Backward Metamorphosis of Corruption in Liberia: From Grotesque Public Enemy to Wicked Vampire

first_imgFebruary 1, 2015Simply Thinking ThoughtsIn my thinking thoughts last night I reflected on President Sirleaf’s Annual Message, especially the assertion that corruption had become a blood sucking vampire in Liberia. The assertion caused me to reminisce; when the President first assumed leadership, she declared “Corruption” as enemy number one; 10 years later instead of eliminating this enemy, corruption has metamorphosed into a supernatural vampire that sucks blood.Construct of VampireFor those of you who were around back in the day, there were several episodes of a movie at Roxy and Gabriel Cinemas entitled “Dracula.” Dracula was half human, half bat and had two protruding canine incisor teeth that he used to suck blood from his victims. Surprisingly, as soon as Dracula sucked a victim’s blood, that person suddenly metamorphosed into another Dracula more vicious and ready to suck the blood of other victims. After sucking blood, Dracula would falsely take on human features simply to lure other victims to their destruction. Truly, Dracula was a vicious, wicked blood thirsty vampire. Construct of MetamorphosisI actually understood the process of metamorphosis under Mrs. Esther Kpor, my 10th grade Biology teacher at Tubman High School. Metamorphosis, according to Ma Kpor, was generally a change from something ugly to something beautiful.It begins with a very ugly, grotesque caterpillar with all kinds of itches on it. The itchy ugly caterpillar later covers itself with films and fluids apparently intended to mold, smoothen, nurture, protect and transform itself into a cocoon. After some time, the ugly, grotesque, itchy caterpillar further transforms into a beautiful butterfly that flutters away with exceptional exuberance, as if emancipated from a spell cast by a wicked witch that was finally removed by a gentle fairy godmother. Behold, King Solomon in all his splendor was not as donned and regaled as the butterfly, neither would his chief architect Haram Abeef of Tyre be able to decipher the architecture of the intricate cocoon.Backwards MetamorphosisUnfortunately, metamorphosis in Liberian terms has taken on a kind of peculiar backwards construct; from instead of a beautiful butterfly, to an ugly, grotesque, itchy caterpillar; or from public enemy to wicked vampire.Now, one thing I admire about this President is how she usually does not sugarcoat. When education under her leadership spiraled downwards, she declared it a “mess”; now that she has realized that the whole country, that both government and public sectors are corrupt, she has declared it a bloody blood sucking vampire. Seldom would a leader criticize his/her own government.How Corruption the Vampire Destroys Before I begin receiving writs of summon, let me hastily submit that all of the following ways blood thirsty corrupt vampires are sucking the blood of our economy are all allegations. Firstly, there are government officials who take expensive vacation trips under the guise of official business, while some of them place their girlfriends and relatives in positions for which they hold no qualifications, and award them fabulous salaries. Secondly, some government officials and law makers change the license plates of GOL vehicles and take ownership, while businesses deliberately remove price tags from shelves and bribe commerce inspectors to be silent; these are all corruption.Further, allegations from the University of Liberia is that when students take the entrance exam, they must bribe US$150 to pass, while there are people who sit the WAEC for other people; teachers and civil servants fake credentials and divert GOL funds, while students pay sex and money for grades; witnesses lie in court, while jurors are bribed to award judgment; some married men have deputy wives for finance, operations and administration, while young girls conjure more than one godfather for the rent; procurement procedures and bidding processes are stink with bribery, while police compromise traffic violation penalties with bribes from taxi drivers. It was alleged that a lawmaker, Representative Forh, confessed to a recording of his voice saying, “you eat some I eat some” County Development Fund money; it is alleged that Speaker Alex Tyler was involved in a corrupt deal with a contractor and his fellow lawmakers were questioning his authority toreside over plenary, while his deputy was placed under pressure to submit expenditure reports of a huge sum of GOL oil money. If all of these allegations are proven, it is stinky corruption; and all of the culprits are the band of vampires who are sucking the blood of the economy.Rendezvous with Corruption the Vampire Now, in the vampire movie, Dracula the blood sucking vampire was not the protagonist, but rather the antagonist or the “main bad man.” In the movie, neither guns nor bombs could stop Dracula; hence ridding him of the community was a near dilemma, as he continued to suck blood and kill.Luckily, a way to stop Dracula the Vampire was finally discovered, by driving a 3-foot wedge into the middle of his breast and piercing him so badly that he too bleeds and disintegrates from his supernatural evil body. Those who concur that corruption is a vampire must therefore set up a rendezvous bout with vampires at their locations. As President Sirleaf takes the lead, each Liberian must therefore take up arms of 3-foot wedges and drive them in the middle of the breasts of vampires in their ministries, agencies and business places. But mind you, to drive your wedges, you must have willpower, and blind your eyes to relationships, favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism.A Charge to Keep, a Corruption to FightWhen the President took over, she had vowed to meet corruption head-on as enemy. Probably she had thought over the years that the country would have transformed from a corrupt system to a more stable transparent system where accountability would be commonplace. To the President’s surprise, the country plummeted down an abyss of corrupt schemes, shenanigans and chicaneries. And so instead of transforming her country into a beautiful butterfly, it metamorphosed backwards into an ugly wicked Vampire. Howbeit, the President has a charge to keep, and a band of alleged corrupt vampires to wrestle and evict; an ever dying embattled economy to save and fix to the sky, to “Cement her Legacy”; that charge she must keep; fight corruption tooth and nails with all her mind, body, and soul. With all hands on deck, we will certainly help her win. Will you join the President in the fight against corruption? Please do so, fellow compatriots.I am simply thinking thoughts.About the authorThe Rivercess Village man, Moses Blonkanjay Jackson is a triple Ivy League product, and a Jesuit protégé; Mr. Jackson is a Yale University Mathematics Curriculum Fellow, and a University of Pennsylvania Physics Curriculum Fellow. Mr. Jackson holds a Master of Education degree from Harvard University and a Master of Education with Secondary Mathematics concentration from Saint Joseph’s University. Blonkanjay Jackson is a candidate for the Doctor of Education (EdD). He is presently serving as Assistant Minister for Teacher Education. Blonkanjay can be contacted at 0886 681 315 or 0770 206 645; email: Blonkanjayjackson@gmail.com Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Black Sox come out swinging, hammer Rycroft

