MAN IN SERIOUS CONDITION AFTER BULL ATTACK WHICH KILLED HIS TWIN BROTHER


first_imgThe scene were a local farmer was mauled by a bull a his farm in Burt. (North West Newspix)The twin brother of a man killed in a bull attack in Burt yesterday is still in a serious condition in hospital.George Dowds, 65, miraculously escaped being killed but his brother Patrick was not so lucky.The incident happened around 2pm at the townland of Toulett close to the Grianan of Aileach historical site. It is understood Patrick went to check on animals but when he did not return, his brother George call to see what was wrong.What happened next is unclear but George was also attacked while Patrick died at the scene from his injuries.George was rushed to Letterkenny General Hospital where he was still being treated last night.Local priest Fr Brendan Crowley said “It is a very, very sad situation. One brother is dead and the other is in a serious condition in hospital. “The brothers would be very well-known in the area. They are from a very large extended family in the Burt are who are very well-known and highly-respected members of the community.”Gardai from the Scenes of Crime investigation unit arrived at thescene yesterday where a full forensic examination of the field took place.The officers examined a number of items of clothing which were found in the field where the attack took place.The victim’s body was not removed from the scene until just before 6pmlast evening.A full investigation is being carried out by a number of agencies into the tragedy. MAN IN SERIOUS CONDITION AFTER BULL ATTACK WHICH KILLED HIS TWIN BROTHER was last modified: September 17th, 2015 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:attackbullBURTGardaiGeorge DowdsPatrick Dowdslast_img read more

Malin Head records Ireland’s hottest temperature on Tuesday


first_imgIreland’s most northerly point at Malin Head recorded the country’s highest temperature of the day on Tuesday.The Inishowen weather station recorded a high of 25.7C yesterday.Dublin the Phoenix Park hit 25.5C, while temperatures were a cool 18.1C further south in Cork. Weather for rest of the week is set to be warm and a mix of sunny spells and showers.Tonight will remain dry in most areas of the north west.Met Eireann forecasters said it will feel close tonight with temperatures ranging from 14-16C.Thursday will be dry in the morning with bright spells. Some rain is expected in the afternoon. The forecast says: “In the west it will be cloudy by the afternoon with rain and drizzle. The rain will spread eastwards later but it will become just light and patchy. It will brighten later in the evening with sunshine breaking through. Warm and humid, with maximum temperatures of 18 to 21 degrees.”Malin Head records Ireland’s hottest temperature on Tuesday was last modified: July 24th, 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)last_img read more

Blackburn v Fulham line-ups: Two Whites midfielders missing, Rovers make four changes


first_imgFulham make two changes to their side for the trip to Blackburn Rovers, with Sakari Mattila and Luke Garbutt starting in a five-man midfield.Head coach Slavisa Jokanovic keeps faith with the 3-5-2 formation used in the 3-1 win over QPR on Saturday, with Mattila replacing Scott Parker and Garbutt coming in at left-wing for the injured Lasse Vigen Christensen.There is no Rohan Ince on the bench, but Tim Ream and January signing Zakaria Labyad are both named as substitutes.Former Blackburn midfielder Tom Cairney starts against his old club.Rovers make four changes with captain Grant Hanley restored to the line-up after a shoulder injury, replacing Elliott Ward.Elliott Bennett comes in for Craig Conway and boss Paul Lambert changes his strike partnership, with Chris Brown and the fit-again Danny Graham ousting Tony Watt and Simeon Jackson.Blackburn Rovers: Steele; Marshall, Duffy, Hanley, Spurr; Lenihan, Evans, Gomez, Bennett; Brown, Graham. Subs: Raya, Henley, Watt, Ward, Grimes, Conway, Jackson.Fulham: Lonergan; Madl, Burn, Amorebieta; Fredericks, Matilla, O’Hara, Cairney, Garbutt; Dembele, McCormack. Subs: Lewis, Richards, Ream, Hyndman, Kacaniklic, Labyad, Smith.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Evidence for Evolution Found – Or Claimed


