Joy Ride

first_imgLOUISVILLE, Ky. – This isn’t about driving accuracy or even driving distance, although that simple statistic seems to provide a neat bow when explaining Rory McIlroy’s current run of brilliance. It’s not the Northern Irishman’s drastically improved putting or even that 3 additional kilos of muscle he’s packed on in recent months. Nor does this have anything to do with his relationship status, which publically and dramatically went from committed to carefree with his broken engagement to Caroline Wozniacki in May. McIlroy’s dominant run through the dog days is the direct result of peace of mind. A sport’s psychologist will charge $200 an hour to identify it, but at its core the world No. 1 is playing well because of a rediscovered clarity of thought. “It’s fun. It is fun,” he said on Friday after scorching a soggy Valhalla Golf Club with a second-round 67 for a one-shot lead at the PGA Championship. If Bubba Golf is an “A ticket” thrill ride filled with equal parts peaks and valleys, Rory Golf, at its best, is a joy ride. Towering drives, flawless approach shots, deft lag-putting and lots of smiles. PGA Championship: Articles, videos and photos McIlroy’s Friday wasn’t perfect, he missed five consecutive greens starting at the second hole, and he freely admitted his Day 2 “wasn’t quite as pretty as (Day 1)” but there was no mistaking the fact that it was fun. Analysts, be they armchair or otherwise, will continue to dissect the differences between 2014 McIlroy – who has won three of his last seven starts, including July’s Open Championship and his World Golf Championship tune-up last week in Akron – and the 2013 version, but what is right with Rory can’t be found on a TrackMan or in the PGA Tour’s ShotLink program. “What I really like is he’s got his emotions under control. He doesn’t look like anything is coming too fast to him,” said Dave Stockton Sr., McIlroy’s putting coach. “This time it’s, ‘Keep having fun.’ Everybody talks about swing, I can’t comprehend hitting the ball as far as he does, but I can comprehend the mental strength I saw at the British and last week at Firestone.” A case can be made that McIlroy’s newfound peace is at the least an indirect result of his split with Wozniacki. The 25-year-old seemed to suggest as much on Friday. “What else do I have to do?” he figured. “I get up in the morning I go to the course, I go to the gym. It’s my life at the moment.” And at the moment life is good. There was a foreboding feeling across Valhalla that had nothing to do with a forecast that lingered on the horrible side of bad for much of the day. If Friday was McIlroy’s “bad day” the golf world may be bound for another runaway major victory like the one he pieced together last month at Royal Liverpool. We enjoyed this show the first time we saw it, at the 2011 U.S. Open, and the encores in ’12 at Kiawah Island and this year at Hoylake. The difference this time is the careful way he has embraced greatness. All the talent in the world doesn’t assure results, look only to Dustin Johnson whose physical superiority has been undercut by off-course distractions and dubious decisions. There is no backdoor to a quiet mind, which McIlroy learned throughout a difficult 2013 when he failed to win a PGA Tour title and was questioned for everything from his decision to make a wholesale jump to Nike Golf to a series of curious legal battles with former agents. Slowly, methodically McIlroy has distanced himself from that noise and the result has been increasingly stellar results even when his game was not at its best like on Friday. After a sloppy start in increasingly sloppy conditions, McIlroy rolled in a 31 footer for eagle at the 18th hole (his ninth hole of the day) to move two strokes clear of the field. In what is becoming his signature bounce-back style, he followed another bogey at the second hole when he missed a fairway for the first time since June, or at least it seems that long, by playing his last three holes in 2 under par, including a majestic 5-wood from 242 yards at the par-5 seventh to 8 feet for a two-putt birdie. “It was very impressive and hard to beat,” said Martin Kaymer, one of McIlroy’s playing partners who knows a thing or two about impressive golf following his boat-race triumph at June’s U.S. Open. “He is by far the best player in the world.” A decade ago competitors were uttering the same words about Tiger Woods, and while comparisons to the former world No. 1 remain wildly unrealistic the like-minded singular focus demonstrated both players when they are at their best is uncanny. “Mentally I’m in a really solid place in terms of not getting ahead of myself on the golf course,” McIlroy said. “I’m just on a good run.” Or, put another way he’s just in a good place.last_img read more

