Diamond residents complain of intolerable music levels

first_imgThe residents of Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara, have now become frustrated after exhausting almost every effort to put an end to the intolerable levels of music, frequently played by a popular night club in the scheme.It was explained to Guyana Times that the popular night spot, G3 Building, located at the head of the housing scheme – between Avenue A and B – would play music so loudly, it would disturb residents several streets away.“Every night from about 9 o’clock to till 6 o’clock in de morning, they is be playing the music. You can’t get to sleep, the place is just pounding away. All the windows and everything just vibrating,” a concerned citizen said.Another resident related that on many occasions, residents in the area have contacted the Police but to no avail. “When we contact the Police, them is come but when they are coming, they (nightclub owners) have somebody who is watching out for the Police so they is turn off the music,” the resident said.According to the resident, such an occurrence happened only last Saturday evening.Much to the residents’ dismay, they complained that as soon as the Police leave, the owners of the bar would turn the music up again. A 57-year-old resident told this newspaper that he has been living in the area for over 10 years and the last two years, since the nightclub opened, has been the most miserable ones of his life.He said the situation was not as severe as when the club first opened, but has now reached the point where residents have become completely intolerable of the situation.The frustrated man, not knowing what else to do, or where else to turn for help, said he has lost hope of getting a good night’s rest and is now calling on the relevant authorities to conduct an investigation which will bring peace in the community.last_img read more

Police trainees treated to annual Christmas luncheon

first_imgSenior ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) on Friday hosted their Annual Trainees’ Christmas Luncheon at the Police Officers’ Mess Annex to celebrate with almost 400 recruits.Loud cheering and applause filled the Annex as participants enjoyed the entertainment-packed programme which was in keeping with the spirit of the Christmas season. Attendees enjoyed performances in various forms of song, dance, skit and poetry.A section of the recruits at the Annual Trainees’ Christmas LuncheonRecruits were served and catered to by senior ranks of the force with various options of tantalising foods, non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. The faces of the recruits lit up with bright smiles as they were being served by senior ranks and top officials of the Police Force.Force Training Officer Clifton Hicken, speaking at the luncheon, stated that the senior ranks of the force are committed to pampering new recruits annually in the form of a luncheon. He said that it is a form of welcoming them to the profession whilst also fostering an environment where trainees are able to feel at home. Hicken along with other senior ranks toasted to the batch of recruits.A top rank of the Police Force serving recruits at the luncheon“We recognise over the years that the Commissioner and his senior administrative team are bent on ensuring that recruits are treated to a Christmas luncheon, having them feel home away from home, creating a new family. It is important too to understand that they’re sparing no efforts to ensure this reality becomes a success”.Deputy Commissioner Nigel Hoppie, during his speech, also reiterated the sentiments expressed by Hicken on the importance of this “age-old” tradition.At the event, incentives were also awarded to in excess of 30 ranks of the force attached to the kitchen for their outstanding contributions.Among top officials serving the recruits at the luncheon on Friday were Assistant Commissioner of Police Maxine Graham, Superintendent Commandant Stephen, Regional and Branch Commanders, as well as Heads of various administrative departments within the Police Force.last_img read more

Ex-Champions League winner backs underfire Liverpool boss who has ‘one of the best strike forces in the league’ – Colin Murray podcast

first_imgMike Tindall and Dietmar Hamann were alongside Colin Murray in the studio, with the latter providing a candid perspective of Brendan Rodgers’ job security at Liverpool.last_img

