ALARMING INCREASE IN ELECTRICITY DISCONNECTIONS, SAYS DONEGAL TD

first_imgFianna Fáil Deputy Charlie McConalogue has called on the government to address the alarming rise in the number of electricity disconnections across the North West.New figures released by the Energy Regulator show that nationally, more than 20,000 homes had their electricity or gas cut off last year because they cannot pay their bills.According to Deputy McConalogue, this signals a ‘growing crisis’ among lower and middle-income families who have recently found unable to pay their basic bills. “Last year alone, there was an 82% in homes that had their gas supply cut off. In addition to this, 14,650 households across the country had their electricity disconnected. The fear is that those numbers will be much higher again this year as homeowners are hit with property taxes and families suffer yet more cuts in state support,” Deputy McConalogue said.“How serious does this have to get before the government starts to take notice? I have spoken to many Donegal families who have always paid their household bills without fail, but have recently been unable to cope with extra taxes, cuts in child benefit, cuts in maternity benefit, cuts to the Back to School allowance and other state supports, increases in education costs and often crippling mortgage debt.“The pressure on ordinary families seems to be growing month on month. On top of everything else, property tax bills will double next year and water charges will follow. Something has to give.“The very least the government can do is ensure that basic household bills, like gas and electricity, are affordable. Fianna Fáil has repeatedly called on Minister Pat Rabbitte, who has responsibility for the energy sector, to take more of an interest in spiraling energy costs for households and to raise concerns with the Energy Regulator. Electricity prices rose by 9% last year, with gas prices increasing by 12%. The onus is on Minister Rabbitte and the Regulator to put real solutions in place to help customers in genuine difficulty,” said Deputy McConalogue.  ALARMING INCREASE IN ELECTRICITY DISCONNECTIONS, SAYS DONEGAL TD was last modified: June 10th, 2013 by BrendaShare 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 Jon Gruden saved the Raiders’ second ‘Hard Knocks’ episode

first_imgIn episode 2 of HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” the producers kept calling the one sure-fire winning play in their playbook: Spider 2 Y Banana, better known as “keep the focus on Jon Gruden.”With controversial receiver Antonio Brown absent from camp for nearly all of the episode, the Raiders’ gregarious coach was the fail-safe focal point Tuesday night. And Gruden delivered another award-worthy effort for the cameras.Gruden’s sometimes caustic, oftentimes condescending, but all the time entertaining …last_img read more

