Senator warns unfixed Inishowen water problems will pass on to Letterkenny

first_imgSenator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn says he was ‘astounded’ to learn that very little progress has been made on fixing water pipes in South Inishowen – just as the supply is due to be extended to Letterkenny.The Donegal Senator conveyed his disappointment at the latest response from Irish Water on the replacement of water pipes in the Slab Lands in Burnfoot and Burt that supply water from the Eddie Fullerton Dam reservoir to homes in South Inishowen.Even though the works to extend this water supply to Letterkenny is approaching completion, Irish Water have confirmed that they are continuing to work on the assessment, design and planning of the pipe replacement on the Slab Lands and they have not provided a timeline for the completion of the works. Senator Mac Lochlainn said:“Irish Water know that there is a real problem with the pipes along this stretch. They have repeatedly burst over recent years, causing huge inconvenience for home owners and businesses in South Inishowen.“A year ago, I arranged a meeting between Irish Water and local public representatives and we were pleased when Irish Water confirmed that they intended to replace these problem pipes.“However, a year on and it appears that little progress has been made. This is astounding when we consider that the works to extend this water supply on to Letterkenny are almost complete”. “As it stands, these regular pipe bursts in this area are now going to inconvenience homes and businesses in Letterkenny too. This doesn’t make sense and I am calling on Irish Water to review this whole issue and prioritise the replacement of these problem pipes as a matter of urgency.“The bottom line is that Irish Water should have fixed this problem water supply to South Inishowen before sending it on to Letterkenny”. Senator warns unfixed Inishowen water problems will pass on to Letterkenny was last modified: November 25th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Two Solar System Surprises

