglyphics into letters.” Further down, a diagram shows the markings transliterated from one of several slabs. The “stone slabs” were found “at several Egyptian sites” not specified, and are thought to be 3,800 years old, putting them into the time of the Hebrew sojourn in Egypt before the Exodus.The meaning of the letters depends on the work of one Douglas Petrovich:Israelites living in Egypt transformed that civilization’s hieroglyphics into Hebrew 1.0 more than 3,800 years ago, at a time when the Old Testament describes Jews living in Egypt, says archaeologist and epigrapher Douglas Petrovich of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. Hebrew speakers seeking a way to communicate in writing with other Egyptian Jews simplified the pharaohs’ complex hieroglyphic writing system into 22 alphabetic letters, Petrovich proposed on November 17 at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research.The abstract of Dr. Petrovich’s upcoming paper begins on page 105 of the ASOR November 16, 2016 Paper Abstracts. Bower’s summary includes some eye-catching possibilities from Petrovich’s translation of the squiggles. Once he figured out the script, he found some Biblical names:Several biblical figures turn up in the translated inscriptions, including Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his half-brothers and then became a powerful political figure in Egypt, Joseph’s wife Asenath and Joseph’s son Manasseh, a leading figure in a turquoise-mining business that involved yearly trips to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Moses, who led the Israelites out of Egypt, is also mentioned, Petrovich says.In the comments after the article, Petrovich interacts with some critics, providing more detail and some corrections to Bower’s write-up. Petrovich is working on a book about his thesis. Other scholars are apparently taking this work seriously. The ID site Uncommon Descent mentions this article with interest. One commenter there thinks, “If this stuff holds up, it will be the final nail in the coffin for the longstanding JEDP style hypothesis.” The JEDP hypothesis (also called the documentary hypothesis) contended that Moses was not the author of the Pentateuch, but that different parts were written at different times and then stitched together by redactors. Perpetrated under the evolutionary assumption Moses could not have written such sophisticated material so long ago, the JEDP hypothesis has come under fire increasingly over the last century, now that earlier sophisticated writings have been found from other cultures.Are the Lead Codices the Work of Early Christians?A set of 70 codices made of lead plates bound together like notebooks, found in a Jordanian cave in 2008, has a checkered history of interpretation. They caused a media flap in 2011 with claims they contained the first image of the face of Jesus. Now, the UK’s Daily Mail claims the tablets contain interpretations of Jesus’ ministry that run contrary to the New Testament:The tablets suggest that Christ was not starting his own religion, but restoring a thousand-year-old tradition from the time of King David. They also suggest the God he worshipped was both male and female.Todd Bolen of Bible Places Blog, a Bible scholar and professor who lived in Israel many years, is our go-to guy for evaluating sensationalist claims. On March 11, 2011, he gave his first impressions of the codices, leaving room for the possibility they were authentic, because they didn’t seem like the kind of artifact a forger would make. He took great issue, however, with the leading promoter of the codices, a certain David Elkington, who Bolen feels has no credibility as a scholar and appears highly motivated to make money off the tablets. The artifacts themselves, additionally, have doubtful archaeological provenance, Bolen thought, because they were not found by archaeologists in situ, but had been shuffled between questionable characters in Jordan, including thieves.On April 4, 2011, Bolen followed up with additional evidence of forgery. He also poured cold water on the sensational write-ups coming from the Daily Mail and The Telegraph, adding more cold water in his April 11, 2011 blog entry that criticized the yellow journalism resulting from Elkington’s questionable claims. He was glad in his April 26, 2011 blog entry that the codices were seized by Jordanian police, saying, “This should allow a more thorough and honest investigation than has been done to this point.” By May 17, 2011, he joined in Thomas S. Verenna‘s condemnation of irresponsible journalists covering the story. Yet Bolen did not dismiss the artifacts themselves. “It is not clear if these items are authentic or forged,” he said in the March 11 entry. “….Personally I am inclined to believe that this find is genuine.” He based that partly on analysis of the inscriptions by a colleague. He took issue strongly, however, with the outlandish claim that they equal the Dead Sea Scrolls in significance.This is where the story gets interesting. The lead codices have resurfaced in the media with new results of dating methods that show they date back 2,000 years. Once again, the Daily Mail is at the forefront of sensationalist coverage, giving Elkington free rein to announce his ideas about what Jesus believed and taught. That’s a separate question from the date of the artifacts, which both Science World Report and Christianity Today agree look old, if the dating methods yielded correct results. From the Science World Report article:Now, to prove if the tablet is legit, the