Book exhibition launched

first_imgOccupational Health and Safety MonthAs a preview of Occupational Health and Safety Day, which will be celebrated internationally on April 28, the University of Guyana launched a book exhibition as part of its observances of Occupational Health and Safety Month.An array of books, journals and posters pertaining to the issue of occupational health and safety were on display and participants were told to appraise themselves on such a “crucial issue”. Speaking at the event, Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence related that workers should advocate for proper use of gear and equipment to provide safety on the job.Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence addressing the gathering at the book exhibition“In this era of globalisation, information is power and we want to have a workforce that is knowledgeable in every aspect of the job, particularly as it pertains to safety and protection,” she noted.“Empowerment is best achieved when we have the commitment and participation of all stakeholders in the process,” Minister Lawrence further observed.The Social Protection minister posited that the entire month of April will include a series of events and activities with the hope of “educating and heightening awareness of occupational health and safety in the workplace.”“It is crucial that all our workers perform and execute their tasks in a safe and healthy environment, hence our theme for this month’s celebration ‘Workplace Stress: A collective Challenge’. Inherent in this theme is the call for all stakeholders – management as well as workers, to embrace this issue collaboratively in an effort to minimise the stress that is evident in the working environment,” Lawrence observed.She also noted that each employee must be valued, respected and satisfied for them to make a valuable contribution to the company or institution in which he/she is employed.Additionally Minister Lawrence said that workers must be able to execute their functions “without fear of being hurt, threatened or victimised”.The event included representatives of Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation; Ministers of the Government; Members of the Opposition; representatives from the Social Protection Ministry, through its Labour Department; librarians of the University of Guyana; Guyana Trades Union officials, and representatives and employees of various workers’ unions.last_img read more

Construction Contractors Ass’n Elects New Officers

first_imgNapoleon T. Chattah, chairman of ALCC’s elections commission, and the co-chair.Members of the Association of Liberian Construction Contractors (ALCC) over the weekend elected new officers to steer the affairs of the institution over the next four years.The election, which took place at the association’s head office on Weaver Street, opposite the Tubman United Methodist Church in Paynesville, brought to office Sackie Johnson, managing director of Quest Incorporated, as the president-elect.Johnson defeated Wennie V. Duyenku, general manager of Regional Engineering and Development Services (REDES) by 105 to 32 votes.The ALCC also elected Burteh T. Freeman of the Solokon Group as vice president; James Smith of CASE, Incorporated, secretary general; and Kimberly Toure of TUMARSI, treasurer.Napoleon T. Chattah, chairman of the ALCC election commission, said “The notion about contractors in Liberia is that we are not performing, so we are trying to engage all the stakeholders, particularly those that give contracts, to ensure that we become part of the procurement process, so we can know how those people are vetted in order to create a very good environment for everyone to have fairness.”He also disclosed that as executive members of the ALCC, they feel that contractors are being selected in the wrong way, as most of them complain that they do not have regular jobs, “so we want to make sure that we have a fair playing field for everyone to participate, and for contractors to have fair play in the construction environment.Chattah told our team of reporters during the voting process that the current leadership of ALCC performed well for them, advocating on their behalf to ensure that the right things are done.But their tenure has come to an end and therefore, “we need a new group to steer the affairs of this important organization.“We want to say thanks to all of the contestants for their hard work, and also to the voters who made their way here to cast their ballots to elect new leaders for the next four years.“Today, we have about 142 persons out of 400 membership of the association and the result was very impressive,” he added.Chattah told the election observer reporters that the association has a membership of over 400 construction workers in both vertical and horizontal construction, of which five percent is owned by females.The organization, according to the ALCC elections chairman, was started in 1977 by a group of contractors with the aim of bringing all the Liberian contractors together for mutual understanding and protection, “but as we speak the organization is responsible for all construction companies including foreign companies.”Johnson said: “We tried to make it a good working environment for construction companies. So, this organization advocates for a good environment for our members.“We are now working with one of our big partners – GIZ, which is our international partner, and are building the capacity of our members.”In his acceptance speech, president-elect Johnson expressed gratitude to members of the institution who unanimously elected him, and called on them to give him their fullest support. He pledged to work hard to build on the foundation of his predecessor, Foday Kamara, who died in January.He hoped that a “new generation” would help lead a new movement that was “founded on our old and enduring idealism.”“That is the unity we can rally around, not simply a call for unity but around a renewed unity of purpose,” Johnson said.The president-elect promised to lead the ALCC with honesty, integrity and transparency, adding: “To be thoughtful leaders, we must first earn the trust of all members of the ALCC, ordinary contractors of the community, and government officials and agencies we work with. We look forward to the challenges ahead.”“I am ready to lead us forward. It is time to focus on the opportunities ahead,” Johnson concluded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

