VP Boakai Wants Legislative Support

first_imgVice President Boakai: “I do feel embarrassed that every time we face our partners, we are either asking them for a favor or thanking them for one weVice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai has urged the National Legislature to give full and urgent attention to the passage of the Whistleblower and Witness Protection Bill into law, a LACC press release said yesterday.Speaking at a resort in Monrovia when he delivered the keynote address at a one-day colloquium on the passage of the Whistleblower and Witness Protection Bill organized by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) in collaboration with USAID/LPAC, he said the passage of the law will protect and motivate whistleblowers and witnesses in the fight against corruption and help strengthen government’s efforts in dealing with the issue of corruption in society.The Vice President enumerated several steps taken by the government in the fight against corruption, including the issuance of Executive Order numbers 38 and 55 for members of the Executive Branch of government to declare their income, assets and liabilities, the passage of the Code of Conduct, Freedom of Information Act, adoption of a National Anti-Corruption Strategy, revamping of the GAC, establishment of LEITI, IAA, FIA, LRA and the Law Reform Commission.The VP expressed government’s commitment to breaking the chain of corruption, which he noted would help provide good education, healthcare delivery services and social protection for all.“I do feel embarrassed that every time we face our partners, we are either asking them for a favor or thanking them for one we have received,” the Vice President said.Remarks were made by the acting chairperson of the LACC, chairman of the House Standing Committee on Governance, Minister of Justice, Representative of the SRSG, the EU Ambassador, USAID/LPAC Chief of Party and the ECOWAS Ambassador.The one-day colloquium was intended to solicit the support of the Legislature for the passage of the Whistleblower and Witness Protection Bill into Law.It was also aimed at raising awareness among civil society organizations (CSOs) and other state actors on the importance of the Whistleblower and Witness Protection Law in Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Pres. Weah Promises Support to Fire Service

first_imgPresident Weah (L) and the US Fire Marshall shake hands.Photo Credit: Executive Mansion Monrovia- Liberia.President George Weah has spoken of his government’s desire and determination to equip and transform the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS) to meet international standards, an Executive Mansion release has said.President Weah, according to the release, has promised his administration’s support in getting the needed equipment that would improve working conditions at the LNFS and help “this critical agency of government effectively execute its functions.”President Weah spoke on Friday, January 18, 2019, when he met with a visiting delegation of the United States-based Fire Marshall Association at his Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Monrovia.President Weah described as “very important” the work of the LNFS towards the country’s rebuilding process, acknowledging the enormous risks that fire service personnel go through in the performance of their duties.The President also stressed the need to train LNFS personnel in order to improve service to the people.He encouraged LNFS personnel to be robust and proactive in the performance of their duties and develop new approaches in fighting fire.The President used the meeting with the visiting delegation to express delight and satisfaction with the fire prevention equipment and mechanism set up at the newly constructed Roberts International Airport (RIA) near Harbel, Lower Margibi County.Head of the delegation John Butler thanked President Weah on his ascendancy to the presidency and for the work he has begun in transforming the country.Butler revealed that President Weah’s presidency has brought hope to the country and pledged to work with the government  to improve the LNFS.He also emphasized human capital development as essential to the strength and productivity of the entity.Mr. Butler, who is Liberian by birth, said his organization would work out modalities to provide assistance to the LNFS, mainly the provision of fire service trucks.The visiting delegation was led to the President’ office by officials of the LNFS in the presence of Justice Minister Musa Dean and Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Lenn Eugene Nagbe.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Business incubators to come on stream in 2019 – SBB

first_imgTwo business incubators – one at Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and Belvedere Industrial Estate, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) – are expected to come on stream in the new year to nurture micro and small businesses in those regions.This is according to Small Business Bureau (SBB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Lowell Porter.“Coming for 2019, we want to have those incubators up and running. We also want to have security for those, because it is important that we have people who will protect those buildings,” Dr Porter disclosed during the Bureau’s year-end press conference last week.The business incubators aim to provide appropriate spaces for businesses to engage in certain types of activities and attract investments in the value-added sectors as well as service sector. These facilities will facilitate the start-up of small businesses for the first three years to ensure that they can sustain themselves afterwards.They will take away some of the responsibilities which new entrepreneurs will have such as research, marketing and all these services, thus guaranteeing them a better opportunity of succeeding.Among the facilities that will be offered by the business incubators to budding entrepreneur are: space, equipment and services such as training, marketing, consulting, organisation, and management as well as legal, financial and other advisory services.This project falls under the purview of the Business Ministry, which has done extensive research on the need for such a facility, and will be managed by the SBB.The construction of these two facilities is currently underway. In fact, only in October, Business Minister Dominic Gaskin went to the National Assembly and got $193 million in supplementary funding to facilitate payments under the Lethem and Belvedere Industrial Development projects. Gaskin had explained that the money was needed, based on the significant advancement of infrastructural works and the need for another access road to the business incubator at Lethem.In the 2018 Budget, some $350 million was allocated for the completion of works on the Lethem Industrial Estate and the Belvedere Industrial Estate this year. These facilities are expected to have a combined capacity of about 250 to facilitate value-added production while benefiting from economies of scale.In fact, Finance Minister Winston Jordan had stated that support to micro and small businesses will continue next year through the creation of additional business incubators and accelerators, in Regions Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), at a cost of $36 million.“These structures will foster the growth of businesses by facilitating the provision of support services, such as business registration, documentation, and capacity building. Further, through the establishment of business registration hubs, like the one opened in Lethem (Region Nine) this year, and the upcoming one in Mahdia (Region Eight), we will continue to improve the ease of doing business. In 2018, four other business registration hubs will be established in Regions One, Five, Six and 10,” the Finance Minister further stated.last_img read more

