SEA Games: ‘Stand-in’ Ferrera nails hammer throw bronze

first_imgNational Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu ACL or not, Obiena hunts for SEA Games pole vault gold Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay MOST READ KUALA LUMPUR—Former champion Arniel Ferrera nailed a bronze medal in men’s hammer throw amid a very tough field that saw the winner posting a new Southeast Asian Games record Wednesday here at Bukit Jalil National Stadium.A last-minute stand-in for original bet Caleb Stuart, Ferrera heaved 55.94 meters on his sixth attempt to secure a place on the podium.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIEScenter_img View comments Caleb reportedly got a call from the athletics body to play in the national open, but he didn’t respond. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees Malaysia’s Wong Siew Cheer launched a throw of 65.90m, which shattered the 65.63-m meet record of the Filipino-American Stuart, who ruled the meet two years ago in Singapore.Thailand’s Kittipong Boonmawan posted 65.49m to take the silver medal.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The 36-year-old Ferreira, who won the SEAG gold in the event in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009, has been serving as coach for national team.He said he had no choice but fill in for Caleb, who reportedly got a job back in the United States. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacsonlast_img read more



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JaVale McGee flourishing in opportunity with LeBron, Lakers

first_imgJapeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum FILE – In this Nov. 14, 2018, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) is congratulated by center JaVale McGee, left, and center Tyson Chandler after James passed Wilt Chamberlain for fifth place in career points, during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Los Angeles. In his 11th season, McGee has basically gotten a basketball rebirth. “I played against him in the last two NBA Finals and I wanted him on this team because I know what he brings,” said James, who lobbied the Lakers to get McGee. “It’s his energy, his energy level, his ability at the rim and his ability to protect the rim. If you don’t have that on your team, you’re not going to have much, man. You need to have people with a high IQ, which he’s got. That’s why I wanted JaVale to be part of this.” (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)There was a two-season stretch during which JaVale McGee scored a total of 141 points. He was a target of jokes, wildly misunderstood by many in the NBA, almost an afterthought of sorts whose career seemed to be closer to flaming out than taking off.And in those darkest days, McGee kept asking himself the same question.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew “Is it over?”The answer now is obvious: No, it wasn’t over. Fast forward, and it may just be getting started.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissHe’s living the life that few in the NBA get to experience. He’s teamed up with the best players of this generation — Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, LeBron James. He’s won two championships, part of Golden State’s back-to-back titles over the last two seasons. And now he’s the starting center for the Los Angeles Lakers, getting a chance to play big minutes and put up numbers for the first time in nearly a decade.In his 11th season, McGee has basically gotten a basketball rebirth. “He’s been great,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “He’s been professional. He’s taking care of himself. He’s vocal in the locker rooms and the huddles, he’s been producing for us, obviously his shot-blocking has been a big part of us having some success on defense. We’re very pleased with JaVale.”Due respect to Walton, he’ll never be McGee’s favorite coach.His mom has that title on lock.Pamela McGee won two NCAA titles as a player at USC and an Olympic gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, was the No. 2 pick in the 1997 WNBA Draft and is in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.“I used to be Pamela McGee,” she said. “Now I’m JaVale McGee’s mama.”While many lost faith in her oldest child, she never did. The two titles with the Warriors probably meant as much to Pamela McGee as they did to her son. And now she’s back in familiar surroundings — Los Angeles, where she played, sitting near the floor to watch Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. She has flashbacks when James and her kid team up to do something spectacular, like those “Showtime” Lakers did.“There’s an African proverb that says the teacher will become the student and the student will become the teacher,” she said. “I think we’re there. I was a very strict mother, but now, it doesn’t come from my mouth, it comes from my heart. I’m just extremely proud. Not too many mothers get this opportunity.”There are goals that McGee still has to accomplish in his career.He wants to be an All-Star. He wants to average a double-double. He wants to win a blocked-shot title. He’s turning 31 in January, is in great condition and knows he could play several more seasons. And as this season goes along, McGee knows part of his job will be sharing wisdom he’s collected in his two championship runs with those younger Lakers who don’t know what the postseason is about yet.“We’re having a blast,” McGee said. “And when we start figuring it out, you’re going to see a team that’s having so much fun.” Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown “I played against him in the last two NBA Finals and I wanted him on this team because I know what he brings,” said James, who lobbied the Lakers to get McGee. “It’s his energy, his energy level, his ability at the rim and his ability to protect the rim. If you don’t have that on your team, you’re not going to have much, man. You need to have people with a high IQ, which he’s got. That’s why I wanted JaVale to be part of this.”McGee’s numbers are so much better this season than what they’ve been. But he cringes at the notion that he’s gotten better.What the Lakers have given him is a better chance. That’s the difference. And he’s certainly one of the reasons why they’re off to a 10-7 start, winners in six of their last seven games.McGee’s per-36-minutes averages over his career have been remarkably similar: Never lower than 13.1 points in a full season, the majority of the time between 15 and 18 points per 36 minutes of play. But the numbers are spiking this year because he’s actually getting minutes — the Lakers are starting him and playing him about 25 minutes per night, and he’s responding with averages of 13.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game.He’s showing everyone else what James saw in the NBA Finals the past two years.ADVERTISEMENT Russian court challenges International Olympic Committee Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil “He could have said get anybody,” McGee said. “It’s just a reassuring feeling, a confidence-builder I guess, knowing that you’re going into a situation wanted as an option, like you’re really wanted. That’s pretty dope.”Away from the court, McGee is a very diverse person — and very private. He doesn’t think much of social media, preferring to keep his inner circle very small and very close.He makes music on his computer and is serious about that as a vocation. He’s devoted to philanthropy, having built some wells to bring clean water to parts of Uganda. And the irony there is that McGee is a native of Flint, Michigan, a place that has been dealing with a clean-water crisis since 2014 — but his efforts in Uganda are coincidental, since he started that quest before the Flint situation became known.“It’s all such a humbling experience,” McGee said.The game has sufficiently humbled McGee at times as well.In those 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, when McGee was barely playing because of ongoing issues related to a stress fracture in his left leg, he wondered if his career was coming to a premature end. His physical game was failing, his mental game was in trouble as well, and basketball stopped seeming fun.“Of course, I had all those feelings, all those thoughts,” McGee said. “But what overshadowed all that was me just not being willing to prepare for the worst. I’m just going to keep preparing for the best. So I just kept working like I wasn’t hurting, and it ended up being dealing with pain and the pain going away and then realizing the pain isn’t even there anymore.”His game has taken off since.The funny thing about McGee is that he came into the NBA with the skills that big men now are supposed to have — stretch defenses, make shots from the perimeter, have some guard-esque skills. That’s the player he was at Nevada before getting picked by Washington at the No. 18 spot of the 2008 NBA Draft.But when he entered the NBA, the mandate basically was for a 7-footer like himself to rebound and set screens. In today’s NBA, his versatility is almost required for a big. The Lakers rave about all the things fans notice and a lot of more about what might not be so noticable — like his footwork, his speed down the floor, his hands and his cutting. MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more



