first_imgThe fourth annual Loinneog Lúnasa festival promises to be an unforgettable weekend of ceol, cultúir and craic. A celebration of Irish traditional music and culture. Taking place from the 8-11th August and attracting music enthusiasts from all the world, the line up includes Na Casaidigh, Na Bonney Men, Clann Mac Ruaidhrí,  The Unwanted and New Road all performing in various venues throughout the parish. Local star Emma Ní Fhíoruisce renowned for her pop covers as Gaeilge of Fleetwood Mac, Eagle Eyed Cherry and Guns na Roses will be showcasing her new material!Emma, who is deeply inspired by Clannad and Altan, will perform her new song which is about Gaoth Dobhair and how it feels coming home, aptly called “Ar ais go Gaoth Dobhair”.This young singer is exactly what Loinneog Lúnasa is all about.Mairead Ní Mhaonigh and sister Ann have both commented on what a natural musical talent Emma has, that she has the ability to mix modern with traditional and sound original. Festival organizer Cathal O Gallachóír, says that “This festival not only celebrates musical tradition, but also nurtures and encourages musicians and singers to carry the tradition forward.“This is why there are workshops, recitals and concerts with the best of Irish music.Other special events include a special one-day event dedicated to Sean Nós Singing.If you’re interested in Sean Nós as a beginner or otherwise and would like to learn new songs and techniques, this is the perfect opportunity.Acclaimed local Sean Nós singers Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde & Connie Mhary Mhicí will be joined by Éamon ó Donnchadha & Saileog Ní Cheannabháin will deliver singing workshops at An Gaileairí.Throughout the day each artist will teach two songs. They’ll then perform a concert later in the evening joined by the renowned piper Gay McKeon, (CEO of NPU) on the uileann pipes.The uileann pipes are a regular highlight at Loinneog Lúnasa, with last year’s ‘Tionól’ attracting pipers from all over the country and expect this gathering to continue this year.Gay Mc Keon will deliver workshops between 10 and 3pm and there will be a rare opportunity to ‘try the pipes’ with local piping teacher Conor Day and overseas Cuban student Alexander Suarez Mendez on Saturday the 9th between 10 and 1pm.Alexander Suarez Mendez is part of the Buena Vista Pipers Club in Havana – In 2011 Gay Mc Keon was invited to play at Celtfest. He had brought along sets of pipes for people to try, and said, “There were queues of people waiting to try and it took off from there. (Journal.ie)Alexander is currently in Ireland following a fundraising campaign by Irish pipers to bring this piping student to Ireland to learn more about the pipes, including making them, so he can bring these skills back to Cuba and continue to teach.Gay said, “Alexander is innately musical and people will be thrilled to hear him play. Even the way he interprets slow airs, which is a difficult thing for anyone even if you are immersed in the tradition. It is astonishing.”So those of you who are interested in the uilleann pipes are in for a special treat at Loinneog Lúnasa this year and we anticipate some unforgettable sessions in the local bars and hotels.Gaoth Dobhair, the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht and an area famous the world over for being a cradle of Irish culture and home to musical acts such as Enya, Altan, Clannad, Donal Lunny, Bothy Band, and Clann Uí Dhomhnaill of Skara Brae and younger acts like an Crann Óg and Noílín ní Cholla is proud to promote such a rich tapestry of local talent.With music and singing workshops, set dancing, open mic, craft market, a full moon beach walk and fun for all the family, there was never a better time to visit Gaoth Dobhair.All this and spectacular scenery and atmosphere, Loinneog Lúnasa presents a musical backdrop to a wonderfully cultural, family friendly festival.Also check out the Loinneog Lunasa Festival flybreak offer via Dublin and Glasgow in association with mng.ie & Donegal Airport.(www.mng.ie/whatson)LOINNEOG LÚNASA – A CELEBRATION OF TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC AND CULTURE BEGINS NEXT WEEK was last modified: August 1st, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare 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:CultureEntertainmentFeaturesGaoth DobhairIrish MusicLoinneag LúnasanewsTraditionallast_img read more


