One-year-old Michael Flomo, who has been fighting for his life for the past year, is faced by the inevitable: he is going to die.Baby Michael has phase four cancer, which has now invaded his entire body, leaving visible signs of swollen lymph nodes in his head, neck and left leg.He spends the better half of the day crying from pain that can no longer be soothed through any form of medicine.The cancerous mass on the right side of his face that placed Michael on the front page of almost every paper in Liberia, is now infected and further deforming the child’s face.Quite recently, maggots and a green colored residue have developed in the mass, causing a stench and more excruciating pain for baby Michael.Little Michael Flomo is suffering the kind of slow death that no child should have to suffer.His Mother, 19-year-old Hawa Flomo, has been talking frantically to every media outlet, humanitarian organization, and person with a caring heart to come to her son’s rescue.She feels she has played her role as a parent by providing baby Michael with as much as her poverty-stricken hands have allowed her to. But Michael needed more; he needed medical attention. For that reason, she placed baby Michael in the hands of God, the media, and the nation’s hospitals.Diagnosed with cancer just over a month ago by Doctor Wilhelmina Jallah at Hope for Women medical center, Hawa credits Mrs. Charlesetta N. Williams for making all of that possible.Mrs. Williams is the CEO for Health Page Liberia, a local health NGO, which caters for sick Liberian children and flies them out of the country to seek better medical attention abroad.“She came to our aid and has been doing everything. If it was not for her, I would not have known what was happening to my baby,” 19-year-old Hawa said.Mrs. Williams has no doubt exhausted all of her resources trying to make sure that baby Michael gets to live as normal a life just as possible for a toddler in his condition.In a recent article written in this paper on March 19, 2014, titled: “Mother Seeks Help for Child with Ocular Growth,” Mrs. Williams said she deemed it necessary to see what she could do for the dying child, and has since been a part of the family’s life.“I have helped 200 children, who needed help to fight for their lives. I will probably stop after this child; because his case has really hurt me,” she said with tears in her eyes.With the combined efforts of Mrs. Williams and Dr. Paul King, a neo-surgeon living abroad, hope had been instilled into Hawa that her baby might have a chance to live.“I will be in Liberia next week and may be able to evaluate him and remove the mass. I will be bringing surgical instruments that can be used to remove the mass.” Paul King posted on the Liberian Observer Online’s Facebook page.Unfortunately, according to Mrs. Williams, who accomanied the baby Michael and his mother to Tappita Hospital, where scanning for cancer is routinely done, baby Michael spent two weeks at the hospital only to confirm the worst; the cancer had spread into his brain.Dr. King, as promised, was on the team of doctors attending to Michael. When given the option to have the mass moved, Hawa opted not to have the procedure done since it had already been determined that Michael would not live.“The doctor says he doesn’t have much longer to live. They asked Hawa if she wanted them to move the mass, but the doctors said whether you moved it or not, he wouldn’t make it; so she said no,” Mrs. Williams explained sadly.After spending two weeks at Tappita Hospital, baby Michael who left Monrovia with a reasonable weight and a promising smile, returned looking underweight and with more signs of cancerous tumors.“Aye God, I wish we hadn’t gone to Tappita. Now my baby is dying. The doctors say there’s no treatment for him, my son is going to die!” Hawa wailed.Baby Michael has been released from the hospital to rest at home until the unavoidable takes its course; leaving his mother Hawa in a state of hopelessness.Hawa expressed her thanks to those who took time out of their own lives to assist Michael and her through these troubling times. She asks that everyone who has heard of baby Michael through the Daily Observer or any other form of media please pray for her child’s peaceful removal from this world into the arms of the Lord.In other sorrowful news, 13-year-old Fernice Thomas was laid to rest on Saturday, April 12, after losing his long battle with kidney failure. Fernice’s struggle with the condition was detailed in the Daily Observer’s April 1st, 2014 paper in the article titled: “Fighting for Survival-Fernice Wants to Live.”The Daily Observer Family offers our deepest sympathies to Fernice’s mother Jessie Nyenploe, and the rest of his family. We also extend our prayers to baby Michael Flomo, His mother Hawa, and their family.“You were born a child of light’s wonderful secret—you return to the beauty you have always been.” -Aberjhani, taken from Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia is distributing more than $27 million in project grants that will help create jobs throughout the Province.According to the Government, this grant money will also help increase the use of wood fibre that otherwise would have been burned as slash.The Government says these projects will employ forestry contractors, some of whom might otherwise be unemployed. In addition, the Government says it will help to employ mill workers who produce electricity, wood pellets and pulp at mills that produce these products specifically.- Advertisement -This latest round of grants by the Society covers 38 different projects in B.C., with individual grant amounts ranging from $16,980 to $1.5 million.The grant funding is provided by the Provincial Government and the Government of Canada.
