Local sporting bodies latch-on to JAMAICA Sport

first_imgCash-strapped local sporting associations have seized advantage of funding available through Jamaica Sport, accessing sponsorship valued at more than US$260,000 for 13 events since the initiative was launched in October 2014.Ten sporting bodies have accessed funds so far.Among the events staged were the recent Jamaica Volleyball Association Beach Olympic Qualifiers in Ocho Rios, as well as the Caribbean Volleyball Championships in 2015; the 2014 and 2015 Reggae Marathon; the Jamaica International Invitational; the UANA Pan American Youth Water Polo Championships; the West Indies Test series against England and Australia and Caribbean Premier League; the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships; and the CONCACAF Under-20 World Cup Qualifiers.The Jamaica Taekwondo Association was the first body to access funds to host the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) World Cup in August 2014.The Jamaica Badminton Association, Netball Jamaica, and the Jamaica Surfing Association also benefited from Jamaica Sport, which receives funding from the Tourism Enhancement Fund.MORE BOOKINGSDeputy Director of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) Jason Hall told The Gleaner that 20,000 hotel-room nights, with an additional 4,000 tourists, have helped generate an economic impact of US$6 million to date.”Back in 2014, all the associations were contacted to notify them of the existence of Jamaica Sport, and our strategy, and what we were trying to achieve. We also held a number of information sessions that speak specifically to sport tourism economic-assessment model,” Hall said.The ITF World Cup, he said, had generated US$2.6 million from 15,000 guest nights.The figures were arrived at using the Sport Tourism Economic Assessment Model (STEAM).”A measurement tool, where you input the data from the event and even factors non-foreign visitors,” said Hall.He also noted that the International Tennis Federation Senior Championships, which featured French tennis star Marion Bartoli, was televised on four different networks, with 840 guest nights being used.”Staging a major event requires major sponsorship, and the sponsorship from Corporate Jamaica is limited. We are looking at a broader gamut,” he said.BETTER QUALITY EVENTS”We are looking to increase the quality and quantity of events with sporting potential. We are targeting specific events for development,” he added.Hall noted that for interested parties to access funds, their event must have tourism potential and must be sanctioned by the sport’s local governing body. Tourism potential would be evidenced by a marketing plan.Criteria for approval for funding would include giving Jamaica a competitive advantage through hosting, a high multiplier effect, and lower operating costs.Hall said that the events of interest include golf; masters’ events; beach events such as beach volleyball, beach tennis, beach rugby, and beach football; endurance events; high school and youth competitions; training camps; sports conferences; motocross; and surfing.He added that discussions were now in progress to stage a cycling tour of Jamaica in the vein of the Tour de France.Jamaica Sport is chaired by Chris Dehring and includes Howard McIntosh, Caribbean Premier League director of operations; Michael Hall, head of communications at the West Indies Cricket Board; Carole Beckford; and general manager of Independence Park Limited, Major Desmon Brown.last_img read more

