City of Life newly constructed water processing plant at Upper Caldwell in Monrovia– Urges GOVT to Treat Liberian Business entities with dignityCity of Life Mineral Water Incorporated (CLMWI) after a week’s closure and the seizure of vital equipment from its facilities on Bushrod Island will take legal action against the National Public Health Institute (NPHI).In a strongly worded statement at a press conference in Monrovia on Sunday, proprietor Omaru Sheriff told newsmen that a legal team has been assembled to seek redress in the court. In a writ of summons issued on July 21 at the New Kru Town Magisterial Court, Sheriff claimed an action of economic sabotage against NPHI. The writ alleged that NPHI’s action is a violation of 14.51, 15.80 and 14.27 of the New Penal Code Law of Liberia.Accordingly, the writ said officials of NPHI must appear in court to show cause why they should not be held for economic sabotage against the company. The statement said CLMWI is a reputable and legitimate business entity that is in compliance with the General Business Law of Liberia and policies governing the water industry and all safety, environmental, health and sanitary standards established by the government.The court document said the CLMWI cooperated under the watchful eyes of the joint inspection and mapping exercise of its establishment in the protection of packaged drinking water for commercial purposes in Liberia. Besides, it noted that as a one hundred percent Liberian owned company and being mindful of the health and safety of the general public, CLMWI has consistently seen to it that the company complied with all regulatory agencies overseeing the sachet water industry.“Our company has come out successfully, with all of the preconditions, qualifications, and benchmarks that are required to satisfy prior to being allowed to continue production,” the statement said.The writ said the CLMWI has on many occasions disagreed with an increment in the price of mineral water in the country owing to fact that such increment would hurt many Liberians. Court documents quoted the complainant, however, as saying that the recent action by the NPHI is a gross witch hunt and intimidation of a legitimate Liberian business that continues to offer safe drinking water, and is a duly registered business entity in the country.Mr. Sheriff told reporters that the action by the NPHI was not a collective decision of stakeholders in the water sector. He further told reporters that those that are out to hike the price of mineral water want to punish the CLMWI by using some Liberian government agencies in the country. Proprietor Sheriff called on the government to swiftly intervene and bring the situation under control.Mr. Sheriff recalled that on February 13, 2017, the National Standard Laboratory conducted its testing relative to the quality of CLMWI water and declared that the water was safe for drinking. Mr. Sheriff has urged the government and stakeholders in the water sector to treat Liberian businesses with dignity and protect them against some greedy minded Liberians in the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Steven Gerrard slipped to let Demba Ba in to score 1 The season is barely two months old, but already rumours are circulating about next year’s kits and Liverpool’s will reportedly be made by New Balance.The current manufacturer, Warrior Football, is set to be rebranded under the New Balance name, leading to a new Reds shirt.The first Liverpool New Balance kit mock up is doing the rounds online, while there has been a mixed reaction from Kopites…
A Lifford father-of-three found with €120,000 worth of cannabis in a garage at his home has walked free from court.Jason Mahon leaving Letterkenny Circuit Court. Pic by Northwest Newspix.Jason Mahon, 39, was charged with the cultivation of cannabis for sale or supply at his home on 1st November, 2012. Gardai raided Mahon’s home and found 126 cannabis plants and 2 kilograms of dried cannabis in a “room within a room” at his house.However, he told Gardai that he was merely growing the plants to pay off a drug debt to a gang.Investigating Garda Sgt Niall Boyle told Letterkenny Circuit Court that he and other Gardai raided Mahon’s home at 3.15pm and Mahon co-operated fully.He found the usual fans and lamps associated with growing cannabis and Mahon mad a full admission when questioned at Letterkenny Garda station.The court heard how Mahon had left school very early but had educated himself and had even started his own refrigeration business.In 2009 that business fell apart and Mahon found himself with money troubles and turned to drink and drugs.Sgt Boyle said the accused had planned to grow just one crop of cannabis to pay off his debt but that one crop soon turned to two.The court heard that Mahon’s addictions had cost him his marriage and his three young children but that he was trying to rebuild his life and saw his children every second weekend.He had attended the Whiteoaks Treatment Centre and was now working part-time.Mahon’s mother gave evidence that her son had become a changed man since he succumbed to addictions but the only thing sh now wanted was her old son back.Judge Francis Comerford said the fact that such charges carried up to a 14 year prison sentence demonstrated how serious they were.However, he said he accepted that Mahon was pressurised and vulnerable when growing the cannabis.After consulting with the probation services, he sentenced Mahon to 160 hours community service in lieu of there years in prison.He also ordered him to enter a probation bond with the probation service and to follow their instructions for three years.On laving the court Mahon thanked the judge.A destruction order was also made for the seized cannabis.MAN FOUND WITH €120,000 OF CANNABIS IN GARAGE ESCAPES JAIL SENTENCE was last modified: April 29th, 2015 by StephenShare 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) Tags:cannabiscourtDONGALdrugsGardaiJason MahonLifford
