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Title:鍗楀畞澶滅敓娲,鍗楀畞妗戞嬁,骞胯タ妗戞嬁璁哄潧 | Powered By Xizigo!
Description:Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen has questioned Bruno Cullen's passion for the task of helping to rescue the Sharks when appointed interim chief executive at the
鍗楀畞澶滅敓娲,鍗楀畞妗戞嬁,骞胯タ妗戞嬁璁哄潧 | Powered By Xizigo!
Powered By Xizigo!
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Gallen doubted Cullen #8217;s passion for Sharks
Posted on 12/01/2019 by admin | Permalink
Comments Off on Gallen doubted Cullen #8217;s passion for Sharks
Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen has questioned Bruno Cullen #8217;s passion for the task of helping to rescue the Sharks when appointed interim chief executive at the height of the NRL #8217;s anti-doping saga.
Cullen quit his role on Monday just hours after the Sharks board apologised to the four staff sacked in early fallout after the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation was announced and reinstated axed trainer Mark Noakes.
Gallen said on Tuesday that Cullen #8217;s departure was not a great surprise because he wasn #8217;t sure the former Brisbane chief #8217;s heart was in being at Cronulla.
#8220;Bruno was put there by the NRL. To be honest with you, I don #8217;t really know if he wanted to be there, #8221; Gallen told Sky Sports Radio.
#8220;The first meeting we had with Bruno, he said to us #8216;Look, hopefully I won #8217;t be here for long #8211; a month to six weeks #8217;.
#8220;I don #8217;t know how keen he was to actually do it anyway. I think he was just there to try and help the club and help the game. I don #8217;t really think he had a real vested interest in it.
#8220;I don #8217;t find it too surprising that he #8217;s gotten out of there, to be honest. #8221;
Gallen welcomed the board #8217;s decision to immediately reinstate Noakes and the apology it afforded to Noakes, club doctor Dave Givney, physiotherapist Konrad Schultz and football manager Darren Mooney.
The club is also talking to Mooney about a return and has invited Shultz and Givney to reapply for their jobs, which were filled after they left.
#8220;I think it #8217;s good for the reputations of those boys, to be able to come back to the club and get a full apology. It #8217;s good for them, #8221; Gallen said.
#8220;For Noakesy to have his job back, it #8217;s unreal for the club and unreal for him. He #8217;s a guy that everyone loves having around and I look forward to him strapping my ankle this weekend, I hope. #8221;
The NSW captain also praised the board #8211; installed on a mandate to review the sackings of the four staff following an independent report by Trish Kavanagh #8211; for sticking to their word, even though it took more than three months to do so.
#8220;To be honest, the only people winning out of all this is the lawyers. I #8217;m sure there would #8217;ve been a lot of lawyers involved to decide whether they were able to come back. They would #8217;ve gone right through that report, #8221; he said.
#8220;Obviously they #8217;ve been found to have done nothing wrong, so they #8217;re back.
#8220;It #8217;s good that they #8217;ve sort of got part of their life back on track. #8221;
Superstorm Sandy: Stranded teacher campaigns for Obama
Posted on 12/01/2019 by admin | Permalink
Comments Off on Superstorm Sandy: Stranded teacher campaigns for Obama
While Governor Romney and President Obama temporarily call off the race to the White House due to hurricane Sandy, one Brooklyn school teacher, unable to return to school with her students is hitting the phones for Obama.
A maths teacher at Brooklyn #8217;s High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology, Ellie Terry, remained home instead of evacuating as many of her students did.
ldquo;The subways were closed and I don #8217;t have a car, so there was no real way to evacuate for me, rdquo; she said.
ldquo;People started to tape up their windows, no one in this neighbourhood has really experienced a hurricane before. rdquo;
Eighteen fatalities have been confirmed in the New York area so far, with up to 30 across the east coast.
ldquo;The schools are being used as shelters; FDR High School is being used to house students and their families who were evacuated from their homes and apartments, rdquo; she said.
As millions across the northeast remain without power like her parents in Cape Cod, which bore the brunt of the storm, she is in relatively unscathed Brooklyn, with the lights still on.
Unable to go to work and with nothing else to do, she using her time to call undecided voters in swing-state Pennsylvania.
