Innovative and imaginative ‘Atlas for a City Region’ project launched in Harvard

first_imgAfter 18 months of research including fieldwork in the Northwest of Ireland, Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) formally launched their findings of the ‘Atlas for a City Region’ project at a special event in Harvard University, Massachusetts yesterday (Thursday).The event was attended by the visiting delegation from Ireland North West led by Mayors Cllr. Nicholas Crossan and Cllr. Michaela Boyle from Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council respectively and included Council Chief Executives Seamus Neely and John Kelpie.The project ‘Atlas for a City Region’ was jointly commissioned by both Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council and has been borne out of the unique cross-border collaborative approach adopted by both Councils who are firmly of the view that despite Brexit and indeed the border, their region including Letterkenny, Derry and Strabane has the potential to continue to grow and prosper. The final report is structured around three questions. Is there a cross-border region in the Irish Northwest? How to draw that region on a map? And how might the region develop over the next two hundred years?In answering these questions, twenty-seven students from Harvard University travelled to the Northwest for fieldwork in spring 2019. One group of students gathered evidence of a cross-border region.Working with Niall Kirkwood, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Technology and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Harvard GSD, another twelve students imagined the future of the region in light of Brexit and changing climates.“If we don’t imagine the future, we have no hand in shaping it,” said Professor Gareth Doherty who was the lead investigator for this project and a native of Carndonagh in Co. Donegal. Speaking at the launch, Cllr. Nicholas Crossan, Mayor of Donegal County Council commended the work done by Harvard GSD students under the guidance of Professor Gareth Doherty, Director of the Landscape Architecture program at Harvard GSD.“This has been an exciting project for us to embark upon and I must commend the quality of the work, the imaginative and innovative proposals that have been presented to us and the value of the ideas and propositions that the students, under the guidance of Professor Doherty, have conceived.“This project has been about getting a fresh outside perspective on what the opportunities are for our region. We have ambitious plans for our region and despite the challenges we face, we believe that we have the confidence and resilience to allow our communities and businesses to continue to thrive and prosper.”Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr. Michaela Boyle believes that the concepts and ideas presented by this project will play a vital role in informing the direction of travel for the region and that the hands-on approach taken by Harvard GSD’s students during their visit to the region earlier this year has allowed them to develop a deeper insight into the lives that are lived in the region, the challenges that are faced and most importantly the opportunities that exist.“The students engaged with, not only the terrain and policy-makers, but with our communities and with people living in our communities. “This is very much reflected in many of the proposals presented and I think these experiences have added a greater depth and understanding to the student’s ideas and concepts.“This project has been about imagining our future, it has been about looking at the potential impact of major events such as Brexit, climate change, rising sea levels and higher temperatures and what we can do to mitigate the adverse impact of these events.“This has resulted in a suite of imaginative, innovative and unique proposals that can only enrich plans for the future development of the city region.”The findings from this research will be exhibited in the North West region in Spring 2020. Innovative and imaginative ‘Atlas for a City Region’ project launched in Harvard was last modified: November 15th, 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

Half-time: Rotherham 0 QPR 0 – Rangers fortunate not to be behind at the break

first_imgA combination of Nedum Onuoha and the woodwork saved QPR from going behind in the first half at the New York Stadium.Onuoha produced a superb last-ditch challenge on the half-hour mark to deny Matt Derbyshire when the Rotherham striker looked certain to slot home the rebound after Paul Green’s shot had hit the post.Rangers, in their ninth match under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and still without a win since the Dutchman took over as manager, have been second best so far.They had to defend a succession of corners early on and keeper Alex Smithies, who was passed fit after an elbow injury, produced a save to keep out Joe Newell’s effort.The visitors did go close when Grant Hall’s header from Matt Phillips’ 32nd-minute free-kick was cleared by Danny Ward, who sent a header narrowly wide of the near post at the other end shortly before the break.QPR: Smithies; Perch, Onuoha, Hall, Konchesky; Henry, Luongo; Phillips, Fer, Hoilett; Polter.Subs: Lumley, Angella, Chery, Petrasso, Sandro, Tozser, Mackie.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Little Colorado Grand Falls Much Younger Than Thought

