The president of the Better Future Foundation, Reverend Augustine Akoi, has called on the Liberian government to reopen all schools, from kindergarten to university, throughout the country.Rev. Akoi questioned the wisdom of keeping entertainment centers, including video clubs, open while the schools remain closed. He argued, rightly, we believe, that creating awareness against the deadly Ebola virus can better be accomplished in educational institutions than anywhere else. Clearly, entertainment centers, where people booze (drink intoxicating liquor) and video clubs, where they stand and rub against one another in tight spaces to watch football and movies, are places where the virus can spread faster than in schools. Yes, most schools, especially government ones, are overcrowded, thanks to the student explosion that was created several years ago by GOL’s tuition-free primary education policy. However, just as Rev. Arkoi indicated, it is in the educational environment that awareness about health and other issues can better be communicated and more easily become part of the learning process. BUT—and there are very big BUTs: The BIG question is, are the schools, colleges and universities ready to reopen in this Ebola-infested environment?The first problem is, how will the students get to school—in overcrowded buses or taxies? And where are these? Each day students can be seen lining the sidewalks waiting frantically for transport. Secondly, most of the classrooms, especially in government schools, are overcrowded, with insufficient or broken chairs, causing many students to sit on the dirty floor—another Ebola high risk.Thirdly, and most dangerous of all, most schools have dysfunctional toilets, and outside urination is done on many school compounds. Remember, urine is an Ebola carrier.There is, fourthly, the issue of hand washing chlorinated water buckets for say 1000 or more students in each school six days a week—six days since many students return to school on Saturdays for study classes. Can government afford the buckets and chlorinated water for all its students throughout the country?Fifthly, is it realistic to have Liberia’s students in schools surrounded by garbage and clogged drainages? Can city councils and townships guarantee that the garbage dumps or heaps are removed at least on a twice-weekly basis, that drainages are daily? Can the Ministry of Health deploy its sanitation inspectors—if they have any—to ensure that people stop clogging the drainages with trash? We know why garbage dumps and clogged drainages are harmful to school surroundings, for the are always infested with some of the most dangerous disease-carrying creatures— mosquitoes, rats, roaches, worms, etc. Sixthly, will there be a temperature screening system in place for the thousands of students arriving daily at say over 7000 schools from various communities around the country? If the various government ministries and agencies have furloughed their non-essential staff to lessen the Ebola risk, is it realistic and safe to reopen schools with far higher populations?The reopening of schools would admittedly be an opportunity for the Ministry of Education, school authorities, teachers and even more advanced students to participate actively in the awareness process, first by being tutored in all the anti-disease or virus procedures, such as hand washing; observing strict hygiene rules; and insisting, as never before, on cleanliness in the school building, yard and neighborhood. But before schools can be reopened, all of the above issues have to be addressed, otherwise it would be indeed highly risky for our students to return to school.What this means is that government and all operators of private schools, colleges and universities, have to address each of the issues raised, before they can even think of reopening their educational institutions.These issues, admittedly, constitute a very serious headache for GOL and all other educational operators, especially in this era of “budget shortfall” and the stupendous financial challenges GOL and everyone of us face because of Ebola. But these issues must be addressed before anyone can think of reopening their doors to the hundreds of thousands of students hungry for learning. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Carifesta XIVThe graceful yet compelling movements of the dancers from Guyana’s delegation, on Saturday evening, had members of the audience calling for an encore. Wrapped in soft flowing garments, and swaying to melodious music, the dancers gave every lift of the arm, every dip of the torso every twirl deep meaning. The choreography enthralled the audience and did Guyana proud.Scenes from Guyana’s “Decades of Dance” choreographed by Vivienne Daniels at the Queens Hall Theatre in Trinidad for CARIFESTA XIV’s Dance ShowcaseThe dance troupe, which included members of Guyana’s National Dance Company, performed ‘Decades of Dance’ created by Vivienne Daniels at CARIFESTA XIV’s Dance Showcase. The event was held at the Queens Hall Theatre in Trinidad.Richard Ambrose, a delegate from the St Lucian contingent told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that Guyana’s presentation took his breath away. He said this demonstrates the nation’s cultural and creative industry is going in the right direction.“It was beautiful to see Guyana represented because we do not know everything about your art and culture. The dancers were amazing; there was a lot of passion… a lot of energy, a lot of effort towards great technique… so kudos to those young people,” he said.Another delegate from St Lucia, Christopher Duncan said he could not take his eyes off the performance, “not even for a moment”.“Spectacular is the word I use to describe it. There was one male dancer in particular… he defined purpose, drive and determination…to see him flow with that flexibility …it was wonderful…the rest I think spoke for itself, it was magnificent,” he said. Duncan said he will be keeping a close eye on the dancers moving forwardBefore the Guyana dance troupe bowed out for the night to enjoy the rest of acts slated, some of the members shared with DPI their thoughts about their performance.Sattie Udho, said, “it felt amazing to perform with such amazing artists and represent our country… we felt it deep in our hearts that we made Guyana proud.” Maresha Arthur was pleased with the group’s performance. “It was a wonderful experience to be able to represent my country putting my best foot forward while being an ambassador for my country. Our performance is a memorable one.”It is expected that Guyana’s “A year in a day” dramatic presentation set to take centre stage, on Sunday evening, will truly capture the essence of Guyana and its citizens in a microcosm.
