Is The Venus Project The Next Stage In Human Evolution? – Forbes

The Venus Project

A seismic shift is under way. Against the backdrop of rising temperatures, collapsing ecosystems, and the threat of species extinction,technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are now moving to transform the global order. Indeed, for the first time in our history, we have the tools and technologies to guide and shape our evolution. But what will this future look like?

I recently spoke with Roxanne Meadows and Nathanael Dinwiddie of The Venus Project to better understand their thoughts on the future. As they explain, the status quo is no longer working. Climate change, social inequality, and technological innovation are now disrupting a market-driven society. The key to resolving these global challenges, they suggest, is rooted in aResource Based Economy.

The term Resource Based Economy was first coined by Jacque Fresco, the founder of The Venus Project. Fresco believed that a Resource Based Economy could support the scientific integration of automating technologies (AI and robotics) and engineering systems in providing the highest possible living standards. Meadows and Dinwiddie suggest that this kind of economy is the next stage in human evolution. But what do they mean?

Abstract of city skyscrapers and trees

1. What is The Venus Project?

Meadows and Dinwiddie:The Venus Project is a non-profit organization that presents a new socio-economic model utilizing science and technology. For the past 40 years, we have maintained a 21-acre research center in Venus, Florida. We propose a new scientific foundation in transcending humanitys current problems by testing a new social design for organizing our society as a global operating system.

Taken as a whole, the Venus Project fills the egregious gap between the sciences and the humanities by combining a social philosophy of the future with technical knowledge applied at a global scale to solve the problems of the human condition. Our methodologies are designed to realize the full potential of science and technology to achieve social betterment for all living systems without exception. Our approach to social organization calls for changes in governance, economics, urban planning, education, human relationships, language, and values.

2. We appear to be in the early stages of a massive economic depression. What is your sense of what is happening politically and economically right now?

Meadows and Dinwiddie:We are witnessing an unprecedented political polarization and economic disruption around the world today. The status quo is no longer working. Many people are now beginning to understand how dysfunctional the management of nations, peoples, and resources has been. Human needs and the needs of our environment are far too complex to be managed by political means, arbitrary economic direction, or an elite without the relevant understanding of science and technology.

Compounding this problem, nature operates as a closed-loop system, but we do not. We extract resources without replenishing them, accumulate waste materials without recycling them, and we pollute our air, water, and food crops for the need to maintain competitive profit margins. There are many other factors converging at once besides the pandemic, all of which contribute to the systems unrest.

walkway in office park,

3. Younger generations seem disaffected with Capitalism. Could you describe your vision of a post-scarcity society?

Meadows and Dinwiddie:The Venus Project recognizes that if we utilize a global systems approach as a basis for organizing and managing resources, we can design a much more humane environment for all. Our goal is to advance the health and the protection of the ecosystem, as opposed to the accumulation of wealth, property, and power. We do not have enough money to fulfill the needs of the worlds people, but we do have enough resources, if wisely managed. Ultimately, it is not money that people need, but unencumbered access to the necessities of life and self actualization.

Accomplishing this is a technical and engineering challenge requiring massive coordination by transdisciplinary teams of engineers and scientists in managing the Earths resources within its carrying capacity. This kind of scientific endeavor would eliminate the vicious rivalries over scarce resources and, in turn, generate very different behavior amongst people.

Briefly, this is what Jacque Fresco, founder of The Venus Project, termed a Resource Based Economy. This is a necessary step for humanitys evolution. It could be thought of as a new science, a science of Earth Management where, by necessity, all of Earths resources become the common heritage of all the worlds people.

4. How does the Venus Project differ from Socialism or Communism?

Meadows and Dinwiddie:Rather than worker revolts and the forcible overthrow of the system (Communism), or the redistribution of capital (Socialism), The Venus Project approaches social change as a process of guided evolution. In our view, the challenges before us are a matter of engineering and design. The Venus Project calls for an experimental analysis of a new social system. This system is unlike any communist revolution, utopian commune, or coup dtat tried in the past.

In our view, the fundamental issue limiting social management in the past has been the lack of an effective data-driven methodology for evaluating and improving the systems functioning. Full-scale blanket application of social policies to vast geographic areas be it through revolution or legislation without a means for evaluating their effectiveness, follows from an approach heavy in ideology but short in scientific method. The Venus Project calls for iterative prototyping of cities that we take as the unit of analysis in validating or falsifying hypotheses. All of this begins with testing a prototype, not a revolution.

Although Karl Marx did envision a society wherein money, private property, and social hierarchy were abolished, he could not begin to imagine how to implement this system at a technical level. In contrast to Communism, The Venus Project calls for the total redesign of cities (transportation, distribution, manufacturing, recycling, infrastructure) to produce abundance of goods and services. This is achieved through automation and optimized infrastructural efficiency.

Robotic Arms controlled by smart device

5. What role does technology and automation play in The Venus Project?

Meadows and Dinwiddie:For the first time in history, we have the tools and technology to guide and shape our evolution. To accomplish this, The Venus Project advocates the humane and intelligent use of technology and the methods of science directed toward the well-being of all people and the environment which sustains all life.

In our view, technology and automation should be strictly used for social betterment and to eliminate repetitive, dangerous and monotonous work. If automation displaces a job, for example, that means all people would gain more access to the products those machines produce. The necessities of life are distributed without a fee with the aim of expanding to all goods and services. Consequently, there is no threat resulting from technological labor displacement. On the contrary, technology and automation have the potential for enhancing the worlds standard of living, enabling people to learn, spend time with their families, travel, and confront the new frontier of challenges in improving the resilience of the system as a whole.

6. How do you envision utilizing AI in decision-making?

Meadows and Dinwiddie:Applying the methods of science and technology (including AI) to the operation of the worlds societies will lead to a substantially more reliable functioning of support systems than we have today. Homelessness, starvation, war, and environmental degradation are consequences of todays political and economic approaches to decision-making. A Resource Based Economy operates within a unified systems approach that utilizes the methods of science and AI to arrive at the most appropriate decisions at any given time. Unlike todays implementation of technology, this new approach would be carefully carried out with the utmost human and environmental concern. The real-time influx of quantitative and qualitative data would provide real-time feedback, enabling humanity to constantly observe and continually improve the operation of the system over time.

Future city

7. What are the future goals of The Venus Project?

Meadows and Dinwiddie:At present, we are focused on formalizing and systematizing the body of work of The Venus Projects founder, Jacque Fresco. In an age that is sorely lacking an approach updated to current knowledge and capability, we enter uncharted territory with the methods of science to help us through. This is the crucial job that no one has attempted, until now.

In the short term, we are focused on a systems approach to organize a holistic understanding of the natural world and human culture. This involves understanding economics and human social systems in the broader contexts of Earth processes and ecosystems, and communicating this understanding through books, videos, the internet, podcasts, transmedia storytelling, and course curricula.

In the mid-term, we aim to fulfill the desperate need for the strategic coordination of consilience by synthesizing the knowledge of academia and the know-how of industry. This network of intelligence will produce a transdisciplinary research agenda, research program, and global theory of change. Constructing a new planning center will function as a living lab and think tank devoted to designing the first prototype city.

In the long term, The Venus Project hopes to see the construction of new prototype cities for the purpose of testing the hypothesis of a holistic, technical design-solution for a social system. Iterations of these prototypes will form a worldwide network of cities. The study of these cities will function as the basis for a science of Earth management, the models of which guide the intelligent allocation of resources for the purpose of optimizing civilization to adapt and evolve in relationship with an Earth ecology.

There is a lot to consider and we welcome participation in the development of such a system.

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Is The Venus Project The Next Stage In Human Evolution? - Forbes

COVID-19 has catalysed the evolution of digital finance | Financial Services – FinTech Magazine – The FinTech & InsurTech Platform

Although digital technology was permeating the payments space prior to the pandemic, few would contend that changes havent now been accelerated.

What was once an opportunity for tech companies to transform the relationship between consumers and the financial institutions that served them has become a necessity, particularly in light of the impracticality of cash when trying to prevent the spread of infection.

Reflecting on how the sector has evolved, Vaduvur Bharghavan, President and CEO of card app platform Ondot, told FinTech Magazine, Apple Card was the first to enter and really set the expectation for what a modern, digital-first card should be: get a card quickly, understand spending clearly, manage your account on-the-go, and engage with perks and offers.

Google and Samsung have built on these experiences, but could be even more disruptive. Google is looking beyond just one card portfolio and has already signed eight financial institutions with more expected, meaning they could try to become a platform for banking rather than just a card portfolio.

Furthermore, following the announcement of Samsungs new Pay Card (in collaboration with Curve), Conor Pierce, Corporate VP of Samsung UK & Ireland, intimated that the development was a direct attempt at reconciling consumer needs with current socio-economic conditions:

Now, more than ever, people need a secure payment solution they can rely on. Were excited to be able to put the control back into our customers hands by launching Samsung Pay Card, he said.

However, the developments dont stop at payments and transactions; fintech startup PrizePool recently made headlines when it raised US$4.25m for its savings account platform which also allowed customers to win monthly cash prizes of up to $50k.

Now more than ever, Americans need to be saving money to protect their future, commented Frank Chien, Co-Founder and CEO. We know that saving can be hard to prioritize and our goal is to reduce the barrier to saving money by making it fun.

Also, Stem managed to secure $10m in funding for its distribution and payments platform in support of independent artists, who are struggling to adjust to the new post-COVID-19 restrictions on their income.

Adam Nash, one of the ventures angel investors, said, The music industry has been extremely slow to bring the transparency and capabilities of modern software to creators. Stems fintech solution brings opportunities to a wider range of artists than ever before.

It seems readily apparent, then, that financial backing for new, digitally-inflected forms of finance management are being actively developed in the fintech community as a direct result of COVID-19.

The diversity and spread of this innovation give a positive indication for the future: each industry could soon receive the bespoke solutions it needs to thrive in this new economic environment.

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COVID-19 has catalysed the evolution of digital finance | Financial Services - FinTech Magazine - The FinTech & InsurTech Platform

The Evolution Of Dave Matthews Band’s ‘Warehouse’ – JamBase

When Dave Matthews Band played their first official show as part of a Middle East Childrens Alliance benefit on March 14, 1991 at Trax in Charlottesville, Virginia the group debuted seven original songs. The setlist that night featured Ill Back You Up and Cry Freedom, which continued to be performed by the band, though less often in recent years. The other songs premiered at the first show became setlist staples: Typical Situation, The Best of Whats Around, The Song That Jane Likes, Recently and Warehouse.

Of all the songs debuted that night, according to DMBAlmanac.com, Warehouse has been played the most by DMB, currently at 829 performances. Warehouse has also made it into Dave Mathews solo setlists and performances by Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds.

Regarding Warehouse, which appeared on the bands 1994 debut album Under The Table And Dreaming, the DMBAlmanac states, This song ranks near the top of the list in terms of all time fan favorites. It was played since the very beginning and has remained a highlight nearly every show it is played.

