Grants and Loans from the European Union: A Guide to Community Funding

first_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Howard Lake | 7 December 2007 | News Grants and Loans from the European Union: A Guide to Community Funding  15 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.last_img read more

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Support Chester! He’s Oscoda Area Schools new therapy dog

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisALPENA, Mich. — Chester, the therapy dog, is on track with his training to join faculty and students at Oscoda Area Schools. However, the district needs your help to continue supporting Chester as he gets ready for the next school year.Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union in Oscoda will gift a double river tube with an attached cooler and accessories to the fortunate raffle winner! All proceeds will support Chester in the Emotional Support Dog Program. Research indicates therapy dogs boost motivation, learning and attendance among students.The raffle winner will take a trip down the Au Sable river with help from the credit union this summer.To enter, pay $1 dollar for one entry and $5 dollars for six entries. The drawing is June 21.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Outstanding Senior of the Year award presented at Alpena Senior Center brunchNext Let’s Talk: Mental health awarnesslast_img read more

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‘Hard Knocks’ awards: Antonio Brown delivers tour-de-force performance

first_imgAntonio Brown dominated Episode 3 of “Hard Knocks” just like he ruled the NFL world’s headlines all week.The mercurial Raiders receiver was the thread that tied Tuesday’s episode together.At the outset, the Raiders were waiting on him to return to their training camp, and just before the end came general manager Mike Mayock’s now-famous ultimatum directed toward Brown.In between, he charmed his teammates and coaches, the NFL Films cameras particularly trained on head coach Jon Gruden. …last_img read more

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Eyes Do Precision Digital Sampling