She is using a Facebook plug-in app called the Obama for America Call Tool, which allows ldquo;supporters to connect with voters on issues important to them rdquo;.
ldquo;They mostly don #8217;t answer. But when they do, I just tell them why I am voting for Obama, rdquo;
It widely predicted that President Obama will receive a bump in the polls during the emergency, as he flies to New Jersey to see the damage first hand.
But with potential disruptions to the votes in heartland states, the benefit to the Democrat campaign for re-election is still difficult to measure in a time when literal damage, not just political damage, is still being assessed.p
Palm Island mayor admits sly-grogging
Posted on 12/01/2019 by admin | Permalink
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The mayor of Palm Island, who has spoken out against alcohol restrictions in indigenous communities, has pleaded guilty to sly-grogging.
Alf Lacey was part of a group stopped by police as they sailed toward the island, off Townsville, with liquor on board in January last year.
The island is subject to strict alcohol limits under the Liquor Act.
Last week Mr Lacey pleaded guilty to one charge of attempting to take alcohol into a restricted area, a spokesperson at the Ingham Magistrates Court told AAP.
He was fined $100.
Last month the High Court ruled alcohol management plans in 19 indigenous Queensland communities do not breach national and international racial discrimination laws.
The court said the plans #8211; which restrict the sale and possession of alcohol #8211; are not racially discriminatory because they are #8220;special measures #8221; to protect vulnerable people.
At the time of the ruling, Mr Lacey said it equated to the same excuse used to justify the stolen generations.
#8220;I thought those days were over #8230; (but) that #8217;s always going to be the case with a lot our issues #8211; the #8216;white is right #8217; mentality, #8221; he told AAP in June.
#8220;It #8217;s disappointing to say that. It kills self-determination and economic prosperity in Aboriginal people. #8221;
He said the issue went beyond alcohol and was about indigenous people determining their own futures.
The case was referred to the High Court after Palm Island woman Joan Monica Maloney was convicted in October 2010 of possessing more than the prescribed amount of liquor.
She was fined $150, but decided to fight the charge and conviction on the grounds that it directly discriminated against Aboriginal people.
Why would you DO that? Faking disability at the Paralympics
Posted on 11/02/2019 by admin | Permalink
Comments Off on Why would you DO that? Faking disability at the Paralympics
By Max Coulthard, Monash University
People pretending to be disabled in order to compete in the Paralympics or Special Olympics is the fodder of many a bad-taste joke.
There have even been movies such as The Ringer and an episode of South Park that pivot on this very notion.
But the sad reality is that such deception has taken place ndash; and possibly continues now at the London 2012 Paralympics. It is also something I have witnessed first-hand.
Many will remember the great fiasco when it was found that the Spanish Paralympic Basketball team playing in the ldquo;Classification 11: Athletes with intellectual impairment rdquo; category had ten players with no mental disability and only two with a mental disability.
This made front page news in the Spanish press, led to a number of Spanish sport officials resigning and the Spanish players having to return to Spain in disguises. The ensuing disgrace not only affected basketball but all sports with this category of player.
The response by the Paralympic governing body was quick. Definitions were tightened, categories reduced and many potential competitors found they could not meet the revised definitions at later games. All this was a consequence of officialdom #8217;s fear of losing future government funding by not getting the required success.
How can it happen?
I was a na iuml;ve new international table tennis umpire at the 2000 Paralympics. I was given clear instructions on how to deal with athletes with an intellectual impairment.
It was made clear to me that players underwent rigorous assessments in their home countries to ensure they were categorised correctly based on their level of impairment.
Certificates from qualified specialists were supplied assuring us athletes were correctly graded. Therefore it came as a shock when the following series of events occurred.
We were housed in the Olympic village both before and during the Games. One day I boarded a bus heading out to the venues to umpire and sat behind two table tennis players.
They spoke both in Spanish and English during the trip and talked about their time in Sydney and how well they were going. One pulled out a calculator and did an analysis of his games to date and strategies for dealing with upcoming competitors and future travel plans. They then noticed my presence and stopped talking.
When I arrived at the venue I was told I would be umpiring players with relatively severe intellectual handicaps. It was a shock to me when one of two Spanish players I had sat behind walked up to the table and began to hit up. It appeared that between his time on the bus and the venue he had undergone a severe transformation.
No longer the bright, alert player I had seen earlier, I was now faced with someone struggling to put words together and who had difficulty following instructions. After winning his match the Spanish player went off to find his friend. I spoke to another Australian umpire who remarked that he also had a funny feeling something was not right when he umpired the other Spanish player.
