Solidarity with locked-out Honeywell workers

first_imgMartha Grevatt with Honeywell locked out workers, Jan. 5.South Bend, Ind. – On Jan. 5, autoworkers from Detroit and Chicago traveled to South Bend, Ind., to show solidarity with Honeywell workers who have been locked out by the Honeywell bosses since May 9.The workers attended United Auto Workers Local 9’s two monthly membership meetings, held at different times to accommodate everyone’s picketing schedule.  Between meetings, members of UAW Locals 22, 140, 551, 600, 869, 909 and 1700 walked the picket line in the bitter cold. The solidarity delegation was organized by Autoworker Caravan.On May 9, with no advance notice, over 300 Honeywell workers in South Bend and about 50 workers in Green Island, N.Y., were escorted out of their plants in the early morning hours and locked out. This act of corporate terror occurred two days after workers in these two former Bendix brake plants overwhelmingly rejected a contract that tore up 80 years of hard-fought gains.In November, the company tried to shove the same offer down the workers’ throats again. Local 9 members were now weeks away from running out of unemployment benefits but an overwhelming majority voted “no.” They would not accept the runaway health care costs that would eat away at their paychecks and effectively reduce the hourly rate for the lowest paid to below $15. An attack on seniority rights was one of several other big issues. The membership suspended the local’s president after he tried to convince the workers to vote “yes.”Workers are angry that executives and shareholders, themselves rolling in dough, would deny the basic right to health care. Honeywell is a major defense and aerospace supplier with billions of dollars in Pentagon contracts and over 65 plants worldwide. The company, number 75 on the Fortune 500 list, made almost $5 billion in profits in 2015. CEO David Cote was rewarded with over $25 million in salary and other compensation. “Never has a company that soars in profit descended so swiftly and calculatingly for more profit on the backs of its longtime loyal union workers,” UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles wrote in a Detroit News op-ed piece.Workers spoke at length about their uphill battle at the Jan. 5 meetings. “All you have left in this contract is wages,” Vice President Todd Treder explained. “If we take this now, what do you think they’ll be coming after next time? Your wages.” The company wanted another vote on the same bad offer right before Christmas. The local leadership refused.“We are ground zero,” one of the members commented. Honeywell workers, the only UAW members currently locked out, are fighting for the union’s future. The UAW International, along with Region 2B, which includes Indiana, needs to mobilize labor and community solidarity. Workers at the meetings expressed frustration with the bureaucracy.Local 9 thanked Autoworker Caravan as well as Local 551 from the Chicago Ford plant for its consistent solidarity. “Fundraising is important,” a Chrysler worker commented. “When they are trying to starve you out a full pantry is a weapon.”Members of UAW Local 9 are proud of their struggle legacy. The self-published book, “We of Bendix Local No. 9,” explains the critical role Local 9 played in U.S. labor history. The Nov. 17-23 Bendix sit-down in 1936 was the first for the UAW. “Order and discipline were maintained within the plant, members fed, families in distress were helped, amateur shows put on, parades, religious services, and an agreement for settlement was finally reached. … Bendix Local 9 had won a tremendous victory!” Bendix dissolved the company union and recognized the UAW. This paved the way for victories at General Motors, Chrysler and others.Over the years, Local 9 fought many battles and won many gains. In the early years, the union fought to get women paid the same hourly rate for the same exact job as men. Today, Local 9 is just as united in its fight for health care and contract justice.Martha Grevatt, a 29-year UAW Chrysler worker, was part of the Honeywell solidarity delegation.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

St John’s waive fees for asylum seeker

first_imgAn asylum seeker who believed she would be unable to afford her place at Oxford has had her fees waived by St John’s College.Sholeem Griffin, whose family left Pakistan for the UK in 2003, initially thought that she would have to reject her offer from St John’s College to study biochemistry, because as an international student she would have had to pay £10,000 a year in tuition fees.However, she was told by St John’s that she would be able to take up her place with financial help from the College and the JCR on the condition that she gained three ‘A’s at A-level. She went on to gain four ‘A’s and a ‘B’.Describing how she felt when she learned that she would be able to come to Oxford, she said, “That was awesome really; I didn’t expect that. I was a bit disappointed at the time. I thought I wasn’t going to university until this whole thing got sorted out.”I knew the fees were high for an international student and that it would be difficult. The alternative was sitting at home because I really couldn’t do much more with education as at every university it was the same problem.”Sholeem’s family came to the UK because they feared that they would not be able to practise Christianity in Pakistan, and were granted asylum in Wales. However, immigration law states that only those granted refugee status, which Sholeem did not have, can apply as home students to a British university. She chose to apply to Oxford in 2006, after encouragement from her school, hoping that the long interval between sending off her UCAS form and starting her degree might have led to a change in her status as an asylum seeker. St John’s JCR President Rhys Jones said, “I think it’s really good that she’s coming to study her chosen degree here. It’s encouraging to see the College using its funds to help those who would otherwise be unable to realise their ambitions.” St John’s Equal Opportunities Officer Sophie Brockmann added, “The advantage of studying at a rich college like St John’s is that students do have help available to them.” Sholeem hopes to study for a master’s degree after Oxford, and eventually go on to do research.last_img read more