A Pitcher of Health, and Reasons to Love Slime

first_imgPitcher plants contain chemicals that just might help medicine and agriculture, reported PhysOrg.  A Japanese team found a myriad of interesting proteins in this “evolutionary marvel,” a plant that eats insect meat.    Now for some slimy good news.  PhysOrg said, “You know algae.  It’s the gunk that collects on the sides of a fish tank when you forget to clean it.  It’s the slime that makes you slip on rocks while crossing a stream.  You probably think of algae as a nuisance, if you even bother to think of it at all.”  How should you love slime?  Let me count the ways.  “Milt Sommerfeld and Qiang Hu [The Laboratory for Algae Research & Biotechnology, University of Arizona] think of algae as one of the most useful substances in existence.”    Here are some of the slimy good things in your future: environmentally friendly fuel, pollution control, food, fertilizer, wastewater treatment and animal feed, among other things.  Algae can take wastewater or manure and convert it into environmentally-friendly biodiesel fuel.    With their flasks and beakers full of green fluid, Sommerfield and Hu are excited about the prospects of harnessing these highly efficient, photosynthetic factories to produce environmentally green solutions to human problems.    Another team is investigating a gene that relieves stress in plants, reported Science Daily.  Why?  It may lead to a cure for cancer.  Agricultural crops more resistant to environmental stress may also be in the offing.    Scientists are still trying to harness the water-splitting power of bacteria to produce clean-burning hydrogen fuel.  They’re getting warmer, said a report in PhysOrg.  Five years ago (03/14/2003) and six years ago (10/08/2001), we reported how auto makers were envious of an enzyme called hydrogenase that splits water efficiently without the large expenditure of energy required in artificial processes.  Now, Thomas Wood of the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering is corraling barrels of genetically engineered E. coli to work their magic for mankind.  If his reactor can continue to increase its efficiency, you may someday drive a hydrogen car that produces water as waste and runs on sugar.Good science seeks understanding of things with at least one tentacle on how it can help improve our lives.  Why reinvent solutions from scratch when many of them are literally right under our feet?  Think of something yucky around you – mold, maggots, cobwebs, slime – and there is probably a miracle product waiting to be discovered.  Forward-looking, productive science owes nothing to evolutionary theory.  The only “evolutionary marvels” are the professors who cling to a dead, useless ideology.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Media Continues to Denounce ID, Crown Darwin

