Donegal road group urges motorists to be vigilant this Bank Holiday weekend

December 21, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgRoad users in Donegal have been urged to be vigilant and responsible over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend to avoid fatalities and serious injury. The Donegal Road Safety Working group issued the warning as the county prepares itself for a busy holiday period – statistics indicating an increased risk of collisions during public holidays.The group are now appealing to all road users to play their part in helping to ensure the safe use of our roads. Brian O’Donnell, Road Safety Officer, said: “With pleasant weather forecast for the weekend, longer daylight hours, pedestrians and cyclists are reminded always to wear reflective or fluorescent clothing which will help you to be seen from a distance and motorists also need to exercise care and be fully aware of vulnerable road users on the road.“Road Safety continues to be a high priority for the Donegal Road Safety Working Group but sadly, there have been four fatalities on Donegal roads to date in 2019.“Over the Easter holiday period, many people will set out to visit family and friends, some making long journeys. Remember that everyone is in the same position as you, don’t get frustrated if you are stuck behind slow-moving traffic, be patient and wait until it is safe and only overtake when it is safe to do so.“With high traffic volumes on our roads driver fatigue can set in and motorists are urged where fatigue is setting in to pull over to a safe location and rest.” Over the weekend, An Garda Síochána will place extra emphasis on the enforcement of the key lifesaver offences of driving while intoxicated, speeding, non-use of seatbelts and the use of mobile phones.The Garda campaign will involve extra high-visibility patrols, with an intensified schedule of checkpoints in both rural and town locations.“We are appealing to motorists to slow down, never drive after drinking or taking drugs, always wear a seat belt, drive with greater care and attention and never use mobile phones while driving,” O’Donnell added.“On behalf of the DRSWG, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very safe and happy Easter.  Let us continue to work together to make our roads safer.”Donegal road group urges motorists to be vigilant this Bank Holiday weekend was last modified: April 18th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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:Donegal Road Safety WorkingEasterlast_img read more

Darwinians Excel at Games

December 19, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgMartin Nowak (Harvard) sure got good press for his evolutionary game theories last week.  In Nature,1 he retold the glorious story of how he and Karl Sigmund met in an Austrian mountain cottage and applied the “prisoner’s dilemma” game to a new theory for social evolution.  The same week, in Science,2 as part of a special section on mathematics in biology, the two of them published a detailed accounting of the many insights game theory has provided to Darwinists.    Thousands of papers have been written on game theory since Nowak and Sigmund dreamed up this new approach for characterizing biological interactions (for example, see 10/17/2002).  Martin especially liked game theory because it didn’t require hard lab work: “At university, I found labs disappointing,” he says.  “ – experiments failed for no good reason.  But theory was beautiful.  You could do theory while walking through the forest or lying in the grass.  Theory was not grey, but a golden tree of life.”    His Science piece claims some progress, but lists some substantial challenges ahead.  He does not specify how many hours of lying in the grass these puzzles will require:Many challenges lie ahead.  Evolutionary game theory is formulated in terms of phenotypes, thereby ignoring the complexity of the genotype-phenotype mapping.  More work is needed on the interaction of strategies encoded in genomic sequences.  Most evolutionary game dynamics have been studied in the context of infinitely large populations.  We expect that finite population size effects will lead to surprising outcomes and might question the importance of traditional evolutionary stability.  Cultural interpretations of replicator dynamics often assume that successful strategies spread by imitation or learning, but the learning of complicated strategies from behavioral observations is a nontrivial task that needs specific investigation.  Similarly, studying human language requires a connection between the mathematics of game theory, learning theory, and computational linguistics.Despite these challenges, Nowak is confident that game theory provides a conceptual framework that is just shy of a panacea.  It can be applied to everything in biology, he claims, from interactions between proteins in a cell to social interactions between people:The applications of evolutionary game theory pervade by now all areas of biology.  Interactions among genes, viruses, cells, and humans are often instances of evolutionary games that are amenable to empirical and theoretical investigation.  Game theory is the appropriate tool whenever the success of an individual depends on others.With all the popularity his approach has garnered, Nowak is like a kid in a candy store: “I am no longer embarrassed to work on games.  They are the generic description of evolutionary interactions among genes, cells and people.  Children love games.  Scientific creativity is to never stop playing.”Children love games.  Children also love fairy tales.  Children are suckers for logical fallacies.  Grow up, Martin.    These guys should read the piece by Robert M. May in the same issue of Science3 on “Uses and Abuses of Mathematics in Biology.”  Though not targeting game theory or evolution specifically, May shows how mathematics can confuse, not clarify, issues, and lead to false conclusions if the assumptions or inputs are wrong or imprecise.  He does mention how Darwin might have avoided the now-discredited view of blending inheritance had he known a little math (Charlie said, “I have deeply regretted that I did not proceed far enough at least to understand something of the great leading principles of mathematics; for men thus endowed seem to have an extra sense.”)  If Darwin had grasped the significance of Mendel’s results, Robert May claims, he might have made better progress against critics.  (Or perhaps more accurately, would have gasped and moaned.)    May points out differences between mathematical uses in physics and biology.  Tycho collected planetary data, Kepler described patterns that made the observations coherent, and Newton provided fundamental laws to explain the patterns.  Mathematical biology is partly in each stage, but “every stage in this caricature is usually vastly more complex than in the early days of physics,” May warns.  He provides examples of abuses, and some good uses, such as in immunology.  But he ends on a word of caution that Darwinian game theorists should read and heed:Mathematics, however, does not have the long-standing relation to the life sciences that it does to the physical sciences and engineering.  It is therefore not surprising to find occasional abuses. … Perhaps most common among abuses, and not always easy to recognize, are situations where mathematical models are constructed with an excruciating abundance of detail in some aspects, whilst other important facets of the problem are misty or a vital parameter is uncertain to within, at best, an order of magnitude.  It makes no sense to convey a beguiling sense of “reality” with irrelevant detail, when other equally important factors can only be guessed at.  Above all, remember Einstein’s dictum: “models should be as simple as possible, but not more so.”Exercise:  Re-read this quote, and then read Nowak’s quote above about the challenges facing game theory.  How likely are evolutionary game theorists to be duped by a beguiling sense of reality?  (A phrase which, being interpreted, means, fantasy.)Extra credit:  Apply the same analysis to Antonelli’s claim (see 01/12/2004) and to computerized models of evolution (see 08/20/2003 and 12/19/2002s).1Martin A. Nowak, “Prisoners of the dilemma,” Nature 427, 491 (05 February 2004); doi:10.1038/427491a.2Martin A. Nowak and Karl Sigmund, “Evolutionary Dynamics of Biological Games,” Science Volume 303, Number 5659, Issue of 6 Feb 2004, pp. 793-799, 10.1126/science.1093411.3Robert M. May, “Uses and Abuses of Mathematics in Biology,” Science Volume 303, Number 5659, Issue of 6 Feb 2004, pp. 790-793, 10.1126/science.1094442.(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Prickly Mountain and the Design-Build Movement

