Exciting Men’s Shed showcase to take place at Castlefin CPI

first_imgMen’s Sheds from all over Donegal will be showcasing their wares in the CPI in Castlefin on Wednesday as part of National Reuse Month.“Men’s Sheds have been to the fore over the last number of years in reusing materials and upcycling products,” says Suzanne Bogan, Waste Awareness Officer with Donegal County Council.She continued: “And we are delighted to be joining forces with the Men’s Sheds again this year to help raise awareness during Reuse Month on how everyone can do a bit more for the environment by reusing products and materials”. “The showcase will be a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about how you can reuse products and what we can all do at home, at work and at play to manage our waste better.“It’s all about valuing the things we already own,” says Bogan. “By using and reusing it for as long and as often as possible. This avoids the need to extract raw materials, manufacture and distribute new stuff, and avoids waste thereby cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.“Donating, refurbishing and repairing items are all forms of reuse and offer people a chance to save or make money, get creative, learn a new skill and be environmentally conscious.“For instance, getting shoes resoled rather than replacing them, or borrowing books from the library all go a long way in cutting down waste and greenhouse gas emissions and we are asking everyone to go further in October and beyond by prioritising repair, buying second hand and upcycled, borrowing, swapping and refilling,” explains Suzanne. “The Donegal Men’s Shed Showcase promises to be a great event and it’s an opportunity for anyone who might be interested in finding out more about Men’s Sheds, what they do and how to get more involved,” says Kathleen Bonner, Donegal Men’s Shed Co-ordinator. The event is being supported by the Irish Men’s Shed Association and Barry Sheridan CEO of the Irish Men’s Shed Association will be in attendance.This is one of a number of initiatives taking place during Reuse Month and other initiatives include the School Bikes Africa Campaign where old or unused bicycles can be dropped off at any of the six Donegal County Council/Bryson Recycling Centres in Dungloe, Carndonagh, Letterkenny, Milford, Stranorlar and Laghey or at any Men’s Shed in Donegal.There is also a chance to take part in the national #UpcycleChallenge19 were the challenge is to be imaginative and create something new out of something old and to breathe new life into an old or unwanted item or material.The event will run from 11.30am to 2.30pm on Wednesday 23 October, everyone is welcome and admission is free. To enter the competition, apply online at mywaste.ie and the closing date for entries is 25 October.For more tips on how you can reuse more at home, work and play visit mywaste.ieExciting Men’s Shed showcase to take place at Castlefin CPI was last modified: October 20th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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)last_img read more

