The Draft Horse Show took place in one of the arenas at the Fall Fair Grounds. Picture: Amber DavyA crowd gathers as a parade of tractors head to the area where the Tractor Pull takes place. Pictue: Amber DavyA team attempts to get the fastest time in the Log Sawing Contest. Picture: Amber Davy- Advertisement –The crowd watches as the finals for the 11th Annual Tractor Pull take place. Picture: Amber Davy
Donegal county councillor John O’Donnell is coming under increasing pressure over his position on the local authority.It comes after the Standards in Public Office yesterday found that the Kilmacrennan man contravened ethics legislation after he appeared on an RTE Investigates programme.The programme was fronted by a fake reporter who pretended to be working for an energy company seeking political lobbying for a windfarm to be placed in Donegal. Independent councillor Micheal Mac Giolla Easbguig yesterday called for him to resign his seat.Now Sinn Fein councillors on the local authority have added to that call.Sinn Féin council leader Marie Therese Gallagher said Cllr O’Donnell has breached the ethics code under three separate sections of the local government act.They said Cllr O’Donnell must consider his position. Cllr Gallagher said “Cllr O’Donnell by his actions in the RTE Investigates programme has taken local politics into disrepute, and today’s findings clearly state that John O’Donnell acted against the code of conduct he himself signed up to.“We the Sinn Féin Councillors in Donegal are now calling on Cllr John O’Donnell to resign his seat on the Council. Unfortunately, this is not the first time SIPO has found against public representatives in this county, and we in Sinn Féin have consistently called all those to resign their seats on Donegal County Council.“The action of these rogue councillors is reprehensible. For integrity and faith in local elected representatives to be restored we feel the only acceptable course of action is for Cllr O’Donnell to resign.”Pressure mounts on Cllr O’Donnell as Sinn Fein add to call for his resignation was last modified: March 28th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalresignRTESinn Fein
The Saturn system has a problem: young moons. The current consensus on the age of the solar system (4.5 billion years) cannot handle such young objects. Richard A. Kerr in Science last month described the vexing problem:1 Why is there geology on Saturn’s icy satellites? Where did these smallish moons get the energy to refresh their impact-battered surfaces with smoothed plains, ridges, and fissures? These questions have nagged at scientists since the Voyager flybys in the early 1980s, and the Cassini spacecraft’s recent discovery that Saturn’s Enceladus is spouting like an icy geyser has only compounded the problem. (Emphasis added in all quotes.) The power to run those geysers is 8 gigawatts. Cassini just released another distant image of Enceladus showing a distinct boundary between two terrains (see Cassini website), and captioned it “Youthful Enceladus.” (For background information, see the 11/28/2005 entry about Enceladus eruptions, and for entries about its youthful surface, see 08/30/2005, 07/14/2005 and 03/04/2005. See 01/07/2005 about Iapetus). Kerr described attempts by scientists to keep the little moons warm enough to support active geology. These were discussed at the American Geophysical Union meetings in December, and also at the Cassini team’s Project Science Group meetings at JPL in January. In short, “Perhaps the moons formed early and grabbed just enough heat-generating radioactivity from the nascent solar system” – that is, provided the models are tweaked in certain ways. One of the secret potions in their new models is aluminum-26, a radioactive element that decays rapidly and produces heat. If enough is added in the model for Enceladus, it melts the core, produces a liquid ocean and warms the moon – for awhile. Add some tidal heating, get the core to melt toward the south, and voila–active geysers billions of years later. For Iapetus, with its bulging equator and thin ridge of 12-km-high mountains, the scientists added a rapid spindown due to tides to its recipe of aluminum-26. If Iapetus was spinning each 17 hours but was slowed by Saturn to 79 days as at present, and if it had enough Al-26 to stay flexible, it might have raised the equatorial bulge and ridge. But it couldn’t have been hot for long or those features would have relaxed into a spherical shape. These efforts attempt to explain how apparently youthful features could persist for billions of years, but not everyone is ready to believe the models. Kerr quotes Francis Nimmo of UC Santa Cruz who suggested there is perhaps too much investigator interference: “At each stage [of the calculations], there are several knobs you can twiddle,” he said, “There are so many free parameters it’s hard to make a strong statement.” The modelers are continuing to twiddle the knobs till something resembling the real Enceladus and Iapetus emerge. 