first_imgThe news media and journals continue to publish one-sided statements against intelligent design (ID) – even though scientific evidence continues to support design on many fronts (see 05/11/2010, 05/07/2010, 05/06/2010 from just this past week).  Sometimes, in other venues, the kind of rhetoric employed would be characterized as hate speech.  These statements are usually printed without any opportunity for rebuttal.  Often the perpetrators make religious arguments rather than presenting scientific evidence for their claims.  Some of them even say ID is bad theology, and that religious institutions should ally with Darwinism against ID.  At the same time, they typically will never say anything critical of Darwinian evolution.  ID proponents are stuck with having to respond to these charges in their own websites and publications.  Here are some recent examples.John Avise in PNAS1 wrote a paper labeling ID as “religious creationism” but then used religious arguments in a science journal to attack it: i.e., “God wouldn’t make the world this way” –Intelligent design (ID)—the latest incarnation of religious creationism—posits that complex biological features did not accrue gradually via natural evolutionary forces but, instead, were crafted ex nihilo by a cognitive agent.  Yet, many complex biological traits are gratuitously complicated, function poorly, and debilitate their bearers.  Furthermore, such dysfunctional traits abound not only in the phenotypes but inside the genomes of eukaryotic species.  Here, I highlight several outlandish features of the human genome that defy notions of ID by a caring cognitive agent.  These range from de novo mutational glitches that collectively kill or maim countless individuals (including embryos and fetuses) to pervasive architectural flaws (including pseudogenes, parasitic mobile elements, and needlessly baroque regulatory pathways) that are endogenous in every human genome.  Gross imperfection at the molecular level presents a conundrum for the traditional paradigms of natural theology as well as for recent assertions of ID, but it is consistent with the notion of nonsentient contrivance by evolutionary forces.  In this important philosophical sense, the science of evolutionary genetics should rightly be viewed as an ally (not an adversary) of mainstream religions because it helps the latter to escape the profound theological enigmas posed by notions of ID.This paper was part of a lengthy series called the Sackler Colloquium, “In the Light of Evolution IV,” that was completely one-sided for Darwinism.  Not a single pro-ID position was invited, even though there is a long tradition of theological, philosophical and scientific positions answering the types of arguments Avise presented.  David Tyler presented a rebuttal to Avise’s position on the ID blog Access Research Network.Michael Zimmerman leapt for joy at Avise’s paper in the Huffington Post, saying, “In case you had any doubt, the last nail was just placed in the coffin of intelligent design (ID).  And, in case you had any doubt, that last nail joins many others that have been in place for quite some time.”  His article was entitled, “Intelligent Design: Scientifically and Religiously Bankrupt.”  Zimmerman is the activist behind the Clergy Letter Project, trying to get religious leaders to sign a statement in support of Darwinian evolution.  Robert Crowther compared his arguments to the Hindenberg on Evolution News & Views.Michael Ruse called ID an “oxymoron” and a “mountain of waffle resting on analogy” in The Guardian.  “Neither scientists nor believers should touch it,” he said.  Responding to Steve Fuller in The Guardian (a philosopher who has given ID a fair shake; see Uncommon Descent), Ruse called ID “very bad theology.”  Jay Richards wondered on Evolution News & Views why Ruse, a science philosopher and historian, thinks he is an expert on theology.  Casey Luskin also responded on Evolution News & Views, joking, “I love watching atheists try to tell religious people what they should believe about God.”Joshua Rosenau of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) wrote for Science Blogs that ID and creationism is kind of like – believe it or not – postmodernism and Marxism.  This is a strange charge, considering that most proponents of ID or creationism would be adamantly opposed to both of those ideologies.  Robert Crowther on Evolution News & Views tried to straighten the picture right side up again.Francisco Ayala is a former Dominican priest turned evolutionary biologist.  One might think a person with religious roots would have a soft spot in his heart for thoughts of design in the world, but Ayala has been among the most harsh in his rhetoric against ID, calling ID an “atrocity” that is “disastrous to religion” among other things.  He even accused supporters of ID in the Discovery Institute of not really believing what they are saying.  He made these remarks recently in Spain (see Uncommon Descent for translation).  This set off a series of responses by ID supporters (see idnet.com.au response on Uncommon Descent and Barry Arrington on Uncommon Descent).    Back in March, Ayala wrote a book review critical of Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell for BioLogos, the website of theistic evolutionist Francis Collins.  Ayala used the argument for dysteleology and suffering to call ID a form of “blasphemy” for attributing the human genome to the design of God.  David Klinghoffer complained on Evolution News & Views that Ayala apparently didn’t even bother to read Meyer’s book.  Klinghoffer later in March took Ayala again to task on ENV, and with him, Darrell Falk for allowing a slipshod review by a staunch evolutionist on the BioLogos website.    Meanwhile, Francisco Ayala was welcomed by the National Academy of Sciences’ Sackler Colloquium, “In the Light of Evolution IV,” to present his opinions on the evolution of morality by Darwinian natural selection.  In his paper in PNAS,2 Ayala’s first sentence paid homage to Darwin’s Descent of Man (1871).  After dismissing theological explanations for morality, including those of Aquinas and Paley, he gave Darwin the pride of place.  He explained morality in purely mechanistic terms: as an “exaptation,” or unplanned consequence of natural selection for intelligence, that turned out to be advantageous.  In other words, morality is an impersonal, unplanned accident.  He gave the same explanation for human rationality.  It appears that Ayala repudiates any role for divine involvement for any of the unique features of the human psyche in any way, shape, or form; yet this is the man that BioLogos welcomed as a “a moderating influence in the science/religion dialog.”  Ayala also received this year’s Templeton Prize for progress in “affirming life’s spiritual dimension” – an honor once awarded to Billy Graham, Alexander Solzhenitzen, Chuck Colson, Bill Bright and Mother Theresa (see comment on CMI).At the same time that supporters of intelligent design are struggling to get a fair hearing in the media against an onslaught of what they consider misrepresentation, ridicule and repudiation of their views without opportunity for rebuttal, Darwinists get free rein to pronounce evolution as simply obvious.  Claims of evidence for evolution are often exaggerated and presented uncritically, without opposing viewpoints, often accompanied by triumphal headlines that proclaim Darwinism has been overwhelmingly confirmed.  A good example of this occurred this week when Douglas Theobald, author of a pro-Darwin book, announced in Nature that a formal test confirmed Darwin’s theory of universal common ancestry.3  Mike Steel and David Penny quickly praised this “strong quantitative support” for Darwin’s theory in the same issue of Nature,4  “Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Theobald’s work,” they said, “is not the conclusion – common ancestry is the default view in science.  But a formal test of evolution itself requires considerable ingenuity.”  So Theobald got praise for his ingenuity in devising a test of evolution, because ingenuity is required to test a default view – a very strange situation in science, one might think.    But since Charles Darwin’s name was prominent and paramount in both papers, the popular press was soon on board, too.  PhysOrg announced “First large-scale test confirms Darwin’s theory of universal common ancestry,” without so much stopping to wonder why it took 150 years for the first such test.  National Geographic went overboard, though.  It’s headline, “All Species Evolved From Single Cell, Study Finds,” was accompanied by a large photo of a herpetologist looking face-to-face at a snake, as if to evoke an Adamic curse on anyone who would deny this knowledge of good and evil.  Then the subtitle quoted Theobald’s opinion about his opponents, the creationists, who, naturally, were given no opportunity to respond: “Creationism called ‘absolutely horrible hypothesis’—statistically speaking.”1.  John Avise, “Footprints of nonsentient design inside the human genome,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, print May 5, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0914609107.2.  Francisco Ayala, “The difference of being human: Morality,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print May 5, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0914616107.3.  Douglas Theobald, “A formal test of the theory of universal common ancestry,” Nature 465, pp 219�222, 13 May 2010, doi:10.1038/nature09014.4.  Mike Steel and David Penny, “Origins of life: Common ancestry put to the test,” Nature 465, pp 168�169, 13 May 2010, doi:10.1038/465168a.No comments are really necessary here; the articles speak for themselves.  If anyone thinks this situation is fair, or desirable in scientific or intellectual circles, or represents the way an enlightened free marketplace of ideas is supposed to operate, that person needs a serious deprogramming session.  This is Malice in Blunderland, where up is down, in is out, the mobsters are running the city, and the inmates are running the asylum.(Visited 50 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Moviemaker Ian Gabriel tells South African stories

