Cool Smashers secure No. 1

first_img787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAlyssa Valdez, currently training with the national squad in Japan, has asked permission to play for Creamline upon the team’s arrival on Wednesday.National team coach Francis Vicente has yet to decide whether she will be allowed to play because officials have planned for them to be quartered all the way to the Asian Seniors Volleyball Championships set Aug. 9.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets Huelgas asserts Superiority over SEA rivals Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Valdez missed three games with the Cool Smashers after joining the 17-day training camp. And during a bull session with the national team Sunday, she expressed intention to play as soon as possible.At any rate, there appeared to be no immediate need for the superstar spiker to suit up for Creamline which swept the eliminations with a victory over Perlas-BanKo Sunday night in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The 21-25, 25-22, 26-24, 28-26 victory was the seventh—and fourth without Valdez—in as many matches and assured the Cool Smashers the No. 1 spot in the semifinals.Cheska Racraquin scored a career-high 23 points, including four of her team’s last six points, for Creamline which will face the No. 4 ranked team in the semifinals. Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The Perlas Spikers dropped to 3-4, their fate hanging in the balance as a win by Pocari Sweat over BaliPure late Sunday would force a playoff for the last semis slot on Wednesday. If it wins, BaliPure will complete the semifinals cast.“This win gave us the confidence going into the semifinals and proved that we can beat them,” said Racraquin, the 20-year-old open spiker from San Beda.The Cool Smashers worked very hard to take the win, climbing from big deficits in sets 2 and 4 before hacking it out.In the fourth frame alone, the Cool Smashers stared at a 17-8 deficit.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar warns hard Brexit could lead to a united Ireland

first_imgTaoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that a hard Brexit would inevitably see communities in the North considering a United Ireland.Varadkar was speaking during a public interview at the MacGill summer school in Glenties, Donegal.His remarks came as the sharp rhetoric between Dublin and London continues with Britain now looking on course to crash out of the EU without a deal. According to the Irish Times, Mr Varadkar said it would be “provocative” to discuss a potential united Ireland before Brexit, but said that could change if the UK crashes out of the European Union without a deal.“That obviously could change in the event of a hard Brexit,” he said.“Those questions will arise whether we like it or not, and we have to be ready for it,” Mr Varadkar said about the future status of Northern Ireland in a potential no-deal scenario.The Taoiseach was speaking during a public interview with Irish Times Political Editor Pat Leahy at the event in Glenties, Co Donegal. “It raises very serious questions about the future of Northern Ireland,” the Taoiseach said. “ I do think that more and more people, certainly in the event of no deal, more and more people in Northern Ireland will come to question the union.”Responding to Boris Johnson comments on Thursday over ‘abolishing the backstop’, the Taoiseach insisted that will not happen.“We are not re-opening the [Withdrawal Agreement] but we have shown reasonableness and flexibility in the past,” Varadkar said.Taoiseach Leo Varadkar warns hard Brexit could lead to a united Ireland was last modified: July 27th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Does the Stuff Happens Law Converge?

