Arabic leaflet created to welcome Syrian refugees to Donegal

first_imgA new leaflet has been launched to welcome young people from Syria to Donegal and provide them with information about local services.The leaflet was created by the Donegal Youth Service and written in Arabic as part of an inclusiveness project for Syrian families.The DYS says it aims to help all young people to feel included and welcome to take part in any part of the service, regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexuality, or any other factor. Arabic Flyer now available at the Donegal Youth ServiceYouth Worker Frankie McGreevy has been working on the project for the past year. He said: “This leaflet is part of a larger welcome project that has given us an amazing opportunity to work with and learn from Syrian refugee children and their families, who have shown great strength and resilience having survived the Syrian war as well as the perilous journey to get to these shores.”The leaflet which is entirely in Arabic encourages young people to visit Donegal Youth Service and join any part of the service that interests them. Language doesn’t need to be a barrier, as advances in technology mean that staff can find a way to communicate with any young person who comes through the doors. Donegal Youth Service have worked with young people from all over the world, and make every effort to ensure they all feel welcome and included.The project was created in partnership with the Donegal Local Development Company Resettlement Programme, with funding from the Community Foundation for Ireland.The official launch took place on Wednesday the 23rd of October in Letterkenny.  Frankie McGreevy Youth Worker, Lorraine Thompson DYS Regional Director, Gareth Gibson Youth Information Manager, Eyad Meshael DLDC Resettlement Programme Intercultural Support Worker, Nadine Berri one of the Syrian cooks, Billy Banda BIC Project, Ciara Cronin DLDC Resettlement Project CoordinatorIrish Refugee Food Fair at the Donegal Youth Service in LetterkennyThe launch took place as part of the Irish Refugee Food Fair, an initiative from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in partnership with Slow Food Ireland which gave asylum seekers and refugees an opportunity to showcase their culinary talents, with events taking place all over Ireland. Donegal Youth Service was delighted to host the event in Letterkenny, with Syrian couple Nadine Berri and Bilal Abd El Jalil cooking an authentic Syrian feast for the local community.Syrian couple Nadine Berri and Bilal Abd El Jalil who cooked an authentic feast for the local community pictured with one of their children.For a copy of the leaflet, or for more information about DYS programmes and services then please contact DYS on (074) 91 29630, e-mail admin@donegalyouthservice.ie, visit www.donegalyouthservice.ie, or call in to us at 16-18 Port Road, Letterkenny.  Stay up to date on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. Donegal Youth Service is a registered charity.  Registered Irish Charity Number: 20050696. Do you have a fundraising idea? We would love to hear from you!Arabic leaflet created to welcome Syrian refugees to Donegal was last modified: November 4th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:arabic leafletDonegal Youth ServiceSyrialast_img read more

The Prevolution of Evolution: Life Marches In

first_imgThere’s a new word preceding the E word evolution.  Two Harvard scientists have made up a new word, prevolution, to describe a supposed stage before replication when natural selection was helping evolution evolve.  What does prevolution act on?  Simple, silly: prelife.    Martin Nowak and Hisashi Ohtsuki titled their paper in PNAS, “Prevolutionary dynamics and the origin of evolution.”1  By defining life in terms of evolution, they set the stage for a continuous process of evolution from chemicals to man, with information just appearing along the way.  Their abstract makes it all sound very straightforward.Life is that which replicates and evolves.  The origin of life is also the origin of evolution.  A fundamental question is when do chemical kinetics become evolutionary dynamics?  Here, we formulate a general mathematical theory for the origin of evolution.  All known life on earth is based on biological polymers, which act as information carriers and catalysts.  Therefore, any theory for the origin of life must address the emergence of such a system.  We describe prelife as an alphabet of active monomers that form random polymers.  Prelife is a generative system that can produce information.  Prevolutionary dynamics have selection and mutation, but no replication.  Life marches in with the ability of replication: Polymers act as templates for their own reproduction.  Prelife is a scaffold that builds life.  Yet, there is competition between life and prelife.  There is a phase transition: If the effective replication rate exceeds a critical value, then life outcompetes prelife.  Replication is not a prerequisite for selection, but instead, there can be selection for replication.  