first_imgIan Gabriel, director of the critically acclaimed film Four Corners, features in the second episode of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part TV series, to air on SABC2 on Sunday 22 June at 9pm.Gabriel is playing his part for South Africa as one of the nation’s most prolific commercials directors, working locally and internationally in Europe, North America, Asia and the rest of Africa. His combination of storytelling and performance, with his distinctive visual style is a defining quality of his work. (Image: Ian Gabriel)There are thematic links between Ian Gabriel’s two films, Forgiveness and Four Corners. The latter is about family trying to get beyond the past to make a new life. The former deals with apartheid and the difficulty of reconciliation.Gabriel is equally at home directing off-the-cuff, slice-of-life observation as he is bringing the human touch to celebrity talent. His work with jazz greats Miriam Makeba and Abdullah Ibrahim, political icons Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, football star Cristiano Ronaldo, actress Charlize Theron, world champion long distance runner Haile Gebrselassie, among others, is testament to his ability to achieve outstanding performances from actors, characters, musicians, sports heroes and political figures.Watch the Four Corners trailer: First published on Media Club South Africa – Brand South Africa’s library of quality images and articles, available for freelast_img read more

Ailing BlackBerry Gets A Buyout Offer

first_imgFor the second time in two trading days, trading on BlackBerry Ltd. has been halted again, this time after the canadian hardware vendor announced that it will be going private in a sale to a consortium helmed by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.See also: Disaster Strikes BlackBerry—Huge Job Cuts, $1 Billion Net LossThe deal, which will bring $9 per share to stockholders, will total around $4.7 billion, according to MarketWatch. Fairfax currently owns around 10% of BlackBerry’s shares now.The buyout will have to undergo due diligence, BlackBerry has said.Image courtesy of Reuters/Mark Blinch. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologycenter_img Tags:#BlackBerry#now Related Posts readwritelast_img read more