There are dozens of videos of Warehouse available to view via the JamBase Live Video Archive (JBLVA). The earliest version currently in the database dates back to June 17, 1992, click below to watch:

Warehouse has continuously evolved over the years, as detailed by the DMBAlmanac. Take a journey through JBLVA to see and hear the evolution of Warehouse, guided by the DMBAlmanacs entry for the song.

December 28, 1993 (Dave Solo)

DMBAlmanac: In the early days of 92-93, the song frequently featured a Shortnin Bread interpolation towards the end of the song.

August 1, 1994

DMBAlmanac: After the summer of 1994, the last verse evolved beyond the mere repetition of Thats my blood down there.

October 10, 1996

DMBAlmanac: Starting in 1995, a stop-time intro began to occasionally be played during full-band versions. After 1996, every full band performance of this song has included a stop-time intro.

February 19, 1999 (Dave & Tim)

DMBAlmanac: Dave and Tim versions have continued to contain the original intro, as well as a Passion intro where Dave interpolates the vocals from Peter Gabriels song Passion.

July 17, 1999

DMBAlmanac: This song has also been featured as a fake, in which the Warehouse intro is played several times before the band goes directly into Ants Marching.

August 2, 2000

DMBAlmanac: In 1999, fans from the original nancies mailing list began organizing to chant Woo! during the stop-time intro. By the summer of 2000, the Woos caught on and are now a standard crowd chant at the start of every Warehouse.

July 30, 2003

DMBAlmanac: Starting in 2003, the jam evolved into what has come to be known as the salsa jam outro with a more celebratory salsa vibe.

August 15, 2009

DMBAlmanac: In 2007, the band began playing what we call a UTTAD-style intro, [Under The Table And Dreaming] where Dave sang an intro verse similar to the one found on the songs studio cut. Since the chords Dave played during this intro are the same ones he plays during the Passion intro, some have also labeled this intro as Passion; however, this intro is completely unrelated to the Peter Gabriel song and is therefore distinct from the Passion intro.

Juy 14, 2010

DMBAlmanac: In 2010, the band began playing the intro exactly as it appears on the album, which we have labeled UTTAD intro.

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The Evolution Of Dave Matthews Band's 'Warehouse' - JamBase

We are Spaceships Extraterrestrial Viruses May Have Influenced Origin and Evolution of Life (Weekend Featur – The Daily Galaxy –Great Discoveries…

The human imagination is a preview of coming attractions, Albert Einstein was fond of saying. Viruses are essentially roving segments of genetic material that have learned how to put on space suits and leave the cell, observed Greg Bear in his epic work of science fiction, Darwins Radio, that mirrors Einsteins adage, suggesting that viruses in our genome function as carriers of evolutionary messagesa genetic radio, so to speak. In this sense, we may simply be spaceships for virus.

Bear sees viruses as transports for primordial nano-encapsulated genetic information that have existed from the beginning of biological time a string of atoms, clumped into molecules, wrapped in another kind of molecular shell, a kind of biological M&M.

Imagine an alien creature floating in space, observes New Scientist about the zombie world of viruses that could hold the key to evolution itself. It doesnt grow, communicate or move at all under its own steam. Without a home it is inert. We know very little about it, except that it will start reproducing when it enters the atmosphere of a planet that suits it. Is it living? Is it dangerous? This may not sound like a plausible being, but it pretty much describes viruses, which replicate only when inside a host. Viruses may seem alien, but they are the most abundant and, arguably, the most important organisms on Earth.

Crossing Over Viruses Occupy an Odd Liminal Space

If there is one insight that the coronavirus pandemic has emerged about Planet Earth it is that there is much that we still dont know about cohabitants of our own world viruses, occupying an odd liminal space, not quite alive, but not dead either. They exist, reports Nautil.us, in what is effectively a hidden world, almost a first Earth. What we cant see in the cosmos that is the best reminder of our limited vision, observes Natutilus. The pandemic has brought us closer than is comfortable to Darwins engines of selection.

Creator and Destroyer Virus Population of Earths Oceans Would Stretch Out 42 Million Light Years

Now, in a neat example life imitating art per Einstein, NASA is integrating advancements in the study of viruses into astrobiology, the study of lifes origins, evolution, and distribution in the universe, hoping to formulate new areas of research to advance our understanding of how viruses may have influenced the origin and evolution of life here on Earth, and perhaps elsewhere in the Solar System.

Pushing the Boundary of Life

We are pushing the boundary of what sort of life or what signs of life you could look for, says NASAs Kathryn Bywaters. Theres so much we dont know. That mystery and intrigue is really what fascinates me, because it shows you that anything is possible. Since the dawn of the Space Age, astrobiologists have worked to determine whether neighboring planets harbor life forms, particularly microbes like bacteria, archaea, and fungi. Now, NASA scientists are wondering if they left something outand the search for extraterrestrial life has landed on viruses.

Sudden Appearance of Species

Is evolution a gradual process, as Darwin believed, or can transnational change occur suddenly, in a violently brief time span, as suggested by Harvard evolutionary theorist, Stephen Jay Gould who argued in Ever Since Darwin that the sudden appearance of species in the fossil record and our failure to note subsequent evolutionary change within them is the proper prediction of evolutionary theory as we understand it. That evolutionary sequences are not rungs on a ladder, but our retrospective reconstruction of a circuitous path running like a labyrinth, branch to branch, from the base of the bush to a lineage now surviving at its top.

Human Genome A Genetic Radio

Goulds vision is mirrored in terrifying story of Darwins Radio with science fiction, beating NASA to the punch. The title is a poetic description of the core element in the storythat viruses in our genome function as carriers of evolutionary messagesa genetic radio, viruses as transports for genetic information. In this prophetic hard-science work of near-future fiction, Bears heroine, molecular biologist Kaye Lang, unveils her theory that ancient diseases encoded in the DNA of humans can return to lifehas become a chilling reality. The haunting proof is evidence: a virus-hunter has tracked down a flu-like disease that kills expectant mothers and their offspring.

For years. writes Bear, Ive been waiting for nature to react to our environmental bullshit, tell us to stop overpopulating and depleting resources, to shut up and stop messing around and just die. Species-level apoptosis. I think this could be the final warninga real species killer.

Recent NASA-sponsored astrovirology workshops amass interest from scientists spanning borders and levels of experiences, says Kathryn Bywaters, a scientist with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) at NASA Ames Research Center. It created a forum where people could express these ideas that they havent really been able to vocalize on the community level.

Microbes, or organisms such as microscopic fungi, archaea, bacteria, and amoebas, occupy virtually every environment on our planet, and astrobiologists have long-considered the possibility of microbes living elsewhere in our solar system. Viruses, while not technically alive, writes Planet of Viruses author Carl Zimmer, vastly outnumber all living organisms on our planet tenfold. There are an estimated 10^31 viruses on Earth if every virus on Earth were lined up end to end, that line would extend 100 million light years out into space.

Extraterrestrial Invader?

A new, speculative COVID-19 conjecture proposes that the coronavirus came from space, a result of panspermia the theory that life on the earth originated from microorganisms or chemical precursors of life present in outer space and able to initiate life on reaching a habitaible environment. This space virus theory has been the work of a group of researchers, notably Edward J. Steele and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe. This group has published ten papers on the topic since the pandemic began, but their paper from July 14th offers the most detailed argument, suggesting that COVID-19 arrived on a space rocka fragile and loosely held carbonaceous meteorite carrying a cargo of trillions of viruses/bacteria and other primary source cells spotted as a bright fireball over the city of Songyuan in North East China on October 11, 2019.

Fireball Over China

Although the Songyuan fireball was spotted over 2,000 km northeast of Wuhan, where the first cases of COVID-19 were reported, the authors offer the hypothesis that a different fragment of the meteor arrived in the Wuhan area.

While organisms in deep space would not be alive, as is true with Earths viruses, Hoyle and Wickramasinghe believed that space microorganisms might be able to reactivate if they arrived at a suitable planet, like Earth and found a host. In 1979, the astrophysicist Fred Hoyle and Wickramasinghe wrote of Diseases from Space, as the title of one of their books put it. They went on to suggest an interplanetary origin for several outbreaks, including the original SARS in 2003 and influenza.

Theres no evidence Coronavirus came from space, reports New Scientist and the implications could be downright dangerous. The theory is clearly just an attempt to make COVID-19 fit into the existing panspermia model theres nothing new or creative about that.

A Galaxy Full of Microorganisms

Hoyle and Wickramasinghe conceived of panspermia while trying to explain the way in which interstellar dust absorbs light. They noticed that if the dust were composed of bacteria, this would produce the observed pattern of light absorption. Hoyle and Wickramasinghe eventually arrived at the idea of a galaxy absolutely full of microorganisms, present in comets and meteors as well as dust clouds.

While generally debunked throughout the history of science, panspermia the sharing of life via meteorites from one planet to another, or delivery by cometis getting new attention and a little more respect.

Neanderthal Link to Covid-19 A Dark Journey Through Human History

In this context, the question generally raised is whether Earth might have been seeded by early Martian life (if it existed). Mars, it is becoming increasingly accepted, was probably more habitable in its early period than Earth. But panspermia inherently could go the other way as well, or possibly even between solar systems.

MIT and Harvard The Search for Extraterrestrial Genomes

A team of prominent scientists at MIT and Harvard are sufficiently convinced in the plausibility of panspermia that they have spent a decade, and a fair amount of NASA and other funding, to design and produce an instrument that can be sent to Mars and potentially detect DNA or more primitive RNA. In other words, life not only similar to that on Earth, but actually delivered long ago from Earth. Its called the The Search for Extraterrestrial Genomes, or SETG.

We havent looked for [extraterrestrial] viruses specifically before because weve just barely started to scratch the surface of understanding them on Earth, says Bywaters. Previous to now, the technology and the know-how and the understanding of viruses hasnt been at a point that we could really extrapolate that to other planetary bodies.

Virus Implies Life

Assuming that viruses replicate the same way in all systems, detection of a virus would be an indirect detection of cellular life, says Kenneth Stedman, a professor at Portland State University and co-chair of NASAs Virus Focus Group, who says that finding a virus on Mars or Saturns Enceladus, or Jupiters Europa would be a revolutionary advancement in astrobiology.

The paradigm of Darwins Radio, reflecting Harvards Gould, is that evolution proceeds by random mutations within the genome. These mutations alter the nature of the proteins or the other components expressed by our DNA, and are usually detrimental, causing the organism to sicken or die. Yet over deep time, and under changing conditions, mutations may also create novel forms that confer positive advantages. The paradigm being a hitherto undiscovered mechanism whereby the genome takes control of its own evolution, somehow sensing the right time to bring about change.

In Bears prescient work, anthropologist Mitch Rafelson has made an astonishing discovery in a newly discovered ice cave in the Alps of the mummified remains of a Neanderthal couple and their newborn, strangely abnormal child. Kaye Lang, a molecular biologist specializing in retroviruses, has unearthed chilling evidence that so-called junk DNA may have a previously unknown purpose in the evolution of life. Christopher Dicken, a virus hunter at the National Center for Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, is in pursuit of a mysterious illness, dubbed Herods flu, which seems to strike only expectant mothers and their fetuses. As the three scientists pool their results, it becomes clear that Homo sapiens is about to face its greatest crisis, a challenge coiled within our genes since before the dawn of humankind.