1Richard A. Kerr, “Planetary Science: How Saturn’s Icy Moons Get a (Geologic) Life,” Science, 6 January 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5757, p. 29, DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5757.29. If this model is correct, how did Enceladus’ neighboring twin Mimas avoid a similar fate? Why did Iapetus and Enceladus steal all the Al-26 and leave none for Rhea and Dione? If this were unique to Saturn, it might be a quirk, but the whole solar system is filled with anomalies that do not fit into cozy models. Every solution breeds new problems. Let’s use this story for a lesson about how science is done. Practicing scientists assume that natural explanations (those that invoke only secondary causes) are better than those that invoke primary causes (such as creation). To deny this is to be a heretic these days. Even if one believes in God or some other philosophical design principle at the beginning of things, one cannot be a scientist without limiting one’s explanatory resources to secondary causes. These are the rules, people like Eugenie Scott say, and many scientists and theologians assume this without thinking about it any deeper than retorting that invoking miracles is taboo in science (the either-or fallacy). This principle is known as methodological naturalism. One is free to believe in God, but forbidden from invoking Him (or Her, or It) in scientific explanations. What one does on a Sabbath or Sunday is a personal matter, but in the science lab, just act as if the God you believe in is limited to working through secondary causes. At the risk of sounding completely nuts to this scientific culture, let us ask a few questions no one else seems to be asking. Is this not Deism – a religion? Practically speaking, what is there left for a God to do? This type of methodology puts a Designer out of business and makes his existence irrelevant. This is not science; it is religion or philosophy masquerading as science. Now, we are not going to suggest that natural causes have not been active on Enceladus or Iapetus for unknown amounts of time, and we are not wishing to insert some miracles to make Enceladus erupt or Iapetus magically form mountains at its equator. We are not suggesting that the intervention of God is required continually or that He cannot work through natural law if He chooses to do so, which may be the overwhelming majority of the time. Nor are we arguing that models are not useful in many contexts. This discussion is not really about God at all, but about the truth claims of methodological naturalism in dealing with the unobservable past. Even if one finds the right settings of the knobs that produce a resemblance to these bodies, how would one know the model is true? By tweaking parameters in a model, which is not reality but a simplification of it, the modeler has only applied his or her intelligent design to achieve a correspondence between an imaginary prehistory and the actual history of the world. Is the correspondence real or contrived? If it feels satisfying to discover a correspondence, how is this feeling validated? When a whole class of causes (specifically, intelligent causes) has been ruled out from the get-go, then what remains must be forced to fit even when it does not fit very well. Furthermore, numerous assumptions in the models are never addressed. One is the age assumption. A straightforward interpretation from unbiased observation is that these moons cannot be very old. Yet the entire exercise is focused on preserving a fixed parameter – 4.5 billion years. Why is this parameter never questioned? Other astronomers are now claiming that planets can – and indeed must – form quickly, or else they risk being swept up into their parent stars (05/07/2001, 05/30/2002) Some have even suggested gas giants could form in just a few hundreds or thousands of years (11/20/2002, 12/02/2002). What is so sacred about this number 4.5 billion years that everything under the sun must be forced into it, no matter how improbable? Could it be simply that Darwin needs the time? And if these moons and the entire solar system actually were created by primary causation, how would they know? Their very methodology precludes such a fact from being discovered, if that indeed is what happened. A commitment to unbounded methodological naturalism is a commitment to secondary causation into the past ad infinitum. As such, it is indistinguishable from philosophical naturalism. One cannot defend such a position scientifically, because it is an a priori assumption. It sets arbitrary bounds on scientific explanations that may be very useful for observable, repeatable phenomena, but not necessarily for historical phenomena. In operational science, a persistent search for secondary causation has been productive. To assume it is, and must be, in every case, including origins, is not a scientific question, but a