Dr Paul Wright: IAAF needs fresh start

first_img NINE-DAY WONDER The sport of athletics needs a complete overhaul. The idea of men of ‘integrity’ volunteering to ‘serve the sport’ without any monetary reward has now been officially debunked. The findings of the Diack Pound-led WADA probe must never be allowed to be a nine-day wonder. The officials who have been indicted and suspended are but the tip of a very large iceberg. There many associates of the sleaze previously known as the IAAF that have to be exposed and removed from office. The call by British Athletics to expunge all the previous world records and to start anew may be extreme, but it is an idea that needs to be contemplated. This column has long reminded readers that there were leaders of athletics in many of the countries who were of the opinion that the ‘stars’ of the sport should be mollycoddled and supported no matter what and that any positive drug test by a ‘star’ must be (a) vehemently denied, and (b) if the tests are conclusive, blame the test, blame the tester, blame the procedure, but under no circumstances blame the athlete. We now know that many of the world’s top athletes have been able to be one step ahead of the tests and testers, and it is now conformed that some among the complicity of doctors, laboratories, and dope-control officers have been corrupt and complicit in allowing cheaters and downright crooks to continue to ‘trick us’. The Pound-led probe has exposed the dark underbelly of a corrupt organisation that can only begin to restore trust if ALL the principals of the organisation are removed. There can be no sacred cows. A fresh start is mandatory. The second aspect of the WADA-commissioned report on corruption in the sport of athletics was published last week. In summary, it stated that not only did the IAAF ‘s president and a powerful rogue group extort athletes and allow doping athletes to continue competing, but more damningly, the report stated that “far more members of the IAAF staff knew about the problems than has currently been acknowledged”. The present president of the IAAF, Lord Sebastian Coe, was a vice-president and an acknowledged “disciple” of the previous president, Lamine Diack, for eight years and yet swears that he knew nothing, he saw nothing, and heard nothing that could have aroused his interest or suspicion while the acts of corruption and bribery contained in the report were committed. Astonishingly, Lord Coe remains unfazed by these reports and continues as the leader of an international organisation that has lost all its credibility and the trust of athletes and fans worldwide. The leaders of football (FIFA), athletics (IAAF), and cricket (WICB) have been exposed by whistle-blowers (insiders and previous board members) and yet continue to insist that ‘everything criss’ until the police became involved. The world owes whistle-blowers a debt of gratitude that only time will be able to quantify.last_img read more

Huge international interest expected for LYIT’s Green Day

first_imgWith over 20 exhibitors already secured, Letterkenny Institute of Technology’s (LYIT) Green Day is once again set to be of huge interest to businesses, households and students from all over Donegal, Derry and Strabane. Green Day will take place in LYIT on Thursday 28 November from 9.30am to 2.30pm and along with the extensive range of exhibitors, it will include a seminar hosting an international panel of experts looking at how renewable energy can help achieve Ireland’s Climate Action targets.This is LYIT’s fourth year to host the Green Day at their campus and Mary Daly, LYIT’s Estates Manager is delighted to be joining up with the multi-national EU funded SMARTrenew project led by Dr. Nick Timmons, Principal Investigator of LyITs WiSAR Lab. This strategically important €1.6m project partly funded by the Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Interreg programme consists of an international consortium of partners from Finland, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands together with Donegal County Council, Derry City and Strabane District Council and LYIT.“We are building on the success of last year’s event” says Mary Daly.  “This year we are adding a further dimension with SMARTrenew hosting a panel of international experts, including an energy consultant from Denmark and a SMARTrenew partner from Iceland, to share with us their experiences, insights and learning on how they have embraced smart renewable energy technology, including smart energy storage in batteries and heat extraction from the sea.”Speakers will include Alan Ryan from SEAI, Ireland, Ragnar Ásmundsson from HeatRD in Iceland Eddie McGoldrick from Power on Technologies in Northern Ireland and Magda Kowalska from PlanEnergi in Denmark. The seminar will be of interest to businesses operating in this area, public sector organisations, policymakers, learners and lecturers.Alongside the seminar will be a range of exhibitors including the OPW Optimising Power initiative, recycling demonstrations with Voice Ireland, local suppliers of energy efficiency technologies and electric vehicles, information on Green Mortgages, reusable cup promotions, health & fitness checks, display of student projects and opportunities to meet the Green Campus team and learn more about the SMARTrenew project. “With the increased focus on meeting our commitments as a society to the challenges around climate change and adaptation, this is a great opportunity for businesses, homeowners, public sector organisations, students and others to call in and see what is on offer and to learn a bit more about what they can do at home or at work to assist in helping us meet our obligations to the challenges around climate change” says Mary Daly.“If you want to find out more about how to get the most out of your recycling efforts or about electric cars or energy efficient products that can help increase your homes energy rating or if you are looking for a mortgage and would like to see how you can avail of a ‘green’ mortgage, then we would encourage you to come along on the day.”The event will take place in the Main Campus from 9.30am to 2.30pm on Thursday 28 November and admission is free.Huge international interest expected for LYIT’s Green Day was last modified: November 11th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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

