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first_imgDonegal Deputy Pearse Doherty is calling for the books to be opened and investigated at National Lottery Headquarters following revelations of a scratchcard error emerging this week.The lottery has apologised after four jackpot prizes worth a total of €180,000 were left out of three scratch card games in recent years.The mistake, which has been described as a ‘human error’, led to four of the top prizes not being included in the scratch card games ‘Congratulations’ and ‘Diamond Bingo Doubler’ since 2014. Sinn Féin’s Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has been doing calculations and found that the odds of it being the top prize that was missing in each of the games is 1 in 167 billion billion.https://twitter.com/PearseDoherty/status/1205145977285480449Speaking in the Dáil today, Doherty said an independent investigator should be appointed to go to the offices of Premier Lotteries, as provided for in legislation.Teachta Doherty has also written to the Oireachtas Finance Committee requesting that the Regulator of the National Lottery and Premier Lotteries appear before the Committee under Section 47 of the National Lotteries Act. Doherty said the numbers don’t stack up: “I play the lottery and I do so in the knowledge that many of the proceeds go to charitable causes and community projects, but also in the knowledge that the lottery is a form of gambling that requires proper regulation.“The fact that four jackpot prizes across three games operated by Premier Lotteries were missing due to ‘human error’ or some improbable misfortune is hard to believe.“In one of these games, the number of prizes in the game was designed to be no less than 976,500. The probability that, out of all the prizes, the jackpot prize would be missing is nearly one in a million.“The probability that out of all the prizes, that four jackpot prizes across three games would be missing is of the factor of 1 in 167 billion billion.“The numbers don’t stack up, and questions need to be answered by Premier Lotteries, by the Regulator and by the Government.” The Donegal TD called for immediate action on the matter: “Under legislation, Premier Lotteries can write their own code of conduct and have it rubber stamped by the Regulator. This legislation must be fixed to provide for more robust oversight.“Secondly, the legislation provides for an investigator to be appointed to go to the offices of Premier Lotteries and open their books and I am calling for that to be done immediately.“I have also written to the Chair of the Oireachtas Finance Committee requesting that the Regulator of the National Lottery and Premier Lotteries appear before the Committee under Section 47 of the National Lotteries Act.”What are the odds? Doherty claims scratch card errors don’t stack up was last modified: December 12th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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


first_imgChelsea made a sluggish start at Stamford Bridge, where Manchester United have been on top in the early stages.Thibaut Courtois was called upon twice in the opening 15 minutes, comfortably gathering low-range efforts from Cameron Borthwich-Jackson and Michael Carrick.Blues keeper Courtois then produced a fine save, diving to his left to push away Anthony Martial’s curling shot.Chelsea skipper John Terry was given a predictably rousing reception by the home fans on his first appearance at the Bridge since announcing that he is not being offered a new contract and will leave the club when his current deal expires at the end of the season.Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Terry, Zouma, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Oscar; Costa.Subs: Begovic, Baba Rahman, Cahill, Loftus-Cheek, Pedro, Traore, Hazard.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more


first_imgIt’s one thing to say an ecosystem can take care of recycling a carcass. It’s another to say the ecosystem needs the carcass to thrive.Credit: Stefan Swanepoel, WikimediaConsider this headline from National Geographic: “How 2 Million Pounds of Rotting Flesh Helps the Serengeti.” Shaena Montanari’s article reports on findings by four Yale biologists who measured how many wildebeest drown crossing a river during their annual migrations, and what becomes of the remains as scavengers feed on them. The scientists did not say that the carcasses floating downstream “help” the Serengeti. They only reported that the mass drownings “influence” the ecosystem. There’s a big difference. Yet Montanari practically celebrates these mass casualties as she continues, “The thousands of wildebeest that die during their yearly migration are a critical ecosystem resource.”Everyone knows that many living things thrive on the remains of dead animals. Who has not witnessed crows picking at roadkill along the highway? Vultures, flies, bacteria, fungi and other scavengers help to recycle the remains of the dead, turning death into life for the next generation. In that sense, this is a helpful and necessary thing. Without it, the earth would be littered with the rotting corpses of the dead for decades, centuries, or millennia. We humans pretend that burying our dead in fancy coffins will preserve them in suits and gowns, but you wouldn’t want to look at the remains after a few years’ work by worms and soil organisms. Death, decay and recycling are part of our natural reality. We