Stein Bock Liberia: Potential Stakeholder in Oil, Gas Sector

first_imgStein Bock Liberia, a company mining barite in Liberia, maybe a potential stakeholder in the oil and gas industry, while maintaining that it is developing resources to supply barite to a number of its clients in Africa.The company’s Africa Project Manager, William Voaden, said it has the full potential to produce the end product in Liberia for Chevron and others to take straight to the drilling rig. By doing so, it would be employing people.From what has been gathered by this paper, hundreds of dollars have been infused in the company’s investment package in setting up Stein Bock Liberia.“To date,” Voaden said, “the company is in full preparedness to hold talks with relevant authorities in the government, including President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, to follow up on her visit to Chevron rig to explain about the barite and Stein Bock expertise in the trade of barite on the international market.”“We know the barite business and we would like to contribute to supplying barite to the drilling rigs and if circumstances are favorable we could look to see whether we could put in a mill in the Buchanan area so that we could produce the end product for Chevron to take straight to the drilling rig and employ more people,” Voaden said.According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, some 77 percent worldwide is used as a weighting agent for drilling fluids in oil and gas exploration. Other uses are in added-value applications which include the car, electronics, TV screen, rubber and glass ceramics and paint industry, radiation shielding and medical application.Voaden explained that barite in Liberia is of good quality but is expensive to extract because it is in small vein underneath the surface and therefore it needs a lot of exploration and mining to get the barite out from the clay. “Part of the challenge for us today is to try to find the reserve and also be able to fit into the community and we are very pleased with the progress thus far,” Voaden told this paper.With 97 percent of the company entire workforce Liberians, Stein Bock Liberia currently maintained two working sites—Salala and the other one just across the rubber plantation, site 4—where a 15 kilometer road was constructed and is currently being used by residents in the area as well.Similarly, in an attempt to improve the learning environment in which the company currently operates, citizens from Dorkor Town and parts adjacent are currently constructing a school building from funds being provided by the company as part of its social contribution.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Human Common Ancestor Lived 3500 Years Ago

