first_imgGARDAI believe arsonists were behind a fire which destroyed a house which Donegal County Council bought for a Traveller family of 13 in Ballyshannon.The five bedroom house in the upmarket Parkhill area was completely gutted in the fire which broke out at 3am this morning.Fire crews from Ballyshannon and Bundoran attended the scene but the house was destroyed. No-one was injured and no-one was in the house at the time.Last month there was controversy when local councillor Sean McEniff made comments about the family which were deemed racist by Traveller groups.Cllr Sean McEniff denied he was being a bigot when he insisted that Travellers “should live in isolation.”“Parkhill is a very settled community. I would not like these people (the family) living beside me,” he said at the time. Today he stood by his views but condemned those who had burned the house.“I did not in any way give any succour to any type of criminal behaviour,” he insisted.However TD Pearse Doherty accused the Fianna Fail councillor of using language which was “incitement of hatred.”The row over the house has led Deputy Padraig MacLochlainn to accuse other councillors of blatant bigotry and racism.BURNED TO THE GROUND: €230,000 HOUSE COUNCIL BOUGHT FOR TRAVELLER FAMILY was last modified: February 11th, 2013 by BrendaShare 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:000 HOUSE COUNCIL BOUGHT FOR TRAVELLER FAMILYBURNED TO THE GROUND: €230last_img read more


first_imgThe delegation from Irish post primary schools wh0 were received by the RDFZ , the number one Chinese School in Beijing. Ms. M. Corless is photographed with representatives from the RDFZ school and five Irish post primary school Principals.STUDENTS at Loreto Community School Milford are set to learn Mandarin Chinese as part of their transition year.As well as the language, the students will also have the chance to learn aspects of Chinese customs and culture.Loreto Community School teacher, Ms Margaret Corless, travelled with five head teachers during the midterm break to Beijing as part of The Principals and Chinese Programme Co-ordinators Official visit to China 2014. The excursion was organised by the UCD Confucius Institute under the sponsorship of the Hanban Confucius Institute Headquarters.The group, accompanied by Mr. Chang Zhang, visited two secondary schools in Beijing and several key attractions.Chinese is potentially a new course in the proposed new Junior Certificate curriculum.   LORETO COMMUNITY SCHOOL CONNECTS WITH CHINESE EDUCATION SYSTEM was last modified: November 4th, 2014 by Brenda3Share 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:LoretoMandarinMilfordlast_img read more

Arcata, St. Bernard’s top H-DN All-County basketball awards

first_imgEureka >> Winning sure does have its perks, and in the case of the Humboldt-Del Norte League all-county basketball honors — to the victor go the spoils. For the second time in as many season, Arcata and St. Bernard’s boys and girls basketball teams swept the top awards as the H-DN All-County teams were released on Wednesday, as voted on by the league’s coaches.On the boys side, Arcata’s Thomas Nelson was named Big 5 MVP after leading the Tigers to a third-straight H-DN title and a win over …last_img

Damian Lillard dons Oakland A’s jersey before Western Conference Finals opener

first_imgOAKLAND — Damian Lillard is proud of his Oakland roots, showing so yet again before Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals in his home town.Lillard, who grew up in Brookfield Village in East Oakland, less than a five-minute drive from Oracle Arena, donned a No. 0 Oakland A’s jersey while signing autographs before Tuesday night’s game.Power move pic.twitter.com/JW7dyw8Jzy— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) May 14, 2019 “He is Oakland,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said of his star point …last_img

