first_imgAfter months of complaintsAfter numerous complaints were lodged about the difficulties being faced to traverse hinterland roads, contractors were finally mobilised to begin rehabilitative works.The state of hinterland roadsIn a recent engagement, Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman made this announcement, having identified that the prolonged rainy season amplified challenges to manoeuvre along the dreadful thoroughfares.“We have seen some hinterland roads or forest roads suffering some deterioration. I’m advised…that we have seen a prolonged wet season and more intense rainfall which has proven to be challenging for us,” he said.The Natural Resources Minister had established a partnership with the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and Public Infrastructure Ministry to share responsibility for the maintenance of hinterland roads. Presently, works have already commenced in a few areas.“Some road works have commenced. Certainly, contractors have been mobilised. GGMC, Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure are now sharing responsibility for hinterland roads.”In June, the regional administration of Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) had embarked on rehabilitative works on the Linden-Lethem trail after citing similar issues.Mayor of Lethem, David Adams had informed that the remedial activities had brought significant relief to the road users who have been suffering in the recent months.Road users, particularly minibus operators plying the trail were complaining of the deteriorated condition of the trail which had become almost impassable. Mayor Adams had said that no major works could be done on the trail during the rainy weather. During this season, extra attention needed to be paid to the trail between Mahdia and Mabura, which was in dire need of repair works.The minibus operators had lamented the deteriorating condition of the trail which they are forced to use to transport passengers and goods as a means of earning their daily bread.They described the trail as a “death trap” and bashed the Public Infrastructure Ministry for paying zero interest in conducting long-term repairs to that trail which is the only access to those areas. Those minibus operators were forced to park their buses for a period of time.Further, when they resumed work, they were unable to get into the mining town with their buses and as such, were forced to take passengers up to a point on the trail and then transfer those passengers and goods and other items to All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and pick-up trucks. These were able to get through the silt and into the mining town.This arrangement persisted for several weeks but resulted in hardships on those passengers and business owners who had to offset the double cost to reach into the mining town. Residents were also facing hardships as businesses were forced to inflate prices to offset the transportation cost and as such, they had to pay higher prices for goods.last_img read more

first_imgWHITTIER – Officials from the California Transportation Commission now plan to recommend full funding for the widening of the Santa Ana (5) Freeway between the Orange County border and the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway. Last week the Commission said it would only advise that half of the $387 million still needed for the $1.2 billion project be allocated, causing an uproar from various agencies and cities involved. But late Monday CTC staff amended their recommendations, agreeing that not fully funding the project “may be a hardship for the implementing agencies,” said Mitch Weiss, deputy director of the CTC. “After talking with the different agencies that will be affected, the Commission decided they wanted to make sure enough money was available to implement the project,” Weiss said Tuesday. The money will come from a transportation bond passed by voters in November that directed $4.7billion for highway improvements throughout California. Originally, the plans called for widening the freeway from the Orange County border in Buena Park to Bloomfield Avenue. But officials in La Mirada, Santa Fe Springs and Norwalk have been pushing for years to extend the project all the way to the 605. The plan now is to widen the I-5 Freeway from six to 10 lanes between Buena Park and the 605, with a car-pool lane on each side. Sixteen years ago those city leaders formed the I-5 Joint Powers Authority to find the funding for the extension. So far, they’ve acquired $800 million, but in order for all the work to be accomplished, they have said they need an additional $387million. Officials claim that stretch of the I-5 is one of the most congested sections of highway in the Los Angeles basin. As both a representative from the Joint Powers Authority and city manager of Santa Fe Springs, Fred Latham said now the project can finally go forward. “I’m very pleased,” Latham said. “It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride. We were led to believe that they were going to recommend full funding a couple of months ago, then last week they said they’d only give half. Now I’m pleased again.” Much of the pre-construction work has already been completed, including the environmental impact reviews and initial designs, he said. The nine-member CTC will vote today on the recommendations. pam.wight@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_imgHow does an evolutionist explain the perception that (within their timeline), no multicellular animals emerged for two billion years after the origin of life?  