Less talk, more action on respite

first_imgPrint THE head of a campaign to restore respite services in Limerick to their former capacity for the long term, has asked local politicians to put the issue at the top of their agenda once more. Owen South has been fronting a campaign to relaunch a full respite service in Limerick, which was reduced significantly when government funding was cut by in June.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The facility in Clonile, which offered respite to 63 families, was closed and an alternative service was set up elsewhere in August, funded by €50,000 of the Brother’s of Charity’s own savings.However, the service is greatly reduced and is planned to open just 77 days next year, a drop of 48% on last year.“Nearly three months have now gone and the Brothers of Charity respite house in Clonile, Caherdavin, is still closed,” Mr South told the Limerick Post. “The Brothers of Charity have, since the end of August, opened a limited respite house in another part of Caherdavin.“The charity has donated €50,000 from much valued money raised over the years to enable  families affected by the closure get some respite”.Mr. South said that one month into the reopening of the service, the money is being eaten into and will soon run out.“Local Fianna Fail politicians, along with Brian Cowen, have claimed that the restoration of full respite services is top of their agenda, but three months on and nothing has been done and there has been no communication”.He added that the families have had “enough talk” and want to see the result of respite services in Limerick restored to full capacity. Advertisement Previous articleRound up from the courtsNext articleDeadline extended for Green Bulding Awards admin Twitter NewsLocal NewsLess talk, more action on respiteBy admin – September 27, 2010 702 WhatsApp Facebook Email Linkedinlast_img read more