first_imgSometimes we learn more from surprises than predictions.Asteroid ringsRings belong around giant planets, not asteroids.  Tell that to Chariklo, an asteroid between Saturn and Uranus that boasts not just one ring, but two!  This first-of-its-kind discovery came as a “complete surprise,” the Brazilian discoverer said in Science Magazine’s news column; they were not even looking for rings.  New Scientist posted a video clip about how the rings were found.  Since an asteroid has far less gravity than a planet to hold onto ring particles, questions immediately arise: (1) how did the rings form, and (2) how are they sustained?  Partial answers, with disclaimers, were offered in the article:At present, it’s not clear how Chariklo’s ring system formed. One possibility is that a slow-motion collision with a smaller asteroid or comet once blasted debris into orbit, and the gravitational pull of the largest bits of debris have shepherded the smaller bits into a sharply defined ring. (The presence of such “shepherd moons” could help explain the distinct, 9-kilometer-wide gap between Chariklo’s two rings as well, Braga-Ribas notes.)Even if this “possibility” could be upgraded to a probability, it would seem that the rings would be very delicate and easily perturbed.  The asteroid, Science Daily notes, has such little gravity you could accelerate a sports car to escape velocity on its surface and drive off into space.  Wouldn’t the slightest tug from a planet or another asteroid make the ring particles fly away?  How long have they been in this configuration?Planetary scientists generally dislike assuming we live in a “special time” to observe a phenomenon.  Saturn’s rings are being eroded by multiple destructive processes (sunlight pressure, collisional spreading, impacts among them), leading scientists to conclude the rings are young, despite Saturn’s much greater holding power.  Unless little Chariklo’s rings formed very recently, 4.5 billion years (the assumed age of the solar system) is a long time to wipe them out.It seems a stretch to believe the scientists’ suggestion that the rings might be accreting into a moonlet.  Even if that could happen, a moonlet would just as easily be tugged out of orbit.  And it’s hardly a solution to multiply one’s surprises: quotes the discoverer saying, “Rings may be a much more common property than we thought.”New minor planetFar out!  Another sizable minor planet to join Sedna has been detected at the edge of the solar system – or, at least, where the hard bodies end and the assumed Inner Oort Cloud of comets (never observed) theoretically begins.  We should note at the outset that, contrary to USA Today‘s titillations, a super-Earth has NOT been discovered out there (more on that later).  The new body, with its temporary name 2012 VP113, is 83 A.U. (astronomical units, 1 AU = earth-sun distance) away from the sun.  Size-wise, as Science Magazine describes in a pithy analogy, “If Pluto were as big as a basketball, Sedna would be a softball and the new world a mere golf ball.”  Science Daily says this is probably one of thousands of bodies out there that await discovery.What’s weird about VP113 is that, like Sedna, it has a highly elliptical orbit, so 83 AU is its nearest point, or perihelion, far beyond Neptune’s orbit.  That means, “Whereas Pluto orbits the sun every 248 years, the new world requires 4340 years and Sedna 12,600 years to do the same.”  Since planets are assumed to form from a circular dust disk, theoreticians have a problem.  They postulate that Sedna, VP113 and similar bodies were jolted out of their original orbits by gravitational encounters with other bodies.  The smaller the body, the easier this could happen; that’s why Chariklo’s rings are a problem.Analysis of the orbits of these two minor planets suggests there is something tugging on them.  (Note: orbital anomalies led Adams and LeVerrier to predict and discover Neptune in the 19th century.)  That’s why USA Today, New Scientist and Live Science are teasing readers about a possible super-Earth-size “Planet X” farther out there.  (New Scientist has the clearest diagram of the orbits.)  The discoverers toyed with this idea in their models and found a possible fit if the super-Earth were at 250 AU, but admitted it was not a unique solution: “This configuration is not unique and there are many possibilities for such an unseen perturber.”  Veteran planet hunterr Mike Brown of Caltech commented, “It is possible that some undiscovered large object out there is doing this, but there are likely many other explanations, too, most of them sadly more mundane.”  An Earth-sized planet at that distance would be undetectable by modern methods, the paper said.Commenting on the paper in Nature, Megan Schwamb says “The discovery of a second resident in a region of the Solar System called the inner Oort cloud prompts fresh thinking about this no-man’s-land between the giant planets and the reservoir of comets of long orbital period.”  If “A decade after its discovery, Sedna still remains one of the strangest objects in the Solar System,” now it has a contender. She is dumbstruck by these objects:To all intents and purposes, in the current architecture of the Solar System, Sedna and 2012 VP113 should not be there. These objects are in a no-man’s-land between the giant planets and the Oort cloud where nothing in the known configuration of the modern-day Solar System could have emplaced them. Effectively frozen in place and untouched as the Solar System evolved to its present state, their orbits preserve the dynamical signature of whatever event scattered these bodies to such distances and detached them from the giant-planet region.Maybe passing stars did it, she considers.  “There is no direct way to identify whether the Sun was ever in a stellar nursery or to find its siblings,” though, she admits. “But indirectly, the mark from those early stellar encounters, like fingerprints at a crime scene, could provide evidence for the sculpted distribution of orbits in the inner Oort cloud.”  As for that inner Oort Cloud, its existence is cloudy: both minor planets would be far to the interior of its assumed position.  Does it even exist?  “Our knowledge of the inner Oort cloud is, in many ways, in the same state as the study of the Kuiper belt was in the 1990s, when the first Kuiper-belt objects were discovered — 62 years after Pluto’s detection.”  She assumes these objects will shed light on it.  But they are not even part of it, so how can they?These stories contribute to a pile of indictments of solar system astronomers that show: (1) every body they observed with spacecraft or improved instruments did not match predictions, and (2) everything else was a surprise.  They are experts at math and observation, but when it comes to prediction, psychics might be a better bet.  Megan’s confession is the take-home lesson: “Sedna and 2012 VP113 should not be there.”  That line sounds familiar.  If you watch the DVDs by Spike Psarris (, he quotes similar statements – by leading astronomers – in reputable journals – about various planets and stars.  They shouldn’t be there.  But they are.  Maybe the scientists are the ones who shouldn’t be there. 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Samuel L Jackson graces Sunshine Tour

