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ID Support from Unlikely Quarters

first_img1Jim Al-Khalili, “Life in the universal porridge,” Nature 444, 423-424 (23 November 2006) | doi:10.1038/444423a.  The book is to be published in the US in April as Cosmic Jackpot (Houghton Mifflin).2One critic called it the Completely Ridiculous Anthropic Principle.  The acronym is left as an exercise.3Robert W. Cahn, “Learning from nature,” Nature444, 425-426 (23 November 2006) | doi:10.1038/444425b.Despite how much the Darwinists rant and rave about how creationism will undermine science, the real cutting-edge scientific work, both theoretical and practical, is empowered by design principles.  The intelligent design leaders are arguing these principles not because of a political or religious agenda, but because they fit the world we observe.     If cosmologists have to go to such extreme lengths as to suggest that we create the universe by observing it, then the secret is out: they choose to believe in materialism in spite of evidence and logic.  No pagan myth could be considered more outrageous.  And suggesting that the laws of physics have some sort of built-in life principle that can yield brains from hydrogen is as silly as Moliere’s chemist who, when asked why opium made people sleepy, responded that it had a “dormitive virtue.”  OK, now let’s hear something really profound.  How about In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth?  With their minds the evolutionists disbelieve it, but with their hands they assume it.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 While Nature 11/24 described intelligent design (ID) as a threat to science, support for it came from two new scientific books reviewed in the same issue.  Both of them, while not using the phrase intelligent design, deal with concepts that imply science must reach beyond material causes.Just right universal soup:  Jim Al-Khalili (U of Surrey) reviewed Paul Davies’ new book, The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life? (Allen Lane, 2006).1  He thought it would cause the biggest stir since Roger Penrose’s book The Emperor’s New Mind (1989).  Davies explored current explanations for our finely-tuned universe, from the dismissive anthropic answers (if it weren’t this way, we wouldn’t be around to argue about it), to the latest speculations about a multiverse.  According to Al-Khalili, the first half of the book is standard fare nicely worded, but then something happens:But it is the second half of the book that readers will want to skip to.  It is here that he faces head-on the question of why our universe is just right for us, and he covers all the main arguments thoroughly and shows up their shortcomings.  Eventually, he chooses a different path that does away with luck as well as the Multiverse.  But as Deep Thought, the computer in Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, says, you are not going to like it.That distasteful speculation takes two forms.  In one, Davies suggests the universe has some sort of life principle built into the laws of physics.  The second is that humans created the universe—by observing it.  This extrapolation of quantum mechanical weirdness, first discussed by physicist John Wheeler, is sometimes called the Participatory Anthropic Principle.2  What is the lesson of this book?Just when the reader feels that Davies is losing his grip and sliding inexorably towards fantasy, he takes a well-timed reality check, reminding the reader, and himself, that in order to address the question of ‘How come existence?’, one must either play it safe and back away from the question, or be quite radical.  Many physicists will not like this book…. but Davies is courageous, entertaining and persuasive in laying them out clearly.  Many scientists might feel that the subject matter, as Davies acknowledges, should be ‘left to the philosophers and priests’, with scientists tackling only those questions they can hope to answer.  But it’s still a thoroughly good read.Mimic the Masters:  Robert Cahn (U of Cambridge) reviewed a new book on the imitation of natural designs:3 Biomimetics: Biologically Inspired Technologies (CRC Press, 2006), edited by Yoseph Bar-Cohen of JPL.  He quotes the editor defining the subject matter:The field of biomimetics encompasses a broad range of topics, generally based on the concept of ’learning from Nature’ in areas of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE).  This ’learning’ may be through inspiration in design, function or a combination of both.The book concentrates on robotics more than materials science, but has a chapter on spider silk (05/25/2005) and another on evolutionary computing (cf. 11/14/2006, also from JPL).last_img read more

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Fatty Acid Synthesis: A Machine with “High Degree ofArchitectural Complexity”

