In Your Neighbourhood

first_imgShelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce six-a-side final todayThe final and third-place play-off in the Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce six-a-side football competition takes place this afternoon at the Foska Oats Oval, 451 Spanish Town Road (opposite Wray & Nephew Limited), starting at 4 p.m.The competition, held in the Waterhouse community where female superstar sprinter Fraser-Pryce grew up, saw 44 matches being played before it came down to the two finalists – Eurotrend and last year’s beaten finalists, Miles.After 71 goals, a new champion will be crowned in this the third staging of the competition. The final will be preceded by the third-place play-off between 2013 champions Varma Rangers and the 2014 champions, Dark Side.In semi-final action last Sunday, Miles defeated Varma Rangers 3-2 on penalty kicks after a goalless scoreline in regulation and extra time, while Eurotrend clipped Dark Side 1-0. Kemar Bygrave of Eurotrend emerged the competition’s leading scorer with three goals.The final will be followed by the presentation of awards to the top four teams, as well as most valuable player, leading goalscorer, most disciplined team, and to the dress parade winner, Angola Strikers.Twenty-four teams divided into four zones contested the competition, which is sponsored by Digicel, for whom Fraser-Pryce is a brand ambassador; GraceKennedy; Wata; TanK-Weld Metals; Sagicor Bank; and NCB Foundation.The Gleaner, Emancipation Park in INSPORTS TT club league semisEmancipation Park defeated The Gleaner 4-1 in the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) table tennis club league (Division Two) on Monday at The Gleaner Sports Club to top their group with three wins and a loss.Emancipation Park have now advanced to the semis and will be accompanied by The Gleaner, who were runners-up with two wins and two losses.Emancipation Park started the match on a winning note when Courtney Hall beat Wayne Lyew 3-0; Hall and Geoge Gallimore teamed up to beat The Gleaner’s Lyew and player/coach Selvin Smith 3-2 in the doubles; while Smith pulled back a game with a 3-2 win over Orane Shields; Ronaldo Brown outplayed Gareth Segree 3-0; and Alicia Bennett stopped The Gleaner’s Carol Denny 3-1 in the women’s match to complete victory for her team.Portmore outshoot Racing 6-3Portmore United’s second-string team was too good for Racing United as they out-gunned their opponents 6-3 in the York Pharmacy-sponsored Portmore Division Two Football League on Thursday.Toulay McCalla struck a hat-trick of goals, Cleon Price hit a brace, and Aldayne Grant added another goal to complete the scoring for the winners. It was Portmore’s first match of the season.Braeton United lead the league with six points from two games.In games last Sunday, Waterford (three points) came off the mark with a 1-0 win over Racing United (two points), second place; Cedar Grove (five points) drew 1-1 with Daytona; while Edgewater and Cumberland also drew 1-1.Board to decide the fate of JDCA finalCaribbean Classic and Spit Fyah will in short order know the outcome of their Jamaica Domino Council Association (JDCA) League final, which ended prematurely recently. Both teams were in a heated battle in the final, and with the scores reading Classic 293 and Spit Fyah at 289, Classic showed up late to restart the match, which went into a countdown. Spit Fyah’s players staged a walk-out and the game was called off. The executives of the league will rule on the matter.Mega Angels, Westchester play to exciting tieWestchester dropped their first point in the South East St Catherine Netball League after they played to an exciting 18-18 tie with Mega Angels last Sunday. In another game on Sunday, Pro Santos ‘B’ whipped their sister team, Pro Santos ‘A’, 24-11, and Express All Stars swamped Progressive Strikers 13-0.In games last Saturday, Mega Angels thrashed Express All Stars 35-9; Pro Santos clipped Passagefort Strikers 16-14; and Westchester trounced Progressive Strikers 21-3.Winter Football Camp for PortmoreOverseas-based coach Dean Luthian, a former coach at Portsmouth FC, will conduct a winter football camp for players from Portmore at the Portsmouth Primary School playing field, starting next week.The camp, which will attract about 60 youngsters in the eight-16 age group, will run from Monday, December 14 to Thursday, December 17. The time for the sessions is from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and registration is free.Project Winter Camp will see coaches from the USA and the Caribbean using their expertise to take players to the next level. The vision of the project is to be a football club that produces high-quality players, playing at the highest level locally and internationally, with emphasis on building self-esteem and self-awareness.- Compiled by Orville Clarke and Anthony Minottlast_img read more

