Azkals begin buildup for biggest match yet

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Ateneo sweeps NU for 6th win in 7 games MOST READ Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback LATEST STORIES View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWith players returning from injuries and foreign-based recruits all making themselves available, the Philippine Azkals buckled down to work on Saturday in preparation for their most important match yet. The Azkals face Tajikistan on March 27 in their final game of AFC Asian Cup Qualifying at Rizal Memorial Stadium with the Filipinos needing a draw to punch their ticket to the continental showpiece event next year in the United Arab Emirates. ADVERTISEMENT In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Azkals captain Phil Younghusband said the return of the likes of Manny Ott and Javier Patino from injury should come as a huge boost for the side that drew its last three matches.“It gives us confidence knowing we have players who could have made a difference in the past three games back for this game,” said Younghusband. “We all missed Patino and Manny in the previous games. Patrick (Reichelt) is also back.” FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkOnly the local-based Azkals joined training at McKinley Hill Stadium last Saturday with the rest of the foreign-based players like Neil Etheridge, Daisuke Sato, Iain Ramsay, Pika Minegishi, Misagh Bahadoran and new recruit Michael Falkesgaard linking up with the team next week.Etheridge will still play for Cardiff City in the English Championship this weekend. Cardiff is currently in a strong position to gain promotion to the English Premier League with Etheridge among its key players.  The Azkals clash with Fiji in a friendly on Thursday also at Rizal Memorial Stadium as Dooley tries to whip his squad into shape for the crucial duel with the Tajiks five days later. Tajikistan will qualify with a victory over the Azkals, whose fate will now depend on the result of the Yemen-Nepal match. A win by both Tajikistan and Yemen will eliminate the Azkals. Younghusband acknowledged the importance of the match for the sport in the country. “As it (match) gets closer, I can feel the pressure a bit more with the situation of Philippine football right now,” said Younghusband. “I think we need another milestone, another achievement, another success for football to grow again and this match (against) Tajikistan gives us that chance.” ADVERTISEMENT Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown 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 awardlast_img read more

Read More →

Wind power project gets OK

first_imgA project to bring more electricity generated by windmills to Southern California was approved last week by the state Public Utilities Commission despite objections from residents in northern Los Angeles County. The first segment of Southern California Edison’s Tehachapi transmission project must still get final approval from the U.S. Forest Service. The Tehachapi project would upgrade high-voltage transmission lines capable of delivering 4,500 megawatts of electricity from wind farms in northern Los Angeles and eastern Kern counties. In October, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors supported Leona Valley and Agua Dulce presidents in fighting the proposed high-voltage transmission line through their communities, urging Edison to keep it away from homes. In Santa Clarita, the city also asked for modifications. Edison already had agreed to shift the lines to avoid homes west of Rosamond and in the new Ritter Ranch and Anaverde master-plan communities in the Antelope Valley. The project is to be built in 11 segments to coincide with the development of wind farms. The first segment would include construction of a 26-mile, 500-kilovolt transmission line connecting Edison’s Antelope substation in Lancaster with the utility’s Pardee substation in Santa Clarita. The line is expected to be operational in early 2009. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Read More →