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Stolen Vehicle Located

first_imgThis afternoon at approximately 4:15 p.m, Grande Prairie RCMP, with the assistance of a tip from the public and an RCMP helicopter were able to locate the stolen pick up at a forestry products mill south of the city of Grande Prairie.  A foot chase ensued behind the mill but police were able to take three people into custody a short time later. When the vehicle was initially stolen, a seven-month old baby was still on-board.- Advertisement -An amber alert was issued, but removed once the child was left in its car seat on the porch of a residence, just south of Grand Prairie. No charges have yet to be laid and RCMP will provide an update when more details become available.last_img

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Ex-Stars defender Owino banned for 10 years

first_imgThe ruling was delivered on Thursday evening by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee which also dished out life bans to eight others, including former Sierra Leone skipper Ibrahim Kargbo.The nine were found guilty of having been involved in match manipulation in violation of article 69 par. 1 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (Unlawfully influencing match results).The formal disciplinary proceedings into the individuals stemmed from an extensive investigation into various international matches that one Wilson Raj Perumal, a convicted international match fixer, attempted to manipulate for betting purposes.This large-scale investigation was conducted by FIFA over several years through its Integrity Department and in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders and authorities.Mathare United skipper George Owino celebrates a goal in a past match with teammate Lennox Ogutu. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaOwino was accused by the world governing body for playing an integral role in fixing several national team games with Perumal and his former club Mathare United and the Federation were notified of the charge last year.According to the FIFA report released in September 2018, Owino, through Perumal, conspired to manipulate and influence the result of international matches involving Kenya and was also used to try and recruit other players to aid in the ploy.FIFA’s probe put in a detailed report that pointed out 14 matches in which Owino was actively involved in including a World Cup qualification match pitting Kenya and Nigeria which the latter won 3-2 at Kasarani to sail to the 2010 World Cup.Also under radar was the qualifier between Kenya and Tunisia for the same World Cup in 2010.“I want you to put a good fight for 25 minutes and concede one goal in first half from 30-45 minutes, another at the 65th minute, and the third in the 80th. F*** the game and take the money; $25,000 (Sh2.5mn) is a lot of money,” Perumal offered in a September 17, 2009 email.Kenya went on to lose the match 1-0, against Perumal’s orders.Tunisia’s player Fahid Khalfala fights for the ball against Kenyan player Dennis Oliech during a 2010 World Cup qualifier in 2009. PHOTO/FIFAAlso, Owino was accused in the FIFA dossier to have, alongside Perumal, tried to manufacture a transfer to Australia where he would be used to fix more matches in exchange of money.Owino was set to receive a Sh3mn monthly salary, but all this was strictly to go to Perumal’s script.“If I say lose, you do as I say, or else you won’t see your salary,” Perumal told Owino in one of the email exchanges.All this evidence was contained in a series of e-mail exchanges between the two in which, according to the probe, Owino was readily throwing himself into.The FIFA probe also says Owino conspired with Perumal to manipulate matches of the Nile Basin Tournament in Egypt in 2011.Perumal offered $60,000 (Sh6mn) for Kenya to lose its matches, but Owino told Perumal he was not in the Kenyan team to Egypt, but would help recruit two players on the squad and earn a commission.0Shares0000(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Former Harambes Stars defender Owino banned for 10 years for match fixingNAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – Former Harambee Stars defender George ‘Wise’ Owino has been handed a 10-year ban by the world football governing body FIFA for match fixing and slapped with a Sh1.5mn fine.Owino who has been out of active football since the case was first notified to the Football Kenya Federation and his former club Mathare United has been banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at both national and international level (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of 10 years.last_img read more

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DD Motoring: Galway no more!