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Viruses, the Immune System, and Computer Systems

first_imgOur Debt to the Scientific Atheists In another parallel of antivirus programs and biological organism immune responses, just as antivirus programs must be continually updated with new virus signatures by consulting a database (which you may notice happens every few days when Windows updates its virus protection program), biological organisms are also updated after an encounter with a pathogen such as a virus. After the first time a T cell encounters a new antigen, it will begin to replicate itself into two types of cells: memory and effector T cells. The memory cells are long-living and become members of an effective database of T cells that each “remember” a specific antigen for the next time the organism is exposed to that antigen, being at the ready to crank out effector T cells that will perform the work of killing infected cells. Image: Fusion Medical Animation, via Unsplash.Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, viruses were not a daily topic of conversation beyond infectious disease experts and trained virologists, yet viruses are now the daily talk across the planet. At the same time, computers across the globe are subject to attack by their own viruses and malware. The medical and software engineering professions both invest exorbitant resources in fighting these respective attacks — so it is perhaps surprising that the deep parallels between the two have often gone unnoticed. Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Computers and Organisms Recommended Tagsantigensapoptosiscancercellscomputer programsCOVID-19extracellular fluidinfectious diseasesmajor histocompatibility complex class I moleculesorganismspandemicpeptidesquarantinesignatureT cellstelemetrytumorvertebrate organismsvirologistsviruses,Trending Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share An Ingenious Mechanism Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Walter Myers IIIBoard of Directors, Discovery InstituteWalter is a Principal Engineering Manager leading a team of engineers, working with customers to drive their success in the Microsoft Azure Cloud. He holds a Masters Degree in Philosophy from Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology, where he is an adjunct faculty member in the Master of Arts in Science & Religion (MASR) program teaching on Darwin, evolution, and design. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the California Policy Center (CPC), an educational non-profit focused on policies to improve California’s democracy and economy.Follow WalterProfile Sharecenter_img Computer systems of today are continually monitored, with each program providing the appropriate telemetry data needed for monitoring agents to accurately determine the internal health and performance of running programs. Based on this telemetry, an automated system can provide notification of a performance issue that requires programmers to make necessary changes to the software. This also includes scanning for exploits by hackers who may install harmful viruses that must be detected and neutralized. As I mentioned previously, the immune response for endogenous antigens is but one of multiple lines of defense in biological organisms and is a remarkable mechanism exhibiting the hallmarks of design. In the future, I hope to examine other aspects of the vertebrate immune system which is still an area of exciting scientific discovery because there is still much to learn due to its astounding complexity. Individual cells of vertebrate organisms protect themselves from a variety of microscopic enemies through an ingenious mechanism. On the surface of these cells, molecular “antennae” continually present a “readout” of the internal proteins performing work inside, up to perhaps ten thousand. These molecules are called major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules, or MHC class I for short. MHC molecules display small protein fragment peptide “signatures” (typically 8-11 amino acids in length) from within the cell. Each of these peptide signatures is a type of antigen, which can be either the host cell’s “self” (good) or foreign (bad) antigens. The process of presenting these antigens, whether good or bad, on the surface of a cell is called antigen presentation. Foreign antigens, which would be the result of viruses or bacteria that have invaded the cell, signal externally that the cell has been infected. Also presented are tumor antigens, which represent formerly “good” proteins that have mutated and are now bad (i.e., potentially cancerous cells). Antigens presented on the surface of infected cells by MHC molecules can be noticed by circulating cytotoxic (“cyto” as in cell and “toxic” as in poison) CD8+ T cells. These T cells routinely patrol the body of a vertebrate in extracellular fluid monitoring for these antigens, looking for signatures in the array of peptides that are not normally produced by the cell. When antigens for a virus or bacteria are found, T cells know the cell has been infected by foreign or mutated proteins and kick off a process of programmed cell death for cells that it now deems as potentially harmful. Ideally, if the immune system kills enough infected cells early on, this can prevent surrounding cells from being infected. We see something similar with viruses in computer systems. When a virus is detected, the infected program can be quarantined and repaired so it won’t spread the virus to other programs or computers or can be removed entirely if it cannot be repaired. Virus detection in computer programs is primarily implemented using a signature-based technique, where it searches a database of known virus “signatures,” as virtually all viruses have unique digital markers that can be detected in a running program. Anti-virus programs scan the bytes of code in each program looking for that signature, and if found in a program it will either delete the program, move it into quarantine, or disinfect it if possible. In relation to biological organisms, the concepts of monitoring and telemetry closely resemble attacks on biological organisms by exogenous microscopic predators, requiring a highly complex system of defenses far more complex than computer systems built by humans. Here I will focus on specific parallels between vertebrate immune systems and mechanisms used by computer programmers to protect computer systems. Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Intelligent Design Viruses, the Immune System, and Computer SystemsWalter Myers IIIFebruary 9, 2021, 6:40 AM Now what is different about the handling of viruses by computer systems as opposed to biological organisms in this endogenous (i.e., generated from within the cell) antigen scenario is that in the case of an infected computer program, the entire program is scanned linearly looking for a virus signature, whereas in the biological case, the cell effectively pre-filters the telemetry data before providing it to T cells. In the case of a virus or bacteria infecting the cell that can kill it and other cells that surround it, the cell has signaled something is wrong, and so it is now up to the T cells to induce apoptosis (i.e., the programmed death of the cell) thus sacrificing the cell to the benefit of the overall organism. A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to Alllast_img read more