first_imgIt seems that in this Darwin Bicentennial year, some reporters are overeager to find confirming evidence for Darwin’s theory.  Here are some recent reports where it is not clear the evidence presented would convince a skeptic.Survival of the weakest:  Add a new catch-phrase to Darwin’s arsenal: survival of the weakest.  Sure enough, Science Daily reported on experiments at LMU in which “in large populations, the weakest species would – with very high probability – come out as the victor.”  Almost without exception, their simulations of a scissors-paper-rock game-theoretical ecology showed the weakest species coming out the survivor.  They call this the “law of the weakest.”  They did not explore the philosophical question of whether a theory that can simultaneously explain the survival of the fittest and the weakest – opposite outcomes – explains anything at all (see the Stuff Happens Law, 09/15/2008 commentary).Psychedelifish:  A “freaky” fish species was found offshore of Indonesia, reported Robin Lloyd for Live Science.  The yellow-and-white-striped swimmer uses jet propulsion thrusters as well as fins to swim, has eyes that face forward, a fleshy chin and cheeks, and stripes that mimic the venomous corals among which it feeds.  Despite having “mysterious origins,” Histiophryne psychedelica was immediately Darwinized by its classifier: “It is just an absolutely fantastic example of what natural selection can produce.”Sharks in living color:  “Primitive deep-sea fish may have viewed the world much as we do,” announced New Scientist.  “The elephant shark, which evolved about 450 million years ago, is the oldest vertebrate to have ‘the colour vision system we know as humans’, says David Hunt at University College London.”  The article goes on to point out that the finding pushes the earliest known color vision back by 76 million years.Yeast is yeast and guessed is guessed:  The genomes of some 70 species or varieties of yeast have been sequenced.  Science News reported that this gives scientists a text “on the origin of subspecies” that helps “to bring the small branches of Darwin’s ‘Tree of Life’ into focus.”  The new data “enables the scientists to study genetics in much finer detail than was ever possible for Darwin.”  Readers may find it surprising that Darwin studied genetics, since the word was not invented till 1905, after Darwin was dead, but the sentence might be understood to mean it would not have been possible for Darwin to study it in such detail.  But then, neither would it have been possible for Louis Pasteur, Mendel or any other great biologist of the 19th century to do so.    Creationists probably wonder what this has to do with Darwin anyway, since they accept significant variation within created kinds.  They might also note the significance of this line in the story: “The basic machinery of yeast is surprisingly similar to that of humans….”  How Darwin could be vindicated at all by this research seems questionable.  The article went on to say, “They found that rather than all being derived from one common ancestor, humans have domesticated yeast strains at many points in history and from many different sources.”  (Readers are expected to ignore the dangling reference.)Fast-moving plants:  Darwin’s theory relied on slow, gradual accumulation of small variations.  To him, the abrupt appearance of the flowering plants (angiosperms) in the fossil record was “an abominable mystery.”  Science Daily chose to ignore these facts and boasted, “Rapid Burst Of Flowering Plants Set Stage For Other Species.”  The article spoke of a “burst” of diversification, “rapid emergence,” and a “series of explosions” of adaptive radiation.  Gradualism was getting blown up everywhere: “A new University of Florida study based on DNA analysis from living flowering plants shows that the ancestors of most modern trees diversified extremely rapidly 90 million years ago, ultimately leading to the formation of forests that supported similar evolutionary bursts in animals and other plants.”    Any hint of ancestry required divining fine details in molecules.  “Because the diversification happened so quickly, at least in evolutionary terms, molecular methods were needed to sort out the branches of the rosid clade’s phylogenetic tree, a sort of family tree based on genetic relationships,” the article explained.  “Only after sequencing many thousands of DNA base pairs are genetic researchers able to tease apart the branches and better understand how plant species evolved,” not whether they evolved.  Would it be clear to a neutral observer, though, when teasing apart the twigs in a hedge, that there is only one root below?Evolution completed:  Charles Darwin got praise again at the beginning of a press release from the University of Washington: “As the world marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, there is much focus on evolution in animals and plants.  But new research shows that for the countless billions of tiniest creatures — microbes — large-scale evolution was completed 2.5 billion years ago.”  