Story HighlightsMinister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, has welcomed the opportunity for the Caribbean to engage with the powerful G20 to highlight and address some of the peculiar challenges that are impeding the progress of countries in the region.He was addressing the first Caribbean Regional Dialogue with members of the G20 Development Working Group on Monday, April 13, as part of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings now underway in Washington DC.Jamaica was asked to co-chair discussions on the challenges confronting Caribbean countries at the meeting with the G20 Development Working Group. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Photo: Derrick ScottFinance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips (right), is in discussion with Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC., Amar Bhattacharya (left), at yesterday’s (April 13) first Caribbean Regional Dialogue with the G20 Working Development Group, as part of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings now underway in the American capital. Looking on in the background are Financial Secretary in the Ministry, Devon Rowe (2nd left); and Wayne Robinson from the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ). RelatedFinance Minister to Co-Chair G20 Working Group in Washington DC RelatedDr. Phillips Urges Revenue Agency Staff to Help Improve Tax Compliance Finance Minister Welcomes Engagement with G20JIS News | Presented by: PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQualityundefinedSpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlay Finance Minister Welcomes Engagement with G20 Finance & Public ServiceApril 14, 2015Written by: Derrick Scott Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, has welcomed the opportunity for the Caribbean to engage with the powerful G20 to highlight and address some of the peculiar challenges that are impeding the progress of countries in the region.He was addressing the first Caribbean Regional Dialogue with members of the G20 Development Working Group on Monday, April 13, as part of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings now underway in Washington DC.Jamaica was asked to co-chair discussions on the challenges confronting Caribbean countries at the meeting with the G20 Development Working Group.Dr. Phillips, in his remarks at the start of the meeting, said the session will be of great value to the Caribbean, because it is the first time there has been engagement between the Caribbean and the G20 in an organised fashion.Dialogue of this nature, he contended, allows for the opportunity to bring to the attention of the G20 countries and the Development Working Group, the specific condition of the Caribbean region, which he identified as low growth and high debt.He noted that the Caribbean is still suffering the effects of the crisis of 2008-09, pointing out that the consequences of that crisis are impeding the region’s capacity to grow, particularly because of the high debt.“This first contact, I think, is important and it will be the first of a number of contacts. We are grateful to the Turkish authorities, who are President of the G20 this year and the Chinese, who will preside next year. During these engagements, we’ll have to collaborate with the G20 to examine some practical solutions to the issues facing the Caribbean,” he said.“We should also be grateful to the Trinidadian authorities, who took an active part on behalf of the Caribbean in this regard. This dialogue will continue and there are specific areas in which practical solutions can be brought to the table to benefit the Caribbean,” he added.Last October, Dr. Phillips urged the G20 to make good on its promise to assist the Caribbean region to mitigate the effects of the financial recession of 2008. Speaking during a Caribbean breakfast and caucus meeting in Washington DC, Minister Phillips expressed concern that the group of major economies has not kept its promise to provide financial support to assist the region.“We continue to suffer because the expectations that were generated in 2008, coming out of the first meeting of the G20 nations, for resources to alleviate the plight of the region that was hardest hit by the crisis, have been unfulfilled,” he stated.Dr. Phillips said there is urgent need for the G20 to fulfil its promise, citing the region’s high debt burden, climatic vulnerabilities, along with energy insecurities.The G20 Development Working Group was established in 2010, and is responsible for implementing the G20 Development Agenda, which includes increasing financing for infrastructure investment in developing countries.The G20 is a forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies. The members include 19 individual countries – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, The Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and the European Union.Dr. Phillips is leading Jamaica’s delegation at the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings, which