first_imgWhat is the shutter speed of the eye?  Have you ever considered this question?  After all, the eye functions like a camera in some respects.  Shutterbugs know that shutter speed and aperture are factors in proper exposure.  Most of us know that the iris of the eye controls the aperture, but what controls the shutter speed?    The question is much more complicated for the eye, because it is a motion picture system.  Movies are typically shot at 24 frames per second, yet our brain perceives the train of still images as a continuous stream of motion.  Does this mean our eyes use a shutter speed less than 24 fps?  That can’t be it, because we notice the jitter when a movie pans across the scene too fast.  Where are the controls for shutter speed in our visual system?  And if the eye is similar to a camcorder, is it analog or digital?    To find out, a team of scientists from Harvard, Cornell, State University of New York and University of Connecticut examined the response of neurons in the mammalian eye when watching static uniform noise versus a movie of natural motion.  Their results, published in Nature,1 were surprising: the eye has a variable shutter speed in the millisecond range2, and our visual system is digital.  Their conclusion will sound familiar to audiophiles and HD geeks familiar with CD/DVD sampling rates:Relative precision may be a general feature of sensory neuron communication, in which an analogue input (the sensory stimulus) is encoded by what is essentially a digital signal (the neuron’s spike train).  In this context, temporal precision of neuronal responses is conceptually similar to the problem of digital sampling, in which encoding frequencies must be at least double that of the analogue signal information because of the Nyquist limit.3  From this perspective, the mechanisms that generate neuronal precision … which seem to make the encoding of visual information more complicated, may actually serve to provide easier means for downstream neurons to decode this information.The sampling rate of the visual system, in other words, is more than twice as precise as the incoming signal.  This is necessary to allow the brain to extract the maximum amount of information from the input.  A high-performance CD or DVD will sound or look better at a high sampling rate.  The eye, likewise, samples the visual field appropriately to preserve the maximum amount of information from the input.  Audiophiles know that a high sampling rate, while good, has trade-offs; the CPU or player has to be able to keep up with the corresponding higher data rate.  Since the mammalian visual field can vary from static noise to a fast-moving field packed with information, neurons automatically adjust with a variable “shutter speed” to match the information content of the scene.  As a result, we get optimum performance within the physical constraints of cell biology: “the frequency content of the stimulus determines the temporal scale at which the response must be specified to reconstruct the stimulus faithfully.”    The paper said nothing about how this system could have evolved.  Instead, the abstract made it clear that the scientists were approaching the problem with a focus on purpose, information, and function.  Indeed, information was one of the most frequent words in the paper, used 36 times:Using information-theoretic techniques, we demonstrate a clear role of relative precision, and show that the experimentally observed temporal structure in the neuronal response is necessary to represent accurately the more slowly changing visual world.  By establishing a functional role of precision, we link visual neuron function on slow timescales to temporal structure in the response at faster timescales, and uncover a straightforward purpose of fine-timescale features of neuronal spike trains.A layman’s summary of this complex paper was published on PhysOrg entitled, “Brain’s timing linked with timescales of the natural visual world.”1Daniel A. Butts et al, “Temporal precision in the neural code and the timescales of natural vision,” Nature 449, 92-95 (6 September 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature06105.2The authors said, “This remarkable precision at millisecond timescales has been observed in the retina, the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN)and the visual cortex, as well as in many other sensory systems such as the fly visual system, the electrosensory system of the weakly electric fish, and the mammalian somatosensory and auditory systems.”3Wikipedia explains, “The sampling theorem tells us that aliasing can be avoided if the Nyquist frequency [i.e., half the sampling frequency of a discrete signal processing system] is greater than the bandwidth, or maximum frequency, of the signal being sampled…. In principle, a Nyquist frequency just larger than the signal bandwidth is sufficient to allow perfect reconstruction of the signal from the samples.”Science Daily picked up on this story two days after we did, with much less detail.    This finding becomes more amazing the more you think about it.  It shows that comparing the eye to a camera is way too simplistic.  We have a digital sampling studio in our heads!  Maybe you’ve thought sometimes that the eye can’t be too great if it perceives 24 frames per second as continuous motion.  Well, think about all that’s going on.  The eye is a physical system – subject to physical and molecular constraints.  The rhodopsin in the rod or cone in the retina (one pixel) must reset itself in a finite amount of time, because chemical reactions (protein rearrangements) cannot be instantaneous.  Similarly, each neuron in the visual system requires a reset before the next firing.  A neural axon contains a train of complex “ion pumps” (01/17/2002) that transmit a chemo-electric signal down the membrane to the tip.  There, neurotransmitters must be delivered across a synapse to the next neuron.  Though the response is rapid, it does take measurable time.    Now, multiply this constraint by the 120 megapixels in each eye that are all having to simultaneously intake photons from the incoming visual field, fire a bit to the brain, and reset (to see what’s involved there, see the 12/30/2003 entry).  It’s incredible that our 3-pound jelly-like brains can keep up with it, while simultaneously monitoring our heart, breathing, and every other input coming from all the senses from head to toe.  To handle this torrent of information, the visual system samples the field and digitizes it.  Each neuron firing event is an element in a code.  The brain does not receive an actual picture, like a projection on a screen.  It receives a continuous train of neuronal signals rich with information.  Because all the information has been encoded with the optimum sampling rate, the brain has all it needs to reconstruct the continuously moving scene with high fidelity.  High-def TV and MPEG-4 is nothing compared to this.    Even beyond that (if you are still struggling to keep up with this mind-boggling discussion), the neuronal pattern has a temporal structure that the brain interprets to get the time-based information out of the signal.  We shouldn’t think of a single shutter speed for the eye, in other words; there are hundreds of millions of individual shutters going off at their own variable rates.  Each rod or cone, each neuron in the optic nerve, and each neuron in the visual cortex is automatically adjusting its firing to provide the brain with a continuous pattern, containing both spatial and temporal structure, that maximizes the amount of useful information from the scene.    So the analog-to-digital sampling is not just two-dimensional, but four-dimensional: we get a stereo image from two 2-D sources (combining the information from each eyeball), yielding 3-D, and the temporal structure makes it 4-D.  This all happens within the constraints of physical chemistry.    A complex 4-D field of information, therefore, is represented in code, where each neuron firing is a bit (“the response of the neuron … consists of discrete firing ‘events’”).  The temporal structure of the digitally-sampled code is optimized to preserve the maximum amount of information from the scene, without swamping the brain with unnecessary bits (TMI, too much information).  Lest this commentary cause cognitive overload from TMI, we won’t remind you of another amazing fact, that the eye also does on-the-fly imaging processing (05/22/2003, 05/27/2003).  Try building a robot with all this that can dive into a swimming pool.    We saw a somewhat similar encoding/decoding technology in the olfactory sense (see 11/07/2001, 06/07/2005); an almost infinitely varying input can be represented by finite neurons using a combinatorial code.  Update: A new paper in Current Biology explored this very thing on Sept. 17: “spike-timing dependent plasticity” apparently is responsible for the precision in the olfactory sense of locusts.  The authors said this has been found also in sight, learning and memory formation in vertebrates.  It is likely that all the senses employ digital sampling to some degree.  What a concept: humans have digital senses, and analog-to-digital conversion is built into our ostensibly analog anatomy.  This is true for all other animals, too.  What are the chances that locusts dreamed up this technology by evolution?    The authors here, again, used an information-theoretic approach to understand the role and purpose of the phenomenon under investigation.  Doesn’t that sound like Intelligent Design at work?  Who needs Charlie to do science?  The eye only gave him cold shudders, and well it should have (12/30/2003, 05/22/2003, 11/10/2006 commentaries).  He didn’t know a hundredth of the problem.  1859 was way before people knew anything about digital sampling, analog-to-digital conversion, millisecond precision, combinatorial code representation of 4-D signals, motion pictures, image processing, neuronal and genetic codes, and much, much more.  Sorry, Charlie; the Darwinian revolution has been rendered obsolete by the information revolution.  Get with the picture.An evolutionary theorist from Australia responded,The article “Eyes do Precision Sampling” attracted my attention and drew me to your site.  You see (no pun intended) in New Scientist (11 August 2007, No. 2616) there was a rather derisive feature: Life’s Biggest Blunders – The design flaws that prove evolution is blind.  And as expected the eye come under the writer’s critical gaze concluding “back-front retinas are a mistake”.  So now comparing these articles I realized that is essential for the Darwinist to downplay design features in order to detract from anything that remotely looks design – impeccable design at that!  I am agnostic but I can never deny that organic life (except human) is doing a wonderful job at functioning at optimum capacity.  Thank you for this sight – sorry – site!(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Madiba magic for Proteas’ campaign

