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Companies in VOSHA’s Green Mountain Voluntary Protection Programs perform better than national average

first_imgCompanies enrolled in the VOSHA Green Mountain Voluntary Protection Programs (GMVPP) have, once again, performed at a higher level than the national average of their peers in the area of reportable jobsite injuries and illnesses, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Incidence rates of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses by industry and case types, 2008.In the latest 2008 BLS report, two important performance measures are tracked and compared to the North American Industrial Classification Code System (NAICS) for each industry type. The first is the industry Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR). This rate is a reflection of the worksite s total recordable cases in a calendar year. The second is the Days Away Restricted and/or Transferred rate (DART). This rate reflects the number of recordable cases in a calendar year that result in an employee missing time from work or having to perform duties which are not their normal jobsite duties due to the injury or illness. These rates are reflected in a percentage per 1000 employees in a particular NAICS industry type.For the 2009 calendar year all of the employers recognized by the GMVPP have outperformed the latest injury and illness statistics. The following are the performance numbers listed as a percentage below the related BLS average for their respective industries.Ben and Jerry s Homemade, Saint Albans Manufacturing FacilityTCIR 64% DART 52%United Water NACO, Saint Johnsbury Waste Water Treatment FacilityTCIR 100%, No recordable cases DART 100%, No recordable casesEnergizer Battery, Bennington Manufacturing FacilityTCIR 61% DART 88%Energizer Battery, Saint Albans Manufacturing FacilityTCIR 30% DART 16%G.E. Aviation, Rutland ManufacturingTCIR 31% DART 42%IBM, Essex JunctionTCIR 31% DART 17%Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, VernonTCIR 60% DART 100%, No recordable casesVermont Agency of Transportation, District 7, Saint JohnsburyTCIR 58% DART 100%, No recordable casesThe GMVPP is a VOSHA partnership program that recognizes worksites with exemplary safety and health management systems in place. Those systems are based on four core values: 1) Management Commitment and Employee Involvement; 2) Worksite Hazard Assessment; 3) Hazard Prevention and Control; and 4) Employee Safety and Health Training.last_img read more

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McGill asks for cool heads as championship begins

first_imgThe Premier County lost out at the death in yesterday’s Lidl National League Division 3 Final Replay against Waterford who claimed the title at the last kick of the game. The Tipp team will get their championship campaign underway next week, and manager Gerry McGill says they will have to get over their disappointment very quickly.last_img

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Why Raiders should commit to one more year in Oakland

first_imgReward a fan base that did not expect or deserve the 3-11 product that started with a skunk in the bowels of the Coliseum in Week 1 and then took it on the … Amy Trask thinks the Raiders should throw their fans a big party on Christmas Eve.Here’s a better idea. Throw it a year from now.Lawsuit or no lawsuit, Raiders owner Mark Davis should come out and express his intent to play at Coliseum in 2019. Do it this week before the Raiders’ home finale against Denver on Monday night.last_img

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Pop Goes the Fatbubble Theory for the Origin of Life

