Govt should develop a long-term plan to manage oil

first_img…an “old problem” for resources to be mismanaged – HindsAssociate Professor and political activist David Hinds is imploring the government to not make the same mistake as Trinidad and Tobago did by not developing a long-term plan to manage its oil resource.Dr David HindsAlthough the discovery of oil is welcoming, Hinds in an interview with Guyana Times stated that government should start taking the necessary steps towards the proper management of the resource. He highlighted that it is an “old problem” for Guyana’s resources to be mismanaged, in terms of foreign investors being the prime beneficiaries of the resources.He said this “old thorn” has not been removed because Guyana is not single-minded about confronting and solving the issue of Guyana’s resources being mismanaged.“For example, we have our gold. However, there is no processing plant to refine our gold and so the gold is extracted in its raw state and shipped out to be refined. And what do we gain – a percentage,” he explained, noting that it is the same with other resources.Recently, ExxonMobil discovered that the second exploration well in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana has a recoverable resource of between 800 million and 1.4 billion oil-equivalent barrels. The wells are located approximately 193 kilometres (120 miles) offshore. The block is 26,800 square kilometres (6.6 million acres).Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited holds 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block; Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25 per cent interest.ExxonMobil is the largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products while its chemical company is one of the largests in the world.According to Hinds: “There is always the overemphasis on attracting foreign investment. I think the same emphasis should be put in developing internal mechanisms and economic structure. So we should invest in small businesses, in our local investors.”Hinds alluded however, to the deficiency of the skilled human resources and to that end insisted that before Guyana begins to envisage managing oil on its own, it should start investing in its people first. He stated that government should encourage Guyanese to develop the skills necessary to build an economy around oi: “We should start investing in having locals trained in oil engineering for the future….we would need lawyers to handle cases of petroleum issues.”Education Minister Rupert Roopnaraine had disclosed that he had proposed to the authorities of the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine Campus, to develop a petroleum engineering programme that would prepare Guyana to manage its potential oil industry.Petroleum engineering is the study of the extraction of oil, gas and other natural resources from the earth. This is accomplished through the design, drilling and operation of wells and well systems, and the integrated management of the underground reservoirs in which the resources are found.Hinds suggested that Guyana needs to start envisaging a whole new economy around oil and start now: “It is not about pumping the oil out from the ground and selling it and getting the money…if Guyana is going to benefit from oil we have to build up an enabling economy…an offshoot economy.”Oil refineryThe Associate Professor indicated that if Guyana cannot develop its own oil refinery, then the country should partner with Caricom countries to construct one. “That is the way to go…that is why we have Caricom…” he stressed.“It would be nice if we can have our own oil processing here but if we cannot do it by ourselves then we can partner with sister Caricom countries to do,” he said, explaining that this is what a single market is about.He noted that if Guyana and Trinidad could develop an arrangement where they can both manage a future oil refinery in Guyana, then both Guyanese residing in Trinidad and Guyana would benefit.“It is either we have our own processing plant or we do it through a regional emphasis,” Hinds stressed.Ministers of Natural Resources and Finance Raphael Trotman and Winston Jordan are currently visiting Uganda to gain knowledge on the strategies that country has employed to manage and develop its oil resource.last_img read more

