Creation-Evolution Contest in Grand Canyon: New York Times Prints Eyewitness Report

first_imgNew York Times reporter Jodi Wilgoren explored “parallel universes” along the Colorado River this summer (here for multimedia version).  She rode a raft with a creationist group led by Tom Vail for several days, then rode with another party led by evolutionist Eugenie Scott.  Her experiences with these two groups illustrated the stark contrast between the worldviews at conflict in American society.  “Two groups examining the same evidence,” she remarked.  “Traveling nearly identical itineraries, snoozing under the same stars and bathing in the same chocolate-colored river.  Yet, standing at opposite ends of the growing creation-evolution debate, they seemed to speak in different tongues.”    Wilgoren mentioned several scientific evidences that Tom Vail discussed as support for his Genesis Flood interpretation.  One, the smooth perpendicular folds in Carbon Canyon, he explained as evidence the material had to be soft when bent.  The long-age view is that pressure over time could give the rocks plasticity; “That’s just a theory,” Vail replied.  He also discussed evidence for a mass kill event covering 5,700 square miles.  He pointed to a vertically-oriented nautiloid that could not have remained in its position for tens of thousands of years while it was being buried slowly.  On the evolution group’s raft, a geologist who had been questioned about it only responded that “scientists had not documented the billions of nautiloids creationists cite and had found no stunning pattern in their orientation.”    Although Wilgoren asserted the correctness of the “scientific” view of the ages of the rocks and the canyon, her anecdotes about the behavior of the people of the parties seemed as contrasting as that of the differing interpretation of the canyon.  She portrayed creationists in the group praying for one another and expressing their joy and thankfulness to God over the beauty surrounding them.  The evolutionists, on the other hand, she portrayed as flippant and disrespectful about religion.  Perhaps that was best illustrated in the music.  Creationists sang hymns of praise accompanied by flute and guitar.  Eugenie Scott, on the other hand, taught her group this ditty about a fishlike invertebrate evolutionists claim is one of our ancestors: “It’s a long way from amphioxus / It’s a long way to us. / It’s a long way from amphioxus to the meanest human cuss. / Goodbye fins and gill slits / Hello lungs and hair! / It’s a long, long way from amphioxus, / But we come from there.”    Another observation Jodi Wilgoren made was that all on the creationist raft had voted for George Bush, and all but two on the evolutionist raft for John Kerry.  She also pointed out polls that show a third of the American public believe the Bible should be taken literally and that nearly half believe humans were created in nearly their present form within the last 10,000 years.    The article was peppered with the usual claims and counter-claims about science and religion, facts and faith.  But Wilgoren gave surprisingly good press to Tom Vail, who used to teach the evolutionary view before becoming a Christian, and whose book Grand Canyon: A Different View has ranked 17th out of 800 products in the national park bookstores.  It has sold 40,000 copies, she said, “despite science organizations’ protests of its sale in park shops.”  She gave Vail the last word: “We can read God’s word and we know what we’re supposed to do.  It’s real clear up here what we’re supposed to do.”Considering the disdain with which creationists are usually treated, Jodi Wilgoren gave a pretty fair and balanced presentation.  The only flaws are the assumptions that evolutionists have the better science.  Some of her words assume that evolutionary geologists have science on their side.  We will suggest changes to the underlined words.“Geologists date this sandstone to 550 million years ago and explain the folding as a result of pressure from shifting faults underneath.”  Change that to “evolutionary storytellers” and “speculate.”“That same week, a few miles upriver, a decidedly different group of 24 rafters surveyed the same rock formations – but through the lens of science rather than what Mr. Vail calls ‘biblical glasses.’”  Change that to “evolutionary glasses”.  Vail is up-front about his Biblical presuppositions.  Evolutionists need to be up-front about theirs.“this trip was a floating geology seminar, charting the canyon’s evolution through eons of erosion.” Substitute evolutionary geology, speculating about the canyon’s formation through an unobserved period of erosion.Eugenie Scott said, “To a standard geologist, to somebody who actually studies geology, this just shouts out at you: This is really old; this is really gradual.”Should be, To an indoctrinated evolutionary geologist, to somebody who views the world through evolutionary glasses, this just confirms one’s presuppositions.“Science unequivocally dates the earth’s age at 4.5 billion years, and the canyon’s layers at some two billion years.  Change to Evolutionary geology needs the earth to be 4.5 billion years old, and speculates within their evolutionary model that the canyon’s layers must be some two billion years old.“Even the intelligent design movement, which argues that evolution alone cannot explain life’s complexity, does not challenge the long history of the earth.”  Should be, does not attempt to debate the age of the earth, because that is not the question they are addressing.“‘I won’t defend evolution,’ Dr. Scott said in exasperation one evening.  ‘We don’t defend the spherical Earth.  We need to stop defending, as they put it, Darwinism, and just make them show they have a scientific view.’”Belief in evolution has nothing to do with belief in a spherical earth.  The sphericity of the earth is observable, and is even taught in the Bible (Isaiah 40:22, Job 26:10).  Evolution in the Darwinian sense of universal common ancestry is not observable and contradicts the fossil record.  Dr. Scott needs to get over her exasperation and defend her position with evidence.  The antecedent in “they” have a scientific view” is unclear.  Both views need to be plausible inferences about the past based on currently observable evidence.  Both have religious implications.“Mr. Gishlick said scientists had not documented the billions of nautiloids creationists cite and had found no stunning pattern in their orientation.”Not scientists, but evolution-biased critics.  Evolutionary geologists may not have found this evidence, because they don’t ask the right questions.  The evidence is out there for anyone to see.“‘I don’t really care how they reconcile Noah’s flood with scientific things – it’s about religion,ֻ protested Mary Murray, 54, an artist from Laguna Beach, Calif., who came with her biology-professor husband.  ‘We shouldn’t be talking about religion at all in the public schools.’”  What she means is, “I am closing my mind to their evidence.  It’s about maintaining special treatment and favored status for my secular religion.  We shouldn’t be letting their religion compete with mine in the public schools.”You get the idea.  Words can bias an article and embed hidden assumptions.  Discerning readers need to be watchful for how reporters attempt to sway opinions with word games.  At least here on CEH, you get to hear both sides.    Want to go on the river with Tom?  Check his 2006 Schedule.  Creation Safaris, our parent organization, is co-sponsoring the August 25 three-day excursion.  View postcards from the 2005 trip, which was a great success with 26 people aboard: #1 and #2.  We guarantee you will have a lot more fun with creationists than with a bunch of sourpuss scoffers and mean human cusses.  We guarantee you will enjoy “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” more than “Goodbye fins and gill slits.” (compare this essay with the evolution songbook).  It may be a long way from amphioxus, but it’s a short way to the cross.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Fossils Without Evolution