Jonathan Wells has compared this to walking down a football field and encountering nothing but single cells till the 60 yard line, then boom! – all the animal phyla with their complex body plans suddenly appear in one step.  A new plot was “discovered” by researchers at UC Riverside: the microbes were waiting for shipments of oxygen and molybdenum to arrive.    Science Daily reported how Tim Lyons and his research buddies measured oxygen and molybdenum traces in black shales thought to correspond to the time before the Cambrian explosion.  The idea is that “Molybdenum is a key micronutrient for life and serves as a proxy for oceanic and atmospheric oxygen amounts.”    Measuring elements in rocks is one thing, but the authors assumed that the mere presence of these two elements in greater amounts was sufficient to supercharge evolution.  Here are some examples from the press release, titled “Reason For Almost Two Billion Year Delay In Animal Evolution On Earth Discovered.” One gets the distinct impression that they believe evolution was poised like a chained racehorse, held back by a deficiency of two elements; otherwise, it surely would have exploded into complex forms much earlier.  Is this what the original paper in Nature claimed?1  Yes, but with a lot less fanfare and confidence: 1.  Scott, Lyons et al, “Tracing the stepwise oxygenation of the Proterozoic ocean,” Nature 452, 456-459 (27 March 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature06811.Well, what do you know? (always a good question for a scientist).  They just found another building block of lie (03/19/2008).  Better check and see if Enceladus received its molybdenum shipment yet (03/26/2008 commentary).    You will understand science reporting about evolution these days when you memorize the Darwin Party M.O. (and that’s not the chemical symbol for molybdenum here, but modus operandi).  A review.• Step 1: Assume evolution.• Step 2: Observe a fact.• Step 3: Make up a story to show how the fact might fit in with the assumption of evolution.Tomorrow’s entry will describe another part of the process:• Step 4: Attack, ridicule, hate, persecute and destroy anyone who questions the Darwin Party orthodoxy.(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The oxidation state of the Proterozoic ocean between these two steps and the timing of deep-ocean oxygenation have important implications for the evolutionary course of life on Earth but remain poorly known.Subsequent expansion of sulphidic conditions after about 1,800 Myr ago maintained a mid-Proterozoic molybdenum reservoir below 20 per cent of the modern inventory, which in turn may have acted as a nutrient feedback limiting the spatiotemporal distribution of euxinic (sulphidic) bottom waters and perhaps the evolutionary and ecological expansion of eukaryotic organisms.These results and our estimates for the size of the oceanic reservoir are consistent with the hypothesis that the drawdown of Mo into sulphidic environments may have worked to restrict the occurrence and the evolutionary path of eukaryotes through the bioinorganic bridge linking Mo to N bioavailability.Our interpretation of Mo cycling in the Late Neoproterozoic suggests that modern redox and nutrient cycles were well established by 551 Myr, shortly after the initial oxidation of the deep ocean, and that the appearance of the first large animals followed not only the oxidation of the deep ocean but also the establishment of modern biogeochemical cycles. Suspecting that deficiencies in oxygen and molybdenum might explain this evolutionary lag…“These molybdenum depletions may have retarded the development of complex life such as animals for almost two billion years of Earth history,” Lyons said.  “The amount of molybdenum in the ocean probably played a major role in the development of early life.  As in the case of iron today, molybdenum can be thought of as a life-affirming micronutrient that regulates the biological cycling of nitrogen in the ocean.” “These steps in oxygenation are what gave rise ultimately to the first animals almost 600 million years ago — just the last tenth or so of Earth history.”For animal life to commence, survive and eventually expand on Earth, a threshold amount of oxygen — estimated to be on the order of 1 to 10 percent of present atmospheric levels of oxygen — was needed.“By tracking molybdenum in shales rich in organic matter, we found the deep ocean remained oxygen- and molybdenum-deficient after the first step.  This condition may have had a negative impact on the evolution of early eukaryotes, our single-celled ancestors. [Clinton Scott, grad student]“So one question is: Did this global glaciation [Snowball Earth] play a role in the increasing abundance of oxygen which, in turn, enabled the evolution of animals?” [Scott]last_img read more

