March 1

John Lithgow: An actor’s journey

first_imgActor John Lithgow ’67, Art.D. ’05, has enjoyed an extraordinarily varied career, playing both dramatic and comedic roles on television, film, and stage.He played a transgender woman in “The World According to Garp,” a minister in “Footloose,” a serial killer in “Dexter,” an alien in “Third Rock From the Sun.” Most recently, he starred as Winston Churchill in “The Crown.”In a taped interview, Lithgow sat down with the Gazette to talk about how he got his start in acting, his formative years in theater on campus, and his deep affection for Harvard.Lithgow will receive the 2017 Harvard Arts Medal on Thursday in a ceremony that kicks off the 25th anniversary of Arts First, the annual spring festival of free performances that he founded. Harvard President Drew Faust will present the award at 4 p.m. at Loeb Drama Center. (Admission is free, but tickets are required, either from the Harvard Box Office at 10 Holyoke St., by calling 617-496-2222, or by visiting Phone and online orders have service fees.)last_img read more

September 16

SU’s curling club looks to build off last year’s surprising success

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 31, 2019 at 12:21 am Contact Will: [email protected] Sliding a stone across ice onto a targeted area often appears a simple act, but to the members of the Syracuse University Curling Club, it’s a chess match.“The game is both not only physical, but it’s a lot of mental as well,” junior and club co-founder Paul Mokotoff said. “I’m trying to plan out the strategy for the end from the first shot.”In 2018-19, SU’s strategies propelled the club to nationals in its debut season. Since its inception in the spring of 2018, Syracuse’s curling club has grown and can now field two teams. The curlers are working to make their second consecutive nationals appearance, the now-12-membergroup travels every week to Utica for practice for its season that begins on Nov. 8 in Boston, Massachusetts.The club was founded in March 2018 in a Utica Curling Club hallway, where Mokotoff was curling with a friend, a member of Hamilton’s curling club team. It was there where Mokotoff was introduced to Professor Rebecca Schewe of the sociology department. Mokotoff and Schewe founded the club and had it operational with seven total members in time for the Club Sports Fair that September.Being a new club with limited participation can make recruiting difficult, Mokotoff said. During the first year, 35 people signed up, but only one committed to the club, joining Mokotoff and his six friends. That’s how the club went from seven to eight members.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith their initial eight members, the SU curling club began playing any team they could. Usually, that was the other four schools that operated out of Utica — Hamilton, Colgate, SUNY Polytechnic and Cornell. USA Curling permits SU to play each of these teams no more than six times per season to earn points toward its nationals bid. A team earns four points for a win, and two for a loss.Courtesy of Chris Lorenz Sophomore Chris Lorenz said having one team hurt SU’s ability to qualify for nationals, since they can’t compete in as many matches as bigger clubs. To earn extra points, club members would volunteer at bonspiels, often working concessions.“It’s a weird scoring system,” Lorenz said, dressed in a navy blue shirt picturing Otto the Orange with a broom in one hand and a curling stone in the other.Syracuse was winning most of its matches, but it wasn’t accumulating the same number of points as other programs. But on Feb. 3, Syracuse beat MIT in the final of the Cape Cod Spiel, clearing the points threshold to clinch a spot in nationals. The top 15 teams in the country are invited, Syracuse made it as the No. 14 seed.“I mean everybody frankly was really excited that we made it,” Schewe said. “And I think that went nationally. Everybody was coming up and shaking our hands and saying congratulations.”Syracuse was knocked out of contention when it failed to win any games in its initial round-robin stage, losing to Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Yale and RPI. Its tournament wasn’t over, however, as SU was placed in the consolation bracket, and won every game there, beating Harvard and Midwest powerhouse Minnesota.As Syracuse club curling enters its second year of existence, the members look toward the younger generation of incoming freshmen and sophomores to lead the team to the ultimate prize at nationals. With seven new freshmen on the team coming into this year, Syracuse can finally field two teams at bonspiels. No more volunteering necessary.But questions for the program remain. As the founding members of the club graduate in the upcoming years, someone will have to step into a Mokotoff’s leadership role. Mokotoff, when asked about handing the team off to the next generation, said it had been something he’s been thinking about since the end of last season.“I need to hand the club off in a condition that it can be replicated by someone else,” Mokotoff said, “And I have an extremely high bar set for myself. And so I know that it’s important to keep that bar high.“Because clearly, the curling club can do some pretty great things.” Commentslast_img read more

December 21

Khris Davis’ clutch blast lifts A’s past Rays in extras

first_imgST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Khris Davis leads the majors in home runs, but he isn’t just your average masher who pads the stats with long bombs when the game is out of hand. When he hits them, they usually mean something of significance.The A’s (90-58) were stymied by Rays pitchers for five innings and failed to record a hit past the fourth, but one swing of the bat from Davis caused an eruption in the visiting dugout as they took the lead during Friday’s 2-1 victory over the Rays in ten innings to …last_img read more

