Making Washington Street safe

first_imgDear Editor:“Streets are where the life of a city happens.” — Janette Sadik-Khan, former NYCDOT commissioner.Our streets should reflect who uses them and how. In the evening, the intersection of Washington Street and Newark in Hoboken sees twice as many pedestrians as vehicles. The walk ability of Washington due to its wide sidewalks is touted as a key amenity of the city. And yet, Washington Street has three times as many collisions as expected for its size and traffic volume. Nearly half of the vehicle–pedestrian crashes are caused from someone turning their car into people crossing with the light.This is according to the study done prior to the new design for Washington. We should be doing everything we can to make Washington Street safer and more enjoyable to walk, use a stroller or wheelchair, or other mobility device. Curb extensions are no more a fad than stop signs or seatbelts. They are a proven solution to reducing crashes and injury that was specified by engineers and approved by the council. Across the river, 9th Avenue in Manhattan saw a “58 percent decrease in injuries to all street users” and “Up to 49 percent increase in retail sales” after installing protected bike lane and curb extensions/safety islands. The curb extensions being installed on Washington Street will help balance the space allocated to each mode of transportation and improve the street for everyone, including those who need to travel the street by car. Alec Perkinslast_img read more

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USC receives first quantum computer

first_imgUSC on Friday became the first academic institution to house an operational quantum computer system.The D-Wave One Adiabatic Quantum Computer, the first commercially available quantum computer, will be housed at the USC Viterbi Information Sciences Institute in Marina del Rey.Professor Daniel Lidar (left) and USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos stand before the new quantum computing system | Photo courtesy of Ziva SantopViterbi School of Engineering Dean Yannis Yortsos said the research conducted on the machine will be historic.“This is merely the first step in a much larger world,” Yortsos said.Yortsos said the system will break new ground, much like the first commercially available computer in the United States, the Universal Automatic Computer (Univac).“The D-Wave One Adiabatic Quantum Computer represents not merely the latest ancestor of Univac, but the next big leap — the advent of scalable quantum computing,” Yortsos said. “Truly, D-Wave Systems has created something revolutionary: a 128 qubit quantum chip that augurs the possibility of solving some of the world’s most complex optimization and machine learning problems.”The $10-million computer was purchased by Lockheed Martin Corporation, a security and information technology company that is the largest provider of IT services, systems integration and training to the U.S. government. USC will work with Lockheed Martin to conduct research on the computer.Lockheed Martin said in a press release that it hopes to harness the technology to solve relevant problems that are hard to address through established methods in a “cost-effective amount of time.”Quantum computing has the potential to drastically increase the speed of computer functions. The D-Wave computer’s qubits are able to encode ones and zeros at the same time and place on the chip, whereas traditional computers can only hold one of the digits in a place at one time. Having two bits exist in the same place at the same time, a property called superposition, is a fundamental principle of quantum mechanics.The concept of superposition is often illustrated by a thought experiment Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger proposed in 1935. In the experiment, a cat would be placed in a box that is completely unobservable from the outside, where the cat would eventually be poisoned. Because Schrödinger’s cat is alive when placed in the box but will be dead at some point when it is in the box, an observer can only assume the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Superposition in the D-Wave computer is advanced through temperature manipulation.The D-Wave system hardware is kept at 20 microKelvin, which is near absolute zero — the coldest possible temperature in the universe. This allows metals to become superconductors by removing their electrical resistance. The system is adiabatic, meaning there is no net heat loss or gain.Yortsos said the computer will provide a new paradigm in the quest for faster and more secure computing, as the field is in its infancy.“It wasn’t that long ago that quantum computing was the province of intellectual wonks and theorists,” Yortsos said.Yortsos said the system would keep USC at the forefront of technological innovations.“From its pioneering role in the protocols of the Internet, the Domain Naming System — .com, .net, .edu — grid computing, high-performance computing, e-science and artificial intelligence, ISI has been the agent of innovation for many of the greatest breakthroughs of the past four decades,” Yortsos said. “Next year, 2012, ISI will celebrate its 40th anniversary. I am very confident that … this agent has its best innovating still to come.”last_img read more

