Facebook Email Print NewsEnvironmentBiodiversity-friendly landscaping schemes to benefit Limerick City roundaboutsBy Cian Reinhardt – June 24, 2020 236 Twitter Linkedin Advertisement EIGHT of Limerick City’s most prominent roundabouts will benefit from pollinator and biodiversity-friendly landscaping schemes commissioned by Limerick City and County Council with funding from the Heritage Council and as part of Limerick’s European Green Leaf Year.The idea behind the scheme is to show roundabouts have the potential to be much more than traffic control features. They can also be attractive greenspaces, which greatly enhance the appearance of our cityscape and provide havens for biodiversity.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The eight roundabouts are located at Kilmallock Road, Tipperary Road, Parkway, Greenpark, Clondrinagh, Loughmore in Raheen, Ballycummin and Roxboro.The designs are the work of local landscape architect Dave Ryan who has worked closely with Peter Cuthbert, an expert in the field of pollinator-friendly planting schemesThe unique designs are intended to reflect the character of their settings, with the more rural roundabouts incorporating wildflowers and native species, while more formal designs, based on pollinator-friendly perennials, have been chosen for the more urban locations.Limerick City and County Council is seeking expressions of interest from companies and organisations who would like to become partners in this project and sponsor the implementation of the planting schemes.Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Michael Sheehan said, “We are delighted with the quality of the final designs which will enhance the experience of both residents and visitors to Limerick and provide a great opportunity for local businesses to raise their profile while contributing to the public good.”Anne Goggin, co-ordinator of Limerick European Green Leaf Year said: “It is important that we lead by example and show that wildlife-friendly spaces can be hugely attractive. While all the designs are different, there is a consistent ethos running throughout which reflects the Council’s commitment to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and to making Limerick a more biodiversity-friendly city.”For more details about the scheme check the Briefing Document on Limerick.ie here or email [email protected] Expression of Interest form is contained in the Briefing Document.Completed forms should be returned to [email protected] by Thursday 9 July 2020. WhatsApp Previous articleVideo messaging platform keeps parents in touch with newborn babies at University Maternity Hospital LimerickNext articleLimerick Post Show | CSSI 2020 Cian Reinhardthttp://www.limerickpost.ieJournalist & Digital Media Coordinator. Covering human interest and social issues as well as creating digital content to accompany news stories. [email protected]
With COVID now in more isolated spaces, there’s greater potential for it to take off Related Cellphone data shows Americans moving around at near pre-pandemic rates Primary care sector projected to lose $15 billion Losses threaten practice viability, reducing an already insufficient number of primary care providers in the U.S. This is part of our Coronavirus Update series in which Harvard specialists in epidemiology, infectious disease, economics, politics, and other disciplines offer insights into what the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak may bring.Uncertainty is the currency of pandemics. As evidence on the new coronavirus, how it spreads and who falls ill from it emerges slowly, policy makers and the public have to base their decisions on the best information available. Experts help interpret the evidence, but they may differ on details that can be confusing for non-experts — and filtering out what matters from a rising sea of misinformation has become a daunting task.To help cut through the noise and sometimes conflicting advice, a network of research, policy and public health experts convened by Harvard’s Global Health Institute and Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics launched a Key Metrics For COVID Suppression framework that provides clear, accessible guidance to policy makers and the public on how to target and suppress COVID-19 more effectively across the nation.“The public needs clear and consistent information about COVID risk levels in different jurisdictions for personal decision-making, and policy-makers need clear and consistent visibility that permits differentiating policy across jurisdictions”, said Danielle Allen, director of the Safra Center. “We also collectively need to keep focused on what should be our main target: a path to near zero case incidence.”The new framework brings clarity to metrics that help communities determine the severity of the outbreak they are responding to. A new COVID Risk Level map shows if a county or state is on the green, yellow, orange or red risk level, based on the number of new daily cases. The framework then delivers broad guidance on the intensity of control efforts needed based on these COVID risk levels. It offers key performance indicators for testing and contact tracing across all risk levels, as a backbone for suppression efforts.The framework also allows for a breadth of options for what to do beyond TTSI (testing, tracing and supported isolation) when jurisdictions are at yellow and orange levels. Public officials need to make strategic decisions suitable to their context. Once a community reaches the red risk level, stay-at-home orders become necessary again. The framework also draws attention to the need to focus on suppression at every risk level.“Local leaders need and deserve a unified approach for suppressing COVID-19, with common metrics so that they can begin to anticipate and get ahead of the virus, rather than reacting to uncontrolled community spread,” said Beth Cameron, vice president for global biological policy and programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative and a member of the COVID-Local.org team. “Unless and until there is a whole of government response, with measurable progress communicated similarly and regularly across every state and locality, U.S. leaders will be left to react to the chaos of the virus — rather than being able to more effectively target interventions to suppress it.”“Robust TTSI programs are key on the pathway to suppression. We need to consistently apply data-driven testing of hotspots, combined with contact tracing based testing, especially in states where case numbers are rising rapidly,” said Ashish K. Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. “It is what we need to get the virus level so low that we don’t have large numbers of people getting sick and dying and that we can open up our economy.”“The metrics are now clear: we can reopen and keep open our workplaces and our communities,” added Jonathan D. Quick, managing director for Pandemic Response, Preparedness, and Prevention, The Rockefeller Foundation. “But achieving this will require a dramatic expansion of testing and tracing to again flatten the curve and eventually suppress the pandemic to near zero new cases.” Pandemic threatens to veer out of control in U.S., public health experts say Lockdown? What lockdown?