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How Tolbert Consolidated Power in 1971

first_imgHistory was richly revisited in Dimeh last Friday when the  Moore family, under the leadership Mrs. Gillian Lorba  Moore, widow of Bai T. Moore, and his son Sando gathered with some Liberian officials and friends to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the passing of the celebrated international cultural icon.Bai T, as he was affectionately called, was the man who, working with Information and  Cultural Affairs Secretary E. Reginald Townsend and others, beginning in the early 1960s through the seventies, elevated, refined and exhibited Liberia’s rich, colorful and dynamic culture as had never before been done.  Kenneth Y. Best, in his book Cultural Policy in Liberia, published by UNESCO in 1974, recalled that it was on January 7, 1964 that the National Cultural Center at Kendeja near Monrovia was inaugurated by President William V.S. Tubman.  The key players in this historic enterprise, in addition to the President, were Secretary Townsend, his Deputy Secretary for Culture, Bai T. Moore, Madam Wilhelmina Dukuly, Chief of the Cultural Bureau and leader of the National Cultural Troupe, and Jangaba Johnson, a leading Liberian folklorist.  People who later played a pivotal role in the development of the National Cultural Troupe were Jallah K.K. Kamara and Peter Ballah, commonly called “Flomo.”  Both Kamara and Ballah also made their mark on Liberian theatre, which they brilliantly displayed on the national television, ELTV.It was Bai T. Moore and his coworkers, under Townsend’s leadership, that created the Natural Cultural Troupe.  The Troupe performed at inaugurations, Independence Day celebrations, state and official visits by foreign leaders and dignitaries, and many other state occasions.  Cultural Policy in Liberia recalls that the National Cultural Troupe represented Liberia at many international cultural festivals, where it won many international awards for Liberia. These included the First World Festival of Negro Art (Dakar, April 1966); the Pan African Arts and Cultural Festival, Algeria, 1970; and the Second Black Arts Festival (Festac), in Lagos, Nigeria, December 1974.  The Troupe also performed at the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the founding of the Organization of African Unity in Addis Ababa, May 1973; in China, in the United States; and in Australia. The National Cultural Troupe and the Cultural Program as a whole, inspired Liberians with a new cultural reawakening and awareness that riveted (engrossed, captivated) the hearts and souls of the Liberian people.The Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS) captured this new cultural awakening and dispatched scholars throughout Liberia researching the history, arts, culture and mores (customs, moral attitudes) of the   Liberian people, including every ethnic group.  The team of scholars returned and created a curriculum for African Studies that taught the History, Culture and Mores of all the ethnic groups.  The curriculum, used throughout the MCSS and at its flagship, the W.V.S Tubman High School, covered grades 7 through 12.  The complete curriculum is recorded in Mr. Best’s book, Cultural Policy in Liberia.It was that Bai T. Moore whose life many gathered in Dimeh to celebrate last Friday. Among the speakers was Mrs. Neh Dukuly Tolbert, former Liberian Ambassador to China, former wife of the Liberian business tycoon Steve Tolbert and daughter of former Secretary of State Momolu Dukuly. She told the well attended ceremony in Dimeh last Friday that a month following President Tubman’s death on July 23, 1971 her former husband Steve Tolbert came one evening to see her father, Momolu Dukuly.  Steve told her father that since Tubman’s death a month earlier, on July 23, 1971, the country was at a standstill, as the people were still in a state of shock and nothing was happening.  They had not yet come to grips with the reality of Tubman’s death and that there was a new President.  Could Mr. Dukuly  do something about it by contacting the Moslems and others to give some recognition to the new President?“My father said he would see what he could do.  The first thing he did was to go and see  Bai T. Moore.  Together they contacted people throughout the country, especially Moslems, and not long thereafter Moslems from all over Liberia came to pay their respects to President Tolbert.  They presented him with a copy of the Holy Koran and Bai T. Moore, though a Christian himself, like Mr. Dukuly, read the statement on behalf of group.” From that time, said Neh Dukuly Tolbert, she always had a fascination and great respect for Bai T. Moore.Following that demonstration  by the Moslems, people from   all over Liberia began trooping  to Monrovia to pledge their allegiance to the new Liberian  President.  