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first_imgA south Donegal-based county councillor has urged the government to examine proposals on how to tackle rural crime in order to help protect rural communities.Cllr Jordan was speaking after an increase in incidents of rural crime in many areas right across the county in recent months.The Sinn Fein councillor said the closure of garda station was making in rural towns feel unsafe. He said: “As many of us know all too well, the issue of rural crime has become a real scourge across huge swathes of Donegal, as demonstrated by the recent spate of house robberies and business break-ins.“People deserve to feel safe in their communities, unfortunately – in recent times – due to a reduction in Garda visibility and increases in certain types of crime, this is not the case.“People in many rural areas of Donegal feel isolated and vulnerable and we’ve witnessed very significant incidences of property crime combined with significant increases in burglary and the theft of farm machinery and equipment.“We’ve also seen the closure of many small Garda Stations in rural towns and villages, while the numbers of community Gardaí under Fine Gael Governments has fallen by 35% since 2010 across the state as a whole,” he added. “The Minister for Justice and the Garda Commissioner need to step up to the mark, to provide the resources and get the Gardaí out on the beat to give people peace of mind.”‘Rural crime has become a real scourge across Donegal’ – Councillor was last modified: May 10th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgIt’s gone so far that … The Niners are 2-0. Ben Roethlisberger, the long-tenured quarterback of San Francisco’s next opponent, the Steelers, is out for the season.Yes, Sunday’s home opener at Levi’s Stadium is setting up to be part of a dream start to the Niners’ 2019 season.And that provides an incredible opportunity for the franchise to do something that’s long overdue.We all know that Levi’s Stadium is a contentious issue with Niners fans. They’re more than happy to tell us.last_img read more

first_imgWhy engineer things from scratch, when we can imitate nature?  Two recent examples come from the world of insects.  A press release from UC Berkeley begins, “Using the eyes of insects such as dragonflies and houseflies as models, a team of bioengineers at University of California, Berkeley, has created a series of artificial compound eyes.”  (Emphasis added in all quotes.)  Insect eyes use thousands of facets to get a wide field of view without distortion.  How can humans use this technology?  “Potential applications include surveillance; high-speed motion detection; environmental sensing; medical procedures, such as endoscopies and image-guided surgeries, that require cameras; and a number of clinical treatments that can be controlled by implanted light delivery devices.”  Anyone who has missed swatting a fly knows that the insects have these first three applications down pat.  The authors published their work in Science this week.1    Human committees have a hard time arriving at a consensus about what is the best solution to a problem.  Maybe they should learn from bees.  Ten thousand of them swarming chaotically somehow converge quickly on a solution to the problem of the best location for a new hive.  A press release from Cornell University says that “they have a unique method of deciding which site is right: With great efficiency they narrow down the options and minimize bad decisions.”  How?  By coalition building till a quorum develops, the article explains.  The scientists found that bees use their famous “waggle dance” not only when shopping for food, but when scouting for real estate.  The researchers watched 4,000 scouts report back to the hive from various directions.  The superior site usually was not the first one chosen.  In a 16-hour process, the swarm came to agreement and found the best solution.  “This is a striking example of decision making by an animal group that is complicated enough to rival the dealings of any department committee,”  said Thomas Seeley, Cornell biologist.  What can managers take home from this nature lesson?  Include an open forum of ideas, and employ frank discussions and friendly competition.  This quorum-setting method of aggregating independent opinions might help “achieve collective intelligence and thus avoid collective folly.”1Jeong et al., “Biologically Inspired Artificial Compound Eyes,” Science, 28 April 2006: Vol. 312. no. 5773, pp. 557 – 561, DOI: 10.1126/science.1123053.Funny, honey; none of these articles mentioned evolution, but they seemed to have no problem using the word design.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_img29 August 2011Food and beverage inflation from July 2010 to July this year was at its highest level since July 2009, according to the National Agricultural Marketing Council’s quarterly food monitor released on Friday.The food inflation rate for this period was 7.4%.July was the fifth month in a row that food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation was higher than the consumer price inflation rate, which increased 5.3% between July 2010 and July 2011, the council said in a report.The annual increase of 7.5% in the food and non-alcoholic beverages index was largely driven by the annual increases in oils and fats (24.1%), meat (11.4%), bread and cereals (9.5%) and sugar (8.9%).The prices of processed food products increased by 8.9% from July 2010 to July 2011 and the price of unprocessed food products increased by 6.2% over the same period.Rural consumers paid R12.06 more than urban consumers for the same food basket, a significantly lower price difference than usually reported, the council said.The cereals price index showed the largest increase, of 76% on an annual basis, followed by a 64% increase in the sugar price index.Oils increased by 57%, meat by 22% and dairy by 17% on an annual basis.The council said that the cost of a basic food basket increased by about R24.70 – or just under seven percent – from July 2010 to July 2011.In comparison, the increase was 3.3% from April 2010 to April 2011.The cost of this food basket expressed as a share of the average monthly income of the poorest 30% of the population increased from 32.8% in July 2010 to 35% in July 2011.The council expected food inflation to increase at a faster rate in the next quarter from September to November 2011.