Darwinian Eugenics Hit Latinos Hard

first_imgA Remnant of the Toxic Effect of Darwinian Eugenicsby Dr Jerry BergmanIt is well-known that forced Darwinian eugenic sterilization programs targeted Blacks, but evidence is surfacing that the Latinos were also targets. An article titled “Forced sterilization programs in California once harmed thousands – particularly Latinas” [i] supports this conclusion. In the first half of the 20th century, a University of Vermont study concluded U.S. eugenics programs sterilized an estimated 60,000 people that public health and social works deemed “unfit.” [ii] This study was a continuation of the work by Professor Nancy Gallagher as part of the book she wrote titled Breeding Better Vermonters: The Eugenics Project in the Green Mountain State. [iii]Professor Gallagher found eugenics was being applied to a wide variety of putative social problems, in this case in an attempt to solve the “problem” of Vermont’s rural poor in the 1920s. The inherent application of eugenics to a wide variety of problems also was used in response to prejudice against certain ethnic groups. In the study by Novak, et al., reviewed here, the case of “Latinas” in California was reviewed.[iv] Between the early 1920s and as late as the 1950s, California sterilized about 20,000 people, fully one-third of the entire American total.California led the nation in the effort to apply evolution in order to help create a superior race in harmony with Darwinism. Amazingly, the records of the sterilization requests of over 20,000 people still existed after all of these years. These records were examined to determine the role that race played in the sterilization decisions. Novak and Lira concluded the goal of the movement was Darwinian because:Eugenics was seen as a “science” in the early 20th century, and its ideas remained popular into the midcentury. Advocating for the “science of better breeding,” eugenicists endorsed sterilizing people considered unfit to reproduce.The eugenic laws varied, but, amazingly for us today, California passed a eugenic law in 1909 that allowed anyone committed to a state institution for whatever reason to be sterilized. The problem was many of the institutional residents were committed by court order or even by family members who would not, or could not due to poverty or other reasons, care for them. Once admitted, medical superintendents could authorize the sterilization largely at their own discretion. The criteria to sterilize patients was the judgement of “feebleminded” or “having conditions thought to be likely transmitted to descendants” – a vague category that included a wide variety of conditions from physical to mental diseases.The researchers summarized their findings in a peer reviewed study published in The American Journal of Public Health, a leading scientific journal. They were able to use the data from a total of 17,362 forms recommending institutionalized patients for sterilization between 1920 and 1945. The larger the number of Latinos in the general population, it would be expected that a larger number of Latinos would be in the study. They controlled for this population level problem by using U.S. Census data from 1920 to 1940.Illustration from Novak and Lira, 2018.The results include the finding that Latino men were far more likely to be sterilized than were non-Latino men, and Latina women experienced an even greater disproportionate risk of sterilization then non-Latinas. In short, Latinas women were at a 59% greater risk of sterilization than non-Latinas. The same finding has been found in other studies with other groups, including Jews and Blacks.A 1918 report published by the state of California found the “ratio of feeble-mindedness was far higher among Mexicans, Negroes, and recent immigrants from Europe than among those of native American stock. The former three groups make up about three-fifths of those tested, but they account for nearly nine-tenths of the feeble-minded and border zone cases.” [v]The conclusion of the Novak and Lira study was “Eugenic sterilization laws were disproportionately applied to Latina/o patients, particularly Latina women and girls.” Furthermore, “Eugenic thinking inscribed “scientific” legitimacy to racial stereotypes of Latinas/os as inferior and unfit to reproduce… ‘hyper fertile,’ inadequate mothers, criminally inclined, and …  prone to feeblemindedness.” The latter category “prone to feeblemindedness” was especially problematic because this criteria was so vague that it could include almost anyone.[i] Nicole L. Novak and Professor Natalie Lira. 2018.  Forced sterilization programs in California once harmed thousands – particularly Latinas. The Conversation, March 22, 2018.[ii] https://www.uvm.edu/%7Elkaelber/eugenics/[iii] Nancy Gallagher. 1999. Breeding Better Vermonters: The Eugenics Project in the Green Mountain State. Hanover, VT: University Press of New York State.[iv] Novak, Nicole et al., 2018. Disproportionate Sterilization of Latinos Under California’s Eugenic Sterilization Program, 1920-1945. American Journal of Public Health. March 22. E1-E3.[v]  Surveys in Mental Deviation in Prisons, Public Schools, and Orphanages in California. Sacramento: California State Printing Office. 1918. p. 19. Dr Jerry Bergman, professor, author and speaker, is a frequent contributor to Creation-Evolution Headlines. He is currently a staff scientist at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). See his Author Profile for his previous articles and more information.Dr Bergman’s book explains the rise of eugenics from Britain to America to Nazi GermanyAttaching the term “scientific” to what is a very subjective judgement occurs not only in these eugenic cases, but in other areas as well, including the issue related to biological origins determined by Darwinism. The eugenics program was a classic case of the powerful domination of the less powerful, exactly like the powerful scientist establishment today dominates the largely powerless creationist and Intelligent Design supporters. The harm of eugenics is covered in more detail in Jerry Bergman’s book  The Darwin Effect: Its influence on Nazism, Eugenics, Racism, Communism, Capitalism & Sexism. 2014. Green Forest, AR: Master Books. Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books a Million.(Visited 471 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa ‘working to combat crisis’