Hurricane Felix catches Miskito Indians by surprise

first_imgNarciso Omeli, 36, was in his stilt home on Maras Cay when suddenly the ocean swallowed the island, leaving Omeli in open sea. He grabbed a piece of driftwood and was tossed about. Soon, he was surrounded by others just like him, survivors who were caught helplessly in the storm’s strong currents, none knowing where they would end up or if they would live. Off Maras Cay, Rogel Calero had to wait for two lobster divers to surface before he could turn his simple, wooden sailboat toward shore. By that time, pounding rain began filling his boat with water. It wasn’t long before a wave capsized the group. He, his wife, his 21-year-old son, and four other relatives were tossed into the sea, clinging to debris. Calero watched as, one by one, the others disappeared into the water. He floated for hours, clinging to a tree trunk. He stopped thinking, stopped believing he would survive, even after the storm passed and the sun came out. A private boat found Prada. She and the others were still frantically scooping water from their disabled motorboat, floating amid a few remaining trees that stuck up from the flooded Maras Island. “As soon as day broke, calm returned and I knew I was going to live,” she said. Word came of many survivors who had washed ashore or been plucked from the sea along the most remote section of Honduras’ coast. But no one, not even the Honduran government, knew exactly who they were. One of the first to arrive in Honduras was Calero, who was found Wednesday, more than 30 hours after the hurricane hit. Miskito Indians searching the sea for relatives found him instead, pulling his battered and sunburned body from the water. They then took him back to Puerto Cabezas. On Saturday morning, 38 men stumbled off a boat and onto the pier at Puerto Cabezas and were immediately surrounded by people desperate to find their loved ones among them. Cries rang out as wives and children recognized husbands, sons and fathers. Loren spotted his missing 19-year-old son, Angel, and wrapped him in his arms. Both cried in joy. Clark had perhaps one of the most amazing stories of the storm. He bobbed in the ocean for more than three days until relatives of his dead friend, Vendless, found him in the water near the Honduran coast. His body was covered with open wounds from exposure to the sun and sea, and he was burned by boat fuel and a rope that he had used to tie himself to his sinking vessel. Later, on land, he sat on his couch in Puerto Cabezas, still shocked nearly speechless. When Vendless’ mother, Rosa Miller, came to see him, he told her through tears that he held on to her son’s body until Thursday, when the stench became too much to bear and he let his friend sink.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The first word of the storm came on radio and from Nicaraguan sailors who passed by on boats, urging fishermen to return to ports and others to evacuate low-lying islands where they lived. But the Miskito Indians, descendants of Indians, European settlers and African slaves who speak their own language and have a long-standing mistrust of Nicaragua’s central government, paid little heed to the official warnings. Having spent their lives in stilt homes built over the water, they believed they knew the sea and when to leave it. It was also the last two weeks of lobster season, the main source of income, and most people took their time pulling in their catches. Then the ocean went wild. In bustling Maras Cay, 39-year-old Aurora Prada was selling snacks and soda to fishermen and collecting lobster for sale on the mainland when she noticed the darkening sky and the waves tumbling onto land, rising along the beach in a way she had never seen before. She and nine others rushed to a nearby house, seeking refuge. The wind peeled away the home’s simple, wooden walls, lifted the roof and tossed it into the air like a sheet of paper. With waters rising all around them, the group found a small motor boat and headed toward a relatively protected swampy area, but the winds were so strong it took them two hours to move 50 yards. PUERTO CABEZAS, Nicaragua – Cecil Clark and Manuel Vendless could see the lights from land, could see safety, when Hurricane Felix’s waves picked up their boat, slammed it deep into the ocean and spit it out into the darkness again. Still alive, Vendless clung to a rope and Clark somehow crawled onto what remained of their simple fishing vessel. But it wasn’t long before Vendless looked up at his friend, his face flashing before Clark in the lightning that crashed overhead, and said simply: “I’m not going to make it.” After he died, Clark lashed the body to the boat, and assumed he was next. Hours earlier, dozens of fishermen diving for lobster in the sea around a cluster of remote cays off the coast of Nicaragua were unaware that miles away one of history’s strongest hurricanes was racing toward them. While the rest of the world, connected to Internet or watching 24-hour news channels, saw Felix’s deadly path through the Caribbean Sea, the remote Miskito Indians who live in jungle villages and on tiny, reef islands along the Honduran-Nicaraguan border had no idea the monster storm’s eye would pass directly over them. last_img read more