first_imgSimilar features show up in evolutionary-unrelated groups. What does this mean?Stephen Jay Gould famously asked what what happen in evolution if one could “replay the tape of life” and start over. Would humans result, or would the products of natural selection be unrecognizable? Gould strongly defended the latter position. He even doubted that intelligence or consciousness would emerge. This view is called contingency: so many unpredictable factors influence the direction of evolution, it is impossible to predict what would happen. Supporters of contingency can find plenty of examples of highly divergent organisms evolving in the same environment.Other evolutionists disagree that natural selection is governed completely by chance. They think that the environment channels mutation and selection toward particular outcomes. While the details might differ, the forms of organisms would be constrained by environmental factors. This view is called determinism; it lends a certain degree of predictability to evolution. One of its defenders is paleontologist Simon Conway Morris, who can draw on a multitude of examples of convergent evolution, some of them quite remarkable. A recent paper in PNAS, for instance, argues that similar structures have arisen independently three times in fungus-farming ants. It seems to these evolutionists that the environment somehow channels natural selection toward similar designs or solutions to problems (but see 3 Oct 2015).In its extreme form, the anti-contingency view is called structuralism. Proposed by D’Arcy Thompson, author of the influential book On Growth and Form, this view suggests that properties of the universe drive biology toward particular kinds of organisms. Michael Denton, who defends this view in Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis (2016), points out numerous examples of patterns in nature that persist despite being non-adaptive. Even though he believes in universal common descent, Denton argues that the patterns defy natural selection. Extreme structuralism borders on Platonism: the idea that particular organisms are reflections of ideal forms beyond our experience. Theistic evolutionists might be attracted to this view.These differing views boil down to the role of chance in biological evolution. A new article from Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL), “Replaying the tape of life: Is it possible?” weighs in on this debate.How predictable is evolution? The answer long has been debated by biologists grappling with the extent to which history affects the repeatability of evolution.A review published in the Nov. 9 issue of Science explores the complexity of evolution’s predictability in extraordinary detail. In it, researchers from Kenyon College, Michigan State University and Washington University in St. Louis closely examine evidence from a number of empirical studies of evolutionary repeatability and contingency in an effort to fully interrogate ideas about contingency’s role in evolution.The paper in Science was co-authored by Zachary Blount, Richard Lenski and Jonathan Losos. Lenski has run the longest biological experiment on evolution, called the Long-Term Evolution Experiment (LTEE). For 30 years, he has transferred test tubes of E. coli to new cultures over 65,000 generations to see what evolution comes up with. Ever since Gould wrote his thought experiment on “replaying the tape of life” in his 1989 book about the Burgess Shale, Wonderful Life, other attempts have been made to determine the role of contingency in evolution. What is the thinking of current Darwinians, almost 30 years since Gould?In WUSTL’s press release, Blount wrongly ascribes directionality to natural selection:“How history plays out isn’t really predictable. Historical outcomes are contingent on long chains of events loaded with tiny little details,” said Zachary Blount, senior research associate at Michigan State and a visiting assistant professor of biology at Kenyon, and lead author of the review. “Unlike history, though, evolution has the deterministic force of natural selection, but that determinism is always in tension with the chanciness. How does that tension affect what evolves? Which is more important: contingency on details of history, or determinism?”The statement errs on two points: natural selection is not a force, and it is not deterministic: otherwise, all organisms in the same environment would end up the same. A third problem, even more severe, is that natural selection has never been observed to create a new, functional, complex organ or system. It cannot operate on anything until it’s already there. It has no creative power; it is passive; and it is utterly blind and aimless, caring nothing what what heppens.At the end of the paper, though, the authors cannot decide which view, determinism or contingency, is more important:Where to now? Clearly, evolution can be both contingent and deterministic, and often in complicated and fascinating ways. Recognizing this mixed nature will allow future research to investigate how contingency and determinism interact. Many questions remain to be addressed; for example, what circumstances promote contingent and deterministic outcomes, how does the extent of prior genetic divergence affect the propensity for future parallelism versus contingency, what types of divergence—say, a few mutations of large effect versus the accumulation of minor variants over long periods—lead to which outcomes, and what circumstances allow convergence even in distantly related taxa? Theory and experiments show that the structure of the adaptive landscape plays a critical role in determining the potential for contingent outcomes. Therefore, a deeper understanding of adaptive landscapes will be important for understanding evolutionary contingency. In short, there’s no shortage of work to do, and interesting outcomes to be discovered and quantified. Gould would be pleased that the field he inspired has such bright prospects, as the tape of life plays on.They’re basically thinking that they can have their cake and eat it, too.Are these evolutionists really seeing patterns in nature emerging by Darwin’s theory? A press release from Uppsala University warns, “Well established theories on patterns in evolution might be wrong.” The top illustration is the “march of man” icon. In the article, Graham Budd and Richard Mann argue that many of the famous patterns and trends evolutionists claim to see in the fossil record, including instances of diversification and extinction, are artifacts of their own biases.This makes no sense except to those drunk on Darwine. Think about it: we’ve shown that natural selection is merely a restatement of the Stuff Happens Law (SHL, see 13 Oct 2018). It’s the absence of a law of nature. It’s the absence of scientific explanation. It’s the abdication of science, merely concluding, “stuff happens.” How can a blind, aimless, purposeless process be anything else? This doesn’t mean that the SHL is incapable of keeping scientists busy. For analogy, imagine these same scientists studying Brownian motion. They ask themselves, “If we replay the tape of Brownian motion, can we predict what will happen?” For years, they make measurements and charts of paths that particles take under Brownian “forces” (although it is not a force, either, but an effect of blind, aimless, purposeless chance events). For decades, they debate whether the tape of Brownian motion is deterministic or contingent. Sometimes the particle seems to make progress in one direction. Other times, it goes nowhere. Sometimes, two paths appear to ‘converge’ on the same direction. Now, picture the government throwing money to these scientists to keep them busy. Finally, after a lot of wasted effort, they conclude, ‘Clearly, Brownian motion can be both contingent and deterministic, and often in complicated and fascinating ways.’ Is humanity better off for knowing this? Is it a good example of scientific progress?Someone will complain that the analogy is flawed, because natural selection has a goal – fitness! If an organism does not survive, it drops out of the gene pool, unlike particles under Brownian motion. Such a criticism errs, because fitness is just as vacuous as the SHL. It can mean anything, as we showed in “The Story of Evolution” (13 Oct 2018). Evolution can move up, down, backward, forward or sideways. Natural selection doesn’t care. If the organism goes extinct, so what? It’s like the particle under Brownian motion dropping off the slide. Brownian motion doesn’t care, and neither does natural selection. The analogy holds. No matter what happens – good, bad or indifferent – evolutionists are all too content to say, “It evolved,” and claim their work has produced “understanding.”Do you see why we call Darwinian evolution “job security for storytellers”? (25 June 2014). These Darwine-oholics need to sober up and unlock the door. (Visited 320 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Cryptocurrency — What you need to know from a tax perspective

