Caribbean lost 70% of highly-skilled population – CDB rep

first_imgStudies on population trends have shown that the Caribbean region is losing a staggeringly high percentage of its skilled population.This is according to Director of the Economics Department at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr Justin Ram. He was at the time addressing a regional stakeholder consultation session on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) initiative that was held in Guyana last week.“When we look at the data, many of the countries [in the region] have lost as much as 70 per cent of labour force with more than 12 years of schooling. That is to say, 70 per cent of our population that we have schooled to tertiary education has left our shores,” Dr Ram clarified.Moreover, the CDB official noted that unemployment rates in the Caribbean remains extremely high.“In many of our member countries, it is as high as 25 per cent, and low as 4.3 per cent. I should add that youth unemployment is even higher, and in some of our member countries (it) is as high as 40 per cent,” he declared. Furthermore, Dr.Director of CDB’s Economic Department, Dr Justin RamRam posited that population trends show an expectation of many member countries experiencing a decline in population as the years go by.“Jamaica’s population is expected to decline by 50 per cent; Trinidad and Tobago’s by 28 per cent, St Vincent and the Grenadines by 29 per cent, and Grenada is actually expected to have less people than it had in 1950,” Dr Ram disclosed.The CDB official also went on to say that population dynamics are changing rapidly around the world, with the global continental ratio set for dramatic change by the year 2100.“North America currently has five per cent of the world’s population, and that will decrease to four per cent in 2100. Europe will go from 10 per cent to six per cent, and Asia will decline from 60 per cent to 43 per cent of global population. But the real figure I want you to pay attention to is Africa, (which) will actually rise from a current 17 per cent to 40 per cent of the global population.”A working paper published in June 2017 by the International Organisation for Migration details that, in 2007, the Caribbean emigration rate was four times higher than Latin America’s overall emigration rate.However, it noted that while the rate has slowed over the years, the region nevertheless remains an area of net emigration. Guyana has been named one of two countries showing the strongest emigration movements, with 9.65 per 1000 persons emigrating in 2013. It was cited in a previous study which stated that at least 40 per cent of the people in Guyana would migrate permanently if they get the opportunity.The 2017 working paper outlined that, from 1992 to the current period, Guyanese out-migration averaged about 10,000 people a year, with the CSME Treaty contributing to this steady outflow of people from Guyana.According to the World Bank, by 2013, Guyana had a total emigrant population of 463,000. Over half live in the United States, with another significant part living in Canada. The remainder of emigrants are found in the United Kingdom and in other Caribbean nations, as well as in nearby Venezuela.last_img read more