first_imgHow will big bang theorists deal with the latest news?First there was the Great Wall. Then there was the Sloan Great Wall, and a supercluster system dubbed Laniakea. “But the newly spotted BOSS Great Wall, with a total mass perhaps 10,000 times as great as the Milky Way, is two-thirds bigger again than either of them,” New Scientist reports today about a billion-light-year galactic “wall” that may be the largest object observed in the cosmos so far.Galaxy superclusters also have competition for the “biggest known object” crown. Some distant light sources like quasars or gamma ray bursts seem to be clustered together in certain regions of the sky. If they are truly connected, they belong to structures so large that current cosmological theories can’t explain them.To be fair, the classification is subjective. Some astronomers think the material in the structures are not physically linked. If nothing else, though, they illustrate the lumpiness problem in cosmology. The universe is not a smooth sea of particles as theory would predict. Instead, “On the grandest scales, the universe resembles a cosmic web of matter surrounding empty voids – and these walls are the thickest threads.”Far OutPeering deep into space, a new “cosmic distance record” was set by the Hubble Space Telescope, reports the BBC News. A galaxy with redshift z=11.1 has been observed. It’s called GN-z11. Its high redshift would put its origin 13.4 billion years before the present in standard cosmology, a mere 400 million years after the big bang. The very first stars might become observable. “They are probably another 200 million light-years beyond even GN-z11.”Dr Oesch and colleagues say GN-z11 is one-25th the size of the Milky Way with just 1% of our galaxy’s mass in stars.“The surprising thing is how bright it is (for what it represents), and it’s growing really fast, producing stars at a much faster rate,” said the Yale astronomer.“So, it’s challenging some of our models, but it’s showing galaxy build-up was well under way early on in the Universe, and it’s a great preview for [the] James Webb [Space Telescope], which will be pushing even deeper to see the progenitors of this galaxy.”The James Webb Telescope may be able to see redshifts between 15 and 30, indicating objects only 100 to 250 million years after the big bang. Science Daily explains where GN-z11 needs to fit in current theory:“The previous record-holder was seen in the middle of the epoch when starlight from primordial galaxies was beginning to heat and lift a fog of cold, hydrogen gas,” explains co-author Rychard Bouwens from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. “This transitional period is known as the reionisation era. GN-z11 is observed 150 million years earlier, near the very beginning of this transition in the evolution of the Universe.”A galaxy of stars this mature so close to the beginning of the universe was not predicted by big bangers, Space.com says:However, the discovery also raises many new questions as the existence of such a bright and large galaxy is not predicted by theory. “It’s amazing that a galaxy so massive existed only 200 million to 300 million years after the very first stars started to form. It takes really fast growth, producing stars at a huge rate, to have formed a galaxy that is a billion solar masses so soon,” explains Garth Illingworth of the University of California, Santa Cruz.Marijn Franx, a member of the team from the University of Leiden highlights: “The discovery of GN-z11 was a great surprise to us, as our earlier work had suggested that such bright galaxies should not exist so early in the Universe.” His colleague Ivo Labbe adds: “The discovery of GN-z11 showed us that our knowledge about the early Universe is still very restricted. How GN-z11 was created remains somewhat of a mystery for now. Probably we are seeing the first generations of stars forming around black holes.”If this trend continues, the James Webb telescope may push theory to the breaking point after it launches in 2018.A piece on PhysOrg states, “The early universe consisted almost entirely of hydrogen atoms, but at some point – probably about 500 million years after the Big Bang – the first stars formed.” Something is dreadfully wrong here. One cannot have a galaxy turning up 100 million years earlier than the first stars. Maybe the new physics theory announced by PhysOrg will rewrite the textbooks. Readers may wish to see why a Caltech astronomer found something “frustrating, but interesting” about