first_imgMary Mc Granaghan and Kieran Doherty, BASICC Committee.They’re walking back to health and happiness in the Twin Towns with the official launch of the BASICC Walks Initiative which took place recently.Ballybofey And Stranorlar Integrated Community Company (BASICC) who developed the project said they were are delighted with the project which is a further enhancement of the local walks initative in and around the Twin Towns.The actual works included upgrading the Drumboe Town walk and directional signage to other notable historic sites. The project funding was provided with a grant of €54,460 being allocated by DLDC through LEADER.There has been a huge increase in popularity of walks in and around the Twin Towns area thereby helping promote Tourism in the Twin Towns.BASICC had identified existing routes in need of upgrading, making them more accessable and safer to walk. A pocketguide has also been produced to promote the walks along with trailhead signs, directional signage and furniture.Speaking at the launch, Chairman of BASICC, Kieran Doherty said he was delighted with the project and that the objectives of the committee were to increase tourism and enterprise in the Twin Towns. He thanked all involved in the project, but particularly DLDC and Leader who provided the grant and guidance for the project. He thanked the Villa Rose Hotel, Jacksons Hotel, Kees Hotel, Mc Elhinneys Stores and CLADDA for also providing funds to match fund the grant. He also paid tribute to Coillte, Donegal County Council, Tús and Fas for all their support with this and other projects around the area.Chairman of DLDC, Mr Jim Slevin, said that his Board were always happy to help communities who wish to increase Tourism and Enterprise within their areas. He also commended the BASICC committee on all the great work that they have initiated around the Twin Towns.He said “This project ties in perfectly with the companies Rural Recreation Plan for Outdoor Pursuits in 2014”.He also pointed out that several other organisations in the Twin Towns had benefited from Leader funding in recent times including the Development of the “Pound” in Stranorlar, which includes statues of Frances Brown and Issac Butt, the Town Clock, Trusk Lough Walks Project, Gort Scíth Picnic Area, Enhancement works in both towns and more recently the Ard Mc Cool Playgrounds and the recent completed extension to the Finn Valley CentreLocal Cllr Patrick Mc Gowan also spoke at the event stating that it was great to see all organisation working in partnership to make this happen. He paid tribute to DLDC, Leader, RRO, Tus and Fas as well as the five business’s and CLADDA who helped support the development.The official cutting of the ribbon was performed by Mary Mc Granaghan, BASICC with Frank Kelly also of DLDC and Leader acting as MC for the event.WALKING BACK TO ‘BASICC’ HEALTH AND HAPPINESS IN THE TWIN TOWNS! was last modified: August 11th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BASICCdonegalDonegal Local development Compnaytwin townswalkslast_img read more

Animals Outsmart Scientists

first_imgIn science, long-standing beliefs are often challenged by new evidence.  Several recent findings not only show animals to be more remarkable than thought, they pose some new questions for evolutionists.Slothlessness:  Sleeping almost all day, the sloth is the epitome of laziness in the animal kingdom.  Or is it?  The BBC News now tells us that the animal’s lazy image is a myth.  The sloth only sleeps 9.6 hours a day, not 16, as formerly thought.  Some government workers can relate to that.Cheetah whales:  There were thought to be limits on how fast a whale could dive.  Nothing like a little measurement to find out; the BBC News reported that scientists in Spain tagged short-finned pilot whales and found them diving 1000 meters in just 15 minutes, and sprinting after their prey like cheetahs, even at great depth.Insect aeronauts:  Dragonflies can hover, move backwards, and do other tricks with their four independently-operable wings (recall the 08/13/2004 entry).  Computer models had shown it came at a cost: reduced lift.  Scientists decided to compare the models with a robotic dragonfly, reported Science Now, and found the models were wrong.  The dragonfly actually gets more of a lift at less energetic cost, because the back wings ride the rush of air from the front wings.Human efficiency:  We the people have gotten a leg up on our furry primate friends.  Science Now says that we are more efficient at walking on the ground than monkeys are at climbing in the trees.  A graduate student at Duke University found this out with a specially-designed vertical treadmill she built.  She was “surprised to find that no studies had been done in nonhuman primates to measure the amount of energy needed to climb up a tree or wall.”  