In August, I had the opportunity to deliver a keynote address at SHARE Conference in Anaheim. SHARE is an industry wide Mainframe conference that attracts more than one thousand Mainframe participants and large multi-national companies. EMC and its Enterprise Storage Division have a strong presence in Mainframe environments and have served this market since its foundation. As someone who has developed information technology products for more than 30 years, this is by far the most exciting time period that I’ve seen to date; and those in the audience shared in my excitement.Cloud and Big Data are two of the biggest trends that are changing the IT landscape, and these mega trends are really top of mind for CIOs because they help businesses run smarter and more efficiently. Critical to this conversation is the hybrid cloud, a combination of your data center (private cloud) — which is becoming more and more virtualized, and your trusted service provider (public cloud).The industry’s take on hybrid cloud is that it is more predictable and reliable than simply using a public cloud and gives you control over the infrastructure so your data is not exposed to any compromises.The success of hybrid cloud is dependent on having the ability to dissolve the distance between the public and the private cloud with technology. The benefit is having the freedom of moving applications and the information of those apps to-and-from the data center without your customers ever knowing.Moving massive amounts of information from your own data center to your service provider can be very difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. Things like technology refresh and data migration will soon become artifacts of the past. When new information is created, it needs to be active around the globe, in real-time.Clouds of the future need to be connected from the data center to the service provider, and the branch office. Eliminating data center boundaries provides better caching technologies that shorten the latencies between these data centers and enables seamless workload migration across geographies.Innovation at the data layer becomes even more critical in the future as we approach large petascale environments. For decades, servers have talked to servers, and servers have talked to storage and other peripheral devices, but for whatever reason, storage devices could never really talk to each other. Up until now.Common language among peers is beginning to arrive and I call that, federation. As we look at the IT operations in the data center, or in the service provider, it’s very important that this technology around federation begins to rise and become predominant.Federation with automation will enable IT-as-a-Service. For years, customers have used System Managed Storage (SMS) and Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) to move data sets between memory, disk and tape. At the time, this was good enough. Now, we have proven that federation, along with technologies like Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST), are complementary and provide greater efficiencies as they run together. This enables better automation, reduces cost of capital and operational costs of the data center. Hybrid cloud environments can provide better agility and efficiency and deliver on the promise of more flexibility and business agility.
“He used the fastball and changeup because those were his two best pitches, but he mixed in the breaking balls especially to lefties and got some swings and misses,” Ausmus said. “If he can get both of them going, even at a major league average consistently, it will be huge. Not just for lefties, but having that third, fourth pitch against any hitter makes it easier to go through the lineup multiple times. Different looks. Different movements.”However, Ausmus still didn’t let the 22-year-old rookie go deeper in the game, despite his effectiveness. He had nine strikeouts and had allowed one hit. Ausmus said that Sandoval’s pitch count (84) was one reason they pulled him, as was the fact that he was in his third time through the order. He faced just one hitter three times.“It was those two things together that made the decision pretty clear,” Ausmus said.When pressed about whether this time of the season it might be appropriate to push the young pitchers, Ausmus said: “With some of the younger guys, there are some pitch-count restrictions we are looking at.”Sandoval’s pitch count climbed because of all the strikeouts, and also a jam in the second inning.In the second, Sandoval gave up a leadoff double to Willie Calhoun and then he walked Nick Solak. Sandoval then struck out Logan Forsythe on a 95.7 mph fastball, his third hardest pitch of the season. He got Isiah Kiner-Falefa on a flyout, and then struck out DeShields to escape the jam.Over the next three innings, he just issued two walks, but escaped without damage.It was only the second time that Sandoval finished five innings, and it was the first time that he allowed less than two runs.After Sandoval came out, Miguel Del Pozo entered and faced three batters, allowing a walk and a single. Ausmus then summoned Middleton, who was pitching in the big leagues for the first time in more than 15 months.Middleton, who admitted when he was activated on Tuesday that he’d had trouble controlling his emotions upon his return, immediately gave up a single to Solak, pushing home the game’s first run.Related Articles Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone With Mike Trout out while resting a sore foot, the Angels mustered just three hits. The closest they came to a run was when Brian Goodwin was robbed of a solo homer by center fielder Delino DeShields in the third inning.In the first, the Angels loaded the bases with one out, but Kole Calhoun grounded into a double play. Andrelton Simmons hit into a double play with two on and one out in the seventh.The lack of offense spoiled the encouraging performance by Sandoval, who credited pitching coach Doug White for encouraging him to move from the third base side to the middle of the rubber.