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA, Partner at Holbrook & Manter, CPAsRegardless of your opinion about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, one thing is for certain — they are here to stay. Since their beginnings a decade ago, much mystery has surrounded cryptocurrencies regarding their origins, value and purposes. As cryptocurrencies have become more established and accepted as payment, it is more important to understand what the treatment and consequences of purchasing, selling, paying with and accepting as payment cryptocurrencies from a tax perspective.Per IRS Notice 2014-21, cryptocurrencies are not legal tender, but are generally regarded as property comparable to that of a stock, bond or other investments. Treating cryptocurrencies in this manner means whenever a cryptocurrency is purchased as an investment, the basis in the cryptocurrency is the purchase price plus any permitted transaction fees just like other stock that is traded on an exchange. This also means that whenever the cryptocurrency is sold, a capital gain or loss will result from its sale. Simple enough, but what happens when you pay for goods or services with cryptocurrency?When you pay for goods or services with cryptocurrency, per Notice 2014-21, the IRS will treat that transaction the same as if you sold it. For example, if you paid $1,000 worth of Bitcoin for your purchases on Overstock.com, you would have $1,000 in proceeds for tax purposes as the payment to Overstock.com would be treated the same as if it were the sale of Bitcoin as an investment. This means every time you purchase something with a cryptocurrency you will either have a capital gain or loss depending on what your basis (value + permitted transaction fees) of the cryptocurrency was when you purchased it. That’s good to know, but what happens if you are paid in cryptocurrency?If you are paid in cryptocurrency for either goods of services, per Notice 2014-21, it is treated as though you were paid in equivalent cash amount of cryptocurrency and you must report it as ordinary income subject to federal income tax. That amount that you were paid will also be your basis in the cryptocurrency.The takeaway from all of this — be diligent and informed about any cryptocurrency transactions that you have made or are going to make. If you are about to purchase, sell, pay with or accept as payment cryptocurrencies remember to do the following:Keep records of the dates of the transactionsKeep records of the numerical number of cryptocurrency units transactedKeep records of the individual unit prices of the cryptocurrency in U.S. Dollars for the transaction datesDoing these three items will help you be compliant with cryptocurrency transactions when dealing with the IRS. If you have any tax issues with cryptocurrencies or any other tax matters, please contact your accountant. I am always available to answer your questions as well. Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs. Brian has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1995, primarily focusing on the areas of Tax Consulting and Management Advisory Services within several firm service areas, focusing on agri-business and closely held businesses and their owners. Holbrook & Manter is a professional services firm founded in 1919 and we are unique in that we offer the resources of a large firm without compromising the focused and responsive personal attention that each client deserves. You can reach Brian through www.HolbrookManter.comlast_img read more

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BMW and Baidu break up, cite irreconcilable self-driving differences

first_imgTags:#autonomous cars#Baidu#BMW#China#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#Self-Driving#top IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… David Curry For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and…center_img 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… BMW and Baidu have ended their two year self-driving partnership, citing “irreconcilable differences” between the two companies.Baidu said it will start to look for a new automaker to take over BMW’s role as manufacturer for its self-driving system. For now, it will use Ford’s Lincoln cars in the United States and BYD, Chery, and BAIC in China.See Also: Mark your calendars: 2021 will be huge for autonomous carsBMW has made a few changes to its self-driving strategy since partnering with Baidu in 2014. It revealed the iNext, a concept self-driving car, which it hopes will be available by 2021. It also partnered with Intel and Mobileye to build a smart, secure self-driving platform.That doesn’t leave Baidu with a lot of room to work, at best it may be able to provide the infotainment to BMW in China.BMW and Baidu grew apartApart from the clear conflicts of interest, BMW and Baidu are also on different timeframes when it comes to self-driving commercialization. Baidu is aiming to have self-driving shuttles on the road by 2018 in China, while BMW is more conservative, aiming for 2021.Baidu is one of the major players in China’s self-driving market and has branched testing to the U.S. in the past year. It wants to build a shuttle platform and also may be looking into a ride-hailing service, putting it in direct competition with Didi Chuxing.The search giant, called the “Google of China” by some, has been expanding its portfolio to include emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence and self-driving cars. It appears to be on a similar path to Google, albeit without the global approach. Related Posts last_img read more

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