first_imgJack Szostak and colleagues at Howard Hughes Medical Institute have a new entry for stories about how the first life got rolling: the bubble theory.  Bubbles of fat molecules enclosing genetic material might have given rise to a primitive form of natural selection, they say; the more effective at replication the RNA inside a lucky bubble, the more osmotic pressure it would create, causing the bubble to grow.  Bubbles battled for supremacy in this primordial soup till Darwinian selection took over, and that’s where we came from.  The scenario was published in Science1 Sept. 3 and summarized on EurekAlert.    They actually did test the idea in the lab.  “We tested whether fatty acid vesicles … osmotically stressed by encapsulated contents would increase in membrane area at the expense of unstressed vesicles,” they say.  They had to set boundary conditions so that the bubbles did not rupture (i.e., pop).  In scientific lingo, that translates into: “We therefore determined the maximum sustainable membrane tension of oleate (C18:1) vesicles under osmotic stress.”  They experimented with sugar inside the bubbles, then RNA with nucleotides.  Sure enough, the winning bubbles grew by stealing membrane material from those with lesser contents.  Given any charged genetic polymer inside a fatbubble, they believe bigger would win the competition.  The paper has the customary tables, graphs and incomprehensible jargon, then ends with a summary of their own materialistic, naturalistic origin of life scenario that requires nothing but “simple physical principles” properly applied.  Once upon a time,We suggest that the phenomenon of osmotically driven, competitive vesicle growth could have played an important role in the emergence of Darwinian evolution during the origin of cellular life (supporting online text).  The present results suggest that simple physical principles may allow a direct connection between genome and membrane.  RNA replicating within vesicles could confer a substantial growth advantage to the membrane by creating internal osmotic pressure.  The faster replication of a superior replicase would therefore lead to faster vesicle growth, at the expense of cells lacking RNA or containing less efficient replicases.  A faster replicase genotype would thus produce the higher-level phenotype of faster cellular growth, a prerequisite of cellular replication (supporting online text).  Darwinian evolution at the organismal level might therefore have emerged earlier than previously thought—at the level of a one-gene cell.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)EurekAlert, in its summary titled “Battle between bubbles might have started evolution,” says they proposed this scenario as an alternative to the reigning popular “RNA World” theory.  They like it because it is not as complicated.1Chen, Roberts and Szostak, “The Emergence of Competition Between Model Protocells,” Science, Vol 305, Issue 5689, 1474-1476, 3 September 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1100757].One of the problems with peer review is that if a few reviewers let nonsense pass, it can get published in a prestigious journal, and snuggle into the corpus of scientific literature, without opportunity for immediate refutation.  Then science reporters, like eager guppies at the base of a waterfall waiting for crud to wash over, swallow it whole and regurgitate for the peasants who respect science but don’t know any better.  This is soooooo stupid, it makes you wonder how Big Science can print such silliness without making the Darwin Party blush.  The answer is: they have to.  Their materialism pushes them to silly storytelling because they have already rejected the alternative, intelligent design.  Choosing beforehand to ignore the obvious, silly storytelling is all they have available, so they dress it up in enough scientific glitter to distract attention from the pitiful plot.  Computer programmers know this game.  A bug is a bug, but if you dress it in a handsome suit, it is transformed into a “feature.”    One hole is sufficient to make a bubble pop, but this story has more than a wiffle ball.  Wise readers, get out your baloney detectors.Personification: It’s bad enough when evolutionists personify birds and flowers, but now they expect us to believe that bubbles compete in the evolutionary fitness game?  Bubbles couldn’t care if they win or pop.Begging the question: They assume what they need to prove, by having us believe that RNA replicating enzymes (extremely sophisticated molecular machines, called replicases) already existed.  Their experiments seeded the bubbles with man-made functional RNA machinery.  This is like Olympic judges ignoring a sprinter competing on a motorcycle.Word games: The Darwin Party’s favorite euphemism for miracle, “emergence” is all over the place.Prisoner’s Dilemma:  A fatbubble with RNA inside is a prison, not a factory.  Once the RNA inside uses up all its food (nucleotides), it cannot evolve any further.  Cells have elaborate ways to control entry and exit of materials from the external environment, but fatbubbles do not.  As such, they are death traps (see 01/17/2002 commentary). More Begging the Question:  They consider a more primitive genetic material (PNA), then just assume that the more complex and difficult RNA and DNA molecules will “emerge” by Darwinian evolution, the very thing they need to prove.  They say, “In contrast, a neutral polymer such as PNA (peptide nucleic acid), having no associated counterions, would be a much less effective osmolyte, a difference that may have influenced the natural selection of the genetic material itself.”  Did you catch that?  That’s like saying, “A Piper Cub is difficult to evolve, so maybe the difference between a Piper Cub and a 757 influenced the evolution of the jumbo jet itself.”  Come again?Card Stacking:  To sneak Darwinian natural selection into the plot, they play the replication card but leave out the accuracy card.  Faster or more efficient replication is useless unless it is accurate.  Without accurate copying, any gains will be quickly lost due to the phenomenon of “error catastrophe” – an accumulation of errors that makes the house of cards fall flat.Non-sequitur:  They assume that bigger is better.  A bigger dead bubble is still dead.  It’s not evolving into a living cell.  They think that since fast growth is a prerequisite for life, getting some bubbles to grow faster is a step in the right direction.  It does not follow.Yet more begging the question:  They presume that one gene, a replicase, is all that is necessary.  They expect sensible adults to believe that a machine that can replicate an RNA molecule (how that “emerged,” they conveniently omit) was sufficient to produce translators, transporters, energy conversion systems, and factories of molecular machines working together in harmony.  If that is not a myth, what is?Glittering Generalities:  Do they really expect us to believe that bubbles that grow to a certain size in a laboratory flask can tell us anything about the origin of life?  Only if the audience enjoys bedtime stories like Gullible’s Drivels.Suggestion:  By associating these irrelevant fatbubbles to the Grand Myth of Evolution, they create a mystique about them that lead us to envision marvelous bubbles evolving into fantastic living things.  Disney would love to animate this, right next to the ballerina hippos.OK, that’s enough.  Time would fail us to discuss the extrapolation fallacy, the post-hoc fallacy, the misuse of circumstantial evidence, the difficulty that lipid membranes fall apart in the presence of salt (see 09/17/2002 headline), etc.  One hole is sufficient.  The only worthwhile observation about this story is that the authors realize that the popular “RNA World” scenario (see 07/11/2002 headline) is too complex to be credible, so they offer this putative transitional plot that is simpler, in hopes of extending the magic wand of natural selection further back into the story, as if that would help.  Did it help?    It’s high time we stop letting “scientists” dazzle us with bugs in suits and bubbles that come to life.  This is juvenile imagination, not science.  Only intelligent design could make a fatbubble do other than what comes naturally.  For those who like crossword puzzles, what’s a three-letter word for “a phenomenon incurred by exceeding the maximum sustainable membrane tension of vesicles under osmotic stress”?Accounting for a viable cellGets Darwinists in trouble;Without design the growth to compel,Pop goes the bubble.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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CAF gives SA thumbs-up for Afcon 2013

