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The National, Thursday April 21st, 2016

 YESTERDAY, was actually one year before the writs are issued for the 2017 National General Election. Thursday April 20, 2017, writs issued and nominations open at 4pm.

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THAT’S right, the National Land Transport board should be honest if they are still capable of managing the city’s transport system. We will go along with NCD Governor for the commission as the municipal authority in the city to manage public transport in the city.

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WHY should the public who reply on the public transport system be affected because those who provide this service are caught up in a law and order conflict thus disrupting service. 

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ALCOHOL affects people in different ways. While a small amount of alcohol may be beneficial to the heart for some older people, ‘risky’ drinking can cause serious health, personal and social problems. Heavy drinkers, binge drinkers, and very young drinkers are particularly at risk.

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PASTEURISATION is the process of heating beverages or food, such as milk, beer, or cheese, to a specific temperature for a specific period of time in order to kill microorganisms that could cause disease, spoilage, or undesired fermentation. The process was named after its creator, French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur, who conducted the first pasteurization test with fellow French scientist Claude Bernard in 1862.

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CALORIE restriction (CR), a diet known by many names, is the practice of limiting dietary energy intake with the intention of improving overall health and slowing the aging process. While caloric intake among practitioners is limited, care is taken to ensure that dieters receive adequate vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. CR has been shown to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and fasting glucose in human subjects.

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THE Inconfidência was a colonial uprising for Brazilian independence from Portugal at the end of the 18th century. It is celebrated during the week of April 21 by paying tribute to Joaquim José da Silva Xavier—also known as Tiradentes (“tooth-puller”) because of his dentistry practice—who became a martyr for independence when the uprising was put down and he was executed. The Inconfidência Week festivities include performances by orchestras, bands, and choirs, and athletic competitions.

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QUOTE of the day: The most practical and important thing about a man is still his view of the universe…We think that for a general about to fight an enemy, it is important to know the enemy’s numbers, but still more important to know the enemy’s philosophy. – Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)

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The National, Wednesday April 20th, 2016

 A WAR shield, painted wood, metal, rubber and fibre, 1990–2000 CE. Wahgi Valley, Papua New Guinea is among 100 objects that changed the world and currently on display at the West Australian museum on Perth.  Inter-group fighting in Wahgi resumed in the 1980s after a 50-year gap. The craft of shield-making recommenced with the fighting, though traditional materials were replaced by metal to protect against bullets. This is the personal shield of Kaipel Ka, who painted it after a road death involving a drunk man led to fighting.

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GIVING voice to the voiceless and championing the rights of all people is essentially about telling the truth. And that is how journalists in Fiji and the Pacific should approach the ongoing human rights violations happening in West Papua. This was the key message highlighted by Professor David Robie, journalist, author and director of the Auckland University of Technology’s Pacific Media Centre, as he gave The Fiji Times a sweeping snapshot of issues he thought were important for journalists in the region.

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UNDERWATER archaeology, a branch of maritime archaeology, is the study of past human life, behaviours, and cultures using the physical remains found in bodies of water or buried beneath water-logged sediment. Researchers in this field generally examine the sites of shipwrecks, submerged airplanes, structures created by humans in water bodies, and places where people once lived that have since been flooded or covered by water.

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DAVID Ricardo was a British economist who made a fortune in the stock market before turning to the study of political economy, publishing his major work, The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, in 1817. According to his labour theory of value, the value of almost any good is a function of the labor needed to produce it; thus, a $10 watch requires ten times more labor than a $1 pencil.

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A MAJOR Jain festival in India, Mahavira Jayanti is dedicated to Vardhamana (6th century BCE), who came to be known as Mahavira, meaning “great hero,” of the Jains. The festival celebrates his birthday and is marked with prayers, fasting, and recitations. The holiday is observed with special fanfare by eastern Indians at Pawapuri in the state of Bihar, where Mahavira was born. Another large celebration is held at the Parasnatha temple in Calcutta. Mahavira, a contemporary of the Buddha, is regarded by Jains as the 24th and last in a series of Tirthankaras, or enlightened teachers.

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QUOTE of the day: For every feared thing there is an opposing hope that encourages us. – Umberto Eco

 

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The National, Tuesday April 19th, 2016

 GO ahead, plant a tree. It might help you live longer. 

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A NEW study shows that living in or near green spaces can be a boon for longevity, and seeing more greenery may also boost mental health, according to a team at the Harvard School of Public Health.  Women living in the greenest areas, as measured by satellite, were 34 percent less likely to die from a respiratory illness than women living in the most paved-over areas. And women living amidst greenery were 13 percent less likely to die of cancer. 

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THE Microsoft Word spelling tool can cough up some embarrassing blunders, especially when it involves proper names. Our Weekender story last Friday on the young man graduating from UPNG was one such instance when the tool of convenience produced some classical booboos which were not given a second look.  Odd replacements were given for the Ruigi family, Bogia district, Madang province, Mikarep Elementary School and Malala Secondary School in that story.  The mistakes are regretted. 

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THE Battles of Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, marked the beginning of the American Revolution on April 19, 1775. Residents of Maine and Massachusetts have observed Patriots’ Day since the 18th century with costume parades, flag-raising ceremonies, and reenactments of the battles and the famous rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes, who were sent to warn their comrades in Concord of the British troops’ approach. Sometimes, this day is referred to as Lexington Day or Battles of Lexington and Concord Day.

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WITH a capacity of over 60,000 people, St. Peter’s Basilica is the one of the world’s largest churches as well as one of the world’s holiest Catholic sites. Begun by Pope Julius II in 1506 and completed more than a century later, it was built to replace Old St. Peter’s, erected by Constantine over Peter’s traditional burial site. Michelangelo and Bernini were among its many architects, and a number of their masterpieces adorn its interior.

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A ZIGGURAT is a pyramidal structure built in receding tiers upon a rectangular, oval, or square platform with a shrine at its summit. Access to the shrine is provided by a series of ramps located on one side of the temple or by a continuous spiral ramp. These 

temples – the earliest examples of which date to the end of the third millennium BCE – were commonly erected by the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians.

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QUOTE of the day: One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t express. – Richard Lawton

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The National, Monday April 18th, 2016

 CURRENT dietary guidelines recommend that people consume a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but researchers say that number should be upped to seven. A study of more than 65,000 men and women shows that the risk of premature death decreases with increased fruit and vegetable consumption. Interestingly, fresh vegetables appear to provide the greatest benefit, followed by salad and then fruit. Canned fruit, meanwhile, actually appears to increase the risk of death, perhaps because it is packed in sugary syrup.

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PAPUA New Guineans have allowed imported processed foods to dominate their diets with serious consequences, especially of obesity and increasing rates and fatalities from lifestyle diseases, according to the World Health Organisation PNG office. Restaurants and food outlets have become a way of life for many people and especially those is the workforce. The waist belts of increasing number of the country’s workforce, in both the public and private sector, are expanding without control due to bad eating habits and no exercise at all. 

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AND what’s more interesting … many people know the harmful effects of eating too much processed food, abuse of alcohol and smoking but are still intent on living a dangerous lifestyle. This is so dangerous that it puts a burden on the health system because lifestyle diseases, also known as Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), are now are burden to health systems. 

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THUMPS up to Salome Rihatta and her team in Kokopo organising the ‘Walk for Life’ which we believe was a success despite the rain. On behalf of Salome, we’d like to acknowledge everyone who contributed into making this event a reality and a fun one also. Well done Sal!!!

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ASTROBIOLOGY, also called exobiology, combines aspects of astronomy, biology, and geology in an interdisciplinary study of life in space. According to astrobiologists, the search for extraterrestrial life throughout the universe is governed by 6 basic parameters that determine whether an environment can support life: temperature, pressure, salinity, acidity, water availability, and oxygen content.

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LASTING from the end of WWII until 1991, the Cold War was a period of political hostility and military tension between the Western powers, primarily the US and its allies, and the Communist bloc. Although there were a number of military conflicts during this time, including the Berlin Blockade, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cold War was waged mainly on political, economic, and propaganda fronts.

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QUOTE of the day: The only sure cure for a hangover is to stay drunk. – W.G.P

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The National, Friday April 15th, 2016

 PARLIAMENT should pass a law giving the National Capital District Commission the power to impound vehicles that crash into the cement flower pots along the respective highways. The bill is the total cost of constructing a new one and it should be settled in full before the vehicle is released. 

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INFLUENZA, commonly known as “flu,” is a highly contagious viral disease that is characterised by fever, respiratory symptoms, fatigue, and muscle pain. The word influenza stems from the Latin root influentia, meaning “influence of the stars,” because before people knew that organisms cause disease, they thought that the stars influenced the spread of influenza. 

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APRIL 10 is gone but we feel this is worth mentioning …. April 10 is the day on which William Booth (1829-1912), founder of the international religious and charitable movement known as The Salvation Army, was born in Nottingham, England. With the help of his wife, Catherine, he established the East London Revival Society, which soon became known as the Christian Mission and, later, The Salvation Army. Although Booth’s birthday is observed to varying degrees at Salvation Army outposts around the world, a major celebration was held on the organisation’s centennial in 1965. 

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CAMBODIA New Year … this three-day holiday, also known as Khmer New Year, is a major celebration there. On the first day, Moha Sangkran, families welcome the angel who looks after the world in the coming year. On the second day, Vana Bat, people give gifts of charity and perform acts of community service. On the final day, Loeung Sack, people wash their Buddha statues, an act that symbolises hope for sufficient rainfall for the rice harvest. Throughout the celebration, children and adults gather to dance and play traditional games. The holiday often ends with a fireworks display.

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MAY 1968 is the name given to a series of protests and a general strike that nearly led to the collapse of the de Gaulle government in France. It began as a series of student strikes at a number of universities and lycées in Paris and quickly spread throughout the country. Within a matter of weeks, roughly two-thirds of France’s workforce, or 10 million people, were on strike.

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ABRAHAM Ortelius was a Flemish geographer and cartographer who, while traveling with his contemporary Gerardus Mercator, was inspired to compile the first modern world atlas. The first edition of Theatrum orbis terrarium, issued in 1570, contained 53 maps compiled, in part, from the maps of 87 cartographers.

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QUOTE of the day: If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less, but to dream more, to dream all the time. – Marcel Poust

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The National, Thursday April 14th, 2016

 AUTHORITIES should really put in place laws to stop people burning rubbish especially in front of one’s house whenever they want to. It doesn’t hurt with a bit of common sense to monitor the wind direction before lighting the match. Otherwise pack away the trash in garbage bags and let it become part of your garbage to be collected.

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FOR hill tops, it really is an ugly site, flying into the capital city of Papua New Guinea and the first thing that greets you is smoke from up in the air. Once can see black scarred mountain tops and even flat land stretching over miles, just black.

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JUST wondering out loud if the K500 spot fine for betel nut chewing is already in effect. We hear, youths claiming to be city rangers who randomly checking those who they suspect to have betel nut in their mouths. We’ve come across a lot of drivers happily spitting the spittle onto the bitumen while driving. 

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IN the 1930s, Alfred Mosher Butts, an unemployed architect, invented a game called Lexiko, in which players drew lettered tiles from a pool and then attempted to form words. After unsuccessful attempts to sell the game to board-game makers, Butts sold the rights to entrepreneur James Brunot, who made a few minor adjustments and renamed the game Scrabble. 

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More than 150 million sets have been sold in multiple languages since.

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THE daguerreotype, an early form of photograph, was invented by Louis Daguerre in the early 19th c. He collaborated with J. Nicéphore Niepce, who 

created the first permanent photograph, but completed the design alone following his partner’s sudden death. A daguerreotype, produced on a silver-plated copper sheet, produces a mirror image photograph of the exposed scene. Daguerre’s process made portrait photography possible for the first time.

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INTERESTING find that unemployed smokers have more difficulty finding a job – and when they do find one, they tend to earn less than their smoke-free counterparts, a study suggests. Among unemployed people in the San Francisco Bay Area, non-smokers were 30 percent more likely than smokers to have found a job a year after entering the study, researchers found.

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QUOTE of the day: We are very fond of some families because they can be traced beyond the Conquest, whereas indeed the farther back, the worse, as being the nearer allied to a race of robbers and thieves. – Daniel Defoe (1660-1731)

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The National, Wednesday April 13th, 2016

 TRAFFIC congestion is a nightmare in Port Moresby. But there is the danger of more accidents involving PMV buses and taxis, especially when they try to cut in from an outside lane after dropping off or picking up passengers. Serious action needs to be taken by concerned authorities.

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YOU drive along Waigani Drive during peak hours and you will get caught up in the mad scramble for road space to pass through the tunnels and it is the selfish PMV and a few not so smart drivers thinking they are clever by forcing their way in to the traffic by sheer weight of numbers. 

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WHY can’t people just join the queue like anyone else? You may find the traffic flows quicker then but of course that would mean them having to behave with respect for others, something which does not happen as they are too busy being clever.

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TIME the Vagrancy Act was put to use and places of residency designated for selected people in each suburb in towns and cities. In allowing settlements to grow unchecked, the Government has allowed the growth of one ethnic group in one area – to the extent that now they pose a threat to surrounding areas by tribal or mob rule.

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WOW!!!! The world’s most powerful X-ray is getting a major overhaul, courtesy of the Department of Energy. On Monday, construction began on adding a second X-ray laser beam to the already-powerful Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). The additional laser will be 10,000 times brighter and 8,000 times faster than the current LCLS. The boost will greatly increase the scientific research capabilities of the machine.

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PEOPLE talk about vitamins but not all know what they are for. What is Vitamin C? This vitamin is also known as ascorbic acid, is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It’s involved in many body functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.

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KARAOKE, a form of entertainment in which amateur performers sing songs using pre-recorded music, was popularized by Japanese musician Daisuke Inoue in the 1970s. Inoue invented a coin-operated music player in 1971 after fans requested recordings of his performances—they wanted to sing along with the music on a company retreat. He never patented the karaoke technology and thus forfeited a potential fortune.

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QUOTE of the day: Nature has left this tincture in the blood, that all men would be tyrants if they could. – Daniel Defoe (1660-1731)

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The National, Tuesday April 12th, 2016

 CAN the police do something about beggars at the traffic light junctions? Some of them are so obstinate and offensive. There is a particular man with his child in tow who frequents the three lights at Waigani. He is actually abusive and threatening. He hurls abusive insults to anyone who does not give him money and even has attempted to stone vehicles. 

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CASES like this overseas especially in Australia would have been taken over or handled by the Department of Community Services. Unfortunately in PNG, the social services section of the Community Development office is understaffed with very limited funds. The father is this case should be reprimanded or charged. And this can be handled by the social workers and police if they care or feel they have some obligation to save this child.

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IN Parliament, rooms in there are classified according to the wing it is located. If you come across A2, it means, the room is located on the A wing, second floor. Officers who work especially with Parliamentarians should know by now the difference. An officer for one for a parliamentarian dropped a note advising of a media conference in Parliament with the venue at bitu conference room. We believe he meant B2 Conference Room. 

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JUST to refresh your history: Papua New Guinea, PNG, (tok pisin: Papua Niugini), officially named the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea (the western portion of the island is a part of the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua) and numerous offshore islands. It is located in the south western Pacific Ocean, in a region described since the early 19th century as Melanesia. The capital is Port Moresby.

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IT is divided into four regions – Highlands, Islands, Mamose and Southern which are not the primary administrative divisions but are quite significant in many aspects of government, commercial, sporting and other activities. The nation has 22 provinces including the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and the National Capital District. 

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EACH province is divided into one or more districts, which in turn are divided into one or more local level government areas. Provinces are the primary administrative divisions of the country. Provincial governments are branches of the national government – Papua New Guinea is not a federation of provinces.

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QUOTE of the day: Spring has returned. The earth is like a child that knows poems. – Rainer Maria Rilke

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The National, Monday April 11th, 2016

 LAST year, the NCDC health division started an exercise to rid the streets of stray dogs who survive by scavenging for food from street bins and uncollected household waste left outside fences. Wonder what has become of that exercise. 

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WHEN it was launched, more information could be obtained from the health division – Isowa More on [email protected] Is this the same address to use?

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IT really disgusts people who do not chew and smoke as they have victims of passive smoking in public places including PMV buses and getting shoes and clothes dirty from some inconsiderate buai chewers. We can all change this by changing our attitude and typical PNG mindset. 

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WHILE in Port Moresby, it is becoming an eye sore with vendors selling betel nut outside almost all major shopping centres in the city. Shoppers are also encouraging and promoting such dirty practices by buying from these street vendors. 

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IT is sad to note that even well-educated Papua New Guineans are buying betel nut from there, chew and spit around anywhere and anytime they wish to. 

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CANCER is becoming more and more common among Papua New Guineans because of the change in lifestyle. And, also, it is a pity that the great majority of Papua New Guineans present very late with advanced cancers because screening facilities are few, expensive and limited to a very few centres.

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MANY patients wait months for radiation treatment as the cancer unit in Lae is always congested and there is lack of beds. For most, when they are finally booked for treatment, it is difficult to get them in on time because of geographical and logistical issues. 

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THIS issue usually leaves those who have lost their loved ones through cancer very upset.

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AND as a reminder especially females that cervical cancer is preventable! And that is the driving force behind why a registered nurse with over 30 years’ experience Sr Helen Hukula opened the Women Health Care Awareness Clinic located at Waigani (behind Anglicare). Contact details are 340 6037; 7347 6146 or [email protected]

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QUOTE of the day: An utterly fearless man is a far more dangerous comrade than a coward. – Herman Melville (1819-1891)

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The National, Friday April 8th, 2016

 FROM Waigani Drive in Port Moresby, we send our best wishes to the country’s founding father Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare who is celebrating his 80th birthday tomorrow in Wewak. On the anniversary gemstone chart, he is celebrating his ruby jubilee

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HE deserves that celebration having lived eight decades on this planet – no easy feat by a longshot. Along with reach the age of 100 or 90, turning 80 is a major milestone that deserves a big birthday bash.

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WONDER what became of the discussions between the PNG Transport sector and the Fiji’s Land Transport Authority in the area of re-modeling the transport sector last year. Officials were discussing various plans with Fiji’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) officials to understand the operations and how to manage our very own Land Transport Authority. 

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IF their discussion ever comes into reality, we suggest the Education department should also get into discussions with their counterpart in Fiji and find out from them how it is that all students are fully attired in full uniform and with so much pride so it can be conveyed to some our students especially in Port Moresby.

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EDUCATION is the cornerstone to becoming a successful person but that cannot be achieved without the support of parents and teachers. Parents especially play a big role in contributing to what their daughters and sons become. It is not a good sign when we see primary school kids smoking and chewing betel nut and taking alcohol. Many parents could not careless what their kids are doing. Maybe we should jail parents whose under aged kids are doing that.

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SOMETHING urgent has to be done quickly to address school fights in the country. We say ‘enough is enough’ with the ongoing fights between schools. Ideas have been thrown around on how best to address this issue but it seems to coming up every now and again. 

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IT is either not working or authorities are not ensuring that laws are policed well. The provincial education authority, schools and parents have a huge task ahead of them to putting an end to school fights.

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THE largest battleship ever constructed, the Yamato was the lead ship of the Yamato class of battleships that served with the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. After taking part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea and the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Yamato was sunk during Operation Ten-Go, the last major Japanese naval operation in the Pacific Theater, while on its way to face the Allied fleet at Okinawa.

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QUOTE of the day: It seems ironical that it takes a war or other crises to bring the people’s Earth together. – P.K Shaw

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The National,Thursday April 7th, 2016

 TODAY is World Health Day and celebrated every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of World Health Organisation in 1948. Each year a theme is selected that highlights a priority area of public health. The Day provides an opportunity for individuals in every community to get involved in activities that can lead to better health.  The topic for 2016 is diabetes under the theme – Stay super. Beat diabetes

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THE main goals of the World Health Day 2016 campaign will be to: Increase awareness about the rise in diabetes, and its staggering burden and consequences, in particular in low-and middle-income countries; Trigger a set of specific, effective and affordable actions to tackle diabetes. These will include steps to prevent diabetes and diagnose, treat and care for people with diabetes; and Launch the first Global report on diabetes, which will describe the burden and consequences of diabetes and advocate for stronger health systems to ensure improved surveillance, enhanced prevention, and more effective management of diabetes.

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JUST two decades after the first successful powered flight, pilots from the US Army Air Service completed the first aerial circumnavigation of the globe. The trip took 175 days, and not all of it was smooth sailing—or flying, as it were. Weeks after the group of four airplanes set out from Seattle, Washington, one crashed in Alaska. Luckily, the crew survived, as did that of another of the planes, which later went down over the Atlantic.

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AN English naturalist, Philip Henry Gosse built the first marine aquarium and was an innovator in the field of marine biology. He was a member of the Plymouth Brethren, a Christian group that rejected the theory of evolution, and wrote many books on zoology, including Omphalos, an attempt to reconcile geological theories with the biblical account of creation.

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CHAKRI Day (April 6) is a national holiday in Thailand to commemorate the enthronement of Rama I, who founded the Chakri Dynasty in 1782. He was born Chao Phraya Chakri in 1737 and had become Thailand’s leading general when a palace coup took place in Thon Buri. The dynasty he established has headed the country to this day, although the end of absolute monarchy came in 1932. The king was given the title Rama after his death. Ceremonies on April 6 honor his deeds and the founding of Bangkok as the capital.

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QUOTE of the day: It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart: the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you. – Mark Twain (1835-1910)

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The National,Tuesday April 5th, 2016

 IT is becoming too common that people as young as 25 years are being admitted to the hospital for lifestyle related diseases. Some years back Dr Jack Amana from the Sir Buri Kidu Heart Foundation was reminding everyone to go for regular medical checks.  He said then what the country was experiencing with lifestyle diseases at present was only the tip of the iceberg and further down the years to come, the situation would worsen if people do not look after their health. 

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HOW much sugar is too much? There are many conflicting views on sugar. For some, it is the ‘evil ingredient’ in many foods that they seek to avoid – think breakfast cereals, soft drinks and sweet biscuits. For others, it is a treat to satisfy that ‘sweet tooth’. We find sweet things hard to resist so we regard it as a craving and a weakness. 

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WONDER how much effort is being put by the PNG Government to give serious consideration on ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The ratification was a standing issue which the Government is yet to accomplish.  The ratification of the convention was the way forward to ensure appropriate policies are in place to respect the rights of the disabled to live lives free of stigma and discrimination and also to gain meaningful livelihoods through employment opportunities. 

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IMAGINE yourself being wheelchair bound and trying to get yourself to the Port Moresby General Hospital specialist clinic on the first level. It is going to be a hassle getting yourself up there through the ramp. Do you the security guards there will let you go through easily? 

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TOO often people with disabilities are invisible and are kept apart from the mainstream of society which is not only unfair but an abuse of their right to live active and fulfilling lives.  In many countries, governments have legislated mandatory employment policies obliging companies, including the public sector, to provide employment opportunities to people with disabilities.  The global experience tells us that these opportunities have enriched and benefited both the person needing gainful employment and the receiving institution.

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THE sight of crowded bus-stops during rush hour every morning and afternoon makes one wonder it is population boom in Port Moresby or have owners taken their bus off the streets. Where it took one about 15 minutes to get on a bus, the wait is now for almost an hour with a good numbers of commuters resorting to walking. 

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QUOTE of the day: So many of us use the expression – Better late than never. A qualification: Too late is the same as never. – J.D Boatwood

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The National,Friday April 1st, 2016

 IN case you lose guard…today is April Fools’ Day (sometimes called All Fools’ Day) and is celebrated every year on the first day of April as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other. The jokes and their victims are known as “April fools”. Hoax stories may be reported by the press and other media on this day and explained on subsequent days. 

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IN Italy, France, Belgium, and French-speaking areas of Switzerland and Canada, April 1 tradition is often known as “April fish” (poisson d’avril in French or pesce d’aprile in Italian). This includes attempting to attach a paper fish to the victim’s back without being noticed. Such fish feature prominently on many late 19th- to early 20th-century French April Fools’ Day postcards.

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KIDS have different understanding of what Easter means? Miss 5 at Hohola purposely went to Friday church service to see what she was told at home … Jesus getting hammered on the cross. She left disappointed because it didn’t happen during the service.

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MANGROVES are large tropical evergreen trees of the genus Rhizophora. They are found in the muddy swamps of tropical and subtropical coastlines and estuaries and grow most abundantly in tropical Asia, Africa, and the islands of the southwest Pacific. Mangrove trunks produce aerial roots that become embedded in the mud and rapidly form close-growing mangrove thickets. These swamps are rich breeding grounds for fish and shellfish.

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FOURTEEN years after Ferdinand II and Isabella I, the “Catholic Monarchs” of Spain, established the Spanish Inquisition to discover and punish converted Jews – and later Muslims – who were insincere, they issued the Alhambra Decree, an edict ordering the expulsion of all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity. 

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ON March 31, 1917, the US government formally purchased the Virgin Islands from Denmark for the sum of $25 million. The US purchased them primarily for their strategic importance, and they are still considered a vital key to the defence of the Panama Canal Zone and the Caribbean. Transfer Day is usually observed in the islands with a parade and other public festivities. 

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AS we head into the long weekend, remember, being physically active is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Scientific evidence clearly links regular physical activity to a wide range of physical and mental health benefits.

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QUOTE of the day: How easy it is for one benevolent being to diffuse pleasure around him; and how truly is a kind heart a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity to freshen into smiles! – Washington Irving (1783-1859)

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The National,Thursday March 31st, 2016

 IT is very important for parents to watch their children carefully for signs of illness at all times because of this … if you think something may be wrong, don’t dismiss it, ask some gentle questions and try to find out if your child is okay, or if something unusual may have happened during their day.

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THEY might not think seeing a snake race off through the grass about the same time they felt a sting on their leg was important … but if they tell you about it, you can take action. 

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GETTING them to tell you, especially if they are afraid of getting in trouble can sometimes be a real challenge.

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OKAY, the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary is serious about discipline and is committed to taking action against undisciplined, abusive and corrupt policemen and policewomen. 

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THEY need our help to identify such rogue elements. Should you come across police personnel who are acting illegally or being abusive you: Identify the policeman. Members of the Constabulary would normally have a name tag on their uniforms. 

***

TAKE note of the registration of the vehicle they are driving. Also note the make, model, colour and other features. If you can take a picture of their vehicle then please do so as well.

***

COUNTRIES blessed with sizable youth population bases, like most of our Pacific island nations whose young people comprise a third of their population, must invest in adolescents now to ensure they reap the benefits of having a demographic dividend, a recently-released UN report says.

***

WHEN young people are accessible to sexual and reproductive health services and information and if they can realise their right to utilising these services to delay family formation for example, the country benefits from a productive workforce which can jump-start economic growth and spur the innovation needed for a sustainable future.

***

IN the spring of 1771, an outbreak of bubonic plague swept through Moscow. Authorities instituted a number of policies in an attempt to contain the epidemic, but the severe measures were unpopular with the general public. Factories and stores were shut down, and the economy was essentially at a standstill.

***

QUOTE of the day: It is with narrow-souled people as with narrow-necked bottles: the less they have in them, the more noise they make in pouring it out. – Alexander Pope

***

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The National,Wednesday March 30th, 2016

 IT’S about time we become civilised. Overcrowded passengers, road-unworthy buses, hefty fees, incomplete routes are some factors that make our public transport in the city become so difficult and risky and we become laughing stock in the eyes of international community yet we are nation’s capital. It’s about time the Transport Department or city authority wakes up and start controlling our transport system … chewing, spitting and smoking in the buses should also be enforced.

