August 31, 2010 Leave a comment
June 15, 2010 Leave a comment
ClearHead Ideas consultants (CHIC) No 7, 82 Edhill Terrace
Shop Hill, St Thomas
Contact: Lennox Chandler, Head, NCST
For immediate release
the living screen – 2nd sequel
Barbadian artists will once again turn on the Living Screen – through a series of computerised animation technology workshops conducted under the aegis of the National Council for Science & Technology and facilitated by Toon Boom Animation Graphics.
Students of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, the Barbados Community College and the UWI are also the target of a special focus on Animation in Education one-day workshops on June 10th and 11th at BIMAP. It is part of the NCST’s mandate to contribute to the internationalisation of Barbados through the application of science, technology and innovation. This year the introductory workshops have been extended to two, giving the opportunity to 40 Barbadians involved in any type of graphics, the opportunity to be introduced to, or hone their skills in this rapidly-burgeoning industry, which raked in more than US200 billion worldwide in 2009.
The first animation workshop was conducted in November last year at BIMAP training centre on Harbour Road. This year the venue will be the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination (EBCCI), Cave Hill Campus. The first workshop will be conducted June 14th-18th from 9 am – 12.30 pm, and the second from June 15th to 18th, from 2.30 pm – 5.30 pm. The need to launch 2 workshops this year underlines the intense interest in this relatively new field for Barbados, and participants are expected to include graphics artists who work in illustration, character development, painting (digital), colour/lLighting, concept art and background/set design as well as rendering, animating and motion tweening, scripting, storyboard, art direction and production planning, cinematography and special effects.
A number of organisations are assisting in this effort, among them the EBCCI, BIMAP, Invest Barbados, AnimeKon and BANG. BANG is a substantive result of the first animation course, formed to give new and developing animators assistance in furthering their career objectives.
This year’s series of animation workshops will also include a certification programme, which will be open to a limited number of people who have successfully concluded the introductory programme, or who have sufficient experience in the field. This will be held at the EBCCI from June 19th to June 25th. An introductory “Train the Trainer” workshop will also be held from June 21st – 25th. The venue for this will also be the EBCCI.
June 24th will see the EBCCI hosting an important strategic planning session. Participants at this session to chart the future of animation in Barbados are expected to include Toon Boom Animation, the NCST, EBCCI, BIMAP, Full Circle Animation, BANG, Invest Barbados and AnimeKon.
Registration for the Introductory Animation Workshop series closes on June 9th, and information about all workshops may be found on http://scienceiskewl.com/blog or by calling 424-0994
March 31, 2010 Leave a comment
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have described the slave trade as a “scar 400 years deep” as the international community on Friday concluded a week of activities commemorating the International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Read more of this post
March 4, 2010 Leave a comment
The Lower Merion School District, which administers a Philadelphia suburb that is one of the wealthiest parts of Pennsylvania, issued all 1,800 students at its two high schools with laptops so they could access school materials at home. Read more of this post
December 2, 2009 Leave a comment
Ever since the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force took a look, finally, at the scientific evidence and announced new recommendations earlier this month for routine mammograms — specifically that women under 50 should avoid them and women over 50 should only get them every other year — the reactions from many women, doctors and the mainstream media have reached the point of near hysteria (http://www.naturalnews.com/027558_m…).Not getting annual mammograms, some say, means countless women will receive a virtual death sentence because their breast tumors won’t be discovered. But what is rarely discussed about mammograms is this: the tests could actually be causing many cases of breast cancer. Read more of this post
November 8, 2009 Leave a comment
Pupils in England will be given classes in sex and relationships from the age of five under Government plans to cut teenage pregnancies.
Children will learn about parts of the body, the facts of life and puberty in primary school. At secondary school, they will be taught about pregnancy, contraception, HIV and homosexual relationships, it was disclosed.
All mothers and fathers will be able to keep children out on moral and religious grounds but will lose the right of withdraw when they turn 15. The ruling will affect 600,000 pupils a year. Read more of this post
September 15, 2009 2 Comments
With all this swine flu, H1N1, vaccine, pandemic talk, the following is an eye opener for those who may not be aware of what is found in a vaccine.
Implicated as a cause of brain damage; suspected factor in Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, seizures and comas. Allergic can occur on the skin.
Ammonium Sulfate [ salt ]
Suspected gastrointestinal, liver, nerve and respiratory system poison.
