The paintings were the talk of the May 11 official program at the Centennial Pavillion, where Liberia was declared Ebola-free. They were by no means on the program agenda. However, with the help of Mrs. Louise McMillian, Assistant Minister for Culture at Liberia’s Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) the paintings caught the attention of the array dignitaries, including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, her cabinet and guests, giving profound relevance and flavor to the Ebola-free celebration. Produced by group of 11 Liberian artists, the paintings depict the plethora of scenes from the Ebola crisis in Liberia. Some are more abstract than others, but all of them are nothing short of a visual memoir of one of Liberia’s darkest moments in history. The artists are part of a new organization called Liberian Professional Painters Organization (LIPPO) led by Fato A. Wheremongar, who also serves as Executive Director of ChildArt Liberia. According to him, LIPPO aims to provide training and mentorship to aspiring young painters in Liberia, and prepare them for greater opportunities both here and abroad. The artworks — 40 of them in all — are on brief exhibit on the top floor of the National Museum on Broad Street, Monrovia, May 14-23, 2015. LIPPO is still deliberating as to whether the pieces would be sold to the general public, since the Government of Liberia through MICAT appears to have keen interest in their future historical value. Those whose works form part of the exhibit include: Cyrus D. Cooper, Abu Fofana, Wilson Fallah, Teddy Prosper Jackson, Rodney N. Sikdar, N.G.Y., Varney S. Kabbah, Jr., Tubman S. Tweh, Mark Sumo, Wisdom Zaza and Fato A. Wheremongar.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
0Shares0000Superstar athlete Usain Bolt also celebrated his 32nd birthday while training for Australia’s Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday © AFP / PETER LORIMERGOSFORD, Australia, Aug 21 – Usain Bolt has taken the first tentative steps towards his Manchester United dream after the sprint king joined Australian side Central Coast Mariners for his first training session Tuesday.Wearing gloves and tracksuit bottoms despite a mild winter’s day, the Jamaican did some light stretching, jogging and ball work with the rest of the squad in his maiden drill since being given the chance to win a playing contract by the A-League team. He showed glimpses of good control, but also some heavy touches, favouring his left foot.“It’s just like track and field — the first day of training is always the roughest one. You can tell how much work you need to put in. But it felt OK, you know,” said Bolt after the 45-minute workout.The superstar athlete, who also celebrated his 32nd birthday Tuesday, has been given an opportunity by the Mariners despite already trying out with teams in Germany, Norway and South Africa to no avail since retiring from athletics last year.Eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt (R) stretches as he trains for the first time for the A-League football club Central Coast Mariners © AFP / PETER LORIMERThey hope to turn him into A-League material in time for the start of the 2018/19 season in late October, with the club saying he can stay indefinitely to prove his credentials.A 70-strong media pack made the trek to the club’s base in the town of Gosford, 75 kilometres (47 miles) north of Sydney, to witness Bolt ease into his new life.The eight-time Olympic champion and the fastest man on earth said he was determined to prove any doubters wrong.“I’m not setting myself any targets, I’m just going to put in the work,” he said.“This is my first chance to get to a level to play as a professional, so I don’t know what to expect. I’m just here to push myself. I’m here with a blank slate, I’m here to learn and get better.”– One of the boys –Bolt dominated sprinting since taking double individual gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.He went on to win a further six Olympic golds and pick up 11 world titles before deciding to pursue his real passion — football.Usain Bolt (C) said he wanted to be treated “as one of the boys” as he trains for the first time for A-League football club Central Coast Mariners © AFP / PETER LORIMERHis love of football began at school, where he was a goalkeeper before moving to centre back, left wing and finally striker.He would prefer to play up front for the Mariners, promising his trademark lightning bolt celebration if he gets a goal, but said he had no idea where the coach would use him.