accept this and move on.But imagine if National Geographic implied that soil organisms “need” our dead corpses. What kind of demented government policies might result from too much emphasis on the “help” that our corpses give the worm ecosystem? This cartoon by Brett Miller expresses the danger of twisted values based on moral equivalence:The Yale biologists, publishing in PNAS, measured the nutrient content of drowned wildebeest as the carcasses floated downstream. The biomass is substantial:Here, we show that mass drownings of wildebeest occur nearly annually during the Serengeti wildebeest migration, and these mass drownings contribute the equivalent biomass of 10 blue whale carcasses per year to this moderately sized river. Soft tissues of the carcass decompose within several weeks and are assimilated by both in-stream and terrestrial consumers. Bones decompose over years, which may influence nutrient cycling and food webs in the river on decadal time scales. The loss of migrations and associated mass drownings may fundamentally alter river ecosystems in ways previously unrecognized.Whale carcasses are known to support organisms living at the bottom of the sea that make quick work of them. That’s why whale fossils are unusual (see 2/02/04). The Yale biologists do not suggest that wildebeest death is good or necessary for the downstream ecosystem, even though they find that vultures, fish and other opportunistic scavengers profit from the remains. One of the new findings was how much the bones of the unfortunate wildebeest contribute phosphorus to other organisms downstream. In fact, “contribute” is the only word they use in the paper that comes close to a value judgment on the benefits of wildebeest drownings to the ecosystem. As published, the paper adds to our knowledge of how ecosystems work without capitalizing on any “benefit” the tragic drownings might provide to other organisms. We might compare it to an earlier paper we noticed (11/14/14) that quantified the amount of carbon transported down African rivers by hippopotamus poop. The organic matter was found to be “nourishing a whole food web of insects, fish, and other animals.”The thousands of wildebeest that die during their yearly migration are a critical ecosystem resource.When a reporter focuses on the benefits of death, bad ideas can follow—and ideas have consequences. Would totalitarian dictators and mass murderers justify their genocides by arguing that they just want to benefit the ecosystem?Many of us have watched nature documentaries of these river crossings by herds of wildebeest. Producers like to accentuate the drama and danger, showing crocodiles snatching a vulnerable juvenile and dragging it off, making us gasp as are hearts are stirred with sympathy for the poor victim. But who are you going to root for, the wildebeest or the starving croc? Actually, not that many are killed by crocodiles, the scientists found. “They can only eat so much,” Montanari quips. Most die of drowning. Let us note in passing that nobody knows how the migration patterns might have changed since the Serengeti ecosystem became established. Perhaps the rivers have gotten deeper and more dangerous over time. Many variables could have changed.There’s a scene in the IMAX film “The Serengeti” that shows how producers tug at our emotions. A newborn wildebeest calf can’t get up. The narrator says that unless it can get up and follow its mother, it will die. The cameraman zooms in on the lurking lions and hyenas waiting to take advantage of the situation. Adult wildebeest, needing to move on, pause momentarily and stare silently at the helpless calf, wondering if it will get up in time to follow the herd. Seconds seem like hours as the calf keeps struggling to stand, only to fall back in a heap again and again. The predators sneak closer. The music becomes more tense. Finally, like the breakthrough of sunshine through a dark cloud, the music becomes celebratory as the calf succeeds in standing up. It  trots happily off to mom who gives it a loving lick. The adult wildebeest all “moo” in chorus, nodding their heads in satisfaction.Actually, this incident (highly staged, for sure) says more about humans than wildebeest. Whether wildebeest are capable of emotions like ours is debatable, for one thing. And every successful calf leaves a hyena hungry; who will root for them? Couldn’t the producer create a tragic episode, music to match, about the mean old wildebeest that gets away or kicks him in the face? Certainly many of the newborns do fall prey to the lions. By now, many of our readers have seen an exceptionally dramatic video of an iguana escaping snakes in a desperate chase (BBC Planet Earth II). So yes, prey animals are well equipped to give their predators a challenge. But do iguanas celebrate courage, tenacity and perseverance? Are the snakes sad that they missed a meal?The fact that we care about triumph over death points to something unique in mankind. We sense that death is wrong. It’s an intrusion into the natural order. It’s an alternative natural order that works, recycling nutrients, providing food for living things in a complex food web. We should not forget that most wildebeest usually enjoy a long and contented life in their own reality, grazing peacefully with their kind, succumbing only after years of satisfying abundance. But the reality of death keeps us humans on edge, knowing our time is short, and that we need to think about eternity. The Bible points to death as an enemy, something that was not part of the plan when God looked at everything he had made and pronounced it “very good.” National Geographic and the Yale scientists recognize the tragedy of death in spite of their evolutionism. As scientists, some of them try to report what they observe as dispassionately as possible. But without that innate sense of human value that celebrates life and weeps at death, wildebeest carcasses become little more than sources of carbon and phosphorus. By extension, that kind of thinking could lead to dictators using “ecological science” to justify sending hordes of humans to firing squads, killing fields and gas chambers in order to nourish the worms.(Visited 360 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