first_imgRecently the Galway Motor Club announced they wouldn’t be running their iconic season opener in 2018.The Galway International Rally is an event that brought so many great memories to drivers and spectators alike over its 45 years history.In February this year the amber fuel light was flashing for the club but they decided to nurse the event onto the start ramp even though the insurance cost was going through the roof. They say they will be back next year. But things will not be the same. Advertisement The next generation of Rally fans waiting for the heroes to arrive on what could be the last Galway Rally as we know it. Photo Brian McDaidThe Galway International is now getting very like many iconic shop fronts in the towns along the N17. The name is still above the door but support has gone and very little life if any is left inside. The Motors clubs have done their level best to keep things going through these bad times. But the support is not there, be it from the governing body or the public.The Galway StoryEveryone who has any interest in rallying has “A Galway story” in them, be it driver or spectator. It was always the start of the rallying season, it’s the most unlikely place to end up.Pelted with rain, hail or even snow but we all have done it at one time or another. Advertisement Study HallIt was St. Eunan’s College of all places that brought memories flooding back this week. I was covering their Senior School Prize Giving. The special guest on the night was the Bishop of Raphoe Alan Mc Guckian and while presenting the sporting achievement awards he quoted Eric Liddell:“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast”Special guest at St. Eunan’s College Prize Giving Bishop of Raphoe Alan Mc Guckian who recalled a quote from Eric Liddel from Chariots of Fire, ÒI believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fastÓ Photo Brian McDaid.The presentations were made in the old study hall, a place I once did a lot of daydreaming in and did very little work. The view of him addressing the scholars in the hall brought me straight back to the seventies when I sat where they sat thinking of speed of a different kind.The last navigator to win this year’s Galway, Rory Kennedy, also sat once in this study hall as a boy, and for him his dreams came through when he was asked to get special permission to leave the study hall in the summer of 1979 while sitting his Leaving Certificate exam to study a different paper to navigate James Cullen on his first Donegal International Rally!My report on James Cullen on his way to second over all 1988 Galway Rally.Famous Five!My Galway story is like an Enid Blyton’s adventure gone wrong. For the purpose of this story I’ll use our CB handles instead of our names which was the in thing in them days before social media in the late 70s and early 80s.Our cast included Rubber Band, The Jam, White Cortina, Jackhammer and Red Mk 2. The red Mk2 was a Red Roscommon Registered Ford Escort Mk2 which took us on our big trip. Our adventure started over a plate of chip in a café in Letterkenny on a wet Saturday afternoon. The Rubber Band came up with the bright idea that we all should head down to the Galway Rally! He was a year or two older than the rest of us and had his own car, a red ford escort.The Old 40 channel CB Radio the in thing before social media.Road tripOur famous five set off on a Saturday evening with not one of us ever being away from home on our own before. We were between 15 and 17 years old and all big motorsport fans. “Oh how we laughed” as they say in all good Famous Five stories when we got lost for the first time on the other side of Sligo.The Jam (who was a ringer for Fergal Sharkey from the Undertones) had an aunt in Galway and he had assured us that he knew the way. That was the last time we were going to listen to him!Warm WelcomeWhen we eventually got to Galway it was late on Saturday night. We got a really warm welcome when we arrived at Eyre Square, or so we thought! Those that were tooting their car horns at us were actually letting us know that we were heading the wrong way up a one-way street. Something that none of us ever had seen before. Then thinking we could do as we do at a Donegal rally we thought we would take a walk in around the rally cars in Parc Férme behind leisure land in Salthill. Two security guards with two very hungry Alsatians soon put that notion out of our headsSession!As far as I know that trip to Galway was the first time that any of the four of us ever had a drink. We had a whip round and picked up the courage to go to an off-licence to buy our drink for the night. After figuring how to get the caps off the bottles without an opener we stood in the car park in Salthill in the dark with a bottle each saying to each other, “you go first” Nah “you go” Then the four of us all took a mouthful and waited to see what happened. Nothing happened. Then Rubber Band downed the full stumpy bottle of Heineken.And before it got as far as his tummy it came straight back up again! serious stuff! Believing we were now all full we headed off to get something to eat to settle our stomachs.We had no accommodation for the night as we had very little money with us so we parked up the red escort and the four of us slept in the car. Well we tried to sleep anyway through a freezing February night of farts and feet.The following morning we were awakened to the sound of rally cars firing up in Parc Férme. It was a case of follow the leader as we hadn’t a clue where the rally was on. We ended up in Portumna which we were pronouncing as Port-numa and managed to see just one stage of the Galway International Rally.Ger Buckley won the rally that year in the pouring rain with Jimmy McRea in his new Opel Ascona on his heels.Bertie Fisher was out on the wide track ex-works Monte Carlo Mk 2 Ford Escort, a bit like our own Red Escort but with two less doors. We headed back to Donegal happy with the first of many Galway Internationals under our belt. We still had two small bottles of Heineken left from the one six-pack we bought for our big night out on the tiles so we chucked the bottles out the window in case there might be the slightest smell of drink in the car.This year I went down to cover the Galway rally for this motoring column known it might have been the last Galway Rally as we know it. Letterkenny’s Rory Kennedy and Gary Jennings won the event.This is the deepest cut into rallying in Ireland so far. The loss of this rally will have a big knock on effect on rallying in 2018.The high cost of insurance and claim culture that has developed are the big factors that have brought the Galway rally to and end for next year anyway.SnowAs per usual in Donegal we will wake up some morning soon and the place will be covered in snow! The morning rush hour will lose the word “rush” from it as we lose our temper with everyone around us as towns and villages and wee braes come to a standstill.Driving in Donegal has bottlenecks all over the county with high volumes of traffic all going the same way at the same time. The slightest blockage in any of these arteries at peak pressure times and the flow of traffic comes to a complete stop.So if we add in a winters morning to the mix what do we end up with.A recent survey suggested that the most of us don’t have a clue what to do when road conditions become treacherous other than to lay the blame with the poor gritter who has to go out before everyone else in the worst of conditions and try and get a dusting of grit and salt down to try in make it a bit better for those that follow him on the road.A council gritters deals with ice and snow on the Meanaroy mountain pass at the start of this year. Photo Brian McDaidGood tyres are a must, a massive sprinkling of common sense will go along way when the snow and slippery roads arrive. Only yourself will know how much you are in control behind the wheel when road conditions get poor.A good tip is to think of all of your journeys in bad weather as the longest trip you’ll take like a trip to Dublin or somewhere. When you have a long journey ahead, you check tyres, make sure all your fluid levels are right like engine oil and window washers.You are also aware of imminent bad weather, by doing this you reduce so many possible risks. In bad weather just think “long journeys” do the checks watch the weather and most important consider the importance of the journey. There are no heroes in the snow.Happy motoring folks.DD Motoring: Galway no more! was last modified: November 22nd, 2017 by Brian McDaidShare 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:brian mc daidgalway internationalmotoringrallylast_img read more

