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Used tyres to fuel Limerick cement works

first_imgAdvertisement by Alan [email protected] up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up IRISH Cement is to seek planning permission to replace fossil fuels at its Castlemungret works with alternative fuels from materials such as rubber from used tyres as part of a €10 million development plan.The company plans to replace fossil fuel, used on site for cement clinker production, with alternative fuels to improve the sustainability of the Limerick operations, where 80 people are employed.Limerick is currently the only cement plant in Ireland not licensed to use alternative fuels.Used in cement plants across Europe for over 35 years, alternative fuels have also been deployed at Irish Cement’s plant at Platin in County Meath for the last five years.Alternative fuels are derived from residual waste materials that have a useful energy value which can be recovered safely and recycled in the cement manufacturing process.Locally sourced alternative fuels account for almost 50 per cent of the fuels used to fire Irish Cement’s kilns at Platin. According to Irish Cement, the very high temperatures inside the kilns (1450°C) mean that these fuels are completely combusted and then recycled into the final cement product, with no ash or emissions released into the atmosphere.“Limerick is Ireland’s oldest cement plant and its 77 years of operations has been sustained by continuous investment in new technologies and processes throughout the decades,” Limerick plant manager Pat Robinson explained.“After a recent period of reduced demand, production is once again on the increase for domestic and export markets – but this fuel replacement programme will be key to sustaining this growth,” he added.Mr Robinson believes that the opportunity to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels will prove critical to Irish Cement’s ability to operate competitively and sustain jobs in the future.“The replacement of fossil fuels is not only good for the environment but also good for our business. In advance of our planning application to Limerick County Council, we have started an engagement process with our neighbours and local stakeholders to discuss the project and its importance for the future of Limerick works,” he told the Limerick Post.This will include, amongst other elements, the distribution of a project booklet and an opportunity for local people to discuss the project with Irish Cement personnel.In the coming weeks Irish Cement will submit a planning application to Limerick County Council and also seek a review of its Environmental Licence from the EPA to permit the use of alternative fuels and raw materials in its processes. Vanishing Ireland podcast documenting interviews with people over 70’s, looking for volunteers to share their stories WhatsApp Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Print Linkedin NewsLocal NewsUsed tyres to fuel Limerick cement worksBy Alan Jacques – December 11, 2015 1039 Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival center_img Previous articleCocaine found during County Limerick searchesNext articleRugby – Munster name side to face Leicester Tigers Alan Jacqueshttp://www.limerickpost.ie TAGSIrish CementlimerickLimerick City and County CouncilMungret Email WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Twitter Facebooklast_img read more


