WAINFEST 2015 LAUNCHED AT GLENVEAGH CASTLE BY LAUREATE NA NÓG

first_imgWainfest 2015 was last night launched by Laureate na nÓg and children’s author Eoin Colfer following an evening of enthralling story telling in the splendid surroundings of Glenveagh Castle.Wainfest, a book and art festival organised by Donegal County Council’s Cultural Services division will take place between the 10 and 17 of October and promises to deliver the biggest ever line up of quality events and performers. There will be over 100 attractions including 21 authors, storytellers, artists, designers and scientists packed into one week. Wainfest was launched following the Laureate na n-Óg’s Once Upon a Place Donegal Tour where the audience of more than 50 children and adults were treated to tales of fairies and talking frogs as well as stories about growing up the olden times of the 70’s and 80’s by Eoin Colfer and his wonderful team of professional story tellers.The Once Upon a Place tour focuses on fantastic places: extraordinary settings in which to stage very special and memorable storytelling events that spark children’s imaginations and bring the magic of story and of books to young people in an experiential way and where better to do this than at Glenveagh Castle.Speaking following the event Eileen Burgess, Cultural Services Donegal County Council said “launching Wainfest 2015 as part of this tour was an extremely fitting and memorable experience for everyone involved including the many children and young people who participated in the evening”.She added “we are delighted to have the Laureate na n-Óg Eoin Colfer and his team here in Donegal for the Once Upon a Place tour and if this evenings performance is anything to go by the children of Donegal are in for a wonderful treat during this tour”. This is the 19th year of the festival and 2015 brings many changes including the inclusion of a family programme separate to the very successful events schedule for primary schools.Festival highlights in the school programme include:Author visits by Patricia Murphy and Gerard WhelanHistory workshops with Michael MoylanVisits to libraries by Open Farms and small animalsSEAI workshopsSuil na nÓg Junior Cert Art Exhibition at the Regional Cultural Centre, LetterkennyThis year’s Wainfest will also be book-ended with family events on both Saturdays.On Saturday October 11, Monster Story Parties will take place in Buncrana, Bundoran, Carndonagh, Central Letterkenny and Milford libraries from 11am. The event will incorporate stories and arts and crafts under the theme of Monsters with the run up to the Halloween break.And on Saturday, October 17, the event will close the festival with the Family Fun Day in Letterkenny which centres around the Wimpy Kid and the Dinosaur that Pooped shows at the Regional Cultural Centre.Competitions While all this is going on there will be two competitions. One gives participants the opportunity to win €200 worth of new books for your school library. Every time a child borrows books from the library in October their names will be entered into a draw for this.The other competition will be based around social media, whereby names will be entered into a draw to win 1 of 40 free (20 for each show) tickets to the Wimpy Kid and Dinosaur that Pooped shows when they ‘like and share’ the family events post.Donegal County Council wish to acknowledge Europe Direct who sponsor a majority of the Schools Programme; Irish Design 2015 who funded a design event; Crafty Kids and Easons who are sponsoring some of the family events and Booknest Library Suppliers who are sponsoring the books for the competition.WAINFEST 2015 LAUNCHED AT GLENVEAGH CASTLE BY LAUREATE NA NÓG was last modified: September 25th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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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Sterling praised after debut

first_imgRaheem Sterling won praise from manager Roy Hodgson after the Liverpool youngster made his England debut against Sweden.The 17-year-old from Harlesden was involved in the first England goal in their 4-2 defeat and caused the Swedish defence problems before being substituted late in the game.“I thought the debutants were good, all of them did fine and I am certainly a wiser man than before this game going into 2013,” said Hodgson.“We were undone by some individual brilliance and maybe a bit of inexperience,” he added. 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Mutations Accelerate Each Other’s Damage

