Venezuelan teen killed in Region 9

first_imgA 16-year-old Venezuelan was stabbed to death on Sunday at Tabatinga, Central Rupununi, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).Dead is Alberto Inima. Police reported on Monday that the incident occurred at about 04:00h. Reports are Inima and the suspect were at a shop when an argument ensued and they left the premises. According to Police, a short while after, Inima was found at Tabatinga Creek with wounds about his body. He was taken to the Lethem Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival (DOA). The suspect was taken into custody and is assisting with the investigations.This is the second teenager to be killed in less than one week. Last Thursday 15-year-old Derril Wong of Lot 42 Plaisance, East Coast Demerara, was stabbed to death by another teen with whom he had a heated argument.Based on reports received, the now dead young man, after returning home from school, went to visit a friend in Graham Street, Plaisance, when he was stabbed twice to his back at about 16:00h.Initial investigation revealed that the two teenagers were in a yard when an argument broke out between them. Soon after, Wong was seen lying in a pool of blood with at least two stab wounds to his body.last_img read more

Science Can Be Wrong for Decades, Centuries

first_img The reason for sex:  Were you taught in school that the purpose of sexual reproduction is to promote genetic diversity?  Incorrect, says Henry Heng, Ph.D., associate professor at Wayne State University, according to an article in Science Daily.  It’s for maintaining the genome and a species’ identity.  With colleague Root Gorelick, Heng argued in the journal Evolution that previous scientists were dead wrong—for over a century.  “For nearly 130 years, traditional perceptions hold that asexual reproduction generates clone-like offspring and sexual reproduction leads to more diverse offspring,“ the article said, quoting Heng responding, “In reality, however, the relationship is quite the opposite.” Plate tectonics:  How long has plate tectonics been around?  Since the 1960s at least.  Now, PhysOrg is announcing, “New force driving Earth’s tectonic plates discovered.”  California scientists are proposing that a moving mantle plume drove the Indian plate into the Himalayas.  It is doubtful this new model, though, will resolve “long-standing debates about how powerful geological forces shape the planet.” Racked up about antlers:  How long have hunters prized the racks on their deer?  “Emerging from the heads of most cud-chewing mammals, headgear inspire an almost mystical and certainly majestic aura,” an article on PhysOrg began.  “But, scientists say, we know shockingly little about them.”  Consider the variety of headgear on mammals: longhorn cattle, giraffes, bighorn sheep, moose, reindeer, caribou, pronghorns, mountain goats.  The accessibility of these mammals to science would lead one to think they are well understood, but the article includes videos of Edgar Byrd Davis admitting, “This is one of those things where you’d think we’d know more, but we don’t.”  Newt for precedent:  For 250 years, scientists believed there was a limit to how many times an amphibian could regenerate tissues, such as limbs and eyes.  This week, PhysOrg posted a press release with the headline, “Overturning 250 years of scientific theory: Age, repeated injury do not affect newt regeneration.”  Sure enough, “Scientists have been wrong for 250 years about a fundamental aspect of tissue regeneration, according to a University of Dayton biologist who says his recent discovery is good news for humans.”  Dr. Panagiotis Tsonis decided to test the old belief with experiments.  He found that even after 18 times, a newt’s regenerated eye lens was just as good as the first.   “His findings overturn long-accepted theories proposed by regeneration scientists that age and repeated amputation negatively affect regeneration.”  New Scientist also wrote about this scientific upset. Nuclear winter:  In 1983, Carl Sagan and other scientists proclaimed, with the authority of science, that a nuclear war would cast the planet into decades of darkness and cold.  Sagan scared government officials with the prospect of “the extinction of Homo sapiens”.  This week, Russell Seitz in a letter to Nature claimed, “Nuclear winter was and is debatable.”  He quoted skeptical scientists at the time who “regarded this apocalyptic prediction as an exercise in mythology.”  One from MIT said, “Nuclear winter is the worst example of the misrepresentation of science to the public in my memory.”  The skeptics, though, were outshouted by a media sympathetic to Sagan.  Dramatic visualizations on TV of the last humans freezing to death in the dark clinched the story. Pi throwing contest:  What could be more sacred in science than pi, that famous constant we memorized as 3.1416?  Believe it or not, some mathematians want to toss it.  They want two pi, claiming that a new constant named tau, equal to 6.28, would be more useful.  Read about it on PhysOrg, “Math wars: Debate sparks anti-pi day.”  It is true that 2 pi shows up in many equations.  Pi day (March 14) would be replaced by Tau Day (June 28) if US mathematicians Bob Palais and Michael Hartl get their way.  A critic feels this is not a question of error,  just preference: “It’s not a question of right or wrong, but a matter of opinion,” said Patrick Speissegger from McMaster University in Canada. “Philosophically speaking, changing the constant from pi to tau makes no difference.”  