Parchment upbeat ahead of 110m hurdles

first_img “I am not 100 percent as I would like to be but I’m not worried by that, I just want to go out there and compete and give my best. I’m just focused on staying confident though and trying to go out there and have some fun,” said Parchment during a sit down interview yesterday. “I’m not sure what kind of shape I’m in to be honest because I have not done much testing but I believe that once I put my mind to it, I believe I have the qualities to race well. Once I focus and put my mind on the goals I need to achieve then I will achieve them,” Parchment continued. “Where injuries are concerned, I have probably made some bad decisions and I need to work on this going forward but I want to get more focused and be a bit more in tuned with what I’m doing to ensure that injuries are not my problem for me going forward,” he said. Parchment’s last race was a 13.08 second place effort at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)/Supreme Ventures Limited National Senior Championships in late June but despite admitting that he is not at 100 percent, Parchment told The Gleaner that he is still backing himself to do well here. The towering Jamaican ran a blistering 12.94 in Paris last year to set a new national mark but has been beset by injury setbacks since then. The athlete is not shying from his role in his slowdown, but with the 110m hurdles pack so tightly bunched together and with his 13.08 mark leaving him as the sixth fastest in the world, Parchment certainly seems to like his chances and with good reason.   BEIJING, China: Its been almost two months since Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment’s last race but the national 110m hurdles record holder remains positive about his chances heading into the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. “I’ve always had the confidence, I try to keep that and remember the instructions of the coach. I don’t worry about anything or anyone else when I am on the track, the focus is how best am I going to execute today and how far I can win by,” said Parchment. Nobody will argue against that. “The objective is to aim high, to aim for the top, thinking about the best execution possible and I think that if I can execute like my coach has asked me to then I believe I can come out the winner in this championships,” he added. – Andre Lowelast_img read more

