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IPL’s juggling act – Balancing Champs with Reggae Boyz match in mind

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first_imgWith just a few days separating the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletic Champion-ships now under way at the National Stadium and Jamaica’s crucial FIFA World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica at the same venue, Independence Park Limited (IPL) has taken several steps to ensure that the wear on the surface is limited. IPL General Manager Major Desmon Brown told The Gleaner that every effort is being made to limit the effect that the five-day high school track and field championships will have on the infield area, with the hope of ensuring the surface remains in pristine condition with the Reggae Boyz March 25 qualifier in mind. “What we hope to do, and we will try as best as possible, is to limit any damage to the infield area during Champs of course,” said Brown. “At the same time, we don’t want to kill the spirit for Champs, but it’s also important to do our best to preserve the surface as best as we can ahead of the World Cup qualifier.” Adjustments include the repositioning of electronic advertising boards to the cycle track in front of the bleachers section – from their customary spot at the edge of the infield area – and the addition of protective mats in the shot put vector. “Basically, events like the javelin and discus don’t do too much damage to the surface itself, but for shot put, we have put in the protective turf because that can really create some problems,” Brown added. Officials will also be limiting movement across the infield and have erected protective bordering to help where this is concerned. Brown did, however, admit that they may find it difficult to enforce this restriction at the end of the championships when the winners are announced. “If it’s a one-off thing like what we see from time to time at the end of Champs when winners are announced, it wont have too much of an effect,” he reasoned. The ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships will come to an end on Saturday night Calabar High and Edwin Allen High are defending their respective boys’ and girls’ titles. Meanwhile, the Reggae Boyz will be looking to improve on their three points secured to date in their CONCACAF semi-final round World Cup qualifying campaign against Costa Rica on March 25.last_img read more

Aston Villa defender Jose Angel Crespo joins Rayo Vallecano on loan

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first_img Jose Angel Crespo Aston Villa have shipped out flop defender Jose Angel Crespo on loan.The rarely-seen Spaniard has joined La Liga side Rayo Vallecano until the end of the season.The 28-year-old joined from Spanish team Cordoba last summer when the Villa squad underwent another overhaul but he’s rarely been asked to contribute, even with Villa in turmoil.The former Sevilla, Racing Santander and Verona man represented Spain at numerous youth levels earlier in his career.But he’s started just one Premier League match this season – the 1-0 defeat to Stoke City in October. 1last_img

Urgent funding sought to protect Donegal Town from future floods

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first_imgA Donegal deputy has warned that Donegal Town will see more flooding chaos if pressure is not applied on the government to approve funding.Pat the Cope Gallagher TD, who was in Donegal in the wake of Storm Lorenzo on Friday, said that action must be taken urgently to complete flood prevention works in key areas.The alarm was raised after 5am on Friday morning when heavy downpours hit Donegal Town during Storm Lorenzo.  Fourteen homes and four businesses were damaged by floodwater, with a number of roads blocked during the morning. “Overall the picture in Donegal Town was critical, with serious flooding in Clarendon Drive, New Row, Drumlonagher and serious potential threat of flooding in Castle Street, in the area around the John Bosco Centre and Magee’s factory area, the latter areas only saved by the hide tide not fully coinciding with the heavy rainfall which had occurred earlier,” Pat the Cope said.Sean Bonner clearing out the water from the Alzhemiers Society charity shop in Donegal Town on Friday (North West Newspix)Deputy Gallagher said he has been in contact with the OPW and Minister of State Kevin Boxer Moran on the urgent need for Flood Relief in south Donegal.“The OPW have confirmed that in relation to Brookfield, that the bridge which is causing the flooding has already had a Part 8 approved for works to be carried out, and all that is required is sanction of a grant of €70,000,” Deputy Gallagher said. “Today’s flooding at Brookfield where at least 7 houses have been seriously flooded in this area alone, along with other flooding of lands, yards and the nearby Gaelscoil.” He added: “What is immediately required for the Donegal Town is for the Government to sanction a full technical assessment of the town and environs, in order that a comprehensive strategy can be put in place. “Presently the initial flooding survey compiled for Donegal Town, is part of a list of over 300 similar projects nationwide, and unless serious pressure applied, Donegal Town will languish without any progress being made.“The Government, local authority and Department of Social Protection need to provide immediate assistance to all those seriously affected by today’s flooding. “This is the third flooding of Donegal Town in the past three years alone, this cannot be allowed to continue, action must be taken and in order to get the necessary measures in place, the OPW and Government need to sanction for funding for Donegal Town flooding prevention,” concluded Pat the Cope. Urgent funding sought to protect Donegal Town from future floods was last modified: October 4th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Quick, Make Like an Ant

