first_imgPictured is Bord Gais Energy Student Theatre Awards judge Simon Delaney with students.Two Donegal schools are celebrating after being shortlisted in the Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards.Edeninfagh N.S. and local student Remy Moran from 5th class in S.N. Fhionnain have been shortlisted in this year’s Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards.Edeninfagh N.S. have been shortlisted in the Best Costume category in the production of ‘The Waiting Room’ while Remy Moran from S.N. Fhionnain has been shortlisted in the Best Dramatic Critique category for his critique of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. Both beat off stiff competition from hundreds of schools around Ireland to make the final three in their respective categories. Students from both schools will now travel to a special awards ceremony at The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on Wednesday 4th March 2015 hosted by actor Simon Delaney where the winners will be announced.The Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards were set up by Bord Gáis Energy to recognise and reward participation in drama in schools across Ireland.Open to primary school students from 3rd – 6th class and all students in secondary school, the awards feature 11 categories including best performance in a leading role, best director, best musical, best costumes and best set design. The winning schools will share a prize fund of up to €10,000.This year’s judging panel comprised Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch, actor Simon Delaney, Emmy® award winning animator Mårten Jönmark from Brown Bag Films, leading Irish fashion designer Emma Manley, managing director of COCO Television Stuart Switzer, manager of the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre Stephen Faloon, and Bord Gáis Energy Theatre sponsorship manager, Tanya Townsend. Commenting Tanya Townsend, sponsorship manager Bord Gáis Energy said: “We were absolutely blown away by the number and standard of entries we received this year from across Ireland. The judges had a really tough time whittling down a top three in each category so I would like to say a massive well done to all those shortlisted. The awards will take place on the 4th of March at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. It’s going to be a really exciting event and we look forward to announcing the winners on the day.” TWO DONEGAL SCHOOLS SHORTLISTED FOR BORD GAIS ENERGY STUDENT THEATRE AWARDS was last modified: February 13th, 2015 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:Donegal studentstheatre awardslast_img read more