It was following this that President Tolbert  began to assert his authority as Liberia’s 20th President.    Madam Neh Dukuly Tolbert thanked Sando Moore for inviting her to the program, and commended K.Y. Best, the first speaker, for calling for the National Cultural Center to be brought to the Cape Mount- Bomi-Gbarpolu area which he called “the corridor of Liberian culture.”In his address earlier, Mr. Best said it was this Dowein District—comprising the people of Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and  Gbarpolou Counties—the Dey, Gola, Vai and Kpelle—that could be considered the citadel (fort, stronghold) of Liberian culture. This citadel reverberated (echoed, resounded) strong and tangible cultural links with Montserrado County, Margibi County, especially the greater Kakata area, Bong and Lofa Counties.  It is these areas and people that form the core of Liberian culture, Mr. Best declared.  There are parts of Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties, each bordering Bong County, that seriously share these cultural links, he added.But, Mr. Best continued, the people of southeastern Liberia—Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Grand Kru, Maryland, Sinoe and River Cess counties—also share a rich cultural diversity.  All of these, along with Bong, Nimba, Lofa, Cape Mount, Gbarpolou, Bomi and Montserrado, comprising Liberia’s 16 major ethnic groups, were gathered together at the National Cultural Center at Kendeja since 1964.  According to the Cultural Policy of Liberia, the 16 major tribes were settled in 23 huts at Kendeja and there they stayed together and practiced, refined and displayed their indigenous cultures that found beautiful and exhilarating expression in the National Cultural Troupe and other performing arts.Neh Dukuly Tolbert told the Dimeh audience that she agreed with Mr. Best that there was nothing culturally relevant in Marshall, the place where the Information Ministry was planning to plant the new National Cultural Center. In his remarks, Mr. Best had asked the audience why were the government of Liberia and the Ministry of Information running away from Bai T. Moore?  The town of his birth, Dimeh, and more importantly the Besao Cultural Village further inside Bomi, were the natural habitat of Liberian culture.Neh Dukuly Tolbert, whose mother also hailed from the Dowein District, pledged that she would lobby to change the decision to put the Cultural Center in Marshall and bring it to where it belongs, among the ethnic groups that bear the genesis of Liberian culture.In his book on Cultural Policy, Mr. Best quoted Bai T. Moore as saying that the Dey people strongly considered the Sande Society—the society for Liberian women—to be “the custodian of feminine chastity.”The last person to give remarks at the Dimeh program was the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex Tyler, a native of Arthington whose mother hailed from Klay District in the center of Bomi County.Speaker Tyler said the people of Bomi partly share the blame for the Liberian government’s  neglect of Bai T. Moore.  “Bai T. is our son and father; but we the Bomi people have done nothing to restore his memory on the national consciousness.   But that has to change, and it will, he pledged.The Speaker said he was in perfect agreement with Mr. Best that the National Cultural Center belongs in the Dowein area where Liberian culture is already alive and flourishing.   He pledged that he would consult with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to have it changed from Marshall.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more



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French trio ready to beat Newcastle and Watford to striker signing

first_img Angers striker Nicolas Pepe A trio of major French clubs are ready to move for Newcastle and Watford target Nicolas Pepe.Following Angers’ defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the French cup final, they are now turning their attention to the summer transfer window.And, according to L’Equipe, they are now ready to cash in on star forward Pepe with a long list of clubs currently circling.Both Newcastle and Watford are keen on landing the Ivorian, who scored three goals in 33 Ligue 1 outings this season.But it has now been reported that it is more likely that he will stay in France with Lille, Lyon and even champions Monaco hopeful of signing him.The 22-year-old, who mainly operates as a right-sided forward, is under contract until 2019 so Angers are not under any real pressure to sell him.But they hope a bidding war will begin once the window opens and are ready to let him leave for the right price. 1last_img read more



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DRINK DRIVER SPRAYED SO MUCH MINT INTO HIS MOUTH HE WRECKED BREATHALYSER

