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Rare Moments of Glory: Planetary Scientists Admit Seeing “Lucky” Circumstances

first_img(Visited 37 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Why are we seeing young phenomena in the planets if they are billions of years old?  Some scientists are abandoning uniformitarian assumptions and admitting we are lucky to be witnessing them in “rare moments of glory.”In Nature this week, Maggie McKee interviewed scientists who are struggling with short-lived phenomena in the solar system.  The subtitle of her article, “Caught in the Act,” states, “We may be seeing some of the Solar System’s most striking objects during rare moments of glory.”  Her first two paragraphs elaborate why this is unsettling for some:Ever since Copernicus evicted Earth from its privileged spot at the centre of the Solar System, researchers have embraced the idea that there is nothing special about our time and place in the Universe. What observers see now, they presume, has been going on for billions of years — and will continue for eons to come.But observations of the distant reaches of the Solar System made in the past few years are challenging that concept. The most active bodies out there — Jupiter’s moon Io and Saturn’s moons Enceladus and Titan — may be putting on limited-run shows that humans are lucky to witness. Saturn’s brilliant rings, too, might have appeared relatively recently, and could grow dingy over time. Some such proposals make planetary researchers uncomfortable, because it is statistically unlikely that humans would catch any one object engaged in unusual activity — let alone several.It seems a bitter pill for some planetary scientists to “go against the grain of one of geology’s founding principles: uniformitarianism, which states that planets are shaped by gradual, ongoing processes,” she wrote.  Then she quoted Jeff More (NASA-Ames) who explained that “Geologists like things to be the same as they ever were” because it’s “philosophically comforting because you don’t have to assume you’re living in special times.”  Why that should be “comforting” was not explained.McKee zoomed into each of these phenomena for more detail about what makes them look young:Saturn’s rings:  The rings are 90% water ice but should be dirtier if they were old; “some planetary scientists say that the rings’ resplendence is hard to reconcile with a lifetime lasting billions of years.”  That’s why hypotheses of a recent encounter with an icy interloper that broke apart and became the rings within the last few million years (just 10% of Saturn’s assumed age) have been put forth.  An ad hoc solution like that, though raises other problems: all such candidate objects should have vanished 700 million years after the birth of the solar system, according to current theory.  Close flybys by Cassini in years to come may confirm whether billions of years of dirt is hiding in the B ring, McKee said, but one responded, “if the Cassini results point to a low mass for the rings, it will be a real mystery.”  This explanation, however, fails to explain why the thinner D, C, A, F, G, and E rings are so bright.Enceladus:  The geysers of Enceladus are another thing that can’t be old; “researchers have struggled to explain how it can sustain such activity” on the order of 16 gigawatts – 10 times the amount they can account for by internal radioactive heating.  “Several explanations have been put forward to account for this furious release of heat, but all rely on arguments that researchers are viewing the moon at a special time,” McKee said.  It’s difficult to keep the geysers going for 10 million years (1/450th the assumed age of the moon), let alone 4.5 billion.  One researcher who proposed a recent cracking from growing stresses in the crust has apparently been getting hard questions: “‘It seems like special pleading — we just happened to catch it in the act,’ says [Craig] O’Neill [Macquarie University, Sydney], echoing criticisms that he has heard when presenting the model at conferences.”  Nearby Mimas “should be producing more heat than Enceladus and it doesn’t, and we don’t really understand why,” O’Neill said.Io:  If Enceladus is a firefly, Io is a furnace, McKee wrote.  It gives off 90,000 gigawatts through its incessant volcanoes, “several times more than would be expected from the simplest models of tidal interactions between the moon and Jupiter.”  Again, it’s not that planetary scientists are unable to imagine scenarios in which we might be seeing Io at a special time; perhaps the moon’s orbital dance with the other moons makes it undergo periodic exaggerations of its eccentricity.  Even though this “would satisfy the data,” one planetologist said, when thinking about the peculiarities of Io and Enceladus, “it’s possible we simply don’t understand them.“Titan:  The largest moon of Saturn presents problems with both its atmosphere and surface.  Atmospheric theories are up in the air, because “the atmospheric methane — and its effects on the landscape — ought to be short-lived” in the range of a few tens of millions of years.  If sources of replenishment cannot be found (there are some disputed candidates thought to be ice volcanoes), it should have been long gone.  Jeff Moore “thinks that researchers are seeing Titan at a unique and geologically fleeting time.”  The question then becomes, why now, and what happened?  In Moore’s hypothesis, the sun warmed up to a tipping point a few tens or hundreds of millions of years ago, levitating the frozen nitrogen and methane into an atmosphere that “rained like hell” onto the surface, creating the erosional features seen today.  Ralph Lorenz [Johns Hopkins U] criticizes Moore’s view as “too simplistic” and pointed to “some evidence” (not mentioned in the article) that it would have taken billions of years to form Titan’s hydrocarbon-rich sand dunes.McKee ended with a quote from Lorenz: “I think we have to have a much more nuanced view of Titan through time.  Titan is bloody complicated.”It’s not complicated at all, if you subtract out the needless billions of years.  This article is important, in that in the 8 years of the ongoing Cassini mission to Cassini, and the 9 years since the end of the Galileo mission to Jupiter, scientists still have no answers to these age conundrums.  Their uniformitarian philosophy makes them uncomfortable with the facts their own eyes are beholding.  We should not be living in special times, but we appear to. (Understand that the Copernican principle does not mean that we are not special; see The Privileged Planet for corrective information.)Here’s a classic case of ad hoc explanation to force observations into a web of belief.  (This is called ‘special pleading’ in logic.)  If science were about honestly following the evidence where it leads, these scientists would have to conclude that the solar system is much younger than thought.  But they won’t do it, because they know Charlie D. (their idol) needs billions of years for life to evolve on Earth.  Failing to provide those annual sacrifices to the idol would get them excommunicated from the Church of Darwin.If Saturn’s rings, Enceladus, Io and Titan were the only problem worlds, they might have hope to rescue their beliefs someday.  Unfortunately, the problems mount for uniformitarianism when one considers Mercury, Venus, Earth, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and its moons, Uranus and its moons and rings, Neptune and its moons and rings, Pluto and the trans-Neptunian objects, comets, asteroids, dust – the whole system.  There is hardly any planet or moon that met their uniformitarian expectations.  We call on them: please, dump the assumption of billions of years, and all these things will start making sense.  We do this out of sympathy for their discomfort, wishing them to sleep well for once.last_img read more

