Category: rccihashijfo

Major increase in ‘Champs’ expense

first_imgThe Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) will have to dip deeper into its pockets to stage this year’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships inside the National Stadium, with the 2016 budget climbing by over $13 million when compared to last year.Speaking at yesterday’s launch at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, ISSA President, Dr Walton Small, told The Gleaner that it will cost the organisers well over $80 million to stage this year’s showpiece event, an increase on the approximately $67 million that it cost to execute last year’s ‘Champs’.Title sponsors GraceKennedy has certainly thrown their support behind the event, pumping $54 million directly into this year’s event as a part of a wider $100-million investment, with FLOW strengthening their partnership as exclusive telecoms sponsors with an $81-million injection, which covers the next three years.Small underlined security, which has increased from approximately $8 million to over $10 million this year, along with venue rental, food and electrical/information systems as the major expenses being undertaken.COSTS ARE UP”Last year, it was about $67 million in terms of cost to stage Champs, and it has increased to over $80 million,” Small noted. “Just in terms of the appreciation of the whole business of security, we have put in some serious money towards security; rental of the stadium has gone up, the expense of the food has also increased.”The electronic aspect of Champs has really stepped up in terms of cost. We wanted the improvements, for instance, around Stadium East, we are putting in additional systems over there so that the coaches and students can be comfortable,” said Small.Still, Small said he is comfortable with the level of readiness heading into the March 15-19 championships.”We are extremely pleased. Last year with the patrons not being able to come in really had a damper on the entire ISSA organisation, and we have gone all out to change that,” he said.Don Wehby, CEO of GraceKennedy, spoke to the company’s efforts to improve the event and outlined several initiatives.The title sponsors will be awarding $25,000 for each new record to team or individual. The funds will go towards an approved school project to be identified by the record-breaking team or individual.GraceKennedy will also be rolling out a high-school affinity credit card programme through its subsidiary, First Global Bank, which will not only give cardholders special school-branded cards, but will also provide them with an opportunity to give back to their alma mater as well, through its reward set-up. This programme will be launched on March 15.DREAM FUND PROMOTIONHe also spoke on the company’s Dream Fund promotion, which will see $5 million raised to assist three schools – one from each county, with the purchasing of equipment.FLOW’s sponsorship manager, Stephen Miller, noted his company’s wide-ranging sponsorship of sport and its commitment to these championships over the years.”We have provided total commitment for the past 12 years of more than $200 million,” he stated. “I also want to bring to your attention the ongoing efforts to assist some of our top schools to prepare for competing by offsetting some of the cost that they face.”Through our Journey to Champs programme, we have committed an additional $1 million this year in direct donation to the top-performing schools which will be participating in this year’s competition,” added Miller.Chairman of the organising committee, Colleen Montaque, announced that tickets will go on sale on March 12.Entry will be free for the bleachers and grandstand on the opening day of the championships.On Wednesday and Thursday, tickets will cost $100 (children) and $500 adults (for both sections). The price increases to $500 and $350 for students in uniform for bleachers tickets for Friday, with grandstand tickets going for 3,500.Saturday’s marquee day will cost patrons $1,500 for bleachers tickets and $4,500 for a seat in the grandstand. Season tickets will cost $9,000 for Category One and $8,000 for Category Two.last_img read more

