Just off Interstate 81, in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, sits the city of Lexington. I have visited many times and have long known it as great stop for outdoor adventure and beer, and the home of both Washington & Lee University and Virginia Military Institute.Like other fans of Americana music, I will soon be referring to it as the hometown of rising star Vivian Leva.Vivian Leva’s debut record, Time Is Everything, was released earlier this month on Free Dirt Records. Rich with hints of bluegrass and classic country, this new collection of tunes is earning Leva favorable comparisons to notable Americana songstresses Gillian Welch, Aoife O’Donovan, and Sarah Jarosz.I was lucky enough to catch up with Vivian and let her dish about her hometown. Should you ever find yourself in Lexington, heed her advice and take advantage of this locals-only insight. These destinations would make for a great day in her town.BRO – Best place for live music?VL – My favorite place to hear live music is undoubtedly Lime Kiln. It’s really the best place to go for miles around Lexington. They always bring in great acts and the environment, since it’s an outdoor theater, is perfect for a summer evening of music.BRO – Favorite eatery, and what should I order?VL – Pronto Gelateria is my go-to lunch spot. Although the menu is limited, it has all the things I want: cappuccino, caprese sandwiches (the prosciutto and goat cheese is great!), and gelato.BRO – Best cup of coffee?VL – If you want a plain old coffee, Pronto is the place to go. If you’re into espresso drinks, then it’s definitely Lexington Coffee Shop. They make a mean latte.BRO – Favorite local outdoor adventure?VL – In the summer, I love going swimming at Panther Falls. It’s just a little ways outside of Lexington and right near the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s beautiful there, and there’s even a secret underwater tunnel that leads right under the waterfall. It’s the perfect place for picnic and swimming, especially on days when it’s not too crowded.BRO – Best late night hang?VL – Waffle House. The perfect end to any late night . . . or morning.Vivian Leva is up north of the border right now with a run of shows in Canada over the next few nights. She returns stateside with stops in Minnesota and Wisconsin next week. For more info on when Vivian will be on a stage near you or how you can grab a copy of Time Is Everything, check out her website.Be sure to take a listen to the title track of Vivian’s new record, along with brand new tunes from Erika Wennerstrom, Mermaid Motor Lounge, and Lissie on this month’s Trail Mix.
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Published on October 9, 2014 at 12:29 am Contact Phil: [email protected] | @PhilDAbb Facebook Twitter Google+ Scott Shafer didn’t look happy, but Wayne Williams knew how to cheer him up.The nose tackle stopped the head coach as he walked through the Syracuse locker room following a practice a week before the Orange’s opener in August.Williams weighed 365 pounds when he arrived at Syracuse early in 2014, and 315 was the goal the SU coaches set for him by season’s start.Williams brought Shafer over to a scale and stepped on it. It read 312.“I think we probably had one of those practices,” Williams said. “I just gave him some good news. He was like, ‘That’s my boy.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“He gave me a pat on the back and went out there with a smile.”It took Williams more time and more effort than originally planned, but he’s slowly starting to contribute to SU’s top-50 run defense. In his first year at Syracuse (2-3, 0-1 Atlantic Coast), the 6-foot-4 junior has cracked Syracuse’s two-deep at the nose tackle position for the second week in a row after falling off the previous two weeks.Williams has logged eight tackles on the year and in the Orange’s loss to Louisville on Friday, recovered a fumble and made three tackles, two of which were unassisted.But none of Williams’ ongoing contributions would be possible if he hadn’t dedicated himself to dropping 50 pounds since the beginning of the calendar year.“Wayne did a nice job following the program,” Shafer said. “Now he’s at the point where he’s really giving us some good reps on tape and he’s had the ability to play much longer, much harder, much more consistent.“It’s nice to see a young man begin to find himself like Wayne has on the football field.”After Lincoln High School, Williams went across Brooklyn, New York to ASA College and committed to Syracuse in May 2012 as part of the Orange’s 2013 recruiting class.Academics delayed his arrival at SU until this January. But upon that arrival, the SU coaches discovered that Williams had some weight to trim.He weighed 365 pounds — the result of eating “good mama food,” he said, and slacking on his workout routine — and hadn’t learned how to play team football.