Load remaining images Load remaining images Last night, Electron and Tom Hamilton’s American Babies took to New York City, where they played the Highline Ballroom. The show, originally scheduled for the B.B. King Blues Club took over the new venue, with the American Babies putting on a stellar set to get the crowd primed and ready for Electron’s headlining the performance. The supergroup, composed of the Disco Biscuits’ Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner, Lotus’ Mike Greenfield, and Tom Hamilton of the American Babies and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and branded as “The best band that doesn’t exist,” lived up to the hype they’ve steadily built despite the scarcity of times the group has been able to come together to perform. You can check out photos from last night show below, courtesy of Stephen Olker and Andrew Blackstein.
Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer Kennedy assassination enthusiast Jack Gordon discusses his theories on the shooting.He also said there were discrepancies with doctor reports, and that the consensus of doctors’ reports made at the hospital in Dallas were covered up. There were also people seen in the background of video footage from the procession who may have acted as signals for when the president was believed to be shot, Gordon said.“I think the president was hit in the throat first, and then shortly after the throat was then hit in the back causing his arms to go up. I’m not convinced that the back shot exited. … [Governor John] Connelly in my mind is hit twice, separately.”As for who shot the president, Gordon said, “For me, for 40 years, it’s been a triangle. Three corners to the triangle: Anti-Castro Cubans, Organized Crime, CIA. And inside the triangle, in bold print, Cuba. They all have motive to kill President Kennedy, and Cuba is the common denominator.”The event also hoped to mitigate the medical expenses of junior Jessica Richardson, who suffers from Bronchorrhea asthma, a rare respiratory disease. “I have known Jessica and her family for over ten years,” family friend Daniel Gaito said when he introduced Richardson to the crowd. “Considering how often Jessica has been in the hospital and how many times she has been in a doctor’s office, one would think she would pursue a course of study far from the medical community. “However, she is about to complete her junior year in the nursing program. Countless times, she has been a patient. For her career, she desires to administer to others. Even when she is receiving treatment, she is studying so that she may treat others.”According to Gaito, the money raised will go toward Richardson’s treatment and give her the opportunity to travel to and from National Jewish Hospital in Denver, Colorado, which specializes in rare asthma cases. “She does not want anyone to feel sorry for her,” Gaito said. “She does not complain about her condition. She feels blessed and acknowledges that there are many worse off. She does not seek pity. Instead, she desires your assistance. “I am asking you to make an investment in Jessica. Normally, investments are quantitative in nature. But sometimes, investments are qualitative. … You invest in people. Jessica is my most worthwhile investment. Keeping her healthy and on her nursing trajectory is critical for this community.”Tags: Jack Gordon, Jessica Richardson, JFK, JFK lecture, Kennedy assassination Kennedy assassination expert Jack Gordon discussed the unexamined side of the shooting at a Saint Mary’s benefit lecture entitled “The Kennedy Assassination — Separating Truth from Myth,” on Thursday.Gordon’s presentation focused on the circumstances and investigations surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He said he believes there is more to the shooting than is normally taught. Gordon said he thinks there was more than one person who shot Kennedy because there is “overwhelming evidence that gunshots came from two different directions.” He cited video clips and photographs taken during the procession in Dallas to show that there were multiple shots fired at the president. Gordon said he believes the president was hit three or four times, and that it is possible there were six or seven shots total fired at the car.
