Phillips admits displays have been poor

first_imgMatt Phillips has admitted that his performances for QPR this season have been poor. The winger struggled for fitness and form after his move from Blackpool in the summer of 2013, having missed pre-season with an arm injury.He was playing well before his season was then ended by an ankle injury in February and he is again looking to get back to his best.“I haven’t been happy with my own performances,” Phillips told Rangers’ website.“I spent a lot of time out of the game last season and it’s going to take a few games to get my form going and build my confidence. I’ll keep working hard and hopefully it will come.”Phillips missed good chances to score in Rangers’ 4-0 defeats at Tottenham and Manchester United.“I’m my own biggest critic, and I’ve been critical of myself over a couple of bad performances,” he added.“When that happens you’re always looking to the next game to put it right.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Archaeopteryx: The Rock Star of Dino-Birds?

first_imgSee Dr Bergman’s book Fossil Forensics for more details on the evidence for a transition between reptiles and birds.Dr Jonathan Wells included a chapter on Archaeopteryx in his 2000 book Icons of Evolution. In his 2017 update, Zombie Science, he provided updated information about alleged feathered dinosaurs. by Jerry Bergman Ph. D.A recent article in the BBC News announces that “One of the true ‘rock stars’ of the fossil world is going on tour for the first time”. The fossil is Archaeopteryx, and it’s taking the first trip in its history to Japan.[i] Furthermore, the article added, “The limestone slabs that contain the bones of this pivotal creature on the evolutionary line from dinosaurs to birds are considered priceless.” The adulation given this “very delicate” slab of stone is almost like that bestowed on a venerated religious statue. The very fragile stone containing this putative 150-million-year-old icon has been housed in a museum and guarded carefully, so to travel to Japan is unprecedented. Just why is this old rock so valuable? What is the story behind it? Briefly, Archaeopteryx, an extinct bird about the size of a crow, is one of the most well-known “icons of evolution” today.[ii]The name Archaeopteryx is a combination of two Greek words, archaīos, ancient, and ptéryx, feather or wing.[iii] Although the name means “ancient feather,” because it has several features that are more typical of reptiles, many evolutionists claim it is an evolutionary ‘link’ between birds and reptiles.  This avian curiosity was first discovered in 1860 in the limestone rocks in Bavaria, Germany, a little over a year after Darwin’s classic book on evolution titled The Origin of Species was published. The most complete skeleton found so far, called the Berlin Specimen, named because of where it is housed, was discovered around 15 years later near Eichstatt, Germany by Jakob Niemeyer.[iv]Archaeopteryx was immediately seized on by Darwinists as critical evidence of evolution. A feather imprint was discovered first and, later, in a nearby quarry, an almost complete skeletal imprint was found. Both fossils are now housed in the British museum. It is one of the 12 known fossil specimens and one feather that are part of the Archaeopteryx family so far discovered. The Thermopolis specimen (photo) was discovered in 2005. The eleventh specimen was discovered in 2011, and number twelve in 2014.[v] Several fossils show its wings outstretched when it died, producing clear imprints of its fully modern feathers.Specimen of Archaeopteryx discovered in 2005 in Eichstadt, Germany, now housed in the Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis, Wyoming. Photos by David CoppedgeThe major claim to fame of this interesting creature is that, although it is very birdlike, it possesses certain features that some interpret as being more ‘primitive’—meaning reptilian—than most of today’s birds.[vi] What these features mean has been a fertile field for conjecture, and they have produced more then their fair share of controversy down to today. Hitching argues that “every one of its supposed reptilian features can be found in various species of undoubted birds,” casting doubt on claims it represents a transitional form.