***

ALTHOUGH Easter Sunday is the culmination of Holy Week and the end of Lent, the following Monday (also known as Pasch Monday) is observed as a public holiday in many nations, perhaps to round off the long weekend that begins on Good Friday. In London, there is a big Easter parade in Hyde Park on this day. A curious English tradition associated at one time with Easter Monday involved “lifting” or “heaving.” By crossing hands and grasping another person’s wrists, the men would lift the women on Easter Monday, and, on Easter Tuesday, the women would lift the men. 

***

THE Sumerian civilisation was the world’s earliest civilisation, developing at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in lower Mesopotamia in about 3500 BCE. The Sumerians had a well-organised communal life and were adept at building canals and irrigation systems. Unfortunately, the evaporation of irrigated waters led to increased soil salinity and greatly reduced agricultural yields, weakening the predominantly agricultural civilisation.

***

EARLY in his career, Ernst Jünger, a German writer and WWI veteran, published novels based on his army experience. Strongly influenced by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, they glorified war and its sacrifice as the greatest physical and mental stimulants. He later opposed Hitler and rejected his own militarism, expressing instead a desire for peace in his wartime diaries and in futuristic novels like On the Marble Cliffs, an allegorical attack on Nazism.

***

MADAGASCAR Martyrs’ Day memorializes those who died in the Revolt of 1947 against the French. Madagascar had been a French colony since 1896 and then was named an overseas territory within the French Union in the 1946 constitution. On March 29, 1947, the people staged a nationalist uprising against colonial forces. Casualties from the conflict were reported as high as 80,000. French military courts tried the leaders of the revolt and executed 20 of them. On March 29, the Malagasy government and people remember those patriots who sacrificed their lives for their country’s freedom.

***

QUOTE of the day: Goodness speaks in a whisper, evil shouts. – Tibetan Proverb

***

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The National,Tuesday March 29th, 2016

 THE appointing process of many jobs in the civil service and indeed in any other private company is very clear. There are set rules and procedures to be followed. That is why we are perplexed at the continuing infighting over jobs in many public service positions today.

***

ONCE these processes are abandoned or short cuts are taken or when the process does not get off the ground within a reasonable period that is when corruption of the system sets in. This is what we seem to be seeing at present.

***

WHY do the so-called rangers attached with the National Capital District Commission have to attack vendors with iron bars, sticks and stone as a tactic to clean out the city? As if it’s not enough, they collect whatever food and money they fingers can touch and smile as they drive off, stuffing their mouth with food. 

***

AND while they and some police officers are man handling betel nut vendors in the city; the market outside the Bagita police barracks at Waigani is becoming popular with the nuts being sold openly. Maybe the so-called rangers should go there as well.

***

FIVE days after John Lennon of the Beatles married the Japanese avant-garde artist Yoko Ono, the couple held the first of two week-long Bed-Ins for Peace as a non-violent way of protesting war and promoting peace. For the first Bed-In, the couple invited members of the press into their Amsterdam hotel room and then sat in bed and talked about peace. Months later, they held their second Bed-In in Montreal.

***

MANY cultures consider dragonflies sinister creatures, and a number of the common, vernacular names for the flying insects, such as “devil’s needle” and “ear cutter,” link them with evil or injury. In truth, dragonflies generally do not attack humans and are valued for their predatory control of harmful insect populations. Dragonflies lay eggs in or near water, and most of the dragonfly’s life is spent underwater in larval form.

***

ESTABLISHED in 1972, Heaven’s Gate was a cult that advocated self-renunciation, to the point of castration, as preparation for the “transition” to a new life on a spaceship, which adherents believed was trailing behind the comet Hale-Bopp. As the comet made its closest approach to Earth, 39 members of the group committed suicide. Authorities found the dead lying neatly in their bunk beds, dressed identically and wearing armbands that read “Heaven’s Gate Away Team.”

***

QUOTE of the day: To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing. – Mark Twain (1835-1910) 

***

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The National,Thursday March 24th, 2016

 EASTER is not at all about Easter bunnies and Easter eggs as such, though these things are nice to have at Easter time. It has been said that the Easter egg represents new life – as a chicken hatches from an egg. It is okay to enjoy chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs at Easter time, but let us not forget the real meaning of Easter.

***

JESUS had to die and shed His blood so we could be brought back into relationship with God. He was the final sacrifice. It is by Jesus blood our sins have been washed away. 

***

THEN through His resurrection (coming back to life), we too can be risen to new life in Him. When we come to the Lord, we are new creations. We have Jesus resurrected life in us.

***

IN every case, it is a time for serious, disciplined self-examination, a time spent in intensive prayer and repentance before the cross of Calvary.  To represent the dark and serious business of Lent, one custom has been to strip the sanctuary of all flowers, candles, and colours during Lent. 

***

THIS custom helps us to turn inward and examine ourselves, even as it reminds us of the dark and colourless Sabbath day when Jesus lay dead in the tomb. 

***

TODAY, Holy Thursday is also referred to as Maundy Thursday. In Europe the Christian monarchs used to wash the feet of poor people on the Thursday before Easter in memory of Jesus’ Act. Also on this day Jesus ate and drank with his followers. 

***

THIS meal became known as the Last Supper, because Jesus died soon after. 

***

TOMORROW is Good Friday is the commemoration of the Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus. In some countries the bells are tolled while in other countries they are silenced until Sunday. A custom also is the eating of Hot Cross Buns. Many superstitions go with hot cross buns such as they are a charm against evil and to keep indefinitely. 

***

HOLY Saturday is part of the period mourning which begins on Good Friday.  Easter day is the Commemoration of the Resurrection of Jesus, with its promise of eternal life. A symbol of the Resurrection is the egg out of which a bird hatches.  Easter Monday is day of sports and games of various kinds. 

***

QUOTE of the day: When you look at the Crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then. When you look at the Sacred Host you understand how much Jesus loves you now. – Blessed Mother Teresa

***

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The National,Wednesday March 23rd, 2016

 QUITE scary seeing buses with the ‘School Bus’ logo racing the main highways at 80km per hour with little heads in it. Some even little children laughing and hoping over the seats. These kids should be seated and buckled in their seats. A disaster waiting to explode!!!

***

PARENTS should demand that all drivers driving the bus with their children in take up defensive driving and be certified. They are ferrying your children and you want to be confident that the person behind the wheel knows what to do to avoid accidents and how to react to different situations while on the road. 

***

BULLYING exists in almost all schools. Students must be encouraged to condemn bullying practices. Bullying is when students are picked on repeatedly by an individual or group with more power, either in terms of physical strength or social standing. School fights are a form of bullying which is used to intimidate others. If you are a parent, you should make it your responsibility to communicate and keep an open dialogue with your child to get to know more about his/her classmates.

***

THE Islamic Revolution’s Guards (IRG) is the largest branch of Iran’s military. It is separate from, and parallel to, the other arm of the Iran’s military and is equipped with its own ground forces, navy, air force, intelligence, and special forces. The IRG’s stated role is to maintain national security, yet the force is also rumoured to have ties with terrorist organisations like Hezbollah.

***

CHARTERED by the parliament of the Netherlands to expand trade and assure close ties between the government and its colonial enterprises in Asia, the Dutch East India Company was the world’s first multinational corporation. It had quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, and wrested control of the Spice Islands trade from Portugal. However, it was plagued by corruption and insolvency in the late 18th century and was dissolved.

***

The dangers of sitting for long stretches of time have come into focus in recent years, with the sedentary act connected to increased risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. More and more people have been looking at ways of combating “sitting sickness,” from using convertible standing desks in the office to having standing meetings. But a new study says that despite the evidence that too much sitting is linked to these health risks, the health benefits of standing desks and other strategies to promote standing are not proven.

***

QUOTE of the day: Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody. – Mark Twain (1835-1910)

***

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The National,Monday March 21st, 2016

 HAVE you ever wondered what your daily sugar intake is? Apart from the sugar intake with your coffee/tea/Milo; think of the sugar you consume from the different processed food/drinks daily. On average, we assume an average Papua New Guinean may consume about 20-30 teaspoon of sugar daily.

***

THESE would come from your tea, from the soft drinks, biscuits, bread and any processed foods consumed. We may not be aware but these foods/drinks taste good because of the many ingredients including sugar.

***

ANTIVENIN is a biological material used to neutralize the venom of poisonous creatures like snakes, scorpions, spiders, and other insects. The antitoxins are created by injecting a small amount of venom into a serum-producing animal such as a horse, sheep, goat, or rabbit. The subject animal then suffers an immune response to the venom and produces antibodies which can be harvested from its blood and used to treat envenomation in others. 

***

RENE Robert Cavelier, Sieur De La Salle was a celebrated French explorer of North America. He began exploring the Great Lakes in 1679, setting up forts in the region and organizing a federation of native American tribes to fight the Iroquois. Given power to colonize the region between Lake Michigan and the Gulf of Mexico, he set sail in 1684 for the mouth of the Mississippi River, which he was ultimately unable to locate. 

***

WYATT Earp was an American frontiersman. In the 1870s, he worked as a police officer in Wichita and Dodge City, Kansas, where he befriended gunmen Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson. He later worked as a guard for Wells, Fargo & Company. By 1881, he had moved to Tombstone, Arizona, living as a gambler and a saloon guard. His brother Virgil became town marshal, and his other brothers bought real estate and businesses. 

***

THE C. M. Russell Auction features an art auction, a celebration of western artist Charles M. Russell, and a western-style good time in Great Falls, Montana, where Russell had his home and studio. The affair began in 1969 to raise money for the C.M. Russell Museum. Events include seminars, dance demonstrations by the Blackfeet Indians, an exhibit of paintings and sculpture of western artists and an auction of their works, and a Quick Draw, in which artists have 30 minutes to draw any subject they want. Their quick draws are then auctioned. 

***

Quote of the day: History fades into fable; fact becomes clouded with doubt and controversy; the inscription moulders from the tablet; the statue falls from the pedestal. Columns, arches, pyramids, what are they but heaps of sand – and their epitaphs, but characters written in the dust? – Washington Irving (1783-1859)

***

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The National,Friday March 18th, 2016

 WILL be interesting to see which will draw the biggest crowd tomorrow – PNG Hunters first home game or the National Soccer League grandfinal. We place out bet on the Hunters game.

***

TODAY is National Supreme Sacrifice Day. This day honours those that have made huge sacrifices for the sake and the good of others as well as those who sacrifice their lives every day for us. We may most readily call to mind the men and women in uniform who have laid down their lives protecting their country and communities.  This day also honours those who may have stepped forward during times of crisis to rescue a stranger or a neighbour, and gave the supreme sacrifice that day.

***

WE just most of you living in the National Capital District is curious to know if NCDC has a road maintenance team to do road patching? Seem like the roads that are being newly built are the ones that are deteriorating faster than the existing ones from before. Potholes are becoming like craters causing long queues of traffic … especially where the Waigani traffic light is going to north Waigani, Gerehu, Tokarara. NCDC wake up!

***

DURING the 12th century BCE, Aramaean nomads, the native speakers of Aramaic, began to settle in modern-day Syria, Iraq, and Turkey. As Aramaic grew in importance, it spread throughout the Fertile Crescent as a lingua franca, or common language, and settlers and missionaries later brought the Semitic language to parts of N Africa, Europe, Persia, India, and China.

***

THE sixth transuranium element to be synthesized, californium is an artificially produced, radioactive metallic chemical element. A member of the actinide series of elements, it has isotopes with half-lives ranging from about 40 seconds to 900 years. One isotope, californium-252, is used as a neutron source in nuclear reactors.

***

JOHN Gacy was an American serial killer who was convicted and later executed for murdering 33 boys and young men between 1972 and 1978. Gacy buried dozens of his victims in a crawl space under the floor of his house and threw several others in a nearby river. Known as the “Killer Clown,” he often performed as a clown at local parties and even had drinks at a local bar while in costume on a few occasions. Gacy took up painting while on death row.

***

TODAY is the 77th day of the year (78th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 288 days remaining until the end of the year.

***

QUOTE of the day: Art requires neither complaisance nor politeness; nothing but faith, faith and freedom. – Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)

***

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The National,Thursday March 17th, 2016

 LAST year it was announced that PNG needs to have a natural disaster preparedness plan to implement in the event of a Category One or Two cyclone hitting the country let alone any other disaster. Wonder if plan has been drawn and everyone knows what to do we were struck by cyclone.

***

EASTER is coming next week, which means lots of chocolate, crafting and Easter activities – like decorating your very own Easter eggs! Painting Easter eggs is a great way to celebrate the spring season, whether you do it with your whole class or at home with friends and family.

***

Originally reserved as a delicacy for the elite, edible mushrooms are now extensively grown on a commercial scale. There are, however, many poisonous species of mushroom, and the destroying angels of the Amanita genus are among the most toxic mushrooms known to man. Destroying angels are characterised by their white stalks and gills and have a telltale 

collar-like structure, or volva, at the base of their stalks.

***

During the Vietnam War, US troops searching for Viet Cong fighters massacred hundreds of civilians from the Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai. Though they had not located any insurgents in My Lai, the soldiers opened fire on the villagers, killing men, women, and children. The incident was initially covered up by army officers. When it was revealed in the press nearly two years later, it divided the US public and increased pressure to end the war.

***

ST. Urho, whose name in Finnish means “hero,” is credited with banishing a plague of grasshoppers that was threatening Finland’s grape arbors. His legend in the US was popularised in the 1950s; after being celebrated as a “joke holiday” for several years in the Menahga-Sebeka area, the idea spread to other states with large Finnish populations. 

***

The actual celebrations include wearing St. Urho’s official colours – Nile Green and Royal Purple – drinking grape juice, and chanting St. Urho’s famous words, “Grasshopper, grasshopper, go away,” in Finnish.

***

LUIS Ernesto Miramontes was a Mexican chemist whose extensive scientific contributions include numerous publications and nearly 40 national and international patents in different areas, including organic chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, petrochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, and polluting agents

***

QUOTE of the day: He died…of a broken heart, a distemper which kills many more than is generally imagined. – Henry Fielding

***

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The National,Wednesday March 16th, 2016

 NOW this is interesting …. People who read from an iPad for 30 minutes before going to sleep felt less sleepy and had different electrical activity in the brain during sleep than those who read from a physical book, a recent study found.  But the time it took to fall asleep and time spent sleeping were similar under both conditions. Since light has an alerting effect, it is predicted a lower sleepiness in the iPad condition at bedtime compared to the book condition. But it was surprising that the iPad light did not delay sleep initiation. 

***

HOWEVER they found a delay of 30 minutes in the generation of the restorative slow waves during sleep in the iPad condition. The study included 16 non-smokers ages 22 to 33 who were familiar with tablets and had no sleep, medical or psychiatric disorders. For a week before the study began, they were instructed to keep to a regular sleep-wake schedule and to stay in bed at least as long as they needed to sleep.

***

IT is generally accepted that the first living cells on Earth were some form of prokaryote. In biology, a prokaryote is generally a single-celled organism that lacks membrane-bound organelles such as a nucleus, mitochondria, and chloroplasts. Genetic material is instead organised into a ring-like structure called a nucleoid. Most prokaryotes are bacteria, and the two terms are often treated as synonyms.

***

A DOMAIN name is an address of a computer, organization, or other entity on a network, such as the Internet, that follows TCP/IP communications protocol. Domain names must be unique on the Internet and must be assigned by a registrar accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. They typically include the type and name of an organization and identify the specific host server at the address. The first commercial Internet domain name was registered in 1985.

***

WIDELY known simply as Fabio, Lanzoni is an Italian male fashion model and actor who became famous for appearing on the covers of hundreds of romance novels throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He has also written romance novels, including Pirate and Comanche, and is said to be the first best-selling male romance writer to publish under his own name rather than a pseudonym.

***

ABOUT 75 turkey vultures, also known as turkey buzzards, return to Hinckley, Ohio, each March 15 to spend the summer. Thousands of people celebrate them at the Hinckley Buzzard Day Festival, held since 1958 on the first Sunday after March 15. 

***

QUOTE of the day: The important thing was to love rather than to be loved. – W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

***

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The National,Tuesday March 15th, 2016

 SOME people say it is a waste to have a 10-seater vehicle in Port Moresby. But with the recent rains and the poor drainage system in the city, these vehicles do come in handy. 

***

IT is about time responsible authorities start putting up ‘School Zone’ road signs about 100m before a school to alert drivers. Try standing on the road leading towards some schools in the mornings and you will see drivers driving towards the crossing at 60-70km/h towards the area.

***

THOSE with daughters who adored Barbie Doll should read this to know about this toy that this young lady loved. When Ruth Handler realised that there were no adult-bodied dolls on the toy market, she suggested to her husband – with whom she co-founded the Mattel toy company – that Mattel begin producing one. 

***

IN 1959, Barbie made her debut. She was based on a German doll called Bild Lilli and was marketed as a “Teen-age Fashion Model”. According to estimates, more than a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide, and many have become collector’s items. 

***

WE should all try this. Former US President Harry Truman had a rule: Any letters written in anger had to sit on his desk for 24 hours before they could be mailed. If at the end of that “cooling off” period, he still felt the same sentiments, he would send the letter. By the end of his life, Truman’s unmailed letters filled a large desk drawer. How often in this age of immediate communication would even 24 minutes of wise restraint spare us embarrassment!

***

CONSTRUCTED between 1924 and 1926, the St. Francis Dam was a concrete gravity-arch dam designed to act as a reservoir to store water for the Los Angeles Aqueduct. In 1928, the dam catastrophically failed, and the resulting flood of 12 billion US gallons (45 billion litres) of water killed more than 450 people.

***

THE Hadean geologic eon began when the Earth was formed an estimated 4.6 billion years ago and ended approximately 800 million years later. There remain few geological traces of this period on Earth, but toward the end of the 20th century, geologists identified a few rocks and zircon crystals that dated to the Hadean. 

***

THE eon’s name is derived from Hades, a Greek word now used as a synonym for hell, and may be a reference to the conditions on Earth at the time.

***

QUOTE of the day: If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking. – George S Patton Jr

***

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The National,Monday March 14th, 2016

 THOSE who were supposed to check and ensure all various tests for the Gerehu road were checked and certified before any construction started should hang their head in shame. Had they have done their job correctly the first time; there will be no need to dig it up again. 

***

THE same can be said for the intersection at the Waigani/Tokakara traffic lights. The explanation given last week says one thing, those who were supposed to check back then during the road construction failed their duty. If it was low area, why wasn’t the drainage done up properly to avoid spillage. 

***

SPEAKING of drainage, we wonder whose responsibility is it to ensure all drain outlets in the city cleared off any blockage from debris to allow excess water to flow out instead of spilling back onto the roads. We know of two areas that are affected – Waigani Drive before the turn in to NCC valley and the residential area behind Stop N Shop Rainbow.

***

EVERYTIME it rains, residents in that area actually drive through a puddle and the sludge on the bitumen after the excess water finally subsides is really an ugly sight. This is because of the blocked drainage from soil washed down as a result of the development on Rainbow hill.

***

A MEME is an idea that is passed from generation to generation through imitation and behavioural replication. The terms memes and memetics, coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, are the cultural counterpart to the biological study of genes and genetics. In his book, Dawkins hypothesizes that human cultures evolve via “contagious” communications in a manner similar to the gene pools of populations.

***

AN automat is a fast food restaurant where food and drinks are served by coin- and bill-operated vending machines. Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart opened the first automat in the US in 1902 and quickly popularised the notion of take-out food with their slogan ‘Less work Mother’. The original automat machines, which had little windows containing the prepared meals were filled from behind by workers who cooked the fresh food in an unseen kitchen.

***

QUOTE of the day: To believe in a child is to believe in the future. Through their aspirations they will save the world. With their combined knowledge the turbulent seas of hate and injustice will be calmed. They will champion the causes of life’s underdogs, forging a society without class discrimination. They will 

supply humanity with music and beauty as it has 

never known. They will endure. – Henry James (1843-1916)

***

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The National,Friday March 11th, 2016

 WHILE our Facebook feed is fill with complaints of water rationing, again we are smiling. Why?? Because we made the sacrifice to buy a water tank, a pump, a controller and now we smile right through. For those who own their own homes, a little bit of sacrifice with the cash savings won’t hurt. 

***

PAPUA New Guinea is blessed with a lot of sun and that should be put to good use by powering electricity through solar. We have not been bothered with the brief blackout on Monday night and Tuesday morning because we now have solar powered lights at home. Everyone should consider the option if installing solar panels to power at least some lights if you have in your own home.

***

WE commend NCDC for the initiative of erecting bins along Waigani Drive. Next thing, let’s educate the public on the purpose of having those bin there. Litter is still being thrown on the ground within metres of the bins. 

***

SYNESTHESIA is a condition in which one type of sensory stimulus evokes sensations associated with a different sense, as when hearing a sound stimulates the visualisation of a colour. Approximately 1 in 2,000 people have the condition, and most of those affected are female. Synesthesia can result in a number of cross-sensory experiences, but it most commonly manifests as a grapheme-colour interchange.

***

THE World Health Organization (WHO) is recommending that people aim to get no more than five percent of their daily caloric intake from sugar, half the long-standing recommendation of 10 per cent. For an adult with a normal body mass index, or BMI, this new recommendation translates to about six teaspoons’ worth of sugar a day. Excess sugar consumption can lead to weight gain and associated health risks, such as heart disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers, as well as dental damage.

***

Bike Week is the largest motorcycle meet in the world, held for 10 days in Daytona Beach, Florida. The highlight of the week is the Daytona 200 race, which attracts competitors from all over the world. Other races include a three-hour US Endurance Championship race and vintage motorcycle races on Classics Day. 

***

These events take place in the Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium and on the Daytona International Speedway. Another popular feature of the week is a parade of over 5,000 motorcycles, and concerts and trade shows are held throughout the week.

***

QUOTE of the day: Fashion is the science of appearance, and it inspires one with the desire to seem rather than to be. – Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

***

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The National,Thursday March 10th, 2016

 VIOLENCE against women in public places is now reaching a stage of despair. It is now time for neighbours to start taking the step to call the police when especially a husband is hitting his wife. This is no show for spectators, do something.

***

TAXI drivers in Port Moresby have the worst traffic manners. They will swerve in and out of traffic, they will blare their horns at the slightest delay, they drive at the fastest or the slowest pace and nothing will move them to do otherwise. But there is one thing they do know and that is all the streets, side streets and potholes. 

***

WHEN the rains fill in the potholes follow a taxi to avoid deep puddles. When there is a traffic jam, follow taxis on a side street and you are most likely to beat the queue.

***

LABOUR department and construction companies; pray explain why foreigners are involved in driving trucks and forklifts in many of our construction industries. For that matter why are there two or three foreigners overseeing a Papua New Guinean cashier. We were of the opinion that there are protected jobs for national workers. It is no wonder there is so much frustration and anger out on the streets.

***

LOCATED in the remote, mountainous border region between the Jiangxi and Hunan provinces of China, Jinggangshan is known as the birthplace of the Chinese Red Army and the “cradle of the Chinese revolution.” In 1927, after an unsuccessful uprising against the Kuomintang, Mao Zedong’s army retreated to Jinggangshan and established a military base there. During the 1960s, the area became a place of pilgrimage for young Red Guards.

***

MARCH 8 commemorating women is one of the most widely observed holidays of recent origin. It has its roots in the March 8, 1857, revolt of women in New York City, protesting conditions in the textile and garment industries, although it wasn’t proclaimed a holiday until 1910. 

***

IN the former USSR, women received honors for distinguished service in industry, aviation, military service, and other fields. In the United Kingdom and the United States, International Women’s Day is marked by special exhibitions, films, and more, in praise of women.

***

QUOTE of the day: Failure or success seem to have been allotted to men by their stars. But they retain the power of wriggling, of fighting with their star or against it, and in the whole universe the only really interesting movement is this wriggle. – E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

***

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The National,Wednesday March 9th, 2016

 THE sight of crowded bus-stops during rush hour every morning and afternoon makes one wonder it is population boom in Port Moresby or have owners taken their bus off the streets. Where it took one about 15 minutes to get on a bus, the wait is now for almost an hour with a good numbers of commuters resorting to walking. 

***

CITY residents are questioning why pot holes occur very quickly even if it is a new road. It has also been observed by some that pot holes are often just largely filled with loose grave and unproductively sealed with a thin layer of bitumen mix. The city residents deserve an explanation from the authorities on this.

***

IT is becoming a nightmare for those who have to travel home going past Vision City and the Waigani/Tokarara traffic lights. The third lane taken up because of that bridge construction is causing a lot of inconvenience. And the bus drivers just don’t get it through their brains that you cannot just stop your bus on the road blocking off traffic. A call out to NCD police chief to dispatch a unit there during peak hours to ensure traffic flows would be good.

***

THEN you down further and it travel moves at a snail’s pace because of the craters at the Waigani/Tokarara traffic lights intersection. Seems the good Governor and his officers are turning a blind eye to this area. Is there a team that goes out to tick off a contractor’s job list? The contractor for that road does not show any smart initiative at all in correcting this fault, because it’s a problem from the yesteryears. 

***

THERE is a special type of person in our world who finds themselves alone and isolated, often times even since birth. The sometimes lonely experience from this person isn’t because of any sort of antisocial behavior.  It has more to do with being different.  This person feels old and often acts more mature than the typical person.  

***

It wasn’t until the 9th century that the Lenten season, called the Great Lent in the East to differentiate it from the Advent fast called Little Lent, was fixed at 40 days (with Sundays omitted). For centuries, the Lenten season has been observed with certain periods of strict fasting, as well as giving up something – a favorite food or other worldly pleasure – for the 40 days of Lent. Celebrations such as Carnival and Mardi Gras offered Christians their last opportunities to indulge before the rigorous Lenten restrictions. 

***

QUOTE for the day: There’s a saying among prospectors: Go out looking for one thing, and that’s all you’ll ever find. – Robert Flaherty

***

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The National,Tuesday March 8th, 2016

 TODAY is International Women’s Day. It is a day that is celebrated by the United Nations since 1975. The International Women’s Day serves as a day to celebrate, acknowledge and recognise the work of women in their countries and communities. 

***

In 2015, world leaders adopted a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all, by 2030. While Goal 4 specifically targets “gender equality”, all other goals also necessitate gender equality and engagement of women.

***

IT doesn’t look like power and water rationing in the capital city of PNG will ever cease. Some 10 years ago, PNG Power and Eda Ranu ran advertisements on rationing and you still see the same advertised today. Wonder what sort of advertisement these two entities would run in the next 10 years. We hope it will not be on rationing. 

***

WONDER what has become of the illegal gun issue that was much talked about 10 years ago. Controlling the gun plague will be just talk, unless each and every person in this land stands up and fights against illegal weapons and the full-scale corruption that they breed.

***

THIS study should be conducted here in PNG also. Some time back, a study stated that politicians are among the most sleep deprived people in Britain. Members of the Parliament catch on average only five hours of shut-eye per night, a level that might well affect their ability to make rational decisions, by the Sleep Council found.

***

ALEXANDER GRAHAM Bell was a scientist and inventor. He patented the telephone in 1876 and months later sent his now-famous telephone message to his assistant, Thomas A. Watson: “Mr. Watson, come here; I want to see you.” Bell also invented a device that transmitted sound in rays of light, a machine that tested hearing and detected auditory deficiencies, and an apparatus capable of locating metallic objects in the human body. 