1 Inter Milan are lining up a last-gasp bid for Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta, who is on the verge of joining Roma.The Argentinean looks certain to leave the Etihad this summer and, as talkSPORT reported this week, it has been suggested that he has already agreed personal terms with Roma.However, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport, their Serie A rivals Inter are hoping to gazump them with a dramatic late bid for the 31-year-old.Inter are currently managed by Roberto Mancini, who coached Zabaleta during his time in charge at City.So Mancini knows all about the full-back’s qualities and is hoping to land him against the odds before he officially signs for Roma. Roberto Mancini is keen to bring Pablo Zabaleta to the San Siro
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has praised the Gardai and PSNI for their cross-Border cooperation in seizing a bomb gang from Donegal in Derry last night.To a round of applause from politicians from throughout these islands, Mr Kenny vowed that the cooperation would continue so that the country does not return to the days of terror.The rest of his speech in full is below: Co-chairs, distinguished members, fellow parliamentarians, ladies and gentlemen.I am delighted to be able to join you again today, and to thank you for the time you are taking to be here, and for all the work of the Assembly throughout the year. I know how active the Assembly has been since I met with you in Dublin last May, including your very successful meeting in Glasgow in November.I know from my own time as part of this body the importance BIPA has played over many years in building relationships between parliamentarians across these islands, as well as on the island of Ireland. Key to the success of BIPA in recent years has been the inclusion of representatives of the Northern Ireland Assembly, as well the Scottish and Welsh Assemblies and the legislatures of the Crown Dependencies.This allows the building of trust, of mutual respect, of an appreciation of our differences as well as recognition of how much we share. While political differences are necessary to the functioning of a healthy democracy, we are all here, in our respective roles, to work in the best interests of those we represent, wherever and whoever they may be. In working for our citizens, we are in very challenging times.Two years ago this week, the Government that I lead was given a strong mandate by the Irish people to implement their core plan of fixing our economy and getting people back to work.It was just two years ago that the Irish economy we inherited was in freefall, with unemployment soaring. 250k jobs list in the previous three years. Public finances were out of control and the banks were near collapse. We were locked out of the markets.While I know we still have a way to go, the Irish economy has stabilised; our international reputation has been restored, and it is clear that Ireland is pointed in the right direction. Our plan is working.At the core of our plan is job creation. Our unemployment rate remains too high, and in addressing this, the government has already taken major steps. In 2013, the Action Plan for Jobs will build on this as we work towards achieving our target of creating 100,000 new jobs by 2016. If we are to meet this target, we must continue to work together. We must work not just harder but smarter, being innovative in finding new solutions, in supporting business, growing our economies and delivering jobs.In this respect, BIPA is once again playing an important role. I was very struck by the focussed nature of the programme for this plenary. I would like to congratulate my friend and colleague Joe McHugh, and his very able co-chair Laurence Robertson and their respective teams for the efforts that have gone into arranging such a relevant series of discussions.As you will have heard earlier today, energy policy and energy cooperation is an element which goes to the core of the British Irish economic relationship. This is evident from the strong focus in the joint statement on British-Irish relations, Prime Minister Cameron and I agreed last year.When I spoke to you in Dublin, last May, I had recently met with Prime Minister Cameron. We had agreed an ambitious programme for cooperation, but had – at that point – yet to advance many of the provisions of the statement. I am happy to be able to report to you that substantial work has been ongoing across all areas covered in the statement to turn the aspirations and ambitions contained within it into concrete results. The signing of the memorandum of understanding on energy cooperation earlier this year is a clear example of this.Another example is the Joint Study on the economic relationship, which will highlight areas where cooperation will bring advantages to both the Irish and British economies.I look forward to meeting the Prime Minister again in a week’s time to review progress with him, and consider our programme for cooperation over the coming