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Giving Back To The River: Volunteers Test Water Quality

first_imgBy Jay Cook |RED BANK – The weather isn’t nice enough yet for a cruise on the Navesink, but some Two River residents have been spending quality time alongside the riverbanks this winter – with science kits in hand.Such is the case for Michael Humphreys, a 77-year-old Red Bank resident, and Chuck Abel, 61-years-old from Fair Haven, who convened at Count Basie Park just after the crack of dawn on Wednesday morning.Both men have vested interests in the health of the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers and are two of the dozens of citizen-scientists participating in the Navesink Ambient Citizen Water Quality Monitoring and Source Tracking Program, an effort coordinated by Clean Ocean Action and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).“Beyond all the headlines about how the river is polluted,” Humphreys said, “there’s actually stuff being done about it.”The first-of-its-kind program began in June after reports from the spring of 2016 when Clean Ocean Action, DEP and Rutgers University found the Navesink River was being polluted by human waste, among other contaminants.In response, the citizens’ group was created to help assist the state’s water quality testing arm. Now into its 36th week, the all-volunteer organization is thriving and helping track the health of the two rivers.“We had a downgrade of water quality because of ‘poo-llution’ – and in the 21st century, that’s not where we should be,” said Cindy Zipf, Clean Ocean Action’s executive director. “We need to restore those areas and maintain that water quality going forward so people can continue to swim and enjoy the river.”Test TimeCount Basie Park has served as a staging ground for the past eight months. Alison McCarthy, Clean Ocean Action’s coastal watershed protection coordinator, arrives at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday mornings to unload sterilized bottles provided by the DEP, extendable poles, coolers, sterile gloves and large buckets for each of the groups.One by one, different locals pour into the parking lot to fill out initial paperwork and grab their gear. The citizen-scientists take samples from 20 different locations in Fair Haven, Middletown, Red Bank and Tinton Falls. Up to five new spots in Rumson could be added later this year.Humphreys and Abel rolled in around 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Their task for that day: sample water flowing from surface water outfalls at Marine Park and a private residence on Hubbard Park, a residential roadway just past Riverview Medical Center.“I like to think that I might be contributing somewhat, my infinitesimal contribution,” said Abel, a self-proclaimed “rodeo member” for the different local environmental groups. “I’d rather see (the river) clean than dirty.”The same goes for Humphreys, a board secretary for the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association. He was disappointed when his organization had to cancel the popular River Rangers program in 2016 due to the river’s poor health. It was reinstated last year and has since been greeted favorably.“We had a good take-up last year and people were pleased it was back,” Humphreys said, on the drive to Hubbard Park.In reality, it took longer for Humphreys and Abel to fill out their paperwork than it did to test the river. Samples are required to be taken up-current, right into the flow of an outfall. Water and air temperatures are recorded in centigrade and then the samples are wrapped up and placed into the coolers.Volunteers return the water tests back to McCarthy at Count Basie Park and then she drives them south to the DEP’s laboratory in Leeds Point for immediate testing. Those samples go hand-in-hand with additional testing the DEP and Clean Ocean Action do along the two rivers.“For us to have volunteers doing this kind of work is just incredible,” McCarthy said.Chuck Abel ties a test tube onto an extendable pole for Red Bank’s Mike Humphreys before both volunteers test the water quality at Marine Park in Red Bank. Photo by Jay Cook.Test ScoresRally for the Navesink, a collection of stakeholders interested in local water quality, held their first meeting of 2018 last month and was able to provide sample results from previous months.The threshold between safe and unsafe water is 104 colony forming units (CFU) per 100 milliliters of sample, per the DEP. Any number below that level is safe, but a reading above it means there is an unhealthy amount of pollution in that specific location.Clean Ocean Action’s staff scientist, Swarna Muthukrishnan, said, “we do see some improvements,” but erred on the side of caution when asked about the big picture.“These are individual measurements,” she continued. “That’s the advantage and limitation of bacteria testing. We pick one sample once a week and that’s what is being analyzed.”Higher polluted readings came days after significant rainfall, according to Clean Ocean Action’s data. The river usually cleans itself out through multiple tidal movements.Contaminated areas have also been fixed thanks to the program. The Two Rivers Water Reclamation Authority was on scene earlier this month in Fair Haven to repair an area around Fourth Creek – the body of water connecting McCarter Pond to the Navesink – which the River Rats sailing program calls home.The water testing program is set to conclude in June, ending a 52-week run. But those at Clean Ocean Action are hopeful the DEP’s new administration will allow it to continue, keeping residents on the water-testing beat. After all, the locals are set to benefit most from a healthy, thriving river ecosystem.“Empowering citizens to get that sampling done and help track down sources of pollution is an incredible value,” Zipf said.This article first appeared in the Feb. 15-22, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

