The worldwide challenge of occupational cancerOn 6 Jul 2018 in Cancer, Disability, Health and safety, Sickness absence management, Occupational Health, Personnel Today Concern was raised at the ICOH conference about the “embarrassing” lack of progress on asbestos and occupational cancer Underlined by latest figures on fatalities, work-related cancer is one of the critical workplace health issues of our time. It provided the focus of debate at ICOH 2018, the year’s largest gathering of occupational health experts in May, writes Tim Walsh.ICOH 2018, the triennial international congress, was this year held at the Convention Centre Dublin between 29 April-4 May. It brought together some of the leading authorities on workplace health issues for a global policy forum on occupational cancer.The ILO (International Labor Organization), WHO (World Health Organization), ISSA (International Social Security Association), EU-OSHA (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work), IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), ICOH (International Commission on Occupational Health) and IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health) were among organisations represented in the 90-minute debate.Related storiesHalf of workers with cancer unaware of employers’ legal obligationsA quarter of construction workers may have been exposed to asbestosThe occupational health role in tackling asbestos in schoolsThe wide-ranging discussion touched on the many and various issues in tackling occupational cancers. This article intends to highlight some of forum’s main talking points:Scale of the issueThe official figures on deaths from occupational cancers are stark, and yet they are considered conservative.ICOH president Dr Jukka Takala, chair of the session, said 27% of all work-related deaths were because of cancer, according to the ILO – that’s around 742,000 annually.By region, the high-income economies have the biggest percentage of deaths from cancer (52%) and the true global figures rise as more is known. “Numbers are going up all of the time – the more you study the more you find,” he said.Dr Christa Sedlatschek, director of EU-OSHA, said cancer was the second main cause of death in the EU and “carcinogens cause the majority of fatal occupational diseases” in the bloc.On the scale of existence of potentially cancer-causing substances in the workplace, she added: “Thirty-eight per cent of workplaces have chemical or biological substances present – large enterprises use more than 1,000 different chemical products – and I believe that this total is under-reported. New risks are emerging all the time.”Knowledge gaps and work cancer registersDr Kurt Straif, of IARC, highlighted how little we know about occupational cancer. “There are major knowledge gaps in terms of workplace exposure and cancer risks,” he said.“Research on prevention is tiny and needs to be increased, particularly the economic aspect – the cost of inaction.”A shift in funding priorities had seen most of today’s research funding dedicated to genetic and personalised medicine, and basic and clinical medicine, he said.During the session, delegates were invited to vote on priority topics for discussion and they rated workplace carcinogen registers as number one.“The global occupational carcinogen register will enable us to document our success – and this is incredibly important in our times,” Dr Straif said.Challenges in prevention and controlDr Shengli Niu, a specialist in occupational health at the ILO’s Programme on Safety and Health, outlined the key barriers to progress in the prevention of occupational cancer and control of workplace carcinogens.“It is difficult to link a specific cancer to a specific exposure – made more difficulty by long latency – sometimes of half a century,” he said.Most cancers are multi-factorial in etiology and “the prevention of occupational cancers has a much lower profile in the workplace than preventing workplace accidents”.IOSH chair Dr Bill Gunnyeon highlighted the challenges for No Time to Lose, IOSH’s ground-breaking campaign on occupational cancer. The initiative had now reached workers in 32 countries on five continents. “There is a strong desire to partner with us,” he said.More difficult, he said, was assessing the changes in behaviour in organisations as a result of such a campaign – the next stage in measuring impact. Because of the latency of many occupational cancers, there was a natural delay in being able to pinpoint success in achieving the ultimate goal – a reduction in the number of people contracting and dying of occupational cancers, said Dr Gunnyeon.“More people die from occupational cancer than malaria – perhaps we need a Bill Gates for occupational cancer?” he said.What countries can doThere was plenty countries could do to prevent exposure to workplace carcinogens, said Dr Ivan Ivanov, of the occupational health team at WHO. A range of “core measures” included:Develop regulatory standards and enforce control of the use of known carcinogens in the workplaceAvoid introducing known carcinogens in the workplaceInclude occupational cancer in the national list of occupational diseasesIdentify workers, workplaces and worksites with exposure to carcinogensA further set of “desirable measures” included:Develop programmes for cancer prevention and control in the workplaceOrganise registries of occupational exposures to carcinogens and exposed workersEstimate the national occupational burden of disease from carcinogensHowever, national programmes were a struggle for developing countries, delegates heard. For example, professor David Rees, of South Africa’s National Institute for Occupational Health, said: “Given the enormous social and health needs in … low-income countries, is it really possible (to do anything about reducing occupational cancers)?”He explained that Africans in their communities relied on two things: skilled and experienced workers (“they are essential”) and stable families, for development. Both are affected if someone in the community/village gets occupational cancer.