December 20

Wednesday at 49ers HQ: Bracing for Jackson; Pettis leaves practice hurt

first_imgSANTA CLARA – Nick Bosa has faced players like Lamar Jackson before, years ago on south Florida’s high school circuit with its triple-option offenses and hyped-up hot shots.“They’d have their best athlete at quarterback,” Bosa said Wednesday. “Down in south Florida, there’s a lot of really good athletes and they remind me of Lamar.“He’s just the best of all of them. That’s why he’s doing what he’s doing. Yeah, it’ll be fun.”Jackson is the best of all NFL quarterbacks going right now, a …last_img read more

December 19

Darwin Demo Falls Short

first_img(Visited 55 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 What the new “evolution in action” experiment lacks in Darwin support is compensated by its propaganda value.A cursory look at a story in The Atlantic would lead readers to suspect that the creation-evolution debate is over, and Darwin won. You can even watch the victory lap in the embedded video clip. Bacteria at both ends of a rectangular grid, made out like a football field, race to the midline, overcoming antibiotics first 10, then 100, then 1000 times the strength needed to kill them. It’s survival of the fittest! Send this demo to the classrooms of America:Beyond any applications in research and medicine, the MEGA-plate also makes for a wonderful teaching tool. It makes the abstract concrete. It vividly brings the process of evolution to life—and to view. “We’re visual creatures,” says Baym. “Seeing is believing.”When Michael Baym and Tami Lieberman of Harvard shared the video at an evolutionary conference last month, their colleagues were instantly cured of lockjaw:…many attendees were awed and slack-jawed. “It’s exciting, creative and, game-changing,” says Shelly Copley from the University of Colorado, one of the organisers. Baym himself, who has seen the movies hundreds of times, is still blown away by them. “You can actually see mutations happening,” he says, before shaking his head and smiling.The results were published in Science Magazine under the title, “Spatiotemporal microbial evolution on antibiotic landscapes.” Does a closer look at the methods and results vindicate Darwin? The “evolution” of antibiotic resistance is nothing new. ID advocate Michael Behe discussed it at length in his second book, The Edge of Evolution. He showed that in ideal test conditions—the evolution of malarial parasite resistance to chloroquine and other chemicals—Darwinian evolution was incapable of crossing fitness landscapes requiring more than two coordinated mutations. Malaria parasites could sometimes survive antimalarial drugs, but only by “throwing stuff overboard” – i.e., engaging in desperate attempts to survive through loss of information. (By analogy, a criminal can evolve resistance to handcuffs by having his hands cut off.)To succeed in demonstrating Darwinian evolution, Baym would need to show (1) realistic starting conditions, (2) the unguided emergence of new genetic information, (3) positive selection, (4) fitness increase over wild type, (5) speciation, (6) some innovative heritable structure capable of leading to new branches of organisms, and (7) successful competition of the winners in the real world, alongside other organisms in the ecology. Let’s examine the paper for these requirements.Realistic starting conditions? The Materials & Methods section shows that they used a “strain from the Keio collection of E. coli K-12 BW25113 knockout variants.” The platform on which the experiment was run was highly artificial, consisting of purified agar, with several rounds of artificially-selected bacteria as starters. The environment contained no other organisms that wild E. coli were likely to encounter in the wild.New genetic information?  The authors discuss mutations, but there is no mention of beneficial mutations or gain-of-function mutations. Michael Behe claims at Evolution News & Views that over half the identified mutations amount to loss of function. The others are likely deleterious as well:The key to understanding the paper is its Figure 3C. There it shows the genes that have undergone more than one mutation across tested bacteria. They break the mutations down into silent changes, changes of amino acids (point mutations), and insertion-deletion or nonsense mutations, which almost certainly are loss of function (LOF). Over half of genes contain such LOF mutations, along with some point mutations, which likely also degrade or destroy function. In other words, devolution.Positive selection?  There is no mention of positive selection in the paper among the 11 mentions of the word. Nor is there mention in The Atlantic.Fitness increase?  There is no mention of fitness increase in the paper among the 5 words “fit” or “fitness” and no mention of the word in The Atlantic.Speciation?  The organisms at the beginning and end of the experiment are still not only E. coli, but descendants of the original strain of E. coli.Innovation?  The word “innovation” is lacking in the paper. The word “novel” is only mentioned as a possibility for future experiments: “Owing to the relaxed evolutionary constraints in range expansion dynamics, the MEGA-plate is likely to reveal novel mutational pathways to high-level multiantibiotic resistance.” In a companion piece in Science, Luke McNally and Sam P. Brown claim innovation, but provide no specifics: “The advent of evolutionary innovations via mutation and the subsequent selection of these mutants are thus imprinted on the plate, providing an unprecedented visualization of evolution through time and space.” The innovation, however, is merely inferred from the fan-shaped patterns on the advancing fronts of resistant strains.Competition in the wild?  No mention is made of releasing the winning germs back into the wild to see if they could survive and proliferate in real-world conditions against their less-evolved progenitors. McNally and Brown admit this: “the MEGA plate could be criticized as merely a caricature of real-world environments, but such a perspective misses its value as a tool to elucidate the fundamental principles of evolution in a spatial environment.” Surprisingly, they also consider Lenski’s Long-Term Evolution Experiment (LTEE) with E. coli to be vulnerable, too: it “could be similarly criticized for being unrealistic yet has provided key insights into the longterm bounds of evolutionary fitness and the dynamics of evolutionary innovations, among many other discoveries.” But if they are both unrealistic caricatures, how can they provide insight? Maybe it’s just in the propaganda arena.Propaganda ValueThe true significance of this paper is its visualization potential to promote evolution to unsuspecting students. Baym’s statement “seeing is believing” makes that clear, but the last sentence in the paper is even more explicit:Its relative simplicity and ability to visually demonstrate evolution makes the MEGA-plate a useful tool for science education and outreach.In short, a visual aid that demonstrates nothing of Darwinian evolution can nonetheless serve as a “useful” teaching tool to promote Darwinian theory. Useful to whom? “In other words, the MEGA-plate does not correspond to the real world and may be irrelevant to medicine,” Behe says. “Instead, its value will be primarily to indoctrinate students in evolution.”We want to see the germs evolve powered flight, sonar, and the ability to compose symphonies. Then we’ll be impressed.last_img read more

