Some of our high-school coaches are already thinking ahead to the 123rd staging of the world-renowned Penn Relays. In fact, Michael Dyke of Edwin Allen Comprehensive High School has been planning for the Penn 4×800 metres since the start of the year. After a fine run by his team last Saturday, his plans may have to be upgraded. Ashanni Robb, Kara Grant, Kayann Green and Cemore Donald won the eight-lap event at the Gibson McCook Relays in eight minutes 47.71 seconds over a stubborn Holmwood Technical High School team. The runner-up school harried Edwin Allen past a meet record set by Holmwood in 2006. The reward for the 2017 Holmwood girls was a fine time of 8 minutes 49.71 seconds. In an interview in January after a loss to Holmwood at the Central Hurdles and Relays, Dyke revealed that he is programming his team to peak at Penn. Met with the suggestion that his 4×800 team could speed this season, he said, “I definitely think so and I’d be disappointed if we don’t win the 4×8 this year, especially at the Penn Relays”, said the soft-spoken Dyke, “because that’s what we are gearing towards; and the sort of experience and quality that we have, there’s no reason that we should not.” The Gibson McCook victory snapped a two-meet losing streak Holmwood had over Edwin Allen. While he acknowledges that his rivals are very good, Dyke reported, “I normally start the season like that, especially in the 4×8 – touch and go and feel out persons – but I know the complete four that will eventually mature into the top team when it’s necessary.” Holmwood had beaten Dyke’s team at the Central meet and the Western Relays with nearly identical times of 8.57.50 and 8.57.54. At Gibson McCook, Holmwood improved their season’s best by approximately eight seconds but lost. Grant keyed the Edwin Allen success with her strong second-leg run of two minutes 09.1 seconds. If Dyke’s January projections are anything to go by, his team’s performance at Gibson McCook would have been a surprise. Asked then if his 2017 unit could challenge the Penn Relay record of 8 minutes 37.71 seconds set by Vere Technical in 1991, he said, “I don’t think it will be that easy to run that fast with this team.” He added, “but I’m optimistic, and anything is possible.” He was right. Asked in January how fast the team would run at the 41st staging of the venerable Jamaican relay event, he said, “Well, we are in about 8.50, thereabouts, based on our preparations and where we’re at.” “So I think 8.50 would be a good time for us at the Gibson McCook Relays,” he concluded. Vere, Edwin Allen and Holmwood are the fastest three schools in Penn 4×800 history. In addition to the record held by Vere, a Ristananna Tracey-anchored 2011 Edwin Allen team completed the journey in 8 minutes 39.22 seconds, with Holmwood clocking 8.41.92 in 2008. – H.L. Losing streak
Community leaders in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) are being trained to work with and have an appreciation for diversity.A two-day unity and diversity workshop opened at the Chambers of the New Amsterdam Mayor and Town Council on Wednesday with the aim of fostering cohesive environments in which diverse people can have healthy and professional interactions in spite of their differences.The workshop, which was organised by the Social Cohesion Department, targeted community leaders across the region. It aims at promoting better understanding of how an appreciation of diversity can contribute to strong societies.Persons are being provided with the skills that promote healthy interaction even in the face of ethnic, cultural and other differences. It is hoped that participants will be made aware of how personal bias impacts social interactions.The lead trainer, Will Campbell, who is a lecturer at the University of Guyana and a psychologist, told this publication that the purpose is to have leaders aware of the fact that “we have inherent biases and prejudices in our community as individuals”.“We want to look at how we are different but more importantly, how are alike and how we can use those differences and that diversity as a strength than a weakness. We want to look at how we are similar and how we can use those similarities to bridge gaps, work together [in] our communities for improvement.”According to Campbell, persons are being examined as individuals.“At the end of this, we want persons to be able to go back to their communities and look past their differences and work with people who they may not have ordinary not have ordinarily worked with before because they were perceived to be different. We want persons to be able to reach across political divides, political differences and ethnic differences. We want persons to be able to have a different mindset towards diversity and at the end of this we are hoping the persons will find strength in diversity rather than continuing to see our differences as a means of dividing us,” Campbell said.According to the psychologist, in many communities, leaders separate themselves and deny themselves the opportunities to interact with persons who are different but who can still contribute.Many, he added, gravitate towards those that are similar to them in ideology and religion, thus, excluding persons that they perceive to be different and, in the process, forgetting that those persons can contribute value to what they are trying to do in our communities.“If we can bridge those gaps, then we get more people to contribute, more people to work towards community development and we will have a more united community, hence, stronger [a] nation,” Campbell related.Some of the participants at the workshop
Gardaí have revealed that over 300 drivers have been arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving in the past 13 days of increased checkpoints and road safety campaigning before Christmas. In total, 264 drivers have been detected driving under the influence of alcohol while 37 people have been detected driving under the influence of drugs.Tragically 136 people have lost their lives on Irish roads to date – an increase of 8 in comparison to the same period last year. With less than two weeks to go until the Christmas holidays, Garda have urged all motorists to slow down and never ever drink and drive: “To all persons driving throughout the Christmas period, please be responsible and safe. Do not put yourselves or other road users at risk. Operate within the applicable speed limits and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” Over 300 intoxicated drivers not getting the road safety message was last modified: December 12th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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)
On second thought, it is kind of a laughing matter. After Sunday’s loss to the Vikings, former Packers defensive back Will Blackmon took to Twitter to reminisce about the team’s four-game road losing streak in 2008 and … The Green Bay Packers play their home games in Titletown. As we speak, they play their road games in Loserville.Sunday night the Pack lost its eighth consecutive away game, imperiling its microscopic chances for a playoff berth. As you can imagine, it’s no laughing matter.