Investigation kept going in small steps

first_imgBy Gene Maddaus STAFF WRITER Shane Sprewell stretched out on a lawn chair in his front yard and settled in to sell crack. In an hour, six customers came to the front gate. It was an ordinary day in Ghost Town. Sprewell made no effort to conceal himself. The 16-block area of Wilmington had been a narcotics bazaar for 30 years. The neighbors – either complacent, cowed or complicit – were not about to call the police. The relationship between McNamara and Jordan stretches back to the LAPD’s Newton Division. In 2005, McNamara oversaw a Narcotics Abatement Unit that did a similar probe of the East Coast Crips. Jordan was part of the investigative team. In that case, the City Attorney’s Office confiscated three apartment complexes that had been controlled by the gang for 25 years and turned them over to developers, who are now building single- family homes on the land. “It put a large dent in their operation,” Jordan said. “They’re a nationwide gang, but in that area it crippled them.” McNamara was promoted shortly thereafter to become the commanding officer of the Harbor Division station. Early this year, she was on the verge of being promoted again – this time to commander, handling counterterrorism issues out of the LAPD’s Parker Center headquarters. But before she left the Harbor, she wanted to tackle one last entrenched drug market: Ghost Town. For generations the neighborhood had been controlled by an interlocking network of close-knit, drug-dealing families that collectively went by the gang name East Side Pain. It was no secret – neighbors knew, police knew. Veteran cops had been arresting East Side Pain members in Ghost Town their entire careers. If anybody missed it, the gang made sure to advertise itself, liberally spray-painting the letters “ESP” on blank walls and playground equipment. McNamara called Jordan and asked if she’d be interested in re-forming the Narcotics Abatement Unit and taking on Ghost Town. Jordan didn’t waste much time thinking about it. Two weeks later, she was on stakeout, watching Shane Sprewell sell crack. In the beginning it was just Jordan and her partner. Soon, she brought in other cops from the Harbor Area gang and narcotics units to help with surveillance and undercover buys, and to provide background on the gang. In March, more help arrived: The ATF signed on to the case. Though the federal agents were able to bring in better technology – some microphones and hidden cameras – their most valuable assets were two confidential informants, known in court papers as CI-658 and CI-245. CI-658 has been a crack user for almost 30 years. He was arrested many times in the late 1980s and early ’90s for prostitution. After a conviction for drug possession last year, he was classified as an “insane prisoner” and sent to Atascadero State Hospital. Within six weeks of his parole in January, he was telling the ATF and the LAPD about drug sales at the Catalina Motel in Ghost Town. CI-658 was used twice in early March to buy crack from Marvin Reed, a gun-toting parolee selling drugs out of his motel room. After that, the ATF brought in a more veteran informant, CI-245, who had previously worked for the Drug Enforcement Agency, the LAPD and the FBI. During his five-year career as an informant – which overlapped by about a year his 26-year career as a manufacturer and distributor of PCP – he had been paid $148,000 in government funds. While working as an informant, he had gotten into trouble several times. Once, the DEA had to intervene in a case to help get him into a work furlough program. On another occasion, the DEA learned he had been selling marijuana on the sly to the target of an investigation. He continued to use PCP as recently as March. But overall, he was deemed to be reliable and highly useful. In 2004, he was a key part of an investigation into PCP distribution that netted 54 arrests. On March 14, he checked into the Catalina Motel. He met Marvin Reed the same afternoon. Reed, 44, was on parole on a battery case and had a record of drug dealing and attempted carjacking stretching back to 1983. Reed’s drug activity was known to the motel ownership. The heavy traffic of crack users – known as “baseheads” and “zombies” in street argot – annoyed the owner, Dahiben Patel, who lived on site. To compensate for the nuisance, Reed paid a weekly fee to Patel’s son, Manoj, for the privilege of selling drugs at the motel. (The Patels did not return a call seeking comment on the allegations, which have spurred the federal government to attempt to seize the motel.) A gregarious sort, Reed had numerous connections in the local drug trade. He had a habit of referring to his associates as his “cousins,” even if they were not related. In time, Reed would introduce the informant to numerous other drug suppliers, and would take $100 commissions on sales that he brokered. One of them was Henry “Boo” Hood, 32, who is one of several defendants who have already agreed to plead guilty. Hood was on parole for a 2004 conviction for selling crack while carrying a firearm. “There’s no doubt that Mr. Hood was selling quantities of crack cocaine,” said his lawyer, Michael Shannon. “That’s what he was doing. I don’t believe it was a major source of income of his.” Hood’s sister, Doniel Fox, said his other job was managing a carwash in Compton. “He works every day,” she said. “He’s a big ol’ kid. He’s a family man. He takes his kids to school. He takes them out to eat a lot at McDonald’s.” Hood became ensnared in the investigation on April 4. Reed was out of town when the informant called seeking crack, so he called Hood and told him to make the deal. Hood agreed to meet the informant at a gas station parking lot at Rosecrans and Western avenues. He pulled up on a motorcycle and sold the informant 76 grams for $1,650. That wholesale price – roughly $600 per ounce – could be marked up more than 200 percent by the time the product reached the