17 Oct

Nova Scotia capital commemorates catastrophic Halifax Explosion 100 years ago

first_imgHALIFAX – Rose Poirier stood on a hill overlooking Halifax harbour at 9:04 a.m. Wednesday, quietly marking the moment precisely 100 years before when the city’s bustling north end was obliterated by the worst human-caused disaster in Canadian history.Before the poets and the politicians spoke at a ceremony marking the grim centennial, Poirier recalled a harrowing story from a 106-year-old relative who miraculously survived the Halifax Explosion and still lives in the city’s west end.Poirier said her husband’s great aunt, Halifax resident Hazel Forrest, was staying with her sister in a home on Bilby Street on Dec. 6, 1917, when two wartime ships collided in the harbour, sparking a massive explosion that killed almost 2,000 people, wounded 9,000 and left 25,000 homeless.It was the world’s largest human-made blast until an atomic bomb was detonated in 1945.As a white-hot shock wave rolled up from the harbour, razing much of the city’s north end, six-year-old Hazel was hurled through a crumbling wall.“She remembers being thrown down from an upper floor into her uncle’s arms because the wall and the stairs had been blown off,” Poirier said Wednesday as a steady downpour pelted the hundreds of onlookers who gathered for a commemorative service at Fort Needham Memorial Park — not far from what was ground zero in 1917.“Her sister Evelyn had been bathing their baby brother, and she was thrown down the cellar stairs. The baby was scalded because they were near the stove. They found that baby across the street.”Forrest, one of the oldest survivors of the explosion, now lives in a nursing home and was unable to attend the ceremony because of blustery weather.Halifax Mayor Mike Savage told the crowd it’s the heart-rending stories of individual Haligonians that help Canadians understand an otherwise incomprehensible tragedy.To make his point, Savage singled out the Jackson family, represented by several relatives in the crowd, which lost more than 40 members to the explosion and ensuing conflagration.“To whomever you seek comfort from, to whomever you pray to in the evening … when you close your eyes tonight, ask for a blessing for those who lived 100 years ago — for those who were killed, for those who survived and to those who rebuilt,” the mayor said as gusts of wind blew the rain sideways.“We say to them what we say to our great military heroes on Remembrance Day: ‘We will remember them.’”In a heated tent near the park’s Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower, 82-year-old Gerald Edward Jackson recalled how his father was trapped in the rubble of a house for three days before a searcher with a dog found him.“He was blown down into the basement of the house and the house caved in on top of him, and it was burning,” he said as family members leaned in to hear the story. “It was a chaotic thing … My dad never spoke about the explosion at all.”As the ceremony began at 9:04 a.m. — the exact time of the blast — a cannon was fired at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, and ships in the harbour sounded their horns, the mournful wail echoing across the city as the crowd observed a moment of silence.Halifax’s poet laureate, Rebecca Thomas, said most historical accounts of the explosion fail to recognize the shabby way the city’s black and Indigenous populations were treated after the disaster.“Nostalgia can sometimes be toxic and … many voices often disappear into the past without ever being heard,” she told the crowd.African Nova Scotians living in the Africville neighbourhood, which was severely damaged by the explosion, were given only a fraction of the rebuilding funds offered to white Haligonians, she said. As for Turtle Grove, a Mi’kmaq village on the Dartmouth side of the harbour, it was wiped out by a tsunami created by the blast.“Those who survived were segregated and kept out of the hospitals,” Thomas said.George Elliott Clarke, the Nova Scotia-born parliamentary poet laureate, recited a poem recalling the poignant moments leading up to the deadly detonation, including the imagined last goodbyes of children as they went off to school in the city’s Richmond neighbourhood.“Punctual salutations resonate in Richmond homes as spouses trudge to factory or menial jobs. Children troop to school and many of those cheery, kissed-cheek goodbyes will prove unknowingly final,” he said, reading from a soaked page.Clarke also remembered Vincent Coleman, the telegraph dispatcher who, “alert and alarmed, tapped out urgent, percussive Morse (code)” to warn an incoming train to stop before he died in the explosion.Coleman’s grandson, Calgary lawyer Jim Coleman, also spoke at the ceremony, recalling how earlier generations refused to talk about what happened.After 100 years, that is changing, he said, adding that his grandfather’s legacy as a hero should never be forgotten.“He had a choice. He had a choice to stay or a choice to leave and try to save his life. We believe he made the right choice. He stayed and for that many people lived,” he said.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version wrongly stated the Halifax Explosion was the largest artificial blast prior to the bombing of Hiroshima.last_img read more