“Can anything be done – yes, bit by bit”, said Dr Straif. But certain steps were required to improve the situation, including the cessation of transferring hazardous industries to low income countries, and a ban on asbestos mining, production and export.Lack of progress on asbestos is ‘embarrassing’A number of contributors to the policy forum turned their attention to asbestos.Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, secretary-general of ISSA, told ICOH 2018 delegates of a British documentary he had watched at the very beginning of his career, in Denmark in the 1980s. Alice, a fight for life told the story of Alice who was dying after contracting cancer from working in an asbestos factory in West Yorkshire.Konkolewsky said this powerful film had had a big impact in his native country: “It obliged the Government to prepare an action plan for asbestos in Denmark.”He added: “This brings me to a strong call to action to make this an asbestos free world … We are so far away from this (goal) that it’s embarrassing.”Tim Driscoll, of the University of Sydney School of Public Health, highlighted that asbestos was being used extensively 20, 30, 40 years ago in high-income countries such as Australia, North America and the UK. As a result, cancer levels in these countries (from exposure to asbestos) are currently much higher than anywhere else in the world.However, despite Asia having low occupational cancer rates now, they will rise because many Asian countries are still using asbestos “and so in 20 to 30 years the rates will be much higher”.“Something needs to be done, we don’t want the same problems being repeated,” said Driscoll.Consensus on urgency to act nowIn his presentation, the ILO’s Dr Niu referenced ILO convention 139, which lays out the most essential principles for prevention and control of workplace carcinogens, including:replacement of carcinogenic substances by less dangerous onesestablishment of a list of carcinogens to be prohibited, or made subject to authorisation or to controlrecording of data concerning exposure and exposed workersmedical surveillanceinformation and educationThe convention was adopted in 1974 following discussions at two successive sessions of the International Labour Conference, in 1971 and 1973. Its intention was “to lay down general principles for implementation at the national level of the specific and detailed measures required and for the development of adequate control programmes”.Recognising the difficulties in acting in this field, a year later, the 1975 session of the International Labour Conference adopted a resolution which referred to the “adverse social and economic consequences, both for the workers and for the industry which may follow the implementation of strict preventive and protective measures prescribed by national legislation, and methods of meeting the hardships involved”.Forty-three years later, the number of known deaths from work-related cancers is rising. Countries continue to mine or import asbestos. In May 2018, many of the world’s foremost workplace health bodies and experts were in consensus on the need for urgent action.“It’s high time for us all to act together to bring a difference,” said Dr Niu.“We need to get into prevention – occupational cancer is preventable…. It’s an enormous obligation and a huge task,” added Konkolewsky.“2.25 million people will have died of occupational cancer between now and the next ICOH gathering in Melbourne in three years’ time,” agreed Dr Gunnyeon.In conclusion, the global policy forum at ICOH 2018 laid bare the harsh economic, social and political realities that lie in the way of progress in the fight to reduce deaths from occupational cancers.Tim Walsh is head of communications and media at the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health No comments yet. 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By Myriam Ortega/Diálogo November 09, 2017 According to the Colombian Police Cybercenter report, Cybercrime Threats in Colombia 2016–2017, cybercrime costs the world $575 billion annually or 0.5 percent of the global GDP. The report notes that the figure is four times the amount of all international development aid donations. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the cost is estimated at $92 billion per year or 16 percent of the total cost of cybercrime worldwide. “Cyberspace is the new theater of operations for crime,” said Aníbal Fernández de Soto, deputy defense minister for International Affairs and Policy at the Colombian Ministry of National Defense. “While technological advances are a great development opportunity for the community, society, businesses, and nations, they also present threats.” As a result, the importance of establishing mechanisms to help generate solid cyberdefense and security strategies arises. To address those risks, the Colombian Ministry of Information Technology and Communications, the Colombian Chamber of Computer Science and Telecommunications, the Ministry of National Defense, and the Organization of American States all met in Bogotá, for the Fourth Digital Security Forum. The event, held in late August 2017, brought together scholars, government representatives, and entrepreneurs from Colombia and other nations to study the trends and challenges to help counter the effects of cybercrime in Colombia and the region. Twenty Colombian and nine foreign experts shared their experiences through theme-based seminars and forums. “It’s very important that we’re here working together. That’s why a forum like the one that brings us together today is so important,” Fernández de Soto said. “[At this forum] academia, industry, research sectors, and, of course, the government come together, talk, and debate the issues and latest trends.” Colombia, at the forefront of digital security in the region “Colombia is considered a regional model for cyber issues. If indeed we are a model—at least for the region—it’s because Colombia has been exceedingly judicious in formulating its policy guidelines,” Álvaro Chávez, director of Public Safety and Infrastructure for the Ministry of National Defense, told Diálogo. “That policy is laid out in the documents of the National Economic and Social Policy Council [CONPES, per its Spanish