first_imgOpen Liberia’s executive director, Samuka Konneh.On the very day Liberia inaugurated its new President and Vice President, a civil society organization released what it referred to as ‘useful data’ to support the new government’s education and youth development programs.The data is contained in a report titled: A Decade Without Higher Education, which details findings from a study conducted in September and October 2017, that sought to understand the level of education attained by local commercial motorcycle and taxi drivers within the last decade.There are an estimated 40,000 commercial motorcyclists in the country.Open Liberia’s executive director, Samuka Konneh, warned that in another decade from now, and as attractive as the commerical motorcycle sector remains, more and more young people will fail to attain higher education – thereby increasing the number of illiterates and school-dropouts in the country.The study concludes that as much as commercial motorcycle business seems to be a vibrant income-generating sector, it has in some significant ways hampered the pursuit of higher education by Liberia’s youth population. Releasing the report, Konneh said that the fast and untaxed revenues from this sector discourages actors from pursuing sustainable careers, either through higher academic, technical or vocational education, adding that the sector plays an enduring role in suppressing the national campaign against illiteracy.Motorcyclists overwhelmingly supported the candidacy of the soccer legend, George Weah.The study interviewed 1,001 motorcycle taxi drivers – 868 or 86.2% of whom the study finds have spent between one to ten years in the sector.“But in that whole decade, 90% of respondents attained less than a high school education. Only two motorcyclists were found to have graduated from a college or university, although 53 enrolled,” Konneh said.According to him, the primary reason commercial motorcyclists cited for not furthering their education was the lack of money to cater to personal, family, and school obligations at the same time, and from a single income source. “Interestingly, only a few respondents blamed their not being in school on lack of interest or lack of school in their communities. In fact, as per the data, all except 5 respondents expressed interest in going back to school,” he said.Specifically, the study found that 45 of respondents (4.7%)  have only attained elementary education; 231 (23.9%) have attained junior high education; 251 respondents (26%) have attained up to but not more than senior high education; while 341 respondents (35.3%) have graduated from high school within the last decade.The study also finds that within the last decade, only 21 of the respondents enrolled at a technical or vocational school.Holding the country’s stability as a measurement, the reports says any person who was in elementary school in 2003 would have been out of high school by the end of the decade in 2013.Konneh: “Similarly, those who were in junior high within the same time frame would have been in their 2nd or 3rd year in college while those at high school level would have all been out of college by now – if they had remained or continued in school. But the reality is different, based on the data our study has generated from speaking with actors in this sector.”Apart from the inquiry about their educational level, the study also inquired about why these young people chose the motorcycle taxi sector. The primary reason cited by them was to sustain themselves and their families, and not to pay school fees. 366 or 36.6% of respondents said they chose the trade primarily to sustain themselves while 318 (31.8%) chose it to sustain their families. In fact, only 99 respondents (9.8%) chose to drive motorcycle taxi in order to pay school fees.“These statistics explain why 90% of commercial motorcyclists interviewed are still in high school or only high school graduates,” Konneh added.The civil society organization is proposing that while commercial motorcycling remains a viable income generating sector, stakeholders in Liberia’s education and youth development should begin to develop technical, vocational or professional training programs specifically tailored for and targeting actors in this sector.“Our emphasis on this category of young people is based on the fact that they find motorcycle taxi driving as an activity that generates income to handle their immediate expenses, but ignore the long term effect of not being educated. Commercial motorcycling is not a sustainable trade or career. The fact that 90% of the young people interviewed did not get enough income to enroll in a higher learning institution supports our conclusion that commercial motorcycling is not a sustainable activity,” says Konneh.