Mysterious plants that thrive in darkness, steal food: Q&A with botanist Kenji Suetsugu

first_imgEnvironment, Forests, Green, Interviews, Orchids, Parasites, Plants, Research On Japan’s forest floors, there are plants that stay hidden and have given up on photosynthesis. These mycoheterotrophic plants are instead parasitic, drawing nutrition from the network of fungi running under the forest floor.For the past 10 years, Kenji Suetsugu, a botanist and associate professor at Japan’s Kobe University, has been on a mission to identify and document mycoheterotrophic plants across the country’s. His surveys have uncovered 10 previously undescribed species of these elusive plants.In a brief chat, Mongabay spoke with Suetsugu about the strange world of mycoheterotrophic plants, why it fascinates him, and why it’s an important indicator of ecosystem health. When Kenji Suetsugu is out looking for plants in Japan’s forests, he’s not looking for the usual green ones. Instead, on dark forest floors, where little light penetrates, Suetsugu painstakingly searches for tiny flowering plants that have more or less given up on photosynthesis and lack chlorophyll, the characteristic green pigment that helps plants make their own food from sunlight.He’s drawn in particular to plants that are mycoheterotrophic: parasitic plants that take their quota of nutrition from networks of fungi under the forest floor, without giving anything back to the fungi.The problem, however, is that these plants are incredibly hard to find. They tend to stay hidden underground and show up above ground only to flower or fruit, barely peeking through the leaf litter. This means that pinpointing them requires top-notch plant identification skills, special forest-floor sleuthing abilities, the support of past experiences, and some chance encounters.For the past 10 years, Suetsugu, a botanist and associate professor at Japan’s Kobe University, has been on a mission to identify and document mycoheterotrophic plants across Japan’s forests. In his surveys he’s uncovered 10 previously undescribed species of these elusive plants. A few of these species are especially unique, Suetsugu says, such as the orchids that never bloom.Gastrodia amamiana is one such orchid species that Mongabay wrote about recently. The plant, known from the islands of Amami-Oshima and Tokunoshima, not only relies completely on fungi for nutrition, it produces flowers that never seem to open up. Flowers typically need to bloom for a plant to be pollinated by wind or insects and other animals. Yet despite this apparent lack of pollination by other agents, this orchid species still produces fruits.Gastrodia amamiana, a recently described mycoheterotrophic plant from Japan that bears fruit without opening its flowers. Image courtesy of Kenji Suetsugu.Suetsugu says that while mycoheterotrophic plants tend to stay hidden, their presence is a strong indicator of a forest’s health. These plants need fungi to survive, and the fungi in turn are nourished and supported by the network of trees in the forest that they’re in a symbiotic relationship with. Disturbances to forests can upset these networks, causing the mycoheterotrophic plants to disappear. In fact, many species are now rare and threatened with extinction, Suetsugu says.In one of the forests where G. amamiana was discovered, for example, Suetsugu has seen evidence of tree thinning. The dry soil resulting from this disturbance could dry out the fungi that the orchid depends on, he said recently in a statement.In a brief chat, Mongabay spoke with Suetsugu about the strange world of mycoheterotrophic plants, and why it fascinates him.Mongabay: What got you interested in plants?Kenji Suetsugu: I was born in Nara City, Nara Prefecture and grew up near Nara Park, which has a rich and unique biota. My early childhood experiences of this habitat stimulated my interest in biological interactions and the natural history of intriguing organisms in terrestrial ecosystems.Kenji Suetsugu is a botanist and associate professor at Japan’s Kobe University. Image courtesy of Kenji Suetsugu.When and why did you start studying mycoheterotrophic plants? What fascinates you the most about them?The color green is a defining feature of the plant kingdom, and plants are generally assumed to have an autotrophic lifestyle [capable of making their own food]. However, several lineages of land plants have evolved dependence on other organisms for their nutrition and can consequently be categorized as heterotrophs. Their bizarre morphology and ecology fascinates me.In fact, most terrestrial plants, from bryophytes to angiosperms, form mutualistic relationships with fungi, whereby the plant provides carbon source [or sugars that they make] in exchange for