Prof. Fraser unearths and exposes a wealth of Barbadian history and little known facts about religions and their contribution to our development. Individual Copies are available for $30.00. The entire...
Adding its voice to predictions of some pretty wild weather for the Caribbean and the United States in the forthcoming months, private weather firm AccuWeather has concurred with the forecasting teams who have already predicted an above-average Atlantic hurricane season this year.
In a forecast released earlier this week, AccuWeather expects that 16 named tropical storms will form, of which eight will become hurricanes.
Based on records that go back to 1950, an average season’s tally is 12 tropical storms, of which six are hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The above-normal number of storms predicted by forecasters to date is attributed to unusually warm water across the Atlantic and Caribbean, along with less frequent wind shear.
According to AccuWeather, three of the storms are predicted to make landfall in the United States, with Florida thought to be long overdue for a direct hurricane hit. While the state has been hit by named tropical storms in the past couple of years, AccuWeather meteorologist Dan Kottlowski says a direct hit by a hurricane has not occurred since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.
AccuWeather reports that concern is also high along the East Coast of the United States, due to the remaining devastation from the landfall of Superstorm Sandy in October 2012.
Last month, several forecasters predicted an above-average 2013 hurricane season, with Weatherbell’s well known forecaster Joe Bastardi saying that this could be a very dangerous hurricane year for the Caribbean and the southeast United States. He also forecast above-average activity up the East Coast and into the Gulf and further west.
Bastardi called for 16 named tropical storms, a very high 12 hurricanes, and 5 hurricanes reaching major status of Category 3 or higher.
The Weatherbell expert believes that 2013 will see hurricane activity shift back to the traditional paths we know from seasons such as 2004 and 2005, with hurricanes tracking a little further south than in 2012 – a pattern generally thought to raise Caribbean risk.
In their pre-season forecast issued last month, Colorado State University (CSU) weather gurus Phil Klotzbach and William Gray also predicted a turbulent, above-average storm season. The CSU tropical research experts predicted a high 18 named storms, including nine hurricanes, four of which would be major.
According to the two CSU climatologists, the tropical Atlantic is unusually warm and El Niño, the atmospheric force that inhibits storm formation, is unlikely to emerge this season, which runs through November 30.
Adding his comments on El Nino, Jeff Masters, chief meteorologist of online weather site Weather Underground, said years where neither El Niño nor its polar opposite, La Niña, emerge can be highly active.
“Remember the neutral El Niño year of 2005?” he said, referring to the season when 28 storms, including 15 hurricanes, formed.
Meanwhile, respected forecasters Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) are also expecting an above-average season this year.
In their pre-season forecast released in April, TSR predicted 15 named tropical storms, 8 of which will become hurricanes and 3 of which will attain Category 3 status or higher becoming major hurricanes.
Adding to the list of predictions released in April, Weather Services International published its early season Atlantic hurricane forecast for 16 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is scheduled to release its predictions later this month
Written by CBC NEWS Friday, 17 May 2013 15:25
Vitamin C can kill multidrug-resistant TB in the lab, scientists have found.
The surprise discovery may point to a new way of tackling this increasingly hard-to-treat infection, the US study authors from Yeshiva University say in Nature Communications.
An estimated 650,000 people worldwide have multidrug-resistant TB.
Studies are now needed to see if a treatment that works using the same action as vitamin C would be useful as a TB drug in humans.
In the laboratory studies, vitamin C appeared to be acting as a "reducing agent" - something that triggers the production of reactive oxygen species called free radicals. These free radicals killed off the TB, even drug resistant forms that are untreatable with conventional antibiotics such as isoniazid.
Lead investigator Dr William Jacobs, professor of microbiology and immunology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University, said: "We have only been able to demonstrate this in a test tube, and we don't know if it will work in humans and in animals.
"This would be a great study to consider because we have strains of tuberculosis that we don't have drugs for, and I know that in the laboratory we can kill those strains with vitamin C.
"It also helps that we know vitamin C is inexpensive, widely available and very safe to use. At the very least, this work shows us a new mechanism that we can exploit to attack TB."
It might be that vitamin C could be used alongside TB drugs. Alternatively, scientists could create new TB drugs that work by generating a big burst of free radicals.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, has many important functions in the body, including protecting cells and keeping them healthy.
Good natural sources of the vitamin include oranges, blackcurrants and broccoli and most people get all they need from their diet.
Dr Ibrahim Abubakar, head of TB at Public Health England, said: "We welcome any new research which will widen our understanding of how to treat TB. While the findings of this study appear promising, further research to confirm the observations would be essential before Vitamin C can be used to supplement TB treatment."
Written by CBC NEWS Wednesday, 22 May 2013 12:52
An Australian garden won Best in Show, the top prize at Chelsea, for the first time in the 100-year history of the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual show.
To whoops and tears, the 15-strong team from Fleming’s Nurseries accepted the award from BBC presenter Alan Titchmarsh and claimed it was the best moment in Australian horticulture as well as “a good omen for the Ashes”.
The designer Phillip Johnson is well known in Australia as a pioneer of sustainable gardening.
His garden used solar powered-pumps to create a waterfall surrounded by UK-grown tree ferns and flowers. The water was filtered to create a chemical free swimming pool. There are 120 species of plant in the garden, much more than the average Chelsea show garden, and frog song was played around the area.
The 38-year-old designer said the garden was designed to inspire people to “connect back to nature” by creating their own billabong.
He pointed out that most people could use rainwater from the roof, fit a filter and create their own water feature. This not only stops rainwater flowing into the street from the drain but stores water for drought and creates a “permeable” surface to stop floods.
He then advised using local native plants to attract in frogs, birds and dragonflies.