Mutation leads to an error threshold between life and prelife.So life just marches in like the saints.  It builds scaffolds.  It crystallizes like ice out of water.  What’s the problem?  Their mathematics show it must be so.    It remains to be seen whether other scientists who have sweated over the origin of life will buy their definitions and descriptions.  A look inside their paper shows the usual math and graphs.  Mathematical derivations, however, often rely on initial conditions that are assumed.  What are they assuming?  Here’s where the word crops up:We assume, for simplicity, that all sequences grow in one direction.At first, we assume that the active monomers are in a steady state.For “supersymmetric” prelife, we assume that a0 = a1 = alpha/2, and ai = a for all other i.Let us now assume that some sequences can act as a templates for replication.Fig. 3 shows the competition between life (replication) and prelife.  We assume a random prelife landscape where the ai values are taken from a uniform distribution between 0 and 1.  All sequences of length n = 6 have the ability to replicate.All fundamental equations of evolutionary and ecological dynamics assume replication, but here, we have explored the dynamical properties of a system before replication and the emergence of replication.Is the scheme rigged to achieve the result?  “Traditionally, one thinks of natural selection as choosing between different replicators,” they said; indeed, replication has usually been understood as a prerequisite for natural selection.  Nowak and Ohtsuki offer a different approach.  “In the present theory, however, we encounter natural selection before replication.”  How?  Because they envision information carriers competing for resources in the chemical soup.  By inventing a concept of prelife, they can have natural selection occurring “within prelife and between life and prelife.”  In this way, natural selection “is not a consequence of replication, but instead natural selection leads to replication.”  This inverted scenario requires some unpacking.    First of all, what do they mean by information?  They defined “prelife” as “an alphabet of active monomers that form random polymers.”  No information so far.  But then they said, “Prelife is a generative system that can produce information.”  Let’s follow their use of that word (information) in the paper.  The paper began by admitting that “Evolution needs a generative system that can produce unlimited information.  Evolution needs populations of information carriers.”  But did they ever define what they mean by information?  It appears they include too much in their picture: “we can define a prebiotic chemistry that can produce any binary string and thereby generate, in principle, unlimited information and diversity,” they said.  “We call such a system prelife and the associated dynamics prevolution (Fig. 1).”  It is doubtful that most theorists would consider the set of all possible random strings as information.  By lowering the standard of information, they have helped themselves to “information carriers” that can compete on a stage of “prevolution” of “prelife.”    How plausible is this?  It appears they have indiscriminately considered any polymer that “outcompetes” the others (by being more abundant) to be a contender leading to life.  What if, however, the leading polymer – even if it can replicate – tends toward clumps that precipitate on the seafloor, till all available resources are used up?  It would seem that one cannot assume that all sequences of building blocks are equally pregnant with life possibilities.  Abundant replicators can lead to a dead end.  At some point the leading polymer in the race for life has to contain functional information.  The set of polymers capable of acting as templates of their own replication, furthermore, seems much smaller than the set of all polymers.    Their model is highly theoretical.  They made no claims what the polymers are made of.  Are the molecules made of RNA, DNA, PNA, or TNA?  Are they one-handed?  Math notwithstanding, models must at some point come to grips with real chemicals in a real solvent in a real environment.  It is to be expected that real molecules will be much more intransigent than hypothetical ones.  Their conclusion makes it clear that their scheme works only on a chalkboard:We have proposed a mathematical theory for studying the origin of evolution.  Our aim was to formulate the simplest possible population dynamics that can produce information and complexity.  We began with a “binary soup” where activated monomers form random polymers (binary strings) of any length (Fig. 1).  Selection emerges in prelife, if some sequences grow faster than others (Fig. 2).  Replication marks the transition from prelife to life, from prevolution to evolution.  Prelife allows a continuous origin of life.  There is also competition between life and prelife.  Life is selected over prelife only if the replication rate is greater than a certain threshold (Fig. 3).  