essential mineral nutrients. Mutualisms, including mycorrhizal mutualisms, are often characterized as a balanced, reciprocal arrangement for the exchange of resources between two distantly related organisms. Such relationships also provide a window for exploitation by parasitic species that can acquire a resource without providing anything in return. Mycoheterotrophs are dependent on their fungal hosts for the essential supply of carbon resources in which the normal polarity of sugar movement from plant to fungus is reversed.Therefore, mycoheterotrophs are an interesting example of cheaters. Unraveling the ecological and evolutionary processes that govern the transition of autotrophic plants to heterotrophic plants will provide the deeper understanding of the dynamics of the mutualism and parasitism. I have wanted to elucidate how and why plants have lost their photosynthetic capacity and have been studying them for more than 10 years.Could you tell us about your project to document mycoheterotrophs in Japan?The distribution and diversity of mycohetrotrophs remains underestimated because plants are easily overlooked in the field due to their short flowering seasons and small size. Therefore, we are investigating mycoheterotrophic flora to enable us to study further.Monotropastrum humile, a mycoheterophic plant, lacks chlorophyll and steals nutrition from fungi. Image courtesy of Kenji Suetsugu.How do you find a mycoheterotrophic plant?Since mycoheterotrophic plants are very difficult to find unless they are flowering when botanical surveys are conducted; trained skills are required to identify the species characters. Actually, discovery of these taxa requires rich experiences and knowledge. It’s difficult to convey this in a detailed way. No special tools [are needed to study them], but a species-rich and old forest can be an indicator of mycoheterotrophic plants.How many new species of mycoheterotophic plants have you described from Japan so far?10 species.Some of these species you’ve described have flowers that never open. Could you tell us about how these plants survive without sunlight and pollination by other agents?Actually, some species such as Gastrodia amamiana were particularly special discoveries because it is both completely mycoheterophic, deriving its nutrition not from photosynthesis but from host fungi, and completely cleistogamous, producing flowers that never bloom. Cleistogamy, literally meaning ‘a closed marriage,’ refers to plants that produce flowers in which self-fertilization occurs within closed buds. However, this is a somewhat risky strategy as the selfing progeny are also less able to adapt to changes in spatially and temporally heterogeneous habitats. The evolution of complete cleistogamy is somewhat of a mystery, since outcrossing should overcome the negative effects such as the accumulation of deleterious mutations and a slowdown in the rate of adaptation. The discovery of species with flowers that never open provides a useful opportunity to further investigate the ecological significance, evolutionary history, and genetic mechanisms underlying the mysterious evolution.What’s your favorite mycoheretrophic plant from Japan, and why?Gastrodia takeshimensis. This is the first species I discovered and described.The description of a new flowering plant species in Japan is itself a very rare event as the flora of this region have been thoroughly investigated. Gastrodia takeshimensis was a particularly special discovery because it is both completely mycoheterotrophic and completely cleistogamous. It was really a happy moment.What are some challenges of studying this group of plants?The rarity and ephemeral status of the plants are challenging.What do you think about the conservation status of the mycoheterophic plants you’re documenting? Are some of them rare and in need of protection?Given that mycoheterotrophic plants are highly dependent on the activities of both the fungi and the trees that sustain them, they are particularly sensitive to environmental destruction. Therefore, many of them are endangered and in need of protection The genus Oxygyne, which includes species like O. yamashitae, for example, has one of the rarest plants in the world.In fact, it has been suggested that the species richness of these mycoheterotrophs provides a useful indicator of the overall floral diversity of forest habitats. A detailed record of the distribution of these vulnerable plants thus provides crucial data for the conservation of forests.Suetsugu described Sciaphila sugimotoi from Ishigaki Island in a study in 2017. Image courtesy of Kenji Suetsugu.Banner image of Thismia abei by Kenji Suetsugu. Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Tired of Old Gaia?  Try This: New Gaia

