THE NORTHERN LIGHTS: HOW TO CHECK WHEN THEY’LL BE BACK

first_imgTHE has been no repeat of the spectacular Northern Lights display over Donegal tonight.Readers have been asking how they can track their return.One of the best websites is here: http://www.softservenews.com/Aurora.htm THE NORTHERN LIGHTS: HOW TO CHECK WHEN THEY’LL BE BACK was last modified: March 2nd, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img

The South Africa perception turnaround

first_img12 June 2009Five years have passed since that extraordinary moment in Zurich when Fifa president Sepp Blatter declared that South Africa had earned the right to host the biggest party on the planet.And with exactly one year remaining before the kick-off of the quadrennial showpiece of international soccer, South Africa can rightfully stake its claim as being the centre of the footballing universe.Of all the obstacles that have so far been overcome, the biggest has certainly been international perceptions of South Africa – and, indeed, the rest of the continent. Crime, an Aids pandemic, political instability and xenophobia provided plenty of ammunition for a hostile media and millions of Afro-pessimists around the world.And yet, like the miracle of 1994, South Africa has confronted its challenges head-on.Paul Bannister, acting CEO of the International Marketing Council of South Africa, says he believes the country has turned the corner “after 18 very challenging months, with concerns over Polokwane, the Eskom outages, Jacob Zuma’s legal issues and Zimbabwe”.Wadim Schreiner, managing director of international media research company Media Tenor, says foreign media coverage of South Africa has “completely turned around” since March.“The Germans just can’t believe that this World Cup is actually going to happen. They are now reporting that we are more or less on time, but there’s always a hint of disbelief.”The reality is that South Africa continues to meet its 2010 targets, and public perceptions of the country’s ability to host a successful tournament have now reached record highs.As France (1998), co-hosts Japan and South Korea (2002) and Germany (2006) all proved, the success of the host nation is critical to the success of a tournament of this magnitude.As a result, we can all be very grateful that Bafana Bafana, who have floundered for so long, are now showing signs of peaking at the rights time. Under Brazilians Carlos Parreira and his successor Joel Santana, the team has shown flashes of brilliance, and last weekend’s impressive victory against Poland was the perfect launch for South Africa’s Confederations Cup campaign.A year before the previous edition of the World Cup, Germany was seriously divided, but that tournament provided the glue that united the nation in a sea of black, yellow and red.South Africa too could be on the brink of a 2010-induced revolution that could change international perceptions of the country for decades to come.Urquhart is a former Fifa World Cup media officer and the current editor of Project 2010last_img read more