“It made a big difference for me tonight,” Sandoval said. “It felt great. It felt like I had everything whenever I wanted it. I felt confident in everything today. It was good.”That change on the rubber allowed Sandoval to feel more comfortable throwing his slider and curve, which Manager Brad Ausmus were the keys to his breakout game. PreviousANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 28: Jose Leclerc #25 and Jose Trevino #56 of the Texas Rangers celebrate after the final out of the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Angels left fielder Justin Upton can’t reach a ball hit for a two-run double by the Rangers’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa during the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game at Angel Stadium. The Angels lost 3-0. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval throws to the plate during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Rangers at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 28: Emmanuel Clase #43 of the Texas Rangers pitches in the first inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani hits a double during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 28: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a double in the first inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on August 28, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani watches his double during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Fans hold up a sign for Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani during the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval throws to the plate during the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Rangers at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval sits in the dugout after the second inning of Wednesday’s game against the Rangers at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Texas Rangers’ Emmanuel Clase throws during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Texas Rangers center fielder Delino DeShields leaps at the wall, making the catch on a ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Brian Goodwin during the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Texas Rangers center fielder Delino DeShields makes the catch on a ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Brian Goodwin during the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Texas Rangers center fielder Delino DeShields pretends to bite the baseball after making the catch on a ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Brian Goodwin during the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Texas Rangers center fielder Delino DeShields gestures next to right fielder Shin-Soo Choo after making the catch at the wall on a ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Brian Goodwin during the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval throws to the plate during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the Rangers at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Texas Rangers center fielder Delino DeShields makes the catch on a ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 28: Elvis Andrus #1 of the Texas Rangers beats the throw to Kevan Smith #44 of the Los Angeles Angels as he scores on a single by Nick Solak in the sixth inning at Angel Stadium on August 28, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 28: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels loses his batting helmet as he strikes out in the sixth inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on August 28, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Keynan Middleton throws during the sixth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 28: Isiah Kiner-Falefa #9 of the Texas Rangers hits a two-run double in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 28: Justin Upton #8 of the Los Angeles Angels is not able to catch up with a ball off the bat of Isiah Kiner-Falefa of the Texas Rangers that went for a two-run double in the seventh inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Texas Rangers’ Logan Forsythe, right, is congratulated by Nick Solak after they scored on a double by Isiah Kiner-Falefa during the eighth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 28: Jose Leclerc #25 and Jose Trevino #56 of the Texas Rangers celebrate after the final out of the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 28, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Angels left fielder Justin Upton can’t reach a ball hit for a two-run double by the Rangers’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa during the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game at Angel Stadium. The Angels lost 3-0. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)NextShow Caption1 of 23Angels left fielder Justin Upton can’t reach a ball hit for a two-run double by the Rangers’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa during the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game at Angel Stadium. The Angels lost 3-0. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Expand Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros After that, he retired the next two hitters on fly balls. Middleton threw 14 pitches, with an average velocity of 94.2 mph on his 11 fastballs. Before he got hurt, he averaged 96 mph on his fastball. It is normal for pitchers to be a little short of their pre-surgery velocity immediately upon their return.“I tried, but my emotions definitely got the best of me at some points during the day,” Middleton said. “But after getting out there, I got more comfortable.”The Rangers padded their lead in the eighth, when Cam Bedrosian allowed two runs on three straight hits.After the game ended with another loss in what has been a disappointing season for the Angels, Middleton reflected on how happy he was to finally be back.“It was really hard,” he said. “This season’s been rough, too, to sit and watch from the sidelines, so I’m just glad to be back here.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter ANAHEIM — Patrick Sandoval and Keynan Middleton, potentially two important pieces of the 2020 pitching staff, had milestone outings on Wednesday night.Sandoval had the best performance of his five-game big league career, tossing five scoreless innings, and Middleton pitched in the majors for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery.Although Middleton wasn’t charged with a run, he allowed an inherited runner to score, putting the Rangers on top in the Angels’ 3-0 loss.