first_imgNew fossils continue to turn up around the world.  Many of them have an amazing characteristic in common: they look almost exactly like their living counterparts, despite being millions of years old, according to the evolutionary timescale.  It’s interesting sometimes to hear how the evolutionists explain the remarkable lack of evolution in all that time.Fig wasp: Don’t evolve a good thing:  Science Daily reported that the world’s oldest fig wasp fossil has been discovered on the Isle of Wight.  “The fossil wasp is almost identical to the modern species, proving that this tiny but specialized insect has remained virtually unchanged for over 34 million years.”  That’s nearly double the previous record for this species (20 million years), and almost six times the amount of time apes are said to have come down from the trees and evolved into Platos, Mozarts and oil executives.  Dr. Steve Compton of London’s Natural History Museum stated an evolutionary theory rescue device called “give the mystery a name” when he said, “Although we often think of the world as constantly changing, what this fossil gives us is an example of something remaining unchanged for tens of millions of years – something which in biology we call ‘stasis’.”  Science Daily tossed in a little humor on that point in its headline: “World’s Oldest Fig Wasp Fossil Proves That If It Works, Don’t Change It.”  But is that an evolutionary law of nature?  If monkeys worked, why did they change into humans, and why are there still monkeys?Amber alert:  Scientists at Oregon State look into amber and use them as crystal balls to see visions.  PhysOrg reported that the static images of dead insects and other animals become to them moving pictures of behaviors that tell evolutionary stories: “All kinds of behavior, ranging from the nurturing protection of a mother, mating and reproductive instincts, to the behavior of pathogenic microbes can be observed in extinct life that’s millions of years old, and was captured in oozing tree sap that later turned into the semi-precious stone amber.”  A captivating picture of a millipede clutching its newly hatched young at the moment it died accompanies the article.    If hoping to find evidence of evolution in the article, though, the reader will be disappointed.  “The range of evidence, the researchers said, suggests a different view of evolution – that most behavior appears to be retained, and when it doesn’t serve the long-term survival of the species, extinction occurs.”  The article mentions a 100-million-year old fossil of a gecko “the same sophisticated method of toe adhesion that allows it to walk easily on vertical and even inverted surfaces – a capability that served it well when it was skittering away from dinosaurs then, or is skipping through the jungles of Southeast Asia today.”  But how did the traits and behaviors arise in the first place?  Gecko toe adhesion is a very complex trait (12/06/2006).    Even speaking of humans, the authors of Fossil Behavior Compendium (George Poinar and Arthur Boucot), said “from what we know of basic human behaviors, it is clear there has been no significant change since the beginnings of recorded history.”  Based on analysis of Neanderthal skull injuries, sexual behaviors, aggression, violence against members of their own species appear to be “hard-wired,” they claim (though it would seem drawing such inferences from skull marks is profoundly subjective).    In short, if there were examples of fossils in their book that do show evolutionary change, they were not mentioned in the article.  It appears the authors did not mention them because they could not.  Poinar said, “Species may evolve physically, but behavioral changes are much less obvious and many species will go extinct because they cannot change the way they act.”  Yet it is not clear from this statement why natural selection should be impotent to act on behavior, if it is presumed to be so powerful as to produce an elephant or a giraffe from a small Cretaceous mammal in a few tens of millions of years.  Presumably, natural selection outfitted these animals with the behaviors needed to operate their bodies in their new habitats, so why could it not also modify behaviors of animals when environments change, to prevent extinction?  This seems to be a very subjective application of evolutionary theory after the fact to explain opposite things.  Extinction, furthermore, is not evolution.  It may clear the playing field of misfits, but surely it does not add any genetic information for innovation.Pelican evolution?  Not here.  The earliest known pelican fossil, said to be 30 million years old, has been found in France, reported the BBC News.  “What has surprised them most about this ancient pelican is that it is almost identical to modern species.”  Other than slightly different proportions, there is nothing primitive about it.  “The discovery has surprised the researchers, because it reveals just how little pelicans have evolved over huge expanses of time.”  The article began to sound like a broken record about the lack of evolution: “That means that pelicans and their huge beaks have survived unchanged since the Oligocene epoch.”  The discoverer said, ”It is so similar to modern pelicans, despite its 30 million years.”    Can evolutionists explain why there was no change in all that time?  “That suggests that pelicans quickly evolved their huge beaks and have maintained them almost unchanged since because they are optimal for fish feeding.”  Another possibility: “However, it could also be that the giant beak has not evolved in the past 30 million years because of constraints imposed by flying.”  But that idea seems a stretch.  It does not seem to have affected other birds, that grew large beaks, small beaks, large wings, small wings, in all kinds of different habitats.    Dr. Antoine Louchart, the discoverer, offered another explanation for the missing evolution.  He suggested that while the skeleton shows stasis, “perhaps changes in other characterisics [sic] occurred, such as plumage or behaviour” – though, conveniently, none of those are open to observation or testing.  Louchart also made the odd claim that this is a rare example of an animal showing little or no change in the fossil record.  “The only other good examples, says Dr Louchart, are bats, which have a body shape that appears to have survived unaltered for around 50 million years.”  Perhaps he had a memory lapse; horseshoe crabs are still living virtually unchanged after an alleged 500 million years (06/21/2002) as are other members from the Cambrian explosion and many “living fossils.”  Also, there was no mention of a bat ancestor or a pelican ancestor in the article.  Just as the first bat fossil was 100% bat, if this was the earliest pelican ever found, it was already 100% pelican.Update 06/22/2010: Jeff Hecht reported on this fossil in New Scientist that it poses an “evolutionary puzzle.”  He said it “raises interesting questions over why evolution has left the birds so little changed over such a long period.”  Any hopes for solving this puzzle, however, evaporated within the article.  After mentioning only one suggestion, Hecht said, “Louchart is not convinced that either of these hypotheses offers a complete explanation; he thinks something else may be involved but does not know what that might be.”  No other possibilities were even mentioned.  