Executive Mansion Rejects Alleged Saudi Plan to Islamize Liberia

first_imgThe Executive Mansion has rejected categorically a very detailed research document by three Muslim “women’s rights activists” from the Middle East, disclosing a purported plan by Saudi Arabia to Islamize the entire world, including using Liberia as a fertile ground for its plans for West Africa.According to the 14-page comprehensive and detailed essay by the three women—Anahita Ghorbani, Iranian women’s rights activist, Yafiah Assouin, PhD, Syrian women’s rights activist and Shada Al Zahrani, Saudi journalist, “The Saudis’ plan for Liberia is first to ensure that a candidate of Muslim faith and background contests and wins the Liberian presidency.  “To do this, the Saudis brought the Kuwaitis on board to influence Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in identifying and supporting such candidate. The bottom-line is to make Liberia an indirect Muslim nation through the application of aspects of the Sharia law when at such time a Muslim becomes president,” the three women scholars said among other things.This has not gone unnoticed by the Government of Liberia, which has reacted sharply through the Executive Mansion to the allegation made by these women.GOL Reaction The Executive Mansion issued a statement on Monday saying that Government of Liberia has seen and analyzed the article entitled, “The Syrian War, Saudi Arabia’s Struggle for Global Influence, and Control of Africa,” written by one Anahita Ghorbani and published on the online website, Elombah.com.“The article makes certain references to Liberia’s relations with some countries in the Middle East, the perceived religious divide in our country, and cast aspersion on the First Family with absolutely no respect for truth and objectivity”, the Executive Mansion statement says. “It is an article written to provoke and incite with the intention of wiping up religious hatred and division at a time when our country is undergoing reconstruction and searching for reconciliation with full democratic participation of all our people.”According to an Executive Mansion release, the intention of the author is plain: “to drive a wedge between our people based on religious intolerance and ethnic hatred. The article is written with bias and utter contempt for the intelligence of our people who have survived wars, bitterness and countless tragedies in their history and are now trying to rebuild their lives and reconstruct their country for the benefit of all their children.“This Republic is noted for religious tolerance and ethnic cooperation in nation building. The Constitution of our Republic protects all and sundry irrespective of creed or ethnicity. The democratic space which is evolving has its foundation in our Constitution which protects and promotes life, liberty and human development.“An article written with malice and meant to undermine the unity and progress of our people is unworthy of the noble ethics of Journalism. It approaches the Liberian reality with shortsightedness and falsehood. It is a pitiful attempt to distort and thus deserves our condemnation and rejection.“One has the right to write and speak responsibly with the intention of enlightening minds but not the right to distort, besmear and propagate falsehood with the obvious intention of promoting strife among the people.“The Government of Liberia takes very seriously its responsibility toward the safety and protection of its people. It understands the mandate given it by the people of Liberia to build a country of equal justice, religious tolerance and the democratic participation of all. It is in this light that it condemns unreservedly all attempts to divide our people and put us on the path of ethnic cleansing and religious bigotry.“The publication as established is filled with lies, deception and falsehood. The writers exert that President Sirleaf was once a Muslim by marriage and that her late husband was also a Muslim. While the right to a choice of religion is personal and guaranteed under Liberian laws and that the President would have committed no crime if she or her late husband were Muslims, the assertion is simply false and misleading.“The truth is that the President’s late husband was a devout United Methodist, a factor that moved President Sirleaf over from the Presbyterian Church to becoming Methodist.The writer also referenced ULIMO-J, a warring faction during the Liberian crisis, as Muslim dominated faction. This falsehood can best be judged by Liberians since they are fully aware of the composition of ULIMO-J then.“As the backdrop of all these misleading information, the Government wonders as to how anyone could give credence to such mischief.”Editor’s Note:The Liberian Daily Observer Newspaper has always prided itself in taking great pains to handle sensitive stories with the greatest professionalism and care. By the same token, however, never have we decided not to publish a plausible story just because it is controversial. We believe that in this day and age of Boko Haram-style terrorism that has terrorized an entire nation, absolutely NOTHING is to be dismissed or taken for granted. Every hint, clue and morsel of intelligence must be analyzed and sifted through. The fact that there will be some parts that are far-fetched does not warrant dismissing the entire document.It is against this background that the Liberian Observer finds the Executive Mansion’s response dangerously short-sighted. The Observer story did point out the parts of the story it found to be factually incorrect, such as the allegation that Sirleaf was once a practicing Muslim. Upon receiving the report, the Observer immediately contacted the Executive Mansion for a reaction (which was never received until after the story was published). The Executive Mansion was expected to take its time to analyze the document, conduct an investigation and ask the relevant questions. Such was the purpose of the publication.What we do understand, however, is that if a Nigerian newspaper had published this document 10 years ago, the Nigerian government would have had the same response: “Our people are united; that could never happen here.” Today, the Boko Haram terrorist movement has spread far beyond the Nigerian government’s capacity to handle.If even the United States lived to regret ignoring similar intelligence reports, how can a small nation such as Liberia be so short-sightedly dismissive?Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


Kevin Durant confident Celtics “will be fine once the playoffs start”

first_imgOAKLAND — The standings say that the Celtics are the fifth-best team in the Eastern Conference behind the Milwaukee Bucks (48-15), Toronto Raptors (46-18), Indiana Pacers (41-23) and Philadelphia 76ers (40-23). Kevin Durant says otherwise.“They’re right there at the top,” Durant said. “They were losing a couple of games, but they got the top talent. They’ll be fine once the playoffs start.”The reason for Durant’s optimism? He has a ton of respect for Kyrie Irving, which has fueled speculation …last_img read more