Taking Charge with cellphones

first_imgJeffrey Mansfield was aboard the riverboat Juan Felipe last August as it eased down the Arapiuns River, a branch of the Amazon a mile wide. In the distance was the lush green rim of the Brazilian rain forest. Despite the remote locale, Mansfield took out his iPhone and in moments was posting real-time pictures on Facebook.Mansfield, a master’s degree student in architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, was taking advantage of a fact that is little known in North America: Remote corners of the vast Amazon River basin are increasingly covered by 3G networks. (3G is short for the third-generation networks widely used for cellphones, the Internet, video links, and other wireless communications.)“One of the biggest surprises was how accessible the Internet was,” said Mansfield. “I never felt I was in a romanticized wilderness, completely separate from the world.”Brazil itself has one of the highest densities of cellphone use in the world, and by 2014 even its most remote riverine forest regions will have reliable 3G coverage of the kind Mansfield enjoyed on the Arapiuns. A year ago, Vivo, Brazil’s largest wireless provider, distributed 200 Samsung smartphones to residents of the Tapajós-Arapiuns Extractive Reserve, an ecologically sensitive region inhabited by the mixed-race caboclo people.These farmers, fishermen, and artisans of Ameridian descent live under thick jungle cover, managing beehives, and clearing little plots to grow maize, onions, cassava, and tree fruits. (Sustainable farming in these conditions is called agroforestry.) But these Amazon forest residents are also under pressure from large-scale soybean operations that clear swaths of endangered forest.The cellphone’s camera, set on continuous shoot and held in a cut-off soda bottle with rubber bands, can snap high-resolution photos impossible to get from a higher-altitude plane. “You get phenomenal resolution,” Mansfield said. “It’s low-tech, high-impact.”Power in the region is scarce and expensive, often parceled out in 15-minute increments from portable diesel generators. In some locations, there are solar-powered telecenters that use fixed solar panels. But that’s not enough in the power-short Amazon.In August, Mansfield was in Brazil with the Portable Light Project, a nonprofit research, design, and engineering initiative developed by Boston-based Kennedy Violich Architecture Ltd. (Add in the Brazilian partners, and the project is called the Luz Portatil Brasil initiative.) At the heart of the project is a lightweight, flexible solar fabric that comes with a rechargeable battery pack and a USB port. A user can sling a solar fabric bag over the shoulder, go about the day, and return home at night with enough juice to power cellphones, lights, and other USB-powered devices.The solar textile, with its flexible photovoltaics and solid-state lighting, can also be made into traditional-patterned dresses, hats, tarps, and household curtains.During the 10-day sojourn, Mansfield and the others in his group conferred with Coopa Roca, a women’s sewing cooperative in Rio de Janeiro that reworked the solar fabric. The group also set up a base of operations in Santarem, a former rubber plantation boomtown blanketed by a haze from burning trash. Mansfield and the rest navigated hundreds of miles of the Tapajos and Arapiuns rivers to conduct solar-fabric workshops in 10 riverine villages. Quite happily, the visitors slept in hammocks, watched forest parrots at play, and ate a lot of fish, cassava, and native corn.Mansfield launched Taking Charge, a Kickstarter-funded project that will donate cellphones — loaded with helpful apps, along with a user guide printed on waterproof paper — to the region.Mansfield, a first-time visitor, was awakened to both the charms of the remote Amazon and the ecological threats to it — and to what sensitive stewards of the lands its jungle residents are. He said cheap solar power and widening 3G networks provide a “double confluence” of factors that could help to protect rain forest ecology, improve the lives of residents, and empower them politically. “So many times, outsiders speak for people there,” said Mansfield. “They had to trust foreigners to speak for them, and it wasn’t always accurate. The portable light kit and cellphone allows them a voice.”Mansfield, who is hearing-impaired, felt a kinship with the Amazon residents, since they can rely on others to talk for them. (Interpreter Jolanta Galloway, a freelancer who often works for Harvard, was present during Mansfield’s interview.)The Amazon trip inspired Mansfield to suggest a “user guide” that enables residents to employ smartphones as digital multi-tools. (“The smartphone in my generation,” said Mansfield, “is like the Swiss Army knife.”) Forest residents could use technology to improve farming, health, banking, trade, and health practices. They have the cellphones — but they lack a tool kit and training for life-changing applications. He called that “the missing link.”Back at Harvard this fall, Mansfield launched Taking Charge, a Kickstarter-funded project that will donate cellphones — loaded with helpful apps, along with a user guide printed on waterproof paper — to the region. Available in PDF form too, the guide would contain content from Amazon residents, including tips on beekeeping, husbandry, irrigation, and trade, along with foldout maps on the location of fuel stops, solar stations, and other infrastructure.Accurate maps are at the heart of the Taking Charge tool kit. On a balcony at Gund Hall, Mansfield unfurled a kite that can be used to loft a cellphone 500 feet or more into the air. The phone’s camera, set on continuous shoot and held in a cut-off soda bottle with rubber bands, can snap high-resolution photos impossible to get from a higher-altitude plane. “You get phenomenal resolution,” he said. “It’s low-tech, high-impact.” (Google just recently started to use kites and hot air balloons as mapping platforms.)At his Gund Hall workstation, where Mansfield also writes a Taking Charge blog, he showed a prototype of the users’ guide. It will contain kite-mapping instructions, a biodiversity guide, and profiles of regional entrepreneurs, who are experts in beekeeping, fishing, organic farming, weaving, and food processing.This winter, during a second Portable Light Project trip to the Amazon, Mansfield will gather more local content and conduct workshops on kite mapping and mobile-phone applications. He reached his Kickstarter goal, and will distribute 15 copies of the user guide — more if he has the funding. The target is for at least one copy in each of 10 villages, which may have as few as 20 families and as many as 100.A scheme like this can be scaled up, said Mansfield. He sees the 2,500-square-mile Tapajós-Arapiuns region as a pilot locale for the whole Amazon, which is dotted with villages whose residents yearn to connect with one another.Mansfield sees a future in which cellphones help Amazon residents scour the Internet for new farming methods of sustainable agroforestry, advice on do-it-yourself engineering projects (like tractor repair), and tips from regional entrepreneurs. They should be able to document their livelihoods, their lands, and any threats to either. They will be able to gather weather information — important in an ecosystem where sealike rivers can rise by 60 feet. And Amazon forest residents may be able to study distant markets, jumping past middlemen to get the best prices for their goods. Smartphones can also be a way for people to tell their stories, to one another and to the world.“That’s our goal,” said Mansfield of the multifaceted smartphones, “to make them part of every day life.”last_img read more