Oatfields is bulldozed to the ground this week.Former journalist Amy Rose Harte made a stunning radio documentary which captured the last days of the famous Oatfields Sweet Factory in Letterkenny.In this specially-commissioned piece for Donegal Daily, Amy reveals how she felt when she heard the news that the famous building had been pulled to the ground this week.Amy Rose Harte This week Letterkenny said goodbye to one of the town’s most iconic landmarks with the demolition of Oatfield Sweet Factory.Local wisdom had it that the Oatfield rooftops could be seen from almost everywhere in Letterkenny, regardless of where one stood.But no more.Oatfields, a global success story, was a major employer of the town for many decades, often seeing different generations of the same family coming through the factory doors to boil sweets, churn chocolate or make toffee for a living. Eventually it grew to become Ireland’s oldest and largest confectionary manufacturer, and over time Oatfield Sweets simply became synonymous with Letterkenny.The once proud sweet factory.Such was its inherent place in our local community that for many years, a large siren that rang from the factory site at various points of the working day served as an alarm clock for people in the town.Many of its products – Orange Chocolates, Eskimo Mints, Winter Easers, Liquorice Bon-Bons – remain firm market favourites, while Irish Butter Toffees and Emeralds have never waned in popularity.Oatfield was one of the first manufacturing factories Letterkenny ever had. With its origins in 1927, it survived numerous recessions, and outlived facilities such as Fruit of the Loom, Hospira, and UNIFI, the Donegal Baking Company and many indigenous businesses.Within the industry itself, it was seen as a leader and a maverick, particularly during its heyday – the 60s and 70s. It was among the first manufacturers worldwide to introduce centres to boiled sweets, while its decision to introduce pre-packing equipment in 1968 is heralded as kick-starting the tradition of pre-packing sweets in Ireland.In recent years, Oatfield was still producing 30 varieties of sweets which were ‘‘pure’’, as the company’s motto suggested. Approximately five tonnes of high-boiled sweets, two tonnes of toffee, two tonnes of eclairs and 1.5 tonnes of Emerald toffees were being produced at the factory every day, with recipes largely the same as they were when the company was established by brothers Ira and Haddon McKinney in 1927. The company’s range of high boiled sweets – Eskimo mints, brandy balls and orange chocolates – were produced on Mondays and Tuesdays, while Emeralds, Irish butter toffees and eclairs were made on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Production in recent times was semi-automated, in comparison to years ago, when the sweets were handmade.In its last few years, while a considerable amount of production was being outsourced to the UK, activity at the factory was quite high, and the 52-strong workforce had their hands full. This was due to a major redesign of the company brand, and a recession-related boost in demand for sweets.But recent commercial pressures meant Oatfield’s days were numbered, and it was closed by current owners, Zed Candy, in May 2012.This week marked the final chapter in the charmed history of the sprawling brown-and-mustard edifice that will never be forgotten. Amy Rose Harte’s radio documentary, ‘Oatfields: A Short but Sweet History’ can be listened to here. Edited by Lochlainn Harte.Part 1: https://soundcloud.com/user2465491/oatfields-a-short-but-sweetPart 2: https://soundcloud.com/user2465491/oatfields-a-short-but-sweet-1WHEN LETTERKENNY’S SWEETNESS TURNED SOUR – A PERSONAL STORY was last modified: April 26th, 2014 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:Amy Rose HarteOatfields
Gardaí will carry out high visibility patrols and checkpoints across the roads this Bank Holiday weekend while some speed camera operators stage a strike.GoSafe camera van operators with SIPTU started a 72-hour work stoppage at 9am this Saturday morning. The industrial dispute centres on working conditions and union recognition.However, with less GoSafe cameras on the roads, Gardaí are warning motorists that they are redoubling speed checks this weekend to fill the gap. This weekend’s enforcement activities will specifically target and focus on off-peak hours between 10pm and 6am. Motorists are being warned not to drive under the influence of an intoxicant, while recent studies have shown that 75% of road fatalities were found to return positive toxicology results for alcohol.Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary said, “This bank holiday weekend we want to keep people safe on our roads. Gardaí will be out in force with high visibility patrols and checkpoints and we would be appealing to people not to drive under the influence of an intoxicant or in excess of the speed limit. “Our enforcement activity this weekend will be data driven and is based on research. We are working closely with our partners in the RSA to ensure people are safe.”Gardaí ramp up speed checks during GoSafe strike was last modified: October 26th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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)