Our Genome is Much More Clever than We Are

I believe, Bear says through his heroine, Kay Lange, that our genome is much more clever than we are. Its taken us tens of thousands of years to get to the point where we have a hope of understanding how life works. The Earths species have been evolving, both competing and cooperating, for billions of years. Theyve learned how to survive under conditions we can barely imagine. Even the most conservative biologist knows different kinds of bacteria can cooperate and learn from each otherbut many now understand that different species of metazoans, plants and animals like us, do much the same thing when they play their roles in any ecosystem. The Earths species have learned how to anticipate climate change and respond to it in advance, get a head start, and I believe, in our case, our genome is now responding to social change and the stress it causes.

It makes sense to conclude with question Who am I? observes Carl Zimmer, author of Planet of Viruses, a question as old as Moses, suggesting that on a fundamental DNA level, each human being on Planet Earth is actually more virus than I.

The Daily Galaxy,, Sam Cabot, via The Hidden Life of Viruses, Massive Science, NASA Astrobiology, Greg Bear, Darwins Radio and Stephen J. Gould, Ever Since Darwin (Kindle editions)

Image credit: Shutterstock License

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We are Spaceships Extraterrestrial Viruses May Have Influenced Origin and Evolution of Life (Weekend Featur - The Daily Galaxy --Great Discoveries...

The Evolution of Racism – The Atlantic

Now the revised entry for racism has finally arrived, included in the online update Merriam-Webster published yesterday. As promised, the entry underscores some nuances, though the revision is not a complete rewrite. As before, the first definition given relates to personal belief and attitudes. But the revised second definitionthe systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another; specifically: white supremacybetter highlights what Mitchum was looking for. Additionally, the entry is now enriched by illustrative quotations from such writers as Angela Y. Davis, bell hooks, Mariana Calvo, and Imani Perry, and the activist Bree Newsome.

When Mitchums appeal to Merriam-Webster attracted news coverage in June, many commentators portrayed the story in broad strokes as the dictionary gets woke. Depending on ones political perspective, that might be seen as either a laudable step in the path to progressive enlightenment or as a capitulation to the forces of political correctness. But a closer look at how Merriam-Websters definition of racism has evolved over time reveals a much more complex narrative.

Racism and racist are surprisingly recent additions to the English lexicon. You wont find those words in the writings of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, or Abraham Lincoln. While the Oxford English Dictionary currently dates racism in English to 1903 and racist to 1919, the terms were still rarely used in the early decades of the 20th century. The pioneering civil-rights activist and journalist Ida B. Wells, for instance, instead used phrases like race hatred and race prejudice in her memoir, Crusade for Justice, which she began writing in 1928 but left unfinished when she died three years later.

When Merriam-Webster published the second edition of its unabridged New International Dictionary, in 1934, racism was nowhere to be found. The editors did include another, related term, which was more popular at the time: racialism, defined as racial characteristics, tendencies, prejudices, or the like; spec., race hatred. But racism was not yet on the radar of the lexicographers diligently at work at Merriam-Websters Springfield, Massachusetts, office.

Read: The dictionary definition of racism has to change

That all changed thanks to a perceptive observation by one member of the editorial staff named Rose Frances Egan. Egan, a graduate of Syracuse and Columbia who studied the history of aesthetics, came on board as an assistant editor for the second edition of the New International Dictionary. She was also tasked with writing entries for Websters Dictionary of Synonyms, which she worked on for several years before its first edition was published in 1942.

A handwritten slip tucked away in Merriam-Websters archive tells the story. (Before the advent of email, interoffice communication among the editors in Springfield would typically be carried out by exchanging notes on pink slips of paper, still known affectionately as the pinks.) This particular slip, dated November 1, 1938, was written by Egan, who asked a fellow editor, John P. Bethel, about the status of the word racism. Has this term been entered in the addenda? Egan asked Bethel. I wanted to use it in a ds. and find that it is not in W. 34.

John Morse, a former president and publisher at Merriam-Webster, guided me through the obscure in-house notations on the slip with the eagerness of an Egyptologist deciphering the Rosetta Stone. Egan knew that there was no racism entry in the 1934 Websters New International but was inquiring whether it was slated for future printings as part of the Addenda, the section in the front of the dictionary for new words that came to the editors attention too late for inclusion in the main text. When Egan said she wanted to use it in a ds., that was short for discriminated synonym, the term of art for the items considered in the entries of the Dictionary of Synonyms that Egan was hard at work drafting. Any word used in a secondary work like the synonym dictionary, according to Merriam-Webster policy, should also be found in the flagship unabridged dictionary.

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The Evolution of Racism - The Atlantic

The evolution and incredible will of Kyle Lowry – Sportsnet.ca

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Creation vs. Evolution at the House of Prayer in Kewaskum – washingtoncountyinsider.com

Kewaskum, WI Creation vs. Evolution monthly meetings at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of the month at the House of Prayer, 100 S. Clinton Street, in Kewaskum.

On Monday, Sept.14, the House of Prayer will be starting a 4-part series by Jobe Martin D.M.D Th.M. The Evolution of a Creationist..

Come and join us for this extremely interesting and factual series.

This is a great evening for believer and nonbeliever alike. Bring your doubts, bring your questions, bring your curiosity, get equipped to respond and learn why evolution has been called a fairy tale for grownups.

Come join us at the House of Prayer, 100 Clinton Street, Kewaskum. Questions, contact Dennis at 920-269-8383 or Joe at 262-388-2285.

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Creation vs. Evolution at the House of Prayer in Kewaskum - washingtoncountyinsider.com

Moon Stone & Every Other Evolutionary Stone In Pokmon – GameRant

There are few thrills as great as evolving a Pokmon. Any trainer can relate to that dopamine kick of seeing that tiny turtle grow into a bigger, more powerful turtle. There's just something simply satisfying about hitting that level threshold and seeing a Pokmon power up. However, there are many other ways to evolve a Pokmon. It could be bizarre and obtuse, like Feebas in Ruby & Sapphire, or as straightforward and simple as a powerful stone.

RELATED: 5 Pokmon Who Need Another Evolution (& 5 Who Don't)

Evolutionary stones are iconic items to the series. They serve narrative weight in episodes of the anime and are often exciting to find. The door is open to get some incredible Pokmon through these stones, along with potentially early power-spikes. That in mind, one of the most iconic power-spikes is that of the Moon Stone in Mt. Moon, but there are plenty of other incredible evolutionary stones in the series.

The Moon Stone is described as "a stone as black as the night sky," and evolves various Pokmon. This includes Clefairy, most famously, but also others Skitty and Munna. The stone seemingly blesses the Pokmon with the power of the stars, but that doesn't really apply tocases like Nidorino/Nidorina and, again, Skitty.

In the anime, the Moon Stone was absolutely considered to be something from outer space, at least early on. In the games, this theory doesn't really hold. Still, the Moon Stone creates some unique evolutions, and few things are as satisfying as busting down the door to the Cerulean City gym with a full-power Nidoking.

The Fire Stone is said to have a "fiery orange heart" and, appropriately, is used in Fire-type evolution. Many games depict it with a flame literally encased in rock. While that certainly is bizarre, the stone is at least straight-forward. Interestingly, its only non-Red & Blue evolution was added in Black& White, for Pansear (which is still a great name).

Despite being straight-forward, Fire Stone evolutions are still fairly iconic. Arcanine and Ninetales are both staple Fire-types, while Flareon is cute but not very effective. The fire burns brightly with this stone.

The Water Stone looks like water frozen in time, buried in crystal. It's a small piece of a large pond. And, of course, it serves to evolve Water-types. From enigmatic Pokmon like Staryu to the lovable Lombre, the Water Stone Water-types fill different roles and range in their secondary-typing. It's certainly more dynamic than the Fire Stone.

An interesting note about the Water Stone is that it actually has a use outside of evolution. Granted, it's a bit of an obscure usage, but it still is one. In Pokmon Crystal, the stone is used to solve a puzzle in the Ruins of Alph, which is a neat bit of trivia.

The Thunder Stone is iconic through its design and its ties to the series's mascot, Pikachu. The lightning bolt pattern is distinct, although it's never really said to have an electrical charge. While it used to evolve a relatively limited set of Pokmon, it has expanded over time.

RELATED: Pokemon: 10 Adorable Pikachu Memes That Leave Us Cry-Laughing

In Sword & Shield, a number of location-based evolutions were altered to be stone-based instead. This includes Magneton and Charjabug, both of which used to evolve in a specific place. Considering how late in the game Charjabug used to evolve, this is a welcome change.

The Leaf Stone looks like a perfectly fossilized leaf, and its natural energy resonates with several Grass-types. It doesn't quite have the range of secondary-types as the Water Stone, but it has some interesting Pokmon tied to it. Victribell, Vileplume, and Exeggutor all require a Leaf Stone for evolution.

In Sword & Shield, Eevee is able to evolve into Leafeon with the Leaf Stone. Seeing something that was common in hacks of the series become canon is kind of neat.

The Sun Stone, added to the series in Gold & Silver, appropriately has a number of plant-based evolutions. Initially, it started with just Sunflora and Bellossom but added more to its roster in Lilligant and Whimsicott.

Interestingly, another evolution of the Sun Stone is the Electric-type Helioptile. This lizard has an identity build around being in the sun, so it makes sense. It's mostly just interesting because it stands out among the rest of its Sun Stone siblings.

The Shiny Stone, one of three stones added in Diamond & Pearl, is a dazzlingly bright rock. And, like the rest of the stones added in Gen 4, it evolves a varied set of Pokmon types. There is a bit of consistency in what it evolves, but it still feels like a more special stone.

The Shiny Stone is also notably fairly rare. In Ultra Sun & Moon, for instance, the only Shiny Stone obtainable without the use of Pok Pelago appears on the very last island of the game. Florges fans felt the pain trying to evolve the flowery Fairy-type in a time frame where it could still be useful.

The second of the three Gen 4 stones, the Dusk Stone is as dark as shadows. The Pokmon it evolves are equally mysterious, with a trend towards Ghost-type Pokmon. Chandelure and Aegislash in particular stand out as Pokmon that are incredibly powerful in comparison to other stone-evolution Pokmon.

RELATED: 10 Facts You Didnt Know About Pokmon Evolution

It's also just as rare as the Shiny Stone, but here it isn't as much of a problem. All of the Pokmon that require the Dusk Stone to evolve are perfectly capable on their own, some like Doublade even being situationally better than its evolution.

As there is always dusk, there must also always be dawn. The Dawn Stone, however, is limited in its usage. It only evolves two Pokmon: Kirlia into Gallade and Snorunt into Froslass. These evolutions are also both based on the gender of the Pokmon they evolve, which is an interesting note.