The Downside of Low Gas Prices

first_imgWhither electric vehicles?In an interview about recent auto market trends, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz conceded that electric vehicle (EV) sales were well behind the Administration’s goal of putting a million plug-in cars on the road by last year. Moniz seemed unconcerned about the shift back to SUVs and instead emphasized the importance of a “long-term view.”How do slowing sales of EVs, due at least in part to cheap gasoline, affect emissions?It is instructive to compare the effect of mainstream market shifts to the sales of EVs such as the Nissan Leaf (a battery-only car) or Chevy Volt (a plug-in hybrid with a small gasoline engine to extend its range). The EV market got a boost in 2008, which saw the launch of the high-profile Tesla Roadster along with spiking oil prices.Bolstered by tax credits and other generous subsidies, plug-in car sales grew rapidly and there are now over two dozen models available that charge from the electric grid for some or all of their energy. EV sales reached just over 122,000 by 2014, but have since fallen in the face of lower fuel prices, dropping to 116,000 in 2015 even as overall auto sales hit a new high.EVs directly emit no COâ‚‚ when running on battery power alone. Accounting for power plant emissions but recognizing that most EV sales have occurred in California and other states with cleaner-than-average electric grids, the typical electric car emits only about one-fourth of the COâ‚‚ of a similarly sized gasoline car.Based on that assumption and sales data, I estimate that the new EVs sold in 2015 cut COâ‚‚ emissions by roughly 0.26 million metric tons per year.On the other hand, the market share of vehicles that EPA classifies as light trucks for regulatory purposes rose from 33 percent to 40 percent over the past six years. That seven-point shift from relatively efficient cars to less efficient light trucks implies a COâ‚‚ emissions increase of 1.76 million metric tons per year, more than six times the emissions reduction from EVs.In other words, waning interest in fuel economy across the mainstream market slows climate progress much more than lagging sales of electric cars. Retail gasoline prices are now as low as they were in the “roaring ‘90s.” The 1990s, that is, when the energy crisis of the 1970s had faded from American consumers’ memories, the economy was strong and the market share of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) had more than tripled over the decade.As in the 1990s, low-cost gasoline is changing consumers’ habits, encouraging them to drive more and purchase less fuel-efficient vehicles. What’s different now is that U.S. automakers face far more stringent fuel-economy standards. The rules, which require automakers to have a fleet-wide, on-road average of roughly 40 miles per gallon by 2025, are the country’s primary policy for reducing carbon dioxide (COâ‚‚) emissions from motor vehicles.However, fuel prices have plummeted since these rules were put in place. What does cheap gasoline mean for the country’s progress in reducing emissions?To answer this question, we need to look at the interplay between gas prices and consumer behavior. We also need to consider the impact that technology and policy can have – and cannot have – on reducing emissions from motor vehicles. RELATED ARTICLES Social challengeUnfortunately, efforts to promote more fuel-efficient vehicles across the entire market are not nearly as robust as the social marketing, to say nothing of monetary incentives, directed at the electric and other alternative fuel niches.A 2013 study published by the National Academy of Sciences (for which I was a committee member) concluded that even for several decades ahead, the most substantial and lowest-cost ways to cut automobile COâ‚‚ emissions will still be ongoing improvements of gasoline vehicles. The study also found that even with good progress in battery technology, it will not be feasible to electrify most SUVs and other light trucks, which emit a disproportionate amount of COâ‚‚. Trying to run larger vehicles from a battery results in a vicious cycle of heavier weight and higher costs that would render the resulting vehicle both impractical and exorbitantly expensive.Automakers are regulated by a combination of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards, which, relative to the 2015 level, target a further 40 percent cut in the new fleet-average COâ‚‚ emissions rate of both cars and light trucks by 2025. A National Academy study published last year found that ample technology is available to meet the 2025 target.As these regulations come up for review next year, the greater challenge will be weak consumer interest in efficiency, which makes it more profitable for automakers to offer still higher horsepower, larger vehicles, and other features that trade off against fuel economy.The question, then, is whether ways can be found to bolster consumer interest in fuel economy for environmental rather than economic reasons, so that progress can be maintained even when fuel prices are low.Indeed, the misalignment between consumer interest and the need for ongoing efficiency gains may only grow in the years ahead. Periods of high oil prices are likely to be transient for the foreseeable future if not indefinitely. This situation will require new approaches by policymakers, automakers, and environmental advocates, as well as creative social science research.Successfully confronting the social challenge of encouraging consumers to prioritize fuel efficiency – across the broad market of gasoline-powered personal vehicles – will open the door to greater progress on the car part of the climate challenge than can be achieved through technology alone. Déjà vu all over againWhen pump prices are high, consumers are motivated to drive less and choose fuel-efficient vehicles. As prices moderate, there is a weaker financial motive to economize on gas, making emissions reduction more difficult. This puts a greater burden on policy to sustain progress in spite of consumer disinterest.Petroleum is the largest source of COâ‚‚ emissions in the United States and, after coal, the second largest globally. Petroleum use is driven by demand for motor fuels, of which cars and personal light trucks consume the largest share. Because a car’s COâ‚‚ emissions are directly linked to its fuel economy, any gain in fuel efficiency results in lower COâ‚‚.For example, an SUV that gets 20 mpg emits 5.3 metric tons of COâ‚‚ during a typical 12,000 miles per year of driving, while a 30 mpg sedan emits 3.6 tons to cover the same distance.For over a year now, the national average fuel price has been much lower than the roughly $3.50 per gallon average of the previous few years, let alone the brief spike to over $4.00 per gallon in summer 2008.The University of Michigan Energy Survey’s affordability index earlier this year found that consumers feel gasoline is twice as affordable as it was before oil prices began sliding in mid-2014.It’s no surprise, then, that new vehicle sales are at a record high while the sales mix has shifted away from compact segments and back to trucks, larger SUVs, and more luxurious cars.The amount of driving is up again as well. We’ve seen this situation before when the energy crisis of a generation ago gave way to a resumption of consumption after oil prices tumbled in 1986.U.S. average retail gas prices and new light duty vehicle fuel economy since 1970.The adjoining graph compares the average fuel economy of new cars and light trucks to the nominal (“dollars of the day”) and real (inflated to 2015 dollars) price of gasoline since 1970. As the graph shows, fuel economy ratchets up as fuel prices rise. Conversely, low and stable fuel prices can cause fuel economy to backslide, which occurred from the late 1980s until a decade ago.During the 1990s, overall vehicle efficiency eroded as consumer tastes and automaker sales strategies fostered a shift to light trucks (vans, SUVs, and pickups), which are regulated more leniently than the cars (sedans, coupes, and station wagons) they displaced.A similar shift is again under way now, reflecting the tension between consumer buying habits and the need to cut carbon. Technology and importance of scaleThe relation between technology and efficiency, meanwhile, is more subtle than it might seem to observers outside the industry.The graph seems to suggest that technological progress for better fuel efficiency happened in spurts triggered by periods of rising fuel price.In fact, as measured by engineering metrics, the rate of technology change has been remarkably steady throughout this whole time period from the 1970s to date, as documented in a paper I coauthored a decade ago and confirmed more recently by colleagues from MIT. That is to say, automakers are continually improving the engineering of vehicles whether or not the improvements are used to raise fuel economy.In other words, regardless of the fuel price situation, there is always a latent potential to improve efficiency as vehicles are routinely redesigned and new models are introduced. But the extent to which the potential is realized depends on the priority given to higher fuel economy relative to other features customers value and automakers can readily sell.This means that modest changes in how much consumers prioritize fuel efficiency can significantly affect COâ‚‚ emissions, for either better or worse. If millions of consumers choose a larger or smaller vehicle, or select a higher or lower horsepower engine, it will have a far greater impact than a small niche of eco-minded consumers who purchase battery-electric or hydrogen vehicles. Green Building in the Cheap Energy EraHow Low Oil Prices Can Be Good for the EnvironmentThe Effect of Low Oil Prices on Climate EmissionsWill Self-Driving Cars Save Energy?More Tips for Improving MileageHouses Versus CarsReduce the Need for DrivingDesigning for the FutureU.S. Wind Energy Prices Hit an All-Time LowThe End of Peak Oil?PV Systems Have Gotten Dirt CheapThe Big Allure of Cheap PV John DeCicco is a research professor at the University of Michigan. This post originally appeared at The Conversation.last_img read more