Giants vs. Eagles odds, prediction, betting trends for ‘Monday Night Football’

first_imgWhen the Giants (2-10) take the short trip down from New Jersey to take on the Eagles (5-7) in Philadelphia on “Monday Night Football” (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN), there will be only playoff implications for one sub-.500 team. The visitors will try to play spoiler against their NFC East rivals.The Giants were eliminated from contention last week and are turning back to Eli Manning at quarterback with rookie first-rounder Daniel Jones dealing with an ankle injury. The Eagles can still win the division over the Cowboys and will be trying to pull even in the standings, down only a head-to-head tiebreaker with the teams set to play again in Week 16. Carson Wentz hasn’t had the easiest season with injuries around him, but the Eagles’ quarterback himself is healthy to try to guide his team to a profitable end despite all the frustrations of the 2019 NFL season so far.Here’s a guide to betting on Giants vs. Eagles in Week 14, including updated odds, trends and our expert’s prediction for “Monday Night Football.”MORE: Get the latest NFL odds & betting trends from Sports InsiderEagles vs.Giants odds for ‘Monday Night Football’Spread: Eagles by 9.5Point total: 44.5Odds: Giants -115, Eagles -105The Eagles started around touchdown favorites and the line has moved up to 8 to now above 9 closer to kickoff. Manning playing over Jones doesn’t change too much. The game is expected to be played in rainy conditions in Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles’ offense has sputtered, but the Giants’ defense is bad. The Eagles’ defense continues to have issues on the back end.Eagles vs. Giants all-time seriesThe Giants and Eagles are tied all-time, 85-85-2. The Eagles have won five consecutive games in the series and 9 out of 10 to even things up. The Giants last won in November 2016. Manning was the starting quarterback in that game. He is 10-20 against the Eagles in his 30 starts.Three trends to know— 55 percent of spread bettors like the Giants to cover the near double-digit number on the short road trip. 61 percent of moneyline bettors like the Giants to pull the upset straight up.— Something has to give in terms of the cover, because the Giants and the Eagles are both 4-8 against the spread this season. In terms of over/under, 7 of 12 Giants have gone over, while only 6 of 12 Eagles games have gone over.— The Giants have lost eight consecutive games. They are only 2-6 against the spread in those games. The Eagles have lost three in a row and are 2-5 against the spread in their last 7 games.Three things to watchCan Saquon get going?Saquon Barkley has had a tough sophomore season after a spectacular rookie campaign. Marred by a midseason ankle injury, the Giants’ running back has averaged only 4.0 yards per carry, down a full yard from last season and hasn’t been nearly involved as a receiver after catching 91 passes in 2018. For the Giants to pull the upset he needs to do something significant from scrimmage against the Eagles’ No. 3 run defense.Eli at .500Manning has a career regular-season record of 118-118. With Jones taking over after two games, it was expected the 38-year-old’s number would stay that way given his retirement is imminent. But now he has a chance to rise out of mediocrity or further sink his shaky at best Hall of Fame resume.The Eagles’ receiversThe team should be without wide receiver Nelson Agholor and top power back Jordan Howard. That means a lot more of Alshon Jeffery and tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert in the passing game for Wentz, as well as rookie Miles Sanders, who will handle most of the backfield duties with Howard staying on the shelf again. Philadelphia has struggled to find explosive plays. That won’t change here outside of Sanders after the catch, but it can dominate moving the ball all the way through the red zone. Stat that mattersWentz is 4-1 against the Giants. In those five games, he’s posted a combined 1,206 passing yards for 6 TDs and 3 INTs, with a 90.6 passer rating and 7.27 yards per attempt. He’s coming off his best game in weeks, throwing for 310 yards and 3 TDs and rating 93.6 in the loss to the Dolphins.Eagles vs. Giants predictionThe Giants’ defense cannot stop the Eagles’ running game, Ertz, Goedert and Jeffery. The Giants will have some success throwing the ball, but Barkley should be contained on the ground. Doug Pederson’s team gets closer to another division title, while Pat Shurmur’s team makes him feel even more heat on the hot seat.Eagles 27, Giants 17last_img read more

Meghan Kelly: CNN’s Don Lemon “Pretends to be Objective”

first_imgFormer Fox News and NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly and CNN anchor are in a war of words over objectivity and racism. Kelly ripped Don Lemon in a tweet that CNN “pretends he is an objective news anchor.” In her tweet, Kelly linked to a story that included Lemon’s criticisms of the way President Trump conducts the White House coronavirus task force briefings.“CNN still pretends he is an objective news anchor (yeah, sure) while the [mainstream media] recoils in horror at the bias of Fox/[One America News], etc. Who do they think they’re kidding?” Kelly tweeted. Lemon, who has served as a moderator for several of the network’s town hall events during the 2019-2020 Democratic primary season and is listed as an anchor on his CNN.com bio, said on “CNN Tonight” on Monday that he feels like Howard Beale, the character from the satiric 1976 movie “Network,” after watching the president’s task force briefings.“I have to be honest with you. For the last couple of weeks, when I walk into this building and I get in front of this camera, I swear I feel like I’m in the movie ‘Network.’ I feel like Howard Beale. Americans are mad as hell. What are you going to — how much more can Americans take?”“Every single day berating people, lying,” Lemon said of Trump. “How much more — How many people have to die?”https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/megyn-kelly-don-lemon-twitter-fox-news-trump-a9452976.html?jwsource=clKelly’s perspective on Lemon quickly trended Tuesday as a top topic on Twitter.Twitter users have also brought up remarks made by Kelly on her later Today talk show, in which she questioned why wearing blackface as part of a Halloween costume wasn’t acceptable.Kelly apologised for her comments but was dropped by NBC in October 2018 following the controversy.Lemon reacted to Kelly’s remarks on Chris Cuomo’s CNN show, telling his colleague at the time: “Megyn is 47 years old, she’s our age. There has never been a time in that 47 years that blackface has been acceptable.” Kelly was a longtime Fox News host before joining NBC News in 2017.last_img read more