first_imgThe Little Colorado River makes a dramatic drop over a lava cliff in Arizona after going around a lava flow.  Previous estimates dated the lava at the falls at 150,000 years old (150ka).  Now, a team of geologists publishing in GSA Bulletin1 used multiple methods that dated it at no more than 19,600 years old (19.6ka) – one eighth the earlier age estimate.  Here were some of their reasons for the revision:The ca. 150 ka age of the Grand Falls flow provided by whole-rock K-Ar analysis in the 1970s is inconsistent with the preservation of centimeter-scale flow-top features on the surface of the flow and the near absence of physical and chemical weathering on the flow downstream of the falls.  The buried Little Colorado River channel and the present-day channel are at nearly the same elevation, indicating that very little, if any, regional downcutting has occurred since emplacement of the flow. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Many people might expect radiometric dating of lava to be straightforward, but the authors began by casting doubt on the most widely-used methods: “Dating Quaternary mafic volcanic materials has proven to be challenging in many cases,” they said.  “K-Ar and 40Ar/39Ar are the most common dating methods, but results may be difficult to interpret because so little potassium is present in these rocks and because the rocks may also contain excess Ar from mantle or crustal sources.”    They employed four independent methods that more or less converged on the approx. 20,000 year figure.  That would seem to settle the matter, but in their discussion, they said: “The question remains of how to decide what relative weight to apportion to each dating technique in trying to accurately define when the lava dam formed.  Each technique includes its own set of assumptions and uncertainties.”    Perhaps eyeball dating should be given more weight.  The authors took notice of how little erosion had occurred in this area.  They estimated downcutting rates, but then said of four lava flows in the area, “These emplacement units lack evidence of physical erosion or chemical weathering, both within the stack of flows and at the basal contact of flows with underlying columnar basalt.  The flows may simply represent overlapping lobes of a single lava flow.”  Speaking of dust on top of the flow, they said, “All features not covered by eolian [wind-blown] sediment appear to represent original or nearly original surfaces of lava that have been little weathered or eroded, if at all, since their formation.”    Considering that whole cities have been embedded in dust in recorded history, perhaps even 20,000 years is too much.  They ended by discussing possible reasons why the earlier estimate was so much older, and warned of misinterpretation because excess argon may be a bigger problem than previously realized.  Even so, “However common excess Ar may be in lava of the volcanic field, caution is advised in all time-related generalizations about the growth of the field, including interpretation of the 100 m/m.y. rate of regional downcutting calculated from whole-rock K-Ar ages for samples from the two older lava dams along the Little Colorado River.”  Does anybody really know how old this lava flow is?1Champion et al., “Multiple constraints on the age of a Pleistocene lava dam across the Little Colorado River at Grand Falls, Arizona,” Geological Society of America Bulletin, doi: 10.1130/B25814.1, : Vol. 118, No. 3, pp. 421�429.Unless you subscribe to the Creation Research Society, Institute for Creation Research or the Creation Technical Journal, you may have been completely unaware of the quality of young-earth creation research that has been independently published for decades.  Such research is so completely barred from the usual journals, creation geologists, astronomers and biologists have continually published their own work, with a few exceptions making it into the mainstream.  Many of their papers are just as rigorous and scholarly as those in the secular journals.  They would be indistinguishable except for the rags they’re printed in.    Recently, Carl Froede and Emmett Williams investigated the same Grand Falls area.  This gives you an opportunity to compare one example of OEE (old-earth evolutionist) and one example of YEC (young-earth creationist) interpretations of the same spot.  Publishing in Creation Research Society Quarterly, Froede and Williams found much more evidence for youthfulness of the area than admitted in the GSA paper.  They found delicate structures, very little erosion of the basalt, and lack of evidence of substantial weathering.  Their common-sense approach based on clear, observable features was supported by photographs and measurements.  They challenged,The flow appears to be of a recent origin by nature of its excellent preservation.  This is empirical evidence.  Why do uniformitarians force the time issue by adopting inappropriate age-dates?.  Unfortunately, they are forced to interpret and skew data in an attempt to bolster an archaic, unrealistic, and nonscientific model of Earth history.Note that the Grand Falls lava flow does not appear any older than lava flows known to have been emplaced within historic times.    One other thing.  How many earth science students were told confidently by evolutionary geologists in the 1970s that this lava flow was 150,000 years old?  Did any of the students question the Biblical chronology based on what is now known to be false?  Should any of today’s students trust the new estimate of 20,000 years, when the authors admit that “caution must be exercised in interpreting” dating methods?  When fallible experts cannot agree, when they keep changing their numbers, when they are forced into their positions by a priori assumptions about the age of the earth, and come up with conclusions that go against common sense, shouldn’t new ideas be given a fair hearing?(Visited 41 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