Darwin’s Prognosticators

first_imgScientists at Rockefeller University think they can one-up Darwin.  According to Science Daily, they think they can predict evolution’s next best move.  Evolution is supposed to be aimless, so it is not clear how they think they can predict chance or decide what is best.  The dubious nature of their quest, however, is only exceeded by the chutzpah in their hype:Biologists today are doing what Darwin thought impossible.  They are studying the process of evolution not through fossils but directly, as it is happening.  Now, by modeling the steps evolution takes to build, from scratch, an adaptive biochemical network, biophysicists Eric D. Siggia and Paul Francois at Rockefeller University have gone one step further.  Instead of watching evolution in action, they show that they can predict its next best move.    In Darwinian evolution, even the slightest, infinitesimal beginnings can lead to tools as complex as the human eye.  But how do innovations like these get started and propagated by natural selection when their raw material is merely individual random genetic mutations?  By looking at the series of mutations in evolutionary space, Siggia, head of the Laboratory of Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics and Paul Francois, a postdoc in his lab, now provide a computational answer to one of Darwin’s biggest questions.They generated an algorithm that, “like Darwinian evolution, showed no mercy.”  Only the fittest networks were allowed to survive and reproduce.  Apparently it did not occur to them that the algorithm they wrote was doing the selecting by intelligent design:Francois and Siggia found that certain mutations automatically increased a network’s fitness and thus were immediately selected.  “When you look at systems like the eye or structures like the human spinal cord, you think how could these have evolved from a simple network,” says Francois.  In their current study, Siggia and Francois looked at how a complex biochemical network could evolve, and an answer came together: It is built through a specific series of mutations that is repeated over and over again, from scratch, every time they restart their simulations.    “So this is really the idea,” says Francois.  “From one step to the next, you know, more or less, evolution’s next best move.  In our simulations, that’s what we see.”But can you really get something for nothing?  William Dembski proved in No Free Lunch that no evolutionary algorithm works better than blind search when intelligently-inserted auxiliary information from the side door is disqualified from the algorithm (09/04/2008 and 11/18/2002 commentaries).  When you see an evolutionary simulation making progress toward a goal, you can be sure of one thing: someone’s cheating.Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week would not do justice to the insanity of this article, so this new original cartoon of the Bearded Buddha, drawn for CEH by Brett Miller, is awarded for a more appropriate level of disgrace (click cartoon for larger version, complete with sacrifices).  If Obama and Biden get their way, public school students will line up at the shrine and make their offerings.  Now, quickly, for your mental health, read the next entry (11/03/2008).(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Home-grown nutrition research

first_imgPupils eat food donated by World FoodProgram (WFP) in a classroom in Orango Island, Guinea-Bissau. According to the WFP, intellectual levels rise when children are fed properly.(Image: Manoocher Deghati, Irin Photo) MEDIA CONTACTS • Ben ParkerDirector, Irin News+254 733 860082 RELATED ARTICLES • Africa: serious about food• Development goals on track • Ethiopian wins World Food Prize• SA at front line of GM research • Quality inputs for Kenya’s farmersSource: Irin NewsEarlier in April a group of international academic institutions and an EU-backed NGO launched Sustainable Nutrition Research for Africa in the Years to come, or Sunray, to develop a nutrition agenda for Africa, with specific emphasis on the 34 sub-Saharan countries.“We want to make sure nutrition interventions in the next 10-15 years – when Africa faces potential environmental changes which will impact on nutrition – are sustainable, driven by African countries, and their priorities are not pre-defined by donors,” said researcher Carl Lachat of the Belgium-based Institute for Tropical Medicine, one of the participating institutions.A recent study by the International Food Policy Research Institute, a US-based think-tank, found that in another two decades the effect of climate change on food production could drive child malnutrition up by 20%.The two-year Sunray project has invited proposals for working papers from African researchers on a number of relevant topics.They include the relationship between nutrition and climate change; the influence of rising food prices; the future availability of water; social dynamics in households, and the effect of rapid urbanisation, among other themes in order to identify the specific research needs for nutrition in these areas.Research in AfricaProposals for working papers are under review by academics at four universities in sub-Saharan Africa: North-West University in South Africa; Sokoine University in Tanzania; the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin; and Makerere University in Uganda.“South Africa plays in a different league in terms of research when compared to the rest of Africa, but our research is more influenced by Western concepts, so if you are to look at good home-grown research pertaining to local foodstuffs, Nigeria and Kenya are a lot more advanced,” said Prof Annamarie Kruger, director of the Africa Unit for Transdisciplinary Health Research at North-West University’s Potchefstroom campus.Kruger added that the project gave African researchers the attractive opportunity to develop interventions suited for their own conditions, meaning that they would have a say in the agenda.“We also know the gaps that need to be addressed,” she said. “It is not like we are doing research for European driven projects.”Lachat pointed out that the backing of the EU meant rich countries are calling for African involvement in setting the priorities for nutrition research and funding.Collaborative effortWith the deadline for proposals just passed, the universities are now assessing the submissions. The first of a series of workshops with the authors will take place later in 2011.Ahead of the workshops, the collaborating institutions intend holding discussions with nutritionists, researchers, businesspeople in the food sector, and policy makers in seven African countries – Benin, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Togo and Tanzania.Lachat said they realised that political backing was critical to ensure the research made the journey from paper to the real world, so “we are involving African political leaders in the initiative.”The project will produce a roadmap document summarising research priorities, strengths and gaps, resource requirements, opportunities for linkage and support between African and Northern institutions, or synergies between existing initiatives and research in other sectors.Only nine of the 46 countries in sub-Saharan Africa are on track to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goal to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2015.Pupils eat food donated by WFP in a classroom in Eva Orango school in Orango Island of Bijago Archipelago in Guinea-Bissau Feburary 2008. According to World Food Program (WFP) intellectual levels rise when children are fed properly.© Manoocher Deghati/IRINlast_img read more