Shareholders say ‘yes’ to $2.7B Transocean-Ocean Rig merger

first_imgOffshore drilling companies Transocean and Ocean Rig have informed that their respective shareholders have voted in favor of the previously proposed Transocean’s acquisition of Ocean Rig.Ocean Rig’s Leiv Eiriksson semi-sub / Image by Lundin PetroleumThe two drillers in September entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Transocean was to acquire Ocean Rig in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $2.7 billion, inclusive of Ocean Rig’s net debt, subject to,  subject to the approval of both Transocean and Ocean Rig shareholders and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals.Commenting on the approval Jeremy Thigpen, President and CEO of Transocean said: “We are extremely pleased that our shareholders have overwhelmingly approved our acquisition of Ocean Rig. Through this combination, Transocean further enhances our industry-leading fleet of high specification floaters, thus improving our competitive position.“We are excited to begin actively marketing these assets into the growing list of opportunities we continue to see emerging across our global customer base.”Thigpen concluded  said: “We look forward to closing the transaction in the coming days and welcoming Ocean Rig’s experienced crews into the company.”In a separate statement, Ocean Rig, a deepwater drilling specialist, said that holders of 86.76% of the outstanding shares of Ocean Rig voted, of which 99.99% approved the merger.Ocean Rig has said that at the effective time of the merger, each issued and outstanding share of Ocean Rig immediately prior to such time will be canceled and automatically converted into the right to receive 1.6128 newly issued shares of Transocean and $12.75 in cash. Transocean as the combined entity will remain listed on NYSE under the symbol “RIG.”Ocean Rig’s fleet is comprised of nine high-specification ultra-deepwater drillships and two harsh environment semi-submersibles, Eirik Raude and Leiv Eiriksson.Additionally, its fleet includes two high-specification ultra-deepwater drillships currently under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries. These two newbuilds are expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2020, respectively.Offshore Energy Today StaffRelated: <span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>last_img read more

2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar: Underrate CAR, Liberia, Cape Verde at your peril, Esin warns Nigeria

first_img Group B – Mauritania, Equatorial Guinea, Zambia, Tunisia Group C- Central African Republic, Liberia, Cape Verde, Nigeria Group D – Mozambique, Malawi, Ivory Coast, Cameroon Group E – Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Mali Group F – Angola, Libya, Gabon, Egypt Group G – Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ghana Group H – Togo, Namibia, DR Congo, Senegal Group I – Sudan, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Morocco Group J – Tanzania, Madagascar, Benin, Congo DR FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Former Super Eagles forward, Etim Esin, has warned Nigeria’s Super Eagles not to underrate any team in their 2022 FIFA World Cup group, saying that it might cost them  the ticket. The Super Eagles were drawn in the Group C of the World Cup qualifiers against the Central Africa Republic, Liberia and Cape Verde to jostle for the next stage of the  qualifiers already billed to commence in October. According to the former Under-20 star to the Chile World Youth Championship, Nigeria needs to gird their loins and play to win all the teams in their group to  qualify into the next stage of the qualifiers. Ön paper Nigeria is sure of qualifying in that group. We have the players now but we should be careful because I can see surprises with Liberia in that group. You know President George Weah  will do everything to help his  country qualify. He tried it as a player and he did not succeed now as the president, he will do more to support the country’s national  team,”he told Sportinglife.ng. The former player popularly called ‘Super brat Maradona’ urged Gernot Rohr boys to prepare well and play with all their hearts to see Nigeria through to the World Cup as Nigeria is the team to beat in Group C of the qualifiers. ” Nigeria is the team every team would like to beat and we should not give them the opportunity to do that. We need to put everything in place that would ensure our  qualification to the World Cup. This kind of a group is loaded with surprises, “he stressed. 40 teams across the continent were drawn in Cairo, Egypt. African Cup of Nations winner Algeria will face Niger, Djibouti, Burkina Faso as they bid to reach the finals for the first time since 2014. Cameroon has been paired in a tricky group with Mozambique, Malawi and former World Cup finalists, Ivory Coast. Mohamed Salah will be hoping to lead Egypt to back to back World Cups but will face a stern challenge against Gabon, Algeria and Libya in Group F. Read Also:No chance for Nigeria at World Cup – Ardiles Group A – Niger, Djibouti, Burkina Faso, Algeria Loading… center_img Promoted ContentBest Car Manufacturers In The WorldNothing Compares To Stargazing Places Around The WorldCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayTop 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All TimeWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?A Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of Art7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterThe Best Cars Of All Time9 Celebrities Who Look Older Than They Really AreWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?7 Actors Who Quit Movies For Shocking ReasonsFantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread Artlast_img read more

