Donegal teacher’s angry open letter to TUI on eve of school strikes

first_imgOn the eve of tomorrow’s school strikes, a disgruntled Donegal teacher has slammed the Teachers Union of Ireland for the stance they have taken.The teacher, who asked not to be named, has written an open letter to TUI President and Donegal native Joanne Irwin.In the letter, the teacher explains that he no longer feels his union represents his interests. This is his letter.Donegal Daily welcomes responses from all interested parties.Dear Ms Irwin,“I would like to convey my disgust at the recent comments you have made in relation to the current situation regarding the ASTI strike. “As a member of the TUI in Donegal, I am ashamed at the stance that my union is taking, by criticising a union that has the nerve to stand up to a government that has broken promise after promise. Having spoken to other teachers in the past few weeks about their reasons for voting yes in the last election, it is clear that they voted based on the TUI recommendation and now regret their choice.“I heard you last summer talking about Croke Park hours and despite the poor effort that you made to illustrate what they were, I noticed that you were staunchly opposed to them. However, upon your election you seemed to have forgotten your opposition and gave in to the Government’s demands without a fight. By recommending a ‘yes’ vote, you showed the government that the TUI are pushovers and that the government can get what they want through threatening teachers.“As it stands, the TUI have accepted Landsdowne and it has accepted the new Junior Cert, which is beyond a joke, with teachers correcting the work and it being meaningless to the students, who have put so much effort into their project work. The ASTI are still refusing to accept a flawed system and are refusing to accept the broken promises of a weak government. If I had a choice, I know which union I would prefer to be a member of.“Back to Landsdowne. Your selling point last year was on two points. One, a threat that FEMPI would be implemented, which it hasn’t and two, that we would receive payment for substitution and supervision, which amounts to little or nothing in the grand scheme of things.“Ask teachers what really matters and they will tell you that it is the thirty-three hours unpaid work that is the biggest problem in terms of our work. That and the inequality that exists in relation to new entrants, not to mention the fact that the TUI have stood by and watched the casualisation of teaching jobs, with many teachers waiting almost a decade to get a full-time job. “For you to come out and criticise the ASTI is unfathomable. Is it because they are showing what weak negotiators you and your team are? Or are you really on the side of Richard Bruton and the government because in my eyes, you either stand with the ASTI or you keep quiet. Cheerleading for Landsdowne is a despicable act and it has enraged ordinary teachers on the ground.“It is becoming abundantly clear that the TUI no longer represents the voice of teachers. The ASTI are teachers, the TUI is made up of FETAC instructors, teachers and lecturers. How can FETAC instructors and lecturers vote on issues affecting teachers, when they are not cognisant of the finer details of what teaching is about?“As a paying member of a union that I feel no longer represents my interests, but that of an executive eager to please its masters, I will be re-evaluating my membership of the organisation and also urging others to do likewise. We are not paying for you to be a mouthpiece for the government, to cheerlead for Richard Bruton in the hope you might get a pat on the head for a job well done.“We are paying you to fight for us as teachers, this is something you seem to have forgotten, but you will start to remember when union fees are no longer paid. I can only urge you for the rest of strike campaign to stay quiet, to say nothing because nothing will deflect from the lack of courage shown by the TUI and when it is contrasted with the ASTI, is all the more clear. “As a teacher who has still not got CID (full-time job), I will have to send this anonymously, as I am aware that a dissenting voice would not be welcome.”Donegal teacher’s angry open letter to TUI on eve of school strikes was last modified: October 26th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Farming crops with rocks to reduce CO2 and improve global food security