A German researcher who earlier this year warned that not enough is known about the potential environmental hazards of a fire retardant widely used in rigid foam insulation has authored another article, this one suggesting that actual risks are probably limited. Christoph Koch, a researcher and faculty member at University Duisburg-Essen, warned in a January paper that a flame retardant called Polymeric FR could degrade when exposed to heat and UV radiation into smaller molecules whose environmental effects aren’t known. The article, published in Environmental Science & Technology, said studies covering these compounds are limited. “As the U.S. EPA and others stated, the long-term behavior of Polymeric FR is largely unknown,” Koch said at the time. Although the flame retardant might indeed be a step in the right direction environmentally, he added, it would take more research to confirm it.RELATED ARTICLESResearchers Raise Questions About Rigid Foam Flame RetardantMaking Healthier, Greener Foam InsulationCalifornia Law Addresses Fire Retardants in Homes In the new article, the authors said, “Detected degradation products cause almost no acute toxicity, whereas chronic toxicity might be relevant. Nevertheless, as long as polymeric flame retardants are only used in building insulation, the actual risk seems to be rather limited.” Based on the few studies that are available, it adds, Polymeric FR is “an important step towards environmentally safer [flame retardants].” Polymeric FR was developed by Dow in 2011 as a replacement for HBCD (hexabromocyclodecane), a brominated flame retardant considered too persistent and too toxic for continued use. U.S. manufacturers of expanded and extruded polystyrene insulation (EPS and XPS) have since switched to Polymeric FR, and millions of pounds of it are produced every year. Dow reacted angrily to the initial report from Koch and his colleagues. The company criticized both Koch and Environmental Health News, which originally reported his findings, for what it claimed were technical lapses. Dow also castigated Koch for failing to reveal that he had a part-time job with Rockwool, a manufacturer of mineral wool insulation and a Dow competitor. One key point of contention was how Polymeric FR was tested. Koch subjected the compound to heat and UV radiation but did not run the same tests on samples of insulation that had been treated with it. That, Dow claimed, skewed the results. Original findings have not changed, author says In a new paper, published by Chemosphere earlier this month, Koch and co-author Bernd Sures said they were summing up what had already been published and reiterated their finding that Polymeric FR could degrade into other molecules under specific circumstances. Koch said in an email that nothing in this new article (the body of which is behind a paywall) changes his original conclusions. “This review does not alter the conclusions of the scientific article which was published earlier this year in Environmental Science and Technology,” he wrote. “This scientific article dealt with the potential degradation of ‘Polymeric FR’ and concludes that degradation of ‘Polymeric FR’ can indeed take place under certain circumstances. The review does not change this conclusion — ‘Polymeric FR’ can still degrade under certain circumstances.” DuPont, however, seized on wording of the second article to claim Koch’s new analysis looked at Polymeric FR more favorably. (Dow and Dupont merged in 2017 before dividing into three separate companies.) “As a result, Koch’s new analysis of his prior research walks back many of his original conclusions,” Greg Bergtold, business advocacy director at DuPont de Nemours, Inc., said in a letter emailed to GBA. He also pointed out that Polymeric FR is currently licensed only for use in plastic building materials — not in textiles, electronics or other consumer products — where it might be exposed to heat and sunlight. Manufacturer submits rebuttal paper DuPont also has submitted a rebuttal to Environmental Sciences & Technology that hat yet to be published, Bergtold said in an email. It repeats arguments that Koch’s original work “contains multiple flaws.” “The speculation by Koch et al. that Polymeric FR technology may lead to degradation products that ‘might have potentially adverse environmental effects’ is both unsupported by the results presented and contradicted by their own work in a separate publication,” the paper says. “On the contrary, studies of Polymeric FR to date show good stability for environmentally-relevant degradation pathways, and show little toxicity concern for degradation that could be expected to occur over the life cycle of PS foam insulation.” Koch, however, said he wasn’t backing away from earlier conclusions. “I understand that it is tempting to focus on the ‘the actual risk seems to be rather limited’ sentence,’ ” he said, “but one should not forget the other parts of the review article in Chemosphere.” Insulation treated with Polymeric FR might pose few risks when protected inside buildings, Koch said, but could be exposed to adverse conditions at the end of its service life — when it was landfilled, for example. Koch said the original article didn’t include any risk assessment because their work was incomplete. “We were not writing that the actual risk seems to be rather limited because our ecotoxicological experiments were not finished when we submitted the article to [Environmental Science & Technology],” his email said. “Thus we did not say anything specific concerning a risk.” In a footnote to that original research paper in Environmental Science & Technology, the authors said said none of the money for the research came from Rockwool, “nor has there been any other influence regarding this research project.” An addendum to that article said Koch’s affiliation with Deutsche Rockwool DmbH & Co. came after he had started work on his Ph.D. project. “The study was solely supported by university funds,” it says. “The conflict of interest statement and other funding sources are correct as published in this article.”