The Evolution of Suicide Terrorism

first_imgIn a letter to the editor of Science April 2,1 Hector N. Qirko (anthropologist, U. of Tennessee) has come up with a Darwinian model to explain suicide bombers.  His ideas build on an earlier model by Scott Atran (CNRS-Institut Jean Nicod, Paris, and Institute for Social Research, U. of Michigan) in a previous issue.2  Qirko elaborates on the model, invoking kin selection, nonkin altruism, inclusive fitness and other Darwinian buzzwords:Kin recognition is a necessary component of inclusive fitness calculations related to altruistic behavior in many species, and kin are often identified by means of evolved cues that are open to manipulation.  As recognizing kin has been an important problem in hominid evolution, cognitive adaptations to address that problem have evolved.  Relevant literature suggests that cues most applicable to human behavior are close physical association (particularly during development), phenotypic similarity, and the use of kin terms and other symbolic kin referents.  Thus, institutions desiring to maintain and reinforce nonkin altruistic behavior among their members should attempt to manipulate predispositions associated with these cues.It’s only a start, he admits, but he congratulates Atran for delving into this area of evolutionary psychology: “And while what motivates particular individuals to commit suicide terrorism may be impossible to ascertain, how institutions maintain and reinforce a willingness to do so can be more clearly understood.  Atran is to be commended for his exploration of this question in evolutionary psychological terms.”1Hector N. Qirko, “‘Fictive Kin’ and Suicide Terrorism,“ Science Vol 304, Issue 5667, 49-51, 2 April 2004., [DOI: 10.1126/science.304.5667.49].2Scott Atran, “Genesis of Suicide Terrorism,” Science Vol 299, Issue 5612, 1534-1539, 7 March 2003, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1078854].These guys are dead serious.  They look at suicide terrorism as just another behavior that evolved by natural selection.  They think they are doing us a favor by helping us “understand” how this phenomenon evolved, presumably so we can deal with it in a compassionate and understanding way.  So how would this view influence foreign policy?  If it is evolved behavior, isn’t it also an evolved behavior to fight back?  Neither side can claim to be right; we’re back to the law of the jungle.  Neither can these evolutionary psychologists exempt their behavior from natural selection.  Writing papers in Science, therefore, has no ultimate meaning.    We bring these examples to your attention to show how utterly wacko certain university professors have become under the influence of Dar-wine.  Don’t blame the bomber, or the one who sent him, when he blows up dozens or hundreds of innocent people in a bus or building.  Personal responsibility is a myth.  Evil does not exist.  The teachings of the Quran and Islamic leaders are only incidental and should not be criticized; the bomber is only doing what Charlie said natural law made him do.    Somebody send this story to Dennis Prager.  It should make for a lively discussion on his radio talk show.(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Farming crops with rocks to reduce CO2 and improve global food security

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Farming crops with crushed rocks could help to improve global food security and capture CO2 from the atmosphere, a new study has found.The pioneering research by scientists at the University of Illinois, together with U.S. and international colleagues, suggests that adding fast-reacting silicate rocks to croplands could capture CO2 and give increased protection from pests and diseases while restoring soil structure and fertility.Stephen Long, Gutgsell Endowed University Professor of Crop Sciences and Plant Biology at U of I and co-author of the study, provides context: “Scientists generally have done a poor job of getting across the point that the world must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels and combine this with strategies for extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to avoid a climate catastrophe.”David Beerling, Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation at the University of Sheffield and lead author of the research, explains the project: “Human societies have long known that volcanic plains are fertile, ideal places for growing crops without adverse human health effects, but until now there has been little consideration for how adding further rocks to soils might capture carbon.“This study could transform how we think about managing our croplands for climate, food, and soil security. It helps move the debate forward for an under-researched strategy of CO2 removal from the atmosphere — enhanced rock weathering — and highlights supplementary benefits for food and soils. Adopting strategies like this new research could have a massive impact and be adopted rapidly.”The research, published in Nature Plants, examined amending soils with abundant crushed silicate rocks, like basalt, left over from ancient volcanic eruptions. As these minute rock grains dissolve chemically in soils, they take up carbon dioxide and release plant-essential nutrients.Critically, enhanced rock weathering works together with existing managed croplands. Unlike other carbon removal strategies being considered, it doesn’t compete for land used to grow food or increase the demand for fresh water. Other benefits include reducing the usage of agricultural fertilizers and pesticides, lowering the cost of food production, increasing the profitability of farms and reducing the barriers to uptake by the agricultural sector.Crushed silicate rocks could be applied to any soils, but arable land is the most obvious since it is worked and planted annually. It covers approximately 10% of the global land area.Farmers already apply crushed rock in the form of limestone to reverse acidification of soils caused by farming practices, including the use of fertilizers. Managed crops, therefore, have the logistical infrastructure, such as road networks and machinery, needed to undertake this approach at scale. These considerations could make it straightforward to adopt.“Our proposal is that changing the type of rock, and increasing the application rate, would do the same job as applying crushed limestone but help capture CO2 from the atmosphere, storing it in soils and eventually the oceans,” Long said.James Hansen from the Earth Institute at Columbia University and co-author of the work, adds, “Strategies for taking CO2 out of the atmosphere are now on the research agenda and we need realistic assessment of these strategies, what they might be able to deliver, and what the challenges are.”The article, “Farming with crops and rocks to address global climate, food and soil security,” is published in Nature Plants. Researchers participated from U of I, University of Sheffield, Lancaster University, James Cook University, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, University of California, Santa Cruz, and Columbia University. The work was supported by the Leverhulme Trust.last_img read more