the first galaxies. “For a while we were convinced that we were missing something important,” he said on PhysOrg, but then he and his colleagues were “shocked” when theory matched his prediction. It must be a rare occurrence.Other cosmologists, like those on Science Daily, will continue to speak glibly about the leading theory that posits “a region of space the size of a single proton vastly expanded to form the beginnings of our universe” in a fraction of a second. Somehow, the article says, the universe learned how to make French onion soup from that sudden explosive beginning.Let’s recap. The big bangers did not predict this galaxy or the BOSS Great Wall. They were amazed. It was a great surprise. The GN-z11 galaxy should not exist, but it does. The big bangers admit that their knowledge about the early Universe is still very restricted, after decades of research. Such objects are a mystery to them. Their cosmological theories cannot explain them. And yet they get to keep their jobs? Sounds like government workers. (Visited 102 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_img19 August 2004Roland Schoeman won a second medal for South Africa in the swimming pool at the Athens Olympics, picking up silver in the men’s 100 metres freestyle. It was oh so close too, as Dutch star Pieter van den Hoogenband successfully defended his title in 48.17 seconds to Schoeman’s 48.23.It was a sensational performance from the South African star, previously regarded as a 50 metres specialist. He was well backed up by close friend Ryk Neethling, who swam 48.63 to finish just outside of the medals in fourth spot, with Australia’s Ian Thorpe adding a bronze to his already sizeable collection of Olympic medals. The second and fourth place finishes for the two South Africans underlined the country’s strength in the event – clear for all to see in Sunday’s world record performance in the four-by-100 freestyle relay.“You spend your whole life dreaming of getting to the Olympics, let alone winning gold and silver”, Schoeman said after the race. “Some people may say I lost gold, but I won silver.” SA swimmers stun the world Parkin misses outTerence Parkin won silver in the 200 metres breaststroke at the Sydney Games, but he won’t have a shot at repeating that result in Athens. Swimming in the semi-finals, Parkin managed only a seventh-place finish in his heat, in a time of 2:14.12. His silver medal winning time four years ago was 2:12.50.Gerhard Zandberg swam in the semi-finals of the men’s 100 metres backstroke, but failed to progress to the final. That result is not a train smash, though, as Zandberg is a 50 metres specialist.Rowing medal hopesThere are still strong hopes that rowers Donovan Cech and Ramon Di Clemente can come through with a medal winning performance in the men’s 1 500-metre pairs. After beating the Croatian World Championship silver medalists in the heats, the SA pair scraped into the final in a very tough semi-final heat.It was neck-and-neck with the Canadians for the third place necessary to qualify for the final when the two crews touched oars. The Canadians were found to have infringed by crossing into the South Africans, and Cech and Di Clemente were awarded third spot. As bronze medal winners at the World Championships, they will be keen to add an Olympic medal to their collection.Gareth Blanckenberg, sailing in blustery conditions in the laser class, struggled to make his mark. Ranked fifth in the world, he managed twenty-second place in the first race, sixteenth in the second, thirty-first in third, and thirteenth in the fourth. That was good enough for nineteenth position overall.Lewis eliminated in last sixteenArcher Kirsten Lewis advanced to the last sixteen in the women’s 70 metre competition after edging India’s Sharma Sumangala 157-153 in the round of 32. However, the fifty-second ranked Lewis had a tremendous run cut short in the quarterfinals by China’s Ying He, who triumphed 156-142.Hockey heartbreakThe men’s hockey team, like Lewis, also faced Indian competition on Tuesday, and just 12 minutes into the game Craig Jackson and company were flying high. Goals by Greg Nicol and Craig Fulton had them two-up.At half time South Africa was still in charge at two-one ahead, but after the break India started dominating territory and possession, although South Africa made some incisive counter-attacks without making any count.The Indian dominance was eventually made to count as they leveled at two-all. And then, heartbreak in the final 90 seconds as Indian netted twice to steal a 4-2 victory, a scoreline that was ultimately very misleading.More hockey disappointmentThe SA women’s hockey team’s disappointing run continued with another sound defeat, this time to South Korea. After losses by 6-2 to The Netherlands and 3-0 to Australia, Susan Webber and company were in need of a good result, if only for a boost to the spirits, but it wasn’t to be.The Koreans dominated the game and secured a deserved 3-0 