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first_img0Shares0000Kwesi Nyantakyi accused “scammers” of tricking him after stepping down as Ghanaian Football Association president © AFP/File / Carl DE SOUZAACCRA, Ghana, Jun 8 – Ghanian Football Association (GFA) president Kwesi Nyantakyi resigned on Friday just hours after world football governing body FIFA hit him with a 90-day suspension over corruption claims.In a statement carried on the GFA website, Nyantakyi apologised “unreservedly” for “a series of errors of indiscretion” after FIFA launched an ethics investigation into his activities. Nyantakyi was accused in an explosive documentary called ‘Number 12’, aired on Wednesday by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, of soliciting bribes amounting to several million dollars.The football chief said “scammers” had “deceived me into thinking they were genuine persons interested in investing in our country”.In the documentary he was accused of requesting $11 million (9.3 million euros) from reporters posing as investors to secure government contracts.He also allegedly tried to profit personally from a $5 million-a-year, five-year sponsorship deal with the GFA.Hidden camera footage also purportedly showed referees taking as little as $100 each to rig matches.Ghana’s government on Thursday said the documentary had exposed “gross malfunctioning… characterised by widespread fraud, corruption and bribery” at the GFA.Ghana’s information minister Mustapha Abdul-Hamid said the government would dissolve the GFA because of the “widespread nature of the apparent rot”.FIFA responded earlier on Friday by banning Nyantakyi from “all football-related activity” for 90 days pending an investigation with a possible further suspension of up to 45 days.Football is Ghana’s national sport and the revelations have sent shockwaves through the country, just under a week before the start of the World Cup finals in Russia, for which they failed to qualify.Before the last World Cup in Brazil in 2014, Nyantakyi was accused of signing a $170,000-deal for Ghana to play in a friendly organised by match fixers. He denied the accusations.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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first_imgLast month, we reported on announcements of a dinosaur fossil with imaginary feathers (02/08/2006); at least, all the news stories mentioned feathers and some had pictures of them, but the original paper said nothing about feathers.  Now, National Geographic has done it again: “Giant Turkey-Like Dinosaur Found in Utah,” the title reads, with a picture of a blue-feathered dinosaur complete with fantail.  Were feathers found?  “Only fragments of the animal were discovered—a fearsomely clawed hand and foot,” the article states, but then quickly adds, “But the dinosaur probably stood seven feet (two meters) tall and ran as fast as an ostrich” (emphasis added in all quotes).  Presumably, if it could keep up with an ostrich, it must have worn the same racing plumage.    They quote a researcher saying, “We don’t know if Hagryphus would have had a feather fan on the back of its tail [characteristic of turkeys], but its close cousins did, so it’s possible.”  The close cousins are oviraptors, which the article states, “had simple feathers, winglike arms, powerful legs, long claws, and powerful, toothless beaks for shearing through food.”  Yet these “simple feathers,” we have seen, were integumentary structures surrounding some bones that others have concluded were flayed skin, and contained no vanes and barbs characteristic of bird feathers.  The choice of words, images and comparisons to ostriches and turkeys blurs the distinction between dinosaurs and birds, but without actual fossil feathers to confirm the connection.What do you expect?  The National Geographic Society of Judas-Lovers (see next entry) has mastered the power of the big lie, half-truth and visualization.  Remember its “Was Darwin Wrong?  No!” propaganda? (02/15/2005).  We hoped Chris Johns would tone down the rhetoric after Bill Allen left, but his biggest lies have been “Always be honest and tell the truth…. Be humble, there is no room for arrogance.”  National Geographic is a lost cause.  It’s been that way for a long time; good for lurid pictures of ethnics in their native dress, but not much else.  If you want facts, get your news from sources that care about the truth.