[vii]Another problem is no evidence exists that Archaeopteryx was losing reptile traits and developing bird features, because both its putative reptile and bird features were both fully developed. It has a long bony tail like a reptile on which feathers grew, but some birds have a similar feature—the present-day swan is one example. The difference between bird and reptile tails is due primarily, not to the number of vertebrae, but the greater elongation of the caudal vertebrae in the latter. In the embryonic stage, some living birds feature tails with more vertebrae bones than the tails of Archaeopteryx.Description of the Thermopolis Specimen in the Wyoming Dinosaur Center.The ostrich, the largest extant bird known today, provides a useful example for comparisons with fossil birds because it has many features in common with Archaeopteryx. For example, both are non-flyers, with claws on their wings. In fact, some claim that the ostrich has more reptilian features than the Archaeopteryx, but nobody considers the ostrich a transitional form.[viii] Half of the ostrich’s height consists of its neck. It is obviously a bird, and though it cannot fly, it can run as fast as a horse. To be defined as a bird, an animal need not be able to fly (most do) but it must have true feathers: all creatures with true modern feathers are birds, and all those without are not birds.The so-called feathered dinosaurs have not disrupted this classical definition because none of them have true feathers. A recent examination of Archaeopteryx feathers by the Smithsonian Institution concluded that they are the same as those belonging to many modern flying birds. Thus, the Archaeopteryx in many ways is closer to modern-day birds than an ostrich. The ostrich has non-flight down feathers.Another feature of Archaeopteryx is that it possessed three claws on each wing—an interesting, but not a unique trait. Juveniles of the South American hoatzin, the African touraco and the ostrich all have claws on both of their ‘feathered forelimbs’ or wings. Archaeopteryx also had bony jaws lined with teeth, not an uncommon feature of ancient birds, particularly those found in Mesozoic strata.[ix] One could just as well argue that Archaeopteryx was nothing more than an extinct bird with teeth.Archaeopteryx also had a shallow breastbone that would have given it a feeble wing beat and, as a result, some believe, poor flight.  The hoatzin has a similar shallow breastbone, and many bird species now exist that are incapable of flight and they evidently always have been.Bones of flying birds are hollow and air-filled, with girders and struts for strength. Courtesy Illustra Media, Flight.Birds must be very light in order to fly. The low-weight requirement is the main reason why the bones of both large and small flying birds are very thin and hollow. Although some researchers have concluded that the Archaeopteryx bones were both thin and hollow, no fossil bones exist, only their impressions. For now, the conclusion that Archaeopteryx bones were solid like a reptile’s—not thin or hollow like a bird’s—must remain an assumption. It is still debated, though, whether or not they are pneumatized as are most bird’s wings. The pneumatized (air-filled) bones of true birds have a frame structure that resembles a house truss. They contain many air sacs, giving the bones both strength and lightness.It was assumed for decades that Archaeopteryx was a unique animal in the fossil strata in which it was found. More knowledge about the natural world has rendered that assumption obsolete. Brigham Young University (BYU) scientists have discovered the fossil of an unequivocal bird in Western Colorado rocks that is reported to be from the same geological era as those that Archaeopteryx was found. If true, Archaeopteryx could not be a link between reptiles and birds in that, according to this evidence, the latter were already present.Various recent discoveries such as this by BYU “weakens the case for Archaeopteryx as an [fossil] intermediate, and makes it that much more likely that the creature was just one of a number of strange birds living at that time.”[x] The fact that Archaeopteryx has features of both birds and reptiles does not make it a transitional animal any more than a mammal with bird features, such as a duck-billed platypus, makes it a link between mammals and birds. Nilsson concluded, “they are no more reptiles than the present-day penguins with their wing-fin are transitional forms to fish.”