“If we must empower and include our young people in our country’s governance, we must start by prioritizing education rather than money-making at an early stage in their lives,” he concluded.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_imgThe scene of today’s crashA YOUNG man fighting for his life after a crash may be transferred to a hospital in Dublin.The 23-year-old, from Cavanacaw outside St Johnston and originally from Lifford, is in a critical condition.His BMW crashed into a wall on the outskirts of Letterkenny between the Polestar and Dry Arch Roundabouts just before 1am this morning. Gardaí are furious at “ill-judged” comments today after their decision to close all four lanes of the main road into and out of Letterkenny.That’s because the accident occurred across all four lanes; and forensic investigators needed to examine the scene.At this stage Gardaí believe the motorist was travelling towards the Dry Arch roundabout when he appears to have lost control, skidded right across four lanes before coming to a halt after crashing into a wall.The incident forced Gardai to close the road which led to major traffic congestion for several hours. The tailbacks saw some people stuck in their cars for more than four hours.But Gardaí say they had a duty to close all four lanes in their efforts to establish a cause for the crash.Later this afternoon, two lanes of traffic re-opened as Gardaí continued their work at the scene.The scene of this morning’s crash. CRITICALLY ILL CRASH MOTORIST MAY BE TRANSFERRED TO DUBLIN HOSPITAL was last modified: March 20th, 2014 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:crashGardaiinvestigationletterkennytrafficlast_img read more

first_img(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Darwinists should support bullying, but not rely on sexual selection.Bully pulpit for survivalShould Darwinists promote bullying?  An article from the AAAS news site Science Now, “Better Health through Bullying,” says that bullies grow up to be stronger, while their victims grow up sicker.Bullying casts a long shadow. Children who are bullied are more prone to depression and suicidal tendencies even when they grow up; they’re also more likely to get sick and have headaches and stomach troubles, researchers have discovered. A new study may have found the underlying cause: A specific indicator of illness, called C-reactive protein (CRP), is higher than normal in bullying victims, even when they get older. In contrast, the bullies, by the same gauge, seem to be healthier.Clearly, the AAAS cannot go on record as supporting bullying, so the article goes on to say that bullies “should find better ways to enhance their status” without wreaking havoc on others.  But why should they?  Isn’t a healthy bully more likely to pass on its genes?  Isn’t that what drives evolution?  Bullies may not even be able to control themselves, because the article implies that bullying and victimization are related to chemicals and epigenetic factors.The article tried to dismiss conclusions that bullying improves Darwinian fitness:Despite the implied health benefits [i.e., fitness] of bullying, [William] Copeland [of Duke University] doesn’t advocate picking on people to better your health. The advantage probably doesn’t lie in the aggression itself, but rather in the heightened control, power, and social status that bullies enjoy, he believes.Surely this is quibbling over terms.  If fitness is related to control, power, and social status, Darwinism couldn’t care less how the fit person attains those things.   The goal is survival of the fittest, not survival of the nicest.  Moreover, the article says that bullies attain their greatest fitness at the age of reproduction, right when their victims are suffering the most.  On what moral grounds can Copeland say anyone “should” achieve power in “better ways” than bullying?  He’s trying to moralize away something that should be a prime example of natural selection at work.Sexual selection vs. the origin of speciesSexual selection theory is under scrutiny again, this time from a North Carolina biologist and her mathematician friend from Vienna.  Publishing in an open-access paper in PNAS entitled, “The counterintuitive role of sexual selection in species maintenance and speciation,” Maria R. Servedio announces her amazement at a counterintuitive finding: sexual selection does not lead to speciation—it erases it!Sexual selection is generally considered to be an important force in the maintenance of species differentiation. Using population genetic models, we show that when isolated in its purest form of Fisherian sexual selection, sexual selection inhibits rather than assists species maintenance and speciation when isolated populations begin to exchange migrants. The stronger this type of sexual selection becomes, the more it erases any effects of local adaptation that drive trait divergence. Furthermore, if the strength of Fisherian sexual selection itself is allowed to evolve, sexual selection is lost. These results emphasize that additional complications have to be added to sexual selection scenarios for sexual selection to contribute to divergence; Fisherian sexual selection alone has the opposite effect.Fisherian sexual selection, “probably the most celebrated argument in evolutionary biology” according to A. W. F. Edwards, refers to the normal form Darwin talked about in his second book, The Descent of Man, that was later elaborated on mathematically in 1930 by Ronald Fisher or perhaps others (see Wikipedia).  