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UP Leaves Taylor, Kupee in the Cold

first_imgThe ruling Unity Party (UP) conducted rallies across the country over the weekend, creating earth-shattering results for incumbents and political sympathizers.In Lofa County, incumbent Sumo Kupee’s hopes for party’s endorsement became history when the party instead selected his rival, former National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) boss, Francis Carbah, to stand on its ticket.Kupee could not convince district heads and even top executives of the party that he was the right man for the job, as majority of the delegates expressed their strong anger against Kupee at the polls.Kupee had enjoyed a long relationship with UP executives, which earned him a position of Chairman of the Senate’s Ways, Means and Finance Committee, a job responsible to oversee all financial matters including the National Budget, financial agreements between Liberia and other partners, as well as running the affairs of the senate’s operational budget in consultation with other leadership members. He has served in this capacity since taking office in 2006 and as such had high hopes of the party’s endorsement.But his hope of riding again under the UP political umbrella in order to clinch party’s full support now remains history.Defeated 12-8 votes, Kupee knows that he fought a good battle but was never the favorite. A four-vote margin means a lot in any political struggle.  However, this does not put an end to Kupee’s career.  He seems determined to fight. When asked for response to his defeat, Kupee declined to comment on his next move, saying; “I will officially announce what is next shortly.”Carbah, whom the party welcomed under its umbrella, has had a long standing relationship with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, who remain influential figures in both party and county politics, despite their lame duck status.In Bong County, UP downplayed previous political agreements with incumbent Senator Jewel Howard Taylor and announced that the party’s political weight rests on the shoulders of Dr. Henrique Tokpah, president of Cuttington University.Madam Taylor of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) had hoped that she could collaborate with the UP in order for the party to support her bid by fielding no candidate in the region, but the former first lady was disappointed.In Nimba and Montserrado counties, Dr. Peter Wheato and Aliue Sylla grabbed their share of the cake as the party’s endorsement fell steadfastly in their favor. Sylla defeated Madam Cecelia Cuffey Brown, a strong critic of CDC’s George Weah. Sylla joined the race along with Liberty Party’s Benjamin Sanvee and CDC’s George Weah, both of whom have received their parties’ endorsements, respectively.The National Elections Commission (NEC) announced that the Special Senatorial Election will be conducted early October, and political parties are keen on electing their candidates through primaries or party executives’ endorsement to stand in the polls.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Time to Get Down and Dirty

first_imgStaying too clean can be bad for you. Let your good germs take care of the bad ones.Only a small percentage of bacteria are pathogenic. We are already swarming with millions of microbes in our houses, on our bodies and inside our bodies. But when we scrub too much, and use anti-bacterial products, we let the nasty ones take over, says theGerman Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv). Do you have the “courage to aim for less cleanliness”? Here’s the basis for their idea:Ecosystems like high-biodiversity grasslands and forests are more resistant to disturbances, such as invasive species, climate fluctuations and pathogens, than lower-diversity ecosystems. If this diversity is reduced, basic ecosystem functions are lost. This so-called stability hypothesis has been proven in hundreds of biological studies. This research mainly deals with the world of animals and plants, but when looking at our own body or home through a microscope, an equally diverse community of microorganisms is revealed. Potentially, similar laws could apply to these communities as to the ‘big‘ ecosystems, and this could have far-reaching consequences for our health care.There aren’t enough studies at this micro scale to draw sweeping conclusions, they say; “examination of the role diversity of microorganisms plays in the ecosystems of our bodies and homes should be intensified.” Invasive species find it easier to gain a foothold when the ecology is disrupted or impoverished. If what is seen to occur in larger ecological systems holds true for our own microbiome, then we are inviting pathogens by fighting all germs with too much hygiene. The good microbes can keep the bad ones from invading.Microorganisms also form their own ecosystems. So far, more than two hundred thousand species are known to live in human dwellings as well as on and in human bodies. Bacteria in human dwellings account for half of these, and thousands of bacteria live on our bodies. In addition, there are around forty thousand species of fungi in our homes, although these are less likely to be found on human bodies.