***

Despite a century of study, researchers can agree on the decipherment of only a single phrase of Proto-Sinaitic script, a Middle Bronze Age alphabet dating to 1500 BCE. The Proto-Sinaitic script is one of two similar undeciphered scripts dated to that period and believed to be ancestral to nearly all modern alphabets. Many experts believe the language of Proto-Sinaitic inscriptions is Semitic, and cite the one phrase that was interpreted as proof of this hypothesis.

***

QUOTE of the day:  QUOTE of the day: Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which before their union were not perceived to have any relation. – Mark Twain (1835-1910)

***

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The National,Monday March 7th, 2016

 THE United Nations Academic Impact in partnership with the Seton Hall University in the United States of America is calling high school students in Papua New Guinea and all over the world, to participate in a Sustainable Development Challenge; the global contest for innovative ideas on sustainable development.  

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IN the island nation of Vanuatu, many islands have rejected European influence and instead prefer to live according to their traditional customs. While these customs vary widely throughout the islands, village life, subsistence farming, a belief in magic, and rule by chiefs are common. In 1977, a National Council of Chiefs was set up by the government to ensure the preservation of traditional ways of life. These tribal chiefs are honoured on March 5 of each year; celebratory activities on this day include sporting events, carnivals, agricultural fairs, and arts festivals.

***

WHEN scientists discovered the Laotian rock rat, a large, rat-like creature with a thick, hairy tail, they believed that the animal was so different from known rodents that it warranted classification in a new, distinct family called Laonastidae. Shortly thereafter, another group of experts published their assertion that the animal was actually a member of the ancient fossil family Diatomyidae. 

***

THE weightlessness experienced by humans in space poses a number of challenges in the performance of day-to-day tasks. Early experts feared that weightless conditions would make food difficult to swallow, allowing it to collect dangerously in the throat. Scientists began developing bite-sized cubes, freeze-dried powders, and semiliquid space foods for astronaut use, but the space travellers found the foods unappetising, difficult to rehydrate, and messy. 

***

THE phrase ‘Iron Curtain’ refers to the political, military, and ideological barrier erected by the USSR after WWII to seal itself and its dependent eastern European allies off from contact with the West. Winston Churchill’s use of the phrase in a 1946 speech at a US college, though initially perceived as antagonistic, popularized the term. The Iron Curtain largely ceased to exist in 1990, when the communists of Eastern Europe finally abandoned one-party rule. 

***

GERARDUS Mercator was a Flemish geographer, mathematician, and cartographer who perfected the first map using the Mercator projection, the translation of the spherical earth to a two-dimensional flat plane. In it, parallels and meridians are rendered as straight lines spaced to produce an accurate ratio of latitude to longitude at any point. It permits mariners to steer a course over long distances without continually adjusting compass readings. 

***

QUOTE of the day: Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon. – E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

***

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The National, Friday March 4th, 2016

 WONDER if the Government seriously took into account assessments of the 2012 national elections in Papua New Guinea put together by two different groups of election observers. Both groups at that time identified the poor state of the electoral roll as a major problem, with thousands of people being turned away from polling booths because their names were absent. 

***

EVERY woman should ask themselves this question, when did I last do my pap smear? If you haven’t done one, you should attend at the clinic and hospitals and do one now. Well women clinic fee is K50. The smears are sent to Sydney Australia to Meripath Australia who do laboratory testing there and send results back. The clinic is located at Waigani heights, back of Anglicare, located at section 453, Allotment 29 within the same premises as MSWagambie Lawyers (bottom unit).

***

RADIO and television presenters should make every effort to get their pronunciation right in the first instance before going on air. Remember you have very young listeners and viewers who are learning and love to imitate what they hear or see. 

***

COMPENSATION payment should not be used as a means for serious crime offenders to avoid facing the laws. And when it comes to land compensation; wonder what is more important – the one of payment or development? 

***

ACCORDING to Greek mythology, Zeus ordered that the first woman, Pandora, be created as a punishment to humankind for Prometheus’s theft of fire. The gods endowed her with every charm, but also with curiosity and deceit. Zeus sent her to marry Prometheus’s brother, Epimetheus, and gave her a box that he forbade her to open. Despite Prometheus’s warnings, Epimetheus allowed Pandora to open the box, letting out all the evils that have since afflicted man. 

***

RESEARCHERS at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed the thinnest and lightest solar cells ever made, which could eventually be used to power the next generation of personal electronics. The process of creating the small, flexible cells – measured at a thickness of only 1.3 micrometers and a surface density of 3.6 grams per square meter – was described by MIT professor and associate innovation dean Vladimir Bulović along with researcher Annie Wang and doctoral student Joel Jean in the April edition of Organic Electronics.

***

QUOTE of the day: Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economise it. – Mark Twain (1835-1910)

***

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The National, Thursday March 3rd, 2016

 ANXIETY is a word we use to describe feelings of unease, worry and fear. It joins both the emotions and the physical senses we might experience when we are worried or nervous about something. Although we usually find it unpleasant, anxiety is related to the ‘fight or flight’ response – our normal biological reaction to feeling threatened.

***

LIKE all other animals, human beings have developed ways to help us protect ourselves from dangerous, life-threatening situations. When you feel under threat your body releases hormones, such as adrenalin and cortisol, which help physically prepare you to either fight the danger or run away from it.

***

SEDIMENTS at a British archaeological site include wheat remains dating back 8000 years, meaning that Britons were bringing in European wheat two millennia before they grew it. Early farming began in the Near East about 10,500 years ago. Farming first reached the Balkans in Europe some 8000 to 9000 years ago, and then crept westward. Locals in Britain, separated from the mainland by the relatively newly-formed English Channel, did not start farming until about 6000 years ago.

***

PEOPLE in PNG started practising agriculture around 7000-10,000 years ago. The oldest evidence for this is in the Kuk Swamp area, where planting, digging and staking of plants, and possibly drainage have been used to cultivate taro, banana, sago and yam. 

***

BETWEEN the 17th to 19th centuries, a small number of plant species, including sweet potato, cassava and tobacco have been brought from the Americas by Europeans and introduced to Indonesia from where they spread to New Guinea. In the second part of the 19th century and especially after 1870 further crops have been introduced directly by Europeans, including beans, pumpkin, corn, watermelon, papaya, mangosteen, durian, orange, lemon, coffee, lime and guava. 

***

PORT Moresby is doing well if its intention is to take over from Lae, the title of “Pothole City”. With more vehicles hitting the city and a spell of rain, more and more potholes are opening up on the city’s roads, and the city authorities appear is in no hurry to fix the problem.

***

WITH a population of about 6 million, Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city and former capital of Brazil, as well as the country’s cultural centre and a commercial, communications, and transportation hub. It has one of the world’s most beautiful natural harbours, surrounded by low mountain ranges whose spurs extend almost to the waterside, dividing the city.

***

QUOTE of the day: How cunning nature hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses and violets and morning dew. – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

***

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The National, Wednesday March 2nd, 2016

 THE Snakebite Clinic at Port Moresby General Hospital has had to deal with four very severe snakebite cases involving children between the ages of 2 and 7 years, all of which could easily have been fatal. Three of these kids are currently on ventilators in the Intensive Care Unit. 

***

AT this time of year, when snakebites are particularly common they are urging all parents to talk to their children about the dangers of venomous snakes and encourage them to always tell an adult if they have seen or had an encounter with a snake. For very young children, please keep a close eye on them, especially outdoors and near gardens or bush paths. 

***

BUY them gumboots to wear, and insist that they wear them in places where an encounter with a snake is possible. If you suspect a snakebite, PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE IT … bring the child to the PMGH Emergency Department immediately and go straight to the Snakebite Clinic in B Section for investigation. Be Snake Safe and Stay Alive!

***

THE Earth actually takes longer than 365 days to complete its trip around the Sun – five hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds longer, to be precise. To accommodate this discrepancy, an extra day is added to the Gregorian calendar at the end of February every four years. The year in which this occurs is called Leap Year, probably because the English courts did not always recognise February 29, and the date was often “leaped over” in the records. 

***

THERE was an old tradition that women could propose marriage to men during Leap Year. The men had to pay a forfeit if they refused.

***

SINCE, technically, a year consists of 365 days and approximately 6 hours, every four years these hours amount to a full day. In order to synchronise the Gregorian calendar with the astronomical year, a leap day, February 29, is added to the 28-day month once every four years. As such, leap years are always evenly divisible by four. Persons born on a leap day are called “leaplings,” and, contrary to popular myth, they do age during non-leap years.

***

HATTIE McDaniel was an African-American singer-songwriter, comedienne, stage actress, radio performer, and television star. She appeared in over 300 films and is best known for her role as Mammy in the iconic 1939 film Gone with the Wind, a performance that earned her the first Academy Award ever presented to an African American. 

***

QUOTE of the day: If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. – John F Kennedy

***

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The National, Tuesday March 1st, 2016

 TWO years ago, the Southern Highlands Provincial Government presented a comprehensive report to the Education department on almost every single thing that doesn’t work in Southern Highlands. Wonder what become of the report? Maybe our friends at the Education department could enlighten us on how the report assisted them in bringing education to the province.

***

STRATEGIC planners and mangers in the Department of Education them were challenged to start working with provincial education officers and facilitate the process for changes to be seen. An update again on this would be good

***

IN the late 1930s, psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich publicised his theory of universal life energy, a force he called orgone energy. He claimed that orgone fills all space, has a blue hue, and can be accumulated and used to restore psychological well-being. Most experts believe his hypotheses to be pseudoscience, and his books on the subject were burned following a court decision intended to prevent health-fraud.

***

OLOF Palme served as prime minister of Sweden from 1969 to 1976 and from 1982 to 1986. In 1971, he led Sweden’s rejection of a bid for membership in the European Community. A pacifist, he criticized US policy in the Vietnam War, creating a diplomatic rift that ended in 1974. Palme also opposed the nuclear arms race and South African apartheid. He was assassinated in 1986, and his murder remains unsolved.

***

SAMUEL Joel ‘Zero’ Mostel was an American comic actor who combined a large paunch with acrobatic grace and an expressive face. He initially worked both on Broadway and in film but was blacklisted in Hollywood for his political views and worked primarily in New York City theatre after 1955. He had lead roles in the musicals A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Fiddler on the Roof. In 1968, he starred in the Oscar-winning Mel Brooks film The Producers.

***

FOLLOWING the end of World War II, the island of Taiwan won independence from Japan, and the Chinese Nationalist government officially took over the island. On Feb 28, 1947, misunderstandings between the new government and the native residents led to an uprising that was brutally suppressed. February 28 has been named Peace Memorial Day and is marked by memorial services for the victims, concerts, art exhibitions, and group runs. Taiwan’s president attends a ceremony in which he rings a ceremonial bell and bows to the victims’ families.

***

AND it’s pinch and punch for the first day of March today.

***

QUOTE of the day: Insight, plus hindsight, equals foresight. – Russel Murphy

***

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The National, Monday February 29th, 2016

 BETELNUT ban is still on and we sure looking forward to the closing down of all illegal markets at Malaoro, Gerehu, Rainbow, 5-Mile and Boroko Drive. It’s a shame that educated elites still encourage these illegal activities by purchasing the green nuts.

***

CAN the PMV Board or Land Transport Board or whichever PMV licence regulating body issuing PMV licences to see that the buses are serving the said route as per their license.

***

MANY vehicles should be pulled off the road, and they include those with broken headlines and tail-lights, plastered windscreen, baldy tyres, etc. Very simply, these vehicles are hazardous to other road users. The authorities know this but they are not doing about it. Road checks provide the opportunity for them to act correctly, but instead most drive through roadblocks as if nothing is wrong.

***

STUDIES have consistently shown that bullying is tied to worse physical and mental health, but few have looked at the cumulative effects of bullying over time. As might be expected, a longitudinal study of bullying found that teens who had been subject to bullying throughout their schooling had a lower quality of life than those who had either been bullied in the past or who were being bullied at the time of the study. The findings further highlight the importance of preventing bullying or, at the very least, putting a stop to it soon after it starts.

***

DISSOCIATIVE amnesia is a loss of personal memory caused by a severe psychological trauma. Because the amnesia does not result from physiological trauma, such as a brain injury or disease, it is often treated with psychological therapy. While dissociative amnesia is often associated with particular events or periods of time, in its most radical form there is a total abandonment of personal identity and memory.

***

THE Pan American Games is a multi-sport event open to competitors from all nations of the Western Hemisphere. Patterned after the Olympic Games and sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, the games are held every four years in the year preceding the Summer Olympic Games. 

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Argentina took home more medals than any other country in the first Pan American Games, however, the US has since become the overall medal leader, with a current total of 3915.

***

QUOTE of the day: The new and terrible dangers which man has created can only be controlled by man. – John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

***

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The National, Friday February 26th, 2016

 PARROTS are loved for their stunning color combinations and superb intellect. But new research, published in Biodiversity Conservation, by the Australian National University and BirdLife International shows that beloved parrots in the Psittaciformes order are in big trouble: 28 percent of surviving parrot species (or 111 out of 398) are classified as globally threatened.

***

THE threats also depend on location. The top 10 countries in urgent need of more parrot conservation are: Indonesia, Brazil, Australia, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Venezuela and Mexico. The Americas need to focus their conservation efforts on site protection and management. Africa needs to prioritize better legislation for the birds. And the Southeast Asia and Oceania regions need to work on raising more awareness and better habitat protection.

***

THE 2004 book Between a Rock and a Hard Place chronicles the experiences of Aron Ralston, an American mountain climber who survived a nearly fatal hike in the Utah desert. While Ralston was canyoneering alone in May 2003, his right forearm became trapped by a falling boulder. Unable to lift the rock, Ralston was forced to amputate his own arm in order to free himself. How many days did Ralston wait before beginning the terrible operation?

***

THE “Battle of Los Angeles” is the name given by contemporary sources to the imaginary enemy attack and subsequent anti-aircraft artillery barrage that took place over Los Angeles, California, just months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Reports of an imminent strike on the city led to the sounding of air raid sirens, the imposition of a blackout, and the firing of 1,400 shells at supposed Japanese aircraft, killing several US civilians. What may have actually prompted the bombardment?

***

A PREEMINENT figure in American art, Winslow Homer was a largely self-taught landscape painter and printmaker. He trained as a lithographer, then became a freelance illustrator. As a correspondent for Harper’s Weekly, he won international acclaim for his depictions of the Civil War battlefront. In 1876, he abandoned illustration to devote himself to painting, later settling in coastal Maine, where the local people and seascapes became the focus of his art. What are some of his most famous works?

***

QUOTE of the day: A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. – Washington Irving (1783-1859)

***

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The National, Thursday February 25th, 2016

 IS there a law in PNG stating that it is an offence for a motorist not to stop at a school crossing when the stop sign is being put up? The only conclusion one can draw is the driver is illiterate. If he or she had some formal education, then the word ‘STOP’ would be recognised immediately and the meaning known like the palm of their hand. 

***

CUSTOMER service in PNG is taking 10 steps back instead of moving forward. Having a sound knowledge on a product one is marketing is something that all salespersons should ensure they have. Companies with marketing products should ensure their agents are well vested with the product to avoid embarrassing moments when they are questioned by customers and all they can do is smile back.  

***

WHILE reading we came across this and it has to be shared. The Author of the Bible is not limited by time or space. He can meet with us at any time and any place. So whenever we have a question, we can ask with the assurance that He will answer – though perhaps not according to our timetable.

***

DID you know that the microbes on just one of your hands outnumber all of the people on the earth? Or that millions of microbes could fit into the eye of a needle? These one-celled, living organisms are too small for us to see without a microscope, yet they live in the air, soil, water, and even in our bodies. We constantly interact with them, even though their world is completely beyond our senses.

***

SPIDER silk has long been hailed as the strongest known natural material, but UK scientists have discovered that the teeth of limpets – snail-like sea creatures found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans – may be even stronger. The research team examined limpet teeth down to the atom and found a hard mineral called goethite, the strength of which helps limpets cling to rocks and remove algae. Experts see potential in copying the structural makeup of limpet teeth for use in the manufacturing of cars, boats, and planes.

***

THALES of Miletus, one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece, was a pre-Socratic philosopher and scientist. He is traditionally considered the first Western philosopher and a founder of geometry and abstract astronomy. As a philosophical materialist, Thales theorised that water was the first principle of all things. He speculated that the Earth floated on water, and so proposed an explanation for earthquakes. 

***

QUOTE of the day: There is an old-time toast which is golden for its beauty – when you ascend the hill of prosperity may you not meet a friend. – Mark Twain (1835-1910)

***

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The National, Wednesday February 24th, 2016

 ANOTHER SOS call to the pothole brigade for the Waigani/Tokara intersection!!! The little rain last week has washed out the pothole filings and the drivers now have to manoeuvre through the potholes which is growing by the day. Can we just have cement in that intersection instead of tar? 

***

WE congratulation the newly-appointed US Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray who presented her credentials to the Acting Governor-General Theo Zurenuoc yesterday. Ambassador Ebert-Gray officially became the fourteenth United States Ambassador to the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.

***

WE stumbled on this idiom: a good voice to beg bacon, some time back and wondered what it was about. Today we find out it is used to mock someone’s voice as being strange, unpleasant, or inadequate (e.g. for singing). Bacon, being a dietary staple in older times, was often used as a metaphor for financial stability or wealth; having the voice of one who must” beg bacon,” then, means having a harsh voice, like someone who is undernourished. 

***

DID you hear the way that singer was screeching last night? I’m glad we didn’t stay too long, he had a good voice to beg bacon.

***

TAEBORUM marks the first full moon of the Lunar New Year in Korea. The day is regarded as the final opportunity to ensure good luck for the coming year; it is considered lucky on this day for people to routinely repeat their actions nine times – particularly children, who compete to see how many “lucky nines” they can achieve before the day is over. Another popular sport is the tug-of-war. 

***

IN some areas, an entire town or county is divided into opposing teams. It is widely believed that the winners will bring in a plentiful crop and will be protected from disease in the coming year.

***

AN unhappy and solitary man, Arthur Schopenhauer was a German philosopher whose works earned him the title “the philosopher of pessimism.” The bias of his own temperament and experience was crucial to the development of his celebrated philosophy – reflections on the theory of knowledge and the philosophy of nature, aesthetics, and ethics – which he presented with such clarity and skill as to gain eventual recognition as one of the great philosophers. Schopenhauer was heavily influenced by what Hindu texts?

***

QUOTE of the day: I profess not to know how women’s hearts are wooed and won. To me they have always been matters of riddle and admiration. – Washington Irving (1783-1859)

***

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The National, Tuesday February 23rd, 2016

 WHILE the clock ticks on, the infrastructure development is not showing much to give some form of guarantee that is well on track to hosting the Under 20 FIFA World Cup competition comes November. We hear from the grapevines that PNG has only until March or so to show proof we should host it. 

***

IT is time for the Government to walk the talk; you gave the indication last month so let put out the money and make it happen. And please no more last minute; this is FIFA World Cup, their expectations will be high. If we can deliver this, then we see no problem in bidding for any Commonwealth Games.

***

ANARCHISM, a political theory that favours the abolition of all forms of government, started a profound libertarian revolution throughout Spain. During the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s, Catalonia was established as an anarchist stronghold and much of the region’s economy was put under worker control: factories were run through worker committees, agrarian areas became collectivized, and even hotels and restaurants were managed by their workers. 

***

KURT Eisner was a German journalist and politician. From 1898, he was editor of Vorwärts, the official Social Democratic Party newspaper. He joined the Independent Social Democratic Party in 1917, later becoming its leader. In November 1918, he organized a Socialist revolution that overthrew the monarchy in Bavaria, and he became the first prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of the new Bavarian republic. 

***

ANDRÉS Segovia was a Spanish guitarist whose transcriptions of early contrapuntal music, along with his concerts and recordings, were largely responsible for the 20th-century resurgence of interest in the guitar and its possibilities as a concert instrument. Almost entirely self-taught, he made his debut in Grenada in 1909 and by the 1920s was touring internationally. 

***

THE researchers dug deeper to look at trends by state and other factors. And they found that married couples – who might be expected to get less sleep, given issues like snoring, bed-sharing, and children – actually appear to be catching more zzz’s on average than single sleepers. Sixty-seven per cent of married people reported getting seven hours of sleep a night – the amount recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society – compared with 62 per cent of those who were never married, and just 56 per cent of people who were divorced, widowed, or separated.

***

QUOTE of the day: Do not do an immoral thing for moral reasons. – Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

***

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The National, Monday February 22nd, 2016

 IN 1939, Nazi forces staged an attack on a German radio station and planted the bullet-riddled body of a Polish sympathizer at the scene, reporting the attack as the work of Polish saboteurs. The attack was part of a Nazi propaganda campaign called Operation Himmler, which involved a series of staged incidents intended to create the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany and provide a basis for the subsequent invasion of Poland. 

***

ON February 19, 1942, Japanese bomber and fighter planes conducted a devastating air raid on the town of Darwin, the capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory. As a tribute to honour the dead and those who defended Darwin, an annual commemoration is held in Bicentennial Park by the Cenotaph, a monument to those slain in World War I. 

***

AT 9:58 AM, the exact time the attack began, a World War II air raid siren sounds. During some observances, Australian regiments will re-enact the attack: ground units fire their guns, and fighter planes perform fly-bys over the memorial site.

***

GAMBIA gained independence from Britain on February 18, 1965, and became a constitutional monarchy. On that day, people gathered in Bathurst for music, dancing, and the replacement of the Union Jack with the Gambian flag. A public vote in 1970 made the Republic of the Gambia a British Commonwealth state. Independence Day is a national holiday in Gambia.

***

IN 1998, the United States signed The Copyright Term Extension Act into law, thereby extending the copyright terms set forth in the international Berne Convention of 1886. The act increased America’s term of protection for copyrighted works by 20 years. Sonny Bono, a songwriter, filmmaker, and congressman, was a major proponent of copyright extension, and the act, passed nine months after his death, was named in his honour. 

***

THE island of Iwo Jima is only 8 sq mi (21 sq km) in area, but when US forces attacked the Japanese air base there during WWII, it became the site of one of the most severe campaigns of the war. More than 21,000 Japanese troops and nearly 7,000 Americans died in the clashes. A photograph of US marines raising the American flag over Iwo Jima’s Mt. Suribachi has since become one of the most famous images of the war. 

***

QUOTE of the day: Not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or equal motivation, but they should have the equal right to develop their talent and their ability and their motivation, to make something of themselves. – John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

***

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The National, Friday February 19th, 2016

 WHAT’S happening to the pedestrian footbridge at Hohola? Traffic congestion there in the mornings is becoming a concern. One can see pedestrians trying to cross the road, either safely by using the marked pedestrian crossing or unsafely, by running across four lanes when an opportunity presents itself.  

***

FRUSTRATION by drivers can be seen when they drive through the crossing while pedestrian attempt to pass through at the same time heightening the risk of injury or death. 

***

SMALL medium enterprises in East New Britain are still waiting for the National Government to settle outstanding bills from 2009. Resource owners and government officials, from especially the highlands and Moresby, had gathered in the province to negotiate the Umbrella Benefits Sharing Agreement (UBSA) for oil and gas projects.

***

IT’S been eight years and many small-to-medium service providers in the province are still waiting to be paid amid their day-to-day struggles. Adding onto their headaches is the current checks on their books by an audit team from the Internal Revenue Commission where, for many, statutory fees must be paid. We sympathise with them and call on the authorities to settle these local service providers before going big by launching the SME initiative in Port Moresby. 

***

AFTER rising from clerk to sales executive in the National Cash Register Co., Thomas John Watson became president of the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co., which made scales, time clocks, and tabulators that sorted information using punched cards—all forerunners of mainframe computers. Watson renamed the company International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) in 1924 and became its chairman in 1949, widening IBM’s line to include electronic computers.

***

STOPPING criminal activity before it happens is usually the domain of science fiction – as in ‘Minority Report’, where police officers in 2054 use the ability to see into the future to catch murderers before they kill. But some security experts believe a version of that future is much closer than 2054. Increasingly, smart surveillance cameras are monitoring public places in search of suspicious cues, a high-tech version of “if you see something, say something.” 

***

BY reviewing massive volumes of ordinary surveillance tape, algorithms can “learn” what type of behaviour is typical right before a crime or terrorist attack is committed – like a person suddenly breaking into a run or abandoning a suitcase on a subway platform – and alert authorities.

***

QUOTE of the day: A joke, taken seriously, is no joke.

***

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The National, Thursday February 18th, 2016

 THE number of inconsiderate drivers on the road in Port Moresby seems to be increasing by the day. No care in the world, the vehicle in front of you is driving about 20km per hour with a queue already building up behind because the driver is busy talking on the mobile phone. We hope with the new Road Traffic Authority, a hefty penalty can be imposed on the perpetrators. 

***

PENALTY should involve going to court and having ones license revoked for a year or so. We need the concerned authority to be proactive in implementing the penalties. What interventions should or can be put into place to reduce their impact upon road traffic crashes?

***

TIME for the new Road Traffic Authority to make the proposal of bringing in technology to aid in their efforts to enforcing road safety becomes a reality. 

***

WHY is it that most schools in PNG do not have a school library or significant library collection? This makes it much harder for children to achieve higher levels of literacy, and for them to learn about the world. English is often a second or third language for the students, but as PNG has so many languages (over 700) English is the sole language of education after Year 2.

***

DRIED, compressed blocks of tea leaves have been used in Asia as a source of food, component of beverages, and form of currency for centuries. In Ancient China, tea was often mixed with binding agents—including flour, blood, and manure—to increase its durability, thus fortifying the tea brick against the physical demands of its use as currency.

***

IN 1983, extreme weather and years of severe drought combined to create one of Australia’s worst fire days in a century. Within 12 hours, more than 180 fires—fanned by high winds—were burning, causing widespread destruction across the states of Victoria and South Australia. The fires killed 75 people and left thousands of others injured and homeless. They obliterated entire townships in just minutes.

***

SALVATORE Philip ‘Sonny’ Bono was an American record producer, singer, actor, and politician. He began his music career working with legendary producer Phil Spector in the early 1960s and went on to write, arrange, and produce a number of hit singles like “I Got You Babe” and “The Beat Goes On,” which he performed with his then-wife Cher. The duo also hosted a popular television variety show in the 1970s. Later, Bono became involved in politics and served as a member of the US House of Representatives.

***

QUOTE of the day: Those who only tell the truth often live to regret it. – W.G.P

***

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The National, Wednesday February 17th, 2016

 PAPUA New Guineans have allowed imported processed foods to dominate their diets with serious consequences, especially of obesity and increasing rates and fatalities from lifestyle diseases. Restaurants and food outlets have become a way of life for many people and especially those is the workforce.  The waist belts of increasing number of the country’s workforce, in both the public and private sector, are expanding without control due to bad eating habits and no exercise at all. 

***

AND what’s more interesting … many people know the harmful effects of eating too much processed food, abuse of alcohol and smoking but are still intent on living a dangerous lifestyle.  This is so dangerous that it puts a burden on the health system because lifestyle diseases, also known as Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), are now are burden to health systems. 

***

ACCORDING to a WHO fact sheet, NCDs (cardiovascular diseases, diabetics, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases are leading causes of death and disabilities in almost all countries. Worst affected are the low or middle income countries with cash-strapped health systems that are unable to cope with the deluge of cases. PNG is no exception. 