If Leonard Susskind is right, cosmologists are escaping the conclusion of intelligent design (ID) by backing into a radically speculative idea: a near infinity of universes. Susskind, a theoretical physicist from Stanford, just published a book, Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design (Little, Brown 2005), that explores current cosmological thinking about the Anthropic Principle – the observation that the constants of physics in our universe appear finely tuned to make stars, planets and life possible. Susskind was interviewed by Amanda Gefter in New Scientist. Susskind spoke as if he and other cosmologists have been forced into the concept of a multiverse (multitude of universes, of which our entire universe is just one sample) because the fine-tuning problem won’t go away. Try as they might, physicists cannot come up with a theory that explains why the constants are the way they are. All they know is that, were they different, life would be impossible in our universe. Initially, string theory seemed to allow for a million possible vacuum states that would have determined the type of universe that emerged. That was not enough, Susskind thought; getting one life-giving universe out of a million was still too improbable. When two physicists upped the number of vacuum states to 10500, Susskind became a believer. Out of that many universes, surely some would have the anthropic conditions for life. We notice ours does, because we’re in it. Intelligent design could remain just an illusion, therefore, because uncountable numbers of other universes exist with random values for the physical constants. When Susskind started sharing this idea, “The initial reaction was very hostile, but over the past couple of years people are taking it more seriously,” he said. “They are worried that it might be true.” Cosmologist Stephen Weinberg considers it “one of the great sea changes in fundamental science since Einstein,” a radical change that alters the nature of science itself. In a way it is very radical but in another way it isn’t. The great ambition of physicists like myself was to explain why the laws of nature are just what they are. Why is the proton just about 1800 times heavier than the electron? Why do neutrinos exist? The great hope was that some deep mathematical principle would determine all the constants of nature, like Newton’s constant. But it seems increasingly likely that the constants of nature are more like the temperature of the Earth – properties of our local environment that vary from place to place. Like the temperature, many of the constants have to be just so if intelligent life is to exist. So we live where life is possible. (Emphasis added in all quotes.) Susskind remarked that the conclusion of a vast ensemble of universes came as a disappointment to many physicists. He himself finds the idea that reality might be vaster than we ever imagined “exciting.” It doesn’t destroy the hope for a grand unified theory, he claims; now, the challenge is not to explain just our universe, but the entire array of all possible universes. Unfortunately, another disappointment is the realization there appears to be no principle of natural selection among the universes that would favor the life-giving types. There is “no evidence for this view,” he admitted; “Even most of the hard-core adherents to the uniqueness view admit that it looks bad.” Furthermore, Susskind is unconvinced by appeals to exotic forms of life that might exist without worlds; “in my heart of hearts,” he said with resignation, “I just don’t believe that life could exist in the interior of a star, for instance, or in a black hole.” Susskind denied that belief in a multiverse will bring on the “Popperazzi” – those who follow Karl Popper’s teaching that an idea must be falsifiable to be scientific. His reason? Undetectable universes are no more metaphysical than claiming our universe is homogeneous, including the parts beyond our observational horizon. He even suggested ways to test it, such as looking for evidence of negative curvature that might suggest our universe tunneled from one vacuum state to another. Last, Gefter asked him if we are “stuck with intelligent design” if we do not accept his landscape hypothesis. I doubt that physicists will see it that way. If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape turns out to be inconsistent – maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation – I am pretty sure that physicists will go