year.As well as developing and growing our close economic ties and our beneficial and cooperative relations as partners in the EU, both Governments remain committed to working together to realise fully a peaceful, prosperous and reconciled Northern Ireland. And, of course, the positive impact of a peaceful, prosperous and reconciled Northern Ireland will resonate across these islands, no-where more particularly than here in Donegal which, other than a 20km stretch at its southernmost tip, is bordered fully by Northern Ireland.This is why, despite budgetary pressures, the Government is maintaining its commitment to vital infrastructural projects as part of the North West Gateway Initiative. This is just one example of the potential for greater North-South cooperation, both on the economy and in the delivery of public services.Speaking of North-South cooperation, it would be remiss of me not to offer my condolences on the sad passing of Sir George Quigley at the weekend. Sir George was a tireless champion for peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland, as well as an advocate for greater North-South cooperation. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.No doubt Sir George would have been saddened by the increased tensions and street protests in parts of Northern Ireland in recent months. More generally, significant sections of Unionism feel that the benefits of peace and economic opportunity have not been evenly spread, while many nationalists are frustrated that, fifteen years on from the Good Friday Agreement, there has been limited progress made on a number of pivotal issues. These include dealing with the past and reconciliation; promoting genuine respect and esteem for differing cultures and identity; dealing with contentious parades; finding alternatives to segregation in housing and education; and fundamental to all of these; rejecting sectarianism.These are difficult issues. And no number of votes for any political party or in any border poll can in itself, and on its own, resolve them. They require a broad societal and political response.Above all, they require political leadership, if we are genuinely to break new ground, to build on the foundation of the Good Friday Agreement and to deliver real and lasting reconciliation and peace.Since September 2012 I have initiated a series of meetings with families of victims on all sides of the community in Northern Ireland as a sign of the priority I and my Government attach to helping to find a lasting resolution to the hurts of the past.I met with the sole survivor and with family members of the ten Protestant workmen killed in the 1976 Kingsmill massacre in South Armagh. I invited the families to Dublin so that I could hear at first-hand how their lives had been affected by one of the worst atrocities of the Troubles. This is a very important process. Many of these families and relatives are only speaking about what happened to them for the first time.I also met with a delegation from the South East Fermanagh Foundation led by Minister Arlene Foster. These were mostly farming families from Fermanagh whose lives and livelihoods were so affected by the malign activities of the IRA.I also attended a Remembrance Day ceremony in Enniskillen on Sunday, 12 November, the same day the Tanáiste attended a Remembrance Day ceremony in Belfast. I want to pay my respects to those from all traditions who gave their lives in the great war, and in particular to remember those killed in the Enniskillen bombing as they attended the corresponding ceremony on Remembrance Sunday 25 years ago.I also attended the service of remembrance in St. McCartan’s Cathedral at which the former Archbishop Lord Eames delivered a very powerful homily on the need for reconciliation. After the service I met privately with some of the families of the victims and those injured in the bombing. I also met with members of the British Legion and their families at the British Legion Hall.I was deeply touched by the stories of some of the victims and the families of victims at these meetings and have a deep personal commitment to the peace process to make sure that these horrific atrocities are consigned to the pastIn each case, I expressed my deep sympathy with the families for the indescribable loss they have suffered. I assured them that there is no hierarchy of victims, and that their concerns are every bit as important to me as the concerns of other victims and their families.The Good Friday Agreement and the resultant peace process have moved Northern Ireland on immeasurably from darker days. That Agreement is the bedrock upon which much progress has been made, and upon which we must seek to build further.The Good Friday Agreement is not owned by any one political group, or any one generation of politicians. It is the expressed will of the people of Northern Ireland and more widely across these islands, and it provides for the peaceful co-existence of people with different traditions, cultures and aspirations. It