0Shares0000Down but not out: Ozil has vowed to be fit in time for Germany’s World Cup defence © AFP/File / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUBERLIN, Germany, May 7 – Mesut Ozil has joined the list of Germany stars currently injured, but the Arsenal midfielder insisted Monday he will be fit for their World Cup title defence in Russia.“It’s a pity I missed yesterday’s match with my back injury,” Ozil wrote on his Instagram account after sitting out Arsenal’s 5-0 rout of Burnley on Sunday. “It’ll need some time, but I’m sure I’ll fully recover in time for the World Cup.”With just over five weeks until the World Cup starts on June 14, the Arsenal playmaker joins Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boateng, who also face a race against time, on the casualty list.Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had revealed before kick-off that Ozil was expected to miss the rest of the season with a back ailment.Germany’s first World Cup group match is against Mexico in Moscow on June 17. They also face Sweden and South Korea in Group F.Neuer, Germany’s captain and goalkeeper, has not played since fracturing his foot last September.Burly centre-back Boateng injured his groin in Bayern Munich’s Champions League semi-final defeat at home to Real Madrid a fortnight ago.Germany coach Joachim Loew will announce his World Cup squad on May 15.Ozil, Boateng and Neuer are all expected to be named, but will have to prove their fitness during a two-week training camp in northern Italy.“Right now, we all keep our fingers crossed that Jerome’s injury somehow will still heal well and also that everything continues as planned with ‘Manu’,” said Germany’s team director Oliver Bierhoff last week referring to Neuer.Fringe players Lars Stindl, who scored the winning goal for Germany in the 2017 Confederations Cup final, and ex-Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry have both already been ruled out of the World Cup by injury.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Demba Ba was on target for Besiktas 1 Andriy Shevchenko, Fernando Torres, Demba Ba. There must be something in the water at Stamford Bridge that saps the ability of once prolific strikers.Fortunately for Ba, he has shown that his Chelsea blip was only temporary, quickly rediscovering his goalscoring ability for new club Besiktas.During a difficult 18 months at Stamford Bridge, Ba mustered just 14 goals in all competitions for the Blues, and he is well on the way to eclipsing that in Turkey, after bagging a hat-trick as Besiktas beat Feyenoord 3-1 in their Champions League qualifier.Take a look at Ba’s goals below.
Southampton have opened talks with Atletico Madrid over a permanent move for Tottenham target Toby Alderweireld, according to reports.Amid speculation Spurs were ready to hijack their attempts to land the 26-year-old Belgium international, it’s understood the south coast club are hoping to steal a march on other interested parties having already entered into negotiations with the Spanish outfit.Alderweireld, who joined Atletico from Dutch club Ajax in September 2013, spent last season on loan at St Mary’s and made 26 Barclays Premier League appearances, all of them starts, as the Saints finished in an impressive seventh place.Manager Ronald Koeman is keen to retain his services, and while any deal may prove complicated, he is optimistic.Speaking earlier this week, Koeman said: “The player likes to stay, we like to keep the player but it’s a little difficulty at the moment with Atletico Madrid. I have a good hope he will stay for Southampton.” 1 Toby Alderweireld in training for Belgium
Donegal’s growing food reputation was enhanced even further last week when producers from the county received a tremendous reaction at the Food and Hospitality Event at the RDS in Dublin with The Food Coast – Donegal’s Good Food Initiative.Joseph Doherty, Inishowen Country Kitchen, Brendan O’Reilly, Donegal Brewing Company, Andrew McElhinney, O’Donnells Bakey and Thomas Hughes, Donegal Rapeseed Oil Co. pictured at Food and Hospitality Ireland 2013 at the RDS DublinFour Donegal food businesses – O’Donnell’s Bakery, Donegal Rapeseed Oil, Donegal Brewing Co. and Inishowen Country Kitchen – attended the vibrant showcase dedicated to Ireland’s food & drink, hospitality and retail sector.The reaction to the produce from Donegal is a clear indication that there continues to be opportunities in the food sector, said Eve Anne McCarron, Business Executive with The Food Coast, Donegal’s Good Food Initiative. “Attending the Food and Hospitality Event was hugely worthwhile in terms of promoting the Food Coast beyond Donegal and the level of interest in Donegal food and the response we received was terrific.“There are clearly business opportunities in this sector, we would urge anyone with the ambition of setting up a business or a food business to consider this sector, that’s something that Donegal County Enterprise Board is anxious to pursue as part of the Food Coast Strategy.”She added: “At a National level, the food sector is playing a key role in our economic recovery, Donegal is in a prime position to benefit from such growth.”Businesses who attended last week’s event in Dublin were certainly in agreement that taking their produce had been very worthwhile. “This was the first time I had attended an event like that as an exhibitor and to be honest I didn’t know what to expect. We had a huge interest from buyers and the reaction to our products and indeed to our story was exceptional,” said Andrew McElhinney of O’Donnell’s Bakery.Joseph Doherty from Inishowen Country Kitchen said the reviews of their products and interest from buyers had been “very positive.”