Base to test laser-shooting planes

first_imgEDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE – “The Right Stuff” is going “Star Wars” as Edwards Air Force Base personnel prepare to test aircraft armed with laser weapons. Documents made public by the Air Force show base officials are preparing an environmental assessment in preparation for conducting flight and ground tests of aircraft equipped with lasers: up to 140 flight tests and 24 ground tests this year, growing to 394 flight tests with 24 ground tests in 2010. “Edwards Air Force Base is a cost-effective location for testing different laser technologies because of its facilities, its remote location, and its previous success and use as one of the nation’s premier test and evaluation flight test centers,” a draft of the environmental assessment stated. “Thus, to continue providing the Air Force with a highly capable aircraft and aircraft weapons system test and evaluation capability, it is essential that the Air Force Flight Test Center conduct test and evaluation of laser systems.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Testing would be confined to restricted military airspace. Target areas for air-to-ground testing would be limited to five acres in size and there would be no more than 100 acres total designated for such use, the draft environmental assessment said. Edwards is already hosting one laser program, the Airborne Laser, an aircraft weapon being developed to shoot down ballistic missiles. A unit of about 750 people are working on the program, which uses a significantly modified Boeing 747 fitted with a laser. Airborne Laser program officials envision future Airborne Laser aircraft patrolling in pairs at more than 40,000 feet and inside friendly territory, scanning the horizon for missiles. When a missile is detected, a set of lasers will track and illuminate it, and computers will measure the distance and calculate its course and direction. A second high-energy laser, fired through the nose turret mounted on the aircraft, will destroy the missile. The laser is made up of six modules, each weighing 4,500 pounds and about the size of a sport utility vehicle turned on its end. The beam will heat an area about the diameter of a basketball on the missile’s relatively fragile fuel-tank casing. The laser will weaken metal already under high pressure from the ignited rocket fuel. Ground tests of the laser were conducted at Edwards over an 11-month period, ending last December with a laser shot long enough and powerful enough that officials said it would have been capable of destroying a ballistic missile. The Airborne Laser aircraft is now in Kansas being fitted with two illuminator lasers. The airplane is expected to return to Edwards late this summer or early fall for flight tests to check out the illuminating lasers. The high-energy laser will be installed on the airplane in 2007. A key milestone for the program will be a test to shoot down a missile in 2008. Another weapon system reported in the Air Force document is the Advanced Tactical Laser, intended to destroy or disable a target on the ground without hurting buildings or people around it. Sponsored by the Air Force Special Operations Command, the program is looking to develop a weapon that could fire a narrow beam, about four inches in diameter, with blow-torch-like heat in a “man-made bolt of lightning.” [email protected] (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Millwall’s Cowan-Hall set to return to training

first_imgParis Cowan-Hall is expected to return to training in the next week.The Millwall forward, from Hillingdon, has been struggling with a groin injury and has not featured for the Lions for almost a month.“Paris is recovering well from the injury to his groin and is on course to rejoin the training group within a week,” Millwall physiotherapist Bobby Bacic confirmed to the club’s website.Cowan-Hall, 25, has yet to start a match for Millwall since joining them from Wycombe in January.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

Darwinian Dogma Doubted: Cave Fish Go Blind on Purpose

first_imgContrary to previous belief, blind cave fish have the genes to build eyes but turn them off during development, reports Science Now. When a body part is no longer needed, scientists usually assume that mutations accumulate in the genes controlling the structure, eventually preventing it from working or being made.  “That was the dogma,” says Stephen Ekker of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.  But because the cave fish eyes are actively killed, natural selection is probably doing its thing, says Jeffery.  And that, he adds, might come as a surprise even to Darwin, who thought the cave fishes’ loss of sight might be an exception to the rules of natural selection.  The next step, of course, will be to figure out what the fish gain by losing their sight.So it’s not simply an issue of “use it or lose it,” the article states; “new research suggests that for some cave-dwelling fishes, blindness results from the careful coordination of gene expression, not simply from lack of use.”    Science News also reported this story, describing how the researchers could induce blindness in sighted fish by controlling the expression of a gene, and could partially restore sight in blind fish with different gene regulation.  The article ends, “Because the genes orchestrate both mouth and eye development, the blind fish may have lost their eyes as t hey gained a more effective mouth—a useful feature for catching food in the dark.”Creationists have argued that natural selection eliminates things, rather than constructing them, so this is no surprise.  What is surprising is that the eyes did not merely degenerate through disuse, and that the response could have occurred quickly through changes in the regulation of one gene during development.  Maybe there is a functional reason why this gene is being switched off in the darkness of the cave environment.  Maybe with eyes not in the way, it helps enhance the other senses the fish will need when sight is not possible.  Whatever the reason, natural selection cannot be credited with creating new function, because both eyes and mouths already functioned well. (Visited 37 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA site helps 2010 visitors go green

