No critics allowed

first_imgDear Editor,Lincoln Lewis and David Hinds are the two latest casualties of the behemoth regime of David Granger. If I may, for starters give a sarcastic gesture in saying kudos to The President for doing this, should have dropped them long before now. My reason for making that statement is that these two have indeed lost their relevance to Granger and to society hence, they rightly deserve the humiliation issued to them. And the one who could have done the evil deed in the best way possible was their good friend and party comrade David Granger. Again, I say to him a job well done.The first named gentleman, who is supposedly a labour representative has somehow forgotten his role as advocate championing the rights of workers against the excesses of the government. He certainly had his duties and obligations all mixed up and contorted. He was most urgently engaged in everything else other than things labour, simply put, he is an active public relations agent for Granger. So urgent matters for the benefit of the workers he was most reticent. What he has been, in the truest sense is a stooge for the present regime. He has been a politician dolling up to the PNC/APNU for a long time now doing their work publishing every act of injustice, trampling on the rights of most of the hardworking people of this country as much else.Now, that “actor” role seems to have hit a snag when Lewis obviously stepped out of his league and assumed an image that he would become an independent thinker. Wrong move sir! Because, the moment he stepped out of that blind submissive role and became assertive he was promptly fired. This is the sad mistake Lewis made and a hard fall awaited him.The other gentleman Dr David Hinds happens to be a political scientist. As such he should have had the acme or clearest mountain top knowledge into the workings of the political landscape that is called Guyana. He is also a grassroots person, having fought in the trenches for the restoration of democracy in our country. A member of a once vibrant and esteemed political party The Working People’s Alliance, so there are many accolades to his name. However, in recent times he has been suffering from bouts of amnesia, the sort that makes him totally reject his primary role of being honest and forthcoming with the people as against being “politically correct.” He unashamedly took up the position of a PNC apologist churning out dozens of articles glorifying the political party that he once abhorred. What brought him to such low estate is anybody’s guess, that is, trying desperately to stay in a marriage of convenience.Well, apparently, he too got tired of that servile role and decided to make a few comments outside of the box and again this did not sit well with the Government.He was only being accommodated until the opportune time to strike. There was bound to be a backlash of some kind. Even before this, Granger has flexed his political muscle in the dismissal of his party colleague Dr Roopnarine. Even when he returned Granger reluctantly reinstated him, he relegated him to a political nobody in this Coalition of sorts.Finally, the David Hinds and Lincoln Lewis’ ought to know that they are all relics of the past, persons who should be relegated to the shameful dustbins of this country’s history.Respectfully,Neil Adamslast_img read more

Read More →

Buoyed by cup wins, PSG resume Ligue 1 title march

first_img0Shares0000(From L) Paris Saint-Germain’s Layvin Kurzawa, Neymar and Thiago Silva, seen during a training session in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, on December 4, 2017, on the eve of an UEFA Champions League match © AFP/File / FRANCK FIFEPARIS, France, Jan 12 – Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain resume their relentless drive towards the French Ligue 1 title after the traditional three-week winter break at fifth-placed Nantes this weekend.PSG head to the Loire on the back of a 6-1 rout of Ligue 1 rivals Rennes in the French Cup and a 2-0 midweek defeat of Amiens to reach the League Cup semi-finals. Neymar was on target in both of those victories but the league’s leading scorer Edinson Cavani was absent after returning late from his Christmas and New Year break back home in Uruguay.Argentine Javier Pastore was also overlooked for Wednesday’s outing after returning late from his holiday with both players talked to about their tardiness by coach Unai Emery.PSG captain Thiago Silva raised doubts about Pastore’s future at the club when he said: “I believe Pastore told the club he wanted to leave but in the end they couldn’t reach a deal.”Pastore for his part strongly denied in an interview with Yahoo Sports from Argentina at the weekend that he wanted out.“I love Paris and I love PSG,” said Pastore, whose arrival in 2011 opened the floodgates to a host of talent that followed him into the club.Monaco’s Thomas Lemar (L) fights for the ball with Nice’s Jean Michael Seri during their French League Cup match, at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, on January 9, 2018 © AFP/File / VALERY HACHE“Believe me I’ll always be loyal to this club.”With next month’s heavyweight Champions League date with Real Madrid looming Emery’s side visit Nantes enjoying a nine-point lead over defending Ligue 1 title-holders Monaco and Lyon.And given that Nantes haven’t managed to better PSG in Ligue 1 since 2005, the Qatari-backed visitors are on target to add another three points to the 50 they have already banked.– Falcao concern –PSG are not playing until Sunday night which gives Monaco the opportunity to reduce that gap for 24 hours at least with victory at Montpellier on Saturday.Leonardo Jardim’s team resume league duties also having secured their ticket to the League Cup last four as goals from Thomas Lemar and Adama Diakhaby lifted them to a 2-1 defeat of Cote d’Azur rivals Nice on Tuesday.But they look set to be without their captain, Radamel Falcao, who is recovering from a thigh injury.“You have to be careful with a thigh because this sort of injury can quickly lead to six weeks off,” cautioned Jardim who may also be without Guido Carrillo.Multiple former champions Lyon host second from bottom Angers.Under performing Bordeaux meanwhile approach their trip to Troyes boosted by an unusual show of support.Jocelyn Gourvennec’s side, precariously placed one point above the relegation zone, trained on Friday watched by the club’s workforce who left their desks to give the team a much needed boost.Midfielder Jeremy Toulalan said: “It gave us pleasure because at the moment we aren’t getting a great deal of support.“I’ve been at quite a few clubs but this is the first time I’ve seen anything like that, it warms the heart.”Fixtures (all times GMT)FridayStrasbourg v Guingamp (1945)SaturdayRennes v Marseille (1600), Caen v Lille, Dijon v Metz, Montpellier v Monaco, Nice v Amiens, Troyes v Bordeaux (all 1900)SundaySaint-Etienne v Toulouse (1400), Lyon v Angers (1600), Nantes v Paris Saint-Germain (2000)0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Read More →

