first_imgThe Liberia Football Association has, with immediate effect, ordered the suspension of all football activities throughout the country to enhance the campaign to halt the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.LFA president Musa Bility said prevention of the spread of the disease has become a dilemma, and all means necessary have to be introduced to augment the efforts of the Ministry of Health..He said one cardinal measure the LFA has resolved to employ is to cease football activities, considering that football is a contact sport, and that Ebola is spread through bodily contact with infected persons.He said officials at schools, communities 4th-1st divisions; LONA and ISSA are to observe the measure pending full control of the outbreak. As previously scheduled, the LFA has until the first week of October to begin its 2014/2015 inter-county league.The LFA decision, according to the release was handed down at the end of its Executive Committee meeting over the weekend.The LFA has also reached a decision to maintain a skeleton staff as part of its measure to fight the spread of the disease. Effective Monday July 28, 2014, Bility said, more than half of the LFA workforce will remain at home, pending the improvement on the current state of affairs.Meanwhile, the doors of the LFA will remain open to VIP appointments and issues relating to the running of football. However, hygienic measures will apply to all at its headquarters on Benson Street.Bility urged the Liberian government to be vigilant and robust in having individuals, families and communities abide by preventive measures in order to halt the spread of the virus.Liberia has now recorded 127 deaths with the latest being the head doctor of the country’s leading referral JFK, Samuel Brisbane, who succumbed to the virus on Saturday, July 26, Independence Day.Ebola is spread through bodily contact, from person to person if a person comes into contact with a contaminated person, object or by eating an infected animal. A deceased person with Ebola can still transmit the virus.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgAs part of a public awareness effort, No Lemon Liberia Incorporated, in partnership with Metal Mechanic and Allied Workers Union of Liberia (MMAWUL), last Saturday staged an awareness campaign on the dangers of Ebola and how to prevent it in workplaces and communities.The event, according to Mr. Kenneth Moore, general manager,  and Abraham D. Nimene, secretary general of No Lemon, was part of their social responsibility to support all efforts by President Ellen Johnson and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare as well as international partners in combating Ebola in the West African region.The campaign staged at their head office in Congo Town, was intended to educate and inform people who are still in denial of the virus and their belief in God that Liberia will soon be Ebola free.No Lemon also donated disinfectant materials to their sub offices where the Metal, Mechanic and Allied Workers Union are located.The Danish-based Company provides vehicle and equipment maintenance in developing and post-conflict countries.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgTHE MORNING echo felt like the antecedent of an ominous experience when I suddenly awoke from bed. My Bushrod Island community felt like a hush echo of a disappointed period, for a life changing event had become visible that it was trying the patience of the residents with much concern. “What time is it?” a voice behind me inquired, and turning to the table clock, I took in a deep breath and exhaled it with much strength and said, “It’s just 8:30.” I felt a little heavy in my legs and thought about events of last night.“Still thinking about last night?” I smiled as Jennifer broke my thought.“Yes,” I said, smiling, “why shouldn’t I?” Jennifer was my wife of five years. With her question I silently asked myself again and again about events, tragic ones that had happened since our marriage.“You will have to live with it.” That assurance was necessary but difficult. Last night, I witnessed the refusal of a young woman and her two children to join an ambulance that had been called to convey them to an Ebola treatment center. The woman, Dorothy Joe had refused for fear that once sent to the center, known as The Ebola Treatment Unit, she would be diagnosed as having been infected by the Ebola Virus, and would be quarantined and might possibly die, since in fact it had been reported that the disease had no cure.I was a member of the local Ebola Awareness Taskforce, and intervened in her case, and despite her initial refusal, managed to see reason and transported for testing and supervision.Though I was successful, I could not forget what Dorothy told me with reluctance, bothered on fear. “A sickness that does not have a cure,” she said, tears streaming down her face, “could mean survival might be just through chance.” Though I could reason with her comment, since what could not be cured just might be endured. But a disease without a cure could mean a sure way for infected persons to die. In the end she came through, along with her children and hope returned to her family.The strange disease had come unexpected and I realized that unaware of what it was, it created misunderstanding simply because healthcare practioners claimed that there was no cure, which was the hard part. And to further confuse the situation was the alarming number of deaths by nurses.The difficulty was to convince the community that though Ebola had no cure at its full blown stage, it nevertheless could be contained once detected from the beginning of its attack through isolation, testing and supervision.