Fighting Ebola Again

first_imgThe unknown, menacing monster is upon us again. The only thing we know about it is that it kills and disrupts the lives of people and society.Our Health Correspondent, Alaskai Moore Johnson, has written about the new Ebola attack on Cowfield, Du Port Road. Several members of the Gbotee family have been afflicted, beginning with their son, Nathan, who has now died, followed by Nathan, Sr., and most probably the mother. Young Nathan succumbed to the disease on Monday, November 23rd after being diagnosed EVD positive on November 19th.The Ministry of Health (MOH), led by the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Kateh, acted swiftly by transferring the father, son and other close family members to the ELWA Ebola Treatment Unit to undergo treatment and observation. A key point our readers missed in Alaskai’s story is how did young Nathan catch the virus? It most certainly was not through sex, because he was only 10. So what happened? Did he come in contact with an infected person? Who was that, and where did the person come from? Where did he or she go? If it was from a person, it is imperative to find that person, otherwise he or she would go on spreading the virus to unsuspecting others, and soon, the disease would be full blown in Liberia again. That would be a dangerous set back for a country still reeling from the economic and psychosocial impact of Ebola, which was devastating.We think the MOH should, while dealing urgently with the cases at hand, attach equal urgency to finding the source of this new outbreak and bring it quickly under control before it spreads further.In addition, MOH should make immediate contact with all the other survivors to ensure that they are experiencing no after effects or recurrence of the disease; in which case, they should be called in immediately and served the countermeasures that will immediately contain the disease and prevent it from spreading further.In addition, MOH and the Incident Management Unit should resume, as a matter of urgency, the reinstitution of all preventive measures—hand-washing, observing strict hygiene in homes, neighborhoods and around the country. Now that MOH no longer has “social welfare” under its umbrella, whichever agency of government responsible for sanitation—most likely Public Works and Water and Sewer—should get busy and start cleaning up every nook and cranny of the country and, of course, getting all the county, city and town administrators and leaders involved in this urgent exercise, so as to prevent the disease from spreading throughout the country again.We have seen banks in Monrovia maintaining the practice of hand-washing before admitting customers to their premises; but we do not see the same thing in government offices and schools, nor do we see homes continuing strictly to observe the hand-washing practice. A few homes are still doing it, yes, but so many have stopped, and this may be the reason people are being continually exposed to the virus.It is certainly easy for us to resettle into our old habits of avoiding strict hygiene; but given the terrible experiences we have had with this menacing epidemic, it is advisable for every citizen and resident to behave as though the virus is still with us—indeed it is, as we have seen with the Cowfield family—and observe every measure to satisfy ourselves that we are doing our part to repel (drive back, fend off) this deadly virus.What else can we say? Perhaps there is one more thing that the Ministry of Health and the entire government and people of Liberia may do to keep our country safe. We need to put up our guard, our searchlight, whatever, to detect the source—any source—of this Ebola virus. Where is it coming from, who, if anyone, is visiting us with this deadly virus and how, and do everything possible to drive it from our country and people.Otherwise, if there is anyone that is involved, that person or group of persons or nation or group of nations will always strike us with it – just when we seem to be recovering and trying to regain our stability and make progress in Liberia.Our scientists, our security apparatus and every individual Liberian—all of us— should keep our eyes wide open and take nothing for granted, if we must keep this lethal menace at bay and drive it far from our shores. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

QPR tipped to table bid for United outcast Berbatov

first_imgQPR want to sign Dimitar Berbatov from Manchester United, The Times report.It is suggested that Rangers are preparing a £5m bid for the Bulgarian, who has been widely tipped to leave Old Trafford this summer.Tottenham are considering a £7.5m bid for Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling, according to the Daily Mail.The 17-year-old from Harlesden has been linked with a loan move back to QPR, who lost him when he secured a transfer to Anfield in 2010.But it is claimed that Spurs are looking to sign him on a permanent basis.The Mail also say Chelsea are preparing a final offer of £7.5m for Wigan star Victor Moses, having had three bids for him rejected.This page is regularly updated. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Green Building Programs: Time for a Do-Over?