DONEGAL LEAGUE – ALL THE REPORTS, RESULTS AND FIXTURES

first_imgDONEGAL JUNIOR LEAGUEREPORTS Downtown Cup Quarter FinalsDeele Harps 0 Donegal Town Reserves 0 (6-7 on penalties)Donegal Town Reserves could have wrapped this match up with fifteen minutes remaining but their striker saw his penalty come back off the post. When extra time couldn’t separate the sides it all came down to the often dreaded penalty shoot-out. The home side scored on six occasions but the men from through the gap managed seven and by doing so booked their place in the Downtown Cup Semi-Finals. Fintown Harps AFC 3 Downtown United 0This quarter final of the Downtown Cup was played in great conditions at Pairc Acla in Fintown. Fintown got off to a great start. In the 5th minute John Molloy was awarded a penalty. Daragh Gallagher made no mistake in sticking it into the back of the net. Both teams pushed hard throughout the game with a few scoring opportunities falling to both teams but neither able to find the target. In the latter minutes of the first half, Brian Delaney scored a cracker of a goal with great assistance from Eoin Waide and Daragh Gallagher.The second half was an intense affair with both teams putting their bodies on the line. Fintown’s Daragh Gallagher and John McFadden coming close to scoring in the opening minutes. Downtown pushed hard but the Fintown defence worked hard to keep them out. Then in the last minute of the second half Daragh Gallagher took on the Downtown defence and gave a great through ball to find Eoin Boyle in the box and he slotted it into the back of the net. The final whistle was blown up with a 3-0 victory for the homeside.Team performances by both teams.Glenea United Reserves 1 Glencar Celtic 0Glenea United Reserves qualified for the semi finals of the Downtown Cup with this hard fought victory over Glencar. Glenea started brightly and created a couple of half chances. As the half progressed Glencar came more into the game and their best chance came on 42 minutes when Cathal Gallagher had to make a good save at his near post. In the 2nd half both sides found it hard to create any chances as defences were on top with the home side coming closest on 80 minutes when Martin Doohan’s cross was almost deflected into the goal but was well saved by the away keeper. Just as extra time loomed Glenea found the net, Ciaran Gallagher’s long clearance was headed on by John Harley to Martin Doohan who slotted the ball past the keeper into the net. Best for Glenea Shane Penrose & Kevin McFadden, while it was a team effort from GlencarBrian Mc Cormick Sports Premier Division Lifford Celtic 5 Glenea United 2On a blustery day at the Green Brae, Lifford managed to net 7 times. They hit the front when Colin Carlin got on the end of an excellent cross from Jude Patton on 5 minutes. Glenea got their equaliser when Lifford’s centre half Daniel Carlin headed to his own net on the half hour mark. Lifford’s response was immediate when Ross Porter placed a postage stamp like free kick in the top corner but lightening struck twice when Colin Carlin netted in his own net to leave the game level at half time. The second half began with Glenea pushing and Lifford countering, Mark Neeson put Lifford back in front with a fine lob with twenty minutes remaining. JP Malley came off the bench to put Lifford further ahead with 15 minutes remaining. Glenea continued to press but the Lifford rear guard stood strong, another break away finished with Jude Patton scoring late in the game. Team performance from Lifford, Ryan McFadden impressed for Glenea.Castlefin Celtic 1 Milford United 2Castlefin lost their last home game of the season when Milford went away with a 2-1 victory from Parkview on Saturday. The first half was a midfield battle with neither of the two teams able to create a clear cut chance. In the 50th minute Castlefin took the lead when Tiernan Mc Connell pounced on a mix up in the Milford defence to slot home. Milford responded and equalised when Brendan Murray’s shot flew into the top corner from 25 yards with 60 minutes played. In the 65 minute Milford took the lead when Joey Cullen tapped in after a Paddy Peoples header came off the post. In the closing stages both side`s created opportunities but they failed to hit the target. Team performances. Referee: Ed MooreWatson Hire Division OneRaphoe Town 1 Curragh Athletic 5Raphoe got off to a bad start in this game, going 3 goals down in the first 10 minutes with Dan O’ Brien getting the first two and Shane Barclay scoring from the spot. Ronnie Carlin made it 4-0 in the 24th minute and it looked bad for Raphoe. But then this young team with a few old veterans settled down and started to play some good football and were rewarded in the 40th minute when Darren Kelly scored from