first_imgFirst pitch between the Sox and Brewers in Grande Prairie is slated for 1 p.m., with the second game set for 4 p.m. Andrew McNeil went the distance in the win, and player/coach Ryan Stickel was very pleased with how everything game together for the club.“It was great to see, everyone came out hitting and [we] got great pitching from Andrew McNeil, it was really positive to see after last weekend it Rycroft, it was good to come back and give a little back to them.” Stickel says.The Sox did a great job with not swinging at balls out of the zone and cashing in runners who were in scoring position. Stickel says that was a huge part in the team’s win last night.- Advertisement -“It just seemed that guys were seeing the ball really well today, and staying patient and waiting for balls they could drive,” Stickel describes. “We’ve had some problems with guys swinging out of the strike zone, but they really picked up on that, and I think that was a main part, making the pitcher fight for a strike. Plate vision was really key today.”Stickel is hopeful that the team will be able to carry the momentum from last night’s win into tomorrow’s double header in Grande Prairie. “I think this is going to be big. Everyone on the bench was nice and positive. I just wanna make sure everybody keeps this feeling in mind for Saturday. That’s one nice thing about a Thursday game, Saturday comes pretty quick.” Stickel explains.Advertisementlast_img read more

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Amazing stats you won’t believe from this week’s Premier League games

first_img 8. Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has kept 170 clean sheets since arriving in England, the most in Premier League history. Click the right arrow for more stats… 9. With victory over Bournemouth, Arsene Wenger became the second manager, behind Sir Alex Ferguson, to beat 44 different opponents in the Premier League. 9 3. No Manchester United player scored more than the eight goals Juan Mata did in 2015 but the Spaniard has now gone 965 minutes without scoring or assisting for the Red Devils. 5. Andy Carroll has scored two goals in the Premier League this season. Both were headers in the 79th minute. 9 1. Chelsea’s draw with Manchester United saw John Terry earn ‘his’ 1000th point in the Premier League. Only Ryan Giggs, Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes have garnered more. 9 6. Eden Hazard hasn’t scored either a goal or made an assist in any of his last 11 Premier League appearances. 7. One positive for Manchester United is that they have kept 10 clean sheets this season, more than any other side. 9 9 Another busy day of Premier League action had the statisticians working overtime on December 28.Numbers were crunched, facts were checked, and figures were found using flummoxing formulas.Here at talkSPORT we love a stat so picked out some of the best numbers and nuggets of information from an exciting afternoon of English football.Click the right above above to see the best stats from December 28… 9 9 9 2. Since August 2004, only seven players have created in a single Premier League game more than the nine chances Mesut Ozil crafted for Arsenal against Bournemouth. 4. Guus Hiddink has already dropped four points since he took charge of Chelsea, one fewer than in his 13 Premier League games in charge back in 2009. 9last_img read more

