Powell produces early spark

first_imgPORTLAND, USA:Disappointing is the word Kemoy Campbell used to describe his race, and generally disappointing it was for most Jamaicans in the first session on the first day of action at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Indoor Championships at the Oregon Convention Center yesterday.Asafa Powell was the only bright spark in the morning session as he clocked a world-leading 6.44 seconds to win heat five of the men’s 60m and advance to the semi-finals, which were scheduled for last night.”I was just focusing on my technique, wasn’t focusing on anyone or my time, just focusing on my technique and getting to the finish line,” Powell told The Gleaner.Neither Kevaughn Rattray nor Odean Skeen, though declared among the team, were in the line-up for the 100m.Campbell disappointedCampbell, who ran in the men’s 3000m, never got into a useful rhythm and finished eighth of nine competitors in heat one in a time of 8:00.22. The heat was won by Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha in 7:51.01.”I went out there thinking I would do better, but I was sick with flu and I was just flat. I tried my best and I wasn’t making any progress in the race, and all I can say it was a bit disappointing for me because I know I can run a lot faster. I’ve run a lot faster before and the time wasn’t even close to my PR, and I’m just disappointed. That’s all I can say,” Campbell said.Chrisann Gordon had a strange race in the third heat of the 400m. At the start, she stepped out of the block and the track umpire ruled a faulty start.When the race actually got under way, the athlete ran one lap of the two-lap event, and while on the curve, just stepped off the track. It appeared that she had been pushed, but video replays showed a voluntary departure from the track.She was later seen being attended to by medical officials and seemed to indicate that she had an ankle issue.Salcia Slack, who was recovering from a bout of pneumonia, had a poor start running in the women’s 60m hurdles, the first event of the five-discipline pentathlon, and finished last in heat two in a time of 8.72 seconds.She failed to record a score in the high jump after three failed attempts to cross the bar at the opening height of 1.64m.She had the shot put, long jump, and 800m to come later in the day.Earlier, Fitzroy Dunkley and Stephenie-Ann McPherson advanced to the semi-finals of the men’s and women’s 400m.Dunkley advanced running in heat two of the heats. He ran well on the first lap and grabbed the second qualifying spot in a time of 46.83 seconds behind Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago in 46.72 seconds.Chambers outRicardo Chambers failed to move past the first round as he struggled to finish third in heat three in 47.07 seconds.McPherson closed well in the final 50m to finish second in heat one of the women’s 400m in a time of 52.56seconds behind Olukawemi Adekoya of Bahrain in 52.27 seconds.Outdoor World champion Danielle Williams was to line up in lane five of heat two of the women’s 60m hurdles last night. Samantha Scarlett was scheduled to compete in heat one of the event.Meanwhile, six Jamaicans are set to bow into action today. Elaine Thompson lines up in heat one of the women’s 60m, while Simone Facey competes in heat three.National champion Natoya Goule will be the first Jamaican in action on the second day as she competes in heat three of the women’s 800m at 1:15 p.m. Jamaica time.Shanieka Thomas is down for action in the triple jump at 1:37 p.m. The men’s 60m hurdles also begins tonight, with Omar McLeod lining up in heat two of that event at 7:05 p.m. Jamaica’s men will compete in heat two of the 4x400m relay at 2:40 p.m.last_img read more

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Blanc ‘not high on Chelsea’s list’

first_imgFrance boss Laurent Blanc is not among the main contenders for the Chelsea manager’s job, The Daily Telegraph reports.Blanc has been touted as an emerging candidate in recent days but a Stamford Bridge source has told The Telegraph he is not high on the club’s list of targets.Instead, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is believed to be determined to pursue Pep Guardiola.The paper understands that Abramovich’s advisers have opened a dialogue with Guardiola’s representatives to establish the Barcelona coach’s intentions at the end of this season.Meanwhile, reports in Raul Meireles’ native Portugal suggest Juventus are lining up a £9m bid for the Chelsea midfielder.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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News Nuggets