question of philosophy about science. When methodological naturalism produces the kind of refined storytelling as seen here, it seems more a quest to preserve one’s philosophical preferences than to know what actually happened. It is not qualitatively different from choosing a philosophy or religion or hobby because it feels good. In this game, a personal Creator actually involved in the creation and free to act in direct ways has been ruled out of bounds by dogma. The creation myth is already decided even before the observations are allowed to speak. Playing by these rules is bound to produce implausible scenarios in which multiple tweaks must be added in the right sequence to keep the story going. Nature, however, often refuses to submit to our presuppositions. Perhaps a little humility is in order.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
16 May 2013 In a significant milestone for South Africa’s Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, the first scientific paper based on observations using the KAT-7 demonstrator radio telescope has been accepted for publication by the prestigious journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomy Society. The seven-dish KAT-7 is paving the way for the 64-dish MeerKAT telescope, due to be commissioned in 2014/15 both as a precursor to the SKA and as one of the most powerful telescopes in the world in its own right. “This is a significant milestone for South Africa’s SKA project, proving that our engineers are able to deliver a cutting-edge scientific instrument, and that our scientists are able to use it for frontier science,” Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom said in a statement on Thursday. “It bodes well for the delivery of our 64-dish MeerKAT telescope, currently under construction in the Karoo, and for our ability to play a key role in building and commissioning thousands of SKA antennas over the next 10 years.” Giant outbursts from binary star system According to SKA South Africa, local and international astronomers using the KAT-7 telescope in the Karoo along the existing 26-metre radio telescope at the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) near Johannesburg, have observed “a neutron star system known as Circinus X-1 as it fires energetic matter from its core in extensive, compact jets that flare brightly”. The details of the flares are visible only in radio waves. Circinus X-1 is a two-star system in which one of the companion stars is a high-density neutron star – an extremely dense and compact remnant of an exploded star, only about 20 kilometres in diameter. When the two stars are at their closest in their elliptical orbit, the gravity of the dense neutron star pulls material from the companion star, causing a powerful jet of material to blast out from the system. When KAT-7 observed Circinus X-1 between December 2011 and January 2012, the system flared twice at levels among the highest observed in recent years. KAT-7 was able to catch both these flares and follow them as they progressed – the first time that the system has been observed in such detail during multiple flare cycles. “One way of explaining what is happening is that the compact neutron star gobbles up part of its companion star and then fires much of this matter back out again,” said Dr Richard Armstrong, a SKA Fellow at the University of Cape Town and lead author of the paper reporting these results. “The dramatic radio flares happen when the matter Circinus X-1 has violently ejected slows down as it smashes into the surrounding gas.” At the same time, Circinus X-1 was being observed at HartRAO at two higher frequencies as part of a long-term study of this object. HartRAO Emeritus Astronomer Dr George Nicolson, a pioneer of radio astronomy in South Africa, said the flares were much stronger at the higher frequencies, “and by combining the three sets of measurements, we could study how each flare evolved as time progressed and investigate details of the turbulent interactions of the jet. “These types of observations help us to understand how matter is accreted onto extremely dense systems, such as neutron stars and black holes,” Armstrong said. “They also shed light on how neutron stars are able to generate these powerful outflows and associated radio bursts.”Development of the ThunderKAT project According to Professor Justin Jonas, associate director for science and engineering at SKA South Africa, the KAT-7 telescope was built as an engineering test bed to refine the design and systems for the MeerKAT telescope, “but we are absolutely delighted that it has turned out to be a top quality science instrument, capable of producing significant science. “We plan to continue using KAT-7 to do science until at least 2015, when part of the 64-dish MeerKAT telescope will become available to researchers,” Jonas said. The observations and analysis that went into the paper accepted for publication involved collaborative work