Inside Conditions…A day late a dollar short

first_imgKansas City Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop misses the possible game-winning field goal against the San Diego Chargers during the closing seconds of regulation of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in San Diego. The Chargers eventually won the game 27-24 in overtime. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)Last Sunday evening I watched Kansas City Chiefs kicker, Ryan “the chokester” Succup gag and flinch, kicking the Pittsburgh Steelers out of the postseason.It is not clear whether Succup developed a case of the dreaded malady, “chokitis,” or just deliberately punched the Steelers in the gut while simultaneously punching the San Diego Chargers ticket to play on the “big stage” known as the NFL playoffs.  But ya know what boys and girls, the Steelers should not have depended on the competence of a player from another NFL franchise to “pay their toll” so they could continue traveling on the “playoff highway” leading to the Lombardi Trophy.See, in the NFL there is no such thing as an “E-Z Pass lane.”Aubrey BruceLet’s hit “Rew” and do a partial review of the 2013 Steelers season (a complete review may just be a bit too painful for yinz guys and gals to bear).Succup’s botched field goal attempt was not the play that will cause the Steelers to be at home ordering sandwich rings, cases of Bud Light and hot wings while watching the first (wild card) round of the playoffs.In the Steelers opening game they could only score a measly 9 points in a 16-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh drew first blood by scoring a safety on the first play of the game and was only able to muster a “garbage” touchdown with only 1:23 left to play in regulation.You say you don’t agree, okay; was it the following Monday night when the Black and Gold ventured into Paul Brown stadium to face the eventual 2013 AFC North Champion Cincinnati Bengals who had more than an adequate supply of family sized cans of “whoop ass” to send the Steelers packing back to Pittsburgh “smarting” from a 20-10 loss.  Although, Steelers reserve tight end David Paulson lost a fumble,  “Big” Ben Roethlisberger  contributed a fumble and a pick in the losing effort.On the following Sabbath Day “da Chick-a-go” Bears strolled into Heinz Field and promptly smacked the Steelers around by the score of 40-23.  Roethlisberger threw 2 picks and fumbled 3 times, losing 2. When you give any offense 5 extra possessions, game, set, match.The next week the Steelers traveled to London and lost to the Minnesota “Vikes” by the score of 34-27.  “Big Ben” had this to say about the loss; “We are in unchartered territories and the water is dangerous right now, so we have to stick together and get out of it. Right now, you could say we’re the worst team in the league, that hurts.”They may have entered the review room with glaring questions about a glorious past and a hazy future. However, just as they were stumped by that decades old mystery of a timeless and historical reception by an NFL running back they seemed to be just as perplexed by their own futures.But there was a light at the end of the tunnel or so the Steelers nation hoped. A few folk even began to nitpick and bash. When Steelers rookie running back LeVeon Bell was injured for the initial three games people, even the running back’s own quarterback, sort of expressed doubts about his “toughness” and “heart.”Mike Chiari, featured columnist from Bleacher Report in an article published  on September 25, quoted Roethlisberger saying this about Bel;  “Honestly, I have no idea with him. You can’t get a read on him. One day, he’s practicing, one day, he’s not; one day, he’s going hard, the next day, he’s not. I wish I could. If he was a guy like Heath Miller that you knew was busting his butt every day to get back there … Le’Veon is a rookie, I don’t know him quite well enough yet. But if he can come back and help us, we’ll take him.”Spoken like a true general manager or head coach, don’t you agree? Steelers tight end has been and remains one of the most consistent Steelers but who is “a guy like Heath Miller?”Injuries affect individual players, differently. Remember the Steelers/Ravens match up on November 29, 2009 in Baltimore? The Steelers lost to the Ravens after Roethlisberger took all of the reps during that weeks practice and informed the team the day before the game Saturday that “concussion symptoms” had returned, thus thrusting Steelers rookie quarterback Dennis Dixon to start placed in an almost impossible situation.At the time that Roethlisberger was forced to issue the Steelers a “rain check” in regards to him competing against Baltimore, Steelers wide receiver and future hall of famer Hines Ward had this to say. “‘Ben practiced all week. Then to find out that he’s still having some headaches and not playing and it came down to the doctors didn’t feel that they were going to clear him or not. It’s hard to say. I’ve lied to a couple of doctors saying I’m straight, I feel good when I know that I’m not really straight. I don’t think guys really worry about the future while they’re playing currently in the NFL.”Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin did not even reveal to the team that Roethlisberger was not starting this important game against the hated Ravens.“At the time, I was more concerned about getting Dennis ready to play,” Tomlin said, “and I proceeded with the assumption that our men understood what kind of competitor (Roethlisberger) is. If they don’t, I will tell them.”Ben Roethlisberger is by no means finished as the Steelers starting QB but the team might be better served to at least drafting, signing or grooming a replacement.  The late songstress Billie Holiday once sang; “God bless the child that has his own.”  Never depend on anyone to do your work for you.Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: [email protected] or 412.583.6741last_img read more