“Pathogens in our environment are comparable to invasive species in nature,“ says ecologist Nico Eisenhauer. “If you transfer the findings from large habitats to the world of microbes, you have to expect that our habitual use of disinfectants and antibiotics actually increases the dispersal of dangerous germs because it interferes with the natural species composition.“The Hygiene HypothesisThere are indications this principle holds true for the microbiomes in our bodies and homes. The diarrhea-causing form of Clostridium dificile, for instance, finds it harder to gain a foothold in a species-rich microbial community. Babies inoculated with safe forms of Staphylococcus aureus in the nose and navel seem to become resistant to the harmful varieties. And guess where dangerous bacteria can find a home: in the metal shower heads where chlorinated water is used.In any case, only a relatively small proportion of the microorganisms in our environment actually causes disease. This also applies to insects and other arthropods, usually regarded as pests in flats and houses – especially spiders. As hunters, they provide important ecosystem services by exterminating mosquitoes, bedbugs, cockroaches and house flies, which can actually transmit diseases. “We just have to let them be,“ says Robert Dunn.It may be hard to resist stepping on every spider in the house, but pick your enemies with care: the alternatives could be worse. The basic principle is that ecological richness and balance is healthy. The authors of the paper in Nature Ecology & Evolution still recommend washing our hands, and mandating thorough scrub-downs and gloves for surgeons. This does not violate the principle, though, because hospitals—with their strict hygienic requirements—harbor some of the worst antibiotic-resistant germs. You don’t want those inviting themselves into a surgical cut. For recovering patients, some hospitals provide outdoor garden settings that promote healing in physical and mental ways, getting the patient away from the sterile halls and rooms. In fact, many doctors recommend getting the patient back home as soon as possible.Figure 1 in the paper shows situations at home where a healthy diverse microbial ecology helps protects us against disease. Undoubtedly, spending time outside in healthy ecological settings, like forests and parks, can assist in healthy living. While it’s desirable to have a relatively clean home, we don’t need to commit bacterial genocide. Avoid killing germs indiscriminately with antibacterial sprays, wipes and soaps. Let the children play outdoors. Have the courage to get down and dirty—in moderation.Creation Safaris and other outdoor ministries help people escape to reality.If you expected our headline to launch a tirade against evolutionists, sorry to disappoint you. Speaking of evolution, the scientists said almost nothing about that. It wouldn’t help their hypothesis anyway. There is no origin of species in this discussion. The members of the ecology are already present, even the so-called “invasive species.” A working ecology shows marks of intelligent design. Bible believers know that in the original ecology created by God, everything was made within Days 2-6, and every species interacted harmoniously. The trouble started after sin.(Visited 362 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Microsoft/Oracle: A Yawner That Could Have Been Much More

first_imgServerless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud If someone has to forewarn you that “BIG NEWS IS COMING!”, rest assured that no big news is coming. That’s what I thought when Oracle CEO Larry Ellison tried to soften another round of poor earnings with a pre-announcement that it would be soon showcasing “partnerships with the largest and most important SAAS companies in the cloud.”And it became sad but true “news” yesterday when Oracle announced that some of its software would run on Microsoft’s Azure cloud service.Yes, really. Try to stifle the yawns. (You, too, stock price.)Two Legacies Meet In The CloudAs Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley points out, this deal basically means that Oracle 11g and 12c databases, in addition to Java and WebLogic, will now run on Microsoft’s Azure, Hyper-V and Windows Server platforms, whereas before only Windows Server was supported. It’s not very exciting, as it’s simply a way for Oracle to hedge its bets for those few customers that don’t run its apps on Linux. To sweeten the deal, Microsoft has also agreed to run Oracle Enterprise Linux (OEL) on Azure. Throw in the ability for Oracle licensees to migrate their existing licenses to the Azure cloud and Microsoft’s ability to resell