“I’m OK on the wing, good at centre forward, but the coach will determine where I play and in what formation. I don’t even know,” he said, sitting alongside club coach Mike Mulvey.Asked his first impressions, Mulvey said it was clear Bolt had been nervous, but added: “It’s just his first day. He’s a fantastic athlete and we’re absolutely delighted to have him here with us.”Bolt said he wanted to be treated “as one of the boys” and that his strengths were keeping cool under pressure and an ability to read the game well.Despite starting a football career at an age when many are thinking about calling it quits, Bolt said he thrived on challenges and admitted in the back of his mind was a dream to play at Old Trafford.“I daydream all the time about big things,” he said.“One of my biggest dreams is to play for Manchester United, that could be my biggest dream even if it is just for five games, one game, it would be a dream come true because I am a massive fan.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Michael Carberry 1 Former England batsman Michael Carberry has been diagnosed with cancer, his county side Hampshire have announced.The 35-year-old, who last played for England in May 2014, missed Hampshire’s County Championship game with Warwickshire which ended on Wednesday after feeling unwell.Hampshire said in a statement: “Following recent reports about his health and now that he has spoken fully to his family, friends and team-mates, Hampshire Cricket can confirm that after a brief period of feeling unwell, a specialist has determined that Michael Carberry has a tumour that is cancerous.“Further tests will be undertaken before the relevant treatment commences.”
Mulroy Hoops NotesMulroy Hoops Ladies Panel for Basketball Ireland’s North West Area Board League are putting the final touches to their preparations for the new season.The big Tip-Off is this Saturday at 4pm against Letterkenny Blaze Ladies in Ray Community Centre. Supporters are very welcome.Good luck to all the panel and their coach, Gearoid Horkan. Ladies training continues on Monday at 8.15 and on Thursday at 8pm in Ray Community Centre.Men Teams; Pre-season training continues under Coach Fergal Coll, Men’s train at 9.15 on Monday in Ray.U14 Girls (2001 & 2002) – Completed Friendly Game away to a Letterkenny Blaze team last Sunday in Loreto Convent Letterkenny Gym. A young and inexperienced panel competed well and are now looking forward to their next games at the blitz in Dungloe on 23rd of Nov.U14 Boys (2001 & 2002) –Proposed Blitz away in Dungloe is now back to next Sunday afternoon Nov 23rd –.Any players need to be registered with Mulroy Hoops this season to be considered.Training times for Children this week are as follows:Ray Community Centre- Thursday – 6 -7 pm for Under 8s and 10s and from 7-8pm for Under 12s and 14s ie those born in 2001, 2002 and 2003 Downings GAA Centre –Friday – Children’s Basketball 5-6pmRossnakill Tourism and Activity Centre – Friday- 5.15pm-6.00pm-5 year olds; 6.00pm-7.00pm-6 and 7 year olds; 7.00pm-8.00pm-8 and 9 year olds;8.00pm-9.00pm-10 years +.Players registered can train in any centre and are welcome to attend more than 1 session.And last but not least, congratulations to one of our Ladies panel, Aoife Doherty, who represented North Donegal so well at the Macra na Feirme Queen of the Land Festival in Tullamore last weekend. BASKETBALL: MULROY HOOPS FACE LETTERKENNY BLAZE IN NORTH-WEST AREA BOARD LEAGUE OPENER was last modified: November 13th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare 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:basketballMulroy HoopsNoticesSport
BAGHDAD, Iraq – On the last day of campaigning, a roadside bomb killed four American soldiers Tuesday and gunmen assassinated a candidate for parliament in this week’s election. A Shiite politician escaped injury in a bombing south of Baghdad. The U.S. ambassador, meanwhile, said Tuesday the total number of abused prisoners found so far in jails run by the Shiite-led Interior Ministry came to about 120. The statement by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad reinforced Sunni Arab claims of mistreatment by security forces – a major issue among Sunnis in the election campaign. Despite the violence, more than 1,000 Sunni clerics issued a religious decree instructing their followers to vote Thursday, boosting American hopes the election will encourage more members of the disaffected minority to abandon the insurgency. Three of Iraq’s leading politicians agreed Tuesday that a speedy withdrawal by foreign troops before Iraqi forces are ready would cause chaos. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake But the three – former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani and Sunni Arab politician Tariq al-Hashimi – disagreed on the description of U.S. and other foreign troops. Barzani described them as “forces of liberation,” while al-Hashimi said they were occupiers. The three leaders, speaking from Baghdad, appeared in a debate on the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television. Such debates are rare in the Arab world, where candidates mainly rely on rallies attended by handpicked followers. Their comments were noteworthy because they represent important constituencies in the Thursday vote, when Iraqis will choose a 275-member parliament to serve for the next four years. Barzani heads the Kurdish autonomous region in the north and is among the country’s most powerful politicians. Allawi heads a religiously mixed ticket in the Thursday election. Al-Hashimi represents a major Sunni Arab coalition. Allawi, a secular Shiite, said an early U.S. withdrawal “will lead to a catastrophic war.” And al-Hashimi, whose party has been sharply critical of the U.S. role, said he looked forward to “my country’s liberation” but not “to be followed by chaos.” Allawi also said early U.S. withdrawal “will lead to a catastrophic war.” Al-Hashimi criticized President George W. Bush for saying the United States is fighting terrorism in Iraq. “Why should Iraqis pay a bill for something they have nothing to do with?” said al-Hashimi, a candidate for parliament. “Terrorism is not the problem of Iraqis.” A U.S. military statement said four soldiers from Task Force Baghdad died in a blast northwest of the capital, but did not specify the location. That brought to at least 2,149 the number of U.S. service members to have died since the start of the war in 2003, according to an Associated Press count. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
John McNulty has lost out in the vote for a vacant Seanad seat.John McNultyThe Kilcar man said he would resign the seat even if he won it.It follows his controversial nomination to stand for the vacant post. Gerard Craughwell (Ind) defeating McNulty (FG) on the second count.We will bring you more on this story shortly.BREAKING NEWS: JOHN McNULTY LOSES OUT IN SEANAD VOTE was last modified: October 10th, 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:donegaljohn mcnultykilcarSeanadvote
The term “junk DNA” seems to be fading with each new discovery. Helen Pearson, reporting for Nature Science Update, leads with the line “‘Junk’ DNA reveals vital role: Inscrutable genetic sequences seem indispensable.” They don’t know what it does yet, but the assumption is it must be important for evolution to hang onto it for so long. Pearson writes,If you thought we had explored all the important parts of our genome, think again. Scientists are puzzling over a collection of mystery DNA segments that seem to be essential to the survival of virtually all vertebrates. But their function is completely unknown. The segments, dubbed ‘ultraconserved elements’, lie in the large parts of the genome that do not code for any protein. Their presence adds to growing evidence that the importance of these areas, often dismissed as junk DNA, could be much more fundamental than anyone suspected.Researchers found 480 sequences that are identical between humans, mice and rats, and “largely match up with chicken, dog and fish sequences too,” but do not exist in invertebrates such as sea squirts and fruit flies. Scientists can only guess what these sequences do. One idea is that they “control the activity of indispensable genes.” Another is that they may slice and splice RNA into different forms. Or perhaps they may control embryo growth. Pearson describes the initial reactions to the discovery that junk DNA is not junk after all:To solve the conundrum, experts predict a flurry of studies into the enigmatic DNA chunks. “People will be intrigued by this [finding],” says Kelly Frazer who studies genomics at Perlegen Sciences in Mountain View, California. “It is the kind of stuff that blows people away.”She quotes one researcher who said, “It absolutely knocked me off my chair.” It was hard to believe these sections could be 100% identical. Some thought they must have contaminated their samples. “The presence of exact copies in different animals suggests that even tiny changes in the sequence of these segments destroy whatever they do,” Pearson surmises, “and have been weeded out during evolution” whereas other parts have been free to accumulate mutations. Clearly there is a lot of work ahead, Pearson says. Finding the function of the ultraconserved elements is just the tip of the iceberg. There are other vast tracts of similar so-called “junk DNA” whose functions await discovery. On a related subject, Current Biology has news on introns (see 09/03/2003 headline). A dispatch by Arlin Stoltzfus begins, “The evolutionary origin of spliceosomal introns