“It was also very helpful to learn how trends are changing among many of the buyers, how they are looking more and more for local produce and how they were attracted to the Donegal products and the whole idea of the Food Coast,” he said.Brendan O’Reilly from Donegal Brewing Co said the event had been very positive overall and there had been a very strong interest to their Donegal Blonde craft beer.“It certainly was a very positive experience and it gave us a great opportunity to learn what some retailers and buyers are looking for and how we can best go about showcasing our product to them.” Thomas Hughes from Donegal Rapeseed Oil agreed that reaction to their products had been fantastic, and he urged anyone thinking of getting into the food sector to press ahead with their idea.“If you can make a success of it now, you will be a success as it is a difficult time but there are still great opportunities for new innovative food products,” he said.All of the Donegal exhibitors agreed that those thinking of setting up a new business should make The Food Coast and Donegal County Enterprise Board their first port of call.“If you have an idea then I’d say get advice from the Enterprise Board and the Food Coast. Discuss it with them and they will talk you through it and give you all the help that you need. Certainly don’t diss it until you try it, there is help there now to be accessed and if you have an idea you really should see if you can get it up and running,” Andrew McElhinney added. DONEGAL FOOD BUSINESSES TOP MENU AT RDS was last modified: September 30th, 2013 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)
Arcata >> Ever since he arrived on the Humboldt State campus, Malik Morgan has been viewed as a cornerstone member of the Jacks’ men’s basketball program.As he entered his sophomore and junior seasons, that notion only grew as his young shoulders were looked to continue HSU’s resurgence in the California Collegiate Athletic Association and the West Region as a whole.Come his senior season, though, Morgan will be playing his basketball somewhere else.The Jacks’ next starting point guard won’t …
NEW YORK – The Warriors got the first and the last laugh.Draymond Green chuckled during Fergie’s bungled rendition of the national anthem before the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. After her ex-husband, Josh Duhamel, called Green a “prick” in a recent FS1 interview, the Warriors refused to apologize. Instead, they chuckled some more.Following Friday’s win over the Knicks, Green, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Jordan Bell, Damian Jones and Alfonzo McKinnie all danced to a remixed version of Fergie’s …
RELATED ARTICLES Rethinking the GridSolar Energy Can Make the Grid More ResilientVermont Utility to Develop New Grid TechnologyA First in New England: Utility-Scale Battery Storage A California Utility Looks for New Answers in Solar Integration PuzzleAn Introduction to the Duck CurveSolar Owners Are Givers, Not TakersSolar Beats Utility Power in Many CitiesAnalysis Sees Little Benefit in Off-Grid Economics Because the deployment of wind and solar is subject to many constraints, we built land use considerations into the model. A land use data set was compiled to identify locations where the wind and solar can be deployed without interfering with protected lands.Using these different sets of data along with the projected cost for power generation in 2030, we ran different simulations to investigate how these factors would affect the mix of power generators regionally while minimizing total cost.The scenario that cuts emissions most has significant wind and PV deployed; 523 gigawatts (GW) of wind and 371 gigawatts of PV compared with 60 GW and 2.5 GW, respectively, in 2012. In this scenario, there was only 461 GW of natural gas (less than today).This translates to 38% of electricity coming from wind, 17% from solar, 21% from natural gas and the remainder from nuclear and hydroelectric. In 2012, wind accounted for 3.5%, solar for less than 1%, and natural gas for 30%.Again, this solution is the cheapest possible solution.To get to this level of solar and wind – a significant jump from today’s levels – does require new transmission lines in the model.The amount of new HVDC transmission that the model recommends is 139 million MW-miles, which is a big infrastructure undertaking. This sounds like a huge amount, but it would represent only 4% of the total cost of the system annually. Renewables scenarioTo perform the study, high-resolution weather data were compiled for each hour of the three years from 2006 through 2008. The weather data were then used as inputs into sophisticated power algorithms to estimate the power that could be generated by wind turbines and photovoltaic (PV) panels across the U.S.Additionally, we compiled data on electricity demand during those times across the U.S. The data were needed because weather is a fundamental driver of the electric demand. Then we projected demand data to 2030.Wind power potential for the U.S. Red indicates high potential, blue is low. (Illustration: Christopher Clack) Generating electricity with wind turbines or solar arrays instead of fossil fuel reduces carbon emissions, but these renewable generation sources are dependent on the vagaries of the weather, which means neither wind nor solar can produce electricity on demand at all hours of the day. This variability has led many to assume that greatly expanding wind and solar to reduce carbon emissions will cause electricity costs to skyrocket and require expensive energy storage.My colleagues and I have just published a new study to show that this assumption is not correct. In fact, if the U.S. were to move to a national 48-state electric system, rather than the regional one in place now, the country would be able to transport more renewable energy around the country. That change could reduce CO2 emissions by 78% at lower costs than today without using any storage technologies.Using a computer model, we found that this larger electric system would utilize power more efficiently regardless of the generators within it. The cost reduction between the national style system we modeled and the current one, which is divided into about 130 regions, is $47 billion per year. That translates into an electricity cost of between 8.5 and 10.