series of tests was conducted by Professor Roger Webb and Professor Chris Jeynes at the University of Surrey’s Nodus Laboratory from the Ion Beam Center. They confirmed that the tablet is compatible with a comparative sample of ancient Roman lead coming from the excavation site in Dorset.In a press statement, the experts mentioned that the tablet they tested “does not show the radioactivity arising from polonium that is typically seen in modern lead samples, indicating that the lead of the codex was smelted over one hundred years ago.”Furthermore, the crystallization analysis points out that the tablet is between the years 1800-2000 years old. The experts shared that “this provides very strong evidence that the objects are of great age, consistent with the studies of the text and designs that suggest an age of around 2000 years.”The codices, therefore, could present the earliest extra-Biblical mention of Jesus before the Tacitus inscription. The UK Mirror (another sensationalist newspaper) repeats the claims about an alternative view of Jesus, noting that the tablets also refer to Peter, James and John.Getting the dates right is an important step. Even accepting the antiquity of the objects, thereby disproving forgery, leaves enough wiggle room between the error bars to put the codices into the first, second or third centuries AD. Many questions remain about the authors of the texts, the identity of the “face” on one tablet, and the translation and interpretation of the text, which could differ from the age of the lead plates themselves. Answers need to come from more credible scholars than Elkington.Clearly, the last word is not with us on either of these finds. While interesting, we have, as Peter said, “a more sure word of prophecy” in the Scriptures themselves. How can anyone improve on the clear, cogent writings of the eyewitnesses of Jesus, like Peter, John, Paul, Mark, Jude, and close associates of the apostles, like Luke? How can one improve on five lengthy books written by Moses about contemporary events in Egypt? Those provide the supreme canon against which other sources must be measured.The secular media gets fascinated by extra-Biblical sources about Jesus and Bible characters, especially if they allegedly differ in some way from the Bible, and most especially if they present a politically-correct Jesus they can feminize or turn into a Hindu guru or non-supernatural moral teacher. The Gnostic gospels and Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code come to mind. Beware. Such claims usually rely on questionable artifacts stretched beyond what the original information can bear, sold to the gullible by hucksters seeking fame or fortune.The doctrine of inspiration (that the Bible is God’s word) includes the doctrine of preservation. The word of God does not entail secret missing portions that people needed to wait centuries later to dig up in some remote cave in Jordan or find under a hill Cumora in New York. The doctrine of inspiration includes consistency. It doesn’t allow a self-proclaimed prophet to appear six centuries late to contradict what the Lord Jesus said, or another to appear in New York with the “real” uncorrupted gospel. The doctrine of inspiration also includes the concept of perspicuity, meaning that the ordinary meaning of the text is clear. We don’t need to use the Bible like a crystal ball, looking for hidden messages or codes.We don’t re-interpret the Pentateuch based on what a rock in Egypt says. We don’t re-interpret Jesus based on what some lead tablets say. Those authors were not inspired to communicate God’s word to man. For all we know, the authors of the lead codices were members of a cult who had heard of Jesus and the disciples but made up their own ideas about them, just like Gnostics did in the second century, or like off-brand teachers do today. At best, archaeological finds confirm the historicity of the Bible and shed light on cultural and historical events of the time. These two discoveries might have value in those regards. Evaluation will require further analysis by scholars having the technical specialties in epigraphy, ancient languages and ancient customs. We share them only as developments worth watching.last_img read more

Pollinators and planting

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Beekeepers in Ohio again suffered substantial losses of colonies over the exceptionally long and cold winter of 2014-2015. Here in Wooster we lost more than half of our colonies, and beekeepers around the state are reporting levels of winter kill as high as 80%. While the frigid temperatures played a substantial contributing role, losses were undoubtedly made worse by all of the problems facing bees today: parasites, diseases, pesticides, breeding problems, and a general lack of summer and fall forage.Spring is the only reliably good season for bees in Ohio. Colonies that survived the winter and new colonies brought up from the Gulf Coast or California are in the process of harvesting nectar and pollen from spring-blooming trees and weeds — but little honey will be made. This spring bounty will be eaten by the bees themselves as they multiply and grow into large productive colonies that will be able to make a honey crop off of clovers, black locust, alfalfa and soybean in the coming months. Additionally, robust colonies are needed to pollinate the fruit trees soon and pumpkins, squash and cucumbers later in the summer.This spring build-up of honey bee colonies can be directly threatened by corn planting. Insecticide seed treatments used