first_imgA DRINK driver sprayed so much mint freshener into his mouth, it wrecked the breathalyser machine at a Garda Station, a court has heard.Michael Bonnar, from Rareagh, Letterkenny, was stopped by a Garda patrol at Oldtown close to midnight on January 11, 2012.Garda Elaine Gordon told the District Court that she stopped Bonnar because she noticed he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. She arrested him on suspicion of drinking and driving after smelling alcohol on his breath.However a bizarre incident took place at Letterkenny Garda Station later that night.Bonnar, she said, had been told not to take any food or drink and not to smoke for a period of 20 minutes before a breath test was due to take place.Just before Bonnar was due to give the breath specimen, Garda Gordon said he turned away from her and sprayed something into his mouth.She told Judge Paul Kelly that she knew straight away it was a mint spray “because you could smell it everywhere.”The garda confiscated the spray – the main ingredient of which was alcohol – and it was produced in court in evidence in a charge against Bonnar of obstructing justice.Garda Gordon said Bonnar had claimed he needed the spray for medical reasons as he had difficulty breathing.When he did blow into the device “the machine froze” said the garda.“It just stopped working,” she said.Defence lawyer Niall Sheridan contested that charge and a charge of drinking and driving.A blood sample later given by Bonnar because he broke the breathalyser – which had a reading of 225ml alcohol/200ml of blood – led to the drink driving charge.Mr Sheridan had argued that a date written on the blood sample at the Garda Medical Unit was January 2010 and asked for the case to be struck out because of this error.He also argued that the obstructing justice charge should be thrown out as his client had taken the spray as a medicine and had informed Gardai that he had a medical condition beforehand.Judge Kelly struck out the obstruction charge but found Bonnar guilty of drink driving, ruling that the blood sample was clearly his as his name was marked on it and it was taken on the night of January 11/12, 2012.Upon conviction Inspector David Murphy told the court that Bonnar had a previous conviction for drink-driving in 2005.Judge Kelly banned Bonnar from driving for three years and fined him €350.DRINK DRIVER SPRAYED SO MUCH MINT INTO HIS MOUTH HE WRECKED BREATHALYSER was last modified: December 11th, 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:convicteddrink driverJudge Paul KellyMichael BonnarNiall Sheridan solicitorlast_img read more



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Snow forecast for Donegal sparks warning over hazardous roads

first_imgMet Eireann is warning motorists to take extra care this weekend as wintry weather arrives in Donegal.Snow and hail are forecast to fall on Friday night and Saturday, leading to localised accumulations. Snow will compact into ice in some areas and cause hazardous driving conditions.Temperatures will dip to between 3 and 0 degrees Celsius tonight and snow will lie on high ground, according to Met Eireann. Council gritters will be out on all main routes from 8pm, but motorists are advised to assume that no road is ice free.There is also a wind warning in place for Donegal tonight and tomorrow, with strong westerly winds reaching mean speeds 50 to 65 km/h gusting to 90 to 110 km/h. There is a risk of stronger winds at the Donegal coasts.The wind warning takes effect from 5pm Friday to 5pm Saturday.The snow/ice warning is in place from midnight Friday until midnight on Saturday. Frequent showers during the day on Saturday will be “heavy at times and wintry on hills,” said Met Eireann.Temperatures are forecast to drop to lows of -3C and highs of +1C on Saturday night, with more snow possible over high ground. Snow forecast for Donegal sparks warning over hazardous roads was last modified: December 15th, 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)last_img read more



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Did JaVale McGee upstage LeBron James in their Laker debuts?

first_img— … CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceIt took JaVale McGee just four seconds to steal the spotlight from LeBron James as they both made their debuts with the Lakers Sunday night.The former Warrior’s alley-oop dunk off the opening tip thrilled the pro-Lakers crowd gathered in San Diego and signaled the beginning of the King James Era in Southern California.JaVale wasting no time!#LakeShow (📺: @SpectrumSN & ESPN) pic.twitter.com/HUDoWNA1Vglast_img



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Omari Spellman upgraded to probable (ankle) vs. Lakers

first_img Wh … LOS ANGELES — Warriors forward Omari Spellman was upgraded to probably for Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, coach Steve Kerr said.Spellman, who missed one game with a left ankle sprain, was previously listed as questionable. After going through shootaround Wednesday morning, coaches determined he was ready to play.Related Articles Warriors resemble team of old, Kevon Looney isn’t ready, and other thoughts from loss to Trail Blazers last_img



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Toddler Beats Artificial Intelligence Computers

first_img(Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Artificial intelligence, despite decades of work, still cannot match some of the mental capabilities of a 3-year-old.  Computers have no common sense.“To create a robot with common sense, mimic a toddler,” says a story on New Scientist.  The article is an interview with Ben Goertzel, who is trying to get A.I. up to toddler level and beyond.  “Step one is to make an AI program that understands the world, and itself, in a basic common-sense manner,” he said.  “I think the best way to get there is to build a robot toddler.”Computers and robots are very good at fast searches through vast amounts of data.  They can also outperform chess champs.  But prudence and sound judgment at even a 3-year old level are beyond them.  According to Live Science, “Machines can’t yet be programed to form intuitions about the physical world without doing extensive calculations, and they seem to fail at answering open-ended questions.”A.I. researchers in Zurich believe they have developed a chip that will make the breakthrough: chips that mimic the brain.  Medical Xpress tells about the new neuromorphic chips.  We’ll have to wait and see if the robots have sense enough to come out of the rain before they short out.Human brains have some pretty sophisticated wiring, including a new method of signaling described in another article on Medical Xpress.  Exosomes provide a kind of “delivery on call” capability, the article says.Another article on Science Daily said that cells have a “zip code” capability that is linked to learning and memory, including redundancy to ensure proper delivery.  In addition, PNAS published a paper that says “Flexible frequency control of cortical oscillations enables computations required for working memory.”  The brain also finds it easy to pick out salient sounds from background noise, Science Daily said, by tracking frequency and time.But it’s not just the squishy hardware in brains that makes them excel over computers in so many ways.  Where is the seat of common sense?  Can a computer judge a piece of music?  A robot can dance, but can it “know” that it is dancing?  Before A.I. gets close to making humanoid robots, there will still be ample time for philosophers and theologians to debate the nature of consciousness, and even simple questions about qualia (our sensations of attributes of things) – the “hard problem of consciousness” according to philosopher David Chalmers, who believes science will never solve it (see Evolution News & Views video clip).A.I. is a variety of biomimetics, the imitation of nature.  Trying to reproduce simple intellectual tasks our brains take for granted should be a good way for scientists to learn humility, and conclude intelligent design.  Unfortunately, too often, the opposite occurs.  That’s a sign of human stubbornness and pride – more evidence that underscores the Biblical view of man created in the image of God but fallen into sin.  That’s why Jesus, knowing the mind of a toddler He created, said to the prideful adults of His day, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).last_img read more



