first_imgIn an apparent move to meet with the deadline for her promised return of electricity to Liberia by December, 2015, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has sent to the Liberian Senate for ratification a loan agreement in the tone of US$12 million.According to President Sirleaf’s communication to the Senate plenary dated March 26, 2014, the loan agreement which was signed between Liberia and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa is to help finance the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) Bushrod Island Power Generation Plant.“The agreement, which was signed on November 18, 2013, has the total value of US$12 million and is for the sole purpose of financing the Bushrod power generation special project. The project aims to help reduce the power deficit in the country, and to ensure regular supply of power to residential, commercial and industrial area, and other places like health centers, government centers and schools in Monrovia and nearby towns. This in turn is intended to improve the social development of the country, reduce poverty and create jobs…”President Sirleaf  further said in her communication that most  specifically, the project will consist of several components, such as  civil works on the foundation for the diesel unit, transformer and fuel tankers, electrical mechanical equipment, spare parts and maintenance tools,  and provision for operators training on plant operation and maintenance, supply of computers and vehicles, among others.“In view therefore, and in furtherance of the government’s response to power need of our citizenry and by extension the economy that I ask for the ratification of this loan agreement…”It may be recalled that early this year, the Senate ratified similar loan agreement in the tone of US$14 million between the government of Liberia and the Kuwaiti Bank. That loan is expected to be used for the rehabilitation of the port of Greenville, Sinoe County.The President’s communication, which is the first to be received by the Senators following their three-week Easter break and Ebola sensitization retreat, was voted upon and sent to the Senate Committees on Ways, Means & Finance, Lands, Mines & Energy, Judiciary and Foreign Affairs.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgTeenage team-mate Moise Kean attracted the headlines for facing the home fans as he celebrated the winning goal, but it was the second straight year that Matuidi has suffered such abuse in Cagliari. Alex Sandro was also a target.“It’s sad,” the World Cup winner told Canal+ in France. “It happened to me last year in this stadium and we cannot tolerate it.”“You can tell me: ‘maybe it’s not racist, they just want to unsettle you’,” Matuidi said. “No. These are things you do not say and must be punished.”The events in Cagliari brought a damning reaction.Italy coach Roberto Mancini called for tough measures in Serie A after the “unacceptable” abuse in Cagliari.“We can no longer accept this, we need to act and hard. Racist behaviour must be stigmatised.”On Friday, Danny Rose, of England and Tottenham, said the way football fights racism is “a farce”.“I have had enough,” Rose said. “I just can’t wait to see the back of it, seeing how things are done in the game at the minute.”Others, like Yaya Toure and Raheem Sterling reacted to suggestions, from Cagliari officials and also even Juventus defender Leonardo Bonnucci and manager Massimiliano Allegri that Kean was to blame for not turning the other cheek and when he celebrated in front of home fans.“I was shocked when I saw that happen and then the manager saying Kean shouldn’t have done that,” said former Ivory Coast captain Toure.England’s Sterling tweeted: “All you can do now is laugh.”Kean defended his actions as “the best way to respond to racism”.Matuidi said that, like Kean, he was upset.“I could not calm down. I did not want to ignore it. You have to fight it,” he said. “We can’t allow this anymore. We must have the courage (to end it).”“These are stupid people,” he said. “They should never be allowed to come to the stadium again.”Matuidi said he had spoken to the referee about halting the match.“I thought he made the wrong decision. But when I spoke to him he did not understand.”0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Blaise Matuidi is unhappy at the way he was treated as Juventus won at Cagliari © AFP/File / Marco BERTORELLOPARIS, France, Apr 7 – Blaise Matuidi echoed the disillusionment of other black footballers when he said on Sunday that the events of the week suggested “this is not a world I want my children to see.”Matuidi was one of the three Juventus players abused with monkey noises during a victory at Cagliari during the week.last_img read more