Are they saying that evolution stopped dead for the majority of the world’s biota two billion years before the first multicellular animal emerged?  Apparently so.  Roger Buick, a paleontologist and astrobiologist at the university, added a remark that casts doubt on how human beings could ever know this: “it appears that almost all of their major evolution took place before we have any record of them, way back in the dark mists of prehistory.”  That being the case, it is not clear how any of the subsequent statements in the press release about microbe evolution have any footing in empirical science.    Most of the work revolved around the amazing ability of living microbes to fix nitrogen.  Molecular nitrogen, with its triple bonds, is a tough nut to crack, but microbes do it with ease by means of complex molecular machines (see 09/06/2002 and 11/18/2006).  Think how a Darwin skeptic might interpret this quote: “All microbes are amazing chemists compared to us.  We’re really very boring, metabolically” (compared to microbes).    Somehow, this press release was intended to convey the idea that evolutionary thinking leads to understanding: “To understand early evolution of life, we have to know how organisms were nourished and how they evolved” (not whether they evolved).  But that is just what Dr. Buick had said is lost in the dark mists of prehistory.The power of suggestion:  A news item on Science Daily shows a photo of Mars with geological deposits that resemble, in a superficial sense, the hot spring deposits on Earth.  No life has been found, but a lot of suggestion emerged.  The photos from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter indicate “sites where life forms may have evolved on Mars.”    Most astrobiologists doubt that life evolved at hot springs.  They would say that the thermophiles found in Yellowstone’s geyser basins became adapted to that extreme environment long after life was well established.  Nevertheless, the article states that the Mars photos “have great astrobiological significance, as the closest relatives of many of the most ancient organisms on Earth can thrive in and around hydrothermal springs.”Getting together:  A press release from University of Arizona discerned evolution in some colonies of green algae.  Volvox is a well-known colony of cells that has a division of labor and thrives in community instead of individuality.  Now, research by Matthew Herron suggests that “Some algae have been hanging together rather than going it alone much longer than previously thought.”  In “a geological eyeblink” of 35 million years, he claimed, single-celled algae “took the leap to multicellularity 200 million years ago.”  Why?  “Some things can’t eat you if you’re bigger.”  That seems odd, because the majority of organisms have remained microscopically small throughout the history of life on earth.    Herron showcased Pleodorina starrii, a colonial alga with an incomplete division of labor.  “All the macroscopic organisms we see around us trace back to unicellular ancestors,” he proclaimed Darwinistically.  “Each of those groups had to go through a transition like this one.”  He did not think it necessary to explain why they took that “leap” 200 million years ago, nor why, if being bigger confers a security advantage, the simple colonies (and indeed the plethora of microbes) stepped off the evolutionary conveyor belt to remain essentially the same for the next 200 million years.    In some unspecified way, cell colonies invented the “extracellular matrix,” a kind of goo that binds the parties together.  Herron ascribed evolutionary game theory to the strategy of group-think: “Overcoming that conflict is essential to becoming a multicellular organism, he said.  The benefits of cheating have to be reduced for the cells to cooperate successfully.”  Apparently even Darwinism has a doctrine of original sin.Evolution as un-design:  One of the most remarkable new papers giving evolution the glory for complex design is a piece by Forterre and Gadelle1 about DNA-processing molecular machines called topoisomerases (see 08/14/2007, bullet 5).  They used the E-word evolution 18 times in an attempt to explain how these machines evolved.  Surprisingly, there is very little homology to hang a phylogeny on: similarities crop up between different kingdoms, and differences are seen where there should be homologies.  “Topoisomerases are essential enzymes that solve topological problems arising from the double-helical structure of DNA,” they explained.  “As a consequence, one should have naively expected to find homologous topoisomerases in all cellular organisms, dating back to their last common ancestor.  However, as observed for other enzymes working with DNA, this is not the case.”  Has Darwinian universal common ancestry, therefore, been falsified?  Not so fast.  In the evolutionary “scenario,” evidence is no longer a requirement.  