Young Jamaican swimmer making waves in Florida

first_imgYoung Jesse Marsh’s national 13-14 age group 100 metres butterfly record, set at the long course time trial at the SPEEDO Winter Juniors in Atlanta, United States, last weekend, is causing a buzz in the local swimming fraternity. The Florida-based St Andrew’s student lowered the previous mark of 59.27 seconds to 58.49 and became the first local 13-14 age group swimmer to go below the 59 seconds marker. Jesse’s father and former Swim Jamaica vice-president, Allan Roy Marsh, described the young swimmer’s achievement as surprising, noting that Jesse did not practise the 100 butterfly since July, and has basically been competing on his own. “To some extent, it was (surprising). He has been working hard and working consistently. What was surprising is that he was able to go to the US junior nationals in Atlanta the week before and break the butterfly record, improving his time by a second-and-a-half. “That was surprising, because it was such a big meet, and he was not at his best. But he has been putting in the work, and we are happy,” he told The Gleaner. GREAT POTENTIAL “We knew he had the potential to do it, and he basically swam the race by himself and on the last day of the meet. This was the first butterfly he had competed in the long course pool since July, so he wasn’t in practice for it, but he was able to carry his condition in from his training,” he continued. Marsh has been getting rave reviews from local swimming experts, who are hailing him as the next big thing from the pool. But his father is not so sure just now. He wants the young swimmer to develop and take things in stride. “There is a positive feedback because we do not have many national age group records, and there are people reacting very positive towards this. He trains consistently. The coaches admire his work ethic. Among his current coaches at St Andrew’s school in Boca Raton, Florida, is a former Jamaican swimmer, Ramon Walton. Walton says Jesse is very coachable and he works, and they told me he was the only swimmer who made every practice this high-school season. “This is something he loves to do, I never had to push him. I just gave him support, and I am very pleased (with this achievement). But it’s what he wants to do, because you can’t really predict the future of young age group swimmers. So many things can happen, so many distractions can take place. “So talent is only the beginning, work rate is what is important. The older the swimmer gets, his work ethic and being coachable are more important. Talent alone cannot take you to the highest level; you need work ethic and belief. But if you continue to work you will move up the ranks as you get older,” he stated.last_img read more

AI Is Key to Bias-Free VC

first_imgSecuring venture capital funding is a tricky terrain to travel. It’s hard enough for founders to accrue the capital needed to continue scaling, but it’s even more difficult for entrepreneurs from underrepresented demographics.In a recent study jointly published by Babson and Wellesley colleges, it was found that just 3 percent, or $1.5 billion, of the $50.8 billion in VC funding handed out between 2011 and ‘13 was raised by women. And companies with all-male executive boards were four times likelier to garner funding than boards that included at least one woman.Optics such as gender and race can at times dissuade VCs from supplying worthy companies with the funding they need. But what if VCs awarded funds by using a blind approach to assessing a company’s potential trajectory? Artificial intelligence informed by concrete data could lower that curtain, crafting a future in which machine learning helps VC funding lean less on appearances and more on a company’s potential merit.Scant funding for minority and women-led startups is an issue that’s been building for some time. Less than 1 percent of VC funds raised go to minority-run business, while 2 percent goes to companies fronted by women, despite the fact that 38 percent of U.S. companies have women in charge.Trends like that, no doubt, prompted Dell entrepreneur-in-residence Elizabeth Gore to create Alice, an AI platform that uses a litany of data points in order to open female, minority, and LGBT founders up to greater VC funding opportunities. Biases also exist in favor of younger entrepreneurs or those from certain universities. By using AI, investors can leave behind biases that they may not even be aware of and focus solely on a company’s merits as an opportunity for returns.In the PricewaterhouseCoopers Digital IQ Survey of 2017, 52 percent of professionals in the industry reported making “substantial investments” in AI, and two-thirds expect to be doing the same three years from now. Perhaps even more telling is that 72 percent of business leaders and decision makers picked AI as the most compelling future business advantage.The metrics and data points that define successful startups are becoming increasingly visible and increasingly repeatable, giving investors a recently accessible degree. AI lets entrepreneurs align their metrics with a successful blueprint. For VC firms, it’s a chance to focus less on closing deals and more partnering more diverse, high-quality startups.Venture capital is an industry that revolves around people and relationships, but it doesn’t come without its own risks. VCs may relate better to individuals who resemble themselves at different parts of their career, and in a male-dominated business, this might be one reason for the existence of a systematic bias toward men.June Manley saw that bias firsthand when she pitched her software enterprise company in 2015. She participated in more than 80 VC meetings, repeatedly witnessing funders disregard her product, condescend to her about her qualifications, or even suggest her husband take the lead when pitching to VCs. She even witnessed similar companies fronted by men get the nod as she went to meeting after meeting looking for someone to take a chance on her.From that frustration sprung Female Founders Faster Forward, a nonprofit organization that uses a tech-based model designed to minimize that type of bias. Using a Startup Investment Model Index, a kind of startup FICO score based on attributes from some 750 VC-funded businesses, the software will be an evolving entity that female founders can use as a complementary resource to shield their funding quest from bias.This fluid, AI-inspired approach will use metrics such as startup risk and maturity to compile a score that founders can attach to their startups and use in the funding process. Manley hopes the tech will help raise female funding from 3 percent to 20 percent by 2020.Data and figures can cut through whatever potential biases a VC might have when it comes to funding companies. Machine learning can sift through metrics and stray from any biases a VC might have and drill down to the numbers that will ultimately point to a startup’s chances for success.AI can establish a different kind of relationship, one that hinges more on what the data says about a company’s potential and less on any personal connection or potential biases. For any AI product or startup to be successful, there needs to be data. Feeding empirical information into an AI engine allows engineers to confirm their theories and demonstrate its impact. Without data, there is nothing to learn from, no matter how effective the algorithm.AI never stops learning, which is why it’s an ideal match for VC firms. Data and numbers are unencumbered by personal bias, free to assess bodies on the data in front of them. As that information continues to pour in and change from minute to minute, a VC can take startups at face value, making decisions on the potential a company brings to the table instead of who is sitting across it. Hossein Rahnama is the founder and CEO of Flybits, a cloud-based, context-as-a-service solution with offices in Toronto, Redwood City, and London. China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Hossein Rahnama AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#AI#VC AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Themlast_img read more