In fact, the puzzle grew deeper: “The find not only pushes back the origins of pelicans, but of related birds too.”Mammal evolution?  Gnaw.  Large gnawing marks were found on dinosaur bones, reported PhysOrg.  Experts identify the bite marks from the alleged 75-million-year-old late Cretaceous bones: “They think they were most likely made by multituberculates, an extinct order of archaic mammals that resemble rodents and had paired upper and lower incisors.”  Even though the species are extinct, Nicholas Longrich of Yale noticed something about them that made him pay attention: “The marks stood out for me because I remember seeing the gnaw marks on the antlers of a deer my father brought home when I was young.”  Extinct or not, rodent tooth marks have not changed that much in 75 million years.    The article hastily added an evolutionary spin to make it appear that at least something has evolved in all that time: “But he points out that the Late Cretaceous creatures that chewed on these bones were not nearly as adept at gnawing as today’s rodents, which developed that ability long after dinosaurs went extinct.”  It’s not clear how that claim could be tested.  They must have been good enough to gnaw on the rib bone of a large dinosaur.  That’s pretty adept.  How much more adept did Longrich expect them to become?A hippo’s tale  There was an article in PNAS trying to figure out where hippos, whales and other mammals relate to each other.1  Their concern was to try to reduce the long (40 million year) “ghost lineage” between the earliest whale and the earliest hippopotamus, assuming they had a common ancestor.  Their hypothesis reduces this ghost lineage down by a third.  With more finagling they felt they could reduce it further.  Perhaps that represents progress, but it still means there is at least a 15 million year gap with no evidence for an evolutionary relationship.  Here’s what they said next.  The reader can decide if the outlook is promising:Different hypotheses, reflecting the poorly understood basal relationships of Cetartiodactyla, have been proposed for the origin of anthracotheriids.  Eocene Asian Helohyidae and Diacodexeidae were suggested as stem groups.  However, recent phylogenetic analysis did not support close relationships between those taxa and anthracotheriids (e.g., refs. 10, 15, 22, and 35).  Alternative sister taxa to the Hippopotamoidea were recently suggested, notably archaeocetes, cebochoerids, or larger clades including cebochoerids, raoellids, cetaceans, and hippopotamids (e.g., ref.  15).  The Raoellidae (Eocene, Asia) have also been suggested to be related to anthracotheriids, but to our knowledge, no formal phylogenetic analysis supported this hypothesis or included a suitable taxa sample to test this relationship.  Additional confusion was recently introduced with results supporting a polyphyletic Anthracotheriidae, markedly at odds with the paleontological literature.  Our results offer another hypothesis for hippopotamoid origins by suggesting close affinities with the middle Eocene European Choeropotamus (Choeropotamidae) based on molar and premolar morphology (Fig. 3).  This hypothesis is congruent with older hypotheses (e.g., ref. 69), but disagrees with most recent ones (43, 70, 71).  Choeropotamidae occur far back into the earliest Eocene of Europe, ~54 Ma (Cuisitherium), and are thus roughly contemporary with the first archaeocete known in the Indian subcontinent deposits.  This hypothesis needs to be further investigated with review of additional evidence, notably the craniomandibular morphology.  If confirmed, the basal history of the Hippopotamoidea would be filled in, reaching probably very close in time to the hippopotamid�cetacean last common ancestor.The authors did not explain how all these animals might have developed their complex traits, behaviors and body types.  Basically, to get these animals related by evolution somehow, they just compared teeth between 26 species.  There is nothing in the outward appearance of a hippopotamus and a whale that would suggest to a neutral observer a shared ancestry between them; is a “ghost lineage” a scientific concept or an artifact of imagination?Modern teeth 1 million years BC:  Another paper in PNAS demonstrates that our ancestors a million years ago, if they lived that long ago, had tooth development just like ours.2  At a cave in Spain, scientists tested the teeth of a juvenile “hominin” and found that “at least one European hominin species had a fully modern pattern of dental development with a clear slowdown in the development of the molar field regarding the anterior dental field.”  This indicates that the youth had a prolonged childhood, just like modern children have.  That hasn’t changed in a million years, they say, even well before Cro-Magnon man supposedly overtook the Neanderthals in Europe: “If this hypothesis is true, it implies that the appearance in Homo of this important developmental biological feature and an associated increase in brain size preceded the development of the neocortical areas leading to the cognitive capabilities that are thought to be exclusive to Homo sapiens.”    What does this finding do to other ideas about human evolution?  “These results push back the date of the earliest appearance of a prolonged childhood in hominins to more than 600 kya than previously thought,” they said in their conclusion.  “Therefore, the appearance of a prolonged childhood and an associated increase in brain size preceded the development of the neocortical areas leading to cognitive capabilities, such as language, which are thought to be exclusive to H. sapiens.”  But if people had larger brains and the propensity for language and culture farther back in time, it puts more stress on the evolutionary conundrum of why culture and civilization did not originate sooner.  Recorded history with written language begins in Sumer about 3500 BCE – and with it cities, agriculture, shipping, and long-distance trade.  What was going on for the other 994,500 years?Archaeology is a subset of paleontology that deals with human cultural remains.  A few articles about that appeared recently, and they also showed that we humans have not changed much.  PhysOrg reported a new set of cave paintings in Romania alleged to be up to 35,000 years old that show black-paint drawings of a horse, bear, buffalo and rhinoceros – the human propensity for representational art.    Several science news sites, such as National Geographic, reported the discovery of the world’s oldest leather shoe found in a cave in Armenia – stunningly preserved with laces and all.  The shoe was created about the time (3500 BCE) that cuneiform writing was being invented in Sumeria.  One shoe designer remarked, “It is astonishing how much this shoe resembles a modern shoe!”  The desire to keep feet away from thorns by using human ingenuity is something we can understand immediately by looking at the picture; we can even sense the maker’s appreciation for style as well as function.    Moving to Iron Age times (1000-900 BCE), scientists in Israel found evidence at Tell Rehov in the Jordan Valley that Israelites were using some of the finest honeybees for their apiculture (honey farming) by importing hives from Anitolia instead of using the local Syrian species, finding “imported bees superior to the local bees in terms of their milder temper and improved honey yield.”  