The story is the thing:Topoisomerases could have originated by combining protein modules previously involved in RNA metabolism, such as RNA-binding proteins, RNA endonucleases or RNA ligases.  Alternatively, they could have evolved from protein modules that were already working with DNA, if the first steps in the evolution of DNA genomes occurred in the absence of any topoisomerase activity, i.e. before the emergence of long double-stranded DNA genomes.  Two arguments favour the latter hypothesis: first, whereas RNA polymerases and RNA-binding proteins are obvious candidates to be direct ancestors of DNA polymerases and single-stranded DNA-binding proteins, ‘RNA topoisomerases’ that could be direct ancestor of DNA topoisomerases are unknown.  Secondly, it is likely that double-stranded DNA genomes with complex DNA-replication mechanisms (i.e. concurrent symmetric DNA replication) were preceded by single-stranded or even short double-stranded DNA genomes replicated by simpler mechanisms, such as asymmetric DNA replication, and/or rolling circle (RC) replication (75) (Figure 3).  These simple systems probably did not require topoisomerases, as it is still the case for their modern counterparts (the RC replication of some replicons require supercoiled DNA, hence gyrase activity, but only for the recognition step of the initiator protein).  If this scenario is correct, topoisomerases probably originated when more complex DNA genomes (long linear or circular DNA molecules) were selected in the course of evolution, together with more elaborate replication machineries.Their viral-origin hypothesis required the word suggest 26 times, possible 16 times, could 14 times, and might 10 times.  Of one thing they were sure, however.  These complex molecular machines were not intelligently designed.  It’s rare for a scientific paper to even mention intelligent design.  Here’s what they said about it: “An intelligent designer would have probably invented only one ubiquitous Topo I and one ubiquitous Topo II to facilitate the task of future biochemists.”  Whimsical as that statement is, it represents a remarkable turnaround.  Usually, evolutionists claim that similarities disprove intelligent design.  These scientists are claiming that differences disprove it.  ID can’t win for losing.Darwin’s defenders continue to take their Bicentennial show on the road.  Science Daily and MSNBC reported on a show by Sean B. Carroll about “Adventures in Evolution,” a recounting of “the rip-roaring adventure tales behind the great advances in the theory of evolution.”  Interesting as the stories are, adventure is not the same thing as scientific evidence.  Undoubtedly the alchemists had their share of adventures (exploding flasks, etc.).    Forbes is one of few news organizations giving a platform to both sides of the Darwin-ID debate (see Evolution News report).  Jerry Coyne recently let creationists have both barrels.  Attacking an earlier piece by neurosurgeon by Michael Egnor, Coyne had no patience with Forbes giving any credibility to “evolution-deniers,” which he likened to Holocaust-deniers.  Phillip Skell, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, wrote the most recent post about “the dangers of overselling evolution.”  Even Ken Ham got a word in for Biblical creationism in this typically economics-focused venue.1.  Forterre and Gadelle, “Phylogenomics of DNA topoisomerases: their origin and putative roles in the emergence of modern organisms,” Nucleic Acids Research, published online on February 9, 2009, doi:10.1093/nar/gkp032.For those who need a refresher course on the Darwiniac storytelling strategy (see 10/11/2006), it goes like this: (1) Assume evolution.  (2) Observe a fact.  (3) Make up a story to fit the fact into the assumption.  For step 2, we have just shown you many contrary facts that should falsify evolutionary theory, but step 3 (the non-sequitur) remains invariant.  This is how the Darwinians get away with murder (11/30/2005).  The robust storytelling ability of the Darwinists is their most legendary trait.  It provides the foundation for the entire naturalistic political/economic/legal/educational/spiritual programme.    We should add a Step (4): Hate creationism.  Rant, rave and blather about how evil and wicked creationists and intelligent design proponents are, and how the Discovery Institute is conspiring to return America to the dark ages by substituting religion for scientific evidence.  This is supposed to provide subliminal reinforcement that Steps 1, 2 and 3 are “scientific.”  Step (5) is to outlaw challenges to Steps 1-3 in the courts.    Now that you know the Darwinian storytelling strategy, you understand about 95% of evolutionary biology.  The remaining 5% is microevolution, which is not controversial even for Ken Ham.  One would think Ken would be overwhelmed by the mounds of solid scientific evidence displayed in the articles reported above.  Does he know something Jerry Coyne doesn’t?(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