West Point Annual ‘My Pekin Tournament’ Ends

first_imgStriker Badue gains access in this exciting encounterIt was from all over the Township of West Point they came: all 12 U-6/7 and U-8/9 to celebrate a one-day soccer tournament organized by DonamiSports, under the sponsorship of Vision Collaborators Incorporated last Saturday.The venue was, of course, the West Point sports pitch in Monrovia and, with the theme: “Da Our Own Time Now,” hundreds of kids, in their well-fitting uniforms provided by DonamiSports to the more than sixteen soccer teams in two aged groups, went through the elimination series to build up the final count down and left two teams, one from each group, standing for the finals.The winners Ozil United with the skipper and the Most Valuable Player being congratulated for their victoryIn the end, Ozil United FC and West Point Academy survived the elimination series and crushed their opponents to reach the quarter-finals and the finals stages. There was jubilation all over as the teams reached their semi-final and final stages.Among the crowd were Doc Lawson, president and chief executive officer of DonamiSports, a United States and Liberia based not for profit grassroots soccer development entity, officials of Vision Collaborators, whose president said he chose to sponsor the tournament because of his love for kids, pointing out that he lost his son, several months ago.This player breaks through for the kill, one of the actions on Saturday. Photo: Omari JacksonPlaying consistent with the theme of the tournament (Da Our Time Now), the first ever such a tournament to be organized in the township, the young players, most of them discarding their boots to play barefoot because of the nature of the field, sent the crowd yelling for goals at every stage of the competition.Present was Deputy Minister for Sports, G. Andy Quamie, who came to see how the kids were enjoying themselves playing against each other. Even DonamiSports CEO, Doc Lawson, whose idea it was for the tournament, was overwhelmed by the level of the kids’ interest in the match.The champions (Ozil United FC)The climax of the tournament came when two teams (Ozil United FC and West Point Academy) went against West Point Kru Beach and Jr. Real Madrid respectively. One from each age group emerged as winners in the finals and had to go through penalty shootouts, after regulation time, to win in their respective category. The crowd was in a frenzy as Ozil United FC won on penalties on one side and West Point Kru Beach FC also won their game through penalties on the other side of the field.What lent credibility to the tournament was the fact that each of the numerous teams that took part in the tournament were already formed as a group, which meant that they were not hurriedly put together because of the match.Another exciting action on Saturday. Photo: Omari JacksonOf course, the number of kids in the community was amazing, as many more kids kept coming complaining that they had their group to participate in the tournament.Identified carefully were kids with a deeper knowledge of the game who showed great understanding in their personal touch on the ball, and there were mid-fielders who were able to juggle the ball and moved it deeper into their opponents’ area before sending the ball to their strikers.There were also near-misses as strikers ventured boldly in their opponents’ defense, as the young fans cheered as the ball hit the side post or crossed the bar.There were their adult coaches on the sidelines yelling to direct their kid players to know what to do on the field to get the goals. Such moments were enjoyed by the kids as they had the game to themselves.As kids celebrated each goal scored, they rejoiced till the final celebration as both Ozil United and West Point Kru Beach FC received their trophies and began to jubilate throughout the township into the wee hours of the night.Who gets the ball flowing action. Photo: Omari Jackson“This is a great tournament for the kids,” a parent said. “They need to do it again in the future.” That was the objective of the organizers, to give the kids a period to rejoice while they were the masters of the game.The tournament’s coordinator, Josiah Toe, with twenty years in sports administration, had his team on hand to ensure that the games were successful, along with representatives from the YMCA Monrovia. It was a memorable tournament in which several of the kids would come re-organized the next time so that they could show their talents. Overall, it was a success story again for DonamiSports and its partners, to develop young footballers from grassroots, coordinator Josiah Toe said. At the end of the tournament every player received a medal for participation from DonamiSports.The fans were there in their numbers last Saturday. Photo: Omari JacksonShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GAA NOTES: FANAD GAELS

first_imgComhghairdeas to the Senior and Reserve teams who both recorded wins over Termon on Saturday evening last. The last match in this year’s League campaign is an away fixture v St Michaels in Dunfanaghy on Saturday 15th October , Reserve match at 3.45 and Senior at 5.15. Come out and show your appreciation for the team at the end of another long and successful season.The 2011 Dinner Dance has been provisionally booked for Saturday 19th November, more details will be available next week when arrangements have been finalised. The Club also hope to run a pre-Xmas Bazaar in Rosnakill Resource Centre on Sunday 4th December, further details later.All team managers are reminded to compile their reports for the Donegal Year Book, the deadline is last week of October, please forward to Club PRO’s Maire Callaghan or Gareth Crossan as soon as possible. The U8 Indoor training sessions started last Sunday in Rosnakill Resource Centre with over 30 players in attendance and will continue on Sunday 23th October at 12.15 sharp. The sessions last 1 hour and all players are encouraged to arrive on time, wear runners and bring €1 to cover the cost of the hall, new players most welcome.Lotto: No Jackpot winner last week. Numbers drawn: 6, 12, 13, 15 & 17, bonus 6. €100 winner was Mary Shiels, Ballylar, and €50 winner was Bernadette McConigley, Corry. Next draw for Jackpot of €2750 takes place in the Pier Bar this weekendGAA NOTES: FANAD GAELS was last modified: October 11th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:fanad gaels gaa noteslast_img read more