first_imgNature Science Update reported on a surprising find by Joseph Change (Yale) and Douglas Rohde (MIT).  They claim, based on computer modeling of human breeding and migration, that we are all related to the same common ancestor, not millions, but just thousands of years ago, possibly just 1500 BC in Asia, and that perhaps a couple of thousand years before that, everyone alive at that time was an ancestor of all of us living today.  The results are published in Nature Sept. 30.1    The finding is not entirely new; it is more a refinement of simpler models taking better account of migration and geographical isolation.  It does not mean people didn’t exist before that, but only that the current population is genealogically related.  Jotun Hein (Oxford) cautions in the same issue2 that genealogical questions are “distinct from questions about the history of our genetic material,” which are estimated by different methods: “Universal common ancestry (in the pedigree sense) and genetic common ancestry thus occur on different timescales,” he says.    If you think about it, it’s not all that surprising that in relatively few generations, a population’s family trees will overlap.  Think of inverted pyramids that overlap slightly; as they grow (going back in time), they will all eventually converge, unless the populations are completely isolated, which does not seem to be the case for any people group.  Simple models that assumed random mating converged in just 33 generations, or 800 years ago, which is clearly unrealistic.  By taking geography and history into account, Hein says, Rohde has tried to arrive at a more credible date for the MRCA (most recent common ancestor).  Even more surprising, Hein says, the models predict that before the MRCA, anyone alive would have been an ancestor of everyone alive today.  Rohde, Olsen and Chang explain:Given the remaining uncertainties about migration rates and real-world mating patterns, the date of the MRCA [most recent common ancestor] for everyone living today cannot be identified with great precision.  Nevertheless, our results suggest that the most recent common ancestor for the world’s current population lived in the relatively recent past–perhaps within the last few thousand years.  And a few thousand years before that, although we have received genetic material in markedly different proportions from the people alive at the time, the ancestors of everyone on the Earth today were exactly the same. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)The implication is that the entire human race today, no matter the continent, culture, skin color, language or lifestyle, is a member of one big family:Further work is needed to determine the effect of this common ancestry on patterns of genetic variation in structured populations.  But to the extent that ancestry is considered in genealogical rather than genetic terms, our findings suggest a remarkable proposition: no matter the languages we speak or the colour of our skin, we share ancestors who planted rice on the banks of the Yangtze, who first domesticated horses on the steppes of the Ukraine, who hunted giant sloths in the forests of North and South America, and who laboured to build the Great Pyramid of Khufu.For another summary, see the report on EurekAlert, “Most recent common ancestor of all humans surprisingly recent.”  Few other popular science news sources are reporting the story – not New Scientist, Scientific American, National Geographic, the BBC News or MSNBC – as eagerly as they typically do with discoveries of hominid fossils alleged to be human evolutionary ancestors.1Douglas L. T. Rohde, Steve Olson, and Joseph T. Chang, “Modelling the recent common ancestry of all living humans,” Nature 431, 562 – 566 (30 September 2004); doi:10.1038/nature02842.2Jotun Hein, “Human evolution: Pedigrees for all humanity,” Nature 431, 518 – 519 (30 September 2004); doi:10.1038/431518a.Notice the model converges on a few thousand years ago, not millions.  Such a date is closer to Noah than Lucy.  Care should be exercised interpreting what this means, because it is somewhat of a counterintuitive artifact of a mathematical model that makes certain assumptions.  Another counterintuitive result, Hein claims, is that “not many generations ago (about six), members of our pedigree existed that did not contribute to us genetically.”  The authors are not claiming that humankind popped into existence a few thousand years ago, but only that everyone alive today had the same ancestors.  Can the same models be applied to guppies, tigers and oak trees?  Hein points to additional interesting questions that will require further refinement of models and the combining of pedigree and genetic ancestry information.  One question he asks is, “In the idealized models, how far back would one have to go to find a single couple who are the lone ancestors of everybody?” to which we might add, “and did their names start with A and E?”    We can’t judge how valid is Professor Rohdes’ computer model, but it is interesting that this was not published by Answers in Genesis, but by Nature and by researchers from MIT and Yale – not institutions particularly interested in validating Biblical chronology.  It calls into question evolutionary assumptions about human pedigrees stretching back tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of years.  It also means that all those “racial” differences between people are superficial and must be of recent origin.  Like AIG has emphasized in its Biblical creationist answer to racism, we truly are of “one blood,” just as Paul told the Greek philosophers on Mars Hill (Acts 17).(Visited 332 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Busy day in SA for US First lady

first_img21 June 2011It’s going to be a busy week for US First Lady Michelle Obama, who is on her first official visit to South Africa.Obama, who landed at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria on Monday night, started her day on Tuesday by visiting President Jacob Zuma’s second wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli Zuma, at the President’s official residence in Pretoria.She then proceeded to Johannesburg, where she visited to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. There she toured the Nobel Peace laureate’s archives with Mandela’s wife, former Mozambican first lady Graca Machel.It was unclear whether the first lady would meet the 92-year-old icon, who is in frail health and has been under home medical care since he was hospitalised with a respiratory infection in January.Later in the afternoon Obama, who is travelling with her daughters Malia and Sasha and her mother Marian, was due to make a stop at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, which chronicles the history of the fight against white minority rule.Obama has a packed schedule that includes a trip to the memorial for Hector Pieterson in Soweto on Wednesday.She will also give a keynote address at a conference of the Young African Women Leaders Forum, a two-day meeting of 75 women aged 16 to 30 who are playing leadership roles across the continent.She will then jet off to Cape Town on Thursday, where she will meet with Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu before leaving for Botswana on Saturday.The White House says the First Lady’s visit will advance her husband’s foreign policy goals.The trip is a continuation of Michelle Obama’s work in engaging young people, especially girls and young women, at home and abroad.“This visit to two critical countries will underscore that the United States has an important stake in the success of Africa’s many nations and underscore the historic connections between the American people and those who live on the African continent,” the US embassy in South Africa said in a statement last week.“South Africa is a vital global partner for the United States, as political leader and economic engine on the continent, and a historic example of democratic transition in Africa and around the world.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Cooperation, trade and education key to Africa’s success – Coleman