is the responsibility of those of us who have the privilege of holding political office to defend, to underpin, and to reinforce its principles, its values and its institutions.As co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, the British and Irish Governments are keenly aware of our responsibilities in this regard. It is clear that the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland and elsewhere across these islands, want to see peace and prosperity flourish, and reject the attempts of a tiny minority whose offering is only a return to the emptiness of terror, bloodshed and murder.Far better that our collective efforts be on tackling sectarianism and, symbolically, aspiring to the ending of the so-called peace walls which serve to reinforce division and difference rather than support cross-community engagement and reconciliation.When I meet with Prime Minister Cameron in London next week we will discuss these issues and the importance of the principles, values and institutions of the Agreements in underpinning the goal of peace and prosperity for all of the people of Northern Ireland.Our approach to dialogue on this island is characterised by openness and respect, which aims to harness and nurture relationships with those within troubled communities who have the will and the ability to work to resolve issues peacefully, using politics to succeed where violence never can.Positive engagement can build a virtuous cycle of respectful and honest conversations give community leaders the impetus to carry on when it seems, as it may sometimes do, that the fear and anger are too big, too intractable, to be overcome. They can be overcome. And many good people are working long and hard to ensure that we will learn and grow from the challenges facing us.Without embarrassing Deputy McHugh, I want to acknowledge publicly here the work which he has done in his capacity as Chair of the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement in this work of outreach.As Governments, we are united in our view, in the context of forthcoming parades, that the Parades Commission’s determinations must be respected.Dialogue between parade participants and resident communities continues to be the most effective way to prevent outbreaks of violence.Many local communities in Northern Ireland continue to be affected by the blight of sectarianism. This can be particularly pronounced for those living close to interfaces, such as in the Short Strand, and I am acutely conscious of the potential for further increased tensions during periods around contentious parades in particular.The persistence of sectarianism in Northern Ireland, with the absence of political agreement on how to make progress towards a truly reconciled society, contributes to the likelihood of incidents such as those we have witnessed in recent weeks. This crisis will not be resolved other than by a cross-party, cross-community response.In my view, therefore, the party leaders must live up to their responsibilities and agree a framework to address the issues that have arisen in relation to flags and symbols. These are political issues that require a political solution. The sooner the framework is agreed the better.In the meantime, in terms of helping the process of reconciliation and integration on the ground, there has been very welcome progress in securing practical support for ongoing programmes to address sectarianism in Northern Ireland, in particular the inclusion of a new EU Peace Programme (PEACE IV) with funding of €150m in the EU Budget proposed for 2013 to 2020.Healing divisions within Northern Ireland remains a challenge. And yet it is also the case that across Northern Ireland there are inspiring stories and examples of communities and grass-roots organisations who are challenging ingrained sectarianism and whose lives are inspired by reconciliation.Just over the border in Derry there are remarkable examples like the Leafair Community Trust which brings together former combatants, victims and others to engage locally on difficult issues through practical projects and events; or Youth Action Northern Ireland which build life skills and tolerance in young people living at sectarian interfaces; or the City Centre Initiative which has established a Parades Forum and who together with the Apprentice boys of Derry and the Grand Orange Lodge of Londonderry are leading examples in showing how engagement based on respect can be to the advantage of all.The cooperation last year between Orange Lodges in Donegal and the County Museum, which resulted in an exhibition and public lectures to increase understanding of the Donegal signatories of the Ulster Covenant is another such example. Last year also saw a series of events not just in Northern Ireland but across Ireland, as well as in Britain, marking the centenary of the signature of the Ulster Covenant, a key event in Irish history, the first of many significant anniversaries we will mark over the coming decade.We will remember not just