Canucks Playoff Preview – Round One Vs. Kings

first_imgLeigh Ramsden lives in Vancouver and is an avid Canucks fan, having been a partial season ticket holder for over 10 years. He’s old enough to have witnessed all three Stanley Cup losses, as such, his prime goal is to remove those scars by seeing a Cup brought to Vancouver. Leigh is Fighting For Stanley’s (www.fightingforstanley.ca/vancouver) west coast correspondent, and will also blog after all Canuck games for The Nelson Daily. After the events of last Saturday night, the Vancouver Canucks found out they drew the plucky Los Angeles Kings in the first round of this year’s Stanley Cup tournament.  Vancouver won 8 of its last 9 games to finish first in the tight Western Conference. On the other hand, the Kings limped into the postseason, losing three of their last four in either overtime or a shootout, including two in a row to end the season against the San Jose Sharks.  Those losses relegated the Kings to eighth spot and their solidified their date with the Presidents’ Trophy winners.We know the Canucks have been a high-scoring, high-flying team in recent years, but took a bit of a right turn in 2012 and started to play much more sound defensive hockey, at the expense of some of their offense. The Kings, on the other hand, have played most of the year in a defensive shell, netminder Jonathan Quick recording an impressive 10 shutouts.  L.A. has had trouble scoring all year as well, and made a coaching change back in December when they fired Terry Murray and brought Calgary Flames destructor Daryl Sutter (and his horrible, 70’s-inspired suits) aboard.  The Kings continued on the same trajectory after Sutter was hired, however, after the trade-deadline acquisition of sniper Jeff Carter, the Kings have been scoring at higher rate.How do these teams stack up against each other? Let’s take a deeper look. SEASON RECORD AND SEASON SERIESThe Canucks secured the league-wide title with a record 51-22-9, while the Kings finished 16 points in arrears with a record of 40-27-15.  When looking into the quality of each team’s record, the Canucks record was 36-22 (.621 winning percentage) in regulation time, 7-2 (.778) in games decided in overtime, and 8-7 (.533) in the less relevant games decided in a shootout. On the other hand, the Kings were 31-27 (.534) in regulation, 3-6 in overtime (.333), and 6-9 (.400) in the shootout. If you ignore the games decided in the skills competition, the Canucks were 19 games above .500 at 43-24 (.642), while the Kings were much more pedestrian, finishing only one game above .500 at 34-33 (.507).  Give the Canucks the edge in this area.Part of the difference here will be the fact that the Kings play in much tougher division than do the Canucks – none of the other Northwest Division teams finished above the playoff bar, whereas the Pacific Division delivered not only the Kings, but also the Coyotes and Sharks. The Canucks beat up on their divisional foes finishing with a record of 18-5-1, whereas the Kings were a much more pedestrian 8-8-4 against their Pacific Division rivals. It was this difference that separated the two teams in the standings.  Consider this:  the Canucks record outside the Northwest and Pacific divisions was 22-12-4, and the Kings were 19-15-4.  From looking at the non-divisional records, it appears the two teams are relatively equal, but give the Canucks a slight edge due to their marginally better record.The Canucks won the season series 2-1-1, with one of the wins coming by way of a shootout.  Overall, the four games were played relatively evenly and the Kings looked the better team through large stretches of all of them. That said, the Canucks were good enough to win two games in regulation (each one a one-goal game) and lose another in shootout. The only game that they lost in regulation was 4-1 Kings, in a game where the Canucks didn’t put their best effort on the ice.  These games were a microcosm of each team’s season – the Kings played things close to the vest and couldn’t outscore their opponents while not allowing much, while on the other hand, the Canucks struggled to score, but did “just” enough to win, nothing more, and nothing less. Based on the team’s head to head record, you’d have to again give the edge to Vancouver. GOALTENDINGLos Angeles boasts one of the league’s best netminders in Quick, who is sure to receive a Vezina trophy nomination for his stellar body of work this year.  Quick is the biggest reason the Kings were able to scrape into the playoffs. Quick played in 69 games for the Kings, fourth in the NHL behind Pekka Rinne, Jonas Hiller, and Miikka Kiprusoff.  He finished second in the NHL with a 1.95 GAA, and was fifth in the NHL with a save percentage of .929.  His 10 shutouts led the NHL.  Clearly, Quick was L.A.’s most valuable player.The Canucks on the other hand boast not one, but two of the league’s best goaltenders.  Number one goalie Roberto Luongo played in 55 games, recording a GAA of 2.41 (15th in the league) and a save percentage of .919, good for 12th in the league. Backup Cory Schneider played 33 games, and had an excellent GAA of 1.96 with a save percentage of .937, third and second in the league respectively. This season wasn’t Luongo’s best statistically, but he has played a number of tremendous games for the Canucks this season.  Together, the two goalies combined for 8 shutouts this year.Quick is inexperienced, having only 12 career playoff games, compared to Luongo who has 59 career contests.  Of course, Luongo has run into problems in each of the Canucks’ last three playoff years, struggling at times against Chicago and in last year’s finals against Boston.  However, in Schneider, the Canucks have a legitimate go-to number 1(b), as he’s shown his ability to step in and play in big games, all season long. Quick’s had an incredible season, there’s no doubt, and although fatigue may be a factor given his workload this year, if he was pitted against only Luongo you’d have to give the Kings the edge. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, the Canucks have a fail safe in Schneider, and for that reason give the nod to the Canucks between the pipes. DEFENSEThe Kings finished with 170 goals against, good for second in the NHL.  The Canucks were fourth at 191 goals allowed.The Kings’ defensive corps boasts one of the league’s best young defensemen, Drew Doughty.  He is typically paired with Cup-winning veteran, Rob Scuderi. The Kings’ other two pairings are typically ex-Canuck Willie Mitchell alongside young Russian Slava Voynov, and Matt Green playing with Rafael Diaz.  With the exception of Doughty, none of these blueliners are spectacular, however, together they form a very solid and efficient six-man unit.  Scuderi and Greene provide the most physicality.The Canucks look to start the series with the pairings of Bieksa-Edler, Hamhuis-Tanev, and Salo-Rome.  The defense has been playing very well of late and while none of these guys boast the kind of offensive flair of a Doughty, four of the six are legitimate threats offensively.  In addition, this group does a tremendous job of moving the puck out of the zone with efficiency, getting the puck to the forwards.Generally, I get nervous come playoff time when the Canucks have to face a Norris-calibre defenseman.  