first_img“Meetings like the World Economic Forum promote African growth and, as Africa rises, stronger states will be able to help failing states to build capacity,” Colin Coleman, MD of Goldman Sachs South Africa, said at the Brand South Africa breakfast forum. (Image: Shamin Chibba)• Sandisiwe GugushePublic Relations International: Brand South Africa+27 11 483 0122+27 73 126 9128sandisiweg@brandsouthafrica.comSulaiman PhilipThe good news of Africa’s continued economic rising from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Abuja, Nigeria, was overshadowed by media reports of the shocking kidnapping of almost 300 schoolgirls by Boko Haram insurgents. As governments, industrial and strategic partners gathered to discuss the economic future of the continent, Western media focused on a story that harked back to Africa’s past of instability and violence.That groups like Boko Haram are able to operate with relative ease across Africa is down to the failure of institutions meant to guard against incidents like this, said Colin Coleman, managing director of Goldman Sachs in South Africa. “Meetings like WEF promote African growth and, as Africa rises, stronger states will be able to help failing states to build capacity.”Coleman was speaking at a Brand South Africa breakfast forum hosted by CNN International anchor Richard Quest at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Johannesburg on Tuesday 13 May.Key to growth, strengthening democracy and the end of these kinds of criminal acts is more cooperation between governments, especially in the sphere of trade. Coleman made the point that trade in Africa between Africans amounted to just 12% of all trade on the continent.The Brand South Africa breakfast forum was hosted by New York-based CNN International anchor and reporter Richard Quest. Other speakers included Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola and Telkom South Africa chair Jabu Mabuza. (Image: Shamin Chibba)Between 2007 and 2012 South African investment in other African states grew by 57%, making the country the largest foreign direct investor in the rest of Africa. Opportunities exist to grow Africa as an economic bloc to rival the European Union, but practical stumbling blocks remain.“We need to develop seamless and effective frameworks between governments to encourage more trade between African countries,” Coleman said. Agreements exist, he pointed out, but there remain practical problems on the ground and a lack of follow-through has hampered trade growth.Freight trucks held up at border posts because there are too few guards or the failure to embrace technology are issues that constrain cross-border trade. Returning accomplished expats and skilled foreigners still find it difficult to find employment in closed economies.Private sector making stridesIn 2011 intra-continental trade amounted to $54-billion, up from 2000’s $32-billion, but most of that trade was driven by the private sector, especially South African companies such as MTN, Shoprite and Standard Bank, whose investments have created 46 000 jobs since 2003.The private sector has moved forward, despite obstacles, to make it easier for themselves to invest in sometimes-taxing environments. Policy makers should look to their example to build a common African market.“Christo Wiese [the executive director of Shoprite] negotiates five work permits for every $1-million he invests,” Coleman said. “This gives him the confidence of knowing that he can bring in experienced and knowledgeable managers to help build a knowledge base where one may not exist.”Economic growth across Africa is expected to hit 6.1% in 2014. The continent has the resources to power that growth and to feed itself. Entrepreneurship is flourishing, the middle class is growing and poverty rates have been falling since the 1990s.What stands in the way of growing that percentage and making growth sustainable over the long term is the promotion of effective trade exchanges and, to a lesser degree, enough skilled people to drive development.Africa’s reputation as a safe investment destination is growing, but this optimism is only sustainable if Africans continue to invest in Africa, Coleman said.Legislation and trade agreements are one thing, and these are in place, but skilled people to implement them will become the biggest stranglehold as trade grows. Coleman pointed to local legislative framework to make his point. “I have spoken to some local [South African] municipal employees. Very accomplished people who find that legislation, especially to combat corruption, makes it impossible for them to do their jobs.”The intent of conferences like the Abuja WEF is to encourage trade in and with Africa. As long as the continent is able to produce civil servants able to understand the objectives of trade agreements and then implement them, the continent will flourish. If governments are unable to build education systems to deliver these people Africa’s ability to trade with itself will be hamstrung, Coleman said, hinting at the biggest challenge faced by African governments – education.last_img read more

