Donegal Rose to bloom in Tralee

first_imgUpdated: 26/08/2019Chloe Kennedy from Donegal Town is about to have her big moment representing Donegal in the Dome as she takes part in the 60th Rose of Tralee International Festival.The 20-year-old is one of 32 Roses who will be joining host Daithi O Sé for live televised interviews over two selection nights. Chloe will be appearing on the stage on Tuesday night for the final round of interviews. She will have a large crowd of friends and family supporting her in the Dome, while many more people will be cheering her on from home.Chloe will reign as the Donegal Rose for the next two years, due to new competition changes.And she is already relishing the ambassadorial role, having taken part in photoshoots, a parade and many events at home during the summer and this weekend in Kerry.Donegal Rose Chloe KennedyChloe has been sharing an important message of health and positivity during her Rose journey, having overcome cancer this year. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma near the end of 2018 and underwent 12 sessions of chemotherapy.Chloe deferred her psychology studies at Maynooth University to undergo treatment and received the all-clear shortly before being crowned as the Donegal Rose.“It was tough but I consider myself very lucky. Cancer touches so many people, but if I can raise awareness of it I’d tell people to be aware of your body, if you notice something’s up then go with your gut feeling and go to your doctor,” Chloe told DonegalWoman.ieChloe is the eldest of three girls and the Rose competition was always a popular event in their home. She is the daughter of Jenni Timoney and Pauric Kennedy, the Mayor of Donegal Town.She is a firm believer in using positivity to overcome life’s hurdles. “A good mental attitude will get you through anything. We all have bad days. But you tell yourself it will be okay and you will pick yourself up,” she said.Chloe is also keen to encourage other young women to enter competitions such as the Rose of Tralee.“You are learning valuable skills and making friends and your whole family comes together to support you. What more could you want, it’s fantastic!”Another contestant with close Donegal connections this year is the Boston and New England Rose Tanya Stanley, whose mother Theresa Stanley (née O Rourke) is from Ardara. South Carolina Rose Cat McWhirter also traces her father’s roots back to Donegal.Letterkenny man Ciaran Cannon is also enjoying the festival as a Rose Escort.The Rose of Tralee Selection shows air on RTE One this Monday and Tuesday at 8pm on both nights.Donegal Rose to bloom in Tralee was last modified: August 26th, 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)Tags:chloe kennedyDonegal Roserose of tralee international festivallast_img read more

adminDecember 21, 2019xdabuoLeave a Comment

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Bumming Herds of Hummingbirds into Evolution

