first_imgThis time last year Letterkenny won the overall title of Ireland’s Most Enterprising Town.Along with the trophies came a small prize fund.Letterkenny Chamber had long discussions with the other stakeholders and after much deliberation it has decided to put some of the money towards the development of the market Square. Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce is promoting a comprehensive review of how the Market Square works as a public space and the potential use of this focal point on Main Street into the future.With the help of Donegal County Council and students from Queens University Belfast the views of people using Main Street will be sought during a day-long consultation event on Friday 6th December.Leonard Watson, President of Letterkenny Chamber explained “The Market Square when it was built was the jewel in the crown of Letterkenny Town Centre, however, over the years it has become clear that the space is not as accessible or suitable for events as was first thought. We have all stood at the square and had conversations about it.“As a Chamber we have organized events and have tried to use the band stand for various activities, but we realized we needed to be closer to the street. So, we thought this consultation fitted well with these ongoing conversations.” Individuals will be able to discuss their ideas and help inform the future use and layout of the Square as a space with potential to be used in any number of ways.The next stage, informed by comments gathered during the consultation day, is to commission a Design Competition funded by Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce from which detailed plans can be developed as the basis to implement the redevelopment of the Market Square should funding opportunities become available.This will be an on-street event taking place from 10am to 4.30pm.  Those carrying out the consultation will be located at Market Centre so call down and give your opinion.All views and opinions on the future visions for the Square are welcome and will be reflected in the design brief for the proposed design competition.Come and join us in shaping the future of this important place. Come and share your vision for Letterkenny’s Market Square this Friday was last modified: December 3rd, 2019 by StephenShare 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)Tags:ConsultationdonegalletterkennyMarket Squarelast_img read more


first_imgIs The End of the RNA World Hypothesis Near Because Multiple Universes Are Needed for It?by Salvador CordovaA somewhat recent article in Quanta Magazine proclaimed the end of the RNA World Hypothesis. Charles Carter is a longtime critic of the RNA world. He was quoted as saying:Recent papers published in Biosystems and Molecular Biology and Evolution delineated why the RNA world hypothesis does not provide a sufficient foundation for the evolutionary events that followed. Instead, said Charles Carter, a structural biologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who co-authored the papers, the model represents “an expedient proposal.” “There’s no way that a single polymer could carry out all of the necessary processes we now characterize as part of life,” he added.So what is Carter’s alternative? Carter points out that it is necessary for some other things have to be there with the first life along with RNA such as “‘loading’ molecules called aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases.” Er, you mean sophisticated proteins!Theoretical self-replication of RNA (Illustra Media)The various origin-of-life theories were things like “RNA first” or “proteins first” or “metabolism first,”  etc. Few have entertained the idea of “everything first” since that looks too much like special creation. However, Carter unwittingly inches closer to the “everything first” model. How, for example, can one have a protein like an aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase arise without a means of making it and regulating it? In fact, there have to be several of them, not just one since there are 20 amino acids. The best way to make them is to have DNA with instructions to make them, but then where does the DNA come from without proteins, and where do proteins come from without DNA? DNA transcribes to RNA and RNA translates to proteins and proteins synthesize DNA, and the cycle continues. This is a classic chicken-and-egg paradox where one asks, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Under an “everything first” model, obviously the chicken.Charles Carter has been a long-time critic of the RNA world. Though he believes the RNA World hypothesis is just about to expire, bad theories that are dead factually have a way of walking around like the living-dead. Jonathan Wells uses the term “zombie science” to describe such theories. I’m afraid the RNA world hypothesis might not end anytime soon because like other zombie ideas, they are enthralling fictions. [By the way, one of my