How Cells Build Hard Parts

first_imgYou have rocks in your head, and it’s a good thing, or you would die of starvation and imbalance.  Living things have need of inorganic structures for various functions.  Can you name the mineral structures in your body?  The answer is: bone, dentin, enamel and otoliths.  The last three are specific to your head.  Dentin and enamel help us chew our food, and otoliths help us know which way is up (see 10/10/2003 headline).  Vertebrates have bones and teeth, birds lay eggshells of calcium carbonate, and many marine and terrestrial animals build mineral shells.  Scientists and engineers are drawn to the skill organisms exhibit in the construction of hard parts (called biomineralization), and they want to imitate it.  We’ve drawn attention to the amazing capabilities of the conch shell (see 06/26/2003 headline) and diatoms (see 07/21/2004 headline).  Two recent articles in science journals discuss the human fascination with biomineralization.    A book review in Science last week1 opens with praise for the lowly diatom:The abilities to design and construct inorganic materials with specified atomic structure, size, shape, orientation, and number of defects and to integrate these architectures into functioning devices form the foundation for advances in technologies that rely on the devices’ electrical, optical, magnetic, and chemical outputs.  However, assembly methods that allow simultaneous control of these features at lengths from the nanometer scale to the macroscale continue to elude scientists and engineers….    What if there were constructors that could sequester inorganic ions from water, accumulate and concentrate them to produce architectures controlled over length scales from nanometers to tens of centimeters, and do all of this in a matter of hours at ambient temperatures?  Such constructors are not inventions of science fiction novels but rather single-cell plants called diatoms…. Biomineralization processes can form structures that are the envy of all of us who strive to understand molecular mechanisms of the assembly of inorganic materials.The book Mark E. Davis is reviewing is Biomineralization by the Mineralogical Society of America and Geochemical Society, 2003.  He was especially impressed by the complexity of the molecular mechanisms organisms use to build their hard parts, mechanisms that show mastery of molecular biology, protein chemistry, nucleation thermodynamics, and crystal growth.  Some organisms build minerals inside cells, outside cells, or between cells.  Davis found one example particularly attractive to the materials scientist:Nacre, the mother-of-pearl layer found on the inner surface of shells, has a fracture toughness approximately 3000 times that of the synthetic analogue aragonite (calcium carbonate).  Nacre is composed of thin (circa 30 nm) layers of a protein-polysaccharide intercalated between 0.5 micrometer-thick layers of aragonite tablets.  The weak interface between the organic and inorganic layers is thought to dissipate the energy of crack propagation and thus strengthen the composite structure. This sophisticated architecture provides clues as to how man-made structures could be improved.How could such capabilities evolve?  “The evolution of mineralized tissues has been enigmatic for more than a century,” says a team of three Penn State scientists writing in PNAS2 on the subject.  Feeling that comparative genetics could help solve the enigma, they undertook a search for homologous genes and proteins between disparate groups.  “Mineralized tissue is a critical innovation in vertebrate evolution,” they begin, “offering the basis for various adaptive phenotypes: body armor for protection, teeth for predation, and endoskeleton for locomotion.”  Certain “primitive” fish have dentin-like body armor covered with an enameloid substance that the team believes evolved into fish scales.  Their previous work suggested that mammalian teeth and agnathan body armor are homologous.  This time, they examined the genome of a teleost fish and failed to find any homologous proteins for mammalian tooth enamel.  Though dentin in teeth seems homologous with body armor that formed on skin collagen of fish, their analyses “suggest that mammalian enamel is distinct from fish enameloid.”  Instead, they believe “Their similar nature as a hard structural overlay on exoskeleton and teeth is because of convergent evolution.”1Mark E. Davis, “How Life Makes Hard Stuff,” Science, Vol 305, Issue 5683, 480, 23 July 2004, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1099773].2Kawasaki, Suzuki and Weiss, “Genetic basis for the evolution of vertebrate mineralized tissue,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0404279101, published online July 22, 2004.These two articles illustrate the disparity between hard science and soft, mushy, slippery Darwinian scientism.  It goes like this: (1) The organism excels at an engineering feat.  (2) It must have evolved, but we don’t know how.  To the extent the organism elicits admiration, the Darwinian explanation elicits disgust.   The PNAS article is a useless hodgepodge of storytelling, attempting to force uncooperative facts into a predetermined plot.  In one place, they “calibrate” their Darwinian tree based on Darwinian assumptions.  When that produces anomalous results in another part of the tree, they simply adjust the rate of evolution on that branch.  When another branch has trouble, they rearrange the branches and invoke the magic trick of “convergent evolution” to explain similarities that did not appear to have a common ancestor.  All through, there are wiggle words like must have, might have, quite possible, suggests, possible, co-opted, although there is no direct fossil evidence to date… may not have, probably, assumed to etc.  The data are only secondary props in this tweakfest to keep Charlie as the national idol.  Do they ever explain how multiple genes produced multiple proteins by accident that work biomineralization wonders?  No; it is all an exercise in reassuring the reader that the Darwin Party is not really lost.  For baloney detectors who are not intimidated by the bluffing of technical jargon or prestigious journals, it makes no sense.  Try this howler for fun:Together these facts make it likely that the developmental mechanism of mammalian tissue mineralization was elaborated during bony fish evolution in actinopterygians or sarcopterygians.  Although the genetic tools of tissue mineralization are totally unknown for chondrichthyans, it is quite possible that they have developed their own tools through independent gene duplications and functional selection histories.What a total whitewash; do you see what they did?  They just swept a huge problem under the rug.  When the data were missing or contrary, they ascribed it to evolution anyway.  They personified fish, turning them into materials engineers and tool inventors.  And that ending phrase, “independent … functional selection histories,” should be framed as a classic euphemism for Darwinian dogma. (Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The Price You Pay for Work-Life Balance