It’s the “intuitive” kind that Darwinists subscribe to, Servedio says:By “Fisherian sexual selection” we are referring to sexual selection in what can be considered its most basic form, in which a genetically encoded female preference imposes differential mating success with regard to a male trait. This nonrandom mating generates linkage disequilibrium, so that evolution by sexual selection on the male trait leads to concomitant evolution of the preference itself (ref. 12, pp. 136–137). To isolate the role of Fisherian sexual selection in species maintenance we primarily consider selectively neutral female preferences. Neutrality of preferences follows the classic scenario considered in early and influential sexual selection models (4, 12, 13) and is viewed as a null model for sexual selection in its simplest form (14). In particular, this is the form of sexual selection used in the model by Lande (4) that arguably first popularized the idea of sexual selection promoting speciation and is still widely cited for this today.Too bad it doesn’t work after all that reliance on it.  The falsification could hardly be more harsh, according to Servedio: it does the opposite of what was expected!Speculation on the role of sexual selection in driving speciation and species maintenance traces back to the beginning of the explosion in sexual selection research seen in the past few decades (e.g., refs. 3, 4, 22, and 28). The more that this putative relationship is explored, however, the more tenuous it appears to be (e.g., refs. 10 and 11). Here we show that when sexual selection is isolated in a pure Fisherian form, it inhibits species maintenance in one of the situations in which its role seemed clearest, when the trait under sexual selection is also locally adapted.  Furthermore, sexual selection is lost in this Fisherian system if preference strengths themselves are allowed to evolve.It only seems fair to let preference strengths evolve, if this is an evolving world. If you let it happen in the classical models, though, sexual selection vanishes away.What are we to make of this overturn of a fundamental tenet Darwin himself promoted?  What explains the peacock’s tail?  In her Discussion section, Servedio admits she doesn’t know.  Scientists are going to have to look for more complicated selection scenarios.  She offers some alternative views, including one in which gender traits diverge apart from any selection pressure at all.  Whatever is going on, she claims that her findings are not alone:   “The finding of an inhibitory role for Fisherian sexual selection on species maintenance in our situation of geographically isolated populations exchanging migrants, although counterintuitive, falls in line with a growing body of literature that casts doubt upon the common perception of a positive contribution of sexual selection to speciation.”Description vs. explanationWhat is the point of spotting sex differences if science cannot explain them?  That’s not our question; it was asked on The Conversation by Saray Ayala-Lopez (MIT) and Nadya Vasilyeva (Brandeis University).  Their point is that it accomplishes little to just catalog differences between the sexes if no explanation for them is available.  One of the leading explanations, according to Servedio and her colleague Reinhard Burger – sexual selection – is so counterintuitive, it destroys itself.These are not just humdrum conundrums.  They reveal that Darwinian theory is not only wrong; it’s harmful.  It doesn’t work, and it promotes bullying.  Can we kick this dead speculation out the door now?  Do you hear us, NCSE?  Can we cite these papers at the next school board meeting?  Can we let people know that Darwin’s quaint Victorian myth is bad for society?  Since when are falsehoods and incitements to violence things we should promote in school?  You don’t want the teachers rooting for the bullies now, do you?  How about a little biomimetics in the curriculum instead?last_img read more