on corn seed produce an insecticidal dust when they are planted. Depending on conditions, this insecticidal dust can settle on the flowering trees and weeds that bees are visiting. Insecticides formulated as dusts are the absolute worst for honey bees because they do not immediately kill the bees visiting flowers. Rather than causing immediate death, the dust is packed up with the pollen and brought back to the colony where it is can poison young bees inside the colony.In spring of 2013 and 2014, we sampled pollen from six bee yards in Madison, Union and Clark Counties. During corn planting, all colonies were bringing back pollen containing corn seed treatment insecticides. While no spectacular bee-kills were observed in our colonies, we did observe a significant increase in the number of dead bees appearing in front of colonies during the week of corn planting in 2014. It is possible that different planting conditions could have led to no increase in bee death, as we say in 2013, or obvious piles of dead bees as were observed in 2012. In 2013 and 2014, corn planting in central Ohio coincided with the start of bloom for fruit trees and hawthorns — extremely attractive flowers for bees — which likely drew bees away from the riskier and somewhat less attractive dandelions, mustards and purple deadnettle growing in corn fields and on field margins. In some years, planting may happen before or after fruit tree bloom when bees are intensely interested in weeds growing in and near fields. This may have been the case in Ohio in 2012 when planting started early and a number of bee-kill incidents were reported.last_img read more

Undamming Rivers Could Make Room for PV

first_imgFish access has a dismal recordMore than a half-century of modern attempts to allow fish to traverse what often are sequences of dams that block access to their historical spawning reaches in eastern U.S. rivers presents a dismal record. Highly unnatural conveyances such as fish ladders are often only marginally helpful to fish on their upstream spawning runs, which is one reason why some migratory fish runs have fallen as much as five orders of magnitude.Take Atlantic salmon, a revered game and food fish that once may have numbered a half million in U.S. rivers. In 2014, fewer than 400 attempted to reach their New England spawning grounds. Such relic populations are often protected from harvest, yet are still not meaningfully restored.No other action can bring ecological integrity back to rivers as effectively as dam removal. Yet such efforts may come at the cost of a loss of hydropower. And so what many hoped would be a precedent-setting breaching of the Edwards Dam on Maine’s Kennebec River in 1999 — which had yielded only 3.5 megawatts of power — has not been followed by the dismantling of other, higher-wattage dams on the East Coast.Yet the efficacy of dam removal to restore migratory fish was shown in the Kennebec after the Edwards Dam fell; for the first time in more than a century and a half, alewives, a species of herring, were able to access an upriver tributary, the Sebasticook. Within just a few years the Sebasticook’s run of alewives swelled from nonexistent to almost three million, supporting scores of bald eagles and an “alewife festival” that celebrates the Sebasticook’s extraordinary renewal. We need a dramatically different visionOther innovative approaches could also be explored. The previously submerged but newly available riverfront property might be sold or transferred for conservation easements or for parks or even environmentally sensitive residential development. The revenue from these sales could be used for solar or wind projects in other promising but underutilized locations, such as landfills and urban brown fields.A discussion of new strategies is timely because we are about to double-down on the flawed status quo. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will be evaluating many East Coast hydro dams for relicensing within the next few years — licensing that would lock in the failed fish passage paradigm for as much as an additional half-century.As two conservation biologists who study rivers, we believe it’s time to explore a dramatically different vision. It may be that hydro companies should not continue to act as the gatekeepers for what could otherwise be healthy rivers brimming with life. Certainly, society requires electrical power, and rivers already are part of our grid. The way forward just may be to share a river more equitably between renewable energy production and its natural ecology. Hydroelectric power is often touted as clean energy, but this claim is true only in the narrow sense of not causing air pollution. In many places, such as the U.S. East Coast, hydroelectric dams have damaged the ecological integrity of nearly every major river and have decimated runs of migratory fish.This need not continue. Our rivers can be liberated from their concrete shackles, while also continuing to produce electricity at the site of former hydropower dams. How might that occur? A confluence of factors — the aging of many dams, the advent of industrial-scale alternative energy sources, and increasing recognition of the failure of traditional engineering approaches to sustain migratory fish populations — raises fresh possibilities for large rivers to continue to help provide power and simultaneously to have their biological legacies restored.The answer may lie in “sharing” our dammed rivers, and the concept is straightforward. Remove aging hydroelectric dams, many of which produce relatively