10 months agoAC Milan defender Calabria: I’ve never seen a striker like Higuain

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say AC Milan defender Calabria: I’ve never seen a striker like Higuainby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan defender Davide Calabria admits he appreciates working with Gonzalo Higuain.The striker is currently struggling for goals.But Calabria says, “I told my agent that I’d never seen a striker like Higuain. He’s very good and always done well wherever he’s played.“Is there a problem with him? No, there isn’t. He’s having a tough time, which can happen, but he’s our Cristiano Ronaldo, given us prestige and something more to the team in general terms.“He’s won a lot and he has so much experience. Maldini? He’s an idol. I’ve always said and thought that seeing him gives me something more, even in training.” last_img read more

a month ago​Barcelona fined £265 for Griezmann signing

first_img​Barcelona fined £265 for Griezmann signingby Ian Ferrisa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona have been fined only 300 euros (£265) by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for their approach to Antoine Griezmann while he was at La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid, reports BBC Sport.Spanish champions Barcelona signed Griezmann after paying his 120m-euro (£107m) buyout clause on 1 July.But the federation said Barca broke its rules by negotiating with Griezmann without Atletico’s permission.Atletico believed his buyout clause should have been 200m euros (£179m).They claimed that Barca began talking to the player in March, when that was the size of his buyout clause.His cost then dropped to 120m euros at the start of July, which was when he signed for Barca, but Atletico claimed the “commitment of the player and Barcelona was closed” prior to the clause reducing.The player was absolved of any responsibility by the federation. TagsSpanish Football NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Would Baseballs AllTime AllStar Team Go 1620