first_imgJames Lovelock gets the stage without flying fruit (yet) in the December 18 issue of Nature.1  His 1970-ish “living earth” view of evolution, the Gaia hypothesis, in which life and the earth co-evolve together as one big living system, gets a new screening as what might be called neo-Gaia in an unrefuted Concepts piece in the world’s most prestigious science journal.  But he hastens to emphasize, more than once, that Gaia is not in contention with the leading biological paradigm, and explains carefully what Gaia does not mean (emphasis added in all quotes):Gaia theory does not contradict darwinism, rather it extends it to include evolutionary biology and evolutionary geology as a single science [sic].  In Gaia theory, organisms change their material environment as well as adapt to it.  Selection favours the improvers, and the expansion of favourable traits extends local improvement and can make it global.  Inevitably there will be extinctions and losers, winners may gain in the short term, but the only long-term beneficiary is life itself.  Its persistence for over three billion years in spite of numerous catastrophes, internal or external, lends support to the theory.  I have never intended the powerful metaphor ‘the living Earth’ more seriously than the metaphor of ‘the selfish gene’.  I have used it, along with my neologism geophysiology, to draw attention to the similarity between Gaian and physiological regulation.So if Dawkins can use an anthropomorphic catch-phrase and get away with it, why can’t I, he seems to be saying.  James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis appear to be still smarting from reputations, deserved or not, that they (or their disciples) were imputing divine attributes to mother Earth and empowering the New Age movement.  They’ve learned their lesson, he claims, and modified Gaia according to valid criticisms.  New Gaia has been shown to be “fruitful and makes successful or useful predictions” which he displays in a table, and seems to be making a favorable comeback in some circles.    In his conclusion, however, he can’t seem to resist romanticizing, and politicizing, his pet theory, in picturesque prose, with Grandmother Nature gently nodding from her wheelchair in the background:As the Earth ages, the Sun’s heat ineluctably intensifies; in approximately one billion years the Earth will pass the limit of climatic stability and irreversibly return to inorganic chemistry.  Moreover, as it grows older the Earth system weakens, and before long a large planetesimal impact may throw our planet prematurely into its final hot, dry state.  A few thermophiles in oasis ecosystems might survive, but we could never recapture the abundant life and lush environment we now enjoy.  The Earth system is elderly and we should treat it with respect and care.    Gaia theory reconciles current thinking in evolutionary biology with that in evolutionary geology  It extends, not contradicts, Darwin’s vision, just as relativity enhances, not denies, Newtonian physics.  The theory is provisional, but provides an intellectual habitat where understanding of the Earth can evolve and grow.  Perhaps its greatest value lies in its metaphor of a living Earth, which reminds us that we are part of it and that human rights are constrained by the needs of our planetary partners.1James Lovelock, “Gaia: the living Earth,” Nature 426, 769 – 770 (18 December 2003); doi:10.1038/426769a.Well, it’s going to be interesting to see the letters to the editor on this one.  Advice: stay out of the line of fire.  Maybe Nature has had it with Lovelock and Margulis’ incessant whining about how closed-minded establishment scientists are, and acquiesced, “All right already, here’s a forum, give us your best shot,” expecting Lovelock to implode in full public view.  It appears he did.    What’s funny about Gaia is not just its cute new-age, daisy-holding-hands metaphorical imagery, but the rancor it has generated among its adherents against the reigning Darwin Party.*  Like Simon Conway Morris’s demiurge orchestra-conductor model (see Dec. 7 headline), Gaia is just not mindless enough.  Darwinists hate minds.  They want a blind, aimless, purposeless, impersonal, mechanistic process from eternity to eternity.  Even our minds are supposed to be chemical illusions (see Oct. 3 headline).  Despite Lovelock’s valiant performance, trying to portray Gaia as an act without an actor, he blows it by talking about “the Earth system” being elderly and deserving of our respect.  One does not respect mindless, purposeless, undirected processes.  Darwin Party members in the audience will have a cow when he delivers his soliloquy about his pet theory being an extension to Darwinism comparable to relativity being an extension to Newtonian mechanics.    Well, Lovelock, you got your fifteen minutes on stage.  Gong.  Next.*For fun reading, look at the nasty things Margulis (and other evolutionists who are not deemed naturalistic enough) have said against the Darwin Party, as quoted in Henry Morris’s December commentary, “Willingly Ignorant,” from ICR.  If you think the Big Science establishment is open to unorthodox views, wait’ll you read these seething quotes.(Visited 40 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Ag pushing for USMCA passage