Jamie Carragher fears for Liverpool’s title challenge without quality additions

first_imgJamie Carragher fears Liverpool will come up short again in the race for the Premier League title if they fail to strengthen in the summer transfer window.The Reds secured fourth place on the final day of the season to claim a Champions League qualification spot, but finished 17 points behind champions Chelsea.Jurgen Klopp’s side saw their title challenge falter after picking up a single victory from their first six games of 2017 – allowing the Blues to create an advantage that rarely looked in danger. And Carragher hopes Klopp’s trust in his current squad won’t come back to haunt him at the same period of next season.“I’ve mentioned a goalkeeper, but the manager isn’t going to get one – he’s happy with the two he has at the moment – [Simon] Mignolet has had his best season for Liverpool over a four-year period,” Carragher told Drivetime. “I think a left-back as well, not necessarily to replace James Milner, but certainly serious competition, because [Alberto] Moreno was no competition there.“I think it’s a position [left-back] he’s looking at, but he’s looking at more of a young player to come in to support Milner, rather than provide that competition.“I just hope from a Liverpool point of view, you don’t get to Christmas and think: I wish we signed a goalkeeper; I wished we signed a left-back, to play.”Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon had been strongly linked with a move to Anfield, but the Reds have reportedly fallen behind Tottenham in the race to sign the 17-year-old.Having played without a recognised striker for large parts of the season, attacking additions as well as defensive reinforcements, are likely to be top of Klopp’s list of priority transfers.READ MORE: Jamie Carragher brands Liverpool’s failed pursuit of Virgil van Dijk as a ‘shambles’And with moves for Balde Keita and Mohamed Salah stalling in recent days, Carragher feels Klopp must improve on the options he has at his disposal.“[They need to sign] a genuine out-and-out striker, I just don’t feel Daniel Sturridge will play enough games, he’s got the ability,” Carragher said.“Firmino plays there, I see him as more of a second striker. Klopp is a huge fan of his – as I am.“It’s obvious defensively as well. Who knows if Van Dijk is dead in the water or if it will be resurrected?”last_img read more

England’s Harry Kane issues rallying cry after reaching World Cup semi-final

first_imgHarry Kane insists England deserve to be in the World Cup semi-finals and ‘have been fantastic’ at the tournament in Russia.The Three Lions skipper led the line superbly in the 2-0 quarter-final victory over Sweden on Saturday to seal a place in the final four for the first time since 1990. Gareth Southgate is leading England further than anyone expected “I said before the tournament, we have to believe” 🏆Hear from the #ENG manager and captain here ⬇️#WorldCup | #TSWorldCup pic.twitter.com/zsBkHlZAvV— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) July 7, 2018talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network. And the Tottenham Hotspur striker, who is currently leading the goalscoring charts with six, insists his teammates always believed they could do something special in Russia.“It’s been amazing,” Kane admitted after the game in Samara.“I said before the tournament, we have to believe.“You go into any competition trying to go all the way – otherwise there is no point entering it.“Obviously not many people thought we would get to this stage but, look, we deserved it.” 2center_img Victory over the Swedes has set up a semi-final clash with Croatia, who defeated hosts Russia on penalties later the same day.But the 24-year-old, who failed to score for the first time as England captain on Saturday, was more than happy to simply revel in victory on Saturday.He added: “We’ve been fantastic and under such pressure (obviously the whole nation watching, the whole world watching on) I thought we controlled the game really well.“We was [sic] composed and we took our chances when we needed to and a clean sheet is vital at this stage.”Check out the interview from talkSPORT’s official Twitter page below! 2 England captain Harry Kane has six goals at the World Cup last_img read more

