Dear Editor,I have read Ravi Dev’s recent ruminations on Hindus and Hinduism with great interest. I understand some of Ravi Ji’s quest for a Hindu political stance in Guyana, given the negative perception bestowed on Hindus and Hinduism in the historical context in the country and Region. However, such a quest is difficult to pursue because of its inherent challenges – some of it alluded by Dev himself.The first challenge is the definition of a Hindu: who is a Hindu? How does one define “Hinduism”? This is a difficult question to answer in Guyana as well as it is in the rest of the world. However, the answer might be given in a statement that is heard often in Guyana: “Hinduism is not a religion; it is a way of life”. If this is the case, then what is this “way of life”? Is it Sanaatan Dharma where the worship of murtis is important? Is it the reformed Hindu Arya Samaj distinction? Or is it ISKCON or the Sai Baba inclusive expression? In India, there have been attempts to re-convert Muslims and Christians to their “Hindu” origins (ghar wapsi). The challenge for these re-converters is what to re-convert them to! Which caste, for example, should these re-converted be deemed?Just about a week ago, Mohan Bhagwat, Chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in India made a bold, significant statement regarding his idea of Hindutva; see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1vOfKYrjjk.He has emphasised the inclusiveness of Hindutva to include a place for those who worship differently and stated that if one is not comfortable with calling Muslims, for example, “Hindu”, then these worshippers are certainly “Bharatiya” (Indian). Commentators have been quick to view Bhagwat’s statement as cheap political rhetoric.However, others have perceived this statement as the beginning of the RSS to be more inclusive of what it is to be Hindustani (Indian).Christians in and out of India have also begun to recognise the importance of respecting Indigenous cultures when appropriating the truths of the gospel. An increasing number of Christians sing bhajans and geet; they have kirtan music and conduct satsanghs and express themselves in pakka (authentic) Hindustani forms. This is largely the Hindustani “way of life” that Guyanese speak of when attempting to describe the Hindu religious expression.It is prudent to perceive Indians in Guyana and elsewhere as “Bharatiyas” (the product of Bharat) rather than a narrow conclave of a religious or cultural entity.Yours truly,Devanand Bhagwan
The National Charcoal Union of Liberia (NACUL) has embarked on a pilot project called “Sustainable Charcoal Production”. Organized on December 23, 2014, NACUL is a community-based organization (CBO) of charcoal producers and sellers in Liberia.The project was launched on Saturday, May 2, 2015, at the Sinje Multipurpose Community Center in Sinje, Grand Cape Mount County, bringing together charcoal producers from across the county and other stakeholders.Speaking at the program, NACUL President, Richard T. A. Dorbor, said the yearlong (May 1, 2015-April 2016) project is intended to mobilize and create awareness to strengthen the capacity of charcoal producers and sellers in the five districts of Grand Cape Mount.According to Dorbor, the program is being funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in collaboration with Farm Forest Facility (FFF).He observed that the charcoal sector is being neglected as people engaged in charcoal activities are considered insignificant, despite the energy charcoal provides for larger portion of the Liberian population.“The charcoal sector has been neglected for years. People in this sector are considered poor people; even consumers are not taking the sector serious, as we provide energy to many Liberians,” the Charcoal Union boss indicated.Dorbor said, to change this mentality, the Union decided to assist charcoal producers and sellers to organize them in finding the sustainable and efficient way as well as alternative sources.Quoting a GTZ 2009 Report, Dorbor said Monrovia alone uses four million bags of charcoal yearly; adding that the number might have increased to five or six million bags yearly now.This, he said, raises the question as to where the wood will come from for charcoal in four to five years when all of the trees shall be been cleared.Against this backdrop, Dorbor said the project is aimed at educating charcoal producers and sellers on how to identify their basic needs and encourage them for sustainable production as well as forest management.Dorbor was quick to note that the project is not intended to stop charcoal production activities; but to assist those involved with productions and sales in the modernized and sustainable way.He named tree-planting for charcoal production as the major sustainable way, which he said will also minimize deforestation.At the same, Dorbor disclosed plans to introduce a new method of production which will minimize environmental pollution as well as prevent losses by the traditional production method.Launching the project was the head of Region-I of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Mrs. Ruth Varney, who praised organizers of the Charcoal Union and urged producers to embrace the idea.The FDA official also stressed the need for charcoal burners to assist in the forest management so that their upcoming generation will not suffer, adding, “You must not just cut down the trees and leave the land clear, do something on it like planting.”She said: “As we launch this program today, we advise that you put yourselves together. This is self-employment; therefore, please