biochemistry teacher’s favorite shows was The Walking Dead.]Charles Carter has been ignored by most of the origin of life community. Why? He pointed out in an earlier paper in the Journal of Biological Chemistry:Koonin estimates that assembling the replicative fidelity necessary for an RNA-only origin would require multiple universes.But it should be worth mentioning that Koonin accepts the existence of life in our universe as good evidence there are multiple universes! He said so in Biology Direct, where he proclaims confidently that the existence of “many worlds” resolves the problem of the RNA world’s improbability. From that leap of faith, he proclaims:A final comment on “irreducible complexity” and “intelligent design”. By showing that highly complex systems, actually, can emerge by chance and, moreover, are inevitable, if extremely rare, in the universe, the present model sidesteps the issue of irreducibility and leaves no room whatsoever for any form of intelligent design.Koonin is stepping out in faith here, because science has no way of detecting many worlds. He’s basing so much of his anti-intelligent design views on pure speculation. There could just as well be an ultimate Designer, and it is also hypothetically possible there is a single Designer for all the many worlds.I challenge those who reject the possibility of the Christian God and Creator with this thought, “Would you wager a thousand dollars in a casino based on the many-worlds hypothesis being true? If not, then why would you wager your soul?”Salvador Cordova has appeared on National TV, radio shows, newspapers, books and magazines for his work in promoting Intelligent Design and Creation Science. He is a former scientist and engineer in the aerospace and defense industry and presently serves as a professor and researcher in the area of Christian apologetics at small Bible College. He has four science degrees and is working on a PhD. For his previous entries on CEH, see his Author Profile.(Visited 1,044 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The turkey vulture has long been a common (if not always pleasant) sight throughout Ohio’s rural landscape, but in more recent years its nastier, more brazen cousin has been showing up in the state.Black vultures — like turkey vultures — are scavengers that feast on carrion, providing a valuable service. Black vultures, though, are known to take things one-step further by facilitating the animal’s death when it suits their purposes.“Over the better part of at least the past 15 years, Ohio livestock producers have increasingly experienced problems with black vultures. Unlike its red-headed cousin the turkey vulture that feeds only on the carcasses of dead animals, black vultures are an aggressive bird that will, on occasion, kill other animals for food,” said Stan Smith, program assistant in Ag and Natural Resources for Fairfield County Extension. “It’s not an uncommon occurrence for a black vulture to attack a cow in the pasture while in labor in an effort to prey on the newly-born calf even while still in the birth canal.”The black vulture’s range is throughout much of the southeastern United States down into Texas and Mexico, though the bird has been seen as far north as Maine. The predatory scavengers have been gradually moving northward into Ohio.“We gauge their population by the calls we get for complaints whether it be property damage or livestock losses and this year it has increased from last year,” said Jeff Pelc, U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services biologist and district supervisor for southern Ohio. “We had a livestock loss as far north as Summit County this year from the black vultures. That is the first time black vultures have been reported that far north in Ohio.”There are several ways to tell the difference between a turkey vulture and a black vulture that often can be found in groups together. At ground level they can be easily distinguished by the color of their heads. Turkey vultures have a red head and black vultures have black heads.The wings are also distinctly different while in flight.“On the undersides of turkey vulture wings, the primary and secondary flight feathers are white to gray on the bottom side as you are looking up at the bird. Black vultures have only have white primary feathers on tips on the wings,” Pelc said. “Plus, the black vulture tail is much shorter compared to a turkey vulture tail which is more elongated.”The generally disagreeable black vulture may be even more so due to the fact that it is a protected species. Addressing a black vulture problem in the back 40 with a shotgun is illegal and subject to federal penalties.“They are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which means you cannot harm injure or kill them without a permit,” Pelc said. “You can harass them without a permit.”Pelc suggests a number of strategies livestock operations can employ to protect the animals from problematic populations of black vultures.