***

WATERBOARDING, a torture method that simulates drowning, has existed in various forms since the time of the Spanish Inquisition. Generally, water is poured over the face of an immobilized prisoner, inducing the gag reflex and mimicking sensations associated with drowning. The technique gained international attention in 2006, when reports surfaced charging the US with torturing detainees during the “War on Terror.”

***

HOW St Valentine became the patron saint of lovers remains a mystery, but one theory is that the Church used the day in an attempt to Christianise the old Roman Lupercalia, a pagan festival that entailed putting girls’ names in a box and letting the boys draw them out. The Church substituted saints’ names for girls’ names, but, by the 16th century, it was once again girls’ names that ended up in the box. Eventually, the custom of sending anonymous cards or messages to those one admired became the accepted way of celebrating St Valentine’s Day.

***

THE world’s oldest known wild bird just added a new chick to the family — her 40th one, experts say. The Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis), named Wisdom, is at least 65 years old but shows no signs of slowing down. Wildlife officials at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in Hawaii saw her lay an egg on Nov 28, 2015, and incubate it for several weeks. 

***

QUOTE of the day: Say goodbye to the oldies, but goodies, because the good old days weren’t always good and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems. – Billy Joel

***

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The National, Tuesday February 16th, 2016

 IT has been announced time and time again that public hospitals in PNG should not be charging hospital fees. The good health minister says because the government had introduced free health and education there is no need for hospital to charge fees. Maybe the government should look at ensuring all hospitals are equipped with MRI scan, CT scan, mammogram and the list goes on before introducing free health. 

***

OUR newsfeed was filled with Valentine Day messages last Sunday. Some took time to celebrate while others say every day is Valentine’s Day for them and their loved ones. For those back in the villages, it was just another day for gardening, marketing or just doing their own stuff, which is special in its own settings.

***

IN 1810, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe published his observations of colour. Most physicists dispute the validity of his work because of his reification of darkness and explanation of colour as the interplay between darkness and light. Goethe considered this work his magnum opus and it remains a remarkable catalogue of observations on colour perception and colour phenomena.

***

IN January 1898, the USS Maine was sent to protect American interests in Cuba, where an anti-Spanish insurrection was taking place. It sank weeks later, after an onboard explosion. Fuelled by the conspiracy theories of American yellow journalism, outrage over the deaths of 260 of the ship’s crew members helped push the nation toward the Spanish-American War. Several investigations into the sinking have since taken place, including one that was conducted in 1998.

***

JEREMY Bentham was a British moral philosopher and legal theorist. A precocious student, he graduated from Oxford at age 15. In his writings, he became the earliest expounder of utilitarianism – the theory that the rightness or wrongness of an action is determined by its usefulness in bringing about the greatest happiness for all those affected by it. His work inspired much reform legislation, especially regarding prisons.

***

A CARGO resupply mission to the International Space Station has been pushed back after mold was discovered in some of the bags used for packing supplies, NASA said.  The initial launch of Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft was scheduled for Thursday, March 10, but now has been pushed back to “no earlier than March 20,” according to a NASA launch schedule. Officials are investigating the cause of the mold. 

***

QUOTE of the day: A funeral is not death, any more than baptism is birth or marriage union. All three are the clumsy devices, coming now too late, now too early, by which Society would register the quick motions of man. – E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

***

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The National, Monday February 15th, 2016

 WE spotted a team from the National Capital District Commission yesterday draining access water building up on road sides because of blocked drains at Gordons. This exercise should be done right across the city especially in areas affected by blocked drains.

***

TIME also for the pothole brigade to come out, especially at the Waigani Tokarara junction traffic lights!

***

THIS year will see the Police Commissioner will focus on discipline and command and control within the Constabulary. He has declared 2016 as the year of discipline. The commissioner and his team have adopted zero tolerance level on ill-discipline, police brutality and police corruption. I will strictly enforcing the discipline standards as set in the police force Act.

***

DEINOCOCCUS radiodurans has been listed as the world’s toughest bacterium in The Guinness Book of World Records because of its extraordinary resistance to extreme conditions. It is the most radio resistant organism known to science and is able to rapidly repair damage to its genome. Many question how such a resilient bacterium could evolve on Earth, and some have suggested that the organism is actually of Martian origin.

***

KNOWN as “the Edison Effect,” thermionic emission is the emission of electrons or ions by substances that are highly heated. The charged particles that are emitted are called thermions, and their number rapidly increases with the temperature of the substance. If the heated substance that emits thermions carries a charge, the thermions will carry the same charge. 

***

SIR Joseph Banks was a British naturalist, botanist, and patron of the sciences. After inheriting a large fortune in his early 20s, he began traveling extensively, collecting plant and natural history specimens. He outfitted and accompanied James Cook’s voyage around the world, during which time he collected many biological specimens that had never before been classified. His herbarium, one of the most important in existence, and library are now at the British Museum.

***

EVERY year, Alexandria, Virginia, hosts an array of activities devoted to George Washington, including the nation’s largest parade honouring the father of the country. The first parade to honour him was in 1798, when he came from his Mt Vernon home to review the troops in front of Gadsby’s Tavern. The present-day festivities get off to an elegant start over the weekend with a banquet followed by the George Washington Birthnight Ball in Gadsby’s Tavern, a duplication of the birthday-eve parties held in Washington’s lifetime. On Monday is the big parade. 

***

QUOTE Life wouldn’t be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present. – W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

***

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The National, Friday February 12th, 2016

 WHILE the number of vehicles on the Port Moresby road is increasing, the number of drivers who fail to follow simple traffic rules also increases. The capital city is growing, population is growing and economic is growing. People are coming to the city and we hope the city authority comes up with a transport plan soon to address the issue of congested city roads.

***

ALSO it is time to revisit the criteria on issuing of licenses so those ready to get one must be properly educated about the traffic rules. 

***

GOING by an advertisement back in 2004 by a popular hotel, at that time the weekend package for a standard room was at K258.50 per night and a quick check at their website yesterday showed a rate of K751 per night for a standard room. We are paying just about three times what we paid in 2004.

***

INTERESTING to read about the Kokoda Challenge in Toowoomba next month! The challenge runs in partnership with Toowoomba South Rotary Club, all proceeds from this exiting endurance event will go directly to the Toowoomba branch of the Kokoda Challenge Youth Program. The Kokoda Challenge Youth ProgramME is a 12-month experiential program aimed at 15-17 year olds. Participants undertake an initial 20 weeks of training and team building activities that develop physical fitness and prepare them for the challenge of a lifetime – walking Papua New Guinea’s Kokoda Track. 

***

SCIENTISTS say sport fishing for the monster fish, Niugini black bass, could benefit the people of the South Pacific nation—but only if biologists learn more about the species first.  It could soon provide new livelihoods for the impoverished communities of PNG, as well as a way to protect the South Pacific island’s rainforests from the devastating effects of logging, mining, and industrial agriculture.

***

THESE 45- to 65-pound behemoths are beloved by a small but dedicated group of anglers who each shell out thousands of dollars to visit Papua New Guinea. They seek out the Niugini black bass because the fish is notoriously challenging to catch and land owing to its strength and the complexity of its river habitats.

***

BRITISH scientists have been given the green light to genetically modify human embryos, for the first time in the nation’s history. The landmark decision means scientists will now be allowed to alter the DNA of embryos, for research purposes only. It remains illegal for these genetically altered embryos to be implanted in a woman. It is hoped the experiments will improve our understanding of the earliest stages of embryo development.

***

QUOTE of the day: Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. – Mother Teresa

***

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The National, Thursday February 11th, 2016

 THESE marsupials are generally found in the rainforests and mountainous regions of New Guinea and Queensland. They are related to the kangaroos endemic to Australia, with whom they share many similar features, including their large hind legs and long, narrow feet. In contrast to the kangaroo, however, these macropods live in trees; have the ability to move their hind legs independently of one another, and leap great distances from tree to tree.

***

WE hope this never happens in our country. Increased air pollution around the world is giving rise to a bizarre new industry known as air farming, where bottled fresh air is sold to consumers at a premium.

***

IT may sound like the next big gimmick, but the idea of buying crisp, country air in a jar has proven very popular in heavily-polluted cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

***

CARMEN Miranda was a Brazilian singer and actress who, in the 1930s, was the most popular recording artist in Brazil, where she appeared in five films. Recruited by a Broadway producer, she made her US film debut in Down Argentine Way. Typecast as the “Brazilian Bombshell” and given such caricatural roles as “The Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat” in The Gang’s All Here, she became the highest-paid female performer in the US during World War II.

***

NOW this is interesting …. the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has announced it will trial new disciplinary measures, including handing umpires the power to send recalcitrant players from the field in a yellow/red card system similar to that of football or rugby. Using a grading of offences from Level 1 to Level 4, the types of actions which might see a player red-carded include threatening an umpire or any physical act of violence on the field.

***

ASH Wednesday, which was yesterday, is the first day of Lent in the West. Pope Gregory I is credited with having introduced the ceremony that gives this day its name. When public penitents came to the church for forgiveness, the priest would take some ash (made by burning the palms used on Palm Sunday of the previous year) and mark their foreheads with the sign of the cross as a reminder that they were but ashes and dust. 

***

Eventually, the practice was extended to include all who wished to receive ashes. In the East, ashes are not used, and Lent begins on the Monday before Ash Wednesday.

***

QUOTE of the day: It is a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it. – W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

***

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The National, Wednesday February 10th, 2016

 WE can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. Here is something interesting.  Before his death at 92, Ronald Read was known around his hometown of Brattleboro, Vermont, as a private, frugal man who worked as a janitor and gas station attendant and could often be found collecting fallen branches for his wood stove. His daily habit of reading The Wall Street Journal seemed inconsistent with his lifestyle only until last week, when his local hospital and library received their largest bequests ever—donations from Read totalling $6 million (about K15 million). It turns out Read was a shrewd investor who amassed an $8 million (about K20 million) fortune with his savvy stock picks.

***

BORN in the year of the dragon, Bruce Lee grew to become one of the most influential martial artists of the 20th century. His action films sparked the first major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West. Though Lee spent countless hours training and improving his physique, he was also a philosopher and avid reader. He collapsed while working on his final film Enter the Dragon and died a short time later.

***

IN 1891, gold was discovered on a cattle ranch in Cripple Creek, Colorado, creating one of the richest camps of a major gold-producing area. Two years later, the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) was established by the merger of several local miners’ unions in the Rocky Mountain states. In 1894, the WFM led a five-month strike in Cripple Creek, resulting in a victory for the miners.

***

WHEN Charles Dickens was a boy, his father was placed in debtors’ prison. As a result, he was withdrawn from school and forced to work in a factory—an experience that deeply influenced his future writings. Now regarded as one of the world’s most popular, prolific, and skilled novelists, Dickens began his literary career as a reporter, developing an encyclopedic knowledge of London and the ability to vividly describe people and everyday life.

***

PATTERNED after the traditional event in Finland that celebrates Shrove Tuesday before the beginning of Lent, the Finnish Sliding Festival, or Laskiainen, has been held in White, Minnesota, every winter for more than 50 years. It features two large ice slides, which are constructed at the edge of Loon Lake. People bring their sleds or toboggans for an exciting ride down the slide onto the frozen lake. Other activities at the weekend event include log-sawing contests, Finnish music and dance performances, and traditional Finnish foods, such as oven pancakes and pea soup.

***

QUOTE of the day: Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity. – Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

***

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The National, Tuesday February 9th, 2016

 THE Panthers sure were heroes on Saturday entertaining the crazy rugby league fans with their performance and the high fives and shake hands while the match was still on. Let’s cross our fingers for some NRL games up in Port Moresby this year.

***

THE issue of traffic lights has been written about so many times but it seems drivers in the country especially in Port Moresby are very ignorant to abide.  Traffic lights, which may also be known as stoplights, traffic lamps, traffic signals and signal lights, are signalling devices positioned at road intersections, pedestrian crossings and other locations to control competing flows of traffic. 

***

TRAFFIC lights alternate the right of way of road users by displaying lights of a standard colour (red, yellow/amber, and green), using a universal colour code (and a precise sequence to enable comprehension by those who are colour blind).

***

In the typical sequence of coloured lights: Illumination of the green light allows traffic to proceed in the direction denoted; Illumination of the orange/yellow light denoting, if safe to do so, prepare to stop short of the intersection, and Illumination of the red signal prohibits any traffic from proceeding.

***

GUNTHER von Hagens’s Body Worlds, a traveling exhibition of preserved human bodies and body parts, has been the subject of controversy since it opened in Tokyo in 1995. Developers claim that the exhibit uses only specimens from willing donors and is intended to educate laymen about the human body, but some see the project as denigrating the deceased, and religious groups have voiced objections to the public exhibition of human corpses.

***

THOUGH it may sound unappetising, fish oil is one of the most popular dietary supplements on the market. Derived from the tissues of oily fish – like salmon, herring, and trout – fish oil is hailed for its omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s appear to prevent the formation of blood clots and protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease. They are believed to reduce the risk of cancer and coronary heart disease. Curiously, fish do not actually produce omega-3s.

***

WITH over a billion active users, Facebook is the most popular social networking site on the Web. Founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 as a way to facilitate online communication between Harvard University students, the platform was a great success and was soon opened up to students at other colleges, then to high school students, and eventually to anyone in the world over the age of 13 with access to the Internet.

***

QUOTE of the day: The two most abundant things in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. – Harlan Ellison

***

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The National, Monday February 8th, 2016

 WE hope the National Soccer League should not schedule any more matches in Madang because of spectator behaviour. If any Madang teams in future want home games, the local association must work hard to control its supporters, otherwise just forget it.

***

WHILE in Port Moresby, it has been two weekends without the FIFA national anthem and sound system. Teams advancing into the finals should demand for neutral referees for their respective matches.

***

A SMALL new study suggests that wearing deodorant or antiperspirant can predict what kinds of bugs colonise your armpits. As a scientist fascinated bymicrobes, Julie Horvath wants to know as much as possible about what’s living on her skin. So when she and a few colleagues swabbed their armpits and bellybuttons and let the bacteria incubate for a couple days, she was alarmed at what she saw.

***

WHEN DNA tests showed that Lydia Fairchild was not biologically related to her children, she was prosecuted for fraud and faced the possibility of having them removed from her custody. Throughout her trial, Fairchild maintained that she had conceived and given birth to all three children. Further testing led to shocking results: Fairchild had two sets of DNA, one carried in her skin and the other in her internal organs. She was, indeed, her children’s mother.

***

THE Munich air disaster occurred on 6 February 1958, when British European Airways Flight Airways 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Riem Airport in Munich, WestGermany. On board the plane was the Manchester United football team, nicknamed the “Busby Babes”, along with a number of supporters and journalists. 

***

EVA Braun, a saleswoman in the shop of Adolf Hitler’s photographer, became Hitler’s mistress in the 1930s. Although she lived in homes provided by Hitler throughout their courtship—first in a house in Munich and later in his Berchtesgaden chalet—he never allowed her to be seen in public with him. In 1945, with the Allies drawing ever closer, she joined him in Berlin against his orders. In recognition of her loyalty, he married her in a civil ceremony in their bunker. 

***

HOMSTROM is a Swiss festival celebrating the end of winter. In many ways, it is reminiscent of the Feb 1 mid-winter festival observed by the ancient Celts, known as Imbolc. One tradition associated with the day is the burning of a straw man who symbolizes Old Man Winter. It is occasionally observed by Swiss-American communities in February. 

***

QUOTE of the day: There’s no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do. – Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

***

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The National, Friday February 5th, 2016

YESTERDAY was World Cancer Day. The day is marked to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008. The primary goal of the World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer by 2020. 

***

STATISTICS show that cancer has been rated fifth among the public health problems in the country. And it is on the rise compared to some 40 years ago when cancer was sitting below the list of diseases. Cancer has increased because health status has significantly improved and had a great impact of reducing infectious disease such as malaria, pneumonia and general infections.

***

IT was a day of mixed feeling for parents whose children for the first time started their education journey. Tears could be seen in mother’s eyes as their little ones protested against being left with their teachers. It is heart breaking for a mother on the first day but once the young ones settle in, it will be all smiles. 

***

MOST houses yesterday witnessed a new attitude with several of their school kids up and early before 7am. Now, the next thing is to maintain that spirit right through to December when school ends. Only time will tell.

***

CHILDREN when taught appropriate skills will demonstrate the creative power of the mind to improvise. As this phrase by the legendary Greek king – Alexander the Great stated, “I am indebted to my parents for living BUT to my teacher for living well.” 

***

WHAT Alexander is saying is that, everyone owes their lives to their parents, for bringing them into this world, looking after them when they were infants, their first steps, in times of sickness, health and nurturing and growth. 

***

WE still stand by the suggestion made a year ago for city authority’s to consider closing off the turn-off along Waigani Drive in front of Theodist. There will be inconveniences caused by these but at the same time, that should help with the queue.

***

ANOTHER point to consider is to put cement blocks stopping vehicles from using the lane leading towards Ahuia Street to go straight there instead of attempting to steal space back onto Waigani Drive.

***

QUOTE of the day: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. – E.E. Cummings

***

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The National, Thursday February 4th, 2016

 THIS definitely is not fair for parents who have children attending private schools that their schools have not received any funding under the Government’s ‘Free Education’ policy. Several of these parents are among some of the highest tax payers in the country and why should they also not benefit from this policy. Maybe, they should not be taxed.

***

BETEL nut brings out an ugly sight when people sell and chew it without control. Maybe the end users, chewers, should be fined for consuming it in public. Just like alcohol, where they say consumption in public is prohibited, the same should be said for betel nut.

***

WONDER what has happened to the specific areas for selling and for chewing betel nut so one can only chew in those designated areas. 

***

GIVEN the acute water problem in Port Moresby, could Eda Ranu quickly check out a vandalised water main in front of Section 81, Allotment 08, Siai Street, Korobosea. Unaccounted litres of water are being drained out daily over the past two weeks. 

***

ACCORDING to legend, Ireland’s mythical hunter-warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill was imbued with universal wisdom after inadvertently eating the Salmon of Knowledge. This boundless knowledge ultimately led Fionn to become leader of the Fianna, the famed heroes of Irish myth. Many geographical features in Ireland are attributed to the legendary giant, including the basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway.

***

SELKIRK was an unruly Scottish sailor who quarrelled with his captain and asked to be put ashore on an island in the Pacific. Tired of Selkirk’s trouble-making, the captain granted him his wish. Selkirk promptly regretted his decision and chased after the boat, but to no avail. He survived on the desert island by eating shellfish and goats and domesticated feral cats to keep himself safe from rats.

***

THE medieval mathematicians of Oxford, toiling in torchlight in a land ravaged by plague, managed to invent a simple form of calculus that could be used to track the motion of heavenly bodies. But now a scholar studying ancient clay tablets suggests that the Babylonians got there first, and by at least 1400 years. The astronomers of Babylonia, scratching tiny marks in soft clay, used surprisingly sophisticated geometry to calculate the orbit of what they called the White Star – the planet Jupiter.

***

QUOTE of the day: There are three ingredients in the good life: learning, earning and yearning. – Christopher Morley

***

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The National, Wednesday February 3rd, 2016

 WONDER how PNG officials will go about with measures to prepare PNG to tackle the Zika virus since it has been declared as a global public health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Obviously the guidelines should be sourced from WHO that will coordinate a more effective response to the disease. WHO has indicated the possibility of sending aid to countries battling with the outbreak. 

***

FROM our reading, keeping the virus under control requires a carefully planned and systematic approach. While the disease leads to devastating effects in childbirth, it is important to note that the disease is known to cause few symptoms in the general population.

***

DID you know that in the United States, February is National Snack Food month? In 1989 a need was seen to increase the sales of snack food in the usually slow month of February, and so National Snack Food month was born.

***

BUT is snacking good for us? Eating and mealtimes are (inherently) the result of physiological needs. It takes about four hours after eating for the glucose levels in our brains to dwindle, at which point 

the brain starts to use glycogen, which is stored in body tissues and reprocessed by the liver. That’s when our appetite kicks in, telling us to start eating again.

***

ONE of the most gifted musicians of the 19th century; Franz Schubert was an Austrian composer who wrote his first of nine symphonies in 1813 at the age of 16. He wrote more than 600 songs, many to the lyrics of German poets, and also composed music for the stage, overtures, choral music, masses, and piano music. He died at 31, having produced more masterpieces by that age than almost any other composer in history.

***

HAM (July 1956 – January 19, 1983); also known as Ham the Chimp and Ham the Astrochimp, was a chimpanzee who was the first Hominidae launched into outer space, on 31 January 1961. The launch was part of the American space programme. Ham’s name is an acronym for the lab that prepared him for his historic mission – the Holloman Aerospace Medical Center, located at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

***

QUOTE of the day: Nothing is more beautiful than the love that has weathered the storms of life. The love of the young for the young, that is the beginning of life. But the love of the old for the old, that is the beginning of things longer. – Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

***

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The National, Tuesday February 2nd, 2016

 AND it was back to school yesterday for the rest of the holidaying children and back to parents dealing with the crazy Port Moresby traffic during peak hours. 

***

APPEAL to City Hall … could you send out the pothole brigade to patch up the potholes popping up on the city roads. From experience, it is usually left and in some areas, it turns out to be a death trap for small cars could sink into the deep potholes. Surely at the end of every heavy down pour one would think it would be a natural to do a quick check of the city’s roads. 

***

MAYBE the road safety team and traffic police need to reinforce the law about keeping roundabouts clear at all times. Roundabouts are designed to make intersections safer and more efficient for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists and not for them to strain their necks looking through thick shrubs or other vehicles parked on it to see if it’s clear for them to go.

***

Strictly defined, the phrase “illuminated manuscript” refers only to texts decorated with gold or silver. Now, however, the term is commonly used to describe any decorated or illustrated manuscript from the Western or Islamic traditions. The majority of surviving manuscripts date back to the Middle Ages, during which period they were often produced in monasteries. Illumination was a complex and costly process.

***

IN 1624, the Dutch founded forts in southern Taiwan. Two years later, the Spanish occupied the northern part of the island. The Dutch expelled the Spanish in 1641 and assumed control of the entire island but were, in turn, forced to abandon it when Koxinga, a general of the Ming dynasty of China, successfully laid siege to the main Dutch settlement, Fort Zeelandia, and took the island in 1662, establishing an independent kingdom.

***

HEAR, hear and hear …. Most of your Facebook friends don’t care about you and probably wouldn’t even sympathise with your problems, according to a new study. Many people have hundreds of Facebook friends. But people can only really depend on four of them, on average, according to new research.

***

ROBIN Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University, undertook a study to find out the connection between whether people have lots of Facebook friends and real friends. He found that there was very little correlation between having friends on social networks and actually being able to depend on them, or even talking to them regularly.

***

QUOTE of the day: We thought, because we had power, we had wisdom. – Stephen Vincent Benet

***

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The National, Monday February 1st, 2016

 THIS is interesting….some octopuses intimidate their neighbours by turning black, standing tall and looming over them threateningly, like an eight-armed Dracula. That’s according to a study published Thursday that helps show that octopuses aren’t loners, contrary to what scientists long thought; some of the invertebrates have an exciting social life. The study, in the journal Current Biology, focuses on one species, known as Octopus tetricus – the gloomy octopus – which gathers to munch on tasty scallops in the shallows of Jervis Bay, Australia.

***

JUNE Williams was only four years old when her father bought 7 acres of land to build a zoo without bars or cages. Growing up she remembers how creative her father was in trying to help wild animals feel free in confinement. Today, Chester Zoo is one of England’s most popular wildlife attractions. Home to 11,000 animals on 110 acres of land, the zoo reflects her father’s concern for animal welfare, education, and conservation.

***

WHILE doing research into the nature of haemorrhagic shock, Alfred Blalock found that surgical shock results primarily from blood loss. His recommendation that blood plasma and whole blood products be administered to those suffering from shock saved many lives during WWII. 

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HIS later work on “blue baby syndrome,” formally known as Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), led to the development of the Blalock-Taussig shunt, a pioneering procedure in the field of paediatric cardiology.

***

IN 1581, several years after the seven northern Netherlands provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland, Overijssel, Friesland, and Groningen formed the Union of Utrecht, they declared independence from Spain. Decades of conflict followed. When the Peace of Westphalia ending the Thirty Years’ War was reached in 1648, it included the Peace of Münster, a treaty between Spain and the United Netherlands that ended the Dutch Revolt. 

***

ANTON Chekhov was a Russian short-story writer, dramatist, and physician who earned enduring international acclaim for his stories and plays. His early works were broad humorous sketches and tales 

published under a pseudonym, written to support himself and his family while he studied for his medical degree in Moscow. His first full-length play, Ivanov, was produced while he was practicing as a doctor. 

***

QUOTE of the day: Rising genius always shoots out its rays from among the clouds, but these will gradually roll away and disappear as it ascends to its steady luster. – Washington Irving (1783-1859)

***

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The National, Friday January 29th, 2016

 STILL a lot of confusion with project fees!!! 

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LAST year the Education department tells all heads of schools and institutions and respective boards that all registered education schools and institutions operating within the National Education System are not to charge or collect any form of project fees from students attending school in 2015.

***

FOR this year, the minister has announced that all public schools can charge project fees but it must be the correct amount with the maximum set for elementary is K50; primary K100; high schools and vocational K200 and secondary K250.

***

AND the approved fees can be seen as additional fees for special purposes to cater for the late availability of tuition fees from the Government. Obviously, this means TFF is not likely to hit the school accounts when classes resume on Monday. Wonder if the fees are supposed to be reimbursed when the Government component is received.

***

WE say the Human Rights Watch report stating that Papua New Guinea is one of the world’s most dangerous places to be a woman, with domestic violence widespread and perpetrators is overly exaggerated. No statistics or examples were given to back claims that police were “very rarely prepared” to pursue criminal investigations in cases of domestic violence, even when they involved attempted murder or repeated rape. They even have a line to say an estimated 70 percent of women in PNG experience rape or assault in their lifetime. 

***

ONE of Japan’s legendary Second World War Zero fighter planes has made a rare flight over the country. The restored Zero made a brief flight to and from a naval base in the south, flown by decorated former US Air Force pilot Skip Holm. Zero fighters were considered one of the most capable wartime fighter planes, rivalling the Spitfire. The plane, found decaying in Papua New Guinea in the 1970s, was owned by an American until Japanese businessman Masahiro Ishizuka purchased it and brought it to Japan in September.

***

SIR Francis Bacon was a British statesman and philosopher widely regarded as the father of modern scientific method. His elaborate classification of the sciences inspired the 18th-century French Encyclopedists, and his empiricism inspired 19th-century British philosophers of science. Bacon began his public career as a Member of Parliament, later serving as attorney general and Lord Chancellor.

***

QUOTE of the day: Tradition is a guide and not a jailer. – W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

***

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The National, Thursday January 28th, 2016

 AROUND this time last year, then Police Commissioner Jeffrey Vaki and we believe it still stands that high-powered weapons should only be used by station commanders and shift supervisors in the ranks of inspectors, sergeants and senior constables. They are allowed to carry M16 rifles and A2 pistols.  Those in the lower ranks were only allowed to carry gas guns.  Police reservists are not supposed to be carrying any weapons at all.

*** 

AND wonder what become of the idea of police officers being sent for refresher courses at the Bomana training college on the rules of engagement and police standing orders are well and truly overdue. And we wonder what the police hierarchy had done to correct the issue on who is supposed to be carrying high-powered weapons. 