The bigger your body size, she found, the more efficient it is to walk on the ground than to climb up a limb.Bird’s-eye view:  How do we know the eye of the beholder, when the beholder is a peahen studying a peacock’s feather bouquet?  We don’t, said an article on Science Daily.  Scientists at Uppsala University are upsetting evolutionary assumptions about sexual selection with their findings.  Birds perceive colors differently in 39% of cases they studied, suggesting that “it is possible that more than one third of previous studies have been based on inaccurate information.” Scalloped turkey:  Why would a molecular machine named myosin 2 be structurally identical in two animals on completely different evolutionary branches?  Science Daily wondered about that, especially since in humans, any changes to this motor protein cause disease or death.  The protein performs different functions in the bird than in the seafood creature, but the structure is the same.  The finding was called “puzzling” and “astonishing.”    A professor at University of Leeds apparently knows more about evolution than what is right in front of his nose: “The fact that the scallop has retained all the functions of its myosin 2 over hundreds of millions of years tells us that this folding is of fundamental functional importance in muscle and that we don’t know as much about it as we need to know.”Mouse in your genes?  Though mice share 85% genetic similarity to humans, the way their proteins interact is apparently vastly different.  Science Daily reported on knockout experiments at University of Michigan that showed in mice you can knock out 22% of 120 genes that are essential in humans, but the mice do just fine.  This is adding evidence to a growing realization that it’s not the genome alone that determines the animal phenotype (physical nature).  The way gene products interact – the “interactome” may be more important.Counting fly genes:  Humans have only 72% more genes than a fruit fly, but 10 times the protein interactions.  Science Daily said this shows earlier ideas about the differences between animals based on genetic differences have been called into question.  “Understanding the human genome definitely does not go far enough to explain what makes us different from more simple creatures,” a researcher at Imperial College London explained.  “Our study indicates that protein interactions could hold one of the keys to unraveling how one organism is differentiated from another.”Bouncing off this last quote, how will we know when we have all the keys?  What confidence can we have that new evolutionary assumptions based on findings about the “interactome” will survive discoveries by future scientists?Surprises in biology are fun.  They keep the Darwinists dancing, like the drunk in the Western providing sport for the gunslingers.  It’s not clear a Dar-wino could walk a straight line anyway.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africans championing human rights

first_imgBesides the late Nelson Mandela, many other South Africans have stood up for human rights. Among their names, we can count people like Desmond Tutu and Miriam Makeba. They have all devoted their time and talents to improving the lives of all people.Human rights advocates have worked tirelessly to improve the world. Among their number is Desmond Tutu; there are many more. (Image: Kristen Opalinski/LUCSA, Wikipedia)Priya PitamberMany people have championed various human rights causes in South Africa. They were outspoken against abuses during the apartheid years, and remained advocates of human rights for all people in post-apartheid South Africa, some till their deaths.Desmond TutuDesmond Tutu’s hearty laughter matches his passion to improve the lives of people throughout South Africa and the world. Before he became a priest, Desmond Tutu, born in 1931, was a teacher. Following the introduction of Bantu education, however, he decided to join the church.In 1978, he was appointed the general secretary of the South African Council of Churches, where he became vocal about unjust racial laws. He climbed the ladder in the church: in 1985, Tutu was appointed the Bishop of Johannesburg; in 1986, he was chosen as the Archbishop of Cape Town, the head of the Anglican Church in South Africa – hence his affectionate nickname, “The Arch”.He was the first black person to hold the position, the highest in the South African Anglican Church. In 1987, he was also named the president of the All Africa Conference of Churches, a position he held until 1997.Tutu used his position to call for equality, and was a vociferous campaigner for human rights. In 1996, Nelson Mandela appointed him chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the body set up to investigate human rights violations during the apartheid.Tutu acknowledged that bringing an end to apartheid was a collective effort. “In South Africa, we could not have achieved our freedom and just peace without the help of