Mobile BC Ombudsperson coming to Fort St. John

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A BC Ombudsperson will be making an in-person visit to Fort St. John to hear complaints and all appointments are free and confidential.The BC Ombudsperson mobile office gives residents the opportunity to speak on concerns regarding local and provincial government.Thursday, October 3, 2019, the mobile office will be in Fort St. John and you are asked to call 1-800-567-FAIR (3247) to schedule a meeting.- Advertisement -The mobile office will also be available in the following areas;Prince George – September 30, 2019Mackenzie – October 1, 2019Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd – October 2, 2019Dawson Creek – October 3, 2019The office of the Ombudsperson can help determine whether B.C. provincial and local public authorities have acted fairly and reasonably. As an independent statutory office of the provincial legislature, the services are provided free of charge.For forty years Ombudspersons have been helping resolve issues of unfairness. Over 8,000 complaints and enquiries are received annually. They have jurisdiction over a wide range of organizations in B.C. including provincial and municipal governments, health authorities, schools and universities.Advertisementlast_img read more

Is It Possible to Be Too Clean?

first_imgMr. Clean may have a bad immune system.  A story in EurekAlert says kids without enough exposure to infectious agents are at greater risk of autoimmune diseases.  “The cleaner everyone is, the less stimulation their immune system gets,” says [Nora] Sarvetnick [of Scripps Research Institute]. “Their immune system tends to be incomplete.”  Stimulation increases the number of T cells in the body, which “act as a buffer against the emergence of self-reactive T cells by shutting down homeostatic expansion,” a reaction to low T-cell count.  Sarvetnick’s hypothesis contrasts with prevailing opinion that views autoimmune diseases as functions of too much stimulation.  Apparently, segments of our immune systems, like soldiers, need things to practice on.  If there is no target, they practice on you.  “This hypothesis could explain a discrepancy in the number of cases of autoimmune disease in developed and developing countries,” the report says.  “Disease rates have been on the rise in developed countries in the last 50 years compared to their developing neighbors, presumably because people in less developed countries are exposed to more pathogens.”This could lead to a new paradigm about infectious agents.  Since many are not pathogenic, maybe there are interactions between our cells and the environment that are not all bad.  Maybe instead of looking at every germ as an enemy, we should envision some of the microbes as engaging in “free trade” across our borders.  The problem then becomes regulating the commerce and preventing intrusion by terrorists.    Microbes in the environment may be signalling our own bodies with information needed to adapt to changing conditions.  They might be providing a service, therefore, unless overwhelming us in swarms; the job of T-cells may be to regulate their numbers.  Pathogens may be formerly harmless agents gone bad or out of control.    At this point, such thoughts are mostly hypothetical.  Certainly, harmful pathogens are to be avoided like the plague.  But we were created to be able to live outdoors in contact with our environment much of the time.  Cleanliness is still next to godliness, but disinfecting everything and using antibacterial soaps may be going too far.  Unless your kid has known allergies or genetic risk factors, let him or her enjoy pets and explore the wilderness – under your watchful eye.  Protect, but do not overprotect.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

It’s Raining Methane on Titan’s Dunes

first_imgImagine a world where it rains liquid natural gas.  That world is Titan, the Mercury-sized moon of Saturn.  In Science this week,1 Cassini scientists reported large equatorial clouds over Titan’s vast dune fields, and a darkening of the surface after an apparent cloudburst.  Since only hydrocarbons can be liquid at the temperatures there, and methane is the most abundant, they have concluded that it has rained methane on the bizarre moon that has some atmospheric properties familiar to Earth: weather reports.    The story has been reported on Space.com, PhysOrg, and National Geographic, echoing the press release from JPL.  In National Geographic’s article, lead author Elizabeth Turtle estimated that the local weather may have varied from a drizzle to a flood.  Changes in surface brightness after the clouds were noted between October 2010 and January 2011.  According to the paper, the clouds extended over 1000 km but did not leave evidence of standing liquid on the ground.    Tetsuya Tokano from the University of Zoln in Germany commented on this discovery in the same issue of Science.2  The tropics on Earth are lush and wet; “But why are there apparently long dry seasons at Titan’s equator, in contrast to Earth’s tropical rainforest climate?” he asked.  The Cassini scientists reason that due to Titan’s seasons, clouds do not remain near the equator for long.  The rain did not leave lakes or puddles, but probably just wet the surface, including the icy sand grains making up the dunes.1.  Turtle, Lunine et al, “Rapid and Extensive Surface Changes Near Titan�s Equator: Evidence of April Showers,” Science 18 March 2011: Vol. 331 no. 6023 pp. 1414-1417, DOI: 10.1126/science.1201063.2.  Tetsuya Tokano, “Planetary Science: Precipitation Climatology on Titan, ” Science, 18 March 2011: Vol. 331 no. 6023 pp. 1393-1394, DOI: 10.1126/science.1204092.None of the reports discussed the age issue, but it seems seasonal rains like this would have left evidence of vast deposits of sedimentation if cloudbursts have been going on for billions of years.  It appears that the drainage channels are being formed by currently active dynamic weather and are not relics of past epochs.  Unlike Earth, Titan does not appear to have plate tectonics or volcanoes (at least in abundance), and its surface winds are primarily confined to equatorial latitudes.  That means the surface is pretty static.  Methane may cycle through the atmosphere, but not liquid ethane that should have formed a global ocean miles deep after 4.5 billion years of steady precipitation (07/31/2008).    So we have raining methane on Titan, and reigning dogma on Earth.  In fact, it’s reigning cats and dogmas, speaking of the reigning cats in academia who sit on their A.S.S. (age of the solar system) and never budge.  Some stand-up scientist should model what the conditions on Titan would be expected to look like after billions of years of erosion and ask whether the model fits the observations.  It might shed some light where the sun never shines.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa opens its biggest solar plant