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Winner of the Premium Tickets to the Donegal match is……..

first_imgCOMPETITION: The winner of the two premium tickets to see Donegal face off with Dublin on Saturday is……… Charlie McGarvey. Our fabulous competition in conjunction with Specsavers was an incredible success, and we received hundreds of e-mails, likes and shares on the competition.Thanks to all participated in the competition, and well done to Charlie McGarvey who was selected at random. Contact markforker88@gmail.com to claim your prize.The correct answer was: Hawkeye was introduced to the GAA in 2013, so well done to all of you who got it right.For those of you still looking for tickets, Kelly’s Centra, Mountain Top are giving away TWO free tickets for any customers who visit their store today! #tirchonaillabú Winner of the Premium Tickets to the Donegal match is…….. was last modified: August 4th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare 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:competitionCroke ParknewsPremiumSportticketslast_img read more

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Manchester United boss Mourinho ‘expecting one more signing’ in summer window

first_img CEO Ed Woodward is reluctant to overspend Mourinho is not happy with the lack of business being done at United this summer Jose Mourinho is expecting one more signing at Manchester United this summer and insists there is ‘no drama’ at the club despite reports of a rift with CEO Ed Woodward over transfers.Mourinho previously claimed he wants two more arrivals to add to his squad but is now resigned to a solitary addition. moving on LATEST LIVING THE DREAM He said: “I am confident I get one, but I think two I am not going to get which is not a drama.“I think in every pre-season it happens basically the same and probably with every club, which is the manager wants more.“It’s our nature, it’s our way of being, you always want more for your team.“By then club decisions are different and normally you don’t get what you want, which happened basically during all my career. So, if I get one player until the end of the market, that’s fine.” Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ United have struggled in pre-season without many of their established stars RANKED LATEST TRANSFER NEWS Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing United have been linked with a £75m move for Leicester City’s Harry Maguire after the England centre-back’s impressive World Cup.But with any incomings still no closer to completion, the club have endured a miserable pre-season tour of the US.After draws with Club America, San Jose Earthquakes and AC Milan in front of paltry crowds awaiting the return of big stars, United were thrashed 4-1 by rivals Liverpool in Michigan.They face Real Madrid in Miami on Tuesday night and Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena before their Premier League season begins on August 10 against Leicester. Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti 4 REVEALED 4 The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star So far United fans have seen the club bring in Fred for £53million from Shakhtar Donetsk, 19-year-old right-back Diogo Dalot and veteran back-up keeper Lee Grant.With more than £70m spent on those players, Woodward is said to have put the brakes on any further incomings.That includes long-term target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who would likely cost more than £100m to sign from Lazio.And Mourinho, who complained at a lack of transfer activity as he waits for 12 players to return from extended summer breaks, now accepts he will only be able to get one more target in. Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade targets Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father United target Harry Maguire has reportedly been offered a new deal by Leicester to prevent any potential sale Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer three-way race TOP WORK Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland 4 IN DEMAND targets 4last_img read more

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Wenger tipped to team up with former Arsenal chief at AC Milan

first_imgFormer Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is being linked with a shock return to management with AC Milan.Wenger, 68, has been out of work since leaving the Emirates at the end of last season. 2 Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? targets Wenger and Gazidis embrace after Arsenal’s FA Cup triumph in 2017 2 What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas BIG PRESENTS UP TOP Ian Holloway thinks Arsenal have made a mistake in hiring Mikel Arteta REVEALED Wenger insists he’s ready to return to management Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won LATEST center_img REVEALED Gazidis and Wenger had a strong working relationship in the nine years they worked together.Arsene Wenger rules himself out of Real Madrid job Latest Arsenal FC News appointed Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January And although he recently said he plans to return to work in 2019, Wenger could be getting fast-tracked to the San Siro this month.It’s not clear whether current Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso will be relieved of his duties as the club have won their last three games.However, according to France Football, the former midfielder is under pressure after his summer splurge of £150million has not produced the results the Milan hierarchy were hoping for.And former Arsenal chief Ivan Gazidis – who left his position as CEO in September – has taken a similar role at Milan. gameday cracker rookie error Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Steve Round reveals how Mikel Arteta convinced him to join Arsenal stafflast_img read more