first_imgAs Bruce Alberts said in 1998, the biology of the future was going to be the study of molecular machines: “the entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines.”1  One of those machines is like a mini-factory in itself.  It’s called fatty acid synthase (FAS).  Three Yale researchers just published the most detailed description of this machine in the journal Cell.2  (cf. last year’s headline, 03/06/2006).  They remarked that its most striking feature is the “high degree of architectural complexity” – some 48 active sites, complete with moving parts, in a particle 27 billionths of a meter high and 23 billionths of a meter wide.    Despite our aversion to fat, fatty acids are essential to life.  It’s when fat production goes awry that you can become fat.  The authors explain:Fatty acids are key components of the cell, and their synthesis is essential for all organisms except archaea.  They are major constituents of cellular membranes and are used for posttranslational protein modifications that are functionally important.  Saturated fatty acids are the main stores of chemical energy in organisms.  Deregulation of fatty acid synthesis affects many cellular functions and may result in aberrant mitosis, cancer, and obesity.The chemical steps for building fatty acids appear in the simplest cells and remain essentially unchanged up to the most complex organisms, although the machinery differs widely between plants, animals and bacteria.  In plants, for instance, the steps are performed by separate enzymes.  In animals, a two-part machine does the work.  Which organism has one of the most elaborate fatty-acid machines of all?  The surprising answer: fungi.  The researchers imaged the fatty acid synthase enzymes of yeast and, despite their academic restraint, were clearly excited as the details came into focus:Perhaps the most striking feature of fungal FAS is its high degree of architectural complexity, in which 48 functional centers exist in a single … particle.  Detailed structural information is essential for delineating how this complex particle coordinates the reactions involved in many steps of synthesis of fatty acids…. The six alpha subunits form a central wheel in the assembly, and the beta subunits form domes on the top and bottom of the wheel, creating six reaction chambers within which each ACP can reach the six active sites through surprisingly modest movements.  This structure now provides a complete framework for understanding the structural basis of this macromolecular machine’s important function.Calling it an “elegant mechanism,” they proudly unveiled a new model that tells the secret inside: a swinging arm delivers parts to eight different reaction centers in a precise sequence.    Their dazzling color diagrams are, unfortunately, copyrighted inside a technical journal, but a Google image search shows one reasonable facsimile of the overall shape at a Swiss website: click here.  Some of the protein parts provide structural support for the delicate moving parts inside.  Taking the structure apart, it looks something like a wagon wheel with tetrahedron-shaped hubcaps above and below.  Picture a horizontal wagon wheel with three spokes, bisecting the equator of the structure.  Now put the hubcaps over the top and bottom axles.  The interior gets divided up into six compartments (“reaction chambers”) where the magic takes place.    In each reaction chamber, eight active sites are positioned on the walls at widely separated angles from the center.  Spaced nearly equidistant between them all is a pivot point, and attached to it by a hinge is a lever arm.  This lever arm, called ACP, is just the right length to reach all of the reaction sites.  From a tunnel on the exterior, the first component arrives and is fastened to the ACP arm (priming).  The arm then swings over to another active site to pick up the next part, then cycles through the next six reaction sites that each do their part to add ingredients to the growing fatty acid chain (elongation).  The machine cycles through the elongation step multiple times, adding carbons to the growing fatty acid.  When the chain reaches its proper length (16-18 carbons, depending on the fatty acid needed), it is sent to a final active site that stops the cycle (termination) and delivers the product through an exit channel to the cytoplasm.    The ACP hinged arm, then, is the key to the system.  Imagine a life-size automated factory with a roughly spherical interior.  Its task is to build a chain of parts in a precise order.  The first ingredient comes through a shaft and is attached to the robotic arm in the center.  The arm then follows a pre-programmed sequence that holds out the product to eight different machines on the walls that add their part to the product.  The final operation of the arm delivers the product to an exit channel.  In a cell, though, how does this arm actually move?  The answer: electricity.    Yes, folks, yeast cells contain actual electrical machines.  