BRICS summit ‘growing in stature’


first_img26 March 2012The fourth annual summit of the BRICS grouping of powerful emerging economies takes place in New Delhi, India this week.President Jacob Zuma will lead a high-powered delegation of South African government ministers and business leaders to the event, which will see the presidents and prime ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa discussion issues ranging from the state of the world economy to the need to adapt to global climate change.In parallel discussions, business leaders from the five countries will tackle a range of issues, including improving banking services to support intra-BRICS trade and investment, increasing cooperation on renewable energy and technological innovation, and achieving food security and through sharing scientific research and technology transfer.Rising stature of emerging nationsCommenting the increasing stature of the summit, Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said the relative decline of the West’s traditional political and economic power had coincided with the rising global stature of emerging nations.“The BRICS grouping is the most concrete and rapidly evolving example of this phenomenon,” Matola said in a statement on Monday. “In just four years, the formal agenda for cooperation and consultation has expanded dramatically to span politics, trade and business, science, academic and cultural interactions.”Matola said the BRICS countries would not agree on everything, being competitors in a number of areas, but had adopted many common positions – the most recent being at the G20 meeting in Mexico in February, when the BRICS finance ministers agreed that the presidency of the World Bank should be open to all candidates and not restricted to American candidates.US President Barack Obama’s nomination on Friday of Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-born doctor and international public health expert, “suggests these views are increasingly gaining traction,” Matola said.“Likewise, South Africa has found resonance within the BRICS grouping for its calls for the reform of global governance systems such as the UN system, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to make them more responsive to the needs of the developing world and Africa.”‘Enormous opportunities for trade and investment’Closer cooperation between the BRICS nations also promises enormous opportunities for trade and investment within and through all five member countries.Last year in South Africa, seven BRICS securities exchanges announced plans to cross-list each others’ indices and to jointly develop new products by June 2012. The seven exchanges represent a combined listed market capitalisation of more than US$9-trillion and 9 481 listed companies.Matola said the BRICS summit gave South Africa an invaluable opportunity to promote not just the country but also the extraordinary opportunities on the African continent, which the IMF estimates will be home to seven of the 10 fastest growing economies between 2010 and 2015.Actively driving African integration“We believe South Africa is an integral part of Africa and works to increase its stability, unity, prosperity and international influence,” Matola said.“We are actively driving Africa’s regional integration efforts, including developing continental north-south rail and road links, expanding ports and energy capacity and skills.“Simultaneously 26 African countries agreed to create a single free trade area by mid-2014, covering the Southern, Eastern and Central Africa. The $1-trillion free trade area will effectively expand South Africa’s market from 50-million to 600-million – placing us in a similar category in terms of market size as our BRICS partners.”The fifth BRICS summit will be held in South Africa in March-April 2013.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Five points about the future of innovation in South Africa