GAA U-21 CHAMPIONSHIP: NAOMH CONAILL SEE OFF BRAVE GAELS, BUT EUNAN’S AND KILCAR FACE REPLAY

first_imgMAN of the Match Dermot Brick Molloy helped Naomh Conaill beat Letterkenny Gaels in the county Under-21 championship quarter finals today.The county senior star was the difference between the sides in the clash at Convoy.Naomh Conaill had dominated the first half and led by four points at the break in a low-scoring game – 0-05 to 0-01. If goals really did win games then the Gaels would have won this one – hitting two in the second half in a great comeback.But Molloy popped up at the end to give the 14-man side a single point victory, 0-10 to 2-03.The talk at O’Donnell Park was all about goals too – this time goal-line technology!St Eunan’s led 0-05 to 0-03 at the break but it was a ‘goal’ by visitors Kilcar which caused controversy as the umpires couldn’t agree if the ball had crossed the line. And the ‘goal’ wasn’t given. Both sides went for goals in the second half but ended nine points each, with another county star, Kilcar’s Paddy McBrearty scoring the equaliser from 30 yards. GAA U-21 CHAMPIONSHIP: NAOMH CONAILL SEE OFF BRAVE GAELS, BUT EUNAN’S AND KILCAR FACE REPLAY was last modified: November 24th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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) Tags:BUT EUNAN’S AND KILCAR FACE REPLAYGAA U-21 CHAMPIONSHIP: NAOMH CONAILL SEE OFF BRAVE GAELSlast_img read more

Watch: Minister McHugh hails Donegal sports clubs after €2m fund announcement

first_imgGovernment Chief Whip Joe McHugh has paid tribute to Donegal’s sports clubs and administrators after it was announced that over €2 million had been allocated today to 71 clubs in the county.The clubs and organisations will benefit from €2,003,000 that was granted to Donegal under the Sports Capital programme.“Over €2million has come into the county and I would like to commend and acknowledge the hard work of volunteers in various club,” Minister McHugh said. “They have put in hours and hours of hard work, but good work, not just for this generation but future generations.“To the clubs who were not successful, I have already spoken to Minister Griffin and we will try to facilitate and find a pathway for them because I know they will be disappointed.”County councillors praised clubs and organisations across the county who contribute so much to life here. Cllr Martin Harley praised Minister McHugh and Minister for Sport Brendan Griffin for providing more funding to grassroots sports clubs because of the enormous benefits these groups bring to the communities they serve.“All the clubs being funded today by the Government deserve enormous credit for the work they do in their communities including GAA, soccer, boxing, rowing, cricket, community groups, swimming and multi-sports facilities,” said Cllr Martin Harley.“I am delighted with this massive allocation. Each application was graded and funding allocated accordingly. I know clubs in the Finn Valley areas are over the moon with their allocations.”Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh said: “These clubs across the county contribute so much to healthier communities.“They operate in what I would call the illness prevention sector; they contribute so much not just to the physical health of people young and old, but also to the mental wellbeing of our people too.“It makes sense therefore for Sports clubs to be part of the health sector, to be acknowledged for the work they do and for Government to spend more money supporting that work. It makes sense – morally and financially. “Prevention is better than cure and as a country we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our sporting organisations and this large allocation to Donegal today recognises that.”And Cllr Bernard McGuinness said: “I know in this age of technology, sports clubs now also have to compete with online gaming, gadgets and SnapChat. Getting young People involved in sport is key to the future of our country and our Government we will do more to help. We have to.“We have to do all we can to help young people engage in sport for longer and to take that healthy lifestyle into adulthood. On behalf of the people of Inishowen I want to thank Minister McHugh for this splendid allocation this evening to the peninsula. It’s great news.”Watch: Minister McHugh hails Donegal sports clubs after €2m fund announcement was last modified: November 29th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare 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