a spot kick. However a mistake by the defence let Ronnie Carlin in to make it 5-1 before the break. Raphoe started the second half with nothing to lose and played some nice football hitting the post twice and looked the only team likely to score in the second half but Curragh had done enough in the first half to hold on and the game finished 5-1.Cappry Rovers 1 Keadue Rovers 2In this entertaining game played under the lights in Cappry Park on Saturday night Keadue Rovers secured the points right at the death. Cappry opened the stronger with Dylan Ramsey, Paddy Mc Nulty and Kevin Mc Glynn going close, only denied by good defending and goalkeeping by Conor Breen in the Keadue goal. The visitors had a few chances but all to no avail. Cappry started the second half where they finished before the break and had numerous chances but to no avail as the visitors defence held firm. Cappry got the breakthrough they deserved in the sixty seventh minute when Paddy Mc Nulty won the ball burst into the area and was fouled. The referee pointed to the spot and Kevin Mc Glynn scored from the penalty.The hosts kept the pressure on and in the seventy second were awarded a second penalty after Paddy Mc Nulty was taken down by keeper Breen. Kevin Mc Glynn stepped up to take the penalty to put the game out of reach of the visitors but this time his shot hit the crossbar and was cleared to safety.Keadue were back on level terms in the seventy sixth minute when Oran Redmond won possession, ran a few yards, saw Cappry keeper Benji O’ Meara off his line, and hit a shot which dropped in behind him.A few minutes later O’ Meara went off injured and was replaced by Eoghan Gallen in the Cappry goal.He made a few good stops and then on the eighty eight minutes disaster struck for Cappry when a long shot from Darren Gallagher deceived Gallen and dropped over his head into the net for an identical goal to the first.Cappry couldn’t get back into the game again.CT Ball Division TwoGweedore United 1 Dunlewy Celtic 1This game played in excellent conditions at Carrickboyle saw both sides come away with a point from this local derby. The game started with both sides looking nervy and a lot of ball played in the air. The visitors settled well after the first quarter and began to push for a goal. Dunlewey took the lead in the 22nd minute when a well delivered corner was headed into the top corner by Paddy Cannon. The visitors with the momentum continued to push and saw good chances fall to John Cannon and Christopher Cannon. United thought they equalised in the 37th minute when Ciaran Mc Fadden finished well, however the goal was disallowed for offside to the surprise of the home support and it remained 1-0 until half time. In the second half the home side went at Dunlewey and began to pin them back in their own half. This good pressure paid off in the 77th minute when the home side were awarded a penalty following a hand ball. Shane “Baggio” O’ Donnell converted the spot kick to make it 1-1. The home side continued to push for a winner, however Dunlewey defended well and the match ended in a draw. It was team efforts from both sides in a typical hard fought local derby.DONEGAL JUNIOR LEAGUERESULTSDowntown Cup Quarter FinalsDeele Harps 0 v 0 Donegal Town Reserves (6-7 on penalties)Fintown Harps AFC 3 v 0 Downtown UnitedGlenea United Reserves 1 v 0 Glencar CelticBrian Mc Cormick Sports Premier DivisionLifford Celtic 5 v 2 Glenea UnitedCastlefin Celtic 1 v 2 Milford UnitedWatson Hire Division OneRaphoe Town 1 v 5 Curragh AthleticCappry Rovers 1 v 2 Keadue RoversCT Ball Division TwoGweedore United 1 v 1 Dunlewy CelticDONEGAL JUNIOR LEAGUEFIXTURESSATURDAY 23-3-2013 K.O. 2 p.m. (Unless Stated)Old Orchard Inn Division OneKilmacrennan Celtic Reserves v Glenea United ReservesRamelton Mariners v Glencar CelticMulroy Celtic v Erne WanderersGlencar Inn Division TwoMilford United Reserves v Keadue Rovers ReservesCranford United Reserves v Downtown UnitedDeele Harps v Tullyvinney RoversSUNDAY 24-3-2013 K.O. 2 p.m. (Unless Stated)Brian Mc Cormick Sports Premier DivisionKilmacrennan Celtic v St. CatherinesLagan Harps v Milford UnitedWatson Hire Division OneArranmore United v Ballybofey United ( K.O. 1p.m.)Drumoghill FC v Cappry RoversCurragh Athletic v Cranford UnitedRaphoe Town v Eany CelticCT Ball Division TwoCopany Rovers v Glenree UnitedDunlewy Celtic v Whitestrand UnitedGweedore United v Bonagee UnitedDrumbar United v Convoy ArsenalKerrykeel ’71 F.C. v Letterbarrow CelticBrian Mc Cormick Cup Semi-FinalsRathmullan Celtic v Lifford CelticDonegal Town v Glenea UnitedDONEGAL LEAGUE – ALL THE REPORTS, RESULTS AND FIXTURES was last modified: March 17th, 2013 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:Donegal LeaguefixturesResultslast_img
Read More →