Taking action?
We raised our concerns to a leading table tennis official. We were painstakingly reacquainted with the rigorous assessments those with intellectual impairment went through. We felt it unwise to push our concerns further and never umpired another match involving these players.
I must confess that after the basketball fiasco was uncovered I did regret not pushing my concerns a lot harder. But then I was new to such major international events and felt that I had done all I could.
Cheating has consequences ndash; in this case I wonder which deserving athletes missed out on the opportunity to represent their country. I also wonder how many officials, acting in good faith, have also been exploited by this drive by cheats for recognition and greater government funding.
The lure of significant government funding can make sporting bodies behave badly. The question is why does this happen and what should be done about it? Rewards for success such as receiving an Olympic gold medal can be huge, both for the athletes and their sporting bodies.
The need to secure funding?
It should be no surprise that government money flows to those sports bodies that achieve high-profile success. On the surface this appears to be a reasonable position because sports funding is always tight and has to be used to achieve the best returns.
But is this really the best way to promote participation in sport?
The incentive to cheat to receive more government funding is great enough for major sports but it does not stop at able athletes.
Max Coulthard does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.p
Titans #8217; leaky NRL defence faces huge test
Posted on 11/02/2019 by admin | Permalink
Comments Off on Titans #8217; leaky NRL defence faces huge test
John Cartwright has watched his Titans leak an unacceptable 23 tries in three games and is now confronted with the best attacking team in the NRL.
But the Gold Coast coach feels there #8217;s finally some good signs after two weeks of hard yakka and introspection heading into Saturday night #8217;s must-win clash against South Sydney at skilled Park.
On top of the return of refreshed co-captains Greg Bird and Nate Myles following their enforced post-Origin rest, Cartwright sees a team that has stuck tight despite a string of key injuries and big defeats.
Their edge defence has consistently been exposed with Bird and centres Brad Takairangi (ribs) and Jamal Idris (broken leg) sidelined but only Idris will be missing against the Rabbitohs.
Cartwright and Trevor Gillmeister have done their best to address defensive frailties in the past fortnight following heavy losses to Newcastle (46-16) and Penrith (40-18).
#8220;There #8217;s been a lot of hard work and soul searching, #8221; he said. #8220;Back at home and the captains back on the field, there #8217;s some positive signs there.
#8220;At the end of 80 minutes tomorrow night we #8217;ll know if it #8217;s working for us. #8221;
Cartwright is also taking the positives out of how the Titans dug deep when they were down and seemingly out at 24-4 down against Manly and played their way back into the match, before ultimately falling 38-20.
#8220;It was a sign of a side that can bounce back, #8221; he said. #8220;We got ourselves back into the contest but we have to start much better tomorrow. #8221;
While there #8217;s intrigue surrounding where Souths veteran Matt King will line up in his comeback from a broken arm, Takairangi could also pop up in a new role.
The former Rooster and Bird had forged a strong left-side combination before Origin but Takairangi has spent time training on both sides of the field this week.
There #8217;s little chance the Titans will be helped by a coasting Rabbitohs outfit with Souths also desperate to show their true colours after giving up a 12-point lead in the last 10 minutes against St George Illawarra on Monday night and losing in extra time.
#8220;I #8217;m expecting a good response, #8221; said coach Michael Maguire. #8220;This team, they were disappointed, they understood that themselves and we #8217;ve got to go out and get back into the way we #8217;re capable of playing.
#8220;We #8217;ve got a good challenge this week, they #8217;ve got a big pack.
#8220;Right across the board we didn #8217;t play (against then Dragons) how we expect to play. It #8217;s about getting back to that. #8221;
Comment: Should we be worried about a Mormon President?
Posted on 11/02/2019 by admin | Permalink
Comments Off on Comment: Should we be worried about a Mormon President?
By Tim Verhoeven, Monash University
Catholics running for office have borne the brunt.
Democratic candidate Al Smith was subjected to vicious anti-Catholic attacks when he ran in 1928: the fact that he was the son of Irish immigrants and an opponent of prohibition didn #8217;t help his cause. John Kennedy in 1960 was similarly accused of being under the thumb of the Vatican, forcing him to give a speech to the Ministerial Association in Houston affirming his allegiance to the American nation.