by scientists from SKA South Africa along with local and international universities. This work forms part of the development of the ThunderKAT project on MeerKAT, which aims to find many more of these types of systems in the galaxy, and to search for new types of radio systems that change rapidly with time. According to the two leaders of the ThunderKAT project, Professor Rob Fender of the University of Southampton in the UK and Professor Patrick Woudt of the University of Cape Town, the project will search for all types of radio bursts and flashes in KAT-7 and MeerKAT data on timescales from seconds to years. Finding and studying the systems that produce these outbursts will allow scientists to test the extremes of physics, and are beyond anything achievable in any laboratory on Earth. “These systems provide a unique glimpse of the laws of physics operating in extraordinary regimes”, Woudt says, “and nearly all such events are associated with transient radio emissions.” SAinfo reporter
It’s been only four years since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was passed. But in many ways this one piece of legislation has already had a profound impact on the entire business community. The goal of SOX is to achieve greater transparency and accountability in financial reporting, and in doing so, provide a way to more closely scrutinize public coporations from the outside. Stiff fines, penalties and the threat of litigation have been strong motivators to get companies to comply. But many or maybe even most companies still have a long way to go.Part of the reluctance or difficulty with SOX is just coming to grips with what it all means. SOX does not clearly spell out in black and white the steps for achieving compliance. It was intended to provide overall guidance, but it is very broad and lengthy, consisting of 11 parts and 66 sections. The language in SOX was written in very general terms to spell out requirements that apply to all public companies, and the interpretation and the methods by which SOX compliance are achieved is still evolving.Application of SOX to a business requires a sound understanding of the company’s business processes and the flow of information in the business. Perhaps the most onerous SOX requirement is contained in section 404 that requires companies to maintain documentation of all their internal controls and to be able to provide access to that information so that an external auditor can regularly review and attest to the company compliance with the law.Section 302 requires that corporate executives provide and certify the correctness of the contents of company financial reports and also certify that the procedure for the preparation of the reports was done in a manner that is consistent with the law.Sections 302 and 404, in particular, and to a lesser extent, sections 103, 104, 105, 408, 409, 801, 802, 906 and 1102 of SOX focus on the management and control of business processes and the information that flows through them.Forward-thinking corporate executives have seen that Sarbanes-Oxley, while restrictive, is in many ways just good business. It is a very structured approach for reducing operational risk, improving business performance, and achieving competitive advantage.While there is no ‘silver-bullet’ for achieving SOX compliance, technology exists today to simplify the task. Enterprise Content Management (ECM) components like Document Management, Records Management and Business Process Management can assist in meeting many of the SOX requirements.Applying general ECM tools to SOX compliance may make sense to many companies rather than a closely tailored SOX-out-of-the-box solution. Many companies need to deal with other types of compliance other than SOX. There is a lot of overlap in requirements, but clearly the system should be flexible to handle requirements and scenarios that fall outside of those from SOX. Banks, finance and insurance companies are bound by Basel II, health care companies are bound by HIPAA, and public companies also need to comply SEC regulations such as 17a-4. Not to mention FDA CPR 21 Section 11, FASB, IASB, MISMO, and the Patriot Act.ECM assists in the capture and classification of documents and records and manages them through their complete lifecycle and controls their final disposition, and its use is applicable across a the entire range of regulatory compliance applications.ECM benefits for compliance applications:– eliminate/reduce the risk of being unable to locate critical documents– save labor required to manage, locate and retrieve documents required for audits– fast ROI from the improved speed in document retrieval– ability to provide quick and accurate responses to regulatory bodies and court requestsWhen approaching compliance, products from ECM tool and application vendors like Formtek should form the base of the solution. ECM technology can assist in dramatically reducing the overall cost of achieving compliance.
