Gardai following ‘definite lines of enquiry’ after tricolour theft in Lifford

first_imgGarda investigations are continuing into the theft of tricolour flags from Lifford bridge last week ahead of Sunday’s Hunger Strike Commemoration.A number of flags were taken from the bridge just hours after they were erected for the major event last weekend.Gardaí have confirmed that they are following some ‘definite lines of enquiry’ as they continue to appeal for public information. The occupants of two Northern Ireland registered cars – a red BMW and white Astra – are suspected as being involved in the theft on Thursday night/Friday morning.The incident occurred between 12.05am and 12.20am on the morning of Friday 2nd August.The suspects also reportedly subjected local people to sectarian abuse after they were confronted.CCTV footage is set to be studied from the time of the incident. Anyone with any information which may assist in the investigation is being asked to contact Garda Damien Sheridan via Letterkenny Garda Station on 074 9167 100. The public can also provide information through the Garda confidential line on 1800 666 111.Gardai following ‘definite lines of enquiry’ after tricolour theft in Lifford was last modified: August 6th, 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

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Watch the Birdie Develop

first_imgDuring a bird’s development, feathers first arise in a row along the middle of the back (the dorsal midline), with rows of new feather buds added sequentially in a spreading wave.Chick hatching as development is completed. Credit: Illustra Media.You can watch this pattern emerging in a 5-second video animation in the article. The secret is in complex feedback loops between molecular machines (enzymes) and signal molecules.Scientists have revealed how bird feathers form in a wave-like motion, creating a regular pattern in the skin. The team has identified chemical signals that are switched on and off in the birds’ skin as feathers are arranged sequentially. The findings could help design strategies to reduce feather density in farmed birds that can be prone to overheating, which is a major welfare concern in tropical climates, researchers say.A Defect is BornThe scientists note that, “Intriguingly, the researchers found that, in contrast to chickens and ducks, these waves and the precise hexagonal array of their feather patterning have been lost via different developmental routes in the flightless emu and ostrich.” In the paper on PLoS Biology, the authors say, “the evolutionary loss of emu feather tract patterning in the dorsal skin is a result of a mesenchymal defect, with the emu epidermis being competent to participate in feather development.”This fits the thesis of Michael Behe’s new book Darwin Devolves (being published this week), where he says that adaptation comes from breaking things. Some deleterious mutations, he says, can help an animal survive, such as developing resistance to a threat, but that comes at a cost. And destructive mutations, he argues, are far more likely to spread through a population rapidly than constructive mutations. He doubts that any such constructive mutations occur. So in emus and ostriches, a previously functional patterning mechanism has been degraded. Behe describes his thesis with examples in a podcast on ID the Future, and in the article link above.Here we see a single step in bird development, the feather follicle pattern, that shows precise timing through a number of molecular machines working in concert. It’s is exactly what Timothy Standish, Paul Nelson and Ann Gauger said in the Illustra film about an “elaborate dance” where machines do jobs and cells commit themselves to pathways that have a goal and a purpose: a living bird. The one step of patterning the follicles is arguably simpler than building the feathers that will come later. And what about all the prior and subsequent steps: assembling a beating heart with circulatory system previously built for it, designing the eyes and beak and limbs, and all the rest. How can anyone say that this orchestrated performance is the result of a long chain of accidents? Mutations break things; they don’t build things.Share this video on social media.* The evidence for an intelligent Designer speaks for itself.*Click the paper airplane icon for options on how to share the clip.(Visited 417 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 What’s more common than a chicken? What’s more phenomenal than a chicken? Watch the birdie in the video.A Bird Is BornIllustra Media has packaged its stunning clip from Flight: The Genius of Birds about an egg hatching into a new standalone short film. It’s called, “A Bird Is Born.” Watch all the choreographed steps that must occur on time and in the right sequence in order to get a living chick out of an egg:This short film is easy to share on social media. It and many other short films can be viewed on TheJohn1010Project.com.A Feather Pattern Is BornOne of the steps in the development just got more scientific research. In “How bird feather patterns form,” Phys.org shows a photo of what looks like a plucked chicken in a butcher shop, but it’s actually an ostrich embryo before the feathers emerge. Something stands out as you look at it: the orderly arrangement of follicles in a hexagonal pattern. How does that come about?According to a new study published February 21 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, led by Dr. William Ho and Denis Headon of the University of Edinburgh, and collaborative colleagues, the patterning of bird feathers relies on signaling through ectodysplasin (EDA) and its receptor EDAR—the same signaling pathway known to be crucial for the formation of hair follicles, teeth and scales in fish, lizards and mammals.last_img read more