Again,the Dawn Stone is a rare one, but because its Pokmon are so limited it isn't so bad. Well, as long as the player has Everstones handy since both Snorunt and Kirlia will continue to try to evolve based on level, regardless of the stone evolution being an option.

The Ice Stone is the latest addition to the stone family, with a snowflake pattern and an icy focus. In Sword & Shield, it replaces the location-based evolution of Glaceon, like the Leaf Stone. However, the trends with its other evolutions are unique.

Aside from Eevee, this stone exists to evolve regional variants of Pokmon. It evolves Alolan Vulpix and Sandshrew along with Galarian Darumaka. Darumaka and Sandshrew also didn't evolve usingstones in their original forms, which is kind of neat. Its evolutions may not be amazing, but its Ice-type focus makes it stand out.

Of course, this list wouldn't be complete without including Pokmon Go's exclusive evolutionary stones. The Sinnoh Stone and Unova Stone both replace other stones and evolutionary items. While this is helpful considering how much junk fills up the Item bag in Pokmon Go, it isstill weird.

The Sinnoh Stone evolves cross-generational evolutionary lines that aren't location-based. Both Murkow and Electabuzz are included, for example. The Unova Stone is used to evolve any Unova Pokmon that requirea stone, aside from those that evolve using the Sun Stone. It's oddly specific, but at the very least the player doesn't have to carry around too many junk items.

NEXT: The 10 Worst Gen 6 Pokmon in Pokmon GO - Predicted & Ranked

Next 5 Legend Of Zelda Games That Are Way Too Short (& 5 That Are Too Long)

Tanner Kinney is a writer, podcaster, radio show host, and game-player based in Indiana. He has previously written for and helped lead a student publication about entertainment in college before writing for GameRant. A student in the Telecommunications program at Ball State University, Tanner uses his skills in media analysis to find the right way to pick apart any topic at hand. He's a Japanese role-playing game fanatic and Chikorita enthusiast, owning maybe one too many Pokemon plushes.

The rest is here:

Moon Stone & Every Other Evolutionary Stone In Pokmon - GameRant

The unnatural evolution of Trevor Noah and The Daily Show – Worcester Telegram

"The Daily Show With Trevor Noah" has gone from being jokes about the news to, more and more, the news with some jokes. If comedy is tragedy plus time, perhaps this is a natural evolution when we're too close to the second part of that equation to produce a lot of laughs.

But from the location of what's being called "The Daily Social Distancing Show With Trevor Noah" (his New York apartment), the host says, "If anything, it's an unnatural evolution. Sometimes you are forced to become more of yourself because of something that happens to you or the world around you.

"I think I've always had radical ideas of what 'The Daily Show' could become, but I've never taken for granted you're working with something you've inherited and you're trying to design something whilst also doing it. It's like redesigning an airplane while you're flying it, you know? It's not exactly the safest thing to do."

"The Daily Show" was among the earliest of adapters to a COVID-19 world. It's not just that Noah and the show's stable of correspondents are broadcasting from their homes; the show also has a robust social-media presence, it has expanded from its 30-minute slot on Comedy Central to 45 minutes, and Noah has increasingly folded in the low-key vibe of his Emmy-winning "Between the Scenes" streaming shorts (in which he speaks to the audience about important issues in a relaxed, non-performance way).

"I've had to be more real because the veneer of showbiz, to some extent, has been removed. There's a disparity between what you want to tell the (TV audience) as opposed to what you want to tell (the studio audience) and how they're responding," he says, and now that live feedback is out of the picture.

Audiences are responding. The show has increased its viewership by more than 50% and has logged more than 2.8 billion views on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube so far this year the most of any late-night show, according to data tracking site Domo and data measurement platform Tubular. The show had racked up a handful of nominations since the host's tenure began in 2015. This season alone, it has six (including for "Between the Scenes").

"I think in many ways I'm meeting an appetite by satisfying my own," Noah says. "I'm going to try to voice my opinion and step out a little more than usual. I owe some of that thinking to a friend and mentor by the name of Dave Chappelle. He said, 'Anyone can be funny; not everyone is interesting. Don't discount your point of view, the world you've lived in, the country that has shaped you, the journey that you've lived through in how you see the world.'"

Born during apartheid (when Noah's very existence as a mixed-race child was illegal), the Johannesburg, South Africa, native has witnessed a nation in upheaval before. He recognizes it now.

"Living in this period in America, as much as I hate to say it, a lot of the things that I'm seeing are similar to what we experienced in South Africa. Mass unemployment, a government that doesn't seem to have the best interests of the people at heart. People who are getting angrier and angrier."

Among the earliest of the serious deep dives Noah felt emboldened to take was a nine-minute video of him soberly addressing the realities of race in America in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and other similar events (9 million views) and a more-than 13-minute interview on the show with immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci (nearly 12 million views).

"I realized that the time on our show would be better spent with Dr. Fauci than trying to satirize things that were happening in the news ... that this is what people wanted to know," Noah says. "In all honesty, that's all I wanted to know. That day, that's all I cared about. I just wanted to know if our packages are safe (to touch) and what's going on with the virus, how the virus was transmitted, et cetera.

"I came to realize the show during this time has no rules. The show will be what it needs to be on the day. We're trying to create as much as we can with what we have. And we're also trying to create a show that's as honest as it can be."

Noah also acknowledges that staying in New York, as he did through the terrifying early days of the pandemic, "really shaped how I was making the show.

"We're in a similar position in more ways than we've ever been to many in our audience. We're not coming to you from a glitzy, glamorous world. I'm not in a studio. I'm in my apartment."

One thing that hasn't changed is that "The Daily Social Distancing Show" is still, at its essence, a comedy program.

"I believe in the importance of jokes. I will never lose that. I always tell people, 'Jokes are what made me. That's how I see the world.' But maybe because the show has more time as well, I no longer have to choose between 'Joke' and 'What I want to say.'"

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The unnatural evolution of Trevor Noah and The Daily Show - Worcester Telegram

Emergence of Life Played an Important Role on Evolution of the Moon – The Daily Galaxy –Great Discoveries Channel

Posted on Sep 3, 2020 in Astronomy, Biology

For about half of Earths 4.6 billion-year existence, the atmosphere contained only carbon dioxide and nitrogen, with no oxygen. But this changed when cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, started producing the first oxygen using nitrogenase, which led to the Great Oxidation Event, fueling the evolution of life on Earth.

Rust Discovered at Moons High Latitudes

To the surprise of many planetary scientists, the oxidized reddish-brown iron mineral hematite has been discovered at high latitudes on the Moon, reshaping our knowledge about the Moons polar regions. Earth may have played an important role on the evolution of the Moons surface, says Shuai Li, assistant researcher at the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) in the University of H Hawaii Mnoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST).

Thought to be a Scientific Impossibility

Scientists led by Li now speculate in the journal Science Advances that Earths life-giving oxygen highly reactive with iron was carried to the poles of the Moon by wind creating what was thought to be a scientific impossibility, rusta reddish-brown oxide left behind when iron atoms react with oxygen and water in what is known as an oxidizing, or electron-losing, reactionwhere solar winds constantly blast its cratered surface with charged hydrogen, causing it to have highly reducing, or electron-gaining, condition that prohibit oxidation.

Overlooked New Theory on Rise of Oxygen That Fueled Evolution of Life

The lunar surface and interior, however, are virtually devoid of oxygen, so pristine metallic iron is prevalent on the Moon and highly oxidized iron has not been confirmed in samples returned from the Apollo missions. In addition, hydrogen in solar wind blasts the lunar surface, which acts in opposition to oxidation. So, the presence of highly oxidized iron-bearing minerals, such as hematite, on the Moon is an unexpected discovery.

When the Moon is in Earths Magnetotail

Our hypothesis is that lunar hematite is formed through oxidation of lunar surface iron by the oxygen from the Earths upper atmosphere that has been continuously blown to the lunar surface by solar wind when the Moon is in Earths magnetotail during the past several billion years, said Li, whos research was inspired by his previous discovery of water in the Moons polar regions in 2018.

I dont think anyone expected this on the Moons surface, said Li, the first author of the paper. This is basic chemistrywe all know that the lunar surface is highly reducing, so there is no reason you would be able to see a high-valence iron like hematite.

To make this discovery, Li, HIGP professor Paul Lucey and co-authors from NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and elsewhere analyzed the hyperspectral reflectance data acquired by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) designed by NASA JPL onboard Indias Chandrayaan-1 mission.

Alien Planets Without Detectable Oxygen Could Be Teeming with Life

When I examined the M3 data at the polar regions, I found some spectral features and patterns are different from those we see at the lower latitudes or the Apollo samples, said Li. I was curious whether it is possible that there are water-rock reactions on the Moon. After months investigation, I figured out I was seeing the signature of hematite.

Concentrated on the Moons Nearside

The team found the locations where hematite is present are strongly correlated with water content at high latitude Li and others found previously and are more concentrated on the nearside, which always faces the Earth.

More hematite on the lunar nearside suggested that it may be related to Earth, said Li. This reminded me a discovery by the Japanese Kaguya mission that oxygen from the Earths upper atmosphere can be blown to the lunar surface by solar wind when the Moon is in the Earths magnetotail. So, Earths atmospheric oxygen could be the major oxidant to produce hematite. Water and interplanetary dust impact may also have played critical roles

Interestingly, hematite is not absolutely absent from the far-side of the Moon where Earths oxygen may have never reached, although much fewer exposures were seen, said Li. The tiny amount of water (< ~0.1 wt.%) observed at lunar high latitudes may have been substantially involved in the hematite formation process on the lunar far-side, which has important implications for interpreting the observed hematite on some water poor S-type asteroids.

The research team hopes the NASAs ARTEMIS missions can return hematite samples from the polar regions. The chemical signatures of those samples can confirm their hypothesis whether the lunar hematite is oxidized by Earths oxygen and may help reveal the evolution of the Earths atmosphere in the past billions of years.

The Daily Galaxy, Jake Burba, via UH Mnoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST)

Image Credit: NASA


Emergence of Life Played an Important Role on Evolution of the Moon - The Daily Galaxy --Great Discoveries Channel

A new phase in Bitcoins evolution – City Index

A view that has become increasingly popular following the enormous torrent of liquidity unleashed by central banks and governments aimed at supporting economies during the coronavirus pandemic.

For some, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are viewed as a form of digital gold. Others remain sceptical of the entire sector. Somewhere in between are those that are content to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as suitable trading opportunities arise.

On that note, as viewed on the chart below, the price action in Bitcoin since the beginning of 2020 has mirrored moves in risky assets such as equities. In March and again last week, Bitcoin was caught in the downdraft caused by a selloff in equities. In between those two periods, Bitcoin enjoyed a strong rally.

As the next chart below shows, during 2017 and 2019 the correlation between risky assets and Bitcoin was non-existent.

In a nutshell, the new tendency for Bitcoin to track movements in risky assets may undermine Bitcoin's safe-haven and stable store of value credentials. It may also have implications for Bitcoin demand from a portfolio management/diversification perspective.