NAIRN AND DUNGLOE ON HIGH ALERT AFTER NEW GORSE FIRES BREAK OUT

first_img7PM UPDATE: EMERGENCY teams have now been deployed after two serious gorse fires broke out in both Nairn and Muckish within the past couple of hours.Today has proved another dramatic day for the army, the fire service and locals across the county as high winds whipped up fresh fires despite hopes that they had been contained.Flames have come within yards of many houses in the Dungloe and Nairn are with many still uder threat. Although a raging fire was brought under control in Ardara yesterday, locals were up against it again today as further fires broke out in the region.More than 50 fire officers, four fire brigades and many standby-officers battled all afternoon to bring the fire under control in and around Dungloe.They were backed up by three army helicopters – two of which were dropping water on the blaze with Bambi buckets containing up to 1,200 at a time.A new fire has now also spread to the seaside area of Nairn and has already burned hundreds of acres of hillside there. Local woman Siobhan McNeilas has already been moved twice from accommodation as thick smoke covers the area blown about by contrasting winds.“It’s frightening. To see the fires burn up so much ground so quickly is something I will never forget.“We have already moved form our own house to a neighbour’s and now there is talk we may have to move again because the smoke is covering the place,” she said.The fire on Muckish, which has been raging since early morning, continues to burn strongly and still poses a threat to nearby Glenveagh National Park.At one stage earlier today dozens of homes in Falcarragh had to be evacuated after changing winds blew huge plumes of thick smoke into the direction of the town. EndsNAIRN AND DUNGLOE ON HIGH ALERT AFTER NEW GORSE FIRES BREAK OUT was last modified: May 4th, 2011 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)last_img read more

REVEALED: CLIMATE CHANGE LINK TO DONEGAL STORM – ANOTHER ONE ON THE WAY

first_imgUPDATED: CLIMATE change could have caused winds of more than 170km/hr in Co Donegal yesterday – as ESB still tries to return power to homes in Buncrana and CarndonaghA weather pattern known as ‘Sting Jet’ – where cold air meets warm air high in the sky – is being blamed for the winds of 105mph or 91 knots.Forecaster Siobhán Ryan said the hurricane force winds recorded at Malin Head are extremely rare. She said the “Sting Jet” – a rarely occurring surge of high-momentum, high-energy air which appears like a curling scorpion’s tail on weather maps. Scientists believe this will happen more often due to global warning.“We have seen them before but the are very unusual over Ireland. We are almost certain that a ‘sting jet’ was responsible for these winds,” said Ms Ryan.“We have been in touch with our counterparts in Britain and they also suspect that it was a sting jet and are currently viewing data on the incident,” she added.The strong winds eased last night but they will pick up again this afternoon. However they will not be as strong as yesterday but they will last for about 18 hours and could reach speeds of 90-120km/h in some areas. Just 120 homes were still without electricity today after storm-force winds battered the country.ESB said engineers have managed to return power to almost 15,000 homes, but small pockets remain cut off, with Scariff in Co Clare, Carndonagh and Buncrana in Co Donegal, and Bagenalstown in Co Carlow worst-affected.Elsewhere, Eircom is continuing to fix more than 5,000 faults reported on its telecommunications network.ESB spokesman Brian Montayne warned that some households may experience short power disruptions throughout the day as crews work to repair some faults which were temporarily fixed yesterday.“We are expecting more winds today but not like yesterday,” he said. “It is important to get these repairs right so we ask customers to bear with us.”Met Éireann has forecast gales during the day, with strong gale- force winds in the north, while outbreaks of rain over the north-west will spread to other areas and turn heavy.Motorists are also being warned to take extra care during high winds.Harry Blaney Bridge in Fanad is open to cars but is expected to remain closed to high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorcycles until later today due to strong winds. An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority have urged motorists to take care on the roads while the windy conditions persist.Road Safety Authority chief executive Noel Brett said: “I would ask each and every one of you to allow extra time to reach your destination, keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front and adjust your speed in windy or wet conditions.”© 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law.Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldailyFollow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailySell anything on www.donegaldailyclassifieds.comREVEALED: CLIMATE CHANGE LINK TO DONEGAL STORM – ANOTHER ONE ON THE WAY was last modified: January 4th, 2012 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:donegal stormdonegal weatherlast_img read more

DO YOU FANCY A KAYAK AND BBQ THIS FRIDAY AT GARTAN OETC??

first_imgGartan OETC have proposed a series of fantastic offers for the month of July.The Gartan OETC located just outside Letterkenny, is noted for its beautiful scenery and tranquil setting. For the entire month of July, management at the facility are offering you the chance to avail of a wide range of activities every Friday. You can either go canoeing or Kayaking and enjoy a delicious BBQ afterwards for just €30.If you want to book your place now then contact the centre on 074 91 37032 or visit their website www.gartan.comGartan OETC are also offering beginners courses for those that have an interest in Kayaking.Check the flyer above for details on the beginners course. DO YOU FANCY A KAYAK AND BBQ THIS FRIDAY AT GARTAN OETC?? was last modified: July 9th, 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:BBQFeaturesKayakingnewsNoticesSportlast_img read more