December 16, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgAlmost all branches of American art and culture, including music and architecture, experienced a remarkable explosion of creativity from 1965 to 1975. While I can’t explain the causes of these cultural revolutions — I’ll leave that task to sociologists and historians — I’ll briefly mention what happened during those years: LSD, hippies, free love, second-wave feminism, draft resistance, the Stonewall riots, and the back-to-the land movement. And that’s just for starters.Historians of architecture have looked back on those years as the origin of the design-build movement, and they are remarkably specific about the movement’s point of origin. The physical location is Prickly Mountain in Warren, Vermont; the years are 1965 to 1970; and the catalyst was a Yale architect named David Sellers, along with a group of like-minded Ivy League architects who clustered around him, including Steve Badanes, John Connell, Louis Mackall, Bill Maclay, Jim Sanford, Barry Simpson, and Dick Travers.The story of Prickly Mountain is an example of how residents of the tiny state of Vermont have played an outsized role in an important architectural movement.In recent years, as the back-to-the land generation retires, Vermont historians have begun to pay attention to the profound changes wrought by the tens of thousands of back-to-the-landers who invaded the state in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We arrived poor, and were more likely to apply for food stamps than to apply for a 9-to-5 job. But by the 1980s and 1990s, many members of our generation had trimmed our hair, completed our educations, and become pillars of our communities. We turned into teachers, social workers, nurses, and elected officials. And, for better or worse, we ended up changing the state.Most of the urban refugees who imitated the Prickly Mountain architects — young people who moved to the woods… This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

Retirement Readiness

December 12, 2019 0 Comments

first_imgFor more information, watch Retire Ready, a Military Families Learning Network Personal Finance webinar:This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network Blog on October 18, 2013 Resources:Planning for a Secure RetirementLife Expectancy Calculator Websites:Life Expectancy Calculator (Social Security Administration)The Longevity Game (Northwestern Mutual)How Long Will I Live? (Blueprint Income) By Katie Stamper, Program Assistant and Dr. Michael S. Gutter62-67-70. No, these are not last night’s lottery numbers. These numbers indicate the common ages at which people consider retiring. Having a plan can help you have the realistic lifestyle you would like to have. As part of this, is it is critical to know the misconceptions about retirement, and the importance of a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).There are several misconceptions about retirement! Have you caught yourself thinking or believing the following?You have plenty of time to start saving for retirementSaving a little won’t help muchYou won’t spend as much once you retireRetirement will last only 10 to 15 yearsYou can depend on Social Security and your pension to cover your living expensesYour family will take care of youYour pension benefits will increase with inflationYour employer’s health insurance and Medicare will cover all of your medical expensesAs a member of the military, there are several things you need to consider before retiring… Factors include:Current agePlanned retirement ageEstimated life expectancy (resources are below)Source(s) of retirement incomeAmount of income needed each yearAmount of money already savedYour comfort level in taking risksYou and your spouse’s healthEmployment optionsFinancial assetsEligibility for pension benefitsAccess to and cost of health insuranceThe list of retirement factors may seem long, but retiring is not a decision that you want to make lightly. We all work to feel financially secure in our golden years and want to reap the benefits from our professional life. Taking the time to plan for retirement can be worthwhile to your finances.Don’t fool yourself about retirement! Start saving money early and save the maximum that is allowed. Also, knowing your sources of income during retirement is beneficial. You might have more sources than you think. Sources of income could include Social Security, an employer pension plan, a personal retirement account (e.g., IRA), personal savings, and as military personnel, you have access to TSP.The TSP is a defined contribution plan for service members and federal employees. It provides an agency match for civilian workers and you can join immediately upon starting work. The TSP has very low expense ratios. For more information TSP, visit their website.If you are married, make sure your spouse is also taking advantage of any employer provided retirement plans such as a 401(k) or 403 plan. Both of these plans provide for tax-deferred savings and may also include some form of match from an employer. An employer match is free money that should not be left on the table. If his or her employer does not provide a plan, consider using a Traditional or Roth IRA. For more information on these, check out this article.Retirement doesn’t have to be a scary or confusing decision when you consider several factors, understand the misconceptions of retirement, and know your sources of income. Taking the time to plan and prepare for retirement can make the golden years more enjoyable. As a military member, you have not only worked hard but have also sacrificed—you deserve to enjoy retirement!last_img read more