first_imgI’ve been involved with green building certification programs for about 10 years now, starting with my work with Southface and the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association in developing the EarthCraft Renovation program. Since then, I have become a HERS rater, an NAHB verifier, a LEED Green Rater, a BPI Building Analyst, an EarthCraft Technical Advisor, a Green Communities Technical Advisor, and a Building America Builders Challenge verifier (I don’t think I left anything out). In these various capacities, I have certified many single- and multifamily units under most of these programs and, until recently, felt pretty comfortable managing them and explaining the various—and sometimes conflicting—requirements of each to my clients. While I was aware that there were some changes on the horizon, it seems that the upcoming changes in ENERGY STAR and the ripple effect through other programs have taken myself and most others in the industry somewhat off our games.What’s the schedule?ENERGY STAR versions 2.5 and 3 have been in the pipeline for a while, and although I have been keeping up with them in theory, I have not yet taken the time to sit down and go through them in detail, nor have I yet taken the two-day required class for raters. The raters I have spoken to who have taken this class seem to be a frustrated bunch, many having only recently entered the industry looking for a new source of income. The general impression is that the new versions will likely lower the number of builders seeking certification—not good news for the rating industry and the thousands of newly trained professionals looking for business opportunities.I believe it is important to raise the level of performance of our buildings, but the complexity of the new ENERGY STAR, as well as many other certification programs, deserves some reconsideration. LEED for Homes, scheduled for a new version release in late 2012, has not yet shared publicly how the program will relate to ENERGY STAR Version 3, nor has the NAHB Research Center said anything publicly on the subject that I am aware of. EarthCraft House is scheduled to release a new version in March 2011 that will, hopefully, clarify some of the confusion. Right now it is a challenge to know how much work will be involved in certifying future projects, making it hard to provide pricing to potential clients. It’s enough to drive a rater crazy.I don’t need any stinking consensusIt seems to always be a big deal that many of these green programs were developed by “consensus,” supposedly leading to the best outcome, but I fear that I must disagree with this opinion. We need to only take a look at our dysfunctional legislative bodies to see just how effective (or ineffective) we can be when trying to come to a consensus. When we look at things realistically, there are lots of constituencies involved in green programs, each one having its own goals to work toward, everyone compromising, until we end up with something that ultimately pleases very few people and leaves everyone else feeling slightly abused. I do not come to this opinion from experience; rather, mostly as an outside observer of the various committees assembled to create these standards. I am willing to listen to anyone’s opinion to the contrary. While I don’t know that there is necessarily any better way to create a program, I don’t believe that the consensus model (or muddle) brings us the best product. Rather, it brings us one that offends the smallest number of people.Eschew obfuscationOne of my favorite pieces of graffiti—“eschew obfuscation,” which I translate to “avoid overcomplication”—is something I would like to see all the various and sundry green certification programs take as their mission statements. Unfortunately, “overcomplicated” seems to be the key to most programs. If it’s not a long checklist like the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) or EarthCraft House, it’s a dense, interpretation-heavy spreadsheet like LEED for Homes. Even ENERGY STAR, which in Version 2 was pretty straightforward, seems to have become obfuscated, at least for the time being, in Version 3.I’m not sure if there is a better model out there, but I believe, deep down, that there must be a better way. I have always had a theory that compared to a democracy, a benevolent dictatorship (if the dictator was truly benevolent) might be a better system to live under. I get so disgusted by politicians; I think that anyone who aspires to public office should be denied the opportunity. Some as yet unnamed higher power should just appoint people based on merit, with no opportunity for them to decline. I realize that I am being totally delusional, but it’s my blog and I can write what I want, and you’re reading it anyway.So why can’t we just pick the smartest people, sit them down, and tell them to put together the most effective, simplest, and least expensive green building program? If we pick (or someone from above chooses) the right people, we might end up with something that doesn’t continue to drive us crazy. I’m just sayin’.last_img read more