acronym].” The first CONPES document, “Cyberdefense and Security Guidelines” of 2011, focused on countering cyberthreats under Colombia’s defense objectives and the fight against cybercrime. “Capacity building is done within the defense sector at three levels: through the Colombian Ministry of National Defense and its cyberemergency response team; the Police Cybercenter of the National Police; and the Joint Cyber Command,” Chávez said. “Colombian Army, Navy, and Air Force cyberunits are within the command.” “The new CONPES document from 2016, ‘National Policy on Digital Security’, includes risk management as a key element to move forward on digital security,” Chávez said. “There are a number of people committed to achieving a secure internet environment in cyberspace, including, of course, government entities, the private sector, the community, and those who operate critical infrastructure.” “The capacities we have been developing in the area of cybersecurity at the Military Forces General Command, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and also at the National Police, have allowed us to be strong and robust institutions, able to address incidents and manage situations that arise,” Fernández de Soto added. “Colombia increasingly has more training and more expert staff who have taken advantage of these instruments for cooperation.” Cyberspace—a sovereign “world” As part of the forum’s program, the Colombian War College (ESDEGUE, per its Spanish acronym) developed the “Cyberattack Simulation against Critical Infrastructure for Decision-Making” workshop. In the workshop, participants studied how attacks to critical infrastructure can occur (for example, attacks against the power system, such as a pipeline) to learn about decision-making under pressure during a cybercrisis. “ESDEGUE is responsible for training military and civilian leaders on issues relating to defense and security,” Colombian Navy Captain Diana Milena Ávila Hernández, head of ESDEGUE’s master’s program in Cyberdefense and Cybersecurity, told Diálogo. “We are not immune from what goes on in cyberspace. We consider it a ‛world’—if we can call it that—where national sovereignty must be enforced.” “What we believe should stand out from our participation–more than an outcome–is this message: We want to convey to Colombia that its Military Forces are prepared to tackle cyberdefense and cybersecurity challenges,” Capt. Ávila concluded. “We have the discipline, the doctrine, and the training needed to ensure that cyberspace is a secure place for the Colombian state and its citizens.”
Senior Susan Johnson is one of the most decorated swimmers in Wisconsin school history, but when UW travels to the Minnesota Invite this weekend, Johnson will not win anything.Swimming since age 5, Johnson grew up in the water. From a family with a strong swimming background — her father, older brothers and sisters, uncles and cousins all swam competitively — Johnson was destined to exceed the cannonball and doggie-paddle stage in the pool.”It was kind of written in the books that I was going to be a swimmer,” Johnson said. “I was thrown in the pool and expected to swim, but it worked out nicely that I enjoyed it, and I was decent at it.”Self-deprecation aside, Johnson had exceeded “decent” well before she stepped on campus. “Susan stepped into the program and had an immediate impact,” head coach Eric Hanson said of the 2002 Big Ten Freshman of the Year. “Not just with her work ethic, but also with her success. “She’s won Big Ten titles, she’s a multi-time All-American, and she’s a great leader. Susan is someone [who] we’re really enjoying in her last year here. People like her are hard to come by.” Originally from Toledo, Ohio, UW’s swimming program lured Johnson out of the Buckeye State. Four years, four school records, one Big Ten conference record and three All-Conference selections later, Johnson’s trophy shelf is full and her place in UW history is secure. But that trophy shelf won’t be getting any additions from this weekend.The five time All-American will compete at the Minnesota Invite — she will swim in four individual events including her favorite, the 200-meter backstroke, and possibly another relay or two — she just won’t medal. Wisconsin will leave the meet to head back to Madison before the finals, meaning no Badger will win anything. “Minnesota is more of a fun meet for us. There are six sessions, and we stay for five of them, but we don’t swim finals on Sunday,” UW head coach Eric Hansen said. “It’s more important we get back, hit the books, and get ready for Texas. It’s not worth missing that.””Minnesota’s a great meet for us, because it’s a good place to see where we are going into the Texas Invitational … there’s always teams there that are rested and ready to race,” Johnson said. “We always have good competition with the University of Minnesota.”Joining the No. 19-ranked Badgers and No. 17-ranked Gophers will be Iowa State, Nebraska, No. 20 Notre Dame and No. 15 Tennessee, as well as several smaller schools from Minnesota. Although the emphasis will not be on winning, this weekend’s action will serve as one last tune-up for the Texas Invite in two weeks, where swimmers can qualify for nationals. “The kids will swim a lot of different things, and we’ll see how they are progressing and what needs to take place for the women we’re going to rest for Texas. So we’ll get a good feeling for where each one of them is at,” Hansen said. Hansen also pointed out several other Badgers as swimmers who could make an impact in the weeks to come.”Yi Ting Sow is going to be very powerful, and we have a whole bunch of sprinters that I’m looking for great things from — Jackie Vavrek will probably lead that group and Hannah McClurg,” Hansen said. However, leading the way in her final season will be Johnson. And as if she needed any extra motivation to get in and out of the pool quicker than everyone else on Saturday, the Ohio native has some — the Ohio State-Michigan football game.”I’m a Buckeye fan, and I really want to see them win,” Johnson said. “I’ll definitely be watching.”Well, [Ohio State] is No. 2 in my heart, behind Wisconsin,” Johnson added.