“The bar was set extremely high for him. Was that realistic coming in here? Probably not,” said SU defensive line coach Tim Daoust. “He needed to come in here, get a dose of reality that he had to start back over at the bottom and work his way up. That was hard to swallow at the beginning.”Williams said there was no expectation from the coaches when he got to SU. And they weren’t upset or disappointed about his weight, he added, as long as he trimmed down.Will Hicks, Assistant Athletics Director for Athletic Performance, essentially became Williams’ personal trainer for the summer.“He didn’t care about anybody else but me for that whole summer,” Williams said. “I told Coach Hicks when I was young and a loudmouth coming up here, ‘I want to be the best D-tackle to ever play here.’ And he’s been making me eat those words ever since I stepped here.”Williams spent hours each day on a StairMaster, doing four sets of 20-minute sessions. He removed cheese and most breads from his diet and replaced them with more salad. He hasn’t had a soda since coming to SU, he said.Though Williams still needs to work on his strength, he feels the difference when he’s moving around on the field, particularly in his immediate movements off the snap. Still, there was a learning curve that sometimes went beyond the physical adjustments.In August, Daoust kicked an agitated, banged-up Williams out of a training camp drill.At the high school and junior college level, he said, the coaches’ thinking process was, “Let Wayne do what he wants to do, he’ll make a big play.”“Here, I had to know everybody has a gap,” Williams said, “everybody has an assignment and stay on that assignment.”His biggest improvement with the Orange has been in cutting down on missed assignments, he said. He’s learned to stay in his gap and broken his old habit of giving up on plays once the ball carrier passes him.Williams is pushing himself to learn the intricacies of the Orange’s “Okie” package, a 3-3-5 configuration, so he can expand his role beyond being a run-stopper in the base defense on first and second downs.If he can do that effectively, he can please Shafer even more than he did by stepping on a scale.“They didn’t believe that I was losing so much weight,” Williams said. “I’m like, ‘Coach, I’m doing it.’” Comments
A well-known Lough Eske Castle employee is celebrating after winning the Lady Nuala competition at the Donegal Town Summer Festival.Lough Eske Castle, a Solís Hotel & Spa are delighted and proud to announce that Ms Emma Byrne their Lead Spa Therapist has won the annual Ms Lady Nuala Competition. The Donegal Town Summer Festival took place over July 1st – July 3rd a weekend packed with festivities, music, and family fun including the well-known annual Lady Nuala Competition.Emma, from Killybegs, has worked at Lough Eske Castle for the past seven years and has developed her career from strength to strength.Renowned for her extensive range of skills in Spa Therapy and Make Up artistry Emma is a true asset and contributor to Lough Eske Castle’s Award Winning Spa Solís.Emma said, ‘I am shocked and privileged that I have won this year’s Lady Nuala competition. Having worked at Lough Eske Castle for the past 7 years it is a true honour to bring back to the Castle such an established local competition’. Seán Carney, General Manager, ‘Speaking on behalf of the Ladies and Gentlemen at Lough Eske Castle, I would like to express my sincere congratulations and gratitude to Ms Emma Byrne on not only representing the Hotel but winning this year’s annual Lady Nuala Competition, at the Donegal Town Summer Festival’EMMA IS QUEEN OF LOUGH ESKE CASTLE AFTER WINNING FESTIVAL COMPETITION was last modified: July 5th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalLough Eske Castle
As we proceed into the age of genomics, the DNA codes of more and more animals are coming into focus. The genomes of humans, chimpanzees, mice, chickens, dogs, rats and pufferfish have been sequenced so far, and more are planned. Evolutionists expected the ancestry of all living things to be traceable in the genetic code by comparing the DNA of distant vs. closely-related species, but the task has proven far more complicated than expected. One recent finding has evolutionists really scratching their theoretical heads, as summarized in the May 28 issue of Science:There are 481 segments longer than 200 base pairs (bp) that are absolutely conserved (100% identity with no insertions or deletions) between orthologous regions of the human, rat, and mouse genomes. Nearly all of these segments are also conserved in the chicken and dog genomes, with an average