B52’s come from behind to beat Wolves

first_imgJeff Giacomini hit a lead-taking two RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift his Humboldt B52s past the visiting Sierra Nevada Wolves, 6-5 Saturday night at Bomber Field.The B52s (28-12) will look to complete a three-game series sweep against the Wolves today at 12:05 p.m. Today’s game will be the 2018 season finale for the B52s, and admission is free to all Bomber fans.Saturday’s game was a pitchers duel throughout the first five-and-a-half innings as neither team was able to …last_img

Taxpayers Fund Anti-Science Materialist Myths

first_imgNASA and the NSF give tons of money to materialists to promote lies about chemistry and the origin of life.“Was the Secret Spice in Primal Gene Soup a Thickener?” a press release from Georgia Tech teases. “More evidence that life could have evolved with relative ease: New research supports ancestors of genes self-copying in a mushy puddle.”What follows reaches beyond falsehood into mythology. The perhapsimaybecouldness index is off the charts.The original recipe for gene soup may have been simple — rain, a jumble of common molecules, warm sunshine, and nighttime cooling. Then add a pinch of thickener.That last ingredient may have helped gene-like strands to copy themselves in puddles for the first time ever, billions of years ago when Earth was devoid of life, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found. Their novel discoveries add to a growing body of evidence that suggests first life may have evolved with relative ease, here and possibly elsewhere in the universe.Nick Hud’s barbiturate team (see 5/10/16) created a completely unrealistic scenario to promote a materialist view of life’s origin. He knows that RNA and DNA strands “snap together” into useless forms too fast, so he added a thickener, glycholine, which his team admits “was not likely present on pre-biotic Earth.”His team also completely ignored the information problem of sequencing nucleotides or amino acids into meaningful, functional molecules. But for his completely irrelevant work, he gets government money:The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the NASA Astrobiology Program under the NASA/NSF Center for Chemical Evolution (grant number CHE-1504217) and by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (grant number DGE-1148903).The research didn’t even work. He had to use an enzyme from living cells. Using an existing enzyme begs the question of how such a complex molecular machine could have arisen from a messy molecular soup by chance. He is also aware that competing cross-reactions would have inhibited any progress toward a self-replicating, living cell. But now, the team is calling for even more money:The enzymes would not have been present on a prebiotic Earth, and although there are chemical procedure for ligating RNA, “no one has developed a chemistry so robust yet that it could replace the enzyme,” Grover said.Finding one that could have worked on a prebiotic Earth would be a worthy aim for further research.Do the taxpayers even know or care how this money is being spent?That’s why we need Illustra Media’s new film ORIGIN. Visit the website and buy up copies to distribute. Don’t let the OoL Follies continue their campaign of misinformation. Fight lies with the truth! (Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Lucy Lived in the Trees

