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    first_imgSouth-West Community News:Niall Mor Centre  07497 41863Niall Mor Community Childcare Centre:  07497 48000 Accredited Courses:Business AdministrationManual & Computerised AccountsPayroll Manual & ComputerisedAll courses are FETAC AccreditedContact:  07491 20500Evening Courses:Art ClassesSpanish ClassesDigital PhotographyIT Classes (Basic & Intermediate)Health & Well Being in the CommunityCourses available on demand:Safe PassManual HandlingPediatric First Aid 1 Day courseOccupational First Aid 3 Day courseLetterkenny Womens Centre Councelling Service 07491 24985Niall Mor Community Childcare Centre Summer Camp July 2015contact Melissa 07497 48000ECCE Free Pre-School year we are now taking names contact MelissaJC Fitness Monday-Saturday contact:  087 9617436Get Walking Ireland. 8 week Active community walking programme Wednesday 17th June 10am-11am all welcomeCOMMUNITY NEWS: SPANISH CLASSES AVAILABLE AT NIALL MÓR CENTRE was last modified: June 11th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CommunityFeaturesNiall Mor CentreNoticeslast_img read more

  • Mormons and Psychologists Burn Their Brains

    first_imgCan an MRI scan tell anything about spiritual experience?Some neuroscientists at the University of Utah decided to put Mormons in an MRI scanner and watch their brains light up when they felt spiritual. Science Daily describes the experiment:During fMRI [functional MRI] scans, 19 young-adult church members — including seven females and 12 males — performed four tasks in response to content meant to evoke spiritual feelings. The hour-long exam included six minutes of rest; six minutes of audiovisual control (a video detailing their church’s membership statistics); eight minutes of quotations by Mormon and world religious leaders; eight minutes of reading familiar passages from the Book of Mormon; 12 minutes of audiovisual stimuli (church-produced video of family and Biblical scenes, and other religiously evocative content); and another eight minutes of quotations.During the initial quotations portion of the exam, participants — each a former full-time missionary — were shown a series of quotes, each followed by the question “Are you feeling the spirit?” Participants responded with answers ranging from “not feeling” to “very strongly feeling.”The neuroscientists measured a connection between self-professed spirituality and activity in the prefrontal cortex, involved in rational decision making, and in the nucleus acumbens, a part of the brain involved in reward feelings. “Religious and spiritual experiences activate the brain reward circuits in much the same way as love, sex, gambling, drugs and music,” the article says. Here’s how the headlines came out:This is your brain on God: Spiritual experiences activate brain reward circuits (Science Daily)Spiritual Mind: What a Religious Experience Looks Like in the Brain (Live Science)Rachael Rettner at Live Science cautions, “The researchers noted that more studies, including those that look at people from different religions and cultures, are needed in order to identify other brain regions linked with religious experiences.”Philosophers warn that correlation is not causation. What does the experiment signify? What does it mean? Can any conclusions be drawn? If Mormon spiritual feelings produce the same results as gambling, drugs or sex, does the experiment mean anything at all?Apparently the radiologists forgot to include a control group. If any of the scientists were non-Mormons or atheists, they should have scanned themselves when thinking about nothing at all, or when thinking about doing science. Others could be measured when thinking about their favorite football team scoring a touchdown, having ice cream, or petting their dog. If all these things produce similar levels of reward activity in the brain, what could the scans possibly signify, other than the observation that human beings are easily aroused by pleasurable thoughts of all kinds?Such measurements certainly could not speak to the truth or falsity of a religion’s truth claims. Yet the authors of the paper in Social Neuroscience focus on the “evolution of complex religious systems” as if those are distinct from complex scientific systems within a materialistic, evolutionary framework. Here’s their conclusion:Theoretical models of religious cognition have proposed that networks comprised of ventral striatal and prefrontal regions may play a critical role in the development and maintenance of religious ideation….Given commonalities in brain architecture across individuals with limited neural mechanisms for representing euphoria, a search for shared neural mechanisms for intense religious and spiritual