first_img24 November 2014The new 96 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar power project in South Africa’s Northern Cape province is now online and will help the country meet its critical electricity needs.The Jasper plant, near Kimberly, is the largest on the continent and can produce 180 000 megawatt-hours of energy a year for South African residents, enough to power up 80 000 homes.The project was completed two months ahead of schedule and is fully operational, SolarReserve, the developer, announced on 11 November.Jasper is located in a solar park near Kimberly that also includes the 75 MW Lesedi solar power project, which came online in May.Also on the cards is the even-bigger 100 MW Redstone concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) tower. SolarReserve, along with partner ACWA Power, is bidding for the planned Redstone CSP project, which will use of SolarReserve’s CSP technology with integrated energy storage.As part of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), a percentage of total project revenues from the Jasper project will be set aside for Enterprise Development and Socio-Economic Development for the benefit of the local communities.“In addition to helping South Africa meet its critical electricity needs, the Jasper Project will bring long lasting economic benefits to the region,” said SolarReserve’s CEO Kevin Smith.80 000 householdsWith more than 325 000 PV modules, the Jasper Project will deliver 180 000 megawatt-hours of renewable electricity a year for South Africa residents – enough to power up to 80 000 households through a 20-year power purchase agreement with Eskom, the South African power utility company.The project also marks Google’s first renewable energy investment in Africa.Thousands of mirrorsCSP uses thousands of mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a central point to generate heat, which in turn is used to generate electricity.More than 10,000 tracking mirrors called heliostats reside in a 1,500 acre field where they reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a large heat exchanger, called a receiver, which sits atop a 550-foot tower.The project was developed by a consortium consisting of SolarReserve, the Kensani Group, an experienced empowerment investment player in South Africa, and Intikon Energy, a South African developer of renewable energy projects.Equity investment and ownership for the project was provided by a group of international and South African shareholders who jointly have experience in all aspects of development,funding and operations of solar energy projects, including the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Intikon Energy, Kensani Capital Investments, Google, the PEACE Humansrus Community Trust, and SolarReserve.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Nagpur gears up for polls

first_imgNagpur: Around 5,000 policemen have been deployed across various parts of the city for the civic polls on Tuesday.According to NMC commissioner Srawan Hardikar, the voting will take place at 2,783 polling booths, out which 54 have been identified as “sensitive booths”. Armed security personnel will be deployed at 162 polling booths across the city. The election is for 151 seats across 38 wards. An NMC press release said, “Nine Deputy Commissioner of Police, 12 Assistant Commissioner of Police, 32 police inspectors, 125 police sub-inspectors and ten platoons of the ‘striking force’ State Reserve Police force will be involved in the security arrangements.” Four Riot Control teams of police and one company of SRPF have been kept as “reserve.”The police have confiscated 124 weapons and asked the owners of 195 weapons to submit them to the police.The vehicle of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari was surrounded by some angry protestors in East Nagpur area on Monday evening. The protestors reportedly belonged to Halba community, which is unhappy with the BJP for not keeping its promise of providing caste certificates. The Minister was escorted to his home safely.last_img read more

