Tag: 上海晚上10点后好玩的

Season of Destiny: A’s clinch first playoff spot since 2014

first_imgClick HERE if you’re having trouble viewing the gallery on your mobile device.SEATTLE — The word “destiny” is thrown around way too often in sports. But when trying to comprehend the story of the 2018 A’s, you can’t help using the word.How else to explain it?The A’s punched their ticket to the playoffs Monday just as their game in Seattle was getting underway. Moments earlier, the Tampa Bay Rays — the only remaining threat to Oakland’s first postseason since 2014 — were eliminated from …last_img read more

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Cleaners Advertise in the Fish Market

first_imgThe plot of this science project seems made for Disney animation, a fishy version of Aesop’s parable of Androcles and the lion.  There are fish that will clean parasites out of the mouths and gills of their predators without getting eaten (see 01/13/2003 headline).  How these “cleaner fish” and their clients developed this risky relationship, a classic example of mutualistic symbiosis in which both parties benefit from the transaction, has long been a puzzle.  Alexandra S. Grutter (U. of Queensland) decided to do a science project on this phenomenon and published her results in the June 22 issue of Current Biology.1  Observing fish species from the Great Barrier Reef under lab conditions, she observed some interesting behavior that she termed “preconflict management strategy.”  It appears that with a bit of Madison-Avenue advertising skill, cleaners know how to clinch a deal in the fish market.    Negotiations and compromises can result in unequal benefits, as in the fable of the contract between the man that needed a fur coat and the bear that needed a meal.  In the case of cleaner fish, Grutter showed experimentally that the “clients” (predators) normally have no qualms about munching on their little dentists.  They did eat the cleaner fish in certain situations without remorse.  The cleaners also have a natural aversion to swimming right into the mouths of their biggest threats, as seen in the fact that related fish won’t come near.  The variables in the experiment were: the parasite load on the client, the client’s hunger level, the cleaner’s hunger level, and the cleaner’s skill at preconflict management strategy.  There’s nothing like a little entertainment to break the ice.  Cleaner fish have mastered the feel-good commercial: they dance.    Grutter observed the cleaner fish approach their dangerous clients with “tactile dancing”; they oscillate their tail fins and gently rub against the predator’s gills and body.  The client, apparently appeased by this show of good will, says, “OK, it’s a deal,” opens its mouth, and both get their satisfaction.  The cleaner fish seem to be able to sense when their clients are hungry, and respond by softening them up with more tactile dancing than usual.  (The cartoon becomes more entertaining at this point.)  But there is still a danger to the little serviceman.  Grutter and others have known that client fish will sometimes exhibit “posing” behavior, posturing themselves in a way that suggests readiness for cleaning.  How does the cleaner know it isn’t a trap?  It would seem the perfect ruse for a hungry predator to lie in wait, saving its energy, advertising itself that it just wants cleaning service, only to clamp its jaws shut on the do-gooders.  (See 04/26/2004 story about why animals rarely lie.)  It’s risky to do business with one’s enemies.  Most surprisingly, at the end of the cleaning, the client, now in a strength position, makes no effort to take advantage of the easy, gullible snack.    How did this mutualism, sometimes termed reciprocal altruism, originate?  Grutter takes issue with the typical game theoretic approach (see 02/10/2004 headline).  Instead, she views her results supporting another approach: “The iterated prisoner’s dilemma has long been used to explain the evolution of cooperation between unrelated individuals, although some of its limitations have been illustrated with the cleaner fish mutualism.  Recently, biological market theory, in which traders exchange goods, services, or both, was proposed as an alternative for understanding cooperation in many systems, including cleaning symbioses.  Client ectoparasites and cleaning services are the main goods traded in the cleaner fish market.”    It takes a skilled salesperson to convince a difficult, dangerous customer that she has a win-win offer that’s too good to refuse.  A Disney rendition of this story, with a timid yet fast-talking cleaner fish doing its little dance to appease the mean ol’ predator and get it to open up, is not hard to visualize.  And what hey, even tough guys need to see a dentist occasionally.  Maybe they fall for the best dancer.1Alexandra S. Grutter, “Cleaner Fish Use Tactile Dancing Behavior as a Preconflict Management Strategy,” Current Biology,Vol 14, 1080-1083, 22 June 2004.Personifying a phenomenon with an analogy does not explain its origin.  Neither game theory nor market theory provide adequate explanations in Darwinian terms for these interesting behaviors.  Fish are not capable of rational thought and market strategy.  If not designed, this behavior must be reducible to genetic and developmental factors.  If the predators always took advantage of the cleaners, there would be none left, and the phenomenon would disappear.  But the present is not the key to the past.  “Obviously, cleaning symbiosis has survival value for both types of species involved,” elaborated Gary Parker, a former evolutionist, in What Is Creation Science? (Master Books, p. 37).  “But does survival value explain the origin of this special relationship?” he asked.  “Of course not.  It makes sense to talk about survival only after a trait or relationship is already in existence.”    In additional articles by Gary Parker, who used to teach evolution as fact, the conundrum posed by cleaning symbioses is acknowledged by Darwinians to be a problem for their theory.  Parker tells how Garrett Hardin, an evolutionist, once presented some startling questions in a Scientific American publication entitled, “Nature’s Challenges to Evolutionary Theory.”  He asked, “Is the evolutionary framework wrong?”  Taking note of the implication of design in such biological phenomena, he further suggested, “Was Paley right?”  Then, with a preconflict management strategy of his own, he proposed a fair deal that could provide a win-win situation for both sides.  He said, “Think about it.”(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Buy-SA boost for jobs, manufacturers

first_img1 November 2011The phrase “local is lekker” was given a new meaning on Monday when the South African government, business and labour signed a deal to increase procurement of locally manufactured goods to 75 percent.In a landmark agreement signed in Pretoria, the three social partners further committed to identifying steps to ensure that South Africa increases the speed of job creation and regains the jobs lost during the global financial crisis of 2008-09.“The significance of this accord is that decisions will now be taken on buying local goods, and this in the end will go a long way in raising our competitiveness and development of local producers,” Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel told reporters.While it is not clear how this would affect foreign investors, Patel said the initiative had the potential to direct billions of rands to local producers.“This accord is one of a series of agreements in which the social partners commit to work together to achieve the goals of the New Growth Path.” The government’s New Growth Path has targeted the creation of five-million new jobs by 2020.Products made in South AfricaTrade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the government had committed to “significantly” expanding the value of goods and services it procured from local producers, using new regulations that are set to come into effect in December.Davies emphasised that only locally produced goods would be targeted, adding that company ownership would not necessarily qualify individuals for procurement.“The fact that ownership of the company is held by South Africans will not count; we are targeting proudly South African products, meaning products must have been produced in South Africa.”Several products and services will be identified to allow only local manufacturers to produce these. They include railway equipment, clothing and textile and food products.Government departments will adopt an SABS standard to identify and define local content in various categories.SA’s 84 biggest companiesBusiness said it would drive the effort in the private sector to improve local buying by the country’s 84 largest companies.“As business we see this as yet another tool to contribute towards economic transformation … we are now beyond talking action,” said Business Unity SA CEO Nomaxabiso Njokweni.The deal would not only help improve local competitiveness, but would go a long way toward developing new enterprises and boosting existing ones, Njokweni said.Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi described the move as a “milestone in reversing the wrong things that we have seen happening.“I must say it has a potential to reverse the job losses and other things that are happening in the manufacturing sector,” Vavi said. “Our task now is to mobilise ordinary masses of our people to support the initiative of buying local.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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