important events on this island, but also global events 100 years ago which shaped our history. In particular, the tragedy of the First World War casts a shadow over the period. It decimated communities in every corner of Ireland, was truly a shared tragedy, irrespective of the differing motives of those who went to fight. The history of those men who died on the battlefields of France, Belgium, Gallipoli and elsewhere was, for too long, almost forgotten in the newly independent Ireland. I am glad that, in more recent times, their stories have been rediscovered in all their complexity, and their sacrifice is now marked on both sides of the border.Just as we mark the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in a few weeks, next November will also see the 15th anniversary of the opening of the Island of Ireland Peace Park, in Messines, by President McAleese, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and King Albert II of Belgium.Located on the site of the Battle of Messines Ridge, where men of the 36th Ulster and 16th Irish Divisions, from all corners of this island, fought side by side, the Peace Park stands as a testament to how a shared and sensitive reflection on the past serves to bring us together in the present. I would like to pay tribute to the key role played by our Donegal colleague, Paddy Harte, as well as Glenn Barr and others, in the development of the park over many years.As we remember the events of the past over the next decade, including the legacy of the First World War, I would hope that our commemorations will be more than just a recollection of the past. We should be brave, be imaginative, and seize the opportunity to reflect carefully on who we are as a people, as countries, how we have arrived at where we are, and where we want to be in ten years’ time.In that context, I want to acknowledge the work of BIPA itself, and the excellent report on the decade of commemorations which you produced last year.But it is not just in remembrance of the past that we grow closer together. It is also in what we do every day, how we live, work and relax together. Meeting each other in formal and informal settings, through work, sport, cultural activitiesDerry is, of course, the closest neighbour of Donegal. I know many people cross the border either way each day for work, or to see family and friends. I’m certain that a great many people from Donegal are enjoying the event of the Derry UK City of Culture year. The profile of Derry, and the whole region, is being raised this year. Artists from the whole island are working together to show the rest of the world what we have to offer. I have no doubt that the benefits for this region, and the whole island, will continue for many years.The Other Voices television series is an Irish success story, with a tradition of bringing together international and Irish artists in performance, which has reached beyond this island. It now attracts audiences from around the world.The recent recordings in Derry have given an international profile to the city; to its wonderful music venues and, most importantly, to the exceptional local talent.To see young musicians from all parts of the island being given such a wide audience, is an example of the kind of impact the City of Culture can have for Derry. Derry has long been known for gifted musicians and writers. It is fantastic to see a younger generation coming through who share those talents.I am aware that you will be having a discussion tomorrow on developing cultural links. I am sure that it will be a very productive session, and I know that in the course of your deliberations, the vital role that culture can play in bringing people together will play a key part.It is in reflecting on our culture, on our pasts, and on the symbols that represent our own identities that we learn to appreciate not just our differences from others, but what we share. It is by reaching out to others, to those of differing traditions within our communities, as well as to those from different countries, that we build a stronger and peaceful future for all our citizens.BIPA has been at the forefront of such work for many years. I would like to thank you for everything you have done, and wish you continued success for your efforts into the future.SPEECH IN FULL: TAOISEACH PRAISES GARDAI AND PSNI FOR INTERCEPTING BOMBERS was last modified: March 4th, 2013 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:SPEECH IN FULL: TAOISEACH PRAISES GARDAI AND PSNI FOR INTERCEPTING BOMBERS
Words & Pix Brid Sweeney: Up to 150 Children left our small Community Lower Rosses on Saturday morning for the annual trip to Croke Park which is now an important part of the Club year at Naomh Muire.No other Club in Ireland will take as many to a big match year after year….why…..because they haven’t a bus company like Bus Feda who sponsor the trip and have done so down the years.Although the Club coaches and the Club itself assist greatly in ensuring the young children get their day at Headquarters …it is the unselfish gesture by the O’Domhnaill family that makes this trip at such a token price possible. Go Raibh míle maith agaibh. PICTURE SPECIAL: GENEROUS GESTURE ENSURES NAOMH MUIRE ANNUAL TRIP TO CROKER! was last modified: August 10th, 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:BRID SWEENEYBus FedaCroke ParkdonegalNAOMH MUIREO Domhniall