From a technical point of view, last weeks sell-off in Bitcoin is viewed as a correction after it completed a 5-wave advance from the March 3850 low to the 12473 high.

In terms of how deep the current correction can retrace, three possible levels jump out. The first is right here, around 10,000, the second is 9,200/000 which comes from the support provided by the 200-day moving average. The third key support level is back towards the 200-week moving average 6600 area.

At this point, the decline from 12473 has unfolded in three waves and there are tentative signs that a base is forming 10,000 area.

Should Bitcoin (and other risk assets) continue to stabilise and be followed by a rally above 10700, it would be an initial indication the uptrend has resumed. Further confirmation would be a sustained break and close above 11200.

Source Tradingview. The figures stated areas of the 8th of September 2020. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. This report does not contain and is not to be taken as containing any financial product advice or financial product recommendation

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A new phase in Bitcoins evolution - City Index

Pippa Middleton’s Style Evolution Through The Years – HuffPost

Pippa Middleton's Style Evolution Through The Years | HuffPost Life

Part of HuffPost Style & Beauty. 2020 Verizon Media. All rights reserved.

Kate Middleton, aka Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is known for her sense of style. But her little sister, Pippa Middleton, has made her mark on the fashion world as well.

As maid of honor at her sisters wedding to Prince William in 2011, she made headlines with her figure-hugging, cowl-neck gown designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. She has also been a regular chic fixture at Wimbledon each summer and showed off her lovely maternity style in 2018 while pregnant with Arthur, her first child with husband James Matthews.

In honor of her birthday on Sunday, weve rounded up photos of the royal sisters fashion moments. Keep scrolling for Pippa Middletons style evolution through the years.


Dave M. Benett via Getty Images

The Middleton sisters attend a book launch party for "The Young Stalin" by Simon Sebag Montefiore on May 14, 2007, in London.


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Pippa Middleton leaves the London club Mahiki on July 12, 2007.


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Middleton attends a book launch party for "Time to Reflect" by photographer Alistair Morrison at Bluebird in London on Nov. 28, 2007.


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Middleton attends the Sotheby's Summer Party at Sotheby's Bond Street in London on June 19, 2008.


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Middleton smiles at The Royal Parks Charity Gala at the Serpentine Lido in London's Hyde Park on Sept. 10, 2008.


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Middleton arrives at the End of Summer Ball at Berkeley Square on Sept. 25, 2008, in London.


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Middleton attends the 10th anniversary party of Claridge's Bar in London on Nov. 11, 2008.


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Middleton poses at the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polo Charity Cup at Ham Polo Club in Richmond, London, on June 12, 2009.


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Middleton smiles at the Tatler 300th Anniversary Party at Lancaster House in London on Oct. 14, 2009.


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Middleton attends a book launch party for UNICEF's "Snowman in Africa," featuring illustrations by Michael Roberts, on Dec. 1, 2009, in London.


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Middleton poses at The Reuben Foundation & Virgin Unite Haiti Fundraiser at Altitude 360 in London on May 26, 2010.


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Middleton skates at Somerset House during a London event presented by Tiffany & Co. on Nov. 22, 2010.


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Middleton arrives at the wedding of Lady Katie Percy and Patrick Valentine at St. Michael's Church in Alnwick, Northumberland, on Feb. 26, 2011.


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Middleton arrives at London's Goring Hotel with her mother, Carole, and sister, Kate, on April 28, 2011, the day before the royal wedding.


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Middleton serves as maid of honor during her sister Kate's wedding to Prince William at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011.


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Carole, James, Michael and Pippa Middleton depart the Goring Hotel the day after Kate's wedding on April 30, 2011.


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Middleton leaves an office in Kensington, London, on May 19, 2011.


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Middleton walks in West London on May 20, 2011.


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The Middleton sisters attend the wedding of Sam Waley-Cohen and Annabel Ballin at St. Michael and All Angels Church on June 11, 2011, in Lambourn.


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Middleton shops on July 15, 2011, in London.


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Middleton shops in London on July 22, 2011.


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Middleton attends the Temperley London Show during London Fashion Week on Sept. 19, 2011.


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Middleton walks in Kensington on Sept. 29, 2011.


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Middleton arrives at the Boodles Boxing Ball on Oct. 1, 2011, at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London.


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Middleton poses at a charity event supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer at Petersham Nurseries in Richmond on Oct. 13, 2011.


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Middleton walks through South Kensington on Nov. 3, 2011.


Neil Mockford via Getty Images

Middleton arrives at her London office on Jan. 11, 2012.


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Middleton and her brother, James, smile from the Spirit of Chartwell during the Diamond Jubilee Thames River Pageant on June 3, 2012.


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Middleton arrives to watch the ladies' singles second-round match between Serena Williams and Melinda Czink on day four of Wimbledon on June 28, 2012.


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The Middleton sisters attend the men's singles final during day 13 of Wimbledon on July 8, 2012.


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Middleton arrives at the U.K. premiere of "Shadow Dancer" at the Cineworld Haymarket in London on Aug. 13, 2012.


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Pippa Middleton's Style Evolution Through The Years - HuffPost

Evolution and epidemic spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil – Science

The spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil

Brazil has been hard-hit by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Candido et al. combined genomic and epidemiological analyses to investigate the impact of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in the country. By setting up a network of genomic laboratories using harmonized protocols, the researchers found a 29% positive rate for SARS-CoV-2 among collected samples. More than 100 international introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into Brazil were identified, including three clades introduced from Europe that were already well established before the implementation of NPIs and travel bans. The virus spread from urban centers to the rest of the country, along with a 25% increase in the average distance traveled by air passengers before travel bans, despite an overall drop in short-haul travel. Unfortunately, the evidence confirms that current interventions remain insufficient to keep virus transmission under control in Brazil.

Science, this issue p. 1255

Brazil currently has one of the fastest-growing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemics in the world. Because of limited available data, assessments of the impact of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) on this virus spread remain challenging. Using a mobility-driven transmission model, we show that NPIs reduced the reproduction number from >3 to 1 to 1.6 in So Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Sequencing of 427 new genomes and analysis of a geographically representative genomic dataset identified >100 international virus introductions in Brazil. We estimate that most (76%) of the Brazilian strains fell in three clades that were introduced from Europe between 22 February and 11 March 2020. During the early epidemic phase, we found that SARS-CoV-2 spread mostly locally and within state borders. After this period, despite sharp decreases in air travel, we estimated multiple exportations from large urban centers that coincided with a 25% increase in average traveled distances in national flights. This study sheds new light on the epidemic transmission and evolutionary trajectories of SARS-CoV-2 lineages in Brazil and provides evidence that current interventions remain insufficient to keep virus transmission under control in this country.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel betacoronavirus with a 30-kb genome that was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China (1, 2). SARS-CoV-2 was declared a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January 2020. As of 12 July 2020, there were >12.5 million cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and 561,000 deaths globally (3). The virus can be classified into two main phylogenetic lineages, A and B, which spread from Wuhan before strict travel restrictions were enacted (4, 5) and now cocirculate around the world (6). The case fatality ratio of SARS-CoV-2 infection has been estimated at between 1.2 and 1.6% (79), with substantially higher ratios in those >60 years of age (8). Some estimates suggest that 18 to 56% of SARS-CoV-2 transmission is from asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals (1013), complicating epidemiological assessments and public health efforts to curb the pandemic.

Although the SARS-CoV-2 epidemics in several countries, including China, Italy, and Spain, have been brought under control through nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) (3), the number of SARS-CoV-2 cases and deaths in Brazil continues to increase (14) (Fig. 1A). As of 12 July 2020, Brazil had reported 1,800,827 SARS-CoV-2 cases, the second-largest number in the world, and 70,398 deaths. More than one-third of the cases (34%) in Brazil are concentrated in the southeast region, which includes So Paulo city (Fig. 1B), the worlds fourth-largest conurbation, where the first case in Latin America was reported on 25 February 2020 (15). Diagnostic assays for SARS-CoV-2 molecular detection were widely distributed across the regional reference centers of the national public health laboratory network from 21 February 2020 on (16, 17). However, several factors, including delays in reporting, changes in notification, and heterogeneous access to testing across populations, obfuscate the real-time assessment of virus transmission using SARS-CoV-2 case counts (15). Consequently, a more accurate measure of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in Brazil is the number of reported deaths caused by severe acute respiratory infections (SARIs), which is provided by the Sistema nico de Sade (SUS) (18). Changes in the opportunity for SARS-CoV-2 transmission are strongly associated with changes in average mobility (1820) and can typically be measured by calculating the effective reproduction number, R, defined as the average number of secondary infections caused by an infected person. R > 1 indicates a growing epidemic, whereas R < 1 is needed to achieve a decrease in transmission.

(A) Cumulative number of SARS-CoV-2 reported cases (blue) and deaths (gray) in Brazil. (B) States are colored according to the number of cumulative confirmed cases by 30 April 2020. (C and D) R over time for the cities of So Paulo (C) and Rio de Janeiro (D). R values were estimated using a Bayesian approach incorporating the daily number of deaths and four variables related to mobility data (a social isolation index from Brazilian geolocation company InLoco and Google mobility indices for time spent in transit stations, parks, and the average between groceries and pharmacies, retail and recreational, and workspaces). Dashed horizontal line indicates R = 1. Gray area and geometric symbols show the times at which NPIs were implemented. BCIs of 50 and 95% are shown as shaded areas. The two-letter ISO 3166-1 codes for the 27 federal units in Brazil are provided in the supplementary materials.

We used a Bayesian semimechanistic model (21, 22) to analyze SARI mortality statistics and human mobility data to estimate daily changes in R in So Paulo city (12.2 million inhabitants) and Rio de Janeiro city (6.7 million inhabitants), the largest urban metropoles in Brazil (Fig. 1, C and D). NPIs in Brazil consisted of school closures implemented between 12 and 23 March 2020 across the countrys 27 federal units/states and store closures implemented between 13 and 23 March 2020. In So Paulo city, schools started closing on 16 March 2020 and stores closed 4 days later. At the start of the epidemics, we found R > 3 in So Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and, concurrent with the timing of state-mandated NPIs, R values fell close to 1.

Analysis of R values after NPI implementation highlights several notable mobility-driven features. There was a period immediately after NPIs, between 21 and 31 March 2020, when R was consistently <1 in So Paulo city (Fig. 1C). However, after this initial decrease, the R value for So Paulo rose to >1 and increased through time, a trend associated with increased population mobility. This can be seen in the Google transit stations index, which rose from 60 to 52%, and by a decrease in the social isolation index from 54 to 47%. By 4 May 2020, we estimate R = 1.3 [95% Bayesian credible interval (BCI): 1.0 to 1.6] in both So Paulo and Rio de Janeiro cities (table S1). However, we note that there were instances in the previous 7 days when the 95% credible intervals for R included values <1, drawing attention to the fluctuations and uncertainty in the estimated R for both cities.