Mutation during replication leads to an error threshold between life and prelife. Life can emerge only if the mutation rate is less than a critical value that is proportional to the inverse of the sequence length (Fig. 4).  All fundamental equations of evolutionary and ecological dynamics assume replication, but here, we have explored the dynamical properties of a system before replication and the emergence of replication.1.  Martin A. Nowak and Hisashi Ohtsuki, “Prevolutionary dynamics and the origin of evolution.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Published online before print September 12, 2008, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0806714105.Have you ever in your life come across a more bold, bald collection of highfalutin nonsense than this?  You can’t just make up words and assume what needs to be proved in an argument.  You can’t just help yourself to concepts foreign to your worldview and manipulate them mathematically to guarantee the outcome you want.  If we were to follow their example, we could prove anything.  Let’s demonstrate the evolution of gnomes, for example.PreGnome Dynamics and the Origin of Garden GnomesGnomes are beings that inhabit gardens and hide under toadstools.  Here, we formulate a general mathematical theory for the origin of gnome.  All known gnomes are made of terracotta and are found in gardens.  Therefore, any theory for the origin of gnomes must address the emergence of such a system.  We describe pregnome as an alphabet of terracotta ostracons that form random shapes.  Pregnome is a generative system that can produce gnome parts.  Pregnome dynamics have selection and mutation, but no replication.  Gnomeness marches in with the ability of replication; Ostracons act as templates for their own replication.  Pregnomeness is a scaffold that builds gnomes.You get the idea.  When you weren’t looking, they snuck in design concepts like information, competition, error, scaffolds, templates and information carriers.  Well, of course!  With a hole that big in the intransigent walls of chemistry, no wonder life just marches in (09/04/2008).    The flaws in this exercise are legion.  They envisioned polymers as simple as binary digits (1’s and 0’s) that somehow can be “activated” and join up into chains.  They claimed that any random string of binary digits carries information.  They claimed that life is merely something that replicates and evolves.  Well, fire does that.  It replicates rapidly.  It evolves, too.  Feed it some different elements and it will turn all kinds of colors.  It adapts to the environment.  According to their definition, it must be alive.  In this land of made-up words, we can call an oil spill prefire.  They considered anything that outnumbers something else as having been “selected” without any consideration of whether it can do anything, like breathe or eat or move or write sonnets.  According to their definition, natural selection selects bubbles in soapy water, and favors ice over dew on your windshield when the temperature drops.    Here is your tax money at work.  This paper was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.  Japanese people will be honored to know that funding also came from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.  Those interested in the interaction between science and religion will also get a warm feeling in their hearts to learn that this bit of secularist, materialist, mechanistic propaganda was supported by the John Templeton Foundation.  We hope the atheists at Nature will give the Foundation a pass this time (08/28/2008).(Visited 79 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Boost for SA aerospace industry

first_img31 August 2007The government this week endorsed three initiatives aimed at boosting South Africa’s aerospace industry: building a multi-million rand component supplier park outside Pretoria; expanding an existing support programme for suppliers; and tackling the shortage of skills in the industry.According to Business Day, the supplier park, the Centurion Aerospace Village, will be built with R29-million provided by the European Union, which has also pledged a further R40-million for the project over the next two years.The supplier park will cluster aerospace manufacturing companies that cater for international markets.The second initiative involves expansion of the Aerospace Industry Support Initiative, which aims to develop an industry supplier base through a supply-chain improvement programme and a supplier development programme.According to Business Day, the support initiative will involve the incubation of programmes worth R10-million per year.Taking up the skills challengeThe third initiative involves work done by the National Aerospace Centre of Excellence (NACoE) to address the scarcity of skills and capacity in the local aerospace industry.Engineering News reported this week that European commercial and military airline manufacturer Airbus had entered into a research and technology development partnership with the NACoE, Stellenbosch University and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.Under the partnership, Airbus and the NACoE have committed to fund 30 South African postgraduate positions for work focussing on aerospace-related topics, with core themes such as the development and application of automation and smart structures techniques, technologies and processes.According to Engineering News, Airbus is also working closely with the Department of Science and Technology and the NACoE to develop a scheme that will eventually encompass all areas of aerospace, aerostructures, systems engineering, manufacturing, aircraft operations and management.