MORE: 10 best Packers-Cowboys games of all timeThis season, Green Bay (3-1) and Dallas (3-1) meet Sunday in a key NFC showdown between teams trying to get an early leg up on the playoff race. Both suffered their first loss of the season in Week 4.Will Rodgers deal the Cowboys another losing hand? Here is a look at the stats, the moments and the significance of Rodgers’ success against Dallas.Aaron Rodgers vs. Cowboys stats— Rodgers is 6-2 as a starter against the Cowboys. His first start doubled as Dallas’ first victory at Lambeau Field on Sept. 21, 2008. Rodgers has won six of seven starts since.— Rodgers has led two game-winning drives in the playoffs in his career, and both came at the expense of Dallas in the divisional playoffs. The first came in a 26-21 victory against the Cowboys in the 2015-16 postseason. The second came two years later in a 34-31 victory in the 2016-17 playoffs.— In nine career games against Dallas (including postseason), Rodgers has 2,371 yards with 16 TDs and just 2 interceptions. He has added 2 rushing TDs, as well. Rodgers has a 101.7 passer rating against the Cowboys in the regular season and a 109.5 rating against them in the playoffs.— In three games at Dallas, Rodgers is 65-of-95 passing for 876 passing yard, 6 TDs and 1 interception. Sunday will mark his third start at AT&T Stadium.PACKERS vs. COWBOYS PICKS:Pick against the spread | Straight-up predictionAaron Rodgers vs. Cowboys momentsNov. 29, 2007: Rodgers replaces FavreA “Thursday Night Football” matchup between 10-1 teams took a turn when Favre was injured, but Rodgers impressed with 201 yards and a TD in a 37-27 loss that influenced the franchise’s quarterback decision the next season.Green Bay knew Rodgers could play.Jan. 11, 2015: Rodgers wins on one legThe 2014-15 NFC divisional playoff matchup is remembered for the Dez Bryant catch ruling. It overshadowed Rodgers, who despite a leg injury led two TD drives in the second half of the Packers’ 26-21 victory.Jan. 15, 2017: Rodgers delivers on third-and-20 Rodgers led Green Bay to a quick 21-3 lead in the NFC divisional playoffs, but the Cowboys tied the game at 28. The teams traded field goals, and Dallas tied it again with a 52-yarder by Dan Bailey with 35 seconds left.That was too much time for Rodgers, who hit Jared Cook for 35 yards on third-and-20 to set up a game-winning, 51-yard field goal by Mason Crosby.Rodgers passed for 355 yards, 2 TDs and an interception in the 34-31 victory.Oct. 28, 2017: Rodgers leads a comebackGreen Bay trailed 21-12 at one point, but Rodgers heated up in the second half with 20 fourth-quarter points in a 35-31 regular-season victory at AT&T Stadium.Rodgers threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Davante Adams with 11 seconds left and finished with 221 yards and 3 TDs.Why Aaron Rodgers’ success vs. Cowboys mattersRodgers’ success against the Cowboys has flipped the script on the rivalry after the days of Favre, who was 2-9 as a starter against the Cowboys. That includes an 0-8 record in Dallas and 0-3 against the Cowboys in the postseason. While Favre was struggling, Troy Aikman led Dallas to three Super Bowl appearances during the 1990s. Will Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers be the star of the rivalry with the Cowboys again Sunday?Perhaps “star” is a poor word choice given how Rodgers has tormented Dallas since 2007. Of the 10 greatest games between the Cowboys and Packers, Rodgers has been the headliner in three. That includes the 2007 matchup when he nearly led Green Bay to a victory after replacing an injured Brett Favre. With Rodgers, Green Bay’s two playoff victories over Dallas knocked out Cowboys teams that finished with 12-4 and 13-3 records, respectively. It can be argued that Rodgers has been the biggest hurdle for the Cowboys to clear in this decade.Rodgers’ success has tilted the all-time series back in the favor of Green Bay, too. The Packers now lead the all-time series 19-17, and the 38th meeting should add another interesting chapter.Rodgers will play a huge role in that outcome. The only question is whether he will be the “star” again.