28 Sep

Jordan Spieths Majors Run Was One Of The Greatest In Golf History

By finishing second (to Jason Day) in the PGA Championship on Sunday, Jordan Spieth completed a remarkable run at golf’s major championships this season. He won two major tournaments (the Masters and the U.S. Open), placed second in another (the PGA), and — in his worst showing — tied for fourth at the British Open. It was the third time since 19581The year golf’s majors entered their modern era, as the PGA Championship adopted a stroke-play format. that a player finished no worse than fourth in any major during a season.Last week, my colleague Andrew Mooney used a metric called z-scores (which measure how many standard deviations a player’s score was from the mean2For all players who made the cut in a given tournament.) to examine where Spieth’s overall PGA Tour season — including both majors and the tour’s more pedestrian tournaments — ranked among other golfers’ seasons since 1970. Going into the PGA, he was on pace for the 12th-best single season in that span, and he was the top-ranked player not named Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus. (Pretty heady company!)But we can also use z-scores to measure where his cumulative performance at the majors this year ranks. The — admittedly predictable — result is that Spieth’s 2015 majors campaign stands as one of the greatest in the sport’s history.Here’s how it works: In a given tournament, a player’s performance can be converted into the probability that he would win the average major with his z-score. For example, Spieth’s -2.20 z-score at the PGA last weekend would be good enough to win about 40 percent of all majors staged since 1958. Therefore, he gets 0.40 shares of a major for the performance, even though he didn’t actually win.Of course, this methodology can add up to more than 100 percent of a victory for majors featuring multiple great performances. The famous “Duel in the Sun” between Nicklaus and Tom Watson at the 1977 British Open was so epic, for instance, that the system above awards 2.1 total “generic majors” to the field. To correct for this, we can also compute an adjusted version that isn’t allowed to assign more than 1.0 combined shares of a major to any given tournament’s field, no matter how dominant — or dubious — the performances of its leaders. (According to this adjustment, Spieth’s 2015 PGA Championship earns him just 0.18 share of a major, since the field total also needs to clear room for the performances of Day, Branden Grace and others.)Depending on which version you use, Spieth’s 2015 season either ranks fourth overall since 1958 (without the adjustment), or 11th (with the adjustment).My preference probably lies with the unadjusted version, simply because a player can’t control whether he shares the stage with another dominant performance (and z-scores already account for his score relative to the field average). But no matter the method, it’s clear once again that Spieth’s 2015 season deserves a place among golf’s most brilliant achievements. read more

18 Sep

PSG have not made contact with Bayern over Boateng yet –

first_imgParis Saint-Germain remain locked in talks with defender Jerome Boateng over a summer move but they are yet to make contact with Bayern Munich to discuss a sale, says CEO Karl-Heinz RummeniggeBoateng is understood to be considering his future at the Allianz Arena this summer and has previously stated his desire to try out new challenges in his playing career, before it’s too late.Just last week Bayern CEO Rummenigge announced that the German’s representatives were in discussions with PSG over a move this summer and he has provided an update following the club’s 3-2 defeat to Manchester City in the International Champions Cup.“There has been no contact with PSG,” he said, as quoted by ESPN.“Neither has a fee or anything monetary been discussed.”“I know that Jerome’s agents are in contact with Paris — a final decision has yet to be made, though.”The 62-year-old further elaborated on his comments from last week regarding Boateng’s talks with PSG.RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich, Robert LewadowskiMatch Preview: RB Leipzig vs Bayern Munich Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 RB Leipzig will have the chance to prove their title-winning capabilities when they host Bayern Munich today at 18:30 (CET).“At the moment there is no direct contact between the clubs,” said Rummenigge.“However, I think there is contact between his agents and PSG.“Now, we have to wait and see whether, at the end of the day, we can find a basis on which we can agree on a transfer.“We have to find a transfer fee that would be acceptable for both. In principle, we have enough players at this position, even if Jerome leaves.”Boateng has made a total of 258 appearances in all competitions in his seven seasons at Munich and is contracted at the club until 2021.last_img read more