[xi]We would expect the fossil record to show gradual development of bird-like features, but the first confirmed bird, Archaeopteryx, had feathers that were perfectly developed, teeth that were perfectly functional, and a jaw and breastbones that were not intermediate between birds and reptiles but, so far as can be known from the bone impressions, were perfectly functioning jaws and breastbones.Archaeopteryx is clearly a mosaic, similar to taking several different makes of cars and removing the fenders from one, and welding them on another different model, making the necessary modifications so that all of the parts fit together. When the required modifications are complete, it is still apparent to a knowledgeable observer that different makes of automobiles went into the final product— but the parts were modified so that they function properly in the new creation. Hundreds of such mosaic animals exist—so many that one researcher commented “they seem to be created as if their design was decided by a committee.”Some like the late astronomer Fred Hoyle have tried to argue that the feathers of the London fossil may be a forgery. Now, however, so many extinct animals exist, with so much incredible variety between both the extinct and living types, that a mosaic such as Archaeopteryx does not produce problems for the creation model.[xii]  I believe that the Archaeopteryx fossils should be looked at more carefully using modern technology such as CT scans and MRI. The critiques of Fred Hoyle’s work are hardly conclusive. Doubt exists about the forgery claim, but evolutionists have “good reason” to argue for its validity, not so much for science and fact reasons, but for its propaganda value. They are motivated to maintain Archaeopteryx as the most important missing link ever discovered.How the Wyoming Dinosaur Center uses its Archaeopteryx specimen for evolutionary propaganda. Notice the use of bandwagon, card stacking, visualization and suggestion tactics, ending with homage to Charles Darwin.The scientific evidence for forgery cannot be fully evaluated if the British Museum continues to refuse to allow critics the right to do research on its fossils, as is currently the case. So far, of the 12 Archaeopteryx examples that exist, several contain good feather imprints and a separate feather also exists, creating severe problems for the forgery hypothesis.[xiii] Nonetheless, it has been clear for some time that Archaeopteryx needs more careful evaluation before it can be determined to be a link between reptiles and birds.[xiv] The transitional status of this creature has been controversial from when it was first discovered till today. Also controversial are many details of the entire bird fossil family.[xv] For example, transversely-running fracture faces in the bones have a circumferential fabric which is characteristic, not of reptiles, but of dense lamellar or parallel-fibered bones typical of living non-dinosaurian reptiles.[xvi] [i] Amos, Jonathan. 2017. ‘Rock star’ Archaeopteryx fossil heads for Japan.[ii] Wellnhofer, Peter. 2010. Archaeopteryx: The Icon of Evolution. München, Germany: Friedrich Pfeil Verlag.[iii] Castro, Joseph. 2016. Archaeopteryx: The Transitional Fossil. Live Science.[iv] Castro, 2016[v] Castro, 2016.[vi] Stanley, Steven. 1987.  Extinction.  New York: Scientific American Library, p. 121[vii] Hitching, Francis. 1982.  The Neck of the Giraffe; Where Darwin Went Wrong.  New Haven, CT: Ticknor & Fields. p. 34[viii] Hitching, 1982, p. 35[ix] Duffett, Gerald. 1983.   Archaeopteryx Lithographia Reconsidered.  Glasgow, BCS, 1983[x] Hitching, 1982, p. 35[xi] quoted in Hitching, 1982, p. 36.[xii] Hoyle, Fred and Chandra Wickramasinghe.  1986.  Archaeopteryx: The Primordial Bird. A Case of Fossil Forgery.  Swansea, SA2 9BE: Christopher Davies.[xiii] Wellnhofer, 2010 p. 133[xiv] Brown, C. 1980. “Another Look at Archaeopteryx” Creation Research Society Quarterly.  Vol. 17(2):87, 109, September, p. 87.[xv] Bergman, J. 2017. Fossil Forensics, ch. 11. (See link below.)[xvi] Erickson, Gregory M. et al., 2016. Was Dinosaurian Physiology Inherited by Birds? Reconciling Slow Growth in Archaeopteryx. Dr Jerry Bergman, professor, author and speaker, is a frequent contributor to Creation-Evolution Headlines. See his Author Profile for his previous articles. Leading creation organizations like CMI, ICR and AiG have articles about Archaeopteryx searchable online.(Visited 769 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Peru agrees to eliminate trichinae testing requirements