Every year, MLB’s All-Star game brings together the best players from each league to form two superteams. For one game, we get to see Jose Fernandez as a reliever against lineups in which Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera hit back to back. But unlike the NBA’s fantasy rosters made real, we never get to glimpse how dominant such a talent-laden squad would be against normal MLB competition. So with a little statistical analysis and some conjecture, I took a guess at how well an MLB All-Star team would fare in a regular season — and even how often they’d go a perfect 162-0.1This piece was prompted by an email from reader Rich Chiesa, so thanks, Rich.To get an idea of how good each All-Star team would be, I added up the wins above replacement2The FanGraphs version. for every All-Star team’s best player at each position since 1933 (the first year of the All-Star Game). To further make things comparable to regular-season teams, I summed the top five pitchers’ WAR totals to get a rotation’s worth of pitching WAR.3I excluded relievers from the rosters in order to make an apples-to-apples comparison across history, since relief pitching didn’t really exist in anything like its current form until the 1970s. I also did not consider any WAR contributed by the designated hitter for each All-Star and regular season team, since the DH did not exist before 1973. The result of all this was a predicted WAR total for each All-Star team, which I could use as a comparison against real regular-season teams.Not surprisingly, All-Star teams tend to carry far more talent in their ranks than most normal teams. The average All-Star squad put 60 full-season WAR on the field, which is about the same as the 1976 Reds — widely regarded as one of the best teams in MLB history. No regular-season team in history exceeded the 1927 Yankees’ 66.3 WAR, but about 30 percent of All-Star teams would have if given the chance to play together in the regular season.But 66.3 WAR is kind of an abstract idea; what most fans care about is Ws and Ls. To establish how well these All-Star rosters might have fared in the standings, I used regular-season teams as a guide. I regressed their winning percentages against the total WAR on their rosters to get a sense for how much each additional WAR was worth.4I used a logit transformation on these winning percentages, since I expected them to become asymptotic at some point (i.e., no team can win more than 100 percent of its games). The correlation between a team’s WAR total and its winning percentage was a robust and statistically significant 0.82. As expected, each win above replacement contributed to a team increases winning percentage by roughly 0.7 points, or the equivalent of about one win in a 162-game schedule. By this method, practically every All-Star team would be predicted to have a winning record, and the average All-Star squad would be predicted to win 73.4 percent of its games.5The sole All-Star team predicted to have a losing record was the 1933 National League’s outfit, and this is largely by virtue of the fact that they listed only four pitchers on their roster. In a 162-game schedule a .734 winning percentage would lead to 120 wins, a feat no real-life team has ever achieved. And that’s just the average; the very best All-Star teams — the top 10 percent — would be predicted to win more than 81 percent of their games, or 132 contests in a regular season.Standing atop that group as the best All-Star team ever was the 1997 National League squad. (Which, by the way, lost to the AL 3-1, a reminder that in any one game a superteam can lose to a merely great team, especially if there isn’t much at stake.) Seven players from that roster have already made the Hall of Fame, with two more (third baseman Chipper Jones and pitcher Curt Schilling) likely to reach induction in the near future, and a few others (such as outfielder Barry Bonds and first baseman Jeff Bagwell) mainly excluded over performance-enhancing drug concerns. (By comparison, only five players from the AL team that opposed them have made the hall so far.) Combined, the top players on the ’97 NL team produced 86.2 WAR; six of them reached the MVP level threshold of 6 WAR; their worst position player, Jones, ended up producing 3.7 WAR — still 23rd best in the NL.We can’t say for sure how such a team might have fared over a 162-game schedule; the assumptions of any model can break down at the extremes, particularly since we’re trying to extrapolate from a sample of regular-season teams that have never been anywhere near as powerful. But by the model outlined above, the 1997 NL All-Stars would have been predicted to win 87 percent of their games, or 140 times in a season. Even given the amount of luck in baseball records,6Random variation can can cause a team’s win total to fluctuate by something like 6 to 10 wins per year. the ’97 NL would hypothetically go undefeated only once every six billion seasons. (So the best team in baseball history — by a huge margin — would still be the longest of long shots for a perfect record.)I can, of course, take things a step further and assemble the all-time greatest All-Star team. By assembling the greatest single-season performances at each position throughout history, I can build a team with almost 137 WAR, more than 50 percent better than the greatest single All-Star team ever. This team — with Lou Gehrig from 1934 manning first base, Barry Bonds from 2002 in the outfield, and ’99 Pedro Martinez sharing a rotation with ’72 Steve Carlton — would be predicted to win 96.8 percent of its games, becoming the first 157-game winner. With a lot of luck, it could eke out an undefeated regular season, but even for them it would be far from a certainty. (According to the binomial distribution, it would happen once every 200 or so seasons.)Obviously, no such team will ever play the regular season, and this simplified approach ignores many factors that limit teams from such otherworldly performance, such as injuries and the grind of the long schedule. Even so, it’s intriguing to consider how overwhelming an All-Star team likely would be in the face of regular-season competition. For a game in which the default is to fail seven times out of 10, most All-Star teams would suddenly make baseball look quite easy.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