Cambrian Explosion Still Explosive

first_img51; Two new papers about Cambrian and Precambrian fossils did nothing to help soften the blow of the Cambrian explosion – the sudden appearance of all the animal body plans in the geological blink of an eye.  They essentially restated the problem for Darwin, who hoped that fossil discoveries would fill in the gaps where his required transitional forms were missing.Ediacaran simplicity.  In PNAS,1 three researchers from Virginia announced results of their study of the mysterious Ediacaran organisms that (according to evolutionary dating) lived prior to the Cambrian explosion, 575-542 million years ago.  They found that these organisms were most likely able to feed by osmosis.  It had been thought that the high surface area to volume ratio required for osmotrophy (direct absorption of dissolved organic carbon) presented physiological barriers to organisms this large, but they found that adaptations allowed the Ediacarans to overcome these barriers.  Combined with the fact that they lacked oral openings, this underscores the perception of Ediacaran organisms as relatively simple colonies of cells, without any internal structures that might suggest they represented transitional forms leading to the complex animals that exploded onto the scene at the early Cambrian.  Science Daily reported this finding on August 21.All phyla present at the explosion:  Desmond Collins, a retired curator of invertebrate paleontology and head of paleobiology at the Royal Ontario Museum, spent 12 seasons 1983-2000 investigating the famous Burgess Shale.  This rich fossil bed in the Canadian Rockies contains one of the richest lodes of middle Cambrian fossils in the world.  Writing for Nature,1 Collins recounted the history of exploration of the Burgess Shale by R. G. McConnell and Charles Doolittle Walcott in the late 1880s to early 1900s, with a focus on the difficulty of classifying the “wonderful life” found there.  Walcott and others attempted to shoehorn the fossils into known phyla at the time.  Others criticized that approach, but current thinking does put most of them into known groups.  “There are some extinct classes, such as the Dinocarida,” Collins said, “but very few extinct phyla.”  Then he combined Burgess fossils with the Chinese findings at Chengjiang and others from Greenland into a categorical statement: “Along with the Burgess Shale animals, they demonstrate that virtually all animal groups alive today were present in Cambrian seas.”  The Chengjiang biota, he said, includes “new chordates, the group that includes humans.”    Collins briefly discussed “The Darwin connection.”  But it wasn’t very supportive of Darwinism.  Apparently much of the impetus for Walcott’s search in the Burgess Shale was the Darwin Centennial of 1909: Walcott first visited Mount Stephen in 1907 – the year that he was appointed secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC – to study the Cambrian stratigraphy of the area.  Two years later the Darwin centennial seems to have provided the serendipitous stimulus for his discovery of the Burgess Shale.  Walcott was given an honorary doctorate at the University of Cambridge, UK, in June, as part of the 1909 celebrations.The celebration of the Burgess Shale as a possible help to Darwinism was apparently premature.  Collins said nothing further about Darwin.  Exciting as the Burgess Shale fossils proved to be, none of them provided the transitional forms necessary to explain the sudden appearance of phyla at the Cambrian explosion – a phenomenon Darwin himself conceded was the most serious challenge to his theory. 1.  Laflamme, Xiao and Kowalewski, “Osmotrophy in modular Ediacara organisms,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Published online August 17, 2009, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0904836106.2.  Desmond Collins, “Misadventures in the Burgess Shale,” Nature 460, 952-953 (20 August 2009) | doi:10.1038/460952a.Soon to be a major motion picture!  Darwin’s Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Record is being released next month by Illustra Media, the group that defended intelligent design in the cell with Unlocking the Mystery of Life and in astronomy with The Privileged Planet.  This third film, a beautiful and powerful production, completes a trilogy of documentaries that are undermining Darwin’s grip on natural history and making a strong case for I.D.  The Nature article above is a timely announcement.  It did nothing to help protect Mr. Darwin from the impact of this new film.  If anything, both articles took away whatever armor he had.  The first article said that the Ediacarans were simple organisms with no transitional connection to the Cambrian animals.  The second underscored the fact that virtually all animal groups alive today were present in Cambrian seas.  Animals just appear, as if planted there, fully formed and loaded with biological information.  In our 9 years of reporting, we have never seen any Darwinist solve this problem (search on “Cambrian explosion” in the search bar).  We have only seen it grow worse for them: every new fossil discovery amplifies the concussion.    Through beautiful photography captivating animation, and interviews with reputable scientists, Darwin’s Dilemma tells the story of McConnell, Walcott, Darwin, the Ediacaran fauna, the Chengjiang fossils, the origin of major animal body plans, the significance of biological information – everything you need to know about the Cambrian explosion’s challenge to Darwinism.  The film will be available from RPI soon.  You can fill in a form at Illustra to be notified when it becomes available.    What terrible timing for the Darwinians.  Just on the eve of the 150th anniversary of Origin of Species (November 2009), and the centennial of the Burgess Shale discoveries (August 2009), a trilogy of masterly blows are threatening to make Darwinism go extinct.  Darwin had hoped that further discoveries in the fossil record would provide the evidence he needed for his hypothesis that slime plus time could produce the sublime.  Little did he know that he would become a fossil himself, soon to be displayed in the museums of a more enlightened age.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