Hummingbirds: Small Wonders

first_imgDo you enjoy watching the world’s smallest birds, right from your backyard?  Susan Healy and T. Andrew Hurly provided interesting tidbits about them in a Quick Guide to Hummingbirds in Current Biology this week.1    There are 330 species of these small flyers noted for their aerobatics and iridescent colors.  Typically, they weigh a few grams.  The largest is the size of a starling; the smallest (from Cuba) weighs a mere two grams, and is nine centimeters long (mostly beak and tail).  Flight muscles comprise 25 to 30% of a hummingbird’s body weight; “a three gram hummingbird beats its wings an astonishing 50�70 times per second,” the authors exclaim.  Yet all this capability grows from an egg the size of a pea.  Some species migrate to the Canadian Rockies while snow is still on the ground, yet manage to keep their eggs 25° C warmer than the ambient air.  How?  “They are able to deal with cold temperatures because their feathers provide some of the best avian insulation, with more feathers per inch of surface than other small- to medium-sized birds.”  Furthermore, they can lower their metabolism to a state of torpor to conserve energy.    Before migrating, they store 72% of their weight in fat, more energy efficient than carbohydrate.  This requires some physiological fine-tuning on the inside:They have the most metabolically active liver known, with the highest levels of enzymes for lipid synthesis along with extremely high rates of intestinal glucose transport, which results in very dilute excreta, invaluable for a nectarivorous animal ingesting large quantities of water in its food.  Quite how they are able to produce highly dilute urine is still not known, but it appears that their renal morphology and physiology is more like that of nectarivorous bats and freshwater amphibia than that of non-nectarivorous birds.Their hovering ability is well known; they can even fly upside down and backwards.  This is made possible by “a wing structure unlike that of any other birds, which articulate their wings from shoulder, elbow and wrist: hummingbirds’ wings articulate only from the shoulder.”  In the ecology, they fulfill important roles as pollinators.    Another hummingbird feat that has come to light recently is their skill at memory.  The article states that they “appear to remember where they have visited hummingbird feeders along the way: the reminder for garden owners to put the feeder containing sucrose solution out is often a bird hovering around the place the feeder was hung the previous year” (a reminder not to disappoint the little backyard friends).  “Secondly, they have been shown to remember information on a more local scale, avoiding flowers they have recently emptied and returning to flowers they have left still containing food” (see 04/05/2006, bullet 9).    How is this all possible in such a tiny creature?  The authors remark, “Although the rufous hummingbird has a brain approximately the size of a grain of rice, it puts it to rather good use.”1Susan Healy and T. Andrew Hurly, “Quick guide: Hummingbirds,” Current Biology, Volume 16, Issue 11, June 2006, pages R392-R393, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.05.015.Buy a hummingbird feeder and use it as a teaching opportunity for your family.  Hold up a stuffed bird of similar size and weight and ask your kids how many systems would need to be added to make it fly like a real hummingbird.  Imagine NASA designing a remote sensing, guided hovercraft with a computer the size of a grain of rice, able to extract energy from sugar water and fly to snowy peaks in Canada.  Then imagine them making it able to reproduce itself through pellets the size of a rice grain.  Moments like these can help teach young people not to take the wonders of nature for granted.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


