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127 graduate from Sophia Training Centre

first_imgOne hundred and twenty-seven Sophia Training Centre (STC) students graduated on Wednesday after successfully completing the 31st Youth Entrepreneurial Skills Training Programme (YEST) in a variety of disciplines.Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at the National Cultural Centre (NCC), Social Cohesion Department’s Programme Coordinator, Sharon Patterson told the graduates that the completion of their course was a stepping stone to a betterSection of the graduands of the 31st Youth Entrepreneurial Skills Training Programme (YEST)future.“I am certain that many of you here today would be repeating this particular journey at some other stage of your life. I believe you will seek to move to higher levels in your respective fields of study,” Patterson said.The Programme Coordinator urged the students to be willing to always learn and never turn away from opportunities that would serve to benefit them in the future.Patterson said the Government has designed the programme to ensure it served as an effective avenue that instructed youths in self-development and as a result, the development of the country.Valedictorian Lafia Yearwood advised her classmates to apply the knowledge andSocial Cohesion Department Programme Coordinator Sharon Pattersonskills learnt during their training as they enter the world of business. She also encouraged them to continue striving for excellence.Instructor Brian King thanked both the private and public organisations who provided tours and work-study opportunities for the students. These, he noted, allowed the students to gain valuable experience. He was optimistic that there would be continued collaboration with both private and public organisations.YEST is a programme that offers youths between the ages of 16 and 25 training in cosmetology, information technology, masonry, carpentry, welding, and mechanical and other skills-training programmes.last_img read more

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Avian influenza detected in Alaska

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey is encouraging poultry owners to ensure they are following recommended biosecurity practices after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that a highly contagious strain of avian influenza was detected in wild birds in Alaska. No other recent cases have been identified in the country.“While this finding is not cause for any immediate concern, it is a good reminder for poultry owners to develop and employ a strong biosecurity program on their farm, regardless of their size or production model,” Forshey said. “This will help them protect their flocks from this influenza as well as other diseases that can affect their birds.”Good biosecurity practices for poultry owners include the following:Monitor flocks for unusual signs of illness such as “snicking” (sneezing,) a 1% or more decrease in egg production, or an increase in mortality. Other signs to look for are wheezing, lethargy, and depression.Practice personal biosecurity and avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.Keep unauthorized visitors from having contact with poultry, a good practice whether there is a disease threat or not. Authorized persons should be required to wear protective clothing and shoes before entering a commercial poultry house.Avoid contact between your birds and wild birds whenever possible due to the likely migratory nature of this influenza. These virus strains can travel in wild birds without them appearing sick.Clean and disinfect farm vehicles or equipment before moving them on and off your property.Sick birds or unusual bird deaths should also be immediately reported to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Health at 1-614-728-6220 or through USDA APHIS’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593. Additional information on biosecurity from USDA APHIS for backyard flocks can be found at http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov or by visiting www.ohioagriculture.gov.The Ohio Department of Agriculture works closely with the state’s poultry producers and USDA APHIS to closely monitor the health of poultry in the state. Detailed plans and protocols are in place to allow for a quick and coordinated response in the event of an avian influenza detection in Ohio.last_img read more

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How Mind-Controlled Games Work – And Why It’s Way, Way Bigger Than That