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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first_imgNew findings are running rings around planetary theories of old age, particularly in the Saturn system.The planet journal Icarus had a special section on Saturn’s rings recently. About the same time, Cassini sent new images from Titan, Saturn’s largest satellite, leading observers to inquire, “Watch a dune?”Titan NewsTitan’s dunes and other features emerge in new images (PhysOrg). Sand dunes were so unexpected to exist on Titan, Cassini scientists wondered what those “cat scratches” on the surface could be when the first images emerged through the haze in 2004. Radar mapping has since revealed quite a bit about the massive dunes that encircle the equatorial regions (e.g., 4/09/11). The “beautiful, undulating patterns” betray dynamic, transitory features driven by prevailing winds. The dunes wrap around mountains like the Xanada region, believed to be one of the oldest terrains on Titan. Recent radar swaths show a “Xanadu annex” adjacent to it. “Xanadu—and now its annex—remains something of a mystery,” the article says. “Elsewhere on Titan, mountainous terrain appears in small, isolated patches, but Xanadu covers a large area, and scientists have proposed a variety of theories about its formation.” Visit the PhysOrg article to watch a flyover animation of the area. There will only be four more radar mapping encounters of Titan before Cassini’s end of mission next year.Flooded canyons (Astrobiology Magazine): In August, Cassini radar revealed the presence of steep-sided canyons alongside Titan’s polar lakes that appear to be flooded with liquid hydrocarbons. Scientists compared these with features on the Earth, such as at Lake Powell. Although the liquids, solids and temperatures are different, similar processes appear to be at work. How old they are, though, is a matter of interpretation:The presence of such deep cuts in the landscape indicates that whatever process created them was active for a long time or eroded down much faster than other areas on Titan’s surface. The researchers’ proposed scenarios include uplift of the terrain and changes in sea level, or perhaps both.“It’s likely that a combination of these forces contributed to the formation of the deep canyons, but at present it’s not clear to what degree each was involved. What is clear is that any description of Titan’s geological evolution needs to be able to explain how the canyons got there,” said Valerio Poggiali of the University of Rome, a Cassini radar team associate and lead author of the study.Watch a stunning animation of the historic January 14, 2005 descent of the Huygens Probe to Titan posted by NASA/JPL on YouTube. The narrated video, based on actual photos, takes you a billion miles closer from the first image all the way to the surface in just 3.5 minutes.Saturn’s RingsA-Ring news (Icarus): The A-ring, outermost of the main rings, has very sharp edges and some distinct gaps. The ring specialists believe the smallest particles are 1 mm in diameter, even though particles grind each other down through collisions: “interparticle collisions caused by satellite perturbations in the region result in more shedding of regolith or fragmentation of particles in the outermost parts of the A ring.”B-Ring news (Icarus): Thickest of the main rings, the B-ring was thought to have enough material to be old – maybe a billion years old, which would still fall short of the assumed age of Saturn (see 2/04/16). This open-access paper by Hedman and Nicholson now suggests that there’s less material than meets the eye. The authors know this is important; “The large uncertainties in the B-ring’s mass and its typical surface mass density not only hamper efforts to understand the structure and dynamics of this ring, but also complicate efforts to ascertain the age and history of Saturn’s ring system,” they say by way of introduction. Their analysis of spiral density waves constrains the mass of the ring, they argue, to less than what optical depth would indicate. “This suggests that the total mass of the B ring is most likely between one-third and two-thirds the mass of Saturn’s moon Mimas,” the first main moon outside the rings – a small icy body barely big enough to be spherical. Since a high mass estimate for the B ring based on optical depth was the main justification for assuming the rings were old, a quote from the paper merits attention:Indeed, as shown in Fig. 21, it appears that rings with a given mass density can have optical depths that vary by almost an order of magnitude. Optical depth therefore cannot be regarded as a reliable proxy for the ring’s mass density in any part of Saturn’s rings.[italics in original.IThese findings also have implications for the total mass of Saturn’s rings. Recent work has considered the possibility that the B-ring’s high opacity might require extremely high surface mass densities (Charnoz, Crida, Castillo-Rogez, et al., 2011, Hedman, Nicholson, Cuzzi, et al., 2013 and Robbins, Stewart, Lewis, et al., 2010), but these new measurements suggest that this may not be justified. Instead, the total mass of the B ring could be quite low, which may be consistent with estimates based on the charged-particle populations near the rings (Cooper et al., 1985) and the high porosity of the ring particles inferred from thermal infrared data (Reffet, et al., 2015).Lower mass implies younger age. Why? The rings are brighter than expected. Previous estimates of higher mass allowed scientists to “hide” some of the ring darkening from meteoritic contamination in fluffy material that allowed turnover of bright material to the outside of particles. Lowering the mass significantly reduces the ability of ring particles to hide contaminants for long. The authors admit they could not analyze