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Health Officials Ready for Next Phase of COVID Vaccine Deployment

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Flathead County residents identified in Phase 1b under the state’s revised COVID-19 immunization plan — including anyone at least 70 years old, American Indians and people of color, and those with high-risk medical conditions — could begin receiving their first vaccine doses as early as Jan. 19.Health Officer Joe Russell said the Flathead City-County Health Department is expected to receive regular allotments of the COVID-19 vaccine beginning next week, when the county will start to tackle the challenge of immunizing as many as 25,000 Flathead County residents who fit into Phase 1b, according to Russell. The county could receive more than 1,000 doses next week, Russell estimated, with the state expected to distribute 13,000 doses on a weekly basis.The state health department revised its vaccine distribution plan last week at the direction of newly installed Gov. Greg Gianforte, lowering the minimum age for immunization from 75 and including those most at risk for bad outcomes in Phase 1b, but pushing frontline essential workers, notably educators, further down the list. Gianforte also announced during his first week in office that he would keep the state’s mask mandate in place for the immediate future, at least until “we’re able to get this vaccine out to the most vulnerable.”In all, Russell said the governor’s action (or inaction) was welcome, particularly lowering the minimum age and retaining the mask mandate, although he and others are planning to push the state to rethink the potential implications of making educators wait longer to receive the vaccine.“My main goal in getting teachers vaccinated is the fact that if we’re thinking about business continuity, we don’t need people that are working in business (staying) home because we are closing the schools,” Russell said. “We have to be careful with our adults, our teachers, our staff. I think a lot of us felt it would have been nice to keep teachers up there.”The current Phase 1b recipients are defined as those age 70 and older, American Indians and other people of color who may be at elevated risk for COVID-19 complications, and people age 16 to 69 with a qualifying high-risk medical condition, including: cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Down syndrome, heart conditions, a weakened immune system from a solid organ transplant, severe obesity, sickle cell disease and diabetes. Patients may also be eligible for the vaccine on a case-by-case basis if recommended by a medical provider.Before Phase 1b doses will be administered, however, the county and state hope to be just about finished with Phase 1a. The first batch of vaccine was distributed in mid-December, with frontline healthcare workers, healthcare workers with direct patient contact, and residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities all eligible to be vaccinated. So far, most eligible recipients in Flathead County have been immunized, including scores of employees connected to Logan Health in Kalispell and at North Valley Hospital in Whitefish.Russell called the uptake of the vaccine among doctors and nurses “very, very high,” although specific data was not available. State guidelines place any healthcare workers with direct patient contact in Phase 1a, including dentists, orthodontists, physical therapists, optometrists, home health workers and others. Flathead County has included law enforcement, firefighters and emergency responders in that group as well.As of Jan. 8, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) reported more than 33,000 vaccine doses had been administered to healthcare workers throughout the state, and that vaccination efforts had been initiated at 54 of the state’s long-term care facilities.Things had run a little less smoothly for some of those long-term facilities, however, but as of Jan. 11 it appeared any issues in Flathead County would be ironed out before next week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention directed that long-term care facilities receive the vaccine solely from an eligible pharmacy (in Montana, either Walgreens, CVS or Big Sky Managed Care) leaving the county health department with no role in immunization, a federally mandated move that puzzled Russell and some employees of those facilities who were frustrated by the process.At Immanuel Lutheran Communities in Kalispell, Chief Operating Officer Carla Wilton began communicating with CVS Pharmacy in early December and was told at the time that her facility could be holding a clinic by the end of the year. Instead, Wilton said, she heard nothing from the company until early January when she was told to expect the vaccine in mid-February or March. After pleading with the company and some political outreach, CVS pushed the date up and, last Friday, the facility was finally given Jan. 16 as the date of an immunization clinic at Immanuel Care Center and Jan. 23 at Buffalo Hill Terrace. Those dates align with the DPHHS targets for nursing homes (Jan. 18) and assisted living facilities (Jan. 24) to receive the first of the vaccine’s two doses.For Wilton, the arrival of the vaccine will bring a welcome end to what she called “the most stressful 10 months of (her) career.”“I’m proud, so proud of the team. It’s been a grind,” she said. “It feels like Groundhog’s Day and we’ve missed our families, we’ve missed them coming to visit and the reality is we miss them as much as they miss coming in, so it’s been hard on everybody.”“We’re looking forward to the vaccine, it will be a big celebration. We’re ready.”[email protected] Emaillast_img read more

