Council asked to step up and build footpaths in Rathmullan and Ramelton

first_imgCouncillor Ian McGarvey is calling on Donegal County Council to provide footpaths in key areas of Rathmullan and Ramelton.The Letterkenny Mayor has highlighted safety issues for pedestrians in a busy part of Rathmullan – from Ballyboe Bridge to the town.A footpath had been planned for the area, but Cllr McGarvey was told by the roads department that no budget was available as it was not included in this year’s programme. These works will be considered in future programmes, the Letterkenny MD meeting was told yesterday.Cllr McGarvey also asked for footpaths to be provided around Ramelton at Rectory Road to the Cup and Saucer, Letterkenny Road to NS Medical Centre, the Nursing Home, Church of Ireland and Chapel and the Kilmacrennan Road to Drumonaghan Wood Walk. He said that footpaths were an important topic as more people go out running, walking and cycling.Fergal Doherty, Area Manager, Roads and Transportation told the council that the Ramelton paths will also be considered for future funding programmes as many routes are already on their Footpath & Public Lighting list. Construction can take place ‘if and when’ funding becomes available.Also in Ramelton, Cllr McGarvey succeeded in passing a motion to have public toilet signs erected at the Cup and Saucer to inform tourists of the nearest facilities. Council asked to step up and build footpaths in Rathmullan and Ramelton was last modified: May 15th, 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) Tags:Cllr Ian McGarveyRameltonRathmullanlast_img read more

SETI Has a Long History

first_imgAstrobiology Magazine provided a historical look at attempts to communicate with aliens.  Like the weather, people talked about life in outer space, but nobody did anything about it – at least till technology made such talk a little less crazy.  Michael Schirber’s survey includes some interesting characters – Kepler, Gauss, Tesla and Einstein – along with quite a few other lesser-known thinkers and experimenters.    Mars and Venus, Earth’s nearest neighbors, were long the focus of attention.  Scientists pondering communication with aliens tended to think in terms of the technology available.  They considered possibilities like lighting fires, building huge patterns out of farms, or putting reflectors on the Eiffel Tower – things that could be seen.  Once the telegraph had been invented, some thought of sending coded messages with some kind of “sky telegraph.”  It wasn’t till the radio age that they began thinking seriously about beaming radio messages – or receiving them.  Around that time it became obvious there was no life on Mars or Venus, and the stars were considered too far away for communication to be practical.    Since 1959 some began thinking that the vast distances between the stars could be bridged by radio, and SETI was born.  “And then in 1974 – a century and half after Gauss – [Frank] Drake transmitted the first actual SETI message using the Arecibo radio telescope,” Schirber ended.  “Scientists are still waiting for a response.”Speculations about life in outer space have not been limited to materialists.  It’s a basic human curiosity.  Two lessons from Schirber’s historical survey are worth noting.  One is the effect of worldview on speculation.  As long as scholars believed the Aristotelian view that the stars circled the earth on crystalline spheres, and abode in celestial realms unlike our planet, it was not a question people would ask.  After the Copernican revolution, it was not uncommon for religious people, deists and skeptics to ponder the question.    Another lesson is that everyone wanted to find intelligent life.  They understood that communication required a mind with intelligence, purpose, and motivation.  The concept of mind arising from particles in motion is a new and bizarre idea.  It took hold among Darwinists and has become in our time a matter of dogma.  Even more bizarre is that the SETI Institute would use intelligent-design assumptions in their efforts, while criticizing intelligent design as unscientific (revisit the 12/03/2005 entry).(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