first_imgA new CT scan of Lucy’s bones show adaptations for living in the trees.Early hominin Lucy had powerful arms from years of tree-climbing (New Scientist): “Lucy, the world famous early bipedal hominin, was a swinger,” Colin Barras writes. “Scans of her skeleton confirm that she had an exceptionally powerful upper body, thanks to spending a lot of time climbing trees.” This may be the “final word on Lucy’s lifestyle,” he says; “…Lucy had long chimp-like arms and fingers – features that would seem ideal if her life involved a great deal of tree-climbing.”Human ancestor ‘Lucy’ was a tree climber, new evidence suggests (Science Daily): This press release from the University of Texas at Austin says “analysis of special CT scans by scientists from The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Texas at Austin suggests the female hominin spent enough time in the trees that evidence of this behavior is preserved in the internal structure of her bones.” For years paleoanthropologists claimed Lucy walked upright. That view has moved recently toward a more arboreal lifestyle. “Lucy’s upper limbs were heavily built, similar to champion tree-climbing chimpanzees, supporting the idea that she spent time climbing and used her arms to pull herself up.”Bipedal Human Ancestor ‘Lucy’ Was a Tree Climber, Too (Live Science): “High-resolution computed X-ray tomography (CT) scans of long bones in Lucy’s arms reveal internal structures suggesting that her upper limbs were built for heavy load bearing — much like chimpanzees’ arms, which they use to pull themselves up tree trunks and to swing between branches.”The only way to maintain the missing-link status of Lucy is to keep her part of the time on the ground. Mindy Waisgerber illustrates that talking point in the Live Science article: “‘Lucy,’ an early human ancestor that lived 3 million years ago, walked on two legs,” she states forthrightly. “But while she had her feet firmly planted on the ground, her arms were reaching for the trees, a new study shows.”The results of the scan are published in PLoS One, an open-access journal where anyone can check the data. The authors say their data reinforce the view that Lucy was comfortable both on the ground and in the trees. “It is clear that A.L. 288–1 and australopiths in general show many postcranial adaptations to terrestrial bipedality and probably walked in a basically human-like manner when on the ground,” they begin, citing eight prior publications. Yet their own work shows otherwise.However, we found that A.L. 288–1 also exhibits morphological features that imply substantial differences in locomotor behavior from that in modern humans or early Homo. Lucy’s femoral/humeral diaphyseal strength proportion indicates greater muscular loading of her upper limb relative to her lower limb than is characteristic of either modern humans or Homo erectus, and more similar to that of chimpanzees. While other behavioral explanations are conceivable (such as increased upper limb use related to food procurement or defense), given the range of morphological evidence throughout her skeleton that is consistent with greater arboreality, the most likely explanation is that Lucy climbed trees with a greater reliance on her upper extremity much more frequently than modern humans or early Homo (with the exception of H. habilis sensu stricto).A search through the paper for actual evidence supporting adaptation for terrestrial life shows mainly suppositions and lateral passes to earlier writers. This posturing is clear in the ending Conclusions section. Remember that nobody ever witnessed Lucy walking on the ground in real life. And if she did, they admit it was probably awkward, just as it is for chimps and bonobos today who can walk upright for short periods.Although bipedal when on the ground, the limb bone structural proportions of A.L. 288–1 provide evidence for substantially more arboreal, i.e., climbing behavior than either modern humans or Homo erectus. The frequency and magnitude of force required to stimulate bone modeling and remodeling of this kind implies that this behavior was adaptively significant and not a trivial component of the locomotor repertoire. Possible reasons for using the trees more often include foraging for food and escape from predators. Furthermore, there is evidence that terrestrial bipedal gait in A.L. 288–1 may have differed in subtle but important ways from that of later Homo, decreasing locomotor efficiency when on the ground and limiting terrestrial mobility. Overall muscular strength relative to body size was likely greater than in Homo, perhaps reflecting less reliance on technology for food procurement/processing and defense. Where possible to evaluate, the same morphological attributes are present in other australopith specimens as well as H. habilis sensu stricto, i.e., OH 62 [13]. Overall these observations imply fundamental differences in ecology and behavior between australopiths and Homo erectus. It is likely that a number of different forms of terrestrial bipedality were practiced by early hominins, and that arboreal behavior remained an important part of the locomotor repertoire in particular taxa for millions of years.That last sentence is all supposition. What they actually found was a chimp-like climbing ape built for life in the trees. The australopiths are all ape-like; the Homo are all upright walkers with “fundamental differences in ecology and behavior.” The gap is widening, not closing.National Geographic has crow on its plate but hasn’t eaten it yet. Now that Donald Johanson is famous as an NG hero, will he recant? Not likely. Lucy is too valuable an icon for the imaginary world they live in. Too many articles have been written. Too many TV specials have been made. Evolutionists all sing the “I Love Lucy” jingle. She must be brought down from her treetop. They pull her down and shout, “Walk, Lucy, walk!” (Visited 58 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Home Affairs’ turnaround man