Sex Cells: The Evolution (or Design) of Genitalia

first_img(Visited 88 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 There’s been a lot of news about sex organs in recent days.  Which does a better job of explaining the facts of life: design or evolution?People either get squeamish or excited at the subject of genital organs, but we all live with our undercover parts every day and might respect them more if we understood what’s going on down under.  Toward that end, we need to be able to talk about reality with the dispassionate demeanor of the physiologist.  Then we need to consider how things got the way they are.  So no prurience in this entry; just factual analysis of what science is learning about our so-called privy members.  Much of the news (mostly about the male of the species, but some about both) is quite surprising.Protein record:  New Scientist reported research coming out of the Human Protein Atlas, a map of the human “proteome” (the set of all proteins made by the body).  In “Amaze balls: Testicles site of most diverse proteins,” Andy Coghlan noted one unexpected result:The proteins in our cells and tissues are responsible for everything from repair and maintenance to the production of signalling chemicals. You might expect that the brain, being our most sophisticated organ, would produce the widest array of proteins. But while the brain hosts 318 unique proteins that we know of, testicles are home to 999.Many of those proteins are directly involved in sperm production and meiosis, the researchers found.  “What’s going on in the testes is unique, as sperm must survive with half the chromosomes and outside the human body,” lead researcher Mathias Uhlén of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, said.  An article about this on the BBC News says that the “testes had more distinctive proteins because of their focus on producing large numbers of sperm without any errors in their genetic code.”Uhlén expects that a similar number of proteins are made in the female reproductive organs, but “eggs are made inside fetuses, so he will not be testing this theory.”Frozen:  Must we lose the capacity to reproduce in limited years of youth?  Medical Xpress reports that “Sperm grown from the frozen testicle tissue of newborn mice has been used to produce healthy offspring.”  This offers hope to men scheduled to undergo surgery for testicular cancer “as a way of preserving their fatherhood prospects.”  There’s also been talk of freezing female eggs as a job benefit for career women not wanting to lose their motherhood prospects because of work; Apple and Facebook recently were reported to be offering egg freezing to attract female engineers.  Live Science published “5 Things You Need to Know” about egg freezing; though it’s better now than it used to be, it’s not guaranteed, it requires a lot of doctor visits, and it’s not recommended as a way of delaying pregnancy, Rachael Rettner warns.Meiosis:  The cell division process that yields sperm and egg cells with half the usual chromosome count is very complex.  To keep the chromosomes from separating prematurely, the chromosomes must lock together tightly with molecular “glue”.  The Stowers Institute for Medical Research identified a “molecular scissors” that separates the pairs at just the right time.  The press release begins with admiration of the process:The development of a new organism from the joining of two single cells is a carefully orchestrated endeavor. But even before sperm meets egg, an equally elaborate set of choreographed steps must occur to ensure successful sexual reproduction. Those steps, known as reproductive cell division or meiosis, split the original number of chromosomes in half so that offspring will inherit half their genetic material from one parent and half from the other.The scissors is an enzyme named Topoisomerase II, “able to cut and untwist tangled strands of the double helix.”  Without it, meiosis cannot succeed, and the organism (in this case, a fruit fly) is sterile.  One of the researchers thinks the choreography is kind of messy and crazy.  “This method of segregating shorter chromosomes may be clunky, odd, crazy, and as noncanonical as it gets, but that doesn’t matter, because the cells survive,” he commented.  “In the end, these processes don’t have to be elegant, they just have to work.”  And work it did, or he wouldn’t be here to say so.  The article did not mention evolution.Plant meiotic inversion:  Plants do meiosis with a variation, a press release from the University of Vienna says.  While describing it as an “orderly” process, the scientists found, surprisingly, that plants “show an inversion of the canonical meiotic sequence, with the equational division preceding the reductional.”  Also, their chromosomes attach to spindle microtubules along their full length, rather than to distinct kinetochores, as in animal cell division.  “These connections seem to provide sufficient force to allow proper orientation and disjunction during the second division, the article says.Endowment:  In an article beginning with a photo of two large brass balls, Lizzie Wade explained for Science Magazine why human testicles are much smaller than those of chimpanzees.  It’s evolutionary, she says.  First, the metrics: “Human brains are nearly three times larger than those of chimpanzees, but we’ve got nothing on our closest cousins in the testicle department,” she begins.  “Whereas human testes top out at about 50 grams, chimpanzees’ routinely reach weights of 150 to 170 grams.”  Why?  It has to do with mating habits, she claims; primates like chimps that are more polygamous during mating season need more sperm-producing mass, while the more monogamous, like humans and gorillas, get by with less.  Then comes the just-so story:But hope is not lost, puny humans! Our primate ancestors appear to have switched between mating types—and, therefore, testicle size—at least six times before we came along, suggesting that testicle tissue may respond to evolutionary pressure more rapidly than other body parts do.It’s not clear what Lizzie, a woman, wants to gain from bigger testicles in men.  Is she advocating promiscuity?  Men seem to do fine with what they have; the last thing one would think an evolutionist wants is a promiscuity-driven human population explosion.  Incidentally, a survivor of testicular cancer is pushing a six-foot ball around the country as a “giant inflatable testicle” to raise awareness of the need for young men to be tested early, Breitbart News reported.  Hopefully Lizzie Wade is not hoping for that level of “hope” for “puny human” endowments, or else the underwear industry would be cast into confusion, to say nothing of male athletics.  Even with “puny” testicles, it’s quite remarkable the amount of motion that external male genitalia can sustain without damage during running and jumping sports.Middle leg:  Another popular evolutionary story making the rounds claims that the penis is a derivative of limb tissue. Another just-so story “Where the penis comes from” (Science Magazine) was echoed by Live Science (“How Sex Organs Get Their Start”) and another by David Cameron on PhysOrg, “Genesis of genitalia: We have one. Lizards have two. Why?”  No one is claiming that lizards or humans fail in the reproductive act because of their equipment.  Quite the contrary:When it comes to genitalia, nature enjoys variety. Snakes and lizards have two. Birds and people have one. And while the former group’s paired structures are located somewhat at the level of the limbs, ours, and the birds’, appear a bit further down. In fact, snake and lizard genitalia are derived from tissue that gives rise to hind legs, while mammalian genitalia are derived from the tail bud. But despite such noteworthy contrasts, these structures are functionally analogous and express similar genes.So what’s the evolutionary point here?  No one is arguing that the “variety” works well in one species and poorly in another.  It would make sense in a design view that functionally analogous organs would express similar genes.In Science Magazine, Elizabeth Pennisi speaks more of functional design and health of sex organs, tacking on a short evolutionary story at the end.  (Note to women: your anatomy is included in the discussion.)It’s not a question a lot of scientists ponder out loud, but it’s key to much of life on Earth: Exactly how does the penis form?  Today, two teams of researchers report having solved one part of this mystery, pinpointing how the organ gets its start in snake, lizard, mouse, and chick embryos. Now that they understand the penis’s origin, researchers can track its development in more detail to understand what drives it to follow a different path in females and become a clitoris. The finding doesn’t just answer a biological conundrum; it could also help millions of people born with genital malformations….Regardless of this difference of opinion [about whether the specific tissues in the embryo are destined for limbs or genitalia], these new insights into how the penis gets started in the embryo are impressive, says Gunter Wagner, an evolutionary biologist at Yale University who was not involved with either study. “It’s seems like a pretty complete story to me.” For him, the work begins to address the question of how novel anatomical structures arise in evolution. And in that respect, he adds, “it’s a big advance.”Most of the other reporters leapt onto the notion that the penis evolved from a limb.  Live Science wandered into storyland:“There’s always been a suggestion that limbs and genitalia might have co-evolved,” said Patrick Tschopp, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School, who led the study. “When animals made the move toward dry environments, two things had to change.“First, the earliest animals to crawl onto land hundreds of millions of years ago had to evolve limbs from fins so they could get around, Tschopp told Live Science. Second, the creatures had to find a way to protect their eggs and keep them from drying out. They were facing a much more hostile environment, and they could no longer just release their eggs and sperm into the water. Nature’s solution was internal fertilization — direct delivery from the male to the female, which required external genitalia.Well, if “Nature” required it, then natural selection was there to produce it—that seems to be the suggestion.   Thus, we have two SEQOTW winners in this post.  Nevertheless, it is interesting that limbs and genitals share embryonic pathways.  The BBC News reported that the scientists turned limb cells into genitals by switching certain genes on or off during development.  This is not surprising, since the fates of many organs, including male genitalia, are switched on at set points during the embryo’s growth.  