The Deets: Matt Chapman’s clutch homer saved the A’s magical season

first_imgBoy, did Matt Chapman pick an opportune time to murder a baseball Wednesday night.The A’s — losing 2-1 to the Angels in the top of the ninth, having gone 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position in the contest up until that point — were poised to fall a half-game back of the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays, into second place in the American League Wild Card standings, all while giving an undeserved reprieve to the Indians (who would have been one game back of a Wild Card spot) for their loss to the …last_img

Media Uncritical of Science, Journalist Says

first_imgReporters need to stop regurgitating the self-promotion of scientists and start criticizing them, a veteran science reporter wrote in Nature News.  Colin Macilwain had a lot to say about what’s wrong with science’s relationship with the mass media.  “Like sausages being made, or legislation being passed, the process that turns scientific developments into headlines and into radio and television reports isn’t pretty to observe,” he said.  “Nor is it optimal.”  He describes the reporter beat at a typical meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the science media production line:One of the main jobs of the AAAS meeting is to parcel up original research that has already been published, and often publicized, into digestible chunks.  These then reappear as news stories in papers and broadcasts around the world, turbocharged by quotes from the scientific luminaries attending the meeting.  This at least marks a change in tempo from the weekly routine, which converts original scientific findings, via a production line of embargoed press releases from journals and universities, into a steady stream of largely uncritical stories.Uncritical is the operative word.  Macilwain thinks journalists need to take on the scientists and stop being such toadies.  “Propped up by the specious authority of their jargon and, most of all, by their cheapness to report – which stands in stark contrast to proper investigations of issues such as public corruption, corporate maleficence or industrial health and safety – essentially silly stories about science continue to fill newspapers and news broadcasts.”  The scientists accept this media circus that “disguises the very human process of scientific discovery as a seamless stream of ingenious and barely disputed ‘breakthroughs’    Partly due to recent credibility gaps in climate science, Macilwain thinks there should be “detailed, critical assessment” of science as it is really practiced.  Like they do with politicians and athletes, reporters need to be asking “hard questions about money, influence and human frailty that much of today’s science journalism sadly ignores.”  He called science reporting an “ugly machine” that churns out “inexpensive and safe content, masquerading as news, to an increasingly underwhelmed public.”  It’s not showing the “actual cut and thrust of the scientific process,” but instead, a “cacophony of sometimes divergent but nonetheless definitive ‘findings’, each warmly accepted by colleagues, on the record, as deeply significant.”    ClimateGate showed this “churnalism” can backfire.  Fragile public confidence in science was deeply eroded by that episode.  Britain’s science minister was fairly uncritical of the status quo, but even he gave a “plaintive call for more investigative reporting.”  Presumably that would include investigations on scientists – challenging their findings, questioning their motivations and their funding sources, exposing the issues their pronouncements would have on public policy.    The “alarming trends” Macilwain described are not likely to change in a time of high reporter workloads, editor demands, budget cuts, the rise of public relations, lack of time for original research, the need to stuff columns with content just because competitors do, and the embargo system that creates a pack mentality among reporters.  Scientists themselves, he said, need to be far more willing to engage the public honestly about the “strengths, weaknesses and missteps that characterize scientific progress.”Hear, hear!  Great column.  He must have seen Creation-Evolution Headlines, because we’ve been preaching that sermon for years (04/18/2003, 04/01/2005, 04/05/2004, 07/19/2004, 08/13/2005, 08/10/2007, 03/20/2008, 06/25/2009).  We even showed them how to do investigative reporting (04/15/2003, 03/23/2007, 09/30/2007).  Macilwain only slipped up once by using the term scientific progress.  He should have specified that progress is not guaranteed by the passage of time, but by the quality of the evidence.  Say, where have we heard that phrase “strengths and weaknesses” before? (see StrengthsAndWeaknesses.org for a hint).    Popular science reporting is often a wretched stench of triumphalism written by gutless wusses trying to be clever.  They treat scientists’ announcements like food from the gods to be served on golden platters to the common people.  They chew it first and barf it up on our plates, thinking it will aid digestion.  Look how they stood by the rascals of ClimateGate and lectured us on how we didn’t understand “science.”  Only lately have some of them been acknowledging that the skeptics had some valid points.    Can you imagine what would happen if reporters actually broke rank with the pack and actually did investigative reporting on scientists?  What would happen if they brushed past the “specious authority of their jargon” and asked the hard questions, challenged their “findings”, the motivations and funding sources behind them, and the quality of the evidence?  For one thing, the public would suddenly become a lot more interested in science.  For another, the Darwinists would slither into dark corners to make their baloney in secret.  Imagine a time when an evolutionist’s pronouncement like “Cooking is what made us human” (01/21/2010) is met not by genuflections from the press but by howls and belly laughs.  It wouldn’t take long for them to get religion.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Seminal South African theatre returns to stage