Donegal passengers get a new route to Germany with Ireland West Airport

first_imgIreland West Airport in Knock has welcomed the first scheduled service from Cologne with Ryanair to the West of Ireland.Between June and September Ryanair will operate direct flights to and from Cologne every Tuesday and Saturday to Ireland West which is becoming more and more popular with Donegal people.Cologne is Germany’s fourth largest city and the largest city of the State of North Rhine–Westphalia. Centred on the left bank of the Rhine, Cologne is regarded as Germany’s capital of carnivals reflecting the lifestyle of its inhabitants, who make Cologne the incredibly energetic spot that it is. Cologne is ideally located just an hours train journey from Frankfurt and only 90 minutes from Brussels providing easy onwards travel options for visitors.This new service is a major boost for tourism in the West and North West regions of Ireland as it provides the only direct access to the West Coast from the North Rhine-Westphalia region.Germany is the third-largest market for tourism to the island of Ireland with a record year forecasted in 2018 of over 650,000 German visitors with 50% of German holidaymakers visiting the West and North West of Ireland during their stay.On hand to greet arriving passengers were representatives from the Gourmet Greenway Food Trail who provided samples of delicious locally produced cuisines. The food trail has been devised by the Mulranny Park Hotel, in association with Mayo food producers, to showcase the wonderful artisan food in the vicinities of Mulranny, Newport, Westport and Achill.Accompanying passengers on the first flight from Cologne were a selection of media representatives from some of Germanys biggest media organisations who will be taking part in a 3 day familiarisation trip around the West and North West of Ireland during their stay.Speaking at the launch, Joe Gilmore, Managing Director, Ireland West Airport said “We are delighted to welcome the first service from Cologne with Ryanair today. German holidaymakers are Ireland’s most active visitors, exploring our historical sites and engaging in multiple events/activities such as hill walking and hiking while on the island, which ties in perfectly with the airports location as the Western gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.“We thank Ryanair for their continued support and their vote of confidence in the airport and we hope the service will attract the full support of all in the region as it will require even greater effort on all our behalf’s to ensure the route is a success and is maintained for the longer term and can lead to further expansion into Germany and beyond in the coming years’.Eimear Ryan, Sales and Marketing Executive, Ryanair, added they pleased to officially launch our new twice weekly service from Ireland West Airport Knock to Cologne. She said “To celebrate the start of this new route, we are releasing seats on sale from just €19.99 for travel in June and July, which are only available for booking on the Ryanair.com website until midnight Thursday (6 June). Since these amazing low prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com now and avoid missing out.”Welcoming the first German visitors to touch down off the flight today, Michael Ring, Minister for Rural & Community Development said this brings more good news for Irish tourism as we welcome German visitors to the West of Ireland with Ryanair on their first flight from Cologne.He said “Germany is the third-largest market for tourism to Ireland with over 300,000 Germans visiting the West and North West of the country annually. This new direct service will provide a major tourism boost for the region as it brings visitors to the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. For regional Ireland, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism for rural Ireland’.Donegal passengers get a new route to Germany with Ireland West Airport was last modified: June 2nd, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CologneIreland West AirportKnockryanairlast_img read more