USDA to reopen FSA offices while shutdown continues

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday that all Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices nationwide will soon reopen to provide additional administrative services to farmers and ranchers during the lapse in federal funding.  Certain FSA offices have been providing limited services for existing loans and tax documents since January 17, and will continue to do so through January 23.  Beginning January 24, however, all FSA offices will open and offer a longer list of transactions they will accommodate.Additionally, Secretary Perdue announced that the deadline to apply for the Market Facilitation Program, which aids farmers harmed by unjustified retaliatory tariffs, has been extended to February 14.  The original deadline had been January 15.  Other program deadlines may be modified and will be announced as they are addressed.“At President Trump’s direction, we have been working to alleviate the effects of the lapse in federal funding as best we can, and we are happy to announce the reopening of FSA offices for certain services,” Perdue said.  “The FSA provides vital support for farmers and ranchers and they count on those services being available.  We want to offer as much assistance as possible until the partial government shutdown is resolved.”The U.S. Department of Agriculture has temporarily recalled all of the more than 9,700 FSA employees to keep offices open from 8 am to 4:30 pm weekdays beginning January 24.  President Trump has already signed legislation that guarantees employees will receive all backpay missed during the lapse in funding.For the first two full weeks under this operating plan (January 28 through February 1 and February 4 through February 8), FSA offices will be open Mondays through Fridays.  In subsequent weeks, offices will be open three days a week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, if needed to provide the additional administrative services.Agricultural producers who have business with the agency can contact their FSA service center to make an appointment.FSA can provide these administrative services, which are critical for farmers and ranchers, because failure to perform these services would harm funded programs.  FSA staff will work on the following transactions:Market Facilitation Program.Marketing Assistance Loans.Release of collateral warehouse receipts.Direct and Guaranteed Farm Operating Loans, and Emergency Loans.Service existing Conservation Reserve Program contracts.Sugar Price Support Loans.Dairy Margin Protection Program.Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage.Livestock Forage Disaster.Emergency Assistance Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program.Livestock Indemnity Program.Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.Tree Assistance Program.Remaining Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program payments for applications already processed.Transactions that will not be available include, but are not limited to:New Conservation Reserve Program contracts.New Direct and Guaranteed Farm Ownership Loans.Farm Storage Facility Loan Program.New or in-process Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program applications.Emergency Conservation Program.Emergency Forest Rehabilitation Program.Biomass Crop Assistance Program.Grassroots Source Water Protection Program.With the Office of Management and Budget, USDA reviewed all of its funding accounts that are not impacted by the lapse in appropriation. We further refined this list to include programs where the suspension of the activity associated with these accounts would significantly damage or prevent the execution of the terms of the underling statutory provision. As a result of this review, USDA was able to except more employees. Those accounts that are not impacted by the lapse in appropriation include mandatory, multiyear and no year discretionary funding including FY 2018 Farm Bill activities.Updates to available services and offices will be made during the lapse in federal funding on the FSA shutdown webpage (https://www.fsa.usda.gov/help/shutdowninfo).  Programs managed by FSA that were re-authorized by the 2018 farm bill will be available at a later date yet to be determined.last_img read more

The Two Kinds of Tomorrows

first_imgThere are two beliefs about tomorrows.The tomorrow that most people believe in is the tomorrow where they are different than they are today.In that tomorrow, these people are going to be the kind of person that keeps the commitments that they make to themselves. They are going to be much stronger tomorrow than they are today, and they will have greater willpower. In that tomorrow, they will longer need to be comfortable and they will consistently take the actions that today they avoid. But when tomorrow arrives, these folks find that they haven’t changed much. They hope that the next tomorrow will be better.The second kind of beliefs about tomorrow is different. The folks that believe in this tomorrow arrive there different than they are today. They are much stronger, having done the work they needed to do today in order to produce a better version of themselves for tomorrow. By exercising their willpower today, they increased it, and their capacity grows from day to day. The people who work for this kind of tomorrow sacrifice comfort today for the results that they need tomorrow. By never procrastinating and doing instead what is necessary today, the people who believe in this kind tomorrow arrive there to find themselves transformed.You can very easily run out of days to do the things that you most want to do.last_img read more

Ukraine effect works for Indian athletes

first_imgPeople were mocking at the slogan of ‘Incredible India’ for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. On Monday, at the Nehru Stadium, it was ‘Incredible Indians’ as the muscular women answering to the names of Krishna Poonia, Harwant Kaur and Seema Antil swept gold, silver and bronze in discus. When the Indian athletes registered below par timings and distances in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, there was a sense of outrage. Foreign exposure, foreign coaches and still nothing to show was what angered the athletics buffs at home.Two years later, when the Athletics Federation of India has its running battles with the sports ministry over annual affiliation because of certain formalities not being fulfilled, we have to celebrate the achievements of our track and field stars.Agreed, the much-hyped Tintu Luka, coached by P.T. Usha, ran a great 600 metres and then did badly in the last 200 metres and could not win a medal. But then, tonight every sports lover inside the Nehru Stadium was treated to incredible stuff from the incredible women.In the absence of world champion Dani Samuels of Australia, who pulled out of the CWG because of ‘health and safety reasons’, nobody would have thought the Indian troika were the favourites. In fact, expectations were that it would be possibly a fight between South Africa’s Elizna Naude and New Zealand’s Beatrice Faumuna.However, Krishna Poonia’s first effort of 61.51 metres was electrifying and what followed was a pure Indian assault. Coming back to what the Indians have been eating, it is no secret these athletes keep going to Ukraine – Kiev and Yalta – for periodic training.advertisementThey have said the atmosphere for training there is good and food is also quite nice. However, these reasons seem a bit strange as none can complain we can’t provide good food in India.Then again, unlike our Indian wrestlers, boxers and shooters who have been competing in the international arena in a big way, our track and field stars have been very selective in where they competed. In fact, the frequent trips to Ukraine had become a bit mysterious to those who follow athletics closely at home.The ‘Ukraine effect’ has worked wonders and perhaps people need to find out more about it so that other Indian athletes can also excel. Certainly, Indian boxing can do with some such help as the showing this time around has been lacklustre.last_img read more