Tags: U18 Women’s African Championship Uganda U18 Women’s Basketball team will be making a third appearance at the games (File Photo)FIBA Africa U18 Women’s ChampionshipAugust 10th-19thMaputo, MozambiqueMOZAMBIQUE – FIBA Africa has granted a wild card to Uganda for the U18 Women’s African Championship set to be held in Maputo, Mozambique from August 10-19.Uganda, who finished second at the regional Zone V championships last month in the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam behind arch-rivals Rwanda, will be making their third appearance at the continental showpiece.Uganda finished in eighth place at the 2016 edition in Egypt and will be looking to make amends when they head to Mozambique a month from now.“Opportunities like this are always important for the growth of girls’ basketball in Uganda to go one step higher, said Ali Mavita, Uganda’s U18 head coach.“We have to make sure they utilize such chances as It is everyone’s dream to play at such a stage and we shall make the best out of this opportunity that Uganda has been granted because we aim to be consistent on the continent and learn at every turn.In 2008, Uganda made their debut appearance at the FIBA U18 Women’s African Championship in Tunisia where they finished in 11th place.That stage was a breeding ground for the young girls like point guards Angela Namirimu and Halima Nabasumba who are part of the current Uganda senior women’s national team – the Gazelles.Uganda will join Egypt, Angola, Tunisia, Algeria, Cape Verde, reigning champions Mali, hosts Mozambique and Rwanda who have already secured their places for the continental showpiece, four more slots are up for grabs.The two finalists will qualify for the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup due next year.Comments
DENVER — Two weeks ago, the Giants had no business looking at the National League Wild Card standings.With two weeks until the July 31 trade deadline, the Giants’ front office now has every reason to evaluate where the team stands in a playoff race that’s beginning to take shape.After winning 11 of their last 13 games, the Giants have hopped over four teams in the Wild Card race, gained four games in the standings and suddenly emerged as one of the most complete teams in the NL.What will it …
Hollywood stars may be fickle, but so are great balls of fire in outer space when it comes to understanding them. Some recent examples:Taking the pulse: The Chandra X-ray Observatory wrote a glowing report about a “textbook supernova,” which is a nice pairing of observation and theory. It added this caveat, though, about dating stars:By combining X-ray and radio observations, astronomers have evidence that G11.2-0.3 is likely the result of the explosive death of such a massive star, perhaps witnessed in 386 A.D. Radio observations measure the remnant’s expansion rate, which, in turn, can be used to calculate how long ago the star exploded. The radio data is consistent with association of the supernova remnant with the “guest star” reported by Chinese astronomers nearly 2,000 years ago. Chandra’s ability to pinpoint the pulsar at nearly the very center of G11.2-0.3 also supports the idea that this debris field could have been created around the time of the Chinese observations. Surprisingly, the age of the pulsar determined from the X-ray and radio data differs from the standard pulsar age estimate, usually determined from how fast it is spinning. In this case, the so-called spin parameters suggest the G11.2-0.3 is 10 times older than the remnant age. This argues strongly that young pulsar spin ages can be very misleading and should be considered with caution.Previously, pulsar ages determined from spindown rates were thought to be well constrained.Standard (flickering) candles: An article on EurekAlert described another supernova remnant observed by Chandra. The goal was to determine if Kepler’s supernova, observed by Johannes Kepler 400 years ago, was the “Type Ia” variety. “Astronomers have studied Kepler intensively over the past three decades with radio, optical and X-ray telescopes,” the article states, “but its origin has remained a puzzle.” In theory, the white dwarf companion of a neutron star pulls in iron-rich material that produces a Type Ia. But the material in the surrounding nebula is rich in nitrogen, more characteristic of a Type II. To explain the unusual mix, the astronomers speculate that this event was a rare “prompt Type Ia” explosion that took place in a young progenitor (100 million years, not several billion). Why is it important to tease out the oddballs among Type Ia supernovas? The ramifications are simply astronomical. “This