Day Two Summary

first_imgThe Australian Men’s Open game against New Zealand was one of the highlights of the day, and lived up to all expectations. Australia got out to an early lead, and nothing separated the teams at half time, locked up at three-all.The second half was just as thrilling as the first, with New Zealand eventually taking the game by one touchdown, 5-4. In the Men’s Open’s earlier games, Australia defeated Scotland 23-2.  The Mixed Open team continued its impressive form on day two, with three big wins. Australia were 20-0 winners over Switzerland in their first game, and defeated Catalonia 18-1 in game two. Game three saw the side up against South Africa, with Australia taking out the game 12-2. The touchdowns kept coming for the Australian Women’s Open team on day two when they met the England Women’s Open team. In their only game of the day, Australia were 16-1 winners. The Men’s 30’s continued on their winning ways on day two, despite a number of injuries in the side. They started their day with a 14-2 win over Japan and were11-4 winners over England on Thursday afternoon. After their win over New Zealand on the first day, the Australian Senior Mixed side continued their winning ways on Thursday, with two wins. The side were 9-4 winners over South Africa in their first game of the day, and defeated England 14-3 in their second game. The Men’s 35’s were also winners in their only game of the day, defeated South Africa 9-3 on Thursday afternoon. The Australian Men’s 40’s made it four wins from their five games so far, with two wins on day two. The Men’s 40’s were 13-0 winners over Ireland, and defeated Wales 18-1. Stay up to date with all of the latest news and information from the 2011 World Cup in the following ways:Facebook:!/pages/Touch-Football-Australia/384949403384 read more

4-Star LB Ellis Brooks Announces Decommitment From Duke On Twitter

first_imgEllis Brooks' decommitment from Duke.This past March, Duke football scored a huge get, landing the services of four-star linebacker Ellis Brooks. Friday, Brooks announced that he’s changed his mind. Brooks, a product of Richmond, Virginia, took to Twitter to decommit from the Blue Devils – thanking the team’s coaching staff in the process.Brooks is a 6-foot-2, 230-pound player for the class of 2017, according to 247 Sports. Hereby reopening my recruitment after careful consideration with my family— Ellis Brooks (@EllisBrooks35) May 20, 2016Brooks currently has offers from over a dozen schools, including Michigan, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech.last_img