Darwin as Canary in a Coal Mine

first_imgAssertion: Evolution is a canary in the coal mine for the state of science education.  Analysis: Analogy mixed with non-sequitur.  Most of biology and medicine gets along fine without evolutionary storytelling tacked on.  Biology was doing fine for centuries before Darwin created the Great Society for Storytellers and liberated biology from empiricism (12/22/2003 commentary).  The research of Linnaeus, Jenner, Mendel, Pasteur, Lister, Carver, Watson and Crick and many other giants of biology and medicine owed nothing to Darwin.  If anything, Darwinism represents dead weight – a useless requirement to fit uncooperative data into a predetermined story line.  It wasted decades of effort on now discarded ideas like vestigial organs and junk DNA.  Nevertheless, Carroll’s badly-scrambled metaphor can be salvaged with a few alterations.  The canary represents morality and a vibrant altruistic society (not evolution).  The coal mine is the descent into secularism.  Evolution is the poison gas belching upward from the depths.  Now the analogy fits the state of our country’s decline perfectly.Assertion: There’s so much propaganda against evolution.  Analysis: Anyone can hide behind a broad brush, unsupported claim intended to generate fear.  Some examples, Dr. Carroll?  We’ll supply one going the other direction – yours.Assertion: You see the same sort of techniques being used against climate science or stem cells or whatever it might be.  Analysis: Generalities, no specifics, blanket accusations: “whatever it might be”.  Let’s take him up on it and include “tenure” in the unspecified category “whatever it might be.”  Insert any issue Dr. Carroll feels passionate about.  Go ahead; he left the door wide open.  And he revealed by his short list that he’s not really motivated by science education, but by the leftist political agenda.  Perhaps he feels that high school science teachers should teach the modern scientific method: you know, hide the decline, falsify data, collude in your emails, get unelected judges to give you what the public won’t vote for, etc.When Dr. Carroll is not reasoning in a circle (source), pushing against the Humvee (source), shushing the co-conspirators (source), reassuring the fearful (source), or practicing his intolerance (source), he’s telling high school science teachers how to teach science.  You notice that Science gives this guy the open mike with no challengers.  From his platform at HHMI, let him explain to science teachers how Howard Hughes tinkered blindfolded with accidents in a hangar without a plan while drinking, and a Spruce Goose “emerged”.  No wonder home schooling is big.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The state of evolution teaching is like the fabled canary in a coal mine, Sean Carroll told Science.1  That’s why the molecular biologist from the University of Wisconsin, Madison is cutting back on his research and undergraduate teaching to concentrate on his new appointment: vice president for science education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  Asked by Elizabeth Pennisi in a Newsmaker interview about the concerns of high school teachers he has contacted, he said:Well, we probably were brought together over the teaching of evolution.  That was issue [number] one, …  because biology without evolution is kind of like physics without gravity.  It’s also sort of a canary in the coal mine for the state of science education.  There’s so much propaganda against evolution, but you see the same sort of techniques being used against climate science or stem cells or whatever it might be.Note: This is Sean B. Carroll, not the cosmologist Sean M. Carroll of Caltech; far enough back, though, they probably had a common ancestor.1.  Elisabeth Pennisi, “Newsmaker Interview: Sean Carroll and the Evolution of an Education Maven,” Science, 16 April 2010: Vol. 328. no. 5976, p. 294, DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5976.294.Let’s see if years of research and teaching has elevated Dr Carroll above the lot of mortals so that he can lecture the rest of us on how not to engage in propaganda.  First of all, since he is keen to protect Saint Darwin from the Neanderthals, has he in his own research demonstrated the innovative power of evolution?  Pennisi’s article would certainly have produced the best example of his PhD expertise to impress the would-be challengers to the title of “pioneer in the field of evolutionary development.”  Here it is.  Ready?  “His most recent paper describes how the polka dots on a fruit fly wing were patterned according to the distribution of a molecule involved earlier in the fly’s development.”  Well, Whoopie View with a polka-dot dress.  He starts with fruit flies, he ends with fruit flies; but not one polka dot developed into a canary.  It sounds, therefore, like we are at liberty to parse his paragraph for possible propaganda.  Baloney Detectors, ON!Assertion: Teaching of evolution is issue number one.  Analysis: The popularity of an issue is not necessarily relevant to its importance.  Undoubtedly teacher lounge time is popular as well.  And how scientific was his sample?  Did he include Christian schools?  Well, guess what!  What were the questions?  Maybe the issue they were concerned about was how dogmatic the textbooks are about evolution.  Don’t assume they were all pro-NCSE.Assertion: Biology without evolution is kind of like physics without gravity.  Analysis: This is the old canard in a cold mind known as association and analogy.  Try ours instead: Biology without evolution is kind of like Russia without Stalin.  See?  Anyone can do it.  It’s fun.  Achieves the desired result; no evidence or argument required.  Here are some more analogies submitted by a regular reader: Biology without evolution is like:Africa without malariaFood without botulismLincoln without BoothMiddle Ages without the Black PlagueMexico without drug warsWashington DC without lying politiciansCBS without the BSChristmas without atheistslast_img read more