Their paper, published in PNAS3, was summarized by Live Science.  Add some cows from Bashan and you have the Biblical land of milk and honey.1.  Orliac et al, “Early Miocene hippopotamids (Cetartiodactyla) constrain the phylogenetic and spatiotemporal settings of hippopotamid origin,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print June 14, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1001373107.2.  de Castro et al, “New immature hominin fossil from European Lower Pleistocene shows the earliest evidence of a modern human dental development pattern,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print June 14, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1006772107.3.  Block et al, “Industrial apiculture in the Jordan valley during Biblical times with Anatolian honeybees,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print June 7, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1003265107.The first realization that should sink deeply into the consciousness of readers is that evolution is not happening and has not happened by the one empirical measure available: the fossil record.  Ponder that.  Extinction, yes – but not evolution.  Fossils show that we live in an impoverished world compared to the biodiversity that once was.  Evolutionists attempt to parcel out fossils into their geological scheme to make it appear that there has been progressive change, but the examples above, and many others we have reported over the decade, show an abrupt appearance of complex life, extinction and stasis – the absence of evolution (03/27/2003, 12/26/2006, 07/14/2007, 03/26/2009, more).    Michael Oard published an article in the recent Creation Magazine (Vol 32, No. 3, 2010, pp. 14-15) that asked, “Are fossils ever found in the wrong place?”  His answer is, yes, “all the time.”  Evolutionists have various explanatory tricks to brush away the evidence.  We saw one above with the use of the word “stasis” – using it like a magic wand.  The Darwin Magician holds up the Stasis Wand and waves it over the fig wasp, and says, “And you, little fig wasp, you shall have the magical power to withstand the all-encompassing force of Natural Selection!  I declare thee exempt from its power!”  The fig wasp goes into a hypnotic trance, and like Rip Van Winkle, enters STASIS for 34 million years, while all the world around them swirls in its fluid evolutionary continuum of change.  If the magic show doesn’t impress you, maybe the comedy act will: “World’s Oldest Fig Wasp Fossil Proves That If It Works, Don’t Change It” (see Humor in the Baloney Detector).  How did you like their ghost story?  The Darwinists invoke “ghost lineages” to fill in gaps in their story.  Hey, Dawkins, what were you saying about people who believe in fairies, hobgoblins, and ghosts?  Talk to your buddies in the Darwin Party.    Oard describes other tricks of the Darwin trade: inventing terms like “living fossils” and “Lazarus taxa” (there’s a plagiarism from the Bible; for an example of the term in use by evolutionists, see 09/04/2009).  These terms refer to species thought to be extinct for 60, 100, 200, 300, million years or more – leaving no trace in the record – suddenly to rise from the dead and be found alive on some remote part of the earth (to see how they try to explain these away, see 12/04/2007).  Out-of-order fossils cause their lineages to get pushed upward (old to young) and downward (young to old, e.g. 03/26/2009).  We see this happening over and over again, all the time.  Conclusion: the geologic column, with its representative fossils showing an evolutionary history, is a myth: “the fact is that evolution is assumed and then used to explain the fossils,” Oard said.  “So, when fossils are found in odd places and not known before, the evolutionists just change their story about evolution.”  For another explanation on how evolutionists morph their stories when the data don’t fit, read Paul Nelson’s “Seeing Ghosts in the Bushes” articles on Evolution News & Views, Part 1 and Part 2, where he goes into more detail about evolutionists and their “ghost lineages.”   We must be wise to their tricks.  That is the first realization that should sink deeply into our consciousness.    The second realization follows logically from the first.  All those millions of years of stasis evaporate upon logical reflection.  Think about it.  Here’s a fig wasp fossil in the UK the Darwinists tell us is 34 million years old.  Here’s a fig wasp fossil in the Dominican Republic they say is 20 million years old.  Here is a living fig wasp.  They all look identical.  Question: if we already know the Darwinists are tricksters, why should we trust them with their millions-of-years talk?  On the one hand, they tell us evolution is so powerful, so pervasive that it can turn a dog-size mammal into a sperm whale in six million years.  Is it credible that these wasps really did nothing for many times that amount of time?  Furthermore, are we to believe that the Wollemi pine lived throughout 150 million years since dinosaurs walked the earth, leaving not a single trace in the fossil record, till it was discovered in 1995?  Similar questions could be asked about the many other “living fossils” that should be a huge embarrassment to the Darwinists.    Why not take the simpler, more parsimonious explanation?  Cut out the needless millions of years, which are not observable anyway, and recognize that probably not very much time has passed between those fossils.  “But the dating methods prove it!” someone screams.  No, they don’t.  Evolutionists pick and choose the dating methods they like – the ones that give them the deep time they need.  They ignore many other dating methods that set severe upper limits on the fossils and strata.  Deep time was invented as a philosophical choice before the evidence spoke (07/25/2008).  It was a choice intended to free geology from dependence on the Bible (and with the secular geologists came the Darwinian biologists).  Deep time has become the Darwin Party’s deep pockets.  Like a government slush fund, it has become an endless source of explanatory resources from which they borrow, with no responsibility or accountability.  Like a dusty museum archive, it is a place to stash the stasis out of sight of the public.  The evolution is just out there, in the millions-of-years somewhere, where we don’t have to show it.  Meanwhile, the schoolchildren are shown the marbled halls and multimedia displays honoring Darwin – not the ugly truth of stasis, stasis, stasis.    This is why Baloney Detecting is so vital in our Darwin-drunk age.  The reporters are not doing critical analysis.  If you learn to read science news articles carefully – if you are up to their tricks – if you sieve out the actual data, then you can see what it actually indicates.  Then you ask the right questions: where is the evolution?  Where is the actual empirical evidence of slow, gradual progress from bacteria to man?  Where is the millions of years?  When all you actually see is stasis, and humorous evolutionary dances around the data to keep you believing in the Darwin regime, while the Darwin damage control people are sneaking in behind the facades, then you understand.  It’s not science; it’s an act.  And it’s high time somebody clean up this act.(Visited 60 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