use the forest in a sustainable way.”Grand Cape Mount County Representative Marbu Sonii was expected to launch the project, but he was absent due to an official engagement.Also making remarks, the Chairman of the Alliance for Rural Democracy (ARD), Paul L. George, spoke of the need for charcoal producers to be watchful of detractors who may want to politicize the project to undermine its goals.Alex Balo, civil society organizations (CSOs) Grand Cape Mount County Coordinator, lauded the efforts of the Union for the idea in bringing together coal producers.Balo, however, underscored the importance for the Union to work closely with charcoal producers if its dream must come true.Meanwhile, charcoal producers at the occasion embraced the idea and vowed to mobilize their colleagues in the county to become part of the process.According to them, coming together under the umbrella of the union will address some of the problems they (charcoal producers) face.“We have been suffering in the coal business for long and so we are happy for the people to put us together. People can take our coal for ‘sell pay’ and when they go we can’t see some of them again. So, I thank the union for bringing us together to take this problem from us,” Jebbeh Senwan, the chairlady of Garwulor District, who is also a charcoal producer, said.Junior Fahnbulleh, another charcoal producer of Massaquoi Town, said: “Coal burning is a difficult work for me; but I have to do it because it is through this that I pay my school fees.” At times, he said, he loses because he buys gas for power saw to cut his logs and he hires people to cover the wood with dirt; and after all, he might not realize the money spent.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…says taking step back from PNC to focus on women, youthA former Member of Parliament (MP) for the People’s National Congress (PNC), Lindener Vanessa Kissoon, was once part of the frontline party workers at the national and regional levels.Now she has taken a step back from that frontline party work in an effort to focus on her educational career, family, and work with women and youth. She is,Former Parliamentarian Vanessa Kissoonhowever, not ruling out a return to big politics.“Sometimes I believe that in life we have to step back,” Kissoon related in an interview with this publication. “By God’s grace, I still have youth, and like I said, by God’s grace let’s say I have time, because you can’t determine what tomorrow brings. But I believe that by God’s grace I don’t think that my political career is finished. But sometimes you need to take a step back and watch from a distance.”When it comes to the contemporary politics of the PNC, part of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Kissoon noted that there are some concerns from the people in her region. And she urged the administration to put its ear to the ground to listen.“Persons on the ground, they have concerns with the way things are being managed in Region 10. Like the old adage rings, ‘there’s always room for improvement’. And I believe there is strength in some areas and, of course, like any other organisation, you have weaknesses,” she explained.“Sometimes, though, you know, the buck might stop at the head. We have to be careful of the representation that we’re getting from the branches. So I think better is expected. I know persons are looking forward for more, but things are happening.”In the meantime, Kissoon remains an educator at Mackenzie High School in Linden. She has also founded and coordinates the Linden Youth Corps, a non-governmental organisation (NGO). She has also founded a Virtuous Women on a Mission group.“My women’s group would have had a domestic violence workshop. Coming out of that workshop, we had women benefitting from one-week-free internet classes at the LTI institute,” Kissoon explained.“There’s now follow-up sessions; we’re now having 12 weeks, and some meet on Tuesday, some meeting on Wednesday, from seven to nine. We had them based on their ability and knowledge. So I still have my plate full,” she remarked.Kissoon became a PNC/R Parliamentarian back in 2006. During her time as a Parliamentarian, she took a leading role as a political and social activist. At one time during her stint, she was suspended from the party after a rift erupted following a Congress Place decision to appoint another politician as coordinator for the region. The appointment of Sandra Abrams was contested by persons from the region.In a PNC/R statement issued in July of 2014, the declaration was, “It was evident from the outset that certain persons resented the appointment and resisted attempts to allow the Coordinator to be given access to the Party’s office.”“These differences culminated in the June 20th incident at Congress Place, where party general secretary Oscar Clarke demanded the keys to the party’s regional facilities from Kissoon, and an altercation occurred. This incident led to the suspension of Kissoon.”After this incident, and having served for two terms in the National Assembly, Kissoon was not returned to the APNU/AFC roster in 2015.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Northern B.C. High School Rodeo Association held a rodeo on August 24 and 25 in Prince George.The rodeo in Prince George was the first of the Fall season.Junior All Round Cowgirl went to Kerri Moat of Dawson Creek, with Junior All Round Cowboy going to Korbin Mills of Pink Mountain.- Advertisement -Senior All Round Cowgirl went to Zoey Hamming of Falkland and Senior All Round Cowboy went to Brock Everett of Williams Lake.The next B.C. High School Rodeos will be taking place on September 21 to the 22 in Hudson’s Hope and Falkland.The next High School Rodeos after that will be taking place on September 28 and 29 Chetwynd and Langley.Advertisement Junior Results:Senior Results:
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Bob Zimmer, Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies released the following statement regarding federal government approval of Petronas-led Pacific NorthWest LNG project:“I am very pleased with this decision which brings this important project for our region one step closer to becoming a reality. We will now await Petronas for their final investment decision.The Pacific NorthWest LNG project, which has gone through – and passed – a highly rigorous environmental review process, will create thousands of high-paying jobs in British Columbia and in Canada, billions of dollars in tax revenue, and will help to reduce global pollution.I also want to congratulate all those who worked so hard to ensure that the voices of ‘yes’ continued to be heard throughout this process. Never before have I witnessed such grassroots, community involvement in a federal decision as I did in our region this year. From the truck rallies, to the petitions, to the letter writing campaigns, to the LNG or Bust road trip, there is no doubt that residents demonstrated their strong support for LNG projects in our region.”- Advertisement –
Gardai have warned Christmas shoppers not to leave presents and other valuables in cars following a number break-ins to vehicles.Officers have warned that thieves will now be targeting cars in the run-up to the festive season for easy pickings.Crime Prevention officer Sgt Paul Wallace told Donegaldaily.com that shopping centres and car parks are prime targets for thieves. He said there had been a number of incidents but he fears there could be a spate of robberies as it gets closer to Christmas.“We don’t want to be alerting thieves but we also want to let people know how these guys operate.“They will be going around looking for easy pickings from cars as it gets closer to Christmas.“People will naturally be doing a lot of shopping and perhaps going for a bite to eat and leaving presents and other stuff in cars. “We would ask them to put these items out of view in the boot of cars or to leave them home and then return.“These thieves only need a second to steal literally hundreds of euro of goods,” he warned.He said that many urban centres including Letterkenny, Buncrana, Ballybofey and Donegal Town will be targeted by thieves but warned that no car is safe if it has items in view.Sgt Wallace added that the public has their part to play in ensuring the thieves do not make it a miserable Christmas for everyone.“There are a lot of security cameras in shopping centres but often it is the eyes and ears of the public which stops a robbery form taking place. “We would ask people who notice anybody acting suspiciously to contact a member of security staff.“It is no harm if someone is innocent. It is better to be safe than sorry and to see somebody robbed,” he urged.GARDAI ISSUE WARNING TO CHRISTMAS SHOPPERS AFTER BREAK-INS TO CARS was last modified: December 6th, 2011 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:car break-insCHristmasSgt Paul Wallace
Port Elizabeth is the city of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. Within the metro limits there are lovely walks, some fantastic mountain bike trails, pretty good surfing, fantastic sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing, and great diving.The beach front opposite the Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth. The Boardwalk has a whole host of fashionable shops and several coffee shops and restaurants, as well as a casino. (Image: Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism)Brand South Africa reporterOften overlooked by travellers in search of glitz and glamour, Port Elizabeth is probably South Africa’s best-kept secret. Fantastic weather and an enormous range of attractions make it a great place for a totally relaxing stay.The beaches range from crowded, social and developed to long and deserted. Lovely old buildings reflect PE’s past as an integral part of the development of the Eastern Cape and South Africa, and a host of cultural activities will offer you an insight into the lives of other people.Some of the attractions seem a tad, well, gloomy, but are actually very interesting. A visit to the cell in which Black Consciousness activist and freedom struggle martyr Steve Biko was held before his death is certainly an eye-opener, and graveyard and ghost tours are really far more positive than they may sound.Port Elizabeth is a significant industrial centre, with much emphasis on the motor manufacturing industry, so it’s quite appropriate that it has the country’s most impressive motor museum.For an innovative shopping experience close to the beach, the Boardwalk has a whole host of fashionable shops and some wonderful coffee shops and restaurants, as well as a casino. It’s an open-air space as opposed to a mall, and a semi-natural water feature winds through the complex, which seems to please a range of birds as well as shoppers.Port Elizabeth is a great place to base yourself for a while, as it is so close to many other wonderful destinations. You could do day trips to Addo Elephant National Park, Shamwari, the Baviaanskloof, Port Alfred, Jeffreys Bay or Grahamstown. Within the metro limits there are lovely walks, some fantastic mountain bike trails, pretty good surfing, fantastic sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing, and great diving.You could even dive in the predator tank of the Bayworld aquarium. There are some excellent golf courses, most notably Humewood, which is the only true links course in South Africa.Source: South African TourismWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