small amounts of electricity and are soon up for relicensing. When waters recede, rivers will occupy only part of the newly exposed reservoir bottoms. Let’s use these areas as a home for utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) and wind power installations, and let’s employ the existing power line infrastructure to the dams to connect the new solar and wind power facilities to the grid. Karin Limburg is a professor of environmental biology at SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry. John Waldman is a Queens College professor of biology. This post was originally published at Yale Environment 360. What about pushback from local residents?Finally, what of the pushback by those who cherish the status quo? Few local residents were alive when the Conowingo Reservoir began filling in 1928, so the big pool is their cultural heritage. Surely any such drastic change would be hotly debated in many forums. But only a small number of houses exist on the 29 miles of shoreline that would be affected if the reservoir were removed.The same issues were faced in the debates about removing mainstem dams in the Penobscot River in Maine, and eventually a consensus emerged there. Preservation of power generation (diverted to smaller tributaries) was important to closing the deal, and will likely be important in other cases. And although man-made reservoirs have their aficionados, rivers often have more of them — the scores who appreciate the fishing, paddling, and nature watching they provide. One study showed large economic benefits from the Edwards Dam removal.And what about the nuclear plant and Baltimore’s emergency water supply? The Peach Bottom plant could install water-miserly, closed-cycle cooling towers, and Baltimore could still withdraw water from the Susquehanna in an emergency.There are other potential tools available to help share rivers. Any remaining backwater ponds could be outfitted with floating solar panel arrays, as used successfully in Japan. Also, because reservoirs are nestled in valleys, in some instances the surrounding ridges might host wind turbines. Though combined alternative energy sources such as these might alone make up or exceed the original hydropower lost, “run of the river” hydropower — in which only a portion of the current is routed through turbines — could also contribute. But, critically, while generating some hydropower, the river’s mainstem would remain free-flowing, opening the way for resurgent fish migrations.On the Penobscot River, the precedent of restoring a major river while maintaining equivalency of energy production was recently accomplished. This was done by increasing hydroelectric generation capacity on a set of tributaries while reopening the mainstem channel through dam removals and more effective fishways — thus returning nearly 1,000 miles of river habitat to eleven species of sea-run fish, including Atlantic salmon, sturgeon, and river herring.Other once biologically productive New England rivers now clogged with multiple dams — such as the Kennebec, Merrimack, Connecticut, and Housatonic — could be prime candidates for some of these new ways of thinking about the future of rivers.center_img Start by breaching aging damsIn “sharing” a river more equitably between energy production and its ecological imperatives, the critical step would be the breaching of existing dams. Though that may seem improvident — if not downright radical — it is important to remember that many of these concrete walls are middle-aged or older and will be reaching their life expectancies in the coming decades. Deteriorating dams are a serious public safety concern — one likely to increase as climate change generates more frequent and intense storms.We believe the compelling ecological and impending structural reasons for dam removals should be considered in light of the rapidly evolving national energy landscape, and that together they signal exciting possibilities for a dramatically improved stewardship of major rivers. Fortunately, traditional hydropower facilities already offer the real estate that lies under reservoirs and existing electrical transmission lines that could be used by renewable energy sources.In breaching a dam and draining a reservoir, substantial areas of land could become available for new uses. Take the Conowingo Dam in Maryland, for example. The Conowingo is the largest of four hydroelectric dams on the lower 55 miles of the Susquehanna River and sits only nine miles above the head of Chesapeake Bay. Its 572-megawatt capacity is fed by a 9,000-acre reservoir that also serves as an emergency water supply for Baltimore, and provides water for cooling intakes at the nearby Peach Bottom nuclear plant. The pool is also used by recreational boaters and fishers.If the Conowingo Dam were removed, this would free up more than enough area to replace the lost hydroelectric generation with power from solar parks along the former reservoir bottom, and to allow for other land uses, such as creation of fringing wetlands and forests.For comparative scale, California’s new 392-megawatt Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System has three units occupying 3,500 acres. More sun shines on the Mojave than in the mid-Atlantic region, but according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory calculator, acre for acre, the Conowingo region should support 76 percent of the power-generating capacity of the desert. Thus, about three-quarters of the river bottom would need to be in solar to match the output of Ivanpah.One other