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Medical Matters: How to treat Acne?

first_imgContinuing his popular Medical Matters column, this week Dr Ciaran Roarty of Scally McDaid Roarty Medical Practice talks about acne. Acne is a common problem mainly associated with the teenage years though it can affect young babies and older adults. It causes black, red or white spots on the face, neck, back and chest. It more commonly affects boys and most teenagers develop it to some degree. Blocked skin pores (which usually have hair growing out of them and release oil)  become infected with bacteria and this is usually the underlying problem with acne. Sometimes other conditions e.g. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can also cause acne.Can anything make it worse?Covering acne with a lot of creams and makeup can exacerbate things as well as constantly touching your face with your hands (which can spread germs). Tight clothing, excessive sweating and certain medicines can also make things worse as well as picking or squeezing the spots. Poor hygiene does not cause acne and stress while not helping acne, is not a cause for it. Advice to people with acneWash twice a day with lukewarm water and an antiseptic wash. Do not use strong soaps and avoid abrasive cleansers with granules. Air dry your face. Your doctor can advise on various treatments which work really well for acne. Each individual is different however and your treatment may have to be tailored for you. They do take time to take effect. Your doctor may advise a topical gel or cream containing, for example, benzoyl peroxide. Other topical treatments that are prescribed are known as retinoids and your doctor will likely explain to you about any possible side effects and using sunblock. Topical antibiotics may be prescribed in combination with other treatments also. Antibiotic tablets work by killing germs that contribute to causing acne and are often prescribed along with a topical treatment. It takes time to work and it is important to tell your doctor if you intend becoming pregnant before commencing as some of the above treatments will not be advised. Certain contraceptive pills may help acne, while others can exacerbate it. Other more powerful tablets are also sometimes prescribed for more severe acne and they work by reducing the amount of oil made by your skin.  Any treatment takes up to 6 weeks for there to be any effect and may take up to 4 months to be most effective so you need to give it a chance to work. Ongoing topical treatments may be needed to keep spots at bay once the initial treatment has finished. Scars from acne can be treated by laser treatment, peeling treatments and collagen injections though these can be quite expensive. The above information is intended as advice only and should you have any concerns please contact your own Doctor. Dr Ciarán Roarty MB, BCh BAO MICGP DRCOG Grad. Cert. Obst. Ultrasound is a full-time  GP at Scally McDaid Roarty Medical Practice, Scally Place, Letterkenny,  Tel 0749164111scallys.ieMedical Matters: How to treat Acne? was last modified: April 5th, 2019 by Scally McDaid RoartyShare 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 read more