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#CES 2013#games#science The Muse booth was never short on fascinated onlookers, and I was happy to get my chance. Once inside, I was rigged up with a Muse headband, which wrapped comfortably around my forehead and tucked behind my ears. It required a bit of fidgeting, the Muse didn’t like my hair getting in the way of its conductance or my freakishly small ears, but then we were off and running. Seated in a low-slung chair, I was handed an iPhone running the headset’s companion app and instructed to watch the TV screen in front of me.Moving The Heavens And The EarthIn the first exercise, a sun and a moon appeared on opposite sides of the screen. My job was to merge them. And with no controller to speak of, that meant getting my brain to cooperate – easier said than done. The faster I could concentrate and arrive at an attentive, beta wave-rich state, the faster the sun and moon would overlap. I tried a few quick tricks to rein in my thoughts with little luck, like repeating a line from a poem I’d just read in my head over and over. The sun and moon didn’t budge, so I started counting every time one of the animated wavy lines between the two orbs hit a precise spot on the screen. The heavens moved, literally – seconds later, the sun and moon had overlapped into a virtual eclipse. In another game, my brainwaves powered an auditory feedback system. When I was chilled out, the beat slowed to a pleasant, peaceful set of sounds. If I let my attention wander – to the cameraman pointing his lens at me from just outside the dome, for instance – a thudding drumbeat galloped into my ears. This exercise encouraged breath control, a major focus in the mindfulness and meditation practices that clearly influenced the Muse’s creators.Muse prototype on displayIt’s Not A Game – It’s Data VisualizationThese tasks are games, in a way, but more so they’re exercises. Rather than controlling the sun and moon or the drum beat with your thoughts, you’re actually controlling your thoughts themselves, which are in turn interpreted with the Muse’s sensory flourishes. The game is just a clever way to show you what your brain’s alpha and beta waves are up to, but it’s a fascinating representation of realtime bio-feedback – all streaming right out of your cortex over bluetooth. The most striking thing about wearing the Muse is watching as your subjective, internal mental experience – the kind of thing you just feel in the basement of your brain – as it’s interpreted and articulated visually. Having this kind of quantified feedback makes you truly feel like the master of your own mind – and that was just from my 20 minutes with the headset on.The Future Of The FutureSo what’s the point? Well, it isn’t just to move the sun and moon together. A device like the Muse is all about personal feedback and tracking. Attention, a traditionally hard-to-pin-down construct in the neuroscience community, is also infamously tough for most of us to wrestle into submission. Our minds stray and suddenly we’ve wasted 10 minutes, eyes glazed over, clicking Like on Facebook. The vast power of our own minds is leaking out through these kind of attentional holes that we can’t quite plug or quantify. And in the digital era, humans might be even worse at actually relaxing than we are at paying full attention to things – and we’re already pretty bad at that. Pathological multitaskers, we can hardly sit still and direct our mind toward the kind of cognitive breaks that research shows not only boost productivity, but increase crucial skills like memory retention.Consumer-oriented, EEG-powered monitors like the Muse aren’t just about gimmicky (but cool) tricks like flying helicopters with our thoughts. Think of the applications. Therapists and mental health practitioners can affordably measure their patients’ progress on quantifiable goals. Depression and anxiety, today’s most pervasive mental disorders, are scientifically proven to yield to treatment that focuses on breaking bad cognitive habits, so-called negative “automatic thoughts.”  And consumer devices have some distinct advantages, even for the medical community. “One thing is portability,” says Erica Dixon, member of American University’s Center for Behavioral Neuroscience lab. “Something that’s really cool about these things is that if you can get a laptop, a jump drive and a headband, you can take it anywhere. Think about Doctors Without Borders – if they can even do half of what a traditional medical device could do, that’s still really amazing.” In the workplace, imagine working in efficient bursts when you know your brain is focused rather than spreading your attention in a thin layer over a whole eight-hour shift. And that’s just the start. Later this year, when developers get their hands on the Muse’s open development kit and the little wonder headband becomes commercially available, we hope to see all sorts of cool apps and hacks spring up. Updating Your Brain’s FirmwareAccording to Apollo, the idea is that a device like the Muse will actually train us to make our brains more efficient when we’re not wearing the device – by literally reprogramming the brain. “We’re using the most scientifically validated brain training protocols. We’ve run in-house studies – in the last one, within eight weeks we had people’s brains change in structure and function. They’re seeing the world through different eyes.” When the brain is the limit, the possibilities are truly endless. Welcome to the data of you – this is your quantified self.Just put on your headband and look straight ahead. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market While major hardware makers are busy squabbling over “4K” vs “Ultra HD”, the future is quietly creeping in around the edges. A future with implications in the real world – big ones. Really big ones. Think using crowd-sourced mind control to change the color of Niagara Falls and the CN Tower big. Crowd-funded and completely hackable – by definition the exact opposite of gadgets that today’s bloated, out-of-touch companies crank out – projects like the Muse headband are about to crash into technology as we know it with meteoric force.Meet The Muse – And Your Brain WavesMost people laud the Muse, crafted by InteraXon, as a “mind-controlled” game. But that sells it short – and then some. The device is a stylish, sturdy headband that measures the patterns of electrical activity in the brain – electrical signals are divided into “bands” based on their frequency.  “This Muse headband has four clinical-grade EEG sensors,” says Michael Apollo, InteraXon’s Director of Applied Mind Science. “What they do is measure the electrical signal and the signature of your brain. With that we know that through interpreting those signals, we can determine certain states that you’re in. We can determine when you’re in a focused, attentive state – or when you’re not. Or when you’re in an actively engaged mind, for example analyzing or maybe overanalyzing… and also looking at it at your level of relaxation too.”Traditional EEG reading next to InteraXon’s data visualizationThe Muse measures two of the better-understood frequency tiers: alpha waves (8–12 Hz), associated with relaxation and restfulness, and beta waves (12–30 Hz), which correlate with alert or attentive mental states. “This sensor [monitors] the pre-frontal cortex and your occipital region,” says Apollo. According to InteraXon, “brains of people in relaxed states create gentle, slow-moving alpha waves, while those engaged in intense concentration generate quick, jagged beta waves.” The Muse and devices like it might seem like they’ve traveled here from the future, but EEG has actually been around as a scientific tool for studying brain activity in humans and animals for almost 100 years. Though simple, it remains clinically relevant for diagnosis of conditions like epilepsy and sleep disorders. But InteraXon wants to empower people to take the reins of these electrical peaks and troughs. In doing so, they can gently steer their brains through these quantifiable mental states, which for most are solely a subjective, qualitative experience – a feeling we have about ourselves.Mind-On With Mind ControlI happened across InteraXon’s booth when its inflated dome full of blissed-out looking show-goers caught my eye. A few minutes into chatting up Apollo, it was evident that the Muse is anything but pseudoscience. The Muse, available widely for consumers in mid-2013 for $175, is the marriage of electrical sensors in a wearable package with some clever data visualizations – the “game” – cooked up by InteraXon’s excitable interdisciplinary team. The games and exercises will be packaged into the Muse’s companion app, which was responsive and fun, in my time with the prototype. The app will track all of the data the Muse collects and beam it to the cloud, making these patterns trackable over time. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts taylor hatmaker Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