Don’t visualize wires of flowing current; instead, picture active sites with concentrations of positive and negative charges in precise amounts.  How does the lever arm use this electrical system?  Owing to the specific kinds of amino acids used, each active site has a net positive charge, while the ACP lever arm has a negative charge.  Each time a part is added to the product, it changes the overall charge distribution and makes the arm swing over to the next position.  Thus, a blind structure made out of amino acids follows a cyclic pattern that builds up a specific product molecule one carbon at a time, and automatically delivers it when complete.  After delivery, the system is automatically reset for the next round.  Clearly, the precision of charge on each active site is critical to the function of the machine.3, 4    Now that we have described one reaction chamber, step back and see that the yeast FAS machine has six such chambers working independently and simultaneously.  Another surprise is that the lever arm inside must be activated from the outside during assembly of the machine by a structure (PPT) on the exterior wall before it can work.  There’s a reason for this, too:The crystal structure of yeast FAS reveals that this large, macromolecular assembly functions as a six-chambered reactor for fatty acid synthesis.  Each of the six chambers functions independently and has in its chamber wall all of the catalytic units required for fatty acid priming, elongation, and termination, while one substrate-shuttling component, ACP, is located inside each chamber and functions like a swinging arm.  Surprisingly, however, the step at which the reactor is activated must occur before the complete assembly of the particle since the PPT domain that attaches the pantetheine arm to ACP lies outside the assembly, inaccessible to ACP that lies inside.  Remarkably, the architectural complexity of the FAS particle results in the simplicity of the reaction mechanisms for fatty acid synthesis in fungi.Maybe the activation step is a quality-control step, to ensure the system doesn’t cause trouble in the cytoplasm before the machinery is completely assembled.    The authors did not mention how fast the synthesis takes place.  But if it’s anything like the other machinery in the cell, you can bet the FAS machine cranks out its products swiftly and efficiently, and life goes on, one molecule at a time.  Baking a cake with yeast will never seem the same again.1See 01/09/2002 for citation.2Lomakin, Xiong and Steitz, “The Crystal Structure of Yeast Fatty Acid Synthase, a Cellular Machine with Eight Active Sites Working Together,” Cell, Volume 129, Issue 2, 20 April 2007, Pages 319-332.3In addition to electrical charges, some amino acids have side chains that attract or repel water.  These hydrophilic and hydrophobic side chains also contribute to the force fields that cause the conformational changes in the enzyme.4The diagrams in the paper show the details of each active site.  To the uninitiated, enzyme models appear like random balls of putty stuck together, but humans should not impose their propensity for straight lines and angles on the world of molecules.  The shape and folds of the structure are critical to the function because they control the charge distribution in the vicinity.  The active sites are recessed within tunnels.  The ACP lever arm tip is guided by charge into these tunnels where ingredients are “snapped on” to the molecule through precise chemical reactions.  Each reaction changes the charge distribution, leading to the next stage of the cycle.Reading this paper was almost a transcendent experience.  To imagine this level of precision and master-controlled processing on a level this small, cannot help but induce a profound sense of wonder and awe.  Here, all this time, this machine has been helping to keep living things functioning and we didn’t even know the details till now.  How would such revelations have affected the history of ideas?    The authors did not say a peep about evolution except to note five times that certain parts are “conserved” (unevolved).  They also assumed evolution (without evidence) in one astonishing reaction to the fact that certain folds in the protein parts of this machine are unique in nature: listen – “They consequentially represent new folds and may have evolved independently to tether and orient the multiple active centers of fungal FAS for efficient catalysis.”  OK, everyone, a collective rotten-tomato toss for that enlightened suggestion.    Remember that origin-of-life researchers are stumbling and fumbling trying to get even single amino acids to form (04/04/2007), let alone get them to join up in useful, functioning chains (see online book).    The fatty acids are useless without the amino acids, and vice versa (09/03/2004).  Even if some kind of metabolic cycle were to be envisioned under semi-realistic conditions, how did this elaborate machine, composed of amino acids with precise charge distributions, arise?  