first_imgHere’s a collection of news items that deserve quick notice:Mars Rumbles:  Mars still has minor earthquakes, says Space.com, That’s without plate tectonics, “But scientists don’t know exactly how Mars is constructed.”  The Mars Exploration Rovers, meanwhile, awaking from a winter’s nap, are still gathering science data long past their expected lifetime.  Evidence for past water is being claimed, even though it would have been loaded with epsom salt.  Mars Express has photographed the southern highlands, an area of thick volcanic ash deposits, wind-blown dust, and dust devils.A-Maize-ing Genes:  The genome of maize (corn) shows some surprises, according to EurekAlert.  It has 59,000 genes, and 22% of them are unique compared to closely related species.  That’s more difference than between apes and humans.  “It looks like significant evolutionary change happened in a relatively short time,” and maybe there was a merger in corn’s past.  Or so the story goes.  “Plants are continually faced with a variety of seasonal challenges and assaults by a series of different pests which may well lead to evolution on a fast track.”  Makes sense when you don’t think about it.Molecular Clock Fixed?  Nature Science Update reports on a French team that developed a new computer model for getting the so-called “molecular clock” – the rate genes mutate – to correlate with the fossil record (see 04/20/2004 headline).  They calibrated assumed evolutionary changes in the genes to six fossil species, and then built an evolutionary tree based on it.  Not all are convinced, though.  In one case, the tree says that a red alga appeared after its fossil.Cave Dating:  In Earth and Planetary Science Letters Oct. 15, pp. 265-273, an international team dated aragonite formations in a South African cave.  They extracted thin cores from two speleothems.  They claimed the cores correlate with climate, but there were anomalies.  The trace minerals don’t correlate with rainfall, the cores don’t correlate with temperature, and the two stalactites don’t correlate with each other; one outgrew the other six-fold in an inferred 11-year period.  This led them to conclude that “the constant speleothem growth rate we assume is simplistic.  The growth rate of the speleothem undoubtedly varies within an annual cycle (growing faster in the rainy season and slower over the dry season) and between different years (growing more in wet years and less in drier ones).”DNA Repair Team Can Dance:  An article in Cell last month (118:6, 17 Sep 2004, 666-668, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2004.09.006) described what your DNA repair team (see 01/04/2002 headline) does as a sophisticated kind of ballet, with both orchestra and dancers:  “Repair of damaged DNA is a dynamic process that requires careful orchestration of a multitude of enzymes, adaptor proteins, and chromatin constituents…. ”  Double-stranded DNA breaks are particularly deadly, but the repairmen, like NYFD heroes, know just what to do, and they can dance:But how is the multifaceted DSB response “choreographed” so that each molecular “dancer” involved knows when to arrive on the stage, how long and with whom to perform, and when to give way to those that are scheduled to follow?  Amazingly, nature has provided cells with a score for a fascinating play called “DNA repair.”  Although we have known some of the “dancers” for quite awhile, only now are we actually beginning to see the performance unfold in front of our eyes.The authors refer to a paper in the same issue by Columbia University scientists, Michael Lisby et al., entitled “Choreography of the DNA Damage Response.”  A related story using the choreography metaphor was posted on EurekAlert.Junk DNA Promoted:  Another story strengthens the case that there is no such thing as “junk DNA” (see 05/27/2004 and 05/23/2003 headlines).  A story posted on EurekAlert says that mobile elements called retrotransposons, long thought to be junk from retroviruses that propagate at random in the genome, actually provide “ a large repository of start sites for initiating gene expression” that is apparently very important for developing embryos.  “Therefore, more than one third of the mouse and human genomes, previously thought to be non-functional, may play some role in the regulation of gene expression and promotion of genetic diversity.”  See also the writeup in Science News 166:16, week of Oct. 16, 2004, p. 243.Fossil Fool’s Gold:  A paper in Geology this month examines the fine preservation of China’s Chengjiang fossils (see 07/22/2004 headline) and suggests that pyrite was involved.  “The apparent explosive diversification of animal life in the Cambrian is one of the most significant events in the history of life and continues to be controversial,” the paper begins.  Another paper in the same issue that describes a discovery of Early Cambrian bilaterian embryos and larvae from China states, “In contrast to the Precambrian, evidence for the structural diversity of embryos and larvae in Cambrian strata is mounting.”Flip & Flap over ID Paper:  The journal that published Stephen Meyer’s intelligent design paper (see 09/24/2004 headline) has now issued a statement that the article should not have been published.  To Mark Hartwig writing in Access Research Network’s Weekly Wedge Update, though, this can hardly help their reputation.  Meanwhile, the Discovery Institute continues to publish line-by-line refutations of criticisms coming from pro-Darwin forces.Fall Colors Delight Tourists, Confuse Scientists:  When leaves turn red and yellow, there’s a “reason for the season,” says National Geographic News, but then fails to find it.  Yellow is explained by the plant shutting down chlorophyll (green) production, which otherwise swamps the yellow color that is always present.  But production of xanthophylls (red) is costly; is it for sunscreen?  Antioxidants?  Fungal protection?  No one knows for sure why deciduous forests turn a riot of color in the fall (see 10/19/2001 headline).  One thing is for sure: humans like it.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Mandela’s love of children