Standhardinger, Ravena, Teng banner 2017 PBA Draft class

first_imgCarpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ View comments Fil-foreign bets Jason Perkins from La Salle and Davon Potts of San Beda are also seen to be first round picks.Kia will be selecting first from the pool on Draft Day on October 29 at Robinson’s Place Manila, followed by NLEX at second and Blackwater at third.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogThe Fil-German Standhardinger, the tallest prospect at 6-foot-7, is expected to get drafted at the top.College standouts who are also hoping to make the leap are Rey Nambatac and Jom Sollano of Letran, Sidney Onwubere of EAC, Lervin Flores of Arellano, Ervin Grospe of JRU, Dan Sara of San Beda and Gab Dagangon of Perpetual. LATEST STORIES Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Christian Standhardinger. Photo from Fiba.comProjected number one pick Christian Standhardinger and homegrown standouts Kiefer Ravena and Jeron Teng lead the 44 players who made themselves available for the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft before Thursday’s 5 p.m. deadline.Raymar Jose and Jett Manuel, both of whom suited up for Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas in the recently-concluded 2017 Fiba Asia Champions Cup at Chenzhou, China, are also among the aspirants.ADVERTISEMENT Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? There’s also a considerable amount of Fil-foreign hopefuls joining the fray, namely Robbie Herndon of Wangs Basketball, Julian Sargent and Zach Nicholls of Marinerong Pilipino, Andreas Cahilig of Cignal HD, and Felix Apreku of Racal, all of whom saw action in the past PBA D-League season.Rounding out the initial draft list are: JK Casiño of CEU; Thomas Torres of La Salle; Mac Tallo of SWU; Monbert Arong and Arvie Bringas of FEU; Kyle Neypes of NU; Dave Moralde of UP; Louie Vigil of UST; Gwynne Capacio and Chris de Chavez of Ateneo; Fil-Indonesian guard Biboy Enguio, Emil Palma, and JR Sumido of UE; Joseph Nalos and Lloyd Abrigo of Adamson; Jebb Bulawan and Wilson Baltazar of Lyceum; Joseph Gabayni of Racal; Jayson Grimaldo of Victoria Sports-MLQU; Jon Gabriel of Colegio de San Lorenzo and Marinerong Pilipino; Michael Juico of San Sebastian and Wangs Basketball; Elmer Cabahug of Flying V; Jerome Ortega of AMA Online Education; and less-heralded applicants Jeremiah dela Peña and Christian Geronimo.All 45 applicants have to go through the Draft Combine, set a week prior to the draft, before making the final list.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ UST sweeps elims, advances to UAAP beach volleyball finals Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scenelast_img read more

Michael Jordan: Kemba Walker is epitome of a Hornet

first_imgThe problem is Walker just doesn’t have nearly the supporting cast that Jordan did in his heyday.The Hornets are on the verge of failing to make the playoffs for the fifth time in seven seasons since Walker arrived in 2011. It’s hardly his fault, as he’s developed into a two-time All-Star and a dominant scorer who’s averaging better than 20 points per game the last three seasons while improving his shooting percentage each year.“His effort, leadership and commitment to our team and the City of Charlotte is second to none,” Jordan said.Walker’s hard work has not gone unnoticed.James — who tied Jordan’s record by scoring in double figures for the 866th consecutive game — said Walker has earned the respect of players around the league, even though the Hornets haven’t been a consistent playoff contender.ADVERTISEMENT Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina MOST READ “Listen, if you can be the all-time leading scorer in any franchise, that’s incredible,” James said. “That’s an incredible feat. I definitely went over and just told him how incredible that was. Even though with the season that they’re having, when accomplishments happen throughout the season, you try not to take them for granted.”Walker was emotional after the game, needing a towel to wipe away tears after he was interviewed on the court in front of an applauding crowd at the Spectrum Center — a rare deviation from the impenetrable New York City toughness he always displays on the court.But after retreating to the locker room, Walker sat at his locker with his head down while still upset over the loss.“That’s one thing that has allowed him to become the great player that he is,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said of Walker’s distaste for losing.Clifford said it would be hard to find a player who has improved as much as Walker over the past three seasons.“He’s a great story,” Clifford said.Walker became emotional because he started to remember what all of the doubters said along the way. He said that he “wasn’t supposed to be here.”“There were doubts when I got drafted,” Walker said. “I’ve seen plenty of articles and things like that I probably wouldn’t be an elite point guard. I wanted to prove people wrong. And when I got my first contract, they said I was overpaid. I proved them wrong again. That’s what I’m about. I’m about working, getting better and proving people wrong.”Given the changing landscape of the NBA, the four-year, $48 million contract Walker received in 2015 now looks like an incredible bargain. If he continues to play at this level — and there is no reason to suspect he won’t — he could receive a max contract following the 2018-19 season.Walker said he would like to stay in Charlotte, but he noted that also wants to win. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. FILE – Kemba Walker #15 of the Charlotte Hornets prepares for their game against the Chicago Bulls at Spectrum Center on February 27, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images/AFPCHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hornets owner Michael Jordan probably wishes he had a few more players like Kemba Walker. Perhaps then his team might be a regular NBA playoff contender.The hard work. The passion. The dedication.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES The Hornets have lost in the first round of the playoffs in Walker’s previous two postseason appearances, and the man who won a national championship in college at Connecticut is growing tired of watching the playoffs on television.The big question will be if Jordan decides the Hornets need to blow things up and use Walker as a bargaining chip in trade talks, or whether the team should continue to try to build around the 27-year-old point guard.Jordan created a stir earlier this year by saying he would trade Walker at the right price, but then held onto him instead of sending him to Cleveland or elsewhere.“I’ve always been committed to this place,” Walker said. “This is where I got my start. This is where I’ve grown as a man, as a person and as a basketball player. I don’t think it will be up to me. We’ll see.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recoverycenter_img Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil They are all qualities that Jordan said Walker possesses and led the point guard to become the franchise’s career scoring leader on Wednesday night.“He exemplifies what it means to be a Hornet,” Jordan said in a statement.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownWalker scored 21 points to pass Dell Curry with 9,841 points on a night LeBron James scored 41 points to help the Cavaliers cruise to a 118-105 win over Charlotte.Walker may not be as tall or possess the same leaping ability as Jordan, a six-time NBA champion, but he does play with the same all-out intensity and desire to win that His Airness did when he was winning titles for the Chicago Bulls. Paul Lee thinks Magnolia still underdog vs San Miguel Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism View commentslast_img read more