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A nation of paradoxes: Robinson

first_img(l to r) Graça Machel, Mary Robinson, Patricia de Lille and Prof Jakes Gerwel stand on the balcony of the Cape Town city hall – the same balcony from which Nelson Mandela delivered his first public address as a free man.(Image: Mandela Centre of Memory) In her lecture, Robinson likened herself to a true friend who “tells you not only what you want to hear but what you need to hear”.(Image: Jay Naidoo)MEDIA CONTACTS • Sello HatangSpokesperson, Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory+27 11 547 5600Source: Nelson Mandela Centre of MemoryMary Robinson, former Irish president, member of The Elders, and president of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, delivered the tenth Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture on 5 August 2012 at the Cape Town city hall.The theme of the lecture was Freedom, Truth, Democracy: Citizenship and Common Purpose.The hall was packed with dignitaries and special guests, among them Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory CEO Achmat Dangor, who opened the proceedings; the centre’s chairperson Jakes Gerwel; South Africa’s deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe; Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille; former parliamentary speaker Frene Ginwala; and Mandela’s wife Graça Machel.De Lille mentioned that the venue, the 107-year-old city hall, was significant because it was where Mandela made his first public address just hours after his release from Victor Verster Prison, now known as the Drakenstein Correctional Centre, on 11 February 1990.“The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture provides an important opportunity for leaders to further dialogues and debate about issues of social importance,” she said, “thereby advancing our collective interrogation about the questions raised by the past, present and future.”Gerwel then spoke about the significance of the tenth Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, which represents a decade of high quality dialogues being held in Johannesburg and now, for the first time, in Cape Town.“This is the first Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture being hosted outside of Johannesburg,” he said, “but today, the date and venue of the lecture are of particular historic significance.“The date today, 5 August 2012, represents 50 years since Nelson Mandela’s capture in Howick in 1962,” he explained. “Since that date Madiba was incarcerated in various cells, courts and prisons, until his release on 11 February 1990 when he walked from Victor Verster Prison a free man.”Gerwel then introduced Mary Robinson.The text of Robinson’s lecture follows:When I was invited to deliver the tenth Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, I felt daunted both by the honour of marking with you the 10th anniversary here in this historic town hall of Cape Town, and by the distinguished list of speakers who have gone before. Those of you who know me know that I am not easily daunted, and I feel daunted right now.I feel a great connection to South Africa. Next only to my native country, Ireland, this is the country I have most grown to love: for its historic victory over the evil of apartheid and its promise of a “rainbow nation”; for producing two great moral giants of my lifetime, Nelson Mandela – Madiba himself – and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who chairs the group of Elders to which I belong.I also have close personal friends here, and a beloved niece is married to a South African and will soon have her first South African-Irish child in this country.I would like to thank the board of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory although I must say that they have posed quite a challenge for me.In the 1960s I studied law in Trinity College, Dublin, and was taught by Kader Asmal, who instilled in me the values of rule of law, due process, equality and non-discrimination – values so well enshrined in your admirable Constitution.Kader and I became friends, and I joined him in the anti-apartheid movement he and his wife Louise founded in Ireland; so began my particular interest in South Africa’s affairs. As a young senator, I became involved in the European and African parliamentary grouping AWEPA, initially established to fight apartheid and now focused on strengthening the capacity of parliaments in Africa.In 1994, as president of Ireland, I was honoured to represent Ireland at the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela. I will never forget the occasion. Everything about it was special: the taking of the oath by the country’s beloved Madiba, the rows upon rows of South Africans of all races singing together as one, and the military fly-past and salute that caused a huge, visceral roar from the crowd below.Since then I have had many reasons to visit regularly, and I even have an academic connection, as an extraordinary professor at the University of Pretoria, linked to its Centre for Human Rights and Centre for the Study of Aids.I feel it necessary to set out my credentials as a friend, because my challenge today is to speak to you, South Africans, as your friend. A true friend tells you not only what you want to hear but what you need to hear.Clearly the concepts of “freedom”, “truth” and “democracy” have a particular resonance for the Republic of South Africa.“Freedom”, of course, evokes Madiba’s own long walk, and the struggle and sacrifice of ordinary South African citizens, unsung heroes, who stood up against a brutal regime to win their freedom. Physical freedom, from imprisonment in Robben Island, and political freedom, from the shackles of apartheid.“Truth” brings to mind South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first of its kind designed to enable the people to come to terms with the past, admit the truth about atrocities and gross human rights violations, and start the process of reconciliation. But it seems, and understandably given the circumstances, that this process only really scratched the surface, and South Africa remains, as my friend Dr Mamphela Ramphele puts it, “a nation of wounded people”.“Democracy” puts in mind those long queues at polling booths in 1994 all over the country, the tangible excitement as the majority of people voted for the first time. It puts in mind South Africa’s Constitution, admired around the world for the way it values human dignity and frames human rights at its heart. It puts in mind the promise of a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world, symbol of the possibilities for transformation, reconciliation and national unity.But we need to ask ourselves: is this young democracy living up to all those high expectations and ideals?As a human rights person, the term “freedom” also calls to mind the “four freedoms” identified by US President Franklin D Roosevelt in his state of the union address given in 1941, a time of world crisis:“The first is freedom of speech and expression – everywhere in the world.