New Manitoba court for people with FASD could be game changer experts

first_imgWINNIPEG — Lawyers and judges say a new court set to open in Manitoba specifically for people with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder could be a game changer.“If you have somebody who can’t read, can’t write, physically cannot connect cause and effect, there has to be a way to address a sentence that they will understand,” said Winnipeg defence lawyer Lori Van Dongen.“That is just common sense.”Van Dongen said people with the disorder are often set up by the justice system to fail. The legal world has been slow to adapt to their challenges — whether it’s bail conditions they can’t adhere to or a list they are unable to read, she said.When a fetus is exposed to alcohol it can cause brain injury and the impacts range from mild to severe. Only some people show physical signs, but most people with the disorder see and understand the world differently.They struggle to understand the consequences of their behaviour and many are impulsive. They follow others easily and have drug or alcohol problems. Without the proper support they often end up in front of a judge and behind bars.It’s not known how many people in Canada have the disorder, because it can go undetected and is difficult to diagnose. But Health Canada says it’s the leading known cause of preventable developmental disability in the country.Research suggests that up to one-quarter of inmates in federal corrections facilities could have the disorder. A 2011 study out of Stony Mountain Institution in Manitoba found the rate was 10 times greater in the federal prison than in the general population.Mary Kate Harvie, a Manitoba provincial court judge, said it was clear a long time ago that changes had to be made so people with the condition could be treated fairly in the legal world.In 2004, she was involved in creating a program that helps young people get a diagnosis and connects them to community supports. It also gives lawyers and judges more information about issues an accused offender might have because of the disorder.The program has had more than 1,200 referrals, has done more than 400 assessments and helped get almost 300 kids diagnosed.Harvie said the Manitoba Court of Appeal has made it clear that a sentencing judge should consider how challenges faced by someone with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder can be linked to their criminal behaviour.“If people are not showing up to court because they have short-term memory loss, that’s a big difference from someone who is just blowing court off.”Administrative charges have filled courts, remand centres and prisons with offenders who break curfew or miss a meeting with their parole officer because they struggle with the concept of time, Harvie said.“We are hoping this project will start to address a number of aspects of that.”The court, which is expected to open at the end of February and sit one day a week, is an extension of the original youth program. It will have judges with an understanding about the complexities of the disorder as well as support workers to advise and connect sufferers with community programs.It will also help obtain a medical diagnosis for anyone who shows signs of having the brain injury — although the wait continues to be long.There will be a smaller, quieter courtroom with fewer distractions and visual images will be used to make sure offenders understand what’s going on.Defence lawyer Wendy Martin White said she is optimistic that the new court will help her clients and hopes it will divert people from jails and toward community supports.“This is a really good move for our courts, for our province, for our clients,” she said. “I’m looking forward to seeing where it’s going to be in a year’s time and then in five years’ time.”Audrey McFarlane, executive director of Canada FASD Research Network, suggests it’s time for a national strategy.“Right now all the provinces and territories do what they think is best and … they are trying really hard, but Canada needs to also provide additional support, guidance and leadership,” she said.“Canada, as a whole, has put in very few resources to address FASD.”Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Inuk teen wanted in Ottawa highrise homicide

first_imgAPTN National NewsAn Inuk teen has been charged with manslaughter and aggravated assault in an ongoing homicide investigation in Ottawa but police need the public’s help tracking her down.Police have issued a Canada-wide warrant for the girl who cannot be named because of her age.Two others are wanted by police as well. Daniel Jean Charles, 20, and another minor.Ahmad Afrah, 19, died last week in Ottawa after it is believed he fall from a highrise building on MacLaren Street.Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call Ottawa Police Major Crime Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5493. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).news@aptn.calast_img