of 95 and 99% identity, respectively. Many are also significantly conserved in fish. These ultraconserved elements of the human genome are most often located either overlapping exons in genes involved in RNA processing or in introns or nearby genes involved in the regulation of transcription and development. Along with more than 5000 sequences of over 100 bp that are absolutely conserved among the three sequenced mammals, these represent a class of genetic elements whose functions and evolutionary origins are yet to be determined, but which are more highly conserved between these species than are proteins and appear to be essential for the ontogeny of mammals and other vertebrates.Why is this unexpected? According to evolutionary theory, mutations accumulate over time. Evolutionists believe that fish, birds and mammals all diverged on the family tree and went their separate ways millions of years ago. Why, then, are there these thousands of sequences that have not changed at all? Mutations, in theory, could be harmful, beneficial, or neutral. If harmful, natural selection should weed them out. If beneficial, natural selection should preserve them, as Darwin said in a classic passage on gradualism: “Natural selection is scrutinizing the slightest variations, rejecting those that are bad, preserving and adding up all that are good.” But most evolutionists also consider the gray area between, the “neutral” mutations that cause neither benefit nor harm. Exposed to mutagens in the environment over vast ages, each section of the genome should accumulate neutral mutations, resulting in genetic drift. Presumably, the amount of drift between two species (like rats and humans) would be a function of the time since their lineages diverged, assuming a “molecular clock” ticking with a steady mutation rate. (Is the molecular clock reliable? See 04/20/2004 headline.) Yet there are significant segments of DNA that are 100% identical in the mammalian genomes, despite evolutionists’ belief their ancestries diverged tens of millions of years ago. The puzzle is even more striking when fish and bird genomes show 95% or greater sequence identity with mammals in these ultraconserved elements for 300 to 400 million years. How could this be, especially when some parts of the genomes appear to evolve rapidly? The Darwinian explanation is that the ultraconserved regions have been subject to “purifying selection.” This presumes that certain stretches of DNA are so important, so indispensable, that natural selection protects them from change and is vigilant about correcting mutations. Thus, purifying selection is the converse of natural selection: instead of selecting positively for a new function, it selects negatively against change. Yet the authors of this paper do not seem completely satisfied with this explanation. For one thing, not all ultraconserved elements are in the exons of active genes that code for proteins. Many exist in introns and other regions thought to be “junk DNA.” Why would natural selection preserve junk to a high degree of accuracy for millions of years? The implication is that it’s not junk at all, but something vital to the regulation of gene expression.Non-exonic ultraconserved elements are often found in “gene deserts” that extend more than a megabase. In particular, of the non-exonic elements, there are 140 that are more than 10 kilobases (kb) away from any known gene, and 88 that are more than 100 kb away. (See also 10/16/2003 headline.)Indirect evidence suggests that these segments, far distant from genes, are important for regulating embryonic development or act as “distal enhancers” of the genes. Simple scaffolding they are not. It is true that these ultraconserved elements do not extend to distant species, such as between humans and jellyfish or fruit flies; yet extreme conservation is apparent even among the more primitive lineages, going back to the earliest chordates. The best that evolutionists can explain is that rapid evolution occurred in these regions in the past, then stopped in its tracks: “the bulk of the ultraconserved elements represent chordate innovations that evolved fairly rapidly at first but then slowed down considerably, becoming effectively ‘frozen’ in birds and mammals.” When the scientists searched for conservation in shorter segments, they found it everywhere:A more extensive analysis of paralogs, based on a recent global clustering of highly conserved noncoding human DNA, reveals several further highly conserved intronic and intergenic elements in functionally equivalent positions relative to paralogous genes. These were not classified as ultraconserved by our stringent criteria. Indeed, if we merge alignment blocks of 200 bases, each with at least 99% identical columns, we