A story of unconditional love this festive season

first_img12 Kittens for the 12 days of Christmas On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… A kitten, a kitten and more little kittens… Dear Animal Friends In the spirit of the festive season I would like to share with you a heart-warming story of unconditional giving and love. Young Mommy Cat was brought to the Mdzananda Animal Clinic early September 2015. Her owner brought her with great concern – something was wrong with her cat as she had progressively become larger and larger. Mommy Cat was admitted to the cat ward where her growing tummy gave birth to five little kittens. Mommy Cat, who was a baby herself and only 6 months old, adored her five kittens. Every day they snuggled up to her, clawed at her belly as they drank and she licked them clean with great love. But Mommy Cat had more love to give… Two ginger kittens, each only two weeks old, were brought to Mdzananda a week later. Their mother had disappeared and their human owner did not know how to feed them. Mommy Cat came to the rescue and adopted both these little kittens as her own. As time went by Mommy Cat’s 7 kittens grew older and people came to adopt them. As each one left with their new families, Mommy Cat waved them goodbye. Then her last little kitten was taken to her new home and Mommy Cat was left alone. A few days passed and then one morning a boy came to Mdzananda carrying a cooking pot. Inside the cooking pot were 5 little kittens. Their mom had passed away and he needed help. Mommy Cat heard the sound of kittens squealing and quickly opened up her heart to them. She adopted all five little kittens as her own once again. These little kittens stayed with Mommy Cat in her cat ward and are now ready for their forever homes. Our biggest wish was that dear loving young Mommy would find a forever home where she could be loved by a human family and shown the unconditional love that she showed to 12 little kittens. We are overjoyed that a loving family adopted Mommy Cat and one of her surrogate kittens. Thank you for all the love you showed 12 kittens Mommy Cat. We wish you a wonderful, happy life! The maternal instinct that young Mommy Cat feels for any kitten is the way we feel about each little pet that comes through the front doors of the Mdzananda Animal Clinic. We pride ourselves in not just providing routine treatment but treating each pet for its individual needs, providing the best love, care and medical practices we can. Our vets and animal welfare assistants work tirelessly to help each little animal. The Mdzananda Animal Clinic is a veterinary council registered, NPO animal clinic in Khayelitsha, a township which is home to over 400 000 people (census 2011). We serve their animals at a very low cost. Many people may think that people from townships should not have pets – we have a different opinion. We see hundreds of community members bringing their beloved pets to receive help. Some walk many kilometres to bring their pets to Mdzananda. Some find creative ways to transport their hurt pets as they do not have access to transport. We see pets arriving in wheel burrows, prams, shopping carts and even carried on wooden planks on strong shoulders. At Mdzananda we can treat up to 1000 pets per month. We also educate the owners about better ways of looking after their pets and becoming responsible pet owners. Christmas and end of year is a difficult time at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic. Most of the community members go to the Eastern Cape to visit their family leaving their animals behind with friends. Very regularly these friends do not know how to look after animals. Their homes are not always equipped for animals – they get out of the yard, end up in dog fights or get hit by vehicles. We receive many animals that have fallen sick due to insufficient nutrition or non pet friendly living conditions. Many community members also hand over their pets to Mdzananda during this time. We need to cover all their costs. The festive season is a time of joy and we aim to ensure that all animals in Khayelitsha stay healthy and happy. The work of Mdzananda is supported by donations and gifts. Through this letter I would like to ask you to consider making a gift to the Mdzananda Animal Clinic over this festive season. Any gift, big or small, is greatly appreciated and will change the lives of animals in need. Mommy Cat sends out a big PURRR, hoping that you hear her asking too. With sincere gratitude (and wags!) Felipe Perdomo – Director (and Mommy Cat) Mdzananda Animal Clinic, Standard Bank, Account number: 075595710, Branch: Rondebosch, Branch Code: 025009, Reference: MommyCat + Your Name Sms “donate dog” to 40580 at R20.last_img read more

LAN 16inches 100 STRANDS Pre Bonded Nail U Tip 100 % Remy Human Straight Hair Extensions 17 Colors : They hair was to thin don’t think I would buy

first_imgThis product is lovely quality, great shinethe only down side was the length of time it took but fab price. Excellent quality, great seller contact. 16inches 100 STRANDS Pre Bonded Nail U Tip 100 % Remy Human Straight Hair Extensions 17 Colors (#12 light brown)16” High Quality, Tangle Free, Silky Softy Smooth Gorgeous Straight hairHair type : 100% human hair, no fiber, no synthetic, can be curled, ironed, straightenedEasy to attach and remove100 strands in one packageGreat to use with hair extension glue gun Delivered on time as seller describes. Have no trouble with them they wash and colour great and stay in good condition. Ideal for someone with fine hair as they are only 0. This product is lovely quality, great shinethe only down side was the length of time it took but fab price. The communication was excellent , the quality was excellent , the colour was perfect match to my hair and they arrived only one day after the expected first day delivery date which was the 8th of september what more could anyone ask for. Brilliant seller and fantastic bargain will recommend to anyone and definately use again. Even recommended to the hairdresser who fitted the extensions for me. 16inches 100 STRANDS Pre Bonded Nail U Tip 100 % Remy Human Straight Hair Extensions 17 Colors (#12 light brown) : Excellent quality hair, fast delivery and easy to apply my hair looks fantastic. Good value but worth spending a little more on heavier hair. Good value but worth spending a little more on heavier hair. Good secure glue tips when fitted properly. Curl and straighten well with ghd’s. No damaged hair when using heat. Minimum loss when brushed or washed. Soft silky hair even after quite a few weeks. Will definitely purchase these again. I’ve treated my with great respect, plenty conditioner. Unfortunately it would seem that these extensions aren’t cuticle correct and tend to tangle and frizz. I’ve treated my with great respect, plenty conditioner, moisturised and heat guard used when drying or styling. Very good value for money easy to put in. Good secure glue tips when fitted properly. Curl and straighten well with ghd’s. No damaged hair when using heat. Minimum loss when brushed or washed. Soft silky hair even after quite a few weeks. Will definitely purchase these again. The communication was excellent , the quality was excellent , the colour was perfect match to my hair and they arrived only one day after the expected first day delivery date which was the 8th of september what more could anyone ask for. Brilliant seller and fantastic bargain will recommend to anyone and definately use again. Even recommended to the hairdresser who fitted the extensions for me. Excellent quality hair, fast delivery and easy to apply my hair looks fantastic. They hair was to thin don’t think i would buy. They hair was to thin don’t think i would buy again. Excellent quality, great seller contact. These extensions are brilliant. My hairdresser couldn’t believe how much i had paid for them as she said the quality was excellent. Stayed in for ages, even after lots of straightening, curling and washing etc they didn’t budge and not even the colour faded. Very good value for money easy to put in. They hair was to thin don’t think i would buy. They hair was to thin don’t think i would buy again. SummaryReviewer Nathalie DuboisReview Date2018-02-12 06:56:50Reviewed Item 16inches 100 STRANDS Pre Bonded Nail U Tip 100 % Remy Human Straight Hair Extensions 17 Colors (#12 light brown)Rating 1.0 / 5  stars, based on  42  reviews Posted on February 12, 2018Author Nathalie DuboisCategories Hair ExtensionsTags LANlast_img read more