World champ claims eighth SA marathon title

first_img10 June 2014World Marathon Champion Hank McGregor entrenched his status as the continent’s premier paddler by mastering the icy Highveld weather and a large and very powerful field to claim his eighth South African Marathon K1 title in Benoni on the weekend.The three-time world champion outsprinted Jasper Mocke and under-23 world champion Andy Birkett to win a tightly contested K1 affair on Saturday, and then teamed up with Mocke to add the K2 title on Sunday.‘Tough racing at altitude’“It is tough racing at altitude for us coastal guys,” he said fterwards. “You can’t just go out like a bull in a china shop and you need to conserve your energy and keep the heart-rate down, so I am really happy with my performance this weekend.”McGregor was up against a tough field and explained that he knew his tactics were going to have to be spot-on in order to take victory, which would secure him a place in the South African team for the Marathon World Championships in Oklahoma City in September.‘A really high quality field’“It was a really high quality field and so I knew that tactically I had to be on point, and I think I managed to outsmart the others, which gave me the edge,” he reckoned.“I felt really comfortable throughout the race and it was a case of everyone gunning for positions with World Champs places up for grabs.”The Durban-based McGregor had only recently returned from the Gruelling Maui Jim Molokai Surfski Challenge in Hawaii and so felt that he was a little underdone in terms of his marathon preparation, but with the World Championships a few months away his focus has shifted to marathon training.Shift of focus“I have been doing a lot of surfski training recently and so marathon hasn’t been the main focus for me, but with the Worlds in September I will be focusing a lot more on marathon paddling and portaging as well,” McGregor said.The paired up with fellow surfski ace and Dusi Canoe Marathon partner Jasper Mocke in the K2 event to take the title ahead of the Van der Walt brothers, Grant and Brandon.The win meant that McGregor has now won five K2 SA Marathon titles. He said he felt that the impressive performances by South African paddlers on the national stage have led to a great interest in marathon paddling.‘World titles and medals’“We have got a strong history of bringing home world titles and medals from marathon events and I think that this helps to get people interested. Not only the youth are getting involved but the masters have also become more involved,” he said.The 2014 edition of the SA Marathon Champs was one of the largest in the history of the event with hundreds of paddlers braving single-digit temperatures to show their worth against the best paddlers in the country, with dreams of being on the plane to Oklahoma in September. The large subscription to the event was something that overwhelmed by McGregor.Huge numbers“When you look back at the SA Champs last year, I was so taken aback by the numbers that we saw out there this year,” he exclaimed.“It was so great to see so many people getting involved in such a well-run event and it was not just the senior categories, but there were a number of junior paddlers that were involved and that is exciting to see with a World Marathon Championships here in South Africa in 2017.”Women’s K1 winnerThe women’s K1 title was won by Olympic bronze medallist Bridgitte Hartley, who powered her way to the win on the back of a solid Sprint World Cup campaign in Europe. She dominated proceedings with a mammoth four-minute gap between her and second place finisher Nikki Russell.The K2 title went the way of Abby Adie and Laura O’Donoghue, who edged out Hayley Arthur and Jenna Ward by one second for the honours.Runner-up to Andy Birkett at the 2013 World Marathon Champs, Brandon van der Walt proved too strong for the competition in the under-23 category as he beat fellow Western Province paddler Stuart Maclaren for the title, while Jenna Ward won the women’s under-23 category from Brittany Petersen.JuniorsThe under-18 division was also a tightly contested affair with the Kwazulu-Natal pair of Louis Hattingh and Bryan Leroux fighting it out for the K1 title, with Hattingh sneaking it from Le Roux by four seconds.The girl’s race was not as close as Julia Trodd raced away from the chasing bunch to win by two minutes over Australia’s Bronwyn Martin.Le Roux earned a gold medal in the K2 event with Western Cape paddler Stuart Bristow, while Trodd did the double when she won the under-18 girls’ K2 title with Donna Hutton.Veterans and MastersThe huge field of 441 entries included a large field of veteran and masters age group paddlers, contesting the places in the national team that precedes the marathon world championships every year.The event, held at Homestead dam and superbly hosted East Rank Kayak Club and the Gauteng Canoe Union, underscored the strength and interest in the discipline of flatwater marathon racing, given the consistent success enjoyed by South African paddlers internationally over the past decade.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Big guns ousted in J-Bay Open upsets