Doughty was nominated for the award in his breakout 2009-2010 campaign, but has failed to live up to the hype since then, reporting late to camp last fall after a contract dispute. In addition, in the games against the Canucks this season, they have been able to get Doughty off his game mentally, causing him to take a number of unnecessary penalties.The Canucks also boast much better depth.  I’m not sure who the Kings have in reserve, but trading Jack Johnson away at the deadline hurt their depth badly.  The Canucks have at least three NHL-calibre defensemen in reserve (Keith Ballard, Andrew Alberts, Marc-Andre Gragnani), each of whom can slot into the sixth spot and give the team a much different look.For defense – give the edge to the Canucks, as their offensive abilities and depth should be enough to overcome Doughty’s top-end talent. FORWARDSThe Kings’ top-six is extremely good on paper, boasting Anze Koptiar, Justin Williams, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and Dustin Brown.  The team has been scoring well of late, averaging three goals per game over their last 18 games, which roughly coincides with the acquisition of Carter at the trade deadline. Kopitar can be one of the league’s most dynamic players, however, in my mind he continues to fail to take that “next step” to elite superstar status.  Justin Williams has had a bit of a down year, but he was the Kings’ best forward in their 4-1 victory over the Canucks back in December. Mike Richards has had a garish campaign (I should know as I have him in my fantasy league), and after returning from a concussion in late December, he hasn’t appeared to be the same player he was before.  Carter is returning from a recent bone bruise injury and may not be as effective as he normally would be.The Kings’ bottom-six begins to thin out, and includes players such as Jarret Stoll, Dustin Penner, Brad Richardson (out after an emergency appendectomy), Kyle Clifford, Matt Lewis, ex-Blackhawk Colin Fraser, and a collection of 12th/13th forwards to round out the lineup.While the Kings’ top end talent can compare to Vancouver’s, their depth up front is suspect and coach Alain Vigneault should be able to exploit favourable matchups. Given his line’s great two-way performance, Sammy Pahlsson will likely see a lot of ice against Kopitar, and if his line can neutralize the Kings’ first unit (possibly chipping in with the odd goal), things should look good for the Canucks.  The addition of Pahlsson has been huge for this team, and has impacted it much more greatly than I expected when it was consummated at the deadline.  It’s the single biggest reason the Canucks have been able to clamp down effectively on their opposition. When the Pahlsson line takes these tough minutes, it will enable AV to get the Kesler line out against the Kings’ third or fourth lines and that should result in some goals for the team in blue and green.The big question mark for the Canucks remains over Daniel Sedin’s status.  If he is able to play it opens up a lot of possibilities for Vigneault as he can move Max Lapierre and Mason Raymond around the lineup as required. Although there was some drama around this situation today, expect the Canucks to have Sedin in the lineup as quickly as possible, currently looking like game 2 or 3 of the series assuming there are no setbacks.In another close competition, give the Canucks the edge here with two caveats:  the Kings have enough talent to put the puck in the net and if their forwards raise their game they can compete; and if Daniel Sedin doesn’t play in the series, the scale may tip to the Kings in this area. COACHING/INTANGIBLESAll Canucks fans have seen Sutter’s act before and we should all know what to expect.  Sutter will employ a physical, borderline dirty approach with his troops in order to try to get the Canucks off their game. The Kings have the horses to play this way, with Fraser, Clifford, Richardson (when healthy) and Greene all able to mix it up and agitate.  This approach is one that’s used consistently against Vancouver and it has had success in the past. For this reason, the Canucks’ power play will have to produce to discourage the Kings from taking too many liberties, and if it doesn’t, expect a dirty series with many scrums, yapping, and confrontations.The Canucks’ team toughness has been questioned throughout the year but I believe they’ve answered the bell when required.  They have some big, tough players at their disposal (Byron Bitz, Zack Kassian, Dale Weise, Alberts) and I believe at least one of these guys will be in the lineup at all times to keep the Kings honest. There are a number of other players on the team that won’t back down from anything as well, including Bieksa, Lapierre, and Ballard if he’s in the lineup.Vigneault is one of the league’s best coaches and his ability to tinker with his lineup to find combinations that are effective is constantly impressive.  He’s also handled the goaltending situation extremely well throughout the year and has set himself up to have both netminders at his disposal without the team missing a beat. Sutter is an old-school coach with limited understanding of the intricacies of the current-day game, but, his best success in the NHL was as coach of the Calgary Flames, leading them to an improbable Stanley Cup appearance, so he knows what it takes from that perspective.The Canucks are fresh off their Stanley Cup appearance last season and return virtually the same group, so one would think they hold a distinct advantage here.  Bear in mind that two of the Kings’ leaders, Richards and Carter, both went to the Cup final two seasons ago when they were with Philadelphia. Mostly because of Vigneault’s ability to adapt, give the edge again to the Canucks. SUMMARY AND PREDICTIONIn my opinion, the Canucks hold a slight edge in all the categories mentioned above.  That said, the difference between the two clubs is very small and Vancouver will not be able to roll over the Kings.  The Kings’ top-notch goaltending can win them a series on its own and given the fact they have been scoring more of late, they will present a formidable opponent.The key to the series may boil down to special teams.  I expect the Kings to employ the typical Canuck-killer strategy, which is after-whistle shenanigans, dirty hits, running the goaltender, and other marginal plays. I expect they will cross the line and the Canucks will be given their chances on the PP.  If it can convert, expect a similar series to last year’s Sharks series with the Canucks winning in 5.If the Canucks can’t convert on the PP, it will bolster the Kings’ approach and this is where it can get dicey for Vancouver.  They will have to control their emotions and stay out of the penalty box, and if they have to withdraw into lock-down mode, they will do so.Luckily, the Canucks have shown that they can employ this style of game effectively, perhaps the most relevant example being their 1-0 shutout of this Kings team 7 games before the end of the regular season on March 26.  If this route is taken, the series will stretch longer.At the end of the day, the Canucks are marginally better than the Kings all over the ice, and this will result in a number of close games, but games where they should be able to get over the top.Canucks in seven.last_img read more