You have to give credit to anyone who tackles a big problem head-on, regardless of whether you agree with their solution. Two recent papers take on one of evolution’s biggest challenges: the Cambrian Explosion. Assuming the evolutionary timeline, this represents a “brief” 5 million year period back 530 million years ago when most of the major animal phyla appeared. It was called an “explosion” of evolutionary emergence even decades ago, when scientists thought the interval was eight times longer, or 40 million years. More refined dating estimates have only exacerbated this problem which was known even in Darwin’s time. Somewhere between 48% and 82%, most likely around two thirds, of all animal phyla (major groupings) and subphyla appeared in this period, fully formed, and without ancestors. At most four had possible precursors up to 40 million years earlier in the Precambrian, but these are doubtful (e.g., see 08/19/2004, 12/23/2002). How brief was this explosion of life? According to Meyer, Ross, Nelson and Chien,1 if the entire evolutionary timeline were compressed into a 24-hour day, the Cambrian Explosion would represent one minute, or 0.11% of the timeline. Even if that estimate were an order of magnitude off – ten minutes, representing 50 million years – the comparative brevity of the interval would be still be remarkable. In that blink of a geologic eye, the world saw the emergence of molluscs, echinoderms, brachiopods, jellyfish, worms, arthropods (like trilobites) and many other complex organisms, compared to the prior three billion years or more when, except for a few multicelled organisms like flatworms and sponges, single-celled organisms ruled the world. To be fair, the Cambrian examples of the new phyla seem primitive by comparison to later representatives. The first chordates (those with a notochord or simple nerve chord) looked like worms, although representatives of early jawless fish (subphylum vertebrata) have been found recently in the early Cambrian strata (01/30/2003, 08/21/2002). Think how diverse the vertebrates became: everything from giraffes to turtles to hummingbirds and horses. Later arthropods in the fossil record include flying insects and lobsters and spiders. Still, to have over two-thirds of all animal body plans appear so abruptly is astonishing. The new Cambrian animals had specialized tissues and organs, presupposing that huge increases in biological information and specialized functions appeared almost overnight. Evolution isn’t supposed to happen this way. Darwin’s book presented a slow, gradual tree of life branching from ever more primitive ancestors. Where are the transitional forms? Punctuated equilibria theory has a similar problem – just on a more jerky scale. Since the Origin of Species, evolutionists have admitted that the Cambrian Explosion is one of their most vexing problems (see 07/29/2004, 12/22/2005). Intelligent design theorists and creationists have not hesitated to remind them that the Cambrian fossil record doesn’t look like evolution; it looks like creation. A recent paper tackling this problem was published by Eric Davidson (Caltech) and Douglas Erwin (National Museum of Natural History, DC) in Science.2 They mention the difficulty somewhat delicately: “A notable feature of the paleontological record of animal evolution is the establishment by the Early Cambrian of virtually all phylum-level body plans.” (Emphasis added in all quotes.) Their explanation revolves around gene regulatory networks (GRNs). “Development of the animal body plan is controlled by large gene regulatory networks (GRNs), and hence evolution of body plans must depend upon change in the architecture of developmental GRNs,” they begin. Some of these networks appear hierarchical, and the “kernels” are resistant to change. Consequently, they argue, “Conservation of phyletic body plans may have been due to the retention since pre-Cambrian time of GRN kernels, which underlie development of major body parts.” This, however, seems to focus on what didn’t change, not what did. Nevertheless, they think they are on the right track, compared with earlier explanations:Classic evolutionary theory, based on selection of small incremental changes, has sought explanations by extrapolation from observed patterns of adaptation. Macroevolutionary theories have largely invoked multi-level selection, among species and among clades. But neither class of explanation provides an explanation of evolution in terms of mechanistic changes in the genetic regulatory program for development of the body plan, where it must lie.Photos in the article show some of the diverse body plans of Cambrian animals. Their explanation of body plan diversification takes on a distinctive cybernetic flavor. By picturing genetic networks as “kernels” resistant to change (because “change in them is prohibited on pain of developmental catastrophe”), with “plug-ins” that get co-opted to developmental programs, “switches” that turn on these programs and so act as “input/output (I/O) devices” within