first_imgMadiba’s son Thembi died in a car accident at the age of 24 in 1969, when Madiba was on Robben Island.(Image: Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory) MEDIA CONTACTS • Sello Hatang   CEO and spokesperson, Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory   +27 11 547 5600. RELATED ARTICLES • The women in Madiba’s life • Mandela: childhood heroes and lessons • Nelson Mandela’s words of wisdom • Madiba’s legacy is forever Musa MkalipiFrom the dusty fields of Qunu in Eastern Cape, Nelson Mandela grew to become a wise and admirable man, respected and loved around the world. He is a man of integrity, who is known for his love for children. His influence on a global scale is massive, but just as significant has been his emphasis on the importance of family.Mandela is called the father of the nation perhaps not only for his role in liberating South Africans but also for the love and support he has shown to its children. A father of six himself, he had four children with his first wife, Evelyn Mase, whom he married in 1944. They had two daughters, both named Makaziwe; the first died in infancy and the second was given the same name in honour of her departed sister.They also had two sons, Thembekile, who died in a car accident in 1969 at the age of 24, and Magkato, who died of an Aids-related illness in 2005. Mandela was deeply affected by the deaths of his sons, the first of whom died while he was in prison. Mandela was not allowed to attend the funeral nor was he given details of the accident. “I received the tragic news on July 16, when the Commanding Officer showed me a telegram which merely reported the bare fact that Thembi had died in a car accident in Cape Town. Immediately upon receiving this report I made efforts to get detailed and accurate information on the accident,” he wrote in a letter dated 19 November 1969.He married his second wife, Winnie Madikizela, in 1958. The couple had two daughters, Zinzi and Zenani. Much of their marriage was spent apart – with Mandela in prison – and he did not see his children grow up. “Not seeing them may be why I’ve developed an obsession with children – I missed seeing any for 27 years. It’s one of the most severe punishments prison life can impose, because children are the most important asset in a country. For them to become that asset, they must receive education and love from their parents. And when you are in jail, you are unable to give those things to your children,” he said in an interview with American talk show host Oprah Winfrey in April 2001.At heart, Mandela is a family man. Passages in his book, Conversations with Myself, for which the foreword was written by American President Barack Obama, are evidence of his yearning for his family. “I love playing and chatting with children … feeding and putting them to bed with a little story, and being away from the family has troubled me throughout my … life. I like relaxing at the house, reading quietly, taking in the sweet smell that comes from the pots, sitting around a table with the family, and taking out my wife and children. When you can no longer enjoy these simple pleasures something valuable is taken away from your life and you feel it in your daily work.”Among many other awards and prizes received since his release from prison and leadership of a democratic South Africa, in 2005 Mandela received the World’s Children’s Prize and in 2009 he was named Decade Child Rights Hero 2009 for his lifelong struggle to free the children of South Africa from apartheid, and for his unwavering support for their rights. The latter was a joint award with Graca Machel, his third and current wife.During his term as president, Mandela gave half his salary to the poor, specifically to children. “I have never cared very much for personal prizes. A person does not become a freedom fighter in the hope of winning awards,” he writes in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. In addition, when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, he gave part of his $1.2-million (R11.7-million) prize money to help disadvantaged children.Paying it forwardMandela’s work for children continues, despite his retirement from public life and recent illness. Through the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, funds are raised and programmes are initiated to ensure a better future for children. The focus of these efforts is on creating a beneficial environment for the welfare of children. The fund raises money for organisations that work with the country’s children and youth, from birth to 22 years of age from underprivileged surroundings.