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Watch Bruce Springsteen Join Dropkick Murphys During Fenway Park Livestream Concert [Full Show Video]

first_imgDropkick Murphys performed live for an empty Fenway Park in Boston, MA, on Friday, which saw Bruce Springsteen join in on two songs in an effort to raise funds for the Boston Resiliency Fund, Habitat For Humanity, and Feeding America.Related: Watch Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, SZA, More Perform On ‘Jersey 4 Jersey’ Virtual Benefit [Videos]Dubbed Streaming Outta Fenway, the two-hour concert kicked off after an introduction by the voice of the Boston Red Sox, Joe Castiglione. Tim Brennan (guitar), Jeff Darosa (guitar), Lee Forshner (bagpipes), Matt Kelly (drums), Kevin Rheault (bass), James Lynch (guitar), Ken Casey (vocals), and Al Barr (vocals) made their way to the infield right around 6:30 p.m. ET to jump into the band’s 28-song set.The first half of the performance included originals like “The Boys Are Back”, “The State of Massachusetts”, “Smash Sh*t Up”, “Tessie”, and “Rebels with a Cause”, along with a cover of Gerry Cinnamon‘s “The Bonny”. The second half of Streaming Outta Fenway saw Dropkick play the fan-favorite original “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” in addition to “Queen of Suffolk County”, “Out of Our Heads”, and “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya”. Cover selections for this portion of the show included John Newton‘s “Amazing Grace”, Johnny Thunders‘ “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory”, and Brendan Behan‘s “The Auld Triangle”. It was towards the end of the set, however, where the band treated the viewing audience to the highlight of the night—a sit-in from The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen.Introduced by Casey and his memorable Boston accent, Springsteen joined in virtually for a take on the Dropkick original, “Rose Tattoo”. Springsteen traded verses with Casey on the song before the two harmonized on the choruses. Kelly then led them into the next song, an Irish music-inspired take on the Springsteen original, “American Land”, before Dropkick closed out the lengthy performance with “Until the Next Time”.Watch Bruce Springsteen join Dropkick Murphys with a video of the full concert below, and scroll down for a detailed setlist. Additionally, head to Dropkick Murphys’ website, here, to donate to the Boston Resiliency Fund, Habitat For Humanity, and Feeding America.Dropkick Murphys – Streaming Outta Fenway – [Pro-Shot, Full Show Video][Video: Boston Red Sox]Setlist: Dropkick Murphys | Streaming Outta Fenway | Fenway Park | Boston, MA | 5/29/20Set: The Boys Are Back, The State of Massachusetts, Captain Kelly’s Kitchen, Smash Sh*t Up, Sunshine Highway, The Bonny (Gerry Cinnamon cover), Sandlot, Tessie, Jimmy Collins’ Wake, The Fighting 69th, The Walking Dead, 4-15-13, Rebels with a Cause, Prisoner’s Song, The Warrior’s Code, The Auld Triangle (Brendan Behan cover), You can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory (Johnny Thunders cover), Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding, Queen of Suffolk County, Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya, Amazing Grace (John Newton cover), (F)lannigan’s Ball, Out of Our Heads, Dirty Water (The Standells cover), Rose Tattoo [1], American Land (Bruce Springsteen cover) [1], I’m Shipping Up To Boston, Until the Next TimeNotes:[1] w/Bruce SpringsteenView Setlistlast_img read more