QPR boss Harry Redknapp named a strong side for the FA Cup third-round game against Sheffield United, but there are places on the bench for youngsters Darnell Furlong – son of former R’s striker Paul Furlong – and Reece Grego-Cox.Redknapp makes seven changes, with Rio Ferdinand, Matt Phillips and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy among those included in the starting line-up to face the Blades, who are without the suspended Chris Basham.Top scorer Charlie Austin also starts for the home side, as does Jordon Mutch. QPR: McCarthy, Onuoha, Caulker, Ferdinand, Traore, Phillips, Mutch, Henry, Hoilett, Fer, Austin.Subs: Murphy, Hill, Isla, Vargas, Zamora, Furlong, Grego-Cox.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Both planets have abundant sulfur, but Earth life has a way of cycling it for good.The recent evidence for active volcanism on Venus (Science Magazine, Science Daily) has excited planetary scientists who long suspected it. Eight years ago, spikes in sulfur dioxide measurements provided indirect evidence; now, hot spots detected by the ESA’s Venus Express orbiter seem to confirm the presence of lava lakes on the surface (New Scientist). Sulfur has a deathly presence at our hellish twin planet. In the atmosphere, it forms droplets of sulfuric acid (H2SO4), adding insult to the injury of temperatures approaching 900° F.Earth has plenty of sulfur as well. In fact, the core may be “brimming with brimstone” (Science Magazine) if that explains why it is lighter than expected. The Biblical references were not unnoticed by Live Science:Biblical views of the center of the Earth as a hellish pit raging with fire and brimstone have some support from new research. Scientists have found that the vast majority of brimstone — reverently referred to in biblical times as “burning stone,” but now known more commonly as sulfur — dwells deep in the Earth’s core.“In a way, we can also say that we have life imitating art,” study lead author Paul Savage, a research scientist in the Department of Earth Sciences at Durham University in the United Kingdom, said in a statement.”For millennia, tales have been told of the underworld being awash with fire and brimstone. Now at least, we can be sure of the brimstone.”Writer Elizabeth Goldbaum provided no Scripture references that claim hell is at the center of the earth, but that’s beside the point. What matters is that Earth’s sulfur economy is radically different from that on Venus.We know of Earth’s water cycle, carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle and oxygen cycle. There’s also a sulfur cycle. Science Daily reports that 90% of Earth’s sulfur may be locked up in the core, but the element plays a prominent role in life on the surface, too. Our own bodies rely on sulfur, according to Healthy.net; it is found in hair, nails, and skin, and in every cell:Sulfur is present in four amino acids: methionine, an essential amino acid; the nonessential cystine and cysteine, which can be made from methionine; and taurine, which is not part of body tissues but does help produce bile acid for digestion. Sulfur is also present in two B vitamins, thiamine and biotin; interestingly, thiamine is important to skin and biotin to hair. Sulfur is also available as various sulfates or sulfides. But overall, sulfur is most important as part of protein.Years ago, Benton C. Clark at NASA speculated that sulfur could be a “fountainhead of life” that could provide a biomarker for the search for life on other planets. Everyone knows the importance of water, but he said, “it will be my theme that sulfur compounds may be of equivalent rank and may well permit the proliferation of life in certain environments not otherwise considered hospitable.”Venus shows, however, that sulfur compounds alone, whether sulfur dioxide, sulfuric acid, or hydrogen sulfide (the “rotten egg gas” at hot springs) are not necessarily related to life, and can even be toxic. What makes the difference on Earth? The sulfur is made available by microbes in a form that can be utilized by cells.The Life ConnectionIn “Sourcing the smell of the seaside,” Nicholas S. Wigginton in Science Magazine summed up new research in a new paper in Science. “Marine phytoplankton plays a critical role in the global sulfur cycle,” Wigginton says, particularly the algae that contain an enzyme that produces dimethyl sulfide (DMS), an aromatic compound that gives some of that seaside aroma to the beach. DMS forms condensation nuclei for clouds, which release more sulfur from the land as rain falls. It’s remarkable to ponder how this one enzyme has global effects:The presence of this gene in other globally distributed phytoplankton and corals suggests that it may serve as a reliable indicator of DMS production across diverse phyla. Because DMS gets oxidized to sulfur aerosols, which act as cloud condensation nuclei, this enzyme is a key global biogeochemical catalyst.“Biogeochemical” — that links biology to geology to global chemistry. Andrew Johnston, in his commentary on the paper in Science, provides more detail about the cycle. DMS is cleaved from dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) by an abundant marine alga named Emiliania huxleyi. That puts this beautiful little coccolithophore microbe, covered with decorative plates, as a key player in the global sulfur cycle. Johnston writes,DMSP is one of the most important and abundant organic molecules in the world, with a billion metric tons made and turned over every year. A signature molecule for life at sea, it is produced by marine macroalgae as well as by single-cell phytoplankton species, such as diatoms, dinoflagellates, and—as in this case—the haptophyte E. huxleyi. It most likely serves to protect organisms to survive osmotic stress, although other functions have been suggested, ranging from defense against grazing to protection against oxidative and other stresses….The