Bill Nye Scores on Debate Presentation if Not Logic

first_imgSeveral times he stated the importance of the laws of logic, stressing that the Christian world view accounts for the laws of nature and of logic.  He asked Bill Nye to explain the laws of logic – something Nye failed to do.  He pointed out that scientists rely on the creation worldview to do science.  This is all right and good, but Ham should have hammered Nye on that till he got a response.When challenged with the distant starlight problem, Ham correctly pointed to the horizon problem, showing that secular astronomers have the same difficulty.  Unfortunately, this is a technical subject that was probably lost on most listeners.Ham correctly stated that majority opinion is not a judge of truth.  That point could have been reinforced by asking that since almost everything scientists believed in the year 1900 is now known to be false, how can today’s scientists be sure of what they claim today?  What if scientists decide Darwinism is false – would Bill Nye accept the consensus then?  Ham did mention a few cases where the majority is wrong, but Nye had a chance to respond with the myth of progress, that scientists were glad to find out the truth, and would love nothing better than to be proved wrong.  Ham could have followed that up by challenging Nye if he would be happy when creation is decided by the consensus to be true and naturalism false.When Nye tried to take control of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, Ham correctly pointed out that the law produces decay, not information.  Using an old illustration by A. E. Wilder-Smith, Ham noted that energy from the sun is insufficient, just as sunlight on a dead stick will not make it grow.Ken successfully pointed to scientific evidence that human beings all belong to one race, calling that a prediction of the creation model.  Too bad he didn’t have time to go into the “scientific racism” of Darwinism that led to eugenics and two world wars; anyway, the point is that the Bible is the fountainhead of belief all men are created equal.Ham emphasized the necessity of defining terms, and pointed out the difference between operational science and historical science, but he seemed a bit blindsided by Nye’s comeback arguments about astronomy looking into the past and seeing the audience in the past.  The distinction could have been tightened; e.g., when evaluating the origin of complex things, we know from our uniform experience that intelligent causes played a role – but unguided causes never do.  That would have used Nye’s uniformitarian assumptions against him.Ken Ham also stated “What’s the point?” of doing science if death ends it all.  That’s a key thought that undercuts Nye’s “joy of doing science” attitude.  Bill Nye gave his “joy” pronouncement about three times, though, with more enthusiasm.Ken also got in a clear statement of the gospel.  One has to consider how effective it was, though, against the backdrop of the other factors. Ham should have asked if Nye’s bow tie was intelligently designed.In some instances, Ham actually damaged the cause of creation by allowing Bill Nye to lead him down the primrose path.  Ham should have studied his opponent and known what was coming.  Nye’s goals were: (1) to link evolution to science, (2) to link evolution to science education and leadership in the world, and (3) to characterize creation as religion, a particularly narrow-minded one at that.  Knowing those points were on Nye’s agenda, Ham should have been prepared to knock them out of the park and put the shoe on the other foot.  But to the disgrace of the creation movement, he gave some answers that reinforced the stereotypes: Ham believes creation because he believes the Bible, and no evidence will change his mind, he basically said.  Bill Nye followed by portraying himself as the open-minded guy willing to change his mind if there’s evidence: bring it on!  That was a hit that should have been an out, and some tweets are saying that sums up the whole debate.  Ken Ham could have bludgeoned that argument with counter-arguments showing evolutionists are not open-minded, that they have a philosophical commitment to materialism that is absolute.  Instead of preaching to the choir in the auditorium at the Creation Museum, Ham should have spoken directly to the unconvinced, proving evolutionists are insufferable bigots denying academic freedom to skeptics of the Darwin idol and persecuting those who don’t chant DODO.With the rhetorical upper hand, Bill Nye was able to get away with fallacies, half truths and big lies.  Many of his “arguments” were mere assertions: e.g. (paraphrasing), “creation is not a viable model because I’m not convinced it is.”  He said the second law leads to progress because it’s an open system.  He said the discovery of radioactivity disproved Lord Kelvin‘s age estimate and allowed all the time needed.  He asserted that “survival of the fittest” creates progress because its “mediocre designs are eaten by its good designs.”  He claimed radiometric dating is reliable.  And he made good use of the splattergun approach, tossing in irrelevant and misleading quips about ice cores, fossil skulls, Lake Missoula, the big bang, distances to stars, sundials on Mars, and kangaroos crossing land bridges.  Pointing to a fossil on the museum grounds, he boasted, “We are standing on millions of layers of ancient life.”  Instead of getting embarrassed by the Grand Canyon as he should have been, he took control of it, claiming the Temple Butte intrusion into the Muav shows long periods of time.  Where was the counterattack to shame Nye into admitting hundreds of millions of missing years between multiple layers just because evolution needs it?   Ham showed the smooth contact between the Coconino and Hermit (which ought to have embarrassed Nye by its flatness and lack of evidence for 6 million missing years), but only to make a rhetorically useless point (in this context) that creationists and evolutionists have the same facts.  Nye repeatedly got away with a serious philosophical blunder, claiming that good science makes predictions.  Actually, that’s the fallacy of affirming the consequent.  Ham fell into that trap, too, scurrying to find some predictions creation makes, making it look like he was coming from behind.  Nye pointed to, of all things, Tiktaalik as an illustration of a successful evolutionary prediction! (see 1/14/14).  