first_img“I played here before many years ago and I like this course. It’s straightforward, it’s honest, and if you hit the ball where you are supposed to, you can score.” He is currently filming the live action remake of the 1998 Japanese anime classic Kite in Johannesburg, but jumped at the chance to take a break from the set and get out on the golf course, even if he didn’t expect to play to his usual standard. And the popular Hollywood screen actor was all business when he pitched up at the Telkom PGA Championship Pro-Am on Tuesday, jumping at an invitation from Sunshine Tour executive director Selwyn Nathan to join the action at Country Club Johannesburg. “I had a great birdie streak from the sixth to the eighth, but it hardly mattered because Sam and Selwyn are chewing up the golf course,” the Queenstown golfer said. Jackson once stated that the golf course is the only place where he can “go dressed as a pimp and fit in perfectly”. His pink, candy-striped shorts and perky white and red beach hat ensemble perfectly complimented his playing partners – James Kamte in pink and lavender, Nathan in white from head to toe, and Nathan’s son Daniel, looking dapper in white and grey. ‘I played here before’ In addition to Kamte, the field for this week’s R3 750 000 Telkom PGA Championship includes world number 50 Richard Sterne, defending champion Keith Horne, three other former champions and more than 20 Sunshine Tour winners. “I never pass up on the chance to play golf, especially when I get to play at a top course like this,” he said. Samuel L Jackson has played the bad guy, the good guy, the bad cop, the good cop, drug addicts, action heroes and more recently, a slave. By his own admission, he’ll do almost anything to get a laugh, but one place Jackson will never play the fool is on the golf course. Source: Sunshine Tour True to form, he made a bee-line for the driving range as soon as he arrived. “Sam is very, very competitive,” said playing partner James Kamte. “A few years back, we scheduled a practice round together before the Alfred Dunhill Links. That day the wind was howling and it was pouring. Everyone else pulled out, but he was there with bells on.” A proficient golfer, who plays off a tidy six-handicap, Jackson didn’t waste any time contributing to his team’s score and, combined with former professional Nathan, the pair soon had Kamte playing some of his best golf this season. 13 March 2013 But none of them could match the presence of Jackson, who charmed everyone from caddies, to players, scorers and rules officials. “I’m just disappointed that they didn’t send me the R1 driver. It’s an adjustment, but I won’t say I know what Rory [McIlroy] is going through.” “These irons can fly, although I would attribute that to the altitude here, as opposed to my golfing ability. I can’t wait to give them a real test and find out what they play like at sea level when I get home. ‘Man, I love these Rocketballz’Jackson played the first in regulation, but carved his tee shot at the second into the right rough. A frisky six-iron saw him on the dance floor in two. “Man, I love these Rocketballz,” he gushed. One of Hollywood’s highest grossing stars, Jackson’s movie credits include such blockbusters as Jungle Fever, Pulp Fiction, Shaft and the recently critically acclaimed Django Unchained. ‘Perfect fourball“I might as well not be playing, but it does feel good to be making some long birdie putts again. This has been the perfect fourball to get me into fighting form for the tournament. With them being so competitive, they are forcing me to bring my A-game. I can’t have them outplaying me.” When it comes to chasing a bad guy on screen, the 64-year-old actor might let a stunt double take the punches, but when it comes to chasing after a little white ball, Jackson is a Jedi-powered golfing machine. “Just for the record, though, that tee shot went exactly where I intended it to go. The guys told me to take the short cut and Tiger line it to the green. They just didn’t realise I’m not Tiger.” “The people here in South Africa are great,” he said. “It looks like they enjoy seeing me there. I guess I’m a lot more recognisable than I thought,” he laughed. “I got the call from Selwyn and what can I say, here I am,” said Jackson, who has a special clause in all his film contracts that allows him time off to play golf. ‘Sam is very, very competitive’ “Actually, I don’t expect to do to well today,” he said. “I’ve been playing Titleist all my life, but I met these guys from Taylormade and they knew I was coming out here, so they set me up with these clubs. They take some getting use to. “When I’m playing golf, I like to look the part,” Jackson said. “I like to wear good tartan, or maybe a bright pink or yellow ’cause it helps people find me when I’m lost in the rough.” last_img read more