“The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way – everywhere in the world.“The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants – everywhere in the world.“The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbour – anywhere in the world.”I have always emphasised that freedom from want is a core part of human rights, as affirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including rights to food, safe water, health, education and shelter. In spite of the innovative provisions of the South African Constitution, can it be truly said that freedom from want has been adequately secured for all in the past 18 years?In the context of ideas of freedom and democracy, of citizenship and common purpose, inherent in the concept of truth is the need for transparency and accountability in government action. In order for citizens to remain the stewards of democracy, issues of accountability and transparency in governance are key. It is therefore with great concern that I have followed the progress of South Africa’s Protection of State Information legislation – knowingly styled by its detractors as the Secrecy Act. Perhaps it is not my place to pronounce on the levels of corruption at play in today’s South Africa.But, from my experience as a human rights lawyer, I can give you a certainty: if you enact a law that cloaks the workings of state actors, that interferes with press freedom to investigate corruption, that stifles efforts by whistleblowers to expose corruption, you are sure to increase those levels of corruption tomorrow. The public interest demands that basic truth, of having both transparency and accountability in government. Secrecy is the enemy of truth in this regard.Another aspect of truth is admitting mistakes. My own country, Ireland, is going through a very difficult time, struggling to recover from financial collapse and the humiliation – for a proud nation that experienced its own fight for freedom and democracy in the early 20th century – of having to be bailed out by the IMF, EU and European Central Bank, thereby ceding a part of its hard-fought sovereignty.The downward spiral of the economy happened quickly. People are angry and they are hurting: many households find themselves in negative equity, unable to meet mortgage payments and household bills. Small businesses have closed and many are still closing in cities and towns. The cutbacks required to meet the financial targets imposed on Ireland as part of the bailout package are hurting the poorest and most vulnerable in particular. Where a decade ago we had almost full employment, unemployment is once again a scourge, and emigration is back as a reality for a new generation of Irish people.Mistakes were made during the boom years. We somehow lost our way, became obsessed with personal wealth and material possessions. Now, as part of the national conversation, we have to acknowledge these mistakes as we try to regain a sense of ourselves.The Irish are, I am glad to be able to say, a resilient people and, I believe, we will come out of this difficult time feeling stronger, and I hope more compassionate. To do that we are in some sense re-inventing ourselves, lifting ourselves up again by playing to our strengths.Every country has the capacity – and sometimes the need – to reinvent itself.Today, the 5th of August 2012, is the 50th anniversary, to the day, of the capture of Nelson Mandela, lawyer, activist, leader, vocal opponent of the apartheid regime. As we commemorate that anniversary, I would like to dwell, for a moment, on the nature of anniversaries.Anniversaries are a good time to take stock. They can also be a good time to look at ways to re-invent, to re-invigorate, to renew an earlier spirit.In December 1997, very near the beginning of my term as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, I chose to launch the year-long celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights here in South Africa, alongside President Nelson Mandela, who was then launching South Africa’s National Plan of Action for Human Rights. In that plan of action was stated, among other things, the following:“Democracy is irreconcilable with racial inequality and social injustice. Democracy is incompatible with poverty, crime, violence and the wanton disregard for human life. Democracy is strengthened and entrenched when society is fully aware of its fundamental human rights and freedoms and lays claim to these.”As you know, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the African National Congress, the ANC, founded in 1912 to defend and advance the rights of African people. Leader in the struggle to destroy the apartheid state, with a vision to replace it with a united, non-racist, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa in which the people as a whole shall govern and all shall enjoy equal rights.What the ANC has achieved in those hundred years is remarkable: from the defiance campaign, the resistance movement, armed struggle, banishment, to becoming the governing political party since 1994, leading the way in transforming the country according to that vision. Sadly, though, in recent years my South African friends tell me the ANC’s moralauthority has been eroded, tainted by allegations of corruption; a temporary betrayal of its history.And meanwhile, there remains, in the transformation process, much unfinished business. We cannot deny that South Africa faces serious problems: I read about them in the newspapers, I hear about them from my South African friends, and I see evidence of them with my own eyes.The scourge of poverty, with which, as that national plan of action stated, democracy is irreconcilable, has been a central theme of my human rights work, so undermining is poverty of human rights. Where you witness extremes of wealth side by side with dire poverty within the same country, it is more divisive than an overall condition of poverty.Last year I came here to South Africa to attend my beloved niece’s wedding. Before joining the party I was invited by Mamphela Ramphele to visit part of the Eastern Cape, where I sat with her listening in on the Letsema Circle Pathfinder initiative. I was taken aback by the poverty of the surroundings and deeply impressed with this initiative.From there I travelled to the town of Paarl for the family wedding, and was even more taken aback by the shocking disparity I witnessed: from abject poverty to luxurious, gated wealth.My friends tell me that the levels of crime and violence in some areas, Lavender Hill, say, or Khayelitsha (where my son Aubrey worked for a number of years with a local organisation), mean that people are living in unmanageably traumatic situations – school learners sitting on the floor so that they don’t get caught in the cross fire, local community members resorting to vigilante justice, the dreaded necklace – situations that need to be addressed before those