people around the world,” he wrote on Huffington Post, the American news site, “who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime.”Among other accolades, Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986, and the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007.Here is his simple message to the world:Helen SuzmanHelen Suzman was an anomaly in parliament – an English-speaking Jewish woman at a time when it was filled with and controlled by predominantly Dutch Reform male Afrikaners. She won her parliamentary seat as a representative of the United Party in 1953, and was an MP for over three decades, resigning in 1989.Throughout her years in parliament, Suzman remained critical of the numerous unjust apartheid laws. She was vocal in her opposition to the death penalty; she argued against banning the South African Communist Party, and she addressed gender discrimination.“For an astonishing 36 years, Suzman was a flickering flame of white conscience in apartheid South Africa,” British newspaper The Guardian wrote. “For 13 of those years she carried that light alone, a one-woman party in a parliamentary sanctum of hostile men.”But leaving parliament was not the end of her involvement in public life: she became the president of the South African Institute of Race Relations and was a member of the Human Rights Commission in a democratic South Africa.Suzman passed away in 2009; in an editorial, The Star newspaper described her as “an icon of anti-apartheid activism and a woman who took a fearless and often lonely stance during the darkest days of our recent history”.Miriam MakebaSinger Miriam Makeba helped to change the world lyric by lyric, yet insisted: “I’m not a political singer.” She told The Guardian: “I don’t know what the word means. People think I consciously decided to tell the world what was happening in South Africa. No! I was singing about my life, and in South Africa we always sang about what was happening to us – especially the things that hurt us.”Makeba came to be known as Mama Africa, along the way winning not only a Grammy Award for her music, but also the Dag Hammarskjold Peace Prize in 1986.In the early 1960s she addressed the United Nations. “I ask you and all the leaders of the world, would you act differently, would you keep silent and do nothing if you were in our place?” she asked. “Would you not resist if you were allowed no rights in your country because the colour of your skin is different to that of the rulers?”After the end of apartheid, Makeba continued her humanitarian work through the Miriam Makeba Rehabilitation Centre for abused girls and the Zenzile Miriam Makeba Foundation. In 2008, at the age of 76, she died after suffering a heart attack.Albie SachsIn an interview with Australia’s ABC, Justice Albie Sachs described being a judge as an extreme sport. As a law student, Sachs took part in the Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign when he was 17. He also attended the Congress of the People when the Freedom Charter was adopted in Kliptown in 1955.He became a member of the Cape Bar when he was 21, taking on cases in which people had broken racist laws. It made him the subject of security police scrutiny, and eventually he was jailed. By 1966, he was forced into exile, first in England then in Mozambique. In 1988, a bomb placed in his car by South African security agents blew up, causing him to lose an arm and vision in one eye.But that did not stop Sachs from preparing for a democratic constitution. He returned to South Africa in 1990 and became part of the Constitutional Committee. After 1994, Mandela appointed him to serve as a judge of the Constitutional Court.Passionate about art, Sachs was instrumental in choosing many of the works of art on show in the court, the highest in the country. “One artist, Judith Mason, was listening to the Truth Commission processes on the radio while she was painting, and she heard the story of an African woman, a freedom fighter, whose naked body was discovered because the man who executed her pointed out where she’d been buried,” he told ABC about a particular work, The Blue Dress, “and the only covering the body had was a little bit of blue plastic bag over her private parts.“And Judith was very, very moved by this, and she went out and she bought some plastic bags and she sewed them into a dress for the person she called ‘My Sister’, and that dress is now hanging in our court.“And they represent a kind of a spirit of the sacrifice, the loss, the pain that was involved in the treatment of our democracy, but also the spirit soaring and the rights that are now protected.”Sachs was also instrumental in bringing about the Civil Union Act, which grants same-sex couples the right to marry. It made South Africa the fifth country in the world to grant such a right.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Self-proclaimed ‘icon’ Adam Rippon takes final Olympic skate