Toddler reading programme to be launched month-end

first_imgThe Early Childhood Development (ECD) Unit of the Childcare and Protection Agency (CCPA) is preparing to launch its back-to-basics toddler reading programme, to develop and foster an early interest in books in children.The reading programme is aimed at encouraging parents to read books with their preschool children, thereby preparing them for formal education, ECD Executive Officer Lavern Thorne explained.Thorne was quoted by the Department of Public Information (DPI) as saying that the programme was developed after it was recognised that a large number of children could not read.  She said that reading to your children or simply turning pages and explaining pictures could result in them gaining an interest in reading from an early age.Thorne explained that while the children may not be able to say the words, by listening to their parents/parent read, they would develop their oral skills, and as a result, the CCPA was resolved in promoting this programme.ECD Manager Concheeta Gray explained that the programme would be launched at more than 300 health centres and 360 childcare facilities across the country.  The childcare centres will also be required to establish a library or reading corner for the children.“Zero-three is where the foundation years are laid and once a child has an interest in books at an early age, that child will have an interest in books continuously throughout life, so our licensing and registration officers will be going to health centres and will be pushing this reading programme countrywide,” Gray further clarified.The programme will be officially launched by the end of January. Persons are encouraged to support the book drive by donating books to the CCPA’s Broad Street office. The DPI said parents could also call the Agency on telephone number 227-4420 to uplift books.last_img read more

Start ’06 with a few basics

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Sadly, surveys that show Americans lack the most basic financial knowledge are all too common. But this one is different in two important respects. Unlike most others, it was commissioned by not-for-profit agencies not trying to sell you anything. And it zeroed in not on the general public but only on those who invest directly in stocks, bonds and/or mutual funds, either on their own or through an adviser. (Those who invest only through 401(k)s and other retirement plans at work were not included.) Of an original group of 2,063 people surveyed, 635 identified themselves as direct investors. Those investors were given a multiple-choice test consisting of eight basic investor knowledge questions and four behavior questions. Only 17 percent “passed” the test by answering at least six knowledge and three behavior questions correctly, and a mere 1 percent got all 12 questions right. Conclusion: Even though a few investor education messages appear to be getting through, including the importance of investment diversification, most Americans lack the “investor survival skills” to build their savings. “This is not intended to be a pessimistic assessment,” said Stephen Harbeck, president of SIPC. “The assessment is what it is.” It is like this: A mere 8 percent of investors realize there is no agency or organization that insures them against losing money to investment fraud. (Investors incorrectly mentioned the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Securities Investor Protection Trust as such agencies. The SIPC, a not-for-profit corporation established by Congress in 1970, insures investors for losses up to certain amounts when a brokerage firm fails, but not against fraud or market risk if an investment loses money.) Just 21 percent of investors say they practice all four desirable behavioral traits mentioned in the survey: regularly reviewing account statements, reading prospectuses, checking out the disciplinary backgrounds of brokers or financial planners, and having a financial plan in place. Only 36 percent of investors who use a broker or financial planner had checked out that person’s disciplinary background. Perhaps even more disturbing, Harbeck said, 61 percent in this group said they failed to do so because they trusted the adviser and another 9 percent because the adviser assured them there was nothing to be concerned about. (My comment: What a perfect setup to be taken to the cleaners. An honest adviser will encourage the investor to do a background check). One bright spot, Harbeck said, is that nine of 10 investors said they regularly review their brokerage account and/or mutual fund statements. (That still leaves 10 percent who don’t and may not become aware of mistakes or, worse, unauthorized trades.) “Smart investors do read their financial statements and look for signs of trouble,” Harbeck said, and when they find any, they follow up quickly and in writing. Another encouraging finding is that 74 percent of investors picked the correct explanation of diversification as “lowering potential risk of loss by spreading assets across different types of investments.” In a 1996 survey by the Investor Protection Trust, only 51 percent of investors understood the concept, said Don Blandin, CEO and president of the trust, an independent source of noncommercial investment education founded in 1993. In the 1966 survey, just 10 percent of investors had checked their adviser’s background. “So we look at these findings and see some areas of improvement and a bigger, overarching indication of how much work remains to be done,” Blandin said. Even today, only 41 percent of investors understand the basic rule that bond prices tend to fall when interest rates rise, and just 39 percent know that a no-load mutual fund is one that does not impose any sales charges or commissions. Only 66 percent knew that, over the past 25 years, stocks have provided bigger returns than certificates of deposit, bonds or savings accounts. How about you? You can take an online, self-scoring version of the test at the Web site Humberto Cruz offers personal finance advice. Write him at 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “This is the year we’ll finally get our financial house in order, save more and invest for the future.” Millions of Americans, with good intentions no doubt, make these resolutions for the New Year. But conspiring against them, along with often flagging resolve, are poor habits and a lack of basic investment knowledge. So, for 2006, allow me to suggest this resolution: Bone up on basic financial skills by reading the personal finance sections of newspapers and books and magazines. The need for greater financial education seems all the more urgent considering the results of a new survey of American investors conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation for the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and the Investor Protection Trust. last_img read more