It’s not just the machine, it’s the blueprints and construction process that must be explained.  What blind process led to the precise placement of active sites that process their inputs in a programmed sequence?  What put them into a structure with shared walls where six reaction chambers can work independently?  All this complexity, involving thousands of precision amino acids in FAS (2.6 million atomic mass units) has to be coded in DNA, then built by the formidably complex translation process, then assembled together in the right order, or FAS won’t work.  But the storage, retrieval, translation and construction systems all need the fatty acids, too, or they won’t work.    We are witnessing an interdependent system of mind-boggling complexity that defies any explanation besides intelligent design.  Yes, Bruce Alberts, “as it turns out, we can walk and we can talk because the chemistry that makes life possible is much more elaborate and sophisticated than anything we students had ever considered.”  We have tended to “vastly underestimate the sophistication of many of these remarkable devices.”    Yeast.  Who could have ever imagined this simple little blob possessed a high degree of architectural complexity and robotic technology.  Many questions remain.  Why do plants and animals have different mechanisms, but the same chemical steps?  Why do fungi, of all things, have the most elaborate architectures?  Are the other architectures equally complex in their own ways?  What other factories regulate this one, and how does this factory regulate other downstream systems?  We have much more to learn about fatty acid synthesis, but the “biology of the future” – design biology – is shedding far more light than Darwin’s myths ever did.  The fact that life functions so well, from yeast to human, should spur us on to uncover the design principles that make it all come together as a finely tuned system, in a finely tuned world, in a finely tuned universe.(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Working on Fire: saving lives, changing lives

first_imgThe WoF personnel showcasing their firefighting skills (Image: WoF)South Africa’s Working on Fire (Wof) firefighting programme not only saves lives and billions of rands in property every year, it also changes for the better the lives of the ex-prisoners and once-destitute people who fight the fires.A Department of Environmental Affairs initiative, WoF is the only full-time professional veld- and forest-fire fighting service in the world. It was set up in 2003 to reduce poverty and develop skills by employing people to manage fires and other environmental issues such as invasive alien plant control.Today WoF employs more than 5 000 young men and women who have been fully trained as veld and forest firefighters, stationed at more than 200 bases throughout South Africa.“We continue to receive letters of appreciation from various landowners who have all expressed their gratitude and thanks to our fire fighters and aerial resources for their hard work in having in many instances saved lives, property and also the environment,” Trevor Abrahams, MD of WoF, says on the project’s website. According to Abrahams, in 2014 South Africa experienced its worst fire season in seven years.Each of the programme’s bases, under the direction of a base manager, is manned by a team of 25 qualified people, called a hotshot crew. The crews use hand tools to fight fires, but can call on aerial support should the fire danger escalate.A third of the firefighters are womenRecruited from marginalised communities and trained in fire awareness and education, prevention and fire suppression skills, young men and women form veld and forest firefighting ground crews to help stop the scourge of wildfire that costs the South African economy billions of rands annually.The firefighters are 85% youth and 29% women – the highest level of female participation in any comparable fire service in the world.One of the spinoffs of WoF is to restore the dignity of young people by helping them earn a living.Nosmanga Nthibane, a formerly unemployed 26-year-old, is one. “When I finished school I fell pregnant and did not get the chance to further my studies,” she said. “So it took me seven years to get a job.”The programme also gives troubled people second chances.Lehlohonolo Majela, a 31-year-old fire-fighter based at the UKhahlamba Base in the Eastern Cape, said the programme totally changed his life for the better by helping him overcome alcoholism.“Alcohol was everything to me,” he said. “Joining WoF as a fire fighter changed my life and I got new friends who motivated me and showed me different sides of life. I did not understand their lifestyle. I had been drinking for a long time so I realised that I had to change my life.”Lucas Molelekoa Bakamela, from Bultfontein in the Free State, is a former gangster who has also been rehabilitated by the programme.“I was arrested in 2011 because of violent activities with other gangs in the area and for also stabbing my girlfriend,” he said.He was in custody for nine months until his girlfriend withdrew the charges. When was released he got a job, but was still running with gangs. He then applied for work at WoF, and his life changed.“Here I met people with purpose in life and they were able build me and remove the mind of wickedness that was in me,” he said. “I like Working on Fire because it changed my life and it also helped me to work with people from different cultures.”last_img read more