street. Figures from various undercover buys suggest that 76 grams would be worth more than $5,000 once it was chopped into tiny pieces – usually smaller than a gram – and packaged in small plastic bindles for sale to users on the street. According to investigators, East Side Pain had cornered a lucrative market. “East Side Pain controlled most rock cocaine sales in Wilmington,” Jordan said. “Other gangs dealt methamphetamine. But rock cocaine is widely used across racial lines. You’re probably going to get more money than you would from meth. And it’s easier to cook.” The next time he met the informant, Hood said the price was going up about $25 an ounce. The area was experiencing a crack shortage. Another dealer, Tyus Newborn, remarked on the same shortage two months later during a deal at a Burger King parking lot in Wilmington. This time, the price was up to $750 per ounce. Newborn told the informant he bought powder cocaine for $17,000 a kilogram. Once it was processed into crack, he said he was able to “name his own price” due to the shortage. Newborn, who did another deal with a 3-year-old girl in the back seat, has also agreed to a guilty plea. (Newborn’s attorney, Joseph Walsh, declined to comment on the case, saying “There’s nothing my client can gain by cooperating with the news media.”) As the months progressed, the informant crossed paths with several other suppliers who were pumping crack and weapons into Ghost Town. He checked into another seedy motel, the Bonnie Lee Inn, where the manager helpfully introduced him to the residents who could hook him up with drug and gun dealers. One gun dealer offered to sell him AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. Meanwhile, LAPD undercover officers were infiltrating Ghost Town from the bottom up. This was not easy because the drug organization had years of experience in evading undercover operations. They would post lookouts and do countersurveillance on the police. Dealers like Shane Sprewell would only sell to users they knew. For more risky sales, they turned to “hooks,” who had less to lose. One of them was Juan Villegas, a homeless man. Villegas would stand on Pacific Coast Highway and attract buyers. When he found one, he would take their money, go to one of the known drug houses in Ghost Town and come back with crack. Sometimes he would take his payment by pinching off a small rock for himself. Villegas was not selective about his customers, and the undercover officers had an easy time buying from him. But instead of arresting him immediately, they built up his trust. In time, they were able to use him the way the ATF informant had used Reed: as a conduit to other dealers. (Villegas has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to three years in state prison. His attorney also declined to comment. “What’s in the record speaks for itself,” he said.) Villegas led the undercover officers to Ivan Neely. Neely was a recent parolee who drove a Lexus and seemed to aspire to bigger things. He was nearly caught in the federal investigation when he tried to get in on a deal to sell four ounces of crack – or more than 100 grams – to the informant. His girlfriend, who had arranged the deal, said she cut him out of it to “avoid drama.” (The girlfriend, Jinett Sedano, has agreed to plead to a federal charge.) LAPD officers watched Neely exchange drugs with Villegas from his home. They saw that he kept his stash hidden in the ivy by his back wall, near a converted garage. After building trust with Villegas, the undercover officer convinced him to introduce him to Neely. Neely met the undercover officer on May 10 and was initially skeptical. He said the cop looked like a member of “the Grizzly Adams crew,” referring to the Harbor Area undercover officers. He overcame his doubts, however, and sold him half an ounce. Before they parted, Neely warned the officer to be careful because there were cops in the area and told Villegas to hide the drugs between his buttocks. Because police said he was only caught dealing in smaller quantities, Neely faces only state charges. His attorney, Robin Perry, said he plans to contest them. “They cast a very large net in their efforts to secure this particular area,” Perry said. “We believe they caught a lot of innocent persons within that net.” Perry said that his client is an R&B artist who grew up singing in church and has plans to record a CD. He also disputed the idea that the families were involved in a lucrative operation, saying that Neely’s family didn’t even have the means to post his $110,000 bail. “Most of the families who we’re talking about, to the extent there’s illegal activity, they’re small-time drug dealers,” Perry said. “I don’t believe this is sort of a Mafia presence.” East Side Pain might have little in common with Italian mobsters, but they did share an emphasis on family. Neely is the nephew of Linda Hodge and Robert Jordan Sr., and the cousin of Ashley Jordan, all of whom were also arrested in the Ghost Town sweep. “They were definitely all about family and all about community,” Detective Jordan said. “The drugs were there to support the family but also the gang, because they’re one and the same.” Another cousin of Neely’s, a young girl, appeared to be getting involved early in the family business. “She tried to help our undercover officer buy narcotics,” Jordan said. “We’d consistently see their kids. One was probably 10 years old and the other was 14. It was just common.” The families tried not to compete with each other for customers. On May 3, investigators watched Shane Sprewell do three hand-to-hand deals in an hour, and then get in his car and leave. A few minutes later, another dealer came out of his house a block down the street, and opened for business. They were apparently cooperating by staggering their hours. With such close bonds, word of undercover activity got around quickly. Soon they began to alter their behavior in response. Sprewell held