first_imgPresident Jacob Zuma and the Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula wish the Proteas well as they set off to compete in the Cricket World Cup (Image: Bongani Nkosi) President Jacob Zuma met with the Proteas, South Africa’s national cricket squad, in Pretoria recently to wish them good luck for the World Cup taking place in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka later this month. “On behalf of the government and people of South Africa, we wish you all the success in this international campaign,” he said to the team.Led by captain Graeme Smith, the World Cup squad comprises Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Colin Ingram, Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Morne van Wyk.All members were present when Zuma wished them well.“We have assembled a fantastic team,” said Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula, who was also there to encourage the team. “We want to wish you well as you get ready to begin the battle. We are a winning nation and believe you will do well.”Zuma said the sport was a national asset and he was happy to see an increased number of young people coming through the development structures of South African cricket.Special nation“May this nation’s traditional winning streak see you through the ferocious spin bowlers of the Asian sub-continent, and also make you bring the trophy home.”The president called on the team to use the country’s previous successes as their motivation for winning the World Cup. “We are certain you will win. You are part of a special nation. South Africans are special people – we can do things others can’t do.”To show support for the squad, Zuma urged all South Africans to wear their Proteas shirts on Fridays as part of the Magnificent Fridays campaign launched by the Ministry of Sports and Recreation.“We did this successfully for the Fifa Soccer World Cup, and we thank you for bringing back the excitement,” he said.Mandela will be watchingZuma delivered a message from former president Nelson Mandela, whom he visited before meeting the team. “When he talked about you his smile got broader and broader. He wants you to know he supports you all the way and said he will be watching you on the television.”“We will support you to the final until you bring the trophy back and hand it over to Nelson Mandela,” the president said.Captain Greame Smith said they were honored to receive a message from the former leader. “The message from Madiba will stand strong inside of us as we try to make our country proud. It is especially humbling to hear him pledge his support and praise for the squad.”Making the country proudSmith said as a team they were encouraged by the knowledge that the country was behind them. “It will be the support from the fans back home that will carry us on,” he said.He also thanked the president and the sports minister for their support. “It’s always an incredible honour to have the opportunity to meet with the president.”Smith gave both Zuma and Mbalula a number 15 Proteas jersey, representing the team’s supporters.Cricket South Africa CEO Gerald Majola also thanked the president and sports minister for their backing. “Thank you for getting the nation behind us. It means a lot to us to have the nation’s support as we go.”Majola said this would help inspire the team to excel on the pitch. He then paid tribute to the players for being ambassadors for their country.“Enjoy yourselves and bring the trophy home,” he added.Before sending the team off with their final marching orders, Zuma sang for skipper Graeme Smith, who was celebrating his 30th birthday.The player said he was “incredibly humbled” by the gesture.last_img read more