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest U.S. agriculture is making a big push to encourage Congress to move forward with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).Adopted to upgrade the North American Free Trade Agreement, USMCA was signed on Nov. 30, 2018. Mexico’s Senate ratified the trade deal in June, but legislation for USMCA has not been introduced in the United States Congress or in Canada. On Sept. 12, Farmers for Free Trade, Farm Bureau, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers, US Apple Association, National Milk Producers Federation, U.S. Dairy Export Council, Corn Refiners Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. and other American agriculture leaders joined with bipartisan members of Congress to rally for USMCA passage that is viewed as essential by much of agriculture.“We need Congress to pass the USMCA trade agreement to bring certainty to our already-positive trade relationship with our closest neighbors and build on that relationship with new opportunities and commitments. The benefits of the USMCA are clear. Estimates indicate we will gain more than $2 billion in additional farm exports and $65 billion in gross domestic product once the agreement is in place,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president, at the rally for passage of USMCA. “The farm economy is reeling from the trade war combined with weather challenges and six years of lower farm income. Farmers want and need a better trade outlook and passing USMCA is a great step forward. Thank you to the members of the House Agriculture Committee, including Chairman Peterson and Ranking Member Conaway, for their support and their participation in today’s Rally for USMCA. We look forward to working with them and others in Congress to get the deal passed.”Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of USDEC, addressed the rally and touted the improvements USMCA makes to NAFTA. In addition to other agriculture sector benefits in the agreement, USMCA includes several provisions that will greatly benefit the U.S. dairy industry. USMCA secures the valuable relationship U.S. dairy shares with Mexico while establishing new protections for common cheese names and makes important changes to Canada’s trade-distorting dairy policies, while also opening new opportunities for U.S. dairy exports to Canada.“USMCA provides a much-needed upgrade to the trade rules, securing a brighter future for the export of American-made food and agricultural products to our North American neighbors,” Vilsack said. “The positive impacts of this trade deal will be felt throughout the economy, as increased exports help drive jobs tied to food and agriculture production across the heartland.”The push from agriculture is coming from several fronts as Trump administration officials, trade groups and businesses also took to social media to convince House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to bring USMCA to a vote. Agriculture as an industry has been among the biggest advocates for USMCA passage, as 950 groups and businesses signed a letter in May calling on Congress to ratify the deal.In addition, more than 120 pork producers from across the country expressed USMCA support on Capitol Hill during NPPC’s Fall Legislative Action Conference (LAC).“Last year, Canada and Mexico took over 40% of the pork that was exported from the U.S. and they are expected to be a large percentage this year as well,” said David Herring, NPPC president. “USMCA will strengthen our strong economic ties with our North American neighbors. Preserving zero-tariff pork trade in North American market is especially important as U.S. pork producers are struggling as a result of retaliatory tariffs in China. We asked our representatives to do all they can to push for swift ratification of USMCA.”last_img read more