As we noted recently, September is going to be a big month for the Syracuse Center of Excellence, the federation of firms and institutions that develops technologies and strategies to improve health, productivity, security, and sustainability in built and urban environments.For starters, September is the month Syracuse CoE, in Syracuse, New York, will open its new headquarters, a LEED Platinum office and research building designed for use by businesses and other organizations specializing in environmental and energy technologies, and building innovation. The five-story facility includes more than 12,600 sq. ft. of laboratory space for biofuels testing on its first floor, and various combinations lab and office space on the four floors above.Not surprisingly, the building also puts into practice features at the heart and forefront of green commercial and residential construction, including a ground-source heat pump, advanced heat recovery and reuse systems, natural ventilation, a system for monitoring outside air and controls for improving indoor air, rain water capture and reuse, and a green roof.The big welcomeThe true inauguration of the building, though, will be when it receives visitors from the 2009 Healthy Buildings International Conference & Exhibition, scheduled for September 13 through 17 at Syracuse’s Convention Center at Oncenter.Healthy Buildings’ organizers say the conference is expected to attract thousands of researchers and other specialists in indoor air quality, built environments, HVAC, health sciences, public health policy, urban planning, mechanical engineering, architecture, and building design and management.A signature event of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality & Climate, the conference will feature as its plenary speaker Eduardo de Oliveira Fernandes, an engineering professor at the University of Porto, Portugal, who specializes in building thermal physics and passive solar technologies, and serves on the European Commission’s working group on indoor air quality.Naturally, conference attendees are going to want to see how Syracuse CoE’s new headquarters – which has space for rent – performs and looks. And it is hard to imagine a crowd whose interests are more in line with those off Syracuse CoE, where the three areas of focus are clean and renewable energy, water resources, and indoor environmental quality.Click here for conference registration details.
RELATED ARTICLES Transforming energy marketsOver the past 24 years — under Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — the United States has made substantial investments to promote research, development and deployment of clean energy technologies. Transforming U.S. energy systems away from coal and toward clean renewable energy was once a vision touted mainly by environmentalists. Now it is shared by market purists.Today, renewable energy resources like wind and solar power are so affordable that they’re driving coal production and coal-fired generation out of business. Lower-cost natural gas is helping, too.I direct Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy, which works with states to facilitate the transition toward a clean energy economy. In my view, today’s energy market reflects years of federal and state support for clean energy research, development, and deployment.And, despite the Trump administration’s support of coal, a recent survey of industry leaders shows that utilities are not changing their plans significantly. Integration and technology advances support renewablesThere are, of course, renewable energy skeptics. Detractors argue that wind and sun are intermittent sources — not reliable 24 hours a day as a resource that can be turned on and off in response to power market demands.Most new generating capacity added in recent years has been renewables and natural gas while most retired generation has been coal-fired. (Energy Information Administration)This is partially true: A single solar field only produces energy when the sun is shining, and a single wind farm only produces energy while the wind is blowing.But as these resources expand geographically, they create an integrated system of renewable generation that produces a consistent source of electricity.States in New England, mid-Atlantic and the Midwest have integrated electricity systems run by independent system operators that deliver power over large geographic areas, enabling them to balance energy output across their territories.Now the West, too, is starting to integrate into regional transmission systems powered largely by clean sources.For example, in Colorado, Xcel Energy recently submitted a plan to regulators to replace coal generation with renewables and natural gas. This shift will bring its Colorado mix of power up to 55% renewable by 2026 while reducing associated emissions 60% below 2005 levels — all without the EPA’s Clean Power Plan or a renewable mandate. Xcel also is finalizing plans to join the Southwest Power Pool, a transmission market that includes nine other states.Further, advances in energy storage are decreasing the intermittency of renewable generation and offering utilities a buffer between energy demand and energy supply.With storage, utilities can deliver energy when the system needs it. They also can meet spikes in demand with energy from batteries, which reduces the need to build expensive generation that is needed only to meet peak power demand.Innovation is also giving utilities and consumers new ways to manage their power needs. More energy-efficient buildings and appliances, and the ability to manage power requirements through an intelligent grid, will make it possible to do more with less electricity, lowering energy costs for everyone.I expect this dramatic