first_imgTravellers will find a wealth of tips for sustainable tourism in their Green Passport. (Image: UNEP) MEDIA CONTACTS • Helena ReyUN Environment Programme+33 14 437 1450RELATED ARTICLES • Saving the land with ecotourism • Ecotourism reaps rich rewards • Holidays that save the world • Cape Town’s responsible tourismJanine ErasmusThe South African Green Passport site has gone live, just in time for the surge of tourists expected to pour into the country to watch the last stages of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.The site is a joint project of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), and the Global Environment Facility, a far-reaching funding initiative involving 182 governments as well as NGOs, institutions and privately held corporations.The Green Passport programme has been implemented in three other countries internationally, and each time adapted accordingly. The project was piloted in Brazil and has since rolled out in Ecuador and Costa Rica as well. South Africa is the first African country to adopt the scheme.The Green Passport is aimed at helping visitors in South Africa reduce their carbon footprint by providing simple but useful tips on recycling, green living and responsible tourism.By making smart choices, tourists can not only make the most of their stay in the country, but minimise their impact on its environment and cultures. Supporting sustainable initiativesThey will also have the chance to support five remarkable greening projects approved by the DEA, doing their bit towards bringing increased economic benefits and better living conditions to local communities.The first project is the Sunfire Solutions’ solar cookers, which helps to reduce air pollution and deforestation by using only sunlight for cooking, and also eliminates the dangers associated with using open fires in homes.The second, Soil & More Reliance, focuses on soil composting, creates jobs and rids the environment of green waste and alien plants by turning them into compost.Lemnis Lighting Africa’s project replaces traditional lighting with energy-efficient LED lights in hotels, offices, homes, and more; while the Mainstream wind farm in the Eastern Cape focuses on renewable energy as a source of power.The Nova Institute’s Basa njengo Magogo (“light up like a grandmother”, a reference to the elderly citizen who pioneered the technique) domestic fire-lighting project teaches families how to burn coal in a cleaner and more cost-effective way by starting the fire with wood and paper on top, instead of underneath the coals.Offsetting carbon emissions The South African Green Passport site provides detailed information on each World Cup host city, in categories such as where to stay and eat, how to get to the fan parks and stadiums, how to recycle waste and make efficient use of resources, and where the sights can be seen.For instance, people are encouraged not to keep buying bottled water, but rather to refill their existing bottles with South Africa’s tap water, which is rated as the third best in the world in terms of quality. To ensure that their choice of seafood at a restaurant is not on the endangered list, patrons can send the fish’s name in a text message to +27 (0)79 499 8795 and receive an answer within seconds.Locals will also find that the site’s information can be easily adapted to their own situations.Green-minded tourists can use the website’s carbon calculator to establish their greenhouse gas emissions, and then offset those emissions by supporting one of the five selected projects. The calculator will suggest a sum based on the user’s established carbon emission. The sum may be paid in full, or in part – all donations are welcomed – by credit card, in support of the project of their choice.The Green Passport, which is packed with eco-friendly hints and tips, may be downloaded as a PDF (2.85MB) or collected in print form from visitor centres in all nine World Cup host cities, as well as from Fifa environmental volunteers in stadiums. Besides the useful information, there is space at the end of the document for visitors to make their own notes and collect signatures.A mobile site has also been launched, with all information available at the push of a button on a hand-held phone.As an added bonus, all travellers who register their green passport numbers at the site will stand a chance to win a two-night stay at the Thornybush Nature Reserve, adjacent to the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga.The campaign runs until the end of December 2010. More tips for responsible tourism can be found on the UNEP’s Green Passport site.last_img read more