Sister remembers a man ‘born to lead’

first_img6 December 2013 Former South African president Nelson Mandela, who passed away on Thursday evening, will be remembered not only as an icon whose sacrifices made the world a better place, but also as a man whose achievements came at great personal cost, to himself and to his family. In separate interviews conducted earlier this year in Mandela’s home village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, his sister Nonyekana Bulehluti and cousin Sketshetshe Mandela spoke about their relations to the revered former statesman, who passed away on Thursday evening. Bulehluti, who has since passed away, said at the time that she could still recall the days when she used to fear her “stubborn” brother”, whom she described as someone who never talked much. She remembered Mandela as someone who stood out from the rest of the family due to his beliefs in education and his insatiable curiosity. While they never had the normal sister-brother bond, due to his activism and the many years he spent in jail, she never doubted the love he had for her. “I never spent time with bhuti [older brother],” said Bulehluti, who at the time of the interview had left the original Mandela home to live with her daughter about 15 kilometres away. “When I was a teenager, he was already igqobhoka [an educated man]. He was very quiet, but loved to laugh at anything, and that’s how I remember him – laughing and laughing.” She and Mandela shared a father but were not of the same mother. Mandela’s father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa, a chief by both blood and custom, had four wives, the third being Mandela’s mother Nosekeni Fanny, while Bulehluti’s mother, Nodayimani, was the fourth wife.‘You could see he was different’ While Bulehluti was not born yet when Mandela left Qunu at the age of nine to live at nearby Mqekezweni village following his father’s passing, their later interactions revealed astonishing characteristics of a man who would later lead South Africa to its first democratic elections. “He was born to lead,” she said. “You could see he was different from all of us. He questioned things and liked to be in the company of the elders. He never spent much of his time with us … and before we knew it, he was gone [to study].” However, Bulehluti explained that the family never felt abandoned or deserted by Mandela, as they were aware of his passion for politics and his desire to see his people free. “For us, it became a matter of saying – yes, he is our brother, but he does not belong to us but to the nation. It’s something that we learnt to live with over time, and I can never regret having him as a brother. Even though it was not easy at first, he has achieved what he wanted.” ‘The children must know who this hero was’ Mandela’s cousin Sketshetshe Mandela, 78, still lives in the original family yard where Mandela and his host of siblings used to play. Mandela’s father had 13 children, four boys and nine girls, but as in any African home, the house was always filled with babies and other children of relatives. While the three huts Mandela’s mother presided over in Qunu have since been demolished to make way for a modern house, traces of the old structures are still visible. Mandela mentioned in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, that of the three huts, one was used for cooking, one for sleeping and the other for storage. “In the hut in which we slept, there was no furniture in the Western sense … we slept on mats and slept on the ground,” he wrote. Sketshetshe, who bears a striking resemblance to Mandela’s mother Nosekeni, said that while a lot has changed since those days, the family still plants and harvests mielies as well as small scale poultry farming. “We are still living the way he [Mandela] left us. We refused to change now that he found fame, and whenever he comes, he finds us here still doing things the old way,” he said, holding up a portrait of himself and Mandela for the duration of the interview. On the walls of the living room are pictures of Mandela and other family members, together with other famous pictures taken during the struggle for liberation – perhaps an indication of how proud the family is of the man. “We want the children to know who this hero of the family was,” Sketshetshe said. “We want them to continue with the legacy and the foundation he laid for the entire Mandela family and the Madiba clan.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Net-Zero Modular Homes Head for Peaks Island, Maine