cleavage products are also of interest, particularly the volatile DMS, at least 10 million metric tons of which are released into the atmosphere annually. DMS is a component of the tangy aroma of the seaside and functions as a chemical attractant that guides various marine animals—including some sea birds, invertebrates, and even mammals—toward potential food supplies. Not only does the release of DMS into the atmosphere contribute substantially to the global flux of sulfur from sea to air and back to land via precipitation but also DMS oxidation products act as condensation nuclei, causing water molecules to coalesce, with possible effects on local climate through enhanced cloud formation.The organism can also synthesize DMSP, as can other organisms like dinoflagellates that are “taxonomically very distant” from it. The biosynthesis of DMSP from sulfur-containing amino acids is a complex 5-step process that only a few organisms can perform (source); it requires “successive action of four different enzymes” (Nature). The spread of this ability across unrelated organisms suggests to Johnston that the gene might have been obtained by “long range horizontal gene transfer” or independent evolution. The capability to cleave DMSP appears also in sea lettuce and other seaweed-like algae. “It is now clear that DMSP lyases exist in both eukaryotes and bacteria,” he notes, “but they must function in different ways, because Alma1 bears no resemblance to any of the known bacterial lyases.” The authors of the original paper say, “it is clear that DMS production by bacteria DMSP lyases has a fundamental role in the oceanic sulfur and carbon cycles” that sustain life on our planet.So what’s the difference between the fire and brimstone on Venus and the fire and brimstone on Earth? It comes down to information. Genes contain codes that instruct living cells how to take sulfur, convert it into complex forms, break it down into other forms, and keep it cycling through the air, the oceans, and the land. That’s what makes Earth a heaven and not a hell.So many things like this we take for granted. The sulfur in an egg or steak didn’t just ooze out of the ground. It is the product of a long series of complex enzymes, coded for in genes, that knew how to take a simple element with 16 protons and turn it into useful biomolecules. How did the Earth get by without this information? Evolutionists believe that all this complex organic chemistry had to be invented by chance over millions of years. How did the first life get by without the sulfur cycle and all the other cycles that are intertwined with the biosphere? It’s a complex, networked system where every player benefits and contributes. Take out the DMS, and you don’t get the rain. Take out the enzymes, and you don’t get the DMS.The thought that life controls the world is amazing. Sulfur from geology gets built up into DMSP in complex creatures that know organic chemistry, taking building blocks through four successive actions of different enzymes. DMSP is then cleaved by other enzymes and released into the atmosphere as DMS which, in turn, forms clouds that rain on the earth and leach more sulfur from the rocks. How did the algae know that sending a gas into the air would bring them more sulfur in the oceans? It’s like a global economy with many different actors contributing to the whole. This is powerful evidence of planning, intention, and design. It takes an element we associate with rotten smells, acid and hellfire, and turns it into a heavenly sweetness. God can do that for our corrupt souls, too, if we repent and trust Him. (Visited 110 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Vodacom, First National Bank and Sanlam have been voted tops in an annual consumer satisfaction survey.The survey with a moniker bigger than a mouthful – the “internationally measurable consumer satisfaction index research in the long-term insurance, telecommunications and banking sectors”, or the SAS index survey – was conducted by South African Satisfaction (SAS) Index in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).The survey measured some 27 critical drivers of “customer satisfaction and delight”. Some of these included quality and efficiency of staff, general attitude of staff and whether client information is kept up to date.The survey is an annual initiative designed to encourage competitiveness across industries. According to the DTI, it is unlike similar benchmark offerings and is comparable to similar surveys in the US and Europe – such as the American (ACSI) and European (EPSI) studies. It is the third year running that the survey has been conducted.View the full resultsof the survey.See comparable statistics (US and UK).Results indicate that South African customers are more satisfied than their counterparts in Europe and America. However, the DTI says this may be because South African consumers “have lower expectations”, suggested by a recent consumer survey conducted by the department.The DTI says the survey raises important issues about the level of consumer protection and awareness in South Africa. The results clearly show low levels of awareness about consumer rights, and limited support mechanisms to promote consumer activism and protection on the ground.Of consumers surveyed 55% did not know any consumer rights at all, 85% asked for more information on consumer rights, 79% did not know of any consumer rights organisations and only 2% belong to a consumer NGO. The DTI says this “poses a challenge to all government, industry and consumer activists to improve services and raise consumer awareness of their rights and expectations”.Improvement across the boardThe survey shows that overall improvement has been seen in all the sectors:TelecommunicationsLooking at the industries individually, the ranking of the players in the telecommunications industry remained consistent. However, the industry as