Tackling the silent five

first_imgPopular Olympic medallist Caster Semenya was on hand to share health tips with the walkers. Total South Africa takes the health of its staff seriously.(Images: Janine Erasmus) The Johannesburg Zoo combines health and conservation through the regular events and walks for various causes that it hosts.(Image: City of Johannesburg)MEDIA CONTACTS • Jessica ChadinhaAccount manager, Jenni Newman PR+27 82 777 5427 or +27 11 506 7350RELATED ARTICLES• R2-million injection for SA zoo• SA wildlife on the big screen• Big five cat moves into new reserve• A paradise for rescued birds• Boost for trucking wellness driveJanine ErasmusThe Johannesburg Zoo and global fuel company Total South Africa recently teamed up to encourage South Africans to get healthy, by organising a fun walk for employees and their families, with an emphasis on combating the so-called soundless five medical conditions – hypertension or high blood pressure, hyperlipi­daemia or high cholesterol, obesity, blood sugar, and HIV.These conditions may be present without any accompanying symptoms, hence their description as silent killers.According to the Government Employee Medical Scheme (Gems), even people who consider themselves to be fit can be affected, and high blood pressure and cholesterol as well as diabetes, especially, can develop without any obvious signs. These conditions are often discovered almost by accident, and only after already causing damage.The Total walk extended over five kilometres of winding zoo roads and paths – one kilometre for each medical condition.“These five conditions need to be given much more emphasis as they have a major impact on the long-term health of our staff,” explained Musa Langa, Total South Africa’s wellness manager.Knowing that these conditions are among the factors that can lead to absenteeism and under-productivity, the company has taken a firm interest in the health of its staff. During 2011 it ran a wellness challenge, providing staff with a number of tools with which to improve their personal health. These included access to doctors, dieticians and individual programmes.The company also runs an employee assistance programme which helps staff to manage issues such as finance, health, stress, and work/life balance. If employees are diagnosed with HIV, Total South Africa covers the cost of antiretroviral medication. The company also has a gym, car wash, convenience shop and ATM at its head office in Johannesburg.Total South Africa was recently certified as one of the country’s best employers for 2012/2013 – reasons cited include excellent working conditions, a dedication to transformation, and recognition of the importance of inclusion and diversity.A full range of tests was available at the zoo after the walk, for all five conditions, with experts available to give advice on areas that needed improvement.Celebrities weigh inFormer world junior flyweight champion “Baby” Jake Matlala and Olympic silver medallist Caster Semenya were on hand to encourage the walkers.“Keep exercising and eat healthy food,” said Semenya. “Stay away from junk food, and make sure you have a good breakfast.”She added that people should believe in themselves and their capabilities.Semenya overcame controversy in 2009, when her gender came into question after she dominated the track in her world debut season – she was just 18 at the time. At the 2012 London Olympics she achieved a silver medal in the 800m final, to the delight of the nation.Matlala said it’s important that people know the different ways in which they can boost their health, such as these five vital checks.“Days like this are important,” he said, “where companies are encouraging people to get healthy. Follow a good diet, and do exercise – you don’t have to run, but even a family walk on Saturdays or Sundays will help.”Matlala also advised parents to get involved with their children’s wellbeing, and lead by example. “We must teach the young ones, so that they can start their good habits early in life.”An unhealthy nationIn South Africa the rate of heart disease is high – every eight minutes a South African has a heart attack, and every fourth one is fatal.Results of a 2010 survey conducted by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline reveal that 61% of South Africans are overweight, obese or morbidly obese. In addition, 70% of women over the age of 35 and 59% of black women over the age of 15 are overweight or obese. Young people are affected too, as the survey revealed weight problems in a worrying 25% of teenagers and 17% of children under the age of nine.About six-million South Africans suffer from hypertension, and five-million have high blood cholesterol levels.All of these conditions can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle, and if they are already present, can be managed through good eating and regular exercise.Knowledge is powerKnowing the right numbers is important, says Gems. Blood pressure should be lower than 120/80, and cholesterol levels should be lower than five. People with a cholesterol reading higher than seven should visit a doctor, who may prescribe medication and a strict diet.In terms of weight, experts advise a body mass index of less than 25kg per metre of height squared. A higher reading means that the heart may be under unnecessary strain, and can lead to high blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as diabetes.The high blood sugar levels found in people with diabetes can damage the heart’s blood vessels – this could eventually result in angina or even a heart attack. A blood sugar reading of between 3.3 and 6.5 is normal.In the case of HIV, prevention is better than cure, and there are a number of various protective strategies against contracting the disease. Living a responsible lifestyle is the main factor, which includes the use of condoms always, even during pregnancy, and keeping sexual partners to a minimum.last_img read more

A Bright Start for smart kids

first_imgBright Start facilitates the placing and continued education of the children in a number of schools with high educational standardsA Cape Town based non-profit organisation is offering children from poor communities, such as Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg, in Hout Bay, a brighter future by placing them in quality schools with excellent educational standards.Schools in townships across South Africa lack resources and competent staff, and offer low-quality education.The Bright Start Education Support Programme identifies children most in need of stronger educational support, and has placed 34 children, ranging from ages three to 12, in private schools in and around Hout Bay.Carolynne Stelling, executive director at Bright Start says, “Our intention is that through this programme, by ensuring quality, holistic education to these children, they will develop into active, concerned and able citizens who will go back into their communities and impact positively on those around them.”The programme’s success hinges on a three-way partnership between the schools, parents and Bright Start, holding all parties responsible for the children’s performance and using sponsorship funds appropriately.She says the organisation wants to “break the poverty cycle; one child at a time, one family at a time”.COMMUNITY OUTREACHBright Start also holds an outreach programme for residents in the communities in which it works.The workshops focus on nutrition, basic child healthcare, substance abuse amongst the youth, and basic budgeting, among others. The workshops also encourage parents to become more involved in their children’s education, like helping with homework.PLAY YOUR PART: BECOME A SPONSORWith the help of the public the organisation’s holistic approach to early child development and education, Bright Start can make a difference in the education of more and more children When the organisation was started in 2008, it had seven children on its programme; with sponsorship for promising students, the number has grown and while helping students improve on their academics, also exposes them to extra-mural activities not available at township schools.Now Stelling says, “We have eight new children on the programme, three of whom are entirely unfunded. The programme cost is R35 000 per year and we ask sponsors to commit to a minimum of two years but preferably more.“Funding shortages are always a challenge, and will continue to be so, even as funding grows. The children are the heart of what we do and knowing that they now have the opportunity of a bright future gives us the greatest pleasure.”To volunteer or offer a sponsorship, contact Bright Start via email, call it on +27 (0)21 790 0458, or visit the organisation’s website to learn more about getting involved.last_img read more