With just a few days to the election, we are yet to see anything like this sort of vitriol directed towards Mitt Romney. Much of the analysis suggests that, whatever the outcome on Tuesday, Romney #8217;s Mormonism will be a negligible factor. A sign of our enlightened attitudes? Perhaps more a sign of our ignorance. No less than 32% of voters, according to an August poll, are unaware that Romney is a Mormon.
Another reason for the silence about Mormonism might be the assumption of an easy Obama victory. But with the polls tightening in the last few weeks, some have begun to ask: should we be worried about a Mormon President?
Those who are point to several things. The first, to be blunt, is the weirdness factor. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd often lampoons Latter Day Saint (LDS) church practices, from baptising the dead, including Holocaust victims, to the famous ldquo;magic underwear rdquo; worn to protect against evil spirits. Oh, and Mormons believe that the Garden of Eden was in Jackson County, Missouri.
Now, we have no proof that Romney wears said ldquo;magic underwear rdquo;, or has ever participated in retrospective baptisms. But he was a high-ranking church figure: bishop of a congregation in Boston from 1981 to 1986, and then a ldquo;stake president rdquo; responsible for some 4000 members.
More troubling perhaps is the suspicion that President Mitt might take orders from Mormon headquarters in Salt Lake City. An interview with Judy Dushku, a member of Bishop Romney #8217;s congregation in Boston, has fuelled this. Referring to Romney #8217;s pro-choice stance on abortion while Governor of Massachusetts, Dushku claims that Romney told her: ldquo;in Salt Lake, they told me it was okay to take that position in a liberal state rdquo;.
Of course, America has never had a Mormon President before (though several have tried). But the record of the Utah legislature is not encouraging. As D. Michael Quinn argues in a recent Vanity Fair article, many legislators there pay close attention to the wishes of the governing body of the LDS, the First Presidency. Quinn writes that in 2008, the LDS Church #8217;s Deseret News announced:
Before each general session [of the Utah Legislature], GOP and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate sit down separately with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Special Affairs Committee, a group made up of Church general authorities, Church public relations officials, and their lobbyists, to discuss any item on the minds of both legislators and Church leaders.
Romney has at various times affirmed his independence. In 2007, he channelled John Kennedy when he told the American public: ldquo;if I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest rdquo;.
For its part, the LDS publicly advises its faithful to choose the best candidate, regardless of party affiliation.
Defenders of Romney also point to the number of Democrat Mormons. In fact, the highest-ranking Mormon in American politics is Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, and a Democrat.
Former President John F. Kennedy faced persecution for his Roman Catholic beliefs. EPA/Supplied
Finally, the history of Mormon voting also suggests something less than a tightly-controlled political machine. Utah voted four times for Franklin Roosevelt, despite then-LDS leader Heber J. Grant denouncing him as a socialist.
In the end, the notion of a direct line between Salt Lake City and a Romney Oval Office seems ludicrous. Why would the First Presidency need to call? President Romney is unlikely to do much that would upset the LDS. Whether on social issues, taxes or the role of government, 2012-version Romney is back in the fold.
The pity is that Romney has largely avoided the issue as there might have been a positive narrative to craft. As Stephanie Mencimer argues in Mother Jones, Mormons have responded with admirable energy and solidarity to natural disasters in Utah. As the east coast cleans up after Hurricane Sandy, this might have been an appealing message. But in failing to speak, candidate Romney has left many wondering, once again, what sort of president he might be.
Tim Verhoeven does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.p
Deep South split as Republicans hit town
Posted on 11/02/2019 by admin | Permalink
Comments Off on Deep South split as Republicans hit town
#8220;I am delighted the people of Mississippi and Alabama have looked at the race and said, #8216;We need to get behind the guy who can beat President Obama, #8217; and I can, #8221; Romney said on Fox television.
#8220;The other guys are nice folks but they have not organized a campaign with a staff, the organization, the fundraising capacity, to actually beat Obama and I have, #8221; Romney stressed ahead of the deep South contests, likely buoyed by a new poll showing for the first time he could defeat the Democratic president.
A national poll by ABC News and The Washington Post on Monday for the first time gave the former Massachusetts governor the edge against Obama, hit by anger over rising gas prices.
If elections were held today, Romney would beat Obama 49 percent to 47 percent, the poll revealed, adding Obama #8217;s approval rating has plunged below 50 percent as he bids for a second term in the November vote.
Perhaps more worrying for the Obama campaign, the poll also showed rising national support for Romney #8217;s main rival Rick Santorum.