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Chelsea v Maribor player ratings

first_imgSee also:Drogba scores as Chelsea thrash MariborMourinho plays down Remy injury fearsMourinho has no regrets despite possible striker shortageChelsea’s Solanke ‘will play many Champions League matches’Chelsea boss backs Drogba and LuisSolanke’s maturity is the key to his progress, says NevinFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

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More Reasons to Enjoy Creation Outdoors

first_imgEvidence keeps mounting that exercise is good for almost every body.  It can prevent and alleviate many ailments.  But isn’t that only natural?Low back pain:  Laziness increases the risk of back pain, reported EurekAlert on work from Australia.  Staying in bed shrinks muscles needed to support the back.  So does prolonged inactivity at a desk job.  Conclusion?  “If you sit around too much long-term, such as a desk job with no sport in your spare time, the muscles can slowly change in a bad way, giving you a bigger risk of hurting your back.”  Sporting suggestion: go take a hike.Diabetes:  Exercise does twice as much good as diet and medicine for diabetics, says a report from U of Missouri-Columbia.  A change of lifestyle to include exercise brings strong benefits: “In studies that focused on exercise only, blood glucose improved twice as much as in studies that focused on exercise, diet and medication adherence.”  See also Science Daily.High blood pressure:  “Obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and inactivity: they’re not just your father’s problems any more,” said a press release from University of new Hampshire.  College students had their diets and lifestyle habits measured and found that they were worse off than they thought.  Many admitted they get less than 30 minutes of activity a day.  Some students were shocked to find out how unfit they were, while researchers warned that “if they continue on this trajectory, are going to be much more of a health burden at age 50 than their parents are.”Thirst and Water Intoxication:  Now that you have decided to exercise more, you need to hydrate the body properly.  Remember when they told us to drink more water?  Too much can be as bad as too little.  Instead, advises Georgetown Medical Center, let thirst be your guide.Better Little than None:  Now, some good news.  Science Daily reported dramatic health benefits after just one exercise session, even for diabetics and the obese.  Doctors at University of Michigan found that the improved metabolism from exercise can forestall a primary symptom of type 2 diabetes.The hazards of inactivity are worrisome, and the benefits of exercise are manifold.  Exercise improves the organs, the mind, the attitude, the longevity, and even social and spiritual health.  The body was made for activity.  As much as you can, give it what it needs.  Benefits will begin almost immediately no matter how out of shape you have become.  Schedule time for it, and start today.The epidemic of obesity these days is a crying shame.  A walk around any shopping mall or public place reveals a high percentage of people who are overweight – some morbidly so.  These people (except for the very few who cannot help it), should realize that they are advertising their irresponsibility, like someone walking around with a sandwich board reading, “I lack self control.”  (This is NOT to say that skinniness is a virtue – it can often be just as unhealthy and dangerous.)  We all have a normal weight for our body type that we should strive to maintain.    If you find yourself weighing more than you should (let’s face it, that’s a lot of us), don’t beat yourself up and get depressed about it, and don’t spend money on fad diets, books and programs.  Just make some adjustments to your lifestyle habits little by little.  Remember two things: (1) you need to pour fewer calories down the gullet, and (2) you need to burn more calories through exercise.  Build these simple reminders into your daily routine as a way of life, and give it time to work.Calories and diet: You can still eat things you enjoy, but try these tips.  Eat smaller portions.  Eat slower; savor each bite.  Mom, bless her heart, was wrong: you don’t have to finish your plate.  Eat what you need of the burger or fries and throw the rest out.  Don’t do what the fast-food joints tempt, either: don’t supersize; downsize.  Get the double whopper instead of the Texas triple, or the whopper junior instead of the regular.  Put less salt and sauce on the meat.  Put less butter on the potato, less salad dressing on the salad.  Never gorge yourself at a meal.  Balance out the things you enjoy with healthy fruits, vegetables and lean meats.  In time, you will learn to like the healthy stuff, and the rich food will begin to seem unnatural.  Gradual lifestyle changes will be more likely to stick.  A registered dietician should be consulted for hard cases.Exercise is the more effective of the two factors, because it not only burns the calories, it helps your body handle the energy budget more efficiently, and is self-reinforcing: the more you exercise, the better you feel, and the more you want to exercise.  Throughout history some very strong and fit individuals have gotten by with a far less optimum diet than we have available today, because they lived active, vigorous lives; think of soldiers from ancient times who performed mighty feats of strength and endurance.  A good diet, therefore, is not enough alone, and exercise can compensate for some dietary deficiencies.    Like a savings account, the accrued interest of a regular exercise program will grow.  Think of it as an investment.  We all have plenty of excuses – too busy, too tired, too overcommitted – but exercise will give you more strength and joy for all your other work, and will allow you to get more done in less time – and a longer life to achieve more.  In other words, you can’t afford not to exercise.    Even the infirm or disabled can often do something.  Under a doctor’s supervision, squeeze a ball, bend your forearms with small weights, do deep breathing and abdominal isostatic exercises, bicycle your legs in bed, but try to take your body to a higher level than it is right now.  Think you have problems?  Look at Nick Vujicic, born without arms and legs, who swims and dresses himself and operates his own business, typing with his one working toe (watch the amazing video clip on the site).  Look what Bob Wieland did after losing his legs in Vietnam.  Take whatever faculties you have left and maximize them.  If your body isn’t working, use your mind.  (Actually, as long as you are alive, there are far more body parts that are working just fine than are disabled – like trillions of cells.)    The able-bodied commuter with a desk job has many options.  Park and walk farther.  Take stairs instead of the elevator.  Stretch at the desk.  Take breaks to walk around.  Get out of the cubicle and go outside once in awhile.  “Light is sweet, and it pleases the eye to see the sun,” said an otherwise-cynical elderly king (Ecclesiastes 11:7).  If you still think you don’t have time, try multitasking.  Listen to sermons, books on tape or training programs in your MP3 player while you walk.    For those in the southern California area, a new book by Steve Sears can motivate you to get the exercise you need without the boredom of treadmills and gyms.  God, Growth and Great Adventure tells you where to go, what to take, how to prepare, and what to see on dozens of great hikes in the mountains and deserts of California.  With this book (or one like it for your locale) and a Bible in hand, get out and enjoy the world God made – it will do your heart, soul and spirit a world of good.  Check our photo gallery for more inspiration.    What does all this have to do with creation and evolution?  Read this, point 1, and also this.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Noah’s Ark on Mars