That is why both males and females have nipples, which form before male genes are expressed.Female mystique:  The female reproductive apparatus came up in a New Scientist article.  Reporter Kayt Sukel took issue with Vincensio and Guilia Puppo for publishing an article claiming to be the “final word” on female orgasm, saying that “the vaginal orgasm (and the G spot) does not (and could not) exist” and that the clitoris is simply a “female penis” with similar response to stimulation.  “Female sexuality, including the female orgasm, is complex,” Sukel writes—too complex for such simplistic descriptions.Origin of copulation:  Evolutionists at Flinders University seem deliriously happy that the origin of sex has been “discovered.”  In Science Daily‘s report, “Origins of sex discovered: Side-by-side copulation in distant ancestors,” the article was not really about the origin of sex at all (sexual reproduction was abundant in the Cambrian explosion and exists even among eukaryotic microbes).  Rather, it’s about the earliest claimed example of internal fertilization, or copulation.  It was inferred from fossils of “primitive” armored fish called placoderms.  It’s not clear how the “origin” of sex fits the data, since internal fertilization was already up and running in these animals.  “Our new discovery now pushes the origin of copulation back even further down the evolutionary ladder, to the most basal of all jawed animals,” they say—raising the question of how it evolved at all.  Wikipedia laments, “The evolution of sexual reproduction is a major puzzle.”Finagle’s 2nd Law states: “No matter what the anticipated result, there will always be someone eager to (a) misinterpret it, (b) fake it, or (c) believe it happened according to his own pet theory.”  Darwin’s corollary can be stated: “No matter the phenomenon, there will always be an evolutionist eager to make up a just-so story about how it came to be.”  It should be obvious from these news items that sexual organs and the processes going on inside them are out of reach of unguided natural processes.  Genitalia, like every other part of the human anatomy, show profound evidence of intelligent design, from the macro to the micro level.  Good grief; evolutionists have a terrible time explaining the origin of sex, let alone genitalia and the profoundly elaborate, irreducibly complex systems involved at every stage in baby making.There’s been increasing openness in the media to discuss sexual organs.  It’s becoming more common, for instance, for both men and women, including political commentators, to equate courage with having balls and cojones.  Is that healthy?  It’s certainly a big change from the prudishness of the 1950s and early 1960s.  Laws about indecent exposure, and social norms about subjects considered improper for polite conversation help to protect women and children (men, too), from harassment and embarrassment.  Leaked photos of nude celebrities recently produced an uproar in the media, with worries about privacy—a concept in retreat.  Yet too much body shame can have negative consequences, too.  People should be able to discuss genitalia in the right context with a certain level of emotional maturity.  Everyone admires Michelangelo’s David, and most people have no qualms over nude sculptures in outdoor fountains in Rome and Washington DC.  What should a creationist think?In the 1970s, Dr. James Dobson—certainly opposed to indecency—nevertheless warned that shaming children who are inquisitive about their genitalia can be harmful to their spiritual development.  He advocated nonchalantly covering up if a family member was caught in an unguarded moment, and speaking matter-of-factly about body parts in response to questions.  Children are not naturally ashamed of nakedness, so the level of respect for privacy that is appropriate must be learned.  Parents walk a fine line here.  Christians and creationists believe we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-16) and that “everything created by God is good, and that nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with thanksgiving” (I Tim. 4:4-5).  That doesn’t imply that everything created should be exposed or flaunted.  Yet overreaction to body exposure seems discordant with the teaching that God’s designs are good and worthy of praise.As with anything, the Bible is our guide.  The Bible is not prudish about body parts, but is steadfastly opposed to lust and lewdness; it also associates nakedness with shame quite often (e.g., Rev. 3:18).  Other than that, the amount of covering that is appropriate seems culturally determined to some extent.  We are not to offend or take offense, but seek the good of our neighbor.  And what is appropriate depends on context; beach attire is not appropriate in the office.  Male-female differences must also be factored in.  What’s at issue is not the body parts (which God created and pronounced “very good”), but the mind (which is fallen), and our responsibility to those around us.Christians are understandably appalled at the lewdness of modern society.  We have the opportunity to present a righteous standard, reacting but not overreacting.  How do we teach and express a good balance?  What has been your experience?  Has it changed at all, the more you learn about the intricate design of sexual organs?  Your comments are invited.last_img read more