on searching for natural explanations of the world. But I have to say that if that happens, as things stand now we will be in a very awkward position. Without any explanation of nature’s fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics. One might argue that the hope that a mathematically unique solution will emerge is as faith-based as ID. A blogger named David Heddle on HeLives.com, with “reformed views of a nuclear physicist,” found Susskind’s remarks in this interview profoundly unsatisfying; “To save materialism,” he quipped, “Susskind argues that we must explain this fine-tuning, and his landscape has the best chance of playing the role of a white knight.” George Ellis (U of Cape Town) also reviewed the book for Nature last week.1 He quipped about how physicists used to deal with real, observable stuff; “Nowadays things have changed,” he said. “A phalanx of heavyweight physicists and cosmologists are claiming to prove the existence of other expanding universe domains even though there is no chance of observing them, nor any possibility of testing their supposed nature except in the most tenuous, indirect way.” Ellis confirms that Susskind argues for the multiverse because of the “anthropic issue: the ‘apparent miracles of physics and cosmology’ that make our existence possible.” The only way out was to posit a large enough set of random combinations of universes such that “the incredibly special conditions for life to exist will inevitably occur somewhere in the multiverse.” It follows, then, that “The apparent design of conditions favourable to life in our own universe domain can therefore be explained in a naturalistic way.” What does Ellis think about this argument? He is uncomfortable that it is neither testable nor predicted from well-established physics. It is also a vacuous answer: “if all possibilities exist somewhere in the multiverse, as some claim, then it can explain any observations, whatever they are.” Ellis finds the test that Susskind proposes only partially in its favor, but even then, the data are not exactly supportive. He finds this “a symptom of some present-day cosmology, where faith in theory tends to trump evidence.” He also disparages the use of infinities with “gay abandon” and the use of the “many-worlds” hypothesis of quantum mechanics for support, “an unproven and totally profligate viewpoint that many find difficult to take seriously.” Speaking of faith, Ellis waxes philosophical on the subject – even theological – gently chiding Susskind for lack of scientific rigor: As a philosophical proposal, the multiverse idea is interesting and has considerable merit. The challenge facing cosmologists now is how to put on a sound basis the attempts to push science beyond the boundary where verification is possible – and what label to attach to the resultant theories. Physicists indulging in this kind of speculation sometimes denigrate philosophers of science, but they themselves do not yet have rigorous criteria to offer for proof of physical existence. This is what is needed to make this area solid science, rather than speculation. Until then, the multiverse situation seems to fit St Paul’s description: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In this case, it is faith that enormous extrapolations from tested physics are correct; hope that correct hints as to the way things really are have been identified from all the possibilities, and that the present marginal evidence to the contrary will go away. This book gives a great overview of this important terrain, as seen from an enthusiast’s viewpoint. 1George Ellis, “Physics ain’t what it used to be,” Nature 438, 739-740 (8 December 2005) | doi:10.1038/438739a. Read this as a stunning defeat by the materialists and a victory for intelligent design. In a debate, when your opponent’s only retreat is to espouse an absurd position, you know you are winning. Like bugs scrambling for cover when a rotting log is lifted, the materialists are avoiding the light of intelligent design at all costs. They call to speculative mountains and rocks, saying, “Fall on us, and hide us from the design inference, for the light of fine-tuning has come, and who is able to stand?” To clarify one mistake in Susskind’s last quote, ID is not faith-based, except in the sense of putting faith in the uniformity of experience. ID makes a design inference when specified complexity is detected. The specification in this case is the precision of the values of physical constants which permit the existence of stars, planets and life. Susskind conceded the point that there does not seem to be any way that the correct values were determined; i.e., the constants appear contingent, not necessary. In most universes, random values would make life impossible. A straightforward application of ID reasoning follows. There is a specification, there is low probability – the universe, therefore, was designed. Susskind cannot escape Popper’s falsification criterion by claiming others violate it, too. That doesn’t work with cops, nor with scientific requirements. The Popperazzi have a warrant to arrest his landscape hypothesis on the grounds it is unfalsifiable. This entry can also be taken as a resounding endorsement of claims