“The Ebola virus comes with several symptoms,” I told her, “and so like headache, it can be treated, like vomiting, it can be treated and so you can’t wait till all come together to destroy your body.” That was reasonable enough argument to convince Dorothy to go along with her children. There was also a group of young men and women who insisted that while it was true that something was killing the people slowly, they did not think it was anything called Ebola doing the killing.Examining events of last night brought fond memories of how effective I was in making the woman see reason to agree to be transported to a center for help. In my effort to ensure that many disbelieving the presence of the virus realize it was real hence taking preventive actions, the application of force was necessary.“Do we have to force people to accept the reality of Ebola’s presence in the country?”“You did not use force last night did you?”“I didn’t”“Why are you suggesting the use of force?”“This is because of the slow understanding of the dangerous effect on Liberians.” I knew there was no force against Dorothy, but there were frequent reports of denial, along with threat of physical violence against health workers by relatives who made claims of their family dead.True, I was also aware of the imposition of the state of emergency by the Liberian government which should indicate that as far as the fight against the deadly Ebola Virus was gaining momentum, it was extremely necessary to use some extra-ordinary measures against those who continued to deny it, and make collection of their dead dangerous.I HAVE been involved in the Ebola Awareness Campaign for the last several months, and in those months several hundred bodies had been collected. I could not understand how far the virus could complete its population. It was beyond understanding which suggested to me that somehow there was someone who could have knowledge of the Ebola Virus beginning. But who?As a volunteer I hardly received any incentive which was not my major problem. I was willing to work for the community, outside Monrovia but I was not sure if I would live through the Ebola Scourge.I had had sometime to examine my role, along with many other volunteers about our fate in the fight. What would happen just in case like many of the nurses and doctors who had become victims, I became a victim to the Ebola fight?No, I was not a coward, and therefore sacrificing my life for my people could be a noble idea. But, I worried that just in case things did not go as expected, would I be remembered? Beads of perspiration formed on my forehead as I threw several questions and came up with probable answers and in the end I felt the need to continue as a volunteer in the fight against Ebola. After all many had been killed by the virus and there were many others who might possibly be killed also. What was so much special about my family?With a young wife, and what I had anticipated as a bright prospect, the sudden appearance of the Ebola Virus was evidently a harbinger of death that could destroy my dream or might have apparently kill many a couple’s dream. Though I had not discussed the eventuality of any negative outcome with her, I knew that if it became true that I was infected, there was a high possibility of infecting my wife, and without question creating the condition for our destruction.In my heart I prayed for the death of Ebola, and it was one of my mantras, as I joined other volunteers to fight against it since it was became evident that there was nowhere that I could run to for safety. To imagine of the end with a sense of hope was too numbing, to consider the least. I knew there was a God of creation somewhere in the heavens but whether he was interested in our condition to bring us some remedy I could not be sure.For there had been apparent hopelessness on the part of religious men, since their past prayers and fasts had not helped to stamp out the situation.I WOULD have to admit that Liberia was facing a difficult period in its existence and obviously a time of extreme crisis. It was also a period of agony where the government was in tatters in the face of the Ebola menace.I could remember the lamentation of a writer, who said, when he was apparently faced with such gruesome realities in his day:“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way— in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”As authorities cried in utter desolation, and several deputies would not respond to the invitation to return, after seeking what was described as refuge abroad, I could only place the period to those of what the English writer Charles Dickens penned that abundantly reflected on the current period. As I reflected on the realities that were too glaring to be ignored, I turned my attention to the radio that sat on my table announcing the horrors of the period. “The number of deaths of victims of the deadly Ebola disease is rising,” the announcer said, “since last week Thursday, where the number