NO EXPENSIVE PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO HOSPITAL FLOOD – HSE

first_imgPic By Gerry AdamsTHE HSE has dismissed suggestions that there should be an expensive public inquiry into what caused €8M worth of damage to Letterkenny General Hospital eight days ago.Sources in the authority said a “comprehensive” internal investigation would look at what caused the collapse in acute health care in County Donegal eight days ago.The sources also said the results of the investigation would be made public once they have been reviewed by lawyers. The stream which burst its banks sending water cascading into the new €20M Emergency Department is on HSE property, so responsibility for its maintenance rests with the hospital.However one senior HSE official told Donegal Daily: “The idea that we would spend millions of euro on a public inquiry is just ridiculous when every cent is needed for patient care and rebuilding Letterkenny General Hospital.“Our investigation, overseen by the Department of Health, will be thorough and honest.“There is no need to waste more money on public inquiries, lawyers and all that entails. We don’t believe there is an appetite for that.”  NO EXPENSIVE PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO HOSPITAL FLOOD – HSE was last modified: August 2nd, 2013 by John2Share 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:NO EXPENSIVE PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO HOSPITAL FLOOD – HSElast_img read more

MY DONEGAL …..WITH IRISH LANGUAGE ENTHUSIAST CAITLIN UI CHOCHLAIN

first_imgThe success of last week’s Oireachtas na Samhna in Letterkenny brought pride to the people of Donegal, but particularly those involved in its organisation. One such woman is Caitlín Uí Chochláin. Well known throughout Donegal for her enthusiasm for the Irish language, as Comhordaitheoir Gaeilge An Rannóg Pobal agus Fiontar Comhairle Chontae Dhún na nGall, Caitlín is a face many of us recognize from such successful endeavours as the Oireachtas and is this week’s choice for ‘My Donegal’.What is your favourite place in Donegal and why? Bunbeg in Gaoth Dobhair is definitely my favourite place in County Donegal. I have great childhood memories of my family and neighbours, especially the older people who are long gone from this world. I learnt magical music and stories from them about the area that have proven invaluable to me in my own education, interests and grounding for a good life. The rugged coastline along Bunbeg has a lot of secrets in its nooks and crannies!If you could change one thing about Donegal what would it be?I would love Donegal to go back to nature and to its language, especially. Who is the one person you look up to in Donegal and why?Errigal is the ‘God’ of Donegal. It can be seen almost anywhere in its various shapes and forms, depending on the aspect that you approach it by.Daniel O Donnell or Packie Bonner?Both are lovely, down to earth ambassadors for Donegal…along with Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Máire Ní Bhraonáin, Lisa Mc Hugh, the Donegal football team and loads of others who represent Donegal all over the world.What has been Donegal’s proudest moment in recent years?Winning the All Ireland on 23rd September 2012 definitely!What has been Donegal’s saddest moment? Emigration causes great sadness but the saddest in my life were the boat disasters around the coast in 1970s and 1980s.What is your favourite Donegal-made product?I love the arts and crafts by Donegal artists such as Marina Hamilton.Who is Donegal’s greatest ambassador around the world and why? Moya Brennan, Máiréad Ní Mhaonaigh and Daniel O ‘Donnell. So many people visit Donegal just to see where they hail from.Who is Donegal’s most successful businessperson/people in your opinion?Hoteliers who own their own hotels.Who is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time?Shay Given.What is your favourite Donegal restaurant?Teach Chillín Darach (Danny Minnie’s) in Annagry.Donegal’s golden eagles or basking sharks?An tIolar Rua.Your nomination for Donegal’s most stylish person?Caoimhe Ní Chathail.What is your favourite Donegal expression or saying?Caidé mar atá tú?What is your favourite Donegal food?Fresh fish.If you had one million euro to spend on improving something in Donegal what would it be?Open up the railway routes for walking & cycling to explore the beauty of parts of the county that our generation have never seen.If you could bring tourists to one attraction in Donegal what would it be?Sliabh Liaig.Donegal’s beaches or mountains?Innishinny’s beaches.Is there anything that annoys you about Donegal or its people?Nothing at all – great people.MY DONEGAL …..WITH IRISH LANGUAGE ENTHUSIAST CAITLIN UI CHOCHLAIN was last modified: November 9th, 2012 by StephenShare 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:Caitlin Ui ChochlainMY DONEGALlast_img read more

