Foster’s Fairplay | Principals’ Principles

first_imgFoster’s Fairplay is, not at this juncture, concerned with rights or wrongs of the ongoing squabble as they pertain to the eligibility of the Ugandan athlete, Ari Rodgers, to participate in the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys & Girls’ Championships next week. That aspect of the saga has been settled by the world-renowned event’s governing body, the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association with Rodgers’ school, Kingston College, coming out smiling. The grimace, however, is on the face of the other school realistically contending Champs supremacy, Calabar High, whose five-year winning streak is under the hammer of a Kingston College, hungry to latch on to a major trophy. This has led to a scenario that is threatening discord and disarray amongst the supporters of the two factions. As reggae artiste George Nooks sang in the 70’s, “Tribal War, wi nuh wan nuh more a dat.” The principals of both schools are not looking good in all of this, as the punches and counterpunches are in the public space. Someone needs to take the time to alert them to the importance of the role that they are being compensated to play. They need to be seen primarily as promoting the establishment and maintenance of discipline, good order and industry. As far as their public profile on extraneous matters such as the Rodgers affair is concerned, there is a tolerance limit that is on the verge of being exceeded. A boiling point has been reached In recent times, there are many acts of deviant behaviour among students, and some have led to disastrous outcomes. To address this, there have been initiatives like the appointment of guidance counsellors, Peace and Love in Schools (PALS) and the introduction of safety officers from the Jamaica Constabulary Force. Will it soon be necessary to institute similar moves to keep the principals at bay or away from each other’s throats? Foster’s Fairplay firmly believes that now is the appropriate time to advise the combatants that adversity does not change you adversity actually reveals who you are. Individuals holding high offices should conduct themselves with the highest degree of ethics. Airing their grievances on radio programmes is not the decent way, as it does not send the correct message. The ISSA rules, as they regard qualification to compete, are quite clear. One is hard-pressed to recall an occasion when their implementation has been mired in such controversy as in this matter regarding the Ugandan athlete. If the latest ruling can give rise to this type of confrontation that puts one school’s top administrator up in arms with his counterpart elsewhere, maybe it is time to design an alternative strategy. The fact that the students could attempt to justify their sometimes recalcitrant behaviour on the grounds of “Is the same thing Sir did on TV last night” provides just cause. Foster’s Fairplay suggests that disputes such as the on-going one should be discussed and settled by a designated body, far removed from the schools’ administration. The latter should be left to cater to the diverse demands of educating students and preparing them for the wider world. There can be no doubt that Champs is a blessing to be nurtured and cherished. However, it tends to bring out some disturbing traits in some of the persons involved in its structure and execution. When consulted by Foster’s Fairplay, a former Calabar athlete, coach Vaughn, now plying his trade conditioning athletes in Florida, USA, commented, “I have come to see that the championships is but a drop in the bucket of our life experience. Life is bigger than any Champs win. The adults in this should be ashamed of themselves.” Champs too sweet, take the bitterness elsewhere. – Feedback: Email – lauriefoster2012@gmail.comlast_img read more

Highspeed cameras reveal how hummingbirds can turn on a dime

first_imgHigh-speed cameras reveal how hummingbirds can turn on a dime Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Hummingbirds are the fighter pilots of the avian world, diving and weaving at speeds of up to 55 kilometers per hour—then turning on a dime to hover midair, wings frantically beating, as they refuel on nectar. Now, through herculean efforts, researchers are one step closer to figuring out what makes the animals so nimble. The new work not only helps explain their complex choreography, but it may also lead to more maneuverable robots and drones.Biologists have clocked how fast hummingbirds can fly and how long they can hover, but maneuverability—all that zipping back and forth—is “notoriously difficult to study,” says Peter Wainwright, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California (UC), Davis, who was not part of the new work. That’s because “it involves a complicated set of possible movements, and it’s very spontaneous.”That didn’t stop Paolo Segre, then a graduate student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He decided to try by filming hummingbirds in the wild, which are less inhibited about flying than their captive counterparts. To prepare, he spent the better part of a year perfecting and miniaturizing a four-camera, computer-coordinated system for high-speed filming. By Elizabeth PennisiFeb. 8, 2018 , 2:00 PMcenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Two months later, Segre was in Peru. He and his team hiked up mountains and crashed through jungles to find the perfect site. Once they set up camp, they constructed a large cage outfitted with the solar-powered camera system and started testing their hummingbirds, one by one. The researchers filmed each bird for about 30 minutes as it flitted between perches and visited a nectar-feeding station inside. Then they let the bird go and repeated the process. Segre and his team set up stations in three other locations: the Ecuadorian Andes, and high- and low-elevation camps in Costa Rica.Getting the data wasn’t easy. In Peru, the team’s testing site was swarmed with army ants for 2 days straight. In Costa Rica, Segre and his colleagues had to wade across crocodile-infested waters—at night—in the middle of a lightning storm. “We were mostly terrified by the lightning,” recalls Segre, now an ecophysiologist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. The scientists eventually made videos of 207 birds belonging to 25 species.Once they had the data, Segre’s labmate, postdoc Roslyn Dakin, now at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in Washington, D.C., developed sophisticated software with her colleagues to analyze them. Because there were four cameras, the researchers could reconstruct the flight pattern of each bird in three dimensions, measuring the number of times it accelerated, decelerated, turned, rolled, soared, or dove, among other maneuvers. Each of those simple moves repeated and combined into predictable patterns. “More complex maneuvers were made up of sequences of simpler maneuvers,” Segre explains.When the researchers compared flight patterns among species, they found that each one tended to stick to the maneuvers it was best at (something especially true of turns). But they were surprised to find that heavier hummingbird species were generally better at accelerating and making tight turns. Based on studies in birds and bats, the team had expected the exact opposite. “But larger hummingbird species were actually more maneuverable,” Dakin says. The reason: Those heftier hummers had relatively bigger muscles and wings than smaller species, she and her colleagues report today in Science.Several other trends emerged. Maneuvering behaviors that differed from species to species generally came down to structural and physiological traits such as wing size, wing surface area, weight, and muscle mass. Finally, when the team grouped the birds based on their flight patterns, they found the clusters reflected the hummingbird family tree: More closely related species had similar flight patterns.Dakin says this new maneuverability “framework” could help roboticists understand how to tweak their flyers to be less clumsy and fragile. Particularly useful is hummingbirds’ ability to generate rapid wing movements, which helps with agility, says Andrew Biewener, a biomechanist at Harvard University. As a result, adds Robert Dudley, an organismal biologist at UC Berkeley, even more engineers are now studying animal flight than biologists.last_img read more