All the while, Nye took repeated jabs at the Bible and young-earth creationism, repeatedly saying “4,000 years” instead of Ham’s 6,000, appealing to ice cores and species counts to claim there isn’t enough time, discounting Noah’s abilities, and making the Bible look unreliable.In summary, it is with sadness I evaluate this debate as a loss for Ham, even though he did score well at times.  If you subtract out the rhetoric and personality fluff, Ham did better.  If you clear up Nye’s factual errors and logical fallacies, Ham arguably won.  Still, I can see sound bites and video clips from this debate being used to advantage by evolutionists, and judging from some of the tweets, the NCSE and others are viewing it as a big win for them.  (Skeptics reading this should understand I am NOT claiming that Nye won on evidence and logic – just on presentation.  That kind of thing happened before in the Huxley-Wilberforce debate, where Huxley scored on emotion instead of facts.)  I would much have preferred narrowing the topic to design vs undesign for the origin of life.  That would be a tractable issue for a two-hour debate.  The debate question was poorly framed, and the subject matter too broad.  I think Ken Ham should have known his audience, opponent, and main message better.  He should have played more offense and less defense.  And it’s a reminder to all of us that presentation, not just facts, is important for making a winning case.The intelligent design community may be able to profit from the debate.  They can use it to argue “intelligent design is not creationism.”  Ken Ham said very little about intelligent design, and the criticisms Bill Nye made about ID can be easily refuted.  Nye clearly stated that evolution is a “bottom-up” worldview, opening up a vulnerability that philosophers and theologians will be able to engage without reference to Genesis.  If in public dialogue we can move the issue back to the first question – design or unguided natural processes, top-down or bottom-up, intelligence or materialism – then progress can be made on all the subsequent questions.  Design, the universal intuition of every human being, is not going away.Again, Monday-morning quarterbacking is all too easy.  I reserve the right to change my opinions after a second viewing.  These are some first impressions; I hope they are helpful to AIG, which does a great job in its ministry, and to all of us who care about the creation-evolution issue.  I want to thank AIG and Ken Ham for having the courage to invite Bill Nye to back up his bluff.  Though I believe his arguments were unsound, Bill Nye showed himself to be a worthy competitor and is to be commended for debating on AIG’s home turf.  Thanks to both for their civility, and to the moderator for a great job.  Let the debate continue.Check out CMI’s debate response, where they provide links to articles refuting Nye’s science claims.  I expect AIG will have one soon.(Visited 390 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Ken Ham stated some truths but in a rhetorically weak fashion. In the widely-publicized debate with Ken Ham, Bill Nye could not account for the laws of logic, but it won’t matter to many listeners wooed by his charm.The Creation-Evolution Debate on Feb. 4 sponsored by the Creation Museum likely will not change many people’s minds, but fans of Nye will likely take heart at his stage presence and emotional appeal.Most of this entry will be the green-colored commentary by your editor (David Coppedge), a long-time follower of the creation-evolution controversy.   Please realize that nothing is easier than Monday-morning quarterbacking.  I doubt I would have the presence of mind and personality to face the cameras and a live audience under time pressure in public debate and do nearly as well as Ken did.   I tried to watch the event through the eyes of a skeptic or fence-sitter.  With great respect for Ken Ham and his influence, I regret to state that, in my opinion, he lost on presentation, though he scored significant factual and logical points.  This was surprising, since I know him to be quick on his feet and logically astute.  But most of the time, it appeared to me that Bill Nye had Ham playing defense, trying to justify his “extraordinary beliefs” as Nye characterized them.  It was an episode one could use to argue that public debates are not helpful for solving disputes about deep, inscrutable scientific or philosophical issues; they become personality contests more than enlightening discussions (and Bill Nye has lots of experience in stage personality).  In addition, so many data points get thrown up into the air, it ends up trying to fight a volley of arrows instead of a joust.  It can’t be done in the time available, and no debater is likely to be expert enough to answer all of them on the spot.Consider the emotional aspects of stage presence.  Nye looked his audience in the eye, talking to them with a spirit of “the joy of science” and “the joy of discovery,” bringing in grand vistas of cell phones, satellites, astronomers and medical researchers all participating in the grand adventure of progress and understanding called science.  (It’s all bosh, of course, since Ken Ham shares the same joy for what he kept pointing out is observational science.)  When Ham spoke, Nye stared him down, with a serious look almost of a scowl of incredulity.  Ham looked meek by comparison.  The meek may inherit the earth, but they don’t win debates.  Confidence, courage, and authority are important in one’s demeanor.  We can all hope that later analysis will show who won on the merit of the arguments and evidence, but on the spot, when the cameras are rolling, you want to take control of the situation.  Nye said several times that Ken Ham’s position was “troubling” to him (as if anybody cares).  Ham could have responded, What’s more troubling–belief in the grace of a good and righteous God who has provided salvation and hope to millions, or belief in a mindless, purposeless universe that spawns amorality, nihilism and despair?  Neither debater was disrespectful of the other; they shook hands before and after, and the moderator did a good job of staying neutral.  But Nye appeared to be the one in charge.  He got away with portraying creation as an “extraordinary view” in contrast to “science” that loves to “discover” things.  But in actuality, what could be more extraordinary than believing Nye’s mind emerged out of hydrogen?  What could be more extraordinary than believing nothing times nobody equals everything?Instead of defending Darwinism, most of the time Nye grabbed the “science” ball and ran with it, positioning himself as the champion of discovery, progress, and even patriotism.  