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Notice: Proposed revision to sentencing scoresheets

first_img Notice: Proposed revision to sentencing scoresheets The Criminal Court Steering Committee has submitted to the Florida Supreme Court a petition to amend Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.992, Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheets. The revised scoresheets were developed by the Department of Corrections, with consultation with state attorneys and public defenders. The court invites all interested persons to comment on the proposed amendments, which are reproduced in full below, as well as online at www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/proposed.shtml. An original and nine paper copies of all comments must be filed with the court on or before October 1, with a certificate of service verifying that copies have been served on Judge O.H. Eaton, Jr., committe chair, c/o Les Garringer, Office of the General Counsel, 500 S. Duval Street, Tallahassee 32399-1925, and the Secretary of the Department of Corrections, James R. McDonough, 2601 Blairstone Road, Tallahassee 32399-2500, as well as a separate request for oral argument if the person filing the comment wishes to participate in oral argument, which may be scheduled in this case. The committee shair and secretary have until October 22 to file a response to any comments filed with the court. Electronic copies of all comments also must be filed in accordance with the court’s administrative order In re Mandatory Submission of Electronic Copies of Documents, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC04-84 (Sept. 13, 2004). IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA IN RE: AMENDMENTS TO FLORIDA RULE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 3.992 – CRIMINAL PUNISHMENT CODE SCORESHEETS, CASE NO. SC07-1446 Notice: Proposed revision to sentencing scoresheets September 1, 2007 Noticeslast_img read more

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Students get online assistance amid the New Normal

first_imgSIGN UP TO DAILY NEWSLETTERCLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP Nearly 860 students in secondary and tertiary levels in need were provided with financial aid amidst the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to education systems worldwide.(Aboitiz Foundation / MANILA BULLETIN)To help students cope with the challenges in the New Normal in education, the Aboitiz Group through its scholarship program under its social development arm Aboitiz Foundation, continues to assist students who need support in their studies.Apart from the usual financial assistance, the foundation has allowed monthly allowances of the scholars to be converted to laptop subsidy. This is applicable for students who have limited means or resources to purchase tools for a “hybrid” type or online schooling.Aboitiz Foundation President and Chief Operating Officer Maribeth Marasigan said the foundation has to “innovate to provide relevant support to its scholars especially at this unusual time.”Recently, the foundation also launched the Aboitiz Scholarship Portal. This is a one-stop hub for its scholars that contains updates, advisories, learning materials, and a scholars’ profile dashboard.This innovation, Marasigan said, is how the scholarship program adapts to the new normal of doing transactions and engagements online. “As the world continues to change due to the pandemic, Aboitiz Foundation also made its education programs adapt by establishing online platforms, and conducting online learning sessions that will keep our scholars stay connected, engaged, and informed,” she added.Last month, the Aboitiz scholars also gathered online for the Aboitiz Beyond Classrooms (ABC) Learning Series. This is the first virtual general assembly of its scholars and was attended by over 280 high school and college scholars in Metro Manila and Cebu via YouTube livestream.Aboitiz scholar and an incoming Grade 12 student at Southwestern University Jarixa Balbuena said that the session taught them to see weaknesses as strengths. “It also helped us channel positivism in our mindset and in whatever situations we face, we should always instill a positive and flexible outlook,” she added.The virtual general assembly aimed to strengthen the engagement of scholars, and prepare them in welcoming the new normal in their academic life. For this school year, the scholars attended a learning session with the topic “Building Resilience for a Flourishing New Normal” with Dr. Sheila Marie Hocson, the former President of the Philippine Guidance and Counselling Association (PGCA).The webinar also taught scholars to learn and capitalize on strengths that can help them navigate through online learning and studying at home.The participants were also asked to identify sources of inspiration that can be their anchor as they face the adversities and challenges brought by the pandemic.Since the Aboitiz Senior High School Financial Assistance Program started in 2003, it has benefited nearly 3,000 students nationwide, while the Aboitiz College Scholarship Program has supported 970 scholars since its inception.Over the years, the Aboitiz Foundation has been implementing various education programs including school building donations, upgrading of school facilities, scholarships and teacher training, and many other interventions that have benefited over 39,0000 students in 2019.last_img read more

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