Animated Titles with Text Presets in After Effects

first_imgPremiere Pro video editors should take advantage of the great titling and lower-thirds tools in After Effects. Discover how the text presets in AE can help you get professional results.The text tools in Premiere Pro are sufficient for basic titling, but if you want a more robust toolset, After Effects is the way to go. This tutorial lays out the basics of creating animated text in After Effects using presets. Once you’ve got the basics down, experiment and create your own unique text effects. Let’s jump in!Premiere and AE Text WorkflowOpen a Premiere Pro Project, and then select File > Dynamic Link  > Create New After Effects Composition. Save the Project, and a new After Effects composition is created for you. From the Layer Menu in Adobe After Effects, select  New >Text, which creates text centered in the composition.Start typing to create your title. Click on the text layer in the After Effects composition to select it and now you can adjust your text in the Character Palette.From the Animation Menu select Browse Animation Presets. This launches Adobe Bridge, which lets you see the various presets that ship with After Effects. Note: The Text category only works with After Effects text.Double click on the Text folder…Then Double-click on the Animate In Folder.For this example, we’ll use the preset called Fade Up Characters. Click once on this preset to see a preview of the animation.Now, double-click on Fade Up Characters and this will apply the preset to your selected layer in After Effects.Important: Make sure the layer is selected before you go to Adobe Bridge or it will create a new text layer with the placeholder text “Adobe After Effects.”Use the shortcut Command + Tab (Mac) or Alt + Tab (PC) to quickly get back to After Effects.In the After Effects Preview Panel, click the RAM Preview button and watch the text animate on.With the layer selected in the Composition, Press U (uber key) to reveal the keyframes created by the preset. To change the length of the animation, click on the second keyframe and move it closer (faster) or further apart (slower). Select both keyframes by clicking on Start, right-click and choose Keyframe Assistant > Easy Ease.Once you save the file in After Effects, it will save back to your Premiere Pro project via Dynamic Link. This is a quick and easy way to harness all the text presets in After Effects in order to spice up your Premiere Pro video edits.If you’re looking for more AE insight, be sure to visit PremiumBeat’s After Effects archive! Your motion design game will thank you.last_img read more

UP CM Akhilesh reshuffles portfolios of 11 ministers, sacks junior minister

first_imgIn a major rejig, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday sacked a junior minister and changed the portfolios of 11 ministers including nine of cabinet rank.Yadav removed Minister of State for Entertainment Tax Pawan Pandey, an official statement issued said.Portfolios of nine cabinet ministers and two ministers of state were also changed.Balram Yadav who previously held Panchayati Raj has been given the Jail Administration, which was earlier with Rajendra Chaudhary.Chaudhary has been given the portfolio of Political Pensions, the release said.Senior minister Ram Govind Chaudhary was divested of Child Nutrition. He will now only have Basic Education department with him.Brahmashankar Tripathi has been divested of Vocational Education and Skill Development departments and has been left with only the responsibility of Home Guards department, the release said.The departments of Khadi and Gramodyog have been taken from Kailash and given to Sports and Youth Welfare Minister Narad Rai.Kailash has been given the portfolio of Panchayti Raj while Agriculture minister Manoj Pandey has been given Science and Technology.Iqbal Mahmood has been made the Minister for Fisheries and Public Enterprises divesting him of the Secondary Education department, which will be now be with previous Fisheries Minister Mehboob Ali.Minister of State (Independent) for non-conventional energy Vijay Kumar Misra has been given Religious Endowment department while Minister of State for Science and Technology Abhishek Misra has been given Vocational Education.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

