first_imgDONEGAL members of The Cleft Lip & Palate Association of Ireland are warning parents of children affected by Cleft to be prepared for the release of the Disney film ‘Lone Ranger’.Disney describes the villain of the movie whose facial scar is recognisable as resulting from Cleft Lip as “a ruthless outlaw whose terribly scarred face is a perfect reflection of the bottomless pit that passes for his soul.”Lego has brought out a range of toys to accompany the movie and includes the character complete with cleft lip. According to Georgina Wade, Chair of CLAPAI: “The issue is not that a movie character has a cleft lip or that Lego have duplicated the cleft. The issue is the deliberate negative association of a cleft. The ideology and wording are extremely offensive to people living with cleft and their family and friends.“There is no doubt that this is what the movie sets out to do. William Fichner the actor who plays the villain says when asked about acting under the make up: ‘You know, I have the prosthetic broken nose, the whole cleft lip …’“This association of a cleft lip with evil may lead to bullying, mocking and an expectation that children with a cleft should be the bad guys in playground games. These children are already vulnerable due to their facial condition. They encounter enough medical and psychological challenges in everyday life without this” said Georgina Wade.Cleft is one of the commonest congenital facial conditions worldwide. In Ireland there are 100 to 120 babies born with a cleft annually. Therefore this affects a sizable number of people in Ireland. This unnecessary portrayal implants an incorrect psychological connection between cleft and evil. As this film is rated 12a it will undoubtedly leave a negative impression on young minds. A statement from CLAPAI said: “We are advising parents to be ready for questions from their children and to prepare their children for potentially difficult situations when at play. We also want to pre-warn teenagers and adults about the content of the movie so that they may choose to avoid it.“The association of evil with a facial birth defect has already caused great upset abroad among people who have seen the movie as well in Ireland where people have seen the pictures and the merchandise. It is particularly difficult because Disney and Lego are in the heart of children’s childhoods and are trusted ‘friends’ to families.” We do not live in Disney’s fantasy world. This is causing real hurt to real people.” DONEGAL PARENTS ANGRY AT DISNEY MOVIE was last modified: August 17th, 2013 by John2Share 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:DONEGAL PARENTS ANGRY AT DISNEY MOVIElast_img read more

Cosmologist Has a Sobering Thought: We Are Forever in the Dark About Dark Energy

first_imgAn evangelist for the standard model of cosmology is having a moment of penitence.  He is admitting to himself, and to the world, that “we will remain resolutely in the dark about dark energy.”    In a piece in New Scientist, Pedro Ferreira [Oxford] has revealed the vicious circle of assumptions that undermine confidence in the claims of modern cosmologists.  Most models assume a flat universe for convenience.  Without knowing the geometry of space-time, or the evolution of dark energy, or whether the cosmological constant (lambda) represents acceleration, we have no basis for assuming a flat universe.This means that we cannot pin down the geometry of space-time.  We are then caught in a vicious circle: to know the geometry of the universe we need to pin down dark energy.  Yet to determine how much dark energy there is, we need to know the geometry.  Knowing one without the other is futile and a recipe for disaster.    These recent results are sobering.  Having proselytised about the great discovery of the millennium, that the universe is flat, I now find myself backtracking.  And there is a sense of foreboding that it may never be possible to know our cosmos as well as we’d like to.Ferreira unraveled the hype behind COBE, WMAP and the other instruments and studies that seemed to support the standard model.  He was “brutally honest” about how little we actually know.  He talked about new findings that “shook my faith in the notion” that the universe is flat.  He ended his confession on a mildly optimistic note.  “Happily all is not lost: new experiments are being designed to probe the deepest recesses of the cosmos,” he said.  New probes and small projects are “chipping away at our ignorance.”  Getting a handle on the geometry of space-time “is just going to take a bit longer than we originally thought.”Cosmologists are the biggest hype marketers in the universe.  How many books have been written promoting a golden age of “precision cosmology”?  How many speeches have been given?  How many dazzling planetarium shows?  Ferreira is not the only evangelist that preached to us, “repent and believe the big bang gospel” (e.g., 11/02/2002).    Some skilled visualization can turn vicious circles into works of art.  In the land of logic, though, they are still vicious.  They have the habit of blinding the unwary of their own assumptions.  Christians should not trust the loud voices of salesmen on the big bang bandwagon promoting their snake oil potions of dark stuff.  Now that one of them has come clean, admitting its efficacy is doubtful, and that it might even be a “recipe for disaster,” have we learned our lesson?  Now that he has admitted that “it may never be possible to know our cosmos as well as we’d like to” would you drink his new, improved elixir next time?(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 112 | Health care tips, podcasters talk about podcasts, and DRY Weather