Get bike wise

first_imgBicycles will soon become commonplace at Wits.(Image: Nicky Falkof)MEDIA CONTACTS • Nicky FalkofLecturer in Media Studies at Wits, andfounder member of Cycle Wits+27 11 717 4165Lucille DavieWits University campus in Johannesburg is to become a very different place, if the people who have formed Cycle Wits get their way. It is made up of a group of students and staff who already cycle to or from campus, and who believe in the “transformative potential of commuter cycling”.“We are committed to working with the university to provide input from the perspectives of commuter cyclists, and to helping to grow and nurture a culture of commuter cycling on our campuses,” the group stresses on its blog.The idea is to get the university involved in getting students and staff out of their cars and on to bicycles, to relieve the congestion and parking problems on campus. Cycle Wits has compiled a document outlining its strategy, which involves the university becoming proactive about making the campus more bicycle friendly – at the same time reducing fuel emissions and enhancing the health of Wits students and staff, commonly called Witsies.“Many Witsies would like to cycle but are afraid of the traffic on the roads near campuses, which can be especially congested and daunting,” states the document. “Although the university cannot control traffic situations outside of its jurisdiction, it can contribute to raising awareness of cyclists on the road, and help to educate Wits cyclists in safe cycling practice and rules of the road.”At present there are no safe cycle lanes, lock-up areas or signage on campus to make it easy to commute via bicycle.Universities around the world are generally bicycle friendly, often in cities where bicycles are used by millions as their main source of transport. Johannesburg is a car-dominant city, a result of historically poor public transport systems. South African universities follow the same pattern, but it seems bike transport is now catching on.Rhodes University in Grahamstown, in Eastern Cape, lends itself more to bicycles, which are in evidence in the town and on campus. The recently formed Saints and Sinners Cycling Club on the campus replaces the defunct Rhodes University Cycling Club, and committee member Christopher Johnson hopes that forming the club will encourage more cyclists on campus and in the town.“What we’re trying to do is create a group that is open to anyone, regardless of their experience or skill,” Johnson told Grocott’s Mail, the local newspaper, in October 2012. “It is also a fantastic social experience to be part of and links you to a network of people who, regardless of how different, share the same interest. We would like to restore cycling to what it has always been in this town.”InterventionsThe group is proposing a range of interventions at Wits to make campus and its users more bike-conscious: signage to raise awareness of bicycles; tuition on how to ride a bike; free safety equipment like helmets and high visibility jackets; the construction of cycle routes on campus; erection of bike lock-up racks; and the creation of safe bike lanes between its various campuses.Nicky Falkof, a lecturer in Wits’ media studies department, is one of the founder members of the group. She lives in Melville and cycles to the university every day. She knows of some 30 people who cycle to work from the nearby suburbs at present. However, she sees more and more bikes on campus. Off campus, she cycles around Melville and surrounding suburbs although she has a car, which she uses at night.Cycle Wits has got the ball rolling, with a meeting with the university’s management in mid-March. Its proposal was greeted with enthusiasm, with “a clear sense that investing in commuter cycling was considered something that would be extremely beneficial to the university in the long run”.Falkof says that there are plans to have bike racks around the campus installed within three weeks, and bike lanes possibly in place by the end of the year. “Wits management is keen and committed. It makes sense for them as the public transport infrastructure is overloaded.”The group has also encouraged the university to get the City of Johannesburg to declare the entire university precinct, from Wits in Braamfontein and its campuses in Parktown, to Westdene and Doornfontein, where many students live, as the city’s first bicycle-friendly zone. This would mean creating dedicated safe cycle lanes between these campuses and suburbs, with lock-up facilities.For its part, the City has plans to create bicycle lanes, outlined in its 2011 Growth and Development Strategy. It plans to create these lanes in two Soweto suburbs initially, Noordgesig and Orlando, the former mayoral committee member for transport, Rehana Moosajee, told Talk Radio 702 in a January 2013 interview.Cycle Wits also wants the university to lobby the high-speed commuter Gautrain to allow bicycles on the trains, to encourage more bike commuters from further afield.Urban cyclists associationFalkof says the group has tuned into the Johannesburg Urban Cyclists Association, which promotes and defends the use of the bicycle as a day-to-day transport solution. “Our goal is for Joburg to be bike-friendly by 2015, a deep transformation that requires massive changes in infrastructure as well as in mindsets!” the association says on its website.One of its first moves in this direction is the creation of the Joburg Bicycle map, which can be downloaded and allows you to plan your bike routes using the less busy roads.Bicycle retailersCycle Wits has other big plans: it hopes to get the university to allow bicycle retailers on campus to supply bike spares to commuters, and to run workshops on campus on basic bike maintenance. The group also wants the university to offer incentives to staff and students to get on their bikes, by organising leisure rides on weekends, including participation in the popular monthly Critical Mass ride, a worldwide movement by cyclists to take back their city streets from motorists.Critical Mass has been running in Cape Town for several years; it is approaching its second birthday in Joburg, and now attracts close to 2 000 cyclists on the last Friday of every month.Having cycle days, on which students and staff are encouraged to come to work by bike once a week, is another proposal. It also wants to see experienced cyclists act as mentors for novice cyclists, to coach them on cycling techniques and to give general advice.Cycle Wits has a Facebook page, which gives information to bike commuters. A post indicates that showers and change rooms on East Campus are available for bike commuters.Mountain biking now bigMountain biking in particular has become big in South Africa, with races held every weekend across the country. There are also several world-class endurance cycling events, like the Cape Epic, an eight-day 800km mountain bike event, climbing in total 15 000m over some of the most beautiful mountain passes in Western Cape. It attracts cyclists from around the world.The Freedom Challenge is a gruelling 2 300km mountain bike race, from Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal to Paarl in Western Cape, over several mountain ranges and across the semi-desert Karoo. It is held in the middle of winter, and has been running for the past 10 years. In the past few years remarkable records have been set, with last year’s race completed in 10 days and 16 hours.Other shorter, multi-day mountain bike events include the Sani2C, a three-day race from Sani Pass at the foot of the Drakensberg mountains to Scottburgh on the southern KwaZulu-Natal coast, with riders enjoying splendid green valleys and lush sugarcane fields. The Berg&Bush is another three-day KwaZulu-Natal mountain bike race, taking in some of the historic battlefields of that province.last_img read more