the whole B-ring with all its complexities, but “there is not much space to hide a large amount of mass.” Next year (2017), it may be possible to get better estimates on the B-ring’s total mass when Cassini gets close-in views of the rings from vertical orbits intersecting the D-ring before the spacecraft plunges into Saturn.Update 9/16/16: New Scientist admits the origin of the rings “is elusive” but to “put a spin on it,” offers a suggestion that a passing rock broke up to become the rings. Existing theories fail to explain why Saturn’s rings are icy, while other planets’ rings are rocky. A SETI Institute guy thinks the idea makes some progress, but says “a question of timing remains.”But the clean water ice of Saturn’s ring system suggests that it may be much younger, since interplanetary dust should pollute it over time.“Even if you can get it in the first place, how does it survive for 4 billion years and still look pristine?” [Matthew] Tiscareno asks.Update 9/16/16: Some minor planets have rings, too. Science Daily offers the suggestion that dust from the surface of Centaurs (a class of minor planets between Jupiter and Neptune) gets levitated off of them by gravitational pulls from gas giants. This sounds like a delicate situation; could it last for billions of years?Dance of Janus and Epimetheus (Icarus): Every four years, the two co-orbital moons Janus and Epimetheus, which orbit just outside Saturn’s rings, swap orbits in a unique gravitational pas de deux. This paper describes how the transfer sends a detectable wave into the A-ring and B-ring. The solitary wave only occurs when Janus moves inwards. The distinctive signature of this wave allows scientists to make estimates of ring density.Dusty rings (Icarus): Two outer rings of Saturn, the G-ring and the E-ring (formed by Enceladus), consist of much finer particles than the main rings. Scientists analyzing data from the Radio and Plasma Wave Spectrometer (RPWS) confirmed measurements of particle diameters made with other instruments, the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) and Imaging Subsystem (ISS). “Based on RPWS observation,” they say, “the region around the G ring is a very thin layer of dust particles with no observable vertical offset of the peak density from the ring plane.” Finer particles, it should be noted, are more subject to rapid erosion and disappearance unless there is frequent replenishment.Enceladus NewsNew constraints on Enceladus tides (Icarus): To keep the geysers going on tiny Enceladus, scientists have looked to gravitational tides to provide heat and pumping action. Tides can provide a lot of energy; Space.com says that alignments with the moon and sun can trigger large earthquakes on our home planet. New estimates by Mikael Beuthe further limit the motion of the Enceladus crust, however. His model “strongly reduces oceanic dissipation in Enceladus.” His abstract explains the bad news:Could tidal dissipation within Enceladus’ subsurface ocean account for the observed heat flow? Earthlike models of dynamical tides give no definitive answer because they neglect the influence of the crust. I propose here the first model of dissipative tides in a subsurface ocean, by combining the Laplace Tidal Equations with the membrane approach. For the first time, it is possible to compute tidal dissipation rates within the crust, ocean, and mantle in one go. I show that oceanic dissipation is strongly reduced by the crustal constraint, and thus contributes little to Enceladus’ present heat budget. Tidal resonances could have played a role in a forming or freezing ocean less than 100 m deep.As if adding insult to injury, he adds, “The model is general: it applies to all icy satellites with a thin crust and a shallow ocean.”It’s hard to decide which is more fun: the thrill of discovering new things about planets, or the humor of watching secular materialists groaning in their struggle to keep their billions of years. (Visited 46 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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first_img24 August 2007A new campaign, South Africa First, was launched at the GovTech 2007 conference in Cape Town this week, with the aim of encouraging both the public and private sector to make more use of local content when spending on information technology (IT).An initiative of the SA Local Procurement Advocacy Trust, focusing initially on the IT sector, South Africa First seeks to ensure that local businesses benefit from an estimated R1-billion a week spend on products and services in SA as a result of the country’s economic boom.The campaign will encourage government departments, state-owned enterprises and private businesses to include local content preference in tenders, and will run competitions to promote local design and manufacture.Proline and Mecer, two of the country’s largest local personal computer (PC) brands, have already signed up as South Africa First members.