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Adam Rippon of the United States reacts following his performance in the men’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Adam Rippon put his hands over his face and let the cheers wash over. He waved and smiled, and when the crowd kept clapping, he jumped where he stood and swung his arms to egg them on.Ever the showman, and with his trademark grace and flair, Rippon took his final skate of the Pyeongchang Olympics on Saturday. He finished 10th, a fine result for a 28-year-old who was never expected to medal against a field populated by younger, higher-flying competition.ADVERTISEMENT AFP official booed out of forum He and skier Gus Kenworthy are America’s only two openly gay male athletes, and they’ve flaunted their LGBT pride on social media throughout the Olympics. Kenworthy and his boyfriend were in the stands to watch Rippon on Saturday, waving an American flag with rainbow patterning in place of red and white stripes. Rippon said he plans to watch Kenworthy compete, too.Rippon’s path to Pyeongchang included a public spat with Vice President Mike Pence, whom the LGBT community considers an opponent for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in March 2015 as Indiana’s governor. Critics said the legislation encouraged discrimination against gay people. An amendment with protections for the LGBT community was passed a week later.Rippon criticized the White House in January for choosing Pence to lead its official delegation for the opening ceremony. When a USA Today report said Pence was hoping to sit down with Rippon, the figure skater said he had no interest in meeting with Pence until at least after the games.The “brouhaha” — Rippon’s word — mostly dissipated as he made his Olympic debut. He helped the Americans win a bronze medal in the team event, then put on a pair of clean skates in the individual competition.All the while, he charmed away during interviews with his striking ease and wit. His personality — he proudly told The Associated Press in November he’s “a little trashy, but really fun” — cemented his Olympic stardom, catching attention from stars including Reese Witherspoon and Elmo.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Black athletes in 1980s, 90s not outspoken, but not silent Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:35U.S. urges Japan, South Korea to share intel00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:29Police 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 Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena stingcenter_img How does he feel about that?“Well, you know, on the spectrum from Reese Witherspoon to Elmo, I’m like excited at about, like, a Meryl Streep,” he told NBC this week. “Does that make sense?”Those around him say the buzzy one-liners aren’t an act. Fellow American skater Ashley Wagner said this week that “he’s like this 24/7. It’s exhausting.”A taste of Rippon’s best work just from Saturday:—On his plans for the rest of the Olympics: “I’m probably going to have like a stiff drink later.”—On the Olympic spotlight: “Sometimes I just get attention, and I really don’t know how it happens.”—On his legacy: “You know, I’m not like a gay icon, or America’s gay sweetheart. I’m just America’s sweetheart and I’m just an icon.”Certainly, this month has opened doors for Rippon. He wouldn’t say for sure Saturday that he’s ready to retire from competition, but at 28, he seems unlikely to keep going much longer.He’d be a hit on television — perhaps following in the footsteps of fellow American skating star Johnny Weir, now a personality on NBC who helps host figure skating and Kentucky Derby coverage. There’s no doubt that if Rippon wants, he can parlay his celebrity into some sort of public post-skating career.With what he showed in South Korea, it’d be surprising if he doesn’t want that. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH MOST READ The self-proclaimed “icon” didn’t need that hardware to leave his mark on these games.Or for the Olympics to leave its mark on him.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“They usually say that like, after the Olympic Games, somebody’s life changes forever,” Rippon said. “A lot of times it’s the gold medalist, but I have a feeling that my life has changed forever.”Rippon has been the headline-grabbing darling of the Pyeongchang Games, a status earned in part with his near-flawless skating, but even more with his efforts off the ice. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments LATEST STORIES He’s given the world a taste of himself, and even after he’s done skating, it’s going to want more.“I think I’ve shown the world that I’m a fierce competitor,” he said. “But I think I’ve shown them that I’m also a fierce human being.” Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoiseslast_img read more