November 28

IPL 2011: Kochi Tuskers Kerala vs Kings XI Punjab- KXIP win by 6 wickets

first_imgPunjab batsmen Dinesh Karthik and Shaun Marsh scored 111 runs for the third wicket as their team beat Kochi by 6 wickets in a high-scoring IPL match at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Friday. Score | PhotosA 179-run target was one that could have left many a team nervous, but Punjab openers Adam Gilchrist and Paul Valthaty tried to get above that unnerving feeling and got going against the Kochi attack.Scoring at more than six runs an over the two had scored 25 when an RP Singh delivery in the third over uprooted Valthaty’s middle stump when he was on 17.With Valthaty gone, the other opener Gilchrist lost his rhythm and fell in RP Singh’s next over on nine when the team total was 31.Post the early setback, Kochi’s Aussie batsman Shaun Marsh and Dinesh Karthik tried to revive the innings. Soon the two started dealing in boundaries and got on with an impressive third wicket partnership that eventually took the match away form Kochi.RP Singh managed to break their stand but not before the two had put 111 runs on board — the highest partnership for the third wicket in IPL-4. The first ball of the 15th over was hit hard towards the extra cover region by Karthik but skipper Mahela Jayawardene took a fine catch to send him back on 69. His innings spanning 33 balls included seven fours and five sixes.Five balls later, RP Singh struck again to dismiss Karthik’s partner Shaun Marsh on 42 with a caught and bowled written against his initials. Punjab were 145/4 at the stage – 34 runs shy of the target.advertisementIn came Australian David Hussey and Mandeep Singh and out went Kochi’s hopes as the two put an unbeaten 36 runs for the fifth wicket to lead their team to victory.Punjab posted 181/4 with seven balls remaining. Four wickets fell in their innings and all were taken by Kochi left-arm paceman RP Singh, who finished with fine figures of 4-0-25-4.Kochi inningsKochi captain Mahela Jayawardene scored a fine 76 as Kochi posted 178/7 against Punjab during the 57th IPL match.Earlier, Punjab captain Adam Gilchrist won the toss and elected to field. Kochi openers Brendon McCullum and Mahela Jayawardene got off to a flyer scoring 15 runs in the first over and then eased up their innings against Punjab playing judiciously and also increasing run rate at the same time.Well set in the middle, the two openers went on charge and the run rate jumped to above 10 even as the bowlers tried hard to get a breakthrough.It wasn’t until the ninth over that Punjab managed to get a breakthrough. A Bipul Sharma ball trapped McCullum on the pads and he fell on 32 after putting 93 runs for the first wicket with captain Mahela Jayawardene.But that wicket hardly made a difference to Kochi’s charge as new man Ravindra Jadeja got on with the act of smashing away at the bowlers.Punjab’s leggi Piyush Chawla managed to get rid of Jadeja in the 14th over when the Kochi total was already a good 122. The effort applied breaks to the Kochi charge to some extent.Bipul Sharma came around to claim Brad Hodge in the 15th over when the team total was 129. Marsh took the aerial route but failed to clear the boundary as Shaun Marsh took a neat catch and Kochi lost their third wicket.Owais Shah hammered a 12-ball 23 before getting run out in the 19th over when the team total was 165/4. Soon Shalabh Srivastava scalped new man Parthiv Patel for a duck.Kochi lost Raiphi Gomez and captain Jayawardene (run out) in the last over of the innings off Ryan Harris. But before that Jayawardene played a captain’s knock scoring a fine 76 off 52 balls hitting eight fours and two sixes on the way to help Kochi post an impressive 178/7.last_img read more