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No-till message important around the world

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Whether talking to farmers in France, Ghana or southern Ohio, Rafiq Islam’s message is consistent: tilling the land does more long-term damage than good.As an Ohio State University soil scientist, Islam is among the disciples in the movement to convince farmers that plowing their fields before they plant or after they harvest harms the health of the soil and its ability to spur growth and resist erosion.Soil plowed repeatedly can lose key ingredients that enrich it, including carbon, which can evaporate as carbon dioxide gas into the air. Left undisturbed, soil can maintain that carbon, and the dry decaying stalks in an untilled field add to the organic materials in the dirt.After crops such as soybeans or corn are picked, a farmer can plant a cover crop in a field instead of plowing it. The cover crop isn’t harvested for food but instead keeps the soil covered and porous and contributes carbon to it, Islam said. Land left bare is more susceptible to erosion and cannot absorb water from rain or snow as efficiently as when cover crops are planted on it.Last month, Islam was part of a team of soil specialists who traveled to France to host four workshops on climate change, soil health, cover crops and no-till farming, events sponsored by two farm organizations in France. More workshops are planned for the summer in Ukraine and China, in the fall, in Uzbekistan and in the winter, in Ghana.In most parts of the world, the majority of farmers regularly plow. So it’s not easy to convince long-time conventional farmers or even younger farmers not to plow their land, said Islam, who is the soil, water and bioenergy program leader at Ohio State’s South Centers in Piketon.“You try to open their eyes by showing them the actual field results and demonstrating the user-friendly field tests and tools,” Islam said. “It’s tough. Farmers are businessmen. Some don’t want to take risks.”To many, tilling makes sense. Running a disk or plow through the land breaks up the soil and helps mix in fertilizer to ready the field for new seeds. But, say Islam and other proponents of no-till and cover crop farming, plowing the land can kill some of the crucial beneficial microorganisms in the soil. Even on fields crowded with the dry remains of last season’s crop, new seeds can be sown using drill attachments to planters. And the root system of cover crops helps break up the soil to make room for the roots of newly planted seeds. In other words, Mother Nature can take care of the plowing.And when Mother Nature performs the work, farmers can save on the fuel and time it would have taken them to do the job.Protecting the health of soil is critical given the expected worldwide population doubling by 2050 and the challenge of feeding everyone, especially those in developing countries, Islam said.“The health of soil is important to human health,” he said. “We have to do some proactive measures to improve our soil health, control air pollution, minimize water pollution and feed the growing population in the world.”No-till farming does come with tradeoffs. Farmers can’t just leave their plows in the barn and expect the same results as when they used them. If farmers choose to leave fields untilled, they likely will need to purchase attachments to their planters, such as a drill, that will assist them in sowing seeds.Initially, fields left untilled may not yield as many bushels until the earthworms and other organisms in the soil have had the time to build up, increasing the biological diversity and efficiency of the soil, said Alan Sundermeier, director and agriculture and natural resources educator in OSU Extension’s Wood County office. Sundermeier was on the team of OSU soil specialists who traveled to France to lead the workshops there.Cover crops planted on unplowed fields can help improve the performance of the fields within a few years.No-till farming “takes more management, understanding and patience,” Sundermeier said.But, he pointed out, over time the productivity of a field left untilled will equal, if not surpass, that of a plowed field.last_img read more

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This Technology Is Going to Change Filmmaking Forever

