HPV campaign recommences at schools, health centres

first_img…as vaccine now available for boysProvision has now been made for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination to be given to boys in the school population as part of efforts to end the scourge of the disease and prevent its spread.The Public Health Ministry has informed the public that the vaccination is now extended to both males and females who are 16 years of age.The Education Ministry has collaborated on this project to make the vaccine accessible at schools from a health-care worker. Other places providing the vaccine include the health centres, private medical facilities, and the Ministry’s Vaccination Centre.The campaign, which commenced on February 11, will come to an end on March 13. As such, children within the stipulated age group are encouraged to get vaccinated early and protect themselves.The decision to include boys in the programme was long in the making. During an interview with Maternal and Child Health Officer, Dr Oneka Scott back in September, she noted that the decision was taken after health-care assistants and other stakeholders observed the immense necessity of the vaccination programme.She emphasised on the demands that were placed by parents to have boys included in the action plan, since many schools abroad were currently on board with this initiative. This will ensure that both genders are protected at an early juncture.“There is a great demand. There are a lot of people writing the Ministry and asking to give it to their boys because more and more parents are travelling [and] they are sensitised to the way the vaccine is being given in foreign territories, so we have a great demand for two things. One is to extend the age group of the girls and the second demand is to give it to boys,” she explained.It was noted that boys are transmitting the virus too which can lead to various forms of cancer.“It could be a sign for us, but surely, there are great benefits for us in protecting and vaccinating boys, ‘cause boys can get genital cancer too from HPV. They can get penile cancer, anal cancer, and throat cancer,” she said.The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently claimed that there were increased cases of throat cancer in the United States of America in the height of increased HPV incidence.Throughout last year, an HPV campaign was rolled out in schools but was limited to girls of a lower age range.last_img read more

Continue Reading →

Water polo roundup: Agoura one away from goal

first_imgThe Dons (22-8) held Casey Flacks, the Chargers’ speedy swimmer and scrappy defender, to one goal and three steals and forced Jillian Waldron and Emily Schmachtenberger to foul out late in the game. But coach Jason Rosenthal’s team had other weapons to complete the job. Alana Altmann and Talia Cognata scored added goals for the Chargers, who never trailed in a game that featured four lead changes and was tied three times. Schmachtenberger scored on an assist by Flacks early in the final period for a 6-4 lead. Agoura goalkeeper Sara Gralitzer finished with 15 saves. Santa Barbara beat Agoura 8-7 in last year’s Div. IV title game and the year before. The Dons also knocked the Chargers out of the playoffs in the semifinals in 2004. “It wasn’t the championship game but it feels really good to win,” Rosenthal said. “We didn’t blow them out, it was a close game. Like I told Mark Walsh (the Dons’ coach), I modeled our program after theirs because they were the model team.” OTHER DIV. IV GAMES “It feels just like we won CIF,” said Carly Clark, who led the Chargers with four goals, including the one that put the game out of reach with 1:44 left and a 7-4 lead. “To stop them from getting into the finals was what we wanted. Now we have to continue to keep playing as a team and do the right things in the next game.” Agoura will be Monday’s championship game instead of the Dons, who have been in the final the last nine years. The Chargers (25-6) will face Laguna Beach at the Belmont Pool in Long Beach for the Div. II title. The Agoura girls’ water polo team reached redemption Friday but is still short of its objective. The Chargers avenged three straight playoff loses to Santa Barbara, including two Southern Section championships, with an 8-6 Div. II semifinal win against the Dons at the William Woolett Jr. Aquatic Center in Irvine. center_img Cabrillo of Lompoc 9, Harvard-Westlake 6: Harvard-Westlake came within two goals of tying Cabrillo after holding top-seeded Cabrillo scoreless in the third quarter. But Cabrillo returned the favor keeping the Wolverines scoreless for 10:35 in the second half in a match at Pasadena City College. “It’s sour grapes right now because I wish we could’ve played better,” Harvard-Westlake coach Larry Felix said. “But for where some of them were two years ago to making the semis, I couldn’t be happier.” Nadia Dan led the Wolverines with three goals, one assist and two steals. Madison had nine saves including two stopped penalty shots. Arroyo Grande 12, Glendale 6: Glendale’s first semifinal appeareance in school history was spoiled by No. 2 Arroyo Grande, who scored four unanswered goals in the third quarter to pull away at Cuesta College. Sarah Wolff scored two goals for the Nitros while Shaggy Abolian and Vanuhi Ovasapyan added one each. – Ivan Orozco and Erik Boal 160Want 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