first_imgDONEGAL dad Jason Black had his bid for Everest ascent glory held up but it’s now back on after being held up at the Chinese Border.The Letterkenny man, owner of the Voodoo nightclub, has to wait overnight before being allowed to cross into Tibet.But he’s there now – and apart from a slight ear infection, he’s getting ready for some training at base camp. Here’s his latest blog:What a crazy last few days! Internet connection is virtually none-existent. No connection either by phone or wifi.Anyway got to the chinese border from Nepal yesturday (Saturday) with my visa to pass and they refused me entry until this morning.It’s so so difficult to get in from the Nepal side. Well finally this morning 8am I got through after some serious checks, looks, searches of bags and equipment. They even went through all my photos on my camera. “But I’m in and well up the Tibet valley called Nie La Mu a d now heading towards basecamp at the foot of Mt Everest.I’m currently at 3600mts and man you know it .. Airs pretty thin. Tonight it’s snowing here and cold as hell so base camp’s going to be bad ass cold!I’ve had a really bad two night’s sleep and now I know why. Woke up this morning (Sunday) and EAR INFECTION – couldn’t believe it and thats the last damned obstacle I need when I’m climbing at altitude. I have antibiotics with me here so I’m starting a course tonight to try and get this shifted before I get higher.So enough of the whining –  it will sort itself out.Really getting into the super high mountains now as I can see them up ahead in the distance, I haven’t seen the Mighty Mt Everest yet but I’m due into base camp in about four more days so I’ll have a bird’s eye view then. Next few days the altitude turns up a gear as we move up 1800 mts tomorrow and back down for Altitude training, so lungs will get a good test. Outside of the ear infection I’m still in great form and feeling strong – eating well & really focused on what lies ahead.Hoping all is well back in Ireland & across the world.Thank you for for all the supporting messages guys.Laters guys from a snowy Tibet. JASON’S EVEREST BID BACK ON AFTER BEING HELD UP AT CHINESE BORDER was last modified: April 14th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Jason BlackJASON’S EVEREST BID BACK ON AFTER BEING HELD UP AT CHINESE BORDERvoodooascentlast_img read more


first_imgVoting has been delayed on two of Donegal’s islands after the helicopter carrying the ballot boxes was forced to return to base after a technical difficulty.Tory IslandIt is understood the helicopter, an Augusta Westland 139,  from Baldonnell Airport was not far from Falcarragh when a warning light was noticed on the helicopter.The pilot decided to return to base at Baldonnell and use another helicopter. Another chopper is now en route to Falcarragh to collect the ballot boxes and some members of the media.The ballot boxes will be dropped by helicopter at Inishboffin and Tory Islands.The incident with the helicopter has now delayed voting on the islands.The voting times was due to be from 11am until 3pm but this will now be from 12.30pm until 4.30pm.  VOTING ON DONEGAL’S ISLANDS DELAYED AFTER HELICOPTER ENCOUNTERS TECHNICAL PROBLEMS was last modified: May 22nd, 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:delayeddonegalhelicopterislandsvotinglast_img read more