Blitzbokke win Cape Town Sevens tournament

first_img14 December 2015This weekend’s win is the Springbok Sevens’ third consecutive win on home soil, after their triumphs at the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens tournaments in 2013 and 2014. The win in Cape Town puts the team at the top of the log for the World Rugby Sevens Series 2015, as joint leaders with Fiji.Well done @Blitzboks – champion of the SA leg of @WorldRugby7s for the third year running! @CapeTown7s— South African Rugby (@Springboks) December 13, 2015Sunday’s final featured some impressive and inspired play from the South Africans, including the physicality of forwards Kyle Brown and Philip Snyman, and the pace of Rosko Specman, Cheslin Kolbe and Seabelo Senatla against a determined and dogged Argentinian defence.No one created more havoc, though, than centre Justin Geduld, whose kicking set up scoring opportunities for both Specman and Senatla. Geduld was named Player of the Match.The brave South American Pumas refused to give up the chase. But after a Kolbe run set up a try for Ryno Benjamin and gave South Africa its fifth try of the game, the partisan 52 000 strong crowd cheered the home team to a conclusive win, and the end of a great weekend of world-class rugby.Coach Neil Powell facing @Blitzboks for national anthem @CapeTown7s #BringTheHeat— South African Rugby (@Springboks) December 13, 2015“We made it hard for ourselves again in the final,” Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell told SA Rugby after the game. The team had to improve from the previous day’s performance, in which the Blitzbokke faltered against Kenya, losing by two points. “I am proud of the way the team responded to the pressures and expectations from a fantastic home crowd,” Powell said.Brown, the captain, thanked the crowd for their support over the past two days, highlighting “the way the anthem was sung and the noise they made”, as the inspiration the team needed to win the final.WELL DONE @BLITZBOKS! The boys in the green and gold win the @CapeTown7s!— Cell C South Africa (@CellC) December 13, 2015The weekend provided some interesting upsets on the road to Sunday’s final. Argentina won against New Zealand in the quarter-finals, while Kenya ended the USA’s run during the pool matches on Saturday. South Africa struggled in its quarter-final against Australia, but came back strongly in the second half with a flurry of tries to win 26-5 and a spot in Sunday’s final.I picked some of my favourite images from the @CapeTown7s. See the full selection here:— Tom Chick (@tomchick85) December 13, 2015Current World Sevens Series 2015 standing:1. Fiji – 35 points2. South Africa – 35 points3. USA – 29 points4. Argentina – 29 points5. England – 26 points6. France – 25 points7. New Zealand – 25 pointsThe next stop in the series is in New Zealand at the end of January, where the Blitzbokke will top Pool A and face New Zealand, Scotland and Russia. The tournament will be played in Wellington on 30 and 31 January.Thanks Cape Town, thanks sevens fans. Thanks Blitzboks fans. Thanks @blitzboks All of you did #bringtheheat— South African Rugby (@Springboks) December 13, 2015Source: News24last_img read more

Evaluating your grain storage system

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Evaluating how well their grain system handles the harvest season and what improvements may be needed is one of the most important steps farmers can take to help prepare for next year. GSI Conditioning Applications Manager Gary Woodruff has some recommendations for monitoring your grain storage set up in this conversation with the Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins.last_img

You May Like These Plastic Water Bottles

first_imgImproving housing for low-income peopleA local newspaper, The Tico Times, said that the bottles are made from 100 percent recycled plastic and filled with water collected near Juan Castro Blanco National Park. Once the recycled bottles are collected, they are pressed and filled to become roofing tiles.It will take some 5,000 water bottles to roof a small house, 8,000 bottles for a house of average size.The water bottles are attractive from a recycling point of view, but Thomson told the newspaper the real point is providing quality building materials at a low cost.“The cycle of poverty is often determined by where you live,” Thomson said. “Some housing projects fail because the homes people have don’t appreciate over time… We’re going to be able to sell [them] almost at cost,” he said. “All for the price of garbage.”Thomson is a Canadian entrepreneur who has lived in Costa Rica since 1990. A Costa Rican businessman has developed a type of plastic water bottle that can be turned into a roofing tile when its empty instead of pitched in the trash or sent to a recycling center.Donald Thomson worked for years to develop the idea after watching children squash plastic water bottles during a beach cleanup, an article in PlasticsNews said.Like lots of other people, Thomson had been bugged by the amount of plastic trash that washed ashore. Seeing the children flatten the bottles gave him the idea of developing his own bottled water company that also produced roofing tiles.“What we did is say, ‘Well, there’s so much plastic coming up on the beach, if you can’t beat them, join them,’” he told PlasticNews. “‘And what can we do with this from a high-quality building standpoint.’”Bottled water from Thomson’s company, Agua Costa Rica, sells for the equivalent of $1.25 to $1.30, slightly more than competing products from PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. The rectangular 710 ml. bottles are shipped in a recycled plastic tote that stores give out to their customers.When the bottles are empty, they are compacted and filled with a mixture of recycled paper, foam and cement. Then they’re mounted on rails and woven together with string to make roofing tiles, the article said.“I get my raw material back for almost zero cost,” he said. “That’s a really great business model. That’s a whole new deal.”last_img read more