Nye characterized the debate as “the world” against Ken Ham, “the scientific community” and “billions of religious people” against this one man’s narrow literal interpretation of an ancient book translated into English by processes as unreliable as the old game of telephone. When Ken Ham had the floor, he was often looking down at his laptop with his glasses on, as if preoccupied with what Powerpoint slide he could pull up to respond to the latest red herring from Nye.  This caused him to stumble for words and lose his train of thought.  In my opinion, Ken should have left the laptop at home, looked the camera in the eye, and taken control.  At times it seemed he was giving one of his canned presentations to Christian audiences in churches.  He should have realized he was not speaking to Christians, but to the world: to the Texas school board, to Washington politicians, to science students in classrooms around the country – and to the enemies of creation.It’s unfortunate that the topic of the debate was “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era?”  The very wording puts creation on the defensive from the outset.  A much better question would have been, “Can Darwinian philosophy survive the information age in science?”  Given the question, Nye easily took command of the “today’s modern, scientific era” phrase, leaving Ham to defend the viability of the “creation model” against that backdrop.  It was rigged from the start.   Imagine if Nye had to defend the quaint, Victorian myth of Darwinism in light of the overwhelming evidence for complex, specified information in DNA and the fine-tuning of the universe – powerful evidences almost completely neglected in Ken Ham’s presentation.  Instead, Ham’s main repository of evidence was the Bible – sure to get Amen’s from the Christians in the audience, but unlikely to impress skeptics or fence-sitters swooning under Nye’s stimulating stories about ice cores, radioactive elements, and fossil skulls.  (And that’s what it was: storytelling with adroit use of card stacking.)  Did Ham forget that the Apostle Paul, when speaking to Gentiles, appealed to sense observation of creation in Romans 1, Acts 14, and Acts 17?  Surely he knows this, because he teaches in his books and lectures the difference in approach one must use with today’s secularists.  Doesn’t he remember Gish and Morris using only scientific arguments, not religious references, in their debates?  This was not the place to defend Genesis.  Discussions of the Ark and Babel are very appropriate downstream questions once the major question of design is decided, but not to modern pagans willing to accept Nye’s characterization of the Bible as an ancient text.  How can an ancient text, flawed through translation, speak to “today’s modern, scientific era”?  That was the picture being portrayed; it gave Bill Nye open season to ridicule details about the Ark, Noah, and vegetarian lions, without having to justify his fairy tale that unguided processes can turn hydrogen into scientists.Let’s consider some of Ken Ham’s strong points. He showed one of his favorite slides, pointing out that the Bible is the source of morality, marriage, clothing, salvation and other good Christiany things, while secularism leads to relativism.  Problem is, many of his skeptical listeners would be glad that secularism leads to relativism!  Aren’t many of them supporting “gay marriage” these days?  It would have been much stronger to argue that the Bible is the foundation for science and reason, but secularism – especially belief in unguided natural processes – is self-refuting and therefore must be wrong.Ham also pointed out that evolutionism is religious, but did not score rhetorically with it.  He could have shut Nye’s mouth with words to the effect that “Everyone who uses reason is a supernaturalist, and you, Bill Nye, are a thief!”  Turning to the audience, he should have said, “Bill Nye is stealing from the creation world view to use reason and logic.  How can he get those out of a big bang?”  Turn back to Bill and say, “By employing the laws of logic, you are proving that you agree with me. Bill, get your own dirt!”Ham pointed out that dating methods rely on assumptions, but did not make a strong case that long-age results come from unreasonable assumptions.  This allowed Nye to portray the billions-of-years results of rubidium/strontium etc. to rely on reasonable assumptions about the uniformity of natural laws, something Ham agreed in another point allows us to do science.  He displayed a big unreadable list of some 90 dating methods that disagree with the long ages, but never gave any clear example of one.  He could have argued that (1) these younger dating methods are more reasonable, and (2) they place severe upper limits on the age of the earth, tightening the noose by showing that even 100,000 years rules out evolution.  Ham did, however, point out that radiometric dating can produce vastly inconsistent results.Ham pointed to several eminent scientists who are creationists, including Raymond Damadian (a great American, inventor of the MRI), Danny Faulkner and Stuart Burgess.  That’s fine, but it’s weak in debate because it appears to be cherry picking.  Bill Nye could point to many thousands of evolutionists in response.   To his credit, Ham also got in the fact that Newton, Maxwell and Faraday were creationists.  But the point is not that “some scientists are creationists” or “you can be a creationist and still be a good scientist.”  The point to drive home is that the creation worldview is essential to good science, but secularists, like parasites, plagiarize creationist assumptions.  Another way to reinforce the point is to show how evolutionism is worthless to all the good science Nye was pointing to (satellites, cell phones), which required intelligence and design.  He could have quickly listed some scientific fields that routinely employ intelligent design principles, including engineering (Nye’s expertise) and SETI.  What a coup that would have been against the leader of The Planetary Society!Ham said that we have the same evidence but just disagree on the interpretation of the evidence because of our assumptions.  While that is true to an extent, what he needed to debate was the superiority of creation’s interpretations over evolution’s interpretations.  He made it seem like it’s OK to just agree to disagree.Ham remarked, “There’s so much I could say,” asking the audience several times to go to the AIG website.  If you can’t say it and have the facts at your command, it looks weak.last_img read more