provide a forum for discussion among governors of central banks, high-level authorities of member countries, representatives of multilateral financial institutions and development agencies.The Jamaican delegation also includes Financial Secretary, Devon Rowe; Governor of the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ), Brian Wynter; Wayne Robinson also of the BoJ; Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Colin Bullock; and head of the IMF Coordination Implementation Unit in the Ministry, Judith Reid.The summit will end on Sunday, April 19, 2015. While in Washington, Dr. Phillips will meet with representatives of the IMF, World Bank, and the US Treasury. RelatedAdaptation Fund Programme Building Climate Change Resilience Advertisements
‘It’s Fractured’: Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan On Healing Republican Party Add to My List In My List Legal Advocate Discusses Medical Abuse At Shut Down Georgia ICE Facility For Whom The Bell Rings Updated Tuesday at 5:33 p.m.Two Atlanta police officers who were fired after video showed them using stun guns on two college students pulled from a car in traffic during a large protest against police brutality are looking to get their jobs back.Former Investigators Mark Gardner and Ivory Streeter sued Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Police Chief Erika Shields on Monday.The lawsuit alleges that the officers were fired in violation of the city’s code, without investigation, proper notice or a pre-disciplinary hearing.Bottoms and Shields have said they reviewed body camera footage from the May 30 incident and decided to immediately fire the officers and place three others on desk duty. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard brought criminal charges on June 2 against Gardner, Streeter and four other officers involved in the incident.Gardner and Streeter are charged with aggravated assault — Gardner for using a Taser against 20-year-old Taniyah Pilgrim and Streeter for using a Taser against 22-year-old Messiah Young — according to warrants.Pilgrim and Young, who are dating, are students at different historically black colleges near downtown Atlanta. Pilgrim was released the night of the incident with no charges. Young was arrested and charged with eluding police, but the mayor has said she ordered the charges dropped.Shields has since questioned the timing and appropriateness of the charges against the officers.In their lawsuit, the fired officers seek reinstatement to their jobs, as well as back pay and benefits. The suit states that the officers were denied due process, and that the other officers who “engaged in substantially similar conduct” were not dismissed.Neither Bottoms nor the police department responded to a request for comment late Monday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.Lawyers for the college students have said their clients were caught in traffic caused by a protest over the May 25 police custody death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Four Minneapolis officers were arrested in the death of the African American man.Correction: This story has been corrected to show the filing was a lawsuit, not a court order. Share Related Stories
April 30, 2013 News and Notes April 30, 2013 News & Notes News and Notes Jerold E. Glassman of Fox Rothschild in West Palm Beach was tapped to lead Boca West Country Club, Inc., as CEO and chair of the board. Doug Landau of Abrams Landau, Ltd., in Herndon, Virginia, moderated at the “Litigation at Sunrise” program at the American Association for Justice Winter Convention in Miami. George J. Meyer of Carlton Fields in Tampa was named a fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers. Peter B. King of Wiand Guerra King in Tampa was named president of the Florida Securities Dealers Association. Richard A. Greenberg of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell in Tallahassee presented “The Importance of Financial Responsibility for Law Students and Young Lawyers” at the Tallahassee Women Lawyers Third Annual Rookie Camp. He also served as a mentor during a “speed mentoring” session. Kimberly Kolback of Miami moderated the panel “Television Obsession and the Law — Legal Basics of Reality TV” during the 24th Annual North American Entertainment, Sports and Intellectual Property Law Conference in Cancun, Mexico. Benjamin W. Newman and Chris L. Carmody, Jr., of GrayRobinson in Orlando, P.A., were part of a group of Central Florida leaders who took part in the Central Florida Partnership’s “Trip to Washington, D.C.” to advance the regional needs in the areas of hospitality, travel and tourism, research funding, entrepreneurship, and base realignment and closure. Stuart C. Markman of Kynes, Markman & Felman was appointed to the City of Tampa Ethics Commission. Louis Reinstein of Bunnell & Woulfe in Ft. Lauderdale was appointed to the City of Plantation Educational Advisory Board. Judge Lisa M. Porter was installed as the president of the B’nai B’rith