Vermont Legislators OK a Big Push for Renewables

first_imgLawmakers in Vermont are backing legislation that would require more than half of all utility sales to come from renewable sources by 2017.The Senate approved a bill that requires utilities to provide renewable electricity to customers and to come up with programs to help customers reduce their use of fossil fuels, The Burlington Free Press reported.Electric companies would be required to own renewable energy credits, or provide electricity from renewable sources, representing 55% of their sales by January 1, 2017. That fraction would rise to 75% by 2032. VT Digger reported that the bill, H.40, went on to Governor Peter Shumlin after clearing both the Senate and the House. The House had passed a similar bill back in March, according to an article posted at UtilityDive.The bill also cleared up some problems with the state’s program of renewable energy credits that had threatened to increase electric rates by 6% if left unresolved. Weaning customers off fossil fuelsIn addition to setting renewable energy goals, the bill would also require utilities to propose programs to help consumers reduce their use of fossil fuels and to present the proposals to the Public Service Board for review. Measures might include, for example, financing for energy-efficient heat pumps.The dozen or so utilities in the state with fewer than 6,000 customers would get a two-year reprieve from the provision on fossil fuels.“We see this as a truly innovative and forward-thinking aspect of the bill,” Dylan Zwicky of the Vermonth Public Interest Research Group told the Free Press. “We’ve done a lot of work to increase renewable electricity production in the state. The difficult nut to crack until this point has been carbon pollution from heating and transportation.”UtilityDive reported that the program, called the Renewable Energy Standard and Energy Transformation, also would encourage distributed generation in order to increase the reliability of the state’s electric grid, to reduce line losses, and to avoid having to upgrade the grid because of distribution problems.last_img read more

PH finishes 4th in Asian Baseball Championship

first_imgBSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf PLAY LIST 01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIEScenter_img Read Next Montalbo mum on costly inbound play in DLSU loss to Ateneo Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Without much expectations, the Philippines fought valiantly and settled for a fourth place finish in the 28th Asian Baseball Championship at Xinhuang Stadium in New Taipei City in Taiwan.The Filipino batters bowed to 2015 champions Korea, 15-0, in the battle for third on Sunday to wrap up their respectable run for a team largely comprised of homegrown talents.ADVERTISEMENT However, the powerhouse foes just got the better of the Filipino batters as they lost again to Chinese Taipei, 0-14, on Friday, and to Korea, 0-11, on Saturday.Though the Philippines failed to make it to the top three and earn a ticket to the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup next year, the campaign was still a source of pride for the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (PABA) with coach Egay delos Reyes calling the shots.The Filipinos drew standout performances from former Baseball Philippines MVP Joennard Pareja, reigning UAAP best pitcher Paulo Macasaet and shortstop Aids Bernardo of Ateneo, La Salle’s Carlos Munoz and Diego Lozano, Adamson’s Erwin Bosito and Mark Manaig, and NU’s Junmar Diarao.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Defying the odds, the squad largely made up of standouts from the UAAP gave it their all as they proudly fought for flag and country in the mound.The Philippines went 1-2 in Group A of the classification round after facing off against Asian baseball giants in the process.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Nationals dropped their tournament opener, 2-12, against home team and world number four Chinese Taipei on Monday, before rebounding with a confidence-boosting 8-5 win over Sri Lanka on Tuesday. The Filipinos, then, suffered a 3-18 beatdown at the hands of Korea to finish the group stage.But given a new lease on life to progress to the super round, the Philippines made the most of its opportunity, blanking Hong Kong, 10-0, in the do-or-die match on Thursday to move on.last_img read more

10 months agoArsenal boss Emery hasn’t forgotten Sevilla midfielder Banega

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal boss Emery hasn’t forgotten Sevilla midfielder Banegaby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery hasn’t forgotten about Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega.The Sun says Emery is set to launch an £18m January raid for Banega – the Argentine midfielder he’s worked with at Valencia and Sevilla.The offer will be tabled next month, but Serie A giants Inter Milan are also keen.The midfielder could act as a replacement for Aaron Ramsey, who is leaving the club on a free transfer next summer. last_img read more