New drive to fight polio in Africa

first_imgMore than 85 million children under the age of five in West and Central Africa will receive polio vaccinations. (Image: www.academic.sun.ac.za)A massive campaign to eradicate a year-long polio epidemic in West and Central Africa kicked off on 6 March, according to global health bodies.The organisations, joining forces as the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), are hoping to immunise more than 85-million children under the age of five in 19 West and Central African countries. GPEI includes governments, the World Health Organisation (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and Unicef.The campaign kicked off in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone – countries that have experienced polio outbreaks in the last six months – as well as in Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Central African Republic, Gambia, Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau.Vaccinations in Niger, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire will be done at a later date due to impending elections in those states.The scope of the new campaign is significant because previous attempts in 2009 failed to reach enough children, and so the outbreak persisted.Over 400 000 volunteers and health workers from different organisations have been called on to administer two drops of the oral polio vaccine (OPV) to each child in the 19 countries on 6 March. The “dedicated army” will work for about 12 hours flat, going to every household on either foot, bicycle, car, boat or motorcycle.“With better coverage that leaves no child unvaccinated, these campaigns can succeed in making West and Central Africa polio-free,” Unicef regional director Dr Gianfranco Rotigliano said in a statement released on 4 March.“Hundreds of volunteers from our Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies will ensure that polio drops reach every last child,” said Anders Naucler, health coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in West and Central Africa. “That is our challenge and that will be the measure of our success.”Building immunityVaccinations will be repeated in the 19 countries on 24 April, but children in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone – where the recent outbreaks have occurred – will receive an additional dose on 26 March as part of a new Short Interval Additional Dose strategy “that has proven successful in rapidly building population immunity where needed”, according to Unicef.The new campaign is an aspect of an ongoing initiative to fight the epidemic that broke out in Nigeria in 2008. It then spread to its neighbouring countries, which were previously polio-free, and to Central Africa, said GPEI.After battling to contain the spread, health organisations, working with health ministries in the affected countries, introduced new approaches which include a scheme to monitor how many children have been reached, better training for vaccinators and appropriate use of experienced staff.Dr Luis Gomes Sambo, WHO regional director for Africa, said the campaign shows Africa’s determination to be free of polio. “From the top leadership to local district administrators in every country we are each accountable to the African child. [We have] to vaccinate every child and achieve high coverage.”Funding from RotaryRotary International, which boasts about 1.2-million volunteers worldwide, has donated US$30-million (R223-million) to fund the campaign.“We are proud to have provided the funding necessary for the March rounds and we call on others to play their part in making Africa polio-free by providing funding necessary for more high-coverage campaigns,” said Ambroise Tshimbalanga-Kasongo, who chairs the organisation’s Africa Regional PolioPlus Committee.last_img read more

Manure Science Review Aug. 12

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Aug. 12’s Manure Science Review will feature a demonstration of smoke testing — a way to show how fast a liquid, including liquid manure, can flow through and out of a farm field.Frank Gibbs, retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and now of Rawson, Ohio-based Wetland and Soil Consulting Services, will give the demonstration.A video showing smoke rising from the soil during one of Gibbs’ tests can be seen athttp://go.osu.edu/GibbsSmokeTest.Manure Science Review, set for Union City in western Ohio, is an annual learning event for farmers and others in the industry. The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University is a co-host.Details about the event and how to register are at http://go.osu.edu/MSR2015. Registration is $30 and includes a continental breakfast and lunch.Earthworm holes and cracks in the soil — called “macropores” — can play big roles in the flow of liquids from a farm field, said Sam Custer, a co-organizer of the event and an educator with Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is CFAES’s outreach arm.Generally, macropores improve a soil by helping water soak in and crop roots go deeper.But they also can give liquid manure a path to a fast, early exit — a waste of valuable crop nutrients and a possible source of water pollution.A smoke test provides a visual representation of a soil’s macropores, Custer said. It shows where they are and the flow they can carry.The test involves pumping smoke into a farm field’s underground plastic drainage pipes, or tiles. The smoke travels laterally through the pipes, which have drainage holes all along them; rises through those holes; then rises through macropores and up through the soil. Eventually, white smoke swirls at the soil surface.The process goes in reverse for a liquid, which starts at the soil surface, moves downward through the macropores, enters the drainage holes, and collects in and flows through the tiles, which then empty into a waterway.Understanding that flow can improve both a farm’s bottom line and water quality, Custer said. Steps can be taken to keep liquid-manure nutrients in a field where they’re needed – as fertilizer for crops and a way to boost yields — and out of streams and lakes where they can cause such problems as algal blooms.Possible ways to stop the outflow of liquid manure from drainage tiles include adding shutoff valves to the tiles and digging catch basins, according to an article by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. The article features some of Gibbs’ macropore research with USDA-NRCS.Custer said both the smoke testing demonstration and Manure Science Review overall have the same aim: to show how “to incorporate manure to get the best economical value and to be environmentally sound in our management practices.”For more details on the event, contact the college’s Mary Wicks at 330-202-3533 [email protected]last_img read more