first_imgAny well-designed animal can be forced into an evolutionary story if you allow the rules to evolve, too.A new paper in Current Biology claims to organize the phylogeny of hummingbirds, those “iridescent… jewel-like” stars of Illustra Media’s film Flight: The Genius of Birds, with their unique flying abilities and specialized nectar-trapping tongues.  Do the authors succeed?  It depends; tweak enough parameters, and anything can happen.We studied hummingbird diversification by estimating a time-calibrated phylogeny for 284 hummingbird species, demonstrating that hummingbirds invaded South America by ∼22 million years ago, and subsequently diversified into nine principal clades… Using ancestral state reconstruction and diversification analyses, we (1) estimate the age of the crown-group hummingbird assemblage, (2) investigate the timing and patterns of lineage accumulation for hummingbirds overall and regionally, and (3) evaluate the role of Andean uplift in hummingbird speciation. Detailed analyses reveal disparate clade-specific processes that allowed for ongoing species diversification. One factor was significant variation among clades in diversification rates. For example, the nine principal clades of hummingbirds exhibit ∼15-fold variation in net diversification rates, with evidence for accelerated speciation of a clade that includes the Bee, Emerald, and Mountain Gem groups of hummingbirds. A second factor was colonization of key geographic regions, which opened up new ecological niches. For example, some clades diversified in the context of the uplift of the Andes Mountains, whereas others were affected by the formation of the Panamanian land bridge. Finally, although species accumulation is slowing in all groups of hummingbirds, several major clades maintain rapid rates of diversification on par with classical examples of rapid adaptive radiation.In short, evolution is slow except when it’s fast, it speeds up except when it slows down, and rules for one group don’t apply to other groups.  Diversification rates can change as much as 15-fold to keep the story in order.  Since these evolutionary biologists expected hummingbirds to evolve in the time allowed for them according to evolutionary theory, the whole exercise was a case of theory incest (see DIDO in the Darwin Dictionary).  There is no reference to fossils or other hard evidence independent of Darwinian assumptions.The authors commit a logical flaw as well, confusing cause and effect.  They attribute mountains and land bridges as causes of diversification.  There’s nothing in a mountain that can force a bird to develop a specialized tongue to fit a flower, or to evolve a unique shoulder joint that permits hovering.  If that were a law of nature, why didn’t it happen to every bird?The popular press, predictably, celebrated this wondrous confirmation of Darwin without any critique.  Science Daily quoted a smiling co-author Jimmie McGuire: “One of the really cool features of hummingbird evolution is that they all eat the same thing yet have diversified dramatically,” McGuire says. “It really is a big surprise that hummingbirds have divided the nectarivore niche so extensively.”Live Science posted a photo gallery of hummingbirds of the world.  While they differ in terms of coloration and details of beak or wing shape, they are all clearly hummingbirds.  Science Daily, though, says that this “marvel of evolutionary engineering” (12/05/13) evolved from non-hummingbirds:The new, time-calibrated evolutionary tree shows that ancestral hummingbirds split from the swifts and treeswifts about 42 million years ago, probably in Eurasia. By about 22 million years ago, the ancestral species of all modern hummingbirds had made its way to South America, and that’s when things really took off.In other words, their presumed ancestral home in Eurasia was left vacant.  Now, all hummingbirds inhabit the American hemisphere.  By “time-calibrated,” the sentence implies that data about hummingbirds were forced into evolutionary time.  That’s why the authors speculate that diversification rates varied so dramatically among different groups.  The Eurasian hummers presumably lived happily on the other side of the world for 20 million years, until by unexplained processes, one “made its way” to South America.  Then, they all migrated en masse or died out in the Old World.Nothing was mentioned about fossils.  A link to a May 2013 story tells about a potential ancestor of swifts and hummingbirds, but that fossil was from Wyoming, and its interpretation is vague.  In addition, it contained melanosomes, casting doubt on its assumed age of 50 million years.One can only wonder what took evolutionists so long to look at these amazing birds with Darwin eyes.  “Hummingbirds have radiated into a diverse assemblage of specialized nectarivores comprising 338 species,” the authors said, “but their evolutionary history has not, until now, been comprehensively explored.”Creationists do not deny a degree of diversification among hummingbirds in terms of coloration and specificity of flowers they feed on, but those are minor considerations within the range of built-in variability.  It’s the underlying flight systems that defy naturalistic explanations.  We don’t need to elaborate here; watch Flight: The Genius of Birds for arguments why Darwinism cannot explain hummingbirds (or any other bird), and why intelligent design is the best explanation for avian flight.  The sequence on hummingbirds is particularly compelling.  Take away the speculation out of the evolutionary paper, and what is left?  Darwinists ignoring the obvious, and repeating “Evolution is a fact” among themselves in an echo chamber.  Their puzzle-solving project of forcing every creature into a Darwinian phylogenetic scheme apparently gives them pleasure, but it’s not science, if by science we mean understanding the natural world (see “How Not to Work a Puzzle,” 5/01/08 commentary). 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adminDecember 19, 2019burahaLeave a Comment