Reward offered in hopes of catching deadly team of robbers

first_imgAuthorities hope a $50,000 reward announced Tuesday will flush out eight people suspected of stealing about $100,000 during at least 100 robberies in the San Fernando Valley – including one in which a restaurant owner was slain. The suspects – seven men and one woman – are considered armed and dangerous, the Los Angeles Police Department said. “We have people out there that are terrorizing this community, and we need the public’s help in identifying them,” LAPD Detective Steve Coman said. During a May 20 robbery at the Thai Cafe, in the 8300 block of Tampa Avenue in Northridge, the owner was shot by bandits and later died, police said. The reward was offered by the Los Angeles City Council for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the robbers. Anyone knowing more about the case was urged to call police.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “What they’re primarily focused on is cash – that’s what they want,” Capt. Kyle Jackson said at a news conference. No specific descriptions of the suspects were announced. “They are involved in robberies involving patrons,” Jackson said. “They take wallets. They’ve taken cell phones. They’ve taken other property. But they discard anything that has information that is identifiable. They are primarily focused on cash.” A joint LAPD-FBI task force has had as many as 40 officers and agents investigating the robberies, Jackson said. On Sept. 30, two FBI agents performing surveillance for the task force in Van Nuys were victims of an attempted carjacking, Jackson said. The agents shot two of the carjackers, killing one of them. “Those suspects were not the people we were looking for,” Jackson said. last_img read more

Read More →

Trimmers dress up trees for festival

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost $5 for adults and $3 for children. Saturday night’s gala and auction cost $50 per person and will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. It will all take place at 21119 Centre Pointe Parkway, Canyon Country. Some trees have traditional St. Nick and Old World themes. Others reach for a different look with decorations ranging from guitars to treadmills and mountain bikes. In those cases, the trees more represent the designer and the organization presenting them. CANYON COUNTRY – Bugs Bunny, Sylvester and Tweety revel with glad tidings at one tree while whimsical fairies and muses rejoice around another. Holiday scenes are displayed around, on top of and underneath about 68 more Christmas trees at the 2005 Festival of Trees. The trees will be sold at a gala auction Saturday night to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley. Tree price tags range from $500 to $10,000. Last year’s event raised $115,000 for the local organization. Residents can tour the forest of trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses today through Sunday. Santa will be there ready to hear what tops children’s wish lists. Putting the finishing touches Thursday on her beauty-queen theme tree, Jamie Getskow adjusted its crown and the hot-pink boa that wrapped around the branches like garland. Below the tree were spa packages and products from the Valencia beauty salon where she works. “I wanted to trim the tree into a lady but didn’t have enough time,” Getskow said. Sue Doyle, (661) 257-5254sue.doyle@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Read More →

DD LOCAL – DRUMKEEN TO HOST CHRISTMAS PARTY FOR SENIOR CITIZENS

first_imgDrumkeen Youth ClubYouth Club this Fri 29th Nov from 7:30-9:30 pm. Leaders on duty this week: Lauren Guthrie, Sandra Kennedy, John McLaughlin. We would like to express our gratitude to Airtricity for their generous donation to the youth club.Special thanks to Benny from AB Fitness who gave our members a fun workout last week. The varied exercises and training methods proved very popular with everyone. Club Hoodies now available only €20 and can be paid for in installments. We will have a club outing in the next few weeks, details on Fri night.Senior Citizens Annual Christmas DinnerThe Christmas dinner for our Senior Citizens will take place on Sun 01st Dec 2013 beginning with mass at 6 pm in St. Patrick’s church followed by dinner and music at 7 pm in the local hall. Please contact Matt O’ Kane on 074 9134104 or Michael Mc Namee on 074 9134163. Charlie Daly & H-Block Martyrs Sinn Féin Cumann DrumkeenLotto Results 13th Nov 08, 09, 19, 21. No jackpot winner. 1 winner Laurence Arbuckle, Muff €100 Next weeks jackpot €675. Go raibh maith agat.Debut CD “Ripple”Local musician Simon Mc Cafferty has just released his Debut CD “Ripple” An original instrumental acoustic guitar session. Price of the CD is only €5 and is on sale at Drumkeen Post Office and the Raphoe Café. Simon can be contacted at goofsgaff@gmail.com or check out his Facebook pageSimon Mc Cafferty Music.Irish Conversational Classes Classes continue in St. Patrick’s N.S. From 7-9 pm. and is part funded by Donegal ETB. Go raibh maith agat.Jiving LessonsJiving lessons continues in St. Patrick’s hall every Mon night at 9 pm, everyone welcome.Parish Hall Anyone wishing to book the hall should contact Charlie Quinn on 91/34010 or 087 7728608Drumkeen NotesAnyone wishing to have material included for next weekPlease Email: drumkeennotes@gmail.com or text 086 4083625 (Deadline Fri @ 8pm)DD LOCAL – DRUMKEEN TO HOST CHRISTMAS PARTY FOR SENIOR CITIZENS was last modified: November 23rd, 2013 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:Drumkeen local newslast_img read more

