Improved warning systems, information sharing needed – Ramjattan

first_img…reminded of 2015 promise to arm fishermen; another suspect nabbedAs authorities in Guyana and Suriname continue the probe into uncovering the horrific spate of recent piracy attacks for which 12 men are still missing and three bodies have been recovered, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has observed the need for improved Coast Guard warning systems and information- sharing.The suspect after his arrest on Sunday morning (De Ware Tijd Photo)He made these comments on Sunday in Suriname, where he is leading a team of senior Police officials who are meeting their counterparts with the aim of addressing the recent deadly attacks that occurred some 40 miles off the Surinamese coast in that country’s waters.“[We have] to ensure we have a collaborative effort on solving this crime, and emphasise the lessons to be learnt here for application for what might happen in future. Maybe we can help in Coast Guard warning systems; information-sharing must be even better,” Ramjattan highlighted.At the same time, he stressed that law enforcement authorities must pay more attention to when threats are made to fellow fishermen, so that they would have a better gauge in determining who is involved in such crimes.Based on information gathered during investigations and the accounts of survivors and relatives of the fishermen, it is believed that the perpetrators are Guyanese.“It’s basically an enterprise of murder of the most gruesome circumstances,” the minister declared.Ramjattan further stated he is so far satisfied with the Surinamese investigations. He even noted that authorities in the Dutch-speaking country are pushing for DNA testing to ensure that all bodies are properly identified.The minister revealed that Police in Guyana have sought extensions of time to further detain the three suspects held in Corentyne. The latest information revealed has brought the number of persons in custody to 27, following law enforcement officers in Suriname arresting yet another suspect in the Commewijne on Sunday morning.Reports suggest the suspect has since confessed to his involvement in the attack, claiming he was on a mission, and that his action was based on orders he had received.His arrest was possible with the assistance of some fishermen who had known him to be part of a piracy gang. However, several other persons were arrested and are being interrogated in connection with the attacks on the Guyanese fishermen.To date, seven Guyanese who now reside in Suriname have been arrested along with the three others arrested on the Corentyne. Crime Chief Paul Williams has explained that news coming out of Suriname suggest that the attacks are gang-related.Two Saturdays ago, four boats were attacked by a group of men, who brutalized the occupants then threw them overboard. Two days later, another boat was attacked, and the captain was reportedly killed. The crew is still missing. Those identified as missing are among those Guyanese who are missing from last weekend’s attack. They include: Ramesh Sanchara; Ganesh Persaud, Vickey Persaud, Glenroy Jones, Bharat Heralall, Ralph Anthony and Tiaknauth Mohabir. The bodies that were recovered are yet to be positively identified. So far, there have been five known survivors.Ramjattan was accompanied by Deputy Crime Chief Michael Kingston and Deputy Commander, ‘B’ Division, Wayne De Harte. They are expected to leave Suriname on Tuesday.Guns for fishermen?Minister Ramjattan had, in June 2015, expressed support for granting guns and ammunition to fishermen who were willing to combat piracy. He had explained that those fisherman would have had to lodge their firearms at Police stations upon their return from sea.To date, it is not clear if this policy was ever implemented. Guyana Times tried several times to contact the minister on Sunday evening for word on this commitment, but those attempts were unsuccessful.Meanwhile, Region Six (East-Berbice-Corentyne) Chairman David Armogan has called on Government to provide more assistance to family members of the affected fishermen. He also expressed conviction that had the fishermen been armed, the result could have been different.“We need to look back at that policy if we want fishing to continue to grow. We need to enable these fishermen to have radios first of all, and then we also need to give them firearms,” Armogan declared late last week. (Shemuel Fanfair)last_img read more