issue facing the Conowingo Dam removal would be the sediments behind the dam that would need to be stabilized. The reservoir itself is close to capacity, and current plans are to dredge the pool, at an estimated cost of $48 million to $267 million annually. Those who are concerned for the ecological health of the Chesapeake Bay fear that if the dam is removed, millions of tons of sediment, enriched with nutrients and (potentially) toxic substances, could pour into the bay. But sediment stabilization is routinely done in dam removals and could be safely accomplished with careful design and engineering. This vision both keeps the electricity flowing from these former hydropower sites, while helping to resurrect once-abundant fish runs, as has recently happened in Maine. RELATED ARTICLES How Much Water Does it Take to Turn on a Light Bulb?The 10 Most Important Water Stories in 2014 Surge in Renewables Remakes California’s Energy LandscapeSaving Water by Conserving EnergySaving Water — Saving EnergySaving Energy by Saving Waterlast_img read more

Customize Default Effects in Final Cut Pro X

first_imgApple’s recent Final Cut Pro X update includes a convenient new feature that allows users to easily assign default audio and video effects to their clips using a simple keyboard shortcut. Let’s take a look at how it works.With the latest version of Final Cut Pro X, Apple is certainly not attempting to reinvent the wheel. For the most part, the update includes bug fixes, performance enhancements, and other new features, such as the ability to output to multiple YouTube clips at once. But one of the more interesting additions to 10.2.3, one that will make certain editorial tasks easier and more convenient, is Final Cut Pro X’s ability to customize default effects.Many of you are probably already familiar with Final Cut Pro X’s default transitions as a result of using the shortcut CMD+T. With a clip selected, this will automatically apply a cross dissolve, giving editors a very fluid method for applying a transition without using their mouse.Some of you probably also know that you can right-click on any transition in the Transitions Browser and set it to your default. So for example, if you want to use a wipe transition on multiple clips, you can replace the cross dissolve transition with a wipe, allowing you to make use of your keyboard shortcut.With the latest version of Final Cut Pro X, you can do the same for color or audio effects. By default, Final Cut Pro X will now apply a basic color corrector to your clip when you hit Option+E and will apply a channel EQ to your audio when you hit Command+Option+E.Default Transition = Command+TDefault Color Effect = Option+EDefault Video Effect = Command+Option+EMuch like how default transitions work, you can set any color effect or any audio effect to be the default setting, effectively overriding the current presets. For instance, if you often need to use a black-and-white color effect to preview a certain look, it might be worth assigning that to your keyboard shortcut as a means to quickly see how a clip will work in monochrome. Alternatively, you might want to add some reverb to a bunch of your audio tracks for stylistic effect, and can do the same using this method.For a quick demo on how this works, check out this video from Ripple Training, which outlines the new feature:What’s your favorite default transition? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Injury scare for Tendulkar, hit at helmet

first_imgThe Indian cricket team suffered an injury scare as Sachin Tendulkar escaped unhurt after he was hit on the helmet by a rising delivery from fast bowler Umesh Yadav during pre-series training at coach Gary Kirsten’s academy in Cape Town.A delivery from the uncapped right-arm paceman caught Tendulkar by surprise as it hit the left side of his helmet as he ducked, expecting the ball to rear up higher and pass overhead during the morning training session at Claremont Cricket Club last evening.Tendulkar, who was among the second batch of players who reached here, took the very audible whack with great calmness, even as colleagues in both his and the other nets swiftly turned heads out of concern for his well-being.The 37-year-old veteran of 174 Tests simply stooped a little, removed the helmet and inspected it, while Yadav rushed in but heaved a sigh of relief after laying his hands on Tendulkar’s head which apparently did not have any signs of taking the blow.Tendulkar then carried on serenely as if nothing had happened and shortly afterwards S Sreesanth sent him a shortish ball that barely climbed knee height, which caused some amusement.He was batting on a strip which was with some up-and-down sort of bounce apparently prepared by Kirsten as part of preparations for the three-match Tests series against South Africa starting at Centurion on December 16.”You can’t control these sorts of situations in a net environment. It even happens in India; guys get hit on the glove and so on. You just have to hope nothing too serious occurs,” said Kirsten afterwards of Tendulkar’s minor scare.advertisement”Interestingly enough the one net here is pretty flat and low and the other is going around a bit. The guys wanted to use the one that was more (spicy). I’m pretty excited about that; we’ll use the one that?s going around a bit again tomorrow,” he said.Kirsten wanted to simulate the South African pitch conditions as best as possible as India are not having any warm-up game before the Test series.The Indian squad will reach Centurion on Monday.last_img read more