How to Improve Your SEO Content Game this 2019

first_imgYou’ve been hearing this a lot but we’ll say it again: content is the fire that will keep your brand going, so make sure it stays lit round-the-clock. What this means is, never underestimate how much impact high-quality content has in generating sales and making customers see you as a thought leader in your industry. Quality content in 2019 means writing articles, creating an infographic, or producing videos that aim to educate and inform your readers. In order to qualify for quality content you should:Always keep your target audience in mind: what do they want to know? What are their common concerns in the industry? Is there recent news that you can weigh in on?Look at your competitors and assess their current content assets. Which topics are they not covering that you can provide? Is there a way for you to improve on or update an article that’s out there? Vary your content formats by creating FAQs, tutorials, slide decks, infographics, or case studies.Take advantage of the emotional impact of a good story.But it’s not only about the quality-quantity counts as well, so make sure you have published enough content at regular intervals to keep your website updated. Create qualty content at all times. Header tags are used to break sections in your website. They are there for a purpose: it segments different thoughts and topics, making sure that your messages are understood by your readers in a more organized manner. It also helps break huge chunks of texts into smaller, bite-sized sections to make it more scan-friendly.While it may not directly impact SEO, it can help improve user experience by helping readers easily find the content they need. Remember: better user experience means improving rankings in the SERPs, so make sure that you put clear headers throughout your web page Search engines show meta descriptions in search results, especially when the keyword or keyword phrase typed in by the user is within the description. Meta descriptions are SEO specialists’ best friend: they exist to generate clickthroughs from search engines by encouraging users to click your link. Source: do it right, make sure you do the following:Keep descriptions within 155 characters, so Google won’t truncate itWrite in an active voiceInclude a call to action (e.g “Click here to get your free e-book!”)Refrain from using clickbait tactics, as a high number of visitors immediately leaving your site would increase your bounce rate and affect your search rankingStart Blogging and Optimize Your Articles. Naida Alabata Improve your layout and formatting. Source: Creating a website with user experience in mind means improving your layout and formatting. This doesn’t only entail knowing where to put your icons or how to make it look more stunning than other websites; it also means knowing the psychology behind why a certain section should be placed in a specific area. To help your customers easily scan and digest what your website is offering, take note of the following:Use font size and typography that can easily be read by the audienceUse bold type and colors for important informationKeep it short to avoid misunderstanding. Maintain proper line spacing in betweenFor clarity, use bullets or numbered listsUse techniques such as siders, tabs, modal windows, and mega-dropdown-menus to organize site navigation Break up content into different subheads by using a proper header tagCreate attractive meta descriptions. Customers are always on the lookout for something authentic—the same goes for content. If your content is not original enough for customers to still find value in it, chances are, you won’t get the SEO results you were targeting. Nobody wants to get the same content they have read from every other website, so make sure that yours offer more value than your competitors.A few strategies you can try include:Source: content — Popularized by Rand Fishkin, 10x content means providing content that is 10 times better than those currently in the SERPs. This means, among others, adding more data, providing fresh angles to the same topic, and making sure it’s mobile-friendly.Share personal experiences –– As mentioned in the previous point, storytelling can generate an emotional response to your readers. Share your own stories (e.g. how your company started, the challenges you overcame, etc.). This could be in form of a regular blog post or an email newsletter. Whichever topic it is, no one will be able to copy it, as it is your own.Case studies –– Share your findings and actionable steps via case studies of a previous client or an ongoing project. This will help your readers apply the same strategies to their own businesses and reach the same results that you did. This would also amplify your credibility, as an expert in your field.Improve your page speed. In any SEO strategy, linking one content to another is crucial. Don’t let customers finish reading your content at the end of your post without doing anything more.Make sure that there’s a call to action, be it encouraging them to contact you for your services or leading them to a related post somewhere within your website. Often called content layering and internal linking, this strategy allows you to keep your customers within your website by offering them more content after reading one. Communication Works Wonders (with Itai Sadan) Running your own online retail business means that you have to be very visual with how you present your products. This is where the value of a well-optimized photo comes in: image optimization means reducing the size of the image so that it will load faster on your customers’ devices without compromising its quality. To optimize your images, you have to:Name it descriptively using the language your target market can easily understand. Compress your images that come in big file sizes. Study shows that you can compress images in PhotoShop for up to 95% without affecting the quality.Choose image dimensions and product angles wisely, so they would look good on both desktop and mobile