Savior, a ten-year-old boy who’s been taking care of his younger siblings and himself for the past five years feels he’s now on the verge of depression and wants help.Dressed in an over sized t-shirt stained with specs of blood from a recent circumcision cut, Savior is filthy, unclean and a pitiful sight to see.“Aunty, let whoever wants me take me,” he offered.Saviors mother, who says she has serious problems of her own, including a drug addiction, has asked the media to find an alternative living location for her six children, including Princes who we featured in a recent article ‘Breaking away from a place called home’Savior, who fidgeted near his mother who was too busy to notice because she was cutting marijuana that she had just purchased, described to this paper what his little life has been like.“A lot of people feel sorry for me because of the way my mother takes care of me. Recently she beat me and placed very bad marks all over my body and kept me hungry for a couple of days. On a daily bases I have to go around and beg, some people in our community ban me from their yard because they say I can steal,” He saidWhile describing his surprising life, Savior lifted his shirt to reveal beating marks similar to that of slaves from the 1800’s.“My ma beats me a lot and because of the marks on my skin people say that I look like a criminal,” he shared.Saviors mother, Mommy, says she has her hands filled with so many children and cannot take care of them all. Most recently she had her seventh child, a baby boy.‘Savior is hard head and where I am right now, I’m not able these children. If you can find someone to take him I will be too happy,” she mumbled while inhaling the smoke from her cigaretteMeanwhile, the past history of Savior is a long one. According to the family, five years ago a bishop from the Catholic Church in Taylor Miller compound took Savior in. Because of the Pastor’s sympathy, Savior spent a year in school, had a regular allowance that included food, school supplies, clothing and a place to stay, complimentary of the Pastor and his church.“No child should be condemned to the life of misery because a hopeless drug addict brought it into the world. It’s almost unthinkable that this level of neglect is part of the story of life in pockets of our country these days. These mothers have these children while taking drugs and on drugs,” stated a member of the Catholic Church who asked not to be named.“I helped take care of that boy when he was here with us, very smart child. But, his mother had the problem and that’s why we had to give him back to her just as hastily as we did when we took him in,” they added.Meanwhile, Savior is a smart kid who shows the enthusiasm to learn and have better life. I learned a lot about his dreams during our time together and also saw the hope in his eyes when he described his dream life.“I can imagine myself living in a house that doesn’t have smoke and bad people in it. I can see myself going back to school because I miss it so much. I wish I had someone to love me, that’s all,” he wished.Anyone wishing to help this family should contact our office at 0777472772.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Did you notice how many times the Darwinian arguments were vacuous stories, leaving the real questions begging? This kind of storytelling masquerading as explanation will, unfortunately, be with us until the Darwinian edifice implodes, a long-overdue event. You can help hasten its eventuality by drawing attention to the design specifications scientists find in nature, to the observation that biomimetics (one of the hottest trends in science) assumes good design, and that dysteleological arguments are appeals to religion. Science will get along just fine without the tacked-on personifications and just-so stories that are the besetting sins of the Darwin Party. The rest of us can simply delight in the never-ending wonders of living things. Let’s help put the fascination back in biology with intelligent design.(Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 1. Elizabeth Pennisi, “Bio-Inspired Engineering: Manta Machines,” Science, 27 May 2011: Vol. 332 no. 6033 pp. 1028-1029, DOI: 10.1126/science.332.6033.1028. The plants and animals around us seem so ordinary, but they all are so extraordinary, the extraordinary becomes ordinary simply because of their numbers. But if you expanded the sample space to include the entire solar system, what we have in earth’s biosphere should astonish everyone. Here are some notable fellow creatures. Monarch butterflies: You can raise Monarchs in your garden. Loretta Downs does it, and told her experience on PhysOrg. The article speaks of “the miracle of the monarch,” its “unlikely story,” its “stained-glass wings of orange and black with drips of white,” and “the most uncanny butterfly with so much wisdom tucked deep inside its jade-green chrysalis, the transformation chamber that dangles from a leaf, where striped caterpillar unfolds into winged beauty, catching drifts of wind.” Poetic excess? Not for her. “It’s a mystery, and we don’t get so close to these kinds of mysteries,” says Downs. “To watch this unfolding, it’s a miracle. There is no better symbol for transformation, for the mystery of death” that metamorphoses into “something altogether new” – a rebirth. She finds it a healing, comforting experience to watch her butterflies. Monarchs are featured in the new Illustra Media documentary Metamorphosis, to be released on DVD June 15 and on Blu-Ray on July 6. Flowering plants: PhysOrg “What makes leaves sprout in the spring?” In Canada a few weeks ago, trees were barren, but now they are bursting with buds. There’s a transformation you won’t find on Mars or Venus. The question was answered by Malcolm Campbell of University of Toronto – at least to the extent science understands this “complex program” the article claims was “designed by the trees over tens of thousands of years,” years Campbell obviously never experienced. He described how day length, temperature and water availability are factors. Trees key on a cold snap in autumn being long enough to trigger the program, followed by a sufficient