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Transport Month celebrates the ‘heartbeat’ of South Africa’s economy

first_img“A resilient and fast-growing economy is at the heart of our radical economic transformation agenda and our National Development Plan,” Transport Minister Dipuo Peters at the launch of Transport Month at Mmorogong village in North West on Saturday.Transport is the heart of the country’s development, the heartbeat of the economy, she said.The theme of the month-long campaign is “Together we move South Africa forward”.“Our programme this year will showcase transport infrastructure projects, promote the use of public transport and advance the country’s road safety initiatives,” Peters said.The minister praised the transport industry’s accomplishments and explained its ongoing works.October is recognised as Transport Month on the official government calendar, and this year’s launch was been spectacular #OTM2016 pic.twitter.com/HCehbhqPdB— Dipuo Peters (@DipuoPeters) October 3, 2016Roads and airportsPeters commended the work of the Road Accident Fund, describing it as “the country’s social security safety net that covers and consoles those tragically maimed on South African roads”.Peters said the fund continues to deliver services despite a tough economic climate.She applauded work done by the Airports Company South Africa, saying airports across the country are becoming important catalysts for economic growth.“They are being transformed into multi-faceted, world-class, global gateways for travel, trade and commerce. As a result, business opportunities abound, particularly in property, retail and advertising.”Turning to maritime transport, Peters said under Operation Phakisa there were already a group of local and international investors collaborating to operate South Africa-flagged ships.Ongoing projectsThe Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa will be acquiring new stock over the next decade because the current rolling stock was over 50 years old, Peters said. “The acquisition of the new rolling stock will also include the upgrade of the current rail infrastructure, including stations in our main cities and towns.”She said progress was being made in the Moloto Road Development Corridor, in which investment in passenger rail will give commuters a safer, faster and more accessible connection between Mpumalanga and Gauteng.Peters said the refurbishment of the infamous Moloto Road will take five years to complete at a cost of R4.5-billion.“Moloto Road is notoriously known as the road of death. We are going to transform it into a road of hope,” she said.She described the national road network as arteries carrying life-giving oxygen in the South African economy’s lifeblood.Source: South African Government News AgencyWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

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Robot may be “game changer” for crop growers, breeders

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A semiautonomous robot may soon be roaming agricultural fields gathering and transmitting real-time data about the growth and development of crops, information that crop breeders — and eventually farmers — can use to identify the genetic traits in plants likely to produce the greatest yields.A team of scientists from the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois is developing the robot in partnership with researchers from Cornell University and Signetron Inc.Inspired by the autonomous rovers used to search collapsed buildings and other dangerous environments, the agricultural robot is propelled on continuous tracks, or miniature tank treads, which enable it to navigate through dry or muddy fields. Researchers guide it using GPS and a laptop computer.Traveling between the crop rows, the robot uses hyperspectral, high-definition and thermal cameras, weather monitors and pulsed laser scanners to capture phenotypic information — such as the stem diameter, height and leaf area of each plant — and assess environmental conditions, such as the temperature and moisture content of the soil.The robot stores the data in its onboard computer and transmits it in real time to the grower’s computer. Scientists use the data to create a 3-D reconstruction of each plant, develop predictive models for the plant’s growth and development, and estimate the biomass yield for each plant and the entire plot.“Immediate access to the data is very important for crop breeders in the U.S.,” said Girish Chowdhary University of Illinois agricultural and biological engineering professor. “It’s very important for them to see and visualize the data. If the data are available to the breeder quickly, then they can make actionable decisions” that enhance production.Although the researchers currently are using the robot to assess fields of energy sorghum, a crop used in biofuel production, they say the robot would perform equally well with other tall-growing row crops such as corn and wheat, and possibly with soybeans before the plant canopy closes.The robot is a “game changer” for both crop scientists and farmers, automating the labor-intensive phenotyping processes of farming and crop development, said Stephen P. Long, the director of the project and the Gutgsell Endowed University Professor of Crop Sciences and Plant Biology at Illinois.“For producers, it’s going to accelerate the rate at which we can improve the genetic material. We can now select material much more rapidly and select many more plants as well, so we can eventually deliver to the farmer a far more productive bioenergy crop,” Long said.“One of the big advances of the last few years is that we can now determine the complete DNA blueprint of each plant. But how do we use that? What we need is to be able to describe a plant as it grows. You could do that perhaps with an army of people, but now the robot can do all of that for you. We can combine the phenotypic information about how the plant’s performing with the genetic blueprint and identify the combination of genes we need to get the best plant possible,” Long said.Chowdhary, whose research focus is field robotics, is modifying the robot’s current design to reduce its width so it can maneuver more easily between crop rows. He also plans to install a sensor system for detecting and avoiding obstacles.To reduce the production costs associated with the robot’s current metal and track construction, Chowdhary’s team is exploring the feasibility of producing some of the components via 3-D printing.“We are targeting a cost to the breeder of $5,000 to $10,000, which means we will have to get the manufacturing cost significantly below that,” Chowdhary said. “An agricultural robot that costs just $5,000 is a totally new concept. Agricultural equipment today typically costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. Bringing the cost of our robot below $5,000 will be in itself a significant achievement for our team.”Unlike the robots used in factories, agricultural robots must be weather resistant, Chowdary said. The underlying technologies — the algorithms, the mechanical design and the human-robot interaction devices that provide robustness — are useful in many other industries, including defense, surveillance and scientific exploration.The team expects to have a prototype built within two years and begin manufacturing thereafter, with the goal of having the robot on the market by 2021.The robot project is funded with a $3.1 million grant from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s Transportation Energy Resources from Renewable Agriculture program, a unit within the U.S. Dept. of Energy.last_img read more