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), compared to the current national average of 12.7 cents per kWh. The model considers features of the electric grid, such as transmission, generators, electric demand, land use constraints, generator behavior, weather data, and cost data for generators. To figure out how to minimize costs, the NEWS model will calculate how to supply power every single hour for an entire year based on the available generators and transmission lines that transport power long distances.Our model had something unique, though: a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission overlay.In concept, this is very similar to the interstate highway system overlaid upon the road network. HVDC technology has one big advantage over traditional power lines: there is less energy lost in transporting power from one point to another. It does this by using direct current, rather than alternating current, and operating at higher voltages.HVDC is being used in the U.S. today. However, it is being deployed as a point-to-point system for single (or a few) generators to distant markets. One of the most prominent is called the Pacific DC intertie, which ships power from the Pacific Northwest, with its abundant hydropower, down to Los Angeles, supplying 48 percent of power during hours of peak demand. The difference in the NEWS model is that HVDC is deployed in a network, instead of a simple point-to-point configuration, which allows much greater utilization of the lines for power to flow between regions in multiple directions.Critically, the NEWS model doesn’t assume that more transmission lines should be added to the current grid. But it does introduce new transmission capacity if the model deems it economical. Interestingly, the NEWS model always selects HVDC transmission when it can. Why? The availability of HVDC lines allows bigger markets to form, which then benefit from economies of scale.In practice, this would mean that wind generators in the Plains states, for instance, could export more power to places in the country where there is strong demand, such as big cities. As it is now, wind generators only support power regionally and sometimes supply more power than is needed at some hours of the day.In a regional system, one that is the size of, say, Kansas, wind and solar tend to result in periods of overproduction and under-production. This results in increased costs because wind and solar generators need to curtailed, or turned off, during overproduction. To meet lapses in production, grid operators need to rely on backup generation from fossil-fuel plants.With a national system, the generators can be strategically placed over the contiguous U.S. to reduce this effect and lower the overall costs. The HVDC facilitates the movement of this electricity from distant reaches to cities with lower losses than traditional AC. What about energy storage?The NEWS model is unique in the study of integrating higher levels of wind and solar because it handles huge volumes of weather data, while computing the important aspects of the electric grid such as ramping constraints on generators, down times for generators, power flow in the transmission lines, electric losses shuffling power around the system, meeting demand at each hour in every market, and other operating constraints. Further, the model doesn’t exclude any technologies; it seeks only the lowest-cost options.Electricity can be stored in a number of ways, such as pumping and releasing water from reservoirs or installing large battery banks. In initial model runs, electric storage was not competitive using cost estimates for 2030 compared to adding transmission or natural gas generators (purely based upon cost).The NEWS model is a tool to help understand how an electric grid could be transformed while keeping costs low. Low cost is absolutely essential because increasing energy costs to reduce carbon reductions can cause economic hardships.There are numerous headwinds to the development of a decarbonized economy and society. But the NEWS model has shown that wind and PV, combined with high-voltage direct current transmission, can actually go a long way in reducing emissions in the electric sector.This is true even without a new miracle battery or innovation within the electric storage industry, although cheap, effective electric storage would be helpful in integrating renewables.To remove carbon from the entire economy, electricity must be decarbonized first. If it can be done at low cost, then other sectors will be able to follow suit. Combining wind, solar, natural gas, and transmission is a possible bridge to a zero emissions future. Electron superhighwayOur study was based upon a model called the National Energy with Weather System (NEWS) simulator. The NEWS simulator is a cost optimization model that relentlessly seeks the lowest-cost solution. Christopher Clack is a research scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This post originally appeared at The Conversation.