people can feel free and participate as active citizens in South Africa’s democracy.But I need to bear in mind what we all should remember: that the Republic of South Africa is a young democracy – just 18 years old. It is also a democracy the majority of whose rapidly increasing population consists of young people.It is hard to address all the structural problems and inequalities in such a short time. Still, you need to ask yourselves some uncomfortable questions: Why is South Africa’s education system underperforming? Why are the rates of illiteracy so high? What has caused the culture of non-attendance and resistance to learning? How has such disparity in the allocation of resources been allowed to occur? How can the inequities in the system be resolved so that every South African child has equal access to quality education? How can the teachers’ union be motivated to drive efforts towards positive change?Those questions need to be addressed if South Africa’s hard-fought democracy is to be sustained for generations to come.You have both the positive resource and the acute problem of a young population with high unemployment and a deficit of skills. There are no simple solutions and I don’t begin to have the local knowledge to construct the multi-layered approach needed. Those young people who feel discouraged need to be given a positive sense of self, and the support and resources needed to complete their education, to learn the necessary skills and then access a job market, and one where there are jobs to be found. As young citizens they should enjoy positive relationships and a sense of engagement as part of being citizens or residents in a modern South African state.But I don’t stand here to preach, even though I may sound at times as though I am preaching. I prefer to encourage. South Africa has shown itself to be a resilient nation. It has also shown itself to be an exceptional organiser of world events – and I’m not just talking about the football world cup!Two world conferences, steered by South Africa, in Durban, have led the way to achieving significant improvements in the global conversation on the issues of racism and of climate. I recall vividly serving as secretary general of the World Conference against Racism in Durban in September 2001, ably chaired by Dr [Nkosazana] Dlamini-Zuma, who is now breaking new ground as the first woman president of the Commission of the African Union. It was a difficult conference, and when the US and Israel withdrew, it would have collapsed without the skilful and committed leadership of South Africa, a country which understood profoundly how vital it was to secure the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action to counter racism in all its forms.I was happy to return to Durban last November for COP17 on climate change, again ably chaired by a South African woman, Maite [Nkoana-]Mashabane, which was able to forge with difficulty the Durban Enhanced Platform for Action, under which all countries committed themselves to a new climate agreement by 2015, to come into effect by 2020. It is not strong enough, or urgent enough, to deal with the looming disaster of climate change but few, going into Durban last November, had predicted this agreed outcome.Which proves that you should never underestimate South Africa’s – and particularly South Africa’s women’s – capacity to bring about remarkable results!Therefore I have every faith that South Africa, endowed as it is with such a wealth of resources, and a resourceful population, can acknowledge its mistakes, face up to its problems, engage in a national conversation and continue the process of transformation that has so inspired the watching world.Which brings me to citizenship and common purpose – put into practice – which are the essential bedrock to realising these basic concepts of freedom, truth and democracy.To quote another Roosevelt, this time Eleanor as she spoke about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the UN in New York in 1958:“Where, after all, do universal rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person” Now it’s here in the quote where I have to stop and say it’s not gender-sensitive, but it was in 1958 … “the neighbourhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”The “concerted citizen action” called for requires engagement by the people with the process of government in all its forms, starting with the very local. But with such contrasts of extremes as I alluded to earlier, it is not difficult to understand the disengagement and apathy of many citizens living in those unmanageably traumatic situations.To me, an outsider, but a genuine friend, South Africa is a nation of paradoxes. When I hear about the tireless work of the many non-governmental organisations, youth groups, women’s groups – working with local communities or working at a national level, I think civil society in South Africa is thriving!But then, my South African friends tell me, wider civil society is often disengaged. What are religious leaders saying and doing about South Africa’s problems? What are the professions saying? What are the unions saying? Are they doing enough? Are they truly working to hold government to account for the inequities, the imbalances, the injustices they witness close to home? Or are they more concerned with their own survival, their own advancement, to the detriment of that wider common purpose of achieving a constitutional democracy: that vision of a united, non-racist, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa?Article 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that:“Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.”This is echoed in South Africa’s Constitution where it provides that: “All citizens are (a) equally entitled to the rights, privileges and benefits of citizenship; and (b) equally subject to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship.”Meitheal is an Irish word that describes a traditional, rural practice of people coming together to work, farmers lending support to their neighbours as the need arises. It expresses the idea of community spirit and self-reliance. I can remember as a child going out with my father, a doctor, on his calls to rural areas at harvest time: practically everyone would be working in a particular field to save the hay, the women bringing sweet tea and bread and jam. If a farmer was sick, his field would be done willingly by neighbours. I find meitheal similar to the African ethic of ubuntu, that idea of human interconnectedness and solidarity, described in the phrase which Archbishop Tutu often uses with us, the phrase “I am because you are”.Meitheal and ubuntu are deep-rooted, traditional approaches that can be harnessed towards a vision of citizenship that involves active participation in a society in which citizens enjoy personal rights and freedoms, and they discharge the correlating duties and responsibilities towards a common purpose of a sustainable future.Here in South Africa, as in