first_img Posted on May 1, 2019Author Nathalie DuboisCategories Ponytail HoldersTags Popband Effective and pleasant to wear Perfect For My Little Princesses! Wide choice of colours which i really like/ i like to wear matching colour clothes i have on. I have used them before so i knew i liked them. Will continue to use frequently. Not the best bobbles if you like a firm tight hold of the ponytail they are very loose bobbles. As someone with very long (and very fine) hair i’m always looking for better hairbands. I stopped using bands with metal on them years ago because they’re so damaging to your hair and tend to leave you with millions of split ends but i have problems with other bands i’ve tried since then because i have to wind them around my hair so many times to get them tight enough to stay in place. I have to admit i was nervous when i saw these bands, they’re large enough to wear comfortably on your wrist as a bracelet / friendship band so i thought i’d have a similar problem and end up struggling to get these to hold my fine hair in place but i was actually really impressed. I only had to wind them round 3 times and i have a perfectly secure ponytail that stays put all day.(i have to wind bands that are half the size of these 4 or 5 times usually to get them to stay in place). I can’t say i agree with their claim to leave hair kink free at the end of the day but they certainly don’t leave hair looking any worse than any other hairband i’ve tried and since i have to tie them less tightly they definitely do less damage to my hair. They also look pretty and i love the range of colours you can collect so you’ll have something to match every outfitthis particular pack contains 5 bands1 glittery silver1 very pale grey that’s almost a non-shiny silver3 pretty pastel pink bands with silver starsi’ll definitely be buying more of these bands in the future. I think these are pretty ponytail holders but they dont work as well as my usual holders in my fine long hair (longer than waist length). I usually use a large soft ponytail holder and this holds my hair together at the back of my hair, with the pony tail sitting out at a 90 degree angle from my head before hanging down my back. The problem i have with these is that although they hold the ponytail up in the middle of the back of my head the ponytail sags after a short while so it hangs straight down rather than sticks out horizontally then hangs down. My hair doesnt look as nice just hanging straight down. So far they have been easy to remove from my hair (as easy as any other ponytail bands anyway). They dont sit comfortably on my wrist either, they irritate me. Its also quite a lot of money to pay for what is basically a bit of thin bra strap elastic with a knot in it. I’ll stick with my regular holders i think. Brought for my 3 year old who has very fine hair prone to breaking with tight elastic ones. Found these great held all hair up tightly and didn’t leave a kin after all day wear. May have also stole 2 for myself as they were really good. My daughter loves them and says they are much more comfortable to wear than normal hair bands. These are so great for my twin granddaughters’ fine,soft hair. They hold the hair really well and never get snagged or tangled up. They are very pretty;two are sparkly silver and three are pink with silver stars,perfect for my little princesseswhen they are not in their hair,the girls can carry them on their wrists;they make lovely bracelets,toohighly recommended. These dont rip my hair out after having them in all day so comfortable and really nice product. I’m delighted that i received these for review through the vine programme because i don’t think i’d have bought popbands without being able to test them as i would have assumed they wouldn’t be strong enough for my reasonably thick hair. In fact they hold my hair very securely and they don’t snag your hair or feel uncomfortable. I ordered for review both the pink candy set of 5 and the tie dye set of 5. They are elastic and about a centimetre wide with a knot at the end which means it is not a continuous loop unless all other elastic hair bands as far as i am aware. The elastic is high density woven into the fabric; there are no obvious elastic strips and it all feels very uniformly stretchy. I tried wearing these in a pony tail and then pig tails as i wanted to check how they stayed and the no kink promise so the pig tails were a later choice. I found there was some kinking of my hair but it was as a result of its being left in overnight. More importantly i found that the removal was easy and i lost no hairs unlike when i take out my usual elastic hair bands. I tried wearing one on my wrist but it looked stupid with the knoted ends sticking out and i also found these ends annoying when in use as i had to move the band around so they were hidden each time i used them. If the manfacturer could find their way to sew the ends together so a continuous loop i would give these 5 stars. These are great for just throwing your hair up and they really actually don’t leave a dent when you take them off. Recipient