92,000 troops in next rotation to Iraq

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “We know we’re going to bulk up for the elections, and we know we’re going to go back down to some level after the elections,” Rumsfeld said in a telephone call to The Associated Press. During the call, Rumsfeld complained that an AP report gave the mistaken impression that the Pentagon has already decided to reduce troop levels below 138,000 next year. Separately, a senior Army general said there is a growing momentum in the training of Iraqi security forces, which now total about 100,000 army soldiers and about 111,000 police forces. In a detailed briefing before a group organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank, Lt. Gen. David Petraeus said the goal is to have a combined total of 230,000 army and police by the December election. Petraeus left Iraq last summer after a year in command of training programs for the Iraqi security forces. His briefing charts said training and equipping of the Iraqi army should be done by January 2007, and by March 2007 for the Iraqi police services. The total number of forces is to reach 325,000 by July 2007. The Pentagon hopes to be able to reduce U.S. troop levels as Iraqi security forces become more capable of defending their own country, but it is unclear when that point will be reached. Officials also disclosed that U.S. commanders in Iraq decided they would not need one brigade – normally numbering about 3,500 soldiers, until early next year. It had been scheduled to deploy to Iraq before the Dec. 15 election. That unit, the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan., will deploy after the election instead. WASHINGTON – The Pentagon announced that more than 92,000 troops will be in the next rotation of U.S. forces in Iraq, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said its exact size will not be decided until after the Dec. 15 election of a new Iraqi government. The Pentagon said it has identified some of the major combat units that will deploy, starting in mid-2006 as part of a rotation that will run through mid-2008, including a National Guard brigade from Minnesota. It said the identified units will total about 92,000 troops, but Rumsfeld said that should not be taken as the final figure. The usual troop level this year has been about 138,000, although that has been strengthened to about 160,000 this fall out of concern for extra violence during voting in October and December. The number deployed in future rotations will depend on conditions, including the severity of the insurgency and the strength of Iraqi security forces, as well as the recommendations of U.S. commanders, Rumsfeld said. The troop rotation announcement identified only six combat brigades, including one from the National Guard, that will deploy over a two-year period beginning in mid-2006. Currently there are about 17 brigades in Iraq. Monday’s announcement did not include any Marine Corps units, although they apparently will be added later. The forces “as presently envisioned” number 92,000 soldiers, the Pentagon said. Rumsfeld, appearing before reporters with British Defense Minister John Reid prior to announcing the troop rotation details, stressed that conditions on the ground in the months ahead will determine any changes in U.S. force levels. “We’re aware of the interest in the press in the mid-to-longer-term levels of U.S. forces and coalition forces in Iraq, but I would caution that it would be a mistake to draw conclusions about such matters when reviewing the force rotation announcements that will be made later today,” Rumsfeld said. “We continue to transition and transfer additional responsibilities to the Iraqi security forces, and the people of Iraq continue to meet the political milestones that they have established,” he added. “As these and other conditions are met, Gen. (George) Casey will continue to assess the capabilities that he believes he will need and make recommendations as to the levels he believes will be needed in the period over the coming months.” The Pentagon said the following major units will deploy as part of the 2006-2008 rotation: 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division, Minnesota Army National Guard. 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfert, Germany. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash. 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y. 13th Corps Support Command, Fort Hood, Texas. Division headquarters, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. The announcement said, without elaboration, that Rumsfeld’s decisions “may result in changes to this rotation and may affect units now being identified and advised to prepare to deploy.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Letterkenny St.Patrick’s Day Parade – get involved today