number of warm days in the spring. Then global warming entered the discussion, but despite the triggers mentioned by Campbell, the question remains: what makes leaves sprout in the spring? Wired seeds: Cute seedlings in the process of sprouting decorate an article on Science Daily promising, “Genetic ‘Wiring’ of Seeds Revealed.” Work at the University of Nottingham has discovered that “the same mechanism that controls germination is responsible for another important decision in the life cycle of plants — when to start flowering.” Once again, environmental cues like temperature, light, moisture and nutrients trigger a complex program to unfold. The researchers found a gene network, which they dubbed SeedNet, that’s involved in both seed germination and plant flowering. The internal and external factors ensure that “the decision for a seed to germinate is made at the perfect moment to ensure survival,” the article said. How could such a wonder arise? The article attributed it to purposeless causes, rooted in chance, that act like a goddess: “evolution has genetically ‘wired’ seeds in a very complex way to avoid making potentially deadly mistakes,” the article claimed (see 04/23/2011). Similarly, evolution took credit for the double duty of the genetic network: “Given that seeds were evolved long after plants developed their ability to withstand environmental stress, this indicated that plants have adapted existing genes to fulfil a different role.” Modular design is usually thought of as good planning and foresight. Cicadas: Those noisy cricket-like bugs called cicadas will be emerging from their underground hideouts in the American south this summer. Some will live underground for 13 years before celebrating their brief above-ground mating rituals; others 17 years. Why are these intervals prime numbers? Live Science explained: “It is no mere coincidence that cicadas have evolved indivisible life cycles,” Natalie Wolchover wrote. “As explained by the entomologist Stephen Jay Gould, prime cycles have a major evolutionary advantage over cycles that are multiples of smaller numbers of years, and for a simple reason: They make cicadas more elusive.” If they came up in 18 years, for instance, predators with life cycles of two, three or six years could get lucky every third or ninth, sixth, or third generation. There are fewer coincidences with prime numbers because they are not divisible by any other integer. As plausible as this sounds, it avoids the question of what the ninth, sixth, and third generations of predators would eat in between the lucky coincidences. It also says nothing about how the pupae survive these many years underground, and even more amazing, how they all wake up on cue for a few weeks of frenzied mating, only to bury themselves as eggs once again for another Brigadoon sleep underground. Dinosaur necking: Matt Walker had an unusual blog entry for his feature “Nature Wonder Monkey” on the BBC News. He was going to explain the tremendously long necks of sauropods (and of giraffes, for that matter). Enter the theory of sexual selection. While it seemed Walker might present a triumphal account of how sexual selection produced these long necks, the ending was rather different. He debunked the idea. He quoted evolutionists who have discredited the idea that sexual selection produced long necks and other flashy traits like peacock tails. In particular, Mike Taylor [U of Bristol] tested sexual selection on 39 giraffes and found no correlation between neck length and sexual success. While Matt Walker left room for sexual selection in crabs and birds, he accepted Taylor’s extended conclusion, “There is no example, anywhere, of a type of four-legged animal, of which there are many species, that has evolved a single trait to be sexy.” For sauropods, too, “A sexy neck just didn’t get the reptilian juices flowing,” he quipped. That leaves any evolutionary explanation for the “even more remarkable species such as Argentinosaurus, which holds the record for being both the heaviest land animal ever, and the longest,” dangling with no support. Decorative spiders: Did you know that some orb-weaving spiders decorate their webs? The BBC News explored this phenomenon for answers, but admitted that “exactly why the spiders adorn their webs is unclear.” Leading contender for this “tricky area” is that the spider adds highly-visible webbing in the center where it resides to make the web more visible to animals that might accidentally damage them. A researcher in Australia said, “The debate about [its] function has lasted for over 100 years and is still highly controversial.” Another theory is that the decorations attract prey with the decorations. What reporter Victoria Gill left out was any explanation for how a lowly spider could calculate costs, strategize, be motivated, or “tactically use the decorations” by an evolutionary process. Those are the verbs of teleonomy. Smallest flying insect: The smallest flying insect is a parasitic wasp. PhysOrg has a photo of one of these little guys with a 1mm wingspan walking up a tiny egg of a cabbage white butterfly. Using a 22,000-frame-per-second Phantom camera, the Flight Artists team from Wageningen University in the Netherlands recorded their acrobatics: “The high speed movies show how the parasitic wasp jumps up into the air, elegantly flaps around, and then somehow lands – the insect sometimes boldly lands face-first” but can also land on its feet and head butt other wasps. Time for some stats: wings beat at 350 strokes per second. Weighs one 40,000th of a gram. Hitchhikes rides on other insects, such as butterflies. What this means is that the hardware and software for controlled flight, navigation and reproduction is all packaged into a very tiny animal. The article includes a short video of the wasps in slow motion. On a small white butterfly, the wasp shows up as a speck on the butterfly’s face bristles under its compound eye. The Flight Artists team next wants to take its “extraordinary camera” to investigate how birds, bats, bees and even seeds fly, to “make the invisible visible” and “to shoot images of fliers in Nature that fascinate them.” See