Scott Metzger, July 24

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We’ve actually missed some of these rains. This last week we had about eight tenths but to the south we really didn’t get hardly anything. The northern part of the county got around 2 inches. We are almost at 8 inches of rain for the month of July so far and the ground is still wet. We have plenty of moisture and we have a pretty good chance of having a good corn crop here.We sprayed probably half of the corn so far and the rest of it will be sprayed with fungicide this week on Tuesday and Wednesday. We had some fields with northern corn leaf blight and it has been corn after corn for a long time. Just about everything it seems like has gray leaf spot. We have a found a couple fields with common rust. When you get this kind of weather everything starts popping up.I am surprised I haven’t seen many issues as far as diseases in our beans. We’ve got some fields that are way too wet and the beans are yellow. I think our beans are to the point where yields are being hurt from as much rain as we’ve had. Some of these fields that lay wet are starting to hurt a little bit, but we have been scouting for disease and haven’t seen any yet. If you go down around Chillicothe, frogeye is running rampant down there. Our beans are in the R1, R2, or R3 stages. They are at the point where we need to spray if we are gong to spray. This last week the last of the corn started tasseling and pollinating. It was a bit warm but we had plenty of moisture.We have a great stand of double-crop beans. We will probably spray those this week. We were trying to decide whether to spray Xtend or just Roundup on them. We have some Plenish beans and I haven’t seen any issues in them with dicamba damage. In one field there is just a driveway splitting the Plenish on one side and the Xtend on the other. We didn’t have any issue with it.last_img read more

Crackdown in Tunisia: This Week in Online Tyranny

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts curt hopkins A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#TWiOT#web Tunisian Protests Result in Massive Online Crackdown. On December 17th, a young unemployed university graduate, Mohamed Bouazizi, burned himself to death in Sidi Bouzid to protest the economic situation for young people. His death inspired large protests and resulted in the government killing of three protesters so far. With a non-existent media, Tunisians took to the internet to share information on the protests. This resulted in a savage censoring backlash by the Tunisian government. Anonymous, the 4chan-allied, Wikipedia-defending hacker group, subsequently targeted the government’s official site and that of the prime minister, shutting both down. Tunisians are being supported by bloggers around the world, especially in the Arab world. It has been absent, however, in the western media. This should, alas, be no great shock. On the plus side, as DemocracyWorks notes, are the development of the anti-censorship protest song in Tunisia, and protest hip-hop. Saudi Arabia to increase official online repression. Two months after banning Facebook for “religious reasons,” the kingdom, already one of the most repressive places on the planet, is introducing new rules. They include mandatory licensing for all blogs and websites, as well as government-approved editors. Anyone wishing to start an online publication will need “documents testifying to their good behaviour.” It’s almost funny. Almost. Taiwan restricts free expression. One of the trends we predicted, that of democracies aping restrictive countries like China, is in full flower. The latest to join the Shutup Club is Taiwan. In a unique combination of direct government pressure on the media and government-funded advertising, Taiwan’s media is becoming more docile. Freedom House has downgraded the country’s free speech rating. Whether this will inspire a flowering of alternative online expression or muzzle it as well remains to be seen. The GoldenState is Tin. California’s “mellow vibe” has never seemed quite real to anyone who’s spent any time there, and the latest legal moves in the state should dispel the notion of a live-and-let-live state for good. If you are arrested now in California, the police may, pursuant to a California Supreme Court verdict, seize and root through your cell phone without a warrant. Not satisfied with that, the CA legislature has also passed Senate Bill 1411, a law making “epersonation,” masquerading as someone else online, a crime that can send you to jail for a year. Bolivia makes racism-based censorship more palatable. Bolvia’s “anti-racism” law, a cheap screen for censorship against troublesome journalists, has been criticized widely. Disappointingly, Reporters Without Borders has praised the change in language of the new law. Yes, it’s more specific. But the real issue is that speech is being punished, it’s aimed at media organs and it still provides a handy tool for prosecution of uncooperative newspapers, websites and broadcast stations. Racism should be argued down with words and with actions – if a publication is a racist rag, withdraw your patronage, your advertising, your cooperation. But send a government (you know – the guys with the guns?) against it and you’d best start practice throwing your hands up over your head and remaining perfectly still – you’ll find that yourself racist the minute you disagree with the reigning regime. China arrests blogger for being a dirty bird. Given that China arrested a bride on her wedding day for a seven-word retweet, no one should be surprised that the country’s government is as humorless as it is repressive. But as if to make 100% certain that no one is, China has arrested Lin Chenglong, a Guandong resident who wrote a blog called “Eating, Drinking, Whoring and Gambling.” Please note: Lin was not arrested for soliciting a prostitute. Neither prostitutes, pimps nor madams were arrested. You can make a very good case that prostitution is deleterious for all participants (if you want). But that’s not why Lin was arrested. He was arrested for “spreading obscene material on the internet.” He was arrested, in other words, because China’s leadership are a bunch of repressive grannies. last_img read more