Siyabonga Africa helps people get back up

first_imgThe organisation’s two biggest entrepreneurial programmes, bakeries and poultry farming are aimed at combatting unemployment while helping to improve food security. (Images: Siyabonga Africa, via Facebook)South Africa is constantly making efforts to push back and reduce the effects of poverty and unemployment. That they are still such critical concerns highlights the need for change and the need for South Africans to take action to help the growth and development of underprivileged residents.With this in mind Siyabonga Africa, a non-profit organisation in Brakpan, Gauteng, has been working to lessen the effects of poverty on the underprivileged and arm them with the skills and resources they need to improve their standing.The organisation began in the 1980s with a feeding scheme established by Ronald and Yvonne Dell on the East Rand, with the help of community leaders in the area. It included the distribution of donated clothing and help in restoring families that had been torn apart by poverty.Their efforts continued to gather momentum and in 2004 the Siyabonga Africa development centre was established in hopes of addressing the shortage of skills and jobs in the surrounding community.“We look for people who put their hands up instead of their hands out, and we aim to nurture an entrepreneur’s spirit that does have an impact for years to come,” says Nathan Dell, the chairman of Siyabonga Africa.In 2004 the Siyabonga Africa development centre was established in hopes of addressing the shortage of skills and jobs.PROGRAMMESFor more than a decade the organisation has focused the bulk of its efforts on entrepreneurship programmes through which it works to impart knowledge that is key to starting and running sustainable businesses.The organisation’s two biggest entrepreneurial programmes are bakeries and poultry farming. They look to combat unemployment while helping to improve food security. The bakery programme has led to the establishment of more than 300 bakeries across the country and almost 2 000 jobs.“Our poultry farming programme is a very exciting one because it’s one of the small to medium enterprises with the highest growth potential in South Africa,” says Dell. “We offer a business management course that is an introduction to business fundamentals which are specific to poultry farming.”Siyabonga Africa also has the largest food bank and distribution centre in the province, he says, which feeds thousands of people each month. In addition, the organisation has a temporary housing project aimed at helping individuals and families in a transition phase or in between places.“We also have an advice desk where we help people get all their legal documents in order and help them get into the mainstream economy.”The group gives unskilled people a launch pad or platform from which they can build themselves up and go on to become self-sufficient members of society. In turn, these people are then in a position to go on and help others who are in similar situations fulfil their potential.PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part to help improve the lives of the people around you or the environment? Do you know of anyone who has gone out of their way to help improve South Africa and its people?If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

Inyathelo celebrates selflessness

first_imgRecipients of the Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards at the ceremony held at the Zip Zap Circus School in Cape Town. (Image: Inyathelo)Armed only with a sense of concern, responsibility, compassion and drive, 12 extraordinary individuals are making a huge impact on the lives of others.Each of them was honoured for his or her selflessness at the Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards, which took place at the Zip Zap Circus School in Cape Town. The school also provided entertainment for the night. Inyathelo is a non-profit organisation that seeks to strengthen civil society as a key component of South Africa’s democracy by developing a philanthropic movement to support both civil society and the country’s institutions.Zip Zap uses circus arts to assist young people who are at risk. It gives them access to opportunities and skills that will help them to grow into young leaders and ambassadors for South Africa.Speaking at the awards ceremony in the circus dome, Inyathelo executive director Shelagh Gastrow said: “Philanthropy is dependent on the interest, passion, commitment, generosity and foresight of individuals like those we have honoured tonight. Our awards seek to inspire others to give by recognising the incredible role models among us.“Individual giving can be the largest source of donor money in South Africa and philanthropists play a critical role in effecting real systemic change as they are able to support more innovative and often unconventional solutions to our numerous social, environmental and economic problems.”Held on 6 November, it was the eighth outing of the annual awards. So far, 80 individuals have been recognised for their personal giving that has contributed to sustainable social change in South Africa. They include: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu; nine-year-old rhino campaigner Afeefah Patel; the Ackerman family; Founder of Hope Warriors Children’s Charity Patrick Mashanda; former vice-chancellor of Rhodes University Dr Saleem Badat; and Alice Wamundiya, a former car guard from Rwanda who established an organisation to provide tertiary education for refugees.RECOGNITION IN 2014This year, the award winners were:Founding directors of the Adonis Musati Project for refugees, Gayle McWalter and Gahlia Brogneri: 2014 Inyathelo Award for Social Justice Philanthropy;Founder of the Chess Development Project, Jabulani Ncubuka: Inyathelo Award for Philanthropy in Youth Development;Founding patron of The Ampersand Foundation, Jack Ginsberg: Award for Philanthropy in the Arts;Co-founder of the Spread Luv Movement, Kgomotso Mokoena: Youth in Philanthropy;Founder and president of the DAD Fund to nurture young leaders, Lyndon Barends: Philanthropy in Education;Founder and director of Hlumelelisa for convicted offenders, Paul Bruns: Philanthropy in Rehabilitation and Job Creation;Youth activist and founder of Vanthswa Va Xivono, Samuel Ntsanwisi: Philanthropy in Youth Development;Mohamed Fayaz Khan: Philanthropy in Child Welfare;Founders and funders of the HELP after-school education programme, Anna-Marie and Jan Kaars-Sijpesteijn: Philanthropy Award for Support in Education; and,Founding chairman of The Atlantic Philanthropies, Charles Feeney: 2014 Inyathelo Lifetime Philanthropy Award for Giving While Living.Gastrow said the recognition of Feeney and The Atlantic Philanthropies was important. “Atlantic has served as a key partner for education, health and human rights organisations in our country. Led by the late Gerald Kraak, Atlantic’s giving in South Africa was strategic and impactful, creating a community of individuals and organisations committed to democracy. The closure of Atlantic’s activity here is a challenge to local philanthropy to step into the breach and to move away from working within a charitable paradigm towards targeting initiatives that bring about systemic change.”THE ATLANTIC PHILANTHROPIESCharles “Chuck” Feeney was born during the Great Depression in the US to working class Irish parents. He started his entrepreneurial endeavours at an early age by selling Christmas cards door-to-door and teaming up with a friend to shovel pavements during snowstorms.After high school he enlisted in the army and once he completed his service, he took advantage of the GI Bill, a government-funded education benefit for veterans, to attend Cornell University, becoming the first member of his family to go to college.According to Inyathelo, Feeney believes that people who have been fortunate to amass great wealth should use their wealth for a greater good. In 1982, he established The Atlantic Philanthropies, which has made grants totalling more than $6.5-billion (R71.3-billion), focused on promoting education, health, peace, reconciliation and human dignity.SPREAD LUV MOVEMENTThe Spread Luv Movement is the result of a group of eight successful friends who wanted to use their experience and knowledge to inspire disadvantaged young people, and help put them on the path to success.According to Inyathelo, Mokoena, an attorney specialising in labour and media law, placed her personal resources at the disposal of this project. Together with her professional colleagues and friends, she has provided career guidance and advice to hundreds of high school pupils at more than 45 under-resourced schools in and around Johannesburg over the past four years.Mokoena said: “Me and my friends, others whom we go back as far as high school, counted our blessings and thought how we could give back. It still surprises us every day how we started an NGO.”The movement also helps pupils apply for bursaries and many of the youngsters it has mentored have gone on to excel in their tertiary studies.last_img read more