“You can use pyrotechnics, loud noises, lights, lasers, and some people let their dogs chase them,” he said. “Cultural methods to control them would be to compost carcasses and stillborn animals and afterbirth immediately. They are scavengers by nature and they have a really good olfactory sense. If there is food there they will set up shop. They will focus on those areas.“You can also make the area less hospitable for the vultures. If you have a large solitary tree in your pasture where 20 vultures perch every day, cut it down. Don’t let them get accustomed to your property.”The next step in controlling black vultures is to get a permit.“You can apply for a depredation permit to remove a few of these birds. The intention of the permit is just to reinforce harassment,” Pelc said. “They are very social and very wise birds. When you take one or two of them out they get the hint very quickly.”Pelc said that the process of getting a depredation permit for black vultures is very easy in Ohio.“Just call our office and fill out the application. Then there is a form we fill out for the producer. The fee is exempt for the first time — the Ohio Division of Wildlife pays for first time applicants who are livestock producers for black vultures. If they need it in subsequent years that fee will be their responsibility financially,” he said. “It is a very timely process — it just takes a few business days — and they do not have to show that they have had predation. If the threat is there we can get the permit issued.”With a permit, a black vulture or two can be killed and put on display, which has proven to be very effective at keeping other black vultures away.“USDA’s National Wildlife Research Center found if you hang a bird in an area where others can see it they will vacate the area,” Pelc said.USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services specialists recommend some key factors in hanging a black vulture effigy including:Finding locations with the highest bird activity or use, often indicated by an accumulation of feces and feathers; Visibility of the effigy to birds coming into the roost; Prominent branches or support structures; and Accessibility to the site.From “Guidelines For Using Effigies to Disperse Nuisance Vulture Roosts” from the USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services National Wildlife Research Center: “Once a bird has been acquired under a legal permit, it should be determined whether a long term or temporary placement is needed. If long-term placement or multiple usage is required, it is advised that the bird be prepared by a taxidermist and then treated with a spray on preservative, such as Scotch Guard for leather. The posture of the prepared bird should resemble that of a dead bird hung by its feet with one or both wings hanging down in an outstretched manner. For short- term placement (up to three months, depending on weather conditions) and if odor is not a concern, then an intact carcass can be used, under legal permit.”Pelc said that if there has been livestock predation from black vultures, it is important that it is reported.“The national statistic is that for every one animal that is reported lost to predators, whether it is from coyotes or black vultures, there are five that go unreported,” Pelc said. “For us to capture what kind of impact predators are having in Ohio it is really important that they give us a call. We can help with technical advice per individual. We have a few specialists that can give more guidance.”To initiate the permitting process, livestock producers experiencing problems with aggressive black vultures should call USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services office at 866-487-3297 or 614-993-3444.For more on effigy placementlast_img read more


first_imgDog and dog’s best friend, CacheDweebDid you know there are groups of gadget cache builders who slave away, day after day, week after week, huddled deep inside cluttered garages, endlessly tinkering with magnets, locks, pulleys, springs, clasps, and other such bric-a-brac? They do this for you, to put a smile on your face, and in turn, an even bigger smile on their own. Meet one such clever cache creator, CacheDweeb. His claw-machine, drawer-popping, and sound-enhanced DONKEY KACHE was featured as a Geocache of the Week. We ask a few questions, get a few answers, and learn the method behind the madness of this master cache owner. Geocache of the Week: DONKEY CACHEGeocaching HQ: What’s your background outside of geocaching?CacheDweeb: I work in IT. I’m not an engineer, but I love tinkering with things and figuring how stuff works. I like biking, hiking, and kayaking and besides geocaching, my hobbies include woodworking and building/flying giant scale radio controlled airplanes.CacheDweeb at a kayak event GC766XYGeocaching HQ: How and when did you hear about geocaching?CacheDweeb: My brother introduced me to geocaching in 2015. He had been doing