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first_imgAnts deserve a lot of respect, despite being a nuisance in the kitchen.  The very fact they are so effective at bugging us is a testament to their ingenuity in foraging, communicating and organizing themselves into successful colonies.  We might just gain some valuable knowledge by watching them more closely.Foraging: Live Science says that ants forage haphazardly, but there might be a method to their madness.  Anyone who has watched ant scouts on the kitchen sink knows they seem to go this way and that without a plan.  Why don’t they use a more organized search?  An experimental physicist at Penn State Erie believes that an organized sweep might present the scout with unexpected obstacles.  “The beauty of a mathematical random walk is that it eventually visits all points in space if you walk long enough – and it always returns to its starting point.”  Even so, ants don’t waste time retracing their steps.  They also exercise their keen senses and communicate what they find with other ants.  Bottom line: it works for them.  Before long, an organized trail of thousands of ants is lined up.Trafficking:  Why don’t ants get into traffic jams?  The ants follow trails of pheromones that can persist for hours.  It’s like our highways.  Their long, single-file trains seem destined for pile-ups, but they never occur.  PhysOrg investigated the question.  An international team of researchers found that even “as ant traffic density increases, the traffic maintains the same average velocity as at low densities.”  Add more ants to the train, and the train doesn’t slow down.  Learning how they do that could help our own traffic flow.    The scientists observed ant trains and also developed a mathematical model.  It appears they join platoons that move bumper-to-bumper at the same velocity.  These platoons merge into larger groupings that still maintain their velocity.  Human drivers tend to slow down when getting closer to one another.  The researchers intend to study the ant strategy further, but for now, they could only suggest that “perhaps evolution has optimized ant traffic flow.”Farming:  Many ant colonies have elaborate relationships with aphids and fungus.  Erika Check Hayden said in Nature News that “Ant colonies could be key to advances in biofuels and antibiotics.”  The reason is that leaf-cutter ants have learned to protect the fungus they need from parasitic fungus invaders.  They have additional symbiotic relationships with certain bacteria that produce selective antifungal drugs.  Cameron Currie (U of Toronto) said that “These ants are walking pharmaceutical factories.” Their expertise may inform our scientists about the effective manufacture of antibiotics.    Hayden added, “The ant colonies are also miniature biofuel reactors” because of the mass of leaves they transport into their fungus farms.  “Each year, ants from a single colony harvest up to 400 kilograms of leaves to feed their fungal partners.”  Scientists hadn’t figured out how the colonies digest the cellulose.  They would like to know, because “Researchers are keenly interested in better ways to break down cellulose, because it might allow them to make more efficient biofuels than those made from sugary foods, such as maize (corn).”  Using metagenomics, the researchers found additional symbiotic relationships with bacteria that perform the function.The second and third articles made reference to evolution.  In addition to the comment in #2 about evolution optimizing ant traffic flow, in #3, “Currie suggests that the newfound bacterial and fungal enzymes might be efficient at digesting cellulose because they have evolved for centuries along with the ant-fungal symbiosis.”  Both statements were made as mere suggestions.Evolution offered no real help to any of these stories.  It was just an afterthought, like some obligatory tie-in to the state religion.  The observational, empirical facts are that ant behavior is optimized.  Optimization is the work of intelligence, not chaos.  If we can apply our intelligence to use these findings toward the betterment of human society, then like Francis Bacon said, you will know good science by its fruit.(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more