Cover crop experiments are a Wilson family tradition

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Remembering his experiences as a boy back in the 1950s with his father’s corn-wheat-hay crop rotation, Nathan Wilson did some experimenting with cover crops in the 1980s on his Pickaway County farm. Wheat was a part of the crop rotation for the farm and Wilson also tried some cereal rye.“I tried planting cover crops in the 80s with cereal rye because I remember what that hay had done in the soil. Back then we didn’t have the Roundup beans and if we didn’t get that stuff killed before the beans came up it was a disaster,” Nathan said. “The beans were planted and the rye was head high. It was spitting rain when he sprayed and that night it rained four inches. If we hadn’t got that sprayed it would have been a disaster. The rye died and the beans grew. I felt we were lucky to get a crop that year after a very tough planting situation and I quit cover crops cold turkey.”Nathan’s sons Ryan and Wyatt Wilson joined the farm in subsequent years and made another push for including cover crops with the long-term no-till on the farm.“The boys were the instigators for starting cover crops again. They went to a field day at Dave Brandt’s and wanted to try them. It was really dry that year and they couldn’t believe how moist Dave Brandt’s fields were,” Nathan said. “They came back from thatNathan Wilson was recognized as the 2017 Outstanding No-Till Farmer in December by the Ohio No-Till Council for his work with soil conservation.meeting and they were acting funny. They said they were believers and I was all for it. We quit wheat in 2005 so it was just corn and beans and then we started experimenting with cover crops. We tried radishes, annual rye, cereal rye and crimson clover.”The Wilsons have since settled upon cereal rye as their cover crop of choice.“We decided to seed cereal rye on the entire farm six years ago. We bought a John Deere 1990 CCS drill and ran it four seasons. The maintenance on it was pretty high running it across that acreage. We thought a vertical tillage tool might be a better choice for scattering the seed,” said Ryan Wilson. “We landed on the Krause Excelerator and thought we could pull an air cart behind it and blow some seed between the rows. We bought a 130-bushel Flexi-Coil three-wheel cart and we pulled it behind the Excelerator. We put the seed between the gangs. It has three towers on it with five runs on each tower. We are blowing the seed out there about every 25 inches. The seed hits a flat piece of metal to spread it. It seems to be working pretty well for seeding cover crops. It is faster than the drill and it is less maintenance.”They have found that planting soybeans into the green living cereal rye works well in the spring, but to get a corn crop established in the rye they spray it first, even if it requires some extra effort and equipment to do so, Ryan said.“We planted corn into green cereal rye for three years and that didn’t work well so now we are killing the rye before planting the corn. If it gets shin high and starting to boot we kill it. We bought an ATV sprayer to get out there if we need to in an emergency situation. It has a 200-gallon tank with a 60-foot boom and guidance and we sprayed 1,600 acres with that this spring. We got stuck a couple of times but most of the time on the no-till it sailed right along. We couldn’t get the sprayer out this spring and that is sometimes the kind of thing you have to do to make it work,” Ryan said. “Ahead of the beans we let the rye stay green. We set it back a little bit with Valor that stunts it a little bit.”Finding the proper seeding rates has also required some trial and error.“We decided we’d run about 30 pounds per acre before corn and beans,” Ryan said. “We usually follow right behind the combine. If it is early we put on about 20 pounds to start and we’ll go up to 60 pounds per acre late in the year. This year we still seeded into the first couple days of December. This is the first year we didn’t get everything seeded because it was too wet.”They have also found that corn needs some extra nitrogen when being planted into cereal rye.“Cereal rye ahead of corn can steal your microbial nitrogen so you need to supplement a little more nitrogen than you might think with your corn planter. You want to get about 30 pounds of nitrogen out with the corn behind the cereal rye,” Ryan said. “It is not available for the seedling because the rye has pulled it up but it will put it back into the soil.”The combination of the no-till and the cover crops is not always easy to manage, but the Wilsons think the benefits are well worth the effort.last_img read more