The survey suggests the president would only narrowly win against the former Pennsylvania senator, by 49 percent to 46 percent, underscoring the extent to which support for the the president has fallen.
Romney, who Monday marked his 65th birthday, is racking up the delegates towards the party #8217;s nomination. So far he has almost 40 percent of the 1,144 needed to win, with Santorum and former House speaker Newt Gingrich trailing.
Amid calls to quit and allow the conservative vote to coalesce around one candidate, Gingrich is fighting to stay in the race to be the Republican party nominee to challenge Obama.
He has said Tuesday #8217;s primaries in Alabama and Mississippi are must-wins after pocketing just two of the 26 contests held so far.
It #8220;looks like it #8217;s going to be a close election night in both Mississippi and Alabama, #8221; said pollsters Public Policy Polling said.
#8220;It #8217;s not really clear who, if anyone has the momentum in these states, #8221; it said, pointing to #8220;the split in the conservative vote #8221; which could let Romney win.
According to PPP #8217;s polling, Gingrich held a slight lead in Mississippi with 33 percent over 31 percent for Romney, with Santorum on 27 percent. In Alabama, the race is even closer with 31 percent for Romney, 30 percent for Gingrich and 29 percent for Santorum.
Romney has now won 17 of the 26 state or territory votes, compared to seven wins for Santorum #8212; eight if you include a straw poll in Missouri #8212; and none for Texas congressman Ron Paul.
With 455 delegates, Romney has almost 40 percent of the 1,144 needed to secure the nomination. Santorum trails with 199 delegates and Gingrich has 117, according to authoritative aggregator RealClearPolitics.
This lead means Romney #8217;s competitors must win some 70-75 percent of the remaining delegates #8212; which are handed out proportionally by district in many states #8212; in order to snatch the nomination.
#8220;Mathematically, this thing is about over, but emotionally it #8217;s not, #8221; senior Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Sunday.
#8220;If Romney does well, wins either Mississippi or Alabama and wins Illinois (on March 20), then I think it #8217;s virtually impossible for this thing to continue much beyond early May, #8221; Graham added.
In a CBS/New York Times Poll released Monday, Republican voters gave Santorum a four-point edge over Romney nationally with 34 percent to 30 percent, with Newt Gingrich getting 13 percent and Ron Paul 8 percent.
In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Santorum told supporters: #8220;We just have to continue to do well. We #8217;re going into Newt #8217;s backyard, and obviously Governor Romney #8217;s coming off a big Super Tuesday. We #8217;ve got to come in here and do well, and I think from all the polls we #8217;re doing very well. #8221;
But 73 percent say they expect Romney will get the Republican nod, the CBS survey found.
Romney meanwhile has been awkwardly trying to spread some southern charm, starting his rallies with a southern drawl of #8220;hello y #8217;all. #8221;
And Santorum meanwhile got an endorsement from reality-TV stars, the Duggars Family, star of the television series #8220;19 Kids and Counting. #8221;
Hawaii also holds caucuses on Tuesday, and Romney has sent his son, Matt, to the islands to stump for him, while Santorum #8217;s daughter, Elizabeth, was also in Hawaii #8212; where Obama spent much of his childhood.p
#8216;Blackfella Facebook #8217; for Indigenous youth
Posted on 12/01/2019 by admin | Permalink
Comments Off on #8216;Blackfella Facebook #8217; for Indigenous youth
The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence has launched the Online Community of Excellence #8211; a new social media website to support young Indigenous Australians.
(Transcript from World News Australia Radio)
The site allows young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who participate in the Centre #8217;s programs to connect online and receive support from role models, mentors and each other.
Since opening in 2010, the Centre has had more than 15,000 young Indigenous Australians participate in its pathway programs, including in arts, health, and sport.
CEO of the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence, Jason Glanville, says online engagement with Indigenous youth is crucial to cultivating talent, creating opportunities, and inspiring excellence.
#8220;The young people who have designed it for us, and the young people who have been testing it for us, are calling it the #8216;Black Fella Facebook #8217;. It #8217;s quite different to Facebook in a range of ways but really we had to make sure it looked and felt like a lot of social media tools that young people are already using. But we #8217;ve taken away a lot of the stuff that really distracts people and detracts from their experience of social medias. #8221;
Mr Glanville compares the Black Fella Facebook to other social media websites.