first_imgA carnival in São Tomé and Príncipe. The song Bleguê Bleguê encourages São Tomeans to use condoms. (Image: Lourenço Silva, PlusNews)The new hit being sung by everyone in São Tomé and Príncipe goes like this: “Bleguê Bleguê … A mi na mecê Bleguê, anda com bebê …” The lyrics, in São Tomé’s Forro language, have two simple but important messages: when you go out, always take condoms with you, and when you have sex, always use a condom.The song is being sung by adults and children, and played incessantly on radio stations and in night clubs throughout São Tomé and Príncipe, an archipelago of 150 000 inhabitants in the Gulf of Guinea off the east coast of central Africa.It all began with a group called Bulauê Linda Estrela, in the quiet village of Messias Alves, a fishing community of some 3 000 people, with old houses and less-than-optimum public services.The only television set able to receive more than one channel stopped working over two years ago and the internet has yet to reach the village.“The only thing left to do after you come back from fishing is to drink sugarcane brandy and make babies,” said one young resident.Three years ago some of the village’s men and women came together to create the Bulauê Linda Estrela cultural group.“People here go to bed very early, and there’s no centre for entertainment,” said village chief Lauriano Costa, 78. “We created the group to break the monotony.”Bulauê Linda Estrela did more than that: its song, Blegue Blegue, is helping raise awareness about the importance of using condoms to prevent HIV. The group has not yet released a CD with the song on it, but it is already available on the grey market.The lyrics were inspired by a real-life incident: one of the band members invited his wife to attend a rehearsal; she turned down the invitation but suggested he take condoms with him in case he happened to have casual sex.Ludmila Monteiro, an activist with the Médicos do Mundo, a humanitarian aid organisation promoting development, believes the song’s success can partly be attributed to the groundwork done by national campaigns encouraging condom use.“Talking about condoms is no longer a novelty for São Tomeans,” she said.There is, of course, a big difference between enjoying the song and understanding its message.“I like the song a lot,” said Sabina Graça, 25, who admitted she had no idea what the lyrics meant.“Having sex with a condom reduces your sexual potential,” said Niker Quarsema, 27, a fisherman.“My husband has two wives, but he won’t have sex with a condom,” said Adezica Beatriz, 38, a member of Bulauê Linda Estrela. “When I talked to him about the need to do so, he nearly hit me.”Source: Irin PlusNewsDo you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesHIV/Aids in South AfricaFighting HIV with your phoneIncentive scheme for the poor Healthy babies for HIV couplesRidding Africa of HIV in 10 yearslast_img read more


first_img12 April 2016Almost 100 young South Africans aged between 19 and 22 were asked by the Nelson Mandela Foundation how the Constitution and Bill of Rights affected their lives. Their answers are on display at the foundation in an exhibition entitled My Constitution.“I’m very pleased that young people are as outspoken about the Constitution as they are,” said Denis Goldberg, anti-apartheid activist and Rivonia trialist, who attended the launch on 17 March in Houghton, Johannesburg. “Some are for it, some are against, but they speak out with integrity.”See more:The foundation’s chief executive, Sello Hatang, said that 20 years after its adoption, he was still amazed at what a remarkable document the Constitution was. Its authors had vision and foresight regarding the kind of society they wanted to build.“The one question that bothers all of us, that should bother all of us is. are we still on course?”Issues youth raisedAccording to Hatang, the exhibition gives a voice to young South Africans and “forces us to listen to their experiences over the past 20 years of how the Constitution has worked for them but, more importantly, where the Constitution has failed our people”.Gugu Mthethwa, one of the young respondents, said: “My Constitution makes me more responsible and mindful of the things I do, how I act towards other people and how I would like to be treated.”Others, such as Balungile Radebe, raised critical questions. “We are the born-frees. Are we free from HIV? Are we free from ridiculous fees? Are we free from oppression? Are we free from poverty? No.”Clive Makhetha said: “I value freedom of association. I can be with people I want to be with at any time or place. I’m not restricted.”My Constitution exhibition: giving a voice to young South Africans https://t.co/0tIW5lQXcM #myconstitution pic.twitter.com/6MF9yvlNrJ— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) March 20, 2016Constitution as post-conflict documentWandisa Phama, candidate attorney at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, described the Constitution as beautiful when she spoke at the launch. “I think all of us in this room have a sense of the beauty of this Constitution and, as much as there are things that we can question, there are things that we can celebrate.