first_imgWe apologize for this improbable headline to draw attention to two stories making the rounds: new claims about Noah’s Ark on Mt. Ararat, and new claims about life on Mars.  Headlines on these topics show up periodically in the news.  What do the subjects have in common?  How do they differ?  Do the most recent instances affirm tradition or break new ground?    Claims about Noah’s Ark are usually made – though not exclusively – by some Bible-believing Christians (also some Muslims and Jews), while claims about life on Mars are typically made (though again, not exclusively) by some evolutionists.  There is nothing about the Biblical story of Noah that prevents an unbeliever from being interested in claims about a boat on Ararat, and there is nothing that prevents a Christian from accepting the possibility of life on Mars.  Nevertheless, advocates are generally divided along those ideological lines, and critics equally divided along the opposing lines: evolutionists are often boisterous in their ridicule of “Arkeologists” (while some Christians are, too), while Bible-believers often ignore or sneer at claims about life in outer space (while some evolutionists do, too).    The latest Ark claim burst onto the scene April 25 with a press conference and a website (noahsarksearch.net) showing detailed pictures and video of a wood structure allegedly found inside a cave high on Mt. Ararat in Turkey.  It seemed too good to be true.  Instead of the usual vague shapes of rock that might resemble a ship from some angles, here was unmistakable artificially-manipulated timber shaped into rooms and structures found above timberline.  Unless the eyewitnesses were all liars, it seemed straightforward.  One of them said he was 99.9% sure it was Noah’s Ark.  Some creation organizations snatched up the tantalizing news with cautious optimism; others, having been burned in the past, seemed to adopt a wait-and-see attitude.  CMI put out a short press release with daily updates, but expressed the “need for caution—in both directions….”  The story made Fox News, ABC News and other leading news organizations.  Skeptics like those at the James Randi Foundation were quick to moan “not again!” with dismissive vituperation against what they perceive as Christian gullibility.  Alan Boyle in his Cosmic Log at MSNBC positioned the claim in the tradition of reports that surface occasionally, remarking that “a boatload of skepticism is in order.”  Then on April 27 a letter from Dr. Randall Price surfaced.  He is a Biblical archaeologist and member of a rival search team.  His letter, reproduced at Bible Places Blog, claims that the site is a cleverly-devised hoax.  The timbers were hauled up there from the Black Sea, he claims, by Turks who misled the Chinese into thinking they were the remains of Noah’s boat.  Nevertheless, that claim does not answer all the questions.  Some diehards are questioning Price’s motives, because he lost money on the deal and may not be impartial because he has his own search going on.  They also doubted his first-hand knowledge of details mentioned in the letter.  Subsequent to Price’s hoax allegation, World Net Daily posted a lengthy article sharing some of the diversity of opinions about the claim, and so did the Christian Science Monitor.  The rest of this story is TBD.Update 12/07/2010: Randall Price was interviewed by CBN and claims he has proof it is a hoax by a disreputable guide who misled the Chinese team.  But he also claims his own team has found a rectangular anomaly under the ice with ground-penetrating radar, and hopes to excavate it next summer.  Video at World of the Bible.    What’s lively on Mars?  News about Martian microbes tends to come around more frequently than Noah’s Ark reports.  This month has been no exception.  In a way kind of mirroring the Chinese Ark story, there was a short-lived headline that NASA had new evidence of life on Mars posted by The Sun, a British tabloid, which NASA quickly denied as “positively false” according to Clara Moskowitz on Space.com.  More serious sources kept hope alive, though.  New Scientist updated notions with optimism: “Life on Mars, if it ever existed, may be easier to find than previously thought,” an article said, announcing that common Mars rocks can preserve life after all.  “New research on terrestrial rocks suggests that a type of rock common on Mars can preserve fossilised microbial life, rather than erasing evidence of it as previously thought.”  But that’s only a possibility, not a discovery.  The possibilities for unique Martian life were dimmed somewhat by PhysOrg’s report from the American Society for Microbiology that “Earth microbes may contaminate the search for life on Mars.”  This is another in the “too late” category: our landers may have already contaminated the Red Planet with our own germs.  (In a sense, then, if Earth were destroyed, Mars could be a kind of Ark preserving at least some organisms; but that’s hardly a justification for the tabloid headline to this entry.)  