On Basketball: Kyrie gets a new address, but Cavs win trade

first_imgRegardless of all these Celtics-Cavaliers fireworks, it’s still Golden State’s world and probably will be for a long time. This deal didn’t change that.The Warriors will still be the favorites to win the last game of next season.The first game of next season, as luck would have it, just happens to be Boston at Cleveland.And just like that, the NBA has drama again.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ All good things, all edge to Cleveland.Give the Celtics credit for being bold. Danny Ainge knew winning the Eastern Conference’s regular-season crown last season was meaningless, so he completely blew up a team that was a No. 1 seed and got hammered by the Cavaliers in the East finals. Sure, the Celtics played most of that series without Thomas, but that wasn’t going to matter. The Cavs weren’t losing that series.So Ainge goes out and gets an All-Star point guard in Irving, after he hauls in Gordon Hayward during free agency and adds probable rookie of the year front-runner Jayson Tatum to the mix in the draft — plus gets another draft pick in either 2018 or 2019 for his trouble.It’s not a bad deal for the Celtics. They get Irving. It’s his team. A storied franchise is in his hands and he will savor that.It’s just a better deal for Cleveland, at least right now.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim There are many ways to claim victory in the deal made Tuesday night. Kyrie Irving wanted his own team and got it, so he wins. Isaiah Thomas gets to play with LeBron James, so he wins. The Cavaliers got rid of a supposedly disgruntled star, so they won. The Celtics now won’t have to decide if Thomas is worth something like a $180 million deal next summer, so they won. It’s all semantics.But look past all that.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingIn the end, Cleveland won. James won, too.Here’s a few reasons why James will be celebrating this deal: He’ll still have a high-octane point guard; he’s getting an absurdly good defender in Jae Crowder (he could have helped the Cavs’ cause against Golden State in The Finals); he won’t be going into the season dealing with drama about Irving’s Cleveland future; this trade might even reap the Cavaliers the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul FILE – In this June 7, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) is guarded by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the first half of Game 3 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Cleveland. Irving gets his new address and Isaiah Thomas gets to play with LeBron. They both can say they won in this Celtics-Cavs blockbuster deal. But the sum of the parts says Cleveland got the better of Boston in this swap of All-Star point guards. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)MIAMI— It’s not the principals that will define the blockbuster trade between Cleveland and Boston. Great point guard leaves one city for another. That seems fair.All the other parts, they will tell the story.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Minnesota never offered Andrew Wiggins. Miami never offered half its roster. Portland wasn’t giving up Damian Lillard. In the end the Cavs still got a star for a star, and since Thomas is only making about $6.3 million next season they got plenty of bonus parts as well to make the trade work.It also solved one big Cleveland problem.James’ only motivation is rings, and this move gives him just that.He will be looking to go to the Finals for the eighth consecutive year. Only three teams in NBA history have been to four straight finals — the Lakers, the Celtics, and the Miami Heat when James was with them. Golden State will be heavy favorites to join that club next June. The Cavaliers won’t surprise many if they join them.James will show up at camp in a couple of months and begin plotting ways to get his team back to the Finals. Had Irving still been there, James surely would have been wondering if they could make it work again. With Thomas, there won’t be a question. James and Thomas already have great respect for one another, and Thomas runs on the same prove-people-wrong gasoline that James uses.Cleveland has been through the free-agency-is-looming dance with James before, of course. If the Cavs want to keep him next summer, they simply have to go all-in to make him as happy as possible. This trade probably wasn’t a bad start on that front.In Boston, the Celtics will look very different this season.Irving and Hayward are in; Thomas, Crowder, Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk and Amir Johnson are out — meaning five of Boston’s seven top scorers from a No. 1 seed now play elsewhere.The Cavs weren’t overhauled; Irving is gone, Thomas, Derrick Rose and Jeff Green arrived.From a continuity standpoint, obvious edge to Cleveland as well. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side View comments LeBron James heads to Manila again on September 2 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Norval Morriseaus family speaks out about controversial Toronto artist