#8220;It #8217;s built so that young people build an aspirations profile, so rather than as with things like Facebook and others where people will do status updates around what they ate for lunch or what they are doing in the afternoon, the updates are around individual aspirations, so whether it #8217;s about completing particular projects at school or particular health and well-being outcomes, or career aspirations #8211; whatever they might be. #8221;
National Centre for Indigenous Excellence ambassador, and Indigenous Australian author, Anita Heiss, has already posted four goals on her own #8220;Black Fella Facebook #8221; profile page, which range from doing home improvements to reading 52 books in 52 weeks for the National Year of Reading.
#8220;I post updates regularly. I was just out at Cowra last week, so I #8217;ll let people know that I #8217;m working with young kids on a literacy program out there or I #8217;ll post events if there #8217;s writing events around because I #8217;m an author by trade, so I like to let people know when there #8217;s indigenous literary events on. #8221;
Ms Heiss says one of her favourite features of the website is the #8220;respect #8221; function.
Rather than users clicking a #8220;like #8221; button in response to a status update, they hit the #8220;respect #8221; icon, which is a symbol of a closed fist.
#8220;Respect is so much better than Facebook #8217;s #8216;like #8217;, and it #8217;s actually a powerful affirmation that somebody acknowledges what you #8217;ve said or whatever goal you #8217;ve set. That #8217;s what I like about this particular online community. It #8217;s a very positive, affirming space where we #8217;re not reading about running family members down or hangovers or any other negative thing that often weighs us down emotionally and psychologically. #8221;
The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence says the new website would not have been made possible without the Telstra Foundation, which donated 400-thousand-dollars over three years, to the project.
The Chief Sustainability Officer of Telstra, Tim O #8217;Leary, says the website is the foundation #8217;s most significant Indigenous investment #8211; in an online sense #8211; and he believes it will have a positive long term impact for young Indigenous people.
#8220;This is certainly the first online community of Excellence that we have ever done for Indigenous Australia. To be able to ensure that the thousands of young Indigenous people who pass through this centre of Excellence can remain connected but not only remain connected but can talk to each other, can look at job opportunities, look at learning opportunities, to share their goals and experience. #8221;
The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence consulted more than 70 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians during the design and development process to ensure young people #8217;s perspectives and ideas were a central focus.
Comment: Acupuncture research: the path least scientific?
Posted on 12/01/2019 by admin | Permalink
Comments Off on Comment: Acupuncture research: the path least scientific?
By Neil O #8217;Connell, Brunel University and Lorimer Moseley, University of South Australia
A recent, rather flattering, article on acupuncture on this website holds a mirror to a broader problem in the world of acupuncture research.
A problem that goes to the heart of the most fundamental scientific principles.
There #8217;s no doubt that acupuncture is gaining traction on the grounds that it holds up under scientific interrogation. But does it really?
Let #8217;s go back to basics. The scientific method involves proposing a theory based on plausible principles, and then trying to disprove it. Let #8217;s say the theory proposes that a particular treatment is effective for a certain condition.
First, we ask whether it #8217;s based on plausible principles. And, if so, we design studies to rule out every possible explanation for the observed effect except the explanation captured in the theory. If the effect remains after all reasonable controls have failed to remove it, we conclude that, on balance, it #8217;s probably real.
Shaky foundations
Acupuncture is based on implausible principles. The concepts of Chi ndash; an invisible, unmeasurable life force, flowing through meridians (unobservable pathways with no known anatomical correlation) ndash; have both an allegorical quality and the appeal of an ancient provenance. But these aren #8217;t held up by anything the scientific method has revealed.
Perhaps despite its implausible principles, acupuncture point combinations are based on centuries of practice and consistent observations of this effect. Very unlikely ndash; we have previously reflected on this. Even limiting the number of needles that are inserted to four (in order to develop crude evidence that specific points are effective for specific ailments) requires an astronomical number of tests.
Let #8217;s presume, for instance, that in China at the time when the first acupuncture tomes were generated with their 400 or so acupuncture points, the average lifespan was 50 years. In order to get all the needle combinations tested, every member of the Chinese population would have had to suffer from the same condition throughout their lifespan, and then receive eight separate treatments a year for every year of their life.
For a number of reasons, this estimate should be considered wildly conservative ndash; and this is for just one condition. Acupuncture is recommended for an astounding range of afflictions.