James Urquhard announced a headline on New Scientist sure to give fodder to cartoonists: “Look for Mars life with laughing gas.”  Scientists at the University of Georgia think that nitrous oxide could provide an atmospheric biomarker for future missions hunting Martians: “This could be an easy way to ‘sniff’ around the surface of Mars looking for pockets of sub-surface brine that might be hotspots for extreme microbial life.”  It goes without saying that the relatively new science of “astrobiology” has ambitions beyond Mars.  Europa, Titan, and Enceladus are all hot targets, and the sky’s the limit: millions of dollars have been spent on missions like Kepler, the Space Interferometry Mission, Terrestrial Planet Finder and other stepping stones to the discovery of life among the stars.  And then there’s SETI: privately funded, but just as eager to find an unseen, hoped-for reality.    Two hunting parties: Arkeologists and Astrobiologists.  Both get excited over each tantalizing hint of success.  Both have outspoken critics.  Both have yet to find definitive proof of their reason for being.  Both are convinced that proof would clobber their critics with the superiority of their theological or philosophical views.  One can only wonder what would happen if Noah’s Ark and life on Mars were found simultaneously.  At least it would be a good day for sociologists.This comparison and contrast is not meant to depict the two camps as equal and opposite, nor the implications of each belief system as equally credible and equally ridiculous, or any such thing.  For goodness’ sake, look at the asymmetry in funding!  Astrobiology gets millions of dollars from the federal government and is supported by the major universities, whereas Ark researchers struggle with private donations on a thankless and difficult search in a remote, politically-dangerous part of the world.  Ark research is tangible and potentially falsifiable.  The mountain is finite.  Disproving astrobiology would amount to disproving a universal negative.  The Flood may be ridiculous to certain anti-Christian rationalist skeptics (you know, the ones with the Enlightenment baseball caps who act skeptical of everything but their own skepticism – about that, they are certain).  These people love to yuck it up over the credulous Christians falling for the latest Noah’s Ark hoax.  Out come the clippings of Jammal and all the rest to parade before the press again.  They never seem to recognize their own credulity when it comes to the Mars meteorite and every whiff of methane or laughing gas that is detected that might suggest the remotest possibility, against astronomical odds, that life could have “emerged” there by unintelligent causes.  Recently one of their heroes, Stephen Hawking, proposed that life might exist in the interior of stars (see Rob Sheldon blog).  Did any of them blush at that?  Let them tell us on what scientific observations such a preposterous suggestion could possibly be based.  It’s beyond the credibility of even science fiction.  It sounds like something a drunk Smogarian would say after staring at a lava lamp.  Let them laugh at Christians who believe in the Flood account all they want; they are laughing in the face of Jesus Christ, who mentioned the story of Noah as if it were a fact of history (Matthew 24:38-39).  And they had better not forget that millions of smart Christians and scientists in the intelligent design community, find evolutionists’ astrobiological beliefs even more ridiculous.  Life by chance?  in primordial soup?  You’ve got to be kidding.  So Dykstra’s Law holds: everybody is somebody else’s weirdo.  Understood?  Come, let us reason together.  (Just remember that by reasoning you are partaking of Judeo-Christian assumptions, so park your naturalism at the door if you want in.)    First, what would extraterrestrial life imply?  This has been discussed for centuries by Christians and skeptics alike.  It is not a new question.  No Christian philosopher is biting his fingernails worrying about the day when life on Mars or some exoplanet is found, as if it will disprove the Bible or make theology irrelevant.  One cannot say extraterrestrial life will prove the naturalistic origin of life without begging the question.  It could have been created.  There is a very rich history of discussion about this very question we cannot possibly do justice to here; suffice it to say there is a diversity of opinions about the implications of extraterrestrial life, because the Bible is silent about the question.  It would be an interesting discovery; it would not be a damaging discovery for Christianity.  The absence of life anywhere but on Earth, however, would be very difficult for naturalists to explain.  It would make life unique to Earth.  Their only appeal would be the Stuff Happens Law: the anti-scientific cop-out.    As for the possibility of finding the Ark, even for those who accept the Biblical story there are reasons to doubt it was preserved.  For one thing, the Bible is vague about the location: all it says is that the Ark came to rest in the mountains of Ararat (plural).  