first_img“The past year has seen the global economy enter a period of crisis unprecedented in recent decades,” Zuma said in Parliament in Cape Town. “While South Africa has not been affected to the extent that a number of other countries have, its effects are now being clearly seen in our economy. We have entered a recession.” The lead sectors already identified are automobile, chemicals, metal fabrication, tourism, clothing and textiles as well as forestry. Attention will also be paid to services, light manufacturing and construction in the quest to create decent jobs. The Industrial Development Corporation has also developed a programme to fund companies in distress, while Zuma added that the government would ensure that it bought more goods and services locally, without undermining the country’s global competitiveness or pushing up costs beyond acceptable levels. Delivering his first State of the Nation address, President Jacob Zuma said the government was working on ways of minimising the impact of the global economic crisis on South Africa, including introducing a programme of retraining workers who faced retrenchment. As part of the second phase of the country’s Expanded Public Works Programme, the Community Work Programme will be fast-tracked, offering a minimum level of regular work to those who need it, while improving the quality of life in communities. 3 June 2009 “We will support the work of the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to assist employers and workers to find alternatives to retrenchments through the relevant legal process,” Zuma said. “The policy priorities that we have identified, and the plans that we placed before the electorate, remain at the core of the programme of this government.” To date, CCMA commissioners have saved over 4 000 jobs through facilitation processes, and provided ongoing advice and support to retrenched workers. He said that the government, organised labour and big business had come together to discuss ways of minimising the impact of the global economic downturn, and the parties had agreed in principle on the introduction of the training layoff programme. Industrial development “The economic downturn will affect the pace at which our country is able to address the social and economic challenges it faces. But it will not alter the direction of our development,” Zuma said. “Building on the successes of our industrial policy interventions, a scaled up Industrial Policy Action Plan will be developed,” Zuma said. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Finding alternative solutions SAinfo reporter Discussion on the practical details of the programme was continuing between the social partners and the institutions that would be affected by such an initiative, including the Sector Education and Training Authorities (Setas). “Workers who would ordinarily be facing retrenchment due to economic difficulty will be kept in employment for a period of time and re-skilled,” Zuma explained.last_img read more

SA motorists urged to Think Pedestrian

first_img16 April 2012 A new campaign, driven by the United Nations and backed by local companies, has been launched to improve safety on South Africa’s roads by changing the behaviour of both motorists and pedestrians. The “Think Pedestrian” campaign is expected to run for a decade, and hopes are high that it will curb the high number of road deaths in South Africa. In South Africa, Think Pedestrian is endorsed by logistics company Eqstra and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, in support of Nelson Mandela Day. It will be piloted in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga province.40% of road deaths pedestrians Speaking at the launch in Johannesburg last week, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said pedestrians accounted for more than 40% of deaths on South Africa’s roads. It is estimated that there are around 40 vehicle accidents a day and 14 000 a year countrywide. Ndebele said South Africa was seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. The number of road crashes over the Easter weekend, traditionally a dangerous time to be out and about, dropped to 181 from last year’s 215, according to preliminary statistics released by the Road Traffic Management Corporation.Community road safety councils However, he warned that there was still a long way to go, and urged South Africans to help the government achieve its 2020 goal of cutting road fatalities by half. Ndebele called on community members to join the road safety councils set up by the Department of Transport in their area. “They aim to work with communities in inculcating a culture of responsibility with regard to the use of the road.” The community councils were also tasked with identifying local road safety hazards, and getting people interested in helping to resolve them. Eqstra MD Murray Price said the Think Pedestrian campaign would consist of a range of campaigns designed to change road user behaviour.‘Attitude is the problem’ “The problem is not about how good or bad drivers and pedestrians are,” Price said “Attitude is the problem. We have to educate our people about the importance of observing the rules of the road. We can save lives by doing so.” Price said a task team would identify accident hotspots across the country’s roads as the campaign spread to other provinces. “We will be guided by the Department of Transport in identifying these places. From there we can evaluate the root cause of the problem.” The campaign would also include installing road signs and speed bumps and patching potholes in line with each area’s needs. A golf tournament would soon be launched to raise funds for the campaign. “It will be played annually until the 10-year period lapses,” Price said. Collins Letsoalo, acting manager of the Road Traffic Management Corporation, said road safety awareness campaigns run on an annual basis were already under way to support the Think Pedestrian campaign. One of the was Think Bike, an NGO run entirely by volunteers, that encouraged motorists to be considerate and tolerant of two-wheeled road users. Dr Francis Kasolo, representing the UN, said South Africa was setting the pace by launching the campaign a year earlier than many other countries. Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