The dispute does show, however, that some concepts we assume are out there in the world may actually be in our heads. Health myths:  Arguably, scientists are not to blame for old wives’ tales, unless they promoted them.  Medical Xpress announced, “New book by Indiana University physicians slays health myths we all thought were true.”  Scientists can’t make a clean escape, though.  “The authors admit that even they believed some myths prior to investigating the science, or lack of science, behind them.”  Myths debunked by pediatricians Aaron Carroll  and Rachel Vreeman include: (1) that vitamin C mitigates cold symptoms (advocated by Nobel laureate Linus Pauling), (2) that stretching before running is a good idea, (3) that hydrogen peroxide is a good disinfectant for wounds, (4) that air dryers clean your hands better than paper towels, (5) that eggs are bad for your heart because of high cholesterol, (6) that uncovering a wound at night helps it heal, and others.  (The tale that chicken soup helps you feel better when you have a cold, though, escaped the debunking tests, showing that myths can have a scientific basis).  Readers may want to investigate which myths had been promoted by scientists in the name of science.  Debunking a debunker:  This episode might be called Morton’s Revenge.  The late Stephen Jay Gould, in his 1981 book The Mismeasure of Man, made a big deal out of alleged data fudging by 19th century physician Samuel Morton, claiming that his cranial measurements were unconsciously biased to support Victorian values.  In a Nature editorial last month, the editors discussed a new re-evaluation of both scientists’ claims that gives the edge to the debunked rather than the debunker.  While they may agree with Gould’s politically-correct conclusions, the editors could not endorse his methods.  “At a minimum, Gould’s staunch opposition to racism, and desire to make an example of Morton, may have biased his interpretation of Morton’s data, opening Gould to charges of hypocrisy.”  Let the debunker beware.  The editors shook their heads; “it is remarkable that it has taken more than 30 years for a research group to check Gould’s claims thoroughly.” Many today still remember the catchy phrase nuclear winter and assume it has a scientific basis, but Seitz says, “This potential climate disaster, popularized in Science in 1983, rested on the output of a one-dimensional model that was later shown to overestimate the smoke a nuclear holocaust might engender.  More refined estimates, combined with advanced three-dimensional models… have dramatically reduced the extent and severity of the projected cooling”  – so much so, that the worst-case scenario has fallen “to numbers so unseasonably small as to call the very term ‘nuclear winter’ into question.”  This doesn’t mean, of course, that a nuclear bomb wouldn’t ruin your whole day, but it might do in Homo sapiens with fire, not ice. The history of science shows some wrong theories being accepted by leading scholars for long periods of time.  Ptolemaic astronomy, unquestioned for over 1200 years, is a prime example.  Not all examples are old, though.  In modern times as well, scientists are finding that theories unquestioned for decades, even centuries, were wrong.  That being so, what confidence can we have that today’s scientific beliefs will stand the test of time for the next decade or century?  A recent spate of science articles shows some long-held theories being questioned – others being tossed overboard. Many questions about these fastest-growing bones come to mind: their nature, their development, their evolutionary origins.  It isn’t for lack of trying.  “Among assumptions only recently overturned was the idea that pronghorn antelope were related to antler-wearing deer or horned cattle, goats and sheep,”  the article pointed out.  Davis took science’s claims to knowledge further into left field, saying, “Scientists get a lot of press coverage for dark matter or the Higgs boson because they are among deep mysteries that we are still unlocking. A lot of people assume that most of biology is understood, yet something as fundamental as the age-old question ‘how did the cow get its horns?’ is still not well understood.” Scientists are only human.  They cannot know everything.  Writing a scientific paper requires a literature search; it is tempting to cite a previous paper as authoritative.  After all, who has the time to independently check every detail?  This is one way that wrong ideas can be perpetuated by the scientific community.  Wrong ideas are especially dangerous when they match the political, philosophical or cultural prejudices of those involved (e.g., Freud, 10/15/2009).  As shown here, it may take centuries for someone to check out an idea and find it false.  What could be next? See also 03/17/2006, “Can Scientific Journals Perpetuate False Ideas?” and 01/09/2006, “Peer Review: Can You Trust a Scientific Journal?” and 06/23/2011, “Wrong Again: Planetologists Embarrassed.” Speaking of citing prior works uncritically and perpetuating wrong ideas, our research in these papers has frequently shown evolutionists citing Darwin’s Origin as reference #1 in their papers.  Don’t respect science because it is published in a peer-reviewed journal; respect evidence.  Don’t respect scientists merely because they are scientists; respect evidence.  Don’t follow paradigms; follow evidence.  And don’t follow your perceptions of what constitutes evidence.  Follow evidence that is evidence indeed.(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Medical aid: minimum benefits to stay