Continue Reading →

Huge boost for Tottenham as Pochettino announces new contract until 2021

first_img Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino 1 Mauricio Pochettino has verbally agreed a new long-term contract with Tottenham.The Argentine announced the news at a press conference on Friday ahead of his side’s trip to Chelsea on Monday night.He revealed that the new and improved deal will tie him to the north London club until 2021.Pochettino told the assembled reporters: “We started to speak before, a few months ago, and today I think is a good moment to communicate we have reached the verbal agreement.“I am very happy. I wanted to stay for many reasons. Tottenham have unbelievable potential. We created after two years here a great group of players.“We have a very strong squad, young, with potential to be a top team. The staff and the supporters are unbelievable, there is massive potential, why not stay here?“We create a good atmosphere on the training ground and I think we can achieve big things in the future. I believe in this project and this club. I want to stay here.” Pochettino has won widespread praise for the job he has done at White Hart Lane since succeeding Tim Sherwood in May 2014.He has brought an exciting, attacking brand of football to Tottenham and has transformed them into Premier League title challengers.The 44-year-old has drawn admiring glances from rival clubs, including Manchester United, and recently expressed a desire to manage Paris Saint-Germain.But he has now put any speculation over his future to bed by agreeing a new deal with Spurs. The club are on the brink of Champions League qualification this season and still have an outside chance of winning the title, trailing Leicester by seven points with three games to go.last_img read more

Continue Reading →

Diatoms: A Case Study in Darwinian Explanation

first_imgSome of the most beautiful, elegant, and vital organisms on earth demand a better explanation than ‘stuff happens over and over.’Your life depends on tiny glass architectures that were not even visible until the invention of the microscope, except in vast numbers in certain geological formations. These creatures are microscopic algae called diatoms. There are 100,000 species of diatoms, says an open-access paper in Nature Scientific Advances, distinguished by the exquisite glass ‘houses’ they build. The eight authors of this paper now have demonstrated that the glass structures called frustules, that fit together like two sides of a pill box, actually protect the cells’ DNA from damage by ultraviolet light.….Diatoms are single photosynthetic algal cells populating the oceans and waters around the globe. They generate a considerable fraction (20–30%) of all oxygen from photosynthesis, and 45% of total primary production of organic material in the sea. There are more than 100,000 species of diatoms, classified by the shape of the glass cage in which they live, and which they build during algal growth. These glass structures have accumulated for the last 100 million of years, and left rich deposits of nano/microstructured silicon oxide in the form of diatomaceous earth around the globe. Here we show that reflection of ultraviolet light by nanostructured silica can protect the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in the algal cells….We saved the opening and closing of that paragraph for consideration separately. So far, we have learned that these are absolutely vital to the health of the biosphere. We’ve read that there is a tremendous variety of them. We’ve learned they exist in vast numbers, forming thick deposits of diatomaceous earth, even though the date of 100 million Darwin Years we would dispute. New to this paper, we’ve seen that the glass has a function of protecting the cells’ DNA from UV light.Now, let’s supply the opening and closing:The evolutionary causes for generation of nano and microstructured silica by photosynthetic algae are not yet deciphered….  Here we show that reflection of ultraviolet light by nanostructured silica can protect the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in the algal cells, and that this may be an evolutionary cause for the formation of glass cages.Diatoms (Mark Armitage)Surely the eight Darwinian biologists can demonstrate the evolution, can’t they? An investigation of the paper says, ‘No.’ First, we learn that evolutionists have puzzled over this question for over a century since the fraud Haeckel illustrated some of them.Since the time of Ernst Haeckels elegant illustrations of diatoms in his Kunstformen der Natur, the evolutionary causes for the existence of the nanostructured glass cages, frustules, confining diatoms have been discussed. Special proteins, the silaffins and cingulins, extract silicates from water and build the frustules along a chitin-based scaffolding network in geometries specific for different species. The open structure allows material transport but with some limitations; therefore, filtering has been suggested as a reason for their existence. It has also been suggested that the frustule gives mechanical protection from predators; experiments have verified that mechanical strength can be improved.Some of the causes that have been suggested sound like intelligent design:In more recent times, it was noted that the somewhat periodic 10–100 nm patterns of holes, slits and ribs, are reminiscent of the geometries of photonic bandgap structures…. It has also been noted that the frustules may act as small spectrographs, focusing photons into specific volumes inside the diatom, possibly for absorption in chlorophyll and other chromophores.Others have hypothesized that the frustules are lenses, or act as photonic structures. These authors focus on a different view: “Protection from UVR may be a reason for the evolution of frustules.” If they had simply said, “A reason for the frustules,” nobody would likely dispute the suggestion. The scientists do, in fact, establish that the shells are good at filtering out UV light. But can the Stuff Happens Law suffice as a cause for them?Diatoms (Mark Armitage)In their Conclusion, the Darwinians add to the fallacy by saying that stuff happens repeatedly:We suggest that the redistribution of UVR due to SiO2 frustules is an important evolutionary cause of the presence and evolution of frustules in diatoms, by decreasing the rate of UVR-induced degradation of DNA inside the cells. This will improve the energy budget for the photosynthesizing cell, as well as reduce mutations. These weak effects may be sufficient to help explain the surprising number of different diatom species with varying geometries generated by convergent evolution.A basic course in philosophy of science should render such statements illogical. First of all, evolution is causeless, so “evolutionary cause” collapses to a sophoxymoronic phrase. Darwinian evolution is by definition unguided, aimless, and purposeless. One cannot look at existing function and say evolution “caused” it, any more than one can say an “accident caused” a golf ball to land in a hole without a golfer. Causation implies direction that is predictable. If evolution had been the predictable cause in the case of diatoms, then why didn’t all microbes, cells and plankton evolve glass houses?Also illogical is the notion that evolution caused diatoms to reduce mutations. In neo-Darwinian theory, mutation is the seed-plot of innovation. Reducing mutations would seal the fate of diatom evolutionary progress, leaving the first glass-protected species unchanged for millions of Darwin Years, not diversifying into 100,000 species. One would expect a single species locked in its un-evolving genome, or degrading and going extinct by other means of DNA decay besides UV light.Finally, “convergent evolution” (Darwin Flubber) is not a cause able to generate anything. It’s an empty after-the-fact phrase that assumes evolution (circular reasoning). And even if it were a ’cause’ able to generate new species, why would it generate varying geometries? The geometry of a diatom frustule has little or nothing to do with UV protection; otherwise, the best UV protecting geometry would flourish, and the others would go extinct. The 100,000 vibrant species demonstrate that almost any geometry is successful at UV protection.The authors, therefore, have explained nothing about diatom ‘evolution.’ They have only exposed the sad truth that vacuous ‘explanations’ can still get published in the world’s most prestigious journals.We’ve got to stop them. Darwinians are leading the public down the primrose path to stupidity, pretending to explain things by cause and effect, when actually embracing the opposite of causation (“stuff happens”). Their bad storytelling habit is bad for science in many ways. Here are two of them: (1) it misleads the public into thinking that Darwinism ‘explains’ everything in nature, when it explains it away with hot air, and worse (2), it distracts attention from the really important aspects of diatoms: the exquisite beauty, wonder, and variety of some of God’s most elegant creations that not only serve the biosphere but showcase His glory and creative genius. We’ll keep quoting Romans 1:19-22 till these pseudoscientists see their reflections in its mirror: For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools….There’s causation and explanation for you. (Visited 1,008 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Continue Reading →