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SaaS: Growth, but not Problem Free

first_imgCutter Consortium has released a report by Jeffrey Kaplan titled Software-as-a-Service on the Rise.  The analysis says that their survey gives “proof” that the “interest and adoption of on-demand software solutions is accelerating” and that “a third of organizations are already using SaaS solutions and an equal portion are considering SaaS.”The numbers from the survey do show a jump in interest in SaaS from 34% to 43%, but the number of SaaS users actually hasn’t changed between 2005 and 2006.  One might have expected that, given the overall upward trend of SaaS, the percentage of real SaaS adoptors would have increased over the last year.  That’s a little surprising.  It looks like conversion of tire-kickers into adoptors will be the challenge for 2007.The report also concludes that ROI and cost-effectiveness is the main driver for why companies are moving towards the SaaS model.Kaplan also noted that statisfaction rates of SaaS users slipped from 90% last year to 80% this year.  Kaplan says a drop like that is natural during the early going for any new technology and he attributes it to unrealistic expectations from users of SaaS.  Like any software product users need to do their homework and thoroughly evaluate vendor capabilities before making a selection.Kaplan gives SaaS high marks for reliability and functionality, but in the area of cost savings, the top reason wny SaaS is attracting attention, it hasn’t matched people’s expectations.  Startup costs related to integration and data migration often made the move to SaaS more expensive than expected.SaaS has a lot of positives, but like any technology, it is often hard for reality to live up the hype.last_img read more

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The Hustler’s Playbook: Hustlers Persevere

first_imgHustlers persevere. The hustler is determined to achieve their goals. It doesn’t matter how difficult the goal is to obtain. It doesn’t matter how many obstacles they need to overcome to reach their goals. The hustler keeps at it, chipping away, relentlessly taking action until they succeed.The non-hustler most of all seeks comfort. If something makes them uncomfortable, they’ll do everything in their power to avoid it. If the primary tasks that would allow them to reach their goal is difficult, they’ll change their goal. Determination means you continue to try even when you make little progress. The non-hustler doesn’t like obstacles. Two or three significant obstacles breaks their will.The hustler has intestinal fortitude. Intestinal fortitude is a combination of courage and endurance. Hustlers face their fears. They deal with pain (even though most of what we consider pain is only discomfort). They are willing to endure difficulties, setbacks, do-overs, rejection, being mocked by their peers, and even failure. But none of these seemingly negative occurrences ever dissuades them from continuing to pursue their dreams.Non-hustlers lack intestinal fortitude. They aren’t willing to do what is necessary if it means facing their fears or dealing with pain. Where the hustler attached no negative meaning to the events they experience on their way to reaching their goals and finding success, the non-hustler attached only negative meaning. Difficult means impossible. Setbacks mean failure. Rejection is personal. Being mocked is being judged.The hustler is resolute and committed to what’s important. The non-hustler is uncommitted and half-hearted in the few things they are willing to try.Other hustlers recognize a brother or sister of the path when they see their determination, their willingness to persevere. The non-hustler sees someone who doesn’t know better, who should have long ago given up, and someone they can never understand.If you really want what you profess to want, then you have to be willing to persevere, come what may. That’s what hustlers do. Nothing less is acceptable. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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