weekly meetings of East Side Pain members at his home every Saturday. “S-Dog,” as he was known, had been arrested before, in November 2005. He told detectives at the time that he sold “a sack” of narcotics per week “to make extra money.” Evidently, he was not eager to go back to jail. He was last seen in the area on July1. He made five sales in three hours that day and hasn’t been heard from since. Others chose to stick around, but to be more careful. Soon after his encounter with the “Grizzly Adams crew,” Neely hung a sheet over his converted garage. The sheet blocked the view to surveillance officers, who could no longer tell if he was dealing drugs inside. Some modified their patterns in other ways. Hood told the ATF informant on June 6 that they couldn’t meet in Ghost Town because the neighborhood was “hot” with police activity. They met at a gas station on Rosecrans instead. The street dealers also became more suspicious, and even more selective about their customers. On July 3, undercover officers tried to buy from a relative of Shane Sprewell’s, but were told, “I don’t have anything. We don’t do that here.” The officers believed the relative had spotted an undercover police van. On July 7, Detective Jordan assembled a “buy team” to try to make undercover purchases. An undercover officer was turned down at six different locations. Jordan appeared to be growing concerned. “I regrouped with the `buy team’ and again told them that the sellers will not sell to anyone on foot they do not know, only if they are in a vehicle or on a bike,” she wrote in her affidavit. “I further stated those who are in a vehicle or on a bike must also follow certain actions in order to get a successful purchase.” Though the officers were still able to complete some undercover buys, the dealers had clearly tightened up their operation. Jordan decided it was time to wrap things up. “There’s always something that can unravel a case,” she said. “You have to be careful. It can be an additional job trying to protect it from being revealed.” Marvin Reed was the first to be arrested, on July 22, in an unrelated case out of Long Beach. Reed, who had stopped paying his weekly payoff to the Catalina Motel, had been forced to move in May to the Palm Motel in Harbor City and to switch crack suppliers. He will be at a county jail in Saugus for the next few months. After that, the ATF has claimed him. The federal charges against him remain under seal. Five hundred officers took part in the raid that began at 4 a.m. July 31. They searched 22 locations and made 43 arrests. They found $14,000 in cash, eight guns, some hollow-point ammunition, a red baseball bat with the letters “ESP” written on it, gang photos, a welfare ID card, a payroll card from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and significant quantities of marijuana and crack. At a news conference, leaders of the various agencies hailed their cooperation with each other and vowed to build a better neighborhood in Ghost Town. “Make no mistake,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, “we are here for the long term.” Following the pattern established with the East Coast Crips, the City Attorney’s Office has sought abatement actions against three homes, an apartment complex, and a motel, while the U.S. Attorney’s Office has launched proceedings to seize five other properties, including the Catalina Motel and Sprewell’s house. The detectives know they didn’t get everybody. And it remains to be seen how much will really change. Robin Perry, Neely’s attorney, said he believed the investigation had been a disappointment to the LAPD. “It’s really bogus,” he said. “What’s happening now is the authorities are trying to justify the funds spent on this investigation that turned up very little.” Officers have noted a lull in drug traffic. Now, the authorities are trying use that lull in activity to give neighbors a chance to reclaim Ghost Town for its law-abiding citizens. “This community has been held hostage for 30 years,” said Detective Jordan, who has since taken a new assignment with Internal Affairs. “Now the community members have an opportunity to enhance their community. It’s not just about law enforcement going out and doing their job. The community has to help.” gene.maddaus@dailybreeze.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! But the police were already there, and they were snapping pictures. It was Jan. 24, the first day of a seven-month investigation that would entail countless hours of surveillance and dozens of undercover drug buys. At the center of the case were two informants with long rap sheets and deep knowledge of the drug trade. Also integral to the operation were neighbors who were fed up with watching drug deals from their front windows, and who invited in the surveillance crews at risk of their own safety. By the end, the dealers had sensed they were being watched. They were no longer selling in plain sight from their lawn chairs, and had instead draped sheets and rugs to obstruct the view. When the sweep came, before dawn July 31, Shane Sprewell had left town. He and two of his family members remain fugitives. This account of the investigation comes from hundreds of pages of search warrant affidavits and other public records, as well as interviews with investigators and defense attorneys. What emerges is a portrait of a neighborhood where drug dealing is a family business, where children are brought up in the trade and expected someday to take it over, and where nothing could be more casual or commonplace. The investigation began with two women: Cmdr. Joan McNamara, a former narcotics detective who has been a trailblazer for female officers in the Los Angeles Police Department; and LAPD Detective Alisha Jordan, a former undercover officer who still shuns the spotlight. (She only reluctantly agreed to be interviewed for this story. It was the first time she had talked to a reporter.) last_img
Read More →