18 Sep

Petit Man United signed Sanchezs brother

first_imgEmmanuel Petit believes Alexis Sanchez’s performances have been totally unacceptable at Manchester United given his pay rateThe Red Devils signed Sanchez in an exchange deal from Arsenal in January with Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way.Sanchez signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with United that sees him earn £14m a year after tax.But the Chilean forward has since failed to deliver what was promised at United after finding the net only four times in 30 appearances.This has led to United manager Jose Mourinho dropping him at times this season with the club only eighth in the Premier League standings.Now former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Petit has called on Sanchez to take responsibility instead of hiding away.The French World Cup winner even suggested that Sanchez’s brother instead turns up to play at Old Trafford during match days.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“The manager is on the bench, so you need to show pride in your own performance when you are on the field and the first one who has gone into hiding at United is Alexis Sanchez,” Petit told Goal.“He wanted to leave Arsenal because he was chasing the salary United could offer.“Now he receives so much money and in nine months what has he done? Nothing. I have not seen him. I think they signed his brother.“I understand that players believe they deserve certain financial rewards when they reach a certain level, but what we have seen from Sanchez at United has not been acceptable.”The Frenchman also added that the United squad have let Mourinho down this season.The Red Devils will host Arsenal at Old Trafford tonight in the Premier League with kick-off set for 21:00 (CET).last_img read more

17 Sep

San Diego City Council votes to create pilot program to connect homeless

first_img KUSI Newsroom, Posted: April 9, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The San Diego City Council’s Select Committee on Homelessness voted Monday to instruct staff to create a pilot program to better connect homeless people with job opportunities.Staff will explore how the city can use its rapid re-housing programs to connect people with long-term employment. The re-housing programs connect families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing through a package of assistance that includes temporary financial assistance, counseling and educational services.The pilot program will likely involve at least 100 families currently being served by re-housing programs to determine the impact that employment-focused assistance can have on the homeless.Those families would be provided with long-term employment support to assist them in landing jobs and ensure their long-term success in those positions.Recommendations and details of the pilot will be worked out in the coming weeks by staff and sent to the committee for consideration in June.The program seeks to address relatively poor performance by San Diego re-housing programs compared to other cities.Over the last two years, 54 percent of San Diego re-housing clients exiting the program went into a permanent housing situation, compared to 73 percent of those in Los Angeles, according to a city staff report.Nearly 25 percent of clients aged 18-62 entering the San Diego programs in 2017 reported income from employment. The percentage of people earning employment income grew by just one percentage point after exiting the program that same year, according to the report.“What that’s telling us is we’re probably not doing a great job with actually getting people jobs,” consultant Kris Kuntz said.A more robust focus on employment could improve those numbers, homelessness advocates and city staff said.“Our homeless system and our rapid re-housing program are working very hard to get people jobs out there,” Kuntz said. But “we want to start doing the rapid re-housing model better here, not just in the city, but in the San Diego region.City staff will look at Denver as one example of a successful program, in which 39 percent of participants found full-time work. San Diego City Council votes to create pilot program to connect homeless people with job opportunities April 9, 2018center_img Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom Updated: 12:00 PMlast_img read more