“South Africa First is aimed at the government or business buyer – on the surface their decision is about which product to buy, but it is actually about which country is going to create and protect jobs as a result of that purchase,” South Africa First executive director Martin Feinstein said in a statement.Feinstein heads the initiative along with a group of trustees from the technology, tourism, media, agriculture and manufacturing sectors.“We’re not competitive, and never will be, in certain respects; but in other areas we need to incentivise companies to invest in training and production,” Feinstein said. “Not recognizing local content is really a dis-incentive.”Previously, as the chief executive of Proudly South African, Feinstein succeeded in getting more than R50-million in tenders reversed or amended to allow local companies to compete fairly.“Why is it that every laptop we see carried around our streets is in an imported laptop bag?” Feinstein asks.“Why are local PC brands seen by buyers as inferior when in fact a recent study showed their failure rate was far lower than some big global brands? Why are companies who invest in taking unskilled packers, and turn them into technicians who assemble local PCs, not recognized for this in government contracts?”Feinstein said the campaign aimed merely to put into action what business, the government and organised labour had agreed to at a Nedlac (National Economic Development and Labour Council) summit in 2002 – to actively support local IT content through a new procurement code.“We’re five years on, and we don’t see a code. We’d like to see that code become a reality,” he said.“But it’s not just about that, it’s also about actively fostering local innovation, creativity and suppliers, even if it’s for simple things like laptop bags.”Other trustees of the campaign include former Nedlac executive director Phillip Dexter, former Microsoft SA executive Linda Mngomezulu, Gauteng Enterprise Propeller chairperson Merle O’Brien, and tourism specialist Sheryl Ozinsky.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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first_imgIn the summer of 2018, the Network Literacy team gathered in Duluth, MN to re-ground our work together. It had been a long time since we had invested time in reflecting on our work and contemplating our future. As a result, we were floating a bit.  So we spent the better part of two days in a meeting room at Zeitgeist, a nonprofit arts and community development organization, doing out best to practice the Zeitgeist motto, “Connect. Create. Thrive.”What emerged from our time together was a set of shared values, a model explaining how network practices lead to resilience and adaptation, and a vision for how our work can help guide people toward network practices. The infographic below begins to explain the values, model and vision, and their influence on how we approach our work and why we want to do this work together.Text from InfographicMFLN Network Literacy – How and Why We WorkValues – Democracy. Social Capital. Equity.These values, critical for living & working together in a complex world, guide our work to help people become more resilient and adaptive.Networks – We all face complex issues that can only be addressed with emergent solutions. Network Literacy help people organize in networks to identify emergent issues and create innovative solutions.Fractals – Often the same patterns are present in large-scale and small-scale change.Emergence – The path to change cannot be predicted, it emerges from our work together.Relationship – Our relationships with each other are the key that unlocks change.Personal Growth – We need to project the patterns we want to see in the world. Network Literacy helps people pursue the personal growth necessary for building relationships and doing shared work.Growth Mindset – Knowing that we can grow and change, and others can grow and change with us.Asset-based – We grow by finding, developing & celebrating our strengths.Storytelling – The stories we tell ourselves and others influence our ability our ability to grow.Collective Action – The solutions we seek will only be found together. Network Literacy helps people engage in meaningful collaboration to address complex issues from multiple perspectives.Diversity – A diverse network allows for more creativity and innovation.Co-learning – We are all learners and teachers. Sharing our experiences helps us move forward.Shared Work – We seek inclusion, sharing work as well as power, credit and leadership.Adaptation & Resilience – Adaptation and resilience are critical to living together in a complex world. Network Literacy helps people become more resilient and adaptive within complex social systems.Practice – The skills we need to address complexity cannot be mastered, only practiced.Reflection – Intentional reflection allows us to adjust to an ever-changing environment.Connection – We must constantly seek connection between people and ideas to find our path together.This is the thinking that underlies our work. To see our 2019 Plan of Work, visit https://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/network-literacy/network-literacy-plan-of-work/With thanks to all who have inspired us,Jessica Beckendorf & Bob Bertschlast_img read more