Inquirer top 7 UAAP 81 women’s volleyball players: Week 6

first_imgNow all that is out of the way, here are the players that made the start of the second round a spectacle.1. Maddie Madayag (Ateneo de Manila University, middle blocker)Weeks on list: 2Last week: N/AMaddie Madayag. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMaddie Madayag was a defensive fortress for Ateneo when it went the distance against University of Santo Tomas.The Lady Eagle was an impenetrable wall tallying 11 blocks, the most in the Final Four era, en route to 23 points leading Ateneo to the 19-25, 22-25, 27-25, 25-22, 15-11 win over the Golden Tigresses.Madayag broke the record previously set by La Salle’s Celine Hernandez a decade ago when she put up nine denials against Adamson University in 2008.ADVERTISEMENT Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Every week, INQUIRER Sports will be ranking the seven best performers in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament. The author will base the rankings on the players’ team standings, statistics, and the intangibles that don’t appear on the stat sheets.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants PBA D-League: Che’Lu, Marinerong Pilipino post third win Google Philippines names new country director Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting 4. Kat Tolentino (Ateneo de Manila University, outside spikerWeeks on list: 4Last week: N/AKat Tolentino. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netKat Tolentino was relatively quiet for Ateneo the past week with Ponggay Gaston taking a more prominent role as the Lady Eagle’s outside hitter.The start of the second round, though, was a different field for Tolentino.Although she played as a secondary for Madayag, Tolentino still finished with 20 points in their game against the Golden Tigresses and that production pushed her to the third spot of the Best Scorers table with 127 total points.5. Mary Ann Mendrez (University of the East, outside spiker)Weeks on list: 1Last week: N/AMean Mendrez. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netUE recorded just its second win in the tournament at the start of the second round and the one most responsible for it all was Mary Ann Mendrez.The Lady Warriors’ quiet star wasn’t that silent on the stat sheets when she tallied 19 points to lead UE past NU, 25-16, 25-18, 24-26, 25-16.6. Eya Laure (University of Santo Tomas, outside spiker)Weeks on list: 4Last week: No. 4Eya Laure. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netEya Laure may be a second fiddle to Rondina in the UST system but that status doesn’t make her any less of a player.Laure has consistently delivered for the Golden Tigresses in her hot pursuit of the Rookie of the Year plum and although it came off a loss her 21-point performance against the Lady Eagles was the third-best offensive output this week behind Rondina’s 35 and Madayag’s 23. LATEST STORIEScenter_img 2. Cherry Rondina (University of Santo Tomas, outside spiker)Weeks on list: 4Last week: No.2Cherry Rondina. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netCherry Rondina has been nothing short of amazing for the Golden Tigresses this week but their loss to the Lady Eagles relegated her to the No. 2 spot instead.It’s long established that Rondina is one of the most potent offensive players of her generation especially when she bagged the Best Scorer award in Season 80 and she showed her abilities once more in UST’s lone game this week.Rondina put up 35 points in UST’s five-set loss to Ateneo and her offensive exploits tied Alyssa Valdez’ mark for the most in the UAAP in the Final Four era.And those 35 points further solidified Rondina’s hold of the top spot in the Best Scorers table when she totaled 157 points six weeks into the tournament.3. Lycha Ebon (Far Eastern University, opposite hitter)Weeks on list: 2Last week: N/ALycha Ebon. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAn unfortunate injury was the only thing that stopped Lycha Ebon when the Lady Tamaraws faced the Lady Falcons.Ebon was making her case for the Rookie of the Year plum when she punished Adamson with 19 points but a bad landing forced her to leave the game early after her right knee buckled after she scored her final point.The Lady Tamaraws then finished the job for Ebon taking the five-set win, 30-32, 25-20, 23-25, 25-20, 15-13.Here’s to hoping Ebon goes through a quick recovery. 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 MOST READ Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles MANILA, Philippines—It’s the second round and the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament just turned the craziness up a notch.Ateneo has created distance between itself and the No. 2 teams in the league with its 7-1 record being two games ahead of its nearest competitors.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsWhat made the start of the second round into an absolute mess is that four teams are all tied at No. 2 seed with University of Santo Tomas, De La Salle, University of the Philippines, and Far Eastern University sporting identical 5-3 records.National University and University of the East are tied at the sixth spot with 2-6 records while Adamson University is at dead last at 1-7. Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. And this consistency allowed Laure to hold on to that No. 2 spot in the Best Scorers when she tallied a total of 138 points after Week 6.7. Jennifer Nierva (National University, libero)Weeks on list: 2Last week: No.3Jennifer Nierva. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJennifer Nierva’s plummet from the third spot to the No. 7 can be mainly attributed to NU’s loss to UE this week.Although the Lady Bulldogs lost to the Lady Warriors in their lone game this week, Nierva was still a shining star in the middle of that gloomy outcome.Nierva, already seen as one of the best liberos in the tournament, managed to outplay UE’s Kath Arado in their matchup.Arado, the reigning Best Receiver and Best Digger, tallied 32 excellent digs and 13 successful receptions but Nierva won that personal matchup with 30 excellent digs and 28 successful receptions.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more