Read More →

8.7 Million Species Is Not a Scientific Fact

first_imgHuman beings love to classify things.  We pigeonhole items into bins of our own making, for whatever the reason, to give us a feeling of having things organized and understood.   Do our pigeonholes reflect categories that are “out there” in nature, or are they constructs of our own minds?  Science reporters are announcing in bold print that there are “8.7 million species on Earth,” but a look at the fine print shows the error bars to be so enormous, there is more error than data.  What does this imply about the scientific validity of human classification schemes? PhysOrg announced the 8.7 million number in its summary of a paper on PLoS Biology.1  National Geographic News followed up with a headline on one of the findings by Mora et al.: “86 Percent of Earth’s Species Still Unknown?”  Right off the bat, questions arise about how anyone can know the 8.7 million number with only 14 percent data. It would seem that many among the to-be-discovered organisms in the 86 percent bin might not be species at all, but members of smaller groupings like subspecies or varieties – or even of larger taxa [biological categories] like families or phyla.  In the 08/20/11 story, for instance, a whole new family, genus, and species was created for Protoanguilla palau, an eel that was classified as the only member of its new taxon.  Not all taxa are created equal.  Some phyla like Micrognathozoa and Ciliophora have only one member (SFSU.edu) while some lower taxa, like the order Coleoptera (beetles) within the class Insecta have over 2 million species. Other scientific classification schemes seem to carve nature at its joints more cleanly.  The periodic table in chemistry is a classic example.  Even there, though, the use of atomic number to distinguish groups of things can seem a bit arbitrary in some situations, because there are isotopes of some elements that are heavier than elements with a higher atomic number.  Planet classification continues to vex astronomers ever since Pluto got demoted from a “planet” to a “dwarf planet” (after some tried minor planet or plutoid).  The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the panel that places a kind of scientific imprimatur on nomenclature.  Back in 2006, after much debate, they voted Pluto out of the “Planet” bin.  National Geographic News reported this week, though, that “New Finds Drive Debate” about whether Pluto should be promoted back to planet.  Those finds include other bodies large and small in the outer solar system (some larger than Pluto), new computer models that show objects moving around over time (moving, for instance from planetary satellite to sun-orbiter), exoplanets, and some planet-size bodies that don’t orbit stars at all. Reporter Victoria Jaggard’s lengthy foray into the wrestling matches over planetary classification showcased the human emotions involved.  “After the ruling, astronomers everywhere were besieged by complaints from everyone big and small,” planetary scientist Marc Kuchner (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) remembered.  “A planet is a very personal thing—we think of the Earth, the moon, and the other planets as part of our home, and maybe that’s why we got so upset about Pluto.”  Space.com gave space to planet killer Mike Brown and planet defender Alan Stern.  In the NG News article, Owen Gingerich recalled that emotions rang high partly because “It was a bureaucratic problem, as it had to do with naming rights for these kinds of things.”  Does the IAU get naming rights simply because of its power and prestige?  If a political dictator had the power, could he make his naming scheme the official one? In the species wars, too, it is clear that politics gets embroiled.  Commenting on the original paper by Mora et al. in PLoS Biology,2 Robert May (Oxford U) tried to argue that taxonomy is more than just stamp collecting.  He asked, “Why Worry About How Many Species and Their Loss?”  His answer was, “we increasingly recognise that such knowledge is important for full understanding of the ecological and evolutionary processes which created, and which are struggling to maintain, the diverse biological riches we are heir to.”  The operative word is we, because May sees humans as beneficiaries of “ecosystem services” that classification helps us understand.  It is difficult to see why this should be so, however, since the ecosystem is what it is, regardless of how we carve it up name-wise.  Lord May noted that we can count the number of books in the Library of Congress (at a given point in time) to eight significant figures, but cannot estimate the number of species within an order of magnitude (e.g., one million vs ten million).  Part of the problem, he said, is that some species get classified into two or more different collections.  Another is that taxonomists carve up organisms into equal-size bins of plants, vertebrates, and invertebrates, even though “plant species are roughly 10 times, and invertebrates 100 times, more numerous than vertebrates.”  And the big mammals get noticed easier than tiny microbes living under Antarctic ice. Mora et al. addressed the problems of subjectivity in the Linnaen classification system, but pushed ahead anyway, justifying their analytical estimate of 8.7 million species, aware that 86% of  land organisms and up to 91% of marine organisms remain unknown to science.  It’s a hopeless task to close that gap, they lamented, because “describing Earth’s remaining species may take as long as 1,200 years and would require 303,000 taxonomists at an approximated cost of US$364 billion.”   And “With extinction rates now exceeding natural background rates by a factor of 100 to 1,000, our results also suggest that this slow advance in the description of species will lead to species becoming extinct before we know they even existed. ”  Yet taxonomists must press on, they argued, because “High rates of biodiversity loss provide an urgent incentive to increase our knowledge of Earth’s remaining species.” And there’s the political rub.  Laws to protect endangered species assume biologists know what species are.  Mora worried in the PhysOrg article that classification is “particularly important now because a host of human activities and influences are accelerating the rate of extinctions.”  But it’s much easier to discover a critter than classify it, National Geographic News explained: “Scientists must compare their specimen to museum samples, analyze its DNA, and complete reams of paperwork” to give it a place in the taxonomic tree.  