***

The economy of Dubai is increasingly dependent on tourism to generate revenue and bring foreign dollars into the emirate, and the three Palm Islands were commissioned to do just that. Shaped like palm trees, these artificial islands are the largest in the world and house luxury hotels, exclusive residential beachside villas and apartments, shopping malls, restaurants, sports facilities, and health spas.

***

THE League of Nations was an organization for international cooperation, peace, and security established by the Allied Powers at the end of WWI. A league covenant providing for an assembly, a council, and a secretariat was formulated at the Paris Peace Conference and contained in the Treaty of Versailles. Headquartered at Geneva, the League was weakened by the failure of the US, which had not ratified the Treaty of Versailles, to join the confederation.

***

WILLIAM Somerset Maugham was an English novelist, playwright, and short-story writer who abandoned a career in medicine when his first novel had some success. He wrote several popular plays and a total of eight novels before writing his breakthrough masterpiece, the partly autobiographical Of Human Bondage (1915).

***

SAUL of Tarsus, a highly educated, devout Jew, was converted to Christianity on the road to Damascus not long after the death of Jesus Christ. Later, he was known as Paul and became the most influential leader in the history of the church. At St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City, the path through the graveyard is closed for 48 hours, beginning on the eve of the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. At one time, the weather on this day was linked to predictions about the coming year. Fair weather on St. Paul’s Day was said to presage a prosperous year; snow or rain an unproductive one.

***

QUOTE of the day: Either life entails courage, or it ceases to be life. – E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

***

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The National, Wednesday January 27th, 2016

 THE news about various brutalities especially involving our police officers brought us to do some reading about the Rules of Engagement (ROE). The ROE are rules or directives to military forces (including individuals) that define the circumstances, conditions, degree, and manner in which force, or actions which might be construed as provocative, may be applied. They provide authorisation for and/or limit on, among other things, the use of force and the employment of certain specific capabilities. 

***

BLAME the gremlins. A headline on Page 4 yesterday mentioned that a “spermarket” has welcomed the lifting of the import ban. It should have been “supermarket”. There is no such thing as a sperm-market here.

***

IN some nations, ROE have the status of guidance to military forces, while in other nations, ROE are lawful commands. Rules of Engagement do not normally dictate how a result is to be achieved but will indicate what measures may be unacceptable. 

***

HERE is the interesting one … while ROE are used in both domestic and international operations by most militaries, in the United States; ROE are not used for domestic operations. Instead, use of force by US forces in such situations is governed by Rules for the Use of Force (RUF).

***

AN abbreviated description of the Rules of Engagement may be issued to all personnel. Commonly referred to as an “ROE Card”, this document provides the soldier with a summary of the ROE regulating the use of force for a particular mission. 

***

SWITZERLAND’S unofficial national flower, Edelweiss, is a perennial alpine plant belonging to the daisy family. The white, woolly, star-shaped bloom grows in rocky limestone areas and high altitudes and is often found in the mountains of Europe and Asia. It is considered a symbol of purity by the Swiss and has been used in traditional folk medicine to fight disease.

***

THIS holiday is an important national festival in India, celebrating the day in 1950 when India’s ties with Britain were severed and the country became a fully independent republic. The holiday is marked with parades and much celebration in all the state capitals, but the festivities in Delhi are especially grand. There is a mammoth parade with military units, floats from each state, dancers and musicians, and fly-overs. Independence Day on Aug 15 is also a national holiday, but it is observed chiefly with speech-making and none of the grandeur of Republic Day.

***

QUOTE of the day: There is in every true woman’s heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity. – Washington Irving (1783-1859)

***

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The National, Tuesday January 26th, 2016

 SOMEONE has to be held accountable for the mishap with our PNG women’s soccer team not flying off to New Zealand for the second leg of the OFC Olympic Qualifiers today. It’s not like the decision was made just last month, PNG Football Association knew about the return leg after the Pacific Games.

***

WE share with the players their disappointment and call for a full explanation from whoever is responsible. Shame, shame and shame!

***

NOW what sort of message are we portraying to the playing football nations who will be coming to Port Moresby in November for the Under 21 World Championships?! 

***

PRIVATE Mary Read, an Englishwoman who was born in the late 17th century, spent much of her life disguised as a man and working in industries generally reserved for men. She was on a ship bound for the West Indies when it was captured by pirate captain Calico Jack Rackham. Read joined his crew and became one of the most notorious female pirates of the time.

***

SHOICHI Yokoi was a Japanese soldier who went into hiding in the jungles of Guam in 1944 as Allied forces took the island; 28 years later, he was still there. He had hidden in an underground cave, fearing to come out of hiding even after finding leaflets declaring that WWII had ended. In 1972, he was found by hunters and returned to Japan.

***

THE nephew of Roman emperor Trajan, Hadrian became emperor when he was adopted and named successor just before Trajan’s death, after years of intrigue. After executing his senatorial opponents and abandoning many of Trajan’s conquests, he began to travel widely, and many of his accomplishments were related to his visits abroad, including the beginning of construction of Hadrian’s Wall.

***

TRADITION calls for Japanese Buddhists to honor Kshitigarba Jizo on the 24th day of each month with a ritual known as Jizo Ennichi. Kshitigarba Jizo is a Bodhisattva, or “Buddha-to-be.” Among Japanese Buddhists, he is known for helping children, women in labor, and the wicked. He is also believed to participate in ushering in the souls of the faithful when they die. 

***

HIS statue is most often found outside temples, where he can guide both the dead and the living. Shrines in his honor are set up along roadsides, since he protects travelers as well.

***

QUOTE of the day: Commend a fool for his wit, or a rogue for his honesty and he will receive you into his favor. – Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

***

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The National, Monday January 25th, 2016

 Morobe stay in top-two coHOW about this … A Singapore man recently racked up a record $15,000 (K28,778.05) in fines, and five hours of community service, after surveillance cameras caught him throwing 34 cigarette butts out of his apartment window over a four-day period. Such drastic measures are not uncommon in Singapore, which is known for its fastidiousness—caning is a typical punishment for vandalism, and the import of chewing gum is banned altogether, to avoid gun king up city streets. Singapore’s National Environment Agency claims to have doled out 206 punishments in 2014 to high-rise litterers captured on some 600 surveillance cameras.

***

WAITING now for the day this become a reality in Papua New Guinea.

***

PRIME numbers are divisible only by themselves and by the number one, and as you might imagine, they become more mind boggling as numbers get larger. After all, there are infinite numbers to check for prime status. But now there’s a new record-breaking prime number with more than 22 million digits, which is 5 million longer than the previous record breaker. A text file containing the entire number takes up 21.7 MB of space.

***

THE number 274,207,281-1 was “discovered” by Curtis Cooper, a professor at the University of Central Missouri. But Cooper didn’t detect the number using his academic prowess – he just happens to have some of the university’s computers hooked up to the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS). GIMPS allows folks all over the world to download software that searches for prime numbers using idle processing power.

***

RED Square, located in Moscow, is one of the most famous city squares in Russia, with a rich history that is reflected in many works of art. After the square was cleared of buildings in 1493, it became Moscow’s primary marketplace as well as the site for various ceremonies, proclamations, and coronations. During the Soviet era, Red Square maintained its significance and was the site of the 1945 victory parade held after the defeat of Nazi Germany.

***

EYAK is an extinct language that was spoken in Alaska, near the mouth of the Copper River. Marie Smith Jones, the language’s last native speaker, as well as the last full-blooded Eyak, died in 2008 at the age of 89. Before her death, she worked with experts to compile a dictionary that would allow future generations to revive the language. With no native speakers left in the world, Eyak became a symbol in the effort against language extinction.

***

QUOTE of the day: Hitch your wagon to a star. – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

***

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The National, Friday January 22nd, 2016

 THE tourist rape saga is turning out to be a movie script and it sure is not good for the country especially when graphic photos that don’t even represent PNG is popping up with that so-called article.

***

THE amount of fish taken from the world’s oceans over the last 60 years has been underestimated by more than 50 per cent, according to a new study. Researchers say that official estimates are missing crucial data on small scale fisheries, illegal fishing and discarded by-catch. 

***

THE UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is the body that collates global statistics on fishing from countries all over the world. According to their official figures, the amount of fish caught has increased steadily since 1950 and peaked at 86 million tonnes in 1996 before declining slightly to around 77 million tonnes in 2010.

***

WE think official figures under-report the true scale of fishing. Researcher argue that the figures submitted to the FAO are mainly from large scale “industrial” fishing activities and do not include small scale commercial fisheries, subsistence fisheries as well as the discarded by-catch and estimates for illegal fishing.

***

THE Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex built during the Middle Ages by the Moorish monarchs of Granada. It is the finest example of the once flourishing Moorish civilisation’s architecture. Its halls and chambers surround a series of open courts, and the interior is adorned with magnificent examples of honeycomb and stalactite vaulting. Detailed geometric designs in marble, alabaster, and carved plaster decorate the interior.

***

OFTEN remembered as a cigar-puffing nightclub entertainer who continued performing into his late 90s, Burns began his career by forming a comedy team in 1925 with Gracie Allen, whom he married a year later. They performed on radio and television, usually with Allen playing a scatterbrained wife and Burns in the role of an infinitely patient husband.

***

THE eve of St Agnes’s Day has long been associated with superstitions about how young girls might discover the identity of their future husbands. According to one such belief, a girl who went to bed without any supper on this night would dream of the man she was to marry. John Keats used this legend as the basis for his well-known poem, “The Eve of St Agnes,” in which a maiden dreams of her lover and wakes to find him at her bedside. St Agnes was martyred because she had consecrated herself to Christ and refused to marry. She was later named the patron saint of young virgins.

***

QUOTE of the day: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift … that’s why they call it present. – Master Oogway

***

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The National, Thursday January 21st, 2016

 CHAMBER CEO has agreed to a debate with Agriculture Minister on TV but not at Unagi Oval. But debate almost eventuated earlier than that. Appears yesterday Minister was at the Waterfront Coffee shop an hour earlier than the Chamber boss arrived for lunch. That would have made an interesting encounter. Danish pastries at 20 paces? 

***

AND the countdown to stress morning for some working mothers has started with the 2015 academic year set to start on Feb 1 for at least the next 10 weeks until the first term school holiday. We are sure the wake up on the first day will not be a hassle because of the excitement of meeting the new class teacher and friends. 

***

SOMETHING needs to be done about the quality of referring at the Telikom National Soccer League. There have been a lot of inconsistent calls from the match official’s task to control the games. We hope concerns raised or frustrations displayed at the fields are enough for the soccer bosses to work on improving that.

***

IT would be nice to have an independent body monitor the performance of match referees and assistants with video reviews of each game. Based on this they will decide on who is fit to take games and who needs more assessment. In this way we will be able to grade our referees and it will help them improve and want to do better. Something needs to be done…..

***

WHILE a lot of questions remain unanswered on the claims by the two tourists, one thing remains and that is Papua New Guineans are not cannibals and primates. 

***

TIBETAN-BORN Sherpa Nawang Gombu and American Jim Whittaker reached the top of Mount Everest on May 1, 1963. As they approached the peak, each considered the honor of being the first of the two to step to the summit. Whittaker motioned for Gombu to move ahead, but Gombu declined with a smile, saying, “You first, Big Jim!” Finally, they decided to step to the summit at the same time.

***

EDWARD VIII became king of Great Britain and Ireland upon the death of his father, George V, in 1936. He enjoyed immense popularity until the announcement of his intention to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson, an American in the midst of divorcing her second husband. The government opposed the marriage, and the two sides clashed until Edward executed a deed of abdication, ending a 325-day reign as the first English monarch to relinquish his throne voluntarily.

***

QUOTE of the day: If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. – Mark Twain (1835-1910)

***

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The National, Wednesday January 20th, 2016

 THE betel nut trade is very much thriving in the nation’s capital despite effort of city hall to rid it off the streets. Nuts are being smuggled into the city and sold openly. Is the ban still and who is enforcing it?

***

SCARY to note that two-thirds of US children aged two to 11 years old drink at least one sugary drink a day, a habit that is linked to the risk of weight gain and obesity in adulthood, as well as cavities.  Part of the problem is that even when parents understand that sodas might be unhealthy, they still don’t grasp that many sports drinks, juices and teas can also contain lots of added sugars, Roberto and colleagues note in the journal Pediatrics. 

***

STAINLESS steel, which was developed in England in 1913, has a high tensile strength and resists abrasion, corrosion, and rust because of its high chromium content. Over 150 grades of this iron-carbon alloy now exist, and it is widely used to make cookware, cutlery, hardware, surgical instruments, watches, appliances, building materials, and industrial equipment. It is also used as a structural alloy in automotive and aerospace assembly.

***

STEN Sture was a Swedish statesman and regent of Sweden. When he refused to recognize Christian II of Denmark as king of Sweden, Christian sent a force to aid Sture’s rival, Archbishop Gustaf Trolle, whom Sture had deposed and who was besieged in his castle. 

***

Sture defeated the Danish army and imprisoned Trolle. Warfare continued, and Sture was killed in battle, but not before he paved the way for Swedish independence, which was attained under Gustavus I.

***

ON Jan 19, members of the Russian Orthodox Church ritually bathe in a river or lake. The day marks the Baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan, an event called the Epiphany, and Orthodox Catholics believe that bathing outside on that day washes away sin. As believers cut holes in the ice with chainsaws and plunge into the frigid water, priests chant prayers to bless the water. 

***

ALTARS and crosses made of ice and snow are sometimes constructed near the bathing site. Authorities advise against the practice, especially in the freezing temperatures of a Russian winter.

***

QUOTE of the day: The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal – every other affliction to forget; but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open – this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude.  – Washington Irving (1783-1859)

***

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The National, Tuesday January 19th, 2016

 WHAT has become of the proposed Central market in Boroko? Who is supposed to see it through and what is the hold up? 

***

INTERESTING to note that lifestyle diseases have increased since the 1970s and a lot of young people are dying. It’s a sad state. What the country is experiencing with lifestyle diseases at present was only the tip of the iceberg and further down the years to come, the situation would worsen if people do not look after their health. 

***

HOW much sugar is too much? There are many conflicting views on sugar. For some, it is the ‘evil ingredient’ in many foods that they seek to avoid – think breakfast cereals, soft drinks and sweet biscuits. For others, it is a treat to satisfy that ‘sweet tooth’. We find sweet things hard to resist so we regard it as a craving and a weakness. 

***

AN explorer, navigator, and map maker, Captain James Cook sailed the Pacific Ocean between 1768 and 1779 and, with the help of new timekeeping instruments, drew the first accurate navigational maps of the area. He became the one of the first people to cross the Antarctic Circle as well as the first European to land on the Hawaiian Islands, where he may have been identified by native Hawaiians as the representation of their god Lono. 

***

INVENTED in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor Erno Rubik, the Rubik’s Cube is now said to be the world’s best-selling toy. More than 300 million of these colourful, square puzzles have been sold worldwide. The standard Rubik’s Cube has 54 square faces – nine on each side – covered by stickers in six solid colours. When the puzzle is solved, each side of the cube is a single solid colour.

***

IT’S not the Polar Bear Swim, but the annual tug-of-war in Mihama, Fukui Prefecture, does involve people jumping into cold waters in the middle of winter. Legend has it that a huge snake once menaced the waters of Hiruga Lake, which opens out into the Sea of Japan. The people drove the snake away by taking a huge rope into the water. Today, young men struggle in a tug-of-war while standing in the lake. The rope symbolises the snake, and the tug-of-war continues until the rope is pulled apart or cut in two. 

***

QUOTE of the day: It is not difficult to be unconventional in the eyes of the world when your unconventionality is but the convention of your set. – W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

***

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The National, Monday January 18th, 2016

 A REAL eye sore is the Rainbow bus-stop and the exist gate for Stop n Shop … so filthy with betelnut spittle and husk and there is open trading of the nut. And they are gone the moment they spot a police vehicle approaching. After a while the vendors are back. Opportunists are now hanging out in the crowd and pounce on unsuspecting girls and mothers walking out with their shopping.

***

WHILE many have grasp the technology boom after the introduction of mobile phones, some still need a little of training and it comes with patience especially with touch screen and starting a conversation only to find out later, it was with the wrong number.

***

PORT Moresby has had a few changes to its weather since Christmas day. Something for you readers to take note about heatwave; there are three grades with severe and extreme posing the most serious risk.

***

STANDARD heatwave will only have slight effects on the general population. As we move into severe, that’s when we start to see on the elderly and also people with debilitating illnesses. Then the extreme heatwave conditions, is when the general public and also infrastructure can be affected. Extreme levels of heat will also coincide with dangerous fire weather conditions across the southern states.

***

MANY people view marijuana as a relatively harmless drug, but the truth is that we still do not fully understand its effects on the brain. Research has linked cannabis use to some cases of psychosis, but experts are divided on whether the drug triggers the psychosis in vulnerable individuals or whether people prone to psychosis are just more likely to smoke pot. 

***

SNOWBALL Earth is a strongly disputed hypothesis developed to explain sedimentary glacial deposits at tropical latitudes from the Cryogenian period. The hypothesis proposes that, about 800 million years ago, the Earth was entirely covered with ice and that multicellular evolution accelerated when the climate began to warm up. Some dispute the feasibility of an entirely frozen ocean and prefer a “slushball” scenario to explain the ice’s rapid movement.

***

JUST in time to help with your New Year’s resolution to eat more healthily, the US government announced its latest dietary guidelines on Thursday which we believe should help you along as well. The 2015 guidelines recommend a ‘healthy eating pattern’ with limited sugar and saturated fat, less salt and more vegetables and whole grains.

***

QUOTE of the day: There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice. – Mark Twain (1835-1910)

***

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The National, Thursday January 14th, 2016

 IT is the time of the year again for parents with the mad rush of going to the banks to pay school fees; then to the stationery shops and tailoring for uniforms. Some forward planning would ease the pressure.

***

ENTER a doctor’s waiting room and see what the patients and careers are doing. No is reading through the magazines or newspapers on the table; everyone has these little gadgets called mobile phones in front of them and lost if their own world. Even in homes; there is no more interaction as everyone has their noses buried in their phones.

***

IF you want to lose weight in 2016, you are going to have to work for it. Regardless of which diet one follows, and there are countless to choose from, the key is sticking to it. 

***

Researchers say even “fad” diets like the Paleo diet, a nutritional plan based on the presumed diet of the hunter-gatherer of long ago, and the 5:2 diet, which restricts followers to as little as 400 calories on two “fasting” days each week, can lead to weight loss, so long as the dieter does not stray from the plan.

***

ON Jan 13, 1967, Togo president Nicolas Grunitzky was overthrown by Gnassingbé Eyadema, who remained president of Togo until 2005. He was succeeded by his son, Faure Gnassingbé. To celebrate National Liberation Day, the Togo military joins with civilian bands to mount several colourful parades in the city of Lomé. 

***

Dissident groups have long opposed the celebrations, noting that January 13, 1963, saw the assassination of the nation’s first president, Sylvanus Olympio. In 2008, President Gnassingbé called for an end to the public celebrations on National Liberation Day.

***

THE RMS Queen Mary 2 (QM2) is a Cunard Line ocean liner named after the earlier Cunard liner Queen Mary, which was, in turn, named after Mary of Teck, the Queen Consort of George V. With 15 restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theatre, and a planetarium, the QM2 was the largest ocean liner in the world at the time of its construction, as well as the longest, widest, and tallest passenger ship.

***

QUOTE of the day: Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one’s mind. – W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

***

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The National, Monday January 13th, 2016

 FOR Port Moresby residents here are the contact numbers to the police station commanders: Fred Tundu – 72918412 (Gerehu), Michai Yosman 73473321 (Waigani), Joseph Sale 71000672 (Gordon), Benjamin Kua 72148507 (Hohola)), Fred Bare 70253374 (6 Mile), Brian Kombe 71934549 (Boroko), Robert Wane 72780163 (Airport), Tony Kavan 71710039 (Badili) and Sengi Laki 73574194 (Town).

***

METROPOLITANT Superintendent Benjamin Turi can be reached on 72010056, NCD Central Police Commander Sylvester Kalaut 70648295 and Superintendent Operations Philip Kulwaum is on 71727825

***

THERE is a notice posted at the Central Provincial Administration advising teachers that the second allocation for leave fares has not been received as yet from the National Government to pay those teachers that missed out from the first allocation. As if it is not frustrating already, the notice further reads ‘Please keep calm until further notices’.

***

A PERFECT description for PNG surfing by Felicity Palmateer  …. while some exotic surf zones around the world are starting to struggle to manage crowds, tempers and expectations, Papua New Guinea has a ‘Surf Management Plan’ that appears to be working really well. White Horses Magazine was intrigued by the idea that the rest of the surfing world could learn something important from this small island nation.

***

LINGUA Ignota, Latin for “unknown language,” is considered one of the first constructed languages, meaning that it was devised by an individual and did not evolve naturally within a culture. The 12th century abbess Saint Hildegard developed the 23-letter language, describing it in a two-manuscript work containing a 1011 word glossary. She defines her words in hierarchical order, listing the terms for God and angels before words for humans.

***

WHEN British soldiers attacked near the Chalmette plantation outside New Orleans on January 8, 1815, they were met by a ragtag army of militiamen, sailors, and pirates fighting from behind barricades. The defending US troops were led by General Andrew Jackson, whose stunning victory — the British suffered some 2,000 casualties, while the Americans lost only eight men — made him a national hero. This day remains a legal holiday in Louisiana, where it is also known as Jackson Day or, in honour of Jackson’s nickname, as Old Hickory’s Day.

***

FOR 2016, making small changes to your daily life will significantly improve your well-being and put on the road to better health.  One such is getting regular medical care!

***

QUOTE of the day: The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning. – Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé (*1940, retired Brazilian footballer)

***

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The National, Tuesday January 12th, 2016

 WHAT is it with people especially males who go against power poles, trees, corrugated fences to take a leak and mind you in full view of the public? The city authority should be coming down on the perpetrators or before we know it will become norm to stop anywhere and take a leak.

***

WHICH brings us to call the city authority to maybe start building public toilets so those who to attend to nature call, have a proper and private place to conduct their business.

***

SOMETIME back, Port Moresby and Lae residents were assured that black out would be a thing of the past! Wonder what has happened???

***

LET us be proactive … invest in solar lights and small generators for home use – powering especially lights to allow the school children to complete their homework and study and fan so they study in at least a cooler environment.

***

WONDER what happened to the foot patrol programme that was being planned to be reintroduced in Port Moresby some three years ago? Are the police waiting for manpower resource before they can introduce it? The public need to feel the police presence on the streets and at the community level. Maybe with the AFP on the ground, our men in blue could learn a few tips from them on foot patrol.

***

AROUND that time, the then National Capital District/Central Divisional commander Jim Andrews issued instructions for police presence to be visible, and be felt in public places and the removal of vehicle tints. All these seem to have fallen through. 

***

ACCORDING to newspaper records, in 1795 excavations began at the site of a mysterious depression on Nova Scotia’s Oak Island. A layer of flagstones was found buried a few feet below the surface, and layers of logs were uncovered at 10 ft (3 m) intervals. At a depth of about 90 ft (27 m), a large stone bearing an inscription of symbols was recovered; and translations revealed the secret message, “forty feet below, two million pounds lie buried.”

***

THIS national holiday in Japan honors those who reached their 20th birthday (voting age) in the previous year. Gatherings, usually with speakers, are held in community centers where the honorees show off their new adult finery. A traditional archery contest is held on this day at Sanjusangendo Temple in Kyoto, with people from all over Japan participating. Until 2000, Seijin-no-Hi was observed on January 15, but now it is celebrated on the second Monday in January.

***

QUOTE of the day: Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period. – Louis Leo “Lou” Holtz

***

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The National, Monday January 11th, 2016

 VODOUN is an ancient African pantheistic religion. When it was brought to the Americas by African slaves, it was blended with elements of Christianity into what is known as “Voodoo.” The present African country of Benin, situated on the former kingdom of Dahomey, is known as a center of Vodoun culture. This day is celebrated throughout Benin with processions, Vodoun rituals, dances, and even an international film festival. The celebration’s central activity, however, is the re-enactment of the journey from the slave auction block in the center of town to the ships in the harbor.

***

WHILE the term golem, a Hebrew word meaning “undeveloped lump,” is used today to refer to someone who is clumsy or slow, the golem of Jewish folklore is a very different creature—an automaton-like servant made of clay that is supernaturally endowed with life. The most famous golem legend involves 16th century rabbi Judah Löw, who created a massive clay servant to protect Prague’s Jewish ghetto from violence and persecution.

***

IN 1892, a company was formed in Texas to investigate long-held suspicions that oil might be under an area known as Spindletop Hill. After nine years of exploratory drilling, oil was struck at a depth of 1,139 ft (347 m), resulting in the “Lucas Gusher,” which blew oil more than 150 ft (46 m) in the air. The well produced an estimated 100,000 barrels per day, marking what many consider the birth of the modern petroleum industry.

***

DAUGHTER of Emperor Maximilian I, Margaret was a Hapsburg princess and regent of the Netherlands. When she was three, she was betrothed to French dauphin and future King Charles VIII, who later renounced the agreement and married Anne of Brittany. In 1497, she married John of Spain—son of Ferdinand and Isabella—but he died later that year. In 1501, she married Philibert of Savoy; he died in 1504. 

***

WHEN Thomas Austin released 24 rabbits onto his Australian farm in 1859, he was unaware of the damage they would cause to the Australian ecosystem. Within 35 years, the rabbits, which had no natural predators in Australia, spread throughout the mainland and destroyed millions of acres of farmland. In 1901, construction began on a fence that would traverse Western Australia from north to south and was intended to contain the rabbits east of the barrier. 

***

QUOTE of the day: Happiness is reflective, like the light of heaven; and every countenance, bright with smiles, and glowing with innocent enjoyment, is a mirror transmitting to others the ways of a supreme and ever-shining benevolence. – Washington Irving (1783-1859) 

***

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The National, Friday January 8th, 2016

 FOR 2016, we hope our friends at the transport department start cracking the whip on illegal operations in the transport sector. And the first place to send out the whip, we beg of is to start with the bus and taxi drivers in Port Moresby. They either comply or get them off the streets.

***

TO avoid the last minute rush and queues from the shops to the banks; we hope families with school students have started with the shopping for stationeries and uniforms. Time to move away from the mentality of 11th hour rush.

***

FAMILIES pooling funds for medical treatment overseas to save the lives of afflicted loved ones is now becoming a norm in a country with limited health facilities and lack of cancer specialists. And it is quite a journey as experienced by those who have gone through the ordeal. We hope there are plans at Waigani during for more improved or new medical facilities this year.

***

IMAGINE if all Members of Parliament put aside K100,000 every year towards the purchasing of new equipment and facilities to treat, let’s say cancer. You can do the maths yourself to come up to the actual figure that will always be readily for the purchase.

***

JUST like bringing in overseas consultants for its various projects and whatever you name it, why not bring in medical specialist to assist in setting up the equipment and facilities and also conduct training for the local staff.

***

AND we hope with so much media coverage being given on the betelenut ban, people should really start thinking about their lifestyle. Lifestyle diseases are associated with tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of physical exercise and consuming foods and drinks high in sugar, fat and salt.

***

UNTIL the 1970s lifestyle diseases were not a public health problem in PNG, however, since then, there has been a rapid increase in these diseases particularly among the urban and peri-urban populations.