first_imgThe principal islands in Maine’s Casco Bay have long attracted plenty of summertime visitors. Unfortunately for some of the islands’ year-round residents, however, the islands’ fair-weather popularity has driven up housing prices and squeezed many of folks out of the market.Concerns over housing affordability on Peaks Island, one of the most populous islands in the bay, prompted the formation of a community group called Home Start, which has launched an initiative aimed at addressing the affordability issue while also introducing energy-efficient modular homes to the community.Formed in 2004, Home Start bought its first property in 2007 – a house whose relatively spacious, 16,000-sq.-ft. lot inspired the group to ask the city of Portland, which has jurisdiction over Peaks Island, to rezone the parcel for three lots. That request has been honored. Once funding has been lined up, Home Start will proceed with a plan that includes the renovation or replacement of the existing home, which will be operated as a rental, and the construction of two new homes that will be offered as rent-to-own properties.A different type of island homeThe new houses were designed by Kaplan Thompson Architects of Portland, with an eye for the architectural vernacular of Peaks Island’s colonial-style housing stock, but also with the intention of raising its standards for energy performance. Most homes on Peaks Island are seriously deficient in the latter, notes a recent story in The Working Waterfront, which covers coastal Maine.The houses will be built by Keiser Homes, based in Oxford, Maine, and shipped and assembled by ModSource, another Oxford-based company. Kaplan Thompson has designed all three models – Peaks, Chebeague, and Great Diamond – for modular construction and named the homes after Casco Bay islands. The homes are being marketed on Keiser’s website as the Modular Zero Homes line.Prices for the Peaks model, a 1,200-sq.-ft. three-bedroom, start at $205,000. Like all three homes in the lineup, Peaks has 12-inch-thick cellulose-insulated double-stud walls (R-40), an R-60 roof, and triple-glazed windows. Solar hot water systems and photovoltaic arrays are among the available options.[Ed’s Note: Phil Kaplan, principal of Kaplan Thompson Architects, along with his co-host Chris Briley, podcast regularly for Green Building Advisor in the Green Architects’ Lounge. Phil’s partner, Jesse Thompson, makes semi-regular appearances.]last_img read more

Reconnecting leaders with the grassroots

first_imgA campaign launched by the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress to strengthen its presence at the polling booths ahead of the State Assembly elections due in December this year has attracted the party workers in large numbers as well as the local populace in the remote areas. The Congress has refuted the charge that it is a “gimmick” to display power.The ‘Mera Booth, Mera Gaurav’ (my booth, my pride) campaign has been devised to prompt the Congress workers to take pride in the party’s most fundamental unit and reinforce the organisational value of unity in its rank and file. Pradesh Congress president Sachin Pilot has addressed a large number of booth-level programmes in several towns and villages across the State. Mr. Pilot led a massive rally of party workers here on Monday to protest against the alleged misuse of government machinery and money by the ruling BJP during a dialogue meet held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jaipur on July 7. Mr. Pilot said the BJP, which had wasted the hard-earned money of taxpayers to gather the crowds of so-called beneficiaries of government’s schemes, had betrayed the public mandate.The campaign at the booths, on the other hand, is claimed to be an innovative way to motivate the party workers and strengthen the party at its core. “This is an innovation like no other. With other parties painting the picture of workers mobilising to strengthen the party leaders, we in the Congress have mobilised our party leaders to strengthen the core workers,” Pradesh Congress vice-president Archana Sharma said here.Besides Mr. Pilot, AICC general secretary Avinash Pande, former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and AICC secretaries Vivek Bansal, Devendra Yadav, Qazi Nizamuddin and Tarun Kumar have attended the booth-level outreach programmes during the last one and a half months.‘Not a gimmick’ Ms. Sharma refuted the BJP’s allegation that the Congress’ campaign was a gimmick to display power and said it was nurturing the very roots of the organisation. “As a united front, we believe that a healthy organisation gives a healthy regime,” she said, adding that the party had reached out to more than 7,00,000 people across the State.During the programmes, the Congress leaders have highlighted the BJP government’s alleged failures and the previous Congress regime’s achievements through one-to-one contacts, street plays and pamphlets.BJP accuses Cong. Newly-appointed State BJP president Madan Lal Saini has accused the Congress of imitating the ruling party’s ‘Mera Booth, Sabse Mazboot’ (my booth, the strongest) campaign running for four years. At some places, the Congress workers and leaders were reportedly involved in scuffles because of ‘local politics’.After the completion of the campaign, Congress president Rahul Gandhi is likely to address a rally in the State next month to give a fillip to the party’s preparations for the Assembly polls.last_img read more

Injured in cross-border firing, 10-day-old baby dies in J&K’s Poonch

first_imgA 10-day-old infant who was injured during cross-border firing in Poonch sector on Sunday has succumbed to the injuries at a hospital there.“The baby was undergoing treatment but unfortunately he succumbed [late on Sunday],” Deputy Commissioner Poonch Rahul Yadav said.The infant and his mother, Fatima Jan, were injured in cross-border firing in Shahpur area of Poonch district on Sunday night.The baby was yet to be named, according to the family.According to officials, the Pakistani army started firing and mortar shelling around 7.30 p.m. in Bandi Chechian, Karmara and Kerni areas of Poonch sector on the Line of Control. “A total of three persons were treated at the Poonch hospital,” the official said.last_img