first_imgThe tech behind the Lytro Cinema Camera spells the end of the green screen, fixed shutter speeds, static depth of field, frames per second, and focusing.It seems like there’s a new technology every week that promises to “change” the filmmaking world in a significant way. Most of these products fall short, but one newly announced product will most certainly change the way filmmakers tell their stories: the Lytro Cinema Camera.The camera, created by Lytro, uses light field technology to analyze pixels for their color, value, distance, and lighting direction. This video sums it up nicely:The End of Green ScreenCurrently if you want to cut your subject out of the background, you have to do one of two things — rotoscope your subject out frame by frame, or shoot with a green screen and key the green out in post.Neither option is great, and video producers and VFX artists often find themselves limited when working under these circumstances — but the Lytro Cinema Camera offers something new. No longer do you have to key out your background based on color or value; you can now use distance as a way to remove your background.Using the Lytro Cinema Camera, you can tell your computer to remove any pixel information farther than fifteen feet away from the camera. This will open up a world of possibilities in both keying and lighting. Users can now shoot their subjects in realistic lighting scenarios without having to worry about “spillage.”No More Focusing — SeriouslyA frame recorded on a camera is a static image that’s played back at 24 or 30 frames per second. The camera converts the pixel information into images as it records (unless you’re shooting in RAW). Because of this, users must get perfect focus on set. This can lead to take after take, especially if your actors have multiple marks to hit.Essentially we have a virtual camera that can be controlled in post-production.However, Lytros Cinema Camera technology allows you to select and keyframe your focus in post. No more focus pulling, no more blown shots. Simply compose your shot and focus in post. This will allow the production to focus more on the actors performance and less on the assistant camera hitting their marks.Below is a single frame still of this technology in action.Click around in the frame below and watch the focus shift throughout:You Can Change Depth of FieldDepth of field is created through a combination of f-stop, focal length, and sensor type. As it stands right now, users can only record a specific depth of field when on set, with very little control over depth of field in the editing bay. If you sit down to edit your project and the depth of field is too shallow, well, you’re out of luck. But the Lytro Cinema Camera (and light field technology in general) is going to change all of this.Using the Lytro Cinema Camera, users can adjust the size of their depth of field in post. Specifically this will allow editors to control what is in focus and out of focus, along with the size and shape of the out-of-focus bokeh.Adjustable Shutter Speed and FPSNeedless to say, frame rate and shutter speed are important components of the filmmaking process. Most films are shot at 24fps, but using a process referred to as High Bandwidth Mode, users can adjust both the frame rate and shutter speed of their video in post, as long as it is less than 300fps. This will have huge implications for people who want to control their motion blur in post.When Can I Use It?You probably won’t be using a Lytro Cinema Camera in the near future. Rental packages for the Lytro Cinema Camera start at $125K, so it’s safe to say that only high-end VFX companies will be using this technology for now. However, If you’ve ever wanted to dip your toes into the exciting world of light field photography, you can actually purchase a Lytro Illum for around $400.Ryan Koo of No Film School sat down with Jon Karafin, the head of Lytro, to discuss the Lytro Cinema Camera workflow and other related topics. If you’re into camera technology — even in the slightest — this is a must-watch video. I also recommend checking out Lytro gallery where artists from around the world are showcasing their light field photography work.What are your thoughts on the Lytro Cinema Camera? Is it going to change everything? Share your opinions on the comments below.last_img read more

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Bolt, Phelps, Federer, Maradona, Ali benchmarks for everyone: Sourav Ganguly to India Today