remains elusive. The startling success of a new way of predicting intron sites suggests that the splicing machinery determines where introns are added to genes.” New techniques show the splicing sites are not random, because observers can predict where they will be found with uncanny accuracy. The “putative benefits” of introns that “justify their existence” are still unknown. Apparently, the cell has “mechanisms of targeted intron gain.”See also the May 12 BBC News report on this finding.Researchers could have had a big head start by approaching this topic from an intelligent design perspective. Just because these stretches of DNA don’t code for proteins, and just because they have unknown functions, doesn’t mean they are junk. It was evolutionary presuppositions that treated them as useless leftovers of evolutionary ancestry. Now Darwinian scientists are surprised and have a lot of catching up to do. A design perspective would begin by assuming that these stretches are there for a reason. Let’s find out, therefore, what they are there for.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
It’s not just Middle Earth where the trees talk. The forests of Regular Earth have a language, too: a chemical language called the “invisible bouquet” by Pamela J. Hines, introducing a special series of articles on plant communication in Science.1 Of the thousands of different metabolites that plants can produce, many form a cloud around the plant. These volatile compounds reflect the metabolic complexity of plants and also serve a diversity of functions. Volatile compounds signal opportunity to insects, pathogens, and pollinators alike. In a classic case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” plants being nibbled on by insect herbivores can produce volatile signals that call in other insects to prey on the herbivores. For plants that flower at night, volatiles may be a better signal than floral color or shape to draw in the best insect pollinators. Volatile signals are also read by neighboring plants and reinterpreted as instructions to adjust their own defenses. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)The “aromatic story” of plant volatiles is described in detail in three papers in the same issue of Science. Pichersky, Noel and Dudareva characterize the complex chemistry of many of these compounds produced by plants as “nature’s diversity and ingenuity.”2 These compounds don’t just happen; they are constructed in complex stepwise fashion like technical lab work in organic chemistry, involving methylation, acylation, oxidation/reduction, and formation of aromatic rings. Plants have specialized enzymes for these tasks. The authors’ description of the assembly of compounds that make roses smell sweet is mind-numbingly technical. What’s more, the compounds are produced by specialized cells, containing storage vacuoles and mechanisms for timed release into the air. Though the authors believe these processes evolved by gene duplication and diversification, they note that “Convergent evolution is often responsible [sic] for the ability of distally related species to synthesize the same volatile.” Whether or not one agrees with that hypothesis, it must surely be surprising to learn that we know of 1,000 such compounds so far, with probably many times that waiting to be discovered. Other estimates in the magazine suggest tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of primary and secondary metabolite chemicals made by plants, all with diverse biological properties and functions. How plants manufacture, store and emit these chemicals is a neglected area of study, the authors say. Another paper Baldwin et al.3 actually mentions “talking trees” –Plants may “eavesdrop” on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by herbivore-attacked neighbors to activate defenses before being attacked themselves. Transcriptome and signal cascade analyses of VOC-exposed plants suggest that plants eavesdrop to prime direct and indirect defenses and to hone competitive abilities. Advances in research on VOC biosynthesis and perception have facilitated the production of plants that are genetically “deaf” to particular VOCs or “mute” in elements of their volatile vocabulary. Such plants, together with advances in VOC analytical instrumentation, will allow researchers to determine whether fluency enhances the fitness of plants in natural communities.The phrase “talking trees” has actually been used by scientists to explain interplant communication; whether it is talking or eavesdropping may just be a point of view. Experiments have shown that plants rendered “deaf” to these signals are more susceptible to harm. The last of the series of special articles