first_imgROME – Luciano Pavarotti, whose vibrant high C’s and ebullient showmanship made him one of the world’s most beloved tenors, died Thursday, his manager told The Associated Press. He was 71. His manager, Terri Robson, told the AP in an e-mailed statement that Pavarotti died at his home in Modena, Italy, at 5 a.m. local time. Pavarotti had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and underwent further treatment in August. “The Maestro fought a long, tough battle against the pancreatic cancer which eventually took his life. In fitting with the approach that characterized his life and work, he remained positive until finally succumbing to the last stages of his illness,” the statement said. For serious fans, the unforced beauty and thrilling urgency of Pavarotti’s voice made him the ideal interpreter of the Italian lyric repertory, especially in the 1960s and `70s when he first achieved stardom. For millions more, his charismatic performances of standards like “Nessun dorma” from Puccini’s “Turandot” came to represent what opera is all about. In the annals of that rare and coddled breed, the operatic tenor, it may well be said the 20th century began with Enrico Caruso and ended with Pavarotti. Other tenors – Domingo included – may have drawn more praise from critics for their artistic range and insights, but none could equal the combination of natural talent and personal charm that so endeared him to audiences. “Pavarotti is the biggest superstar of all,” the late New York Times music critic Harold Schonberg once said. “He’s correspondingly more spoiled than anybody else. They think they can get away with anything. Thanks to the glory of his voice, he probably can.” In his heyday, he was known as the “King of the High C’s” for the ease with which he tossed off difficult top notes. In fact it was his ability to hit nine glorious high C’s in quick succession that first turned him into an international superstar singing Tonio’s aria “Ah! Mes amis,” in Donizetti’s “La Fille du Regiment” at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 1972. His name seemed to show up as much in gossip columns as serious music reviews, particularly after he split with Adua Veroni, his wife of 35 years and mother of their three daughters, and then took up with his 26-year-old secretary in 1996. In late 2003, he married Nicoletta Mantovani in a lavish, star-studded ceremony. Pavarotti said their daughter Alice, nearly a year old at the time of the wedding, was the main reason he and Mantovani finally wed after years together. In the latter part of his career, some music critics cited what they saw as an increasing tendency toward the vulgar and the commercial. In 1990, he appeared with Domingo and Carreras in a concert at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome for the end of soccer’s World Cup. The concert was a huge success, and the record known as “The Three Tenors” was a best-seller and was nominated for two Grammy awards. The video sold over 750,000 copies. The three-tenor extravaganza became a mini-industry. With a follow-up album recorded at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in 1994, the three have outsold every other performer of classical music. A 1996 tour earned each tenor an estimated $10 million. Pavarotti was preparing to leave New York in July 2006 to resume a farewell tour when doctors discovered a malignant pancreatic mass, his manager Terri Robson said at the time. He underwent surgery in a New York hospital, and all his remaining 2006 concerts were canceled. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most dangerous forms of the disease, though doctors said the surgery offered improved hopes for survival. “I was a fortunate and happy man,” Pavarotti told Italian daily Corriere della Sera in an interview published about a month after the surgery. “After that, this blow arrived.” “And now I am paying the penalty for this fortune and happiness,” he told the newspaper. Faced with speculation that the tenor was near death, Mantovani, his second wife, told Italian newspaper La Stampa in July 2007: “He’s fighting like a lion and he has never lost his heart.” Pavarotti had three daughters with his first wife, Lorenza, Cristina and Giuliana; and one, Alice, with his second wife.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Instantly recognizable from his charcoal black beard and tuxedo-busting girth, Pavarotti radiated an intangible magic that helped him win hearts in a way Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras – his partners in the “Three Tenors” concerts – never quite could. “I always admired the God-given glory of his voice – that unmistakable special timbre from the bottom up to the very top of the tenor range,” Domingo said in a statement from Los Angeles. “I also loved his wonderful sense of humor and on several occasions of our concerts with Jose Carreras – the so-called Three Tenors concerts – we had trouble remembering that we were giving a concert before a paying audience, because we had so much fun between ourselves,” he said. The tenor, who seemed equally at ease singing with soprano Joan Sutherland as with the Spice Girls, scoffed at accusations that he was sacrificing his art in favor of commercialism. “The word commercial is exactly what we want,” he said, after appearing in the widely publicized “Three Tenors” concerts. “We’ve reached 1.5 billion people with opera. If you want to use the word commercial, or something more derogatory, we don’t care. Use whatever you want.” last_img