2 Sep

Not Knowing Anything About My Daughter Is Torture Immigrant Parents Describe Being

first_img“I do not know the people who are caring for them so I worry every day.”“I have never seen my children’s room either, nor the school, the cafeteria, nothing. So I am not able to know if they are safe.”“The Director said that she knows that the news is saying lots of things, but the children are fine there and that they are good kids. But she does not say any details. She did not tell me anything about how they are eating, or how they are sleeping, and nothing about the school. I know that they are not ‘fine’ because they cry a lot.”“Like every parent, I want all the information about my children. I want a video of where they are living. I want to know the therapists, the teacher, and all of the people that have contact with my children. Also, I have concerns about the school and I want to know how school is going.”“I am not able to get this information because of the problems with the telephone, it is too expensive, and if I just have 20 minutes each week to speak, I am going to talk to my children and they are not able to give me this information.”“Each minute that I do not have this information is anguish.”“Each minute that I am separated from my children is anguish.”“I am never at ease without this information and without my children.”Honduran father of a 12-year-old girlThe father and daughter crossed the Texas-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley on June 4, approached officials and asked for asylum. He fled from his country after being shot and continuing to receive threats against him and his family, according to the lawsuit. At a Brownsville processing center, the two were separated, and he has not seen his daughter since. “First the officials told me that my daughter was going to place called Casa Hogar, but they did not tell me where Casa Hogar was located or how long she would be there.”“I have asked other immigration officials where my daughter is, but none of them are able to tell me where she is.”He called his daughter’s grandfather, who had talked to the girl twice and was worried for and desperate to be with her father. Court filings/U.S. Customs and Border ProtectionA handwritten letter by an immigrant parent asking a federal court for information on his child.Earlier this week, three Central American parents, whose children range from 2 to 13 years old, sued the federal government over its now-reversed policy of separating migrant families at the border. On Friday, those parents followed up on their suit with a series of desperate pleas: In handwritten court documents, they asked the government to tell them where their children are, who is watching them, what they’re doing and, most importantly, when the parents will be able to see them again. “It ought to be a very simple question for the government to simply provide them reliable, complete information about where their kids are,” said Jerry Wesevich, a lawyer with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid who is representing the parents in the lawsuit.One of the parents, a father of a 12-year-old girl from Honduras, has not been able to talk to his daughter at all since they were separated nearly three weeks ago. Two Guatemalan mothers said they’ve been allowed brief conversations, but they involve mostly consoling weeping children. And one of the mothers said the phone calls are expensive.All of the parents are kept anonymous in the lawsuit. Below are excerpts of the pleas from the parents.Guatemalan mother of three boys, ages 2, 6 and 13This mother fled her home country after receiving death threats and entered the U.S. with her three sons at a port of entry in California in May, according to the lawsuit’s original complaint. She requested asylum and U.S. officials determined she had a credible fear of returning to Guatemala.Her children were kept with her at the family detention center in Dilley for two weeks, but, more than a month ago, the boys were sent to a facility in New York. Their mother is at another detention center in Texas.On Friday, she entered her handwritten note in Spanish to the federal district court in Washington, D.C.“I do not know when I will be able to see my children again.”“I am able to speak with them two times each week for only 10 minutes each time, but sometimes I am not able to speak with them because there are problems with the telephone.”“The calls are very expensive so I am only able to call when I have money, but when I do not have money, I am not able to communicate with my children. In one month, I only received one free call from the center.”She said her two youngest sons are too little to communicate over the phone. The 13-year-old can’t tell her about her two-year-old because the two children are only together for one hour each day. “I worry about my daughter constantly. I am not able to speak with her directly. I do not know if she is well cared for. I do not know if she has been sick. I do not know if she has been sleeping well or eating well. Not knowing anything about my daughter is torture. I am not able to sleep. I desperately want to be with her.”Guatemalan mother of a 9-year-old boyThe mother and son crossed into Texas near Presidio and sought protection at the nearby port of entry on May 14, according to the lawsuit. They had fled their country after threats of violence.The next day, her son was taken from her. She believes he’s in New York and knows he has a social worker, but she has no other information. She dictated her pleas to a translator for information to the court:“I have been able to speak to my child only 3 times and only for approximately 5 minutes each time since we were separated.”“My son isn’t able to give me much information about his circumstances because he is too young and too upset to understand what is happening. Every time we talk he only wants to know when he will see me again so it’s hard for him to focus on anything else.”“My son used to be such a happy child who was always joking around with me. Now he just seems depressed — he doesn’t joke with me, he only asks when we will see each other again and begs to be with me. He is scared and lonely and desperate to be with me. I try to tell him that everything will be ok and that I’ll see him soon but, the truth is, I don’t know what will happen with us.”“There have been a few times, he’s said that he has had a nosebleed. I told him to tell someone if he is feeling sick but he is too scared to tell anyone. He says that he’s scared to report any type of mistreatment or health issue because the other children have told him that children who report things get sent to another place.”“This whole situation has been horrible for me. I can’t eat, and I can’t sleep because I am constantly reminded when my son was taken from me. I have never been away from my son, and I am just so sad I have to be without him. When I go to eat I’m reminded of when we used to eat together. When I try to sleep I remember how he always slept with me. It breaks my heart to not have him with me.”“I am always thinking of my son. I wake up from my sleep crying because I remember that he was taken from me. I feel so upset and sad when I remember how he was taken from me. I don’t understand how someone could take their child away from their mother. I think, ‘Don’t they have children, too? Don’t they know the pain I’m feeling?’ Then I say to myself that God has a plan, but I still don’t understand why my son was taken.” Sharelast_img read more