Thinking about buying a new lens? Here are 9 things to consider.As my fellow sufferers of Equipment Acquisition Syndrome know, it’s always exciting to add a new lens to the arsenal. Before you do, ask yourself these nine questions.1. Do I really need a new lens?Image courtesy of ShutterstockFact: Getting a new lens will not make you a better photographer or videographer. If you don’t have the basics down (composition, value, color theory, lighting, etc.) you likely aren’t getting the most out of your current lens.Until you can take good photos with the lens you have, there’s no good reason to drop $1000+ on a new one.2. Does this lens fill in any focal length gaps?Can you shoot an extremely wide shot of a small room? Can you capture a bride’s face from across a chapel? Do you have the right lens for the job? If you’re going to invest in a new lens, make sure you’re working toward having all of your focal lengths covered.Get a good standard prime and multi-purpose zoom lens to start. From there you can begin to get more specialty lenses like fish-eye, hyper-telephoto, and macro lenses.3. What is the F-stop?Image courtesy of BigstockAn F-stop is a mathematical formula that figures out approximately how much light a lens will let to the sensor. Practically speaking, a lens with a lower F-stop number allows more light through the lens, capturing a more out-of-focus background.It’s a good rule of thumb to get a lower F-Stop lens if you can afford it, but F-stop isn’t everything. You also need to consider the T-stop…4. What is the T-stop?Whereas an F-stop is a mathematical formula, a T-stop is an actual reading of the amount of light that a lens sends to the camera. A T-stop is typically used by cinematographers more than photographers, but the information is none-the-less important.You can go more in-depth on all things F-stop and T-stop here.5. What kind of stabilization does it have?For those unfamiliar, stabilization on a lens is typically described in terms of stops. This means a lens with 2 stops of stabilization will allow you to shoot with a shutter speed that is twice as slow, allowing twice as much light to hit the sensor.Stabilization is one of the most underrated features on a lens; a little stabilization can go a long way to make your images and video higher in quality. Speaking of quality…6. How is the image quality?Image courtesy of ShutterstockSpecs are one thing, but the actual quality of the final images/video is another. Before you buy a lens, you should examine the image quality. Websites like DP Review and Photo Zone give detailed reviews of virtually every lens on the market. Just because a lens is fast doesn’t mean it’s necessarily sharp, so do your research!7. Is the autofocus fast and accurate?If you primarily shoot video, you likely won’t use autofocus very often. However, photographers will want to invest in a lens with great autofocus. Keep in mind, cheaper camera lenses like Tamron and Sigma tend to feature slower autofocus abilities than their “name-brand” counterparts.This isn’t an issue when shooting a stationary subject, but when you start shooting moving subjects at events like weddings, autofocus becomes a very important issue.8. What is the minimum focus distance?Image courtesy of ShutterstockCheaper lenses tend to have minimum focus distances that are extremely far, which can be aggravating if your subject is close. For example, a 50mm lens with good macro capabilities can get better close-up images than a 200mm lens with bad macro capabilities. When you’re searching for your new lens, take the time to look at the minimum focus distance.9. Why am I buying a new lens?A brand new lens is almost always going to work perfectly right out of the box. However, buying a new lens is a lot like buying a new car: As soon as you put it on your camera, it will lose 30% of it’s value.Buying a used lens from a credible dealer might be a better option. Many dealers offer a 30-day return policy on their lenses, and even if you have a lens for more than 30 days, you can likely unload it on eBay for close to what you paid for it.If you have any additional lens buying wisdom to share, we’d love to hear it in the comments below.