the network, and even “differentiation gene batteries,” they envision a multi-level architecture, in which changes can have anywhere from dramatic to fine-tuning effects depending on what level it occurs. All this computer lingo, however, still sounds more like design than evolution. Smart people design computers and networks. Do Davidson and Erwin succeed in getting unaided natural forces to surprise the world with the sudden appearance of new complex animals? A key to their answer lies in assuming a “deep divergence” in genetic networks a hundred million years earlier. (Another key must, alas, await future discoveries.)We predict that when sufficient comparative network data are available, there will be found conserved network kernels similar in complexity and character to those of Fig. 2 [examples of “putative GRN kernels”], which program the initial stages of development of every phylum-specific body part and perhaps of superphylum and pan-bilaterian body parts as well. It would follow [sic] that these kernels must have been assembled during the initial diversification of the Bilateria [animals with bilateral symmetry]and have retained their internal character since. Critically, these kernels would have formed through the same processes of evolution as affect the other components, but once formed and operating to specify particular body parts, they would have become refractory to subsequent change. Molecular phylogeny places this evolutionary stage in the late Neoproterozoic when Bilateria begin to appear in the fossil record, between the end of the Marinoan glaciation at about 630 million years ago and the beginning of the Cambrian. Therefore the mechanistic explanation for the surprising fact that essentially no major new phylum-level body parts have evolved since the Cambrian may lie in the internal structural and functional properties of GRN kernels: Once they were assembled, they could not be disassembled or basically rewired, only built on to. Between the periphery of developmental GRNs and their kernels lies the bulk of the network architecture. Here we see skeins of special cross-regulatory circuitry, plug-ins, and I/O connections; and here is where have occurred the changes in network architecture that account for the evolutionary novelties [sic] attested in the fossil record of animals.Their conclusion is that there are at least three hierarchical levels of network architecture, “with extremely different developmental consequences and rates of occurrence.” The alert reader will notice, however, that the explanation above focuses on stasis of the kernels, and elsewhere only assumes that evolution somehow came up with all the highly diverse body plans in the other parts of the network. Meyer et al. pre-criticized this explanation by saying that the amount of genetic information required would be astronomical, and by saying the “deep time” supposition lacks any fossil evidence. They also pointed out that the molecular comparisons used to support divergence in deep time give highly different results, depending on whose data compares which genes. One notable part of Davidson and Erwin’s conclusion is that it differs markedly from “current microevolutionary thinking” that assumes change occurs in a “temporally homogeneous way.” They argue, instead, that “different levels of change that have occurred in evolution are imperfectly reflected at different levels of Linnean classification,” i.e., from species up through families up to phyla, “and we think that these inhomogeneous events have been caused by architectural alterations in different locations in the underlying GRNs.” Architectural alterations – is that a euphemism for mutations? They use the word alterations for all the other levels of the network, too. Here comes their cadenza. Amidst all the machine and network language, look for any unguided mechanisms that explain the origin of new body plans:To the extent that kernel formation underlies critical morphological innovations, some kernels must indirectly be responsible for major events in Neoproterozoic niche construction. Motility, predation, digestion, and other canonical features of the Bilateria followed from the evolutionary appearance of the genetic programs [sic] for the respective body parts. These innovations became an engine of change that irreversibly altered the Earth’s environment and, thus, the probability of success of subsequent evolutionary changes. We believe that experimental examination of the conserved kernels of extant developmental GRNs will illuminate the widely discussed but poorly understood problem of the origination of animal body plans in the late Neoproterozoic and Cambrian and their remarkable subsequent stability.So, in other words, we have the framework for a new theory, and a lot of work remains to be done – stay tuned. But would this answer be enough to silence the ID critics? Paul Nelson of the Discovery Institute doesn’t think so. He posted an anecdote on Evolution News about how he had met Eric Davidson years ago and heard him admit that single base-pair mutations would not produce genetic networks. He also quoted Davidson asserting