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Sunrisers Hyderabad sings up Red FM as principal sponsor

New Delhi, Apr 6 (PTI) Sunrisers Hyderabad has signed up India largest and most awarded Radio network, Red FM as their principal sponsor for the fourth year in a row. As part of the partnership, the Sunrisers Hyderabad team will sport the Red FM logo on the front of the jerseys. Additionally, Red FM will bring its saliency to the field as well as on-ground activation with the Sunrisers Hyderabad team. Captained by India opener Shikhar Dhawan, Sunrisers Hyderabad has added some exciting talent for this season, including explosive Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, pacer Ashish Nehra and England captain Eoin Morgan. Sunrisers Hyderabad has star players like David Warner, Naman Ojha and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who have been part of the team. Speaking on the occasion Nisha Narayanan, Chief Operating Officer, Red FM said: “Red FM stands for a fun, spirited and exiting attitude that reflects in our programming and in our people. Its no surprise then that we are happy to be partnering Sunrisers Hyderabad for the fourth year in a row. “Sunrisers Hyderabad has the most impressive line-up of cricketing stars. The association looks promising and we hope to deliver to our listeners an experience to remember. We have planned extensive on-ground consumer engagement initiatives to leverage the assoction. Wishing SRH a good season ahead!” Sunrisers Hyderabad CEO K Shanmugan added: “Sunrisers Hyderabad has had an exciting journey in the Indian Premier League and as always, we are very happy to continue and strengthen our relationship with the Red FM team. In the past, we have done some fabulous promotions with Red FM that has helped in promoting our team and its players and has helped us in building strong equity with SRH supporters. We are looking forward to this association this year too.” As part of the partnership, Red FM will run contests online as well as on-air during the IPL season and winners of these competitions will be rewarded with official merchandise of Sunrisers Hyderabad and autographed memorabilia. Apart from this, Red FM being the official radio partner, will also run interesting contests for match tickets at the teams home turf at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. The partnership will also see key team players on-air on Red FM and engage with listeners across cities. Listeners also stand an amazing opportunity to connect and meet their favourite Sunrisers Hyderabad players. On the digital front, Red FM will release behind the scenes video content on its digital platforms. PTI SSC SSCadvertisement read more

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Hidden stories of friendship between Greek and Turkish Cypriots

first_imgBefore nationalism and conflict, from the 1930s to 1950s, many Greek and Turkish Cypriots lived peacefully together.This period in time saw deep friendships formed and strong intercultural practices and traditions present in society, evidenced by people speaking each other’s language, attending each other’s schools, working together, sharing in each other’s celebrations and entering the religious house of the ‘other’. There were even instances of inter-cultural marriage, becoming koumbaroi, and milk mothers – all of which paint a picture of a, once, harmonious and integrated society.On Thursday, Stephanie Elisabeth Jacobs will give further insight into these largely hidden stories of friendship between Greek and Turkish Cypriots in a free open seminar at Melbourne’s Greek Centre as part of the Greek Community of Melbourne’s history and culture series.An Australian government public servant with a professional and academic background in international relations, Jacobs will draw from her research as part of her PhD studies at Flinders University in which she explores the relationships between Greek and Turkish Cypriots from formerly mixed villages of Cyprus.The seminar is being made possible with the sponsorship of H. and M. Asproftas.‘Milk and Honey: The Hidden Stories of Friendship Between Greek and Turkish Cypriots’ will be presented at the Greek Centre (168 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, VIC) on Thursday 31 May at 7.00 pm. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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