The Impact of Technology on Politics Goes Far Beyond Social Media

first_imgLike it or not, politics and technology are forever intertwined in a symbiotic dance. The influence of social media bots on the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election has been much discussed over the past year, and with Mark Zuckerberg facing the Senate recently to provide his testimony regarding the Cambridge Analytica scandal, you don’t need to look far to see how government and progress have forged a “digital divide.”Regrettably, but perhaps not surprisingly, people are left alienated and frustrated by the struggle.What we need is a full-blown intervention between the two powers, or else they’re doomed to run in circles around each other. Why force this marriage? Quite simply because we’re headed into unique territory.When tech behemoths make the rulesIn a national and global perspective, the economic output is enough to cater to everyone’s needs. Amid a bevy of plenty, political focus will shift from growth to the distribution of resources and creating meaningful employment, inclusion, and integrity despite trackable footprints; encouraging and limiting genetic engineering; and maximizing the distribution of resources. Societies will grapple with what happens when artificial intelligence makes some jobs superfluous while the humans who once performed them live much longer lives.In other words, we’ll be forced to look at politics not only to organize and rule, but also to justly make determinations. That’s a tall order with a polarized political landscape, where everything goes back to control and not necessarily what is right.Who pulls the strings? It’s no longer Wall Street’s fat cats. Ironically, it’s the tech giants: Alphabet, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, etc. Just last year, five of the biggest Silicon Valley players contributed nearly $50 million to lobbying efforts. Zuckerberg has even hired a pollster to track his public perception in the wake of the backlash Facebook faced after the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Their ilk has shifted the focus and the balance, and the government is fighting to keep its feet firmly planted.The same thing happened with steam locomotives, telegraph cables, and electricity in the 19th century. Then, we were amazed, puzzled, and, yes, scared; eventually, though, we were able to learn, adjust, and use the technology to our advantage.Tech’s impact on our futureWe’re once again on the cusp of truly innovative technologies that will have serious effects on society and, thereby, politics. First is AI and the increased understanding of how to mine and utilize big data. The culled information will offer new perspectives and decision-making tools; if politicians and people are smart, it will also guide new methods of governance.Along with that is the way automation will create some serious challenges for society in regards to the human labor force. This is an ongoing transition that’s quickly gaining speed, but we must not forget the individuals who are faced with this new reality. If we cannot figure out how to remove feelings of alienation, we’ll risk social unrest and extremism. With an increasing digital and technological divide, this is already seen in increasing political populism.Another offshoot of our budding technologies is the stress that longevity will put on the social welfare system. When people outlive past generations’ life expectancies by years or decades, we’re forced to rethink retirement, aging, careers, relationships, and perhaps even death itself.Technology has also opened the doors to new energy solutions. Although global political and financial power is connected to fossil fuels, this will predictably shift with the increase in nuclear power and renewable energy sources. Think it can’t happen? It’s already been proven as a fact in North America: Ontario moved from a 25 percent coal reliance to a 0 percent reliance in just 11 years.Finally, we can expect blockchain technologies such as bitcoin to bring about greater societal transparency within financial and political systems. Such tech has been dubbed “liquid democracy,” but how will politics learn to secure everyone’s wealth with vastly changing standards of currency and trade?Bridging the digital divideEventually, technology will need a new approach to politics — and politicians a new approach to technology. Thus far, technology has proven a huge challenge for politics because politicians focus largely on short-term impact. Think about it: How many dedicate themselves to thinking beyond the next election cycle? Sure, their talk is visionary and ideological, but their actions seldom match up.To be sure, I’m a strong believer in a democratic system, but it’s hard to cope with long-term societal challenges — often fueled by technological change — within such systems. To increase the ability to govern more efficiently in a high-tech world, we need emergent forms of governing such as the Finnish Parliament’s 17-member future committee think tank or the development of 20-year future studies such as those by the National Intelligence Council.Other ideas to emulsify politics and technology, thereby stabilizing their relationship, include bipartisan agreements on the direction of the coming years and arenas for fueling curiosity and discussions around science, technology and innovation. To date, we already have Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, as well as a plan for Dubai’s Museum of the Future. But we need more commitment to promote futuristic thought.The digital divide is real — that much is undeniable. But it’s going to take more than an app or social media play to fix the problem. We must become more cross-political, ignoring the borders set by parties. Otherwise, we’ll never surmount many of the challenges we’re currently facing, much less the ones to come. Right now, society is not future-ready and certainly not settled enough for the merger and cross-pollination of BANG (bits, atoms, neurons, and genes). That doesn’t mean it can’t be; it’s simply stalled at the chasm between a world in transition and a robust future. Nicklas Bergman How to Make the Most of Your Software Developer… Tags:#politics#technology Remote Working Culture: The Facts Business Owne… Nicklas Bergman (@ncklsbrgmn) is an entrepreneur and deep tech investor. He’s the author of “Surviving the Tech Storm: Strategy in Times of Technological Uncertainty” and a member of the European Innovation Council. Related Posts How to Use Behavioral Data to Inform Marketing … The False Choice Between Privacy and Safety in …last_img read more