first_imgThere is lots of planning going on behind the scenes for this years Letterkenny St.Patrick’s Day Parade and Letterkenny Chamber is making an appeal for groups, clubs, schools and businesses to get involved.We have dancers, gymnasts, sports clubs and community organisations already making their plans for the annual Parade that is taking place on Sunday 17th March but we need many more to keep the parade as one of the biggest in the County.For businesses it is an opportunity to get in front of 10,000 spectators, for community groups it is a way of getting your cause and group recognised. And for everyone it is a great afternoon out and remember there is always the chance of winning the €500 for the best entry. Chamber President Leonard Watson said “The parade is organised by Letterkenny Chamber and its volunteers are busy raising money from businesses large and small. With the support of businesses we will be able to cover all the costs of the Parade but we are making an appeal for more entries from groups and businesses.“St. Patrick’s Day is always an important event in the calendar and it marks the start of the Spring season for all of us in business. This year it falls once again at a weekend so we are expecting a high number of spectators. This year we are celebrating “Letterkenny Together” and we know everyone will get into the spirit of celebrating all things Irish and show how proud they are of Letterkenny and Donegal.”“This year, in a change from the norm, we are asking walking entries and walking entries attached to motorised floats to assemble at An Grianan Theatre Car Park. The motorised entries will line up as usual along Pearse Road and the walking entries will be filtered in to the parade from the Theatre. So spectators will get the best vantage points from the Main Street.”The Parade starts at 3pm on Sunday 17th March making its way from Station Roundabout (Tesco) via Port Road, through the Main Street past the viewing platform at Market Square to finish in Old Town. Letterkenny St.Patrick’s Day Parade – get involved today was last modified: March 7th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare 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)last_img read more

Half-time: Man Utd 1 QPR 0

first_imgTen-man QPR trail at Old Trafford after Wayne Rooney’s controversial 15th-minute penalty.Already massive underdogs against the champions, Rangers’ cause was not helped by a dismal refereeing decision.Referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot and then red-carded Shaun Derry when Ashley Young went down in the box after the R’s midfielder did little more than place a hand on his back.Not only was contact minimal, Young was in an offside position as he looked to latch onto Rooney’s pass.Keeper Paddy Kenny went the right way but was unable to save the resulting penalty – Rooney’s 29th goal of the season.United had been well on top – Clint Hill cleared off the line and Kenny kept out a Rooney free-kick early on – but Rangers appeared to have weathered the predictable early storm before United were helped along by the officials.Derry’s sending-off was Rangers’ seventh red card of the season and while their indiscipline will be a major factor in their relegation if they fail to escape the drop, this dismissal was harsh to put it mildly and any appeal by the club would surely succeed.Inevitably, QPR were forced into damage limitation, and United should have doubled their lead when Rooney’s cross was headed wide by an unmarked Young.Rangers are without Joey Barton and Bobby Zamora, with Akos Buzsaky and Jay Bothroyd starting in their place.Zamora has been ill, while boss Mark Hughes opted not to risk Barton as the midfielder is a booking away from being suspended.Click here for our Man Utd v QPR quizSee also: Hughes urges QPR to recreate spirit of ’92Mixed news for QPR ahead of Man Utd clashlast_img read more