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Energy Efficiency Evolution in Western Missouri

first_imgThough Missouri is among the dozen or so states that have yet to adopt a statewide energy efficiency code for residential and private commercial construction, it is not without green building proponents and strategies.About a year ago, GBA noted that the Building Codes Assistance Project, a Washington, DC, advocacy group that offers code-development assistance to state and local officials, has been closely tracking state and local code initiatives, including those in Missouri, where homebuilding associations have argued against regulations they say will raise prices. But green builders in the state have nonetheless proposed programs designed to encourage high-performance construction, including one that would offer financial incentives, in the form of reduced permit fees, for building to the National Association of Home Builders’ National Green Building Standard, also known as the ICC-700.And now the ICC-700 – serving as the residential construction component of the International Code Council’s International Green Construction Code – is being considered for adoption as a voluntary guideline for homebuilding in Clay County, part of the Kansas City metropolitan area. (Clay County and Jefferson County, near St. Louis, are the only two counties in Missouri authorized to adopt, without voter approval, regulations for residential and private commercial construction, according to the BCAP.)Soliciting feedback from the communityA recent story in the Liberty Tribune, which serves Clay County, describes the drive to implement ICC-700 on a voluntary basis as largely collaborative, with the county’s Building Codes Commission set to hold public meetings on the subject on July 14 and 28, and August 11.The man behind the proposal, Matt Tapp, the county’s director of planning and zoning, included a provision to grade participating projects based on their compliance with the National Green Building Standard, and then post each home’s grade on a special sign in front of the house when it’s listed for sale.“It’s been kind of in the back of my mind ever since I got here in 2008 that we needed to move toward a green building standard,” Tapp told the paper. “We want to make the houses that are being built in Clay County more sustainable. It’s just a good idea.”last_img read more

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Ragging complaints against 10 students at Cooper: RTI

first_imgAs many as 10 students have been under the scanner of the anti-ragging committee of HBT Medical College attached to the civic-run Cooper Hospital in Vile Parle in 2016 and 2018, but no complaint has been reported to the police, a Right to Information query has revealed.The hospital’s newly-appointed dean, Dr. Pinakin Gujjar, said there have been no complaints since he took over. “I am not aware of complaints in the past,” he said, adding he was strictly against any kind of workplace harassment and ragging. “Any complaint during my tenure will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly,” he said.Of the 10 students, eight had faced suspension from the hostel but there was no dismissal or penalty. There is no clarity on the number of cases these students were involved in. The RTI also revealed that the hospital’s anti-ragging committee held 11 meetings during this period.The suicide of Dr. Payal Tadvi, a second-year resident doctor from Nair Hospital, has put in sharp focus complaints of ragging in medical colleges and the way the authorities have handled them. “The RTI response I have received shows the authorities have been ignorant,” said RTI activist Shakeel Shaikh, who has sent similar queries to all medical colleges. His earlier RTI query revealed that Nair Hospital had received four ragging complaints before Dr. Tadvi’s death, in which at least eight students faced suspension from the hostel. “However, in these cases too, the police was not informed,” he said.The Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act, 1999 calls for investigation of complaints at the institution level. The report of the inquiry is sent to the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, which appoints a committee to look into the report and decide the course of action and punishment. The University Grants Commission guidelines, however, make it mandatory to file a first information report in all ragging complaints.last_img read more