Double Standard? Andrew Harrison’s Comment Was Stupid, But It Wasn’t Racist

first_imgSaturday night, after Kentucky lost its first and only game of the 2014-2015 college basketball season, sophomore guard Andrew Harrison made a big mistake at his team’s post-game press conference, uttering a very NSFW phrase while his microphone was turned on. Harrison, who is facing criticism for the transgression, has since apologized.If you missed it, Harrison, after listening to his teammate Karl-Anthony Towns get asked about Wisconsin big man Frank Kaminsky, muttered “f*** that n****” to himself. Undoubtedly, it was stupid. But it was not racist. And there is no double standard going on here.For some reason, a number of college basketball fans are making the argument that if the situation had been reversed, and it had been Kaminsky uttering those words to himself, he’d be labeled a racist. Any by that logic, because Harrison isn’t being labeled as a racist, and because he isn’t likely to face any serious punishment, there is a double standard going on here.We’re not making this up. There are hundreds, if not thousands of tweets about it.If Andrew Harrison was white, we’d have a national catastrophe on our hands. Talk about a double standard— Alex Petik (@MuskyMaster5033) April 5, 2015Such a double standard with race I hate it. Andrew Harrison says what he says and it doesn’t get blown up but if it was other way around…— Tyler Boyle (@theeroyalboyle) April 5, 2015If Frank K had said the EXACT same thing about Andrew Harrison, think it would’ve been swept under the rug? What a double standard!— Dtrain41 (@DaneHenderson1) April 5, 2015If Andrew Harrison isn’t kicked out of school it’s a double standard @KentuckyMBB— Lara McGlynn (@lalalaLaraxo) April 5, 2015Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 12.20.00 PMObviously, if Kaminsky, a white man, had called Harrison, an African American, the n-word, he’d have been (rightfully) labeled a racist. There’s no doubt there. But comparing this to the Oklahoma SAE issue is absolutely insane.Where’s the disconnect here? Whether or not you agree with it, many African Americans refer to each other using the n-word. It’s part of the hip-hop culture. It’s part of the locker room culture. Heck, even ESPN’s Michael Wilbon admits that he and his friends use the word to “endearingly” refer to each other. To be clear, there was nothing endearing about what Harrison said about Kaminsky. But in the context of the situation, if Harrison had said “F*** that dude”, he’d be essentially saying the same thing.Harrison acted like a sore loser, and again, he should never have said what he said. But there is no double standard here. Just stop.last_img read more

Utah Fan Tries To Make Fun Of Cal’s Academics, Makes Grammatical Error

first_imgUtah fan makes fun of Cal saying "if Marshawn Lynch can get into Cal than anyone can".marshawn lynch cal utah fan spelling errorESPN’s College GameDay is at Utah this week, and Utes fans have come up with some pretty clever signs ahead of their big Pac-12 contest against Cal Saturday night. The one you’ll see below is not one of them.A Utah fan, attempting to make fun of Cal’s academics and question former running back Marshawn Lynch’s intelligence, made a grammatical error. Check it out:SIGN RULE NO. 1: If you’re going to make fun of the other school’s academics, check your grammar. pic.twitter.com/sz8SBEVqOx— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) October 10, 2015Marshawn knows the difference between “than” and “then” #gameday pic.twitter.com/qhDoZMinx6— GoldenBlogs (@GoldenBlogs) October 10, 2015For the record, Cal is also one of the best public schools in the country. Major fail all around here.last_img read more

Paul Drops 40 Leads Clippers to Defeat Nuggets in

Chris Paul dominated the game with a high of 40 points and 11 assists to bring the Los Angeles Clippers to a 118-111 overtime defeat over the Denver Nuggets at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Saturday night.Paul made a layup with 22 seconds left in regulation sending the game into overtime. In a total of 42 minutes he added seven rebounds and 12 of 13 shooting to his efficient game.Paul had 15 points by halftime, when the Clippers trailed 47-46.The Nuggets lost their chance to win in regulation when JaVale McGee missed a 6-foot jumper at the buzzer.Clippers’ Darren Collison looked good with his 27 points, hitting 10 out of 13 shots. Blake Griffin scored 17 points with eight rebounds in 39 minutes of play for the Clippers.Evan Fournier and Anthony Randolph both scored 16 points for the Nuggets, while veteran Andre Miller dropped 15.Los Angeles shot 52 percent from the field compared to the Nuggets’ 49 percent.According to Yahoo Sports, “This is the second straight year the Clippers played at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Last year, the first time the Clippers hosted a game in Las Vegas, Ty Lawson’s layup at the buzzer gave Denver a 106-104 win.” read more