Naturalism Extends Into All Realms of Scholarship

first_imgDefenders of evolutionary theory typically argue that their ideas are merely scientific approaches to explaining biological objects.  Why, then, are evolutionary approaches extended to intangible realms, like psychology, ethics, criminal law, politics, religion, character and morals?  Here are some recent examples to think about:Evolution and the Criminal Mind:  In a paper this month in the Public Library of Science: Biology, four evolutionists gave naturalistic views on “Law, Responsibility, and the Brain.”  They said we need to examine the violent behavior of our alleged hominid ancestors to understand the criminal mind.  They also asked, “Should we rethink free will?”  One would think such subjects belong to the realms of moral philosophy and theology.  While they agreed that “Violent and anti-social behaviours undoubtedly arise from a symphony of factors,” they admitted only naturalistic approaches: “Optimal understanding will require cooperation among many disciplines such as economics, sociology, psychology, evolutionary biology, cellular physiology, and neuroscience.”  Preachers and philosophers apparently do not have any opinion worth thinking about—if, indeed, thinking is even possible in a world reduced to particles.Matter over Mind:  In an essay in the same issue of PLoS Biology, Kevin J. Mitchell (Trinity College, Dublin) got physical in his essay, “The Genetics of Brain Wiring: From Molecule to Mind.”  That his conception of mind did not extend beyond the material world is clear in his conclusion, “Putting It All Together” –The challenge for the fields of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric genetics is to develop methods to take these factors into account in attempting to map from genotype to anatomical and physiological phenotypes and beyond to behaviour and cognition.  Modelling this complexity may require both new mathematical methods and more detailed empirical data derived from studies of model organisms.  Whichever approaches are taken, it is clear that to understand the origins of individual differences in psychological traits we must keep developmental trajectories, and not just phenotypic end points, in mind.Yet one might ask, is there a mind in which to keep such abstractions?Language:  The ability to speak in abstract terms using verbal constructs is no longer a human distinctive.  In the evolutionary view, it’s only a matter of degree.  A duo from Emory University studied chimpanzee gestures for clues to a natural story of language.  Publishing in PNAS, they began and ended with Darwinian explanations: “The natural communication of apes may hold clues about language origins, especially because apes frequently gesture with limbs and hands, a mode of communication thought to have been the starting point of human language evolution.”  Popular news sources, like Live Science and MSNBC, quickly featured this speculation as a scientific “finding.”  Ker Than titled the story, “Apes Point to Origins of Human Language.”  It came complete with photo of a gesturing chimp.  No alternative viewpoints that would question naturalism were considered.Natural Politics:  Not even political science is exempt from the naturalistic approach to the world.  Two Princeton economists writing in PNAS discussed “Political Polarization” with a Bayesian (i.e., mathematical) model of how groups tend to polarize on issues.  The content of the debates and the weight of arguments were not elements in the equation: “We offer an explanation of such polarization, based on a natural bimodality of preferences in political and economic contexts and consistent with Bayesian rationality.”  The paper is full of calculus and graphs and models that predict degrees of polarization based on bimodal inputs.  What kind of political issues fall under the spell of their equations?  “Current examples are policies concerning discrimination, immigration, gender, religion, welfare state, human rights, terrorism, civil wars, national sovereignty, and nuclear armament.”Though this last paper is not overtly Darwinian, and does employ concepts of the subjects’ world view and opinions, it treats human subjects as mathematical objects that follow natural laws.  The degree of detail with which the authors manipulated human subjects as elements of differential equations is striking.  It raises profound questions about the extent to which such domains fall within natural science: e.g., are populations of rational agents determined by natural law, and if so, are they really rational agents?  And one would be hard pressed to imagine these scientists giving a naturalistic answer to this question: “On what basis are you assuming that reduction of polarization is a good thing?”  If their model is valid, it should be possible to debate that question and plug its variables right back into the equation to arrive at a degree of polarization, then iterate the process ad infinitum to the vanishing point of the point: i.e., ultimate pointlessness.No one asks the questions that deflate these naturalistic studies and make them shoot their own feet.  Each one of these studies is self-refuting and thereby pointless.  If responsibility is an evolutionary by-product, it is not really responsibility.  If crime is an evolutionary by-product, it is not really crime.  If language is glorified ape gesturing, it is not really language.  And if voters are pawns of mathematical functions, they are not really informed, thoughtful voters.    Overarching above all these conundrums is the meta-conundrum that pulls down the curtain on the whole charade: each of these scientists, according to their own presuppositions, is also a pawn of evolutionary forces.  Nothing they say, therefore, has any validity.  If they are thinking they need to rethink free will, they are not really thinking!  They are not free to think.  Their own thoughts are determined by their evolutionary past.  This is so obvious, why doesn’t anyone ever call their bluff?  On their own assumptions, you can dismiss everything they said.There is nothing stopping a trickster from turning these same tactics against them.  Let’s say, for instance, that David Horowitz were to hire a skilled mathematician to construct a mathematical model of liberalism in academia.  A conservative sociologist could play the game, too.  They could produce an impressive-looking paper, loaded with graphs and equations, showing the tendency for academics to slide into liberalism as a function of time and peer pressure.  They could even formulate a new natural law: the second law of intellectual thermodynamics.  If they had enough connections to get this published in a major journal, would it not make as much sense as the paper on political polarization?What on earth is a paper on poli-sci doing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences?  What are biologists doing trying to reduce responsibility and the mind and religion to molecular interactions?  Even if their models occasionally correspond with observations, that would not ipso facto validate them.  The cliche fits: even a broken clock can be right twice a day.  There are things about intelligent agents and their behaviors that science cannot address with laws and equations.  You can’t treat human beings like lab rats (the ratomorphic fallacy).  And we cannot let pointy-headed academics with a bad case of the Yoda Complex (03/21/2007, 09/25/2006) get away with folly in the name of science, using their minds to claim that minds don’t exist.    When a materialist makes material claims, ask them those four little words, How do you know?  If the mind is the result of contingent or determined natural processes, then so are any thoughts about it.  This undermines any truth claims—including those of these papers.  We must not permit the evolutionists to stand outside their heads, looking down on the rest of us, telling us how WE evolved.  They must get into the game.  But a little reflection shows why they cannot do that.  When they enter the game, the game is over.  Without an Umpire, without rules, without standards, without truth, and without morals, it’s not a game.  It’s chaos.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