made in the film and book The Privileged Planet. The second part of the film argued that the fine-tuning of the universe implies intelligent design. In the Q&A portion, William Lane Craig emphasized how precise the tuning is, and dealt squarely with the opposition tactic of retreating into a multitude of universes; he said that cosmologists have been “driven beyond physics to metaphysics” to the “extraordinary” position of postulating an infinite ensemble of universes, all in order to rescue the materialistic, chance hypothesis from the evidence. Guillermo Gonzalez followed up by stating the obvious: this idea cannot be scientific, because there is no way to test it. It’s a metaphysical response to the physics we observe. To this we add, Susskind’s proposed test is circular, because it depends on the very materialistic assumptions that are being contested. Materialism is being debated; the observation of fine-tuning is not. The admissions made by Susskind in this interview provide all the more reason to hand out copies of the Privileged Planet DVD to skeptical friends and invite them to think about it. Now you can print out copies of this New Scientist interview as supportive material, and ask the skeptic if he or she finds the multiverse escape clause as awkward as Susskind describes it, or more “faith-based” than following the evidence to its logical conclusion. “Come to the light” can be an appropriately modern invitation to the cosmological sinner.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Tags:#voice#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market audrey watters Skype has just released a new version of its software for Mac. The beta version has been out for a few months now, and Skype says that it’s made a number of changes based on user feedback.This new version also introduces group video calling as part of its Premium package. There is a 7 day free trial for new users, but then you’ll need to purchase either a day pass ($4.99) or buy a monthly subscription ($8.99 per month) for the feature. Skype says that it has made some adjustments to the Mac version based on some of the feedback to the beta version. As someone who downloads a lot of new software and has a pretty high tolerance for early iterations of products, I admit, I quickly uninstalled the beta version. It was too big and unwieldy. Skype says it’s addressed that. It’s kept the single-pane UI, but “we’ve slimmed things down a bit in the new version, trimming pixels and realigning things to make the app altogether more compact.” Still missing from this version is deep integration with Facebook, something we’ve been looking forward to since the two companies announced a partnership last year. But as Mike Melanson reported yesterday, it does seem as though Facebook is testing some VOIP calling. It’s just obviously not in this new version of the Skype client for Mac.
RELATED ARTICLES As Steven Knapp and his wife plan a new house in Atlanta, indoor air quality (not energy efficiency) is at the top of their priority list. At least that’s how a recent discussion on autoclaved aerated concrete began.“We both have chemical sensitivities that make ‘usual’ building practices undesirable,” Knapp writes in a Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor. “Before the market bottomed, we were planning to build a healthy house following Baubiologie practices (as much as practical) and using autoclaved aerated concrete for the structure.”Knapp and his wife put their project on hold as they waited for market conditions to improve, and in the interim, Knapp says, local AAC installers largely disappeared. “As a consequence, we set about designing a house that would use conventional framing and as many no- or low-VOC materials as possible,” he says.Increased residential construction is pushing up the cost of conventional building materials, and AAC contractors are back in the picture. That’s making Knapp wonder whether the 15% premium he thought he’d have to pay for AAC construction may actually be worthwhile.“My question is,” he writes, “are you professional builders seeing big price spikes? Are they broad and large enough that I should take another look at AAC?”While construction costs ostensibly are at the heart of Knapp’s question, the issue also touches on the merits of autoclaved aerated concrete, and that’s the subject of this Q&A Spotlight. Green Basics: Concrete BlockUnderstanding R-Value Q&A: Bau Biologie — The First Green Building Movement Autoclaved Aerated Concrete BlocksStructural Systems & Components STRATEGIES & DETAILS Consider lightweight autoclaved aerated concrete GREEN PRODUCT GUIDE AAC block: higher cost, lower R-valueTo GBA senior editor Martin Holladay, an AAC wall will never be able to compete with conventional wood framing on a cost basis.“Moreover,” Holladay writes, “AAC walls have a very low R-value — most are in the range of R-8 to R-11 — and often require poured concrete bond beams that result in horrendous thermal bridging.”R-values that low are not what Knapp has been planning on. “The ‘effective’ R-value of an 8-inch block is around 21,” he replies. “I know that’s not stellar, but you can create a very airtight structure with AAC.”Also, Knapp adds, there is an alternative to a poured concrete bond beam that would have a lower energy penalty.