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Archaeology: Babylonian Clay Tablet Mentions Biblical Name

first_imgJeremiah mentioned Nebo-Sarsekim and Nebuchadnezzar, and so did Babylonian scribes.  The Times Online reported today, “The British Museum yesterday hailed a discovery within a modest clay tablet in its collection as a breakthrough for biblical archaeology – dramatic proof of the accuracy of the Old Testament.”  An article in the Telegraph calls it “a fantastic discovery, world-class find” and includes a picture and full translation of the small tablet.    The great King Nebuchadnezzar had been known from extra-Biblical sources, but Nebo-Sarsekim was not – till now.  He is mentioned in Jeremiah 39:3 as one of the officials of Nebuchadnezzar present at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 BC.  Jeremiah was an eyewitness to these events.  Now, the same name has been deciphered on a clay tablet from Sippar, a site a mile from Baghdad, where the Babylonians had a huge sun temple.  The tablet, recording Nebo-Sarsekim’s gift of gold to a temple in Babylon, dates to 10 years before the siege of Jerusalem.    The British Museum acquired this small tablet in 1920, but it had never been translated.  Dr. Michael Jursa (U of Vienna), one of the few scholars who can read cuneiform script, made the discovery while translating tablets on a research trip to the museum.  “Finding something like this tablet, where we see a person mentioned in the Bible making an everyday payment to the temple in Babylon and quoting the exact date, is quite extraordinary,” he said.  Dr. Irving Finkel of the British Museum added, “If Nebo-Sarsekim existed, which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed?  A throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true.  I think that it means that the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on a new kind of power.”    This story was found on Todd Bolen’s Bible Places blog.  Bolen is compiling a list of Biblical characters mentioned in extra-Biblical sources, and says the list is already long; now he can add another one.    Meanwhile, what’s new with the Jehoash Inscription and the James Ossuary? (See 04/21/2003, 06/19/2003.)  Dissatisfied with the rush to judgment by the Israel Antiquities Authority that they are forgeries, the Biblical Archaeology Society has pushed for more unbiased analysis, claiming the evidence is strong for their authenticity.  They issued a special report this month to bring readers up to date.  The full report from their conference of scholars last January is available.Todd Bolen took umbrage at the Times’ quote of a scholar who responded that the name on the clay tablet means “the Biblical story is not altogether invented.”  It is not invented at all, he retorted.  The more evidence, the weaker the case of liberal skeptics becomes.  This would be a good time to read the book of Jeremiah.    The Old Testament narratives have the feel of history.  Sure, there are great stories of adventure, intrigue, relationships, accomplishments, heroes and villains, but they are not just invented stories: the amount of detail provided (names, places, dates, events) is far and above what would be expected in fiction.  The details are presented in a matter-of-fact way that has the ring of truth (see, for example, the listings of David’s officers, priests and assistants in I Chronicles).  No reader would look at this and think it is made up: it has the look and feel of official documentation.    Names mentioned in the Bible have turned up in inscriptions from Egypt, Moab, Babylon and throughout Israel itself.  Another interesting point to consider is that the Bible presents its heroes in all their human frailty.  Most inscriptions from kingdoms outside Israel exaggerate their victories and quash their embarrassments: not the Bible.  The sins of even David and Solomon are exposed in all their ugliness, right next to other passages describing their moments of victory and godliness.  Combined with the detail and the archaeological attestations, this is unprecedented in ancient records.    Today’s news is another small piece of silent testimony, rising from the dust and from the back rooms of a museum, that the Bible told real history about real people and real events.  No other ancient “religious” text has so much internal and external corroboration.  Israel and its surrounding kingdoms have been plundered and destroyed so many times, it should be understandable that evidence is scattered and fragmentary: think of the serendipitous discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Codex Sinaiticus (almost burned in the hearth by monks), and the Moabite Stone (almost destroyed by nomads thinking it contained gold).  Much remains hidden in the dust, but there is enough to give an honest inquirer confidence to take the Biblical record very seriously.    For another look into Biblical archaeology, read Dr. Alan Millard’s 2002 review of the historical and archaeological case for King Solomon’s riches, republished this month on Associates for Biblical Research.  (Note that this article predated the 2005 possible discovery of Solomon’s palace, 02/09/2007, 08/09/2005).  Solomon lived 360 years before Jeremiah.  The farther back in time, the more fragmentary the evidence, but why not consider the Bible as primary evidence?  Its record fits the period and the hard evidence we do have.  Millard explains why the critics’ argument from silence represents bias, not scholarship.    A good layman’s-level paperback overview of Biblical archaeology is The Stones Cry Out by Randall Price (1997).  Many exciting Bible-corroborating artifacts have surfaced in the intervening decade.  Archaeological pieces have been falling into place and silencing critics for a long time now.  It’s tantalizing to ponder what more discoveries remain to be made among the 130,000 clay tablets still lying untranslated in dark shelves of the British Museum.(Visited 72 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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SA revenue ‘has recovered from 2008’