Alden scores in OT to power Rebels to 2-0 lead in KIJHL Final

first_imgFrom the outside looking in the North Okanagan Knights have no business sticking around in games against the Castlegar Rebels.The Knights needed seven games to dispatch the Osoyoos Coyotes, getting the final win Sunday in Armstrong.The Rebels won its Kootenay Conference title in a sweep over Golden giving the West Kootenay franchise a six-day rest between series.The Knights were playing on the road.The Rebels were playing in the friendly confines of the Castlegar Sports Complex after running away with the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League regular season crown, thus assuring the Sunflower City team of home ice in the best-of-seven championship final.But this Knights team is no pushover, forcing the Rebels to twice battle back from one-goal deficits before defenceman Erik Alden scored in the second overtime to lift Castlegar to a 3-2 playoff victory in the KIJHL Final Wednesday night before 470 fans. The Rebels now lead 2-0 in the best-of-seven affair with Game three and four scheduled for Armstrong Friday.The Knights got a quick start on Castlegar as Derek Andrews scored three minutes into the game on the power play, beating Jordan Gluck in the Rebels net.Stuart Walton got that one back for Castlegar before the period ended as the Rebels dominated the opening frame, out shooting North Okanagan 16-4.But North Okanagan once again took advantage of a penalty to Castlegar’s Diego Bartlett, scoring seconds after the Rebel forward was forced to sit for two minutes.North Okanagan held the lead until the 15-minute mark of the third when Bryan Lubin and Stuart Walton combined to pull the Rebels even at 2-2.The teams traded punches through the next almost 30 minutes before the veteran defenceman, Alden beat hard-luck losing netminder Dustin Nikkel in the North Okanagan nets.Castlegar finished the game out shooting North Okanagan 49-32 thanks in part to the wide shot advantage in the first period.CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES: Castlegar is the fifth straight Neil Murdoch team to play for the league title. The Rebels last advanced to the championship series in 2011 before losing to Osoyoos Coyotes. Nelson Leafs won the Kootenay Conference in 2009 and 2010, Castlegar in 2011 and last year’s KIJHL champ, Beaver Valley, in 2012. . . .The last KIJHL title for the Sunflower City franchise came in 1996. . . .North Okanagan won the league title in 1995 when the franchise played out of Enderby.last_img read more