Compliance: Recordless email

first_imgEmail has become the communication tool of choice for many businesses.  Because of that, studying an email trail can provide a clear snapshot of the history behind almost any business event.  With the rise of regulatory compliance over the last five years, emails have become increasingly important and certain emails can be considered as company records and subject to the same rules and procedures that apply to any other type of company record. Over the last few years regulatory compliance has zeroed in on email management.  Many high-profile legal cases have centered around the content discovered from company emails.  The recent case of the White House trying to bypass the standard email system is just one example. The email trail is hard to cover up.  Email is transmitted from one email server to another, but along the way copies of the email may be made on multiple machines.  Deleting the file from a hard drive may not remove all traces of the contents from the drive.  Electronic discovery and computer forensics to sleuth out traces of emails is now common.For good or for bad, one company has come up with a solution.  Vaporstream has created a method that lets you send emails, but with no trace of the message left anywhere.  No record is left on the sender or receiver’s computer.  Messages reside only within their system and nowhere else. They can’t be forwarded or printed.Their solution works along-side of email systems.  VaporStream provides an Internet browser-based hosted solution.  They plan to have plugins that will work with Microsoft Outlook and support for Windows Mobile and the Blackberry.  The technology is a kind of cross between IM and email.If ‘recordless email’ gains a following, it will be interesting to see the reaction from the US government.last_img read more

Little Houses Are a Big Step for Dallas Homeless

first_imgHouses far smaller than the norm are being marketed for their energy efficiency and their small environmental footprints, and now in Dallas a collaboration of public and private interests hopes really small houses will give at least some of the city’s troubled citizens a way out of chronic homelessness.The Cottages at Hickory Crossing is a $6.8 million project that includes 50 self-contained houses, each with a footprint of 420 square feet, a central building with laundry and other shared facilities, and common outdoor areas on a 3.5-acre parcel near downtown Dallas.A number of public agencies representing housing, social services and the criminal justice system all are partners. Cottages are intended specifically for people who are chronically homeless, those who suffer from severe and persistent mental illness, and those who have a history of substance abuse and entanglements with the criminal justice system. In other words, people who have a very tough time finding a place to live.“It’s a trilogy in a way, like a Homer’s Odyssey, like great projects often are,” said Brent Brown, director of the bcWorkshop, the project architect. “It would be unfair if I didn’t say the project almost didn’t happen probably 10 times or more because it was hard. Partnerships are hard. Funding is hard. Building anything can be difficult.”But by early next year, Brown said by telephone, construction should be complete and residents should be moving in. Houses are small, but completeEach of the 50 cottages has a full bathroom, a main room with a kitchen, a sleeping area, a storage area, and a porch. Each has 325 square feet of interior conditioned space, Brown said, enough to give residents a private space. “Each resident has a door of their own,” Brown said, “and their own house identity.”Cottages are grouped in clusters of six around a common green area. The site is big enough to have the potential for community gardens. The commons building will be open to the public. Residents will sign a no-cost lease and will have access to a variety of services on site.Brown estimated each cottage costs between $25,000 and $30,000, with site development, studies and other costs making up the balance of the project cost.Each wood-framed cottage is built on four concrete piers, rather than a concrete slab, partly because the clay-heavy soils on the site made conventional construction difficult, and partly because this approach will allow the cottages to be moved to a new home in the future and the site used for another purpose.Brown said planners at bcWorkshop looked at a number of models in designing the site, including early New England settlements. For example, they found a Methodist community on Martha’s Vineyard built in a pattern of circles surrounding a common green. But where these communities attached social standing based on the circle where the house was built — higher status for those living closer to the common green — Dallas planners looked for an arrangement were “everyone had an equal level of stature,” Brown said.Buildings at the project were designed with help from the community it will serve, Brown said, and “street experts” helped planners understand the difficulty of moving from life on the street to housing units. “There needs to be a way to retreat,” he said, “but also a way to engage on your own terms, as well as being able to be all together.” Stable housing as a first stepThe Cottages project is built on the “Housing First” model, which considers housing a first priority to be followed by whatever social services might be needed after that.Given the common difficulties in the backgrounds of potential residents, planners assume a number of social service agencies will be needed. Even so, savings should be significant. According to an article in The Dallas Morning News, each person eligible for the project now costs the city $40,000 a year in services. But with a permanent home and a support system, that number drops to $15,000.Brown said an annual survey in Dallas in 2014 counted 3,314 homeless persons, 413 of whom were considered chronically homeless. So a project the size of The Cottages is a beginning.“We need seven more projects like this,” he said.Similar approaches have been proposed elsewhere. Last year, a New Jersey state senator suggested a $5 million “Tiny Home Pilot Program” in which clusters of 300-square-foot houses would be built for the state’s poor. Earlier, a project called Quixote Village” near Olympia, Washington, replaced a tent village for the homeless with 30 dwellings of 144 square feet each.last_img read more