first_img8 February 2013The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has given South Africa the thumbs-up for organising a successful 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament.Speaking ahead of the final match on Sunday, CAF Secretary-General Hicham El Amrani had only good things to say about South Africa’s organisation of the tournament.“We are greatly satisfied with the hosting of this tournament so far and we are hoping to continue enjoying the remaining games, which include the runners-up and the final match,” El Amrani told reporters in Johannesburg on Thursday.“As CAF, we are satisfied with the progress of the tournament. We are satisfied with the infrastructure as well as the support from the South African government.”The 29th edition of the Afcon culminates up with a final match showdown between Nigeria and Burkina Faso at the National Stadium outside Soweto on Sunday.The CAF secretary-general declined to comment on claims that Issa Hayatou intended to resign soon as CAF president. Hayatou has been CAF president since 1987.Asked whether there was a chance the controversial red card given to Burkina Faso forward Jonathan Pitriopa by Tunisian referee Slim Jdidi during the semi-final match against Ghana could be reversed, El Amrani said CAF did not have the power to change the referee’s decision, unless the referee admitted on his official report that he had made a mistake.He said the CAF executive committee would meet on Friday to review the entire tournament, adding that Pitriopa’s red card would be tabled for discussion.Burkina Faso has lodged an official appeal to CAF to have the controversial red card rescinded.According to El Amrani, the continental football governing body has since suspended the Tunisian referee for his poor handling of the semi-final match, which Burkina Faso won 3-2 in the penalty shoot-out to reach their first ever Afcon finals.Afcon local organising committee CEO Mvuzo Mbebe urged football fans to arrive early at the stadium on Sunday so that they can witness the closing ceremony, which will start at 6:45pm.“We are appealing to all match ticket holding fans to be at the stadium at 4pm. Together with the City of Johannesburg and Passenger Rail Agency South Africa, we’ve made special transport arrangements to transport fans to the stadium,” he said.Tickets for the final match have been sold out.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Children’s museum planned for Johannesburg