on plant volatiles is of interest to us humans. Why do spices attract our taste buds? It may be that our own sense of smell is keen to which plants are healthy and which are toxic. Stephen Goff and Harry Klee4 investigated whether plant volatiles provide clues for health and nutritional value. There is evidence that “the important flavor-related volatiles are derived from essential nutrients.” They add, “Although a single fruit or vegetable synthesizes several hundred volatiles, only a small subset generates the ‘flavor fingerprint’ that helps animals and humans recognize appropriate foods and avoid poor or dangerous food choices.” Maybe we all need to practice a lost skill, and start sniffing more intently in the woods or in the supermarket.1Pamela J. Hines, “The Invisible Bouquet,” Science 10 February 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5762, p. 803, DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5762.803.2Pichersky, Noel and Dudareva, “Biosynthesis of Plant Volatiles: Nature’s Diversity and Ingenuity,” Science 10 February 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5762, pp. 808 – 811, DOI: 10.1126/science.1118510.3Baldwin et al., “Volatile Signaling in Plant-Plant Interactions: ‘Talking Trees’ in the Genomics Era,” Science 10 February 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5762, pp. 812 – 815, DOI: 10.1126/science.1118446.4Stephen A. Goff and Harry J. Klee, “Plant Volatile Compounds: Sensory Cues for Health and Nutritional Value?”, Science 10 February 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5762, pp. 815 – 819, DOI: 10.1126/science.1112614.Had you ever given much thought to this amazing phenomenon? If you have ever studied organic chemistry, you know how complicated synthesis of particular compounds can be. Plants do this kind of synthesis in hundreds of thousands of ways, easily and purposefully, via complex enzymes. The enzymes, furthermore, do not just perform at random in the cell, but deliver their messaging molecules with storage and emission machinery. This is all in addition to the sophisticated “interplant internet” processes that keep the individual plant in touch with itself (11/09/2004, 08/12/2005). Animal and human olfactory senses also require extremely sophisticated mechanisms for detecting, transmitting and decoding these signals (08/31/2005, 06/07/2005) The whole picture is one of rich symbiosis involving numerous organisms working together to maintain a rich and diverse ecology.The “warfare of nature” metaphor may be misleading (plants being “attacked” by insects, etc.; see 07/04/2003 “Metaphors Bewitch You”). It may be more appropriate to think of these interactions as checks and balances in a homeostatic system. In a dynamic world (picture ice hockey players with everyone in motion), there need to be ways to accelerate some processes and put the brakes on others. Catastrophic imbalances that lead to devastation or extinction may reflect not so much on the design of an originally perfect creation, but on the judgment of a cursed world.Evolutionists want us to believe that all this complexity and interconnectedness is the result of blind, unguided, processes that managed to accumulate single benefits of rare beneficial mistakes here and there. This story should remind us of how improbable that explanation is. As usual, the evolutionists failed to offer detailed scenarios of how the enzymes, vacuoles, emitters and sensory organs evolved. They merely assumed that they did, somehow, even to the absurd length of invoking that old hand-waving trick, “convergent evolution.” Don’t let the fallacies of fallible humans ruin your day. Plant volatiles enrich our lives and make the world beautiful and informative. Get out and smell the roses and tomatoes. It was hip during the new age fad to talk to your house plants. Whether they listened to your words or not is debatable, but they might have been eavesdropping on your own VOCs. Your wilting ficus or rhododendron might be trying to tell you something.(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