stood 1550, latest information estimates more than three thousand Liberians have died so far.”The announcer continued, “In Montserrado County, one hundred cases were reported and fifty were confirmed; in Margibi County…” and he went on to tell his audience the latest casualty figures of the Liberian Ebola dead.My reaction was that of despondency. What was this thing called Ebola virus? Who made it? Thinking about the Ebola’s devastating effect put me in a state of anguish and I desperately wanted to seek refuse somewhere. But where? The pain of hopelessness surged through me with such devastating effect that I could only wonder in resignation. I could also not agree with some religious leaders who claimed that the current crisis was a form of punishment from God. I knew we had suffered long enough, for if the fourteen years of the recent civil-war, killing an estimated 250,000 people was not enough punishment inflicted by misguided politicians, then blaming God for the ravages of the Ebola virus was too premature and an attempt to escape reality. In the end I could only plead to the bearded old man above to let Ebola die naturally. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgThe forensic audited conducted on the State-run National Communications Network (NCN) has revealed that the company failed to bill two major political parties – the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) for over million in political advertisements aired during the 2011 and 2015 General Elections campaigns.According to the audit report published by the Ministry of Finance on Friday, the parties owe NCN a total of ,978,450.“Based on our review of the system, it was identified that several advertisements were not invoiced to the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and one for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)/Alliance for Change (AFC),” the auditor stated.It was outlined that in 2011, PPP/C was not invoiced for ,204,750 and APNU for ,500 in advertisements aired by the State-run company. The summary of PPP/C, the then government, free ads includes: $4,704,000 for 100.1 Radio Roraima Fresh FM; $5,667,500 for 98.1 Hot FM; 3,878,250 for Channel 11 and $3,955,000 for the Voice of Guyana 102.5.Also included in the PPP/C’s debt is $12,988,500, which was recorded as Public Service Announcements (PSA). The auditor pointed out that NCN could not have presented a documented policy on PSAs, but was noted that political advertisements are not approved as PSAs.Meanwhile as it relates to 2015, PPP/C and APNU/AFC were not invoiced for advertisements aired by NCN to the tune of $3,708,200 and $20,000, respectively.In relation to the PPP/C free ads during the 2015 Elections Campaign, $39,200 was for 100.1 Radio Roraima Fresh FM; $1,453,750 for 98.1 Hot FM; $492,000 for Channel 11 and $1,723,250 for Voice of Guyana 102.5.The auditors also founded that another $3 million was never invoiced for free services provided to Eddies Bobcat Excavator and Construction Services, a business owned by the company’s Finance Manager’s husband.“It was identified that advertisements totalling $3,083,396 were not invoiced to Eddies Bobcat Excavator and Construction Services, instead those advertisements were recorded as PSAs. Advertisements were aired during the period 9 September 2011 to 31 May 2012,” the auditor highlighted, while noting that actions should be taken to recover the money owed.Against this backdrop, the auditor recommended that “Systems should be implemented to ensure that all advertisements aired by NCN are invoiced to customers.”The report further outlined that advertisements are recorded on a Daily Broadcast Log Sheet for each radio station and television station by the Marketing Department and the log sheet is submitted on a daily basis to the Productions Department for airing on the relevant station. The broadcast logs are signed off by the technicians on duty as evidence of advertisements being aired.It was observed that the broadcast sheets are summarised on a monthly basis for billing to the customer by the Marketing Department and then passed on to the Finance Department, however, there is no evidence that the summary prepared is being approved by any senior personnel or cross checked by the Accounts Department for accuracy and completeness.Furthermore, the auditors highlighted that an effective credit control system in place should ensure that orders are accepted from customers who are able to pay within a time period which is acceptable to the company. Once a sale has been made it is the duty of credit control to monitor the accounts to ensure that payment is commenced within the normal credit period and that any accounts which are not settled promptly are investigated and appropriate action taken.Credit sales to customers should be approved by authorised personnel of the company based on approved credit established.Moreover, the auditors revealed that NCN have large receivable balances outstanding for the following years: $244,994,451 for December 31, 2011; $278,401,380 for December 31, 2012; $234,413,585 for December 31, 2013; $219,911,646 for December 31, 2014, and $230,015,361 for May 31, 2015.It was pointed out that in a few instances NCN incurred legal fees to recover debts through the Courts. In two instances – Hits & Jams Entertainment for $7,913,193 and Kashif & Shangai for $2,046,703 – the court ruled in favour of NCN. However, the Board of Directors at a meeting held on 10 March, 2015 decided not to enforce the judgment thus failing to recover the debt.