it for 6 months, and then explained it to me while we were on a camping trip. After going out and finding a few caches with him, I was hooked. I already hike/bike/kayak, so geocaching just adds more to outdoor adventures.Geocaching HQ: What got you hooked?CacheDweeb: After finding about 200 caches, I happened to stumble across one of WVTim’s gadget cache videos. Once I saw that, those were the caches that I wanted to find. Not having anything like that in my immediate area, I decided to build a gadget cache and put it out. The local cachers loved it. Since then that’s what I’ve been building and placing.Geocaching HQ: What keeps you engaged in the game?CacheDweeb: I think what keeps me engaged are my friends. Since I’ve started geocaching, I met a lot of great cachers who are now some of my closest friends. I don’t get out to cache as often as I like, but I belong to a committee called the C-Mass Geofest (Central Massachusetts) who work with the Sturbridge Tourist Association and the Chamber of Commerce. We’ve been hosting large Event Caches for four years now.I also belong to a local Gadget Cache Builders group. It is a secret closed group on Facebook, with about 25 gadget cache builders, including WVTim. It is strictly for builders only, as the information on there is all spoilers. We share our projects, our skills and experience, and our friendships. They are all a great group of people.Geocaching HQ: For you, what makes a quality cache?CacheDweeb: One that is well maintained and fits its surroundings, whether it’s camouflaged or in plain sight. Of course, I love gadget caches, but I also like ‘unique’ hides, or what I call “something other than Tupperware”.Geocaching HQ: What’s the best approach to take when creating a geocache?CacheDweeb: I think the best approach is to choose materials for the container which blend in with its surroundings, and most of all, hold up to the climate it is placed in. As far as the best approach to creating gadget caches, you need to make them as bullet-proof as possible. Use materials that will hold up to a large number of cachers poking, pulling, and pushing everything on it. Also, you need to select the correct materials for the type of climate it will be in. For example, here in New England, we get everything from heat, wet, cold, and chill-to-the-bone frozen. Using wood for push/pull rods or slides won’t last because the wood swells in the humidity. You can use plastic or metal, which will work better and last much longer. Also, you need to test, test, test before you have your gadget cache published. I have my muggle family and friends test my gadget caches so I can see what works and what might need improvement.Think it, build it, test it, hide it. Oh, and maintain it!Geocaching HQ: Do you find it difficult to perform maintenance on gadget caches?CacheDweeb: In the beginning, yes. After many builds, you learn to spot problem areas before they become problems. The right materials are key. For example, rather than using kite string through pulleys, you’re better off using high-strength fishing line since it’s much more durable and will last a lot longer than any other string. I found this out the hard way on my DONKEY KACHE gadget cache. It was published just before a large event. The original string originally could not hold up to the wear and tear of so many cachers using it on one weekend. Geocaching HQ: Have you ever had an idea that you thought was impossible?CacheDweeb: Sure, all the time! As a builder, I keep a notebook that I add ideas to, so I don’t forget them. And they come to you in the oddest places. Once I was at my nephew’s hockey game. After the game, some of his teammates skated over to get off the ice and pushed down on a button on the top of the rink gate. On the outside of the gate where I was standing, it was open, so you could see how everything worked. At that moment, I had no idea what I would ever use that locking mechanism for, but I just had to take a photo of it with my phone for my “You never know” folder.Geocaching HQ: Do you have any great ideas brewing?CacheDweeb: This year, I started learning how to code caches with sound effects. Since I have a background as an IT developer with various code languages, the learning curve was easy. I’m building a payphone gadget cache that will ring and accept certain phone numbers. It should be out in the spring of 2019.Geocaching HQ: If someone was looking to you for inspiration what would you tell them?CacheDweeb: You don’t necessarily need to have skills or power tools to put out a creative cache. You just need your imagination. It doesn’t have to be as complicated as a gadget cache. I think the average cacher would rather find a unique container over Tupperware any day.CacheDweeb is number one!Geocaching HQ: Thanks so much for talking with us. Any last thoughts on geocaching?CacheDweeb: The great thing about geocaching is you can do it pretty much anywhere. If you’re on a business trip, or out on vacation somewhere, you can always take a look around to find out if there are any caches nearby. Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedDONKEY KACHE — Geocache of the WeekDecember 19, 2018In “Community”Padlocks, RFID chips, and secret briefcases: an interview with a geocaching maniacMarch 12, 2019In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”Auburn Sea (GC3QGYZ) — Geocache of the WeekSeptember 3, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”last_img read more