first_imgJob Vacancy: Euroflex TEO, a privately owned packaging company in Derrybeg, Co. Donegal, is currently recruiting a Junior Office Administrator to join the team.This role is a Maternity Leave Cover position. Previous office administration experience is essential. Responsibilities and DutiesGreeting Visitors & ClientsReception Duties – Answering and forwarding callsDealing with Email & Phone QueriesFiling & maintaining documentsData EntrySupporting team with ad-hoc administrative duties.Working predominately with our Sales department.Qualifications & SkillsDetail focused with excellent administrative and organisation skillsExperienced in working in fast paced team environment.Strong communication skills both verbal and writtenMotivated with “positive can do” attitude.A minimum 12 months relevant experienceAbility to work under pressure.Excellent organisational skills required.Must have excellent IT skills with a proficient background in MS Office tools (MS Outlook, Excel & Word ).Have the ability to prioritise tasks and someone who can work on their own initiative.Have the ability to engage with the team and to provide support & flexibility To Apply:To apply please send your CV by email to  Job Vacancy: Junior Office Administrator required was last modified: December 5th, 2018 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) Tags:Career OpportunitiesderrybegeuroflexJunior Office AdministratorMaternity Leave Coverlast_img read more

first_imgIt’s all systems go at Donegal ETB this year as they enrol for upcoming courses in the Information and communication technology (ICT). Donegal was recently described as a leading area of the ‘mini Silicon Valley’ in the North West. Employers are seeking people with digital skills, so Donegal ETB is responding to this need by ensuring their Further Education and Training (FET) give learners the necessary skills for the best job opportunities. A wide range of part-time and full-time courses run in the ICT area from entry right up to professional level at Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training centres. Many of these courses are industry certified and endorsed by employers. Donegal Daily spoke with two past learners to find out how they gained the computer knowledge they needed to find fulfilling jobs in the digital era. “Employers seem to look for learners from ETB courses,” said Muriel Shields, who completed the Multimedia Donegal programme in 2017. Muriel had been working in retail management for 31 years before she was made redundant in 2016. She began upskilling with Donegal ETB as soon as she signed on the register. Muriel completed a Business Admin Skills evening course before registering for the ECDL.“I had done computer work in my previous job but I knew I needed to modernise my skills. Our tutor Martin Duffy was a fantastic support. There is a lot of online learning with tutors always there to answer questions.”The multimedia course covers a wide range of computer programmes including Microsoft Office. From this year of study, Muriel gained the skills to work in an Accountancy Office and later with the ETB administration department.Muriel Shiels, Multimedia 2017“The ETB are so focused on helping you find employment. They help you with your CV, teach you how to attend an interview and how to answer awkward interview questions. My tutor often notified me of local job openings that suited my skillset and I had up to 10 interviews in the last year. It was a great confidence booster.”Now that Muriel works with Donegal ETB she says that the supportive community runs throughout. “I would definitely recommend learning with the ETB. A lot of people don’t realise how much is on offer. The support is incredible, everyone wanted to help each other and better themselves.” Shane Curran – IT Support worker with the HSEShane Curran from Letterkenny never believed he’d be working in IT Support after just two years of training. The former mechanic completed an IT Support course with Donegal ETB in 2014. Thanks to the work placement within the course, he now has a well-suited job that he loves. The hands-on learning approach suited Shane best, he said: “I came from being trained as a mechanic. When I was laid off in 2009, I wanted to learn more about IT Support.“We started from the very basics, building on one skill at a time. Before you knew it you had a whole array of skills behind you. The tutor Greg Gillespie went above and beyond to prepare us for the real world of working in IT, where you need that hands-on skill set.