South Africa, South Sudan establish ties

first_imgMonyela said South Africa will continue with its post-conflict reconstruction and development (PCRD) projects as it is evident that South Sudan requires more skilled civil servants who are able to provide basic services to the people of the emerging State. Monyela said South Africa would do everything in its power to ensure that South Sudan sees peace, security and stability. Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, South Africa has been a helping hand in the Sudan region. South Africa and Africa’s newest state, South Sudan, have signed an agreement establishing formal diplomatic relations between the two countries. On the economic front, South Africa has been vigorously pursuing economic and investment opportunities in the new Republic of South Sudan. Post-conflict reconstruction and development “In line with the objectives of the African Agenda, South Africa will continue to support efforts aimed at ensuring a peaceful and stable environment in South Sudan and its neighbourhood.” 27 September 2011 Recently, South Africa trained more than 1 600 officials from the Government of South Sudan as part of a capacity-building programme taking place within the context of the African Union PCRD.center_img The agreement was signed by International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and her South Sudanese counterpart, Nhial Deng Nhial, on the sidelines of the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week. Economic and investment opportunities The Department of Trade and Industry is also planning a visit to South Sudan in early October 2011, which will include in its delegation a multi-sector South African business component. According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the agreement is expected to lay the basis for the conclusion of other agreements, particularly economic and trade-related frameworks aimed at promoting bilateral trade and investment between South Africa and South Sudan. At the moment, a group of diplomats from South Sudan, together with colleagues from other countries in East Africa, are undergoing diplomatic training in South Africa. “The signing of the agreement establishing diplomatic relations … is a major milestone in the relations between the two countries,” said department spokesperson Clayson Monyela in Pretoria last week. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more


SA romp to Hong Kong Sixes title

first_imgSouth Africa won the Hong Kong Sixes tournament for the second time in four years on Sunday after a 37-run victory over defending champions Pakistan in the final. In a hard-hitting contest, captain Colin Ingram led the way with an astonishing innings. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material “This tournament grows in prestige all the time and Asia is a very important area in which to grow the Protea brand. It fully justifies our decision to send the strongest possible team to Hong Kong and I would like to thank our franchises for their support in this regard. Openers Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal led the way with 37 off 11 balls and 51 off 15 respectively, but Ingram claimed three wickets to put the skids under their batting effort. He removed Awais Zia for five, Hammad Azam for one and Yasir Shah for 10. 29 October 2012 “It was really pleasing to see our boys play the final so well and they were in command throughout,” Faul concluded. Australia won the Plate competition, defeating the Netherlands, who had shocked England in the semi-finals. Early on, the Pakistanis were up to the required run rate, but having to maintain such a pace took its toll and they lost wickets where South Africa, by contrast, had seen three batsmen retire. ‘Awesome event’After receiving the winners’ $40 000 cheque (approximately R347 000), he said: “It has been an awesome event. The guys really enjoyed themselves and each other’s company and we just stuck to what we had done all week, which was to bowl tightly and field well, and our batting clicked as well.center_img “The Pakistan team that we played in the final included experienced internationals in Kamran and Umar Akmal, as well as Junaid Khan. Cricket South Africa’s acting CEO Jacques Faul paid tribute to the Sixes winning team in a statement, saying: “Full marks to coach Vinnie Barnes, captain Colin Ingram and the rest of the players for an excellent achievement that saw them win all their matches on the final day, including beating Pakistan twice. He struck an unbeaten 34 off only six deliveries to help South Africa to 142 for 2 in their five eight-ball overs, and he was not alone in clearing the boundaries of the small ground. Seventeen sixesUltimately, South Africa finished with 17 sixes in their innings of 142. That left Pakistan requiring 28.4 runs per eight-ball over, or 3.55 runs per ball! Kamran Akmal as the last man standing in the Sixes form of the game finally fell to Frylinck, caught by Ingram, and South Africa claimed a convincing victory. Opening batsman David Miller made it look easy with a knock of 33 not out from only nine balls, with one four and four sixes, one maximum less than Ingram, while Robbie Frylinck smashed 31 from just seven deliveries and Dillon Du Preez weighed in with 31 off 11. “I had wobbly knees for the ball seemed to take ages to come down, but thankfully it was a clean catch,” Ingram said of the catch that ended the match.last_img read more