Head scab update

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Pierce Paul, Ohio State University Extension plant pathologistIn northern Ohio, most of the wheat fields are between Feekes growth stages 9 (full flag leaf emergence) and 10 (boot), with the odd early-planted field or field planted with an early- maturing variety beginning to head-out. In southern Ohio, fields are between Feekes 10 and early flowering (Feekes 10.5.1). For those fields of wheat at flowering and fields of barley heading-out May 20, the risk for head scab is moderate to low, according to the scab forecasting system ( shown here.However, persistent rainfall and warmer temperatures over the next few days will likely cause the risk to increase as more fields reach anthesis later this week and early next week. Remember, the scab fungus requires moisture in the form of rainfall or high relative humidity and warm temperatures to produce spores in crop residue, and for those spores to spread to wheat and barley heads, germinate, and infect. In addition, since infections occur primarily between pollination and early grain-fill, scab risk is also linked to crop development. Consequently, fields of wheat that are not yet at the flowering growth stage or fields of barley that are not yet at the heading growth stage are at low risk for head scab.Continue to keep your eyes on crop development, the weather, and the forecasting system, and be prepared to apply a fungicide if warm, wet conditions coincide with flowering and early grain fill. The forecasting system uses average conditions during the 15 days immediately before flowering to assess the risk of scab. Although it has been relatively cool over the last few days, with the frequent rainfall we have experienced so far in most areas, it will only take a few days of warm conditions for the risk of scab to increase. Prosaro, Caramba, and Miravis Ace are the most effective fungicides for head scab and vomitoxin management, and you will have a 4-6-day window from the day the crop reaches the critical growth stage (heading for barley and flowering for wheat) to make an application. Do remember to stay away from the strobilurin fungicides when the risk for scab is high, as this group of fungicides has been linked to higher grain contamination with vomitoxin.Click on these links to see updated factsheet # PLPATH-CER-06 for more on head scab of wheat and barley and factsheet # PLPATH-CER-03 for guidelines on how to use and interpret the scab forecasting system.last_img read more

Why Doesn’t Heat Flow Backwards?