Known to cause cancer. Suspected gastrointestinal, liver, nerve and respiratory, skin and sense organ poison. Read more of this post
June 30, 2009 Leave a comment
More than 1,300 girls in the United Kingdom have experienced negative reactions to the government-mandated Cervarix vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV), according to adverse events reports collected from doctors by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
“When they introduced this new vaccine, we had major concerns about its safety,” said Jackie Fletcher of Jabs, a support group for those negatively affected by vaccines. “The current statistics detailing adverse reactions — including cases of epilepsy and convulsions — bears out that we were right to be concerned.”
Cervarix, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, inoculates patients against strains 16 and 18 of HPV, which are believed to be responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. The British government began a program to vaccinate all secondary school girls in September 2008, and 700,000 have received the injections so far. The government’s plan is to have all girls under the age of 18 vaccinated by 2011. Read more of this post
November 13, 2008 Leave a comment
Had Prime Minister David Thompson not contested the St. John bye-election in 1987 he most likely would have joined the world of academia at none other than Oxford University in London.
As part of his introductory remarks while delivering a lecture at the world famous Oxford Union recently, Mr. Thompson
recalled how he was accepted by Oxford to pursue post-graduate studies in politics, Philosophy and Economics. However, his life and career fortunes changed, following the sudden death in June that year of former Prime Minister, the Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow.
“I opted to contest the seat he had represented and won it, thereby starting my parliamentary career. My dream of
studying at Oxford was deferred,” Thompson quipped.
Speaking in the presence of several members of the Barbados Diaspora, who journeyed to Oxford for the occasion, the Prime Minister recalled that throughout the vagaries of his political career, he visited Oxford on several occasions and roamed its beautiful gardens “ruminating on whether I had made the right decision”.
“Today, 20 years later, I visit Oxford as Prime Minister of a very small island state which, it is said, punches above its weight and class. Barbados is the number one developing country on the United Nations Human Development Index,” Mr. Thompson added.
He said it was a privilege and an honour to have been invited to address the Oxford Union. “I must tell you, though, that I am neither the first Barbadian to address this Union, nor in the context of your history, am I the first to have made contact with the Oxford Union. “Those distinctions belong to the late Sir James Cameron Tudor who was the first non-white President of the Union. He later distinguished himself while serving for many years as a Member of Parliament and a Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados as the time of our Independence”.
Mr. Thompson went on to pay glowing tribute to the life and works of Sir James, pointing out that “anyone who has heard Sir James holding forth
on a political platform or during meetings of Parliament and even in ordinary discourses can easily appreciate the origin of his legendary eloquence and formidable debating skills”.
The Prime Minister said “the stock and trade” of the Oxford Union, debating, was a wholesome activity. He congratulated the current leadership of the Union for going to great lengths to preserve “this sadly depreciated skill”. “Debating requires preparation of an intellectual and personal nature, developing public speaking skills and self confidence”.
He said, however, its greatest benefit was to facilitate an exchange of views. “The absence of such exchanges breeds ignorance, suspicion and misunderstanding and is the source of many of the world’s most pressing problems,” the Prime Minister said.
Source: Barbados Advocate
November 4, 2008 Leave a comment
Mr Kordan, who stubbornly refused numerous calls to resign instead of facing impeachment, told parliament on Monday that he would never have presented the degree if he had known it was a fake.
He claimed that it was issued for his “managerial and executive experience” and for a thesis he had submitted to the University of Oxford through a person who had opened an affiliate office in Tehran.
Mr Kordan insisted that he received the degree in good faith and doubted it only when deputies questioned its authenticity. “To my utter disbelief, the university did not confirm (the degree) when my representative went there”, he maintained.
He claimed that he had filed a complaint against the mysterious intermediary who purportedly represented Oxford in Tehran. But Mr Kordan said that he was unable to find the man and has declined to name him.
September 8, 2008 1 Comment
On September 3, Time.com in their article examining “Why Disasters Are Getting Worse,” made a “shocking” discovery.
…..there is another inconvenient truth out there: We are getting more vulnerable to weather mostly because of where we live, not just how we live.
One of the world’s influential magazines known for its blame it on global warming it can’t be anything else rhetoric when its comes to weather systems, [talk about objective journalism] now looks at migration, building codes and removal of natural protective barriers for much of history’s destructive storms & hurricanes. It even quotes a scientist for its eureka moment.
“There has been no trend in the number or intensity of storms at landfall since 1900,” says Pielke, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado. “The storms themselves haven’t changed.”
So if the intensity of storms/hurricanes have not change much, in other words if we take global warming out of the picture all together or reduce it to a minuscule percentage of the problem, what is there left? Massive populations build up in coastal areas/cities = more lost of lives & damaged buildings. Translation: we become our worse enemies when we remove our natural protective barriers that nature gives to minimise nature destructive forces.