Justice Unit #5207 in Plantation. David R. Punzak of Carlton Fields in St. Petersburg received the Roy G. Harrell, Jr., Leadership Award presented by the St. Anthony’s Hospital Foundation. Robert J. Sniffen of Sniffen &Spellman in Tallahassee was elected to the board of directors and as an officer of the Academy of Florida Management Attorneys. He will serve as sergeant-at-arms and chair of the continuing legal education committee. Jeffrey T. Kucera of K&L Gates in Miami was named vice chair of the ABA’s Business Bankruptcy Committee. Patrick DeBlasio of Littler in Miami was awarded the International Law Office and Lexology Client Choice Award in Employment & Labor in the U.S. and Canada. Jerome M. Novey of Novey Law in Tallahassee became a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. James R. Usery of Ansbacher Law in Jacksonville lectured at National Business Institute’s seminar in Jacksonville on “Top 10 Title Defects – Cured.” Scott Rudacille of Blalock Walters in Bradenton was elected as chair of the board of directors of the Anna Maria Island Community Center. Jeffrey L. Cohen of the Florida Healthcare Law Firm in Delray Beach discussed the legal implications of MD/DC business arrangements at the Florida Chiropractic Association’s meeting in Jacksonville. Mark Eiglarsh of Miami presented “What You Should Know About Criminal Law” to the South Florida Paralegals Association in Miami. Barry A. Nelson of Nelson & Nelson in North Miami Beach presented “How Safe are Trust Funds from Claims for Alimony or Child Support?” at the annual meeting of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel in Maui, Hawaii. Garey F. Butler of Fowler White Boggs in Ft. Myers was appointed vice president of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida. Gabriel F. Zambrano of Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman in Ft. Lauderdale discussed the “History of IUDs and Female Contraception” at HarrisMartin’s MDL Conference: Mirena IUD and Granuflo in San Diego. Philip A. Diamond of Carlton Fields in Orlando presented “Legislative Update – 2013,” to the Central Florida Pension Study Group. Laird A. Lile of Naples was elected to the board of regents of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. Benjamin D. Babcock of Cummings & Lockwood in Naples was selected for the Growing Associates in Naples program designed for emerging leaders and professionals in Collier County, and held in coordination with the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and The Leadership Collier Foundation. Keith Grossman of Grossman Law & Conflict Management in Ft. Myers presented “Is Conflict Managing Your Business?” to the Zonta Club of Ft. Myers. Grace E. Robson of Markowitz, Ringel, Trustee & Hartog in Miami spoke at a National Business Institute seminar on “Top 9 Complications in Bankruptcy” in Miami. She also spoke as a panelist at a seminar hosted by the Bankruptcy Bar Association of the Southern District of Florida titled “Bankruptcy Basics and Beyond” at the U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse in Miami. Peter B. King of Wiand Guerra King in Tampa was named president of the Florida Securities Dealers Association. Ronald Pena of Hinshaw & Culbertson in Coral Gables was appointed director of the Dade County Defense Bar Association Board of Trustees. Barbara Fernandez of Hinshaw & Culbertson in Coral Gables was appointed president of the Dade County Defense Bar Association. John V. Tucker of Tucker & Ludin in Clearwater presented “Conflict Discovery After MetLife v. Glenn — Version 2013” at the American Conference Institute’s Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Claims in New York. Glen J. Torcivia of The Law Office of Glen J. Torcivia and Associates in West Palm Beach became general counsel to the Southeast Florida Behavioral Health Network. Bruce A. Blitman of Ft. Lauderdale, Doug Wojcieszak of the “Sorry Works!” Coalition, James W. Saxton, and Maggie M. Finkelstein of Stevens & Lee in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, co-authored “Sorry Works! Offers Chance to Break Med-Mal Gridlock in Florida,” published in the Winter 2013 edition of the Health Law Section’s e-newsletter. Richard S. Dellinger of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed in Orlando was honored with the Lawrence G. Mathews, Jr., Young Lawyer Professionalism Award by the Orange County Bar Association. Dennis J. Wall of Winter Springs and Orlando co-presented “Religious Issues in the Supreme Court: The Affordable Care Act’s Contraceptive Provision,” on a webinar for West Legal Education Center. Wall’s article, describing steps to take concerning “The Expert Witness: Selecting and Managing a Vital Resource,” was published by Property Casualty 360 on March 12. Susan Healy of Vernon Healy in Naples presented The Florida Bar’s voter education program, “The Vote’s In Your Court” to the Estero Kiwanis Club. George E. Spofford of GrayRobinson in Tampa became a member of the Dispute Review Board Foundation. Leslie