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Japan hails South African space tech successes

first_imgThe infrared survey facility (IRSF) became operational in November 2000, and since then has played a key role in the advancement of our space knowledge.(Image: Tetsuya Nagata, Nagoya University) The Large Magellanic Cloud is a nearby irregular dwarf galaxy that was the subject of the IRSF’s first research mission.(Image: Wikipedia) An aerial view of the site, with the Southern African Large Telescope (Salt) on the left and the IRSF on the far right.(Image: Tetsuya Nagata, Nagoya University) The Salt is the largest such instrument in the entire southern hemisphere.(Image: Flickr)  MEDIA CONTACTS • Anacletta Koloko  Science communication unit, South  African Agency for Science and  Technology Advancement  +27 12 392 9338 RELATED ARTICLES • Eye in the sky benefits society • Space science thriving in SA • SA’s space capabilities set to grow • SKA: who gets whatJanine Erasmus Scientists from Japan, South Africa and other African countries came together in early October at the Space Science Colloquium to share the latest developments in the fields of astronomy, space science and satellite applications. The event was co-hosted by the national Department of Science and Technology, with the Japanese Embassy in South Africa. Dr Takahiro Nagayama of Nagoya University filled attendees in on the infrared survey facility (IRSF), a joint Japan-South Africa project located in Sutherland, Northern Cape province, at an altitude of 1 761 metres. Nagayama is the manager of the facility and has been involved with it since its inception in 1998. The IRSF is situated on the same site as the Southern African Large Telescope (Salt) – the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere – and a number of other instruments including the Alan Cousins telescope, the Elizabeth telescope, and the Korean Yonsei telescope. This makes the site one of the best places in the world to conduct advanced astronomy, according to Nagayama. The IRSF is a 1.4m telescope with an infrared (IR) camera. It was developed by scientists at Nagoya, with the help of the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. It’s Japan’s first southern hemisphere IR telescope. The country decided on South Africa as a host for several reasons. “We knew we had to build a telescope in the southern hemisphere, because there are many important celestial objects that are only visible in the southern sky,” explained Nagayama. South Africa was chosen from an initial group of three candidates, with Chile and Australia. It was selected as the best of the three because it had excellent weather as well as an extremely competent astronomical community, and there was no language barrier, as there was in South America. “The South African people are also very friendly and good to work with. South Africa was the best site for us at that time, and I believe it still is now.” Japan entered into the agreement with the SAAO in 1998 and soon afterwards, the project received a grant from the Japanese ministry of science and technology, to the tune of some US$7-million. “The SAAO has provided the infrastructure, including power, water, internet, and the site itself,” said Nagayama. “The local astronomical community built the dome and building.” Nagoya provided the telescope and near-IR camera known as Sirius, which was developed by graduate students. “You won’t find any big names – Sony, Nikon – in this project,” said Nagayama.Surveying our skies Initially, the main function of IRSF was to conduct a thorough study of the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds – small irregular galaxies that lie close to the Milky Way – using a tri-wavelength observation technique.The Magellanic Cloud survey was completed in 2007 and then the Indian Department of Space used the telescope to survey the central region of the Milky Way. There are other research projects ongoing. The presence of the IRSF in South Africa has brought the world’s best astronomers to the country and helped to develop its scientific talent. In the 12 years since the telescope came into operation, 142 observers, of whom 81 were Japanese and 61 foreign, have visited from 31 institutes – 13 from Japan, six from South Africa and 12 from other countries including Korea, the UK and US. Also, studies have resulted in 87 refereed papers, 11 of them with South Africans as the first author. Finally, 19 PhDs have been awarded for research carried out at IRSF, to 16 Japanese scholars and three from the University of Cape Town. “We hope the collaboration will continue,” said Nagayama. “The IRSF is so far the most successful science collaboration between South Africa and Japan.”Uncovering the secrets of the universe Nagayama explained the reasons for choosing to work in infrared instead of visible light. “Astronomers are interested in concepts such as the possibility of a second earth beyond our solar system, dark energy, black holes, and the dawn and end of the universe,” he said. “Traditionally we have observed these things with visible light, but today we can use the whole electromagnetic spectrum, from gamma rays to radio.” Probably the most well-known example of this technology, he said, is the Hubble telescope, which has a 2.4m primary mirror and captures images in the near-ultraviolet to near-infrared bands. The Hubble is in a low earth orbit and because it is not subjected to atmospheric turbulence, said Nagayama, its images are sharp. However, when taking images of objects that are very far away, visible light does not produce the best pictures. Interstellar dust results in a phenomenon known as scattering of visible light, and the picture that is finally received is degraded, but this doesn’t affect IR as much. “Also, visible light can’t penetrate the interstellar dust to see into and behind the Milky Way, but IR can,” said Nagayama. “The centre of our galaxy is hidden to visible light, but we can see it clearly in IR because the dust is invisible at these wavelengths.” Sirius can take simultaneous images in three different bands – wavelengths of 1.2µ (micron), 1.6µ and 2.1µ respectively – because of its special mirrors. The optics are cooled by a closed-cycle refrigerator to about 100 kelvin, or -173 degrees Celsius. “We can also create a false-colour composite image by colouring the three bands blue, green and red respectively.”Complementing each other Nagayama described another major Japanese astronomical project, the Subaru telescope, which is an 8.4m single mirror telescope built on the summit of the volcanic Mount Mauna Kea in Hawaii. “Although Subaru has a bigger mirror than Hubble and takes good pictures, Hubble is better because it is in space,” said Nagayama. Other Japanese large projects include the Akari (IR), Suzaku (x-ray) and the Alma radio telescope, while South Africa has the Salt, whose aperture is larger than Subaru, and the KAT-7, MeerKAT and Square Kilometre Array, all of which are projects involving radio telescopes. Altogether, said Nagayama, this means that the Japanese and South African projects have an observation range from gamma or y-ray, through x-ray, UV, visible light, IR, and radio. “These projects complement each other,” he said, “meaning that the coverage between Japan and South Africa is effective across the full spectrum of electromagnetic waves.”last_img read more