obtain 1974 “highly conserved” elements up to 1087 bp long in the human…. If instead we demand at least a 100-bp exact match between humans and rodents, we get more than 5000 highly conserved elements. Tens of thousands more are found at lower cutoffs; for example, there is a 57-bp exactly conserved sequence overlapping an alternatively spliced exon of the WT1 gene which is invariant in mammals and in chickens and is largely conserved in fishes (fig. S1). The percentage of the conserved elements that overlap with a known coding region steadily rises from 14 to 34.7% as the length criteria defining these elements is reduced from 200 to 50 bp (table S6). If experiments with less conserved elements in recent studies are any indication, many of these shorter elements are also functional.The scientists put these findings into three possible explanations: (1) either strong purifying selection is 20 times better at correcting mutations in these regions, or (2) the mutation rate is 20 times slower, or (3) a combination of both. The importance of these regions must be extreme if the strong negative selection is the reason; does the conservation of active gene exons create structures that “must be extremely constraining over hundreds of bases of DNA”? Perhaps, but questions remain for either explanation. The article concludes on a question mark:On the other hand, if reduced mutation rates are the explanation, then the existence of regions of a few hundred bases with 20-fold reduced mutation rates would itself be quite novel. Although neutral mutation rates may vary depending on chromosomal location on a megabase scale, there is to our knowledge no evidence or precedent for the existence of short “hypomutable” or “hyperrepaired” neutral regions. Finally, the answer could also be a combination of negative selection and better repair in these regions, owing to some vital role that these elements play, such as self-regulating networks of RNA processing control in the case of exonic elements and self-regulatory networks of transcriptional control for non-exonic elements. In any case, the questions remain: What kind of elements associated with these processes would have arrived relatively early in chordate evolution and then become practically frozen in birds and mammals? And what mechanisms would underlie this, allowing them to resist virtually all further change?New Scientist June 3 reports an experiment the deepened the mystery: mice born without the some of the ultraconserved regions do just fine. This announcement produced “gasps of amazement” at a scientific talk, the article says, because it was assumed if they were so conserved, they must be important for survival. A team deleted 1000 highly conserved sequences shared between humans and mice, and found the lab mice to be virtually identical with normal mice in every measurement: growth, lifespan, metabolism, and overall development. One of the deleted segments was over 1.6 million DNA bases long. Perhaps backup copies exist on other chromosomes for redundancy. The article puzzles over why some of the ultraconserved regions showed higher levels of conservation than many genes. “What’s most mysterious is that we don’t know any molecular mechanism that would demand conservation like this,” one researcher said.1Bejerano et al., “Ultraconserved Elements in the Human Genome,” Science, Vol 304, Issue 5675, 1321-1325, 28 May 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1098119].It was supposed to be so easy. Where fossils and comparative anatomy failed to confirm Charlie’s story, the genes would come to the rescue. Now this. The only way the Darwinians can keep their story going now is to propose that evolution is both lightning-fast and then frozen. Somehow, brainless early chordates invented all kinds of elaborate molecular mechanisms, then put them under the Law of the Medes and the Persians; these regions of DNA could not be altered. Thenceforth, genomes underwent fantastic degrees of evolution by natural selection, creating flying reptiles, flying birds, flying mammals and flying fish, blue whales, giraffes, lizards, peacocks and people, while these ultraconserved regions, exposed to all the natural forces affecting the other parts of the genome, remained steadfast and immovable. Strong positive selection played fast and loose with genes, duplicating and recombining and mutating them and adding introns with seeming reckless abandon. Simultaneously, strong purifying selection kept the ultraconserved regions virtually untouched. All the while, genetic drift threw in a few neutral mutations at random that somehow didn’t touch the ultraconserved regions. Ockham would slash away like a knight at this convoluted concoction of explanations. These findings may shed additional light on the mystery of introns, those sections of DNA that the transcription machinery cuts out and apparently discards (see 09/03/2003, 09/12/2003, 05/10/2004 and 05/19/2004 headlines). It would seem evolutionists would predict just the important functional genes to be conserved, if anything; why would introns be conserved, unless they too are vital? There is clearly much we don’t know yet. While some differences between animal genes appear to be functions of their assumed ancestral distance, many others do not. The picture is getting very complicated for the Darwin Party. 