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Minnaar: one of South Africa’s greats

first_imgI bumped into him about four months before the Worlds, having not seen him since he had won in Austria. “Now you’ve done it,” I joked with him about the pressure he would face. He laughed in his typical, humble manner, but the truth was the pressure could not have been greater. That victory made him a three-time world champion. He’s also a three-time runner-up in the World Championships. In addition, Minnaar has won the overall World Cup title three times and finished as runner-up four times. He has more World Cup podium finishes than anyone in history. He’s a humble, down-to-earth, special talent. I’ve been in sports journalism for 17 years now and he carries that assurance, confidence and humility I have previously witnessed in only those sportsmen and -women at the very top of their disciplines. All of those achievements put him in the conversation as one of South Africa’s greatest sportsmen ever. 6 September 2013 It’s worth remembering that his World Cup win in Pietermaritzburg in 2012 was also achieved under severe pressure. His father, Jeff, was in ICU in hospital at the time and it was uncertain whether Greg would race or not. He had not trained in a week, but eventually he took the decision to race. The big build-up was on and the song began to be played frequently. By Sunday, the air was electric. The pressure must have been immense on Minnaar, who would be the fifth last man down the mountain. Stars that come to mind in other sports include golf legend Gary Player; cricket all-rounder Jacques Kallis; batsmen Graeme Pollock and Barry Richards; rugby’s Danie Gerber, Naas Botha and Frik du Preez; swimmers Natalie du Toit and Penny Heyns; boxers “Baby Jake” Matlala and Vic Toweel; footballers Ace Ntsoelengoe, Lucas Radebe and Kaizer Motaung. ‘Sick Mick’ on the hot seatAustralia’s Jared Graves occupied the hot seat for a long time with the fastest time before being dethroned from the top spot by his compatriot Mick Hannah as the event neared its completion. “Sick Mick” put together a superb run, smashing Graves’ time by three seconds to become the first man to dip under four minutes. Like Federer It was Greg Minnaar who brought to an end Vouilloz’s run of five World Championship downhill titles in six years way back in 2003. It took him another nine years before he won a second rainbow-striped jersey, but in that time he narrowly missed out three times, when he finished second, and won three World Cup overall titles. He has deliveredEach and every time there has been huge pressure on him to win and, as champions do, he has delivered. In 2009 and 2012, he won the downhill, while he was second in 2011, just 0.2 seconds behind the winner, Aaron Gwin. This year, though, it was different. Ever since he was crowned the world champion in Leogang, Austria in 2012, the pressure was on because the World Championships were coming to his home town. A legend I have attended every UCI Mountain Bike World Cup held in South Africa. It has been easy, I have to admit, as the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg is literally within walking distance of my home. I never want to miss one because they have been some of the best events I have attended as a journalist and a sports fan, and Greg Minnaar has been the main reason for that. It has been almost a week and I still get a buzz out of it. Just thinking back or watching YouTube videos brings a smile to my face. You see, I was there on Sunday, 1 September, when South Africa’s Greg Minnaar blasted his way to victory in the downhill at the 2013 UCI MTB & Trials World Championships in Pietermaritzburg. Because of him, I am already looking forward to the 2014 UCI World Cup Pietermaritzburg. I wouldn’t miss it. My advice to you: if you have not been to a World Cup at the Cascades MTB Park before, make a plan to be there and see this superstar in action. You won’t regret it. If you’ve been there before, the chances are good you will be there again. On the Saturday at the World Champs, the song by Duck