“Few things make the life of a parent more rewarding and sweet as successful children,” he wrote in a letter while on Robben Island to his friend Amina Cachalia, an anti-apartheid activist, in 1981.According to the Nedbank Children’s Affinity, which works in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the fund has given nearly R315-million (US$31-million) to about 1 850 projects supporting children since its launch in 2005. Nedbank is one of South Africa’s big four banks.“Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation. They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth, those who care for and protect our people,” Mandela said in 1995 at the dedication of Qunu and Nkalane schools.He has paid particular attention to Eastern Cape, his home province, arguably the worst affected when it comes to education and educational facilities. It was one of his dreams to have a high school built at his birthplace, Mvezo, a dream that came true when the Mandela School of Science and Technology was built. The school is scheduled to open in January 2014. Not only was the school built in his honour, it also exemplifies his belief that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.It is also important that children receive the best medical care and with this in mind the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust is raising finances to build a state-of-the-art paediatric academic hospital for children in Southern Africa.Children celebrate Madiba’s birthdayFor a man who is so fond of children, it is no surprise that Mandela would want to celebrate his birthday with them. It has become tradition on his birthday for children to be taken to his home village where they join in the festivities. This year was no exception, as people once more gathered in Qunu to celebrate – even though the great man himself was in hospital in Pretoria at the time.At the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, children were given books to read and they sang happy birthday. Mandela has brought many of the causes he believes in to the fore. He has raised awareness of the challenges of South Africa around the world.last_img read more

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Clifton Mill continues to dazzle each year as Christmas draws near

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Anthony Satariano used to wear suits and ties for work and travel the country for his professional career. But with a dramatic career change he traded the suits and ties for jeans and sweatshirts and a much brighter future — quite literally to the tune of about 3.9 million Christmas lights.With Anthony’s father ready to retire in 1985, the father-son duo bought the beautiful, historic Clifton Mill in Greene County that is now well known around Ohio and the country for it’s jaw-dropping Christmas light display.“Next year will be our 30th year and we are up to around 3.9 million lights,” Satariano said. “I wish we could leave the lights up all year but Mother Nature would literally tear them all apart. We start putting things out at the end of August and start putting lights up in mid-September. It takes a month to take it all down but it takes forever to put it all up. We start turning on the lights the day after Thanksgiving and stop Dec. 31. Then I hibernate and come back out in the spring and take it all down and fix it and put it back up.”That adds up to plenty of work, even when wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. The purchase of the mill was about more than a new wardrobe through, for Satariano. It allowed for more time with his family and less time in planes and hotels. The focus on family that drove the initial decision is apparent in the resulting business today, especially around the holidays.“The fun part is getting to share it with everybody and see the multiple generations of families that have made this their family tradition now,” he said. “People who have been coming for years bring their children and grandchildren. All you see all night long is picture flashes going off. Everyone is always in a good mood at Christmas time.”Year-round the mill’s restaurant and gift shop specialize in local offerings and products made with plenty of flour.“The mill was fine when we bought it. They had a small gift shop and the rest grew out of necessity. It grew on its own,” Satariano said. “We just listened to people about what they wanted. We focused on grains and pancakes and big breakfast. It was a natural fit for the mill. Pancakes are very much a big thing for us with our connection with milling. We use the mill for show and we can mill as much as we want, but with regulations the way they are we only do it for show.”They try to work closely with the local community when possible.