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Resistant Corn Borer Found

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Emily UnglesbeeDTN Staff ReporterROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) — Scientists have found populations of European corn borer in Canada that are fully resistant to the Bt trait Cry1F, sold under the brand name Herculex I.So far, the discoveries are limited to the Maritimes region, specifically Nova Scotia — where single-trait Cry1F hybrids were used. But all corn growers who still rely on single-trait corn hybrids, such as Herculex I and Herculex XTRA, are at risk, scientists told DTN.Farmers in both the U.S. and Canada should check with their seed dealer to see if they are using or have access to pyramided corn hybrids, which add additional corn borer traits such as Cry1Ab (YieldGard Corn Borer) or Cry1A.105 + Cry2Ab2 (YieldGard VT Pro).Representatives from Corteva Agriscience, which owns the Cry1F trait, told DTN that single-trait Cry1F hybrids will not be sold under any Corteva seed brands in Canada by the 2020 season — but they could not speak for other seed companies. In the U.S., use of single-trait Cry1F hybrids is still occurring in “minimal quantities” in “scattered pockets” of the country, said Clint Pilcher, global biology leader for Corteva.In addition to checking with your seed supplier, growers can use the Handy Bt Trait Table from Michigan State University to check which Bt traits they’re using: https://lubbock.tamu.edu/…. The Cry1F trait is sold under multiple brands by many seed companies via licensing agreements.Here are corn hybrids known to contain only Cry1F to control corn borer:— Herculex 1— Herculex XTRA— AcreMax1— TRIsectRemember that if you are still using a single-trait hybrid, you are required to plant a structured 20% non-Bt refuge.Corteva believes Cry1F remains effective against corn borer beyond the Maritimes region of Canada, as the company monitors for Bt resistance each year across corn-growing regions of North America, said Nick Storer, global regulatory advocacy lead for Corteva.However, scientists from the University of Guelph, who confirmed the Bt-resistant corn borer populations in Nova Scotia, are already investigating another case of unexpected corn borer injury outside of this region, said Tracey Baute, an entomologist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.The Canadian scientists are urging all growers to be on the lookout for corn borer injury this year, Baute said. Even corn hybrids that have two corn borer traits could be compromised if one of the traits is Cry1F, since scientists don’t yet know how widespread this type of corn borer resistance is, she said.The problem is most farmers are not always watching for corn borer injury, Baute noted. Decades ago, corn borer was a major economic pest of corn — and it still is, for non-GM corn growers. But for the past 20 years, the pest has been so well controlled by Bt traits that a generation of farmers have grown up not having to scout for it, Baute explained.“We’ve all relaxed our monitoring for this pest, and now we have to go back to the drawing board,” she said.Corn borer populations are on the rise in parts of the Corn Belt where non-GM corn production is increasing, noted Michigan State University Extension entomologist Christina DiFonzo. “But I don’t get the impression that a lot of people are walking through their corn scouting for it, or know exactly what traits they are planting for it, so [resistance] could be going under the radar pretty easily.”Growers may need to reacquaint themselves with the signs of corn borer injury in corn, which include finding shot holes in corn leaves, “frass” (insect excrement) from the larva tunneling holes into the stalk, broken tassels, stalks falling over and ears dropping on the ground before harvest. See more details from this guide here: https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/….Corn borer is now the second corn pest to develop resistance to the Cry1F trait in recent years. Two years ago, scientists from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and New York reported Cry1F-resistant populations of western bean cutworm, as well. That pest has now been removed from Cry1F’s marketing language, and the Handy Bt Trait notes what regions growers should expect to use non-Bt controls for this pest.The Handy Bt Trait table will be updated soon with the confirmed corn borer resistance to Cry1F, DiFonzo said. In the meantime, entomologists are urging growers to add the pest to their scouting regimen once again and notify university Extension offices if they find unexpected damage.“We need to get back in touch with the corn borer,” DiFonzo said.For more information on the discovery of European corn borer resistance to Cry1F in Nova Scotia, see this article from the Canadian Corn Pest Coalition: https://www.cornpest.ca/….See also this article from Baute: http://fieldcropnews.com/….Read more from a U.S. perspective on the discovery from DiFonzo: https://www.canr.msu.edu/….Emily Unglesbee can be reached at Emily.unglesbee@dtn.comFollow her on Twitter @Emily_Unglesbee(PS/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Devs Hack iPhone API for True Augmented Reality