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James’ ambitious dream seems to be attainable considering the massive wealth he has accumulated throughout his playing years.Apart from his multimillion-dollar salary, “The King” earns significantly from multiple endorsement deals and even has a lifetime deal with Nike. Khristian Ibarrola /raRELATED STORIES:Scottie Pippen throws shade at Steph Curry: ‘He isn’t the best Warrior right now’Warriors wary of LeBron as Cavs arrive for NBA FinalsADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Koy, Joel Banal forge new partnership built on trust Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV LATEST STORIES BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP View comments LeBron James AFP/GETTY IMAGESJudging from his complete domination on the court, it’s safe to say that LeBron James still has plenty more left in the tank and will be around the league in the foreseeable future.Still, the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player is already looking ahead, baring his ultimate aspiration upon retirement.ADVERTISEMENT BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR “I will own a team someday,” James told Ken Berger of The Athletic.“I think it’ll be cool. I’ll stay part of the game and still be able to put people in positions of power. I’ve always loved that, putting people in a position of power to feel like they can make a change and make things happen,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingFollowing the footsteps of his “Airness” Michael Jordan, the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar has shunned the idea of coaching one day, instead setting his sights on buying his own NBA franchise.Jordan, of course, purchased a minority share of his hometown team Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) in 2006, and majority ownership in 2010. BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games
What was supposed to be a legacy of Commonwealth Games in the city has turned out to be a model of neglect. Built at a cost of Rs 300 crore, Thyagraj Stadium near INA Colony was the venue for netball matches during the Games held in October 2010. Two years on, the Delhi government stadium seems to have lost its glory.Though high on aesthetics, the sports stadium today lacks even the basic equipment for various sports. The stadium doesn’t even have any coaches to impart training in table tennis, basketball and chess. Already, cracks are visible on the exterior sitting platforms/ stairs adjacent to the athletic track.S.R. Sawoo, Assistant Director of Education – who is in-charge of managing the stadium’s administration, claimed that all facilities were in full use. He said that 300 – 400 children had participated in stadium’s tennis, athletic, badminton, judo, gym and football training activities. “We are constantly striving to improve this, and also hope to get the coaches for other sports very soon,” Sawoo said.However, ground sources said that the stadium gets only around 100 students for athletic training every day. Worse still, it doesn’t have any athletic equipment either. This includes items related for sport training, hurdles, pole vaults, mattresses. “It is virtually impossible for students who are interested, in looking for something other than the basic in athletics,” the source said.In-fact, with the absence of lockers, tables or standard furniture, even a visit to the locker rooms at the stadium is an eye opener. The well-built facility also suffers from an apparent lack of maintenance and upkeep.advertisement”We have already held several big events like the T20 football and pre-Subroto football training. We eve rent our place to education sector related seminars and discussions – all according to procedures laid out by the government,” the official claimed.”From here, the best way forward for us would be to ensure that these facilities are utilised as much as possible. Also, the upkeep related issues need to be addressed now, when the stadium is still new,” the official said. The facility is now on the crossroads- waiting for a decisive, proactive decision by the state government.