Only A Superteam Could Stop LeBron

FiveThirtyEight On the latest episode (June 13, 2017) of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast, we first talk about the right way for teams to approach the MLB draft. Then FiveThirtyEight’s Kyle Wagner stops by to talk about the Golden State Warriors’ 129-120 Game 5 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Are these Warriors the greatest team of all time, and what makes them so good? We deliberate. Plus, a significant digit on Rafael Nadal.Here are links to stories we discussed this week:FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine argues that Moneyball’s draft advice has outlived its usefulness.Neil also writes that although the Warriors are still in the GOAT debate, they blew their chance to end it.Check out Kyle Wagner’s piece on how the Warriors duped the NBA.Kyle and Chris Herring write that the Warriors belong to Kevin Durant now.Sports Illustrated’s Deantae Prince does a category-by-category examination of the Warriors vs. the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.Significant Digit: 10, the number of French Open titles Rafael Nadal has won. Nadal beat Stan Wawrinka to win his first Grand Slam in three years. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS read more

Rony Lopes believes Portugal is confident

first_imgThe Portuguese forward thinks his team is ready to get a win against Italy in the 2018-2019 UEFA Nations League seasonThe Portugal national team is set to debut in the 2018-2019 UEFA Nations League season, but they will have a difficult opponent in front: Italy.The Azzurri already debuted on the competition and salvage a 1-1 draw against Poland in Bologna.And now they will play against the Portuguese in Lisbon.For forward Rony Lopes, Italy is good, but Portugal is better.Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“We are confident,” the 22-year-old striker told the media as reported by Football Italia.“The fact Italy drew with Poland gives us even more belief and motivation to top the group. Italy is a good team with good players, but Portugal is ready to win.”“This team has a bright future ahead of it, as there’s a lot of quality and young players happy to learn from the experience of the elders,” he continued.“Cristiano [Ronaldo] is the best player in the world and it’d be a privilege for me to play by his side. It’s not happened yet, but I hope it will do soon,” he said.last_img read more

Sami Khedira is happy after signing new Juventus contract

first_imgThe former Real Madrid player talks how well he feels with the Italian Lega Serie A club and what’s next on his careerSami Khedira has been with Juventus since he decided in 2015 to leave Real Madrid.And now the player has signed a new deal keeping him in the team until 2021.In an interview with Juventus TV, he spoke on the challenged he overcame to get to where he is now with his current team.“It’s an important day and I’m very happy to have signed a new contract with Juventus, an extraordinary day, after Madrid I thought it would not be easy to find a club to have new challenges, then I found Juventus,” he said.“It’s my fourth year and I’m going to stay here for a long time, that’s why I renewed my contract, it’s enough to go out on the street or to the stadium to understand what it means to wear this special shirt.”Mario Mandzukic, JuventusJuventus confirm Mario Mandzukic could leave this month Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Sporting director Fabio Paratici confirmed reports that Mario Mandzukic could leave Juventus for a move to an unnamed Qatari team.“You have to fight and take it with pride, so I’m very happy that we managed to find a new deal for the next few years so that I can continue to play for Juventus,” he explained.“Juve is synonymous with history and if you play in Juventus you must be a champion, you must always give your all and be proud to play here.”“Because it is the best club in Italy and I hope it will soon be in Europe too,” he warned.I just extended my contract at @Juventusfc until 2021. Since my first day I’ve had a special feeling and it quickly felt like home here. I’m very proud to be a part of the great history of the club and of the Juventus family. Let’s continue to make black and white history ?? pic.twitter.com/Cz5Fk7oZPn— Sami Khedira (@SamiKhedira) September 12, 2018last_img read more