One has to ascertain if the original language refers to the same region, let alone the same mountain.  Would the Ark have come to rest near the summit of such a peak?  The modern Mt. Ararat has also been subject to violent earthquakes and landslides.  Its extreme environment makes it hard to believe a wooden structure would survive for thousands of years.  The descendents of Noah might have needed to strip it for materials in the first years after the Flood.  Why should anything remain?    Nevertheless, persistent eyewitness reports, some of them credible by reasonable standards, and a long history of written reports from antiquity, have not let hopes die.  They keep hardy individuals willing to invest and climb and search in hopes of locating the biggest archaeological artifact of all time.  One cannot blame them for trying.  What’s the harm?  The harm is only when there are hoaxes and frauds, but many of the searchers are honest men and women who really want to follow the evidence and know the truth.  The self-seeking frauds are usually found out in due time.  They give the honest ones a bad name.  A certain level of enthusiasm and readiness to hope the latest claim is real is to be expected; it keeps hope alive in a difficult and often thankless enterprise.  If rationalist skeptics are going to laugh out loud at Arkeologists, they need to laugh out loud at themselves every time they jump to conclusions about life in outer space.    Regarding this latest claim by the Chinese, the story is still developing; for now, we are going to treat it as “interesting, worth investigating further, but probably not Ark-related till proven otherwise.”  The pictures were certainly eye-popping.  If these really were taken at 14,000 feet up that mountain, something large and artificial got there somehow, and if the timbers were trucked up there from the Black Sea by hoaxsters like Randall Price claims, that’s quite a trick.  It could have been done with enough money and motivation.  The Chinese team appears too credulous, too eager to link this with Noah, and not careful enough with their documentation and scientific measurements.  There are too many questions.  The burden of proof is high.  We do not need another fraud or disappointment paraded in the news.  Without an independent investigation done rigorously, and with claims of fraud coming from a plausible (albeit not disinterested) source, no one should trust the claims at this time.    We’re all believers in something.  We all need a healthy skepticism, too.  The Apostle Paul gave advice skeptics and believers alike should be able to agree on, whether looking for life on Mars or a boat on a mountain: “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (I Thessalonians 5:21).Footnote to Christians:  Would proof of Noah’s Ark convince skeptics?  Consider that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, out in the open, in front of multiple eyewitnesses, after Lazarus had been dead and in the tomb for four days.  Evidence doesn’t get much better than that.  His highly-educated enemies could not deny it – and did not try to.  What was their response?  When they saw throngs of people following Jesus because of what he had done, their rational, calm, reasoned, enlightened response in view of overpowering physical evidence was not only to plot to kill Jesus, but to kill Lazarus, too (John 11-12:9).  This was after they had already interrogated the man born blind Jesus had healed, and his parents, but refused to believe.  Evidence separated the truth-seekers from the pseudo-truth-seekers.    What is the value of evidence for Christians?  Some have responded to this latest Noah’s Ark story that they don’t need archaeological evidence like Noah’s Ark; they believe the Bible by faith.  OK, well, define faith.  That sentiment is a half-truth.  Faith had better be based on something or else it is an irrational leap in the dark, not faith.  The Bible portrays faith as a leap out of darkness into the light.  True faith should step in the direction the evidence is pointing.  After all, the Bible itself is archaeological evidence – an inscription from the past.  On what basis do you believe it?  Hopefully, because you know it can be corroborated by both internal and external evidence, in addition to its impact on your own heart.  The discovery of Noah’s Ark would be one particularly powerful instance of many correspondences of the Biblical record to extra-biblical history, but no one item like Noah’s Ark should be treated like a prop on which one’s faith depends.  It is the preponderance of evidence from multiple, independent avenues that gives a Christian confidence to trust God’s word.  One can hope that real truth-seekers would also be impressed by such a discovery were it to be confirmed, and would be moved to trust in God also.  Regarding the pseudo-truth-seekers: well, without repentance, no amount of evidence will change a stubborn, rebellious heart (2 Peter 3).  You will know them by their fruits.(Visited 171 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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