first_img22 October 2013 Despite concerns over lagging company income tax, South Africa’s tax revenue has recovered since the 2008-09 global financial crisis, growing at 6.8% between 2008/9 and 2012/13, according to the South African Revenue Service’s (Sars’) head of revenue analysis, Randall Carolissen. Speaking during the release of Sars’ annual tax statistics in Parliament in Cape Town on Monday, Carolissen said all the country’s tax types – with the exception of company income tax – had rebounded strongly since the 2009 recession. Though the country’s tax income performance still fell short of the pre-crisis period between 2004/5 and 2007/8, when tax revenue grew by 17.3%, the decline during the recession – a 4.2% contraction in 2009/10 over 2008-09 – was not as dramatic as that of over developing economies, Carolissen said. For the 2012/13 fiscal year, tax revenue collected amounted to R813.8-billion, up R71.2-billion or 9.6% over the previous tax year. However, while personal income tax and VAT contributions had recovered relatively well since 2008, company income tax (CIT) collections had not yet recovered to pre-crisis levels, due to the contraction in the contribution by the mining sector. While only 55% of CIT assessments have so far been carried out, projections show that R160.9-billion will be collected for 2012/13, below the R167.2-billion which was collected in 2008/9. CIT contributions increased steadily between 1994/5 and 2008/9, making up 26.7% of tax revenue in 2008/9, but have since fallen to an expected 19.8% of tax contributions in 2012/13. Carolissen said CIT contributions from both the manufacturing and mining sectors had declined after the recession because of increased labour costs, higher administrative inflation and production hours lost to labour unrest. At the same time, he noted that Sars had in recent years instituted a number of innovations that had helped to limit compliance lapse, including the introduction of the 80% rule, which requires provisional taxpayers with taxable income of more than R1-million to settle at least 80% of their tax liability by the time they make their second provisional payment. “This amendment to the Act ensured that CIT collections are accounted for in the correct reporting period,” Carolissen said, adding that the policy change had helped improve CIT collections in 2009/10, so cushioning the effect of the recession. The latest tax statistics also reveal that: The number of registered taxpayers grew by 32.5% over 2011/12 to 15.4-million individuals in the 2012/13 tax year, following the requirement in 2010 that all employed people have to be on Sars’ tax register regardless of whether they are liable for income tax or not.Over 5.8-million individual taxpayers were liable to submit tax returns in 2012/13.South Africa’s tax-to-GDP ratio increased marginally from 25% in 2011/12 to 25.3% in 2012/13. This is comparable to a number of countries, include Australia, Japan, Turkey, the US, Switzerland and Korea.A total of R45.3-billion in tax relief was granted to individuals between 2008/9 and 2012/13.The value of tax payments made at branches fell from 21.8% in 2008/9 to 1.8% in 2012/13, with 64.8% of payments in the last financial year done through Sars’ online e-filing system. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Daquis’ departure from national team saddens buddy Gonzaga

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide MOST READ Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken No. 1 pick Fultz raring to help turn things around for Philly And it wasn’t just in international competitions that the two wore the same uniform. They’ve shared the court as members of Philippine Army and now the two wear the red of Cignal in the Philippine Super Liga.READ: Dy gets slot as Daquis leaves national teamFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutTheir partnership in the national team, however, came to an end Friday when the 29-year-old Daquis left the national team without giving any reason.This left Gonzaga a void she now tries to fill. Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken What ‘missteps’? Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’center_img READ: Daquis weighing free agency options“Of course it’s sad because Buday is my buddy,” said Gonzaga of Daquis. “I became dependent on her on so many things and I’m comfortable whenever she’s around. Wherever she goes, I go.”The national team is set to fly to Korea mid-July for training camp, and Gonzaga already knows what it would be like not having her longtime teammate.“Of course, I will really miss her.”ADVERTISEMENT 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire LATEST STORIES WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Daquis and Gonzaga are selected to the PSL team for the FIVB World Club Championships. Photo by Bong LozadaJovelyn Gonzaga and Rachel Anne Daquis have formed a volleyball partnership unlike no other.The two represented the Philippines in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games, with Gonzaga as captain, and in the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship, where Daquis took the role of skipper.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:19Magalong: Albayalde also got SUV out of ‘agaw bato’ operation in 201300:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View commentslast_img read more

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10 months agoMcGrath slams Man Utd players: I’ll go to grave knowing I gave my all