Early sharing of genomic sequences, including the first SARS-CoV-2 genome, Wuhan-Hu-1, released on 10 January (23), has enabled unprecedented global levels of molecular testing for an emerging virus (24, 25). However, despite the thousands of virus genomes deposited on public access databases, there is a lack of consistent sampling structure and there are limited data from Brazil (2628), which hampers accurate reconstructions of virus movement and transmission using phylogenetic analyses. To investigate how SARS-CoV-2 became established in the country, and to quantify the impact of NPIs on virus spatiotemporal spread, we tested a total of 26,732 samples from public and private laboratories using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) assays and found 7944 (29%) to be positive for SARS-CoV-2. We then focused our sequencing efforts on generating a large and spatially representative genomic dataset with curated metadata to maximize the association between the number of sequences and the number of SARS-CoV-2 confirmed cases per state.

We generated 427 new SARS-CoV-2 genomes with >75% genome coverage from Brazilian samples collected between 5 March and 30 April 2020 (figs. S1 to S3 and data S1). For each state, the time between the date of the first reported case and the collection date of the first sequence analyzed in that state was only 4.5 days on average (Fig. 2A). For eight federal states, genomes were obtained from samples collected up to 6 days before the first case notifications. The genomes generated here were collected in 85 municipalities across 18 of 27 federal units spanning all regions in Brazil (Fig. 2A and fig. S2). Sequenced genomes were obtained from samples collected 4 days on average (median, range: 0 to 29 days) after the onset of symptoms and were generated in three laboratories using harmonized sequencing and bioinformatic protocols (table S2). When we include 63 additional available sequences from Brazil deposited in GISAID (29) (see data S1 and S2), we found the dataset to be representative of the spatial heterogeneity of the Brazilian epidemic. Specifically, the number of genomes per state strongly correlated with SARI SARS-CoV-2 confirmed cases and SARI cases with unknown etiology per state (n = 490 sequences from 21 states, Spearmans correlation, = 0.83; Fig. 2A). This correlation varied from 0.70 to 0.83 when considering SARI cases and deaths caused by SARS-CoV-2 and SARI cases and deaths from unknown etiology (fig. S4). Most (n = 485/490) Brazilian sequences belong to SARS-CoV-2 lineage B, with only five strains belonging to lineage A (two from Amazonas, one from Rio Grande do Sul, one from Minas Gerais, and one from Rio de Janeiro; data S1 and fig. S5 show detailed lineage information for each sequence). Moreover, we used an in silico assessment of diagnostic assay specificity for Brazilian strains (n = 490) to identify potential mismatches in some assays targeting these strains. We found that the forward primers of the Chinese CDC and Hong Kong University nucleoprotein-targeting RT-qPCR may be less appropriate for use in Brazil than other diagnostic assays, for which few or no mismatches were identified (fig. S6 and table S3). The impact of these mismatches on the sensitivity of these assays should be confirmed experimentally. If sensitivity is affected, then the use of duplex RT-qPCR assays that concurrently target different genomic regions may help in the detection of viruses with variants in primer- or probe-binding regions.

(A) Dumbbell plot showing the time intervals between date of collection of sampled genomes, notification of first cases, and first deaths in each state. Red lines indicate the lag between the date of collection of first genome sequence and first reported case. The key for the two-letter ISO 3166-1 codes for Brazilian federal units (or states) are provided in the supplementary materials. (B) Spearmans rank correlation between the number of SARI SARS-CoV-2 confirmed and SARI cases with unknown etiology against the number of sequences for each of the 21 Brazilian states included in this study (see also fig. S4). Circle sizes are proportional to the number of sequences for each federal unit. (C) Interval between the date of symptom onset and the date of sample collection for the sequences generated in this study.

We estimated maximum likelihood and molecular clock phylogenies for a global dataset with a total of 1182 genomes sampled from 24 December 2019 to 30 April 2020 (root-to-tip genetic distance correlation with sampling dates, r2 = 0.53; Fig. 3A and fig. S7). We inferred a median evolutionary rate of 1.13 103 (95% BCI: 1.03 to 1.23 103) substitutions per site per year using an exponential growth coalescent model, equating to 33 changes per year on average across the virus genome. This is within the range of evolutionary rates estimated for other human coronaviruses (3033). We estimate the date of the common ancestor (TMRCA) of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to around mid-November 2019 (median = 19 November 2019, 95% BCI: 26 October 2019 to 6 December 2019), which is consistent with recent findings (34, 35).

(A) Time-resolved maximum clade credibility phylogeny of 1182 SARS-CoV-2 sequences, 490 of which are from Brazil (salmon) and 692 from outside of Brazil (blue). The largest Brazilian clades are highlighted by gray boxes (Clade 1, Clade 2, and Clade 3). Inset shows a root-to-tip regression of genetic divergence against dates of sample collection. Red tip corresponds to the first reported case in Brazil. (B) Dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 import events in Brazil. Dates of international and national (between federal states) migration events were estimated from virus genomes using a phylogeographic approach. The first phase was dominated by virus migrations from outside of Brazil, whereas the second phase was marked by virus spread within Brazil. Dashed vertical lines correspond to the mean posterior estimate for migration events from outside of Brazil (blue) and within Brazil (red). (C) Locally estimated scatterplot smoothing of the daily number of international (blue) and national (red) air passengers in Brazil in 2020. T0, date of first reported case in Brazil (25 February 2020).

Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the majority of the Brazilian genomes (76%, n = 370/490) fell into three clades, hereafter referred to as Clade 1 (n = 186/490, 38% of Brazilian strains), Clade 2 (n = 166, 34%), and Clade 3 (n = 18/490, 4%) (Fig. 3A and figs. S8 and S9), which were largely in agreement with those identified in a phylogenetic analysis using 13,833 global genomes. The most recent common ancestors of the three main Brazilian clades (Clades 1 to 3) were dated from 28 February (21 February to 4 March 2020) (Clade 1), 22 February (17 to 24 February 2020) (Clade 2), to 11 March (9 to 12 March 2020) (Clade 3) (Fig. 3A and fig. S10). This indicates that community-driven transmission was already established in Brazil by early March, suggesting that international travel restrictions initiated after this period would have had limited impact. Brazilian Clade 1 is characterized by a nucleotide substitution in the spike protein (G25088T, numbering relative to GenBank reference NC_045512.2) and circulates predominantly in So Paulo state (n = 159, 85.4%; figs. S9 and S11). Clade 2 is defined by two nucleotide substitutions in ORF6 (T27299C) and nucleoprotein (T29148C); this is the most spatially widespread lineage, with sequences from a total of 16 states in Brazil. Clade 3 is concentrated in Cear state (n = 16, 89%) and falls in a global cluster with sequences mainly from Europe. In the Amazon region, where the epidemic is expanding rapidly (14, 22), we found evidence for multiple national and international introductions, with 37% (n = 7/19) of sequences from Par and Amazonas states clustering in Clade 1 and 32% (n = 6/19) in Clade 2.

Time-measured phylogeographic analyses revealed at least 102 (95% BCI: 95 to 109) international introductions of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil (Fig. 3A and figs. S8 and S12). This represents an underestimate of the real number of introductions because we sequenced, on average, only one out of 200 confirmed cases. Most of these estimated introductions were directed to internationally well-connected states (36) such as So Paulo (36% of all imports), Minas Gerais (24%), Cear (10%), and Rio de Janeiro (8%) (fig. S12). We further assessed the contribution of international versus national virus lineage movement events through time (Fig. 3B). In the first phase of the epidemic, we found an increasing number of international introductions until 10 March 2020 (Fig. 2B). Limited available travel history data (15) suggested that these early cases were predominantly acquired from Italy (26%, n = 70 of 266 unambiguously identified country of infection) and the United States (28%, n = 76 of 266). After this initial phase, we found that the estimated number of international imports decreased concomitantly with the decline in the number of international passengers traveling to Brazil (Fig. 3, B and C, and S13). By contrast, despite the declines in the number of passengers traveling on national flights (Fig. 3C), we detected an increase in virus lineage movement events between Brazilian regions at least until early April 2020.

To better understand virus spread across spatiotemporal scales within Brazil, we used a continuous phylogeographic model that maps phylogenetic nodes to their inferred origin locations (37) (Fig. 4). We distinguished branches that remain within a state versus those that cross a state to infer the proportion of within-state versus between-state observed virus movement.

(A) Spatiotemporal reconstruction of the spread of Brazilian SARS-CoV-2 clusters containing more than two sequences during the first (left) and the second (right) epidemic phase (Fig. 3B). Circles represent nodes of the maximum clade credibility phylogeny and are colored according to their inferred time of occurrence. Shaded areas represent the 80% highest posterior density interval and depict the uncertainty of the phylogeographic estimates for each node. Solid curved lines denote the links between nodes and the directionality of movement. Sequences belonging to clusters with fewer than three sequences were also plotted on the map with no lines connecting them. Background population density for each municipality was obtained from the Brazilian Institute of Geography (https://www.ibge.gov.br/). See fig. S14 for details of virus spread in the southeast region. (B) Estimated number of within-state (or within a given federal unit) and between-state (or between federal units) virus migrations over time. Dashed lines indicate estimates obtained during the period of limited sampling (fig. S2). (C) Average distance in kilometers traveled by an air passenger per day in Brazil. The number of daily air passengers is shown in Fig. 3B. Light gray boxes indicate the starting dates of NPIs across Brazil.

We estimate that during the first epidemic phase, SARS-CoV-2 spread mostly locally and within state borders. By contrast, the second phase was characterized by long-distance movement events and the ignition of the epidemic outside of the southeast region of Brazil (Fig. 4A). Throughout the epidemic, we found that within-state virus lineage movement was, on average, 5.1-fold more frequent than between-state movement. Moreover, our data suggest that within-state virus spread and, to a lesser extent, between-state virus spread decreased after the implementation of NPIs (Fig. 4B). However, the more limited sampling after 6 April 2020 (see fig. S2) decreased inferred virus lineage movement to the present (Figs. 3B and 4B).

We found that the average route length traveled by passenger increased by 25% during the second phase of the epidemic (Fig. 4C) despite a concomitant reduction in the number of passengers flying within Brazil (Fig. 3C). The increase in the average route length after NPI implementation resulted from a larger reduction in the number of air passengers flying on shorter-distance journeys compared with those flying on longer-distance journeys. For example, we found an 8.8-fold reduction in the number of passengers flying in flight legs <1000 km, compared with a 4.4-fold reduction in those flying >2000 km (fig. S15). These findings emphasize the roles of within- and between-state mobility as a key driver of both local and interregional virus spread, with highly populated and well-connected urban conurbations in the southeast region acting as the main sources of virus exports within the country (fig. S12).

We provide a comprehensive analysis of SARS-CoV-2 spread in Brazil showing the importance of community- and nation-wide measures to control the COVID-19 epidemic in Brazil. Although NPIs initially reduced virus transmission and spread, the continued increase in the number of cases and deaths in Brazil highlights the urgent need to prevent future virus transmission by implementing rapid and accessible diagnostic screening, contact tracing, quarantining of new cases, and coordinated social and physical distancing measures across the country (38). With the recent relaxation of NPIs in Brazil and elsewhere, continued molecular, immunological, and genomic surveillance are required for real-time data-driven decisions. Our analysis shows how changes in mobility may affect global and local transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and demonstrates how combining genomic and mobility data can complement traditional surveillance approaches.