“If you had a little back yard, you could create this anywhere. You would be able to grow this in suburbia,” he said.
“I want everyone to look at the down pipes from their roof and see how it can sustain a billabong - or body of water that fluctuates throughout the seasons,” he said.
Alan Titchmarsh, the BBC presenter, welcomed more “integrated water management” in British gardens.
He said the Government should legislate so that every new house should have a place to store rain water and recycle grey water.
He said floods and recent hosepipe bans could be avoided by households managing water better.
“We have plenty of water in this country, he said. “It is just in the wrong place.”
Wes Fleming, the owner of Fleming’s Nurseries has taken eight gardens to Chelsea, four of which won gold.
His ninth and last garden at Chelsea was designed to show how urban environments and cities should be built in the future to manage water and sustain wildlife.
“Our infrastructure cannot cope with rainwater so if we can capture it and use it on our own properties it makes perfect sense.”
The Queen visited the site yesterday. Fleming, from Melbourne and the founder of Australia's ninth garden campaign, was told she had no time to stop but she did and then walked about the site. It was a good omen.
Fleming said he was "dangerously confident" of winning but it was still unbelievable; no other Australian entry has ever won best in show.
"I have dreamed of this moment since I was a little boy growing up on the nursery and mum and dad regaling in tales of Chelsea Flower Show," an emotional Fleming said.
"I've been chasing this honour for my whole adult life so to have been awarded not only the coveted gold medal but Best in Show at the world's most highly regarded event is a moment no words can describe."
Of his meeting with the Queen, Fleming said: "She did more listening than talking but she did say "I believe this is your last garden" and we explained to her the reasons why we couldn't come back and she was quite disappointed," Fleming said.
"It was really quite lovely that the Queen knows about you, it's really quite special. She thought our display this year was lovely and the comments by those about her Majesty was it was a beautiful slice of Australia."
Despite the win, it will be Fleming's and his Trailfinders Australian Garden team's last showing.
"Chelsea is wonderful media and a great event but in all honesty it's like building dolls houses," Fleming said.
"For us it has been about increasing awareness and influencing policy and government about the need for planning, the need for green and better open spaces for environment and have the horticultural industry involved in future planning.
"In 100 or 50 years time it's not going to be accountants telling us how we live and the health of society, it's not going to be lawyers, marketing people or IT people, it will be the horticultural industry that determines the future of our life.
"That might sound trumped up … but we need to get governments and the greater populace generally to recognise that planting trees and creating landscapes is not just for aesthetics."
But Tony Smith, an award-winning British designer, said that sustainability at Chelsea Flower Show is a“nonsense”. “You save the environment by not flying 15 people around the world,” he said.
However, he said storing, filtering and using your own water saved a lot of energy and money.
“It is laudable to encourage people to be as good as they can be but it is not enough to save the planet.”
Bob Sweet, Head of RHS shows and one of the judges, said it was one of the best show gardens he had ever seen at Chelsea.
He said the garden managed to look like the real Australian landscape through attention to detail
“It has not been done as a show garden it has been done to look natural,” he said.
David “Ponty” Pontifex, who was in charge of construction, said the RHS had originally wanted to put the garden 24m east along the embankment.
But the Australian team questioned what the pipes were in the plan 3m in diameter and just 2m down under the billabong.
When they found out it was the London sewage pipes they demanded to be moved.
“Otherwise we would really have been in the sh**t,” he commented.
Written by CBC NEWS Wednesday, 22 May 2013 13:40
West Indies batting star Dwayne Smith says the Mumbai Indians are charged for one more shot for a spot in the finals of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday.
Smith said Mumbai Indians are eager to perform and will regroup from their thrashing at the hands of Chennai Super Kings on Tuesday.
Mumbai, which also features West Indies player Kieron Pollard, meet Rajasthan Royals in the final playoff match on Friday in Kolkata for a place in Sunday’s final against Dwayne Bravo’s Chennai Super Kings.
“We still have another chance. We have to regroup and comeback strong in the next game to get a chance to play in the final,” said Smith.
“We are still in the competition and our confidence will not drop”.
Smith said he was gutted after Mumbai Indians succumbed to Chennai by 48 runs.
Smith scored 68 off 28 balls with five sixes and six fours to put Mumbai Indians in a position of control as they chased a daunting 191.
However when he was out caught by Suresh Raina off Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling in the ninth over things start to go downhill for Mumbai.
“It is unfortunate to end up on the losing side. I love to win,” Smith told IPLT20.com.
The Barbadian batsman was scoring at a strike rate of over two hundred when CSK decided to take the strategic time-out before the seventh over.
Smith was dismissed an over after the time-out.
“I do not think that the time-out broke the momentum of the game. At some point of time it always had to happen and I was ready to regroup my innings after the short break,” he said.
“If I had been there for a little more time, we could have probably gone on to win the game.”
Smith’s West Indian team mate Kieron Pollard was the second highest scorer with 24 from 16 balls which included a six and two fours.
“There was a ray of hope when Kieron Pollard was going well, but wickets falling at regular intervals did not help our cause,” he added.
Written by CBC NEWS Thursday, 23 May 2013 12:26
Local used car dealers says they've had enough with customs officials at the Bridgetown Port and have announced plans to take all outstanding grouses to the High Court.
Members of the Consortium of Vehicle Importers made this clear Thursday during a news conference held at the Accra Beach Resort.
They say many of their imported used-cars are being held by the port because of accusations of under-invoicing and believe it could have an adverse impact on the industry.
Peter Philips says it's an ongoing battle with Customs and he's heading to the Supreme Courts seeking justice.
Judy Forde, Director of Trade Advisory Services has refuted claims of under invoicing by the former comptroller of customs.
Written by CBC NEWS Thursday, 23 May 2013 19:56
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