“We use a local hog farmer for our sausage, for example,” he said. “We’d rather go local if we can. I like the idea of saying, ‘This came from the farm down the road,’ and customers like that too.”Satariano really values his role in preserving the unique history of the mill and sharing it with others, but maintaining a facility originally built in the early 1800s as a modern business is not without challenges.“It has its own unique set of problems. Being very old, the maintenance is very hands-on and we are always fixing all kinds of stuff,” Satariano said. “Keeping up to code and controlling costs is a challenge and it is tough sometimes, but we want to be caretakers of a little bit of history. We love to show people the history and how the mill works.”As the nights get darker and longer when Christmas draws near, the mill takes on a brilliant glow unimaginable to those who built it so long ago. The dazzling lights, paired with the incredible setting ofAnthony Satariano starts getting the Christmas display at the mill ready in August.the mill perched on the side of a gorge on the Little Miami River, offer a unique and stunning experience for holiday visitors. Restaurant hours are shortened and the staff nearly doubles from 16 to 25 or 30 during Christmas light season.The tradition of the Christmas lights stems from the Satariano tradition of decorating their family home each year while Anthony was growing up. After buying the mill, it only seemed natural to continue the tradition on a bigger scale.“We bought 100,000 lights thinking that would be enough. We learned a lot. People would pull in and say, ‘Wow this is really neat.’ We just did more of it after that to share with people,” Satariano said. “We started charging after the first year. We started charging a dollar. We thought if we’d raise the price it would help with the crowd. Then we bumped it up to $7 until several years ago when it went to $10 for adults and kids are free and parking is free.“We can get several thousand visitors on a good night. If you are planning on coming, try not to come on a Friday or Saturday. There are so many people it is harder to enjoy it.”Inclement weather does little to deter visitors.“People out this way are tough. It has to be a Level 3 Snow Emergency or something for people to not come out,” he said. “With a dusting of snow it is gorgeous — too much snow and I have to start brushing it off. The lights will shine up through two feet of snow, though.”As the light show grew through the years, so did the other holiday attractions on site. The mill also nowA miniature lighted village features handcrafted buildings and is another popular feature with visitors.has an antique toy collection, a huge Santa Claus collection with one from every generation, an animated miniature village with handcrafted buildings, and a spectacular covered bridge light show synchronized to music. Visitors can also visit Santa’s shop and take a peek at his reindeer getting ready for the season.“The older people tend to gravitate toward the miniature village and the younger people seem to like the synchronized bridge show. Everybody likes the Santa Clause collection,” he said. “I got the idea for the covered bridge from a beer commercial. The lights are synchronized to music. I have 30 controllers each with 16 channels. The lights are set to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s ‘Carol of the Bells’ and my wife won’t let me change it.”Thus far, the potential for the display has been limited only by the imagination, but there are physical limits moving forward.“The biggest challenge for me is that I am running out of room electrically,” he said. “I love to keep it changing and add new things, but I am about maxed out.”The meticulous and time-consuming set-up has evolved into a science over the years to get things looking just right as efficiently as possible.“I have a core group of about five guys who have been with me for a long time that help set up. Each of us has our own specialty we do,” Satariano said. “We test things as we go and we usually replace 3,000 to 5,000 strands each year. We set it up so one switch turns them all on.”With the flip of the switch each evening this time of year, jaws drop and visitors gasp — things that continue to make Satariano’s mid-80s career change worthwhile and enjoyable despite the long hours and hard work.“To share Christmas with so many rather than just my family is special. People can’t wait to tell you about how what we are doing fits into their traditions. I invite Children’s Hospital to send me a couple of kids and I find out what they want from their parents and give it to them. Getting to share this with all of these people is really fun,” Satariano said. “One of the guys said the other day while we were setting up the lights, ‘Wow this is still cool after all these years.’ When we have time to enjoy it, it is still pretty neat.”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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