How Facebook’s New Sound Notifications Could Boost Engagement

first_imgHear that? No? Well, that’s because Facebook is testing a new audio notification system to select members, and if you’re not one of the first batch of guinea pigs, all is still quiet on your profile. But if this feature catches on, you and the rest of Facebook’s billion networkers might soon hear a ping every time someone sends you a message, posts to your wall or tags you in a photo. And despite last week’s largely negative coverage about the new service by over-engaged journalists, Facebook insiders and some user interface and user experience (UI/UX) designers are calling it a boon for engagement.Lend Me An EarFacebook has used sound notifications for its chat tool since 2008, and its mobile messenger app also has sound. Both alert you to new messages.“There is user demand for sounds,” explained Brittany Darwell, the lead writer at Inside Facebook. “It makes sense to allow a sound option for other desktop notifications, too.” Darwell cites the recent Facebook sound bug in Apple iOS iPhones as an example of demand for improved audio on the site. She says people want the option to be informed aurally.“Some users want sound and are even upset when they don’t hear them,” Darwell said.  Sound Good?The new alert is an electronic bee-deep, like the one employed by Skype. Don’t worry, the Facebook tone can be turned off. It’s not known if the sound that Facebook has been testing ultimately will be used, much less if the feature itself will ever be rolled out to the public. “This is just a test with a small percentage of users,” said Meredith Chin, Facebook’s manager of corporate communications. “We’ll see how it goes before rolling it out.”More certain is the power of the sound. While some heavily connected Facebook users surely will be turned off by it, mid-level and casual users could become more engaged by this Pavlovian call to action. “It draws people back,” says Asher Hunt, head of mobile design at LivePerson Mobile. “The sound is a trigger point. People are addicted to these.” Hunt thinks the alert will keep Facebook members connected and strengthen their overall experience. He compares the alert to people walking through the cacophony of a casino:  “All it takes is hearing that sound once, and you’re back on the site.”  Testing 1, 2, 1, 2Here’s the alert in action: Related Posts adam popescu Tags:#Facebook#notification#social media#sound Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Photo courtesy of Shutterstock. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoslast_img read more

Camera Angles: Over The Shoulder or Single Shot?