a whole showed a 5.5% point improvement.Although Telkom showed a substantial improvement ahead of the launch of the second fixed-line operator, it is not yet delivering the same level of performance as the more competitive cellular industry. On the brighter side, the survey shows that Telkom is doing significantly better than the telecommunication industry in both Europe and the US in satisfying its customers.Vodacom and MTN continue to lead the telecommunications field, but Cell C is well on track to challenge the more established players on service levels. Vodacom and MTN are producing the sort of satisfaction levels that one would expect from global players, making their results even more significant.Banking industryAccording to the DTI, the banking results confirm the success of its investment in the SAS index to improve service levels. Significant levels of improvement were reported by all of the big four banks. FNB and Standard Bank still scored higher than Nedbank and ABSA, with their improvements setting a new benchmark for competitors in the banking industry. As was the case last year, South African banking customers remain more satisfied than banking customers in America and Europe.Long-term insurance industryThe DTI says the better banking and telecommunications service levels may be one of the reasons for the new entrant, the long-term insurance industry, trailing behind banking and telecommunications as far as customer satisfaction is concerned. Little separated the top long-term insurance performer (Sanlam) from the least well received (Liberty Life) – a result the DTI attributes to the highly competitive nature of the industry.The department says the study will be rolled out across all major industries in South Africa in the near future, providing local and international comparisons to fuel the ongoing drive of local businesses to achieve world-class customer satisfaction.SouthAfrica.info reporter
Aged 79, Joyce Mosweu is raising her HIV-positive grandchild in the South Africantownship of Alexandra. Now 84, Norma Geggie is the founder ofthe Canadian Wakefield Grannies, anorganisation supporting grandmothersraising their Aids-orphaned grandchildrenin Alexandra. Psychiatric nurse Rose Letwaba’s chanceconversation with Norma Geggie in aCanadian supermarket led to theremarkable relationship between thegrandmothers of Wakefield and Alexandra. Some of the Alexandra kids thetransatlantic partnership helps support. Norma Geggie at home in Wakefield. Since 2004 the Wakefield Grannies haveraised funds as only grannies can, withquilt sales, music concerts, book salesand more.Khanyi Magubane“One day, an army of grey-haired women may quietly take over the earth,” said US feminist and writer Gloria Steinem. Today, a remarkable transatlantic partnership of grey-haired women may not be taking over the earth, but are certainly helping to change it.For some four years a group of grandmothers from the small Canadian town of Wakefield have been helping other grandmothers from the South African township of Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, raise their Aids-orphaned grandchildren.It began in 2004 when Rose Letwaba, an Alexandra-based psychiatric nurse visiting a friend in Canada, struck up a conversation with a stranger in a Wakefield supermarket.Letwaba told the stranger, Norma Geggie, then 80 years old, the story of a group of South African gogos (grandmothers) who had been forced by the Aids-related deaths of their own children to return to parenting. Old women, they were suddenly heading households and raising their grandchildren. Herself a grandmother, Geggie was immediately moved to find a way to help.Geggie spoke to her friends. Soon Letwaba was standing in a church filled with elderly Wakefield women, telling them about her work with the grandmothers, mothers and children of Alexandra.Her talk inspired the Canadians to set up the Wakefield Grannies, an organisation working to provide financial and moral support to the gogos of Alexandra. Over the past four years they have raised funds as only grannies can: a quilt sale, a music concert, book readings. They also launched a range of salsa products, branded as Gogolaka sauces.They’ve used Canadian May Day celebrations to host garage sales, selling crafts and food, and to organise a variety of workshops. The money collected is wired to South Africa; a regular financial report is sent back, detailing how the money was used.The two groups of grandmothers are now the subject of a documentary called The Great Granny Revolution. Made by Brenda Rooney, a founding member of the Wakefield Grannies, and her husband Robert, it follows the story of the remarkable partnership – and friendship – that has grown between the grey-haired women of Wakefield and Alexandra.At one of the first Canadian screenings of the film, Ledwaba told the audience, “If everyone was like the people of Wakefield, the world would be a better place to live in.”The Alexandra granniesThe Alex Aids Orphans Project was started in 2001 when staff at the township’s East Bank Children’s Clinic became aware that many young HIV-positive patients were either missing appointments or dropping out of treatment altogether. As head nurse, Letwaba investigated the matter, discovering that across the township, grandmothers living in abject poverty were raising their Aids-orphaned grandchildren, some of them HIV-positive.What started out with three grandmothers sharing their grief at the loss of their children and supporting each other to care for their orphaned grandchildren has now grown to a group of 40 elderly women. The grannies, whose grandchildren were part of the Alex Aids Orphan Project, then started a group, the Gogo Granny Outreach Project. The 40 gogos are collectively taking care of nearly 160 children orphaned by Aids.Lucia Mazibuko is one such strong woman. In the documentary she’s full of joy and laughter, despite