***

THIS national holiday is also called Victory over Genocide Day and Nation Day. It marks the day in 1979 that Vietnamese troops entered Cambodia and began an assault that ended the bloody regime of the Khmer Rouge. It is estimated that as many as two million Cambodians were killed during the nearly four years that Pol Pot of the Khmer Rouge ruled the country. Victory Day is celebrated with patriotic speeches by government officials, remembrance services for the victims, as well as cultural displays of the era.

***

QUOTE of the day: In giving rights to others which belong to them, we give rights to ourselves and to our country. – John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

***

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The National, Thursday January 7th, 2016

 INTERESTING comments being thrown around in the facebook group about one of the mobile companies. We say at the end of the day; the decision to use which network depends entirely on you and me, as customers who are the end users.

***

2016 is the 4713th Chinese Year. According to Chinese Horoscope calendar, the first day of Red Monkey is on Feb 4, 2016. This day is not the Chinese New Year Day. Most of Internet Chinese horoscope sites use Chinese New Year Day to determine the Chinese zodiac sign, which is wrong. Chinese New Year Day of Red Monkey Year is on Feb 8, 2016. This is the reason that some people confuse their Chinese zodiac signs.

***

INTERESTING that monkey is the 9th animal in 12 zodiac signs. Monkey is after 8th  Sheep and before 10th  Chicken. Monkey is the animal in the first of Metal Cycle. Monkey, Chicken and Dog are in the cycle of Metal. Our Chinese horoscope prediction combines the theory of Five Elements, the relationships between animal signs and the image meaning of I-Ching hexagram.

***

OVER the past three decades, the number of overweight and obese adults in the developing world has nearly quadrupled, to about one billion. One in three people across the globe is now overweight, and the world is facing a growing health crisis as a result. The authors of a recent report on the matter predict that there will be a significant uptick in heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes. They are calling on governments to take a more active role in combating obesity through public health programmes. 

***

DURING Game 1 of the 1954 World Series, Willie Mays of the New York Giants made one of the greatest and most famous plays in the history of baseball. In the eighth inning, with the score tied 2–2, Mays tracked down a deep fly ball and caught it over his shoulder before spinning and hurling it to the infield to keep the runners in place and prevent the Cleveland Indians from taking the lead.

***

SUN Myung Moon (1920) was an engineering student and dock worker before founding the Unification Church—based on his interpretation of Christianity—in South Korea in 1954. After building a multimillion-dollar business empire, he introduced the movement to the United States in the 1960s. Moon, who claims to be the Messiah and presides over ceremonies often called “mass weddings,” is considered a controversial figure, and his movement is often viewed as a cult.

***

QUOTE of the day: Honest people don’t hide their deeds. – Emily Bronte (1818-1848)

***

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The National, Wednesday January 6th, 2016

 RAIN has made its presence felt when in most towns leaving behind flooded roads highlighting the poor drainage system. City authorities and developers who are part and partial of the blocked drainages should take responsibility for their actions. Time also for the pothole brigade to attend to little cracks instead of waiting for craters to appear!!

***

SOME of you might be wondering even after Dec 25, you still hear the greeting ‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’. We all know the song “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Well, contrary to what many people may think, the 12 days of Christmas begin on Christmas Day and end with the Feast of Theophany or Epiphany, which is today (Jan 6). 

***

EPIPHANY is a Christian feast celebrating the ‘shining forth’ or revelation of God to mankind in human form, in the person of Jesus Christ. The observance had its origins in the eastern Christian churches, and included the birth of Jesus Christ; the visit of the three Magi (Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar) who arrived in Bethlehem; and all of Jesus’ childhood events, up to his baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist. 

***

IN England, the evening before the Epiphany is called Epiphany Eve, or Twelfth Night, and it traditionally marks the end of the Christmas season. Celebrations reflect ancient Winter Solstice rites encouraging the rebirth of the New Year and also the Magi’s visit to the Christ child. Pageants held on this night typically include masked figures, costumed musicians, and traditional dances. Customarily, the Twelfth Night cake is sliced and served, and the man who gets the hidden bean and the woman the pea are the king and queen for the festivities.

***

IN recent years, parents, educators, and medical professionals have gained a new perspective on the effects of bullying. The notion that being bullied is simply a childhood rite of passage has largely been invalidated, as study after study documents the long-term psychological scars left by bullying. 

***

A NEW study adds to this growing body of evidence, concluding that children who are teased while playing sports or exercising are more likely to become less active and tend to have a poorer health-related quality of life than those who escape such bullying. 

***

IN an age when children already get too little exercise, it is all the more important that deterrents to physical activity be addressed.

***

QUOTE of the day: Only as we live, think, feel, and work outside the home, do we become humanly developed, civilised, socialised. – Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)

***

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The National, Tuesday January 5th, 2016

 TAKE note that the Sirinumu Dam catchment area has recorded only a little rainfall over the last week, that is, 98mm of rain was recorded in the dam resulting in the steady water level. As of yesterday, the water level is at 32 per cent below Full Spill Level, which is 108 Mm3 below spill level.

***

LET us be conservative in using power supply by turning off lights, fans and electrical appliances not in use; set the temperature of the air conditioning unit at 24 degrees, do not use more than one power point and not to overload power points.

***

OUR water friends got a fair bit of bashing over the weekend regarding the rationing schedules. The big boss has appealed to city residents to not to criticise the organisation on the action. 

***

THE residents also have a point of sticking to the schedule times; it’s fair on all parties. Maybe time to also consider water tanks. 

***

DAVID Hasselhoff is an American actor, singer, and songwriter. Though “The Hoff” spent a six-year stint on The Young and the Restless, he is best known for his roles in Knight Rider and Baywatch. During the late 1980s, he enjoyed significant musical success, particularly in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. In 1994, Hasselhoff was scheduled to perform a pay-per-view concert that would hopefully reignite his US musical career.

***

BEGINNING in the 1920s, the complex, plot-driven, whodunit genre of detective fiction experienced a 30-year Golden Age. In these stories, the puzzle takes centre stage, and readers, who are provided with clues throughout the book, are challenged to deduce the perpetrator’s identity before it is revealed in the mystery’s final pages. Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone (1868) is widely regarded as one of the first true whodunits.

***

THIS 500-year-old tradition, said to have its roots in the legend of a dragon god (Ryujin) offering two balls to the Empress Jingu (170-269 CE), takes place 

each year in Higashi-Ku, Fukuoka City, Japan. 

Two teams of men wearing only loincloths (fundoshi) compete for a ball that weighs about 18 pounds; these teams consist of the land team, made up of farmers who work the fields, and the sea team, composed of fishermen. A Shinto priest awaits the winner to hand him the ball – the size of the harvest or the catch during the New Year is determined by which team wins.

***

QUOTE of the day: A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation. – Mark Twain (1835-1910)

***

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The National, Monday January 4th, 2016

 WELCOME 2016!!! Port Moresby’s skyline lit up with fireworks in every direction when the clock struck 12am on Jan 1. Compared to past years, fireworks mostly brought in from our neighbours across the border made the sky colourful that made the evening fun for those spectators but the noise was just deafening.

***

JUDGING by the amount of what fired up last night and days leading to New Year, you just imagine what is like especially in Vanimo, Wewak, Madang and Lae where the transportation of the fireworks and firecrackers was by land and sea. 

***

IN Wewak, we hear that is was a battle of who had the best display and it rained down from all four corners. And Vanimo, we believe the skies were painted in different colours.

***

IT has been a relief to several motorists over the last few days has enjoyed free flowing traffic and hope it would be like that, 24/7 right through to the end of the year. Like they say too good to be true, traffic is likely to pick up starting next week and before we know it will be back to the congestion.

***

COLLEAGUES at Lawes Road claim in its year in review ‘bloopers’ last Thursday that Ben Micah was “the most titled minister” (whatever that means). They said Micah was also the most decorated minister (14 titles – some repeats – at last count!) They listed people and organisations that had made these embarrassing errors. The National was also listed for naming Micah as “Minister for Public Enterprise and State Investment”. They say Micah’s correct title is “Private Enterprises and State Investment”. 

***

WE go by the list of the O’Neill Government ministers published by PNG Today in August 2014 (Issue 6), which states that Micah is the Minister for Public Enterprise and State Investment. 

***

EPIPHANY or Theophany is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. In Western Christianity, the feast commemorates principally (but not solely) the visit of the Magi to the Christ child, and thus Jesus’ physical manifestation to the Gentiles. Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God. 

***

THE traditional date for the feast is Jan 6, however, since 1970, the celebration is held in some countries on the Sunday after Jan 1. The Monday after Epiphany is known as Plough Monday. 

***

QUOTE of the day: No one’s ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that’s abandoned by February. – Suze Orman

***

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The National, Wednesday December 30th, 2015

 TODAY is the fifth day of Christmas. The 12 Days of Christmas are the festive days beginning Christmas Day (Dec 25). This period is known as Christmastide and Twelvetide. The Twelfth Day of Christmas is always on Epiphany Eve (Jan 5), but the Twelfth Night can either precede or follow the Twelfth Day according to which Christian tradition is followed.

***

FAMILIES pooling funds in Papua New Guinea for cancer treatment overseas to save the lives of afflicted loved ones are now becoming a norm in a country with limited health facilities and the lack of cancer specialists. Fighting cancer is quite a journey as experienced by those who have gone through the ordeal. We hope there are plans at Waigani for more cancer facilities in the country.

***

RESEARCHERS say people should pay heed to the old adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Ninety per cent of adults eat at least one portion of fruit every day, but less than a third actually get the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Adding just one apple or a serving of any fruit or vegetable, to one’s daily diet could have significant health implications. According to the researchers’ calculations, if every adult in the UK increased his or her daily consumption of fruits and vegetables by one serving, 11,000 deaths as a result of vascular issues could be avoided each year.

***

FIESTA of the Black St. Benito is celebrated by a number of locales in the state of Zulia, Venezuela, and is especially popular in Bobures. After early morning mass, the chimbángueles, or vassals of the saint, put St. Benito’s statue on a litter and surround it with flowers. They then carry it through the streets while performing an unusual bouncing kind of dance, in which they continually move forward and backward to the accompaniment of seven drums. Throughout the long procession, St Benito’s image is sprinkled with perfumes and presented with drinks of homemade whiskey.

***

A JAPANESE construction firm with a penchant for pie-in-the-sky projects has a new plan: an underwater city. The Shimizu Corporation, a prominent builder that once pitched a space hotel, has proposed an undersea spiral off the coast of Japan that would stretch 2.8 miles (4.5 km) down to the sea floor. A habitable zone would be situated in a massive sphere just below the surface, and energy would be generated by thermal energy conversion and by using micro-organisms to turn carbon dioxide into methane. 

***

HOWEVER, the company says the required technology won’t be ready for another 15 years.

***

QUOTE of the day: Time is the bearer of all knowledge. – Poss Fallance

***

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The National, Tuesday December 29th, 2015

 TODAY (Dec 29) is also known as Innocents’ Day or Childermas, this day commemorates the massacre of all the male children two years and younger in Bethlehem as ordered by King Herod, who hoped that the infant Jesus would be among them. Not surprisingly, this day has long been regarded as unlucky. In ancient times, the “Massacre of the Innocents” was reenacted by whipping the younger members of a family. But over the years, the tables turned, and in some countries it has become a day when children play pranks on their elders. In Mexico, Childermas is the equivalent of April Fools’ Day.

***

EATHA Kitt, whose career as an actress, singer, and cabaret star has spanned nearly 6 decades, was born to an African-American and Cherokee mother and a Caucasian father during a time when laws prohibiting miscegenation, or interracial marriage, were still in place. Kitt’s first starring role was in Orson Welles’ production of Dr. Faustus, but she is best known for her role as Catwoman in the 1960s TV series Batman.

***

DESIGNED to protect critically imperiled species from extinction and preserve the ecosystems they inhabit, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 prohibits harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing, or collecting an “endangered” or “threatened” species and establishes penalties for doing so. A citizen suit clause allows citizens to sue others, even the government, to enforce the law.

***

THE Seven Summits are the highest mountains of each of the world’s seven continents. Richard Bass compiled this list in the 1980s and established as a mountaineering challenge the summiting of all seven. Reinhold Messner, another climber, proposed substituting one of the mountains with New Guinea’s Carstensz Pyramid (4,884 m). From a mountaineering standpoint, Messner’s list is considered the more challenging one.

***

JOHN the Evangelist was thought to be not only the youngest of the Apostles but the longest-lived, dying peacefully of natural causes at an advanced age. Although he escaped actual martyrdom, St. John endured considerable persecution and suffering for his beliefs. He is said to have drunk poison to prove his faith, been cast into a cauldron of boiling oil, and at one point banished to the Greek island of Patmos. He remained miraculously unharmed throughout these trials and returned to Ephesus, where it is believed he wrote the Gospel according to John.

***

QUOTE of the day:  Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man … No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.– John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) 

***

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The National, Monday December 28th, 2015

 TODAY is Innocents’ Day or Childermas (Dec 28), this day commemorates the massacre of all the male children two years and younger in Bethlehem as ordered by King Herod, who hoped that the infant Jesus would be among them. Not surprisingly, this day has long been regarded as unlucky. 

***

In ancient times, the Massacre of the Innocents was reenacted by whipping the younger members of a family. But over the years, the tables turned, and in some countries it has become a day when children play pranks on their elders. In Mexico, Childermas is the equivalent of April Fools’ Day.

***

WHILE we are in the festivity mood; we’d like to ask you if you have rreally sat down to find out what depression means? Most of us every now and then say: “I am depressed and need a break. Do you really take that much needed rest? 

***

Depression is a common mental disorder that causes people to experience depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. 

***

THE 12 Days of Christmas are the festive days beginning Christmas Day (Dec 25). This period is also known as Christmastide and Twelvetide. The 12th Day of Christmas is always on Epiphany Eve (Jan 5), but the 12th night can either precede or follow the 12th day according to which Christian tradition is followed.

***

THE 12th day (Jan 5) is followed by the Feast of the Epiphany on Jan 6. In some traditions, the feast of Epiphany (Jan 6) and the twelfth night of Christmas overlap.

***

THE Twelve Days of Christmas is an English Christmas carol that enumerates a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas in the manner of acumulative song. The song, first published in England in 1780 without music as a chant or rhyme, is thought to be French in origin. It has a Round Folk Song Index number of 68. 

***

OBSERVED from Dec 26 to January 1 and patterned after African harvest festivals, Kwanzaa is a secular festival celebrating the African heritage of African Americans. Developed by black-studies professor Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa emphasizes the role of the family and community in African-American culture. Each day is dedicated to a particular principle—such as unity, creativity, or faith.

***

QUOTE of the day: So live that you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip. – Will Rogers 

***

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The National, Thursday December 24th, 2015

 RUMOUR making the rounds in Gerehu is that a certain religious group that has reportedly been using the State Function Hall in Parliament for its worship recently made an animal sacrifice. But the ritual did not take place in Parliament but at another worship place in Gerehu. And it wasn’t a sacrificial lamb but a pig. Wonder what happened to the poor animal after it was burnt at the altar. A Holy Christmas barbeque?

***

IT is Christmas Eve today. Christmas Eve is the evening or day before Christmas Day, the widely celebrated annual holiday. It occurs on Dec 24 in Western Christianity and the secular world, and is considered one of the most culturally significant celebrations in Christendom and Western society, where it is widely observed, by Christians and by many others, as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas Day.

***

CHRISTMAS celebrations have long begun on the night of the 24, due in part to the Christian liturgical day starting at sunset, a practice inherited from Jewish tradition and based on the story of Creation in the Book of Genesis: “And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day.” Many churches still ring their church bells and hold prayers in the evening.

*** 

MANY other varying cultural traditions and experiences are also associated with Christmas Eve around the world, including the gathering of family and friends, the singing of Christmas carols, the illumination and enjoyment of Christmas lights, trees, and other decorations, the wrapping and/or opening of gifts, and general preparation for Christmas Day.

***

THEN we have the Christmas or Christmas Day which is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed most commonly on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the 12 days of Christmastide, which ends after the 12th night. Christmas is a public holiday in many of the world’s nations, is celebrated culturally by a large number of non-Christian people, and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.

***

THEN Boxing Day is a holiday traditionally celebrated the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradespeople would receive gifts, known as a “Christmas box”, from their bosses or employers, in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and other Commonwealth nations, as well as Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden. Today, Boxing Day is the bank holiday that generally takes place on Dec 26.

***

QUOTE of the day: Christians awake, salute the happy morn, whereon the savior of the world was born. – John Byrom

***

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The National, Wednesday December 23rd, 2015

 RUMOUR making the rounds in Gerehu is that a certain religious group that has reportedly been using the State Function Hall in Parliament for its worship recently made an animal sacrifice. But the ritual did not take place in Parliament but at another worship place in Gerehu. And it wasn’t a sacrificial lamb but a pig. Wonder what happened to the poor animal after it was burnt at the altar. A Holy Christmas barbeque?

***

IT is Christmas Eve today. Christmas Eve is the evening or day before Christmas Day, the widely celebrated annual holiday. It occurs on Dec 24 in Western Christianity and the secular world, and is considered one of the most culturally significant celebrations in Christendom and Western society, where it is widely observed, by Christians and by many others, as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas Day.

***

CHRISTMAS celebrations have long begun on the night of the 24, due in part to the Christian liturgical day starting at sunset, a practice inherited from Jewish tradition and based on the story of Creation in the Book of Genesis: “And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day.” Many churches still ring their church bells and hold prayers in the evening.

*** 

MANY other varying cultural traditions and experiences are also associated with Christmas Eve around the world, including the gathering of family and friends, the singing of Christmas carols, the illumination and enjoyment of Christmas lights, trees, and other decorations, the wrapping and/or opening of gifts, and general preparation for Christmas Day.

***

THEN we have the Christmas or Christmas Day which is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed most commonly on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the 12 days of Christmastide, which ends after the 12th night. Christmas is a public holiday in many of the world’s nations, is celebrated culturally by a large number of non-Christian people, and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.

***

THEN Boxing Day is a holiday traditionally celebrated the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradespeople would receive gifts, known as a “Christmas box”, from their bosses or employers, in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and other Commonwealth nations, as well as Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden. Today, Boxing Day is the bank holiday that generally takes place on Dec 26.

***

QUOTE of the day: Christians awake, salute the happy morn, whereon the savior of the world was born. – John Byrom

***

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The National, Wednesday December 23rd, 2015

 INTERESTING to read that scientists have found that part of our brain where the Christmas Spirit lives. If you looked inside the brains of Ebenezer Scrooge and his mild-mannered clerk Bob Cratchit, you may find biology explains their conflicting views on Christmas. It seems those warm feelings associated with the season actually activates a response in the brain. And for those who could care less about tinsel-strewn trees and red-nosed reindeers, there are specific regions of their brains that simply won’t react to yuletide images. They literally don’t have a Christmas spirit.

***

WITH the rains already in Port Moresby, we send a call to the pothole brigade to start patching up the potholes that are already popping up on the city roads before it goes into full swing of wet weather.

***

AND while on the city, can the Works Department or Physical Planning board or whichever authority is responsible take a good hard look at what is going on. Roads and buildings are being constructed willy-nilly without heeding any rules or laws. Planning and engineering checks was thrown out the back window ages ago.

***

IT’S pretty interesting and also funny to see policemen chase buai sellers back and forth. I’m sure these two words have never registered in those heads. The two words are “BUAI BAN”!! An annoying situation occurred 2 weeks ago at Renbo bustop. The buai sellers were chased away but some minutes later, they start coming back. In conclusion, they are like a house fly. You chase it away but it will still come back.

***

THE Hopi traditionally believed that at the time of the Winter Solstice, the Sun had traveled as far from the Earth as he ever did. The purpose of Soyaluna is to prevent the disappearance of the Sun at the time of year when the days are at their shortest. The main ceremony takes place in the kiva, a large, circular underground room. Hopi priests prepare the kiva by scattering cornmeal around the floor. A stack of corn serves as an altar, surrounded by stalks and husks. At the solstice, everyone assembles in the kiva for rituals designed to bring the sun back for another agricultural year.

***

IT was customary at one time in England on St. Thomas’s Day for the poorer inhabitants of the parish to call on their wealthier neighbors and receive a gift or “dole” of food or money. In return, they would give their benefactors a sprig of holly or mistletoe. 

***

QUOTE of the Day: “Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to” –  Mitch Albom

***

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The National, Tuesday December 22nd, 2015

 SANTA Claus is reportedly making his early rounds in a certain NCD electorate. He has transformed into the local MP and handing out cold hard cash to his supporters for their Christmas parties. Is it the seasonal goodwill or part of his campaign for re-election in 2017? Ho ho ho!

***

CHRISTMAS is a time of great joy for many Papua New Guineans, especially those who can afford to celebrate this special occasion. As the well-to-do get into the festive spirit and jam the shopping malls in Port Moresby, Lae and other major centres, spare a thought for those who cannot afford to buy gifts and other goodies.

***

WITH Christmas celebrations in full swing, for some preparing a meal at Christmas can be daunting – how long do you leave the ham or chicken in the oven for? And what should you do with the leftovers? And if there’s one thing guaranteed to ruin your Christmas, it’s a nasty bout of food poisoning. People should be alert about expiry dates or ‘look before you book’ take your family to food establishments in the borough. 

***

AT this time of the year, with Christmas parties and get-togethers with families and friends, restaurants and takeaways are at their busiest.  Would help if you ask yourself if the restaurant, pub or takeaway owner takes food hygiene seriously? 

***

TRAFFIC congestion is becoming a nightmare and there is also the danger of more accidents involving PMV buses during the mad Christmas rush when they try to cut in from an outside lane after dropping off or picking up passengers. Some serious planning is needed at the City Hall.

***

SCARY movies really are blood-curdling, researchers report. In medieval times, it was believed that extreme fear could “curdle” – or congeal – blood. Modern-day researchers decided to scientifically test that theory. They recruited 24 healthy young adults. Some were assigned to watch a horror movie and then an educational movie a week later, while others watched the same movies in reverse order. Within 15 minutes before and after each movie, blood samples were taken from the volunteers and analysed for clotting activity. 

***

VIEWERS were much more likely to have increased levels of a clotting protein called coagulant factor VII after the horror movie than after the educational movie. However, neither movie had any effect on levels of other clot-forming proteins. That suggests that while fear can trigger blood coagulation, it does not lead to the formation of blood clots, according to the researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

***

QUOTE of the day: “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” – Dr Seuss

***

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The National, Monday December 21st, 2015

 WITH Christmas celebrations already in full swing; one can easily get carried away and indulge in the many food dishes and drinks available. This Christmas it would not hurt to just be a little conscious of what you consume in terms of fat content. Food poisoning is a disaster waiting to pounce out on a few unlucky.

***

THE National Soccer League board maybe should put a stop to games where player’s safety is not guaranteed. We read the Northern conference has issues on that area while in the Southern conference would be the inconsistent refereeing. We hope PNG Football Association will look into the referee 

***

THE World Cup has been held every fourth year since 1930, except during WWII. The international soccer tournament’s original prize was officially renamed the Jules Rimet Trophy in 1946 in honour of the former Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) president, who stipulated that the first team to win the World Cup three times could keep the trophy in perpetuity. Brazil earned this right in 1970, but, in 1983, the trophy was stolen while on display there.

***

MICROPSIA, also named Alice in Wonderland Syndrome after Lewis Carroll’s fictional children’s book, is a disorienting visual disorder in which humans, animals, and inanimate objects are perceived as significantly smaller than they actually are. The condition affects the brain’s interpretation of signals sent from the eyes and not the mechanical functioning of the eyes themselves.

***

THIS Ancient Roman Winter Solstice festival began on Dec 17 and lasted for seven days. It was held in honor of Saturn, the father of the gods, and was characterized by the suspension of discipline and reversal of the usual order. Grudges and quarrels were forgotten; businesses, courts, and schools closed down; and masquerading or change of dress between the sexes often occurred. 

***

WE all know that cancer’s development has to do with some combination of luck–the genes we inherit–and lifestyle–the choices we make each day about diet and exercise, smoking and drinking. But a study earlier in the year in Science had suggested, disturbingly, that cancer may be much more a matter of “bad luck” or random mutation than anything else, which was widely interpreted to mean that no amount of exercise or kale can offset what’s destined to occur or what randomly occurs in our genes. But a new study out in Nature suggests that the “bad luck” theory of cancer may not be so accurate after all. A reanalysis of the data suggests that cancer may be much more within our control than we’ve recently been led to believe.

***

QUOTE of the day: One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody. – Mother Teresa 

***

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The National, Friday December 18th, 2015

 THE heat is really becoming palpable in Port Moresby and Lae. Those places which require formal dress requirements might want to allow back the shorts and long socks which were fashionable in the 60s and 70s. That makes so much more sense. And there is nothing wrong with wearing hats which cover the face and head.

***

SOME of the dress rules in PNG make absolutely no sense other than the fact that this is a relic from the colonial era when such standards distinguished the “masta” from the “boi”. Quite insulting really!

***

DID you know that for the amount of money spent on a three bed-room house at Gerehu Stage 4, one could stay at a four or five bedroom villa in Fiji? Something is dramatically wrong with the prices for real estate in PNG and it has nothing to do with the cost of labour or of doing business in the country. Something is keeping real estate artificially inflated.

***

PORT Moresby and Lae’s planners are fighting a losing battle if they think that they can expand services to meet increased demands without action at the other end to limit the demands as well. The population is expanding but physical space is not. That is why physical infrastructure planners need to work in tandem with demographers, social scientists and politicians to limit the size of the population of each locality.

***

FERROMAGNETISM is a form of magnetism that can be acquired in an external magnetic field and is usually retained in its absence. Thus, ferromagnetic materials like iron and nickel are used to make permanent magnets. This type of magnetism is caused by spinning electrons in the atoms of the material, which act as tiny weak magnets. They align parallel to each other within small regions of the material to form areas of stronger magnetism.

***

THIS nine-day Christmas celebration in Mexico commemorates the journey Mary and Joseph (the parents of Jesus) took to Bethlehem. Reenacting their search for shelter (posada in Spanish) in which Jesus might be born, a group of “pilgrims” will knock on someone’s door and ask the owner to let them in.

***

THE master of the house finally invites them to enter and the Posadas party begins. Children are blindfolded and given a chance to break a piñata by swinging at it with a stick. The posadas are repeated for nine evenings, the last occurring on Christmas Eve.

***

QUOTE of the day: Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see life with a clearer view again. – Alex Tan

***

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The National, Thursday December 17th, 2015

 WE haven’t seen any findings from the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission telling shoppers to watch out for toys that should be banned. Some years ago, ICCC identified aquatic, protectoral and magnetic toys as risky to children. As warning to other shops, ICCC must tell the public how many shops it took legal action against for defying the ban. The toy survey was to identify and alert parents and customers of toys that could be potentially harmful to a child.

***

STARTING Friday, Philippine Airlines (PAL) will open flights to Papua New Guinea as part of its expansion in the Oceania region. This will provide an easy route for Filipinos living and working in Papua New Guinea to their native home.  Around 30,000 Filipino professionals are based in Papua New Guinea.

***

VENERATION of pictures and statues symbolising sacred figures and biblical events was an early feature of Christian worship. Iconoclasts were opposed to the use of such religious images and destroyed them, claiming that they violated the second commandment not to make or worship “graven images.” An iconoclastic movement developed during the Byzantine Empire, and it was characterised by fierce persecution of those who made and venerated icons.