Durant unfazed by Thunder return

first_imgJapan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 “We’ll see how it feels in the morning but right now, it feels good,” said Durant, who sat out Golden State’s 118-111 victory at Brooklyn on Sunday.Warriors coach Steve Kerr meanwhile said Durant would be ready for anything in terms of crowd reception.“We’re a year removed from the first one so hopefully it will be a little less hostile,” Kerr said. “But we’ll be ready for whatever.”The Warriors coach compared Durant’s return to Oklahoma City to the reception given to LeBron James when he first played back in Cleveland after joining Miami in 2010.“It reminded me of LeBron’s return to Cleveland,” Kerr said. “It was very similar, just a different vibe. Sometimes you can have intensity and desire, and sometimes it can be ugly. And it was ugly.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ In his return to Oklahoma City last season, Durant put up 40 points, and blocked out the hostile reception which greeted him.More of the same is expected on Wednesday, but Durant said he is unconcerned by the catcalls.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“It’s just a regular game for me now,” the reigning NBA Finals MVP said Tuesday. “I learned how to tune out the crowd.”The 29-year-old said a decision on whether he will play on Wednesday will most likely be taken on the day of the game. ONE: Yamaguchi eyes quick revenge vs Filipino bet Iniong View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES Read Nextcenter_img Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors looks on against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on November 18, 2017 in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania. Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFPGolden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant insists he is unfazed by the prospect of facing his former team as the NBA champions prepare to take on Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.Durant, who is battling to recover from a left ankle sprain, left Oklahoma City for Golden State after eight seasons in 2016.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?02:25Raptors or Warriors? PBA players take their pick of NBA champ01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohortlast_img read more

a month agoEx-Real Madrid president Calderon: I’m outraged Ronaldo was sold

first_imgEx-Real Madrid president Calderon: I’m outraged Ronaldo was soldby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has again hit out at the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo.Ronaldo left Madrid for Juventus over a year ago – and Calderon says the club is yet to recover.He told AS: “He should never have left, it’s amazing that he was let go. “It’s impossible to do without such a player. 60 goals per season … no player can bring you such a guarantee. He is irreplaceable, just like (Lionel) Messi. “I am outraged that this may have happened, while (president) Florentino (Perez) keeps saying that Cristiano’s signature was the best of his mandate.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Salem Beach in St. Ann to be upgraded

first_img “This will help to improve the town of Salem’s tourism economy, diversify its offerings and improve economic competitiveness in the area,” he said, adding that the Salem Beach will be transformed into a quality recreational area with facilities and services that will meet international standards. Story Highlights Speaking at the ceremony to break ground, at the beach in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, on October 17, Mr. Bartlett said the beach upgrade is being done under the TEF’s National Beach Development Programme, in collaboration with the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says that Salem Beach in St. Ann will be upgraded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) at a cost of $26 million. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says that Salem Beach in St. Ann will be upgraded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) at a cost of $26 million.Speaking at the ceremony to break ground, at the beach in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, on October 17, Mr. Bartlett said the beach upgrade is being done under the TEF’s National Beach Development Programme, in collaboration with the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).“This will help to improve the town of Salem’s tourism economy, diversify its offerings and improve economic competitiveness in the area,” he said, adding that the Salem Beach will be transformed into a quality recreational area with facilities and services that will meet international standards.Additionally, Mr. Bartlett said that fishermen who utilise Salem Beach will not be left out, as the Tourism Ministry plans to include them in the upgrade.“We are looking at how to include fisherfolk in this development. We definitely cannot leave them out, as the upgrade must be inclusive,” the Minister added.For his part, Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay and Chairman of the St. Ann Municipal Corporation, Michael Belnavis, said he is pleased that the Salem Beach is getting a facelift, and expressed gratitude to the Ministry.The upgrade will include the demolition of some existing structures, the construction of restrooms, two gazebos, a wash-off stand and parking facilities. There will also be an upgrade of the sewerage treatment system.The renovation is expected to be completed in February 2019.Under the National Beach Development Programme, the TEF has, so far, spent more than $105 million to upgrade the Lyssons Beach in St. Thomas; the Boston Beach in Portland, and Burwood Beach in Trelawny.last_img read more

Sharon Stone appears with wide open cleavage at Marrakech Film Festival

first_imgSidi Ifni- Sharon Stone, the Hollywood star who attended the opening ceremony of the Marrakech Film Festival Friday night, appeared on stage boasting her cleavage. But unlike the past when such look used to stir controversy in Moroccan conservative society, the American actress’ look went unnoticed by Moroccan audience. The pictures taken of her during the festival made her appear as one of the sexiest women on the screen.Director Martin Scorsese, this year’s jury president, awarded the star a lifetime achievement prize.  Sharone Stone was among several foreign artists who are to be honored in this year’s edition of the festival. Wearing a long blue robe at the opening ceremony, more than a fair share of her cleavage stood out. Sharon prides herself on the best films she starred in and the numerous awards she has won worldwide, such as a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. Martin Scorsese was honored to award Stone a prize on Friday night. Sharon expressed her passion for bridging cultures of the world and promoting tolerance, creativity and peace. ‘The Marrakech film festival has given us the opportunity to bring together cultures from around the world to show our creative spirit,” Sharon said.  “I’m grateful to receive this award, “she added. © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

