Sierra Leone Mudslide ‘A Tragedy Mankind Called Upon Itself’, Says LTA Chair

first_imgDr. Euphemia Weeks gave the keynote address at the Stella Maris 2017 commencement convocationWarns against provoking the environmentThe chairperson of the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) has said that Liberia should brace itself for an environmental disaster like what happened in neighboring Sierra Leone where over 400 people lost their lives after a mudslide, if Liberians do not stop abusing the environment. Serving as the commencement speaker at the 18th Convocation Exercises of the Stella Maris Polytechnic over the weekend, Angelique Weeks said West Africa is vulnerable to extreme weather and as such countries of the region should employ best practices that would limit the impact of climate change. On Friday, August 26, the LTA chairperson admonished Liberians about the dire consequences of neglecting the environment and noted that the calamity that struck Sierra Leone on August 14, when Sugar Loaf, the conical mountain overlooking the capital, Freetown, collapsed in a mudslide that swept away buildings and killed over 400 people. She said it was shocking but not entirely surprising, and putting it more bluntly, said: “This is a tragedy that mankind called upon itself.”“We have to stop the way we behave in this country: the way we treat our society, our communities and our environment. We most times fail to take note of the impact our everyday actions have on our environment. We throw plastic bags all over the place, we dump garbage everywhere; build on waterways and on drainages. With these actions, we are putting our lives at risk. We must learn to protect our environment,” she said.Quoting Sierra Leonean Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authorities, chairman Weeks noted that the Freetown mudslide was caused by a more deliberate human activity than is usually associated with climate change and similar natural catastrophes. The affected area, Sugar Loaf, which is still covered on the top – at about 3,000 feet, by lush vegetation, is part of an allocation of supposedly protected areas officially called the Western Area Forest Reserve. Many environmental experts, since the Freetown tragedy, have said that the magnitude of damage caused by the mudslide in Sierra Leone was due to the government’s failure to implement housing and environmental policies, something similar to the situation Liberia is currently facing.In Liberia, like in Sierra Leone, floods happen every year. The country receives the highest rain fall per annum in the region. Major floods occur in the rainy season between May and November. “We heard that the mudslide and rain overwhelmed Freetown’s drainage system, creating waterways that churned down steep streets across the capital. This is a similar situation that we face in this country every year during the rainy season. Why should we play the ‘don’t care’ attitude with the environment? We are just doing construction randomly in this country without adhering to proper plans and policies. We build anywhere in this country. This is wrong. The environment will give us in return, what we have given earlier. We must be cognizant of this,” she said.Chairman Weeks later told the graduates to cultivate the attitude of hard work and the love of God if they are to succeed in their educational and earthly endeavors. “We must be people who put the love of God and hard work above every other thing.”She said education is the foundation of everything, but that it must go along with the fear of God, patience, dedication and good work ethics. “This is the only way you are going to succeed in life,” she said.The Catholic run institution graduated 452 students from five colleges.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Golden State Warriors reportedly to waive veteran Shaun Livingston

first_imgVeteran guard Shaun Livingston, who won three NBA titles with the Golden State Warriors, will be waived by the team, according to published reports.Livingston, 34, still has intentions of playing at least one more season, which would be his 16th year in the league. It was thought he might retire after this season. ESPN first reported the news.The former fourth overall selection in the 2004 draft by the Los Angeles Clippers has played the past five seasons with the Warriors. He averaged 4.0 …last_img read more

Was Archaeopteryx a Biplane?

first_imgA U of Calgary PhD student thinks Archaeopteryx flew on all fours.  Nick Longrich thinks the early bird had feathers on its legs that gave it additional lift.  The discovery of some Chinese fossil birds with feathers on the legs lends support to his interpretation, he says.“The idea of a multi-winged Archaeopteryx has been around for more than a century, but it hasn’t received much attention,” Longrich said.  “I believe one reason for this is that people tend to see what they want or expect to see.  Everybody knows that birds don’t have four wings, so we overlooked them even when they were right under our noses.  He thinks this argues for the tree-down (arboreal) theory of the origin of flight, instead of the ground-up (cursorial) theory.Maybe Longrich should dial Ken Dial down in Montana for his opinion.  Dial has staked his reputation on wing-assisted incline running (WAIR) for the origin of flight (see 05/01/2006, 11/16/2005, 12/22/2003, 01/16/2003), so this is likely to spoil his spoilers.  But we’re all for peace.  “Working toward consensus” is a buzzphrase these days.  Maybe by working together they can come up with an even better story.  The wingless female was diving off the tree, you see, and the wingless male, arms outstretched, came running to catch her.    If Archaeopteryx had four functional flight surfaces instead of two, that’s not evolution.  For structures to persist, they have to help an animal survive.  Incipient structures do not help survival; they only get in the way.  If some extinct birds had more aerodynamic equipment than birds today, it indicates something has been lost, not gained.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Scott Metzger, Oct. 23