first_imgA view of Cape Town with Table Mountain behind it from the V&A Waterfront. (Image: Brand South Africa)Ngozi OnuohaThis spring, I had the honour of joining seven journalists from the UK, US, China and South Africa on a tour of Johannesburg and Cape Town.Accompanied by guides from Brand South Africa, we met with leaders in technology, science and business to learn about initiatives aimed at boosting innovation in South Africa and possibly setting the stage for the country to become a future global leader in these sectors.While on my trip, the country was also preparing to celebrate 20 years of democracy. It would be a bittersweet yet eventful year with the first independence celebration without Madiba, the first presidential election with born-free voters, and the country’s dethroning from their spot as Africa’s top economy.Despite the change in its economic standing, South Africa is repositioning itself for a return to the top.How? Well, one way is through science, design and technology innovation.Here are five ways South Africa could compete.5. People come in all shapes and sizes, and according to SKA, satellites do tooFascinated by space technology? The employees at Square Kilometer Array (SKA) in South Africa love it too. We visited their offices in Cape Town to learn more about their research and engineering projects.During his presentation in the SKA labs, digital backend sub-systems specialist Francois Kapp explained the organisation’s biggest achievements: KAT-7, the world’s first dish made of fibre glass, and MeerKAT, an under-construction telescope set to be the world’s most sensitive radio telescope.One of KAT-7 Satellites. (Image: SKA South Africa)The project is set to be completed in 2017 and could make history (and lots of investment money) for the country.4. Design in Cape Town will be sustained far beyond 2014(Image: Cape Town World Design Capital)In 2011, Cape Town won its bid to become the World Design Capital for 2014. This year, Cape Town and the country have celebrated the honour by bringing to life some of the concepts brainstormed in hopes of creating social change. During our visit to the World Design Capital offices, we viewed a presentation which highlighted of some of the projects and events in the works. Each project draws from the overarching theme, “Live Design, Transform Life.” They also fall into four categories:1. African Innovation. Global Conversation.2. Bridging the Divide.3. Today for Tomorrow.4. Beautiful Space. Beautiful Things.“The vision of the year is to transform Cape Town, through design, into a sustainable productive Africa city. Our mission is to identify those projects which provide tangible evidence of this transformative design in action.” – Nicky Swartz, a Cape Town Design Team LeaderA standout project that took place this year was led by a group, called Yenza. The collective – comprising architects, a stylist and an art director – help communities look at the resources around them to create low-cost, redesigned products.3. Silicon Savannah? No, Silicon Cape(Image: Bandwidth Barn, Facebook)One of our first stops in Cape Town was a visit to the Woodstock-based tech incubator Bandwith Barn.The warehouse-turned-work space is just one of a growing number of iHubs sprouting across the coastal town in partnership with an initiative called Silicon Cape. Similar to Kenya’s Silicon Savannah, Silicon Cape hopes to make the Western Cape an attractive destination for investors and tech entrepreneurs. Bandwidth Barn, the space first started out of a need for affordable access to bandwidth, now houses innovators working with companies such as Blackberry. It also has a development programme for tech innovators that offers mentorship, access to investors and, of course, work space.(Oh, and don’t worry, there’s no competition between the two Silicons. They’re partners.)2. Shooting your film in Hollywood? That was so last year.(Image: Cape Town Film Studios)Welcome to Cape Town Film Studios, the newest hotspot for Hollywood’s big-budget filmmakers.The film lot, located in Faure and just a few miles away from Stellenbosch, has seen a significant increase in the interest of movie houses such as Paramount and 20th Century Fox within the last year. Among its growing list of credits since its opening close to four years ago, Cape Town Studios has been a location for movies such as Dredd (2012), Safe House (2012) and Chronicles (2012). Most recently, the highly-anticipated film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) was shot entirely on the property. The set included a complete replica of Vilakazi Street, the area where the Mandelas, Tutus and other families lived in Soweto.“When I started, it was one of those projects that, I would say, 90 percent..95 percent of people said a low cost studio wouldn’t work here. Why would anybody in their right mind travel all the way here?…but I felt it would if you can create the right magic for people.” – Nico Dekker, CEO of Cape Town Studios1. Women in leadership are taking centre stageIn each of the places we visited, it seemed there were women confidently articulating their research, aspirations and responsibilities as leaders in companies dominated by men. During a visit to the Mobile Intelligent Autonomous Systems department of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), we met a small team of engineers responsible for researching and implementing the technology used to build robots. Their presentation was led by Natasha Govender, a 32-year-old PhD student at Oxford Brookes University who served as the group’s team leader. Govender described the research her team was doing could improve field robotics and help make robots strong, durable companions for miners. The robots could observe conditions deemed unsafe for miner exploration and cut down the number of deaths.Natasha Govender, a 32-year-old PhD student at Oxford Brookes University.The next day, we met Anele Nzama. Nzama is a junior technician at SKA South Africa, and she is in charge of controlling telescopes at the satellite technology company. The 26-year-old recent college graduate shared her excitement in holding a position at SKA SA, but also expressed a desire for more women to take part in science and technology innovation.Anele Nzama, a junior technician at SKA South Africa.Ngozi Onuoha has a masters degree from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and also holds a BA in English from the City College of New York (CUNY). Before attending Columbia, Onuoha was a contributing writer and event coordinator for a number of emerging Africa-centric organizations based in New York City. As a member of the diaspora’s creative community, she aims to continue coverage of arts, culture and development in Africa.last_img read more