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Evolution and epidemic spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil - Science


IT is impossible to go through the Congress telegrams, whether those sent by the Associated Press or by our Special Representative, without having two convictions forced on ones mind, first, that the enthusiasm which characterises the present session of the Congress is something phenomenal, something wholly unlike what one notices at an ordinary session, and secondly that this enthusiasm centres round one single item on the agenda of the Congress, the subject of Non-co-operation. Nor is this a matter for surprise. As we have said already, Non-co-operation is in a sense the only subject before the present Congress. All the three other subjects resolve themselves into this one subject, because all of them represent what in official parlance are called settled facts, and in respect of all of them the real question before the Congress is whether it is to content itself with mere passing of customary resolutions of protest, or to take some more direct and more positive action. And the prevailing enthusiasm is solely due to the fact that in the opinion of the vast majority of Congressmen the time has come when the Congress can no longer content itself with the pursuit of past methods, when it must go forward and take one more definite and substantial step towards the realisation of national destiny. In the expressive words of the President, we have advanced beyond the last stage of very humble submission, have crossed the boundaries of respectful demand and have entered into the arena of backing our demands by vigorous and compelling action of a peaceful kind. In the equally expressive words of Sir Ashutosh Chaudhury, who proposed the forward election of Lala Lajpat Rai as President, there is no hide and seek in the matter. The Congress wants to take a further step in its evolutionary process.

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The evolution of the urban SUV – CarsGuide

Most people associate SUVs as a modern phenomenon, a 21st Century trend born out of a burgeoning middle class with more disposable income but dramatically less leisure time because of our always-on, constantly-connected 24/7 lives.

Theyre more than mere transportation. If we can pretend we live an adventurous and carefree lifestyle, even to just help us get through the boredom of the everyday commute, then why not buy into the fantasy?

Cocooned up high in your own little escape-mobile, the SUVs psychological appeal, the sheer mental getaway it offers, is actually pretty profound when you stop to think about it.

The thing is, though, the first cars of a century ago were exactly that as well a break away from the horse and cart, opening up the entire world and its endless possibilities.

Like SUVs, landmark models like the Ford Model T were high-riding and rugged because they were essentially motorised carriages minus the horse, built to clear rutted and potholed tracks and bushland, as sealed roads were few and far between. They were the original crossovers!

Of course, as the road network flourished, cars became lower, and so evolved as lighter and less indestructible monocoque-bodied sedans, coupes, wagons and convertibles. If people needed tough go-anywhere vehicles, their choices were limited to 4x4s like the Land Rover, Jeep and Nissan Patrol. There was clear demarcation.

Then the Suzuki Vitara happened. Earlier attempts like the Matra-Simca Rancho of the 1970s (in Europe) tried but failed to meld a compact and affordable leisure car from commercial-vehicle applications, inspired by the earlier Suzuki Jimny/Sierra, but the former was too offbeat and the latter too off-road focused.

The Matra-Simca Rancho tried, but failed to meld a compact and affordable leisure car from commercial-vehicle applications.

The Vitara, however, heralded a new dawn. Yes, it had a ladder-frame chassis, but it was also a smart, modern wagon with refinement and class, promising comfort, security, economy and ease.

The urban SUV was born and the world went gaga for it.

The Vitara heralded a new dawn.

Inspired by the Suzuki's success, Toyota went one further, cobbling together a similarly sized and proportioned high-riding car-like monocoque body, using Corolla, Carina/Camry and even Celica bits underneath.

If the Vitara kicked down the SUV door, that first RAV4 ripped the roof open. Almost every carmaker has since applied the same formula to its passenger cars, creating new segments across the price spectrum in the process. Nothing was the same again.

After the first RAV4 nothing was the same again.

Such history is essential in understanding how and why urban SUVs have evolved their own design forms, from boxy and utilitarian down-scaled clones of larger and 4x4s remember when RAV4s and Honda CR-Vs carried their spare wheels behind bulky side-hinged tailgates? to raised hatch-cum-wagon crossovers with a total urban focus. Form over function became key.

The first Nissan Qashqai of 2006 known as the Dualis in Australia and Japan was another breakthrough. Slightly smaller than a RAV4 and yet priced only a bit above something like a mid-range Toyota Corolla, it struck gold globally by anticipating consumers attraction to SUVs while addressing their concerns of excess size, cost, consumption and effort when driving and parking in more confined spaces. People began to abandon small and medium-sized cars in droves for this sort of SUV.

Then lightning struck twice for Nissan with the Juke.

The first Nissan Qashqai was known as the Dualis in Australia.

A bolt from the blue when unveiled in 2010, it looked more like an alien motor-show concept than a high-volume production SUV, with muscular hips, bulging eyes for headlights and a coupe-like hunched-back silhouette all melted within a hotpot of in-your-face attitude. You could even see a clear family resemblance to the Nissan 370Z sports car... in an SUV! Like BMWs Mini, but jacked up, the Juke was aimed at city slickers and urbanites seeking to make a statement.

Sales went stratospheric, especially among the younger demographic who would otherwise not be seen dead driving an SUV, sending rival manufacturers scurrying back to their styling studios in retaliation.

Yes, the Jukes divisive design seemed to have deliberately come at the cost of effective rear-seat packaging, a decently-sized boot and unimpeded vision when parking, but at least it wasnt a boring wallflower facsimile of every small boxy hatch out there. It was the miniskirt of mini crossovers, banishing the boring box-on-wheels approach as adhered to by the likes of other smaller SUVs of the time, like the Hyundai ix35.

Crucially, Nissans masterstroke was to make the Jukes interior as bold as its outer skin, with vibrant trim, a (for the era) large central screen and dash layout reminiscent of ghetto-blasters of the 1980s. It rode the wave of multimedia connectivity as an extension of your smartphones functionality, prioritising communication and audio accessibility. Never mind the cramped space, firm suspension and noisy ride the anti-establishment Juke was literally another form of boombox.

Ultimately, what the smallest Nissan SUV helped do was create a design and lifestyle-driven alternative to small hatchbacks and sedans, even if the 2010-2019 first-generation series was a little extreme in looks and packaging. Affordability. Easy access. High seating. Ample ground clearance. A sense of adventure.

The world has since been flooded with imitators.

Mazdas response was barely any larger or practical, but the CX-3 is in no way as visually confronting; now its Australias best-selling small SUV.

Honda, which beat the Juke to market by a dozen years with the 1998 HR-V (but dropped the ball with bizarrely hearse-on-stilts-like styling) infused visual elements of its '80s Prelude and Integra coupe classics for the far-more successful 2015 HR-V follow-up.

And others, such as the Hyundai Kona, Citroen C3 AirCross, Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008, Ford Puma, Toyota Yaris Cross, Volkswagen T-Cross and Skoda Kamiq, also all owe a debt to the breakout Juke.

Ironically, these have helped the 2020 Juke II evolve into a larger, more refined and more comfortable urban SUV proposition.

Finally, while Australia still lags behind, electrification is fast becoming the norm in Europe, Japan, Korea, China and North America, with urban SUVs well placed to make the most of the changing world.

How? Basically they're built tall, meaning battery packs can be incorporated within the vehicles platform without compromising headroom or boot capacity, while also providing a lower centre of gravity for more secure control at speed. Similarly, electric motors can drive each axle as required for lightweight all-wheel drive, as seen in 2020s runaway success story of 2020 the RAV4 Hybrid.

The Toyota's unprecedented popularity clearly demonstrates that consumers are ready for electrification, as they address usual SUV shortfalls such as high fuel consumption and top-heavy handling. Ford offers a Puma hybrid overseas, the next Qashqai and future Juke variants will likely adopt the conceptually similar e-Power systems, and both the coming Yaris Cross and 2022 Corolla Cross will mirror their RAV4 big-brother with petrol-electric availability.

The evolution of the small SUV continues unbridled. Watch this space for what happens next.

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The evolution of the urban SUV - CarsGuide

AR Wallace Is Evolution’s Last Man Standing – Discovery Institute

Image: Alfred Russel Wallace, via Wikimedia Commons.

American zoologist T. D. A. Cockerell, writing for The Dialon April 16, 1911, reviewed Alfred Russel Wallaces then-recently releasedThe World of Life. He wrotecautiously but approvingly.

Being thus a work of philosophy as well as science, it necessarily covers much debatable ground. Those of us who are not prepared to follow Dr. Wallace in all the intricacies of his personal faith, may nevertheless feel very strongly that he has done well in bringing forward his solution of the riddle of the ages, the result of more than fifty years of thought.

Indeed Cockerells confidence is confirmed today more than ever. A new edition of Wallace book, Intelligent Evolution: How WallacesWorld of LifeChallenged Darwinism, is out now, edited by science historian Michael Flannery. In his Foreword to the new book, William A. Dembski notes how current scholarship is demolishing the neo-Darwinian paradigm and confirming Wallace at almost every turn. Dembski says that staunch Darwinian defender [Jerry]Coynes one going theory may be steadilygoing away.

When we look at that first generation of modern evolutionists, from Charles Darwin and Thomas Henry Huxley to John Tyndall and Herbert Spencer, only Wallaces postulation of an Overruling Intelligence to explain the complexities of humanity and nature has stood the test of time. To understand his enduring presence in biology as well as natural theology,The World of Lifeis indispensable. Once his thought is placed in context and illuminated by the latest research and historiography, as it is inIntelligent Evolution, youll understand why Wallace remains evolutions last man standing. Order yourcopytoday.

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AR Wallace Is Evolution's Last Man Standing - Discovery Institute

From Flips to Clicks: The Evolution of Conducting Research Through Books vs. The Internet – Egyptian Streets

From Flips to Clicks: The Evolution of Conducting Research Through Books vs. The Internet

Once upon a time, the internet had yet to exist and when one needed to conduct research of any sort, they had to solely rely on books heaps and piles of books.

Imagine being at school or university these days, being given an assignment that requires a lot of research in a certain subject or topic and having to rely solely on using the library and no, not the computers at the library, but the actual books at the library.

For most students these days, or more specifically those who fall under the demographic of millennials and Generation Z, having to conduct research solely through books might actually be unimaginable. Why go through the physical and time consuming process of skimming through piles of books, when the answers one could be looking for could literally be found just a click away?

That being said, however, there are undoubtedly pros and cons to each method of research. While searching for answers through the internet could be a lot faster and efficient, a lot of the time one will not be able to really go in depth on a certain subject or topic by solely relying on internet searches.

Researching Through the Internet

Google, its almost everyones go-to source for any sort of information one might be seeking. From specific questions on topics such as philosophy to those of a more minute scale such as asking about how to boil an egg Google always has the answer, or at least an answer that will stand out amongst a sea of many.

The internet truly is a marvel, and when thinking about the fact that one can access countless sources of information through the click or a button, it definitely puts things into perspective in terms of how far technology has advanced.