having to raise two grandsons, one of them HIV-positive. Mazibuko has lost both of her daughters and a son-in-law to Aids.Another is Magdeline Ramakobo, now caring for her daughter, who has full-blown Aids. When her daughter succumbs to the disease Ramakabo will be left, in their one-room shack, to raise her daughter’s two children.Each of the Wakefield grannies has paired up with 10 members of the Gogo Granny Outreach Project, with strong friendships developing over the years. The partners write letters and exchange pictures, keeping each other updated about their lives. The Alexandra grannies have started a sewing business and grow vegetable gardens as part of their project, as a means of generating funds.Stepping forwardOn 6 March, the City of Johannesburg, in partnership with the High Commission of Canada and the International Women’s Rights Project, screened The Great Granny Revolution ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March. The city flew the Wakefield grannies to South Africa to join their friends in a two-day project, training other elderly women to facilitate the development of the support model of the granny-headed home.“I feel so proud,” filmmaker Brenda Rooney said at the screening. “My eyes are full of tears and my mouth is full of smiles. If we all step forward I’m sure we can do enough to make things better.”Related articlesHIV/Aids in South AfricaHIV vaccine breaks new groundUseful linksThe Wakefield GranniesCanadian High Commission in South AfricaAlexandraCity of Johannesburg
Nicky Rehbock The key to Africa’s development lies instimulating thriving local and globalbusinesses and brands on the continent,according to Brand Africa chairpersonThebe Ikalafeng.MEDIA CONTACTS• Brand South Africa+27 11 483 0122The upcoming 2011 Brand Africa Forum will tackle key issues affecting the continent’s growth, reputation and competitiveness to ensure lasting Africa-centric solutions.The event, hosted by Brand South Africa and Brand Leadership Academy, will take place on 29 September at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.It offers global thought leaders, influencers and decision-makers a valuable opportunity to interact and discuss matters ranging from governance and sustainability, growth-enabling policies, as well as business and its role in shaping the continent’s economic future.The significance of South Africa joining Brazil, Russia, India and China in the BRICS bloc will also be explored, along with lessons to be learnt from emerging markets.“Brand South Africa’s involvement in the Brand Africa Forum goes back to the inaugural event in 2010,” says Brand SA CEO Miller Matola.“For us it was a natural fit because the health of Africa’s brand is important for the strength and health of our own nation brand. If countries on the continent improve in terms of their image and reputation, the same holds for South Africa. Our prosperity is inextricably linked to that of the other countries on the continent.”Powerful line-up of speakersThe 2011 forum boasts an impressive range of guest speakers, including renowned global business consultant Dr Vijay Mahajan, global economist Dr Dambisa Moyo, Brand SA chairperson Anitha Soni, Brand Africa chairperson Thebe Ikalafeng and Rakesh Wahi, who is the vice-chairperson and co-founder of CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa.A dynamic panel of young leaders from Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Senegal have also been included to discuss youth and their vision for the continent.“One of the things we learnt from last year’s event was that we need to focus on discussions that are more about the continent and include people from those places. We also need to create more media outlets for the stories that are generated as a result of this. With the diverse line-up of speakers at this year’s event – and journalists who will be there to cover it – we will ensure that it’s not just South Africans talking about Africa,” says Miller.Importance of corporate brandsWhile there’s been extensive coverage on multinational, Fortune 500 South African companies such as SABMiller, Old Mutual and Anglo American, less is recorded about similarly influential concerns elsewhere on the continent.These include Oando PLC, Nigeria’s largest indigenous energy group; Kenya’s CFC Bank and its East African Portland Cement Company; Angola’s national diamond company Endiama; as well as Sudan’s Kenana Sugar Company.“One of the messages we want to spread through the forum is that corporate brands are very important in developing nation brands and nations’ economies,” says Miller, adding that it is through telling these stories that Africa can be “positioned as the next growth frontier in terms of investment and business”.Dealing with Africa’s challengesWhile the forum will focus on the positive issues arising from the continent’s growth and development, Africa’s challenges won’t be ignored.Situations unfolding in North Africa, Ivory Coast, Sudan and Zimbabwe are just some of those which are up for discussion.“At last year’s event there were very open and frank discussions about the continent and some of its weaknesses. Issues that need to be addressed this year focus on challenges in terms of democratisation, macroeconomic reform and policies that impede competitiveness,” Miller says.“To build a strong brand you need to look at these fundamentals – it can’t just be about image. I believe the Brand Africa Forum 2011 will ensure that we have a platform for open and balanced debate, which will take the continent forward.”Practical outcomes of the forum will include a written report on discussions, which will be made available online and across a variety of platforms throughout the world. It will also be given to potential investors and interest groups, according to Miller.The 2011 forum proceedings will be broadcast by CNBC Africa to 41 sub-Saharan African countries.