Sod is turned at Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital

first_imgAn artist’s impression of the new hospital, to be built on the grounds of the Wits School of Education near the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. (Image: Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital) • Lebogang Mashigo Account Manager Meropa Communications +27 11 506 7300 [email protected] • Mandela’s love of children • Madiba’s legacy is forever • Mandela posters show world’s respect • Nelson Mandela – a timeline • Putting children’s rights firstMelissa Jane CookMadiba was praised for his vision and legacy, which would live on through the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. The project took a step closer to fruition when the earthmovers got to work today.Dignitaries, ministers, distinguished guests and schoolchildren attended a sod turning event held at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Parktown, Johannesburg, on a bright, sunny Thursday, 20 March. This ground-breaking gathering was held in a glamorous white marquee. It was complete with a fun photo booth with colourful accessories and a mindful space where people could choose a picture and write a message of grateful thanks or a tribute to Madiba and attach it to strands of chain. The marquee was overflowing and the atmosphere electric.Sibongile Mkhabela, the chief executive officer of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust, opened the event, saying she was incredibly honoured to be speaking on this hallowed ground. “In 2009, Madiba sat here, at this space, and blessed and dedicated it to the children of South Africa, and to health care.” Acknowledging everyone present who had contributed in the most generous of ways, she said she would never forget Madiba saying: “As long as there are good men and women in the world, the work will carry on.”Indeed, the work did carry on and the mandate of the trustees, to raise a billion rand, had almost been realised – the trust has raised R570-million towards building the hospital. It will continue its work until the target is met. “After years of fundraising under difficult economic conditions, we are proud to announce we can break ground and start building a hospital.”Mkhabela is the head cheerleader of the initiative, and said: “Having followed our beloved Madiba’s mandate of improving the care of our children, we are proud of reaching this milestone and look forward to building this hospital.” The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust officially celebrated the start of the Nelson Mandela Children’s hospital at a sod-turning ceremony, with dignitaries, ministers and children. (Image: Melissa Jane Cook)The hospitalIt would be a world-class, highly advanced, specialised children’s hospital that would shape the lives of the children in Africa and shape the future of a greater Africa, she said. It would work on a referral basis across all its centres of excellence, which would include pulmonology, cardiology, neurosciences, craniofacial surgery, nephrology and general paediatric surgery.In addition to giving patients access to world-class health care, the hospital would serve as a training and research facility, which would ensure a much wider reach into the region.Professor Adam Habib, the vice-chancellor and principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, said that Wits “will ensure that we have various academic and clinical synergies for the operation of the hospital and for the training and education of high-level clinical paediatric skills in the southern African region”. “The location of the hospital, on Wits land, as well as in close proximity to the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital, allows for paediatric academic teaching access from the Wits Medical School, maximising operational efficiencies and staffing models.”A promise has been made that the facility will never turn away a child because of an inability to pay; rather, it will give them nurturing care. This was the last wish of Madiba and all present at the sod-turning were assured that his legacy would live on through the hospital. There are only four children’s hospitals in Africa – by comparison, there are 20 in Germany alone, 23 in Canada, and 157 in the United States. The Mandela hospital will lead the way and have the best researchers and top academics, and will be at the cutting edge of children’s health research globally.Future leadersMandela was a champion of children’s rights and always believed they were the future; as such, they should be nurtured. In a powerful display of gratitude, youngsters took to the stage and honoured Madiba and his vision.Michai’h, once a cute two-year-old photographed sitting on Mandela’s knee, is today an ambassador for the children’s hospital and part of the “For kids, by kids” campaign. She stood on stage and said proudly: “We can do this; we can keep his legacy going.” She then threw her fist in the air and shouted their slogan: “Let’s do this.” This campaign is aimed at youth in schools to get them to live Madiba’s legacy by raising awareness and funds for the hospital.Sam Harding, a high school student, was involved in an advertisement that called for beds and highlighted that the hospital would soon become a reality. Wanting to help – he believes that children can make a difference – he donated part of his pocket money to the hospital.Watch the Pushing for Beds 60-second ad:Abundant generosity“It always seems impossible, until it is done,” Mandela once famously said. People have given generously to this dream of his, some even taking it a step further. In April 2013, Matt Silver-Vallance attached himself to 200 helium balloons and went on a Balloon Run, drifting across the Cape Town sky from Robben Island to Table Bay. He said we were a living a part of history and this hospital would be a living monument to Madiba.The list of donors and sponsors is long, yet Mkhabela pointed out that it was not only about money; companies had donated in any way they could. Italtile donated all the sanitary and brass ware; Liberty donated people and office space; Absa created a banking platform for individuals to deposit donations; Barloworld donated diggers and a car – among many others who gave time, money and needed items.PartnershipsHabib, who said it was Mandela’s event and so addressed the audience as “comrades”, went on a trip down memory lane. He spoke about a young Mandela walking through the university grounds in the 1940s. “This is a place where Mandela learned so much. However, the university treated him wrongly, by saying he could never be a lawyer because of the colour of his skin.“This event symbolically is saying sorry for any wrong doings, and to make amends, the university is donating the land that the hospital will be built on. We are making amends for 70 years ago.”The partnership would be three-pronged between the university, the government and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. “The collective ills in our society can’t be addressed by any of us, but they can be overcome with collective good,” said Habib. “This hospital is for the services of the population of southern Africa and speaks to the great patriot that Madiba was.”Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi added: “This is a historic day, a historic moment in history. We need to focus on the needs of the children currently and in the future. Today marks the first day Madiba’s dream comes true. We need to protect and nurture our children as he would have done.” He reiterated the government’s support for the legacy project by committing to the operating expenses of the hospital, which would be budgeted through the normal budgeting process of the Department of Health.The crowds gathered outside among schoolchildren to witness the first spade being struck in the ground and the soil upheaved. Behind the spot, a large green field was waiting, waiting to turn into something glorious, something life-changing. “This is an exciting time for the project, and we encourage global citizens to continue to be part of the living memorial to Madiba’s legacy. Together, we can build this hospital and secure Africa’s hopes of a better future,” said Mkhabela.Five diggers were ready for their performance, and small children clapped and jumped excitedly. A song about a legacy boomed in the background, as the earthmovers, branded with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital logo, danced across the field, moving in crazy ways and riding up the slope towards the crowd, scooping into the earth and excavating rich, moist soil – opening a space for Madiba’s dream to become reality.The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital is expected to open in March 2016.last_img read more