first_img15 July 2014Two-time defending champion, Jordy Smith of South Africa, 11-time world champion Kelly Slater, and world number two Michel Bourez were all eliminated from the J-Bay Open in tricky conditions at SuperTubes in Jeffreys Bay on Monday.The J-Bay Open is the sixth stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour and features the world’s leading surfers in competition on one of the world’s most iconic waves.Variable winds and big tidal changes affected the three-to-five foot (1 to 1.5 metre) waves, leading to a host of upsets.A shaky startSmith, whose round one heroics still stand as the highest heat total of the competition so far, had a shaky start to his encounter with former ASP World Champion C.J. Hobgood, posting a couple of throwaway scores after the American had opened with mid-range rides.A 5.13 and an 8.0 midway through the heat briefly gave Smith the lead but a pair of 7.0s by Hobgood left the South African needing a 6.17 going into the final minutes.A crucial final exchange followed and it was the American who came out on top, with Smith with left a mid-range score short of the win and bowing out of the event in equal 13th place.“I realize that I’m so blessed to surf against the best surfers in the world at their home spots,” Hobgood said after his win.“I get excited and I know the best surfing is going to come out of me. I was in disbelief out there. Jordy takes off on a wave and the whole beach erupts, and I was just trying to keep myself motivated. I’m stoked.”Big upsetAustralian goofy-footer Matt Wilkinson, fresh from a second-place finish at the ASP Qualification Series Prime event, the Mr Price Pro Ballito, caused the first big upset of the day when he defeated Kelly Slater in their round three clash.A pair of nine-point rides from the Australian were sufficient to put the four-time J- Bay event winner in a combination situation and after uncharacteristically slipping off his board in the closing minutes, Slater left the competition in equal 13th place. Wilkinson went on to win his round four heat against Brazil’s Adriano de Souza and Kolohe Andino of the USA to earn a place in the quarterfinals.‘Stoked’“No-one really looks forward to a heat against Kelly, but my backhand and my boards are feeling really solid,” Wilkinson said afterwards. “It’s so hard to beat anyone out here at J-Bay. I knew I needed to catch good waves against Kelly and I’m stoked to make it through.”“I was rattled from the first exchange,” Slater admitted. “From Matt’s first wave, it seemed like he was totally in sync. Every set he seemed to have the better waves. I should have just been a bit more relaxed, maybe waited out a set. I really just blew it. My results thus far have been consistent but not very good, so we’ll have to see how the rest of the year shapes up after this.”Parkinson throughTwo-time J-Bay Open winner Joel Parkinson battled 2010 J-Bay Open runner-up and fellow Australian, Adam Melling, in the first heat of the day and chalked up his sixth victory out of 10 duels with his compatriot. Parkinson went on to claim victory once again in round four against his compatriots, Josh Kerr and Taj Burrow, with his 18th WCT heat win of the 2014 season securing a pass directly to the quarterfinals.“J-Bay has a special place in my heart. I love it,” Parkinson said. “I felt like it was all starting to come together in that heat. My goal is always just to make the last day and hopefully Mother Nature brings us some great waves.”Reigning world champ beatenBrazilian Alejo Muniz grabbed his first quarterfinal berth of the 2014 season by overcoming Bourez in round three and then outpointing three-time and reigning ASP World Champion, Australia’s Mick Fanning and C.J. Hobgood round four.“It’s always hard to surf against Michel because he is a really good friend of mine,” Muniz revealed. “I think him and Gabriel (Medina) are the best two surfers of the year.“I knew it was going to be tough, especially in these conditions. I’m really glad I made it and I’m so happy I can surf one more heat at J-Bay.”“I wasn’t really feeling it today,” said Bourez. “I was just out there trying to get waves, but perhaps I should have been more patient. I’m really despondent about the results, but life goes on and the next competition is coming soon. I’ll just go home and try to refocus for the next event.”Wright into quartersThe fourth quarterfinal slot went to Australian Owen Wright, who upset Hawaiian John John Florence in his first clash of the day and then claimed victory in an all- goofy-foot matchup with current ASP world number one, Gabriel Medina of Brazil, and Hawaiian standout Fredrick Patacchia.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Drought stressed silage