“This symbiotic relationship will also benefit local small and medium-sized enterprises wanting to position themselves as suppliers to Airbus and other original equipment manufacturers,” Airbus international cooperation manager Remy Moreau told Engineering News.“It will enable them to source local students who are familiar with Airbus, its processes and culture, but without any additional cost to themselves.”Export growth potentialThe government’s prioritising of SA’s aerospace industry is in line with its aim to increase the country’s exports. It also seeks to exploit the growth in commercial air traffic, and the consequent need for aircraft maintenance and modification, around the continent.According to Business Day, government research shows that technology-intensive industries in developing countries grew by 20% over a 13-year period, as opposed to slower growth for lower-tech and resource-based industries.Speaking to journalists at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria this week, Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa said the government, in deciding whether to back the aerospace sector, was “acutely aware that technology and knowledge are crucial factors of production in modern advanced economies, and those new technological developments can create platforms for further innovations.”Mpahlwa added that as much as three-quarters the more than 200 local companies involved in aerospace-related work were smaller firms, pointing to a thriving medium-sized industry base.In a further boost to South Africa’s aerospace ambitions, the Department of Science and Technology announced this week that the long-awaited South African Space Agency, which will be responsible for coordinating and implementing the country’s space and technology programmes, will be set up by March 2008.SouthAfrica.info reporter and BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Irrfan Khan gets candid

first_imgA small-screen actor who worked his way to Hollywood, receiving praise and critical acclaim along the way… Maqbool and Slumdog Millionaire are just a few movies he collected accolades for.To be or not to beMy dream was to learn acting, and attending the National School of Drama (New Delhi), changed my life. It has given me a different way of looking at things and myself. Drama school plays a very important role in an actor’s life, but you should be serious about the craft. If you just want to get popular and become a hero, it’s not for you. If you’re passionate, it gives you the aptitude and the direction you need.The returnsWhen it comes to awards and recognition, my Padma Shri probably means the most to me. It tells me how my fans and well wishers have reacted to me emotionally. It makes me think about how much people care and value my work and how personal it feels for them, that it matters to them.A philosophical sideLife is not 2+2 = 4. Life could be 2+2 = 100. That is why you say yeh saali zindagi! It is not logical or calculated. It is magical – something beyond calculation or comprehension. So dream your dream, and live your life…Hollywood beckonsIf I’m offered a role that gives me the opportunity to explore something new, that is what I look forward to. I am not there to create headlines about what I’m wearing at a premier; that doesn’t matter and I don’t want to get caught in that either. (He is currently shooting for the next franchise of Spiderman that’ll be released next year.)advertisementPlaying sportI hope to catch some World Cup matches if time permits. I like this team and Dhoni. I admire his attitude – I think he is the best captain I have seen after Steve Waugh. He is at such ease with himself, which is why he is so composed with his team. I love Sehwag’s playing style; when he is batting I want to go home and watch his innings. But Dhoni is special; the way he deals with pressure situations; he is fascinating – just super!The family manI try to spend as much time as I can with my family – we fly kites, play football, computer games, swim, sometimes we just get bored together! I also love going out of the city, out in the wilderness, being one with Nature. I try to cook whenever I get the time; to me cooking is like meditation. When it comes to eating, I do watch what I eat; everything in moderation is what I believe in. And I stay away from processed foods.last_img read more