Volunteers clean up South Africa’s coastline


first_imgAn infographic showing the top 15 countries that took part in 2014’s series of clean-ups and highlighting some of the more peculiar items found either adrift at sea or on one of the planet’s many coastlines. Click image to enlarge. (Images: ICC 2015 report)Mathiba MolefeAbout 2 720 cigarette butts, 15 488 food wrappers and just over 71 000 items in total were collected by the South African volunteers during Ocean Conservancy’s series of clean-ups in 2014. Just under 12 000 kilograms of rubbish was collected along 133 kilometres of shoreline – an average of 90.22kg per kilometre.The sheer amount of waste strewn along South Africa’s coastlines and river banks has been cause for alarm for some of the country’s marine and freshwater conservationists and has led to various bodies such as Plastics South Africa and Nampak committing to playing an active role in mitigating the impact of their products on marine biology.Their efforts are compounded by those of Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit environmental advocacy group based in Washington DC.Human rubbish has a devastating effect on ocean ecosystems. Sea birds, for example, often mistake small pieces of floating plastic, such as bottle tops, for food. The indigestible material then accumulates in their stomachs, slowly starving the birds. The result has been graphically documented by photographer Chris Jordan.Watch a short film by photographer Chris Jordan and the MidWay Film team documenting the effect marine pollution has on the delicate balance of nature:Each year for the past 29 years, hundreds of thousands of volunteers all over the world have taken time out of their day-to-day lives to head to the nearest body of water and take part in Ocean Conservancy’s global effort to remove rubbish from the planet’s coastlines and major waterways to root out the sources of the massive amount of debris that finds its way into our oceans every day.According to the conservancy’s 2015 report, in 2014 more than 7 million kilograms or 7 000 metric tons of waste were collected from the beaches and waterways of the 91 countries involved in the clean-up. Leading the pack in terms of the sheer weight of the waste collected was the USA, where volunteers picked up just under 1.9 million kilograms of rubbish from some 29 000 kilometres shoreline. This is an average of 65.5kg per kilometre.A few fascinating insights into the volume of garbage collected – and the scale of the volunteers’ global efforts. Click image for a larger view.The drive to preserve the integrity of the planet’s oceans and waterways received huge buy-in from all over the world in 2014. More than 560 000 volunteers covered a distance equivalent to 2.5 times the total length of the Great Wall of China or 509 marathons.Ocean Conservancy chief executive officer Andreas Merkl said he was thoroughly impressed by the collective effort spanning nearly three decades, making it “the largest of its kind on the planet”.“I am deeply appreciative of the men, women and children who dedicate their time to remove unsightly and dangerous trash from the ocean and the rivers, lakes and streams that flow into it, especially the 150 country and state who delivered more than 5 500 clean-ups in 2014 alone.”He also expressed his gratitude towards all of the governmental agencies, foundations and corporations that provided the funding the organisation needed to “pull off” a global clean-up of this magnitude.Estimated at more than 1.5 million pieces measuring less than 2.5cm, plastic outnumbered any other type of material collected during the year’s efforts. Foam pieces numbered just over 1.25 million and glass about 0.55 million pieces collected globally.In terms of items picked up, cigarette butts were by far the most common, with more than 2.2 million of them collected globally, almost twice as many as the second most common item, food wrappers, which numbered just under 1.4 million.According to a recent study performed by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, between five and twelve metric tons of plastics enter the ocean from inland sources.The top ten items collected globally during 2014, according to Ocean Conservancy’s 2015 report, were:Cigarette butts – 2 248 065Food wrappers – 1 376 133Plastic bottles – 988 965Plastic bottle caps – 811 871Straws and stirrers – 519 911Plastic bags e.g. bread packets – 489 968Grocery bags – 485 204Glass bottles – 396 121Beverage cans – 382 608Plastic crockery – 376 479last_img read more

Developers Discover That People Like to Walk


first_imgDevelopers Replace Golf Courses with Hiking TrailsDriving LessGreen Neighborhood in North CarolinaGreen Building Priority #4 — Reduce the Need for Driving A national poll two years ago among 3,000 adults showed that home buyers favor developments that make it easy to walk to stores, restaurants, and other community gathering spots. Residential developers have apparently taken note. An article posted at Construction Dive says that developers of master planned communities are increasingly likely to include more opportunities for walking, and they’re getting an especially positive response from Millennials — buyers in the 18-to-34 age bracket.Adam Drucker, managing director at real estate consultant RCLCO, said that residential developments of a generation ago often had no dedicated walking paths, and sometimes no sidewalks at all. But in the last 10 years, developers have started to favor networks of walking trails over more conventional community amenities like golf courses.“People want to engage with other people outside of their cars,” Drucker said. “Master planned communities (MPCs) are really focusing on providing walking opportunities and they’re getting good results… [Walkability] definitely isn’t a trend. This is now a permanent part of development.” Planned communities respondDevelopments such as the 7,200-acre Walsh community in Fort Worth, Texas, put a premium on open spaces, parks, and trails that connect different parts of the community, Construction Dive said. Residents of the first Walsh neighborhood, now underway, are within five minutes of a park or open space.Jake Wagner, co-CEO of the developer, Republic Property Group, said the appeal of walkways that connect neighborhoods is that they can be used by everyone who lives there, unlike other amenities that might be of interest to smaller groups of people.“Walking pathways are the backbone of the community because they connect homes and amenities,” he said.Municipalities also are doing more to become pedestrian-friendly. In Olympia, Washington, for example, sidewalks and planter strips are now required on every street. The city’s senior planner, Sophie Stimson, said, “Walking is a priority here.” A 2009 report from CEOs for Cities, “Walking the Walk,” said that houses located in walkable neighborhoods were worth more than similar houses in areas where walking was more difficult. “Above average” levels of walkability added a price premium of $4,000 to $34,000 over houses with “average” walkability in a typical metro area. Millennials show the most interest. The poll by the National Association of Realtors found that age group preferred walking over driving by 12 percentage points, a wider margin than any other generation. Millennials said that they wanted to live within walking distance of shops and restaurants, favored a short commute, and were most likely to use public transportation.Among all respondents, 77% said that being within an easy walk of community features like shops and parks was either very important or somewhat important (only 7% said that was not at all important); 85% said having sidewalks and places to take walks were very important or somewhat important. RELATED ARTICLES last_img read more