43rd Annual Ohio Dorset Sale March 15 and 16

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Plans for the 43rd annual Ohio Dorset Sale have been set for March 15 and 16 at the Preble County Fairgrounds in Eaton, Ohio. Billed as “the first, the biggest, the best” Dorset sale, it will feature both Horned and Polled Dorsets. Dorsets from South Dakota to Connecticut have been entered.Established in 1977, the Ohio Dorset Sale has been a barometer used to gauge how the registered sheep industry is doing in the New Year. Entered in the sale are 100 head of Polled Dorsets and 30 head of Horned Dorsets.“The nation’s finest Dorset genetics from ten different states have been consigned to this year’s sale,” said Greg Deakin, sale manager. “The sale’s history is rich, dating back to 1977. More national breed champion rams and ewes have sold through the Ohio Dorset Sale than any other sale.”Both Horned and Polled Dorset rams and ewes will be offered consisting of classes for yearlings, fall and winter lambs. Serving as judge is Alex Wolf from Upper Sandusky, Ohio, and sale auctioneers are Gary Saylor and Danny Westlake, both from Ohio. The Ohio Dorset Association is sponsoring the sale and consignment viewing may be seen at www.bannersheepmagazine.com.Sale questions may be directed to sale manager Greg Deakin, 309-785-5058.last_img read more


Multimedia Presentations in Your Pocket: Brainshark Launches Mobile Streaming

first_imgRole of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … frederic lardinois Tags:#enterprise#mobile#news#web Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img Multimedia presentation company Brainshark just launched a new feature that lets the company’s users stream their multimedia presentations to mobile devices, including Blackberry, iOS devices, Android phones and the Palm Pre. The company, which allows its users to create narrated versions of their PowerPoint presentations and mix these with additional video and audio content, now offers live streams of these presentations that are compatible with the major mobile platforms. Mobile streaming is available for users of Brainshark’s free myBrainshark service, as well as Brainshark’s enterprise customers.Making Multimedia Presentations MobileThe company’s back-end systems will simply encode the presentation in the appropriate format for the device. Sadly, though, Brainshark does not offer a mobile version of its site. As the company’s product director David Klein and vice president and general manager Andy Zimmerman told us when we talked to them about this update last week, Brainshark assumes that most of these presentations will be passed around by email, so a dedicated mobile site is not high on the company’s list of priorities. This seems like a missed opportunity to us. A mobile site would allow users to easily navigate related content on the service – whether it is internal training material at one of the company’s Fortune 500 clients or guiding users of the free service to interesting presentations. It’s worth noting that other presentation-sharing companies like SlideShare also offer mobile versions of their services. With its focus on narrated content and integrated video, Brainshark is able to add an additional dimension to presentations that most other services can’t offer. Also New: myBrainshark ProEarlier this year, Brainshark also launched a pro version of its service, which takes its place between the company’s free offerings and services for its enterprise clients. MyBrainshark Pro allows users to add password protection to their presentations and create a lead-generation guestbook. This service, which costs $9.99 per presentation, also includes additional reporting features and personalized URLs.Coming Soon: myBrainshark Pro TrainerAccording to Klein, one of the largest markets for the company’s professional product is the professional training business. Next month, Brainshark plans to offer a product that is specifically geared towards this market. Brainshark’s “Trainer” product will allow users to create test questions and scoring, as well as integration with learning management systems and the ability to merge content from multiple presentations. Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more


3 Ways to Use LinkedIn for Project Collaboration

first_imgMassive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#enterprise#saas Last year, when we asked whether Facebook could break into the enterprise world, Constellation Research CEO and principal analyst R “Ray” Wang said “I’d see LinkedIn in this category first because they have the trust of the corporate and professional communities.” LinkedIn may never get into that business, but there a few ways you can use LinkedIn for working with teams today. It’s become a popular choice as a login system, so it’s a natural fit for project collaboration software-as-a-service providers.DiscourseDiscourse, a Polish startup that launched today, uses LinkedIn as the foundation for its enterprise collaboration platform. Instead of having to build your social network from scratch, Discourse allows you to start with your existing professional network. Discourse is emphasizing the need to collaborate with users outside the firewall and, like many other enterprise 2.0 companies, the importance of process in collaboration software.HuddleWe’ve covered Huddle a few times before. Like Discourse, the company is focused on external collaboration. Unlike Discourse, its LinkedIn integration comes through the LinkedIn Application Directory. Huddle’s app allows you to use your LinkedIn credentials to login – and more importantly, it lets your LinkedIn connections use their LinkedIn credentials to access files and projects that you share with them. This approach may be more appealing to enterprises, especially ones that already use Huddle.ManymoonManymoon, which was recently acquired by Salesforce.com, is also available in the LinkedIn Application Directory. And like Huddle, Manymoon allows users to login with their LinkedIn credentials. It’s traditionally been focused on the SMB market, but the Salesforce.com acquisition may help it scale up. klint finley Related Posts center_img IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more