Research evidence
Ensuring robust double-blinding studies of acupuncture is a tricky business. Nonetheless, good quality trials across a range of clinical conditions and outcomes, overwhelmingly show that acupuncture fails to outperform sham.
What #8217;s more, when the studies are good, it appears that it doesn #8217;t matter where one inserts the needles, how deeply they are inserted, whether or not they are manipulated once in situ, and, crucially, whether they are inserted at all.
So, according to scientific method, the theory has been disproved. In more classical scientific parlance, the key hypotheses that arise from the founding principles of acupuncture have been refuted.
Intriguingly, despite this the studies keep coming. A recent meta-analysis of individual patient data received a great deal of media attention as it was suggested to provide compelling evidence that acupuncture works. It found that while acupuncture was better than no treatment controls, there was a small, clinically trivial but statistically significant benefit of acupuncture over sham.
It took the power of a large sample to demonstrate that effect, and the authors conclude that it represents the active ingredient of real acupuncture. But as we have already seen, in imperfectly blinded trials, one would expect to see some small difference simply from the resulting bias.
So which interpretation is more plausible? Have the authors really fulfilled their obligation to falsify more plausible alternative explanations?
Fundamental problems
There #8217;s a great deal of energy being devoted to unpicking the potential mechanisms of acupuncture. We #8217;re told that acupuncture causes local tissue changes or activation differences in certain areas of the brain. We suggest that it #8217;s hardly surprising that inserting needles into the skin causes a reaction in the tissues or a change in the brain. Indeed to not find such changes would be considered genuinely revolutionary.
These findings neither validate acupuncture nor provide a cogent mechanism for its therapeutic action. Indeed, we think this approach reflects some fundamental problems with much acupuncture research. The retrofitting of physiological mechanisms to explain a non-existent effect is scientifically upside down. Designing experiments to demonstrate that something works or hunting down an elusive mechanism for a cherished idea is not scientific.
We would suggest that if experiments that control for all possible explanations except acupuncture clearly show no benefit, but experiments that don #8217;t control for other possible explanations clearly do show a benefit, then we should be investigating those other possible explanations rather than acupuncture.
There #8217;s a thriving industry of acupuncture research that will no doubt continue to optimistically mine pockets of subtle or manufactured uncertainty. This is understandably human ndash; what else would one do if one absolutely knew something was true but could not prove it?
But from a scientific viewpoint, acupuncture shouldn #8217;t work, and comfortingly, when tested properly, it doesn #8217;t.
The sharpest experimental probes have dismantled the principles on which acupuncture is based but have failed to puncture the balloon of na iuml;ve acceptance that floats aloft in the popular media, the public consciousness and in the acupuncture research community. A re-acquaintance with the most basic scientific principles may just be the sharp prick required.
Neil O #8217;Connell does not receive funding or sponsorship from any organisation that might benefit from the content of this article.
Lorimer Moseley does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.p
NASA to shed light on aurora
Posted on 09/01/2019 by admin | Permalink
Comments Off on NASA to shed light on aurora
The two-year mission, dubbed THEMIS #8212; an acronym for Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms #8212; was launched successfully late on Saturday after a 24-hour delay, NASA said in a statement.
#8220;The mission will help resolve the mystery of what triggers geomagnetic substorms, #8221; the space agency said on its website.
#8220;The findings from the mission may help protect commercial satellites and humans in space from the adverse effects of particle radiation. #8221;
Once deployed, the satellites will align below North America every four days to observe the formation of the aurora borealis, a bright play of lights in the night sky above the polar area, commonly known as the Northern Lights.
On the ground, stations in Alaska and in Canada will photograph the multicolored phenomena.
#8220;This is a challenging project that will replace old myths with scientific explanations for the lights #8217; visible evidence of the earth #8217;s magnetosphere protecting us from the fatal effects of the solar wind, #8221; said Frank Snow, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration #8217;s THEMIS mission manager.
Scientists hope that the five satellites operating jointly will be able to identify the precise location of where the aurora borealis starts.
Scientists currently believe that the lights are caused by solar winds that are deformed when they reach the earth #8217;s magnetic field, forming a tail of sorts when caught in the wind.
The energy stored in this #8220;tail #8221; is released sporadically, causing substorms at the equator and then spreading out towards the north and south poles, where it produces the aurora borealis phenomenon.
While scientists have a good idea how this works, they have been unable to explain where in the magnetosphere the energy of solar wind tranforms into the spectacular phenomenon of lights.
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