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#NYT#Real-Time Web#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting An international team of computer scientists has created software that lets anyone perform on-the-fly analysis of live streaming video on the iPhone. Used alongside existing methods of displaying data on top of the camera’s view, this new functionality signals a fundamental change in the kinds of Augmented Reality (AR) that iPhone developers can create. Existing AR apps, like Yelp, Layar, Wikitude and others display data on top of a camera’s view but don’t actually analyze what the camera sees. This new development changes that.The iPhone has a private API for analysis of live-streaming video but developers’ requests that it be made accessible haven’t been granted by Apple. The new software opening up access to that API was made freely available to anyone this morning by the team that built it.The Visual Media Lab at Ben Gurion University in collaboration with HIT Lab NZ wrote the code in question and unveiled it along with video demonstrations at the AR-specialist blog Games Alfresco today. The unveiling comes just days before the International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality in Orlando, Florida.In a demonstration video the team showed how software built on top of the now-exposed API could look at a 2D image drawn on paper and render the image in 3D. Then the 3D rendering is subjected to a physics simulation. This is of course just one use-case. Video AR-enabled software could do almost anything in direct response to the actual images seen through the iPhone’s camera view, in real time. Image processing locally will be easier and faster than comparison with a large number of related images, something that would likely require some connection to the cloud, but these are early days.GamesAlfresco author Ori Inbar calls this the dawn of an era of “user-generated Augmented Reality.”For the first time ever, the core code necessary for real augmented reality (“real” here means precise alignment of graphics overlaid on real life objects) on iPhone 3.0 is available to the publicHow will Apple respond? That’s a big question; the company has had an ambivalent relationship with the emerging field of Augmented Reality so far and exercises infamously obtuse control over applications distributed through its app store.For now the code is being distributed for its creators by Ori Inbar, whose email address to request it is available at the conclusion of his coverage on GamesAlfresco.The possibilities here are huge. While location-based AR is clumsy at best so far, due to the imprecise nature of GPS and mapping data, these kinds of object-centric AR tied to the actual viewed world open up a whole new world of potential developments. Let’s see what you’ve got, AR devs of the world! A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img marshall kirkpatrick Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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10 Ways Social Media Will Change in 2011