“Higher commodity prices as well as increasing costs in the food value chain are gradually working their way into food prices, and given the typical lag between producer and consumer prices, it is likely that food prices will increase at a faster rate over the outlook period.”Sapalast_img read more

first_img11 July 2012 His 555 test dismissals is a massive 139 more than the number two man on the list, Adam Gilchrist. Another way to put his achievement into perspective is that his total of 555 is more than double the number of dismissals made by the man in fifth place all time, Jeff Dujon, who tallied 270 in his career. Boucher was standing up to leg-spinner Imran Tahir when Tahir bowled Germaal Hussein with a googly. In a freak accident, a bail flew off the stumps and hit Boucher in the left eye. He immediately fell to the ground and was surrounded by his team-mates, all thoughts of celebrating the wicket forgotten. “We’re trying to respect what he’s given us and hopefully play with him in our hearts and minds through the next few years. ‘Saddened’South African captain Graeme Smith, who read the statement on behalf of Boucher, said in response: “Bouch, we have walked a long road together, and we are saddened to part under these circumstances. StatementHe released a statement, which read: “It is with sadness, and in some pain, that I make this announcement. Due to the severity of my eye injury, I will not be able to play International cricket again. “I don’t think you can replace Mark Boucher. That’s not what we’re trying to do,” Graeme Smith told ESPN Cricinfo. “I have a number of thank yous to make to people who have made significant contributions during my International career, which I will do in due course. He is number two all-time on the lists of dismissals in one-day international cricket, with 424 to his name. “He’s created a legacy for a lot of us to be a part of and to look up to. We need to respect what he’s done for our country and be proud of that.” “You leave us today with sad hearts, but also with a deep gratitude for your contributions to our team, and to us as people. A two-and-a-half hour surgery followed for the veteran Protea, during which it was established that the damage was severe. Boucher had said he wished to retire after the England series, but after being forced out of the tour he announced his retirement. InfluenceNumbers, however, vastly underplay the role and influence Boucher had on the Proteas. He was renowned for his tough-as-teak, never-say-die temperament and for being a leader in the South African team. He earned the respect of his team-mates and South Africa’s opposition.center_img “For now, I would like to thank the huge number of people, many of whom are strangers, for their heartfelt support during the past 24 hours. I am deeply touched by all the well wishes. I wish the team well in the UK, as I head home and onto a road of uncertain recovery.” He went on to play in 147 test matches, which at the time of his retirement was seventh on the all-time list, and just five games less than the South African record holder, Jacques Kallis, his closest friend. He also took part in 295 one-day internationals and 25 Twenty20 internationals. He also bowled eight balls in test cricket and took a wicket, dismissing Dwayne Bravo for 107 in the drawn fourth test against the West Indies at the Antigua Recreation Ground. “You have been more than a performer, you have been a motivator, an inspirer, an energizer … and a good friend to many,” Smith said. “For the 14 years of your International career, you have been a true Proteas’ warrior, a patriotic South African, a fighter who asks nothing and gives everything. You have been a 100 percenter for this team. As a batsmen, he scored 5 515 runs in tests, including five centuries and 35 fifties. “I had prepared for this UK tour as well, if not better than I have prepared for any tour in my career,” Boucher’s statement read. “I had never anticipated announcing my retirement now, but circumstances have dictated differently. “The fighting spirit you brought to the team remains with us. We wish you a good as possible recovery from your injury. As we bid you a farewell as an international cricketer and wish you well for your future, we keep you as a friend and respected Proteas’ warrior.” He was responsible for exactly 1 000 dismissals in those games, with all but two of them being achieved as wicketkeeper. He added a catch as a fielder and claimed a wicket as a bowler. International careerMark Boucher’s international career began in October 1997 in the second test against Pakistan, when current Proteas’ coach Gary Kirsten was still opening the batting for South Africa. South Africa’s record-setting wicketkeeper Mark Boucher announced his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday after suffering a career-ending eye injury in the opening match of the Proteas’ tour of England against Somerset. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_imgPresident Jacob Zuma will on Sunday, 22 May 2016, officiate at the National Day of Prayer at Absa Stadium in DurbanThe prayers will be for, amongst other things, successful and peaceful 2016 Local Government Elections as well as for the further consolidation of democracy.On the day of the prayer service, leaders of religious and civil society formations will join government in praying also for national unity, social cohesion as well as for rain and the promotion of water conservation under the persistent drought conditions.The event will further observe Africa Month which was launched on 03 May 2016 at the Cradle of the Humankind in Mogale City by the Department of Arts and Culture. From last year, government decided to organise activities in May to mark Africa Month, to promote unity, cohesion and prosperity in the African continent.The 2016 celebrations will be held under the theme; “Building a Better Africa and a Better World” and the sub-theme: “There shall be Peace and Friendship”.The Africa Month activities, which will be implemented by various government departments and provinces, will showcase and promote African renewal and renaissance, arts and culture, economic development in the continent as well as African sports and recreation.This year’s celebrations will also reflect on tragic events of last year in parts of Durban and Johannesburg where some foreign nationals, especially those from the African continent, were tragically attacked.The prayer service will further promote unity and peaceful co-existence and encourage communities to continue fighting xenophobia, racism and any form of intolerance.Members of the media are invited to cover the event as follows:Date: Sunday, 22 May 2016Time: 09h00Venue: ABSA Stadium (Kings Park), DurbanWe wish to request media covering the event to please send their details to Professor Ndawonde on [email protected] or [email protected] or 079 891 2782.Enquiries: Dr Bongani Ngqulunga on 082 308 9373 or [email protected] by: The PresidencyPretoriaWebsite: www.thepresidency.gov.zalast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I went into this winter with the most firewood ever. I was ready to take on winter’s worst after battling multiple severe winters with a less than adequate firewood arsenal in the past.But, due to what has been a fairly mild season, it looks that I will have a head start on next year. I can give my chainsaw a bit of a rest in part thanks to the El Niño this winter that been shaping the weather patterns throughout the Midwest.According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an El Niño develops when sea surface temperatures are warmer than average in the equatorial Pacific for an extended period of time. In El Niño winters, the polar jet stream is typically farther north than usual, while the Pacific jet stream remains to the south.With the Midwest positioned between the storm tracks, warmer and drier conditions can develop during El Niño winters and typical extreme cold weather may be milder and less frequent. Warmer conditions may reduce total snowfall and the frequency of heavy snowfall events in the Midwest.This winter’s weather does share some similarities with the typical El Niño winter pattern. Temperatures have been clearly above normal with the warmest December on record for Ohio and Michigan and areas have seen below normal snowfall. On the other hand, overall precipitation has differed from the typical El Niño winter pattern with some very wet regions in the Midwest this winter.The February-April outlook for the Midwest from NOAA calls for enhanced chances of above-normal temperatures for Ohio and greater chances of below-normal precipitation, mainly across the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins. But, at this point, there is a high degree of uncertainty about predictions.A key to anticipating the weather trends moving forward according to climatologist Elwynn Taylor from the Iowa State University is watching what the El Niño does next.“If the El Niño manages to stay with us at least until the first of July, we have a 70% chance of an above average crop yield for the whole Corn Belt. If it switches out of El Niño to a La Niña, it is a 70% chance of a below normal average yield with extremely volatile weather. We hope the El Niño stays with us because it is the friend of the Midwest farmer. Should it disappear, keep track of it. It takes about a month before its effects go away,” Taylor said. “It is No. 3 of the top five recorded El Niño events and it is still going strong. A strong El Niño is often followed by a drought. Around April 15 will be a good time to assess the weather situation with the El Niño.”Another trick Taylor suggests for getting a good estimate on yield by watching the weather is to track the nighttime temperatures during the growing season.“If we want a large yield, we like to see the nights being a little cooler than usual with normal daytime temperatures. Clear nights will make things cooler. If the nights are warmer than usual, it shortens the time for our crop to put on weight and we do not want to shorten that,” he said. “From the first of July to the first of September, if the nights are cooler than usual, it is helping our yields. If they are warmer than usual it hurts them.”Looking out longer term, Taylor points out that sometime around 2025 could be a tough year for U.S. agriculture.