first_imgAs reported in our 10/14/2004 entry, mutations do not work in isolation; even the good kind usually conspire against the host.  This fact has been largely ignored by neo-Darwinists.  Some researchers at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, writing in Nature,1 tested the interaction of mutations (epistasis) on proteins.  They found, in short, that harmful mutations usually accelerate the loss of fitness above what would occur in isolation.  Some organisms exhibit robustness against mutations, though, as in well-known cases of antibiotic resistance.  The team tested the robustness of E. coli while mutating a gene for a lactamase (TEM-1) that confers some resistance to ampicillin.  They found that, at best, the organisms could hold out at a threshold level of fitness only temporarily.  Beyond the threshold, death was speedy and inevitable.  This was even after they removed the bad mutations:Subjecting TEM-1 to random mutational drift and purifying selection (to purge deleterious mutations) produced changes in its fitness landscape indicative of negative epistasis; that is, the combined deleterious effects of mutations were, on average, larger than expected from the multiplication of their individual effects.  As observed in computational systems, negative epistasis was tightly associated with higher tolerance to mutations (robustness).  Thus, under a low selection pressure, a large fraction of mutations was initially tolerated (high robustness), but as mutations accumulated, their fitness toll increased, resulting in the observed negative epistasis.  These findings, supported by FoldX stability computations of the mutational effects, prompt a new model in which the mutational robustness (or neutrality) observed in proteins, and other biological systems, is due primarily to a stability margin, or threshold, that buffers the deleterious physico-chemical effects of mutations on fitness.  Threshold robustness is inherently epistatic—once the stability threshold is exhausted, the deleterious effects of mutations become fully pronounced, thereby making proteins far less robust than generally assumed.Their study also casts doubt on the ultimate survivability of so-called “neutral” mutations.  These initially have no obvious effect on the fitness of the organism.  This may be due to backup copies of a gene, suppressors of the mutated gene, and other mechanisms the cell uses to mask the damage.  Eventually, however, the threshold is exceeded and the system collapses just as rapidly as a cell toppled by interacting harmful mutations.    The authors of this study gave no indication that beneficial mutations can add up and help an organism.  In fact, they failed to say anything about evolution that would provide hope for progress.  By contrast, they offered a “new model” that sounds distinctly anti-evolutionary: cells are programmed to hold off the damage of mutations as long as they can, but will ultimately collapse under a mutational load.  They concluded that “proteins may not be as robust as is generally assumed.”  Their real-world experiment on bacteria showed robustness to mutations only to a certain point, then everything raced downhill:Thus, theory and simulations have predicted a tight correlation between robustness and epistasis.  Our work provides an experimental verification of this correlation and proposes a mechanism that accounts for it.  Our model implies that any biological system that exhibits threshold robustness, or redundancy robustness, is inevitably epistatic.  In such systems, mechanisms that purge potentially deleterious mutations, such as recombination (through sexual reproduction and other mechanisms) are of crucial importance, as they help to maintain this threshold.  In this way, recombination, threshold robustness and negative epistasis may be interlinked—each being an inevitable by-product of the other.They seem to be saying not only that mutations are not sources of positive fitness gains, but other proposed mechanisms like recombination are only stopgap measures to protect against the death spiral that would result when “randomly drifting proteins” gang up (negative epistasis) to cause a terror attack in the organism.1Bershtein et al, “Robustness-epistasis link shapes the fitness landscape of a randomly drifting protein,” Nature 444, 929-932 (14 December 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature05385.It is extremely important that followers of the creation-evolution debate understand this story and the earlier one (10/14/2004), because they cut to the heart of Darwinist claims that mutations and natural selection can create brains out of atoms given millions of years.  This is where the rubber meets the road: can mutations and recombination under selection act in concert to produce evolutionary progress, including wings and eyes and sonar and powered flight?  Complex systems need an explanation at the genetic level.  The modern synthesis of evolutionary theory (neo-Darwinism) maintains that mutations are the source of evolutionary novelty, and that natural selection preserves the rare beneficial mutations in a cumulative way.  This is the machine room from which “endless forms most beautiful” (06/29/2005) emerge without a Designer.  Two scientific papers reported here, that would likely be little noticed otherwise, have essentially falsified neo-Darwinism in the lab.  Theory and experiment both show it does not work.    In the previous entry (10/14/2004) we likened the situation to a victim held up by robbers but protected by guardian angels.  The bad news was that the robbers either shoot each other or shoot the victim simultaneously, and the guardian angels fight each other instead of helping the victim.  It’s like a Murphy’s “Non-Reciprocal Laws of Expectations” that state, (1) Positive expectations produce negative results, and (2) Negative expectations produce negative results.  The neo-Darwinists have put all their hope in positive expectations, but real-world experiments show that mutations do not and cannot add up for good.  They conspire for bad!  Only the built-in safety mechanisms in the cell hold off mutational catastrophe.  This same lesson should have been learned from the important 03/17/2003 entry almost four years ago; presumed benefits actually cause “slippage on the treadmill” to keep the organism, at best, just running in place.    Another analogy may illuminate what this new outwardly dry, boring, technical paper said.  Picture a large, well-run factory with numerous modern systems for safety, backup and security.  Along comes a motley gang with no plan other than to wreak havoc at random.  Some are blocked by the entrance controls.  Those that get inside start overturning tables, knocking out factory workers, setting off alarms and creating general mayhem.  The security systems each come into play as planned, trying to isolate the damage, restore backups, and start the redundant processes.  Workers scramble to copy off the important data to other sections of the factory where the work can continue.  Security guards manage to neutralize some of the attackers, but more keep coming in.  Some gangsters plug the real workers then steal their lab coats and badges, wandering around to do their harm by stealth.  To an outsider, it may not be apparent that anything is wrong – for awhile – because the factory continues to function; supplies come in, goods go out.  In time, however, the best-prepared factory may not be able to carry on.  Fires are set at random.  Automatic sprinklers respond as designed, but now they have damaged the computers.  Gangsters pull fire alarms here and there, confusing workers who don’t know whether to ignore them or run outside.  Security forces are eventually overwhelmed.  Backup systems are damaged as soon as they are brought online.  It’s too much; the factory implodes in a catastrophe, and everything shuts down.    If this is really the way mutations work in a cell, it should be obvious to everyone that trusting any random mechanism to produce order is a vain hope and supreme folly.  This, of course, is what anti-Darwinists have been maintaining since 1859.  That it would take two research teams with no ties to creationist organizations or the intelligent design movement, published in two of the most adamantly anticreationist scientific journals in the world (PNAS and Nature) to finally figure this out should be of great interest to historians and sociologists.  What is it about Darwinian faith that generates negative epistasis against common sense?    Evolutionary theory is coasting downhill on a dead-end track with no fuel in the engine, while the passengers are being served cheese and wine, not knowing anything is wrong.  Creation-Evolution Headlines is like the tattler running down the aisles warning everybody about bad news only the engine crew is aware of, despite the pleasant announcements on the intercom.  We think the customers who paid for the trip deserve to be told the truth: despite how smoothly things appear to be running, they just got sold a dead-end trip to destruction.(Visited 73 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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South Africa gold panners shine in Poland