first_imgWith more than 550 million people on Facebook, 65 million tweets posted on Twitter each day, and 2 billion video views each day on YouTube?, social media has become an integral part of our connected lives. But this is just the beginning.For the past two years, I have been forecasting the evolution social media will undergo. Key trends for 2010 included social media integration across applications and devices, lowered technological barriers, mobile pervasiveness and social media ROI as a focus. It is safe to say that these trends indeed became reality and I expect these to continue and materialize in new solutions, applications and case studies in the year ahead.2011 will also be marked by new developments that will shape the very fabric of our behavior, culture and identity. These developments will challenge us to consider important questions about the future of our experience as connected people and consumers. Here are key trends to watch in the coming year:1. Social media will be supersizedGuest author Ravit Lichtenberg, founder and chief strategist at Ustrategy – a boutique consultancy specializing in helping companies excel in the socio-digital age. Ravit authors a blog at www.ravitlichtenberg.com and is on Twitter @ravit_ustrategy.Following the success of various social media SaaS vendors and application providers, and fueled by ?Apple envy,? in 2011 we will see a surge of service providers bundling social networks, engagement widgets, video, mobile capabilities, cloud services and analytics, with their own unique services and proprietary capabilities. Ad agencies, for example, will offer bundles that include layers of creative strategy, campaign management and advertising deals all handled through a central dashboard; telecommunications companies will offer video tools for businesses and consumers with greater bandwidth, storage and syndication; learning management systems (LMS) integrators will add engagement, archiving, training and collaboration tools for a deeper and more engaging academic experience. By the end of the year, using today?s à la cart solutions will seem as efficient as buying a pocket knife with only a bottle opener in it.2. Companies will integrate social feedback into their decision making processRead Ravit’s Previous Forecasts10 Ways Social Media Will Change in 200910 Ways Social Media Will Change in 2010 Tags:#Features#Trends#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts ravit lichtenberg from ustrate 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market In 2011 we will see a growing number of companies finally go beyond using social channels merely for building awareness and providing support. As ?social thinkers,? these companies will use the social engine to inform strategic decisions, and execute on the organization?’s objectives, marketing plans, product roadmaps and more. ?It?s not just about technology, it?s about a fundamental shift into a new age of leadership with new type of executives who behave and operate in new ways,? said Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com chairman and CEO. Expect to see a rise in companies who, by end of year, will be recognized for socially-informed innovation, customer focus and work environment, ?much like Zappos and Amazon were a few years back.3. Mobile will become our gateway to the world2010 marked the year in which infrastructure, technology and design finally intersected in the mobile space. For the first time, sales of smartphones outpaced sales of desktops and laptops, iPhone and iPad applications were downloaded more than 7 billion times and research shows e-mail access is now on the rise on the iPhone while declining on the computer.With the foundation in place, in the coming year we will witness the scales tip: Mobile device users will interact with content, companies and the Web more on their phones and iPads than on their computers, and IT and service providers will create solutions that are defined by our mobile consumption and use behaviors. ?The highway has been there but until now we needed a special car to get us to our destination, so the average pedestrian was not going to get there. Now that technology barriers have been lowered, mobile will become an extension of who we are,? said Philippe Suchet, CEO of MyShopanion, and the recipient of the Web2.0? Summit 2010 award for most innovative startup in the mobile shopping category.From social shopping on the go, to easy paperless transactions and check-ins, to watching (and creating) videos with friends abroad, to in-class learning and collaboration, to managing our health real-time – prepare for an explosion of connected experiences across all points of interactions between people and people, people and companies, and people and information in the cloud.Photo by LotusHead4. Video will be everywhereWith plummeting video delivery costs and highly accessible and flexible video management platforms (like Brightcove, Ooyala, and the open-source platform Kaltura*), custom-use of video by enterprises online, on mobile devices, and across screens is on the rise across all sectors.Consumer? engagement with video will also continue to rise. In October alone, 5.4 billion videos were viewed – 2 billion of these on Facebook. ?People today can shoot and share HD videos from their phone. The user experience is getting to the same level as broadcast or professional media from an image quality standpoint. Image acquisition is entirely changing content production,? said Brett Leonard, renowned writer and director and pioneer of ?frag? technology in the movie industry.When it comes to ROI, it seems that companies want to cook gourmet risotto but most are still busy washing the rice: Despite 2010 being a year filled with ROI discussions and some strong case studies, Forrester research shows that most companies still have no clue how to meaningfully measure ROI.In the coming year, gaps in our video experience will be filled with the integration of filtering, tagging, editing and locating tools into each and every video feed. Both companies and consumers will increasingly rely on video to provide information and behavioral cues that are not otherwise present in texts, tweets and status updates, making video a critical component of the value chain for its impact on shaping people?s’ perception about companies and about each other.5. The next big Online Social Network will not be a network at allSocial networks have transformed human access capabilities much like modern transportation and the telephone did over 150 years ago. But they are also changing the very structure of our relationships? – flattening our naturally varying levels of intimacy in real life.In the coming year we will see the rise of dynamic, engaging, easy-to-use community platforms and applications like Diaspora, Path and Looppa* that will better mimic and facilitate the innate way people seek to manage relationships. ?People today look for more personalized, authentic, private information (where we make) a ?social contract? around a topic or context that is beyond the reach of search engine results and Facebook crowds,? said Dave Blakely, director of technology strategy at IDEO.For