NAB 2019: Our Favorite Releases From This Year’s Show

first_imgBlackmagic Design Cares About UsFresh off the recent announcements of Blackmagic RAW and the URSA Mini 4.6K G2, Blackmagic wasn’t expected to announce any new cameras or major updates to any camera line. But, what they did do is bring a much-requested attachment for their popular Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K — the new Battery Grip is a real gem. Consisting of two L-series batteries, the grip doubles battery life.NAB 2019: Blackmagic Resolve Announces New Battery Grip for the BMPCC4KNAB 2019: What We Saw at the Blackmagic Design BoothNow, on top of the Battery Grip, they also announced a new Keyboard to pair perfectly with . . . drum roll . . .DaVinci Resolve 16! The new update to the growing NLE looks to streamline workflows for editors, colorists, motion graphic artists, and anybody working with sound. Our very own DaVinci Resolve-certified trainer Lewis McGregor weighed in on the update and why it looks like Blackmagic knocked it out of the park.NAB 2019: DaVinci Resolve 16 – What’s New and Updated First off, we’ve got the A9 (pictured above), which is essentially a RGB-capable light bulb that you can charge by screwing it into a standard light socket. Also, you can use it without any power, like an AL-M9. It’s Bluetooth compatible and it has a CRI of 95+. The light will supposedly be released late Summer 2019.To top all this off, they are also releasing an app called the Sidus App. The app can control every Aputure light on set. (Okay, cool — you’ve sold me.) Our very own Todd Blankenship got his hands on the app with the new lights, and he provided some wonderful insight into how it all works.It’s pretty cool that all these new Aputure lights are RGB capable, right? What If I told you that you could control all of them independently, with each using their own specific effects (fireworks, fire, paparazzi, pulse, party mode, etc.), then label them, save scenes, save your own presets, recall those presets, and even use a color picker to get the exact color you want, with the camera on your phone?All of these new Aputure lights are Bluetooth compatible. But, not just any old kind of Bluetooth. They use a special new technology called Bluetooth mesh networking, which means that the lights will talk to each other, and your phone can talk to the lights — as a group. So, you’re not limited to standard Bluetooth ranges, and you don’t need an internet connection to make them work. Your lights share the input from your phone — amongst themselves.Here are all the other releases from Aputure:RGBW Light (Their Answer to the Skypanel)New Lantern AttachmentAL-MC The NAB 2019 whirlwind is over. Let’s take a look at some of the best and most-promising announcements we heard from Las Vegas this week.Another year has come and gone as NAB wraps up this week. Like every year, there are always too many announcements that make me want to pull out my wallet and kiss my savings account goodbye. So, it’s time to round up our favorite product announcements — from lights to hard drives to anamorphic lenses. Here’s our list.Aputure Takes the WinRight out of the gate, Aputure gave us several reasons to be excited for the coming months — between the 300d II, RGBW light panel, and the Leko Attachment (known as the Spotlight Mount). It seemed the reliable lighting company was doing what they do best — delivering useful and practical products. But, they didn’t stop there. On Tuesday night, Ted and the team at Aputure hosted a “super secret” dinner, where they announced a range of top-tier lighting products. But first, let’s look at the 300d II.The 300d II is 20% brighter than the 300d. You can power the new light with two V-mount batteries. The power ballast comes with a C-stand attachment, so you don’t have to hang it using wires, and there will be eight lighting presets, such as strobe, explosion, and flash.Here are the specs:Up to 90,000 Lux @ 1 meter with Fresnel 2X20% brighter than the original 300dNew all-in-one fanless control box0% – 100% dimming controlImproved handbrake locking yoke with 360-degree rotationDMX512 compatibilityModular Bowens mount for lighting modifiersPrice: $1,299Release: AugustOn top of this, you have the Spotlight Mount. Aputure announced the Leko attachment a while back, and it seems they worked diligently to finish it by this week. The attachment looks pretty incredible, too. Here