More Reasons to Love Plants

first_imgFor food, for visual pleasure, and for the health of the whole planet, plants are worth loving and learning about.Chemical library:  An article on Science Daily says that a leaf is an astonishing chemical factory:Plants are capable of making tens of thousands of different small molecules — an average leaf for example, produces around 20,000. Many of these are found in a typical diet and some are already known to have medicinal properties with effects on health, diseases and general well-being.The article goes on to say that the immune system benefits of dietary flavonoids—known to be nutritious as well as cancer fighting—can be dramatically altered by very small chemical changes such as methylation at various parts of the molecular scaffold.  The findings by researchers at the University of York were discussed in a panel discussion titled “Nature’s Marvellous Medicines” held by the Royal Society.Inner qualities:  A plane flying over vineyards in Australia is monitoring the “inner qualities” of grapevines, Science Daily reported.  The “hyperspectral camera” is looking at the entire spectrum of wavelengths of emitted molecules from the plants, hoping to identify markers of plant health and nutrition.  A plant’s “inner qualities” can directly affect their health-giving benefits for humans.Self-fertilizing crops:  Helping plants to fix nitrogen would “really revolutionize agriculture,” another article on Science Daily reported—and scientists at Washington University at St. Louis are nearing that goal.  They don’t have to re-invent the process: they just need to get cyanobacterial technology inserted into crop plants.  Though abundant in the atmosphere, molecular nitrogen (N2) is difficult to “fix” by splitting it to form ammonia and other usable compounds because of its tight triple bonds.  Some plants form symbiotic associations with nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their roots.  These bacteria contain nitrogenase enzymes that split the molecules at ambient temperature, much more efficiently than the energy-intensive Haber process man came up with in the 20th century.Steering plants to use readily-available nitrogenase would mean no more expensive fertilizer production, no more bat guano mining, and much cheaper and more productive crop yields.  One of the tricks the research team is overcoming is adding the benefits of nitrogenase to plants without hindering photosynthesis.  PhysOrg reported another approach being achieved at Caltech: the construction of synthetic nitrogenase enzymes.  They’ve made significant progress but their product is not ready for mass production: “Each catalyst molecule was only able to convert seven nitrogen molecules before running out of steam.”  Natural enzymes work continuously for years.Plant protection:  Researchers at Dartmouth are discovering facts about a system that allows plants to tolerate drought, flooding, salt and other stresses.  “Plant roots use their endodermis, or inner skin, as a cellular gatekeeper to control the efficient use and movement of water and nutrients from the soil to the above-ground parts of the plant,” Science Daily explains.  This “gatekeeper” is made up of lignin produced by the plant cells, forming a layer called the “Casparian strip” that gives the plant robustness against environmental stresses like salinity and drought.  Researchers found a protein called ESD1 involved in layering the lignin and binding it together in the Casparian strip.  Understanding this process might lead to improving the production and quality of crops and biofuels.Clean air act:  Live Science provided a list of indoor plants that are best for cleaning the air in the home.  Everyone learns in school that plants absorb carbon dioxide, but “scientists studying the air-purification capacities of indoor plants have found that plants can absorb many other gases” such as cigarette smoke, benzene, formaldehyde and other volatiles emitted by plastics, detergents or synthetic products.Healthy eating:  Articles on the benefits of plants in the diet are frequent.  For example, National Geographic printed one on five health benefits of eating watermelon.  The benefits of flavanols found in certain teas, fruits and cocoa products was explained by Medical Xpress.  Another Medical Xpress article described the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which avoids red meat and prescribes up to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.“God’s green earth” is blessed beyond our understanding by the presence of plants.  Compare the dry, dull surfaces of the moon and Mars with our abundant-life planet.  Using intelligent design, we can steer existing plant technologies for our benefit – technologies that we cannot easily reproduce, but that give plants their vitality, longevity and productivity.For many fruits and vegetables, the benefits come from eating them raw.  Learn to enjoy the richness of unprocessed plants as a significant part of your diet.  Many can be prepared for good taste and enjoyment without cooking, juicing, blending, dehydrating, or other destructive processes.  Plant foods are filled with cancer-fighting compounds and health-enhancing chemicals among those 20,000 molecules in an average leaf.  Many modern people have arguably less knowledge of useful plants than the natives that inhabited their lands first.  The knowledge and enjoyment of healthful plants is a worthwhile skill to work on.None of these articles had any use for evolutionary theory.*  Why?  It’s useless.  We need to turn science back toward the improvement of human life.  Good science seeks understanding, with the goal of application for good purposes.  Storytelling is the opposite of understanding.*The nitrogenase article claimed that “this entire nitrogen-fixing apparatus” “evolved once and only once” and then was repeatedly “lost” in bacteria: “Studies of the evolutionary history of 49 strains of cyanobacteria suggest that their common ancestor was capable of fixing nitrogen and that this ability was then repeatedly lost over the course of evolution.”  Like we said, evolutionary theory is useless.  The common ancestor (if there was one) already had it, and then others lost it.  What kind of explanation is that?  How does it help Darwin?  How did the ancestor get it?  By chance?  By magic?  Let’s be done with unobservable just-so stories and deal with what we can know and use. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130812154904.htm(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Local NGO success in the UK