first_img24 June 2015Celebrating Athol Fugard’s 83rd birthday and commemorating the 20th anniversary of the death of Barney Simon are two classics of South African theatre – The Island and Woza Albert!, both featuring at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown from 2 to 12 July.The creatively reworked versions starring up-and-coming new talents Mpilo Nzimande and TQ Zondi are presented by the Hexagon Theatre Company.The IslandThe hardhitting play by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona is reworked for a new audience.The play revolves around John and Winston, two prisoners on Robben Island who are bound by ideology, proximity, shackles and a deep affection. As they rehearse Antigone for the prison concert, John learns that his release is imminent; Winston is a lifer. This classic South African play by balances hope and despair as it exposes the depths of cruelty and inhumanity while affirming the dignity and courage of the human spirit.“But just remember this, brother, nobody laughs forever! There’ll come a time when they’ll stop laughing, and that will be the time when our Antigone hits them with her words.”Woza Albert!Woza Albert! is one of the plays for which South African theatre is best known internationally. Its style of storytelling has inspired and influenced theatre companies around the world, and it remains one of the most vibrant examples of satirical anti-apartheid South African theatre.It demonstrates innovation and creativity during a seminal period of theatre in this country.This classic of South African theatre asks what would happen if Christ (Morena) came back to 1980s apartheid South Africa. The show is primarily a satire that highlights the absurdities of apartheid and displays the talents of two dextrous actors, who play a range of ordinary characters on the street.Directed by Peter Mitchell, the production is a high-energy explosion of creativity and humour with a dark edge as Morena’s life is relived in an apartheid context.Bringing Woza Albert! to the stage honours the creative genius of Simon as South Africa celebrates 21 years of democracy, reminding us of the tragic lunacy that was apartheid, as well as the continued search for compassionate, intelligent and humane leadership. This production looks back from a new perspective at what changed the face of Poor Theatre worldwide.Source: National Arts Festivallast_img read more

Liars Leading with Lies

first_imgTwice in as many weeks, I’ve had a salesperson reach out to me and begin the sales conversation with a lie.In the first case, the salesperson suggested that they were already doing business with one of my companies and recognized we needed an account manager. I didn’t believe we had a contract with this company, and I asked the salesperson who signed our contract. He replied that someone in our Human Resources department or the CFO signed the contract. Unfortunately, the company he was referring to doesn’t have a Human Resources department or a Chief Financial Officer, proof that he was indeed lying. It was all downhill from there.Fast forward one week and I get a call from a Google Certified Search consulting organization based out of London, England. They called to let me know they only represent one speaker per state in the US, and to share with me that the speaker in Ohio had just decided to move to Canada. This opened a space for me to work with them exclusively.They also suggested the speaker was obtaining four to five engagements per month because of their work. When I asked them the name of the speaker, they refused to share the name. There was no name because there was no speaker. Were there a speaker, they would have leveraged her name to gain credibility. The search consultant hung up on me.No Lies and No LiarsFor most people and be to be sales, there is little willingness or desire to begin a relationship with the prospect by lying. There are very few who would be willing to trade the their integrity and the relationship for the opportunity to explore change. In fact, most B2B sales people would prefer to protect their integrity and try again rather than do anything that would damage the possibility of a future relationship.Opportunities are too rare. Relationships are too valuable. Your long-term success in sales is dependent upon you being someone worth doing business with, and starting with a lie is an indication that you are self-oriented, smarmy, manipulative, deceitful, dishonest, and lack integrity. Not someone anyone wants as their partner in anything.It’s better to lose by being truthful than to win by lying.If you are salesperson and are being told to lie to your prospective clients as a way to create and win opportunities, you should immediately resign from that position and go to work for a company with better leaders. If you lie to your prospects because you think it makes selling easier, you should immediately find your way out of the profession. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Ind vs Eng: How umpire Dharmasena guided Moeen Ali to success

first_imgAli is 2nd in the list of top wicket-takers behind James Anderson in the series so farWhile only a few would have expected Moeen Ali to be the chief tormentor of the touring Indian side, England’s part-time spinner has surely raised more than a few eyebrows in the ongoing five-match Test series.The part-timer recently became the fastest English spinner to cross the 20-wicket mark in Test cricket with 22 wickets in a mere six games. He is also second in the list of top wicket-takers behind James Anderson in the series so far.The 27-year-old England cricketer, busy bamboozling the Indian batsmen, has revealed the role of umpire Kumar Dharmasena in his surprising success in the series.After conceding quite a few runs in the first Test against India, Ali went into the nets and asked the former Sri Lankan spinner as to how he could bowl quicker without it being flat.”Since I didn’t want to bowl one-day stuff, he said just grab your pocket as quickly as you can with your non-bowling arm. As soon as I bowled one ball I knew it would work. That, for some reason, allows me to bowl quicker and straighter without it being flat,” Ali told an English daily.The change allowed Ali to introduce more momentum into his action and turned him quicker by five miles per hour than he did at the time of debut in June this year.And, the results are astronomical. The part-time spinner scripted India’s batting collapse in the recent Test and made him the fourth most successful spinner in a series against India outside Asia.advertisementHe has surpassed Graeme Swann’s tally of wickets against India at home three years ago, transforming him as a front-line spinner for England.Ali currently has 19 wickets at a stellar average of 22.94 with two brilliant spells at the Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford as England have gone 2-1 up in the series. He will certainly play a crucial role for his side in the fifth Test against India tomorrow.last_img read more