Oracle software and you have the deal in a nutshell. Which is not to say that this partnership will generate many deals.As Cowen & Co. analyst Peter Goldmacher puts it, this deal amounts to “Two Old Men Talking About the Good Old Days.” As he stresses:We believe this deal will have very little impact on Oracle. [M]ost Oracle RDBMS workloads of consequence are now running on Linux, and while ORCL will make its flavor of Linux available on Azure, the target audience for Azure is primarily Windows-based. We believe developers evaluating Azure will be much more likely to select Microsoft’s own SQL Server or other low cost data management technologies like Hadoop (also supported on Azure). We also believe it will be similarly difficult for Oracle’s tools to gain traction on Azure as well, given that Java is the new Cobol and the up and coming generation of developers prefer Javascript (very different from Java), Ruby and Python.In other words, this deal gives Microsoft platforms more of what the world’s developers used to want, years ago, but nothing of consequence for modern developers.Advantage: MicrosoftIf either of the two companies benefits here, it’s Microsoft. Azure is already at a $1 billion run rate and, as I’ve written before, has a real chance of winning given its CIO following and embrace of open-source technologies. Because let’s face it: these are the technologies driving purchasing decisions today, particularly for cloud applications. By incorporating Oracle databases, WebLogic middleware and Java into the Azure fold, maybe, maybe Microsoft has done enough to squeeze out a few more market share percentage points for Hyper-V against VMware, which Cowen & Co. analyst Gregg Moskowitz stresses has been mostly limited to the SMB space. But given cloud developers’ focus on mobile and Big Data applications, and their reliance on open-source technologies like Hadoop, teaming up with Oracle just doesn’t feel like a long-term winning strategy for Microsoft.Sadly, this deal could have been so much more.What Might Have BeenYou know what would have been big news? Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) running on Azure, rather than the troika of Linux distributions (SUSE Linux Enterprise, Ubuntu and now OEL) that Microsoft doesn’t find threatening. Or an announcement that Oracle was officially abandoning its public cloud, which has attracted 5,000 customers but shows no signs of being anywhere close to seriously competing with AWS, Google, Rackspace or even Azure.Or how about true portability of applications across Microsoft Azure, AWS, Oracle’s public cloud, Rackspace, etc.? Or an announcement that Oracle was acquiring Hadoop vendor Cloudera, while Microsoft countered by acquiring Hortonworks?Or maybe Microsoft should have gone rogue and focused on its most glaring need, applications, rather than another infrastructure story? Wells Fargo analyst Jason Maynard nails this:[A]pplications drive infrastructure. It is very hard to be a winning platform vendor if there aren’t apps that run on the infrastructure. We think that Microsoft should renew its business applications commitment. There does not seem to be a meaningful focus at the company on its applications outside of Office, and at the same time it isn’t maximizing the benefits of an ISV ecosystem. We think Microsoft should outline a clear applications plan, as this is the only way that the company can truly be a contender in the public cloud market.So while Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s president of its server and tools business, spent last week talking up Microsoft’s Azure leadership because Xbox Live, Bing and Office 365 all run on Azure now, perhaps his time would have been better spent this week talking about Oracle applications, and not merely its databases, running on Azure.Back To The Drawing BoardNo one should look at this news and the two companies are doomed. They’re not. Both Microsoft and Oracle are exceptional companies with remarkable staying power in the enterprise. Microsoft has proven its ability to build its way back into the hearts and pocketbooks for CIOs while Oracle has managed to buy its way to continued relevance with the same crowd. No doubt they will find ways to do so now.But this particular partnership isn’t going to move the needle on either’s business. Microsoft developers weren’t clamoring for Oracle databases or middleware on Azure or Hyper-V (or Windows, for that matter). Oracle developers weren’t praying each night for more Microsoft deployment options. Rather, both these companies’ followers need them to be far more aggressive in pushing into next-generation computing, which is predominately open source, rather than aligning old-school options.Image courtesy of Shutterstock Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Matt Asaycenter_img Related Posts Tags:#AWS#cloud#Linux#Microsoft#Oracle#RDBMS#Red Hat Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…last_img read more