‘This could end miserably!’ – Arsenal fans lament as key duo miss Liverpool game

first_img Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny What a terrible time to lose your first choice centre-back partnership.Both Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker were ruled out of Arsenal’s game with Liverpool through injury and illness respectively.The news meant Calum Chambers and Gabriel came in for the beleaguered duo – the first time neither the Frenchman or German have featured since a 2-1 home defeat to Wigan in April 2012.Can Liverpool exploit a lack of experience at the heart of the Gunners’ defence?The Arsenal fans certainly think so, with many voicing some trepidation about the game… 1last_img read more

Read More →

Flagellar Swimmers Attain Mechanical Nirvana

first_imgThose little germs that scientists love, E. coli – you know, the ones with the flagella that intelligent-design folk get all excited about – well, they move through the water pretty efficiently with those high-tech outboard motors of theirs.  Some Pennsylvania physicists reporting in PNAS1 measured the “swimming efficiency of bacterium Escherichia coli” and concluded, “The propulsive efficiency, defined as the ratio of the propulsive power output to the rotary power input provided by the motors, is found to be ~ 2%, which is consistent with the efficiency predicted theoretically for a rigid helical coil.”  An engineer can’t get much more efficient than that, in other words, even in theory.  Later in the paper, they summarized, “The measured [epsilon: i.e., propulsive efficiency] is close to the maximum efficiency for the given size of the cell body and the shape of the flagellar bundle.”    That efficiency rating is the overall measurement for the package.  Many bacteria have multiple flagella, however, and ascertaining the individual contributions of each component, and the subtle hydrodynamic interactions between them, is a difficult task.  They did, however, assess the length of the flagellum as a factor in the optimal performance, and concluded that “flagella are as long as required to maximize its propulsive efficiency.”2    They measured the swimming efficiency by capturing single bacteria in “optical tweezers” and putting them into a measured rate of flow.  The work was edited by Howard Berg of Harvard, a pioneer of flagellum research (see his 1999 article on Physics Today).1Chattopadhyay, Moldovan, Yeung and Wu, “Swimming efficiency of bacterium Escherichia coli,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0602043103, published online before print September 5, 2006.2For a dazzling animation showing how the flagellum tip is constructed, see the video link from our 11/02/2005 entry.  Fast-forward to 18:20.  How does it know when to stop growing?  There must be feedback from the growing tip to the control mechanism in the cell body.Man-made outboard motors are stubby-shaped, loud, polluting, inefficient monstrosities that generate huge wakes.  Since the bacteria have already mastered propulsive efficiency, maybe this will inspire some boat builder to do a little biomimetics.  We should see if flagellar construction scales up to human proportions and maintains the efficiency rating.  If so, lakefront property owners would love them for it.    Too bad we can’t ask the little critters how they came up with this technology.  It wouldn’t help anyway, probably.  All they would say is, “Dunno; we’re just the customer.”(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Read More →