Sauce, known as Barbra Streisand started playing over the massive sound system at the Cascades MTB Park. Instead of saying Barbra Streisand, though, the words were Greg Minnaar, and I am sure they sent a small shiver of excitement through all South African supporters. It was going to be alrightSo onto the most recent event, the 2013 UCI MTB & Trials World Championships: throughout its duration, everything was building towards the men’s downhill, the last event on the final day of competition. And while European athletes were racking up the medals and leaving South Africa’s best in their wake in the trials, cross country and cross country eliminator, there was always this feeling within me that it was going to be alright because South Africa had Greg Minnaar. That was a massive margin to make up, but Minnaar, wearing a helmet emblazoned with Nelson Mandela’s face, pulled something out of the bag to somehow cross the finishing line 0.396 ahead of the likeable Australian. And he did it with a back wheel puncture he had picked up on the last rocky section! That was what a champion does. Two years ago, Greg Minnaar was a great of downhill racing. However, by winning two World Championships and finishing runner-up in the World Cup twice since, he has become a legend of the sport. It’s the old story of it being difficult comparing athletes from different eras. Take the example of Sir Donald Bradman, by common consensus the greatest cricketer of all time. His batting average of 99.94 is way ahead of the number two man on the list, Graeme Pollock, who averaged 60.97. Yet only a fool would believe Bradman could achieve such dominance in this day and age. You can pick your favourite from whatever sport, but with a record like his, Minnaar has to be in the conversation. The powerfully-built, square-jawed Hannah is an ideal fit for the Cascades downhill course and his time would be hard to beat. Minnaar, on his run, was close at the first split, but on the second split was 0.866 down, less than 40 seconds from the end. There’s only other man in the conversation when it comes to the greatest downhill racer of all time, although Australia’s Sam Hill is a narrow third: France’s Nicolas Vouilloz. He won the World Championships a record seven times and topped the World Cup standings five times. At first glance this trumps Minnaar’s achievements, but Vouilloz was dominant mostly in the sport’s early days, when the competition was not as tough as it is today. Martin Whiteley, a highly respected long time team manager on the UCI MTB World Cup circuit recalled seeing Minnaar for the first time in an excellent video by Gary Perkin on Vimeo ( “I was doing a course walk late in the afternoon during practice and this rider went past me. It wasn’t the speed he went past at, but it was the way he shifted line from one side of the track to the other. It just caught my eye. It was just a beautiful riding style, so I took his number, looked it up later and saw that he was a junior from South Africa,” Whiteley said. With his father watching the event on a laptop in the hospital, Greg delivered another outstanding victory, giving dad Jeff a huge boost as he made his recovery. Steve Smith, the winner of the previous World Cup stop in Mont-Sainte-Anne in Canada crashed out as he attempted to match the South African superstar. Aaron Gwin, the overall World Cup winner in 2011 and 2012, also crashed and Gee Atherton, the World Cup standings’ leader, simply couldn’t match Minnaar’s pace. He had defended his world title. I was walking proudBeing there, feeling the patriotism, the pride of being a South African watching a legend is action is hard to describe. The cowbells, the vuvuzelas, the horns, the cheers, the yells of joy seemed to go on forever. As a South African, I was walking proud, thanks to Greg Minnaar. In some ways, in my mind, the way Minnaar wins reminds me of Roger Federer. The man from Pietermaritzburg is tall at 1.90m (6 foot 3), but he has a grace and technical brilliance, even in the pursuit of speed, that stands out and confirms his status as special.last_img read more