first_imgGadchiroli encounter toll rises to 39 Gadchiroli encounter: Security forces had ‘precise’ info about Maoist location  A former senior Maoist from the Danda Karanya Special Zonal Committee, which is in-charge of Bastar and Gadchiroli, said, “The information could have come from the Maoists who recently surrendered and their contacts. I have never seen something like this in my 22 years as a Maoist. The cadres will not retaliate immediately,and will investigate and assess their strength before reacting.” A theory has surfaced, of the rebels being drugged through their meal.However, the Boriya villagers who helped the police in recovering the bodies from the river, ruled out this possibility. They said a Maoist camp was set up near the river and there was a long gun battle on April 22.In the second encounter in Jimalgatta on April 23, six Maoists were killed. Local sources said a senior member, Nandu, who was shown to have been killed in an encounter in Rajaram Khandla area on April 23, was seen with leaders Shrinu and Sainath on April 21. A question being raised is that Nandu and five other Maoists may have been caught during the Kasansur encounter and then taken to Rajaram Khandla forest and killed.Gatepalli villagers told Gadchiroli police that eight residents are missing after the encounter. “Eight families from Gatepalli informed that these eight people, including five women, had gone to attend the wedding in Kasansur. But another Gatepalli villager, who attended the wedding, informed us that they did not go there. We have identified 19 bodies and handed over 14 to relatives,” Gadchiroli Superintendent of Police, Abhinav Deshmukh said.  At 6 a.m. on April 22, when the Maoists were unguarded, bullets started raining from all sides and grenades were hurled. Some 64 C-60 commandos had sneaked in hours ago from the Chattisgarh side. Only some Maoists could retaliate, weakly. The police picked them out one by one and shot them dead. A police source said, Sainath used the weapons of other Maoists when he ran out of bullets, three times. But he could not withstand the heavy firing and grenades.Villagers in Boriya could hear the gunshots until 3 p.m. When the guns fell silent, the police saw that it was their biggest success in the five-decade-long history of Left Wing Extremism. A total 34 bodies of Maoists were recovered from the area. Along with a second encounter on April 23 in the same district, the loss to the extremists stands at 40 dead. No chance to surrender?The police claim they gave a chance to the Maoists to surrender and opened fire only in self-defence. This version appears to be at odds with the accounts of villagers. No one was spared, including women Maoists, who were bathing in the river or the injured who wanted to surrender. Those who survived the gun battle and grenade blasts were left with no option but to jump into the Indravati. Their bodies floated for two days before a local reporter spotted them and alerted the police. There were seventeen bodies floating and photos showed burn and bullet marks.Apparently, there was a tip-off from someone inside the dalam. The wedding at the centre of the operation did go ahead on April 22. Also Read It was a perfect ambush. So perfect that even the Maharashtra police special anti-Naxal Unit, the C-60, was surprised. Thirty-four Maoists were confirmed killed. And not a single policeman. Based on many accounts, here is how it apparently happened. On April 22, a wedding was scheduled in Kasansur village in Tadgoan under Bhamragad division of Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district. The groom was from Kasansur and the bride from Gatepalli, the native village of Maoist leader Sainath who was in-charge of Perimili Dalam and the Divisional Committee member of the CPI (Maoist). The Maoists were coming to attend the wedding. For two weeks ahead, police had information that the dalams (a dalam has 10 to 15 Maoists) headed by Shrinu alias Srikant and Sainath were moving north from Kalled in Sironcha division of Gadchiroli. A week before the wedding, they were in Perimili area conducting a series of public meetings over the crisis arising from collapse of tendu leaf sale this year.On April 21 evening, the Maoists set up camp three kilometres from Boria village. They chose a difficult terrain near the Indravati river with a steep forested slope between Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh as a defence.Also Readlast_img read more