taylor hatmaker Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Online Dating Is BrokenOnline dating is a booming business – to the tune of $2.1 billion in early 2012 – but it’s also a broken one. According to the co-author of a meta-study of online dating outcomes, all of those mysterious romance recipes might just be leading us on. Eli Finkel, Associate Professor of Social Psychology at Northwestern University, summarizes the findings in “The Dubious Science Of Online Dating,” a takedown published in The New York Times: “[Online dating] sites tend to emphasize similarity on psychological variables like personality (e.g., matching extroverts with extroverts and introverts with introverts) and attitudes (e.g., matching people who prefer Judd Apatow’s movies to Woody Allen’s with people who feel the same way). The problem with this approach is that such forms of similarity between two partners generally don’t predict the success of their relationship.”Graph Search Could EvolveWill Graph Search evolve into something better? Facebook admits that it doesn’t really know how users will end up using any new product as it rolls out – and that includes Graph Search.In an ancient version of its FAQ, the company explained that this ambiguity was the exact idea behind everyone’s favorite retired-then-resurrected Facebook feature. “When we created the poke, we thought it would be cool to have a feature without any specific purpose,” said Zuckerberg. “People interpret the poke in many different ways, and we encourage you to come up with your own meanings.” Of course, Graph Search has many implications beyond the world of online dating, but it’s a pointed example of how Facebook’s third “pillar” casts a wide net. And true to recent form, the company intends to trawl up just about all the competition while it’s at it. Will users burned out on established online dating sites sculpt Graph Search into the next Match.com? Could be, and the one social network to rule them all apparently doesn’t mind casting a line in that direction. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts Tags:#Facebook#search#social networks The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit If you’ve ever run the virtual gauntlet of online dating, you’re well aware that most people are creepy. But the stigma of online dating is fast dissolving – and starting with Graph Search, Facebook is right there at the doorbell, tie straightened and bouquet of flowers in-hand. On Tuesday at a press event at its Menlo Park, California, headquarters, Facebook took the wraps off of its newest feature, a search engine for people, places, photos and interests within a user’s web of Facebook friends. During the presentation, Tom Stocky, Facebook Product Director, brought up one big use case that caught many off guard: online dating. “For single people, friends of friends tend to be a good start,” Stocky said. With Graph Search, you can query the social network for phrases like “friends of my friends who are female, like “Homeland” and are single” and get a custom-built singles search culled right from your own social graph. And since Facebook commands a pool of data as deep as it is wide, it has a lot of dirt on its one billion users – from the stuff they Like to the people they hang out with to their core demographic information like location, age, gender and sexual orientation.If Mark Zuckerberg were to take you out for a night on the town, he’d even know to order a bottle of that local pinot you love. (Graph Search, for all its other implications, is also the perfect pick-up line generator.)A Really, Really Big PhonebookSeemingly content with the fact that just about everyone who might consider signing up for an account is already a member, Facebook now wants to fuel more social discovery – connecting people online first, so they can connect offline. The dating use case is obvious, but Graph Search could also prove handy as a recruitment and job hunting tool, Facebook noted.“Mark says we’re going back to our roots,” a Facebook spokesperson told me following Tuesday’s announcement. “In the beginning… before we had News Feed, [Facebook] was like a directory service – you had to use it to find people. With News Feed it became way more about picking up with the people you already knew. And now we’re hoping that one of the things about [Graph Search], being the third pillar, is that people will start to find ways to make new connections, whether that is friends, people who share the same interests, dating, recruiting – whatever.”How Online Dating Sites Work NowDating sites like OKCupid, eHarmony and Match.com obsessively tinker with their romance recipes, but Facebook has a huge advantage: it already knows your friends. By eschewing the layered anonymity that’s the cornerstone of the online dating community, the social giant might have just tapped into key the secret ingredient. Sophisticated algorithms might not stand a chance against the insight and connections of the people we choose to surround ourselves with in real life – but they can try. Match.com pairs you up with so-called “behavior twins” behind the scenes and then nudges you toward the people that they’ve interacted with. Circl.es, another Web matchmaker, hooks into Facebook to use users’ real names and interests, but it blocks out