Five of a family saved from mob in Nashik


first_imgHours after five persons were bludgeoned to death in Dhule district by a mob that suspected them to be child-lifters, a family of five narrowly escaped a similar fate in Nashik district late on Sunday night.The police said a huge mob, fed on social media rumours about a child lifting gang, came looking for the victims in the Azad Nagar locality of Malegaon. The victims Gajanan Sahebrao Gire, his wife Sindhubai, their two-year-old child, Sindhubai’s sister Anusaya and another relative Yogesh — all hailing from Parbhani district — were apparently asking for money along Malegaon’s Ali Akbar Road area to pay for their return back home.“Around 11 p.m. , we got a call about some persons being assaulted by a mob on suspicion of being child lifters. The police rushed to the scene and managed to pacify the restive mob,” said Harssh Poddar, IGP, Nashik Range. However, when the police attempted to take some of them into custody, the crowd turned violent. The mob, which had swelled by then, began hurling stones on the security personnel. “One police vehicle was overturned and the windscreens of some vans were smashed. A reserve team was rushed to the spot and only then did we manage to quell the violence,” said Sub-Inspector Milind Navgire.He said the police took the family, which had taken shelter in a building along Ali Akbar road, safely to a nearby police station.Another official from the Malegaon police station said a case under sections 143, 147, 149 and 323 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) had been lodged against unidentified persons at the Azad Nagar police station. No arrests had yet been made.last_img read more

Ramchandra Rao urges Centre to take over Polavaram project


first_imgNew Delhi, Aug 24 (PTI) Congress Rajya Sabha member from Telangana K V P Ramchandra Rao today urged the Centre to take over the Polavaram irrigation project and ensure its early completion by 2018. “I request the Central government to take over the Polavaram irrigation project immediately and expedite the work on it to ensure its completion by 2018 as envisaged earlier. “The state government is not willing to hand over the project to the Centre for obvious reasons but the Centre should fulfil its promise of making it a national project and ensuring its completion by 2018,” Rao told reporters. He said it is mandated upon the Central government to complete the project as it has already been declared as a national project under the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014. “The Centre should act fast and finish the project in time, as it is the lifeline of Andhra Pradesh,” he said. The consent for Polavaram Irrigation Project shall be deemed to have been given by the successor State of Telangana and the Central Government shall execute the project and obtain all requisite clearances including environmental, forests, and rehabilitation and resettlement norms, as mandated in Section 90 of the AP Reorganisation Act, he said. Rao had earlier moved a private member bill for amending the Constitution to declare a special package for Andhra Pradesh, which could not be voted, it being declared as a money bill by Rajya Sabha chairman.Rao has also written to Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti in this regard.He has said that Andhra Pradesh is in a very bad shape financially and emotionally and the only ray of hope they have is the Polavaram National Project, which can be utilized in the best interests of the state. “The people of AP are not able to understand about what is happening to Polovaram Project at all ! “In the circumstances, I request you to give clarity on what is exactly happening on Polavaram Project and also to complete the Polavaram Project at the earliest, as mandated in the A.P Reorganisation Act,” he said in his letter to Bharti. PTI SKC RGadvertisementlast_img read more