A Little Knowledge Without Ethics

first_img 1.  Anthony King, “Art: Body work,” Nature 473 (26 May 2011), p. 451, doi:10.1038/473451a. Do you sense the lostness of this generation?  There is no bottom in the abyss of human depravity when empowered by knowledge without ethics.  Things could get very much worse without a return to the Manufacturer’s Manual.  Fallible humans following the Manual would still make mistakes, but at least there would be a pole star to guide on. (Visited 47 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Imbalance in India:  Ultrasound is a wonderful invention that allows images inside the human body.  In India, however, where culture and economics puts a premium on the male sex, its use has had devastating consequences.  PhysOrg reported, “In Indian families in which the first child has been a girl, more and more parents with access to prenatal ultrasound testing are aborting a second female in the hope that a subsequent pregnancy will yield a boy, said the study, published in The Lancet…. Between 1980 and 2010, they estimate, four to 12 million girls were aborted because of their sex.”     The government has tried to stop the practice, but in a country where corruption is rampant, laws are easily set aside.  “A 1996 government regulation designed to prevent the use of ultrasound for prenatal sex determination is widely flouted, the researchers say, pointing out that few health providers have been charged or convicted.”  A little bribe goes a long way.  This could not have happened before science brought the technology to know the sex of an unborn baby, but where does the fault lie? Imbalance in China:  The Three Gorges Dam was a monumental engineering effort in China that worried environmentalists and ethicists because of potential damage to the land and its people.  Now that the reservoir is full, New Scientist reported, those worries have been realized.     Landslides, pollution, and economic upheaval with dire consequences for many displaced people are the result.  The BBC News added that 1.3 million people were displaced by a project that was the “contentious scheme even before it was approved.”  Ignoring warnings that it would cause an “environmental catastrophe,” the government went ahead with the project.     Last week, in an unusual move, the government admitted “that the Three Gorges dam has caused significant environmental problems.”  But they remain unfazed by the consequences.  In fact, they are going to build more dams. Endangered species:  The Endangered Species Act has impacted many businesses and homeowners, depriving property owners of rights to use their land in freedom because of the claims of scientists that certain species would be adversely affected.  “For more than 40 years,” Science Daily reported, “the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has published the Red List of Threatened Species describing the conservation status of various species of animals.”     Now, however, an international team is calling for a reassessment of the definition of endangered species.  Are the one-size-fits-all criteria currently in use too simplistic?  “Our results challenge the application of the same sets of threat criteria across living organisms and across regions,” the team said, admitting that “identifying which species are most at risk can be difficult….”  While each case must be judged on the evidence, one wonders how many human beings have been deprived of their freedom, and what has been the impact on society and the economy, from the application of simplistic standards of assumed knowledge. Climate change:  For most of the past decade, global warming has been a doomsday scenario guaranteed by the scientific consensus unless drastic changes in the world’s economies were made.  States have passed carbon taxes; the federal government pushed for cap-and-trade legislation; bodies of world governments agreed to make draconian cuts in emissions that would cripple their economies.     Many scientists still believe the threat is real.  Maybe it is, but the IPCC, the world body that had been trusted with the scientific data to back it up, got caught in an embarrassing credibility crisis over the Climategate affair in 2009.  Subsequent investigations found conflicts of interest and sloppy data gathering by the panel.  Nature News discussed the latest moves to repair the damage and reform the IPCC, while a growing number of climate skeptics have claimed the threat is either overblown or unreal, leading to questions about how many nations and people might be suffering unnecessarily over a “little knowledge” about climate processes that may be too uncertain for human beings to grasp. Government funding:  Recent TV news reports mocked government spending to the National Science Foundation for apparently frivolous projects like a shrimp on a treadmill, a robot that folds towels, and a study to discover if boys like trucks and girls like dolls.  Senator Tom Coburn in particular had brought some of these projects, buried in NSF reports, to light.     The NSF didn’t take this lying down.  Live Science responded that some scientists “cry foul” over Coburn’s report, calling it “misleading” and “out of context”.     Whether or not researchers can back up the worth of their pet projects is one thing.  Reporter Stephanie Pappas did quote Coburn’s focus, “It is not the intent of this report to suggest that there is no utility associated with these research efforts.  The overarching question to ask, however, is simple.  Are these projects the best possible use of our tax dollars, particularly in our current fiscal crisis?” Fatherhood:  An article on PhysOrg pointed to the grim realities of fatherless families, but attributed the causes to poverty and lack of education.  Yet numerous men achieved success in spite of those causes.  George Washington Carver was an orphan, was dirt poor, was discriminated against, and yet became a highly successful and benevolent scientist.  Is it possible that the researchers behind the report are confusing causes and effects and ignoring other factors?  How many times has the government tried to eradicate poverty and ignorance, only to make problems worse?     Such questions need to be asked before accepting the opinions of “economists, sociologists, and public policy experts” in academia.  The “experts” undoubtedly omitted to ask for input from the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family and other conservative organizations that might beg to differ on the causes and cures of fatherless families.  In fact, a survey of the ideology of the researchers behind this study might be illuminating.  How many of them view government as the solution to all social ills? There’s an exhibition on display at Trinity College Dublin called “Human+: The Future of Our Species”.  Even the leftist-leaning journal Nature found some of the art, supported by the Wellcome Trust, unsettling.1  Anthony King wrote about the exhibit that challenges what it means to be human.  “Genetics and artificial intelligence figure prominently among its themes of augmented abilities, authoring evolution, extended ecologies, life at the edges and non-human encounters.”     Some of the exhibits include a man transplanting an ear onto his arm, a robot that makes threats to critics, a robot that makes viewers ill at ease by imitating their facial expressions, a film showing robots boring holes into human bodies, and a place where viewers can get genetically tested for a gene that is claimed to cause high risk behavior.  This particular piece caught King’s eye: Taking a still darker turn is the sculpture Euthanasia Coaster.  Should medical wonders allow us extended lifetimes, boredom may bedevil us.  Julijonas Urbonas imagines a humane and thrilling exit: death by roller coaster in the form of an exhilarating 500-metre drop followed by a series of loops, the G-forces of which would kill passengers in a state of intense euphoria.center_img A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  When is knowledge enough?  And can a lot of knowledge be a dangerous thing, too?  Whether little or much, knowledge without ethics empowers evil.last_img read more