Refugees in J&K await citizenship

first_imgThe release of the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam has once again turned the spotlight on the refugee problem in Jammu and Kashmir, with many representatives of displaced people seeking a one-time settlement in the State.Labha Ram Gandhi, president of the West Pakistan Refugees Action Committee, told The Hindu that abrogation of Article 35A, which defined State subject laws and granted special privileges in matters of property and jobs, was the shortest route to access the pending citizenship rights in India.Long fight“If Article 35A goes on August 6 [the day the Supreme Court will hear multiple petitions filed against it], we will get citizenship rights, including the right to vote for the Assembly. We are fighting for our rights since 1947. We are Indians and not Bangladeshis, who need to be thrown out. It’s because of the local governments, a puppet of Pakistan, we failed to get citizenship rights. This government [the Centre] will deliver us justice,” Mr. Gandhi said.The BJP in J&K has been campaigning for full citizenship rights for West Pakistan refugees.These refugees are mainly Hindus, with 80% of them belonging to the Scheduled Castes, who migrated during Partition from Sialkot to J&K. By an assessment, their population of these refugees is estimated at between 2.5 lakh and 3 lakh.Rajiv Chuni, president of SOS International, an NGO fighting for the cause of displaced citizens of erstwhile J&K who shifted into this part during the 1948, 1965 and 1971 wars, said the case of displaced population should be “looked through the humanitarian prism”.“I doubt the sincerity of purpose in Assam. It’s taking a Hindu-Muslim colour. In J&K, I am held back in a territory that is not mine. I am from Mirpur [in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir] and wants the right to vote from there,” Mr. Chuni said.Independent MLA Engineer Rashid, while accusing the Centre of “dislodging Muslims in Assam”, said: “If the Centre wants foreigners to be identified and deported it must start with the West Pakistani refugees in J&K.”last_img read more

Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha election results 2019: highlights

first_imgIt was a big advantage to the BJP late on Thursday, winning 22 seats and leading in 40 out of a total of 80 constituencies. The BSP had won just four seats and the INC and SP winning one each. Uttar Pradesh saw the Bharatiya Janata Party coming to power in the State in 2017, after 15 years. The party made massive gains in the Assembly elections — from a mere 47 seats to 325 seats. While the ruling party in the State hopes to translate these gains into parliamentary seats, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party have joined hands to beat the BJP.The State has 80 Parliamentary constituencies, with 71 of them being held by the BJP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is contesting from Varanasi again, and Home Minister Rajnath Singh is looking to retain his Lucknow seat. Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani is pitted against Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the second time. SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav has held the Mainpuri seat for four consecutive terms.An average of 59% of voters turned up to exercise their right in the State over seven phases.Here are the live updates: Trends as of 3 p.mAccording to data available as of 3 p.m, the BJP continues to lead in the state in 59 constituencies, followed by the BSP with 12 seats. The SP and Congress are leading in 6 and 1 constituencies respectively.The trends thus far are favouring the BJP, with the alliance between the SP, BSP and RLD still trailing the ruling BJP by several seats. Mahagathbandhan helps BSP to stay in the gameBSP leader Mayawati’s decision to forge a Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) with the Samajwadi Party has paid off for the party.The BSP failed to win any seat in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections the party’s tally was reduced to 19 from 80 in the previous Assembly. This election mattered to Ms. Mayawati the most as the BSP would have lost the national party status and the elephant symbol, if the party hadn’t performed well.The BSP-SP alliance contested in 78 out of 80 seats after talks for an alliance with Congress failed. It, however, didn’t field any candidate in Amethi and Rae Baraeli.The Samajwadi Party too has increased its tally to eight from five in 2014. Trends as of 12 noonAccording to official data available as of 12 noon, the BJP continues to lead in the State in 57 constituencies, followed by the BSP with 11 seats. The SP and Congress are leading in 8 and 1 constituencies respectively.The trends thus far are favouring the BJP, with the alliance between the SP, BSP and RLD still trailing the ruling BJP by several seats. Battle for BundelkhandThe BJP looks set to sweep the Bundelkhand region in Uttar Pradesh, repeating its performance of 2014 as well as the 2017 Assembly polls when it won all the 19 Assembly segments here.  Bundelkhand is considered a strong region for the BJP as the Muslim population here is below the state average of 19.5%. The non-Yadav OBC, non-Jatav Dalit and upper caste vote segments kick in for the BJP in this region known for its drought and quarry mining. As per latest figures provided by the Election Commission of India, the BJP is comfortably placed in Jhansi, Hamirpur, Banda and Jalaun. Jalaun is a reserved seat.Read more   Rahul Gandhi trails in AmethiCongress President Rahul Gandhi is trailing behind BJP’s Smriti Irani in the Gandhi family’s bastion, Amethi.The Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance in Uttar Pradesh has not fielded any candidates from Amethi, leaving the field open for a face-off between the Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani and Rahul Gandhi.The BJP in an aggressive campaign in Amethi has accused Rahul Gandhi, the sitting three-time MP from the constituency, of being a “missing MP” who ignored its residents. In 2014, in a close contest with Irani, Rahul Gandhi won the seat by a margin of a little more than one lakh votes.The BJP has claimed that Gandhi’s candidature from a second seat in Wayanad is out of fear of losing Amethi.The Amethi seat was contested by Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi till Rahul Gandhi took over in 2004.  Trends as of 11 a.mAccording to data available as of 11 a.m, the BJP is leading in the state in 57 constituencies, followed by the BSP with 12 seats. The SP and Congress are leading in 8 and 1 constituencies respectively.The trends thus far are favouring the BJP, with the alliance between the SP, BSP and RLD still trailing the ruling BJP by several seats.last_img read more