their website at FlightArtists.com. Manta ray: A contest was held last month at the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center in West Bethesda, Maryland. It was between two robot-building teams trying to imitate the elegant swimming of the manta ray. “Swimming like butterflies underwater, with mesmerizing ease and grace, manta rays are the envy of engineers seeking more efficient underwater vehicles,” Elisabeth Pennisi wrote for Science this week.1 In an article under the category “Bio-Inspired Engineering,” she detailed how teams from Princeton and University of Virginia both failed, ending in a draw. One of the contestants has long been enraptured with these gentle giants that can grow up to five meters wide. “They are such self-possessed, graceful animals,” Alexander Smits said. “It was almost mystical,” he added, thinking about his swim with these creatures years ago in Australia. “I decided I’ve got to know something about them.” No wonder; here’s what Pennisi wrote about their specifications: Mantas are everything one could want in an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). “I’ve thought for a long time that the people who are interested in robotic mimicry were missing the boat in not looking at manta rays,” says Adam Summers, a comparative biomechanist at Friday Harbor Laboratories in Washington state. Most fish swing their body from side to side, and “that’s not very handy if you are trying to stuff [instruments] inside.” The manta body is stiff. Mantas are also quiet, efficient swimmers—AUVs tend to be one or the other. The best AUVs have a turning radius of 0.7 body lengths; the manta needs just 0.27 its body length and maneuvers like a fighter plane. Based on the two robots’ performance, “in terms of maneuverability, we’re on the right track” in understanding how mantas achieve such grace, says Frank Fish, a functional morphologist at West Chester University in Pennsylvania who is working with UVa and Princeton on the manta project. Snipe hunt: Want to know the world speed-distance record for migratory birds? According to PhysOrg, it’s the great snipe, an endangered species. Arctic terns fly farther at slower speeds, and peregrine falcons fly faster for shorter distances, but this winner excels at both speed and distance. “Swedish scientists found that the birds fly non-stop over a distance of around 4,200 miles at a phenomenal 60 mph.” Some took off in Sweden and landed in central Africa, 4,225 miles away, in just 3.5 days. This was a surprise. “We never expected record-breaking flights for this ordinary bird,” they said. They had no idea where this species went after leaving Scandinavia, either. Tracking devices on some of the birds revealed their secret. The article ended with a list of other speed records in the animal kingdom. Trivia provided by article: “The word ‘sniper’ originated in the 1770s among soldiers in British India: if a hunter was skilled enough to kill an elusive snipe, he was called a sniper.” After the snipe article, someone left a comment, noting “the total absense [sic] of any evolutionary talk in this article.” He said, “I guess the researchers know that there’s really no evolutionary explanation for this phenomenal ability and so they keep their minds focused on what works in reality. No side-tracking into nonsense speculation of evolutionary origins here.” An evolutionist immediately retorted with an example of bad design – i.e., why God would not have made the world the way it is. He apparently didn’t notice or care that he made a religious, not scientific, argument (see Darwin’s God blog).
25 January 2005A community response to the problem of crime in South Africa has been mobilised to make tourists feel safer too. Travel Buddy is a network of volunteers who look out for travellers, welcoming and advising them and, most of all, making sure they are safe.Travel Buddy also enables tourists to tap into an electronic messaging system – eBlockwatch – that alerts its members to incidents of crime and danger zones.eBlockwatch links around 11 000 members around the country – including police, neighbourhood watches, industries and the general public – via SMS and e-mail.eBlockwatch was started in 2001 by Johannesburg businessman Andre Snyman, owner of a truck company, who uses SMS to manage his trucks – and realised that the system could be harnessed to mobilise communities in the fight against crime.SMSs and e-mail messageseBlockwatch members receive regular SMSs on their cell phones and e-mails of criminal incidents or warnings of potential crime in areas where they are registered.Travel Buddy was formed in 2003 to give the thousands of tourists pouring into the country the same peace of mind. Through the scheme, tourists are also experiencing the warmth of South African hospitality, with many Travel Buddy members taking extra steps to make them feel welcome.This is how it works: before leaving their home country, tourists register for free on the Travel Buddy website, providing their itinerary details. When they arrive in South Africa, they buy a local SIM card for their cell phone (or a hired phone), contact Travel Buddy and get a phone number to use in emergencies.Throughout a visitor’s stay, someone will call or send a text message asking how things are going.The tourists are given an international tourist call centre number, and receive regular SMSs. Travel Buddy monitors tourists’ movements throughout their trip, provides them with details of local tourist information centres, and advises them on where to “stop, shop, rock and drop”.“If at any time you are in need of assistance, you call the emergency number and we will alert those members of eBlockwatch and request that they come to your assistance”, says the Travel Buddy website. “You will also be given local police details.“Depending on the severity of the emergency, SA Travel Buddy will inform all relevant government, South African Police, and South African Tourist Association members who are responsible for the safety of international visitors.