St Lucia’s R432m tourism boost

first_img11 December 2003The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, the jewel of South Africa’s north-eastern coastline, is set for R432-million in development which will create thousands of jobs and make the World Heritage Site one of the country’s premier eco-tourism destinations.This follows the announcement by Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Valli Moosa of eight concession deals that will see the development of lodges, self-catering resorts, camping facilities and adventure travel activities at eight sites in the park.The investment is expected to create 900 permanent and thousands of temporary jobs in KwaZulu-Natal.More than 800 new and upgraded rooms will be developed, offering a range of luxury and affordable accommodation to domestic and international tourists.The new facilities at the park will accommodate between 80 000 and 100 000 guests a year, who will spend about 200 000 nights in the park annually, generating over R300-million a year in direct spending.This excludes the “knock-on” effect of secondary development, indirect expenditure and ancillary spending in and around the region.“This latest investment is the culmination of efforts by the national government to uplift one of the poorest regions in the country,” Moosa said, adding that it was a major step in the transformation of the tourism industry.“The developers represent investment companies with more than 70% black ownership, demonstrating in another way how tourism can be used to restructure the ownership of the country’s economy, and setting a new record in black economic empowerment.”Up to 50% of the construction work for the new resorts will be conducted by local small businesses.The development forms part of national government’s Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative, which has so far seen the completion of the Lubombo road from Durban to the Mozambique border.It follows the successful implementation of a malaria control programme which has resulted in a decrease in infection rates in the area of up to 94%, and the consolidation and redevelopment of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park under a new dedicated World Heritage authority.This has included the reintroduction onto the shores of Lake St Lucia of the oldest, fastest and largest land mammals – the rhino, cheetah and elephant – which now live alongside the oldest and largest sea mammals, whales and turtles.“The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park is set to become an international model of the way in which the protection of wilderness can contribute to the alleviation of poverty and benefit social groups way beyond their boundaries – in accordance with new conservation principles recently adopted at World Summit on Sustainable Development as well as the World Parks Congress in Durban,” Moosa said.Moosa said the investments will conform to strict international guidelines designed to preserve the biological diversity of the St Lucia Wetland Park, and the developers will be obliged to conduct environmental impact assessments at their sites.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Will the Cloud Be Tinged with Venture Capital Gold in 2011?

first_imgThe forces changing the enterprise are not lost on venture capitalists. They recognize the transformation as well as anyone. So much so that it looks like cloud computing investments are expected to be greater than those in other market sectors.That’s evident in just the past few days with three venture capital investments that total $55 million.The investments are going to companies that have only one thing in common: they are able to show promise due to the fast acceptance of cloud computing in the enterprise and the overall high level of interest in the ways that businesses can use Web and mobile applications for better optimization and reach with customers.Cloud computing is a catalytic factor for the Dachis Group, which has raised $30 million in a series B round from Austin Ventures. Skytap received a $10 million series C round to fund sales and marketing efforts for its cloud automation technology. SCVNGER is a location-based app that competes with Foursquare. It received $15 million this week.Dachis GroupDachis Group is the largest consulting company in the world dedicated to integrating social business solutions into the enterprise. It will use its funding for international expansion, staffing and other investments that include acquisitions. Dachis has made several acquisitions in the last year. These were mostly consulting companies, including Hinchcliffe and Associates, Archrival and Stuvo. Dachis competes with both boutique groups and the largest consulting companies. For example, companies such as Accenture are increasingly paying attention to the enterprise and the adoption of social technologies. In an interview, founder Jeffrey Dachis said the transformation is extending from the enterprise and deep into the supply chain. “I think cloud computing is one of the core components of social business,” Dachi said.SkytapSkytap is a cloud automation technology company based out of Seattle. The company’s platform provides the capabilities for self-serve cloud deployment and virtualized environments. Skytap plans to use its investment for sales and marketing purposes. The service allows for companies to develop, test, migrate, evaluate, demo and train on new and existing applications in the cloud. Its most significant offering has to be its network automation which it launched earlier this year. In an interview we did last month, Sundar Raghavan, chief product and marketing officer at Skytap, said the goal for the service is to make it as simple as possible for people to realize the benefits of a cloud platform. That means far better automation than the processes today that require assistance from people with specific expertise. Networks can break down. When that happens, a company will have to go lengths to get it fixed. Skytap provides the capability to move applications with ease. Krishnan Subramanian wrote earlier this year that Skytap is a hot company to watch due to its ability to “enable IT organizations the ability to move multi-tiered enterprise applications with clustering and fail-over networking capabilities into the cloud with point-and-click ease.” The resulting cost savings can be significant. Companies are seeking ways to pull the bits and pieces together to build a cloud environment. Skytap automates the process.SCVNGRSCVNGR is a location-based service that emphasizes gaming and challenges. It’s an entirely different play than Skytap or Dachis. SCVNGR is not exactly an enterprise technology but it has direct correlations to the cloud and its use for business to reach out to their customer base. This may mean a business asking customers to take photos and share them with others. That’s opposed to a check-in where a person is simply saying they have arrived at a location such as you see with a service like Foursquare. Gaming is entering the business world and the cloud is the vehicle for it.Overall ViewAccording to the National Venture Capital Association, Internet technologies and cloud computing software will outpace green tech. So much so that venture capitalists say there could be over investment in the Internet and cloud computing categories.That’s not too hard to believe considering the rapid pace of investment we are already seeing this year. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting alex williams 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts Tags:#Analysis#cloud last_img read more