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Farming crops with crushed rocks could help to improve global food security and capture CO2 from the atmosphere, a new study has found.The pioneering research by scientists at the University of Illinois, together with U.S. and international colleagues, suggests that adding fast-reacting silicate rocks to croplands could capture CO2 and give increased protection from pests and diseases while restoring soil structure and fertility.Stephen Long, Gutgsell Endowed University Professor of Crop Sciences and Plant Biology at U of I and co-author of the study, provides context: “Scientists generally have done a poor job of getting across the point that the world must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels and combine this with strategies for extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to avoid a climate catastrophe.”David Beerling, Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation at the University of Sheffield and lead author of the research, explains the project: “Human societies have long known that volcanic plains are fertile, ideal places for growing crops without adverse human health effects, but until now there has been little consideration for how adding further rocks to soils might capture carbon.“This study could transform how we think about managing our croplands for climate, food, and soil security. It helps move the debate forward for an under-researched strategy of CO2 removal from the atmosphere — enhanced rock weathering — and highlights supplementary benefits for food and soils. Adopting strategies like this new research could have a massive impact and be adopted rapidly.”The research, published in Nature Plants, examined amending soils with abundant crushed silicate rocks, like basalt, left over from ancient volcanic eruptions. As these minute rock grains dissolve chemically in soils, they take up carbon dioxide and release plant-essential nutrients.Critically, enhanced rock weathering works together with existing managed croplands. Unlike other carbon removal strategies being considered, it doesn’t compete for land used to grow food or increase the demand for fresh water. Other benefits include reducing the usage of agricultural fertilizers and pesticides, lowering the cost of food production, increasing the profitability of farms and reducing the barriers to uptake by the agricultural sector.Crushed silicate rocks could be applied to any soils, but arable land is the most obvious since it is worked and planted annually. It covers approximately 10% of the global land area.Farmers already apply crushed rock in the form of limestone to reverse acidification of soils caused by farming practices, including the use of fertilizers. Managed crops, therefore, have the logistical infrastructure, such as road networks and machinery, needed to undertake this approach at scale. These considerations could make it straightforward to adopt.“Our proposal is that changing the type of rock, and increasing the application rate, would do the same job as applying crushed limestone but help capture CO2 from the atmosphere, storing it in soils and eventually the oceans,” Long said.James Hansen from the Earth Institute at Columbia University and co-author of the work, adds, “Strategies for taking CO2 out of the atmosphere are now on the research agenda and we need realistic assessment of these strategies, what they might be able to deliver, and what the challenges are.”The article, “Farming with crops and rocks to address global climate, food and soil security,” is published in Nature Plants. Researchers participated from U of I, University of Sheffield, Lancaster University, James Cook University, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, University of California, Santa Cruz, and Columbia University. The work was supported by the Leverhulme Trust.last_img read more

The Basic Properties of Color

first_imgColor is one of the most important tools you have in your kit. Do you understand the best ways to use it? Here are the basics.Top image via ShutterstockColor. It has been with you since the day you were born, and it will be with you until the day you die. A particular color can make you recall a fond childhood memory, another color can warn you of danger, and another may tell you how hot or cold something is.Moreover, as a storyteller, either through motion or still pictures, color is one of the most important tools you have in your kit. A simple tweak of the color could give your image an entire new symbolic or literal meaning to your image. For example, see the picture below.Image: Psycho III via Universal PicturesWith a simple color tweak, the house from Psycho becomes less haunting and more welcoming. (This color change revolves around a change in color temperature. You can read more about that here.)Knowledge of color is not just a factor needed to color grade sufficiently. I am confident you’ve probably used the tools (or something similar) in the picture below.Many are adequate with color grading and color correcting and will likely know their way around basic correction software. However, do you know exactly what is happening when you desaturate an image? Of course, the image is losing its ‘color,’ but how does it lose it? Knowing that information will help you make better decisions and ultimately better your work. Understanding basic color theory will not only assist you in post, but it will help with set design, costume, lighting and so much more.Image: A hue color wheelColor itself has three primary qualities: Hue, Chroma, and Value, also known as Hue, Saturation and Lightness.HueWe identify hue as a familiar color’s name, such as blue, which represents a particular wavelength of visible light. It is of the wavelength’s dominance that produces a particular hue.Simply put, hue describes the wavelength of the color. If science class is nothing but a distant memory and this talk of wavelengths has you tangled in a nostalgic web, here’s a quick recap on the science of color wavelengths.Human eyes can only process a tiny region of the electromagnetic spectrum; we call this visible light.  Part of the electromagnetic spectrum is measured in nanometers (nm), and the colors we can see fall between 400-700nm. Violet light and blue light have the shortest wavelengths and become scattered a lot easier in comparison with red, which has the longest [visible] wavelength of 635-700nm.What does this have to do with color theory? The answer is everything. The length of wavelengths will change what color is seen. The reason why the sky is blue is that blue wavelengths of light become scattered through our atmosphere. If green had the shortest wavelength, we would have a green sky.On a daily basis, you can see the process of dominant wavelengths changing the color of our environment. It is visually demonstrated at sunrise and sunset, also known as golden hour. As the sun is just about level with the horizon, the light has many miles of dense atmosphere to travel through and the blue light [wavelengths] becomes even more scattered in the atmosphere, leaving the longer wavelengths of yellow, orange & red to illuminate what we see.It is important to note that hues are not just light at one wavelength. Blue does not exist because the other wavelengths have ceased from the light spectrum. Each hue contains the entire array of wavelengths found in visible light, but one will be more dominant than the others which creates a distinct hue.Therefore, a hue is the founding dimension of a color determined by wavelength; in short, hue is just the base color. Below are the colors azure, cerulean, sapphire and aquamarine. While they each have their distinct properties, they are of a blue hue.When you start to add chroma and value to a hue, you start to create new tints, tones, and shades of a color.There is often discussion and arguments over what colors correctly are classed as ‘pure hues.’ Is it violet or magenta? Different color systems will vary slightly. For this article, we will use the most popular opinion of what classifies as pure hues: Red, Violet, Blue, Green, Yellow, and Orange. These six colors can be broken down into the following groups.Primary HuesTheoretically, these hues are known to be classed as primary, as they cannot be created by mixing other hues together. These are red, blue and yellow. This is not to be confused with primary colors of video, as video uses an additive color system of RGB.Secondary Hues Secondary hues can each be produced by mixing two primary hues. These are orange, violet and green.Tertiary HuesTertiary hues are usually named and created by mixing adjacent primary and secondary hues. For example, red-orange is the tertiary hue between red and orange. Blue-green (cyan) is the tertiary hue between blue and green.Chroma/SaturationChroma, more often called saturation, refers to the intensity and purity of a hue.  A hue will be most vivid in its natural state at 100% saturation. At 0% you will have the monochrome luna component.You can decrease the intensity of a hue by adding gray. Every increment of gray adjusts the tone of the pure hue. You can also desaturate a hue by adding its complementary color. For example, if we take a swatch of red and add a small amount of cyan (red’s complementary color), the grayer the red will become.When equal amounts of cyan and red are mixed, there will be no trace of either hue — only the gray will remain.Value/LightnessThe third property of color is value (lightness). Value measures the degree of light reflected — how light or dark a color is. Adding white makes the color lighter, which in turn creates tints, and adding black makes it darker and creates shades.The effect of value is relative to other components in the composition. For example, the image below shows three distinct differences in value because of the backgrounds.For one color of a particular hue, the perception of lightness is also more intense if we increase saturation. For example, a saturated yellow will always look brighter than a saturated blue. The practicality of this application is incredibly useful for directing the audience’s attention to specific areas within your frame.Much like the English language, there are plenty of color terms that have multiple meanings. For example, chroma is one of the two components of a video signal that carries color information.  Likewise, sometimes brightness and lightness can be interchanged. However, brightness is a human visual perception.As previously stated, understanding the basic properties of color is not a skill that only editors and colorists should learn. Filmmakers of all positions will better themselves knowing how colors work.How has understanding color theory changed your approach to filmmaking, videography, and photography? Share your story in the comments below.last_img read more