ANGRY RESIDENTS OBJECT TO PLANS FOR LETTERKENNY APARTMENT COMPLEX

first_imgHUNDREDS of irate residents have signed a petition and lodged objections against council plans for a development in Letterkenny.The plans have sparked anger and dismay in the Glencar area.Many claim to have known absolutely nothing about the proposal and were not consulted before a site notice appeared wrapped around an ESB pole. Donegal County Council is proposing to build four apartments, in two blocks and two houses at a site in the Glendale Drive in the Glencar Scotch area.The proposed site and the proposed development described as ‘infill housing’ is on an area set aside as “open space-surface play” of one third of an acre on the original plans submitted in 2001.Residents from the Glendale Drive, Solomon’s Manor, The Grange, The Croft, Chesnut Grove, Robb’s Lane, and the wider Glencar area have united on the issue.Last weekend many signed petitions against the proposal. The deadline for receiving submissions to the planning office is January 7 as part of the public consultation process. A spokesman for residents said they were hoping many more will take the time over the Christmas-New Year period to file their concerns.“This is not a done deal and a small action by residents can make a big difference,” the spokesman said.“We’ve also got support for the plight of residents from our local councillors,” he added.Residents are citing density, privacy-overview, planning precedent, lack of adequate services infrastructure, the direct impact on residents and impact on the wider community along with increased traffic congestion and possible devaluation of properties as the reasons for their objections.“The development is for a much higher density development than presently exists in the area and would not be in keeping with the pattern of development in the area. It will reduce the open space in the existing residential area,” the residents claim. “It is not sustainable development and would not be acceptable by a private developer if submitted to the council,” they added.Once the deadline closes (January 7) for public submissions the Chief Executive of the council is required to prepare a report and it will then be put before members of the council.At this stage under section 179 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, the members can vote to proceed, amend or vary the proposed development.The site borders a number of private housing estates such as Solomon’s Manor, The Grange and The Croft. Glendale Drive was a turn-key development and many of the houses were purchased by the council for social housing. There are at least three other social housing estates in the vicinity including Glendale Drive, Glendale Manor and Windmill View.There are 52 houses already on the development, built around 2001. The apartments would stand almost eight metres high, directly overlooking neighbours, with living room accommodation on second floor levels, while the they also include a balcony measuring three metres by three and half metres. The apartments measure 617sq ft on two levels while the houses are 828 sq ft.Under these planning regulations details of the plans are not on the council’s planning website for public browsal.The plans were however available for inspection at council offices in Lifford and in Letterkenny up to December 12. A site notice was wrapped around an ESB pole close to the development. There was no site notice at the entrance to the estate.In effect this is a ‘Part 8” planning application, whereby the council is applying to itself for planning under its County Development Plan.ANGRY RESIDENTS OBJECT TO PLANS FOR LETTERKENNY APARTMENT COMPLEX was last modified: December 19th, 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)last_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