first_imgThe scheme must pay for all prescribed minimum benefit conditions in full and from its risk pool, not from a clients’ savings account. “We are delighted with this ruling,” registrar of medical schemes and CEO of the Council for Medical Schemes, Monwabisi Gantsho, said after Monday’s ruling. Prescribed minimum benefits – the minimum level of diagnosis, treatment and care that a medical scheme is obliged by law to cover – will remain in place in South Africa following a Pretoria High Court ruling. Regulation eight states that medical schemes must pay for the diagnosis, treatment and care of all prescribed minimum benefits conditions in full, or at the price charged by the health care provider. BHF represented a number of medical schemes and administrators and was later joined by the SA Municipal Workers’ Union national medical scheme. The law which prescribed minimum benefits would stand, the council – the first of 13 respondents in the matter – said in a statement. “Prescribed minimum benefits are a cornerstone of the medical schemes act and they were included in legislation for a good reason: to protect beneficiaries against unforeseen ill health that may prove financially catastrophic for them,” Gantsho said. Prescribed minimum benefits are the minimum level of diagnosis, treatment and care that a medical scheme is obliged by law to cover. “As the regulator tasked with looking after the best interests of medical scheme beneficiaries, we are happy that our courts have confirmed the need for such protection in law.” These benefits include 270 serious health conditions such as tuberculosis and cancer, any emergency condition, and 25 chronic diseases, including epilepsy, asthma and hypertension. The ruling came after the Board of Healthcare Funders of SA (BHF) challenged regulation eight of the Medical Schemes Act 131 of 1998 and asked the court to pronounce on it. 8 November 2011 Sapalast_img read more

Nirupam Sen, veteran CPI(M) leader, passes away

first_imgNirupam Sen, senior CPI(M) leader, passed away at a Kolkata hospital in the early hours of Monday following a cardiac arrest, the hospital said. He was 72.The former commerce and industry minister of West Bengal (from 2001 to 2011) leaves behind wife, a son and a daughter.The body will be kept in a mortuary during the day and the final rites will be performed on Wednesday in Bardhaman, his hometown. The body will also be taken to CPI(M) party headquarters and the CITU office on Wednesday.“On Wednesday, Sen’s body will be taken to the CITU office here. After that it will be taken to the party’s State head quarters where people will be allowed to pay their last respects,” sources in the party said.Suffered from kidney ailmentsMr. Sen was impaired in 2013 after a health issue. In the past few years, he could be seen attending party events in a wheelchair.The former Polit Bureau member of the party had been on the life support system in the hospital after his health condition deteriorated in the early weeks of December. He had been critical since then.“Sen was fighting kidney ailments. He was impaired by a cerebral attack in 2013,” an official at the hospital said.Mr. Sen was the driving force behind attempts of industrialisation of the State in the last 10 years of the Left Front government led by former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.Born October 8, 1946, his political career began when he became a member of the CPI(M) during his student years. He became the district secretary of the Students Federation of India, students wing of the party in 1966.Though he started his career as a teacher, he became full-time member of the party in 1968. Mr. Sen was district secretary of Bardhaman district CPI(M) from 1989 to 1995. He became MLA from Bardhaman town in 1987, became central committee member of the party in 1998 and Polit Bureau member in 2008.CondolencesCPI (M) West Bengal’s official twitter handle said, “Red Salute Comrade Nirupam Sen. Long Live Comrade Nirupam Sen. He passed away at 5.10 am on Monday at a private hospital. The body will be kept at peace heaven in Kolkata today. Comrade Nirupam Sen’s last rites will be performed on Wednesday.”West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted out her condolences. “Saddened at the passing away of Nirupam Sen, former Minister of West Bengal. Condolences to his family and well wishers,” she said.CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury termed Mr. Sen a dedicated Communist.”Lal Salam, Comrade Nirupam Sen. We lost him this morning. A dedicated Communist, who devoted his entire life to the cause of the working class and the peasantry. He served in various capacities including as a member, Polit Bureau and a senior Minister in Left Front governments,” Mr Yechury tweeted.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