DuJuan Daniels latest addition to Raiders revamped scouting department

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos or videos on a mobile deviceALAMEDA — The Raiders have hired DuJuan Daniels, who earned three Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots as a scout, to be a senior executive in the personnel department.Daniels started with the Patriots in 2006 as an intern and quickly moved up the ladder to area scout, regional scout and finally national scout. He was the only person in the Patriots scouting department to hold that designation last …last_img read more

Weekend Biomimetics Parade

first_imgHere’s a quick list of exciting news about how imitation of nature’s designs is leading to wonderful inventions.Spider microscope: Scientists at Bangor University have found that laying a strand of spider silk across the subject creates a “superlens” that overcomes the limitations of optics (Science Daily).Spider hammock: Watch a video of a “spiderbot” weaving a threaded hammock strong enough to hold a person! Live Science shows the work of artist/architect Maria Yablonina from Stuttgart University, who created this technology inspired by nature.Mantis shrimp camera: The way a mantis shrimp rotates its eyes in a linearly polarized field is giving ideas to optical engineers. It opens up new avenues for “dynamic polarization” in man-made devices and navigation systems, says a team of seven scientists publishing in Nature Communications. Torsional movement of the stalked eyes apparently allows the stomatopod to “find the optimal polarization signal more quickly and unambiguously than a simple two-channel system.” And there’s still more to learn about these amazing creatures:In summary, the dynamic polarization vision system of mantis shrimps is yet another example of an exquisite and unique adaptation to visual perception in these crustaceans and such findings could prove useful for developing bio-inspired technology in the field of polarization cameras and image processing. However, there are still a number of questions about this remarkable polarization vision system that remain to be investigated, such as how do these animals determine which set of receptors (dorsal or ventral) to align with the stimulus?; how is the information processed downstream within the optic neuropil and beyond?; and how, if at all, is information combined from the two eyes?Daughter of pearl: What would you call the offspring of research into mother-of-pearl? Science Daily calls it “synthetic nacre” but daughter-of-pearl seems apt. The crack-resistant material inside oyster shells has long been a favorite for bioneers. “Its substantial strength and toughness make it an appealing material to synthesize, for various applications, yet its multifaceted and complex structure have made this process difficult.” It still takes months to make, but scientists are getting warmer. The oyster knows how to do it, by layering protein with aragonite in complex ways. “The authors anticipate that this artificial mineralization method could be extended to produce other bio-inspired materials with unique or desirable properties.”Squid sensors: Jellyfish and squid are inspiring innovation at the University of Connecticut. PhysOrg describes “Novel smart materials inspired by sea creatures,” such as “mechanical responsive devices” that imitate how these marine animals “can very smartly and actively alter their skin’s structure and color.” Videos in the article show how their test material can change color and structure when squeezed. Such materials could be used in everything from toys to encryption technologies.Neuron computers: “Inspired by the way the biological brain functions, scientists have theorized for decades that it should be possible to imitate the versatile computational capabilities of large populations of neurons,” Science Daily says. IBM has taken a lead with this inspiration. “IBM scientists have created randomly spiking neurons using phase-change materials to store and process data,” the article says. “This demonstration marks a significant step forward in the development of energy-efficient, ultra-dense integrated neuromorphic technologies for applications in cognitive computing.”DNA hard drive: Would a DNA storage device be called a soft drive? PhysOrg reports that scientists at Microsoft are pursuing a “sci-fi” project to make DNA a storage medium. The advantage? Lifetime durability. “Scientists can recover and read DNA sequences from fossils of Neanderthals and even older life forms,” the article points out. And unlike earlier technologies that have already disappeared (e.g., paper tape, punched cards), people will always be making DNA readers since that’s our biological storage medium. Another advantage is density: “In terms of information storage, that compactness could mean storing all the publicly accessible data on the internet in a space the size of a shoebox,” a project designer says.Internal storage: Speaking of DNA storage, why not store your medical history in your own DNA? Engineers at MIT are thinking about programming human cells to store complex histories in their genetic material. PhysOrg says that the method may also allow DNA to record inputs on conditions that could be later retrieved by DNA readers.Graphene DNA dancer: “Nanoribbons in solutions mimic nature,” Science Daily announces. “Scientists test graphene ribbons’ abilities to integrate with biological systems.” Both the synthetic material and the biological material can do the twist, making them good partners. “The researchers saw nanoribbons’ biocompatibility as potentially useful for sensors that could travel through the body and report on what they find,” the article says.Fern oil spill cleaner: Some aquatic ferns have the “impressive” ability to absorb oil from contaminated water. This makes them attractive as “extremely convenient” cleaners for oil spills, PhysOrg says. The ability to selectively absorb and retain oil droplets comes from the shape of tiny hairs on their leaves, called trichomes. German scientists imitated the structures, creating “nanofur” that shares the same properties. Here’s a good use for plants that have long been considered a nuisance by many countries. The work is published in Bioinspiration and Biomimetics.Caterpillar robot: Soft robots are all the rage now, instead of metallic tin-man cans from old sci-fi movies. Science Daily describes a “natural scale caterpillar soft robot” designed at the University of Warsaw that is “powered and controlled with light.” In a sense, that’s what powers living caterpillars who eat the nutrients made with sunlight by plant leaves. “For decades scientists and engineers have been trying to build robots mimicking different modes of locomotion found in nature.”Sharktooth dentistry: Finally, Medical Xpress writes about “How sharks could help us regrow our own human teeth.” Unlike our permanent teeth that come in just once after the baby teeth fall out, shark teeth regenerate throughout life. The teeth come in on rows like a conveyor belt. Gareth Fraser is studying sharks to learn how they do it. If his team learns the trick, we might be able to use our own stem cells to grow replacement pearly whites ourselves.Some of the research teams have been studying their animals or plants for 20 years or more. What does that tell you about the level of design in living creatures? If the best minds take decades to learn the secrets of life’s solutions to problems, you know it’s not just the work of Darwin’s blind watchmaker tinkering around by chance.For a good explanation of why mechanisms that solve problems give undeniable evidence for intelligent origin, read Douglas Axe’s new book Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed. The author, a biochemist who worked at the Molecular Biology Laboratory at Cambridge, wrote for laypeople who know intuitively that life is designed, but don’t know how to answer Darwinian claims that design is an illusion. Axe provides sufficient logical, mathematical and scientific evidence to confirm that the “universal design intuition” is correct. It’s a good read, just challenging enough to stretch your thinking a bit, but not requiring advanced math or science to follow. After proving that natural selection is not an inventor, he proves mathematically that any functional device (a “busy whole”) that accomplishes a purposeful task, whether it’s a pool-cleaning robot or a spider building its web, cannot be invented by any blind process. It is not just hopelessly improbable, he shows: it’s physically impossible.(Visited 32 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