It’s a long process.  A biologist could only classify a few dozen in a lifetime, “if they’re really lucky,” one remarked.  Visualizing a crisis, with species disappearing faster than we can find them, Mora said, “With the clock of extinction now ticking faster for many species, I believe speeding the inventory of Earth’s species merits high scientific and societal priority.” 1. Mora, Tittensor et al., “How Many Species Are There on Earth and in the Ocean?”, Public Library of Science Biology, 9(8): e1001127. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001127 (open access). 2. Robert M. May, “Why Worry about How Many Species and Their Loss?”, Public Library of Science Biology 9(8): e1001130. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001130 (open access). An old joke applies here. A homeless person was offered a job – a very simple job – to sort potatoes into a pile of big potatoes and a pile of small potatoes.  What could be an easier way to earn some whiskey dough?  Before getting halfway through, though, the guy quit.  Why?  “The decisions,” he mumbled. Let’s have some fun with taxonomy (a vexed issue in philosophy of science).  Would it be appropriate to lump all living things into one category?  Sure, if it is useful to you.  You could call it “Inhabitants of the Biosphere” or some catchy name, like geota.  After all, geota all share a genetic code, right?  Now instead of 8.7 million things, you have one nice, tidy category. How could that be useful?  Well, you’ve immediately distinguished geota from Martians and space aliens.  That could be useful in some scientific discussions.  But even then, you would have to worry about whether some geota migrated to Mars, as seems more plausible now, thanks to a report on PhysOrg that “Simulation shows how Earth may have seeded life on other planets.”  So when NASA brings back soil samples from Mars, there will be new debates about whether any putative life forms are really geota from Earth contamination – or even whether geota originated on Mars and migrated to Earth, making the geota category moot in the first place. The same problems exist with other classification schemes.  All bodies in the solar system could be classified as sun-orbiters, if useful (after all, even moons orbit the sun in a loopy spirograph kind of way).  There are no laws of classification handed down from on high.  We make them up.  It’s whatever your groove is, man.  You can classify the elements into Earth, Air, Fire, and Water if you want to—a scheme that the Greeks found useful for centuries.  In his classic cartoon Science Made Stupid, Tom Weller showed how the Greek scheme could deduce chemical compounds.  Add earth to air, for instance and you get smog; fire plus water yields Tequila.  Some cultures might find that knowledge useful. In the late second millennium A.D., some human cultures have found it useful to classify living things into a hierarchy of phylum-class-order-family-genus-species, physical stuff into elements-isotopes-compounds-subatomic_particles, and orbiting bodies into planets-satellites-asteroids-comets-dust (with some new entries, such as Kuiper Belt Objects, Trans-Neptunian Objects, Near-Earth Asteroids, Plutoids, Minor Planets, Dwarf Planets, comet-like asteroids, asteroid-like comets etc.).  You get into the small-potatoes dilemma when you try to classify the moons of Saturn, when bodies grade smoothly from Titan-size moons down to micron-size ring particles, or classify subatomic particles (how many muons, leptons, hadrons, quarks, and strings are there, anyway?) but for most uses, our schemes serve us well; they have led to many useful discoveries. Conversely, you could go to the other extreme and put each object into its own bin.  Chemists could have thousands of bins, with one for each chemical isotope.  You could call each planetary body by its proper name without lumping it into higher groups.  You could classify every individual organism of a species into its own category.  We do that already in some cases, like giving names to each chimpanzee in the primate cage at the zoo.  The zookeeper doesn’t want to refer to Pan troglodytes in such cases, but to Bonzo, Ponzi and Sally.  The situation dictates the choice of classification.  Any situation involving human subjective judgment is going to start debates.  Biological taxonomists have long endured the wars of the lumpers and splitters, those who want fewer categories, and those who want more.  And don’t discount the lust for fame – the desire to discover a new species and name it yourself, or even name it for yourself.  Our thought experiment about geota is just lumping taken to the extreme. Even our best scientific classification schemes are riddled with internal flaws.  Did you know there are multiple competing definitions of species?  Try any one definition, and it will raise vexing questions.  The common definition we learn in high school biology, the biological species concept, tries to define a species as a group in which members can produce fertile offspring.  Nice, except that you’ve just ruled out fossils and the vast majority of organisms that reproduce asexually.  Another recent scheme called PhyloCode tried to group living things by their evolutionary lineage.  Creationists would just love that one, but even evolutionists cannot agree on ancestral lines in their mythical Tree of Life (see article on Evolution News & Views). This excursion into philosophy of classification is trivia except when the classifiers come after your wallet.  Most of us can get by in life whether or not Pluto is dubbed a planet, but the Endangered Species Act has caused landowners their livelihood.  Remember the snail darter?  It is human beings, with their flawed schemes, who decide what constitutes an endangered species.  Reclassify snail darters as members of a larger taxon with a wider range, and presto! the landowner gets his private property rights back.  What changed?  The snail darter?  No; the society’s decision, based on political power.  All it takes for an ideologue with an agenda to stop a shopping center or factory that might create hundreds of jobs is to discover a weed or roundworm in the path of development and convince the EPA it is endangered.  Classification looms large as a political issue in such cases. This commentary focused on utility as the essence of classification.  Any classification scheme is appropriate to the degree it is useful.  Now, one must ask the follow-up question lurking in the shadows: useful to whom?(Visited 55 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Read More →