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest There’s a lot to talk about on this episode of the Ohio Ag Net Podcast, sponsored by AgriGold, covering the updates of our Between the Rows farmers about this dry weather and many more.On this week’s podcast, hosts Matt Reese, Joel Penhorwood, Kolt Buchenroth, and Bart Johnson hear from our Between the Rows farmers, Andrew Armstrong, Nathan Brown, Dylan Baer, and Lamar Liming. They give us an update on their farms and how their regions of Ohio are trying to take advantage of this dry weather. We hear from our Feeding Farmer, Rob Wilson from Hardin County. Joel gets to talk with Matt Bane from the Plow Talk Podcast about their podcast. Finally, Matt talks with James Smith, who is with the Association Benefit Planners, about health care and some tips for Agribusinesses.last_img read more

Green Building Myth: Green Products Don’t Work as Well as Standard Products

first_imgThe last couple weeks I’ve written about two of the common myths of green building: that it has to cost more to build green and that green building is mostly about materials. This week I’ll cover another myth: that green building products don’t perform as well as conventional products.A lot of people still point to products like early water-saving toilets, compact-fluorescent lamps, and recycled-plastic-lumber decking as evidence that new-fangled green products don’t work very well. Clearly, there were some poorly performing products out there as manufacturers scrambled to respond to consumer demand and new regulations. But, for the most part, we’ve climbed up that learning curve, and current-generation products work very well.Let’s take a look at the history of a few of these product categories.Low-flush toiletsThe Energy Policy Act was signed into law in 1992 with a requirement that all toilets sold in the U.S. had to use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) by January, 1994. That wasn’t much time for the plumbing industry to redesign their toilets, and many of those early 1.6-gpf toilets were indeed pretty unsatisfactory, requiring double flushing and frequent cleaning.The problem was that those first low-flush toilets weren’t designed from-the-ground-up to use 1.6 gallons for a flush; they were older toilets with bowls and trapways that had been designed to use 3.5 gallons or more; the only change was a modified flush valve that reduced the flush volume. Industry got the message loud and clear, and later models were designed to flush very well with 1.6 gpf—and some with even less. A new test procedure for toilet performance (Maximum Performance or MaP testing), introduced in 2003, helped manufacturers design better toilets by more accurately measuring flush performance.The bottom line is that complaints about new 1.6 gpf toilets have largely disappeared and, in fact, a new generation of “high-efficiency toilets” (HETs) that use even less water (HETs are defined as using at least 20% less water than the federal standard, or a maximum of 1.28 gpf) often actually outperform those 3.5 gpf toilets that were on the market in 1990. We’re using far less water today and getting better performance.Compact-fluorescent lampsEarly compact-fluorescent lamps (CFLs) used magnetic ballasts causing the lamps to blink as they switched on, then flicker 60 times a second and buzz or hum during operation. New CFLs all use “electronic” ballasts that switch on instantly and eliminate flickering and buzzing. The light quality has also improved. The phosphors (the coatings on the inside of the glass that absorbs the UV light given off by the energized mercury vapor gas and emits white light) used in most CFLs today produce warmer light that makes objects look more realistic. The light quality from the best CFLs today nearly matches that of incandescent light bulbs.Recycled-plastic lumberThe first recycled-plastic decking was made from 100% recycled plastic–usually high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The decking planks were very heavy, usually black, got really hot in the sun, and softened to create undulating deck surfaces. Today, most recycled-plastic decking is made of a composite material, with both waste wood fiber and recycled HDPE. The wood fibers increase the decking strength and reduce thermal expansion, so sagging is less of a problem. It’s a much better product.Low-VOC paintsEarly efforts to reduce the volatile organic compound (VOC) content of paints to improve indoor air quality led to compromises in performance. The solvent-based products performed much better even as they gave painters headaches and likely contributed to health problems among homeowners. Over the past 10- 15 years, though, the vast majority of R&D work going into paint technology has been focused on acrylic-based, low-VOC products, and performance has dramatically improved. Indeed, there are now zero-VOC paints that satisfy the toughest performance standards of the paint and coatings industry. New and improved products continue to appear almost monthly.* * *I’ve reviewed just a snapshot of product categories here. The point is that the manufacturing industry has responded to consumer and regulatory demand for greener, more-efficient, healthier products. While there are still green products whose performance isn’t where we’d like it to be, most green products work very well today. And we can look forward to continued improvement in the years ahead.I invite you to share your comments on this blog. Do you think “green” product performance is improving? Are there examples of continuing performance problems among green products?To keep up with my latest articles and musings, you can sign up for my Twitter feedslast_img read more