MBB : Syracuse at Marquette breakdown

first_img Comments Beat writer predictionsTony OliveroMarquette 73, Syracuse 69Everything that could have gone wrong for this Syracuse team since its 18-0 start has gone wrong. It’s a true time of reflection, and against maybe the most overachieving team in the conference, the team that may be underachieving the most won’t have the mental fortitude on the road.Andrew L. JohnMarquette 76, Syracuse 73Seton Hall may have been the wake-up call Syracuse needed, but Marquette sees blood in the water.Brett LoGiuratoMarquette 81, Syracuse 72Panic. Spelled B-O-E-H-E-I-M. Point GuardScoop Jardine6-2, 190, JR.12.9 PPG, 5.6 APGDwight BuycksAdvertisementThis is placeholder text6-3, 190, SR.10.7 PPG, 3.9 APGBuycks is a steady senior point guard who has a 1.82 assist-to-turnover ratio. That doesn’t best Jardine’s 2.0 ratio, but heading into this game, Jardine has looked like anything but a seasoned point guard.Shooting GuardBrandon Triche6-4, 205, SO.10.3 PPG, 3.1 APGDarius Johnson-Odom6-2, 215, JR.16.5 PPG, 2.7 APGIt doesn’t get any easier for the top of the Orange’s 2-3 zone after Jeremy Hazell shredded it Tuesday. Johnson-Odom is perhaps the most underrated guard in the conference, and his slashing will test Triche and Scoop Jardine’s defensive will early.Small ForwardKris Joseph6-7, 210, JR.15.1 PPG, 4.9 RPGJimmy Butler6-7, 220, JR.15.5 PPG, 6.4 RPGButler led the Golden Eagles with 21 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and 100 percent shooting from the line in the tough loss to Connecticut Tuesday. He is the do-everything player who will log 33 to 38 minutes.Power ForwardRick Jackson6-9, 240, SR.13.1 PPG, 11.8 RPGJae Crowder6-6, 225, JR.13.0 PPG, 6.9 RPGCrowder could be the Golden Eagles’ X-factor against the SU zone, finding seams everywhere from the 3-point line to the block. He is a jack-of-all-trades who shoots 41 percent from 3, yet he hauls in seven rebounds per game.CenterFab Melo7-0, 44, FR.2.1 PPG, 1.9 RPGChris Otule6-11, 260, SO.4.8 PPG, 2.5 RPGOtule is one of the Big East’s young starting centers who most closely resemble Melo. He only plays about 14 minutes per game, but in those minutes the sophomore does much more than Melo, averaging close to five points per game on 60 percent shooting.CoachJim Boeheim848-296, 34 seasonsBuzz Williams74-45, 3 seasonsWilliams is 0-2 vs. Boeheim, but he has found a way of holding his own during his time in the Big East. He’s 27-17 in the conference since taking over prior to the 2008-09 season and has had success against some of the top teams in the league.Free throws• Saturday’s game will be played on National Marquette Day, a day designated for fans to show off their Marquette pride.• Marquette is 0-5 vs. Syracuse since joining the Big East prior to the 2005 season. Since then, the Golden Eagles have beaten Big East powers Connecticut, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Georgetown, West Virginia and Villanova.• Marquette’s four leading scorers have shot 108-of-269 (40 percent) from 3-point range this season. Syracuse has struggled to stop shooters during its current losing streak.Stat to know: 2006The last year Syracuse lost four consecutive games. SU will try to break its three-game losing skid against Marquette.Big number: 22The margin by which Marquette beat then-No. 11 Notre Dame inside the Bradley Center on Jan. 10. Published on January 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more