Find Your Whole Social Graph on Facebook at Once With FBFriendFinder

first_imgWe’ve just found a new application for finding your Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections and other friends from around the web on Facebook – all at once and all quite simply.This tool is called FBFriendFinder. It comes from the Dutch web dev shop Open & Sociaal, and it works like a charm by using OAuth, Facebook Connect and contact export functions to gather enough data to organize a user’s social graph. The most interesting part, however, isn’t the technology but the business model. You have to read it to believe it.First, FBFriendFinder makes the friend-finding part of the process as user-friendly as possible, eliminating clicks and needless navigation whenever possible: Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Also, we appreciate the app’s acknowledgement of our “crazy lifestyle.” And now, we’re off to ditch these pajama pants we’ve been sporting since the weekend and just go bananas. It’s our crazy lifestyle calling to us – the crazy lifestyle we never knew we had.A sincere congratulations to the FBFriendFinder dude for creating a handy and monetizable application. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#Facebook#web jolie odell A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit FBFriendFinder has take the much maligned approach of actually requiring users to pay for the service. Users are charged around one American penny per friend found, give or take. The site integrates with PayPal, so the process is quick and painless. After we paid our fee, we were able to scroll through a slideshow of our social graph (albeit with a lot of same-name duplicate accounts) to find and add those friends to our Facebook network. This process was a tiny bit buggy and required some back-and-forth navigation (it seems our friends at The Next Web had the same problem), but overall, the experience was well worth the five bucks it took to find these friends without having to manually hunt them down ourselves or rely on Facebook suggestions. Related Posts last_img read more