……the most insidious effect of building condos and industry along water is that we are systematically stripping coasts of the protection that used to cushion the blow of extreme weather. Three years after Katrina, southern Louisiana is still losing a football field’s worth of wetlands every 38 minutes.
Human beings have been clearing away our best protections all over the world, says Kathleen Tierney, director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “The natural protections are diminishing — whether you’re talking about mangrove forests in areas affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami, wetlands in the Gulf Coast or forests, which offer protection against landslides and mudslides.”
A rather illuminating moment from the editors of Time Magazine.
Business and Media Institute list some of the 400 prominent scientists from Russia to Brazil, from America to Australia who remained skeptical over this global warming hysteria.
August 29, 2008 2 Comments
Said snake is named Barbados Threadsnake
Photo credit – nationnews
My research on the Barbados Threadsnake was discussed in an article by Bryan Walker on August 8. I understand the reaction of Barbadians to the news reports, when the snake was known already on the island. But this is true of almost any new species of reptile – they are known by local residents.
The news reports were not clear, and caused much of this confusion. The thing that was discovered was not the presence of the snake on Barbados, but that it is an endemic species known nowhere else – this was new. The research article can be obtained freely at: www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2008/f/zt01841p030.pdf
Before, that snake was considered the same species as the one on Martinique and St Lucia, and therefore not so special. The discovery was made by sequencing its DNA and by studying it carefully in a laboratory.
News reports failed to mention that I named the snake the “Barbados Threadsnake” in my scientific article. The scientific name – which people rarely use – was dedicated to my wife who helped with the research. This is a normal practice in the field of science called taxonomy, to dedicate a scientific name after someone.
What about the size? Wasn’t it already the smallest? Because the species was confused, scientifically, the size was also confused. As it turns out, perhaps by chance, the new species defined on Barbados is even smaller than the one it was confused with previously, on Martinique.
Now, Barbados has a unique species, the Barbados Threadsnake, and one that is quite special because it is the smallest, unless someone finds a large specimen of it, or a smaller species elsewhere. It should be studied and protected.
In THE NATION article, Damon Corrie is quoted as saying that he showed me where to find the Threadsnake. That is not exactly true. He accompanied us on one day but there were no snakes at his places. The snakes came from a place that I found in the old literature, although he was present when one was collected and we enjoyed his company.
Finally, I must point out that there is a second very small snake on Barbados that is easy to confuse with the real Barbados Threadsnake. It is called the Flowerpot Blindsnake and is thin and black; it was introduced from Indonesia and is common in gardens and around houses (Bridgetown, and so on).
Most sightings of the “threadsnake” are probably of this different species.
– BLAIR HEDGES
State College, Pennsylvania.
Source – Nation News
August 26, 2008 1 Comment
Barbados’ Prime Minister David John Howard Thompson, arrived in Cuba on Monday evening to inaugurate the 39th General Assembly of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), beginning this Tuesday in Havana.
The CBU [Caribbean Brocasting Union] is a non-governmental organization based in Barbados which supports and promotes high quality work of radio and TV private or public entities in the Caribbean.
Source – Cuban News Agency
August 23, 2008 1 Comment
A Vaccine against cervical cancer will be given to schoolgirls without them receiving any safe sex advice as a result of a controversial deal struck between the Catholic Church and health officials, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.
From next month, 12 and 13-year-old girls at all schools in the country will start receiving the jab in a bid to cut deaths from cervical cancer caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), which can be passed on during sex.
The Catholic Church originally raised objections to the jab on the grounds it could encourage promiscuity, but has made a U-turn after reaching an agreement with health and education bosses. The deal means girls getting the HPV jab will not receive any accompanying advice on the need to use condoms to protect themselves from other sexually transmitted diseases.
Health campaigners and parents’ groups last night reacted angrily to the deal, warning that the sexual health of thousands of young Scottish women was being put at risk to avoid a moral backlash from the Catholic Church. Many sexual health experts believe it is essential to give out safe sex advice alongside the jab to make it clear they will remain at risk from other STIs including HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhea. More than half of the 5,000 female chlamydia patients in Scotland last year were under the age of 20.
The vaccine has been shown in trials to be highly effective in stopping cervical cancer caused by HPV if given to girls before they start sexual activity. Such cancers account for about 70% of cases of cervical cancer, which claims about 100 lives in Scotland every year.