Read More →

Recycling tyres, creating jobs

first_img10 January 2012 A waste tyre management plan to be rolled out later this year will create a “sustainable recycling industry” to deal with a major waste problem, the recycling initiative said on Monday.The Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (Redisa) said the Integrated Industry Waste Tyre Management Plan, which had been approved by Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, would create jobs and foster small and medium-sized businesses throughout the country.Job creation, business development “The new law is intended not only to support the creation of a sustainable recycling industry to deal with a major and problematic waste product, but also to create jobs and foster small and medium sized businesses in communities throughout the country,” the group said.All involved in the industry have to register by 31 January 2012.Redisa said the income generated from a rand-per-kilo levy charged to tyre manufacturers and importers would be used to help stimulate start-up businesses around the collection, transportation, storage and recycling of the waste.It would also be used for research and development, training, monitoring and overall community upliftment.10-million scrap tyres a year The South African tyre industry produces more than 10-million scrap tyres a year.According to Redisa it is estimated that between 60- and 100-million scrap tyres are stockpiled in South Africa.“Waste tyres pose an environmental problem, both as pollutants and as breeding grounds for mosquitoes and vermin,” the group said.“However, there is as yet no effective technology for disposing of tyres in an environmentally friendly yet economically viable way.“The need for research and development, collection and recycling is therefore imperative. The opportunity for generating jobs and new industry businesses aligned to the recycling of waste tyres is of paramount importance.”The group said the R2.30 per kilometre levy charged to the manufacturer would effectively subsidise the collection and recycling processes.By giving the tyres a value for recycling, entrepreneurs would be able to build a business out of collecting tyres from their community and delivering them to a collection point.Sapalast_img read more