that “Neo-Darwinism is dead.” After reading this latest Davidson paper, Nelson noticed a problem for getting new information into the system: “If changing the wiring takes down the whole system, well, then, obviously the wiring can’t change – a developmental instance of what has come to be known as the Principle of Continuity.” Another, more complete survey of the Cambrian Explosion and possible solutions has been made available in a preprint to the upcoming 2006 Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science. Visit a future entry for a look at whether this paper succeeds in countering what Darwin called “the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory.”31Stephen C. Meyer, Marcus Ross, Paul Nelson and Paul Chien, “The Cambrian Explosion: Biology’s Big Bang,” Darwin, Design and Public Education (ed. John Angus and Stephen C. Meyer), Michigan State Univ. Press, 2003, pp. 323-402. This is a good semi-technical overview of the Cambrian Explosion problem and evolutionary attempts to explain it away. The timeline analogy by paleontologist Jun-Yuan Chen is mentioned on p. 326. See also the Discovery Institute Fact Sheet (PDF) about the Cambrian Explosion.2Eric Davidson and Douglas Erwin, “Gene Regulatory Networks and the Evolution of Animal Body Plans,” Science, 10 February 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5762, pp. 796 – 800, DOI: 10.1126/science.1113832.3Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, ch. 10: “But just in proportion as this process of extermination has acted on an enormous scale, so must the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed, be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the fossil record.” Yet 140 years has not filled in these gaps, as Darwin had hoped; in fact, the situation has only become worse. Most paleontologists now admit that the fossil record is essentially complete; most new finds fit within existing categories and do not fill in the gaps; see 10/25/2002 2nd entry and 02/14/2005 entry).Ha! Another example of Darwinian hand-waving. It’s worth the effort of learning a little scientific jargon to see how these spinmeisters work their magic. Imagine some hypothetical “architectural alterations” coming up with the inconceivably complex functions of motility, predation, digestion and every other piece of hardware and software a Cambrian animal needed to live and reproduce. Unbelievable faith. The bottom line: this paper is constructed on euphemisms for random mutations and natural selection, sprinkled with plagiarized jargon about networks, engines, I/O modules, kernels, plug-ins and other intelligent-design concepts. Any fossil evidence? Nope. Any realistic genetic mechanism that could produce a trilobite with complex eyes (09/18/2003) or a starfish, or a calcified shell (06/26/2003), or an animal with a backbone and nervous system? Nothing but a vivid imagination, verbal magic and the power of belief (e.g., 10/25/2002). Go get ’em, ID.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Pune: Nine months after city-based whistleblower Hemant Gavande filed a complaint against former Maharashtra Revenue Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Eknath Khadse in connection with a case of alleged land grab, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Maharashtra anti-corruption bureau (ACB) to investigate and file an FIR against Mr. Khadse.It was Mr. Gavande’s accusation that brought to light Mr. Khadse’s alleged transactions involving a prime plot of land under the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in Bhosari. He had lodged a police complaint against Mr. Khadse, his wife Mandakini, and his son-in-law Girish Chaudhari, at Pune’s Bund Garden police station on May 30 last year.After months of investigation, M.K. Bahaddarpure, a senior police inspector at the police station, filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday stating that “no prima facie proof could be found against Mr. Khadse”, following which an FIR can not be lodged.In a letter to Mr. Gavande, Mr. Bahaddarpure said that owing to the lack of proof, no FIR can be lodged.Clean chit quashedThe court also slammed the Bund Garden police’s ‘clean chit’ to the former Minister.The court has directed that the matter be transferred to the ACB within a week, following which the agency would probe and file an FIR against Mr. Khadse.Speaking to The Hindu Mr. Gavande said, “I have full faith in the ACB and the High Court’s directive is an indication of hope. It proved that any politician, no matter how high, ought not to misuse his position.”Mr. Gavande had alleged a pre-meditated “criminal conspiracy” between Mr. Khadse, his kin, and the original owner of the plot of land, Abbas Rasool Ukani.According to Mr. Gavande, the original valuation of the plot, according to the sub-registrar, stood at ₹31 crore, as opposed to Mr. Khadse’s figure of Rs. 3.75 crore. Mr. Gavande alleged that the value of the property when Mr. Khadse’s kin applied for compensation would stand at Rs. 65 crore, twice the original market valuation (calculated as per the compensation under the new Land Acquisition policy of 2013).