***

MARY Virginia Martin was an American musical comedy star. She co-owned a dance school in her native Texas before moving in 1938 to New York City, where she earned a small part in the musical Leave It To Me, winning widespread popularity with her buoyant singing voice and high-spirited temperament. She went on to star in several enormously successful musicals, including South Pacific, Peter Pan and The Sound of Music as well as a number of films.

***

A COUPLE of drinks a day may lower the risk of premature death in people with early stage Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study. The study included just over 320 people in Denmark with early stage Alzheimer’s disease. Those who had two to three alcoholic drinks a day had a 77 percent lower risk of dying during the study period than those who had one or fewer drinks a day, the investigators found.

***

THE South African legal holiday known as the Day of Reconciliation was established on December 16, 1838, in commemoration of the victory of the Voortrekkers over Dingane and the Zulus. The original name for this holiday was Dingaan’s Day, then it was called Day of the Vow during apartheid. 

***

QUOTE of the day: For in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal. – John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

***

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The National, Wednesday December 16th, 2015

 DICUSSIONS on the Outcome Base Education system sometime back said it would have worked out well had the decision makers then asked themselves what kind of teachers they want and are they available to carry this system through.

***

JUST wondering out aloud how the new curriculum Standard Base will turn out!!

***

RECRUITING a teacher is easy, but finding the right teacher, one who is effective and competent, is a challenge. It is not like walking into the grocery shop with your basket and picking off the shelf. 

***

THERE are many expectations from different stakeholders; Department, school, students, parents, community, profession, etc. How many of our teachers live up to all these expectations?

***

LET us be realistic in our expectations, being trained does not automatically produce competent and effective teachers. They have to develop teaching skills to deal with different kinds of students, learning targets and learning environment and they can only do what they are able to do based on what they have been trained to do.

***

EVERY teacher needs certain knowledge and skills to be able to do what we want them to do. In return teachers need to demonstrate the right attitude and commitment to the job.

***

IN business today, readers are time-pressed, content-driven, and decision-focussed. To write effectively, remember that they want simple and direct communication. Here are three tips for giving readers what they want and need – avoid complex phrasing, be concise, and skip jargon.

***

HATE bumping elbows with your neighbor on an airplane? It’s among the most common traveler complaints, and one that could be remedied in 2015 by Soarigami, a plastic armrest divider. Soarigami slides onto the armrest and splits it equally between neighboring seats. 

***

ITS inventors believe it will foster a pleasant travel experience for both passengers. This is a departure from other carry-on items, like the “Knee Defender,” which allows a passenger to block another from reclining his or her seat—a move that caused an in-flight fracas last August.

***

QUOTE of the day: I have come to have the firm conviction that vanity is the basis of everything, and finally that what one calls conscience is only inner vanity.

 

***

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The National, Tuesday December 15th, 2015

 STREET cleaners engaged by Port Moresby city authorities to sweep road curbs run a high risk to being injured or even killed in freak accidents. They are doing a great job of keeping our dirty streets clean but risk their lives in doing so.  Are these cleaners insured against injury or death?

***

AND with a lot of celebrations around the country leading up to Christmas, drivers should be responsible by not getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks. Statistics already show that a lot deaths especially relating to motor vehicles are one way or another related to alcohol.

***

PAPUA New Guineans have an attitude problem when it comes to vehicles. We overload in them. After many years of having vehicles, we don’t know how to drive vehicles properly, we don’t know how to behave properly in the vehicle, and we don’t know how to use the road that is supposed to be for the vehicle.

***

NO one stopping anyone from drinking but a little bit of common sense and responsibility would go a long way in saving lives.

***

THE problem with most of us Papua New Guineans is that we do not know how to drink alcohol. Many people drink alcohol and the majority do so without any problems. Drinking can be enjoyable and sometimes helps you to unwind or relax. But heavy drinking, getting drunk or drinking at the wrong time or in the wrong situation can lead to a range of difficulties.

***

HOW would you describe your drinking?  Most people say “a little” or “a moderate amount” and many people know about the sensible drinking limits – yet many people are drinking over these limits. Most of us enjoy a drink now and again. 

***

EARLIER last year, NCD Governor Powes Parkop talked about the option of amending the Constitution to regulate the use of alcohol. He said a change was necessary to allow police to deal with people who disturbed the community when they were drunk and disorderly. He also wanted people to be issued with licences to control who can buy alcohol.

***

Sir Donald “The Don” George Bradman’s 20-year cricket career began in 1928, when he joined the Australian national team. He is widely considered the sport’s greatest player and one of the world’s most outstanding athletes. Bradman’s career batting average was 99.94 runs per inning, a record that still stands at 30 runs higher than his nearest competitor. In 1934, acute appendicitis and peritonitis nearly cost Bradman his life.

***

QUOTE of the day: Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them. – Dion Boucicault 

***

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The National, Monday December 14th, 2015

 CONGRATULATIONS Miss Pacific Islands 2015, Miss Papua New Guinea Abigail Havora!

***

ABIGAIL, who contested against nine other Pacific beauties, was crowned over the weekend. She makes history as the first Miss PNG to take the crown. The only other Miss PNG who had success on the international stage was Eva Arni who was crowned Miss Asia Pacific 1975 in Manila, Philippines. Abigail also took the prize for Best Sarong and Best Talent. 

***

A BIG congratulations also to our Melanesian sisters Miss Fiji Zaira Begg and Miss Solomon Islands Deanne Enoch on their titles. Miss Fiji won the Best Traditional Wear category and was 3rd runner-up while Miss Solomon Islands was 4th runner -up.

***

The Miss South Pacific Pageant was renamed and re-launched as the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant last year.    

***

BACK on home soil, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Port Moresby is decked out in fabulously decorated trees, tinsel, colourful lights, wrapping paper, big bows and all other things festive. But don’t forget, this time of the year is more than just about Santa and presents. This is a time for peace, hope and love. And remember, “Jesus is the reason for the season.”   

***

NOT everyone is in the spirit of Christmas though as one man made a failed attempt to hold up one of our staff at Boroko. After shopping, the man tried to grab our staffer’s phone but was caught off guard when he realised she was with her husband. Startled, he tried to make a smooth getaway. When confronted, the would-be-thief said: “God is good, God is good, God is good.” To which our staffer replied: “All the time, all the time, all the time!”

***

A US startup company is offering couples the chance to be rewarded for their commitment, offering free loans toward a dream wedding for any couples willing to stay together for the rest of their lives. SwanLuv, a startup based in Seattle, believes “everlasting marriage should be rewarded,” offering couples a loan of US$10,000 (K29,855) toward the wedding of their dreams. The loan is absolutely free for couples who remain married, but any couples who divorce are required to pay back the full loan with interest. According to the company’s website winning applicants are chosen using an algorithm based on assessment of online data. So much for love with no boundaries!

 

QUOTE of the day: I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it. – Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

***

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The National, Friday December 11th, 2015

 TOMORROW a new queen of the Pacific will be crowned! Reigning Miss South Pacific 2014 Teuira Napa will hand over her crown to the new Miss Pacific Islands Pageant 2015. Miss Pacific Islands PNG Abigail Havora is contesting against eight other beauties from around the region for the title. The Gulf/Central lass is a biology and chemistry graduate from the University of Papua New Guinea and is employed with Oil Search. We’re rooting for you Abigail!   

***

This year’s pageant is part of the annual celebration commemorating 50 years since the Cook Islands became a self-governing nation in free association with New Zealand, and as hosts to the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant 2015, it also marks 29 years since the inception of the pageant, formally known as the Miss South Pacific.

***

A YOUNG mother has been accused of spoiling her children after she posted a picture to social media of her Christmas tree with 300 presents underneath it. Mother-of-three Emma Tapping, 27, from the Isle 

of Man, was met with backlash online after she posted a picture of her Christmas tree to Instagram, with an estimated 300 presents under the tree. 

She reportedly spent £1500 (K6796). But Tapping responded to critics on a London breakfast show saying she doesn’t think it makes any difference 

how many presents children receive. “The way I 

see it is you could buy your kids two presents or 

200 presents, it’s the way you bring them up,” she said.

***

AS part of their campaign to bring Wi-Fi to crowded public spots in the Russian capital, Moscow authorities are connecting up an unlikely new location: cemeteries. The Moscow city hall said in a statement Thursday that free Wi-Fi will be available at the city’s three main cemeteries starting next year. Artyom Yekimov from a state-owned funeral directors company did not mention the permanent residents of the cemeteries but said Wi-Fi will attract more visitors to the city’s’ historic cemeteries where many illustrious Russians have found a resting place.

***

ON this day (Dec 11) 69 years ago, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established. UNICEF was established to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II but has since helped provide long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in most developing countries.

***

QUOTE of the day: By three methods we may learn wisdom. First by reflection, which is noblest. Second, by imitation which is easiest. And third by experience, which is bitterest. – Confucius (551BC- 479BC)

***

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The National, Thursday December 10th, 2015

 Every time the National Capital District Commission builds footpaths on the road sides for pedestrians, motorists almost immediately – sometimes even before the cement has dried – take over the space to park their vehicles. 

***

THE NCDC can turn this to its advantage by installing parking metres along the road sides, which will block motorists from parking on the footpaths.

***

It will serve two purposes – earn money from the 

metres and stop vehicles from parking on the footpaths. Buy at least five tow trucks to remove vehicles which fail to pay for parking. The revenue from 

the parking metres and the impounding of the vehicles,  will cover for the costs of the town trucks in no time.

***

FOOD for thought for Mr Parkop.

***

TIS the season to be generous! The Salvation Army says someone has placed a wedding band and a diamond engagement ring worth US$3500 (K10,606) in one of its holiday red kettles in Massachusetts. Salvation Army officials called the rings “an incredible gift” that will help pay for food pantries, 

soup kitchens and other holiday outreach to the needy.

***

CALIFORNIA police say a homeless man sleeping inside a garbage bin survived two compaction cycles after the bin was emptied into a trash truck. Fremont police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said on Tuesday that the 44-year-old man was sleeping inside a large trash bin behind a restaurant when a trash truck collected it and used the compactor. The man crawled out through an opening in the roof the next time the truck stopped at another store. Lucky escape!

***

A TEACHER in London who asked children to list their career aspirations probably wasn’t expecting one little boy’s response. Entitled “When I grow up I’d like to be…”, the class list is written in brightly-coloured felt-tip pens and brings together a lot of interesting and engaged children. Toby, for example, says he wants to be a vet, “so I can help animals get better”. Isabella gives a heartwarming response when she says she wants to be a ballerina because “I love to dance”. But it’s Albert who seems to have nailed it. He simply wants to be “a person who stays home and does nothing”. Albert, we’d all love to do that.

***

QUOTE for the day: If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward. – Martin Luther King Jnr (1929-1968)

***

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The National, Wednesday December 9th, 2015

 THE recent Ijivitari Open by-election in Northern Province was open to all eligible candidates. Thus, re-elected MP David Arore is wondering why his critics, including the other daily newspaper, had to 

wait until after the declaration of the winner to 

give him a big serve. Haven’t the Ijivitari people spoken through the ballot box by re-electing Arore or 

are his critics accusing him of another electoral 

fraud?

***

A MAN walks up to a tuckerbox, slaps a K2 note on the counter and asks for a “baby” much to the surprise of other customers. Only the shop assistant knew what he was referring to so she went over to the fridge and handed him small bottle of Coca Cola. It’s commonly called “baby coke”.

***

THE Government’s decision to ban plastic bags opens a window of opportunity for the mass production of bilums to cater for shoppers. Bilum makers can produce these string bags to sell to shops and super markets for their customers. Its good business and promotes bilums which are unique to Papua New Guinea.

***

AIRPORTS around the country are being refurbished, courtesy of the National Airports Corporation. Two weeks ago, the Kagamuga Airport terminal in Mt Hagen was opened by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. The next is Hoskins in West New Britain, which will be opened on Friday. Well done, NAC.  

***

WHILE Port Moresby is facing a critical shortage of water, the industrial hub of Lae is still raining cats and dogs. Lae residents say their city will never run dry of the precious liquid. It’s blatantly obvious that “Rainy Lae’ has no respect for El Nino.

***

Still on water rationing in the capital city, many residents continue to ignore Eda Ranu’s warning not to use hoses to wash their vehicles and water their lawns and gardens. These ignorant people should be reminded that the water level at Siriumu dam is falling fast because of unwise usage.

***

Just in time for holiday shopping: An entire South Dakota ghost town, complete with its own watering hole, is on sale for US$250,000 (), a real estate agent said on Monday. The roughly 6-acre town of Swett, includes a tavern, three-bedroom house and a former tire shop about 100 miles southeast of Rapid 

City, South Dakota. The tiny prairie domain also comes with a new town sign, courtesy of the state, to replace the previous one that was riddled with bullet holes.

***

QUOTE of the day: Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. – Abraham Lincoln

***

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The National, Tuesday December 8th, 2015

 THE Waigani Drive entrance to Vision City is not only a total disgrace but a major embarrassment for the new City Hall just a hundred metres away. While construction work on the modern walkway bridge is making very little progress, it is messy business as usual for betel nut vendors and chewers at the entrance to the capital city’s most popular shopping mall. 

***

The chaotic situation is compounded by reckless PMV drivers who have extended the nearby bus stop to the driveway. The management of Vision City should consider closing this entrance until work on the walkway bridge is completed. Police and city authorities should also clamp down on these idiots who have no regard for the safety of other people.

***

THERE is an urgent need to install more traffic lights to ease congestion in the NCD. Among the busy intersections that need traffic lights is the one next to the CHM office complex in the Gordon’s industrial area. Since the opening of the multi-million kina road link to Ahuia Street, traffic congestion during peak hours is a nightmare for motorists using this short stretch.

***

WE thought all was well during the opening week of City Hall’s countdown to Christmas festivities at Jack Pidik Park in 5-Mile. Not so, as we are now getting reports of unruly youths, mostly from the settlements, hassling people who are attending these nightly festivities as well as motorists. NCD police are aware and will be taking tough action if these louts continue to disturb the peace and spirit of Christmas.

***

NCD police should also come down hard on senseless people who have a habit of burning vehicles that have broken down along the city roads. It is no longer safe to leave a vehicle on the road at night, even if it has run out of gas, because some idiot is likely to pop out of the darkness and set it on fire while the driver has gone to the fuel station.

***

ANOTHER reminder to NCD residents to use water wisely during Eda Ranu’s water rationing exercise, which began yesterday. ‘Save a gallon a day’ should be our motto.

***

IN a heartwarming tale, a cat that was missing for more than eight years has been reunited with her family thanks to a man who took her to the Marin Humane Society animal shelter. Ginger was just a kitten when she ran away from her Novato home. Reuniting a pet missing for eight years with their owners is a record for the organisation. 

 

QUOTE of the day: After a visit to the beach, it is hard to believe we live in a material age. – P K SHAW

***

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The National, Friday December 4th, 2015

 GEREHU, the biggest suburb in the National Capital District, is still a hot spot for car thefts, pick pockets and other petty crimes. Not a day goes by without such incidents and it makes you wonder why these criminals still purse their evil ways, even after several of them have been shot dead. Gerehu residents still believe that there are masterminds behind these car thefts who arrange for parts to be sold on the black market in the capital city and other major centres around the country. It is also common knowledge in Gerehu that most of the stolen vehicles are taken to Gerehu Stage 6 where they are stripped of their parts. Gerehu police station has a new commander and residents are hoping and praying that he will spearhead raids to these suspect areas and put an end to this major racket that is putting lives and properties of law-abiding residents are great risk.

***

WHILE Gerehu police are getting their acts together to restore law and order, Eda Ranu started its disconnection exercise this week and immediately reported that residents of this big and troublesome suburb are among the worst culprits in the capital city. For those who have ignored warnings from the water utility, it’s time to pay up of face an extended drought in your homes.

***

THE Christmas/New Year festive period is what we in the news media describe as the “silly season”. It’s that time of the year when coverage of hard political and business news comes to an abrupt end as the political and business leaders go off to enjoy their holidays. This means less hard news for our readers but we hope they will continue to buy and read their favourite newspaper. We value their support during the year.

***

The big stink after the recent supermarket fire at Malaoro market in Korobosea, NCD, is grave cause for concern. It seemed that city and health authorities were not overly concerned until a little letter appeared in The National yesterday. We were told yesterday that work will begin immediately to remove the ruins and clear the area of the stench. Indeed, a big relief for the residents who have been breathing foul air for the past two weeks.

***

WE were also taken to task by a contributor to our Letters-to-the-Editor page who reckoned Western Highlands Governor Paias Wingti does not deserve a knighthood and the new Kagamuga airport renamed after him. The writer compared Wingti to Sir Peter Ipatas, saying the Enga governor had done more to be recognised. May we remind him that Wingti was the first prime minister from the Highlands region and is a privy councillor. What more can you ask from a leader who has been there and done that?

***

QUOTE of the day: Tiime wounds all heels. – Groucho Marx

***

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The National, Thursday December 3rd, 2015

 ONE of our contributors to the letters page was horrified by our front page picture yesterday of the woman in a dress adorned with male and female condoms. Is this some kind of joke, he asked. “As Papua New Guinea is known for its abuse of women, this is an insult to all women and whoever came up with the idea of Grace appearing like that should apologise to all women in Papua New Guinea.” He added that we should vigorously start educating our population through all available means that “unless you are married, you can’t have sex”. Easier said than done.

***

RECKLESS motorists are still running the red lights in the capital city. Such people do not seem to have any fears of causing nasty accidents that could result in death or serious injuries to themselves and innocent people. It’s time for city authorities and the police to come down hard on these freaks.

***

BULB onions have become a rarity in the National Capital District following the Government’s recent ban on certain vegetable imports. While the black market in the city has been reaping off with shoppers for as much as K5 an onion, no one in neighbouring Central bothered to tell city dwellers to drive out to Bereina to pick up their supplies. Our picture/caption yesterday of Bereina farmer Catherine Oa was a big sigh of relief for onion lovers in NCD. 

***

THE first streetcars, which were drawn by horses, were introduced in New York City. The first electric streetcar system for urban passenger service in the US was introduced about 50 years later in Cleveland. The use of streetcars expanded in the US until World War I. 

***

WITH Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels was one of the founders of modern Communism. After forming a partnership to promote the socialist movement, the two organized revolutionary movements and collaborated on several works, most notably theCommunist Manifesto. 

***

EVEN the best poker players have “tells” that give away when they’re bluffing with a weak hand. Scientists who commit fraud have similar, but even more subtle, tells, and a pair of Stanford researchers have cracked the writing patterns of scientists who attempt to pass along falsified data.

***

QUOTE of the day: A timid question will always receive a confident answer – Lord Darling

***

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The National, Wednesday December 2nd, 2015

 EXCITING times ahead for Port Moresby in terms of hosting international events. Seventeen fields will be lifted to world standard just to fulfil the criteria of hosting the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup. This is a huge investment by the Government partnering with soccer, partnering with FIFA, creating lasting legacy in this country and for the future generation of this country.

***

SPORTS in the country are heading towards becoming businesses, especially football with the National Soccer League competition. Skilled players are bought to strengthen a team.

***

SOCCER is no longer just a game; it’s a game that is in business. Clubs have to understand that their ability to support those up and coming players is very much dependent on the success of the business model of each and every franchise. Sponsors of those franchises are the clubs’ business partners.

***

DAVY Jones’s Locker is a euphemism for death at sea and refers to the bottom of the ocean, where drowned sailors lie. Many theories exist as to where the name “Davy Jones” stems from, but while its origins are unclear, its meaning is not; sailors use the term when referring to the devil of the sea. Jones was described by one 18th century author as having 3 rows of teeth, horns, a tail, and blue smoke coming from his nostrils.

***

THE legendary no. 4472 Flying Scotsman steam locomotive was built by the London and North Eastern Railway in 1923 for use as a long-distance express train. The no. 4472 holds a number of records, including being the first locomotive to complete a nonstop run from London, England, to Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1934, the Flying Scotsman became the first steam locomotive to be officially recorded at 100mph. 

***

MARK Twain was an American author who, as a humorist, narrator, and social observer, is unsurpassed in American literature. Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Twain grew up in a port town on the Mississippi River and eventually became a river pilot. He first won fame with the comic masterpiece “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” His 1885 novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been called the first modern American novel.

***

AFTER having been a British colony since the 17th century, Barbados became independent on this day in 1966. Today, festivities extend through the month of November.

***

QUOTE of the day: Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart. – Washington Irving (1783-1859) 

***

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The National, Tuesday December 1st, 2015

 TODAY is World AIDS Day. December 1 has been designated to World AIDS Day year since 1988, and dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.

***

WORLD AIDS Day is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization(WHO), along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day,World No Tobacco Day, World Malaria Day and World Hepatitis Day. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day.

***

AS of 2013, AIDS has killed more than 36 million people worldwide (1981-2012), and an estimated 35.3 million people are living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues in recorded history. Despite recent improved access to antiretroviral treatment in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claims an estimated 2 million lives each year, of which about 270,000 are children.

***

THE Advent season marks the beginning of the Christian year in Western Christianity. Its length varies from 22 to 28 days, beginning on the Sunday nearest St. Andrew’s Day and encompassing the next three Sundays, ending on Christmas Eve. 

***

ORIGINALLY a period of reflection and penitence in preparation for Christmas, Advent has sometimes been referred to as the Winter Lent. Today, it is usually associated with the Advent calendars that parents give their children to help them count the days until Christmas. In Orthodox (Eastern) Christianity, Advent begins on November 15.

***

ABOUT 200 million years ago, Antarctica was joined to South America, Africa, India, Australia, and New Zealand in a single, warm continent called Gondwana. According to the plate tectonics theory, Antarctica split from Gondwana and drifted to its present location at the South Pole. Persistent westerly winds began to circle Antarctica, blocking heat transport to the continent and making it the coldest region on Earth. 

***

QUOTE of the day: I think the first duty of society is justice. – Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804)

***

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The National, Tuesday December 1st, 2015

 TODAY is World AIDS Day. December 1 has been designated to World AIDS Day year since 1988, and dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and mourning those who have died of the disease. Government and health officials, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world observe the day, often with education on AIDS prevention and control.

***

WORLD AIDS Day is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization(WHO), along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day,World No Tobacco Day, World Malaria Day and World Hepatitis Day. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day.

***

AS of 2013, AIDS has killed more than 36 million people worldwide (1981-2012), and an estimated 35.3 million people are living with HIV, making it one of the most important global public health issues in recorded history. Despite recent improved access to antiretroviral treatment in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claims an estimated 2 million lives each year, of which about 270,000 are children.

***

THE Advent season marks the beginning of the Christian year in Western Christianity. Its length varies from 22 to 28 days, beginning on the Sunday nearest St. Andrew’s Day and encompassing the next three Sundays, ending on Christmas Eve. 

***

ORIGINALLY a period of reflection and penitence in preparation for Christmas, Advent has sometimes been referred to as the Winter Lent. Today, it is usually associated with the Advent calendars that parents give their children to help them count the days until Christmas. In Orthodox (Eastern) Christianity, Advent begins on November 15.

***

ABOUT 200 million years ago, Antarctica was joined to South America, Africa, India, Australia, and New Zealand in a single, warm continent called Gondwana. According to the plate tectonics theory, Antarctica split from Gondwana and drifted to its present location at the South Pole. Persistent westerly winds began to circle Antarctica, blocking heat transport to the continent and making it the coldest region on Earth. 

***

QUOTE of the day: I think the first duty of society is justice. – Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804)

***

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The National, Monday November 30th, 2015

 EDA Ranu should off-load the cost of repairs carried to the water mains at the Erima roundabout to the company that owns the vehicle on Friday. The truck drove into one of the mains that caused structural damages to a large 900mm pipeline that serves water supply into the city. Water was restored to some areas on the stroke of mid-night. 

***

STILL don’t comprehend why semi-trailers are being driven at about 80km/hour in the city roads. The drivers have the basics of road safety and should be given refresher courses. Companies responsible must also take the initiative to address these areas before lives are lost; be it the driver or others.

***

THE first streetcars, which were drawn by horses, were introduced in New York City. The first electric streetcar system for urban passenger service in the US was introduced about 50 years later in Cleveland. The use of streetcars expanded in the US until WWI. 

***

THE unusually large, spherical Moeraki Boulders that dot a stretch of Koekohe Beach in New Zealand have been the subject of attention since prehistoric times. They range in size from .5 to 2.2 m (1.5 to 6.7 ft) in diameter and are composed of mud, fine-silt, and clay, and are cemented by calcite. 

***

WITH Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels was one of the founders of modern Communism. After forming a partnership to promote the socialist movement, the two organized revolutionary movements and collaborated on several works, most notably the Communist Manifesto. 

***

THE Chitlin’ Strut is a feast of chitlins, or chitterlings (hog intestines), held in the small town of Salley, South Carolina. The affair features a “hawg-calling” contest, country music, arts and crafts, a parade, lots of chitlins (about 8,000 pounds are devoured each year), and chicken for those not enamoured of chitlins. Chitlins are prepared by cleaning them well, boiling them until they are tender, and then, after coating them in egg and crumbs, frying them in deep fat until they’re crackling crisp.

***

EVEN the best poker players have “tells” that give away when they’re bluffing with a weak hand. Scientists who commit fraud have similar, but even more subtle, tells, and a pair of Stanford researchers have cracked the writing patterns of scientists who attempt to pass along falsified data.

***

QUOTE of the day: I made up my mind long ago that life was too short to do anything for myself that I could pay others to do for me. – W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

***

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The National, Friday November 27th, 2015

 EXACTLY a year ago, an Asian Development Bank study reported that Papua New Guinea’s economy was likely to suffer the biggest losses in the Pacific from climate change. Wonder if anyone took serious note of what the report highlighted.

***

THE report projected significant losses would be felt in the country, where severe failures in sweet potato crops and other agricultural products and the increased economic burdens of cooling, mortality and land depletion, could trigger a loss of up to 15.2 per cent of its GDP by 2100. Timor-Leste’s GDP is predicted to drop by up to 10 per cent, followed by Vanuatu at 6.2 per cent, Solomon Islands at 4.7 per cent, Fiji at 4 per cent and Samoa at 3.8 per cent.

***

THE St John’s Blood Service is desperately in need of blood and is appealing to the public to donate. They have enough blood in the bank for a day but if there is a major disaster where a 100 people need blood, the bank will not be able to supply that. The public is advised to drop into the blood service centre at 3-Mile to donate blood.

***

BLOOD transfusion saves lives and improves health, but many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood. The need for blood transfusion may arise at any time in both urban and rural areas. The unavailability of blood has led to deaths and many patients suffering from ill-health.

***

WHETHER it is true that statistics have it that most road accidents in PNG today are caused by drivers who do not know their road rules and not so much drunk driving, it seems true. Drivers may know the skill but knowing the rules is a different thing. Most seem to be getting licences through the wantok system and compromise the safety of the travelling public when they start trying to be smart on the road.

***

SEVERAL years back, it was announced the Government was working on regulating the import of high fat food products to cut down on fat content and that included lamb flaps. Many argued that lamb flaps are affordable to the majority of the people because of the socio-economic condition.

***

HEALTH expats pointed out that there is nothing healthy in lamb flaps. What is contains is 95 per cent fat and 5 per cent protein, yet it is almost everywhere, on roadside markets, on lunch and dinner tables and in kai-bars throughout the country. It is a case of comprising one’s health for a cheap protein.

***

STILL no word on that proposal!!!