Read More →

Dealing With Ductwork in an Unconditioned Attic

first_imgAdd more insulationDana Dorsett would have Ted get the level of insulation much closer to the R-49 recommended in the International Residential Code.“In a DOE Climate Zone 7 (not to be confused with a USDA plant hardiness zone 7) a mere 8 inches of fluff is woefully inadequate,” Dorsett says. “IRC code-minimum for zone 7 is R-49, and you have barely half that. Air sealing all the ducts and air handler connections and seams, and air sealing all the duct boots to the ceiling gypsum (and any other penetrations) is a critical first step prior to adding any insulation.”(As it turns out, Ted initially confused the two climate zone designations. His house is located in DOE Climate Zone 4, not Zone 7 as he had originally indicated. But the code recommendation for attic insulation is the same — it’s R-49 in both in Zone 4 and Zone 7.)Dorsett suggests that a low-e silver-colored paint on the underside of the roof deck, or a perforated radiant barrier under the rafters, would make a difference during the cooling season (with only modest increases in heating costs during the winter). The first step, though, is more insulation.“But you might start with over-blowing the floor-fluff with 6-8 inches of cellulose, to bring the combined depth to about 15-16 inches,” Dorsett says. “(As a DIY, do what the pros do — install multiple depth gauge strips to know when you’re there.)” RELATED ARTICLES Attic conversions can be expensiveAs if to underscore Holladay’s point, Brian Gray, writing from Chicago, says that he faces a nearly identical situation as Ted does, and the fix is looking to be anything but cheap.“I’ve been debating my situation for what seems like forever,” he says. It comes down to three options, the first of which is to convert his attic into a conditioned space by installing 4 1/2 inches of polyiso insulation above the roof deck and then adding a new standing-seam metal roof. He’d add open-cell foam below the roof deck to give the assembly the required R-value, but the bids range from $40,000 to $60,000.His other options are cheaper, but they have some disadvantages.“$40K+ is a lot of money to solve a problem, but I get a new roof, better curb appeal, and surely a higher resale,” he says. “That said, it’s a lot of money.” Our expert’s opinionPeter Yost, GBA’s technical director, adds this:No organism we know of puts its lungs, unsheltered, outside its body; so putting HVAC systems outside a conditioned space is hardly biomimicry. But there we are, with ducts and HVAC units in the hostile environment of an unconditioned attic.First thing: Kill the attic ventilator. Unless you have a perfect air barrier at the ceiling line — and why would you if you are already in a building where someone chose to put the space conditioning outside? — you will be pulling makeup air along the paths of least resistance, including from the conditioned space below. You can’t vent your way out of this predicament.The best option is to move the conditioned boundary to the roofline. Insulate and air seal to pull the attic inside the building. This could and should have been done in the first place, but now you have another chance to make it right.The next best option is to encapsulate the ducts. See recommendations for accomplishing this at the Building America Solution Center. Note all the tabs for various items of key information.For more information, see two other suggested solutions: Ducts Buried in Attic Insulation and Ducts Buried in Attic Insulation & Encapsulated. Note that the former approach is not recommended in moist and marine climates while the latter approach is OK for all climates. Ted has more than a few cobwebs in his attic. The unconditioned space also houses his HVAC system.The 1,800-square-foot brick ranch in Climate Zone 4 dates from the 1960s, but the previous owner installed both a furnace and ductwork in the attic just four years ago. Ted also has inherited a powered attic ventilator. Although both the attic floor and the ductwork are insulated, Ted recognizes the situation isn’t ideal.Summer hasn’t even arrived, he notes in a post at GBA’s Q&A forum, and when the temperature outside climbs to more than 95°F, the temperature in the attic tops 120°F. That has kept the ventilator working, but Ted surmises the high temperatures are reducing the efficiency of his air conditioning equipment.“Should I turn off the ventilator so it won’t suck cool air from the conditioned area?” Ted asks. “Should I put more insulation material on top of the attic floor and the ductwork? Will a radiant barrier under the rafters help?” How much insulation do ducts really need?Ted notes that flexible ducts sold in retail stores seems to be insulated to R-4 or R-8, but by his own measurements conditioned air still shows a 10° to 15° drop from one end of the supply trunk to the other. Should there be such a steep drop in temperature in a run of only about 10 feet?“You are correct that the drop in temperature indicates that the duct is poorly insulated,” Holladay replies. “R-4 or R-8 duct insulation is certainly better than nothing, but for those of us who care about insulation, even R-8 doesn’t make much sense for ducts that are outside of the home’s thermal envelope.“After all, most new homes have R-49 insulation on the attic floor,” Holladay continues. “When the attic is 20°F, that insulation is addressing a delta-T of 50 F°. But the air in the ducts is facing a delta-T of maybe 100 F° or 120 F° — a greater delta-T. So (logically) the ducts deserve more, not less, insulation. Obviously, it’s hard to install R-60 duct insulation. But I raise the delta-T discussion to demonstrate why it’s so important to bring your ducts inside your home’s thermal envelope.”Dorsett adds this thought to the discussion about duct work insulation: “The reason ducts don’t need R-60 insulation despite the higher temperature difference is that total square footage of the duct surface area is much less than the attic floor, and the duty cycle on most systems isn’t anywhere near 100%. R-8 is usually fine for supply ducts, and less is OK for return ducts (due to the smaller temperature difference).”This may be true, Holladay says, but even R-8 insulation doesn’t solve the problem when ducts are located in the wrong place. “Ducts need to be indoors,” he says.center_img Keeping Ducts IndoorsCreating a Conditioned AtticFans in the Attic: Do They Help or Do They Hurt?Are Solar-Powered Attic Ventilators Green?All About Attic VentingGreen Basics: Fans and Natural CoolingAll About Attics Turn off the fanGBA senior editor Martin Holladay notes that the fan is problematic: “The best approach is to immediately disconnect the powered attic ventilator, and then to hire a contractor to transform your vented unconditioned attic into an unvented conditioned attic,” Holladay says.No matter what the climate zone, a powered attic ventilator is not a good idea, he adds. (For more information on this issue, see Fans in the Attic: Do They Help or Do They Hurt?)“Creating a conditioned attic to bring HVAC equipment inside the home’s thermal envelope is always good advice — it’s never a good idea to locate HVAC equipment or ducts outside of your home,” Holladay writes. “That said, the required work is expensive, so the investment often makes little sense from an economic payback perspective.”Holladay continues, “Installing a radiant barrier under your rafters may make sense in your case. Moreover, it’s always a good idea to seal leaks at ductwork seams, to seal leaks in your home’s ceiling (the attic floor), and to improve the R-value of your attic insulation and duct insulation.”The cooling effects of an attic ventilation fan are in most cases “negative,” Dorsett says. That is, Ted will end up using more energy, not less.“Attic ventilation is really never about cooling,” he says. “It’s primarily about moisture control, to keep the wood in the attic from getting moldy or rotting. In more humid climates such as on the Gulf Coast, in air conditioned homes even passive attic ventilation puts more moisture into the attic than it removes.” Encapsulating ducts in spray foamOne option Gray is considering is to encase the ducts in his attic with a 3-inch layer of closed-cell foam, a job he believes would be possible with one or two DIY spray kits and a total cost of between $600 and $1,200. Would this idea have any value in Ted’s situation?Because closed-cell foam can only be safely applied in layers, or “lifts,” of 2 inches at a time, Dorsett replies, that’s probably the limit of what should be considered for ductwork.Using different versions of closed-cell foam, applied with different blowing agents, would be slightly more expensive but also allow thicker layers to be applied in a single lift. “At 2 inches, most [hydrofluoroolefin] blown 2-pound foam would be north of R-14, and north of R-20 at 3 inches,” Dorsett says. “It still may not be financially rational to go more than 2 inches.”Open-cell foam, he adds, is another option. Cheaper and less of a threat to the environment, open-cell foam is relatively vapor-permeable, meaning some moisture will collect during long periods of heavy air conditioning use, he says, “but unlike fiber insulation, open-cell foam isn’t air-permeable, and the rate of accumulation is still quite slow, probably slow enough to be OK in a Zone 5A climate.”Dorsett says that most spray foam would have to be coated with an intumescent paint to be fully code-compliant. Those are the questions to get this Q&A Spotlight rolling.last_img read more

Read More →

Lynching accused yet to be identified

first_imgThree days after a mob killed an alleged rapist of a nine-year-old girl in Punjab’s Jalandhar, the police have not yet been able to identify the accused.Police said a case against “unidentified persons” has been registered under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code and investigation was under way.“So far no arrests have been made. We are yet to identify the accused who were part of the mob that killed 39-year-old Pappu Kumar, who they caught raping the minor girl,” Harsimrat Singh, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Jalandhar, told The Hindu on Wednesday.“We have examined the CCTV footage in the area but could not gather much about the suspects,” Mr. Singh said.last_img

Read More →