are the specs:Aluminum alloy die castings — durable and lightweight designPrecision optical system gives a high output, high resolution, and even beamsInterchangeable spotlight lens design with your choice of 19″, 26″, and 36″ lensesThree-layer-shutter allows for more control over light shapingBowens mount design compatible with Aputure 120 and 300 series LEDsDual-slot slit design allows for simultaneous Iris and Gobos useAccessories: Gobo X3 (Tree, Window, Breakup), Gobo Holder, and Gel Holdercenter_img LaCie Releases Monster 8TB DriveLaCie has announced one of their most ambitious drives yet. It’s a staggering 8TB drive with . . . wait for it . . . 250MB/s in RAID 0. That’s, like, suspiciously fast and puts your footage at more of a risk of failing. But, it has our attention. The drive is obviously going to be very expensive, but you kind of go into something like this expecting it to be pricey.The drive is universally compatible with Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, and USB 3.0. And, the company claims that it is shock, dust, and water resistant.NAB 2019: LaCie Drops Their New 8TB Rugged RAID Shuttle DriveLaCie wasn’t the only company to come out swinging. G-Technology’s latest announcement — the ArmorATD Rugged Terrain Drive — pitched as an indestructible monster, can withstand up to 1,000 lbs of pressure. You can get the drive in a variety of sizes and speeds, that all seem to be reasonably priced (especially compared to the RAID Shuttle Drive).1 TB – $99 — Up to 140MB/s2 TB – $120 — Up to 140MB/s4 TB – $170 — Up to 135MB/sYou can read more about the drive and all the specs here.Canon and Atlas Step Up Their GameLast year, we were fortunate enough to get some of Atlas’s Anamorphic lenses. Todd tested them out in the studio, and made a wonderful review that you can watch here. So, we’re big fans of Atlas, and now we’re super curious to see where they go as a company — and the products they choose to release. This year, they brought a beautiful 25mm anamorphic lens — in the early stages of development — which already looks like a winner. Newsshooter was able to get their hands on some test footage, and it looks pretty great.They also announced an LF extender that will make their lenses more accessible. This will allow their 2X anamorphic lineup to work with LF-sized sensors, like the ARRI LF, RED Monstro, and Sony VENICE. The new extender will also cover the Sony a7 series, as well as other full-frame mirrorless cameras.NAB 2019: Atlas Reveals Anamorphic 25mm Lens and LF ExtenderNext, Canon also announced their new PL-mount Prime Lens lineup — the Sumire Primes are something to behold. The Sumire lineup consists of seven fast T-stop prime lenses. This will help low-light shooting — as well as creating good bokeh. Another aspect that helps that warm softness we love is the 11-blade Iris, which is supposed to produce more “rounded levels of bokeh.” The lenses also offer a 300-degree focus rotation angle and consistent gear positioning. These support 4K full-frame cameras, Super 35, APS-H, and APS-C.For all the specs and prices for the lineup, check out this article.Polar Pro Showing off New Variable ND FilterThis announcement was made before NAB, but Polar Pro brought their new “Peter McKinnon”-branded variable ND filter to Vegas, and it looks awesome. Now, yes, these filters are pretty pricey, especially when you can purchase other ND filters for much less. However, the science behind it is what makes these different — and the fact that there are stop markers on the side to give you a better idea of the correct exposure/where you’re at. Here’s what Polar Pro has said about the filters:Control your shutter speed in ever-changing lighting conditions. The VND Peter McKinnon Edition has laser-etched stop indicators, which precisely align two fused quartz glass elements, to control the amount of light entering your lens. The controlled stop range eliminates cross-polarization and vignetting, so your run-and-gun content is produced the way you intend it to be.Here are the specs:Available in 2-5 and 6-9 stop variationsPreset stop range eliminates any chance of cross polarizationZero vignetting down to 16mm focal length lensesPure Fused Quartz ensures superior optical clarity, over any glass on the marketIncludes a Defender Slim Cover for finger-print free installationRead our full article covering the specs and details.last_img read more