Amazon’s Redshift Accelerates Data Warehouse As A Service

first_imgTags:#Amazon#Big Data#Data Services Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … brian proffitt Related Posts Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…center_img How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Amazon continues to play the role of disrupter in the data marketplace, announcing a new data warehousing service that could blow the doors off existing data warehousing vendors in terms of price. The question is, will lower prices be enough to change the game?The announcement of the new Amazon Redshift service at yesterday’s Amazon Web Service re:Invent conference was one of those “known unknowns” former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld used to go on about. We knew AWS would want to lead big with something in it’s first-ever live conference being held in Las Vegas this week; we just didn’t know what it would be. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, many analysts seem pretty excited about the prospect. But Redshift also has some red flags.Redshift 101Let’s take a look and see what’s under the Redshift hood.Amazon.com CTO Werner Vogels lauds Amazon Redshift as “a fast and powerful, fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud.”Kinda buzzwordy, but the key terms in that statement are “petabyte-scale” – which means this service is going to be easy to grow into if your data needs ever get that insanely high – and “service in the cloud” – a statement that means this is a hosted service on AWS’s public cloud infrastructure – with all of the risks and rewards that come with that situation.Vogels gets a little more specific later in his blog:“Redshift has a massively parallel processing (MPP) architecture, which enables it to distribute and parallelize queries across multiple low cost nodes. The nodes themselves are designed specifically for data warehousing workloads. They contain large amounts of locally attached storage on multiple spindles and are connected by a minimally oversubscribed 10 Gigabit Ethernet network. This configuration maximizes the amount of throughput between your storage and your CPUs while also ensuring that data transfer between nodes remains extremely fast.”The MPP architecture is very important, because it gives some insights into Redshift’s origins. Redshift is a columnar-based relational database that seems to based on the open source PostgreSQL database – a hot commodity in the open source world that’s been making inroads against the venerable MySQL database partly because PostgreSQL handles parallelism so well.All the bits Vogel mentions about the oversubscribed network connections are critical, too, because if his claims are right, this means that Redshift will be fast. The architecture of this new service is also important, because it means that unlike Hadoop, where data just sits cheaply waiting to be batch processed, data stored in Redshift can be worked on fast – fast enough for even transactional work.Latency will be one of only a few areas any competing vendor will be able to go after – because the competition certainly can’t touch AWS on price.Redshift’s Pricing ShiftOne of the big parts of the Redshift announcement message yesterday was very much about price: just buying on-demand data capacity costs $3,723 per terabyte (TB) annually, which sounds like a lot except when you know how much traditional on-site data warehousing solution can run. In his re:Invent keynote yesterday, senior vice president of AWS Andy Jassy claimed such solutions can run $19,000 to $25,000/TB a year. So right off the bat, if Redshift is indeed offering comparable service, customers will save 80-85% off their data warehousing bill.But wait, there’s more. If customers reserve three years of service, the price drops to a jaw-dropping $999/TB annual fee. That’s a 95-96% reduction in potential costs for data storage.In this case, disruptive may not have been hyperbole. It may have been an understatement.Redshift’s Potential IssuesOn paper, this sounds pretty good, but there are some potential issues that should be raised. For one, this is a public cloud service, which means your data will be out past your corporate firewall and in some ways sitting outside of your control. If one of Amazon’s data centers has a hiccup, you could be out of luck.The public status also means you’d better have bandwidth costs, security and infrastructure figured out, because somehow your company is going to have to get its data out and back to that cloud in a timely and safe mannerOne wildcard with this new Redshift service is how easily it will be to build apps or convert existing apps to work with it. Amazon’s APIs are open, but only to the point that you can point your software to them. Once you invest in Amazon’s APIs, it will be more painful to pull out to another cloud-based service should you decide to down the road.If you have been keeping your data and applications local, shifting to Redshift could also mean shifting your applications to some other part of the AWS ecosystem as well, just to keep the latency times and bandwidth costs reasonable. In some ways, Redshift may be the AWS equivalent of putting the milk in the back of the grocery store.If it is at all reasonable in its service, though, Redshift’s pricing will definitely put pressure on the data warehousing vendors to lower their prices to compete – good news for anyone looking at data warehousing.Image courtesy of Shutterstock.last_img read more