Minister sets six-month target for coastal project

first_imgGoa Tourism will complete the first phase of the Coastal Circuit Development Plan, covering beaches of North Goa, within six months. It also proposes to complete projects under the second phase covering beaches in South Goa within a year.Tourism Minister Manohar A. Ajgaonkar, who chaired a high-level meeting of the Department of Tourism on Monday, said it was unanimously resolved to complete all tourism-related infrastructure development projects under Swadesh Darshan within a year.Mr. Ajgaonkar said, “Goa Tourism has received ₹200 crore from the Centre under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme for setting up tourism infrastructure. It is important that we utilise the money and complete the projects expeditiously.”Areas that will get a fillip under Phase I include Morjim-Keri, Anjuna-Vagator, and Sinquerim–Baga in North Goa. Areas under Phase II include Miramar, Dona Paula (in North Goa) and Baina, Colva, Agonda, Palolem,Benaulim, Cavelossim, Mobor and some others in South Goa.last_img read more

11 die as avalanches hit vehicles in J&K

first_imgThe bodies of eleven people, including a beacon officer, were retrieved on Saturday from the parts of the Sadhna Top in Kupwara, where three avalanches swept away three vehicles on Friday afternoon.The police said eight bodies were recovered after a night-long search operation, in which locals also joined the administration in sub-zero temperature. Two bodies were recovered on Friday night. One more was recovered late on Saturday.Seven passengers were on board and three pedestrians were on the way when avalanches hit the Sadhna Top Karnah.“Two among 12 trapped passengers were rescued from the spot, including a 10-year-old boy. Both have been shifted to the hospital,” said an official.One Beacon officer also died in the incident. The avalanches hit Khoni Nallah.Officials said two rescue teams, comprising the army, police and State Disaster Response Force, started rescue operation immediately and scanned the area throughout the night.The authorities have directed that the movement of traffic “should be restricted on vulnerable roads in the event of adverse weather predictions.”The incident sparked protests with locals demanding a tunnel, connecting the Karnah with Kupwara.J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed grief and sorrow over the incident, an official spokesman said. The CM conveyed her sympathies to the bereaved families, he said.The government sanctioned ₹4 lakh as ex gratia relief for those deceased in the avalanches and a compensation of ₹12,600 each to the injured.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

Deepika Kumari wins silver in Archery World Cup final

first_imgIndia’s top archer Deepika Kumari settled for a silver medal after losing to World No.1 Bo Bae Ki of South Korea in the World Cup Final here Sunday.Deepika, who slipped to the number two spot in the rankings following her shocking first round loss in the London Olympics last month, gave the South Korean a tough fight before going down 4-6.It turned out to be a low-scoring tie with Ki’s 28 in third end being the highest score. Deepika shot a 27 in the second end for her best score in the match.Another South Korean, Hyeonju Choi, secured the bronze defeating America’s Jennifer Nichols 6-4 in the third place play-off.Deepika had beaten Nichols in the semifinals following her win over Miki Kanie of Japan in the last eight stage.last_img read more