“For the two matters involving Hits & Jams Entertainment and Kashif & Shangai, the NCN incurred legal fees in excess of $1,200,000. There is not adequate evidence to confirm that significant efforts were made to collect the debts outstanding,” the auditor opined.Moreover, the forensic audit report outlines the company’s top 20 balances outstanding.These are: $17,525,326 from Impressions; $11,795,765 from the Ministry of Health; $9,523,248 from PPP/C; $7,913,193 from Hits & Jams Entertainment; $6,344,300 from the Media Centre (PPP/C); $5,259,864 from Beepats Company; $3,378,579 from Brutal Tracks Recording; $2,713,342 from Merundoi Inc; $2,220,123 from Ministry of Tourism, Industry & Commerce; $2,117,555 from Guyana Water Inc.; $2,046,703 from Kashif & Shangai; $1,745,412 from Wireless Connection; $1,650,222 from Caribbean Fire Fest Production, and $1,330,984 from Ministry of Health – Chronic Diseases.In addition, the Company wrote off bad debts to the tune of $8,610,794 in 2013, which was approved by the Board of Directors. Among the write offs are: $5,246,936 from Astroarts; $486,190 from the Georgetown Reading & Research Centre; $2,497,281 from Wireless Connections, and $380,387 from Creative Advertising.These bad debts were deemed uncollectable as per section 6 of the Limitation Act, Chapter 7:02, laws of Guyana.last_img read more

first_imgFolk legend Martin Simpson has been described as a “guitarist’s guitarist” and is no stranger to awards for his music.Nominated 26 times in the 12 years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including nine times consecutively as Artist of The Year, which he has won twice, this acclaimed musician plays the Regional Cultural Cultural Centre on Friday night.He is widely acknowledged as one of the finest acoustic and slide guitar players in the world, his interpretations of traditional songs are masterpieces of storytelling. His solo shows are said to be intense, eclectic, spellbinding and deeply moving.There is no doubt that after 35 years as a professional musician Martin is, right now, better than ever.There is no-one who has more successfully combined the diverse elements of British, Afro-American and old-timey music.He has written some real gems, from the truck-stop epic, “Love Never Dies” to the profoundly moving “Never Any Good” and “One Day”.His career includes collaborations on stage and record with Richard Thompson, June Tabor, Kelly Joe Phelps, Jackson Browne, Danny Thompson, Danú, Martin Carthy, Cara Dillon, David Lindley, Roy Bailey, Martin Taylor, David Hidalgo, Steve Miller, Dick Gaughan and many more. Whether playing American old-time music, blues, a Dylan song or his own material, Martin Simpson is unpredictable, individual and a guitarist of immense subtlety.Martin Simpson, Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, Friday October 17th, 8pm.ACCLAIMED FOLK ARTIST MARTIN SIMPSON IN DONEGAL was last modified: October 15th, 2014 by John2Share 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:folk musicletterkennymartin simpsonRegional Cultural Centrelast_img read more

first_imgTwo Americans and a French scientist won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for developing a chemical “dance” that makes molecules swap atoms, a process now used to create medicines, plastics and other products with more efficiency and less environmental hazard. “What a great day for chemistry,” declared an advocate of environmentally friendly “green chemistry,” Paul Anastas of the American Chemical Society. The $1.3 million prize will be shared by Robert H. Grubbs, 63, of the California Institute of Technology; Richard R. Schrock, 60, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Yves Chauvin, 74, honorary director of research at the Institut Francais du Petrole in Rueil-Malmaison, France. They explained and improved a process called metathesis, said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in bestowing the prize. This swapping of atoms between molecules creates new substances, and the winners have turned it into one of the most important reactions in organic chemistry, the academy said. Organic chemistry deals with carbon compounds. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “Metathesis reactions are an important tool in the creation of new drugs to fight many of the world’s major diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s and AIDS,” William F. Carroll Jr., president of the American Chemical Society, wrote in a statement. “They also are used to develop herbicides, new polymers and fuels.” To illustrate the atom-swapping process at a press conference in Stockholm, two Nobel Prize committee members invited two women assistants to dance, then switched partners. Chauvin explained in 1971 how metathesis reactions work and what kinds of metal compounds can be used as catalysts to make the reactions happen. Schrock, in 1990, was the first to produce an efficient metal-compound catalyst for the process. Two years later, Grubb developed the first in a series of improved catalysts. Their work has led to chemical-making methods that are more efficient and generate fewer hazardous wastes, a major advance