first_imgIf you want to succeed at work, you must pay for that success with time and focused energy. That time and energy has to come from somewhere, each of us starting with 24 hours in each day.If you want family to be at the center of your life, that also requires time and focused energy. It mostly requires a presence, something that many of us struggle with because, while our body is present, our minds can be far away, still at work.Taking time from one of these provides more time for the other. If you believe that work and family are most important, then there are other places from which you can pay for that time.You can take time away from watching television, even the sports and shows that you most enjoy. Sporting events take hours of time that you might use for something you value more. This is not to say that one shouldn’t watch television, but that one cannot complain about not having time if they spent 8 hours watching television over the course of a couple days.You can also pay for work-life balance by getting up much earlier in the morning. If you don’t want to take time from your family to devote to work, then work when your family is asleep. Get up at 5:00 AM instead of 6:30 AM and give yourself an hour and half of time to work when the people you care about don’t care about spending time with you. It’s true, to wake up at 5:00 AM and get 7 hours of sleep, you will have to be asleep at 10:00 PM. But, if you have kids, they’ll be long asleep by then. If you have teenagers, they won’t want anything to do you anyway.The idea of a weekend off is only a hundred or so years old. Before the Industrial Age, you worked as much as was necessary without regard for weekends. Weekend mornings between 5:00 AM and 9:00 AM give you an additional workday each week. While others work 5 days and 40 hours, you get an additional eight hours. You can block the rest of your Saturday and Sunday for time with your family and friends.The very idea of balance is more a measurement of your fulfillment than it is hours, but know that hours spent in one area are hours that cannot be invested in another. You must pay for time, but the decision as to how to pay for that time is up to you. In all cases, you have to forego something to have the time for something you want more. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

Samsung Galaxy S3 available in India at Rs 41,500

first_imgSamsung Galaxy S III is now available with 32GB in-built memory capacity in India at a price of Rs 41,500 via Samsung’s eStore. So far, only the 16GB variant of Samsung Galaxy S III was available in the country. The 16GB S III was launched at Rs 42,500, but is now available for Rs 38,400 in the market.Samsung recently announced a 64GB variant of the S III as well, but no price or India launch date of the device was mentioned. It may noted that Samsung on its official Facebook page had announced “Samsung Galaxy S III is now available with 32GB in-built memory capacity.” The Samsung Galaxy S III is successor to the Samsung Galaxy S II, which was one of the most successful smartphones of 2011. The S III, which boasts of a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280x 720 pixels, runs on Google Android 4.0.4 OS. It is powered by the Exynos 4212 quad-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz with 1GB of RAM. The Samsung has also launched its London Olympics edition. The limited edition phone, which was introduced during the worldwide sporting event, featured four designs. The rear covers sport adorable designs of a soldier from the royal army, two designs of the British flag and a red and blue lion’s head. According to reports, the blue version of the phone features a union jack printed across the back of the phone. Both the white and blue Samsung Galaxy S3 phones incorporate the Olympic rings and the Team GB logo panel. The smartphone is made available exclusively at UK tech distributor Carphone Warehouse, which will start selling it on August 1. With Agency inputsadvertisementlast_img read more