Stone Tools May Be Crocodile Stomach Stones

first_img“Were crocodiles responsible for the stones we call tools?” is the title of a surprising letter to the editor in Nature last week.1  Patrick Dempsey (the archaeologist, not the actor) raised a possibility that paleoanthropologists and the journals have been making a big mistake for a long time.  He asked, “Could Nature have been unknowingly publishing papers for the past 80 years about crocodilian gastroliths (stomach stones) instead of stones concluded to be 2.5-million-year-old hominid tools?”    Surely anthropologists have thought of this and know how to tell the difference, right?  “Palaeontologists use a simple eyeball test to distinguish stone tools from gastroliths,” Dempsey said.  If there are only wear marks on the outer surface, it’s a gastrolith.  “But wear on both inner and outer surfaces indicates that it has been used for some sort of pounding or battering and can confidently be considered a tool.”  That’s the thinking, but Dempsey stared at photographs from a recent paper in Nature by 18 scientists claiming stones from Africa were tools,2 and noticed the stones only had wear on extended surfaces.  These were not tools.  According to him, they had been tumbling inside some crocodile stomach for awhile.  How could so many scientists be mistaken?Identification of the Oldowan specimens as tools is based on the fact that the soft relict sands of Olduvai Gorge contain no natural stones of their own, so any stone found there must have been moved from distant river beds by some unknown animal transporter – concluded by high science to be Homo habilis.  But crocodiles have the curious habit of swallowing rocks: these account for 1% of their body weight, so for a 1-tonne crocodile that’s 10 kg of stones in its stomach at all times.  Surprisingly, science has never even considered the crocodile as transporter.Homo habilis is nicknamed “Handy man” by evolutionary anthropologists because of assumed evidence he was a toolmaker.  Dempsey’s scenario for the tool evidence, however, pictures crocs on ancient riverbeds vomiting up their gastroliths with no handymen in sight.  “Hippo herds would naturally trample riverside gravel stones into the shape of Oldowan cutting tools, quantities of which the crocodile would then swallow and transport to other places.”  The stones were deposited at the river edge where the crocodiles lived and died.So far, all East African Oldowan specimens have come from the same waterside environments where crocodiles are known to have dwelt.  Millions, perhaps trillions, of transported crocodile stomach stones must remain where the old crocodiles left them, deep in relict East African sediments, though none has ever been reported.A quick Google search does not reveal any response to this letter yet.  A future issue of Nature will undoubtedly contain rebuttals – probably from the 18 anthropologists accused of misidentifying the Oldowan stones.  The point is that science needs to be open to alternative interpretations of mute historical evidence.  The fact that Nature published this letter and even dressed it up with a Sidney Harris cartoon of a croc ordering stones at a fast-food counter indicates that the editors felt Dempsey’s letter deserves a response.  We’ll have to wait and see if that comes after awhile, crocodile.1.  Patrick Dempsey, “Were crocodiles responsible for the stones we call tools?” Correspondence, Nature 461, 341 (17 September 2009) | doi:10.1038/461341a; Published online 16 September 2009.2.  Haslam et al, “Primate archaeology,” Nature 460, 339-344 (16 July 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature08188.3.    Recently, Dempsey also questioned interpretations of “stone tools” in the California desert by the late great Louis Leakey.  His publication by the SCA Society alleges they were products of lightning spalls at the same location that had been reported in a scientific paper 25 years earlier.  The fact that a famous scientist could be so mistaken is what led him to also question the stone tool interpretation at Olduvai Gorge.We’re not taking sides till the rebuttals are in, but wouldn’t it be funny if the paleoanthropologists in “high science” have been goofing for 80 years?  Actually, it’s not so funny if our children have been told falsehoods about Homo habilis for the last four generations.  The evolutionary storytellers are likely to be upset with this upstart “Great Basin avocationalist” throwing stones into their glass house.  They will need to preserve their reputations as much as the evolutionary Myth of Handy Man evolving into Man the Wise.    What can we learn from this story?  For one, stones do not interpret themselves.  It takes a fallible human to put them into an artificial explanatory framework.  Other fallible humans can look at the framework to see how well the evidence fits, but fallible humans make mistakes (by definition).  Second, scientists sometimes get on bandwagons.  They train each other and learn how to interpret the evidence according to the reigning paradigm.  The paradigm can become self-reinforcing.  Science needs observers outside the box who aren’t affected by bluffing and peer pressure.  Third, evolutionists have been caught again using design detection principles in spite of themselves, but this time, they may have reported a false positive.  Fourth, where indeed are the trillions of gastroliths that should be there if this site was inhabited by crocs and hippos for millions of years?    Finally, some paradigms can become so intransigent that contrary evidence may not dislodge them.  In the cartoon strip Peanuts, Lucy was showing Charlie Brown a butterfly on the sidewalk one day.  She explained that butterflies this large usually are found in Brazil.  Looking closer, Charlie Brown exclaimed, “That’s no butterfly, it’s a potato chip!” to which Lucy responded, “Well I’ll be, you’re right, Charlie Brown.  I wonder how a potato chip got all the way here from Brazil?”    If the paleoanthropologists come to agree with Dempsey that the Oldowan stones are indeed gastroliths, they will not likely apologize for 80 years of mythology about Homo habilis.  They will just merge the antithesis into a new synthesis.  They will claim that the Handy Men were so handy, they even kept crocodiles as pets and harvested their gastroliths to use as tools.  An alternative interpretation might be the classification of a new genus, Crocodylus habilis.  Irrefutable complicity; wouldn’t that be a handy crock.(Visited 109 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Changing the world, one IT Boot Camp at a time