Guardiola hopes to return to where he began his career

first_imgManchester City boss Pep Guardiola has revealed he will like to return to where he started his managerial career before he calls it quits.The Spanish tactician started his managerial career as the coach of Barcelona’s B team and he insists he would love to return to the side before he calls time on his managerial career.The former Barcelona midfielder took over Barca B in 2007 before becoming coach of the senior side a year later, following the departure of Frank Rijkaard. Guardiola won three LaLiga titles, two Champions Leagues and two Club World Cups in a memorable four years before enjoying similar levels of success with German side Bayern Munich.Now in his third season with the Citizens, he is hoping to defend the Premier League title they won last season with a record-breaking points tally of 100 and has already hinted at staying in England for a decade.However, Guardiola hopes to conclude his career in the dugout in the same place that it started.“My teams are going to try to play how I want,” he said to Jorge Valdano on Universo Valdano.jose mourinhoMourinho knows why City and Liverpool are so far ahead George Patchias – September 13, 2019 Jose Mourinho knows why Manchester City and Liverpool are so far ahead of everyone else in the Premier League.In an interview with the Telegraph,…“I will finish where I started; my final steps will be with youth teams. Hopefully, it will be Barca’s.””Acabaré donde empecé: mis últimos pasos ojalá sean en el Barça”, Pep Guardiola en #UniversoValdano, este jueves a las 21.30h en Movistar Liga de Campeones. pic.twitter.com/H7Mjq6iyqK— La Casa del Fútbol en Movistar+ (@casadelfutbol) September 12, 2018Guardiola has previously ruled out returning to Camp Nou to coach the senior Barca side but has been linked with a possible return as sporting director. His contract with City expires at the end of the 2020-21 season.last_img read more

Harry Maguire hints at Man United move

first_imgLeicester City defender Harry Maguire refuses to rule out a move to Manchester United, but admits it won’t be easy for a “giant” club to sign himThe England international is regarded as one of the Premier League’s best centre-backs following an impressive World Cup campaign at Russia.Maguire had been heavily linked with a switch to United in the summer transfer window alongside Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld.But Maguire ultimately remained at Leicester and recently signed a new five-year deal, which reportedly lacks any buy-out clause.However, due to his Champions League ambitions, Maguire admits that he may have to make a difficult choice in the future should another top club chase his services.“Yes, definitely it would be a difficult one,” Maguire told BBC, when asked about a potential bid from a big club in the future.“I’m an ambitious player. If you’re not an ambitious footballer, you’re in the wrong game really.“Everyone wants to play at the top level, everyone wants to play in the biggest tournaments in the world, so obviously the Champions League is one.”Daniel Fark, Norwich City, Premier LeagueDaniel Farke, From mid-table in the Championship to the Premier League Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Norwich City manager, Daniel Farke, has taken his team from the middle of the table in the English Championship to play with the big boys in the Premier League.The 25-year-old feels indebted to Leicester for their continued support, which helped him earn a spot in the England World Cup team.He added: “I want to concentrate fully on Leicester this year. See where it takes the club and see where we go from there.“The platform they gave me to go and play at a World Cup is something I’ll never forget, so it’s a big part of me wanting to show something back.“Since I made my debut at Sheffield United I felt like I could step on and climb the leagues. Signing for Leicester, they gave me a great platform to go and play for England as well.“My main aim is to be playing week in, week out in the Premier League and to get picked for England. However, I do want to win trophies. I want to win trophies with my country and I want to win trophies at club level.”An incredible journey. The highs and the lows… the joys of football. Massive thankyou for your support throughout. Special mention to the manager for giving me this opportunity. @England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🦁❤️ pic.twitter.com/YfWceqrIiL— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) July 14, 2018last_img read more

Bahamiam veteran journalist and photographer presents a copy of his book to

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, November 1, 2017 – Nassau – Veteran Journalist and Photographer Eric Rose presented a copy of his book, Poetry of A Life Renewed, to Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling, Governor General, during a courtesy call at Government House, Tuesday, October 31, 2017.(BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson) Related Items:last_img