The Bharatiya Janata Party in Assam has registered a complaint against a porn site that used a variant of its uniform resource locator (URL) or web address.The party unit was alarmed when internet users found a website using the domain www.bjpassam.org that offered pornographic content.“We informed the Special Branch of the police, whose cyber cell is expected to follow it up,” a BJP leader said.Some in the BJP did not rule out any mischief by “vested interests” but spokesperson Roopam Goswami said the party’s IT cell traced the site to Kenya.“I think someone created a fake website to malign the party. This objectionable site is registered in Kenya and has tweaked our web address,” Mr. Goswami said.The State BJP’s URL is http://assam.bjp.org/index.php, he said.
PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening LATEST STORIES Vargas eyes ‘controversial’ changes to POC charter, including age limit for officials Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next National University battles defending champion Ateneo to open second round action of the UAAP Season 81 juniors basketball tournament on Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre.The Bullpups (6-1) hope to score a repeat of their 78-62 first-round victory in their 3 p.m. duel with the Blue Eaglets.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Far Eastern University-Diliman and Adamson U, bunched in a three-way with Ateneo in second place at 5-2, clash at 11 a.m.The NU-Ateneo showdown will also feature giants Kai Sotto, the Ateneo center who is leading the season MVP race, and NU’s Carl Tamayo.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsIn their first-round duel last Dec. 15, Tamayo tallied a double-double effort of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Sotto paced the Eaglets with 23 points and 13 boards. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño MOST READ Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue View comments
Day Two was moving day at the NSWTA State Cup with Men’s and Women’s scrambling for the all important finals positions.In the Men’s Open, Wests have swept before them with five wins from five games. Coach Tony Trad is confident about this tournament but they will have to be on their best as they cross over and face the other teams from the Pool of Death.Penrith finished first in the other pool with a draw with Hornsby their only blemish. Time will tell if the young boys from the foot of the mountain can stand up on its biggest stage.Canterbury finished second and like a good horse is well position to make a sprint for the post. They seem set to met Wests in the semi-final which will be an epic game. Hornsby finished third and will have to beat Easts to progress to the semi-finals where they are likely to face Penrith. In the Women’s, Easts have come through the heavy preliminary workload in the best position. Wollongong have been in good form but it should be another year before they make the final with Easts favoured to meet Canterbury in the big onme who play Wests in the other semi.Further results can be found from the NSWTA State Cup website – http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?assoc=856&pID=14
By BEN HARRISThere is more to the 2013 X-Blades National Touch League than winning the title.Spots in state and national representative teams are also up for grabs.For Touch NSW general manager Dean Russell, the NTLs and its showpiece event, the Elite Eight Series, is a chance for NSW to reinforce their dominance over the rest of the states, in particular Queensland.At the State of Origin Series last September, the Maroons and Blues went head-to-head in a thrilling three-game series across 13 divisions.NSW won the overall series seven divisions to six but Queensland had the last laugh.The Maroons won two of the three opens divisions – the men’s and women’s – two games to one.It left a bad taste in the Blues’ camp, a taste that won’t go away until the two states meet again next year.“To be honest we were pleased to get the win but we weren’t happy with the way we performed as a state,” Russell said.“We have now reviewed that, we will be looking at putting together stronger teams again next year and this Elite Eight process is part of that.”Four teams in the Elite Eight Series are from NSW, while three are from Queensland and a combined side featuring players from outside of those states called the Alliance.NSW teams won the inaugural biennial series in both the men’s and women’s opens divisions in 2011.Russell is hoping history can repeat itself.“It is the best of the players in NSW who are available. Unfortunately not all of our players are available this year but we still have a great calibre of players here,” he said.“Both in the men’s and women’s categories we will be looking at both the Mets teams and the Country Mavericks teams. They are both pretty solid and have strong players, they have some excellent attacking and defensive options both ends of the field. “In the women’s, don’t be surprised if the NSW Scorpions cause a few upsets along the way, they have a really strong line-up of up and coming players and the Rebels teams are both development teams.”You can keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the 2013 X-Blades National Touch League in the following ways:Websiteswww.ntl.mytouchfooty.comwww.austouch.com.auSocial MediaFacebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #NTL2013)Instagram – search for ‘Touch Football Australia’YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballausRelated LinksState versus state