THIRTEEN DONEGAL FOOD PRODUCTS IN PRESTIGIOUS FOOD TASTE FINALS

first_imgPaul Mallon of Gallagher’s Bakery, Linda McLean of Mallow Mia, Anna Good of the Whole Green Juice Co, John Molloy of Green Pastures Dairy and Michael O’Donnell of Island Seafoods Ltd, all local companies with products in this year’s finals of the prestigious Blas na hEireann – Irish Food Awards.Donegal’s blossoming reputation as an exciting and innovative food destination, received another timely boost this week with confirmation that 13 Donegal food products have made the finals of Blas na hEireann – the Irish Food Awards.Now in its 8th year, Blas na hEireann takes place in Dingle, Co Kerry on October 2nd and 3rd and is the
 biggest competition for quality Irish produce on the island of IrelandOver 2,500 products were entered into this year’s competition and organiser Artie Clifford, who visited Donegal earlier in the year to encourage food businesses to enter, says the Donegal products have reached the final stages in some very competitive categories. The Donegal finalists who between them provide all 13 of the Donegal products in the final stages, are Aran Ard Teo from Ardara, Green Pastures Dairy from Convoy, Island Seafoods from Killybegs, PureBred Gluten Free Bakery from Ardara, Mallow Mia from Newtowncunningham and Mulrines of Ballybofey.But the companies will have to go through a rigorous judging process first to see if they can capture one of the much sought-after prizes.The Blas awards are the biggest blind tasting of produce in the country, and the criteria on which the product is judged as well as the judging system itself, developed by Blas na hEireann with the Food Science Dept of UCC, is now recognised as an international industry standard.Eve-Anne McCarron, Executive with The Food Coast – Donegal’s Good Food Initiative said the awards offer a fantastic opportunity for Donegal Food Businesses. “Last year we had seven products in the finals so it is a sign of the progress we are making here in the county that we have almost double that number this year. The Donegal Food Strategy recognises the huge potential for food in Donegal and we want to work with people with a commitment to Donegal food to create opportunities for success.”Indeed Artie Clifford affirmed that he has been extremely impressed with the ongoing commitment to food industries in Donegal.‘The Local Enterprise Office & Donegal County Council are keen supporters of what we do and we are delighted to be working again with them. It is great to see what they are doing with the Donegal Food Coast Initiative and I think it is important that we have an offering all along our coastline for our guests and visitors to be able to sample the finest of local product.”The local businesses in this year’s final will hear results from the Regional Best in County and Best in Farmers Market for Donegal on 2nd October in Dingle, but it will be a day later before they discover if they have been awarded a coveted Gold, Silver or Bronze at the national awards. THIRTEEN DONEGAL FOOD PRODUCTS IN PRESTIGIOUS FOOD TASTE FINALS was last modified: September 23rd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:awardsdonegalFOOD TASTElast_img read more