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We are done harvesting our first crop beans and onto shelling corn now. We got all the wheat sown and are working on getting cover crops sown.Our Plenish beans made 58 and all of our XtendiMax beans made 57 and they were all right there together. I thought they’d be a little higher but they were still above average for us. Our XtendiMax fields were extremely clean. Our Plenish fields had a little giant ragweed in them but nothing major. The bean sizes seem to be really small.  The Plenish beans graded out really high on all of their numbers.A frost this week would actually help our double-crop beans out a little. It will push them along.We have an excellent stand of wheat. It went in great and we got a little rain on it there. It all popped up and it is two or three inches tall with very good stands. Everything looks good with it so far.The corn has been excellent. We are maybe a third done and I think we could maybe average 200 or above. We have seen numbers a lot higher than that on our better ground and it is coming out of the field at 17.5% or 18%. That is some of our full season corn too. I think we could have a farm record for our corn, but we still have a lot to do. The rain we had in July was like irrigation for us. I think it really helped the corn but that may have inversely hurt our beans. All of the corn is standing really well and there are excellent field conditions for harvest.We’ve got a farm we are going to do some cereal rye and radishes on and that will be on bean stubble going to corn next year. Then we are planting a combination of wheat at a half rate and cereal rye on some of our bean ground. We’ll fall spray our corn stalks.last_img read more

The Apps Are Here: World Bank Apps for Development Challenge Now Open For Voting

first_imgRelated Posts marshall kirkpatrick Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#web Fantom says the World Bank is currently recruiting an open data evangelist and aims to transform a meaningful amount of its work under this model. The ways that developers use and ask for data will influence the ways the organization gathers and offers data, he says. Many parts of the world still don’t have basic data sets that other people take for granted – like vital records of deaths and their causes. “Imagine trying to do something with insurance without that kind of basic data, for example,” Fantom says.The prospect of a global institution using its resources to create new data assets that can be made freely available to a world-wide corps of innovative developers and then turned into software that’s deployed to a global populace, heavily connected by mobile device – that’s a very different vision of development than dominated the last century.The possibilities are many and hopefully this will just be the beginning“We are trying to open up the model so we have collaboration with a whole range of different innovators,” says Fantom. “We don’t know what people will do with our data but on the whole we believe they are going to add value to it. No, we’re sure they’ll add value to it.”Voting on which apps should be awarded prizes is open to the public through the month of February. The World Bank works with a network of specialists all over the world to gather and curate a large body of economic development data each year. The organization has made a few million dollars from subscription sales of its datasets to universities and other institutional subscribers – but last year the Bank decided it would rather give the data away for free and see what would happen.In order to make the most of this new opportunity, the Bank decided to work with Challenge Post, a software developer contest adminstration service, to create a contest called Apps for Development, challenging developers around the world to build apps on top of the data. The apps are in, it’s time to vote and the things people have built are quite remarkable. The apps have come from 30 different countries and more were built in Africa than in Europe.Debate about the Bank and its dataSee the blog Flowing Data’s coverage and discussion of the Bank’s opening of its data in April 2010.Data guru Jon Udell was critical of the way the data was released, saying it “could be webbier.”Data hacker and ReadWriteWeb contributor Pete Warden was very excited about the data’s availability in CSV format and said “I hope more providers consider data dumps in addition to APIs, they open up so many more uses.”ReadWriteWeb’s Klint Finley covered the launch of the contest, noting that the World Bank has faced extensive criticism on multiple levels, all over the world. “But this could be a good opportunity for developers with ideas to do some good while making some money,” he wrote.107 applications have been submitted, ranging from tools for visualizing the World Bank data to a social bookmarking tool for categorizing web pages as related to various Millenium Development Goals, to an app that delivers prenatal and maternal health information to the mobile phones of mothers and many more. In order to be submitted, an app had to make some use of World Bank data and it had to adress one of the United Nations’ Millenium Development Goals.“Developers have been using the data in ways we never dreamed of,” says the World Bank’s Neil Fantom. “The subscription model had some advantages but that advantage is far outweighed by what we’re seeing with the data we’re now publishing. “It’s been important to provide incentives for people to use the data [and as a result] we’re reaching a completely different audience here with this challenge.”Can making data available change peoples’ minds, policies and lives? “We’re just at the edge of that,” Fantom says. He cites early examples like a mobile reporting system in Bolivia that rural households have used to verify whether solar panels included in an electrification project have in fact been delivered. That kind of mobile data collection, mashed up with other data, can help form an accountability loop to maximize the effectiveness of development projects. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Music Showcase: Royalty Free Ambient Tracks