NFL Week 8 Elo Ratings And Playoff Odds

The Denver Broncos, who moved into the top slot in our Elo ratings last week, widened their advantage over the rest of the league in Week 7. Denver looked dominant in beating the San Francisco 49ers, who had been the No. 3 Elo team. The No. 2 Seattle Seahawks lost — greatly imperiling their playoff chances — as did the No. 5 San Diego Shargers. The No. 4 team, the New England Patriots, barely won against an awful opponent, the New York Jets.So, it’s time to pose the question Aaron Schatz asked at Football Outsiders. Is this Denver team merely the best in the league — or one of the best teams ever?The Broncos’ Elo rating is 1683, which translates to being favored by a touchdown in a neutral-site game against an average opponent. It’s also a fairly typical rating for the best team in the league at this point in the season. On average since 1970, the highest-rated team through Week 7 had an Elo rating of 1686, almost exactly matching Denver’s this year.Let’s pick some nits with the Broncos: They’ve lost once this year. They had a bye week. They fizzled in the second half against the Indianapolis Colts. And they were crushed in last year’s Super Bowl.Is this unfair? Except perhaps for the Super Bowl part, of course it is. Denver’s loss came on the road at Seattle and may have literally been the result of a coin flip. Beating Indianapolis by any margin looks more impressive given how well the Colts have played since. It’s not the Broncos’ fault that the schedulers gave them an early-season bye (and thereby one less opportunity to improve their Elo rating). More sophisticated statistical treatments — from Football Outsiders’ DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) to Benjamin Morris’s assessment of Peyton Manning’s clutchness — tend to have a higher opinion of the Broncos than Elo does.But if we’re judging whether the Broncos are a historically great team, we have the right — nay, the duty — to be very, very picky.This is not just an academic question. In the table below, I’ve taken the teams that had the highest Elo rating through Week 7 in each season since 1970. Eleven of the 25 teams that rated higher than the Broncos — or 44 percent — would go on to win the Super Bowl. But just two of the 19 (11 percent) that rated below the Broncos did.A lot of this is because even small advantages can compound over time. It’s not as though we can say with all that much confidence whether this year’s Broncos are better than, say, the 1998 edition of the team under John Elway. (Elo would have the 1998 Broncos favored, but by only 1.5 points). But a team that’s ever-so-slightly better is more likely to make the playoffs as a division champion rather than a wild card, more likely to have playoff games at home and to get a first-round bye, and more likely to win those playoff games once they occur. A team that’s a 70 percent favorite in each playoff game, and that needs to win three games to win the Super Bowl because it gets a bye, has a 34 percent chance of winning a championship. A team that’s a 60 percent favorite and that has to win four times has just a 13 percent chance.Elo puts the Broncos’ chances of winning the Super Bowl at 18 percent, somewhere between the two groups. Their Thursday-night home game against San Diego will be highly informative. A win for Denver would put it in a dominant position in the AFC West — it’d be a game-and-a-half ahead of the Chargers and at least two games ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs (with a tiebreaker advantage against each division rival). A loss to the Chargers would instead place Denver half a game behind San Diego with a tiebreaker disadvantage (and with the remaining game between the teams to be played in San Diego).The Broncos will probably make the playoffs as a wild card even if they lose their division, but the Super Bowl is much harder to win under those circumstances. The Broncos would have to play an extra game, and they’d have to play on the road. In our simulations, the Broncos won the Super Bowl 23 percent of the time as division champs but just 4 percent of the time as a wild card team. There’s not only playoff leverage riding on this game; there’s a lot of Super Bowl leverage at stake.Here are the current playoff odds for the other NFL teams:The Colts, who were briefly underdogs to make the playoffs after starting off their year 0-2 (Seahawks fans can take solace in that), are now 95 percent favorites to do so after having won every game since. Some of this is because the Colts are very good, but just as important is their extraordinarily weak division. The Houston Texans project to a record of 7-9, the Tennessee Titans 6-10, and the Jacksonville Jaguars (despite finally winning last week) 4-12. In our simulations, the Colts won the AFC South 82 percent of the time they finished with a 9-7 record and 62 percent of the time they went 8-8. Even a 7-9 record would often be enough to get them in. Andrew Luck is both lucky and good.Otherwise, the AFC playoff chase is more scrambled than last week. The Cincinnati Bengals are winless in their past three games (they managed a tie against the Carolina Panthers) and down to a 54 percent chance of making the playoffs, in danger of being lapped by Kansas City (41 percent) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (33 percent). Their matchup this week, at home against the division rival Baltimore Ravens, is another high-stakes game.The NFC, almost inevitably, will feature a ferocious battle for the wild card positions. Dallas, Philadelphia, Green Bay, Detroit, Arizona, San Francisco and Seattle all have somewhere between a 22 and 32 percent chance of winning a wild card. Three of those teams (barring a miraculous run by a team like the Chicago Bears) will win their divisions, but that leaves four teams fighting for two slots.The Arizona Cardinals, incidentally, have a chance to become the first team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium. Although Arizona is probably weaker than either San Francisco or Seattle, it has a leg up in the NFC West by virtue of its 5-1 start. Elo gives the Cardinals a 15 percent chance of making the Super Bowl and an 8 percent chance of winning it.Elo point spreadsRecord against point spread: 49-50-3 (8-7 in Week 7)Straight-up record: 74-31-1 (10-5 in Week 7)Even if we thought you should bet based on these odds — and we don’t — it wouldn’t be in cases where bookmakers have a team as a 2.5-point favorite and Elo has the same team favored by, say, two points. There are a lot of games like that this week and fewer differences between Vegas and Elo than in past weeks. The biggest split of the week is in an unwatchable game: Elo has the Titans favored by three points at home against Houston, while Vegas has the Texans as one-point favorites.The Washington Redskins are also a perpetual punching bag for Elo, and the system would have you take the Dallas Cowboys against them (even as 9.5-point favorites, as Vegas has the Cowboys). As Washington was on the verge of losing to the Titans last week — it pulled the game out but didn’t cover the point spread — The Wall Street Journal’s Neil King tweeted that Washington was struggling to beat “the third worst team in the league,” presumably referring to Tennessee. Actually, Elo has Washington rated as the third-worst team! Washington went 11-5 against the point spread in 2012 and perhaps is still getting too much credit for it; it’s 7-16 against the spread since then. The team’s straight-up record, 5-18, is even worse. read more