Bats Are Home-Run Flyers

first_imgYou don’t just put wings on a naked mole rat and make it fly. Bats are designed to be aero-bat-ic champions.A primer on bat flight in Current Biology by Anders Hedenström and L. Christoffer Johansson begins with list of amazing facts that defy evolution:Bats are unique among extant flying animals, as they have compliant wings and an echolocation sensory system that distinguish them from birds and insects. Flying in the dark, guided by echolocation, has influenced the aerodynamics of bat flight perhaps more than previously realized and resulted in a characteristic flight that is now being revealed.Yet these authors proceed to espouse evolution in spite of fossil evidence against it:Bats evolved muscle-powered flight about 65 million years ago, alongside birds, pterosaurs (probably extinct when bats evolved) and insects. The oldest fossil bat dates 55 million years back and, hence, there is a 10 million year gap in the early evolution of bats where information about the initial adaptive radiation is still missing. The oldest well preserved bat fossils, Onychronycteris finneyi and Icanonycteris index, exhibit all of the features of modern bats, including elongated fingers to span out the wing surface and ear morphology suggesting that at least Icanonycteris was using echolocation.This supports exactly what creationist Dr. Duane Gish used to emphasize in debates with evolutionists: “The first bat is 100% bat!” To believe bats evolved from non-flyers, Darwinians must imagine the emergence of elongated fingers, wing membranes, and the brain software to use them in complex flights at night, with another key innovation—echolocation—all within 10 million years. That’s a blink of an eye in assumed evolutionary time. On top of that, they have the same gaps in the fossil record for the emergence of flight in birds, insects and pterosaurs. Science is supposed to be about evidence.Living WingsThe case against evolution becomes stronger when the superior flight characteristics of bats are examined in detail. Unlike birds and insects, possessing wings with dead surfaces (membranes and feathers), bats have living wings that inspire human designs:Bats, on the other hand, have a wing constructed from live skin stretched by the elongated arm and fingers. The skin is 4–10 times thinner than expected, and the bones have a reduced mineralization, compared to other similar sized mammals, reducing the weight of the wing considerably. Skin is living tissue, packed with sensors, elastic fibers and in the case of bat wings also with specialized muscles (Figure 2A). The skin is anisotropic, with higher compliance (i.e. being permissive to load) parallel to the trailing edge, affecting how the skin deforms when subjected to aerodynamic forces, as reflected in strain measurements during flight. Intrinsic muscles in the wing membrane (Figure 2A), not connected to any bones, are thought to control the stiffness of the membrane and thereby the wing’s camber, the curvature of the wing profile. Recent studies have shown that these muscles are indeed active during specific phases of the wingbeat. Studies of artificial membranes with electrically controlled compliance have shown to be able to improve aerodynamic performance.These living, adaptive wings give bats the ability to reshape their wings in specific ways during flight. They can dynamically control wing shape and the resultant lift achieved. Bats can lock the knuckles on the first finger bones, giving them a stiff leading edge. “The leading edge flap affects the curvature of the leading edge, which may be a way to control the leading edge vortices … that bats use to increase the force production of the wing at low speeds.”Bats also have a tail membrane that is thicker than the wings. “When punctures do occur in the tail or wing membranes they have a tendency to heal rapidly,” the authors say.When any animal flies, it needs to be able to lift the entire body weight. It needs thrust to counter drag, and it needs camber on the wings to provide an airfoil. In addition, it needs to control the vortices that tend to form and reduce lift. “As noted above, bats are able to control all of these factors by adjusting the shape and movement of the wings.” Not only that, they can fly slow as well as fast, and even hover. The authors provide some details of aeronautical problems that bats solve to enable their exceptional flights.Sensory ControlIt’s not just having the right kind of wings: they also need sensory controls to operate them. The dynamic sense of touch provided by tiny hairs in the wing membranes allows “exquisite control of angle of attack, camber and wing twist.” Experiments show that “Removal of wing hairs cause bats to increase flight speed and it decreases their ability to execute turning maneuvers, suggesting the hairs are involved in the control of slow flight.”Science Magazine agrees that the “sense of touch turns bats into acrobats.” The hairs grow on both sides of the two wings, giving bats four arrays of sensory data for precision control. Emily Conover writes,Bats’ thin, flexible wings—a thumb and four fingers connected by webbing—stretch and reshape during flight, unlike those of birds and insects. Their agility in the air demands quick, precise wing movements and a constant adjustment of tiny muscles in the wing membrane. They also use their wings for other delicate tasks, like holding food and cradling young. To adjust their complex wings for the job at hand, they must integrate a variety of sensory feedback.If anyone doubts the effectiveness of bat flight systems and sensory mechanisms, they should try to build a robot that can land on a cave ceiling in the dark.EcholocationEven though blind people can echolocate to a degree (Science Daily), bats take the skill to a whole new level (7/30/11). Flying rapidly, bats can navigate through closely-spaced prison bars blindfolded. With sound, they can avoid collisions in tight swarms and identify their prey by shape and texture, homing in on it while the insect is darting about. “To be able to echolocate efficiently you need ears. Bat ears are essentially parabolic shaped structures facing the air flowing over the bat as it is flying.” Large ears add drag, but the bats seem OK with that; if they didn’t work so well, robotics experts at Virginia Tech wouldn’t try so hard to imitate them. Science Daily reports,The team’s sonar system incorporates two receiving channels and one emitting channel that are able to replicate some of the key motions in the bat’s ears and nose. For comparison, modern naval sonar arrays can have receivers that measure several meters across and many hundreds of separate receiving elements for detecting incoming signals.EvolutionDarwinians believe that bat flight emerged from some unknown land-dwelling ancestor. Take a look at the naked mole rat as a candidate.  What follows is not to disparage this little rodent; Science Daily points out that they never seem to get cancer. Whatever gene they have that provides anti-cancer protection is of great interest to medical researchers right now. Nevertheless, what would it take to get a naked mole rat off the ground?“You don’t partly fly,” Paul Nelson quips in Flight: The Genius of Birds. “Because flight requires not just having a pair of wings, but having your entire biology coordinated towards that function.” This is certainly true of bats and the other groups of powered flyers: pterosaurs, insects and birds.In the Current Biology primer, Hedenström and Johansson dismiss the problem by saying, “the adaptive diversity among birds and bats bears witness of the strength contained in the process of adaptive tinkering.” But recall that in Darwinian theory, every mutation, every “tinkering” event by the Blind Watchmaker (a.k.a. chance), must have survival value. If a naked mole rat started on the path to batdom, would long fingers help? Not without membranes. Would membranes between the fingers help? Not while it’s trying to live underground. Give it instant wings in a huge leap of imagination; would that help? Not without muscles, nerves, bones and flight software to operate them. In fact, no matter which tinkering step might be imagined to contribute to powered flight down the road, each mutation has to increase fitness immediately or natural selection will eliminate it. Evolution has no foresight; it can’t see 10 million years, 10 years, or 10 microseconds into the future. The naked mole rat without the full complement of flight hardware and software will go extinct long before the parts arrive, even if beneficial mutations were not as rare as they actually are, and even if it had hundreds of millions of years to wait.Creationists allow for diversification within an original bat “kind” whatever it was, or however many kinds there were initially. But blind, unguided processes of chance will never help a naked mole rat (or any other presumed ancestor) take off into the air. When it comes to creation evidences, bats score a home run.Got evidence? There you have it. Look at the fossil record. Look at the aerodynamic requirements. Look at the coordinated systems. Look at the envious engineers trying to imitate them. Finally, look at the completed bat flying in the dark, negotiating obstacles, catching insects on the wing, and landing safely on a crowded cave roof, where it gives birth to babies who grow up instinctively knowing how to operate all that equipment. Evolutionary theory has nothing to offer theoretically, empirically, or logically to explain the origin of bats. In fact, they believe not only that four different kinds of animals “innovated” powered flight and echolocation by “convergent evolution” (1/26/10, 9/06/13, 11/04/13), but that different groups of bats “innovated” echolocation independently by convergent evolution. That’s just playing Jargonwocky. Creation by an intelligent designer explains everything in all categories of evidence. Why would anyone who cares about truth and logic possibly believe anything else?Next time you see a bat flitting about outdoors, don’t be afraid of it. Stand in awe of it. Stand in awe of its Creator.(Visited 45 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more