Undefeated champ Andre Ward retires, desire no longer there

first_imgRobredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Ward released a statement on his website titled “Mission Accomplished ” thanking those who helped him throughout his career and explaining his reasons for his retirement.“I want to be clear — I am leaving because my body can no longer put up with the rigors of the sport and therefore my desire to fight is no longer there,” he wrote. “If I cannot give my family, my team, and the fans everything that I have, then I should no longer be fighting.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingWard is currently rated the best “pound for pound” boxer by Ring Magazine. But in an interview with ESPN’s First Take, he said he no longer wants to do the work leading to his bouts.“People see what I do fight night, they see under the lights, but they don’t see the toil, they don’t seethe grind, they don’t see just the pain, the physical pain that you go through, not just in the fights, but to prepare and to get ready for those battles,” he said. Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims MOST READ Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ “I don’t think about him at all because I’m looking forward (to reaching) my goals,” he said, adding that his last two fights are “history” and “I forgot it already.”He said he would have been happy to get a third fight, but not if he had to wait and take lesser bouts in the interim. Kovalev does wonder if Ward and his handlers are playing psychological games.“They did before second rematch,” he said. “I don’t know. I don’t care at all.”HBO said Ward will work as an analyst on its boxing broadcasts.“Andre Ward ends his boxing career as he only knew how to live it — as a champion at the top,” HBO executive vice president Peter Nelson said. “To watch Ward was to marvel at constant mastery of craft in the ring, to say nothing of his being the consummate role model outside it. The Hall of Fame will be lucky to have him.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors FILE – In this June 17, 2017, file photo, Andre Ward celebrates after defeating Sergey Kovalev during a light heavyweight championship boxing match in Las Vegas. Ward is retiring from boxing with an undefeated record because he no longer has the desire to fight, according to a statement on his website Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)OAKLAND, Calif. — Andre Ward decided to end his career on top.Ward announced Thursday he is retiring from boxing because he no longer has the desire to fight, leaving the sport at age 33 with an undefeated record and the light heavyweight championship.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim “I felt the physicality of the sport, not just in the ring stuff, but the training and the preparation, start to take its toll on me for the last two or three years and I bit down and continued to push through and at this point, it’s time and I know it’s time.”Ward declined other interview requests through his publicist, saying he wanted to celebrate his retirement with family and friends.Ward has won all 32 of his fights, with 16 knockouts. He won the Olympic gold medal as a light heavyweight in 2004. Ward won the WBA super middleweight title in 2009 when he defeated Mikkel Kessler and unified that title in 2011 when he beat Carl Froch in the Super Six super middleweight tournament final.Ward then battled shoulder problems that kept him out of the ring and later went 19 months without a fight because of a protracted legal dispute with his former promoter, the late Dan Goosen.Ward got back in the ring in June 2015. He won the light heavyweight title in a disputed, unanimousdecision against Sergey Kovalev in November 2016, taking all three belts in the process. Ward then beat Kovalev more decidedly in a rematch in June that was stopped in the eighth round.Kovalev said Ward’s retirement will be good for boxing because it will allow “good and strong” fighters to compete for the vacated titles. He also said through his Main Events promoter that he doesn’t concern himself with the possibility that Ward’s retirement won’t stick.ADVERTISEMENT NBA refs can rule reckless closeouts as flagrants or techslast_img read more