adminDecember 18, 2019lxcyevLeave a Comment

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The Importance of “Putting Your Mask on First.”

first_imgAs a caregiver do you ever feel overwhelmed, stressed, or exhausted?Often, caregivers spend so much of their day taking care of others that they eventually stop taking care of themselves properly.It is stressed to family caregivers to take care of themselves, because they won’t be able to take care of others if they are not taking care of themselves. Although this makes sense logically, many caregivers still struggle with self-care. The guilt of putting yourself first, even for an hour a day, can discourage caregivers from continuing the practice of self-care.When speaking to military service providers at Fort Bliss in Texas, self-care seemed to be a common theme or issue when speaking of caregivers. Watch the video below as Monica Lawson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker from the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic in William Beaumont Army Medical Center, shares her thoughts on self-care.What do you do for self-care?What suggestions do you have for family caregivers who struggle with self-care?This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on November 25, 2016.last_img read more

adminDecember 12, 2019aifotjLeave a Comment

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$2 Billion to Renovate 100 Police Stations

first_imgStory Highlights One hundred police stations are to be renovated at a cost of $2 billion under a two-year rehabilitation project being funded by the National Housing Trust (NHT).This was disclosed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during his contribution to the 2019/20 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 19.He pointed out that the NHT, for which he has portfolio responsibility, will partner with the Ministry of National Security and Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in executing the engagement.Mr. Holness said work on the first 11 stations is slated to commence in the 2019/20 fiscal year, and would cost approximately $1.2 billion.Among the stations are Port Antonio and Buff Bay in Portland, and the Mobile Reserve Barracks in St. Andrew, where work is already in progress.The sums earmarked to continue work at these facilities in the upcoming year are Port Antonio – $125 million, Buff Bay – $95 million, and Mobile Reserve – $89 million.The other shortlisted stations are Port Maria, St. Mary ($250 million); Savanna-la-Mar ($165 million), Little London and Frome ($60 million each) – Westmoreland; Anchovy, St. James and Lacovia, St. Elizabeth ($60 million each); Olympic Gardens ($114 million); and Spanish Town, St. Catherine ($120 million).He pointed out that based on discussions with the Ministry, it was decided that the earmarked funds could be more effectively utilised to rectify deficiencies identified at the stations.The Prime Minister said it was also determined that the undertaking would have a greater impact on communities with a higher concentration of NHT contributors, with a focus on the larger police stations.“We need to demonstrate the value we place on the service given by our security forces, and also the security of our people. One way of doing so is improving the conditions under which they work,” Mr. Holness said. He pointed out that the NHT, for which he has portfolio responsibility, will partner with the Ministry of National Security and Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in executing the engagement. One hundred police stations are to be renovated at a cost of $2 billion under a two-year rehabilitation project being funded by the National Housing Trust (NHT). This was disclosed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during his contribution to the 2019/20 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 19.last_img read more

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Investments by Chinese Companies at US$2 Billion

first_imgThe economic and trade relationship between Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China is very active, with some 15 Chinese companies operating in Jamaica with cumulative investments of US$2 billion.This was disclosed by Counsellor for Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Fan Jianghong, during a news conference regarding the sports cooperation programme with China, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston on January 2.“The investments keep growing each month. The two-way trade has more than surpassed what it was in 2017. International development cooperation has reached a new high, as we saw more than 3,000 Jamaicans who have been invited to China on short-term training programmes, which cover a wide range of subjects that are key to Jamaica’s social economic development,” Mr. Jianghong said.Additionally, he cited the scholarships for academic degree programmes and the current three-year technical agreement on sport between both countries as areas of cooperation.Under the current technical agreement, more than 400 Jamaican athletes will travel to China for training over the next three years.The first batch, representing seven disciplines – Synchronised Swimming, Gymnastics, Swimming, Badminton, Women’s Volleyball, Women’s Football and Women’s Basketball – completed 60 days of intense training at specialised facilities across China in the summer of 2018.Also, in January 2018, a contingent of Chinese coaches and administrators came to Jamaica to assess certain national teams and collaborate with local coaches and administrators.In addition, the Chinese government will donate equipment to the seven sporting disciplines.“We see the acceptance and the popularity [of the] programme in Jamaica over the past year. I would like to thank everyone who made this programme successful. As we welcome a new year of 2019, we are very confident that with a concerted effort and closer collaboration together, we can make a lot of things happen to benefit both countries and peoples,” Mr. Jianghong said.last_img read more

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first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, September 6, 2017 – Nassau – The Nassau Airport Development Company announces that operations will continue as normal at Lynden Pindling International Airport through to end of day, Thursday, September 7th, 2017. All stakeholders are encouraged to complete the securing of their premises and vehicles in order to have the best possible outcome.   The public is reminded to check with their individual airline regarding any changes in flight times, or cancellations.Airport operations will resume only when the “All Clear” is given by the Met Department/National Emergency Management Agency, after which all airport employees will be expected to safely report for duty to assess any damage, clean up and restore premises to normal condition, for the ordinary resumption of operations.   A statement will be issued by NAD to advise the traveling public as to when the airport resumes full operations.The public is requested to listen carefully to the formal media for updates regarding both cessation and resumption of airport operations as there might be changes in the forward movement of Hurricane Irma requiring adjustments to the operations timelines.Press Release: NAD Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

adminSeptember 17, 2019mcoaepLeave a Comment

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