feelings across cultures may provide insight into the evolution of complex religious systems and opportunities for cross-cultural understanding of deeply held religious beliefs and experience. Ultimately, the pairing of classical reward responses with abstract religious ideation may indicate a brain mechanism for attachment to doctrinal concepts and charismatic in-group religious leaders.How, exactly, did doctrinal concepts (concepts being in the realm of rational thought and logic) become attached to purely physical pleasure responses? Do concepts even fit into an evolutionary worldview? Where did concepts come from? How did they evolve by mutation and selection?If religion evolved, so did Darwinism. If religion is an epiphenomenon of neurons, so is Darwinism. That implies that any “pairing of classical reward responses” with abstract scientific ideation may indicate a brain mechanism for attachment to scientific concepts and influential in-group scientific leaders. Let these scientists prove otherwise, using only Darwin’s toolkit of natural selection on random variations.We would like to know the motivation of these scientists. Why are they performing such experiments, which are doomed from the start to be meaningless? Knowing the mindset of today’s naturalistic secular scientists, we suspect their motivations include trying to prove that religion is nothing more than a neural activity in the brain that evolved because it makes people feel good. Like Marx, they want to show that religion is an opiate of the people, producing the same response as drugs. If so, let us remind them that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. That self-refuting motivation equally implies that doing science is nothing more than a neural activity in the brain that makes scientists feel good.This research was funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health. If anyone thinks this was a well-designed scientific activity, let’s start asking some questions: What is the significance of a pleasure response if it applies equally well to all kinds of non-spiritual activities, including drugs and gambling? If natural selection would prevent harmful activity like taking drugs, why would it reward it? It could kill the individual before he or she could pass on their genes. Why did they measure only self-induced “spiritual” activities and not rational activities like a debate on the truth claims of Mormonism? Why did they choose only Mormons and no control group? The paper astonishingly says that “each subject served as their own control,” hardly a good model of experimental setup. (Visited 63 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 If the scientists are secularists and believe that religion evolved because it produces pleasure, why would natural selection reward anything they would presume to be irrational? If the scientists were scanned and showed responses, would they be upset if religious people drew conclusions that the scientists were sinners and this was their guilt manifesting itself in their brains? Why not? How do they know that the fMRI activity was not a secondary response to some other concurrent stimulation? I say it’s time to put the neuroscientists in the scanner and analyze them. We need to cure their Yoda Complex. We need to teach them about the argument from reason for the existence of God. We need to warn them about the danger of engaging in self-refuting belief systems.Exercise: Add to our list of questions that scientists never ask who perform these kinds of experiments on “the evolution of religion.”A note to Mormon readers: If your religion makes you feel warm and happy, that’s nice, but it has nothing to do with the truth of your church’s doctrines. You can get the same warm fuzzies from sex and drugs. The same warning applies to all religions and systems of ideas. Better do your homework on what you believe. Why did they not compare feeling-based religions like Mormon with rational-based religions like Presbyterianism, and atheism as an outgroup? How about scanning a Christian suffering persecution? or a PhD theologian writing a book on systematic theology? Would the scientists be willing to get into the scanner and let religious people run scans on them? Why not? Can they point to fMRI signatures of other intense feelings, including hate, pride, anger, fear, or laughter? Are those always distinct from pleasure responses in predictable ways? Why didn’t they measure the brain activity when the subjects thought about fear of hell or concern they are involved in a cult? Are the scientists presuming that the more the response, the better the religion? or that all religions that produce the same fMRI scan are equivalent? On what basis?last_img read more