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Rain has been spotty across much of Ohio this summer and there are areas where corn was under moisture stress during the critical pollination period.  As a result, this drought stressed corn has poor grain development and small cobs.  Much of this corn may end up chopped for corn silage.  Typically the most frequent questions about using drought stressed corn for corn silage revolve around nitrate toxicity, expected yield and quality.In the August 16 issue of the CORN newsletter (http://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/potential-nitrate-problems-drought-stressed-corn) Peter Thomison and Laura Lindsey addressed the question of potential nitrate problems in drought stressed corn.  When drought occurs during or immediately after pollination it raises the flag of potential nitrate accumulation.  In drought conditions nitrates accumulate in the stalk of the plant, with the lower portion of the stalk having the highest concentration of nitrates.  High and potentially toxic levels of nitrates are more likely to accumulate if high rates of nitrogen fertilizer or high rates of manure were applied to the crop.  Testing for nitrates before chopping may be advisable in those conditions.  If nitrate levels are high, raising the chopping height to 10-12 inches can be helpful, but obviously tonnage is going to suffer.  If the nitrate accumulation is borderline high, then it probably is not necessary to raise chopping height because nitrate concentrations are reduced during the ensiling process, according to some sources, as much as one-third to one half of the nitrates may be converted to nitrous oxide compounds which leave the silage as a gas.  Be aware that this gas, typically a yellow-brown in coloration, is very toxic and extreme care with regard to both people and animals should be taken.  Vacate the area immediately if a cloud of this gas is observed.Typically drought stress affects yield more than it affects the quality of corn silage.  A University of Wisconsin Agronomy Advice publication from August 2007 compared corn silage yield and quality factors across 4 locations from 2003 through 2006.  Each location had at least one drought year during that time frame and some locations had 2 drought years.  When drought stress extended into the pollination period, similar to what we have experienced in some of our fields this year, the silage yield was reduced by 18 to 46% compared to non-drought years.  To estimate yield potential use this procedure:Measure a distance equal to 1/1000th of an acre along one row and count the number of plants that will produce an ear.  This number multiplied by 1000 equals the ears per acre. For 30 inch rows this distance is 17 feet 5 inches. Repeat this at several locations within the field and take an average to get ears/acre.Pick two ears at random from each measured area.  Count the number of rows and the number of kernels per row on each ear.  Get an average from all the areas measured.  Multiply the average number of rows by the average number of kernels/row.  This gives you the average kernels/ear in the field.Multiply the average kernels/ear by the average ears/acre.  This gives you kernels/acre.  Typically there are about 90,000 kernels/bushel in normal corn but drought stressed corn has smaller lighter kernels.   Therefore take your kernels/acre figure and divide it by 100,000.  This will give you an estimate of bushels/acre.A thumb rule for drought stressed corn is one ton of 30% dry matter silage for each 5 bushels of grain/acre.Quality wise, according to a Penn State publication entitled “Managing Drought Stressed Corn” drought stressed corn silage as compared to normal corn silage may be higher in crude protein, lower in starch and energy, higher in fiber content, but often with higher digestibility of that fiber.  Quality analyses presented in that publication showed drought stressed corn silage CP values ranging from 0.6 to more than 2 percentage units higher than normal corn silage, starch values were around 17% lower, energy as measured by net energy for lactation around 10% lower and NDF fiber values approximately 7% higher.Regardless of whether drought stressed or normal corn is being harvested as corn silage there are a few key management practices that need to be followed to make good quality silage.  The first and foremost is chop at the correct moisture concentration.  If you don’t get this right, nothing else you do is likely to improve the situation.  Optimum moisture range for bunker silos is 65 to 70%, for silage bags and for upright silos 62 to 68%.  The microwave oven method is still one of the quickest, least expensive and easiest methods of moisture determination available.  It involves collecting at least 4-6 representative corn stalks and chopping or cutting them into short lengths of less than 1 inch.  Mix well and collect a representative sample from the total.  Weigh out100 to 200 grams and spread it out on a microwave safe plate.  Heat the sample for a minute and re-weigh.  Shake and re-distribute the sample on the plate and heat for another 45 seconds to one minute.  Repeat this heating and re-weighing process until the sample stabilizes and does not decrease in weight between cycles.  Be careful as you approach the end point to avoid charring or burning the sample and adjust heating times accordingly.  The moisture content is equal to the beginning weight minus the end weight divided by the beginning weight. Other key management practices to insure good quality silage include:Chop at correct particle length.   The theoretical length of cut (TLC) for processed corn silage is ¾ inch and if not processed the TLC should be ¼ to ½ inch.  Drought-stressed corn has lower grain content and so will be less responsive to kernel processing.Use a proven inoculant.  Severely drought stressed corn may have a high concentration of sugars which can result in increased spoilage at feed out.  The buchneri inoculants are used to increase the aerobic stability of silage during feed out and could be very cost effective when used with drought stressed corn silage. Pack, pack, pack.  Remove as much air as possible to create a favorable anaerobic environment. The guideline for packing is 800 pounds of packing weight for each ton of silage delivered to the silo or pile.Cover.  This should be done as soon as the bunker is filled and the final packing had been done.  Covering prevents oxygen from getting into the silage pack.  Covering reduces DM and spoilage losses.  University research trials have demonstrated that the oxygen barrier 2-step products have reduced losses more than covering with the 6 to 8 mil plastic.last_img read more