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In a big victory for the U.S. pork industry, Peru has agreed to eliminate trichinae testing requirements on chilled U.S. pork based on a U.S. Department of Agriculture certification that the pork originated from Pork Quality Assurance Plus farms. PQA Plus is an education and training program run by the National Pork Board that certifies that hog operations are meeting their commitments related to animal well-being, food safety, worker safety and environmental protection.NPPC worked closely with U.S. and Peruvian officials for many years to eliminate the testing, which artificially raises the cost of selling chilled pork in the South American country. The risk of getting trichinae from consuming U.S. pork is less than 1 in 300,000,000. Peru’s U.S. pork imports increased significantly after the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement was implemented in 2009, jumping from just $650,000 in 2008 to more than $6.7 million in 2014. Based on analysis conducted by Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, National Pork Producers Council expects pork exports to Peru to grow even more now that the trichinae testing requirement has been eliminated.last_img read more

Quest for the best steer

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest An ideal beef steer is one you can profitably produce again and again, to earn premiums on a value-based grid. That’s the premise Paul Dykstra used in presenting “How to build the perfect steer” at the Angus Means Business National Convention and Trade Show.Dykstra has worked with feedlots as Beef Cattle Specialist for the Certified Angus Beefbrand for the past 13 years, managed the USDA Meat Animal Research Center’s feedlot before that, and has a current interest in a commercial cowherd in western Nebraska.People may differ on ideal production strategies for that ideal steer, Dykstra said. Some insist that focus on the feedlot can only come from terminal breeding programs, while others insist the steer must come from a system that also produces replacement heifers.“We’ll cross back and forth over that line as we look less at how, and more at what we need for a mainstream target like the Certified Angus Beef brand,” he said.The feedlot pen rider knows what the industry does not need. Dykstra told the conference crowd, “You do not want him to become familiar with your cattle.”And although “diversity is alive and well” at commercial feedlots, greater uniformity among pen mates must be an overall goal. Nobody produces just one perfect steer at a time, but rather a group of contemporaries, he said.Dykstra referred to data from Professional Cattle Consultants showing average feed conversion for all steers in 2015 at 6.2 pounds of feed to produce a pound of beef.“I’m more familiar with ranch-direct or calf-fed steers, where we should target a feed conversion ratio of 5.6 [and 6.4 on the yearlings]. Moving up from 6.2 to 5.6 means $56 less feed cost over the finishing period,” he said. “By comparison, average daily gain (ADG) is less important and only moves about $10 or $15 going from average to ideal.” That’s despite lofty targets such as 5 pounds per day for yearlings and 3.8 pounds for calf-feds, compared to the 3.2-pound average.Why would ideal ADG not pay more? Because any impact comes from timing, along with accrued yardage and interest, he explained. Of course, timing can make a lot of difference when a seasonal market high is involved. Overall, “a window of optimization is appropriate for daily gain.”Accessing rewards for producing the perfect steer means selling on a packer grid, Dykstra said, explaining the basics of premiums, discounts and plant averages, showing an example.“We ended a long-term trend of nearly flat quality grade makeup in 2007 to where quality grades have really taken off, coinciding with a move to camera grading and feeding to heavier weights,” he said.Some may see a downside to the U.S. fed cattle average grade moving from 60% Choice to 70% in the last eight years: grids reward above-average quality, and that bar has moved up.“Granted, there may be $7 per head less premium there, but that’s no deal breaker,” Dykstra said. “It’s almost negligible. We should bank the $20 for making Choice and move right on to grab the $54 on most of the cattle in that ideal pen earning the CAB premium, and even $140 for those making Prime.“Depending on your production system, Prime may not be the most realistic target as it is less than 5% of the mix currently. But if you want to aim for Prime, you have the right breed. And for the ideal steer, Prime cannot be denied.”A perfect pen of steers, featuring 100% Choice, 60% CAB and 20% CAB Prime, would earn $68.62 per head in quality premiums in the example grid, but that’s not the complete picture.Yield grade (YG) is a grid component that addresses the importance of muscling, with relatively small premiums paid for the numerically leaner 1s and 2s and 3s at par value, and significant discounts for 4s and 5s, Dykstra explained.YG 1 is not the target however, and the ideal pen would turn out just 3% at the leanest level, with 44% YG2 and 45% YG3 while allowing 8% YG 4s, to earn $15.95 per head average premiums ($21.80 per head if all YG4s were kept on the YG 3 side of the line).  Remember, these premiums are on top of the larger quality grid total.Aiming for Prime without adequate genetic potential or coordinated management often leads to YG discounts, typically because the ribeye is too small. A 900-pound carcass requires a 14.2-inch ribeye for a near-ideal YG 2.5.Dressing percent also relates to ribeye and muscling, often with more impact on the grid price than YG variations. While the industry average is 63.5%, Dykstra said a full percentage-point increase to 64.5% is a target that would add $33 per carcass.Summing up requirements and targets, he concluded the ideal steer carcass is a 900-pound Prime CAB, YG 2.9 with that 64.5% dress, after live feed-to-gain conversion at 5.6 and gaining 3.8 pounds per day as a calf-fed.last_img read more

SEA Games: Bejar fades vs Indonesian, settles for silver

first_imgRobredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Despite Game 1 beating, CEU Scorpions ‘won’t quit’ John Paul Bejar of the Philippines competes against Iwan Bidu Sirait of Indonesia in the finals of men’s -55kg kumite in the 29th Southeast Asian Games karate competition Wednesday at the KLCC Convention Center in Kuala Lumpur. Bejar lost to settle for the silver medal. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/POOLKUALA LUMPUR—An aggressive John Paul Bejar stormed to a 3-1 lead over his Indonesian foe but faded when it mattered to settle for the silver medal Wednesday in the 29th Southeast Asian Games karate competitions here.Bejar, who joined the Philippine team in training in Germany, took the action right to Iwan Bidu Sirait, who got the nod of the judges on many close calls to take a 10-4 victory in the -55 kilogram kumite.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim His silver is the best finish so far in karate, although the Filipinos are confident of grabbing a gold when the competitions end Thursday.Earlier, Mae Soriano snagged a bronze in women’s -55kg kumite. Junna Tsukii also took bronze this time in -50kg in the sport played at KLCC Halls right under the Petronas Twin Towers.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingBejar’s march to the finals was marred with controversy as the PH team filed a protest over his semifinals loss to a Malaysian.The protest was upheld, allowing the 23-year-old Bejar to fight for the gold medal. View comments Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo MOST READlast_img read more