The future of tokenization and blockchain is not just ICOs

first_imgClayton Jacobs Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T… Related Posts Blockchain business case variety seems secondary in the conversation around blockchain hype. Tokenization on a blockchain system has received attention around the world with the increasing prevalence of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).For those who continue to see “ICO”, but have no firm understanding of the definition, here’s an over simplified version. An ICO is a way a company can raise funding through using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. This works by the company creating its own coin, perhaps the ClaytonCoin, and those interested in purchasing shares in the company can trade their Bitcoins for ClaytonCoins. A ClaytonCoin then supposedly represents a share in the company, but, to quote Smith + Crown:“Most ICOs today are marketed as ‘software presale tokens’ akin to giving early access to an online game to early supporters. In order to try to avoid legal requirements that come with any form of a security sale, many ICOs today use language such as ‘crowdsale’ or ‘donation’ instead of ICOs.”The unregulated nature of ICOs caused China and South Korea to ban them. On the other hand, ICOs in the US have found much success such as in the case of Tezos raising $230 million.See Also: LAToken raises millions in ICO to create “the first asset-backed token exchange”Beyond ICOsEven with successful ICOs happening in the US, tokenization built on blockchain is under utilized in terms of its potential. I ran into a start-up called, FundersToken, at an after party for RISE 2017 that is trying to fix this. FundersToken is a CRM software-based company, with the backbone of tokenization. Their software with blockchain technology offers business augmentation and digitalization. Their goal is to allow business with no blockchain experts to use tokenization for various business functions. These include exchange of goods/services, voting, equity transfer (ICOs), and dividends.Voting and governance through tokenization has been done through Distributed Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). While in an ideal world the voting rights would work very similar to standard governance in companies, but there are again no regulations. This may prove to be an issue in specific scenarios. Yet, many VCs point to tokenization as the future of governance in addition to funding. Another article from Smith + Crown contains great comparisons of the Pros v. Cons.For this technology to be industry changing, more companies like FundersToken must come forward and include the nontechnical. As a technology evangelist, there is a duty to be patient with the ignorant and help encourage productive uses of new technology. The worst thing that could happen for the future of blockchain is association with only ICOs. That is not to say ICOs don’t promote blockchain properly, in fact, it’s the exact opposite. But, imagine if when the Internet was gaining popularity, the only thing the Internet was known for was digital media. Sure, people would be thrilled to hang on my every word, but it would miss the greater potential.Live AMAThe founding team of FundersToken will be joining myself and the rest of the ReadWrite team on WeChat to do a live AMA about both their product and tokenization within a week. If you would like to participate, feel free to connect with me on WeChat: What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage How Data Analytics Can Save Lives Tags:#bitcoin#Blockchain#dividends#equity#featured#funderstoken#ICO#token#Tokenization#top#voting last_img read more

Usain Bolt’s 19-ball 45 sinks Yuvraj & co in friendly cricket tie

first_imgUsain Bolt blasted his way to a 19-ball 45 with five sixes including three off YuvrajSprint superstar Usain Bolt today wowed his Indian fans in his trademark style in a brief exhibition cricket contest against Yuvraj Singh in his maiden trip to the country.Bolt showcased his cricketing talent in front of an enthusiastic 6000-odd crowd who turned up at the Chinnaswamy Stadium to have a glimpse of the ‘fastest man on earth’ as his team beat Yuvraj-led side in seven-a-side cricket match.Team Bolt clinched a thrilling last-ball victory over Team Yuvraj in the match which had four overs for each team.The Jamaican, the first man to win six Olympic sprint gold medals, blasted his way to a 19-ball 45, studded with five sixes including three off Yuvraj, as his team chased down the 59-run target in the last ball off the match.Though the crowd was small by the standard of a Bolt event, the spectators showed their enthusiasm as they cheered at every shot the showman from Jamaica made, though the contest was meant for entertainment and not for any cricketing ability.Yuvraj Singh jokingly pushes Usain Bolt to win the 100-meter friendly raceYuvraj though had his ‘sweet revenge’ as he ‘defeated’ Bolt in the 100 meter sprint on the track, which culminated the spectacular event which was played in an electrifying atmosphere.Bolt, who holds both the world records of 100m and 200m, ‘allowed’ Yuvraj to win the race. As he went past the finishing line, Yuvraj celebrated the ‘victory’ in mobot-style which Bolt had done during 2012 London Olympics by imitating celebrated British long distance runner Mo Farah.advertisementTeam Bolt comprised his best friend Nugent Walker Junior and Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh among others while India’s 2011 Cricket World Cup winning hero Yuvraj had Aditya Tare (rpt Aditya Tare) among others in his team for the face-off titled ‘Bolt and Yuvi ? Battle of the Legends’.Team Bolt required 10 runs off the last two balls and the very first ball Bolt hammered part-time off-spinner Aditya Tare for a six straight over his head.With four runs required off the last ball, Bolt tried a massive heave but missed. Just when Yuvraj and his team started to celebrate, Ajay Jadeja, who hosted the match, played his part to the script of the entertainment value of the contest.Usain Bolt greets Yuvraj Singh during the friendly cricket match in BangaloreHe called a no-ball much to the delight of Bolt, who did not lose the opportunity to whack the free-hit out of the park for a six, helping his side pull off a win in the contest organised by sportswear giant PUMA. Both Bolt and Yuvraj are PUMA ambassadors.Batting first, Team Yuvraj made 58 in the stipulated four overs with Yuvraj and Tare scoring 24 off 14 balls and 30 off 11 balls respectively.Yuvraj blasted four boundaries and one six and Tare five fours and a six. Though Yuvraj was stumped early on, he continued to bat, courtesy the format where captains of the sides were allowed to play throughout their respective overs.Earlier, in the bowl-out contest, both Team Yuvraj and Team Bolt, drew each other, gaining three points each. But Bolt prevailed over Yuvraj in big six contest, clearing a good 70 meters mark, much to the delight of the Jamaican who could not believe to have beaten one of the biggest six hitters in cricket.last_img read more