first_imgBright Kagiso Malatjie competing in the traditional pan finals. Team SA in celebratory mood during the opening ceremony in Poland. (Images: SA Gold Panning Association) MEDIA CONTACTS • René Reinders  South African Gold Panning Association  +27 13 768 1060 or +27 84 755 7807• Marius Brummer  Pilgrims Rest Business Chamber  +27 82 780 7309 RELATED ARTICLES • Mines, headgear and the mind • Joburg: from mining camp to big city • SA’s junior mining vibrant • Team SA takes Bushmills trophy• Jock to grace SA screens againEmily van RijswijckAlthough the term gold panning evokes centuries-old images of dusty shanty towns and hopeful prospectors, the activity is still very much part of the new millennium – and even practised as a national sport in South Africa.The national team recently participated in the 2011 World Gold Panning Championships in Zlotoryja, Poland, and – although they did not return with prized nuggets – they won over Polish hearts during their stay, says Sibongile Nkosi, spokesperson for culture, sport and recreation in Mpumalanga province.South Africa fielded a squad of 32 members, among them Surprise Thulelo who was crowned junior champion in Italy in 2009. Despite not reaching the podium this year, more than 10 South Africans made it into the finals of the different panning categories, including that for proficient men and women.More than 150 panners from 22 countries – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, UK, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the US – participated in the 2011 event.MEC for Culture, Sport and Recreation in Mpumalanga Sibongile Manana attended the competition and said the team gave it their all in the different categories.“We are extremely proud of the men and women who represented the country well at the championships.”Hosts in 2012South Africa will host the 2012 World Gold Panning Championships in Pilgrims Rest, as it did in 2005. Before kicking off this year’s event, the South African delegation showcased the country and its many attractions to fellow participants and spectators.A multicultural ensemble from Mpumalanga gave spirited performances of Shoshaloza and Impi, two traditional Zulu songs today strongly associated with sporting events, much to the delight of the 500-strong crowd.The delegation also used the opportunity to entice visitors to the province, which is one of South Africa’s prime tourist destinations.They highlighted popular spots like Pilgrim’s Rest, Blyde River Canyon and Kruger Park among other choice options available to local and overseas visitors.Manana said South Africa was excited about welcoming spectators to the 2012 championships.“Our people are waiting to share their hospitality with all of you. South Africa is ready for you. Wozani!” (isiZulu, meaning “come”).Italy and Sweden will be the host countries in 2013 and 2014 respectively.Competition panning Gold panning is a recreational sport with a strong family-fun component to it. Everybody can participate, from five- to 80-year-olds, says René Reinders, South African Gold Panning Association representative.The South African Gold Panning Association (Sagpa) was formed in 1997, and at the same time joined the World Gold Panning Association. The local organisation aims to promote and maintain the tradition of gold panning in South Africa.Sagpa also feels gold panning has great potential as an all-inclusive heritage activity, which can valuably contribute to nation-building and cross-cultural understanding.Working closely with the Mpumalanga Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation, Sagpa holds the annual South African National Championships, from which a team is selected to participate in international competitions.Reinders says the sport is gaining popularity steadily, with panning associations now represented in almost all nine provinces.“We are trying to build up participant numbers as we go along. It is a heritage activity which stays alive through these competitions and which we would like to continue to see taking place for years to come.”How to panParticipants receive a gold pan and a bucket full of sand in which a specific number of gold nuggets are hidden. The amount of nuggets in each bucket is only known to the judges. Participants enter pools of water and start washing the sand in search of the nuggets.The winner is the participant who finds the most nuggets in the shortest space of time. Panners are also penalised for lost nuggets.“Once participants step into the pool of water, they become very serious, often competing with their own, custom-designed boards which they swear by,” adds Reinders.In international competitions, panning takes place in several categories and also includes the use of various types of pans, such as the traditional klondike pan which was used by prospectors of old, the bateau pan which originates from Eastern Europe or the less-familiar wooden Japanese yurita pan.Pilgrims RestTaciturn Alec “Wheelbarrow” Patterson, the opportunistic prospector and discover of the first gold nugget in Pilgrims Creek in the 1870s, would probably have frowned upon these modern-day panning effortsPatterson was so nicknamed after he arrived at the Mac Mac digs near Sabie in Mpumalanga, at the time the only viable prospecting field in the area, accompanied only by his wheelbarrow in which he pushed his worldly belongings.As he was secretive and reticent, not much is known about the man, but it is believed he became so encumbered after he sold his donkey – because the animal had kicked him.Loner Patterson soon found the crowded Mac Mac site too much for his liking and decided to try his luck elsewhere. He opted for the small, tree-lined Pilgrims Creek, which eventually joins the mighty Blyde River. Here he struck gold.But it was another prospector, William Trafford, who is credited with starting the rush to Pilgrims Rest and for inadvertently naming the village that would spring up as a result.After following Patterson to Pilgrims Creek, he also found gold in the little stream and immediately registered his claim at the Mac Mac office of the Gold Commissioner.He is quoted as saying at the time: “Here a pilgrim can come to rest.”On 22 September 1873 Pilgrims Rest was officially proclaimed a gold field.Gold prospectors there first stayed in tents, but by 1876 most of these were replaced by more permanent structures of zinc and wood. These dwellings can still be seen today, almost intact, making Pilgrims Rest a favourite tourist attraction in Mpumalanga.A visit there is not complete without staying, or at least having a drink, at the rustic Victorian Royal Hotel. Pilgrims Rest also offers a nine-hole golf course, museums, tours and, of course, gold panning excursions.In 1986 the entire village of Pilgrims Rest was declared a national monument, a living tribute to South Africa’s gold-rush days of the 1800 and 1900s.last_img read more