first_imgSiyabonga Vilikazi (centre) (17) fromZitikeni High School scooped the competition prize, with 16-year-old Khotofo Takgafela (right) from Diepsloot Combined Schoolcoming second, and Phumzilema Mathuthu (left), also 16, from Rabasotho High School, thirdIn partnership with the Dell Development Fund and Tata Consultancy Services, the Change the World organisation hosted its second ICT and IT Boot Camp competition for high school students on Saturday 21 June, with top students from schools around Tembisa and Diepsloot participating.“This is really to give them a chance to create something beautiful on their own and really get a taste of what it’s like to be a programmer and to get more into IT and consider it as a career option,” explained Jonathan Novotny, co-founder and programme director at the Change the World Trust.The organisation offers IT and ICT training workshops to school pupils in Tembisa Alexandra, Olivenhoutbosch , Zandspruit and Diepsloot to help the pupils improve their IT skills to successfully join the modern world of work.“I think it’s exciting for them to start with nothing and finish with a project that has some of their own characteristics and carries some of their own interests.”Pupils from Rabasotho Combined School, Diepsloot Combined School and Zithikini High School gathered at the Wings of Life Centre in Diepsloot to compete for the grand prize of an RCT Android Tablet valued at just under R2 000.“They’re all 10th and 11th graders; we don’t take any matric students into the Boot Camp because we don’t want to interfere with their preparations for the exams coming up at the end of the year,” said Natalie Emery, co-founder of the Trust.“We do however we involve most senior students who we feel have a passion and desire to learn IT in our programmes.”TOP OF THE CLASSThe competition challenged pupils to build a static three-page website using the HTML/CSS coding language they had been taught during their courses.“They’re very confident,” Emery said; “I’ve had a variety of responses; some of them feel that it’s very complicated and others feel that maybe it’s too easy.“They’ve had quite a few classes with our trainers so I’m sure they all know what’s going on. What I’ve seen from them so far makes me feel that we’re doing the right things.”The Change the World courses cover basic computer operation, programmes such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel and more advanced subjects such as HTML/CSS coding and programming.Siyabonga Vilikazi (17) fromZitikeni High School scooped the competition prize, with 16-year-old Khotofo Takgafela fromDiepsloot Combined Schoolcoming second, and Phumzilema Mathuthu, also 16, from Rabasotho High School, third.A confident Vilikazi said, “I’ve always been interested in computers and how they work and I wanted to learn more about IT, so when I was told at school that we were going to be trained in the use of computers and IT I was very excited.“Winning this competition has encouraged me to pursue a career in IT.“If it wasn’t for Change the World and this boot camp I wouldn’t have known that I’m capable of making my own website. It has opened my eyes.”Marlin Madondo, head of donor relations and marketing for Change the World, said the organisation’s students have taken to programming and “some of them say they are really considering careers in the IT industry”.The learners were given the task of creating a static three-page website using laptops and the HTML/CSS coding knowledge they had acquired from the workshops that the organisation had been running at their schools during previous monthsTHE CHANGE THE WORLD INTERN PROGRAMME“If you look at the world the way it is, technology is the way forward. So what we’re trying to do is spark an interest in IT amongst young students and hopefully impart these skills … and give them that initial footing they can use to go on and pursue these careers,” Madondo said.In light of this, Change the World encourages some students to join the organisation as trainers. Once the students complete the courses they are encouraged to “give back” by enrolling in intern programmes where they are deployed to training centres. The best-performing interns can opt to join the organisation as full-time trainers.“We can’t just preach employment without trying to create some ourselves,” explained Madondo; “We hope to expand more and as we do so it will allow us to take on more of the talented youngsters that come through our programmes.“Right now we’re operating in two provinces; the Eastern Cape and Gauteng, but we’re looking to spread into Limpopo, the Western Cape, the North West and Mpumalanga and maybe, to a certain extent, reach out beyond our borders to places like Malawi, Mozambique or Zimbabwe.“But for us, as long as we see the value in what we’re doing our growth will be organic.”PLAY YOUR PARTTo get involved or learn more about Change the World visit the organisation’s website, email marlin@changetheworld.org.za, or call 27 (0)71 5333 656 or +27 (0)11 455 2282.last_img read more