Video Tutorial: Paint Drips in After Effects

first_imgWant to create a graffiti or wet paint look in your video projects? Using the Trapcode Particular plugin you can create this effect in After Effects.  The following video tutorial shows you how.Red Giant Software’s Trapcode Particular is a powerful visual effects toolset that can be used to create complex lighting and particle motion design, but it can also be utilized for more simple visual effects.  The following video tutorial by Red Giant’s own Harry Frank shows how he uses particular to mimic the look of wet paint in After Effects, a cool effect for giving your video projects a graffiti look.Follow the video tutorial through the steps of creating your own custom graffiti effect in AE or head over to the Red Giant site to grab the free project file.Creating realisitic paint drips in After Effects takes a bit of skill and more steps than you might imagine, so this isn’t a tutorial for the AE beginner.  Some AE experience is suggested.Note: Trapcode Particular is a third party After Effects plugin and can be purchased on the Red Giant site.last_img read more

Government must work in partnership with the voluntary sector – PM Holness

first_img Prime Minister Andrew Holness says volunteerism is an important part of national development. Story Highlights Speaking at the Kiwanis Eastern Canada and Caribbean District Convention in Montego Bay recently, the Prime Minister stressed that a stronger partnership between the Government and the private sector including service groups, is needed across the region to improve the quality of life of citizens. “Government must work in partnership with the voluntary sector. Volunteerism is an important part of national development and not because it is a philanthropic endeavour, not because it is voluntary, it doesn’t mean that it is free. What it means is that someone chooses to absorb the cost so that those who are needy can benefit. It is the ultimate expression of selflessness,” said Prime Minister Holness. Prime Minister Andrew Holness says volunteerism is an important part of national development.Speaking at the Kiwanis Eastern Canada and Caribbean District Convention in Montego Bay recently, the Prime Minister stressed that a stronger partnership between the Government and the private sector including service groups, is needed across the region to improve the quality of life of citizens.“Government must work in partnership with the voluntary sector. Volunteerism is an important part of national development and not because it is a philanthropic endeavour, not because it is voluntary, it doesn’t mean that it is free. What it means is that someone chooses to absorb the cost so that those who are needy can benefit. It is the ultimate expression of selflessness,” said Prime Minister Holness.Prime Minister Holness further stated that volunteerism can make Jamaica and by extension the region a better place.He made clear the Government’s position in wanting to partner with private sector such as Kiwanis.“It is a win-win exercise, it is a fair trade. Government therefore should encourage the partnerships and Government wants to partner with all third sector players specifically with the Kiwanis,” said Mr. Holness.In the meantime, Mr. Holness lauded the Kiwanis movement for its distinguished contribution to society.“There is no denying the indelible mark made across the globe by Kiwanis International since [its] founding in 1915 more than a century ago. The nation deeply appreciates and values the role that the Kiwanis is playing in human development and human capital development specifically,” stated Prime Minister Holness.Jamaica recently hosted the Kiwanis Eastern Canada and Caribbean District Convention for the fifth time.last_img read more