No longer just about black or white Kunal Kemmu

first_imgNew Delhi: Actor Kunal Kemmu is kicked about the response he is getting for his “grey” character in the multi-starrer film “Kalank”. He says it is a great time to be an actor as it is no longer just about essaying black or white roles or being a hero or villain on screen. “The way we conceive, develop and make films today is completely different from how we did 20 years ago. The makers and the audience as well have evolved and we are making films that are breaking genres,” Kunal told IANS in an email interview. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka “Characters are written differently and it’s no longer just about black or white, hero or villain. Hence, it’s a great time to be an actor and experiment with various characters and different kinds of films.” Kunal, who essayed the role of Abdul in “Kalank”, finds appreciation from critics and fans as a validation of his hard work. The 35-year-old actor made his debut as a child artist in the TV series “Gul Gulshan Gulfaam” in 1987. He ventured into the world of cinema with filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt’s movie “Sir” in 1993. Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod Khanna Kunal then went on to star as a child artiste in movies including “Raja Hindustani”, “Zakhm”, “Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke” and “Dushman”. It was in 2005 that he played the male lead in “Kalyug” and was later seen in multi-starrers like “Dhol”, “Golmaal 3” and “Goa Goa Gone”. Has he found his comfort zone in multi-starrers? “It’s not really always been about whether it’s a multi-starrer or a solo film. Depending on the script, the character or the production house and the director involved, we do films. I haven’t done solo films for a while because I haven’t got any interesting scripts coming my way,” he said. Kunal, who is married to actress Soha Ali Khan, added: “So, it’s not a conscious decision or attempt and yes, when we do a multi-starrer, it is less load on your shoulders but the hard work is the same.” Looking back at his career, Kunal says he is happy the way things went for him. “I am very thankful and will always be for getting the chance to do the work which I like to do and keep getting offers to do different kinds of films. My journey could have been better, it could have been worse, but I don’t want to mourn over what happened, what went right or wrong. “I am just happy that I can still continue doing what I enjoy,” he said. Kunal is looking forward to working in his upcoming movie “Malang”, which also stars Anil Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur and Disha Patani.last_img read more

Libyan soldier killed as army again under fire

first_imgBenghazi — Gunmen on Thursday opened fire on a vehicle in Libya’s second city Benghazi killing a soldier, witnesses said, in the latest attack on the army in the country’s volatile east.The killing comes on the final day of a three-day Benghazi strike in protest over militias after a shootout on Monday between a jihadist group and the army left seven people dead and 50 wounded.Three soldiers were shot dead in the city on Wednesday and the bodies of two more were found in the nearby town of Derna, officials said. Thursday’s attack was carried out by gunmen in a vehicle, who fired a volley of bullets at two soldiers as they got into a car after leaving a cafe, witnesses said.“The soldier died after being shot in the head,” said a medic at Benghazi’s Al-Jala hospital.Witnesses said the second soldier escaped unharmed.Benghazi city council declared the three-day strike after an army patrol came under attack near the headquarters of Ansar al-Sharia, a jihadist group blamed for the 2012 attack on a US mission in which the ambassador and three other Americans were killed.Libya has seen mounting unrest since the toppling of long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011 by a ragtag assortment of rebel brigades, many of which have since been transformed into militias that defy the weak central government.last_img read more

Hamstring Injury Sidelines 400M Champ LaShawn Merritt

LaShawn Merritt’s worst fear was realized. Injury.The reigning gold medalist in the 400 meter race, Merritt has been pulled from the London Olympics because of a bad left hamstring. It is a disheartening end to a four-year period that saw Merritt either injured or sidelined with a 21-month drug suspension.This was his opportunity to get beyond all that. But Merritt pulled up halfway through his 400-meter heat Saturday and will not be around to defend his title.“It’s very disappointing to be dealing with an issue and not be able to finish the race,” Merritt said. “I’ll regroup.”Regrouping has been a constant for Merritt since winning in Beijing.He failed three successive drug tests between October 2009 and January 2010 for a banned substance found in a male-enhancement product. The substance has been used as a masking agent, but Merritt convinced the those judging the case that he really did buy it at a convenience store for its intended purpose.His ban was reduced in time for him to compete at the world championships last year, then he won another case challenging an International Olympic Committee rule that would have kept him out of the London Games.At worlds last year, however, he finished second behind Kirani James of Grenada because he hadn’t been back long enough to get into strong competition shape.Now this. His first loss in 2012.It was a result of an injury he suffered last month during a tuneup race in Monaco. He has spent the time between then and now in rehabilitation, but earlier this week, coach Loren Seagrave conceded he wasn’t sure how Merritt would do once the Olympics arrived.At the 150-meter mark, Merritt started slowing down and by the time he reached the far turn, he was done, hands on his hips, for a slow walk out of the stadium.“I thought I could get through these rounds, not at 100 percent,” Merritt said. “I got out and got around the curve and started to feel it. I moved a little more and still felt it. I think I need more rest.”With Merritt’s exit, the 400 meters turns into a free-for-all, with James now the favorite and a bunch of interesting possibilities beyond that. Jonathan Borlee of Belgium set a national record in qualifying at 44.43 seconds. His brother, Kevin, also had a top-six time.“Yeah, it may be a little bit more fun to watch,” said Erison Hurtault of Dominica. “Now we’re going to see, I guess it’s someone else’s turn now.” read more