What To Do With Microsoft? Chop Up The Borg — Now

first_imgAfter a decade of missing lots of key growth opportunities and finding itself outpaced by competitors taking away market share, Microsoft’s board should have felt compelled to investigate much earlier why the company has fallen behind and demanded structural adjustments.Bill Gates is the chairman of Microsoft’s board, a title he retained after he left the company in 2008.Today most pundits refer to him as a philanthropist, and rarely mention his Microsoft duties. Does this mean he is no longer focused on the company he founded? Outsiders and insiders alike have suspected and suggested this for some time. Only he can truly answer this question.My speculation stems from the way the company is led by Bill’s friend and handpicked successor, CEO Steve Ballmer. Bill not only gave him the reins of the juggernaut, but also carte blanche to shape, operate, and direct it. Over the years, Steve has built a senior leadership team composed primarily of long-term Microsoft veterans who, under his tutelage, have been fixated on protecting the declining Windows and Office franchises, mostly through incremental product improvements.While revenue and profits haven’t been severely hampered following this strategy, the company as a whole has become bloated and bureaucratic. The excitement of the earlier years is gone, and the company has settled, with a few exceptions, for protecting the status quo — despite having sufficient financial strength and talent to break out of this mold.How Microsoft’s Structure Boxes It InSince I published my book Resolve and Fortitude, in which I share my experiences and observations from working for nearly 20 years at Microsoft, I have talked and corresponded with many former, as well as current, Microsoft employees. A common thread emerges in these discussions: Steve Ballmer has architected an unusual and complex corporate structure and surrounded himself with yes-men and –women. The board probably considers him indispensable.Looking mostly inward, he has mastered the company’s complexity — but seems to have difficulties, as demonstrated over the last decade, anticipating, responding to and fostering change and innovations in the marketplace. Even Bill Gates acknowledged the missed opportunities and the lack of innovating in a recent CBS interview. Is this a sign of forthcoming concrete actions or just a casual remark?Evidence of Steve’s influence on the corporate structure is everywhere. His trusted COO, Kevin Turner, runs more than 50% of the total organization, including the field sales and marketing groups — a most awkward situation, considering his resume. Unlike his counterparts at other companies (or Bob Herbold, one of his predecessors), Turner has no control over the finances and the HR activities of the company.When Steve Sinofsky departed as head of the Windows group, Microsoft split it in two. Today, one person is responsible for marketing and finance and another for development. This is a strange arrangement, considering the company already has a chief financial officer — and, furthermore, that product marketing in all other development teams always rests with the product group leader.Management In The MazeI could continue to analyze this further, but instead, let me look at the company from a different angle and discuss the management style being practiced. Related Posts Another common theme that comes up in my discussions is that Steve likes to meddle in all aspects of the company, seemingly micromanaging the various business units. People working for the senior leaders therefore feel that this disempowers them. They also suffer from decisions frequently made by committee, which both hinders response time and leads to a lack of accountability. To make things worse, the highly profitable Windows and Office franchises are blocking innovation and a healthy sense of paranoia. This is very comparable to the situation IBM found itself in during the early 1990s with regard to its mainframe business.With the board and the CEO being weak when it comes to technical leadership, the onus is on the senior leaders to provide technical foresight. Being veterans and living to some degree in the past and having to please a controlling CEO makes this hard. From what I understand, the different departments continue to have turf battles, and sometimes give the impression of being fiefdoms, making it nearly impossible to execute a unified strategy. To me, it feels increasingly that Microsoft is tied up in an exceedingly complex knot, with infighting, factions, and bureaucratic inertia creating a stranglehold on the company. The Alexandrian SolutionAlexander the Great was confronted with an equally intricate challenge when he invaded the Persian Empire in 333 B.C. We all know what he did to disentangle the so-called Gordian knot; he unsheathed his sword, splitting it in half. Later some people labeled his action the equivalent of cheating. I call this a sign of a bold leader because he thought outside the box. (Recall that he went on, as the legend predicted, to fulfill his destiny by conquering Persia!)It is along these lines that I find the medicine that should enable Microsoft to regain new strength and conquer the IT universe once again. But not as a single company! It needs to be split in several parts to unlock value for stockholders and set its talent free from bondage. The feds tried this once before. Now Microsoft’s board should do it voluntarily by creating six independent companies:Operating systems for server, desktop and mobile devicesTools and languages for all platformsProductivity and business applications for all platformsGame consoles and game software for all gaming platformsConsulting for all platformsInternet related business (incl. browser, advertising, search, e-mail services, social media) for all platformsExcept for the first unit, all others would need to start expanding their business horizon by developing software and/or services for all relevant operating system platforms and not exclusively for Windows. The group developing the Azure platform is already on the way following this recipe by supporting Phone Gap, Apache’s Hadoop and the Android environment.Unit six should be modeled along the lines of Google, and develop its own sexy browser, etc. The current IE browser integrated into Windows should be nothing more than a download vehicle for any available browser and could therefore be reduced in functionality.Maybe this proposal is radical. But how else can you re-infuse entrepreneurial spirit in a company with a feeble or handcuffed leadership team, which mainly protects its own turf and ignores broader opportunities? To propel Microsoft out of its current predicament, I see no other way than to split the company into more manageable pieces.If this means four or six independent companies at the end, well, that’s open for discussion. The key to success is to make the newly created enterprises hungry for new opportunities, and competitive enough to please shareholders and Wall Street alike.A byproduct of such a move would be lower costs and less administrative fat because most of these separate units could no longer rely on Windows and Office subsidies. Also, the currently centralized research group would need to be split up accordingly and please its new masters by ensuring that research is not just done for the benefit of mankind, but for Microsoft’s shareholders.Last but not least, this move — if ever accomplished — would shake up the leadership team and do away with the established fiefdoms. Let only the fittest and best survive!Organization-chart cartoon courtesy of Manu Cornet. Lead image cropped from the full cartoon joachim kempin Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Tags:#Fixing Microsoft#Microsoft 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more

Continue Reading →