for “green chemistry,” the academy said. “Metathesis is an example of how important basic science has been applied for the benefit of man, society and the environment,” the Nobel committee wrote in a statement. Anastas, director of the Green Chemistry Institute, said the approach requires less starting material and less energy, and it creates fewer byproducts and virtually no waste needing disposal. “So all of those things that would seem like … environmental benefits also happen to make it tremendously more profitable,” he said. “This is a day that people will look back at and say there is a true recognition that the best chemists in the world are doing green chemistry, and that green chemistry is just a part of doing good chemistry,” Anastas said. Grubbs, the California scientist, said he was celebrating with a bottle of port. “It’s tasting pretty good right now,” he told The Associated Press by telephone from Christchurch, New Zealand, where he was lecturing. Winning the prize was “one of these things you never expect to happen in your career,” he said. “You just keep doing science and see what happens. “Science, especially chemistry, takes a long time to work its way through. … It’s something we’ve been working on for 30, 35 years,” he said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week More than three months later, still looking for the driver of the light-tan sedan that killed Valerio Capilitan, officials on Thursday announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the motorist. Rosario Capilitan said she cannot sleep at night, and often thinks of the woman in the back seat of the Summit. “I said three times, ‘Move a little, we want to enter the car,”‘ said Rosario Capilitan, 73. “She didn’t want to move. We went around. I got in the car, then I turned around and said, ‘Where’s Valerio?’ “I got out of the car and looked around, and there was my husband, lying on the ground,” Rosario Capilitan said. Police have struggled to find leads. The incident occurred about 15 minutes before sunrise on a Saturday, and police have not found any witnesses who could provide solid information, Officer Toni Wolfe of the LAPD Valley Traffic Division said. VAN NUYS – If the woman sitting in the back seat of a car-service sedan had just scooted over, Rosario Capilitan believes, her husband would still be alive. Rosario and Valerio Capilitan were departing for a Las Vegas weekend Aug. 6, taking a car service from their Van Nuys apartment to meet a bus tour. When the Eagle Summit pulled up in front of the Capilitans’ apartment, two women also going on the bus trip were already in the car. Because the woman in the back of the Summit would not slide over, Rosario and Valerio Capilitan had to walk around to the driver’s side. Rosario got in and Valerio was just about to when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver. The 81-year-old died soon after at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. “Anybody who knows that street knows at 6 a.m. on a Saturday, it’s not an empty street,” said Councilman Alex Padilla, who secured the funds for the reward from the City Council. “We believe in our hearts that somebody knows something.” Valerio Capilitan, born in the Philippines, served in the Philippine Scouts, a division of the U.S. military, from 1946 to 1949. He moved to the United States after leaving the military. Josh Kleinbaum, (818) 713-3669 HOW TO HELP Police are looking for the driver of a light-tan 1995 to 1999 Ford Taurus or Mercury Sable that hit and killed Valerio Capilitan on Aug. 6. Anyone with information is asked to call the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division at (818) 713-8391, or (818) 713-8381 after business hours. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_imgOrigin of Life (OOL) research is one of those areas in science where one doesn’t have to make any real progress, as long as he or she looks busy.  Anything the scientist says, no matter how speculative, or even foolish, is likely to be taken seriously, because the alternative – creation – has already been ruled out as “pseudoscience” by the ruling scientific elite.  Here are some recent examples.Cook up that DNA:  You can get DNA to copy itself without life.  How?  Inside a deep sea vent, says Dieter Braun of the University of Munich.  New Scientist gave his idea publicity, complete with a photograph of a black smoker with the caption, “Providing a perfect setting for life to replicate.”  That idea, of course, runs contrary to the view of other theorists who consider the deep sea to be the last place one would think life would begin (e.g., Jeffrey Bada, 06/14/2002; see also problems with salt in the ocean, 09/17/2002).  Braun provided a semblance of empirical evidence for his view by putting DNA, nucleotides, and the polymerase enzyme that knows how to assemble them into tiny test tubes and heating them with a laser to set up convection currents.  He and his assistant found copies of DNA accumulating in pockets at the top.  Asked how different configurations might form, he speculated that “Fatty acids in the water may have provided a shuttle service,” and even form membranes to keep them together – the beginning of cells.  It’s all so simple, Nick Lane commented: “The work shows that DNA can be both concentrated and replicated under a very simple set of conditions.”  