Govt. may cut ‘excess’ water supply to Baramati, Indapur

first_imgAmid speculation that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led State government was considering halting ‘excess’ water supply for agriculture to the Baramati and Indapur talukas, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said any comment on the drought and water crisis must be made with extreme sensitivity.“The whole of Maharashtra is in the grip of an unprecedented water crisis. At such a time, there is a need to speak with extreme sensitivity on this issue. One must ensure there is no discrimination between different regions and talukas in the State as regards the distribution of water,” Mr. Pawar said, urging the government not to resort to politics over drought and water allocation.The NCP chief, who was on a tour of the drought-hit parts of Baramati, was responding to the rumours that State Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan was thinking of cutting the allegedly excess water supply from the Nira left bank canal to Indapur and Baramati.Mr. Mahajan has said that Baramati and Indapur — strongholds of the Pawar clan and Congress leader Harshavardhan Patil respectively — have been receiving more water than required. He implied that Mr. Pawar and his nephew, senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar, had tweaked rules to divert more water to Baramati when the Congress-NCP government was in power.The Nira project consists of a storage reservoir on the Yelwandi river near Bhatgar and two canals. The left bank canal, which originates from the Nira river at Vir, irrigates areas of Pune district, including Baramati and Indapur, and parts of Solapur district. The right bank canal irrigates some other tehsils in Solapur.Mr. Mahajan said more water was diverted to the left canal that passed through Baramati and Indapur, while areas in Solapur district like Malshiras, Madha and Sangola were left high and dry.“The local MP from Madha and other leaders from Solapur district have complained that five talukas are receiving only 40% water from the Nira left bank canal, while Baramati and Indapur are receiving the remaining 60%,” Mr. Mahajan told a vernacular television channel. It is believed that the newly elected Madha MP Ranjitsinh Naik-Nimbalkar and other leaders from Solapur like Ranjitsinh Mohite-Patil, son of former NCP MP Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil, met the minister on this matter. According to rumours, Mr. Mahajan is expected to issue an ordinance on this matter soon. The move, if implemented, is seen as a stratagem on part of the BJP to break the Pawars’ stranglehold on Baramati ahead of the Assembly elections.Ajit Pawar, who toured Baramati with his uncle, said, “I have yet to hear anything said by Mr. Mahajan on this issue. I am not aware if such a decision has been mooted… But the government should know that there are people living on both sides of the Nira canal.” Senior Congress leader Harshavardhan Patil, whose bastion is Indapur, however warned of a strong agitation if such an ordinance comes into effect. “The Water Resource Department has no right to take such a decision, if at all it is being mulled. Indapur and Baramati are catchment areas. If water supply to these talukas is going to be stopped, we will be compelled to launch an agitation and take legal recourse,” Mr. Patil said.last_img read more