“An important part is that they teach you how to deal with people. You might encounter a stressed out secretary or office team and nothing is working for them, so you have to know how to calm them down and solve the problem.” Shane applied all his skills from the ETB to his six month work placement in the Letterkenny University Hospital. After the course, he planned to upskill more with the LYIT, but when he got the call about a job opening at LUH he didn’t hesitate to take on the role. “I always knew this was the job that suited me,” Shane said.For anyone thinking about learning with the ETB, Shane’s advice is to go for it. “If you want to learn how to fix computers hands on and know how they work you should go to the ETB. I can’t praise it enough.”Donegal ETB have some new exciting full-time courses on the way in September, mainly Automated Software Tester and Cloud Platform and Infrastructure traineeships. The programmes are all developed to meet employer needs as a result of the ICT / FinTech Skills Report on the future requirements of local employers for recruitment, training and education.Donegal ETB’s FET Service offers a wide range of full-time and part-time courses in the field of ICT right across the county. On a full-time basis these include Information Processing (Buncrana), ICT for Employment and Further and Higher Education (Letterkenny), Software Developer (Letterkenny) and Multimedia (Buncrana, Letterkenny) all at Level 5.Part-Time programmes include Level 2 Basic Computer Skills, Essential IT (Letterkenny), Level 3 Information and Communications Technology (Castlefin, Lifford, Stranorlar) and Level 4 Pathway to Employment and FET with Digital Skills in Buncrana and in Letterkenny, Computer Basics / Literacy, Advanced Web Design, Java Foundations, Microsoft MTA Database Administration Fundamentals and ECDL (also in Donegal Town).Visit to find more information about ICT programmes with Donegal ETB starting in September 2018 throughout Donegal or email with course inquiries.Many of Donegal ETB’s FET courses are co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.How we gained ICT skills for employment with Donegal ETB was last modified: June 25th, 2018 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)Tags:computersDonegal ETBEmploymentICTjobsLearningskillslast_img read more

first_imgA man has pleaded guilty to attacking his wife and causing damage at her home.James Clarke appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court facing a series of charges. Clarke, of Magherane, Raphoe, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Sharon Clarke at Magheranane, Raphoe in August 25th, 2015.He also pleaded guilty on the same date to causing damage to the windscreen of Ms Clarke’s car, as well as a coffee table and flat-screen television.Barrister for the accused, Mr Peter Nolan, asked for a probation and welfare report be carried out on Mr Clarke.Mr Nolan remarked that his client was on relatively strict bail conditions and these were reaffirmed by Judge John Aylmer.The case was adjourned to the next sitting of the circuit court in December when Clarke, aged 54, will be sentenced.Man pleads guilty to attacking wife and smashing car and television was last modified: July 13th, 2018 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:attackcourtdonegalGardaiJames ClarkeRaphoewifelast_img read more

first_imgDrake (18-7, 13-0 MVC), which never trailed against Indiana State (8-15, 6-6 MVC) and held an eight-point halftime lead, blew open the game with a big third quarter. The Bulldogs made 10-of-14 shots, including three three-pointers, and knocked down six free throws, to lead by 25 points, 67-42, after three quarters. They would lead by as many as 35 points in the final quarter. Drake led 38-30 at halftime. In the first two quarters, the Bulldogs dished out 13 assists on 17 field goals, including nine assists on ten buckets in the second quarter. Drake blistered the nets in the quarter making 10-of-14 shots, including three three-pointers. Rhine had 10 points and six rebounds at the break. Jonas added eight points. Story Links HTML Box Score Full Schedule Roster For the fifth-straight game, Drake had five players finish in double-figure points led by Sara Rhine’s (Eldon, Mo.) game-high 16 points. Rhine added 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double this season. Becca Jonas (Independence, Mo.) scored 14 points, grabbed five boards and handed out three assists. Coming off the bench, Nicole Miller (Walker, Iowa) finished with 14 points for her third-consecutive double-digit scoring performance. Rounding out the group was Sammie Bachrodt (Wichita, Kan.) and Maddy Dean (Jordan, Minn.), who each had 11 points. Bachrodt handed out six assists and made three three-pointers. Live Stats 1350 ESPN Des Moines The Valley on ESPN3 Listen Live Watch Live PDF Box Score Jonas made a layup 11 seconds into the third quarter and Bachrodt followed with a triple as the Sycamores never pulled to single digits the rest of the game. Nine different Bulldogs scored after halftime as the team outscored Indiana State, 46-21. The team cut their turnovers down committing just seven after the break after turning it over 13 times in the first two quarters. TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Drake University women’s basketball defeated Indiana State, 84-51, Sunday afternoon in Missouri Valley Conference at the Hulman Center. Overall, Drake held Indiana State to just 27.7 shooting from the floor and 17.9 percent from behind the three-point line. The Bulldogs shot 56.9 percent (33-of-58) from the field, made eight three-pointers and recorded 25 assists as seven Bulldogs finished with two or more assists. Drake controlled the paint with a 46-20 advantage, a 47-29 advantage on the glass and the Bulldogs’ reserves scored 43 points to just nine from the Sycamores’ bench. Next Game: at UNI 2/16/2018 – 7 PM Preview Following Sunday’s game, Drake heads to in-state rival UNI Feb. 16. Tipoff with the Panthers is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the McLeod Center. It will be the MVC’s featured game on The Valley on ESPN3.Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

first_imgFarmers in Donegal who are concerned about breaching regulations concerning the spreading of slurry are being asked to contact the Nitrates Section of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine by Saturday 14 October, at the latest, to avail of some flexibility with regards to the spreading of slurry.The Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters Regulations 2014 give legal effect in Ireland to the Nitrates Directive and to our Nitrates Action Programme (NAP) and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) is the lead Department in this regard.The Directive requires all member states to define set periods when the land application of fertiliser is not allowed. Findings from the Agricultural Catchments Programme (ACP) operated by Teagasc support the current closed periods in Ireland. A key message from the research is that there are disproportionately high nutrient losses to waters during the winter and the current closed period coincides with the time during which risks of incidental nutrient losses to water are highest. Farmers are advised to spread slurry early in the season when growth and nutrient uptake are at their peak.It is recognised that there may be some potential concerns for animal welfare arising from heavy rainfall in specific parts of the country (the north west in particular) and farmers with such concerns are advised to contact the Nitrates Section of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine at 053 9163444 or by emailing with details of the flooding / trafficability situation, their herd number and other relevant data.Such contact should be made by Saturday 14 October at the latest as the closed period commences on Sunday 15 October.Farmers wishing to avail of such flexibility will be advised:· To spread only that volume of slurry necessary to ensure adequate storage capacity for the remainder of the closed period· That any spreading should occur as soon as good spreading conditions exist· That they will be prioritised for inspection by Local Authorities in the immediate future to ensure compliance with the Nitrates Regulations· That assessment of overall on-farm storage capacity may be part of that inspection process· That the Nitrates Section DAFM will subsequently contact the farmers to ascertain and record the date(s) on which this additional spreading takes place. Local Authority inspection reports will be returned to DHPLG and shared with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and those farms needing to avail of this flexibility will become a priority category for inspections in future years also.Finally, both Departments stress the importance of farmers ensuring that safety is their number one priority as toxic gases are released when slurry is agitated and one breath at this time can cause instant death. All of those working with slurry should be aware of the dangers involved and make sure they work safely at all times.Farmers concerned about complying with slurry spreading regulations are urged to contact Department was last modified: October 10th, 2017 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:donegalfarmersslurrylast_img read more

first_imgWe often hear exciting news about ‘habitable planets’ that might have life, or at least the ‘building blocks of life.’ Are these reports based on sound thinking about the requirements?I am constantly amused by the ongoing vigorous efforts to find some sort of life at places other than the earth. Daily I see conjectures about microbes in deep oceans in the Saturnian moons Titan or Enceladus (e.g.,, July 5th). Excited reporters announce organic compounds on Mars. On and on it goes.Let me approach this from two angles: how does life originate? And what are the requirements for life to survive, advance and propagate?Requirements for Assembling and Jump-Starting LifeIf life starts from some sort of single cell, how could that cell form, and how could it get life? Even the simplest cell is an indescribably complex object, like a factory. It is suggested that a cell, over the course of extremely long time frames, could just “come together” from ‘building blocks of life’ in some sort of primordial soup – a liquid containing a host of organic compounds. Is that reasonable?A cell