first_imgFormer India Sourav Ganguly said it was difficult to pick the greatest of all time from India Today’s selection of Muhammad Ali, Diego Maradona, Roger Federer, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. However, Ganguly said the five were the brands of their respective sports and benchmarks for everyone.WATCH FULL VIDEO”It’s so hard to say which champion is bigger than the other – These are what champions made of. They are champions because they choose when to finish,” Ganguly told India Today when asked to pick his greatest of the five. “Ali, Maradona, Federer, Bolt and Phelps are all champions. It’s hard to pick who is bigger than the other.”Reuters PhotoGanguly said the five would be remembered for their efforts for the next several years.”They are five different sports and they are brands of the sports and will continue to remain for the next 50, 60 or 100 years – just like Bradman in cricket,” he said. In terms of achievement, they are all on the same page.Bolt’s 100 metres springing career finally came to an end on Saturday at the World Championships in London.The Jamaican could not bow out on a high but he certainly gave the fans a great time before leaving the arena.Bolt finished third to Justin Gaitlin and Christian Coleman in the race to go out with a bronze. Now he has 34 medals in international competitions. Out of which 25 of them are gold, seven silvers and two bronze. He finished with a whopping 75 per cent gold tally, followed by 20 per cent silver and six per cent bronze.advertisementFederer recently won his eighth Wimbledon and 19th majors title to create history in men’s tennis. Phelps is the greatest Olympian of all time with 23 gold medals.Reuters PhotoHowever, Ganguly was sure about one choice. Asked to pick the greatest of the two footballers Maradona and Pele, Dada chose the Argentinean.”I’ll always say Maradona. I’ve been blunt about it. People always say why does Sourav always take a side in life? Why can’t Sourav be in the middle and not get criticised by people around the world? But that’s the way I am. I take a decision and I’ve given my decision. I’ve given my decision with honesty, with what I feel and hopefully everyone will respect that. There’s nothing more to it except for what I see with my own eyes. When I see Pele and Maradona play together…my eye tells my mind that the man with the left foot is probably the greatest in the world. I’ll keep that thought right throughout and I’ve said that before,” said Ganguly.Reuters Photo”That doesn’t make Pele a smaller player. There are no hard feelings but for me it is the man with the left foot because when I saw him in 87…the game against England. I just felt that nobody could play better football than he did,” he added.(With inputs from AP)last_img read more

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Work out a formula so that students do not have to bear

first_imgNew Delhi: A day after the CBSE increased the fees of Class 10 and 12 board examinations, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday said he has directed the education department to work out a formula so that the students do not have to bear the burden of paying the hiked fee.Noting that the Delhi government is the biggest stakeholder of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Sisodia said if things continue like this, the government may consider having its own board. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderCBSE on Sunday increased the fees of Class 10 and Class 12 board examinations by up to Rs 1,150, the first hike in the last five years. The fees for general category students for both Class 10 and 12 were doubled from Rs 750 to Rs 1,500 for five subjects. The SC and ST students, who were paying Rs 350 earlier, will now pay Rs 1,200 for five subjects, the CBSE said. “Our officials had a meeting with CBSE officials and urged them not to hike the examination fee as it will burden the students. Delhi is the biggest stakeholder of CBSE and our opinion should be valued. This way, we might be forced to consider having our own board,” Sisodia said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe minister also said that the Directorarate of Education (DoE) has been asked to work out the formula on how to ease the burden on students. Till now, the SC/ST students were only paying Rs 50, while the Delhi government was paying the rest of the amount as subsidy. A government official, however, said that the department has been asked to work a proposal to ensure that the Delhi government can ease the burden on students from reserved categories as well as from the general category. Controller of Examination Sanyam Bhardwaj had said, “Earlier in Delhi, SC/ST students used to pay Rs 50 and the Delhi government paid the rest. Now, the CBSE will take Rs 1,200 entirely from the students. “If the Delhi government reimburses them or pays for them, it is an internal arrangement between schools and the Delhi government.” The Delhi government official, however, said they will work out the modalities within a few days. “The department is working on a proposal that they will put up shortly. Our officials had met CBSE a fortnight ago and requested them not to hike the fee but now that they have done it. “We will either ask the CBSE to reconsider their decision or we will work out the modalities to pay the subsidy. We will ensure the students do not have to face the financial burden,” the official said.last_img read more