“So when the foundation asked me to give a brief reflection of what it meant to be a young South African 21 years into our democracy, I thought to myself it meant a number of things – but what it means for each individual really depends on the lens that, as a person, you use to look at things.”Phama said each person’s lens was influenced by factors such as gender, socio-economic conditions, and race.Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, who served 10 years on Robben Island, explained that the Constitution was a “post-conflict” document. It was aimed at “moving us from a dark, dim and terrible past to an inclusive society that celebrates diversity”.The Constitution gave voice to every man and woman by giving them the right to take part in elections and decide who was in power.Quoting Frantz Fanon, the Afro-Caribbean philosopher, revolutionary and writer, Moseneke urged the youth “accomplish or betray their own mission”.“Mr Mandela and other great freedom fighters have not sold out,” he said. “They laid down beginnings that leave you with the clear mission to change your world within the values of a great Constitution.”This year marks the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s Constitution being signed into law.Source: Nelson Mandela Foundationlast_img read more


first_imgWhether you’re shooting in the field or editing/grading in post, it is essential to use the video scopes to get the best, consistent images. In this post we’ve rounded up 3 resources to answer a common video question “How do I use a vectorscope and waveform monitor?” For my first few years in professional video production I wasn’t sure how to properly use the scopes…quite frankly, they can be intimidating. But, as soon as you get a handle on how to integrate video scopes into your image capture and post production work, you may wonder how you did without them before.Two of the most useful video scopes are the vectorscope and the waveform monitor. The vectorscope is used to measure the color information in a video image, while the waveform displays the brightness, or luminance, of a shot.  Because everyones eyes see differently, scopes are useful to provide a quantitive way to evaluate a shot. On set, color scopes, like the vectoscope and waveform, are useful for calibrating multiple cameras – ensuring greater consistency between shots. In post, they are essential for color grading video footage.So, how do YOU use color scopes? Let’s jump in…In this Lynda.com tutorial you’ll learn how to read a waveform monitor and adjust your footage in post to optimal luminance levels. The example demonstrates using the waveform scope in Premiere Pro, but the fundamentals and techniques are applicable for any waveform monitor or video editing application.In the following After Effects tutorial from CreativeCow.net, Andrew Devis demonstrates the benefits of using a vectorscope for your color work. If you’re more inclined to read your tutorials instead of watch them, check out Andrew’s blog post on using a vectorscope here.Finally, this blog post by post production pro Larry Jordan touches on how to use both the vectorscope and waveform monitor. Larry’s example uses Final Cut Pro, but again, the fundamentals apply in any application or use of these scopes. Larry’s explanations are to the point and easy to understand – really great for those just starting out.  Visit Larry’s site for his video scopes tutorial.last_img read more


first_imgTiffany wrote to ask me how she might set herself apart. She asked whether training and certifications might help her distinguish herself, especially as it pertains to becoming a leader in a few years.Many of the best salespeople in the world  would be judged to have been poorly trained, if you look only at their formal classroom training. All who have been trained would say they enjoyed training, learned something useful, and they will tell you what part they apply to their work today. They will also describe how they were taught in more informal ways every day.Very few of the best salespeople credit certifications as being what sets them apart from their peers, even while telling you they are happy they had a chance to go through the process and that they learned a lot they still use.Distinguishing yourself isn’t a matter of formal training, even though it is still worth your time. This recipe will serve you whether you have the formal training and certifications or not.Outwork Them: This is nowhere near as difficult as it sounds. Most people aren’t willing to work hard. They count their hours instead of their outcomes. They are “clock punchers” who try to keep busy between normal business hours, even if being busy isn’t productive. Being out-hustled is a choice, as is out-hustling everyone else.Out-Study Them: There are all kinds of statistics about how few sales books salespeople read. Some suggest that 95 percent of salespeople have never read a single book on sales in their