consists of a number of indispensable parts. It needs a membrane to contain the internal parts and to gather nutrients and expel waste products. It needs a genetic code which controls the operations of the cell. It needs enzymes and proteins to move and control operations. These are at the very least crucial elements. Each constituent element consists of thousands of molecules all attached to each other properly. How could millions upon trillions of atoms slam together, attach at the right places and orientation, and create all these structures, all at one time?And, if they did, what jump-starts this process which we call life? Life implies that all these mechanisms start working, producing energy, metabolizing, growing, taking in nutrients, expelling waste products. The accidental production of a complex cell would be an outstanding miracle, but starting it operating is even a greater miracle. We can consider two cells—identical in structure and composition—one alive and one that died. What was lost to cause the second cell to die? Why can’t it jump-start again? It does not happen.Requirements for ViabilityBut putting this aside, imagining that somehow a live cell came together somewhere in the universe, what conditions are necessary to allow it to survive, to propagate, and to expand its functions further (i.e., to evolve)? We can examine the one case we know about, and that is spacecraft earth. We know a great deal about the earth, and know many features, conditions, and elemental substances available to allow life.In searching for life elsewhere, it is necessary to identify all the enabling conditions and raw materials required, before jumping to the conclusion that just because some organic molecules are found, that life must exist there.In their search, astrobiologists start looking for and hypothesizing about simple microbial organisms. SETI researchers are dedicated to looking for higher (intelligent) forms of life. What conditions and substances must be there for life to exist? To answer that question, we can ask: what about the earth do we know to be essential for life to exist? And not just a few of these conditions, but ALL of them must be present simultaneously.The book is available from CMI in print and e-book formats. Click for information.David Coppedge and I spend a good part of a chapter of our book Spacecraft Earth: A Guide for Passengers, examining the earth and identifying necessary features. I agree with most astrobiologists that life needs to be carbon-based to have all the different organic molecules and compounds available for life forms. We know of no other element that has all the features and versatility that carbon has. Some have suggested a silicon-based ecology, but although there are some silicon compounds that duplicate the carbon ones, the selection is very limited. Carbon has literally millions of compounds available.Many carbon compounds, however, are fragile, susceptible to damage from heat, cold, energetic particles, ultraviolet light, chemical attacks, etc. This is particularly true of organic compounds in life forms, particularly DNA. So considerations of the survival of life forms centers on protections against damaging forces. The other main consideration is the availability of beneficial compounds and chemicals to allow and promote growth. A number of carbon atoms are needed to form proteins, amino acids, esters, alcohols, enzymes,  fats, carbohydrates, and so on. To interact in the ways we see in cells, they need a solvent. I also agree with astrobiologists that water is the best candidate for a solvent—which means that a habitable planet must at least have liquid water.Requirements for HabitabilityA planet would need to have an abundance of the elements required for carbon-based life, not just carbon itself. And those elements must be available at the surface, or in the proposed oceans under the ice that scientists believe exist at Europa and Enceladus. For the required elements and molecules to be available, though, numerous other factors would also have to be satisfied. Some scientists think that just having water and heat is enough, with some organic molecules mixed in.Many people have heard of a “habitable zone” around a star where liquid water can exist. As we show in the book, that’s just one of the factors in the “cosmic lottery” that life has to win. The Earth, of course, won that lottery. But more thinking about habitable zones has added further requirements. From the literature of astrobiology, we can identify ten or more other “zones” required for habitability, in addition to circumstellar distance. We list these in the book: Galactic Habitable Zone:  the solar system must be localized in a narrow band within the galaxy. Continuously Habitable Zone:  the habitable zone must not vary significantly.Temporal Habitable Zone:  the habitable zone must last long enough for life to persist.Chemical and Thermodynamic Habitable Zone:  the planet’s chemistry and heat transfer mechanisms must permit liquid water to persist.Ultraviolet Habitable Zone:  