first_imgKhulisa’s ground-breaking programmes aim to break the cycle of violence, prevent youngsters from ending up in prison, and rehabilitate those who have done time. Khulisa staff harvesting vegetables from their KwaZulu-Natal office garden to donate to a children’s shelter.(Image: Khulisa Social Solutions) MEDIA CONTACTS • Lesley Ann van Selm  MD, Khulisa Social Solutions  +27 11 788 8237 or +27 82 601 2299 RELATED ARTICLES • Khulisa reinvents lives • Mandela prison anniversary marked • Values, heritage can be learned here • Concourt art tells SA’s story • SA’s gallows now instrument of healingLucille DavieLocal NGO Khulisa’s out-of-the-box programme on restorative justice has been exported to the UK, and is now part of a package of programmes being successfully implemented by an independent registered charity.Khulisa UK’s mission is to “break the cycle of crime and violence by helping people to change their lives”. It does this in three ways: guiding by restoring empathy, self-belief and self-worth; healing individuals – both perpetrators and victims – and communities; and nurturing by believing all people can grow.“We think that we are quite unique in bringing to the UK programmes that have been tried and tested in the extremely fragile and challenging social environment of South Africa,” reads the staff induction pack. “In particular we look at projects that provide innovative and effective ways to address crime, violence, anti-social behaviour, justice and community regeneration.”Khulisa means “to nurture” in Zulu. The programme targets offenders and ex-offenders, young people at risk of exclusion, offending or becoming involved in gangs, victims or witnesses of violence and crime, as well as people facing significant personal barriers in their lives.“Through our work we aim to empower disadvantaged individuals with the skills and personal understanding they need to develop their own alternatives to violence, desist from crime, improve their futures and build stronger and safer communities.” Homegrown innovation in the UKKhulisa UK is an offshoot of South Africa’s Khulisa Social Solutions, an NGO that’s been running for 16 years. Its founder and MD Lesley Ann van Selm was originally looking to raise funding from international donors – while Khulisa has for the past 11 years been funded by the Finnish and Danish embassies, more funding was needed to expand.But the EU will only fund EU-based organisations so Van Selm set up a company in the UK called Khulisa Crime Prevention Initiative.She is an Ashoka fellow, an international body that recognises and supports leading social entrepreneurs through an entrepreneur network. “It’s quite a prestigious thing to be an Ashoka fellow,” she explains.With the support of Ashoka in the UK, she managed to get a pro bono attorney to help register the company there. A feasibility study showed that “there was as much potential for us to get money in South Africa as there was for us also to have our programmes exported to the UK”.Van Selm elaborates: “Khulisa’s programmes are so out of the box, and have been so organically developed, and we realised that the programmes in the UK were very, very conventional and all compliant against international theories of psychology, etc.”It took two years to develop a pilot programme, then Khulisa’s Silence the Violence (STV) programme was tried out in Hackney in London. A psychologist, an academic from Manchester University, a human rights activist and an ex-offender were invited to participate.“The outcomes were mind blowing,” says Van Selm. Getting the programme off the groundWith success around the corner, funding was needed to follow up on the trial programme. Khulisa managed to get several contracts with the Home Office Police, a private prison company, and several other trusts, in particular the Sainsbury’s Family Trust and the Monument Trust, which gave US$157 000 (R1.4-million). This enabled Khulisa in the UK to appoint a CEO, rent offices, employ staff and get the programme off the ground.The attitude in the UK was that if Khulisa can get the programmes to work in South Africa, with its many challenges, it can work in that country too.Now, three years down the line, the British company is a separate entity, paying royalties to Khulisa South Africa, and looking to expand their programmes there.Van Selm says that she is looking at ways to expand the restorative justice programme in the UK, through the STV programme, which is based on restoring relationships between criminal and victim.She adds that she’s proud of the fact that the UK franchise is using the Khulisa brand name. She says the name is catchy, and “makes people feel curious”.“It is a proudly South African brand.” UK operationKhulisa UK has taken the STV programme and combined it with three others – Milestones Mentoring Programme, Face It, and My Square Mile, developed in-house. These programmes supplement STV, which is described as “an intervention that additionally reduces violence and changes anti-social behaviour contributing to a reduction in violence/assaults whilst offering longer term positive effects on reducing re-offending with other supports.”It is best suited for young people in at-risk situations or those involved in gangs with exposure to crime and violence, including witnesses and victims.The programme consists of 10 modules of two- to three-hour facilitated sessions, usually run over five days. It is followed up with one-on-one support sessions. It uses group and cognitive behavioural therapy, a strengths-based approach, and includes coaching, role play, problem solving, emotional management and conflict resolution.Some of the learning outcomes include recognition of high-risk situations and techniques to avoid or cope with them; an ability to recognise levels of violence and awareness of its damaging effects; improved listening skills and greater empathy for others; the development of emotional intelligence; enhanced self-expression and self-awareness; and improved relationships. Measuring successKhulisa UK’s CEO Simon Fulford says some 1 500 people have benefited from the programmes since the organisation started operations in 2009. He adds that this excludes any indirect impact on family and community members connected to the participants.Success is not always easy to measure. “Rating success with offender rehabilitation and behaviour change programmes is always a difficult one as the impact is subtle, long-term and hard to measure or claim direct responsibility for,” he explains.Two responses give a sense of the programme’s success. An ex-offender from 2011 reports: “I’ve not cried for 18 years, and this is the first time I’ve felt safe enough to do so, in this group dynamic.”A 16-year-old school pupil said: “I was able to look into myself, pin-point what is wrong and start a path in to correct and move on, as I am able to look at others and feel empathy.”Fulford says that Khulisa UK has an annual operating budget of around $630 000 (R5.6-million), employing seven permanent staff and about a dozen freelance programme facilitators assisted by some 40 or 50 volunteers each year.The organisation operates in the London, Greater Manchester and the south coast areas of Dorset and Hampshire, but also runs programmes on an ad-hoc basis in other parts of the country, depending on contracts or commissions.“Overall, about 300 adults and children participate in our full programmes per year, with several hundred more engaged via short workshops, taster sessions, and more.”Now, Khulisa UK is looking to adapt and pilot South Africa’s Justice and Restoration Programme for use in the UK.“Khulisa UK and Khulisa South Africa bring a new dynamism to north-south relations, with a unique model of exporting social development solutions from south to north and then adapted in-country,” says Fulford.“Similarly, as we develop and enhance programmes here, we will share this knowledge and expertise with our colleagues while looking to further export the Khulisa approach.”last_img read more