was very happy with them. Firstly they come in a range of pretty designs which means you are pretty much guaranteed to find one that will match your outfit and / or personal tastes. The description also says that they don’t damage hair; now i am going to have to take them at their word on that one as it’s difficult to prove conclusively, but they certainly feel more gentle than the more usual hair-tie. They also look less likely to snap than the usual hair ties. Another benefit, although probably only for the younger market, is that they are also designed to be worn as a bracelet meaning that you will always have a hair-tie with you, and, unlike others on the market, they don’t cut off your blood supply while wrapped around your wrist. They hold hair well too – i have long thick hair which needs a fair bit of support and these work very well indeed. The only thing counting against them and the reason why i deducted a star is the price – £8 (at time of writing review) is a little too much for 5 of these. I was asked if i’d like to review popbands candy multi pack, so i said yes. You see i have long, blond and extremely fine hair and i wanted to put the popbands to the test. These are a new style of hair bobble. When they arrive they are in a clear plastic case. The bobbles are on a white card so they show up well and look very eye catching. Also on the card you are given a little bit of information about them. You can also wear these on your wrist like a friendship band. This pack of hair bobbles include one of each of the following colour: – pink with silver star print – silver glitter – pink with silver star print – grey glitter – pink with silver star print. In all you get a total of five. Ok, onto the bobble, (or popband as the company calls them). Ordered not for personal use on behalf of another family member, it was unclear at the point of ordering just how ‘popband ponytail holders, tie dye’ could function. The intended user was no better informed until she handled them when all became clear. Had the description included ‘elasticated fabric’ or similar, the issue would not then exist. They are to be used identically to elastic bands but are softer to the touch and much kinder to the hair. They are smaller than was anticipated but of more than adequate length and made from tie-dyed fabric, this set in muted and neutral colours so less likely to clash with brightly-coloured clothing. For contrast, there are other sets offered in various brighter colours, some almost fluorescent but mostly mixed. The person for whom these are intended has been using elasticated hair bands of various types for years but they either break where the ends are stitched or are held by a clasp, or they stretch and eventually break. These are knotted to join the ends, broader, inherently stronger and appear not to tangle with the hair. They should also be longer-lasting and less subject to breakages. It is also suggested that they could also be used as bracelets as they are sufficiently slack, unlikely to affect circulation or cause nerve damage unless doubled-up; placement of the knot other than over the soft, inner wrist would also help although it is probably the brighter, flashier colours that would be most suitable. Great but not the best hair bands. SummaryReviewer Nathalie DuboisReview Date2019-05-01 03:25:58Reviewed Item Popband Printed Ponytail Holder Hair Bands/Ties – Animal, 5 PackRating 3.3 / 5  stars, based on  263  reviews A little expensive for what they are but they work well. This mini-collection of popbands is probably those most would want to wear in the working place be it an office, retail situation or possibly a lab or medical situation and probably the best suited other than those that may tone in with your hair colour – blondes, browns and blacks are among the plainer-coloured sets available. ‘popband ponytail holders, working girl’ comprise patterned fabrics in tweedy and other duo-tone styles with some plain styles included. The fabric is elasticated and very stretchy and sufficiently wide and soft not to tangle into the hair or pull it out when removed; they are far kinder than either plain elstic bands or the fabric-covered bands that break all too easily and too quickly. These are knotted and therefore inherently stronger. All the sets comprise five bands and there are many, including some far brighter, poppier colours that may be better suited to lesiure-time activities. The plainer and mostly darker sets may be more appropriate to workplace, school and college, anywhere that is likely to take a conservative view on dress codes. Fairly priced and well-suited to their role. Very nice, hold the hair perfectly and gently. Doesn’t pull my hair when using. Have used before so knew would ‘do’ the job. Don’t mark your hair and come in such a variety of colours. Reviews from purchasers :Popband Candy Ponytail Holderslast_img read more