consumers, this means the ability to create smaller, more intimate, context-specific communities using their existing social graph and livestreams. For companies, this means the ability to facilitate a custom-branded, dynamic and engaging experience on their online properties in ways not possible on Facebook. ?Every company should think of itself as a media company,? said Tom Foremski, journalist and thought-leader.As they become more social, on their own turfs, companies will once again own their customer relationships and brand in a whole new way, ?ultimately building greater community value for both the company and its customers.6. ROI will be redefinedWhen it comes to ROI, it seems that companies want to cook gourmet risotto but most are still busy washing the rice: Despite 2010 being a year filled with ROI discussions and some strong case studies, Forrester research shows that most companies still have no clue how to meaningfully measure ROI.As brands move this year from being on social media to using the social media ecosystem, ROI metrics will finally evolve beyond counting ?likes? and comments. Aligning with actionable business objectives and their corresponding metrics will be critical to being able to demonstrate repeatable contribution to the bottom line. Companies who hire social media strategists with proven marketing analytics background and business strategy experience will have the upper hand and will place first in the race to cracking the ROI code.7. Psychology is shiftingUntil now, human psychology has been regarded slow to change. In the coming year we will begin to see evidence that we are, in fact, witnessing a growing psychological plasticity.?We have changed the importance of time, geography, age? and the assumption of how the world works. We have new levels of cognitive flexibility, which is creating a new way of thinking about the world and about ourselves,? said Dr. Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center and co-founder of A Think Lab.Once feeling powerless to fight against personal and cultural injustices, today people know they have the power to voice their grievances, the tools to bring about change and the ability to take control of their experiences.As the constructs of relationships, privacy and our ability to influence others evolve, we will also face important questions: How do we respond to the changing definition of relationships? How does the elimination of behavioral cues, only available face-to-face, impact our ability to connect? How does our need for emotional balance get addressed in the face of constant change?In the coming year, companies wishing to succeed should already start to set practices and create a charter to understand the intersection between technology and psychology. Focusing on behaviors is no longer sufficient.8. Citizen activism brings back purpose and powerWith the power made possible by social technologies to connect, inform and mobilize, we will see a surge in self-organized and managed citizen activism. ?Value will come from being able to facilitate groups as a human infrastructure?, not from technology,? says Andrea Saveri, a thought-leader and researcher at the intersection of foresight and strategy.Wikipedia and Mozilla FireFox are early and ongoing examples of the value of the connected human infrastructure; many more, including Causecast, and OpenIDEO, as well as lesser known projects like It Gets Better will light up the grid. By the end of the year we may each join a group of people we have never met in order to take part in bringing about change in completely new ways.9. Social business intelligence will heat up and so will privacyAs we become ever more connected, and rely on giants like Apple and Google to funnel our most personal information, the field of social business intelligence, and with it, our privacy, will move to the spotlight. Wikileak?s‘ eruption on the social media waves and Do Not Track are just previews. Every company now looks to tap into the boundless user data being collected in the cloud. While personalized, targeted experience can be extremely valuable in helping companies and consumers cut through the clutter, the line between perceived use and abuse can be thin at times, as data mining and targeted ad delivery pioneer RapLeaf saw in past months.In the year ahead we will witness (and be part of) major data virtualization initiatives designed to map our activities, preferences and choices. Mechanisms designed to triangulate our mobile, online and physical information will yield more accurate information than our Social Security numbers can. We will see fierce regulation battles and hear about companies who use our data to test boundaries? and our trust. When done, Tom Cruise?’s shopping scene in Minority Report will seem as sophisticated as scenes from Time Tunnel in the 1970?s.10. The role of the social media strategist will be changingThe glory days when social media strategists rose to stardom overnight (and too often, with little relevant experience) are finally over. Social media roles today focus on tangible, results-driven capabilities within the organizational structure and processes. Hiring managers are more informed and better connected, making it easier to separate the wheat from the chaff.In 2011, social media strategists will need to contend with much more actionable, and often mundane, tasks such as selecting and piloting new tools, integrating social widgets and analytics, helping to educate the organization, and integrating social-based thinking into the organization?’s process and culture. Process design, stakeholder management, strategic planning, and the ability to manage large projects within complex environments will all be required.Strategists looking to remain inspired and work at the cutting edge will have to look outside today’?s leading corporations. Some of the most interesting social media work will come from new media digital agencies, smaller innovative companies, international companies who are just entering the field and late-to-adopt sectors such as health, finance and insurance.In the year ahead we will see more of the same: more users on Facebook, more videos, more social media widgets, more tools, more devices, more applications. But it will also be a year of important accomplishments and fundamental shifts in our thinking, behavior and psychology. As social media and social technologies integrate deeper into our daily lives and across vast audiences, our areas of focus will begin to transform.Companies will begin to overhaul their internal structures and decision-making processes even if at a fairly superficial levels at first; consumers will seek to make sense of their evolving relationships, always-on connectedness, and to redefine value and meaning.As we finally surface from social media stimulus overload, the questions we will ask in the coming year should not be about technology but about what it enables, what it jeopardizes and about how we, as the connected collective, want to shape the years to come.(Disclaimer: Companies marked with * are Ustrategy clients.) Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

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