Amitabh Bachchan pays off loans of 2,100 Bihar farmers

first_imgMegastar Amitabh Bachchan on Wednesday said he helped pay off outstanding loans of over two thousand farmers from Bihar.The 76-year-old actor took to his personal blog to share the news. Mr. Bachchan said he called on some of the farmers to his residence and donated the amount. “A promise made done. The farmers from Bihar who had outstanding loans, picked 2,100 of them, and paid off their amount with an OTS with the bank. Called some of them over to Janak and personally gave it to them at the hands of Shweta and Abhishek,” he wrote on his blog. The Badla star also said he was on his way to honour another promise he made to the families of the martyrs of the Pulwama terror attack. “Now going to Janak to complete another promise… to give some monetary assist to the martyrs families, who sacrificed their lives at Pulwama.” Mr. Bachchan had earlier supported 1,398 farmers from Uttar Pradesh and 350 from Maharashtra by paying off their loans.last_img read more


Shortcuts to happiness

first_imgThere was a time when the entire family would go out on a long holiday to some distant location. Not any more. Even as time becomes a luxury in the present day world, it’s a good idea to head to a beautiful locale nearby to relax and spend some time with your family. Get yourself pampered in a spa, spend hours gazing at the morning sun or simply sit by the riverside enjoying the breathtaking views around. There’s so much you can do on a holiday. So tune in and head to a whole new world. Our recommendations.Relax at Ibiza resortIBIZA club Address: Merlin Greens, Village Kirparampur (Police Station- Bishnupur), Diamond Harbour Road South 24 Parganas- 743503, Telephone number-9836801457 (Biplab)The 12-acre Lifestyle Country Club, IBIZA at Merlin Greens on Kriparampur, South 24 Parganas, is an ideal retreat within Bengal. Just 22 km from the heart of Kolkata you can reach here within an hour by road. A favoured destination for corporate banquets and weddings, it’s also perfect for a weekend getaway. With a plan to start 25 to 30 cottage-style units with open areas adjoining every room, IBIZA is aiming to become a luxury resort.One can just enjoy an idyllic break while at IBIZA. You can lounge about the open green spaces, take a dip in the swimming pool or rejuvenate your tired mind and body at the spa which is equipped with gym, steam and sauna. Do not forget to enjoy the private open spaces adjoining the spa for a slice of peace, privacy and tranquillity.There are designated children play areas with activity centres and library space to ensure the kids enjoy as you unwind by the open poolside bar. The resort’s added attractions are the wide range of outdoor activities such as lawn tennis, boating, golf and rock-climbing.A stay at any of the rooms in this place would cost anything between Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 plus taxes. This would include breakfast and a host of other facilities like swimming pool, boating, badminton, table tennis and basketball.advertisementRejuvenate at Ffort RaichakThe Ffort Raichak Address: The Ffort Raichak, Sarisa, 24 Parganas (South), West Bengal. Telephone: 913174275444Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, drive to Raichak, just an hour-and-a-half drive from Kolkata. The perfect destination for an outing with family on a sunny winter morning, it is located on the east bank of river Hoogly. To make the best of your stay here, head to The Ffort Raichak, a versatile leisure destination to unwind. Just as you step into the fort, guests are offered a cool traditional welcome drink.If you want to relax after the drive, it would be best to head straight to Anaya Spa for a rejuvenating massage. After half-an-hour of pure bliss with essential oils, the stress buster treatment can be followed by lunch at Reflections, the 24-hour dining restaurant. And post-lunch, there are many options. You can a stroll around the landscaped greenery or just laze around, lounge at the sports bar cum-discotheque.There can be arrangements for a boat ride on the river or a short swim in the pool. Enjoy all this for Rs 1,599 per person.The Vedic Village is perfect for a weekendThe Vedic villageAddress: The Vedic Village, Resort, Shikharpur, P.O – Bagu – Rajarhat – Kolkata – 700135: Landmark – Lauhati; 033 3987 7650.Contact No: + 91 9874 365 365; Call: +91 9830820448Almost 13.5 km from the airport and around 28 km from Science City, Kolkata, The Vedic Village located in the country is ideal for those for whom relaxation means a wonderful massage session.You can begin your break with Ayurvedamritha, their signature therapy comprising 90 minutes of massage with a medicated oil. The massage improves blood circulation which keeps the body warm, along with the traditional shirodhara that provides deep relaxation. In the natural wellness section, experts recommend Vedic glow, the therapy which uses aroma oils best suited for the winter season. A 100-minute massage helps improve skin tone. After this, honey is used to polish the body, and spiriluna and pure aloe vera are used for followup facial and hair treatments.Tariffs of the packages are decided after consultation.last_img read more