Mother Nature Saves Savannah State Against Florida State

Savannah State just could not keep up with Florida State.Clearly, Mother Nature has a heart. How else do you explain that thunderstorms forced the premature end of the carnage of Savannah State’s meeting with Florida State, a match up many believed should not have happened in the first place?The Tigers from the quaint Georgia coastal town had to feel like a condemned prisoner receiving a reprieve. Florida State led 55-0 with still 8:59 left in the third quarter. Clearly, the Seminoles were on their way to covering the largest betting line in college football history, which at one point last week reached 70 ½ points.But two long delays because of severe thunderstorms of 56 minutes and 40 minutes – and a forecast for more – forced officials to call the game, a reprieve of sorts for Savannah State.Yes, the Tigers lost 55-0. But it could have been worse. It likely would have been worse.Worse, even, than the 84-0 crushing Savannah State suffered last week at Oklahoma State. Why would the small school from the historically black college conference, the MEAC, endure such beatings?It was paid $860,000, that’s why. That goes a long way toward meeting its $5.1 million athletic budget. So, from a Savannah State business perspective, the end justified the means.“It would be really good for my perspective at Savannah if those two teams play for the national championship and you guys call me for my evaluation of the game because I’m the only one who has seen them both,” Savannah State coach Steve Davenport said. “But like I said before, it’s really a helpless feeling. Those two programs and those players are really, really tremendous players.“We knew we were coming in a bit overmatched. Now we just hopefully got to get this thing turned around.”But what about those who bet on the game? According to pregame.com, a sports gambling website, all wagers on the game will be refunded — college football bets aren’t official until 55 minutes have been played.Before weather jumped in to save Savannah State, Florida State racked up 255 yards in the first quarter while the Tigers were minus-20 yards.Florida State led 28-0 seven minutes into the game, 35-0 in the first quarter and 48-0 at halftime. The out-manned Tigers could do nothing to stop the No. 6 team in the country. But Mother Nature did. read more