“Perhaps my best course is to invite the AAC builder to bid on the project and see how it compares,” Knapp says. Comparing AAC to concrete block constructionAn alternative that would outperform AAC in the Atlanta area would be a wall made from old-fashioned concrete masonry units (CMUs) wrapped in 1 1/2 in. of polyisocyanurate foam insulation, Dorsett says. That wall would keep all of the thermal mass of the block inside the thermal envelope, and it would meet local codes. “But for the cost of AAC there’s usually more performance to be had elsewhere,” Dorsett says.If structural integrity and hurricane resistance is a top priority, Knapp might also consider building with insulating concrete forms (ICFs). The reinforced concrete at the core of the ICF wall will be much stronger than either an AAC or CMU wall. The air quality questionThe conversation is enough to get Knapp to take AAC “off the table” and move forward with a stick-built design that will meet the EarthCraft House Platinum standard.“We are very focused on limiting or eliminating VOCs in the structure,” Knapp writes. “We are also insisting on an accurately sized HVAC (no best guesses) and an energy-recovery unit for air exchanges. The house will be all-electric and have no combustion sources (not even a fireplace).” Better performance with an alternativeHolladay thinks “effective R-value is an example of deceptive marketing hype.” GBA reader Dana Dorsett doesn’t go quite that far, but he suggests caution when comparing “effective R-values” of this building material to the more reliable R-values of other wall assemblies.For starters, the “dynamic benefit for massive systems” — one approach to calculating “effective R-value” — most often cited by the people who sell AAC is based on a particular house design tested by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Dorsett writes, and unless Knapp is planning building exactly the same house there’s no guarantee he will get the same performance. In fact, the performance of AAC will “vary substantially” with the climate, weather and season, the actual house design and site conditions, he says.There’s more. “AAC has a very high vapor permeance and moisture absorption — a moisture reservoir that passes both water vapor and liquid water more readily than most building materials, making it a far-less-than-perfect choice for Atlanta’s high latent-load summertime issues,” Dorsett says. “You’d probably be able to build a true/stable R-20 (or even R-30) wall by other methods (and more appropriate moisture control) for the money, and have lower overall cooling/heating loads.”Low-perm paints and sealers don’t do much to control the problem, Dorsett says, and they simply peel and flake away. Only semi-permeable paints can be used. “In the cooler, drier air of northern Europe it does OK from a moisture performance point of view but it’s so low-R that it doesn’t meet current thermal requirements without adding exterior insulation.”AAC might be worth considering in some drier climate zones in the U.S. with high daily temperature swings, Dorsett adds. “But not in the muggy-sticky Southeast.” Our expert’s opinionWe asked GBA technical director Peter Yost for his take on this question. Here’s his reply:While I was at the NAHB Research Center (1993–2000), we worked on AAC as part of the DOE Advanced Housing Technology Program, and built one of four townhomes out of AAC, on a Superior Walls basement foundation. The trades grew to like the block because it could be cut and routed and was relatively lightweight. The local fire department (and the Center’s insurance company, no doubt) grew to like it when vandals started a fire in the unfinished AAC unit, with no damage. That said, this was not the first time AAC attempted to find market share in the U.S., and it was not the last, although each time it simply has not taken hold.For a pretty comprehensive discussion of the pros and cons of AAC, check out the GreenSpec Insights recent blog — including the extensive posted comments discussion — as well as this UC Davis Extension paper.And it is certainly worth reviewing this ORNL paper, which assesses the energy performance of AAC, by climate.My cut?Individuals with chemical sensitivities should assess materials on a case-by-case basis, focusing their efforts and finances on materials that they know are problematic (and crude as it may be, one of the best indicators is to sleep with your materials, placing small samples of materials on your nightstand and seeing how you feel the next morning).From a hygrothermal standpoint, the pore structure of AAC can vary considerably from formulation to formulation, significantly affecting its moisture and energy performance (at least one AAC manufacturer has a data file in the latest WUFI Pro materials database, but it is unclear how that applies to other AAC materials).AAC attempts to be a stand-alone building envelope system for the U.S. market, but it simply has never convinced any industry leaders or bulk market interests to sustain a manufacturing presence in the U.S. There are considerably more reasons not to use this system than there are to use the system.