Utility scale possible with BESS battery backup technology

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, October 1, 2017 – Nassau – The country’s leading experts on renewable energy yesterday weighed in on the now-public report by PowerSecure, the BPL management company given the government boot, declaring that while parts of PowerSecure’s assessment were accurate but the conclusion that the Bahamas could not generate enough solar energy during peak demand is inaccurate as they failed to take into account Battery Energy Storage Solutions.“There is no “silver bullet” for solving the energy crisis of the Bahamas.   It must be approached as a mixed generation of reliable, viable and economical solutions working in conjunction with each other, instead of in opposition,” said Philip Holdom, President, Alternative Power Supply and co-founder of Sustainable Energy Ltd Bahamas.   “The Bahamas will be best served by decentralizing the power grid, mandating the highest energy efficiency standards in homes and businesses and modernizing the highest energy users, public buildings,”Sustainable Energy co-founder Zev Crystal agreed, adding that the report may have led to confusion.“You say the word solar and everyone thinks, simple, The Bahamas is bathed in sunshine year-round so why not?” said Crystal.   “But, like anything, the devil is in the detail.   In solar, there is a significant difference between tying into the grid and creating true energy independence, which we can now do at a utility scale generation capacity thanks to the progress that has been made in the last few years with powerful battery back-up systems. Those systems are built for storage so you make and store power when the sun shines and you use it when it is not.   Unfortunately, the way the report was interpreted may have confused the issue because it did not clarify that a grid tie-in is a different animal from a utility scale install, which is quite feasible in New Providence.”According to Mr. Holdom, who installed one of the first solar systems in The Bahamas 27 years ago, “The Bahamas as a nation is just getting into renewable energy and is three decades behind countries with one quarter of the solar potential of this country.   Therefore we need to approach solar integration immediately on large utility scales as well as commercial and residential rooftops”.   Mr. Holdom is also developing the national curriculum for multiple levels of solar certification through BTVI and his consortium is donating the solar power system for the course.The first move in a step-by-step process, he explained, is to install a large Megawatt PV plant with Battery Energy Storage that connects directly to the grid and provides continuity of clean power to the utility, doing so under a Power Purchase Agreement with the government.   This Solar PPA would be funded by a Bahamian Renewable Energy Consortium that provides solar energy to the government with no up front costs at a competitive fixed rate for 20 years.“In addition the existing Renewable Energy Self Generation Program allows businesses and homes to connect residential, commercial and public solar systems that can feed into the utility grid.   Battery-based systems that do not interact with the grid can also be installed,” he added.“The statement that utility scale renewable energy is not economically feasible in the Bahamas underestimates our strength to be a leader in the move toward sustainable, renewable, eco-friendly power generation and I would go so far as to state that it is simply false and does not take into consideration the technology that exists today.   Utility scale renewable energy is the fastest growing energy sector in the world and that would not be so if were not economical.”APS and Sustainable Energy, the first company to have a 1 MW power plant approved for commercial use in Nassau, say they would welcome an opportunity to demonstrate to the government that a utility scale plant is economically viable and will produce energy at a substantial savings to the nation.“The BPL management were partially correct when they concluded that utility scale PV could not ‘produce energy when it was most needed’ because they were only viewing it as a grid tie system with no battery backup.   Any utility scale solar plant in The Bahamas must, by necessity, have a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) and this is no more critical anywhere than in The Bahamas due to the fact that the utility is underpowered and has been so for the past 40 years,” said Holdom.“The Bahamas is plagued by constant brownouts that damage all manner of sensitive electronics including fridges, TV’s, cable boxes, computers, networks and more.   This affects homes and businesses throughout the archipelago. A brownout occurs when the utility cannot provide constant voltage and frequency in peak load periods or even as a matter of course.  Without sufficient capacity, supplemental capacity is required that is available 24 hours a day.”But there are, he said, only so many viable energy solutions and the first, installing 27 new power plants is simply out of the question because of capital costs.“The second option is a viable economic solution that helps the short term problem and supplements any long term solution, and incorporates multiple utility scale Solar plants with Battery Energy Storage Solutions.   This can be done in 10 to 50 MW increments fairly quickly on the main islands and in smaller increments on the primary Family Islands.   There is more than sufficient low use land in Nassau to accommodate these plants.   The solution is within reach and it is possible with a public-private partnership.   We are hopeful that this government, which we believe is committed to sustainable development, moves to make solar with BESS back-up a reality and does not heed the outdated or confusing interpretation of the BPL ex-management report that was released recently and clouded the issue.”last_img read more