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‘Guru Purab celebrations turned into a political drama by Akalis’

first_imgPunjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday hit out at the Shiromani Akali Dal for politicising the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev and accused it of obstructing the joint celebrations of the event.Capt. Amarinder, who reviewed the arrangements for the commemorative events at Sultanpur Lodhi and Dera Baba Nanak, said: “The occasion is one of pride, which my government wanted to celebrate collectively, rising above petty political considerations. However, the Shiromani Akali Dal scuttled all attempts of the State government to ensure joint celebrations. It’s sheer pettiness on the part of the Akalis, particularly Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.”Pointing out that his government had spent ₹550 crore to celebrate the event, the Chief Minister said the entire occasion had been transformed into a political drama by the Akalis, backed by their ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party.On the denial of visa to his Cabinet colleagues and other Punjab representatives to visit Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, the Chief Minister termed it extremely unfortunate. Capt. Amarinder also reiterated his protest against Islamabad’s refusal to withdraw the $20 fee on pilgrims visiting Kartarpur Gurdwara via the corridor.‘Be large-hearted’ He urged the Imran Khan-led government to be large-hearted, keeping in view the Sikh sentiments. Asked if the State government was ready to pay the amount on behalf of the pilgrims, the Chief Minister said he was, in principle, against giving anything to Pakistan on this count.last_img read more

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