J. Lott of Lott & Fischer in Coral Gables moderated a panel discussion titled “New gTLDs — Opportunity or Formula for Disaster?” at the International Trademark Association’s “Trademarks and the Changing Internet Landscape” conference in Philadelphia. Brian C. Willis of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick in Tampa spoke at the 17th Annual Downtown Development Forum on the status of transportation projects across the region as part of the Transportation Requires Innovative Partnerships portion of the forum. Lee T. “Tad” Griffin of Pajcic & Pajcic in Jacksonville was elected president of Jacksonville’s Chapter of ABOTA. William R. Wohlsifer of Tallahassee drafted SB 1250 (companion HB 1139) known as the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act for the 2013 Legislative Session. Ronald Siegel of Brinkley Morgan in Boca Raton was honored at the Israel Elwyn Tribute to Friends of JARC for his support of both organizations. Deborah J. Townsend of Deborah J. Townsend, P.A., in Yalaha presented “Immigration Law 101” to the Marion County Chapter of FAWL. Carlos A. Somoza of Kaufman, Rossin & Co. in Miami served as a panelist discussing the “Pitfalls of Investing in U.S. Real Estate” presented to the French American Chamber of Commerce. Stephen W. Buckley of Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz in Ft. Myers spoke about how to choose the proper business entity at the Starting a Business seminar hosted by the Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce. Isaac Mitrani of Mitrani, Rynor, Adamsky & Toland in Miami Beach served as a panelist on the topic of “Ethics in Federal Civil Cases” at a Federal Bar Association seminar. Horacio Gutiérrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel at the Microsoft Corporation, was named “Lawyer of the Americas” by the Inter-American Law Review. Jorge Espinosa of Espinosa Trueba in Miami was a panel speaker for Strafford Publications’ webinar program on Ethical Risks in Attorney Marketing via Blogs, Websites, and Social Networks. Tiffany M. Faddis of Faddis & Faddis in Orlando has become president-elect of the Hispanic Bar Association of Central Florida and secretary of the Central Florida Trial Lawyers Association. She has also become a member of the board of directors for the Florida Justice Association. Howard S. Krooks of Elder Law Associates in Boca Raton spoke on “Long Term Care Planning” at the Annual Financial Advisor Retirement Symposium in Orlando. Kimberly J. Kanoff of McIntosh Sawran & Cartaya in Ft. Lauderdale spoke on “Attorneys’ Fees at the Appellate Level” at the Dade County Bar Association’s Appellate Court Committee 30th Annual Third District Court of Appeal seminar. Ethan J. Wall of Richman Greer in Miami was a panel speaker for Strafford Publications’ webinar program on Ethical Risks in Attorney Marketing via Blogs, Websites, and Social Networks. Robert H. Thornburg of Allen, Dyer, Doppelt, Milbrath & Gilchrist in Miami was elected president of the Intellectual Property Law Association of Florida.
LinkedIn Email In new research published in Psychoneuroendocrinology, scientists have shown that loving-kindness meditation has a positive impact at the cellular level. The study examined how different types of meditation influenced telomere length, an indicator of physiological aging.Telomeres are the end caps of DNA on our chromosomes, which help in DNA replication and get shorter over time.“Chronological age and biological age are not identical. The former is measured in years, whereas the latter is often indexed by telomere length,” the authors of the new study explained. “Telomeres progressively shorten with cell division (i.e., aging) in general, but may also be replenished, or lengthened, by the enzyme telomerase.” For their 12-week long study, the researchers recruited 176 participants between 35-64 years old from Durham and Orange County of North Carolina. All of the participants reported having little to no meditation experience.The participants were randomly assigned to a 6-week loving-kindness meditation workshop, a 6-week mindfulness meditation workshop, or a waitlist control group. To measure telomere length, the researchers collected blood samples from the participants at the beginning and end of the study.While the mindfulness meditation workshop helped the participants to cultivate a nonjudgmental attitude and focus on the present moment, the loving-kindness meditation workshop helped the participants to cultivate warm and friendly feelings towards others.Overall, telomere length tended to shorten for everyone. “However, the daily practice of loving-kindness meditation appeared to buffer against that attrition,” the researchers said. Participants in the loving-kindness group “showed no significant telomere shortening over time.”