transition to become more pronounced over the next 15 to 20 years. U.S. energy production and consumption will continue to evolve toward a cleaner, more stable, and more intelligent system.This is good news for U.S. energy consumers and for efforts to protect our climate, environment, and economy for future generations. Bill Ritter is the former governor of Colorado. After leaving the governor’s office, Ritter founded the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, which works with state and federal policy makers to create clean energy policy throughout the country. This post originally appeared at The Conversation. Utilities care about cost and predictabilityA recent survey by the trade publication Utility Dive found that electric power industry leaders expect significant growth in solar, wind, natural gas, and energy storage. They also project significant decreases in coal- and oil-fired generation.Why is their outlook so divergent from what’s happening in Washington, D.C.? The answer is a result of multiple market dynamics within the energy industry.1) Markets favor low-cost energy. Currently natural gas, wind, and solar are the lowest-cost resources available to produce electricity and are pushing out coal as a source of power.2) Markets emphasize the long view. As utilities look at aging coal plants that are providing decreasing value to their systems, they are making multi-decade and multi-billion-dollar decisions on investments in power plants and infrastructure to replace coal.3) Markets loathe uncertainty. The Trump administration’s policy reversals and tweets are an unstable foundation upon which to build a corporate strategy.4) Wall Street is helping utilities finance billions of dollars of investment. To ensure access to low-cost capital, they want to cite low-risk investments. Coal represents a high-risk investment from both a pollution and a resource standpoint. In 2016, 44% percent of the U.S. coal supply came from companies that had declared bankruptcy. The resource is simply too risky for investment markets.5) Utilities earn returns on investments in capital infrastructure. Investments in renewable resources are nearly all capital investment and represent the best return for investors. White House Takes Aim at Renewable Energy ResearchCost of Renewable Energy Continues to FallAn Unlikely Bastion of Renewable EnergyDebating Our All-Renewable Future These Southern Cities Are Going 100 Percent Clean (Energy) Federal agencies provided funding for research and development as well as tax incentives. States used renewable portfolio standards, which typically require that power providers supply an increasing percentage of renewable energy to their customers, to promote deployment of green energy.This one-two punch led to innovations that have transformed U.S. energy markets. In the last eight years, utility-scale solar costs have declined by 86% and wind energy prices have fallen by 67%.Natural gas prices, which were highly volatile and often spiked in the early 2000s, have now stabilized at much more affordable levels. They are likely to remain so as production methods improve and sources expand.The Trump administration is resisting this trend, repealing the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and proposing subsidies for coal-fired power plants. In doing so, it has also eliminated programs that were designed to help coal-dependent communities weather the energy transition.But these reversals can do little to change underlying market forces, which are driving innovation, closing coal plants, and promoting investment in clean technologies.
If there was a silver lining on Wednesday, it was the Mumbai Monorail. Otherwise in the news for its lack of frequency and breakdowns, the Monorail turned into a refuge for thousands of stranded passengers, though there was one case of a breakdown.Monorail services were packed through the day with serpentine queues at ticket counters. According to officials of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Wadala and Lower Parel saw the maximum number of passengers. The sudden surge, led the MMRDA to control the number of tickets issued per train. Around 8.04 p.m. a Monorail full of passengers got stuck near Bhakti Park station. “The stoppage happened due to the current not being collected from power rail, possibly due to overcrowding. The train returned to Bhakti Park station and all commuters were safe,” an official said. Several passengers took to social media to praise the service, highlighting its need. Priya Srinivas, tweeted, “With trains being slow and stopped, Monorail has come to the rescue. It is working fine and on time! Would recommend for everyone if it covers even half your distance. Stay safe Mumbaikars!”Another commuter, Chandan Jha tweeted, “Monorail is running exceptionally, even in heavy rains! Looks like we can depend on them in the heavy Mumbai rains.”
Posted: April 19, 2019 April 19, 2019 AP Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter AP, SAN DIEGO (AP) — Authorities looking for a 15-year-old girl who vanished with two murder suspects have found their car in San Diego near the Mexican border.The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says Friday that the empty BMW sedan was found in the San Ysidro area, which is a major border crossing.The hunt for the car and for 15-year-old Alora Benitez of Redondo Beach began Wednesday.Authorities say she’s believed to be with her mother and a man who are considered suspects in the killing of a man in Carson.The body of 32-year-old Jeffery Appel was found Tuesday in the front seat of a parked Audi in the Los Angeles suburb.There’s no word on the cause of his death or the motive. Car found near the border in connection to missing LA teen