AAC Football’s Official Twitter Account Trolled Penn State

first_imgAmerican Athletic Conference twitter page trolls Penn State.American TweetPenn State made some news yesterday when it was revealed that the team literally buried the game tape of its 27-10 season-opening loss to Temple with a shovel. In the embarrassing defeat, the Nittany Lions surrendered 10 sacks. While Penn State was ready to let that game go, the American Athletic Conference, of which Temple is a member, wants to relish the memory of it . That’s why the AAC’s official football Twitter account dropped a solid troll job on Penn State this morning. Penn State may have buried the game tape, but you can watch all 10 @Temple_FB sacks from Sat on our YouTube page https://t.co/xkp5lidkzS— American Football (@American_FB) September 9, 2015That’s tremendous. This was Temple’s first win over PSU in over 70 years, and they set a conference sack record in the process. The AAC doesn’t have many opportunities to brag about its football accomplishments, so it is understandably proud of the Owls’ performance.last_img read more

Lamark Media Partners With AfterSchool AllStars To Support 3rd Annual Celebrity Poker

first_imgLamark Media, an innovative full-service digital marketing agency, partnered with After-School All-Stars as a premier sponsor and strategic partner for the 3rd Annual All-In for All-Stars private charity poker tournament.The tournament was held on January 22, 2017, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Nobu Miami Beach, Florida.The charity event benefitted the local South Florida students enrolled in After School All-Stars (ASAS), Arnold Schwarzenegger’s foundation for at-risk youth that provides comprehensive after-school programs that keep children safe and help them succeed in school and life.Hosted by Wayne Boich, Mark Groussman and Sean Posner, and featuring celebrity comedian Tom Arnold, the event featured top prizes from HUBLOT. The tournament took place in a private space at Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s Nobu Miami, 4525 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Sushi and Japanese-Peruvian fare were served with hand-crafted cocktails in a pre-tournament reception. A premium open bar and hand-rolled cigars were available throughout, along with fine wine and liquor tastings. Premier Sponsors of the event included Nobu Miami, Hublot, Crystal Cruises, Hard Rock Hotels, Inspirato, Lamark Media, Miami Marlins, Miami Heat, Fox Sports Florida, Rose Magazine, XM Cigar Co., Chivas, Haute Living, Louis XIII, and Estrella Damm. Numerous athletes and celebrities were in attendance to support the cause and participated in the live auction, all in efforts to create awareness for the After-School All-Stars charity.“We are honored to sponsor this event and will continue to support this great organization as a strategic partner to increase awareness for an amazing cause. As a new father myself, I am even more aware of the importance and value in providing children with the tools that they need to achieve success throughout all stages of life.” – Bryan Shetsky, Founder and CEO of Lamark MediaASAS South Florida’s VP of External Affairs Natalia Sol thanks Lamark Media for their participation in the 2017 tournament.“We are tremendously grateful to the many incredible partners that supported this important fundraising effort to ensure that critical programs for our community’s most at-risk students can be provided every day from 3-6pm. Working with Lamark Media enables us to amplify our message and engage our greater community in this important work.” – Natalia Sol, Vice President of External Affairs of the South Florida chapter of After-School All-Stars.NFL Conference Championship games were broadcasted on large screen televisions during the tournament and silent auction, keeping the sports theme throughout, while philanthropists, celebrities, athletes and other supporters enjoyed a day of celebration and fundraising at Nobu on Miami Beach.Since its inception, the All-In for All-Stars event has raised over $1 million towards the charity fulfilling their mission to help middle school youth through the nation’s largest school-based, comprehensive after-school program.last_img read more