China shows interest in South Africa’s nuclear plans

first_img5 March 2014Energy Minister Ben Martins and the vice administrator of China’s National Energy Commission, Tan Rongyao, met in Cape Town on Tuesday to discuss China’s interest in participating in South Africa’s nuclear energy projects.According to a joint statement released by Martins and Tan, China has proposed an agreement, still under consideration by both parties, which covers the supply of nuclear energy products, infrastructure funding, supplier development and localisation, skills development, and research and development.In 2006, South Africa and China signed an inter-governmental agreement on cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy, covering design, construction and operation of nuclear reactors. The two countries followed this up in 2010 with the signing of a general cooperation agreement in energy, covering oil and gas, renewable energy, energy efficiency and skills development.“Since the signing of these agreements, the two countries have continued to exchange information and knowledge,” the joint statement read. “China has started training South Africans in the renewable energy sector, and there are plans to expand this to include capacity building in the nuclear energy sector.”Last week, Tan, accompanied by a high-level delegation, participated in the South Africa-China Nuclear Energy Cooperation Seminar in Johannesburg.On the second day of the seminar, the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) signed a skills development and training agreement with two Chinese state nuclear energy corporations, the China General Nuclear Power Corporation and the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation.The agreement will create opportunities for young South Africans to further their studies in nuclear energy and other specialised areas of energy at Chinese universities, with funding of up to 95% from Chinese institutions.Martins said Tan’s visit, and the hosting of the seminar in South Africa, demonstrated China’s confidence in the potential of South Africa’s energy sector.“Policy certainty and predictability in the energy sector has contributed significantly to attracting foreign investors to the successful renewable programme and other energy components of the energy mix,” Martins added.South Africa’s Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) for 2010 to 2030, a 20-year projection on electricity supply and demand, currently envisages 9 600 megawatts (MW) of additional nuclear capacity by 2030.While the department is busy reviewing the plan, President Jacob Zuma confirmed its nuclear component in his State of the Nation address in February, saying: “We expect to conclude the procurement of 9 600 MW of nuclear energy.”South Africa’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear plant, built more than 25 years ago, is the only nuclear power-generating facility on the African continent.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more