“The Gleissberg cycle has to do with the condition of the sun. We pay attention to this roughly 89-year cycle. The harshest year of the 1800s was 1847. The harshest year of the 1900s was 1936. These were the coldest wettest winter followed by the warmest driest summer and they are 89 years apart,” he said. “If we are going to have Dust Bowl like weather in this century, that would put the harshest year for this century around 2025.”There is also a long-standing weather pattern that leads to periods of increased yield variability in the United States.“There is a pattern of 25 years of highly variable yields followed by 18 years of more consistent yields. Bet on that pattern,” Taylor said. “This year was the first year in the period of variability for 25 years.”Ultimately, understanding that variability can lead to more profitable farms.“Weather is the No. 1 risk we have. We can’t manage the weather, but we can manage the risk,” Taylor said. “Risk always has numbers. Uncertainty never has numbers. Uncertainty can be avoided and risk can be managed. You can make money on your farm from the volatility. Sometimes that is by accident, but you can make it on purpose. By knowing the weather, you can come out ahead.”last_img read more

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market audrey watters A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#start#startups center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts XING founder Lars Hinrichs has launched a new pre-seed investment company, HackFwd. Although HackFwd provides financial support and mentorship to tech startups, HackFwd is not an incubator. In other words, rather than expecting startups to relocate to the company’s headquarters in Germany, HackFwd meetups will be distributed – something that might be very beneficial for European startups.According to the website, “We looked carefully at current VC models and realized they didn’t really cater to very early stage businesses. VCs can’t support small investments, which leaves a finance gap. Also, VCs don’t have the time or expertise to give strategic or creative input. This leaves an advice gap.”In addressing both this finance and advice gap, HackFwd provides startups up to €191,000 in funding, as well as support with legal and administrative requirements, talent-search, promotion and marketing. The goal: “Our start-up and support process accelerates the route to beta, profitability, and success.” Founders retain 70% equity with 30% going to HackFwd. While this is higher than some similar programs (YCombinator and TechStars take around 6%), the HackFwd program lasts a year, rather than only a few months. In an interesting twist, 3% of HackFwd’s cut is returned to the founders, for them to distribute in turn to advisors who helped them along the way.In their desire to help support “Europe’s most passionate geeks,” HackFwd will compete with other early stage investment opportunities in Europe, including SeedCamp. And even if you aren’t a European startup in search of some early-stage funding, a visit to the HackFwd website is well worth a visit, just to look at their infographic on the startup feedback loop (excerpted below).last_img read more

first_imgIn terms of durability and cost, Holladay favors concrete, but he adds: “If you are willing to replace any components that rot, or if you don’t mind introducing pressure-treated lumber (with associated chemicals) into the interior of your house, go ahead and experiment. If these materials rot in the future, you’ll need to replace them. You’ll have to consider the wooden components as sacrificial layers.”Agreed, writes Howard Gentler. Although a concrete slab would do a good job of supporting any lumber above it, it won’t block any moisture by itself and Rosen might well save both money and effort by using wood instead. “I think you can do what you are considering,” he says.Rosen replies that he was considering adding “ribbons” of concrete on 8-ft. centers to support 2x floor framing. “The 2xs would be supported by the earth and the concrete in case things shifted,” he says. “I don’t believe that I can use pressure-treated wood on interior living space[s], and don’t really know that code guys would be happy with this setup… only because it’s atypical.” Use the right lumberIf Rosen uses pressure-treated material as part of the assembly, Flitch Plate says, it should be stamped for ground contact, and it should be allowed to dry before it’s installed.Plate refers Rosen to specifications for treated lumber published by Wolmanized. Although lumber treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) has been banned for most residential applications, it’s still permitted for permanent wood foundations. The specs indicate that it should have a chemical retention level of 0.60 pounds per cubic foot (pcf). In contrast, above-grade pressure-treated lumber would need a retention level of only 0.25 pcf.“That is a lot of copper, by weight, making it heavy and dense — a real bear on saw blades,” Plate writes. “Use only stainless-steel fasteners; preferably hex heads and star drives. Fasteners are expensive. Galvanized is not reliable, and who wants to use a hammer anyway, these days.”For the vapor barrier, Plate suggests a cross-linked polyethylene material called Tu-Tuff.Pressure-treated material is expensive, Gentler adds, and in this case it may not be necessary at all.