your existing Facebook friends so you get only fresh faces – and not embarrassing encounters with exes.Hooking Up In The Early Days Of FacebookI signed up for Facebook on May 21, 2004. The social network, then still known as The Facebook, had just expanded to New York University, the ninth school it added (Harvard being the first). Before I arrived at college, I did something kind of creepy on the nascent social network. Using Facebook’s search tool, I hunted for NYU students who I might want to get to know – namely other female students who identified as “interested in women.”From my outpost in suburban Texas, I Friended some of them -others I just sort of observed at a distance. Facebook profiles were pretty open back then, but they didn’t have much info. Still, that sexual orientation tidbit in the Basic Information section was a telling one, and I wasn’t the only one using it to connect to people I’d later befriend (and later, er, “date”… in at least one instance). Because the Web makes winnowing the human population down to people who might consider sleeping with you in the first place a lot easier for those of us seeking same-sex partners, the LGBT population tends to be over-represented in online dating stats. But while sexual orientation may not have been salient to my straight classmates in the same way – plenty of them used Facebook to date too, back then.Before it was a running joke, we’re talking roughly eight years before Poke made its second coming as an app, meeting someone cute at a party and poking them the next day was just what you did (no, really, it was!). These days, Facebook isn’t really a social discovery engine in the same way. People still use it to hunt for potential partners – in fact, i’ve been asked on more than one date via Facebook in recent months by a friend of a Facebook friend – but usually that’s only after some sort of real-life encounter.
Related Posts Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… IBM announced on Wednesday that it has been awarded a two-year, nine-month contract to continue providing cloud services to the U.S. Army.The $135 million contract is a follow-up from the previous agreement IBM signed with the U.S. Army’s Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA) in September 2012. Under the previous contract, IBM said it helped the Army save $15 million in operational costs, due to a managed service agreement.See also: IBM drops $200mm on new home for WatsonThe new contract adds cybersecurity and cognitive computing to the package. IBM will apply the risk management framework (RMF) used by the entire U.S. federal government, which replace legacy IT security standards.“Over the past four and a half years, LOGSA has benefitted from the business and technical advantages of the cloud,” said LOGSA Commander Col. John D. Kuenzli. “Now, we’re moving beyond infrastructure as-a-service and embracing both platform and software-as-a-service, adopting commercial cloud capabilities to further enhance Army readiness.”Keeping an eye on assetsIBM’s Watson platform will be deployed to predict when a vehicle needs maintenance and will use an analytics tool to view unstructured, structured, and sensor data of other Army assets.“The solution, part of the Watson IoT for Manufacturing and Industrial Products product suite, includes IBM Predictive Maintenance and Quality System, an integrated solution that monitors, analyzes, and reports on information gathered from devices and equipment and recommends maintenance procedures,” said IBM.“It also includes Watson Explorer, a cognitive exploration and content analysis platform that enables users to securely capture and analyze both structured and unstructured data. With the platform, the Army will look to extract enhanced insights from its vehicle data and recommend optimal repair methods and procedures. By combining tactical vehicle sensor and maintenance data, the Army better understands the health of its vehicles and can take proactive repair measures.”IBM has already tested Watson’s cognitive computing on 10 percent of the Army’s Stryker vehicle fleet. With the new contract, that percentage is set to increase. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#asset management#cloud computing#cognitive computing#IBM#Internet of Things#IoT#LOGSA#U.S. Army#Watson David Curry Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Follow the Puck
Seismologists have long yearned for a way to forecast imminent earthquakes, which remain predictable only in a long-term probabilistic sense. Past studies have suggested that earthquake precursors could take the form of changes in electromagnetic fields, radon levels, or even animal behavior—but the evidence has been anything but rock-solid. Now, researchers have found that, just before two large earthquakes in Iceland, geochemical signals changed dramatically in nearby ground water. Measuring ground water from a 100-meter-deep borehole, they found that hydrogen isotope ratios and sodium levels spiked in the months before the earthquake. One magnitude-5.6 earthquake occurred in October 2012 along the Húsavík-Flatey fault (pictured), and the other, a magnitude-5.5, went off in April 2013 in the Grímsey Oblique Rift. The researchers, publishing online today in Nature Geoscience, suggest that the changes could have been caused by a subtle stress-induced expansion of the rocks in the lead-up to the earthquake. The expansion, and the microfractures associated with it, could have triggered the geochemical spikes by allowing the mixing of separate bodies of ground water with different geochemical signatures.