devices.If you don’t have available stock images for your brand, there are royalty-free images you can use to load high-quality images on your website.Leverage Header tags. Stay original.center_img Make the most out of your website and start populating your own blog. All you have to do is create a separate page for your content, come up with catchy titles to attract click-throughs, and make the body as extensive as you can but not long enough to bore readers. Of course, you also need to optimize your content so search engines can find them:Add internal links to other pages within your websiteInclude high-quality images and use alt text to describe your image, so search engines will know what those images containLink out related blog posts within the article bodyProvide a section for comments or reviewsShare your content on social media to drive more people to your websiteAdd a call to action. How Growth-Driven Design Keeps Your Website Rel… 9 Web Development Trends to Skip in 2019 Your keywords are important in helping potential customers find you through search engines. To do this, you have to understand the market or audiences you’re trying to capture and recognize their needs. You should also know what they’re talking about and what they’re eager to learn. Once you’ve gathered these data, it will be easier for you to identify the type of content they are looking for and produce it.Source: can also look for related search terms. To do this, go to Google, type in a keyword related to your niche, scroll to the bottom of the results page, and look at the additional keywords. In your content, make sure that you’re using both long-tail and short keywords. You can also use Google Adwords Keyword Planner and Google Trends.And if you want to further cut down the time you need for keyword research and looking for which content to produce, Content Success can do that for you. We’ll help you track your content’s performance and give you more article ideas that your readers will love. Take Your Content To The Next LevelAcing your SEO game takes a lot of trials-and-errors, before finding out which strategy would work for you. Remember that this is a long-term game. Keep producing high-quality content with the right amount of links, and Google will reward you.If you found these tips helpful, do let us know in the comments section below. Feel free to also add your own strategies and help out your fellow content creators. In this fast-paced world, customers want to get everything done right at the moment it crossed their mind. Imagine how impatient they could get when going through a slow-loading website. In fact, 79 percent of customers who are dissatisfied with a website’s performance would not come back to buy from it again. Slow page speeds can also negatively impact your revenue by as much as 16 percent.Today’s growing market tells us why it’s important to run your website smoothly and seamlessly. More than 60 percent of consumers purchased online using their mobile device in the past six months alone.On top of that, Google is now using mobile page speed as an important indicator of ranks in search results, so it’s best that you optimize your site for better UX and better search rankings by:Making sure your design is responsive, so your visitors can easily navigate your site regardless of the device they are using.Compressing your images, but see to it that the quality stays the same.Eliminating any Flash elements from your pages, as it can significantly slow down your website.Continuing to test your mobile site’s layout, as people use their fingers; not mouse pointers. Buttons should be far enough from each other and large enough for the average finger to tap on it.Using Google’s free mobile-friendly test tool, so you can see where else you need to improve. Google continuously evolves, getting smarter and smarter in offering relevant, high-quality, up-to-date, and credible results to its users. Its current algorithm iterations can now track plagiarized content, over-optimized anchor texts, keyword stuffing, poor, on-and-off-page SEO, poor mobile usability and UX, and ad-centered content. According to a report by MarketDrive and HubSpot, 82 percent of marketers say that SEO‘s effectiveness is on the rise, while 61 percent state that improving and growing their SEO strategies are their top inbound marketing priority. With this, online marketers are challenged to up their game and have a keen attention to detail to ensure that their SEO strategies can provide both short and long-term wins.Adapting Your Content To Google’s AlgorithmsContent has long been one of the foundations of a good SEO strategy. That said, as algorithms get smarter, businesses also need to make sure their content can keep up. Here are tips on improving your SEO content game and making sure you stay ahead of the curve: Related Posts Naida Alabata is a content marketing specialist in Grit PH and an entrepreneur in the Philippines. She opts to share her expertise in marketing, branding, SEO, web design and business development thru writing. Optimize image quality. Strategize keyword search Optimize Micro-Interactions to Enhance your UX …last_img read more

Manipur tribal council chief caught with drugs worth Rs 20 crore

first_imgA team of Manipur’s Narcotics and Affairs of Border (NAB) on Wednesday caught the head of a tribal council and seven others for possessing 4 kg of heroin and 2.8 lakh Yaba tablets besides old notes of ₹500.Yaba is an intoxicant made from methamphetamine and caffeine. NAB officials said the seized drugs are worth ₹20 crore in the grey market.NAB officials said a team led by deputy superintendent of police Thounaojam Brinda caught Lhukhosei Zou, a Congress leader and chairman of Chandel Autonomous District Council, and the others from his residence at Lamphel in State capital Imphal. district borders Myanmar.NAB officials said the consignment of drugs, procured from adjoining Myanmar, was in the process of being trafficked to Meghalaya capital Shillong and other states in the Northeast. Chandellast_img read more