first_img(Editors Note: APTN National News has decided not to use the real name of the artist because she has concerns over her safety.)Willow Fiddler APTN National NewsThe family of Norval Morriseau is speaking out about a planned exhibition of paintings by Amanda PL that bears a striking resemblance to the late artists work.“We promised our father that we would try to carry on his legacy and if this thing opens up to, if non-natives start painting like my dad the meaning of his artwork is going to be lost,” said Eugene Morrisseau, one of Norval Morrisseau’s seven children.Eugene Morrisseau is also an accomplished artist. (Eugene Morrisseau is one of Norval’s seven children and is an accomplished painter in his own right. Photos Willow Fiddler/APTN)He said the family doesn’t like her style of painting.“Seeing this lady portray exactly like my dads artwork is almost like, I didn’t like it and as if shes copying,” he said.Side by side images of Amanda PL’s work and that of Norval Morriseau’s made the rounds on social media prompting claims of plagiarism… and support.Senator Murray Sinclair said Amanda PL’s work (signed Amanda PL) “clearly appreciates and is inspired by Norval Morrisseau and I for one applaud her for directing her talent that way.”But Eugene Morriseau isn’t so sure Amanda PL knows the deeply spiritual teachings in his father’s work.And this worries him“Even ten years from now that her work is probably going to hang up somewhere and my dad’s artwork will be hanging right next it and people aren’t even going to know what it means,” said Eugene Morrisseau.He said the teachings that Anishinabe artists depict are thousands of years old; passed along through generations.“Oh they’re going to tell stories, Ahchoogahnoog eh, that’s where I used to go to listen to these stories through my grandparents,” he said. “Through the Elders, this is what this means when you pass on, put it on canvas this is how you tell the story.”Morrisseau said you can’t just pick up what he knows from the internet or books.Amanda PL told APTN in an email she was taught the untold history of Canada by an Anishinabe teacher during her studies in Thunder Bay.“As an artist, I do have an ethical and social responsibility to respect, acknowledge, and adhere to laws, protocols, rights and freedoms of indigenous artists and communities,” she said.But when asked about criticism, particularly by Morriseau’s children, that her work compromises Morriseau’s legacy Amanda PL said she doesn’t see it that way.“I don’t engage with critics. critics work is to critique, artist work is to paint, write, compose, and share their creations,” she wrote. “Whether people or critics like it or not, it isn’t for me to decide.”That’s not good enough for the family.“We don’t want that door open and if she does, somebody else is going to do it then all stories and all the storytelling, they’re not going to be there no more, it’s going to be meaningless,” said Eugene Morrisseau.An exhibit of Amanda PL’s Morrisseau-esque work at the Visions Gallery in Toronto was cancelled amid the bad publicity.Senator Sinclair sad it’s the gallery owners who deserve criticism for throwing her under the bus.Amanda PL said she won’t reconsider her style of art. <>last_img read more