When the decision to give the jab was announced by ministers in August 2006, a spokesman for Cardinal Keith O’Brien warned it could be seen by pre-teenage girls as a “green light” for sexual activity. The programme is due to start next month and schools are set to send out consent forms for the scheme from the beginning of September.
The Catholic Church has now decided it will back the programme, with the jabs being available in its own schools. Spokesman Ronnie Convery revealed: “We have been in fruitful discussion with the health and education authorities, and we are satisfied that the programme to be rolled out across the country now is a responsible and ethically appropriate one.”
Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) Michael McGrath added: “We wanted to make sure any support materials were appropriate in the Catholic schools, and we didn’t want HPV and cervical cancer to be linked with artificial contraception. The factual information about the vaccine and cervical cancer are still there, but it doesn’t promote particular kinds of sexual behaviour. We had discussions about it, we looked at various forms of words and came to an agreement. It took some months.”
Scotland on Sunday has examined the leaflets going out to schoolgirls who receive the jab and there is no mention of using condoms to protect against other STIs.
A spokeswoman for the Family Planning Association (FPA) said it was a missed opportunity. Chief executive of the FPA Julie Bentley said: “The HPV vaccination will only protect young women from two strains of HPV leading to cervical cancer. It is critically important that young people understand the need to use condoms to protect them from other STIs.”
Scotland Patients’ Association chairwoman Margaret Watt said: “This message should be highlighted and underlined – please remember this injection doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases or becoming pregnant.”
Justine Roberts, co-founder of Mumsnet, said parents would be annoyed by the omission. She said: “The moral position is being imposed upon them. It seems a bit archaic to let the Catholic Church decide on this.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The HPV vaccine is about saving lives and protecting future generations of young girls from cervical cancer.
“Scottish Government officials consulted with many stakeholders and undertook research with parents and girls to ensure the right level of information was included in the leaflet. The Scottish Government is absolutely committed to promoting safer sex, and we are taking forward our sexual health strategy ‘Respect and Responsibility’.”
Source – Newsscotman.com
August 17, 2008 Leave a comment
Has America officially gone mad? A policy is now in place to allow teachers and staff at a Texas school to carry firearms for protection. The reason - proctect themselves from school shootings because the nearest sheriff’s office is 30 miles away! I guess the security guards are a waste of time.
This is what happens when authority is taken away from teachers. And to think that some folks in this country want corporal punishment abolish when the Education Act clearly states that only a principal or a senior teacher can hit a child. Where are the statistics to show that students are unfairly dealt with? Thank God the principals had their say on that matter. The older generation must always have that sense of control and authority to guide, shape and mould the younger generation for the world tomorrow. Take that away and we are in for some miserable times ahead.
A tiny Texas school district may be the first in the nation to allow teachers and staff to pack guns for protection when classes begin later this month, a newspaper reported.
Trustees at the Harrold Independent School District approved a district policy change last October so employees can carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings, provided the gun-toting teachers follow certain requirements.
In order for teachers and staff to carry a pistol, they must have a Texas license to carry a concealed handgun; must be authorized to carry by the district; must receive training in crisis management and hostile situations and have to use ammunition that is designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.
Superintendent David Thweatt said the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff’s office, leaving students and teachers without protection. He said the district’s lone campus sits 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target.
“When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that’s when all of these shootings started. Why would you put it out there that a group of people can’t defend themselves? That’s like saying ‘sic ‘em’ to a dog,” Thweatt said in Friday’s online edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Thweatt said officials researched the policy and considered other options for about a year before approving the policy change. He said the district also has various other security measures in place to prevent a school shooting.
“The naysayers think (a shooting) won’t happen here. If something were to happen here, I’d much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we were able to protect them,” Thweatt said
August 9, 2008 Leave a comment
One can only conclude after reading the Nation Article “When Size Matters” that the announcement of the ‘discovery” of the world’s smallest snake in Bim did not merit enough attention for the editors on Fontabelle to print such news yet they were so bold enough to state that scientist S. Blair ”"Hedges revelation, first published in the journal Zootaxa on Monday [was] picked up by numerous media networks and websites worldwide.”
Just like the news of Venezuela supposed claim to 2 blocks of Barbados offshore oil. The long and short story is that Barbados Free Press is fuming at the mouth. All because the Nation use stories ideas and pulled a direct quote from off their blog with no credit given whatsoever. A case of plagiarism. Of course a few unkind words got thrown into the mix. Now compare that with the Associated Press article making the rounds on the web. Their piece dealt with Bajans venting their annoyance on this “discovery” thing. One can boldly see Barbados Free Press mentioned by name.