“Whereas participants in the mindfulness group, on average, showed significant telomere shortening over time, those changes were intermediate between the loving-kindness meditation and waitlist control groups,” the researchers added.The study is not the first to find a relationship between meditation and telomere length.Research published in the journal Cancer in 2014 found that telomeres maintained their length in breast cancer survivors who practiced mindfulness meditation. Additionally, a 2018 study in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity found that telomere length actually increased in meditation retreat participants after three weeks.But the new study was the first to compare loving-kindness meditation and mindfulness meditation.The underlying mechanism that links meditation and the aging process is still unclear. The participants provided daily emotion reports throughout the study, but changes in positive and negative emotions had no relationship to changes in telomere length.The study, “Loving-kindness meditation slows biological aging in novices: Evidence from a 12-week randomized controlled trial“, was authored by Khoa D. Le Nguyen, Jue Lin, Sara B. Algoe, Mary M. Brantley, Sumi L. Kim, Jeffrey Brantley, Sharon Salzberg, and Barbara L. Fredrickson. Share on Twitter Share Share on Facebook Pinterest
Rejens Hotel in T-Bay, Portsmouth has received the 2014 Award of Excellence from international booking agency Booking.com.Rejens received a rating of 8.6 percent on Booking.com’s rating scale for 2013. This is the second time Rejens Hotel has received a high booking from the agency.“What this means for Rejens Hotel is that we are seen as a hotel which have met and exceeded in excellence having provided the guest with all the services that they required,” proprietor of Rejens Hotel, Remy Lawrence said.Rejens Hotel offers 13 non-smoking suites comprising of six (6) Standard, three (3) Deluxe, and Four (4) Social Suites.“Although this award is in fact a very good achievement for the hotel, it doesn’t mean that we must stop there we still have quite a bit of things to do in terms of service and other requirements because we believe that Rejens Hotel has the potential to meet five star hotel capabilities in terms of the services that are required,” Lawrence added.He commended the employees of the hotel for their dedication and commitment in ensuring that it meets international standards.“We commend our staff and there are hardworking persons at Rejens Hotel; this range from the front desk, the house keepers, the chefs, maintenance and all other team members because to achieve this award it’s really a group effort, it’s a team effort and if one member of the team does not pull their weight, it means that the entire group suffers and by extension the hotel”.Lawrence said there are plans to expand the products and services currently being offered at the hotel.“We are working with our partners in creating new packages and opening new facilities, we intend to do a modern restaurant to complement the rooms and to do a lot more landscaping and other amenities which will complement what we already have,” he said. 122 Views no discussions Share Tweet Share Share LocalNews Rejens Hotel receives another international award by: – May 27, 2015 Sharing is caring!
Gingerbread is such an iconic flavor — and aroma — of Christmas, yet it can be a letdown as a dessert for the big day.This Nov. 17, 2014 photo shows Christmas gingerbread trifle in Concord, N.H. Gingerbread is an iconic flavor, and aroma, of Christmas. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)It’s mostly because a gingerbread — no matter how delicious — is kind of simple for such a day of big celebrations. So we decided to jazz it up a bit, turning your basic gingerbread into a far more festive trifle layered with a rich vanilla pudding and orange-black pepper caramel. For ease, this impressive dessert can be prepped a day ahead. And if you’re hitting the road at the holiday, it also travels very well.CHRISTMAS GINGERBREAD TRIFLEStart to finish: 1 hour, plus chillingServings: 12For the vanilla bean pudding:4 cups whole milk1 vanilla bean1/2 cup granulated sugar1/3 cup cornstarch4 eggs2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small piecesFor the orange-black pepper caramel:1 cup packed dark brown sugar4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter1/2 cup light creamPinch of sea salt1 teaspoon ground black pepper (more or less, to taste)Zest of 1 orangeFor the trifle:1 cup heavy cream1 loaf (about 1 1/2 pounds) purchased or homemade gingerbread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized (candied) gingerIn a medium saucepan over medium, heat the milk until scalded (bring it just to the boiling point), then remove from the heat. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrap the seeds into the milk.In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the eggs and beat until completely smooth and no trace of egg lumps or sugar remains. When the milk is scalded, while whisking the egg mixture, pour half of the hot milk in a thin stream into the bowl. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan of remaining milk.Return the mixture to the stove and, whisking continuously and scraping the bottom and corners of the pan, cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer and thickens. Return the pudding to the bowl and whisk in the butter. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until chilled.Meanwhile, make the caramel. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, cream, salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring continuously, until slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the orange zest, then set aside and cool to room temperature.When the pudding and caramel have cooled, prepare to assemble the trifle. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream to medium peaks, about 3 to 5 minutes. Divide the chilled pudding in three portions, then gently fold the whipped cream into one of the portions of the pudding.Arrange a third of the gingerbread cubes in an even layer in the bottom of a trifle dish. Drizzle with a third of the caramel sauce, then sprinkle a third of the chopped ginger over that. Spread one of the plain pudding thirds (not the batch mixed with cream) over the ginger, then repeat the layering with the remaining ingredients. Finish the trifle by topping it with the cream-pudding mixture. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.Nutrition information per serving: 520 calories; 260 calories from fat (50 percent of total calories); 29 g fat (14 g saturated; 0.5 g trans fats); 145 mg cholesterol; 62 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 30 g sugar; 8 g protein; 260 mg sodium.
NEVER has BEACONSFIELD had such vocal and sustained support as the Eagles battled to beat DEVON MEADOWS on the weekend….[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.
By RUSSELL BENNETT WHILE Kooweerup has continued its reign atop the WGCA’s senior Premier competition, a group of prodigiously gifted…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.
A close up of the Gigapan robotic camera Nqobile Thusi, grade 11 and SaneleMthetwa,Grade 10.Both learners are part of the Gigapanproject. The Klipspruit Valley “Chicken Farm”Informal settlementImages: Khanyi MagubaneKhanyi MagubaneNo sooner has the bell signalling the end of yet another school day been rung than the raucous sound of hundreds of students streaming out of Lavela High School in Zola North, Soweto, can already be heard. But for a small group of students another world is just opening up.The 27 students chosen to take part in an exciting new project are diligently working away on their computers in the newly installed computer lab, where they are learning more about Gigapan.Gigapan is the name of a high-resolution robotic camera, developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the US and project is an initiative developed to assist children from different backgrounds to understand each other and their worlds better. It is backed by funding from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s International Bureau of Education. Other partners on the project are the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Google and National Geographic. The computers in the lab were installed by Gauteng Online, a project of the Gauteng Department of Education.The Soweto school is one of only four selected for the project, and it will be working with other children in the US and Trinidad and Tobago. It was selected for Gigapan after it worked with Unesco last year to lead discussions about Aids with a school in Australia.Panoramic views in fine detailThe Gigipan camera has the ability to capture images in great detail. Although at first glance they look like any other picture, they have been created by the software in the system joining together anything from 40 to 400 images. When these images are made available on a website the viewer is able to zoom in as much as 600-million pixels, enabling them to see something as detailed as a logo on a t-shirt or a street sign.CMU’s Professor of Robotics, Illah Nourbaksh, came to South Africa in April to teach pupils how to use the camera and the robotic arm that guides it, and he took the first pictures of Soweto that were loaded onto the site.Sanele Mthetwa, a 14-year-old grade 10 pupil, explains with pride how the project works, “We take snapshots, post them on a website and other kids in similar programmes around the world ask us questions about our lives.”What Mthetwa is referring to is the rare partnership between a few selected high schools around the world that have been given the Gigapan robotic camera. Students log on to a website where they can look at pictures posted by their partner school and if there is something of interest they see, the students are then able to zoom in and take a “snapshot”. There is a conversation box attached to the snapshot, enabling students to satisfy their curiosity with endless questions that they ask each other.Lavela’s partner school is Falk High School in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in the US. Every day after school the Soweto pupils rush to the computers