Lewis Hamilton crowned F1 champion at royal palace

first_imgBritain’s Lewis Hamilton was handed the Formula One world championship trophy for the fourth time on Friday at a gala prizegiving ceremony in the sumptuous palace of France’s former monarchy.With Formula One chairman Chase Carey looking on, newly-re-elected International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Jean Todt handed the 32-year-old Mercedes driver the silverware he won in Mexico with two races to spare.”This has been an amazing year,” Hamilton told the audience of champions and FIA members gathered in the palace’s 18th century opera.He’ll pick up the coveted trophy for the 4th time later on Friday in Paris – but how many more world titles does @LewisHamilton think he can win?#F1 pic.twitter.com/ahZB4LUtsA- Formula 1 (@F1) December 8, 2017″I hope that next year’s an even better year for all of you. I know for me that I’m going to try to do better.”Hamilton won nine of 20 races in 2017 and set an all-time record of 72 career pole positions as well as scoring points in every grand prix.Asked earlier for his highlight of the season, Hamilton singled out his home British Grand Prix at Silverstone because of the support he received after the ‘negativity’ surrounding his failure to take part in an earlier London event.He had also told reporters that while he did not like going to award ceremonies, or being on stage, he enjoyed watching others succeed.Mercedes won both championships for the fourth year in a row but team boss Toto Wolff said 2017 had been particularly difficult.advertisement”We keep it now,” he said after being handed the constructors’ trophy by Carey.The Chateau de Versailles is not your average party venue, as @LewisHamilton has just discovered pic.twitter.com/edpKEhNudt- Formula 1 (@F1) December 8, 2017Red Bull’s 20-year-old Dutch driver Max Verstappen beat a field that included Hamilton and his own Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo to the ‘Personality of the Year” award for the third successive year.The award is selected by permanently accredited media from all FIA championships.”I always try to be honest and straightforward so I guess that gave me the personality again this year,” said the winner of two races in 2017.”It was a hard season but I learnt a lot from it.”Monaco’s Formula Two winner and 2018 Sauber F1 driver Charles Leclerc won the Rookie of the Year award while Finnish rally driver Esapekka Lappi won the ‘Action of the Year’ for a jump in the Rally of Portugal.British teenager Billy Monger, who had his lower legs amputated after an horrific smash in a Formula Four race at Donington Park in April, was presented with an FIA president’s special award.Monger, who has already returned to driving, walked out onto the stage on prosthetic legs to a resounding ovation.A very special moment as @LewisHamilton collects the world championship trophy for the 4th time – and is joined on stage by @BillyMonger#F1 #FIAPrizeGiving pic.twitter.com/NrS9mMVJQv- Formula 1 (@F1) December 9, 2017last_img read more