information is essential to improve the reliability of the use of Type Ia stars as “standard candles” for cosmological studies of dark energy as well as to understand their role as the source of most of the iron in the universe.” All the hubbub over the last decade about an accelerating universe of 73% dark energy depends, in large measure, on distance measurements made using Type Ia supernovas. This case shows that not all members of the type are cooperative.Anorexic black hole: The black hole at the center of our Milky Way had a snack recently, reported Space.com. Maybe it was a Mars bar or Starburst. Anyway, Ker Than wrote that for a supermassive black hole in a galaxy’s core, ours doesn’t eat much. “Why our black hole is so dim is not entirely understood,” he said. Quoting an astronomer, “The huge appetite is there, but it’s not being satisfied.” Supernova blasts theory: Supernova 1987A was caught in the act 20 years ago. Finally, astronomers had a fairly nearby supernova to watch develop with modern telescopes. And watch they did, with shock and awe. A press release from UC Berkeley contained some interesting glimpses into astronomer reactions to uncooperative data. SN1987A “provided important tests for theories of how stars die, but it also raised some new questions,” the article begins. In theory, blue supergiants become red supergiants before exploding. Three analogues to 1987A, however, never went through such a phase. Also, the rings are supposed to form after the explosion, not before. Why are similar rings found around some stars that haven’t exploded yet? The article confesses, “This makes a pretty solid case,” for what? for confirmation of a theory? No: “that we should rethink models for how the rings around SN1987A were formed.” Nathan Smith remarked that this “would be a bit of a shock” to what? to the interior of a star? No; “to our understanding of stellar evolution.” In addition, the triple-ring nebula formed around SN1987A has been “difficult to understand”. Astronomers are modeling a complex interaction between two cannibalizing stars and a supergiant to fit the data. Other problems between theory and observation are noted in the article.Faux pas de trois: A rare triple-quasar system was described in Science (Jan 27, p. 454). How could this form? Dr. Frederic Rasio [Northwestern U] believes he has the program notes. At a recent meeting of the American Astronomical Society, he told a story of colliding galaxies, their central black holes waltzing happily till a third galaxy collided and its black hole intervened, leading to a violent reaction. The three then split apart at up to tens of thousands of kilometers per second. Testing this “partner-swapping dance” theory, however, might take some time. The black holes are only in Act 1. The peroration of the denouement, when all is understood, won’t happen for 100 million years. One critic said,“The process that Dr. Rasio has modeled is very, very far in the future,” said astronomer Virginia Trimble of the University of California, Irvine. “So in some sense, the prediction has been verified by the observation, and the observation has been explained by the theory.” Writer Tom Siegried seems to have sensed a non-sequitur here. How can something be considered verified in the present if the verification data lies in the future? “100 million years is a long time to wait to see whether the future behavior of the triplet really matches the theoretical forecast,” he remarked. Rasio obviously will not be concerned about defending his story then.Midlife crisis: Two old interacting galaxies are producing stars like newlyweds, reported East Tennessee State University. The Arp 82 pair looks middle-aged, the article states, but apparently never got reproductively active till now. “The puzzle is: why didn’t Arp 82 form many stars earlier, like most galaxies of that mass range? Scientifically, it is an oddball and provides a relatively nearby lab for studying the age of intermediate-mass galaxies.” They call this a case of “arrested development,” that needed a “kick-in-the-pants to get the stars forming recently.”This model only works, of course, if the pants are kicked at the correct angle.It’s kind of sadistic watching astronomers try to fit their observations to their theories. Science operates only by the constant interplay of modeling and observing. Astronomy wouldn’t be fun if all the ideas were locked up. It’s important to remember, though, as these examples illustrate, that one must always be prepared to shed assumptions and chuck theories in the light of new evidence. The one needing a kick-in-the-pants is the cocky astronomer.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