“I don’t think you are planning for the wood to be in actual ground contact, just near it, but above layers that will be excluding most moisture,” Gentler says. “It sounds like you will be using concrete piers for support of the wood. Make sure something non-permeable is between the wood and concrete, since the concrete wicks moisture to the wood.” Rob Rosen is diving into a basement remodel, a job that involves digging out and removing a concrete slab to provide more headroom so the basement can be turned into usable living space.He’ll reinforce the footing and foundation as needed, but when it comes time to build a new floor for the basement, Rosen wonders whether he can go with something other than a concrete slab.“I would love input from someone who has put a vapor/water barrier, some foam insulation between 2×4 sleepers and then used some form of wood flooring that would work for higher humidity situations,” Rosen writes in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor.There’s nothing that Rosen can find in the Washington State building code that would prevent him from trying it.“Concrete is soooo not environmentally correct if not necessary,” he writes.Can Rosen swap wood for concrete and still get a durable, structurally sound basement floor? That’s the issue in this Q&A Spotlight. Stopping the migration of moisture from the ground is keyKeeping ground moisture out of the basement is important, but it is the rigid foam insulation and the vapor barrier that actually do the work, not the concrete, says GBA senior editor Martin Holladay. In general, Holladay writes, the rigid foam goes down first, followed by the vapor barrier. “Above the polyethylene, the finish materials are up to you,” he says, “and and your local code inspector, of course.” [Editor’s note: As pointed out by Mark F. in Comment #5 below, a basement slab often has a structural function: It prevents the foundation walls from being forced inward by soil pressure. GBA readers should consult an engineer before omitting a basement slab.] RELATED ARTICLES Covering a Dirt Floor Reinventing ConcreteGreen Basics: Slab FoundationsGreen Basics: Insulating Roofs, Walls and Floors”Green Basics: Foundation Typescenter_img If galvanized steel is OK, why not pressure-treated lumber?Jack Woolfe offers a link to Polycore Canada, which makes a basement flooring system that can be used in place of concrete. Factory-made sections of galvanized steel and expanded polystyrene insulation have an R-value of 18, according to the company’s web site. With no large equipment and no specialized tools, a crew of three could install a 1,500-square-foot floor in a single day.“Polycore Canada makes a floor system similar to what you’ve described, except they use galvanized sheet-steel sleepers instead of pressure-treated wood,” says Woolfe. “I suspect PT wood would work okay too.” CONSTRUCTION DETAILS Trouble ahead with resale?One thing to consider, advises Robert Hronek, is whether a concrete-less basement would affect the resale value of the house. “You will be making a big investment, but I would be concerned about the resale value and the marketability of the home,” Hronke says. “You might call an appraiser, a real estate agent and, if you have a good relationship, a lender.”If a lender balked at offering a loan, Rosen wouldn’t be able to sell the house. “Personally, I would walk out of the house and not make an offer,” he says. “Ask the [real estate] agent how hard it would be to sell. Ask the appraiser how hard it would be to appraise.”Plate agrees that resale and mortgage issues are a “different and valid concern.” But while pressure-treated material has earned a “bad rap,” basements are fully code compliant if they are built to engineering and materials standards.Exactly, adds Donald Endsley. “The use of concrete is mainly because it can handle bulk water, and water vapor issues, IMHO,” Endsley says. “As long as those are 100% taken care of I see no reason wood won’t work.”Endsley’s grandfather, in fact, built a house in Florida with a wood foundation. “Parts of that foundation were still there when he sold the place,” he says. “It lasted 90 some years, but only because that soil was extremely well drained. The parts that had to be replaced were due to adding plumbing to the house and having it subsequently leak.” Our expert’s opinionHere’s what GBA technical director Peter Yost had to say:I think the default basement floor is concrete because it’s a self-leveling material with really high compressive strength and it does not care about being wet. I am not saying it has great moisture-managing properties, but as an inorganic material, it can wet and dry repeatedly without compromise to its other properties (contraction/expansion, compressive strength, etc.).Any floor assembly can be set up to handle soil moisture and soil gases (such as radon). Basement floors can get wet from soil moisture or an internal leak, so I would not install any basement floor system that is inherently more moisture-sensitive without having a lot of confidence in historic high water table information, foundation perimeter drainage system, and leak protection for hard-piped appliances: clothes washer, dishwasher, and ice-makers.Having done more than one basement retrofit (including my own home) involving casting a concrete slab, neither the expense nor the difficulty were issues I considered, mainly because other framed systems seemed just as much if not more cost and work.On the other hand, assuming equivalent strategies for managing moisture and radon, the Polycore Canada system looks pretty slick. There is no reason that any framed system won’t work, so long as it sees the same or similar conditions as other below-grade framed systems: protection from liquid water (bulk and capillary) and vapor permeability to allow drying to the interior.last_img read more