Russell Westbrook Does Everything Fast For Better And For Worse

201453.312.1 201649.9%21.7% 201557.115.2 Source: Synergy Sports Given the aggressive way he challenges multiple defenders at once and the energy he expends in doing so, it’s not all that surprising that Westbrook’s turnover rate is spiking. At the same time, he’s scoring in transition just under 50 percent of the time, which is his lowest success rate on such plays since his rookie season in 2008.There’s also been a major shift in the kind of turnovers Westbrook has been committing since he took on an unprecedented share of his team’s offense in the absence of Durant. The share of his miscues that stem from losing the ball — as opposed to throwing a bad pass, for instance — has more than doubled this season, according to Basketball-Reference. (In fairness, fellow MVP candidate James Harden, who has also been asked to take on a far greater role in his team’s offense, has struggled with many of the same turnover issues.)Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/westbrook-vs-heat1.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.In Cleveland on Sunday, I asked Thunder coach Billy Donovan about Westbrook’s aggressive, coast-to-coast sprints, and Donovan said he’s careful to not try to change the player Westbrook is, especially considering how much his star is asked to facilitate on offense.“When he does make a mistake, or doesn’t make the right decision and it results in a turnover, nobody is harder on him than himself. So there’s a line for me: I don’t want to take away a guy who, in my opinion, is the best open-floor player in the world,” Donovan said before his team lost to the Cavaliers. “After he makes a mistake, he does a good job of regulating and pulling back so that he can make better decisions.”Westbrook, who’s faced questions for the majority of his career about whether he sometimes plays too fast, has said in the past that he doesn’t feel his play is out of control.“I don’t think I play reckless at all,” he said. “I just think I play at a high level that other people may not be used to seeing.” That much is almost impossible to disagree with.Kawhi Leonard’s little fundamentalsIt’s challenging to illustrate how good Kawhi Leonard is on defense with numbers alone, but one metric offers us a glimpse: How often his blocked shots end up in the Spurs’ hands as opposed to the other team’s. It happens way more often than it should.On average, defensive teams come up with the ball about 57 percent of the time after they block a shot. But San Antonio has gotten possession of the ball on 75 percent of Leonard’s blocks this season, the highest rate in the NBA among players with at least 25 swats, according to information from BigDataBall, a database that logs the league’s play-by-play data. (San Antonio is still somewhat above-average at recovering blocks if you take Leonard’s numbers out of the mix, but the Spurs’ 61 percent recovery rate without Leonard doesn’t stand out from the rest of the league nearly as much.)It’s unclear whether this speaks solely to Leonard’s ability to guide blocks with his oversized hands, or whether it’s more a function of the Spurs being in a good position to field the swats once they occur.In any case, Leonard had a great mentor for this sort of thing. Recently retired Spurs legend Tim Duncan saw his teammates recover almost 74 percent of his blocked shots last season, per BigDataBall; the highest rate of any NBA player with 70 blocks or more.Paul George, all of a sudden the NBA’s best free-throw shooterAcross the board, from his three-point stroke to his solid efficiency in the last four seconds of the shot clock, Paul George has improved considerably as a shooter this season. He has also become a surprisingly great free-throw shooter — he’s hitting almost 93 percent from the charity stripe and is leading the league in free-throw percentage.That might not seem all that surprising — after all, he shot 86 percent from the free-throw line last season. But the Pacers star was very slightly worse than league average from the line as a rookie, making 76 percent of his shots that year. If he keeps this up, George would be the first player in more than 45 years — and just the second player in NBA history after Chet Walker — to lead the NBA in free-throw percentage after shooting worse than league average from the stripe during his rookie season.The Memphis Grizzlies’ defense is just for kicksThe Grit ’n’ Grind Grizzlies have long been known for their tough, bruising style of old-school basketball. But at certain points over the years, Memphis looked like it was doing its best impression of a soccer team instead.The Grizzlies, fourth in the NBA with 35 kicked-ball violations, are on track to rank among the NBA’s top 10 in the category for the sixth time in nine seasons, according to rare-stat site NBA Miner. Leading the charge for the Grizzlies is Marc Gasol, who tops the league with 13 kicked-ball violations this season, per BigDataBall. Related: Hot Takedown 201353.315.0 201254.811.1 201054.815.1 Welcome to Four-Point Play, our weekly NBA column that pieces together four statistical trends from around the league and lays out what they tell us about where a team has been or where it’s heading. Find a stat you think should be included here? Email or tweet me at chris.herring@fivethirtyeight.com or @Herring_NBA.Is Russell Westbrook too fast for his own good?Between his freakish athleticism and the sheer fury with which he plays, Russell Westbrook — the closest thing we have to a human cannonball in pro sports — is the most entertaining player in the game today. Unlike smoother players like LeBron James or Chris Paul, who have a signature ebb and flow to their games, the Oklahoma City star is unpredictable from one play to the next. Because of his game-changing speed — when going full bore, he’s one of the NBA’s five fastest players, according to the league’s high-level tracking data — Westbrook’s capable of making plays that most other athletes can only dream of pulling off.More often than not, though, when Westbrook’s talent backfires, it’s because he’s trying too hard to make something happen, particularly when he’s outnumbered during fast-break situations.Oklahoma City, after forcing a live-ball turnover, is finishing its possessions in just over eight seconds on average, which is by far the fastest rate in the league, according to Inpredictable, a site that specializes in calculating win probabilities and other advanced sports metrics. Westbrook, as the team’s point guard and best player, is an enormous part of that speed. But the quick trips down the court aren’t necessarily paying off: As of Wednesday afternoon, the Thunder were tied for the second-worst efficiency after live-ball turnovers. That’s a steep drop-off from last year, when Kevin Durant was still in Oklahoma City and the club had the NBA’s eighth-best offense in those scenarios.Perhaps Westbrook’s speed-demon tendencies have something to do with that inefficiency.In transition, Westbrook’s reliance on his speed means he’ll often experience the same dichotomy as Sonic the Hedgehog: He either sprints triumphantly across the finish line or crashes painfully into an obstruction, losing all his golden rings.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/westbrook-vs-clippers-clip.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Westbrook is involved in an NBA-high seven transition plays per game. And according to an analysis run at FiveThirtyEight’s request by Brittni Donaldson of SportVU, which tracks nearly everything that happens on an NBA court, there have been 413 instances1As of January 29. this season where, following a turnover or a defensive rebound in the backcourt, Westbrook took at least three dribbles and covered at least 20 feet with those dribbles. For context, John Wall, the next closest player, has done that 257 times. 200847.215.7 201154.515.5 SEASONSCORETURNOVER 200954.113.2 Outcomes of Russell Westbrook possessions when in transition Is College Basketball Broken? We Asked The Game’s Top Stats Guru Of course, there are practical reasons for a team like Memphis — which has also ranked among the top 10 on the defensive end of the floor for six of the past seven seasons — to kick the basketball. At a minimum, it forces a team to reset its offense with less time remaining on the shot clock. And at a maximum, it prevents an opposing player from catching an interior pass in a prime scoring area. (We’ve seen Tony Allen accidentally go a bit too far defending with his feet before.)That said, it’s more fun to try to connect the dots between Gasol’s kicked-ball violations and Gasol’s love for soccer. He hails from Spain, and he is an FC Barcelona fan. Plus, who could forget the time he nearly headed the basketball into the hoop during a pause in the action?Additional research assistance by Neil Paine.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more