August 6, 2008 5 Comments
Over at Barbados Free Press, S. Blair Hedges the evolutionary biologist who as pointed out in our post ”Barbados Home To World’s Smallest Snake” “dicsovered” a “remarkable undiscovered species” sought to addressed bloggers by presenting his views on the circumstances leading up to the international story on his discovery and naming the brown snake after his wife.
His remarks and our response are below.
August 5, 2008 2 Comments
Barbados is featured in Zootaxa. An international scientific journal for animal taxonomists for having the world’s tiniest species of snake. Taxonomy is the practice and science of classification. According S.Blair Hedges, an evolutionary biologist, “the snake was found slithering beneath a rock near a patch of Barbadian forest.” Like Christopher Columbus who “discovered” the New World, this research team “discovered” this remarkable undiscovered species!!!
Well if I knew we had the world’s smallest snake I would have called in a couple scientists from the UWI and put Barbados on the biological map every since. Two slither up the bathroom drain couple nights ago. Don’t know where they were going but they didn’t get too far. This being the first time in years I have laid my eyes on them too. And the name given to the brown worm snake – “Leptotyphiops cariae”. My Latin isn’t too well but nothing about that name ain’t sound Bajan to me. Gross insult. Well at least Barbados would be remember for place of discovery.
From The Economics Times
A US scientist has discovered the globe’s tiniest species of snake in the easternmost Caribbean island of Barbados, with full-grown adults typically stretching less than 4 inches (10 centimeters) long.S. Blair Hedges, an evolutionary biologist at Penn State University whose research teams also have discovered the world’s tiniest lizard in the Dominican Republic and the smallest frog in Cuba, said the snake was found slithering beneath a rock near a patch of Barbadian forest.Hedges said the tiny-title-holding snake, which is so diminutive it can curl up on a US quarter, is the smallest of the roughly 3,100 known snake species. It will be introduced to the scientific world in the journal ‘ Zootaxa ” on Monday.“New and interesting species are still being discovered on Caribbean islands, despite the very small amount of natural forests remaining,” said Hedges, who christened the miniature brown snake “Leptotyphlops carlae” after his herpetologist wife, Carla Ann Hass.The Barbadian snake apparently eats termites and insect larvae, but nothing is yet known of its ecology and behaviour. Genetic tests identified the snake as a new species, according to Hedges. It is not venomous.Zoologist Roy McDiarmid, curator of amphibians and reptiles at the Smithsonian’s National Museumn of Natural History in Washington, said he has seen a specimen of the diminutive creature. He saw no reason to argue with the assertion that it is the world’s smallest snake.
McDiarmid said the Barbados creature is a type of thread snake, also called worm snake, which are mostly found in the tropics. “We really know very little about these things,” he said in a Sunday telephone interview from his Virginia home
July 29, 2008 1 Comment
Yournaturephotos.com caters to a niche area for nature lovers where users can share and research photos of animals, plants and landscapes from around the world to their nature heart’s content.
Picsfrom.com caters to a niche area also for those who want to share, research photos and images from around the world. Take a vacation tour right from your computer and plan your next holiday. For the research bluffs, the site presents the top 5 lists of what are the biggest, the highest, the longest, the largest mountains, rivers, lakes, cities, countries around the world grouped by geographical locations. I check the fact page on Caribbean islands and only six were listed, Barbados was not amongst them. Time for the Barbados Tourism Authority to get itself familar with this site.
July 7, 2008 3 Comments
Corporal punishment: A global view written by Mr Farley an educator and secondary school principal in the Nation’s Sunday Sun lay out a fairly well case on behalf of teachers locally by looking at the consequences globally that follows when corporal punishment is stripped away from teacher’s authority.
As rightly indicated in his article corporal punishment is the sole responsibility of the principal/head teacher. [Education Act, Cap. 41].They in turn can delegate that responsibility to seniors teachers. Being that the case most heads prefer not to do the job mandated to them under the law for fear of a cutlass chop by an over zealous parent! Nevertheless there is an old saying that if it ain’t broken why fix it. So what the hell is Minister of Education Mr Jones advocating by stating that “society should eliminate that form of discipline altogether.” Did Mr Jones had a bad case of corporal punishment during his childhood? What right does the Minister have in stripping away parental and teacher rights in administer disciple when see fit? Do we have a high incidence of child abuse in our schools due to corporal punishment? Bring the evidence. Every organisation have policies to governed its “downline”, schools ought to be no different. Read more of this post