“Although no reaction is guaranteed, this project will provide a useful link to a spirited community who would like to contribute to an enjoyable stay in South Africa.Real SA hospitality“We here in South Africa want you to realise that every international visitor is of great importance to our country. We want you to experience real South African hospitality.”The Automobile Association is encouraging hotels and B&Bs in its travel guide to sign up with the system, and Travel Buddy now has members spread across the country.Many members have gone out of their way to make tourists feel safe and welcome, and several visitors have reported positive experiences with Travel Buddy. According to an article in the Sunday Times, the Lockyear family was nervous about travelling to SA after a tourist was shot dead in Mpumalanga in October 2002.“Throughout their Christmas holiday, during which they travelled from Joburg to Mozambique and around the coast to Cape Town, they received regular calls from concerned South Africans who had their itinerary and gave them advice ranging from which roads to use to where to eat.”A group of Canadian volunteer teachers who came to teach in Alexandra township in Johannesburg in 2003 had a safe and much enriched experience thanks to their Travel Buddy, Bulldog Rathokolo, who organised 10 of his neighbourhood watch members to keep an eye out for them.According to the Sunday Times: “Not only were they safe, but other members of Travel Buddy even offered Schmidt’s staff free horse riding trips on their days off.“And during their stay in the township, Rathokolo and his men organised street parties for the students and a farewell bash at an Alexandra home where they slaughtered a sheep for the visitors.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Best of the Buckeye Program, hosted by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) in conjunction with the Ohio Beef Expo and the Ohio State Fair, successfully concluded its fifth season. The program rounded out the year with 269 head of cattle nominated by 146 breeders.The Best of the Buckeye program recognizes top-placing Ohio bred, born and registered calves, along with the breeder and exhibitor, in each breed division at the two shows. This year a new event was created for breeder recognition sponsored by Sullivan Supply and Stock Show University. Thanks to these generous sponsors, over $10,000 was awarded in prizes to breeders in late August at the first annual Breeder Reception. Nominating breeders gathered in late August for an ice cream social, program and prize drawing. All attending breeders at the reception received a coupon for half off the price of a purchase of an e-blast to OCA’s membership to market their Best of the Buckeye cattle for the 2019 season.New this year, OCA offered a People’s Choice division for breeders and exhibitors to promote their Best of the Buckeye cattle from the Ohio Beef Expo and Ohio State Fair for friends and family to vote for their favorites. The social media campaign reached over 40,000 people and the winners were named at the breeder reception. Earning the people’s choice for the heifer division was Jacob LeBrun with his Angus heifer bred by Hall Cattle Company and topping the steer division was Hudson Drake with his Chianina steer bred by Grauer Show Cattle. Both the exhibitor and breeder of the People’s Choice award winners received a banner commemorating their win.The program provides Ohio seedstock breeders an additional marketing opportunity, creates a source for moderately priced show steers and heifers by providing a program with awards and prestige and attracts new participants interested in showing at the Ohio Beef Expo and/or the Ohio State Fair with the benefit of added premiums. Breeders are encouraged to use the Best of the Buckeye logo for use in printed and digital promotion of Best of the Buckeye eligible cattle. The logo may be downloaded from the website at www.ohiocattle.org or requested by email at [email protected] Best of the Buckeye show results and additional program details are available at https://www.ohiocattle.org/best-of-the-buckeye or by contacting the OCA office. For more information, contact the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association at 614-873-6736 or email [email protected]
Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants MANILA, Philippines—The first half of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament has come to an end.This is the point where teams are starting to position themselves to be legitimate title contenders or just lousy pretenders.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsAteneo has so far taken pole position at the end of the first round with a 6-1 record but defending champion De La Salle and University of Santo Tomas are right behind with the two teams tied at the No. 2 spot with 5-2 records.University of the Philippines and Far Eastern University found themselves stuck in a tough race with both teams sharing fourth place with 4-3 cards. Jalen Green dazzles in FilAm Sports rout of AusPinoy in NBTC National Finals Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving The Lady Bulldogs have six rookies this season, including injured setter Joyme Cagande, but this week saw two of them shine the brightest.As Nierva anchored NU’s defense, Princess Robles was the one leading the offense.Robles was crucial in the Lady Bulldogs’ 1-1 campaign this week as she averaged 17.5 points in those two games.And it wasn’t just this week that Robles produced stellar numbers, she ended the first round at the No. 5 spot in the Best Scorers table with a total of 101 points.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd PLAY LIST 02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Despite sharing the same role as rookie Jolina Dela Cruz, Tiamzon has coexisted fairly well with her younger teammate.The Lady Spikers had a quick affair on Saturday, taking care of FEU in straight sets, 25-15, 25-19, 26-24, and Tiamzon wasn’t only the team’s offensive leader as she was also the emotional chief.Tiamzon took the mantle from injured captain Desiree Cheng last week and she continued being that de facto leader even when their skipper returned to the floor.Her 13 points in La Salle’s win over the Lady Tamaraws seemed like an icing on the cake for Tiamzon’s true value within the Lady Spikers.6. Ponggay Gaston (Ateneo de Manila University, outside spiker)Weeks on list: 1Last week: N/APonggay Gaston. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netKat Tolentino has been the one receiving much of the praise for Ateneo’s success in the outside hitter position in the past four weeks of the tournament.This week, though, Ponggay Gaston showed that she could also be the main factor within the Lady Eagles’ offense.Gaston, who was overlooked for much of the season, had a solid week for the Lady Eagles averaging 13 points in Ateneo’s two wins.7. Princess Robles (National University, outside spiker)Weeks on list: 1Last week: N/APrincess Robles. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netNierva isn’t the only rookie making a splash at NU. Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other MOST READ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Google Philippines names new country director Every week, INQUIRER Sports will be ranking the seven best performers in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament. The author will base the rankings on the players’ team standings, statistics, and the intangibles that don’t appear on the stat sheets.ADVERTISEMENT Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Enter NU’s Jennifer Nierva.The Lady Bulldogs went 1-1 this week, which was the key factor why Nierva wasn’t named Player of the Week, and a huge part of that split was the rookie libero’s near impenetrable ground game.Nierva averaged 27.5 excellent digs and 29.5 successful receptions this week.4. Eya Laure (University of Santo Tomas, opposite hitter)Weeks on list: 3Last week: No.1Eya Laure. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netEya Laure had to settle for the No. 4 spot after UST played only one game this week.Laure, though, was still impressive in her own right putting up 15 points against UE and her production created a ripple effect bigger than what she did on the match itself.The rookie finished the first round with a total of 117 points making her the second leading scorer behind teammate Rondina.Now talk about a golden duo.5. Tin Tiamzon (De La Salle University, opposite hitter)Weeks on list: 1Last week: N/ATin Tiamzon. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLa Salle played just one game this week and Tin Tiamzon used that lone match to show that she’s still one of the Lady Spikers’ most viable options. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte National University may be at a humble 2-5 for the No. 6 seed but that win-loss record won’t reflect the Lady Bulldogs’ talent and they could very well cause problems for Final Four contenders in the next round.At the tailend of the race are University of the East and Adamson University with both teams at 1-6.With that out of the way, here are the seven players that made the last week of the first round such a joy to watch.1. Bea De Leon (Ateneo de Manila University, middle blocker)Weeks on list: 1Last week: N/ABea de Leon. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netBea De Leon was on a slump in the tournament’s first four weeks posting meager production of just six points a game in the Ateneo’s first five games, although the Lady Eagles went 4-1 in that stretch.ADVERTISEMENT Week 5, though, was a different playing field for De Leon as she not only snap out of her funk, she did it in style.De Leon had her first double-digit scoring games this week as she led Ateneo to a pair of wins to finish with a 6-1 mark at the end of the first round. Her performance also earned her the Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week citation.The fifth-year Lady Eagle soared this week posting an average of 13.5 points in the two outings against NU and Adamson.2. Cherry Rondina (University of Santo Tomas, outside spiker)Weeks on list: 3Last week: No.2Cherry Rondina. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThere’s no denying that Cherry Rondina is the league’s most potent scorer.Rondina and the Golden Tigresses had just one game this week and the 5-foot-6 dynamo showed just how lethal she is on the offensive end with 17 points in a straight sets win over University of the East, 25-18, 25-14, 25-20.That production, which was well within her 17.4 average, made Rondina the league’s leading scorer at the end of the first round with a total of 122 points.3. Jennifer Nierva (National University, libero)Weeks on list: 1Last week: N/AJennifer Nierva. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThis year’s rookie class is positioning itself as arguably the best batch since 2012 saw Ara Galang and Alyssa Valdez burst into the UAAP scene.A certain youngster in UST may be capturing the limelight with her scoring prowess but there’s one Lady Bulldog slowly making her name in the collegiate scene through her impressive defense. 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Former ref Halsey: Man Utd lucky to keep Rashford goalby Freddie Taylor4 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Premier League referee Mark Halsey believes Manchester United were fortunate in their 1-1 draw with Liverpool.The Red Devils opened the scoring through Marcus Rashford, after an excellent cross from Daniel James.But the goal could have been been ruled out for an earlier foul from Victor Lindelof on Divock Origi.Ex-ref Halsey wrote in The Sun: “Victor Lindelof fouls Divock Origi by catching him from behind in the build-up to Marcus Rashford’s strike.”You could argue that it was a ‘clear and obvious’ error not to award a free-kick to Liverpool.”A far lesser infringement led to Burnley having a goal chalked off by VAR at Leicester — these inconsistencies need to be ironed out.”VAR was correct to disallow Sadio Mane’s goal, under new interpretation of law 12 (handling the ball), as replays showed the ball clearly touched his arm.”The ball hit Fred’s shoulder in Manchester United’s box in injury time but there is no way that is a ‘clear and obvious’ mistake so Liverpool were never going to be awarded a penalty for that.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say