Pregnancy Histories and Community Education in Peru

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on December 2, 2010November 13, 2014Click 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 email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The following is part of a series of project updates from Future Generations. MHTF is supporting their project, Using Pregnancy Histories to Help Mothers, based in Peru. More information on MHTF supported projects can be found here. All photos courtesy of Laura Altobelli.Written by: Future GenerationsSixty-three Women Leaders from highland Andean communities (“comunidades alto-andinos”) have been selected by the women in their own communities, and have started their training in maternal-neonatal-child health using an experimental training design. Each of the four training groups has 13 to 19 Women Leaders that meet monthly. The first round of workshops in October was an introduction to the program and the topic of pregnancy with a focus on danger signs, nutrition and preventive home care and hygiene during pregnancy, birth planning, and community organization for evacuation of obstetrical emergencies. Two of the four training groups had an additional focus using the Pregnancy History methodology. One of our challenges: Women Leaders bring their small children with them at our invitation so they don’t worry so much about having to get home quickly. It helps to hire a child-care person to distract the toddlers while their mom is in the workshop. Another challenge: all of our training is conducted in the Quechua language. It helps to have the workshops tape-recorded and transcribed so that non-Quechua speakers (such as the P.I.) can have access to the proceedings of the workshops for later review and analysis.Two remarkable events occurred this quarter, one good and one bad. The good one was the spontaneous formation of an Association of Women Leaders by one of the intervention groups. The idea was launched by two Women Leaders, and a long discussion resulted in their decision to form the association and elect a President, Vice-President, and Secretary. This is similar to the type of male-dominated community councils found in every Andean community. Women’s empowerment at work! The second event was a death by hemorrhage of a 23-year-old woman during her first birthing. She lived in one of the easy-access “low communities” next to the main road in the valley, a 10-minute ride to the Urcos Health Center, and therefore not one of our project communities. Investigation of the maternal death suggests that certain older women in the community refused to allow help-seeking during the home birth. As a result of this tragedy, the Urcos Health Center asked the community to select two Women Leaders and requested that Future Generations include them in our training workshops on maternal, neonatal, child health. This death has provided for much relevant discussion and learning during our training workshops.Share this:last_img read more

10 days agoMatip, Alisson train for Liverpool ahead of Man Utd clash

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Matip, Alisson train for Liverpool ahead of Man Utd clashby Freddie Taylor10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveJoel Matip and Alisson returned to Liverpool training on Tuesday.Brazil goalkeeper Alisson has not played since injuring his calf in the opening Premier League match of the season.Matip has been excellent all season, but a knock against Sheffield United last month forced him to miss Liverpool’s last two games.Both are now in line for a return this weekend in a blockbuster clash with storied rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday. last_img read more

Diana Shipping Stays in Red

first_imgzoom Athens-based dry bulk owner Diana Shipping has managed to slightly improve its financials by shrinking its net loss in the second quarter of 2017.Although the net loss decreased, the company still ended the quarter with a net loss of USD 23.8 million, compared to a net loss of USD 31.3 million seen in the same three-month period of 2016.Diana Shipping’s operating loss stood at USD 15.5 million, compared to an operating loss of USD 24.2 million reported a year earlier, while the company’s time charter revenues reached USD 37.8 million, up from USD 28.3 million seen in the same quarter of 2016.The increase in time charter revenues was due to increased average time charter rates achieved for the company’s vessels during the quarter and increased revenues resulting from the enlargement of the fleet.Net loss for the six months ended June 30, 2017 amounted to USD 50.3 million, compared to a net loss of USD 62.7 million reported in the same period a year earlier.Time charter revenues for the first half of the year increased to USD 69 million from USD 59.1 million reported in the same six-month period of 2016.last_img read more