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Ind vs Eng 2nd Test: Vaseline stirs up controversy

first_imgIt was jelly beans four years ago and it is vaseline this time as a controversy erupted in the second India-England Test when VVS Laxman was accused of using it on his bat to manipulate the Hot-Spot technology in the Decision Review System.”Has Vaseline on the outside edge saved the day for Laxman?” tweeted former England captain Michael Vaughan after Laxman was ruled not out by third umpire after the Decision Review System (DRS) was pressed into action by England in the first session of play.The Indian batsman was on 27, in the total 48/1, when the last delivery of James Anderson’s ninth over passed his bat. The bowler and the rest of England players promptly went up in appeal for a catch behind the stumps and began gathering around the batsman.As umpire Asad Rauf ruled in Laxman’s favour, England skipper Andrew Strauss went for DRS but that too didn’t favour the home side.Kevin Pietersen and Laxman were seen getting into a bit of an argument and later Stuart Broad told media persons his side was convinced it was a nick.”Players feel Hot-Spot sometimes doesn’t show faint edges. It’s a bit of a flaw,” stated Broad.But what kept the controversy lingering was the Vaughan tweet which virtually accused Laxman of wrong-doing since vaseline or any liquid on the bat don’t show up on the Hot-Spot technology.Broad actually went ahead and checked Laxman’s bat if there was any vaseline or liquid applied to it.”I had a cheeky feel of the edge of his bat as the ball went past him. There was no vaseline, no liquid there. It’s just that Hot-Spot is not showing very faint edges,” he said.advertisementIt is the second time vaseline has quite infamously figured in Test matches between the two countries who recently celebrated the 100th Test between them at Lord’s last week.When England toured India for the 1976-77 series, England’s left-arm fast bowler John Lever was accused by Indian skipper Bishan Singh Bedi of using vaseline to gain undue swing with his bowling during the Delhi Test and end up with 7/46 and 3/24 in his debut Test.Tests between the two at Trent Bridge too are known to stir up the pot.In 2007, the infamous jellybeans incident happened which was intended to show to the incoming batsman Zaheer Khan that he was faint-hearted.Sreesanth too was full of antics and misdemeanour in that Test – he once bowled a beamer at Kevin Pietersen; came around the wicket and bowled from practically 19 yards at Paul Collingwood and then shoulder barged the then England captain Vaughan for which he was fined 50 percent of his match fee.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

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DHT Holdings Locks Financing for VLCC Newbuilds

first_imgzoom Crude oil tanker operator DHT Holdings has secured bank financing for the two 318,000 dwt VLCCs newbuildings ordered at South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).  The VLCCs were ordered in January 2017 and are to be delivered in July and September 2018, respectively.As disclosed, the financing will cover about 50% of the contract price with the remainder being financed by cash at hand.“As such, DHT does not intend to issue any stock to finance the two newbuildings,” the company said in a release.In line with the terms of the deal, the financing  has a 5 year tenor and its 20 year repayment profile is in support of DHT’s low cash break-even levels.“DHT estimates that the average cash break-even for each vessel to cover OPEX, interest and debt repayment to be about USD 16,800 per day.  The bank financing has a margin of 250bps above LIBOR and 50% of the financing is structured as a revolving credit facility,” the release further reads.Separately, the company said yesterday that its Board of Directors unanimously rejected Frontline’s revised proposal to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of DHT at an exchange ratio of 0.8 Frontline shares for each DHT share.“After a comprehensive review, conducted in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, the DHT Board concluded that the revised Frontline proposal continues to be wholly inadequate and not in the best interests of DHT or its shareholders.  The Board notes, in particular, that Frontline’s revised proposal continues to significantly undervalue the contribution that DHT’s business and fleet would make to a combined company, including with respect to net asset value and profit contribution,”  DHT explained.As pointed out, DHT Board informed Frontline of its decision on Sunday, February 26 and, in its response letter, offered to have DHT’s co-CEOs meet with Frontline over the coming days, which Frontline is said to have rejected on both February 28 or Wednesday, March 1.DHT has a total fleet of 21 VLCCs, 19 in the water and two under construction, as well as two Aframaxes. Six of the VLCCs and the two Aframaxes are on fixed rate time charters.last_img read more

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