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say McGrath slams Man Utd players: I’ll go to grave knowing I gave my allby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United hero Paul McGrath says it’s time for the players to start playing for the fans.McGrath wrote for the Irish Independent: “Now the Manchester United players have to step up to the plate. And that’s from someone who knows what he is talking about.”You are reading here the words of a man who had a row with a Manchester United manager, someone he didn’t get on with.”But every time Alex Ferguson picked me to play in that famous red shirt, I went out and gave it my all. I will go to my grave certain of that.”And I played as hard as I could for three reasons.”Firstly, it was a matter of pure professional pride for me.”Secondly, because I wanted to show I was a half decent footballer.”And thirdly, and above all, because I was doing it for the supporters, those people who put their hands into their pockets for their hard-earned cash to watch the team and thus pay my wages.”That’s what I thought of when I was a Manchester United man, not that the manager wanted me out of the dressing-room.”There were Manchester United players who did not do those three things over the last few weeks and months.” last_img read more

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Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee congratulates PV Sindhu

first_imgKolkata: Banerjee on Sunday congratulated shuttler PV Sindhu for becoming the first Indian to win the BWF World Championships. Banerjee said Sindhu’s feat will make every Indian proud. “Congratulations to @Pvsindhu1 on becoming the first Indian to win the #BWFWorldChampionships. You make every Indian proud. Keep winning,” Banerjee tweeted. Sindhu on Sunday became the first Indian to win badminton World Championships gold by beating familiar rival Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in a lop-sided final in Basel in Switzerland on Sunday. The Indian won 21-7, 21-7 in the summit clash that lasted just 38 minutes.last_img read more

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RCMP confirm photo on social media not suspects in Northern BC homicides

first_imgWINNIPEG, M.B. – The Manitoba RCMP have confirmed the photo floating around on social media of a man posing with a copy of the Winnipeg Sun, is not one of the suspects in three northern B.C. homicides.In a post on Facebook early Friday, the RCMP confirmed the photo that shows a man posing with the front page of Thursday’s Winnipeg Sun is not Kam McLeod or Bryer Schmegelsky.The RCMP also said they are still searching for the suspects and will release updates as they have concrete and confirmed information to share.  The post goes onto say, “We understand many people are experiencing fear & uncertainty over this incident but spreading online rumours doesn’t help.”RCMP have been searching near Gillam Manitoba since Monday for Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod.  There have been two confirmed sightings of the suspects near the community. The vehicle they had been driving was found near the community.last_img read more

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9th Annual United Way of Northern BC Fire Truck Pull this Saturday

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The United Way of Northern British Columbia will be hosting its 9th Annual Fire Truck Pull this Saturday, September 14.The Fire Truck Pull is described as the ultimate tug-of-war challenge and a great team-building event.Teams of 10 will play tug-of-war with a 22,000 lb. fire truck to compete for awards and bragging rights. Awards will be given out to teams in the following categories:• Fastest time- Heavy Weight and Not so Heavy Weight• Most money raised• Most spirited/best-dressed teamRegistration is a minimum pledge of $250.00 per team, with all proceeds going to support the United Way of Northern B.C.A pledge form, money and acknowledgment of risk waiver must be submitted to the United Way by Friday, September 13.The 9th Annual Fire Truck Pull is taking place Saturday, September 14, at the Pomeroy Sport Centre parking lot.For team registration, and for more information, you can call Mahvish Parvez at 250-561-1040. Registration can also be completed online.last_img read more

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PNP has back its home

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Olive branch extended by Opposition Leader, says it is time for Turks and Caicos leaders to unite TCI Country Leaders condemn vicious memes Recommended for you Opposition Leader responds to Throne Speech  11 days later; says PDM Govt plan puts TCI in ‘deep doo doo’ Related Items:carlos simons, headquarters, pnp, premimer rufus ewing Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 11 Feb 2016 – A move in the Civil Recovery process led to a Supreme Court ruling in 2013 which saw the governing Progressive National Party’s headquarters confiscated by Government.It was a most peculiar scenario and one which led to the PNP Administration asking for the former AG to be removed.Today the limbo ends as PTV carried the Premier and PNP Party leader, Rufus Ewing just moments ago announcing that they’ve got their building; on airport road in Provo back.It is an important victory for the PNP as the country nears a general election.At the time of the judgement, it was said the PNP did not legally exist and so the party could not sue or be sued.Party Deputy Leader, Carlos Simons, QC defended the case and was reportedly calling on Huw Shepherd (AG)to withdraw the unnecessary proceedings.Simons believed the move was engineered to embarrass the PNP and told the TC Weekly news in 2013 that the accusations of trespassing and no proper title are false.We wait now to hear more on the reported announcement.last_img read more

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