The first ‘dotFNB’ branch, which was opened in Sandton, Johanensburg in April 2012, is a self-service outlet that allows customers to do their transactions using on-site equipment.(Image: FNB) CEO Michael Jordaan believes the best is yet to come for FNB.(Image: www.techcentral.co.za)MEDIA CONTACTS• Virginia MagapatonaFNB head of corporate communications+27 87 311 9330RELATED ARTICLES• World-class banking for 2010 • Mobile swipe machines take off in SA • SA banks overtake global giants• Standard Bank on the moneyValencia TalaneJust months after coming out tops in a small consumer survey that asked just over 600 clients to rate South Africa’s five leading banks, First National Bank (FNB) took things up a notch to clinch the title of the world’s most innovative bank in the annual Banking Administration Institute (BAI)-Finacle Global Banking Innovation Award for 2012.A MyBroadband Business Tech survey revealed in March showed that more FNB customers in South Africa were satisfied with the bank’s services than their counterparts who bank with Absa, Standard Bank and Nedbank. Relative newcomer Capitec, founded in 2001, came in a close second to FNB in the scoring.The global award, however, is given by the BAI and Finacle – a products and service software provider that works with banking institutions around the world to provide technology that meets their demands – to banks that inspire progressive banking solutions through products and services that speak to customers’ needs.The two organisations came together for the first edition in 2011, with Spain’s La Caixa emerging as the first winner of the innovation award.FNB CEO Michael Jordaan attributed the win to the bank’s focused vision, developed in 2004, to advance their services by keeping up with changes in the dynamics of South Africa’s banking population.“We have some big innovative products and hundreds of small ones in the pipeline,” Jordaan told Business Day Live in an interview. “All of these are geared to have rewarding relationships with our customer.”The Product and Service Innovation Award, according to a statement on the awards website, recognises banks that have substantially improved an existing product or service or developed and introduced a new product or service that has engaged customers, unleashed new revenue opportunities and/or improved the bank’s competitiveness.FNB’s eWallet went up against two other finalists in the final round of judging – Frank by OCBC Bank of Singapore and People Like U by UBank of Australia.Capitalising on changesThe eWallet is a service that allows customers to send money to anyone in South Africa with a valid mobile phone number, whether they have an FNB account or not, and impressed the judges the most.The bank established the service in 2009, capitalising on the country’s booming mobile phone industry and the growing concern over crimes targeted at banking institutions.By April 2012, the number of eWallets created had passed the one-million mark, and in a statement released to mark the occasion, Yolande van Wyk, CEO of FNB eWallet Solutions, revealed daily transactions in excess of R3-million (US$ 344 233) at the time.The bank’s research also showed that money is generally sent from metropolitan areas to the more rural provinces, and that 61% of these transactions are sent to a different province to the one where the user resides.OCBC Bank’s Frank credit and debit cards are designed to entice young people into engaging in banking activities. The stores, as the bank’s branches are referred to, are designed to resemble retail shops and remove the staid look and feel of regular banks.UBank of Australia, on the other hand, gives clients an opportunity to compare themselves to others like them by looking at how the other person spends their money.Through a product called People Like U, expenditures like utilities, housing, food and drink, shopping, and clothes – which are common among many bank account holders – are used by clients to help them asses their own spending habits. Furthermore, clients are able to get a view of ‘what if’ scenarios – how they would manage spending in the event of a salary increase, etc.Not the largestAccording to the Global Finance 200 survey of 2010, which looked at the African region for the continent’s largest banks by assets, it was Standard Bank, Absa and Nedbank – in that order – that came out in the top three positions, with FNB only coming in at number four. The only other South African bank in the top 10 list is Investec, with the other five in either Morocco or Algeria.In the South African context, however, Absa leads the pack, with FNB second, Standard Bank third and Nedbank coming in fourth of the established, traditional banks.Getting in touch with innovatorsFNB recently hosted its annual leadership conference, with Apple’s Steve Wozniak a guest of honour.“I have addressed many conferences,” said Wozniak, “but this is one of the first where I felt that I was so impressed by financial innovations, some of which we have not seen in the US.”He added that FNB’s products are game-changing for all other banks.“This is one of the few occasions where I have met bankers who think like IT geeks.”“Our customers are in the driving seat and we need to ensure that we are switched on and well informed so that we can engage and communicate effectively with them,” said Jordaan.