Read More →

Future of solar energy in agriculture is bright

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Three solar energy experts will discuss the use of this renewable energy application in the agriculture industry at the Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum, Thursday, Mar. 21, 2019 from 8 – 9:30 a.m. The event is hosted by the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation (AIF).Lee Andre of Harvest Energy Solutions, will be joined by colleague Ken Zabarah, territory manager for Ohio and Indiana, as well as Daryl Stockburger, assistant director of utilities, City of Bowling Green, as they explain the use of solar energy in the Midwest, grid management, review of northwest Ohio region solar usage, and what the future holds for the industry.Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst concluded that solar energy has tremendous benefits in agriculture. For example, on a dairy farm where up to 40% of the energy used is for water heating, a solar water heater can reduce heating costs up to 85% annually.This forum is part of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership Pollution Prevention (P2) program, which utilizes the entire network of engineering resources, equipment manufacturers and suppliers at its disposal to provide complete and cost effective evaluations in power and lighting, water usage, utilities efficiency assessments, water and air discharge and sustainability.Arrive early, as breakfast and informal networking will start at 8 a.m., with the program to follow. The cost is just $10 per person when you RSVP in advance, or $12 per person at the door without RSVP (cash or check) which includes breakfast and networking opportunities.The Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum is an educational networking opportunity to provide information on current issues, trends and programs available to the agricultural community and those who support its advancement.The AIF is located at 13737 Middleton Pike (St. Rt. 582) in Bowling Green. Walk-ins are welcome, but guests are encouraged to reserve a seat in advance by visiting ciftinnovation.org.last_img read more

Read More →

BlueLock Lets You Customize Your Cloud Infrastructure

first_imgIf you’re a software-as-a-service company you are probably thinking about how cloud computing can save you money and time. The same thing is true for departments in the enterprise that wants to spin up a new service for customers.We had a chance to sit down with BlueLock, one of the leaders in cloud-based infrastructure providers. Their solutions range from quick provisioning using an online form, to becoming your infrastructure team for mission-critical applications. BlueLock represents a part of the trend in virtualization that not only extends physical servers, but allows companies to leverage infrastructure investments to meet the needs of application developers.One of the benefits of cloud computing is the ability to optimize the experience of experts and save money in hosting applications. However, one of the areas that is terminally difficult in the enterprise is configuration management in between the layers of OS, storage, security and network. This is getting more and more focus from the biggest providers in IT – Cisco, Microsoft, EMC, NetApp – but where the rubber hits the road, IT leaders are doing a majority of the work tuning configurations to find the right mix of infrastructure to meet their needs.Custom is King Fully outsourced configuration management of the infrastructure is one of the areas that BlueLock offers. One benefit of this service is the opportunity for an enterprise to configure a cloud to be both production ready, and also have a mirror environment for testing and development. Not all applications are created equally and it is a key part of the job to optimize across layers.This area seems ripe for change and the future is unknown in the sense that today it is unclear which traditional infrastructure tools will evolve into the holy grail of “one click” deploy-and-customize solutions. So, if you want a solution that is cloud hosted today and configurable, it’s worth giving BlueLock a look. This week at VMware Partner Exchange announced the BlueLock CloudSuite. One key feature in the mix is a tailored selection of infrastructure environments.Instead of just cloning infrastructure, BlueLock focuses on tailoring it around the successful patterns we’ve seen in the enterprise. Additionally, its offerings are based on VMware virtualization technology. The mix of cloud computing with customization seem like an ideal marriage for IT managers looking to build towards the cloud. Is customization a key capability that you look for in a cloud hosting provider for your applications?Photo credits: thebestofmyself & Phillip Pessar Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloudcenter_img Tags:#cloud#Data Centers#saas#Vendors#Virtualization Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… mike kirkwoodlast_img read more

Read More →

Archers, Tams go at it anew

first_imgMOST READ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netStung by tough defeats at the end of the first round, defending champion La Salle and Far Eastern U seek to get their campaigns back on track when they mix it up on Wednesday in UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Beaten by fierce rival Ateneo, 75-76, on Sunday, the Green Archers hope to turn their fortunes around against the Tamaraws in the 4 p.m. clash that could serve as a preview of the Final Four.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LATEST STORIES BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  View comments Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF presidentcenter_img University of the Philippines faces winless University of Santo Tomas at 2 p.m. Will group seeking reforms get worthwhile results? Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary The Archers have looked vulnerable for most of the first round despite dominant performances from Ben Mbala, who has averaged 30 points in his first five games of the season.La Salle forward Ricci Rivero feels its about time the rest of the Archers step up to ease the burden on Mbala.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We don’t have to rely on Ben every time, that’s why we have to play as a team because with our lineup, we have players who are capable of doing everything,” said Rivero.Aljun Melecio is expected to return to the lineup after missing the last three games due to dengue fever. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHlast_img read more

Read More →