Commentary Cleveland Browns need to pick a QB and stick with him

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer (6) is run down by Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso as he scrambles toward the sideline during first-quarter action at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland Oct. 3.Credit: Courtesy of MCTIn 1996 the Cleveland Browns were forcefully relocated to Baltimore and renamed the Ravens by owner Art Modell, also known as Cleveland’s most hated man, save for, perhaps, LeBron James.In 1999 the NFL held true to its promise of bringing football back to Cleveland and the Browns returned as an expansion team.Since then, the Ravens have gone on to win two Super Bowls while the Browns have managed a whopping one playoff appearance, of which the team lost in the first round.During the time since that 1999 season the Ravens have fielded 13 starting quarterbacks. While still high, that number pales in comparison to Cleveland’s 19 signal callers in said period.Over that time, only one quarterback has started all 16 games in a single season for Cleveland: Tim Couch during the 2001 campaign. That year also marked one of only three times the Browns finished a year 7-9 or better. The other two times you ask? In 2002, when Couch started 14 games and 2007, when Derek Anderson started 15. Anderson got the nod halfway through the season opener.The biggest difference between the old Browns (Baltimore) and the new Browns (Cleveland) is stability at the quarterback position. The Ravens have had a quarterback start all 16 games seven times since 1999, including five straight seasons out of their current quarterback, Joe Flacco.It is time for the Browns to commit, and that can’t happen if they hire a new coach and draft a new “quarterback of the future” every few years.Cleveland has three options at the position right now. It can ride it out with 29-year-old second-year quarterback Brandon Weeden, who has shown flashes but may be too far away from stardom considering his old-age. The Browns could wait out the rest of the season with Weeden, then fully commit to the currently injured but promising Brian Hoyer.Or they could draft a quarterback in 2014.Some might argue they could pick up a free agent like Matt Flynn, but a player who has failed to capitalize on the QB situations in Seattle and Oakland has to have some issues. Keeping Weeden, waiting for Hoyer or signing Flynn are the only viable options in Cleveland, and they must pick one right away in order to have any chance at stability.For me, the best choice is Hoyer. Weeden has talent, but he has a knack for playing game to game, there is no consistency so far, plus he is nearly 30. Hoyer is two years younger and spent three seasons learning under Tom Brady with the New England Patriots. While he has made a grand total of two starts in his Cleveland career, Hoyer won both of them and provided hope for a fan base that has been searching for a spark for nearly two decades.In past seasons I might choose the “draft a new guy” option, but I do not see anyone in the upcoming draft that I would commit to from day one, and that is what Cleveland has to do.No more quarterback battles in training camp. No more drafting of a Couch or a Brady Quinn, no more gambles on a too-old rookie like Weeden. It’s time for Cleveland to pick a player, give him the job and stick with him through thick and thin.Without stability the Browns will continue to be one of the laughing-stocks of the NFL, and the blame can only be placed on themselves. read more

Urban Meyers comfort level improving along with offensive line pass defense needs

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer made his weekly appearance on the Big Ten teleconference Tuesday afternoon and discussed the improved play of the offensive line, the emergence of sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott and his comfort level with the team thus far.The Buckeyes are 3-1 on the season following a 50-28 victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats Saturday night.        Meyer said after Saturday’s win over Cincinnati his offensive line has “crossed the barrier” and added he believes the offense has developed depth and more of an identity. He named redshirt-junior Chase Farris as someone who has improved and is earning playing time on the offensive line.        He said that with the return of senior tight end Jeff Heuerman from injury to go along with the improved line play that the Buckeyes have more of an offensive identity now.        Meyer said he believes the performance of Elliott is a product of better offensive line play.        Meyer said the running back position as a unit is the hardest working group on the team. He gave credit to running backs coach Stan Drayton and said Elliott is among the top two or three hardest workers on the team.        He said after evaluating the pass defense, he doesn’t think there is a lack of talent, rather a lack of execution. He said young corners in the secondary simply need to play better, singling out redshirt-freshmen Gareon Conley and Eli Apple as players who need to improve.        Meyer said his comfort level with his team is night and day from where it was week one against Navy.        He said the biggest challenge for the Buckeyes going into Saturday’s game against Maryland will be slowing down the Terrapin offensive skill players. Meyer added that Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown will greatly test OSU as he is the leading passer and rusher for Maryland.The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday at noon at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md. read more