However as with most technological advances, as well as generally most things in life, nothing comes without downfalls of some sort.

As previously mentioned, although searching for something through the internet is faster and more efficient, it is not as reliable as trying to search for something through specific books, for example.

The internet is so vast and wide, that people will find themselves bombarded with such a wide variety of information, most of which may not be backed up by a sufficient amount of research, nor reliable sources.

Indeed, the internet can provide a lot in a short amount of time, but because of its wide reach and accessibility, this very fact also makes it its downfall; anyone these days can publish anything on the internet it doesnt make it accurate or reliable.

Researching Through Books

In todays fast-paced world, barely anyone has the patience or time to read, let alone skim, through books these days.

In addition to this, when it comes to conducting research through books, one must first also search for the most appropriate books that would best fit their subject or topic.

While this method may not seem time efficient these days, it may actually provide a lot more sufficient and reliable information for the topic of which one could be conducting research for.

The beauty of books that discuss certain topics, is that more often that not the person or author who wrote and published the book is a professional or academic with years of experience on the matter.

As such, the information gathered and placed into the book is a lot more reliable than a random internet search, because it consists of years of effort and studies all ultimately placed together in this one place.

However, it is worth keeping in mind that there are also many books published by people who lack credentials; it just may be slightly easier to point those out in book form than sources found online.

Also, more often than not, sources found on the internet may cite or suggest certain books for further reading and delving into the topic more deeply.

For this reason, and in order to truly provide fact-based research which is both reliable and unique, conducting research by skimming through certain books can make all the difference.

The Ultimate Prognosis

Perhaps the best thing to do when conducting any sort of research these days, would be to try to balance between searching for information through the internet as well as skimming through books.

The internet could be a great resource for simple background information; the sort of information one would include in a study or assignment that just slightly begins to touch the surface of a certain topic.

In order to delve deeper into a topic or subject however, to truly enrich the research one is conducting, academic or professional support through books that specifically tackle the topic at hand can tie everything together perfectly.

That being said, the next time one goes about conducting research of any sort, perhaps re-visiting physical books is worth a try.

A particularly great, and little known, resource that one can use in Egypt is the Egyptian Knowledge Bank. The Egyptian Knowledge Bank acts as a digital library, thriving with numerous diverse resources, exclusively for Egyptian citizens.

According to their official website, The Egyptian Knowledge Bank grants all Egyptians from all ages access to the largest amount of knowledge, cultural and scientific content whether they be basic, applied, technology, human or management sciences. Even public cultural books, including books targeting children, to be used through all computers, as well as smart phones and tablets around the country. One can access this resource by using their national ID number.

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From Flips to Clicks: The Evolution of Conducting Research Through Books vs. The Internet - Egyptian Streets

‘Homegrown’: An Insight Into the Evolution of Music – berkeleyhighjacket.com

One of the best rock albums released recently is 46 years old. Though Neil Youngs latest album, Homegrown, came out in June of 2020, it was actually recorded in the early 1970s. Young wrote the album after his breakup with actress Carrie Snodgress and held off on releasing it for close to a half a century to spare himself the pain. That same emotional struggle is apparent in the album and makes an intense emotional listen.

Beyond being a fantastic record, Homegrown is a time capsule from a different musical era. In late August of 1973, around the time the album was created, the number one song on the Cash Box Top 100 was Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney and Wings. The number one song on the BillBoard Top 100 today is WAP by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. Essentially nothing on the current charts is anything that would be considered rock music. Instead, the songs in todays top charts are from the R&B, hip hop, rap, and/or pop genres. Seeing the stylistic differences between past and present music, it can seem that there is a large musical gap between then and now. Nonetheless, saying rock music is dead would be false. Rock shares a very similar history and ancestry to rap, hip hop, and R&B. Rather than die out, the rock & roll of the past has evolved into the pop, hip hop, and R&B of today.

Rock, as a genre, has never meant just one thing and has never been easy to define; perhaps it is indefinable. However, all rock shares a derivation from African American jazz, rhythm, blues, and country music from the 1950s. It usually involves the use of drums, one or more guitars (often electric), a bass, a keyboard or piano, and some sort of vocals. Though it is typically played in a 4/4 time signature, there are forms of blues rock in 12/8. It also shares a similar verse/chorus structure to its sister genre, pop music. These vague guidelines with innumerable twists and variations are what defines rock music, a style which dominated popular music from sometime in the 60s through the 80s and into the 90s, when rap and hip hop took over by storm.

Hip hop and rock have more musical similarities than it may seem at first. They are both typically built on backbeats in 4/4 and are largely centered around the human voice. Both can be traced back to the rhythm and blues and are both, in a sense, subgenres of this style. The two styles are sometimes bridged with artists like the Beastie Boys, Run-D.M.C, and Rage Against the Machine, who walk the line between rock and hip hop. Artists like them show how closely connected hip hop and rock are. Today, bands like Death Grips continue to exist somewhere between the worlds of rock and hip hop, demonstrating that these genres are intertwined by nature.

Seeing as these two major genres in addition to funk, soul, and R&B all have their roots in the same place, it can be inferred that rock did not start falling out of the Top 100 charts because its popularity was diminishing, rather, the genre shifted and changed into something new, as music has always done.

Though the success of Homegrown may seem like it came out of left field, it actually serves as an indicator to how related the music of today really is to that of the past. Hearing this album shouldnt be a sad reminder of something dead and gone, rather an insight into the constantly changing and evolving multi-laned world of music. In essence, Youngs album from 1970 is a wonderful reminder of musical traditions.

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'Homegrown': An Insight Into the Evolution of Music - berkeleyhighjacket.com

New York Islanders: The Evolution of Matt Martin – Empire Sports Media

The New York Islanders drafted Matt Martin in the 5th round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Since then, Matt Martin has been the staple/identity of Islanders hockey. Hard-hitting, physical forechecking, and a lot of chirping. Martin has grown as a player since being drafted. He went from a head-hunting enforcer to a get in front of the net grinder. Not only has this change impacted the Islanders positively, but also added years to his career.

Young Matt Martin played a lot like Ross Johnston does. Both of them are big bodies who stuck up for their best players. For Martin, it was John Tavares, for Johnston, it is Mat Barzal. Dont get me wrong, Martin is still an enforcer, but hes an offensive enforcer.

Barry Trotz has made Martin an offensive threat for the first time in his whole career. Matt Martin currently has four playoff goals, and all of them were clutch goals. Having a 4th liner who can score along with creating opportunities through the forecheck is huge. He can still deliver the big hits too, but not as frequent. My only criticism is that he takes bad penalties at bad times. Too many stick infractions in the closing minutes of the third. Other than that, Martin is a great player.

Sadly, Matt Martins contract is over with the Islanders after the season ends. Since the Islanders have to sign Mat Barzal, Devon Toews, and Ryan Pulock, the chance that Martin gets resigned is very slim. I would keep Martin over Johnston, though.

Theres no reason to break up that 4th line chemistry just because theres a younger version of young Matt Martin. Martin should command $2-$2.5 million in free agency, close to Johnstons contract. Im not saying get rid of Johnston for Martin, but if thats how it has to happen, thats how it must happen. The 4th line is crucial to the Islanders success, its the entire identity of who the Islanders are. The Islanders must keep Martin somehow.

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Darwin’s apostles and evolutionary science: fighting fake news – Albany Times Union

Dr. Abby Hafer has her doctorate in zoology from Oxford University and currently teaches at Curry College. She has authored the book Unintelligent Design, among others, and claims to be famous for testicles. (Not her own; see below.) I heard her recent talk about what todays fighters against fake news can learn from Darwins apostles.

She started by suggesting that pre-Trump we could not have imagined an American president establishing a bizarre, counter-factual, evidence-free narrative, yet succeeding in gulling much of the population. But Welcome to my world, Hafer said every evolutionary biologist has always had to deal with such an environment of factual denialism. Objective reality exists! she insisted, steadfastly disregarding all the evidence to the contrary.

The Darwin apostles Hafer discussed were scientists who fought, against powerful entrenched interests, to gain acceptance for the concept of evolution by natural selection. After a long hard campaign they succeeded to a great degree (despite pockets of resistance, notably including a high proportion of Americans). Hafer cited publication, in 1889, of a book, Lux Mundi, in which notables in the Church of England discussed reconciling their faith with evolution which they already assumed was true.

John William Draper was a scientist who authored History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science in 1874. The lesson Hafer took from his efforts: dont quail from battling fundamentalist religion, but work with religious people wherever its possible.

Alfred Russel Wallace was of course the guy who figured out evolution at about the same time as Darwin. Darwin had long feared publishing would cause a big backlash. But Wallace, Hafer said, struck a different kind of terror into Darwin: not getting credit. So he finally finished up the book hed been working on for two decades. (He and Wallace actually reached an agreement about public presentation of the theory. In this negotiation Darwin had much back-up from colleagues. I recall one writer saying they took Wallace to the cleaners.)

Joseph Hooker was one scientist who had long actually fought against the idea of biological evolution. But ultimately, he said, the conviction was forced upon an unwilling convert. He couldnt fight the facts. That was intellectual integrity.

Darwins greatest proponent was Thomas Henry Huxley. Hafer discussed his lengthy battle with Richard Owen, who maintained that brain differences ruled out any close connection between humans and apes. Huxley showed Owen was just wrong on the anatomical facts: Before I have done with that mendacious humbug I will nail him out like a kite to a barn door, an example to all evil doers.

Huxley was indefatigable, working the social media of his day newspapers. Letters to the editor, and replies, were a very big thing.

One audience member remarked that many people who most need to hear such messages refuse to listen. Hafer acknowledged this, and how a lot of these issues have become politicized. But she held that persistent efforts to debate such issues, vigorously battling error, in the public square, can have an effect. And Americans are actually leaving evangelical Christianity in droves, indeed angry because they feel theyve been lied to.

A point she emphasized was that to overcome biases you have to tailor the message to engage people. Mention was made of Galileos experiments with the motions of balls, illustrating his ideas in a visually unarguable way. Hafer also pointed to her own work on how the human body actually shows un-intelligent design.* A prime example is testicles, hanging vulnerably outside the body cavity, whereas many other animals have them safely inside. Its because human testicles have to be kept cooler. (I asked whether there was any connection between testicles and Galileos balls and she gave a straight-faced answer.) Anyhow, the point was that when you start talking about testicles, people sit up and listen.

She also said the current pandemic is a golden opportunity to make people grasp the importance of being serious toward science. And the virus, of course, evolved.If it werent for evolution, thered never be any new diseases.

Hafer avowed that we are struggling today not only for the soul of this nation but for its brain.Its integrity. Scientists are on the front lines of this battle.

She channeled Martin Niemoller: First they came for the evolutionary biologists . . . .

* Heres my earlier discussion of that: https://rationaloptimist.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/unintelligent-design--why-evolution-explains-the-human-body-and-intelligent-design-does-not/

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Darwin's apostles and evolutionary science: fighting fake news - Albany Times Union