Smarter stronger Mike Brewster starts anew with Jacksonville Jaguars

At the conclusion of the 2012 NFL Draft April 28, former Ohio State center Mike Brewster was still waiting on the phone call that could change his life. At the time, his NFL dreams were on hold. All 253 draft selections had come and gone, and he was not among the players selected. But Brewster did not have to wait much longer for his opportunity to play in the NFL. By the end of that same Saturday night, Brewster signed as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars. As an undrafted free agent, Brewster had the opportunity to choose which team he would sign with. He told The Lantern that the Jaguars were the right team for him. “It was the best situation, as far as they didn’t draft any linemen,” Brewster said. “Their (offensive line) coaches had been in contact with me probably more than anybody. That made me feel comfortable.” As a four-year starting center for the Buckeyes, Brewster started 49 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in school history. Brewster’s former coach Luke Fickell has the longest streak at 50 straight games. In 2010, Brewster was named to the Football Writers Association of America All-American Team, and was named first-team all-Big Ten by the media. Jaguars offensive line coach Andy Heck told The Lantern that the Jaguars were “fortunate” to be able to sign Brewster as a free agent. “Every guy we bring in here is a guy that we believe can compete to make our team,” Heck said. “Mike is a guy that I think has a legitimate shot to make a team, to develop into a solid pro, and he’s going to get that opportunity here to compete, to take his game to another level. If he earns it, he’ll make the team and play.” Brewster, a native of Orlando, Fla., said returning to his home state was a big factor in his decision to go to Jacksonville. “I prayed to come home, and it happened in a mysterious way,” Brewster said. “I’m as happy as I could be. Nobody loves the state of Florida as much as I do.” Brewster could have declared for the 2011 NFL Draft following his junior season, but said he has no regrets about his decision to return to OSU for his senior year. “I grew up, learned a lot, I got smarter, I got a lot stronger, and then things just didn’t really go my way,” Brewster said. “I don’t regret it … I could have left after my junior year, but it was important for me to come back and try to help the program.” Brewster said ending up with the right team was more important to him than being drafted. “(Being drafted in the) fifth (round) and before, it’s a pretty decent signing bonus, but other than that, you just want the right fit,” Brewster said. “I was nervous that someone was just going to snatch me up in the sixth or seventh, just to take me.” Heck said Brewster will play multiple positions on the interior offensive line during this summer’s training camp and preseason as he attempts to make the Jaguars’ final 53-man roster. “We’ll give him a lot of work at center,” Heck said. “I think he’s a guy that’s got the physical makeup and mental makeup to be a center in this league. He’ll also cross-train as a guard.” Heck said he believes Brewster has the necessary mental attributes to succeed as an NFL center. “I like Mike’s intelligence, I like his demeanor,” Heck said. “I think that both of those things suit him playing an interior line position, particularly center where he’s got to really be the quarterback of the offensive line.” Heck also addressed the areas of Brewster’s game where he must improve. “He needs to work on being consistent with his gun snaps, keeping himself in better balance,” Heck said. “These are things that everybody needs to work on.” Even after going undrafted, Brewster remains confident that he will have a successful NFL career. “At the end of the day, you can either play or you can’t,” Brewster said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a fourth-, fifth-, sixth-, seventh-round pick, undrafted … the best players are going to play. I’ll make it work, and I guarantee you I’ll be playing football for years to come.” read more

Troopers Searching For Man With Outstanding Warrant In Nikiski

first_imgTroopers are still attempting to locate Cody Scroggins and anyone with information on his whereabouts is encouraged to either contact The Alaska State Troopers at 907-262-4453 or Peninsula  Crime Stoppers at 907-283 TIPS(8477). The Alaska State Troopers responded to two individuals with outstanding warrants in the Nikiski area on August 20. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Updated:  Original Story:  Scroggins was arrested without incident and remanded to Wildwood Pretrial Facility where he was held without bail pending arraignment.  Scroggins’ warrant was for violating conditions of release.’ According to Troopers, Dakota Neely, age 23 of Nikiski, was arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant when he was contacted when Troopers were attempting to locate Cody Scroggins, age 24 of Nikiski, in reference to an outstanding arrest warrant. Neely’s warrant was for probation violations, according to online court records. On August 21, while following up on a tip, Soldotna AST took Cody Scroggins, age 24 of Nikiski, in to custody when he was contacted at a residence near Mile 18.5 Kenai Spur Highway. Neely was taken into custody without incident and subsequently remanded to Wildwood Pretrial Facility where he was held in lieu of $2,500 bail.last_img read more