first_imgWith 31 Days of Geocaching in full gear, we thought we would give you a few pointers on how to keep your cool in the midst of all the craziness.Tip #1: Don’t hit that snooze alarm!We love lazy weekend mornings as much as the next guy, but hiking days are not the days to roll over and hit the snooze button. Partner Programs Manager Annie Love (Username: Love) admits that she’s not the biggest morning fan but still says, “Getting on the trail before the temperatures rise will make for a more pleasant experience and help avoid factors like heat exhaustion, dehydration and loss of sodium from mass amounts of sweat!”Tip #2: Bring lots (and we mean LOTS) of H20A big hike is not the day to skimp on drinking your water.  Community Liaison to Engineering – as well as expert hiker and world-renowned geocacher – Jon Stanley (Username: Moun10Bike) gives us the lowdown: “Without water, your body will dehydrate, causing a loss in performance, dizziness, and possibly heat stroke. The general consensus is that hikers should carry about two liters of water on them, and drink about 1 pint (or 1/2 liter) every hour. The actual number will depend on the climate, level of exertion, and individual needs. Today there are many options for bottles or backpacks with water bladders that make it a snap to carry water and access it easily on the trail.”Tip #3: Don’t forget your sunscreen and bug sprayDude, bug bites and sunburns are not cool. Sunscreen is absolutely vital for a long day out on the trail. Excessive sun exposure speeds up dehydration and can result in sunburns, which can increase your risk of melanoma (skin cancer).  As for bug spray, Jon says it’s more of a personal choice whether or not you decide to use it. Annie, on the other hand, is not a fan of bugs, “OMG, bugs are annoying!  Do you want to enjoy the hike?  Be prepared for those little buggars!”Tip#4: Shoes should be more than a fashion statementYou know what else isn’t cool? Getting a blister. Annie says, “Waterproof boots with good ankle support are the best for summer trails. It’s a good idea to buy a half size larger than you normally wear as your feet will swell when hiking. Having boots that fit properly with thick (wool is ideal) socks will help keep blisters away.” Jon says you can also help prevent blisters by wearing shoes that are already broken in. A long hike is not the place to test drive your new kicks!Tip #5: Do your researchIt’s hard to know how to gear up if you don’t know the trail conditions. Annie reminds us that there are great resources out there to help you get prepared. “Check to see if there are websites that offer information on the hike you’re going on, or buy a local hiking guide that includes trail information and directions. I like to check out websites that allow for hikers to leave their trip reports so I can be prepared for any current trail conditions (snow on the trail, trees down or other obstacles that might make a difference in how you plan for the hike).  Check on Geocaching.com to see if there is useful trail information in the description of the geocaches, or if recent finders provided useful information or pictures.”Tip #6:  A smiley (or Souvenir) isn’t always worth itCheck yourself before you wreck yourself. We know that earning 31 Souvenirs in a row sounds totally awesome. But we also know that taking care of yourself (and your family, friends, and pets) should be the priority. If finding a geocache makes you feel unsafe or if keeping up the streak is taking too much away from other aspects of life, it’s okay to DNF that one. There will always be more opportunities to log a “Found it” or earn a Souvenir….so don’t sweat it too much!Okay, this isn’t the original Old Yeller, but it is somebody’s Old Yeller. And Moun10Bike is being careful to take good care of him! (Note: Power bars are not approved for canine consumption by the American Veterinary Medical Association.) Tip #7: Don’t forget your faithful geocaching companion Old YellerYour dog may like to eat hots dogs, but he sure doesn’t want to be one! Remember that your favorite geocaching companion is only “mammal” too. Brings lots of water, snacks, and love for your pet with you on the trail. Oh! And don’t forget the poop bags! No one want to FTF the little presents that your pet may decide to leave behind.How do you keep healthy, happy, and cool as a cucumber while out on the geocaching trail? Share your tips in the comments below.Share with your Friends:More Don’t let this be you! SharePrint RelatedDear Geocaching Diary: Twice the Finds, Twice the FunAugust 16, 2013In “Community”Dear Geocaching Diary: Orange Headbands for the WinSeptember 1, 2013In “Community”From the Desk of Moun10Bike: How to Keep Your Geocaching Streak Going in the SnowDecember 18, 2013In “Community”last_img read more