many countries around the world, there is a distinct lack of trust in traditional institutions of democracy, such as in the ability of parliament and local authorities to tackle corruption and inequality. But the good news is – the good news is – that technological innovations can empower ordinary people as never before, and can introduce new ways of holding government and local authorities accountable. Social media now provides the ability to connect individuals to the knowledge and resources they need electronically. Cell phones allow people to communicate with one another, and to connect to the internet, by friending, tweeting, collaborating – in ways that are quite beyond me as a mere Elder, but many of you, particularly the younger ones, will know what I mean.Now we are witnessing new platforms being created, which enable people to become data providers and fact checkers. One of the most impressive is Ushahidi which came about in response to calls from Kenyan bloggers to repurpose Google Maps for Kenya to identify where violence was occurring, and the extent of it. Today Ushahidi software has been repurposed for everything from disease mapping to many types of crisis mapping around the world.I was intrigued to learn recently that a local authority in Ireland is using Ushahidi to map potholes on roads in their area – they can be quite a problem in my country. The potential of this technology to map, and provide data, on incidents of corruption, on non-attendance of teachers at schools, and so on, could make these problems much more visible and increase the possibility of accountability.Of course, those with access to these innovative technologies tend to be the middle class, but we know from history that it is often a frustrated middle class which rises up to demand better quality of services and necessary structural change.When we think of citizenship, we think of a definition based on nationality of a particular country. But my view is that in the 21st century, we need a new concept of citizenship that embraces all of those people who find themselves in the country – nationals and migrants alike. This is particularly relevant to countries like South Africa, a “go to” country with a strong economy that attracts and will continue to attract a large migrant population.In the 2001 Durban World Conference Against Racism, steered by South Africa, the strongest international statement yet was applied to the rights of migrants. Yet in the decade since then, in real terms, there has been a marked deterioration in migrant status: whether by Europe erecting further barriers to entry, whether by the US enacting harsher laws against what it terms “illegal aliens” from Mexico and other parts of Latin America or whether by rising xenophobia in African countries, including South Africa.Roughly half of any country’s citizenship is made up of its women. I’m glad to say that South Africa celebrates August as women’s month, and it has much to celebrate. I have already mentioned several notable South African women and I could list many more – both in the past struggle and today. It’s not just true of South Africa but of African countries generally that women’s leadership is coming into its own. I fully agree with my Elder sister Graça Machel, when in an interview in October 2011, she stated:“I think that in ten years’ time Africa will be a completely different landscape. It’s already happening with regard to women: skilful and ambitious women will be at the highest levels of decision-making in politics, business, science and technology. There’s a new generation of female leaders coming.” That’s right!A UN panel report in February 2012, Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing, highlighted the importance of women’s economic empowerment globally in this way:“Any serious shift towards sustainable development requires gender equality. Half of humankind’s collective intelligence and capacity is a resource we must nurture and develop for the sake of multiple generations to come. The next increment of global growth could well come from the economic empowerment of women.”Yet, to come back to my observation that South Africa is a nation of paradoxes, I ask you how can this be the same country where an article entitled “The Big Read: A lousy land for women” can be published? The article notes a further paradox. Women are doing well in representative positions: 41% of the cabinet are women, five of the nine provincial premiers are women and 42.3% of the seats in the lower house of the South African Parliament are occupied by women.And yet, as you well know, there is a darker picture.Twice as many women as men have HIV, and 66 196 cases of sexual offences were reported in 2010-2011, some involving rape of very young children. The article refers to a 2009 gender study of South Africa by the African Development Bank, and quotes it as stating “the focus on representative equality has dominated the discourse [whereas] less energy seems to have been turned towards implementation of policies that would effectively change the lives of the majority of women.”This is clearly a challenge which women leaders in South Africa must take up – not just political leaders, but women in business, in law, in the unions, and in leadership at local level. And not just women – men, too, must see this as a priority. Sustainable development can only be achieved when there is zero tolerance of gender-based violence and a full commitment to gender equality.It is possible now – and I talked about this a few months ago – to map incidents of violence and to track them through social media. This is women’s month, and I am confident my South African sisters will again surprise us!Your admirable constitution opens with stirring words: “We, the people of South Africa … believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.” As you approach your early twenties – and you are a young democratic country in that sense – you have a great opportunity to draw on your strengths, renew that inspirational vision that the world stood in admiration of in 1994, and continue to build your rainbow nation, block by block.Some time ago I read the memoir of another extraordinary South African friend, Pregs Govender – Love and Courage: Story of Insubordination. I’d like to finish with a passage she used in relation to her own personal journey, which I believe can be transposed to the journey that many South Africans may also have taken:“The worst experience had sent me spiralling. Yet it had also deepened the journey within and awakened love from which courage flowed. Memory had surfaced and, beyond it, a glimpse of the truth that none of us are fixed in heroic or despotic moments of history. Life, as it waxes and wanes, always provides opportunities for our humanity to emerge.”I have every confidence in South Africa realising the opportunities for its humanity to fully emerge.Thank you very much.last_img read more



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