Filmmaker Wendy McColm on the Meisner Technique and her Feature Birds Without Feathers

first_imgWe chatted with filmmaker Wendy McColm about writing, directing, and performing in her award-winning feature Birds Without Feathers.All images from Birds Without Feathers.It’s the awards brunch at the Oak Cliff Film Festival in a small gastropub in Dallas, Texas. Everyone is moving a little slowly after the late closing party the night before, but coffee and scones abound during the presentation of the festival awards. For the narrative feature category, usually the last announcement with the most acclaim, Wendy McColm gets called up to accept an award for her feature Birds Without Feathers, which she wrote, directed, and performed in.Birds Without Feathers premiered at Slamdance 2018, where it also won the Spirit Award. The film, which features McColm as part of an ensemble cast of characters shuffling through the malaise and oddities of millennial life, has been an audience favorite as it makes the rounds at film festivals across the globe.McColm, who is an accomplished actor-turned-up-and-coming-director in her own right, has been performing and creating shorts and other productions for years. Her Vimeo and YouTube pages are treasure troves of creative vignettes and comedic character studies, in which McColm shows off her performance range and directing chops. We chatted with McColm about her most recent project — Birds Without Feathers — for some insight into how she created such powerful performances — as well as her advice for those looking to take on writing, directing, and acting.The Meisner Technique and TruthFor Birds Without Feathers, we used the Meisner technique for developing the characters and all the dialogue. With Meisner, it requires an intense level of training. I’ve spent a lot of time in classes finding these actors and taking their words and speech and incorporating them into the script. Each part comes from part of our collective conscious and different journeys which we took into these classes.If you haven’t heard of it, the Meisner technique is an acting and improvisational training method developed by Sanford Meisner in which performers improvise and search for shared and individuals truths, authenticity, and emotions. For McColm, who (among other practices) studied Meisner for years, the process translated into her own performances and filmmaking. With Birds, McColm used themes of repetition and emotional truth to develop characters who seem authentic and raw in their emotions and interactions.From Actor to Actor-DirectorI originally started as an actor, but once I started directing I realized I had been doing it for years already. Whether it was school plays or making little home movies as a kid or even creating videos for YouTube, I was directing all along. It’s a testament that we don’t always get to see our true selves, a theme in Birds. We sometimes need a true mirror to see all of yourself.McColm’s career trajectory from actor to actor-director is an excellent case-study into how to emphasize and understand the nuances of each role. Birds Without Feathers is full of raw and emotional performances that require the utmost level of care, trust, and communication between the actors and the director. In McColm’s example, it took finding one’s self as a director to really bring out her best self as an actor as well.Opening Yourself to Trusting OthersWhen I was first starting out, I did everything myself. It took awhile to trust other people to get the work done or rely on others. This movie was a huge lesson for me to learn how to ask for help. How to trust other people. Whether it’s on set with the cinematographer or in post working on the edit, you have to open yourself to trust other people and artists.And after you do find trust in yourself, you also have to find your trust in others. This is something, McColm admits, she struggled with starting out. Coming from a shorts background, digital cameras and smartphones have made solo-filmmaking an increasingly more available option. But when working on projects with bigger scopes and more ambitious themes, it’s important to surround yourself with a team that you can count on.Post-Production and ContractsPost production was probably the most challenging part of this project. Editing was really difficult because we just had tons of footage. I was given the advice to shoot what you can if you have time, so we shot way more than we ended up needing. I also didn’t have anyone sign contracts, which is another lesson you learn quickly when trying to get things wrapped up.When making the jump into features with more substantial resources, expectations can suddenly change. For Birds, McColm details a very time-consuming post-production process reviewing all the footage, performances, and takes. Partly from working with the Meisner, which challenges actors to push for deeper acting, McColm and her team shot as much as they possibly could to get the best footage possible, which left them with a much larger post-production workload than they anticipated.Don’t Wait for Everything to be PerfectThe biggest thing I see stopping people is excuses. I’ll do it when I get the money, or when I get this actor or this or that. You can easily stop yourself by saying I’ll start when it’s perfect. I don’t think I’ve ever had that mentality and I’ve made over 80 short films with no money. Even if you’re using iPhones or point-and-shoot cameras, make videos for YouTube. Follow your instincts and don’t cloud them with your mind.Whether you’re just starting out as a filmmaker or already immersed in the field, McColm’s advice is relevant. Don’t let excuses or doubt stop you from simply going out and making films. Birds Without Feathers, if anything, is a study on repetition and the hurdles we put in front of ourselves. For filmmakers like McColm, it just takes a steadfast resolve to stay true and to stay at it.For more information on Wendy McColm and Birds Without Feathers, check out the film’s website or Facebook page — or McColm’s website here. For more filmmaker interviews and articles, check out some of the links below.Tips from the Team Behind the Ruth Bader Ginsberg Sundance DocumentaryInterview: Behind the Scenes with Producer Bonnie CurtisRound Table: Scream Queens on What Every Horror Director Needs to KnowInterview: The Editor of “This is America” on Building the Iconic VideoNavigating the Challenges of the One-Take Short Filmlast_img read more