Of course, by providing DNA, DNA polymerase and nucleotides, he gave his experiment a whopping head start.  But wasn’t RNA supposed to come first?  He didn’t say.  DNA lacks enzymatic activity.  Without enzymes, DNA by itself would be a dead end.  That’s why “RNA World” theory at least tried to cover those two functions in one molecule.  The RNA World hypothesis has its own set of problems (07/11/2002, 02/15/2007).Top Down: Is it ID?  On Live Science, Stuart Fox speculated that Craig Venter’s latest experiment with “synthetic life” (see 05/22/2010) “May Reveal Origins of Natural Life.”  By that he means that further experiments that reduce a cell to its minimal components may show how simple a cell can be to qualify as living.  That, in turn, may reveal possible pathways that primitive cells may have taken in their path from nonlife to life: “Venter addressed this issue on Thursday, noting that he and researchers at his institute had themselves debated how this technology would allow scientists to test the minimum level of biological material needed to spark life,” Fox said.  In Venter’s words, “I think it’ll be interesting as the people working on origins of life, people trying to understand these minimal early possible precursors to life as those programs proceed in one direction, and we proceed from the other, building on top of the evolution of an information system, we might be able to meet somewhere in the middle and have some exciting new tools.”  The only thing clear from the articles that the ones doing the debating, experimenting, researching, working, evaluating, testing, building, meeting and understanding (if that) were human beings – not primitive lifeforms.Chirality and shattered mirrors:  Marcus Chown published a three-page article in New Scientist on the mystery of homochirality – why all living things have left-handed amino acids in their proteins (see online book).  He gave most prominence to a theory that supernovas or black holes gave a slight quantum excess to one form, and that these were enhanced in the waters of the early earth.  This suggestion, however, turned out to be quite weak by page 3, and Chown could only hope for findings to come forth from spacecraft in the future when all was said and done. Phosphorus for us:  There’s phosphorus in DNA.  There’s phosphorus in ATP.  That can only mean one thing: earth needed phosphorus to have life.  It’s not clear how phosphorus got into our atmosphere.  Maybe it came special delivery.  PhysOrg reported that Dr Terry Kee of the University of Leeds thinks it came from meteorites.  “Phosphorus is present within several meteoritic minerals and it is possible that this reacted to form pyrophosphite under the acidic, volcanic conditions of early Earth.”    Now, once Earth had pyrophosphite, it had an energetic molecule that, while not as useful as ATP, was at least somewhat similar.  “The team found that a compound known as pyrophosphite may have been an important energy source for primitive lifeforms.”  Did he have any evidence for this?  No; it’s just a requirement.  “It’s a chicken and egg question,” he said.  “Scientists are in disagreement over what came first – replication, or metabolism.  But there is a third part to the equation – and that is energy.”  So while scientists are disagreeing about two things, why not add a third?  That’s progress: “You need enzymes to make ATP and you need ATP to make enzymes,” explained Dr Kee, as if adding questions qualifies as explaining something: “The question is: where did energy come from before either of these two things existed?”  We may not know the answers, but at least our ignorance is getting more sophisticated thanks to OOL research.That last press release did enlighten readers with some little-known facts about ATP in the real world of actual lifeforms.  “At any one time, the human body contains just 250g of ATP – this provides roughly the same amount of energy as a single AA battery.  This ATP store is being constantly used and regenerated in cells via a process known as respiration, which is driven by natural catalysts called enzymes.”  That enzyme, ATP synthase, is a two-part rotary motor with multiple interacting parts that is absolutely essential to all life.  It has been discussed many times in these pages (e.g., 03/27/2008).  If what the article said is true, it’s hard to imagine a world-class sprinter at the Olympics running on an AA battery.  To be sure, your body cycles through the equivalent of your body weight in ATP in an active day of work, so there is a dynamic interplay of food energy going into ATP production and out into work throughout the day, but to have only 250g of ATP in store at a time surely qualifies for one of the most “Amazing Facts” ever encountered in these pages – something worth sharing around the water cooler.Here’s another case where “Amazing Facts” and “Dumb Ideas” got awarded together.  That statement about ATP is a gem plucked out of garbage.  Think of the efficiency of the energy system your Maker provided the human body, such that those quadrillions of exquisitely crafted ATP synthase motors can extract out of phosphorus, using proton motive force, enough energy to send an athlete hurtling down a track, or pole-vaulting over a bar, or high jumping, power lifting, and all the other amazing feats of speed and strength we enjoy watching in sports, out of just 250 grams of ATP – the equivalent of a single AA battery!  