  • SAIREC: the importance of renewable energy

    first_imgThe first International Renewable Energy Conference was held on African soil in Cape Town from 4 to 7 October. It was agreed that Africa could make use of its abundant natural resources to create sustainable energy. South Africa’s progress in the field was also highlighted. Delegates declared they would upscale and mainstream renewables to achieve a global energy transition. South African Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson speaks at the opening of the South African International Renewable Energy Conference in Cape Town on 4 October 2015. (Image: Flickr, South African Government) • Biogas backpack revolutionises cooking in Ethiopia • Maasai women lead solar revolution in Kenya  • DNA detective work could end poaching  • Solar car races around southern Africa  • Local researchers honoured at their ‘Oscars’  Priya PitamberOver 3 500 delegates from 82 countries gathered in Cape Town for the South African International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC), which took place from 4 to 7 October.This was the sixth in the series of International Renewable Energy Conferences; the first was held in 2004 in Bonn, Germany. This year’s conference was the first to take place in Africa; it had the theme of “RE-energising Africa”.“For us as a country and as a continent, hosting this conference is important, given that Africa is progressing on an economic trajectory that challenges the ability to meet our energy needs,” said South African Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson, speaking at the opening of the conference.“It is our belief that renewable energy provides a significant opportunity to improve energy access and security, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, ensure sustainable development and significantly improve socio-economic development.”• Read the full speech from the minister hereGroup effortSouth Africa’s Department of Energy hosted SAIREC in conjunction with the South African National Energy Development Institute and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development.“SAIREC comes at a time when an energy transition towards renewables is accelerating worldwide thanks to advances in renewable energy technologies, increases in capacity and rapid cost reductions,” said the REN21 chairman, Dr Arthouros Zervos.“On the African continent South Africa is leading the way with its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme and is, therefore, the ideal host for such an international gathering.”Africa’s renewable energy by numbersQuoting the 2014 Africa Energy Outlook from the International Energy Agency, Joemat-Pettersson said while Sub-Saharan Africa was rich in resources, energy supply was poor. “Africa’s energy sector is vital to its development and yet is one the most poorly understood parts of the global energy system.”She said producing a reliable and cost-effective energy supply was vital on the continent. “[Africa] accounts for 13% of the world’s population, but only 4% of its energy demand. Since 2000, sub-Saharan Africa has seen rapid economic growth and its energy consumption has risen by 45%.“Many governments are now intensifying their efforts to tackle the numerous regulatory and political barriers that are holding back investment in domestic energy supply, and inadequate energy infrastructure puts a brake on urgently needed improvements in living standards.”Watch more on the report here:Joemat-Pettersson said emerging economies were taking on the challenges to address climate change. “For example, as South Africa we have put in place programmes to increase efficiency and reduce emissions intensity.“To this effect, as we actively engaged in building a competitive resource-efficient and inclusive future, our National Sustainable Development Strategy has been integrated into the National Development Plan 2030 vision, which supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”Minister Joemat-Pettersson says efforts to roll-out energy in the continent are on the rise, but are outdone by a rising demand #SAIREC2015 — SA Gov News (@SAgovnews) October 5, 2015Adnan Amin, the director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency, said Africa had the potential to increase its generation of renewable energy from 5% to 22% by 2030.“After a decade of sustained growth, Africa is rising but needs secure and affordable energy to power its future growth,” he said. “What we know today is that the potential is immense. Africa has bountiful and buried renewable energy resources, including excellent solar across the continent, hydro in many countries, strong wind resources and powerful geothermal in East Africa’s rift valley.”He said renewable energy was vital to lift African citizens from what he called energy poverty. Africa has numerous natural resources to tap into to create sustainable energy for itself. (Image: Slideshare)South Africa’s progress in alternative energy sourcesSouth Africa has been making strides in renewable energy. During the conference, the Department of Energy released its report, State of Renewable Energy in South Africa.Making use of the sun’s rays and strong coastal winds, policy implementation and partnerships with business have led to job creation, foreign investment and clean power production in the sector.“Renewables are delivering exactly what South Africa needs – from energy, jobs and technology to foreign investment, rural development, and community benefits and working relations between government and business,” said the department’s acting director-general, Dr Wolsey Barnard. “The scope and scale of renewable energy development in South Africa demonstrates what is possible when government and business share a commitment to success.”The report cites an independent study by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, which found energy generated from solar and wind during the first six months of 2015 created R4-billion in financial benefits.The renewable energy sector, the report states, has the potential to create up to 462 000 jobs, with more than 25 000 jobs already created. Renewables have also given a boost to the manufacturing sector. In 2012, for instance, a solar PV manufacturing plant was built in Pinetown near Durban, employing 160 people and able to produce 250 000 solar panels annually.A Department of Energy solar energy technology roadmap estimates that by 2050, about 70GW of power could be generated from solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar power sources. According to Green Peace, South Africa has one of the highest and most stable solar radiations in the world. (Image: Green Peace) In addition to solar and wind power, up to 247MW of small-scale hydro power could be developed in rural Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. Work has also started on a national biomass action plan.The Southern African Biogas Industry Association estimates that biogas could contribute 2.5GW of generation capacity in the country, using wastewater, food waste, manure, agricultural residues and commercial processes, including abattoirs, breweries and cheese factories.In 2014, the United Nations Environment Programme put South Africa in the global top 10 for renewable energy investments. The country is already the world’s 10th biggest solar market for installations above 5MW.DeclarationDelegates attending the SAIREC rounded off discussions by agreeing to upscale and mainstream renewables to achieve a global energy transition.“As of today, 2.9 billion people lack access to clean forms of cooking, which needs to be addressed in order to achieve the universal access target,” stated the declaration. “We note that to make universal access a reality by 2030, 1.3 billion people, out of which 621 million live in the sub-Saharan region, should be provided access to electricity.“The scale of the challenge requires that all approaches, including grid and off-grid solutions are taken into account and adopted based on an efficiency principle. Rural and urban demands can best be met with a diverse technology mix that takes full advantage of sub-Saharan Africa’s exceptional and sustainable solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower resources.”• Read the full declaration herelast_img read more