31 Aug

UKs RobotCar demonstrated w Video

first_img Robot car to cut jams & prangs The goal of the project is for the RobotCar to drive itself mainly on short journeys on routes with which it is familiar. During the initial period the RobotCar builds a 3D map of routes taken by the car, which is being driven normally. Once it has built up a memory bank of familiar routes it begins to offer to take over and the driver can accept by tapping on the iPad screen. If there is any conflict between the three on-board computers autonomous driving is not offered. If there are any problems during autonomous driving the iPad prompts the driver to resume control. If they do not, the car slows to a stop.A laser under the front fender scans with an 85 degree field of view up to 50 metres ahead for obstacles such as pedestrians, other vehicles, or objects, and if the car is in control it automatically slows to a stop if an obstacle is detected. It accelerates and continues its journey only when the road ahead is clear.The Oxford team, led by Professor Paul Newman, expects manufacturers will be fitting the system into their cars within 15 years or less. They say the autonomous vehicles will make the roads safer and less congested, and will be particularly useful for drivers following regular routes. Professor Newman said the cars of the future would be driving themselves some of the time rather than all of the time. © 2013 Phys.org The system consists of a modified Nissan LEAF electric car with an iPad mounted in easy reach of the driver, lasers attached to the front of the car, and stereo cameras that work with the lasers to produce a three-dimensional image of the route being taken. The lasers and cameras constantly map out the route being taken by the car.The entire system is controlled by a Main Vehicle Computer (MVC) installed in the trunk, which can control virtually every aspect of the car. A third computer is the Low Level Controller (LLC), which communicates directly with the iPad user interface. The system does not depend on GPS. More information: mrg.robots.ox.ac.uk/robotcar/ The car, being developed by Oxford RobotCar UK, is designed to allow drivers to decide to let the car take over the driving when the car’s computer makes the offer. A simple tap on the brakes at any time returns control immediately to the driver.Unlike other autonomous vehicles being developed by groups such as Google, the UK team have concentrated on developing their technology using cheap components such as sensors to dramatically reduce the cost. At present, the system costs about £5000 (7750 USD), but the scientists hope to be able to reduce the cost to as little as £100 (about 150 USD) Citation: UK’s RobotCar demonstrated (w/ Video) (2013, February 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-02-uk-robotcar-video.html The RobotCar has been demonstrated on private roads around the Begbroke Science Park in Oxfordshire, but the group is in talks with Britain’s Department of Transport to arrange for trials on public roads. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (Phys.org)—A group of scientists at Oxford University in the UK have demonstrated their version of the self-driving car, which promises to be much cheaper than similar cars being developed elsewhere.last_img read more