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first_imgLiverpool will offer Raheem Sterling a contract worth around £30,000-a-week, the Daily Mirror say.There has been speculation about Sterling’s future, with other clubs reported to be showing an interest in him.It was previously claimed the 17-year-old from Harlesden wanted £50,000-a-week, which he dismissed on Twitter as ‘stirring’.It is now suggested that Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is keen to offer him an improved deal with his salary rising according to how he progresses.It comes after Rodgers responded to the speculation about Sterling by insisting the player would be staying at Anfield.Meanwhile, Mark Hughes is fighting to heal a dressing-room rift as well as save his job as QPR manager, according to The Sun.Several senior players believe the blame for Rangers’ problems lies with their more recent signings, the paper reports.A source is quoted as saying: “The players who have been here a while resent the new boys coming in and not shaking a leg for the cause.“They actually do not resent the new boys coming in and accept the club have to sign new players to become established in the Premier League.“But they believe that some — by no means all — have taken the p*** with their performances and attitude this season.“A lot of boys have sweated blood to get this club into the Premier League and keep us here.“And they are angry that some of the new boys are only here for the money and don’t care about the club or the manager.”The Mirror report that QPR owner Tony Fernandes is expected to fly into London this week to tell Hughes his fate.The Daily Mail say Fernandes was upset at the manner of Saturday’s loss to Southampton but is leaning towards giving Hughes more time, unless other directors can persuade him otherwise.The Daily Telegraph also suggest Hughes is likely to be granted a stay of execution until at least the game against Manchester United on Saturday.Meanwhile, Roberto Di Matteo is fighting to save his job as Chelsea manager, according to the Mail.It is claimed the Blues’ recent run of three wins in their last seven games is causing owner Roman Abramovich to lose his patience.And goalkeeper Petr Cech is said to have been at the centre of a heated dressing-room row following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at West Brom.This page is regularly updated.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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more


first_imgCalling all interior designers: has Darwinism rendered you superfluous?  J. Scott Turner thinks so.  He wrote a book called The Tinkerer’s Accomplice: How Design Emerges from Life Itself (Harvard, 2007).  It was reviewed by Claus Wedekind in last week’s Nature with the title, “The interior designer.”  This does not imply that interiors need an exterior designer, but that interiors can design themselves.    Wedekind liked the book.  The basic idea is that design emerges without help from the tendency for self-organization and self-preservation.  Homeostasis is the property living things have to regulate themselves amidst a dynamic environment.  Feedback from the environment influences structures such that they self-adapt and co-evolve with the surroundings: these he calls Bernard machines after Claude Bernard, a contemporary of Darwin, “who emphasized the role of homeostasis in physiology.”    Turner postulates that homeostasis is a common feature of life, giving rise to self-organizing and self-regulating machines from the level of cells and tissues to structures larger than an organism – or even a community of organisms.  Collagen fibers, embryonic tissues, antlers and termite mounds are some of the examples described in the book.  Termite mounds “not only capture wind to power ventilation but also regulate its capture.”  This makes a termite mound a self-organized, self-regulating structure, “an organ of homeostasis,” the idea goes.    Homeostasis and natural selection work hand in hand, according to Turner.  He challenges Dobzhansky’s famous dictum that “nothing in biology makes sense apart from evolution,” replacing it with, “no attribute of life, including its evolution, really makes sense unless we view it through a physiological lens.”  Designers need not apply, in other words: physiology is the interior designer.  The agents of homeostasis “lead, largely by themselves, to the marvellous harmony of structure and function we observe in nature.”    How can elaborate structures emerge naturally, though, without intention?  Is intention real, or an illusion?  This is the question Wedekind asks:This leads to the tantalizing question of whether darwinian evolution can dismiss intentionality.  Obviously, creative brains can cope better with an unpredictable world and may have a selective advantage, so creativity and intentionality can evolve and in turn influence evolution.  But does it really need a brain like ours to bring intentionality into play?  Turner views this question through a physiological lens and develops a picture of a modular brain that could be understood as a kind of ‘climax’ ecosystem with competing and coevolving cells, and with homeostasis as the organizing principle of cognition.  He argues that we intentionally design the world when our neural ecosystems generate ideas that then guide our bodies to reshape it.  The point is that the brain may be just one example of what Turner calls ‘persistors’ – persistent environments that are created by systems of Bernard machines and that have a process-based form of heritable memory.  ‘Darwin machines’ – replicators that have to prove themselves under natural selection – shape evolution in the absence of intentionality.  But the author argues that life and evolution happen when Darwin machines act in concert with Bernard machines, which are the agents of homeostasis and can be seen, in their own particular way, as goal-seeking and purposeful.  