first_img RELATED ARTICLES The Four Laws of ThermodynamicsHeat Pumps: The Basics Video Series: Building Science Principles Heat flow and the arrow of timeNow, back to heat flowing from hot to cold, the same thing applies. Yes, heat from the room could flow into your cold coffee. It won’t, though, because the odds for states of matter like that are tiny, tiny, tiny. It’s pretty much the same as all the air molecules piling up in one corner of the room.Another expression used in discussing this phenomenon is the “arrow of time.” If we run films backwards, a lot of what we see is funny because we know things can’t work that way. For example, the smoke in that photo at the top is diffusing throughout the air and becoming invisible. The state of those smoke molecules coming back together is so unlikely that we know if we see that happening, the film must be running backwards against the arrow of time. Likewise, a broken egg can’t spontaneously become unbroken or a cold cup of coffee suddenly warm.Oscar Wilde clearly understood the arrow of time when he said about Niagara Falls, “It would be more impressive if it flowed the other way.”Let’s also remember Homer Simpson’s admonishment of Lisa when she brought him a perpetual motion machine that just kept going faster and faster: “In this house, we obey the Laws of Thermodynamics.” Why can’t you put a cup of cold coffee on the table, wait a moment, and then enjoy a nice cup of hot coffee? We do the opposite all the time, but what makes the direction of hot-to-cold so special? If you’ve studied physics or taken a class in building science, you’ve heard that the answer is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. But what does that really mean?Ah, the meaning of the Second Law of Thermodynamics! I might as well ask, What is the meaning of life? It’s a fascinating question and one that we can approach from a lot of different angles. Since we’re talking about building science and not physics or philosophy, I won’t go too far down that rabbit hole. But let’s at least put a little life into this dry concept that seems to be the end of the discussion in so many home energy rater and building analyst classes. In the process of studying the flow and conversion of energy, scientists had to confront the fact that heat pretty much always flowed one way: from hot to cold. Yes, you can move heat from cold to hot with a heat pump, but you have to do work to make it happen. Even in that case, however, the process of picking up heat from cold outside air and then dumping it into warmer inside air involves the flow of heat from warmer to cooler bodies.The Laws of Thermodynamics aren’t as easy to state as Newton’s Laws of Motion because the Second Law can take several different forms, but below is a brief statement of each. If you want to go deeper, the Wikipedia does a good job of explaining all three Laws of Thermodynamics.Zeroth: Two systems in thermal equilibrium with a third system are also in thermal equilibrium with each other.First: A closed, isolated system doesn’t gain or lose energy. Heat and work are related, and when all forms of energy are accounted for, energy is conserved.Second: The disorder (entropy) of systems generally increases, which means that heat flows from hot to cold and getting 100% efficiency from heat engines is impossible.Third: Disorder goes to zero in perfect crystals at a temperature of absolute zero. Another form is that it’s impossible to take any material to a temperature of absolute zero in a finite number of steps. The Laws of ThermodynamicsFirst, let’s do a quick review of the Laws of Thermodynamics. At Building Science Summer Camp this year, one of the speakers gave a great summary of them:You can never win.You can’t break even.You can only lose.The Second Law came after the First Law, of course. (So did the Zeroth Law!) The First Law says that scientists, in all the many ways they’ve studied the flow and conversion of energy, have never found that any closed system ends up with more energy than it started with or less energy than it started with. You may know this law as the Law of Conservation of Energy: Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. (That is, you can never win.) The power of numbersA lot of discussions of the Second Law explain it by using the concept of entropy. I think an easier way to grasp it is with statistical mechanics. Naturally, we need to heed the warning from David Goodstein’s book, States of Matter, which was my introduction to the subject:Ludwig Boltzmann, who spent much of his life studying Statistical Mechanics, died in 1906, by his own hand. Paul Ehrenfest, carrying on the work, died similarly in 1933. Now it is our turn to study Statistical Mechanics. Perhaps it will be wise to approach the subject cautiously.Well, OK, we’re not going to go nearly as deep as they did, so fear not, intrepid readers.Think about the air in the room you’re sitting in right now. Are the molecules spread evenly throughout the room? Or are they clumped? Unless you’re in an extremely odd room, they’re spread evenly throughout. All those nitrogen, oxygen, and other gas molecules are bouncing around randomly and filling all the space in the room.One of the things that statistical mechanics attempts to understand is the likelihood that a system, say the air in your room, can be in any particular state. One state might be that all the air is clustered up in one corner of the room, leaving you gasping for air. That state, it turns out, is so unlikely that we can say with a high degree of confidence that it will never happen.Did you buy a ticket for that big lottery jackpot? Your odds of winning that were maybe one in 200,000,000. I didn’t because I don’t like throwing away money. Those odds just don’t appeal to me.When we’re talking about molecules rather than lottery tickets, the odds are way, way worse for that ‘jackpot’ that has all the air molecules in one corner of the room. First, think of the number of particles involved. We’re talking Avogadro’s number here, or something on the order of 10 to the 23rd power. For the record, Avogadro’s number is:602,000,000,000,000,000,000,000When we start talking about all the possible states those molecules could be in, the numbers get crazy big. And the main result is that the odds for unusual states like all the molecules in one corner are minuscule. No, they’re smaller than minuscule. Take your odds of winning that lottery jackpot and divide by a million. Then do it again and again and again and…In other words, it ain’t gonna happen. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a RESNET-accredited energy consultant, trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard blog. You can follow him on Twitter at EnergyVanguardlast_img read more