victory as South Africa were curiously toothless up front. Where they really disappointed was in the effeciency of their penalty corner, which lacked accuracy in an area so vital to success in the international game.Badminton: steep learning curveAthens 2004 has proved to be a harsh learning experience for South Africa’s badminton players, who played in the Thomas and Uber Cups (World Championships) for the first time this year.Chris Dednam and Antoinette Uys bowed out of the mixed doubles in the round of 32, losing 15-3, 15-9 to Taipei, while Michelle Edwards lost 11-6, 11-3 to India’s Aparna Popat.The rest of the team’s results were even bigger losses. Dednam won only one point as he succumbed to Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana in the men’s singles, Michelle Edwards and Chantal Botts were whitewashed 15-0, 15-0 by Germany in the women’s doubles, and Dorian James and Stewart Carson won only five points against the USA in the men’s doubles.Competition on the beachSouth Africa’s beach volleyball players have put in a good showing, and proved to be nicely competitive.The men’s combination of Gershon Rorich and Colin Pocock beat Greece’s Pavlos Beligratis and Athanasios Michalopoulos 21-16, 24-26, 15-10 in a classic tussle, then fell to Argentina’s Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde 21-14, 21-15.In women’s action, Leigh-Ann Naidoo and Julia Willand went down 21-7, 21-10 to second-seeds Behar and Bede of Brazil. They then turned in a great performance against highly-rated Cubans Tamara Peraza and Dalixia Grasset, losing 21-19, 21-16.Boxers: so close yet so farSouth Africa’s boxers disappointed, although middleweight Khotso Mutau’s disappointment was that he didn’t close out a victory over World Championship silver medal winner Oleg Mashkin of Ukraine.Mutau started strongly and enjoyed a four-point lead heading into the final round at 19-15. Mashkin, however, came on strong at the end as Mutau tired to take a 25-22 win.Lightweight Bongani “Wonderboy” Mahlangu came up short against Rovshan Huseynow, losing 22-14 on points, while featherweight Ludumo Galada, lost to Shahin Imranov when the referee stopped the fight in the third round.Cyclists, fencers struggleCyclist Ryan Cox did well to finish in sixty-ninth place in the men’s road race, facing a field littered with top-class athletes, many of whom featured prominently in the recent Tour de France. There was disappointment for Tiaan Kannemeyer and Robbie Hunter, though, as neither finished the event.South Africa’s sole female cycling representative, Anriette Schoeman, struggled with the heat and managed only fifty-fifth place.South Africa’s fencers also struggled, with all three – Rachel Barlow, Kelly Wilson and Natalie Tychler – losing in the round of 64 in the Epee competition.Gymnast Zandre Labuschagne managed sixtieth in qualification for the women’s all round competition.last_img read more

first_imgTwo Naxals, including a woman, were killed in an encounter with the security forces in the forests of Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district on July 29, police said. The firefight occurred around 7 am in the forest near Kanhaiguda village under Konta police station limits when a team of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) was out on a counter-insurgency operation, Deputy Inspector General (Anti-Naxal Operations) Sundarraj P told PTI.“When the patrolling team was advancing through the forest — located around 500 km away from the capital Raipur — a gun battle broke out with Naxals,” the DIG said. “After the firing stopped, we found the bodies of two ultras, including one woman, clad in uniform.” Two firearms were also recovered from the spot, the officer said, adding that further details were awaited as the search operations were continuing in the area. The DIG said patrolling had been beefed up in the forests and interiors of all seven districts of the Bastar division — Dantewada, Bijapur, Bastar, Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Sukma and Kanker — as Maoists are observing “martyrs’ week” from July 28 to August 3.last_img read more

first_imgIn a gruesome accident, 11 persons were killed and over 15 injured when a bus full of passengers collided head-on with a truck on National Highway-11 near Shri Dungargarh in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district on Monday. The injured were rushed to the trauma centre at P.B.M. Government Hospital in Bikaner.Both the vehicles caught fire after the accident. The bus overturned and its front portion was mangled, in which several passengers were trapped. Rescuers faced difficulty in extricating the passengers, though the local residents and policemen doused the fire by fetching water from the nearby villages.The bus was on its way from Bikaner to Jaipur and the mishap occurred outside Lakhasar village. Police said the early morning fog and over-speeding could be the possible causes for the accident.last_img read more