life. Assuming that number is correct, or close enough, that means reading a single book is more than almost any of your peers. Reading, especially non-fiction, will help you develop faster than your non-reading peer group.Learn Faster: This is different than studying. Like most human endeavors, sales isn’t something you can learn to do by reading a book. You can’t learn to swim or ride a bike by reading a book, and you can’t learn to sell that way either. Books are what provide you with a framework to understand what you are doing and what you might do while you are actually selling. They multiply the speed at which you learn, but only if you take time to reflect on what you are doing, make meaningful adjustments, and apply new ideas.Get Coaching: The performers in almost any field have coaches, or they had someone that coached them as they developed. Some had different coaches at different stages of their development, even if the person wasn’t a formal, professional coach. A good coach can help you see areas for improvement that you haven’t recognized. They can also tell you directly how to do some things that will literally compress your learning curve by decades.Be Better with People: The more effective you are with more people, the better your results in sales (and in life). The more you develop empathy, the ability to take someone else’s perspective, the more you will differentiate yourself from the crowd. The more willing you are to commit to helping others, especially when it comes to dealing with difficult challenges and situations, the more you set yourself apart from others. Even though very few people are willing to talk about these issues, choosing to believe that sales is a science, this is where the action is.The intention to be the best, when followed with consistent action, will propel you to the top of your field. Ambition is a powerful force, especially when coupled with a willingness to put in the time and effort.If you want to be a leader, then you have to lead. You have to take accountability for outcomes, and then you have to lead others in helping you to achieve those outcomes. You never have to wait for someone to make you a leader. You just have to do the things that allow them to recognize it in you. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more


first_imgThe reigning Defensive Player of the Year claimed the hardware after bagging 1,038 points, powered by 410 statistical points (SPs), 426 media votes, 52 player votes, and 150 votes from the PBA Commissioner’s Office.Cabagnot, the league’s pacesetter for the whole conference, was at second as he gathered 746 points, after nabbing 410 SPs, 235 media votes, 26 player votes, and 75 votes from the PBA.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIt was a close contest up until the end, with Ross and Cabagnot finding themselves statistically tied at the end of the semifinals.Ross averaged 13.19 points, 5.19 rebounds, and a league-best 8.06 assists, to go with 2.94 steals, while Cabagnot tallied 5.13 markers, 6.56 boards, 5.06 dimes, and 1.19 steals for the conference. What ‘missteps’? LATEST STORIES The mercurial import netted 1,174 points built on 451 SPs, 517 media votes, 56 player votes, and 150 votes from the PBA.Rhodes averaged 27.38 points, 10.19 rebounds. 1.81 assists, 1.75 blocks, and 1.25 assists, while helping the Beermen advance to the championship duel.He was the first import from San Miguel to win the honor since Gabe Freeman bagged the Best Import award for the second time in the 2010 Fiesta Conference.Star’s Ricardo Ratliffe finished second with 943 points, followed by Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee (706 points), and TNT’s Joshua Smith (536 points).Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThe Beermen backcourt partners even vouched for each other.“His numbers speak for itself,” said Ross of Cabagnot. “What he’s done for our team, the clutch moments he’s had for us, it sums it up. He’s so crucial for our team with the sacrifices he’s made and he’s been there at the top for the whole conference.”Cabagnot said the same of Ross, saying, “He’s been playing excellent for us, not just for this conference but also for the whole year.”TNT skipper Jayson Castro was at third with 630 points, followed by three-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel (530 points), and GlobalPort slasher Stanley Pringle (415 points).Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netSan Miguel dominated the night with reinforcement Charles Rhodes emerging as the winner of this conference’s Bobby Parks Best Import award.ADVERTISEMENT China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Australian boxing great tells Horn: Don’t give Pacquiao space Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekendcenter_img Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: 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 MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games View comments LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netIn probably one of the tightest races in the 42-year history of the PBA, defense won it in the end.Chris Ross emerged as the Best Player of the Conference for the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup as he edged San Miguel teammate Alex Cabagnot for the highest individual plum of the conference on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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