first_img6 September 2007The top technocrat in the Department of Home Affairs, Director-General Mavuso Msimang, has his eye on transforming the beleaguered organisation within 12 months.Briefing the media on his first 100 days in office, Msimang said Home Affairs had the reputation of “being one of South Africa’s most dysfunctional departments”. The department has a backlog of some 600 000 identity document (ID) applications and over 144 000 refugee applications.The former CEO of the State Information Technology Agency (Sita) said he was on record as saying the department was “sick,” and pledged that it would be carrying out its job – as the country’s custodian of citizenship – efficiently in roughly 12 months.“The Department of Home Affairs’ objective is to transform the department into a modern, efficient, cost-effective service organisation responsive to the needs of South African citizens, residents and visitors to our country.”In line with this vision, the director-general had visited local and provincial offices, interacted with his counterparts in other departments, embarked on a technology fact-finding mission to Japan, and met with the United Nations Children’s Fund and UN High Commission for Refugees.“We have designed a comprehensive strategy for Home Affairs that analyses the root of our problems and identifies opportunites for immediate action,” Msimang said.This strategy will be rolled out over the next two years, with the first phase – running until December – involving understanding the problems facing the department, designing a vision for the future and implementing “quick wins”.These “quick wins” will include the launch of an ID track and trace system, streamlining the ID application process, dealing with refugee application backlogs, enhancing permit application processes and reviewing current IT systems and projects.“Our first major quick win will be to provide a streamlined, efficient, customer-centred ID process through a reliable new tracking system which will enable customers to query the status of their applications without having to queue at an office,” Msimang said.The system, launched in August, allows customers to trace the progress of their ID applications via their cellphones, laptops and PCs. Besides the obvious benefits, it cuts down on the opportunities for corruption.The system will be bolstered with staff and management training, the addition of new fingerprint scanning machines, and better use of existing image capturing machines.It currently takes over 100 days for an ID book to be processed, and by the time a customer receives it, it has been handled about 80 times, Msimang said. The department would be looking to remove a number of bottlenecks from this process.The director-general noted that while “a lot of people are supervisors, they do not quite know what that means”. Management training would instil a culture of accountability among Home Affairs’ staff.Before a recent operations management exercise, Msimang said, documents were “stored haphazardly and the environment was untidy … Today the environment has been cleaned up and basic document management processes have been put in place.”Regarding refugees in South Africa, he said the department had launched a project to clear the backlog of over 144 000 asylum applications.In tandem with this, the department had announced a two-month grace period for outstanding asylum applications, to run between September and October 2007.“Absolutely fundamental to the running of any organisation” was its IT services, Msimang said, noting that R700-million had been budgeted for a complete revamp of Home Affairs’ IT services.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Priyanka Chopra to be on the hot seat in Kaun Banega Crorepati

first_imgActress Priyanka Chopra will be soon seen in the new season of popular TV quiz show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ hosted by megastar Amitabh Bachchan.The 32-year-old actress, who is promoting her next film ‘Mary Kom’, will feature in one of the upcoming episodes of ‘KBC Season 8’ as a celebrity contestant. However, its telecast date is still under wraps. This season of ‘KBC’ will go on air from August 17 on Sony Entertainment channel.She will feature in one of the upcoming episodes of KBC Season 8 as a celebrity contestant.Priyanka had earlier appeared on the show with actress Kareena Kapoor in the third season which was hosted by superstar Shah Rukh Khan. Priyanka’s upcoming film is based on the life of Olympic boxer Mary Kom.The biographical sports drama film directed by Omung Kumar and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali is set to release on September 5.last_img read more

Video: Jason Whitlock Says Ciara’s Cleavage Shows She’s “Thirsty” From Not Having Sex With Russell Wilson

first_imgJason Whitlock discusses Jim Harbaugh on Speak For Yourself.twitterYep, the article title here says it all. Jason Whitlock, who now works for FOX Sports after leaving ESPN earlier this year, joined Colin Cowherd on his radio show earlier Wednesday to talk about his issue with Ciara’s decision to wear a somewhat revealing dress during her singing of the National Anthem ahead of Monday night’s College Football Playoff National Championship. Kristine Leahy attempted to defend the pop star, but it was to no avail.Whitlock insinuated that Ciara showed cleavage because she’s “thirsty” – Urban Dictionary definition here – from not having sex with her boyfriend, Russell Wilson. Cowherd played [email protected] thought Ciara looked “thirsty.” @KristineLeahy defended her & @ColinCowherd wanted Mountain Dew. https://t.co/6HGJj10ih8— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 14, 2016Whitlock also claimed to like “thirsty women” and referenced a strip club chain in the segment.Somehow, we doubt Whitlock’s opinion will be a popular one.last_img read more