Incredible.  Did that superbly crafted design evolve by chemical evolution?  Not on your life.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgOnce the system is complete, a total of 10 new baggage reclaim carousels will be in operation, four of which are 90-metre baggage carousels specifically designed for the massive new generation aircraft such as the Airbus A380. SAinfo reporter ‘On track for 2010’ “Members of the public collecting incoming international passengers should take heed of the new signage in order to orientate themselves,” OR Tambo GM Chris Hlekane said in a statement by Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) this week. Once arriving passengers have been processed through customs, they are received into a new international arrivals public concourse, which is two-and-a-half times larger than the previous international arrivals hall. Acsa will also open the central terminal building’s retail facility, which is designed to link directly into the domestic terminal’s retail level, next month. “The opening of the 18 000 square meter space will also boast some retail facilities including a post office, cellular phone shops and foreign exchange services, with various eateries expected to open by December this year,” the statement read. The rail line will be elevated above the airport precinct, over the upper roadway system, and will be directly connected to the central terminal building. The project will be fully complete in December next year following the complete installation of the new baggage management system at international arrivals. Further, the construction of the airport’s Gautrain Station has been completed and the shell has been handed over to Bombela for final finishing, making the station the first to be completed. The mezzanine levels of the central terminal building will offer retail facilities and basements will be in use for services and baggage handling.center_img The new R2.3-billion central terminal building at OR Tambo International airport outside Johannesburg opened this week, with passengers now being processed through new international arrivals facilities, which including a more user-friendly customs control process. Fully-linked terminals The international and domestic terminals at the OR Tambo airport will be fully linked by April 2009, when the central terminal building’s departures facility becomes operational. The new departures hall will contain 75 new check-in counters, effectively linking the airport’s international and domestic check-in facilities. “Passengers and meeters and greeters will also be assisted by Acsa’s new i-Help Agents – identifiable by their orange waist coasts – located along the new route for any other queries.” At this point, passengers will be able to enjoy a fully complete multi-level terminal building located between the international and domestic terminals. In line with existing airport flow, departures activity will predominantly be on the upper level with arrivals activity on the ground level. 4 September 2008 “[The] opening is an important milestone as it marks the start of the completion of the final piece in our massive infrastructure development programme in the run-up to 2010,” Hlekane said. “It gives me great pleasure to declare that OR Tambo is on track for 2010 and beyond.” Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img To reduce future energy bills, some builders are willing to include above-code levels of insulation. Each additional inch of insulation saves energy — but with each additional inch, the savings per inch diminishes. At some point, the cost of adding more insulation because hard to justify.Three energy experts recently examined the question, “How much insulation is too much?” These experts wanted to determine whether the thick levels of insulation required by a superinsulation standard developed in Germany, the Passivhaus standard, were justified. All three reached the same conclusion: they are not.The experts presented their findings at this year’s BuildingEnergy 16 conference in Boston. They were trying to answer two questions: At what point are envelope improvements a waste of money? And what metrics or rules of thumb should we use to determine when enough insulation is enough? When should we quit? The three presenters were David White, an energy consultant from Brooklyn, New York; Marc Rosenbaum, director of engineering at South Mountain Company in Massachusetts; and Rachel Wagner, a designer at Wagner Zaun Architecture in Duluth, Minnesota. (All three experts have published articles on GBA or in Fine Homebuilding; see, for example, In Defense of the Passive House Standard and Double-Stud Walls.)Introducing the session, Ben Southworth said, “We will be talking about building assemblies. How much insulation is enough? How much is too much? Left to your own devices, what do you specify and why?” The traditional net-zero approach David White addressed these questions by introducing a case study: a new construction project in Huguenot, New York, a Climate Zone 5 location with about 6,000 heating degree days. (White was a consultant on the project.) The owners were aiming for net zero energy.White started with the classic method used by designers of net-zero-energy… last_img read more