Evolution of the Christmas Tree:  Firs Tie Oaks in Fitness Race

first_imgIn the struggle for existence, the conifers should have lost, because when angiosperms appeared, they had fancier valve jobs.  That’s the feeling of a story introduced by Elizabeth Pennisi on Science Now.  “Those of us who celebrate Christmas tend to take fir and spruce trees for granted around the holiday season,” she quipped, “But without a special modification that allows these trees to efficiently transport water, we might be hanging our ornaments on a ficus instead, according to a new study.”  She explained:In order for photosynthesis to occur, tall trees must supply their uppermost leaves with water, which is pulled up from the roots by evaporation.  Angiosperms such as oaks and willows accomplish this using a series of centimeters-long, tube-shaped cellular pipes.  Tiny valves made of cellulose membranes connect each “pipe” and help keep air bubbles out.  Christmas trees and other conifers have much shorter pipe cells, however, and therefore must use many more valves than angiosperms.  This should create more resistance and make it harder for them to transport water.  But they don’t have any trouble at all, says John Sperry, a plant biologist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Sperry’s team measured water flow in 18 conifers, including bald cypress, junipers and redwoods, and compared results with 29 species of angiosperms.  There was no essential difference.  Conifers hoisted the water with equal ease, despite the shorter pipe cells.  How do they do it?The reason, says [Jarmila] Pittermann, has to do with key differences in the valves.  Angiosperm valves are simple membranes full of miniscule pores.  In conifers, the valves consist of a circle of impermeable tissue surrounded by porous tissue.  The conifer’s pores are 100 times larger than those in angiosperms and allow water to pass through relatively easily.  This efficiency more than makes up for the additional valves on the way to the tree top, Pittermann says.The researchers said that this helps scientists understand water transport in wood.  “But the work also points to how conifers, which predate angiosperms and are often considered primitive, were able to survive once angiosperms populated Earth,” Pennisi explains.  “Without these very special cells, one biologist claimed “there wouldn’t be any conifers anymore” – presumably because they could not compete against the angiosperms.  The work was published in Science.1  In the paper, the authors did not explain how or when the unique structure of the conifer valve evolved.  They just said that without the adaptation, angiosperms would have a 38-fold advantage in water transport:The superior hydraulics of the conifer pit are crucial for minimizing sapwood resistivity.  If conifer tracheids had the pit resistance of angiosperms, their sapwood resistivity would increase by 38-fold…. This, added to the narrow diameter range of tracheids, would make it much more difficult for conifers to compete effectively with angiosperms.    …. We conclude that the evolution of the torus-margo membrane within the gymnosperm lineage from homogenous pits was equivalent to the evolution of vessels within the angiosperms.  The towering redwoods and the sweep of the boreal coniferous forest exist in no small part because of this clever microscopic valve.1Pitterman et al., “Torus-Margo Pits Help Conifers Compete with Angiosperms,” Science, 23 December 2005: Vol. 310. no. 5756, p. 1924 | DOI: 10.1126/science.1120479.What did evolution have to do with this story, really?  Did it contribute anything of value, even an ornament to hang on the tree?  The results were not what evolutionists expected.  Conifers ruled the Jurassic forests, then along come angiosperms with superior plumbing, and there should have been no contest.  Those old, primitive conifers should have gone the way of the dinosaurs, and our Christmas trees would look very different.  Sweep away the Darwinian mythology, and what remains?  Two well-designed, highly successful groups of plants.  They may have different ways of lifting water, but so what?  From a design perspective, it would be just as productive a research program to find reasons for the difference.  Clearly the conifers are doing well.  The tallest trees in the world are conifers (see 04/22/2004).  Conifers seem to do even better than angiosperms in many locations, such as at timberline, where they survive numbing cold storms and snow without even having to drop their needles.  Nobody told them they were at a disadvantage against the new trees on the block.    The gem of this story is the beautifully-designed valves in conifers that allow them to pump thousands of gallons of water straight up, hundreds of feet into the air, to fill our world with beauty and dignity (see photos #1, #2, #3) while adding to the life-giving oxygen in the atmosphere.  Pennisi jokingly entitled her article, “The Grinch Who (Almost) Stole Christmas” pitting angiosperms in a phony battle against their friends, the conifers.  Not funny.  The Grinch is Charles Darwin.(Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more