Royal Dutch Shell to sell its stake in Canadian Natural Resources

first_imgTORONTO – Royal Dutch Shell is selling its stake in Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. for about $4.3 billion.The sale of more than 97 million shares represents Shell’s entire interest in Canadian Natural, a roughly eight per cent stake in the company.Shell said in a statement Monday night that proceeds from the sale will contribute to reducing net debt.The sale, which is being underwritten by Goldman Sachs, RBC Capital Markets, Scotiabank and TD Securities, is expected to complete on Wednesday.The energy sector on the Toronto Stock Exchange has gained strength in recent weeks as the price of oil has also climbed.Canadian Natural shares were down $1.45 at $43.85 in late-morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.Shell acquired the shares last year when it sold most of its Alberta oilsands assets to Canadian Natural for $11.1 billion in cash and stock.The company said at the time that the deal would allow the company to focus on assets such as deepwater oil and gas that offer higher returns on capital. It said that oilsands mining and in-situ operations were no longer a strategic fit for Shell.In Canada, the company remains focused on its shale oil and gas properties in B.C. and Alberta, along with its refining and chemical businesses near Edmonton.Other foreign companies that have reduced exposure to the oilsands include Norway’s Statoil, Arkansas-based Murphy Oil and France-based Total SA.Cenovus Energy bought most of the Canadian assets of Houston-based ConocoPhillips last year.Companies in this story: (TSX:CNQ) (TSX:CVE)last_img read more

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the

first_imgTORONTO – Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week:The House is backThe House of Commons resumes sitting on Monday. The Trudeau government is expected to face pointed questions from the opposition on a number of fronts including its purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline and the ongoing trade talks with the United States and Mexico.Communications reformThe Senate’s transport and communications committee hears from experts on Tuesday about how federal legislation can be modernized to account for the evolution of the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors in the last decades. The CRTC recently reversed a decision that would have decreased the amount private-sector television groups are required to spend on Canadian programming.Back to school for Bay streetRestaurant Brands International Inc. presents at Scotiabank Back to School conference on Tuesday. The Toronto conference will also feature speakers from other retail and consumer-oriented companies such as Canadian Tire, Empire Co., Saputo, Loblaw and Hudson’s Bay.National real estate updateThe Canadian Real Estate Association releases its monthly numbers for August and quarterly outlook on the housing market on Monday. CREA’s report for July found that the Canadian housing market was finding its footing after a prolonged stumble in the first half of the year, shaking off the impact of stricter mortgage rules and rising interest rates.InflationStatistics Canada reports the consumer price index data for August on Friday as well as the retail sales data for July. The annual rate of inflation hit 3.0 per cent in July, the highest level since September 2011 and the top end of the Bank of Canada’s target range of one to three per cent.last_img read more

Saina crashes out of New Zealand Open after shocking loss to world

first_imgAuckland: India’s Saina Nehwal suffered a shocking first round loss to world number 212 Wang Zhiyi of China to exit the New Zealand Open here Wednesday. The 29-year-old Olympic bronze medallist and world number nine lost 16-21 23-21 4-21 to her 19-year-old opponent in the women’s singles match that lasted one hour and seven minutes. In men’s singles, Lakshya Sen’s campaign also ended with a hard-fought loss against Taiwan’s Wang Tzu Wei. Lakshya lost 21-15 18-21 10-21 in an hour and eight minutes. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju Earlier in the day, the pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy fought hard against Chinese duo of Liu Xuanxuan and Xia Yuting before losing 14-21 23-21 14-21 in an hour and 10 minutes. But the men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy registered a win over New Zealand’s Joshua Feng and Jack Jiang 21-17 21-10. Saina, a World Championship silver medallist, trailed 0-4 in the first game and was unable to keep up with her opponent losing 16-21. Wang stretched Saina in the second game which the Indian won 23-21. There was no fightback from the Indian in the decider as Wang won eight consecutive points to win it easily. Anura Prabhudesai also lost to world number 15 Li Xuerui 9-21 10-21 in singles first round on a disappointing day for Indian shuttlers.last_img read more