22 March 2013 South African President Jacob Zuma, addressing a national Human Rights Day celebration in Mbekweni near Paarl on Thursday, re-affirmed the government’s commitment to building a police service that respected the rights of all South Africans. Zuma said there had been unfortunate incidents involving the police recently, including the Marikana mining tragedy that took place in North West province in August. While he would not comment on the incident because a commission of inquiry was sitting, Zuma said: “Today we re-affirm our commitment to build a police force service that respects the rights of all South Africans.”Call to support the police A total of 200 000 men and women were working in the South African Police Service, and not all of them should be condemned because of the actions of a few, Zuma said, urging all South Africans to support the police in their work. “We must support them, as well as their efforts to root out rotten apples from their ranks who engage in criminal action, including corruption.” South Africa’s latest crime statistics showed a further decline in serious crimes, Zuma noted. While crimes against women and children remained at unacceptable levels, the perpetrators were being caught and punished. “For example, in the past financial year, police secured over 363 life sentences, with a conviction rate of over 70 percent, for crimes against women and girls.”Socio-economic rights Zuma said that South Africa’s Constitution recognised more than just political and civil rights. “This was based on the understanding that civil and political rights mean little if they were not accompanied by tangible socio-economic rights.” These rights, he said, included housing, health care and the right to favourable working conditions. Because of the deliberate policies of apartheid-era governments, a huge backlog had built up. While this would not be reversed overnight, Zuma pledged that the government would not rest until every household in the country had access to water, electricity, sanitation and other services. On the government’s social assistance programme, Zuma said the Constitution also recognised social security as a socio-economic right. The government had increased the number of people receiving grants from 2.7-million in 1994 to 16-million to date. Among these recipients were 2.9-million older people, while 11.5-million were recipients of the child support grant. “Social grants are government’s most effective poverty alleviation programme.”We must ‘stop talking our country down’ Thursday’s celebrations coincided with International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, proclaimed by the United Nations in 1966 in memory of the 69 people killed when the South African police opened fire on protestors in Sharpeville on 21 March 1960. Marking national days enabled the country to reflect on its unfortunate past, Zuma said, adding: “We reflect and draw lessons to build a better and united future.” Zuma appealed to the nation to work with the government and its social partners to rebuild the country, and in particular to build the economy. “We should all play our role to make our country attractive to both local and international investors so that the economy can grow and create jobs.” He added that people should stop talking the economy and the country down, but rather be ready to highlight and acknowledge the achievements of the country’s democracy when making their assessments. Source: SAnews.gov.za
Ahead of the municipal elections in Rajasthan, the UN-Habitat has released a grant of ₹10 crore to the Jaipur Municipal Corporation for environmental protection through innovative steps in the urban local body. The corporation will also conduct a fresh survey of properties in the capital city for assessment of urban development and house taxes.A delegation of UN-Habitat’s representatives met Jaipur Mayor Vishnu Lata and Commissioner Vijay Pal Singh here over the weekend to discuss the measures for improving health standards and quality of life of people of the city. Mr. Lata said the civic body would utilise the grant for strengthening of sewerage network in the city.The project’s nodal officer, Rajiv Garg, said the grant would also be utilised for sewage water treatment. The water cleaned through the process will be supplied to the farmers on the outskirts of Jaipur for growing fruits and vegetables.The delegation’s members included Herman Pienaar, William Walve, Shurti Rajagopalan and Pooja Verma. The group also met the officers of Jaipur Smart City Limited, Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation and Jaipur Police.As part of the revenue generation plans, the Municipal Corporation will undertake a fresh survey of properties to get real time data of their liability to pay urban development and housing taxes. After the previous survey conducted in 2005-06, the number of such residential and commercial buildings in the city is estimated to have increased to 1.32 lakh.The elections to 49 urban local bodies across the State will take place on November 16. Since the State government has decided to create additional municipal corporations in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Kota in view of their increasing population, elections to the civic bodies in these three cities will be held after six months.