first_imgPlay Africa will be the first children’s museum in South Africa. Like children’s museums elsewhere, it will not be a staid mausoleum to history, but rather a place where children of all ages will be able to play and learn through interacting with a variety of giant exhibits. A museum designed for children, to allow them to learn and have fun doing it. (Image: Play Africa) Priya Pitamber“It was so exciting to go into a space and you could touch anything, that there was nothing off limits to you as a child,” recalled Gretchen Wilson Prangley, the founder and chief executive of Play Africa, of her first visit to a children’s museum. “There was something like a giant bubble maker that made big, square bubbles and I remember seeing something when you’re that small that could create something that big, it’s extremely exhilarating.”The American-born former journalist has been living in South Africa for over a decade. She was inspired when she took her six-month-old son to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in New York City: it would be great to have a facility like this in Johannesburg, she thought. And so the idea of Play Africa was born; once up and running, it will be the first of its kind in South Africa.Gigantic interactive exhibitionThink of the word “museum” and the image that pops into mind is a quiet, still place filled with valuable artefacts and ancient items, where information is given via small plaques by the glass cases or through audio tutorial – and “Do not touch” signs are seen everywhere. A children’s museum is an entirely different concept. It’s more of a gigantic interactive exhibition on a range of topics. Many have indoor and outdoor spaces, and the most family friendly also offer food or picnic facilities.“Kids are immediately transfixed by the site of life sized dinosaurs ‘bursting’ through the museum’s exterior walls, and inside they will find nearly a half million square feet of exhibition space, a staggering amount,” the American business magazine, Forbes, noted of the Children’s Museum Indianapolis.In their research – they spoke to 200 South African families – Prangley and her team found that the term “children’s museum” made people think of a place where you learned about the history of childhood. “We hope people understand these are the places you can go… these places are so exciting and compelling and dynamic, you want to run into them because they’re such vibrant spaces, and the word ‘museum’ tends to make people think of something really different.”According to the Association of Children’s Museums, there are more than 350 of these worldwide. The first, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, opened its doors over a century ago, in 1899. One of its pioneers, Anna Billings Gallup, described the concept in 1925 as “Brooklyn’s gift to the world”.Children’s rightsThe rights of children are enshrined in South Africa’s Constitution. “Children need special protection because they are among the most vulnerable members of society,” reads the Constitutional Court website. “They are dependent on others – their parents and families, or the state when these fail – for care and protection. As a result, the drafters of our Constitution have made children’s rights a priority – and have stated that the best interests of a child are the overriding concern when it comes to any matter affecting him or her.”Prangley said Play Africa would help to empower children. “We’re saying children are worth the investment in our community, to create spaces that are made for them that empower them to touch, feel, explore and discover new things, new areas, to be exposed to new ideas, exposed to the world,” she said. “A child should walk away feeling extremely empowered because they’ve just engaged in a space entirely made for them.”She observed that most urban areas catered for adults predominately; here, children needed to navigate the space in an adult world.“For better or worse, children live in an adult-centred world. When they enter a magical world where this is not the case, it is a truly energising experience.” – John H Falk and Lynn D Dierking, Learning from Museums: Visitor Experiences and the Making of Meaning“A right to a safe child-appropriate space to play is a basic human right but the reality is that only 29% of South Africa’s children have access to safe play areas,” said Prangley.More than a schoolThe first obvious difference between a children’s museum and a school or a crèche is that it is much bigger. For Play Africa specifically, Prangley and her team are searching for the right spot. “What we’re looking at is between 3 000 and 5 000 square metres of indoor space, and 6 000m2 of outdoor space.”There would also be a lot of self-directed learning, where children and their parents or caregivers could entirely immerse themselves in the experience. “You might walk in and find a child is drawn to a science laboratory in which they are invited to experiment with this idea of themselves as a scientist by using materials they will ever be able to find in their own school or crèche,” explained Prangley. “They might sit in the art studio and create a clay sculpture using materials they might never have the chance to access in their own school or crèche. They might spend their time learning about ecology through a water based exhibit.” If a child feels like being a scientist for the day, they can at a children’s museum. (Image: Play Africa) Open to all childrenPeggy Chauke, the director of Leratong Preschool in Alexandra, Joburg, supports a safe area where children can play. She said the only place children played in Alex was on the roads. “They play soccer, cricket, whatever they want to play, they play in the street, which is very dangerous for them.”Watch:In cities that have them, children’s museums have become tourist destinations, attracting both local and international visitors. Prangley pointed out that Mexico City’s children’s museum was the third most popular stop in the Mexican capital. Forbes magazine said the largest of them, Children’s Museum Indianapolis “is often ranked the single best such museum in the country, and fills five floors with permanent and temporary exhibits”.In addition to tourism, children’s museums help to create a niche business industry. “You’ll find all over the world, small businesses that have been created specifically to create materials, to create exhibits, engaging hands-on learning tools for children and families,” observed Prangley. “We believe there is enormous potential for enterprises.”Flagship destinationPrangley would like Johannesburg’s museum to be a flagship destination, opening in 2018. “We’ve been approached to do satellite projects. We also envision micro sites operating in smaller communities,” she said. “We see beyond Johannesburg. We’ve also been approached by four governments – in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We believe that Johannesburg will be the first of many.”She envisioned it as a place where families of all types, beyond race and class lines, could come together. “We believe in using a very inclusive space to bridge divides in our city,” she said. “We’re saying this is where every child and every family feels like they can come and play together, learn together, and dream together.” Just as she did as a child, when she saw those giant bubbles.For more information, visit Play Africa.last_img read more

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Quick Tip: Creating Extended Markers in Premiere Pro

first_imgLearn how to mark a range in your timeline using this Premiere Pro quick tip.You may be familiar with markers in Premiere Pro, but did you know that markers can be adjusted to cover a span of time rather than a single point? By creating these “extended markers” users can more accurately define comments and edit notes. Simply follow the steps below and you will be setting extended markers in no-time.This feature was added to Premiere in version CS6.1. Place a Marker in Your Premiere TimelineMove your playhead to the desired marker location and click the ‘M’ key.2. Option-Click the MarkerOption-click on a Mac or Alt-click on a PC to change the marker from a single point to an extended marker.3. Drag the Marker HandlesIt’s as easy as it sounds. Simply drag your marker’s in and out points to cover the desired range in your timeline. Duration can also be adjusted by double clicking the marker and adjusting the duration parameter.4. Markers Will Reflect In and Out PointsIf you can’t see the Markers panel go to Window>Markers in the menu bar. All of your markers will be reflected here, with edit notes.If you want to learn more about Premiere Pro check out the Premiere section of the Premiumbeat blog.Have any other tips for using extended markers? Let us know in the comments below!The video images in this example are from IMSTEPF Studios, used with a Creative Commons Attribution license.last_img read more