first_imgOver The Shoulder TipsThe OTS shot is a straightforward angle to capture. You place the camera behind the second actor and include their shoulder and head within the frame. However, there are some rules. You don’t have to abide by them, but they do help you get the best from the shot.The first is that the eye line of the actor in the shot should be somewhat level with the camera. Remember, the audience is an observer watching the conversation take place over somebody’s shoulder. If the angle is too high or too low, it ruins that engagement.Secondly, you want to avoid an angle that reveals the nose of the actor whose back is to us. A nose can become distracting and is often a visual signifier that the camera may be too far away.Single FramingA single framing of just one character in a conversation is when reactions and character moments should take place. However, one thing to note is the importance of the focal length when shooting a single. Single character framing is about emotion. Try to capture that with a 120mm, and you distance yourself from what you are trying to say. In the interview below DP Roger Deakins says, “If the camera wants to be close, I would shoot singles inside [personal space]…. It’s a sense of presence… psychologically it’s a totally different effect.”Therefore, it’s important to note that single framing during conversations needs a close camera.Tracking into a SingleIt’s quite common to track from an OTS shot into single framing. It’s a lot more organic than just cutting to a close-up, especially when you are trying to convey a particular emotion. Watch the scene below from Steven Spielberg’s Amistad, and imagine how different the scene would feel if we didn’t push into personal space and we were just left looking over John Quincy Adams’s shoulder.Of course, these aren’t rules to live and die by. However, they are good practices to follow to keep your film language precise and clear.Do you have tips for effective over-the-shoulder and single shots? Let us know in the comments. Camera angles can affect the tone of your film. Learn how to use this to your advantage.Filmmaking is a language. Every choice you make directly affects how your audience will interpret your film. Critically acclaimed TV and movies usually enjoy high rates of audience approval because the stories are clear and concise. Viewers know how to interpret the filmmaker’s creative decisions. The same is true of camera angles (for a write up on the psychological effects of focal length, check out this article). Let’s take a look at what camera angles can tell an audience.Image via Warner Bros.ConversationThe conversation scene is a filmmaking cornerstone. These scenes develop characters and often communicate crucial plot information. Conversational scenes are usually predictable. The filmmaker establishes the location, then we close in on two characters with a mid-shot and a reverse mid. If the scene calls for heightened emotion, we can move in closer to a medium close-up or a close-up. There will most likely be some inserts, but essentially, these are the ABCs of shooting a conversation scene.However, when shooting the standard conversational shot, you have two framing choices. You can go for a clean shot of just one actor in the composition, which we call a single, or you can choose an over-the-shoulder shot. You can also feature only the very edge of an actor’s shoulder in the frame, which we call a dirty single. (A dirty shot includes any object that slightly obscures the full composition).Although both types of conversation shots present the same information, they have different merits worth noting. Let’s look at a few.Over The ShoulderStarting with an OTS shot can help establish the eye line and the direction in which each character is looking — since we might not always get this information from the long shot, especially in group conversations.Take the following example from CW’s Riverdale. We see the typical scenario of high school characters in a common room discussing the latest details in the murder mystery. This is a group conversation between five different characters. In this circumstance, an OTS setup establishes who is talking to whom, as things can get complicated quickly when five people are talking. We meet each character taking part in the conversation through a series of OTS shots.However, later in the scene, we move closer into single framing. The problem here is that we are no longer 100% certain which character Archie is speaking to. In this shot, he is talking to Jughead.In this shot he is speaking to Betty.There’s only the slightest tilt of head movement to suggest whom he is speaking to. Here, an over the shoulder shot would be better because it’s going to clarify the language of the camera. The filmmakers used a dirty single a few shots later to clarify whom Archie was speaking to.But without this clarification, the scene may have become lost in translation.In the legendary exchange between Pacino and De Niro in Heat, we first see a medium OTS shot. This gives us bits of exposition, character background, and plot movement. At this moment in time, we, as the audience, do not need to be any closer than we are. As the conversation becomes more personal, and the two characters discuss their family lives and their partners, the camera slowly closes in while maintaining the OTS shot composition. Again, at the moment, we don’t need to be any closer. It’s a conversation taking place “with a couple of regular fellas” as Lt. Vincent Hanna says. It’s a plot discussion.However, the discussion takes a dark turn when Hanna says to McCauley (De Niro) that if he has to kill him to stop an innocent person getting caught in the crossfire, he will. At this point in the scene, the camera pushes past Hanna and frames McCauley singly. McCauley proceeds to say that he, too, will kill Hanna if necessary. His response is more sinister; it’s intended to intimidate not only Hanna but also the audience. It’s a character moment, and the camera angle moves us into the appropriate proximity of the character to feel that. We very likely would not have had the same response if we had watched that moment unfold over Hanna’s shoulder.last_img read more