the planet must filter out ionizing radiation from its star.Tidal Habitable Zone:  the star must not tidally “lock” its habitable planet to force one hemisphere to always face the star (this rules out most stars).Obliquity Habitable Zone:  the star must not “erase” its habitable planet’s tilt through tidal forces. (While not eliminating the possibility of life, a planet without a tilt would have no seasons, drastically reducing its habitable surface area.)Eccentricity Habitable Zone:  the planet must have a nearly circular orbit so that it stays in the proper place in the zone.Stellar Chemistry Habitable Zone:  the star must have the right chemical composition to remain quiet and well-behaved. A G2 main-sequence star like our sun is ideal.Stellar Wind Habitable Zone:  the star must not be given to extreme “space weather” that might strip off a habitable planet’s atmosphere.Inhabited Zone:  recently, two astrobiologists suggested that to be habitable, a planet needs inhabitants!  “…there is a growing amount of evidence supporting the idea that our Planet will not be the same if we remove every single form of life from its surface,” a news report said.A planetary scientist at the University of Arizona said, “Habitability is very difficult to quantify because it depends on a huge number of variables, some of which we have yet to identify.” It’s likely, therefore, that this is only a partial list.Requirements Are Not EnoughAs we show in the book, when you use reasonable probability estimates of 1 in 10 for each factor to calculate how many planets might meet all the requirements, the result is less than one! Obviously there is one, which we are living on right now. But is it reasonable to think the universe is filled with other planets as ‘lucky’ as the earth? I think not.Another planet could meet all these requirements, though, and still be lifeless. What physical process could organize the ingredients into cells? And what force could endow the cells with life? And could we expect undirected evolution to once again bring about anything on the level of the beauty and complexity of life we find here on Spacecraft Earth?  I maintain that it could not have happened once by accidental means here, much less than a second time elsewhere.My conclusion:  there are a lot of wishful thinkers out there who have not thought this through. And there is a lot of money being poured into a life search against all odds.Dr Henry Richter, manager of Explorer 1 (America’s first satellite) at JPL in 1958, is a contributing science writer to Creation-Evolution Headlines. Dr Richter was a key player at NASA/JPL in the early days of the American space program. With a PhD in Chemistry, Physics and Electrical Engineering from Caltech, Dr Richter brings a perspective about science with the wisdom of years of personal involvement. His book America’s Leap Into Space: My Time at JPL and the First Explorer Satellites (2015), chronicles the beginnings of the space program based on his own records and careful research into rare NASA documents, providing unequaled glimpses into events and personnel in the early days of rocketry that only an insider can give. His second book, Spacecraft Earth: A Guide for Passengers was printed by CMI in November, 2017. For more about Dr Richter and a list of his articles, see his Author Profile.(Visited 482 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_img13 November 2006The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has partnered with Korean state institution KRIBB to form the South Africa-Korea Biotechnology Research Centre, to be based at the CSIR in Pretoria.The centre will promote collaborative research projects and training within a joint biotechnology research centre.CSIR CEO Sibusiso Sibisi and KRIBB president Sang ki Rhee signed a memorandum of understanding in Pretoria on 3 November, establishing the partnership for an initial five-year period.According to the CSIR, the Korean organisation will provide the starting capital needed to establish a joint biotechnology research laboratory and facilities, while the CSIR will provide basic infrastructure, laboratory space and the necessary facilities.“The collaboration will in due course receive public and private funding,” the CSIR said in a statement.CSIR biosciences executive director Gatsha Mazithulela said the partnership reflected the strength of the CSIR’s biosciences research. “The challenge is maintain and grow our capabilities to keep up with the fast-changing biotechnology environment,” Mazithulela said.Also speaking at the signing ceremony, Rhee said he was confident that the agreement would enhance the development and prosperity of South Africa and Korea.“As KRIBB, we will also do our best to facilitate this cooperation so that researchers will be encouraged to achieve excellency in research and lead advancement in the biotechnology field,” Rhee said.KRIBB’s key areas of research and development are bio-pharmaceuticals, bio-nanotechnology, bio-materials and reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more