Stars Support Montblancs Signature For Good

first_imgSaturday, February 23, 2013 marked the official launch of Montblanc’s Signature For Good Collection with UNICEF, whereby Montblanc hopes to provide children access to quality education.This collection reinforces Montblanc’s long-term commitment to children’s education and UNICEF.To celebrate the launch of the collection, Montblanc hosted a pre-Oscar charity brunch with UNICEF at the Hotel Bel-Air. Academy award winner Hilary Swank made a special appearance to speak about the importance of the initiative and shed light on her recent visit to Ethiopia with Montblanc and UNICEF.For every piece in the Signature For Good Collection sold between March 1, 2013 and March 1, 2014 Montblanc will donate part of its proceeds to raise at least $1.5 million to support the UNICEF education programs worldwide.Additional celebrities who lent their support to the cause and attended the brunch were Emmy Rossum, Rosario Dawson (actress), UNICEF Ambassador Alyssa Milano, Louise Roe, Alan Arkin, Billy Zane, Jesse Metcalfe, Peter Fonda, Jesse Williams, Jane Seymour, Clemens Schick, Rachel Griffiths and many more.Montblanc Signature For Good Collection includes a special edition of writing instruments, jewelry and leather accessories, all of which feature a unique brick design symbolizing the joint effort of building a better future for all children and their communities by improving access to quality education, including the construction of schools – brick by brick. For every piece in the “Signature for Good” Collection sold between 1 March 2013 and 31 March 2014, Montblanc will donate part of its proceeds to raise at least $1.5 million dollars to UNICEF’s education programmes, focusing on the most vulnerable children, through the Schools for Africa and Asia initiatives, and programmes in Latin America.With a heritage deeply rooted in the culture of writing, Montblanc has always been committed to the support of education and literacy. For nearly a decade, Montblanc has taken an active role in supporting UNICEF’s efforts to enable more children to learn how to read and write, with several global initiatives together raising over $5 million dollars to date. With the new “Signature For Good” Collection, Montblanc is building on the success of the first “Signature For Good” initiative launched in 2009 and pledging to raise in 2013 at least $1.5 million dollars.For this special Montblanc “Signature For Good” Collection, the design of the Meisterstuck has been revisited with unique detailing. Available as a Classique Fountain Pen, Rollerball, and Ballpoint Pen and in the bolder LeGrand size, the black precious resin writing instrument features a cap top ring designed with the symbolic rectangular brick pattern. The blue sapphire set in this ring is inspired by UNICEF’s blue colour and the work it accomplishes to improve children’s lives. Other pieces in the collection include handcrafted leather wallets, cardholders, a pen pouch and notebook with blue lining decorated with the symbolic brick design. The leather used by Montblanc for the Signature For Good Collection is Italian full-grain printed calfskin. The distinctive pattern on the leather is a series of diagonal lines. Cuff links with reversible surfaces of onyx and stainless steel, bracelets and key rings, all embellished with a sapphire, make up the jewellery selection.Each writing instrument, leather item and jewellery piece features an individual serial number associated with a “brick,” a reference to the building and running of schools: indicating that the owner of the product has a symbolic share in the programme and is contributing to building better and brighter futures one brick at a time. By registering the number on the product at www.montblanc.com/signatureforgood, the owner of the piece can monitor the progress of the initiative and find out the many ways in which UNICEF is improving educational opportunities for children. Not just by building schools but also by transforming them into a safe and protective place where children can learn and play.Lutz Bethge, CEO Montblanc International explains, “With 61 million children in the world not yet enrolled in school, it is our duty to take the necessary steps to empower these children with an education so they have the knowledge, skills and confidence to shape a better future for themselves and their communities. Our aim was to create a collection that not only appeals through its design, style and fine craftsmanship, but that has a greater purpose by enabling real change.”For UNICEF, the ongoing relationship with Montblanc is a meaningful and important one. As Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF says, “Thanks to our partnership with Montblanc and the vital contribution to UNICEF’s work, UNICEF has provided more children a quality education that will significantly better their chances in life. The impact of their investment is truly noticeable and we are grateful for the contribution they make in raising global awareness for UNICEF’s work with vulnerable children around the world.”last_img read more