  • Google Will Push Real-Time Feeds to Browser (Updated)

    first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts center_img Tags:#Real-Time Web#web Updated at 9:30 PM PST with comment from Google. Google posted an unlisted video to YouTube tonight showing details of a 2.0 version of its Feed API, a simple tool for displaying recent headlines from a syndicated feed on any web page. The new version will accept real-time PubSubHubbub feeds and will publish new headlines to a site visitor’s browser within seconds of their being published to the feed. This new version turns the Feed API from cool to super-cool. It’s a good example of the way much of the web is likely to go in the near-term future. No more refreshing pages to see when new content is available – the real-time web comes to you live, nearly instantly as soon as it’s published.The URL for more information, http://code.google.com/apis/feed/push, isn’t live yet. This will probably be one of the things announced later this week at the Google I/O developers’ conference.This Spring we reported that Google has plans to transform its index of the web with the addition of real-time feed consumption, in addition to the standard spider crawl it has used for years. Last year, Google Reader began offering real-time feeds of user feedback to Reader items, but that was outbound and not a case of Google consuming real-time feeds.Google Buzz supports both inbound and outbound PubSubHubbub feeds. It plans on offering read/write API access via Hubbub in the future.The inclusion of Hubbub consumption into the Feed API may seem like a small move, but put in the larger context of Google moving toward real-time it appears more significant. It will also likely seem like a significant change to the publishers and web users who come in contact with the API’s pushed content.Update: Google contacted us after publishing this story and confirmed that the technology would be unveiled at Google I/O this week. Interested parties should attend this session Wednesday morning. Google says that the Feed API is one of its most popular APIs and that the new version will be rolled out slowly starting next week.We were also told that Google software engineer Brett Bavar decided to build the technology after being inspired by the ReadWrite Real-Time Web Summit in October. That’s pretty awesome to hear and might persuade the savvy reader to consider attending our next Real-Time Web Summit on June 11th in New York City. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

  • IT Poll: Do You Think Augmented Reality Could Be Useful in Your Workplace?

    first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#enterprise#mobile Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… klint finley Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…center_img 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now In a tweet today Forrester analyst James Kobielus asked when business intelligence vendors will leverage augmented reality to overlay 3D analytics. Kobielus was responding to an article from Smarter Technology called “Augmented Reality: From Zero to Billions in No Time,” which looks at the emerging AR market, how the technology is being used and how it could be used in future. The article notes some business-to-business uses, such as equipment vendors embedding specifications directly into products, but is mostly focused on consumer tech.We’ve looked at some proof-of-concept materials for enterprise AR from SAP before, and this video from Blogtronix and TAT demonstrate some ideas about how AR could be used in business as well. I’ve long thought that AR technology will be best applied not to consumers but to specific work-related tasks. I think proponents have overestimated the value of visual overlays for consumer experiences, especially when overlays add little to the experience of using a location-aware application on a mobile phone. However, there are many situations where having information overlays could be quite valuable.One of the first things that comes to mind is carpentry and other skilled trades. What sorts of spatial data, such as measurements, could be useful here? What about real estate appraisers, interior decorators, merchandisers or insurance investigators?Do you think there are instances where AR would be useful in your workplace?Photo by Shereen M IT + Project Management: A Love Affairlast_img read more

  • Ravenas, Baser Amer dish holiday assist to the poor on Christmas Eve

    first_imgNets bounce back, beat weary Suns What Christmas is all about. Ravenas, @baser09official with the holiday assist to the poor. Video from @ThirdyRavenaaa’s IG Stories. pic.twitter.com/gALytgmjn2— MG (@MarkGiongcoINQ) December 24, 2018 PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening LATEST STORIES Photo screengrabbed from Thirdy Ravena’s Instagram storyThe holidays are the season of giving and the Ravena family along with PBA star Baser Amer showed the true meaning of Christmas.The Ravenas and Amer shared their blessings to the less fortunate on the streets by giving them food on Christmas eve.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completioncenter_img SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Thirdy, who was the Finals MVP after leading the Ateneo Blue Eagles to back-to-back UAAP titles earlier this month, took videos of the heartwarming moments of giving and shared them on Instagram stories.Thirdy rode shotgun while his dad Bong was on the wheel. His mother Mozzy, older brother Kiefer and Amer sat on the back while his younger sister Dani distributed the packed foods from the third row of the SUV.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid View commentslast_img read more