first_img10 of the best royalty free ambient tracks for games, videos, events & films.  Make your projects more engaging with high-quality ambient music!We’ve rounded up 10 of the best royalty free ambient tracks, gentle soundscapes that will give your projects more emotional depth. Encompassing a range of styles from swirling light rock to downbeat electronic underscores, each of these royalty free ambient tracks gives off warm, positive vibes.This isn’t your typical “background stock music”.  It’s cinematic, soulful and dynamic.  These ambient tracks will add an emotional element to corporate videos, wedding slideshows, dramatic scenes or narration.  Have a listen, and discover how royalty free ambient music can increase the impact of your production.last_img read more

NAB 2019: What We Saw at the Blackmagic Design Booth

first_imgOur team in Las Vegas at NAB 2019 hit the showroom and reported back on everything they found at the Blackmagic Design booth.The PremiumBeat team (except for me because nobody likes me) is terrorizing NAB right now, talking and meeting with creators, checking out all the new gear announcements from companies like Blackmagic, Aputure, Sony, etc. So, Todd Blankenship just sent over a giant picture dump of what he saw at the Blackmagic Booth. It’s a lot. Between the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 and Blackmagic RAW, it’s been a stacked couple of weeks for the company.Today Blackmagic also announced their impressive update to Resolve 16, with its own “Object Removal” — as well as their new keyboard.So, as Todd and Robbie met with Blackmagic, specifically with Bob Caniglia, they got their hands on some of the gear and took a look at the new updates to Resolve. Here are some of their thoughts.Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (with New Battery Grip)The new battery grip uses Sony L batteries, and each L battery is supposed to give the shooter two hours of runtime, which as Todd points out  “Should give you up to four times as much battery life as the Canon LP-E6 batteries.” He goes on to describe the grip attachment.They built the Pocket Cinema Camera with a removable door on purpose for advancements like these. Overall, the grip feels nice and solid, and most importantly, it doesn’t inhibit the use of the camera in any way. It almost gives it the look and feel of a DSLR with a similar battery gripURSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2Todd shoots with an URSA Mini Pro, so the look and feel of the new camera was no surprise for him. This is a good thing, though. With a camera as powerful as this, the updates just take it to the next level. Trust me: I saw how happy Todd was when the camera was announced.Looks and feels just like the URSA Mini Pro, except with the new features.The New Editing KeyboardWhile Todd and Robbie were at the booth, they spoke with Bob about the keyboard and why it’s worth the steep $1,000 price tag. Bob explained:You can do a lot more with it than you’d think — it’s about learning how to use it, and then convincing yourself that you don’t ever need to use the mouse.Todd had some thoughts as well, as he was able to try out the keyboard in Resolve.There are a lot of tie-ins to a linear tape-based workflow. In some ways it’s an homage to the old editing controls from the tape-based days. The replaceable key caps have a responsive feel. There’s also a really dope jog wheel that can switch between shuttle, jog, and scroll — this is a classic, responsive system that will have you editing faster and more intuitively.The keyboard will be released in August and is officially priced at $995.DaVinci Resolve 16One of the standout features of the update was the focus on expediting the editing process with Resolve’s new “Cut Page.” Todd shared some thoughts and impressions:It’s a new workflow for making edits that will work great with the new keyboard and is intended in every way to make edits faster and more intuitive.One feature they’ve added is the ability to remove pages you don’t use from the interface — that way you can use the software how you want to use it. If you’re just a colorist, you don’t have to worry about the edit or cut page. You can just hide it.To me, it sounds like all the major NLEs are focusing on customizable UI and listening to user feedback. Giving the editors more options for their workflow experience seems to be paying off in a big way.The whole thing was about preserving the previous workflow while adding new ways to use the software — which is why I love Blackmagic — they want you to use their products how you want to use them.As for Fusion 16, Resolve is still working on fine-tuning the relatively new effects-based software that’s meant to be their answer to After Effects.Fusion 16 is working toward getting it completely worked into DaVinci in the future, but for now there is still a stand-alone version, but with each version of DaVinci, they are finding ways to incorporate more features into the software.The week has just begun, so be sure to check back in on our boys to see what they thought about all the newest releases.Looking for more on film and video production? Check out these articles.NAB 2019: DaVinci Resolve 16 — What’s New and UpdatedNAB 2019: Blackmagic Design Announces New Battery Grip for the BMPCC4KNAB 2019: SmallHD Announces Their Camera-Controlled 7″ MonitorNAB 2019: Sony Announces the Latest 4K Broadcast BeastNAB 2019: AVID Announces Stellar New Media Composerlast_img read more