to see what their American friends have uploaded.The Soweto learners have fun taking snapshots and asking their American counterparts about their local community. In turn, they too answer questions about the panoramic pictures of Soweto.Grade 12 learner Asanda Songca, appointed the student leader of the project, had to gather together a group of interested students who would take part in the training session with Professor Nourbaksh. “The biggest challenge I had was to find students that were interested and committed to this project. It was important that we had a vision for the project. So far we are getting there, everyone is cooperating.”Capturing the disparate communitiesRecently the students decided to go to the top of the Klipspruit Valley Bridge in Soweto to take pictures. From this point the economic disparity between local residents can clearly be seen. A marsh and the Klipspruit Valley River separate residents living in dire poverty in a squatter camp (informal settlement) on the one side and residents living in big houses and relatively better conditions on the other.Two grade 11 pupils, Sanele Mpanza and Sibusiso Thusi, along with deputy principal Lulama Thobejane, mount the robotic camera at the top of the bridge. With their teacher’s guidance, the pupils decide that they will take a 180-degree panoramic shot of the Kliptown Chicken Farm squatter camp, and the surrounding Foxlake, Dlamini and Rockville townships.After some fiddling with the settings and punching in coordinates, the camera takes over and snaps away by itself. The students check the images on the camera, take a few more and then decide that they have taken enough for the day.For Thobejane, the project is exciting as it opens the eyes of students to a high-tech world that they didn’t know before. She says that through Gigapan her students have now joined a global community, “People from diverse cultures and origins must communicate, with the hope of making the world a better place.”The pupils have a six-month deadline to have the project up and running, after which they will be assessed on their progress.Useful linksGigapanGauteng online Gauteng Department of EducationThe Robotic institute of CMUUnescoNational Geographic
oklahoma state car crash homecoming paradeUpdate 5: It’s now being reported that four people have died, including a two-year-old.Toddler among four dead in Oklahoma State homecoming parade crash: https://t.co/2MNmSQ6z3U— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) October 25, 2015Update 4: School president Burns Hargis has issued a message to the Oklahoma State community.#OKstate President Burns Hargis with a powerful message pic.twitter.com/JDKe4zy2AD— Kyle Fredrickson (@kylefredrickson) October 24, 2015Update 3: According to the Stillwater Police Department, a 25-year-old woman has been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence. They’ve also released her name. More as we learn it.Driver of car in Stillwater has been arrested for DUI, according to Stillwater police. SIGH.— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) October 24, 2015BREAKING: 25 year old female in custody, police say she was driving under the influence. #OKStateHC— Martina Del Bonta (@MartinaFOX23) October 24, 2015BREAKING UPDATE: #StillwaterPD says Adacia Chambers, 25, has been arrested for @OKState Homecoming crash. #FOX23— Jonathan McCall (@JonathanMcCall) October 24, 2015Update 2: According to Lacie Lowry of News 9, three people have died after the crash. Another 10 are in critical condition. 27 had to be airlifted to hospitals. Absolutely terrible.UPDATE: 3 dead, 10 critical, 27 airlifted to hospitals after car plows into OSU homecoming crowd. Driver in custody. pic.twitter.com/6ghm9zLqNv— Lacie Lowry (@LacieLowry) October 24, 2015Update: Oklahoma State has issued a statement on the matter. Oklahoma State University is saddened by the tragic parade incident earlier this morning. Our thoughts & prayers are with those affected.— Oklahoma State Univ. (@okstate) October 24, 2015Earlier: We’ve got some terrible news coming out of Stillwater, Oklahoma this afternoon. News On 6 is reporting that two people have died following a car crash during Oklahoma State’s Homecoming Parade Saturday morning. A vehicle reportedly drove directly into the crowd near the end of the parade route.Witnesses tell News On 6 it was terrifying as a car crashed into parade watchers at high speed. The car was not part of the parade but was on Hall of Fame before crashing into crowds on Main Street. A motorcyclist was also reportedly hit.Twitter users have been posting photos of the scene.Pray for Oklahoma State. Car accident during the homecoming parade. pic.twitter.com/EToQ7RTlgl— anthony (@GroganWayne) October 24, 2015#BREAKING #Stillwater police coordinating multiple medical helicopters ambulances multiple injuries @okstate parade pic.twitter.com/CuILzf4oR9— Tiffany Alaniz (@TiffanyAlaniz) October 24, 2015Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of anyone affected by the tragedy.