These are the ‘tinkerer’s accomplices’ of the title.Wedekind seemed tickled with Turner’s witty prose.  He thinks that, despite its intellectual challenges, the book would give a motivational kick to physiology students.  “This important book is for those who search for an understanding of the various forms that life can take and of how life works.”  Such understanding serves another function.  Wedekind confessed a frustration that lured him to Turner’s thesis for relief:Sharing a broadly accepted idea or philosophical concept comes with a danger: after a period of indulgence in mutual affirmation, it is easy to forget how to effectively defend the concept against a smart and captious critic…. evolutionary biologists can struggle to find their best arguments when challenged by a well-prepared enthusiast of ‘intelligent design’.1Claus Wedekind, “The interior designer,” Nature 446, 375 (22 March 2007) | doi:10.1038/446375a.The Darwin Party heads keep sending out their novice debaters as if they think this puts the intelligent design Visigoths on edge.  The Visigoths in the camp outside are wondering, meantime, how such shallow logic could make it into Nature, the DP’s warfare manual.  Any undergrad logic student could show how self-refuting this thesis is.  The argument makes no sense even if one assumes evolution at the outset.  Each example from the living world Turner provides has intelligent design already built into the genetic code, not self-generated out of thin air.  And count the number of times mindless entities are personified in the quote above and the entire “interior designer” concept unravels.  It’s like we have to keep slapping the hands of the bumbling Darwin Party emissaries and reminding them, “You can’t say that.  That word is not in your vocabulary.  You can’t plagiarize our ID manual; we won’t let you get away with it.”  They never learn.  Maybe it’s a strategy; perhaps they believe a million novices can compensate for one philosopher.    So with a smile and a snicker under our breath, we send back a greeting card into the Darwin Castle, wishing the best to the newlyweds, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and the Tinkerer’s Accomplice.  Father Charlie and Tinker Bell, surrounded by indulgent guests enjoying mutual affirmation, must be proud parents.  They probably hope Little Miss Tinker Bell Jr. will be able to zap the brooms the Apprentice unleashed and bring back order.  But we know what’s going to happen.  The brooms will douse the wand and carry on, submerging the Castle in a flood of entropy.  This makes our work so easy.  All we will have to do is mop up when the walls fall down.(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


first_imgThe Environmental Protection Agency announced its Lead Paint: Renovation, Repair and Painting rule – designed to reduce human exposure to lead-paint dust and chips during renovation activities – on April 22, 2008, and its enforcement date was set for exactly two years later.The two-year lead-in was expected to be long enough to implement a large-scale training and lead-safe certification program for remodelers and installers of any sort who might be disturbing paint in homes built before 1978, when the ban on lead paint began. The EPA estimated that as many as 200,000 people could be certified in that 24 months. Problem is, so far only about 50,000 certifications have been awarded, although another 50,000 are expected to be on record by April 22, an agency official told USA Today’s Green House. The main reason for the lag, say industry groups such as the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and the NAHB Remoders, is that only about 135 training providers have been EPA-approved so far – not enough to meet demand either by remodelers or their prospective clients.A plea for time and trainersSo now the industry groups are asking the EPA to extend the enforcement deadline and retain, for at least a while longer, an opt-out provision that allows noncompliance with the agency’s Lead Safe Work Practices regulation in homes whose occupants do not include pregnant women or children aged 6 or younger. The regulation would otherwise apply to work that disturbs more than 6 sq. ft. of a home’s interior.Earlier this week, for example, representatives of the AAMA and other industry groups met with officials from the EPA as well as the White House’s Office of Management and Budget and its Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, noted Glass Magazine, a flat-glass-and-metals-industry publication, which cited a March 17 AAMA press release. White House officials were attentive to industry concerns, according to AAMA’s president and CEO, Rich Walker.“The eight government officials from EPA, the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs we met with today were receptive to industry feedback and agreed that the time frame is extremely short in order to take action and ensure that the guidelines are feasible,” Walker said in the release.The Home Star factorBut Walker also noted that, in addition to certification concerns, other forces are at work that could combine to both motivate and worry remodelers – including the AAMA’s constituency of window dealers and installers – if business improves under federal incentive programs such as Home Star. Even if the EPA extends its compliance deadline and certification rates climb appropriately, Walker points out, many dealers and installers may end up paying substantially higher insurance premiums to address potential litigation associated with their work, since much of it likely will focus on very energy-inefficient homes built before 1978.By some estimates, those higher operating costs could raise the price of a window installation by $60 to $100 per window, Walker added.Meanwhile, in the ramp-up to whatever enforcement deadline the EPA declares, contractors have been asked to follow common-sense procedures when doing remodeling of any sort: contain the work area, minimize dust, clean up thoroughly.last_img read more