****

QOUTE of the day: Knowledge can be communicated but not wisdom.

***

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The National, Thursday November 26th, 2015

 THE main role of a shop assistant is to help customers with their queries from what they sell in the shop; where customers can locate a particular product and to offer assistance by way of greeting customers. Walk into the major shopping outlets in Port Moresby and try asking for assistance and you will be appalled at the feedback you get from some of the sales assistants. Who do we blame for the poor feedback?  

***

PARLIAMENT should pass a law giving the National Capital District Commission the power to impound vehicles that crash into the cement flower pots on highways. The bill is the cost of constructing a new one and it should be settled in full before the vehicle is released. 

***

IN 1951, the British Royal Navy ship HMS Challenger II surveyed the Challenger Deep trench of the Pacific Ocean, located between Indonesia and Japan, establishing it as the deepest known point of any ocean on Earth. Less than a decade later, a US Navy deep-sea diving submersible descended to the trench floor. There, the crew observed small sole and flounder and noted that the floor consisted of diatomaceous ooze.

***

THE German-Japanese Anti-Comintern Pact was one of a series of agreements leading to the formation of the Axis Powers. Ostensibly directed against the Comintern, an association of national communist parties that degenerated under Stalin into an instrument of Soviet politics, the pact contained a secret agreement stating that if either signatory power went to war with the USSR, the other would maintain a benevolent neutrality.

***

KARL Benz was a German engineer credited with building the first automobile powered by an internal-combustion engine. His Motorwagen, the first commercial automobile, was first driven in 1885 and patented the next year. It had three wheels, an electric ignition, differential gears, and was water-cooled. Benz’s familiarity with and fondness for bicycles inspired the design of his “horseless carriage.”

***

ESTONIAN folklorists believe that the customs associated with Kadripäev, or St. Catherine’s Day, may date back to pre-Christian times. The holiday is strongly associated with women and their traditional activities, such as herding. People dress up in light-colored clothing, symbolizing winter’s snow, and visit their neighbors, singing songs and offering blessings for the family’s animals. In return, householders offer them cloth, wool, or food. An old superstition connected with the day forbade such activities as shearing as a means of protecting the sheep.

***

QUOTE of the day: You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. – Margaret Thatcher 

***

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The National, Wednesday November 25th, 2015

 IT is about time road authorities put forward a proposal for approval to increase the speed limit on certain sections of the freeway to 80km/h to match the average speed of cars. From the Courts roundabout to Kone, for example, make it illegal to drop below 60km/hr on the inside lane, below 40km/hr on the second lane and the outside lane can be anything less than 40km/hr and for trucks/semi-trailers.

***

MAKE it illegal to leave a vehicle broken down in the middle of the road without hazard lights on or some sort of flare warning to other approaching drivers. 

***

AUTHORITIES should really put in place laws to stop people burning rubbish in neighbourhoods and on the hills whenever they want to. It really is an ugly site, flying into the capital city of Papua New Guinea and the first thing that greets you is smoke from up in the air.

***

YOU see black scarred mountain tops and even flat land stretching over miles, just black.

***

THEN the fire by inconsiderate neighbours burning their rubbish within the residential areas really pollutes the air, especially with the current winds. 

***

NATIONAL Bible Week … a week devoted to encouraging people to read the Bible, in the belief that it will arouse a positive spiritual force in a world plagued with problems. National Bible Week is promoted by the National Bible Association (originally the Laymen’s National Committee), a non-denominational group of businessmen founded in 1940 and devoted to the application of the Golden Rule in daily life. A huge audience listened to the NBC radio program that was broadcast to kick off the first National Bible Week scheduled for December 8-14, 1941; Pearl Harbour had been bombed just hours before.

***

LIGHT is any wavelength of electromagnetic radiation, though the word is commonly used to refer to the visible light spectrum. The human eye typically perceives electromagnetic wavelengths between 400 and 700 nanometres, interpreting them as a range of coloiurs from red to violet. Light is understood to exhibit both particle and wave properties, and the fundamental particle, or quantum, of light is called the photon.

***

INTERESTING read….the Tsimane women of Bolivia are often revered as among the most fertile in the world. While collecting information from nearly 1000 women in this community over nine years, researchers discovered that it may have to do with something pretty surprising: parasitic worm infections.

***

QUOTE of the day: We are always getting ready to live, but never living. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

***

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The National, Tuesday November 24th, 2015

 Drivers may thing they know, but it is worth the reminder with the festive season just round the corner. Traffic lights may also be known as stoplights, traffic lamps, traffic signals and signal lights, are signalling devices positioned at road intersections, pedestrian crossings and other locations to control competing flows of traffic.

***

DRINK driving is the major cause of road accidents in the country. With Christmas comes a lot of parties, and this should be the time when authorities responsible for conducting random road checks on drivers and vehicles start using breathalysers. It would be interesting to note how many drivers who take the test, rate on the breathalyser. 

***

ROAD accidents are caused or influenced by a number of factors such as vehicle defects, road environment or road user behaviour. However, research across the world has found that human behaviour is one of the most common factors causing road accidents.   

***

MANY vehicles should be pulled off the road, and they include those with broken headlights and tail-lights, plastered windscreen, bald tyres, etc. Very simply, these vehicles are hazardous to other road users. 

***

THERE are still more than 30 shopping days till Christmas, but people around the globe are already getting in the holiday spirit. In Venezuela, a cook-a-thon of the country’s traditional Christmas dinner staples earned world records for the largest pan de jamon, a type of ham-filled bread, and hallaca, a tamale-like dish. The cook-a-thon is not without controversy, however, as it comes at a time when many Venezuelans are struggling with shortages of basic goods and skyrocketing

***

FIREWORKS will be soon be fired up especially on New Year’s eve is generally believed to have been invented by the Chinese, and has been used throughout history to celebrate happy occasions. In 1789, George Washington’s inauguration was accompanied by a display, and today, fireworks help mark Independence Day in the US, Diwali in India, Bastille Day in France, and New Year’s Eve around the world. In 1999, Disney World began launching fireworks with compressed air rather than gunpowder.

***

ZWIEBELMARKT is a great celebration of onions in Bern, the capital of Switzerland. The onion market is said to date back to the great fire of 1405, after which farmers of Fribourg were given the right to sell their products in Bern because they helped rebuild the city. 

***

QUOTE of the day: Many ideas grow when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up. – Oliver Wendell Holmes 

***

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The National, Monday November 23rd, 2015

 CHRISTMAS lights at the 5-Mile roundabout in Port Moresby are back bringing that festive season very close.

***

MANY vehicles should be pulled off the road, and they include those with broken headlights and tail-lights, plastered windscreen, bald tyres, etc. Very simply, these vehicles are hazardous to other road users. The authorities know this but they are not doing anything about it. Road checks provide the opportunity for them to act correctly, but instead the officers are more interested in trying to nail an expat in the hope of getting some pocket money.

***

YOU would think by now the National Capital District Commission would have constructed parking lots in locations close to major office complexes to help with traffic flow and with congestion, but it is okay, we can all park wherever it is appropriate even if it means blocking others for our own convenience.

***

THE organs of smell are confined to a small area in the roof of the nasal cavity. Olfactory cells are stimulated when certain molecules reach them, and nerve fibres extend from these receptor cells to the olfactory bulb in the human brain. Smell is one of our most subtle senses, amplifying the sense of taste and detecting tens of thousands of distinct scents. Odour information is easily stored in long-term memory and has strong connections to emotional memory. 

***

AND it gets interesting reading about smell: Meet the dogs who can sniff out cancer better than some lab tests. Lucy, a cross between a Labrador retriever and an Irish water spaniel, failed miserably at guide dog school. As she was curious and easily excitable, random scents distracted Lucy from her master’s path, and it wasn’t long before she was unceremoniously kicked out. 

***

BUT her owners knew their smart dog held promise. They decided, if her nose was getting her into trouble (she was after all, bred to be a hunting dog), why not train her to sniff out something useful? For the next seven years, Lucy learned to sniff out bladder, kidney and prostate cancer, and was even used in a study. Over the years, she has been able to detect cancer correctly more than 95 per cent of the time. That’s better than some lab tests used to diagnose cancer. 

***

NOW, Lucy is part of one of the largest clinical trials of canine cancer detection. A British organization, Medical Detection Dogs, has eight dogs sniff out 3000 urine samples from National Health Service patients to see whether they can discern who has cancer and who doesn’t. 

***

QUOTE of the day:  The female of the genus homo is economically dependent on the male. He is her food supply.  – Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)

***

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The National, Friday November 20th, 2015

 VIOLENCE against women in public places is now reaching a stage of despair. It is now time for neighbours to start taking the step to call the police, especially when a husband is hitting his wife. This is no show for spectators, do something.

***

EVEN in government offices in Papua New Guinea, we stand in queues to be served. Most times, those serving at the counters are quick to do their jobs, while others are not so quick. In most government offices, it is hard to locate where the client serving area in the office is. 

***

YOU will have to ask around and look for it. And if you do locate one, you will have to wait for the person serving at the counter to come.

***

YOU are standing in line at the bank and someone asks “have you been served yet?” If I had been served, would I be standing here?

***

A SUGGESTION has been made for Port Moresby to be named as the standing queue city. Everywhere people are standing in queues to be served. Wonder what is happening? At the airports for check-in, wharves, banks, schools, stores and even hospitals. Most times, those standing in queues, especially those in the banks, will start to grumble and say all kinds of things relating to the bank, the management or even the tellers.

***

TRAFFIC or road signs are signs erected at the side of or above roads to provide information to road users. The earliest signs were simple wooden or stone milestones. Later, signs with directional arms were introduced, for example, the fingerposts in the United Kingdom and their wooden counterparts in Saxony.

***

YOU all know why police officers continue to abuse their powers and use force unnecessarily? It is because most or many of us aggrieved citizens do not stand up for our rights and seek justice. 

***

THE constabulary has an avenue for criminal complaints against its officers. It is called the Internal Investigations Unit. We are all encouraged to make use of this avenue. The more cops go to jail for criminal abuse of police powers, a general and more noticeable positive change will gradually come about in the way we deal with offenders and the public.

***

UNICEF data shows about a third of Pacific Islands people still lack access to toilets and the region’s sanitation specialist Marc Overmars says people shy away from discussing them.

***

QUOTE of the day: Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans; it’s lovely to be silly at the right moment. – Horace 

***

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The National, Thursday November 19th, 2015

 Wonder where PNG would stand in such statistics!! Australians are living longer, are healthier and better educated than a decade ago, according to a snapshot released by the bureau of statistics. The report is broken up into four areas: society, economy, governance and environment. It has found a nation in good shape in most areas. In the 10 years to 2011, life expectancy at birth has improved by 2.7 years for males and 1.8 years for females. 

***

RESEARCHERS are hoping to stave off one of the greatest pitfalls of aging – loss of brain function – with vitamin D. Studies have recently discovered vitamin D improves memory in mice, and researchers are hoping it will translate into humans. The world-first study is looking at how the vitamin can improve brain function in older people.

***

HOW many of our leaders can do this? Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted during a heated city council debate Wednesday that he bought illegal drugs while in office, but adamantly refused to step down despite calls from nearly every councillor to take a leave of absence and get help.

***

A SATELLITE radio is a digital radio that receives signals broadcast by communications satellites. Since satellite radio operates wherever there is line of sight between the antenna and satellite, the signal spans a much wider geographical range than terrestrial radio. Satellite radio service is subscription-based and can only be accessed through specialised receivers.

***

AFTER nearly three decades in the German army, Erwin Rommel, who will become a famous WWII field marshal, was promoted by Hitler to the rank of general in 1939. The next year, he brilliantly commanded a panzer division in the attack on France. He then led the Afrika Korps against the Allies in N Africa, where he became known as the “Desert Fox” for his audacious surprise attacks. Allied success led Rommel to lose respect for Hitler and join a plot to remove the führer from office.

***

ST. Leonard, the patron saint of prisoners, is honored each year in the French town of Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat by a ceremony in which 30 men carry the quintaine, a three-foot-high box painted to resemble a prison, to the church to be blessed. Afterward, they mount it on a post and strike it with mallets as they gallop by on horseback. Fragments of the smashed quintaine are said to bring good luck and to make hens lay eggs.

***

QUOTE of the day: No one is compelled to serve great causes unless he feels fit for it. – Winston Churchill 

***

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The National, Wednesday November 18th, 2015

 INTERESTING police in the Northern California city of Mountain View saw something unusual on the road recently: A car was moving too slowly, causing a traffic backlog.So they pulled over the vehicle and peered inside.It was a self-driving car.

***

GOOGLE’S autonomous vehicle project, which has logged 1.2 million miles, was nearly handed its first traffic ticket on Thursday when police officers stopped one of the cars because it was going 24 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone. The officer stopped the car and made contact with the operators to learn more about how the car was choosing speeds along certain roadways and to educate the operators about impeding traffic.

***

THE term rocket-propelled grenade is actually a misnomer stemming from the Russian acronym for a handheld anti-tank grenade-launcher. The RPG, developed by the Soviets during WWII, is a low-cost, low-tech, direct fire, portable weapon used primarily against unarmoured or medium-armoured vehicles and personnel.

***

WHILE working at the Stanford Research Institute in the early 1960s, human-computer interaction pioneer Doug Engelbart invented the first computer mouse, so called because of its resemblance to the small rodent. His mouse was constructed out of a wooden box and two wheels set perpendicular to one another. The rotation of each wheel was translated into motion along one axis, and this information was relayed to the computer to indicate the mouse’s position. 

***

MARTIN Scorsese is an American film director whose movies often deal with violent and obsessive aspects of modern America and the themes of sin and redemption. He won critical attention for his film Mean Streets in 1973 and went on to make a number of acclaimed films, including Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and The Departed, for which he finally received the Academy Award for best director.

***

IN 1939, Nazi troops invaded Czechoslovakia and took over the country. On Nov 17, student protests were held. Nazi troops subsequently executed nine students and sent many to a concentration camp. On Nov 17, 1989, Czech students gathered to demonstrate against the communist regime. This marked the beginning of the Velvet Revolution. Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day is a national holiday in the Czech Republic. People gather and light candles near a “V for Victory” memorial plaque on National Avenue in Prague, and the national flag is flown in all public places.

***

QUOTE of the day: Fame is like a river; that beareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid. – Francis Bacon 

***

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The National, Tuesday November 17th, 2015

 WITH Christmas already here, always perform a basic safety visual check on Christmas lights before buying them. PNG Power over the past few years has been advising of an influx of illegal decorative lights into the country, so always check the insulation thickness or plug configurations before purchasing the lights or any other product.

***

CURRENT nutrition guidelines recommend that people consume five portions of fruits and vegetables a day, and a serving of unsweetened juice can count towards this number. However, health campaigners are pushing for officials to remove juice from the guidelines because it can be confusing to parents. Many parents are under the impression that juice is a healthy choice for their children since it is derived from fruit, but they fail to realise that such juices are often packed with added sugars and that juice boxes typically exceed the recommended serving size.

***

INTERESTING read about blood group we stumbled on the other day. What kind of blood you have is determined by the genes you inherit from your parents and is divided into different types, known as blood groups. The four main blood groups are A, B, AB and O. Each group can be either RhD positive or RhD negative, which means that your blood group can be one of eight types.

***

WE fall into the AB category and it says type AB blood does not produce enough stomach acid to digest meat properly. The recommendation is to eat meat in moderation and avoid meat, such as beef, chicken and veal as much as possible. And the first two are our favourite.

***

THE AB blood type is thought to be more complicated than the other blood types. It combines some of the vulnerabilities of both the Type A and Type B blood types. There are specific foods that an individual with Type AB blood should avoid.

***

THE first general American Indian Day was observed on the second Saturday in May 1916. Since 1995, the month of November has been observed as American Indian Heritage Month. Although the largest Native American populations can be found in Oklahoma, Arizona, California, New Mexico and North Carolina, many other states have come up with ways to draw attention to their unique contribution to American culture. Most celebrations focus on educational and promotional events, displays of Native American art and dance, and agricultural fairs.

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QUOTE of the day: One of the problems with mass producers is that they’re inclined to be mess producers. – P.K. Shaw 

***

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The National, Monday November 16th, 2015

 IT’S easy to make fun of people in big cities for their obsession with gluten, or chia seeds, or cleanses.But urbanites are not the only ones turning away from the products created by big food companies. Eating habits are changing across the country and food companies are struggling to keep up.

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GENERAL Mills will drop all artificial colours and flavours from its cereals. Perdue, Tyson and Foster Farm have begun to limit the use of antibiotics in their chicken. Kraft declared it was dropping artificial dyes from its macaroni and cheese. Hershey’s will begin to move away from ingredients such as the emulsifier polyglycerolpolyricinoleate to “simple and easy-to-understand ingredients” like “fresh milk from local farms, roasted California almonds, cocoa beans and sugar.”

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THE Magyars, a nomadic people, migrated from the Urals to the Northern Caucasus region around 460 CE. They remained there for roughly 400 years, until the advance of the Pechenegs forced them west into what is now Romania. They arrived in Hungary towards the end of the 9th century, displacing the resident Huns and Slavs. The Magyars currently comprise 92% of the Hungarian population; consequently, the words Magyar and Hungarian are used interchangeably. 

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A YEAR after learning to fly, aviator Eugene Ely performed an experiment for the US Navy: he took off from a temporary platform built over the bow of the USS Birmingham, anchored off Virginia’s coast, and became the first person to take off from a ship in a fixed-wing aircraft. 

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LINDGREN was a Swedish children’s book author and screenwriter best remembered for writing the series of books featuring the character PippiLångstrump, or PippiLongstocking. Pippi, an unconventional, assertive, and extraordinarily strong girl—recognized by her fiery red hair worn in braids that stick out sideways from her head—was featured in many of Lindgren’s hundreds of books, which sold roughly 145 million copies worldwide. 

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THE second Friday in November is Lord Mayor’s Day in London, the day on which the city’s Lord Mayor is admitted to office. The following day is the Lord Mayor’s Show, a series of civic ceremonies held since 1215 that culminate in a parade to the Law Courts. Today, the Lord Mayor rides from Guildhall to the Law Courts in a scarlet and gold coach drawn by six matched horses.

***

QUOTE of the day: Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go. – Mother Teresa

***

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The National, Friday November 13th, 2015

 ENOUGH of talking and please whoever is responsible, just remove all those PMVs in Port Moresby who are operating with the private (white) registration plates. 

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WHY, because we hear whoever gets on those PMVs operating with private registration plates are not covered under the Motor Vehicles Third Party Insurance Act. Wonder if there is any truth that the number equates to almost three quarters of PMVs in the nation’s capital.

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VACCINATION is widely considered as one of the greatest medical achievements of modern civilisation. Childhood diseases that were common less than a generation ago are now increasingly rare because of vaccines. Children who developed physical disabilities resulting from poliomyelitis are now extremely rare. Papua New Guinea and the rest of the countries in this region declared polio-free since 2000, and remained polio-free until now. 

***

EVER wondered what the Christmas Carol is all about. It is an English Christmas carol that enumerates a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the 12 days of Christmas. The Twelve Days of Christmas are the festive days beginning Christmas Day (Dec 25). 

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THIS period is known as Christmastide and Twelvetide. The Twelfth Night of Christmas is always on the evening of Jan 5, but the Twelfth Day can either precede or follow the Twelfth Night according to which Christian tradition is followed. Twelfth Night is followed by the Feast of the Epiphany on Jan 6. 

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IT is the time of the year again, when everyone is frantically running around looking for gift for friends and family. A true Christmas present is not found in a shopping, on a credit card or in a box. It is found deep down inside your heart. Open your hearts to the true meaning. The best gift is not something you can buy, wrap, or tie. The best gift is something you can hold and Cherish for a lifetime.

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WE love this series … Dog Whisperer is a National Geographic Channel reality TV series in which Cesar Millan, a self-proclaimed dog behaviourist, rehabilitates unruly dogs and teaches their owners proper canine training techniques. Though he has no formal certification, Millan believes his early observations of his family’s farm dogs give him unique insight into pack mentality. In 2006, Millan published Cesar’s Way, a guide to dog psychology.

***

QUOTE of the day: You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room. – Dr. Seuss

***

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The National, Thursday November 12th, 2015

 WHERE has the days gone!!! We celebrated the New Year not so long ago and we are already at the season of winding down and celebrations. It is 44 days to Christmas and 51 days to saying goodbye to 2015.

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WE acknowledge Samaritan Aviation, which is making a huge difference in East Sepik with Life Flights for mothers and their babies who are facing life or death pregnancy complications. These flights are helping to significantly drop the infant mortality rate. 

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THEY say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only will it affect one’s energy level for the day, but breakfast can help control your weight. So, there you go for those wanting to lose weight and decide to skip breakfast. Another problem is most people are eating the wrong foods for breakfast, which cause them to be obese and unhealthy.

***

AND remember, exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help in weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.

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AUTOMOTIVE airbag inflation occurs only milliseconds after crash sensors detect a collision. The airbag’s cushioning effectively prevents direct human impact with dangerous vehicular surfaces and reduces the deceleration passengers experience as they come to a stop. While airbags were initially viewed as an alternative to seatbelts, they are now understood to offer greater protection when used in conjunction with other automotive safety methods.

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WILLIAM Hogarth was a British painter and engraver who began his career as an apprentice to a silversmith at the age of 15. At 22, he opened his own engraving and printing shop. His first successes were satirical engravings that attacked contemporary taste and questioned the art establishment. His efforts to protect artists against art piracy were instrumental in the passage of Britain’s first copyright act in 1735.

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MARTIN’S Festival in Germany honors both St. Martin of Tours and Martin Luther (1483-1546), the German theologian and leader of the Protestant Reformation. In Düsseldorf, a man dressed as St. Martin rides through the streets followed by hundreds of children. Many carry lanterns made from hollowed-out pumpkins. In Erfurt, where Martin Luther attended the university, there is a procession of children carrying lanterns. With their lanterns, the children form the “Luther rose,” or the escutcheon of Martin Luther.

***

QUOTE of the day: Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work. – Mother Teresa

***

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The National, Wednesday November 11th, 2015

 ABOUT two years ago that we welcome the arrival of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in the country who many received with open arms. We hope our Papua New Guinea police who had the opportunity to work with the AFP learned as much as possible to increase productivity level in time management, work and discipline.

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NOW read on, certain food words can interact with stress and genetics to trigger unhealthy eating, two new studies suggest. The findings were presented at the Obesity Week, a meeting in Los Angeles hosted by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and The Obesity Society. One study included 17 obese people and 12 normal-weight people whose brain activity was monitored while they looked at words describing high- and low-calorie foods.

***

“OUR study found that individuals with obesity had a stronger response to words associated with high-calorie foods – such as chocolate spread and chicken wings– in a widespread neural circuit spanning multiple areas of the brain,” study leader Susan Carnell said in Obesity Society news release. Stress made the obese participants more likely to want high-calorie foods.

***

ANDRE-JAQUES Garnerin used his invention, the parachute, when he undertook the first jump from a hot air balloon in 1797. Since then, parachuting, or skydiving, has been utilised in military operations as well as for recreation and sport. Skydiving typically involves jumping from an aircraft at an altitude of about 4000m, free-falling, and then deploying a parachute to slow the landing.

***

IN 1938, using the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris as a pretext, Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels urged violent reprisals against Jews. The resulting pogrom left 91 Jews dead and hundreds injured. Some 30,000 Jewish males were arrested and taken to concentration camps, and thousands of Jewish-owned businesses and synagogues were destroyed. The incident marked a major escalation in the Nazi program of Jewish persecution, foreshadowing the Holocaust.

***

HEDY Lamarr was an Austrian-American actress known primarily for her beauty and her successful film career – including her role as Delilah in Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah. However, she also co-invented an early form of spread spectrum encoding – intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder to detect or jam – in the 1940s with her neighbor, composer George Antheil.

***

QUOTE of the day: You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go. – Dr Seus

***

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The National, Tuesday November 10th, 2015

 CONTRATULATIONS Divine Word University for delivering your second semester examinations online for all fulltime undergraduate students!!! We hear this is the first time students at the Madang campus have taken exams online through Moodle – a Learning Management System (LMS). The students did their online exams using the laptops the University issued. 

***

WE hope to write and read more about other tertiary institutions following soon. 

***

IN June 2016, the Pacific Jewel cruise ship will become the first cruise ship to call at these uninhabited islands, as part its Papua New Guinea itineraries. The cruise line is working with entrepreneur and conservationist Ian Gowrie-Smith to bring cruise ships to his islands – one of only a few parcels of land owned freehold in Papua New Guinea.

***

A NEW type of stomach-filling balloon can help people drop pounds, and it doesn’t require any surgery to place it, researchers reported Thursday. Patients can just swallow the deflated balloon, and doctors can use a narrow catheter to fill it with water. The balloon makes it harder to overeat. A study presented at the Obesity Week meeting in Los Angeles shows the “balloon pill” works at least as well as other stomach balloons to help people lose weight.

***

THE poison dart frogs belong to the family Dendrobatidae, a group of small, diurnal, often brightly coloured frogs native to Central and South America. These frogs secrete poisonous alkaloids through their skin, which ranges in colour from bright orange to black and blue. Most poison frogs are not toxic to humans or animals, but a few secrete a potent neurotoxin that can kill within minutes.

***

AFTER working as a journalist, Margaret Mitchell spent 10 years writing her only novel: Gone with the Wind, a romantic, panoramic portrait of the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods from the white Southern point of view. The book, which earned Mitchell the Pulitzer Prize, is one of the most popular novels in the history of American publishing, and its film adaptation was also extraordinarily successful.

***

ON Nov 10, 1975, the 26,000-ton ore carrier SS Edmund Fitzgerald, the largest ship on the Great Lakes in its time, sank during a deadly storm on Lake Superior. A commemoration of that tragedy is held at the Mariners’ Church in downtown Detroit, Michigan. As the names of the 29 lost crewmen are read out, a family member or friend of the deceased rings a ship’s bell. 

***

QUOTE of the day: A memory is a beautiful thing, it’s almost a desire that you miss. – Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)

***

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The National, Monday November 9th, 2015

 IF you want action taken against someone who has done wrong, start the process by making an official complaint instead of writing letters to the newspapers or posting on the blog sites or internet. That action you are taking will not help anyone at all. 

***

JUST wondering why civil servants keep running to the court house to stop this and that and all that crap about not being aware of the changes? The appointing process of many jobs in the civil service and indeed in any other private company is very clear. 

***

THERE are set rules and procedures to be followed. That is why we are perplexed at the continuing infighting over jobs in many public service positions today.

***

DEPARTMENT heads are selected via a strenuous scrutiny which should, but does not often include, a public advertisement both in country and abroad for suitable candidates for the post.

***

THE minister responsible, the public services commission and the department of personnel management are involved in the selection process. These different levels of authorities do not work together but often on their own with one checking on the other to ensure the process is not corrupted.

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IN the end a submission goes from the minister to the National Executive Council for final decision on who should be a department head. The minister’s submission contains a shortlist of names of candidates for the post.

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ON March 24, 1998, Mitchell Johnson, age 13, and Andrew Golden, age 11, opened fire on students and teachers at their Arkansas middle school. Johnson hid in a wooded area and waited while Golden set off the school’s fire alarm. Then, as the building was being evacuated, the two boys shot and killed four students and a teacher; another 10 people were wounded in the shooting. Both boys were apprehended, tried, and convicted.

***

THE London Gazette is one of the British government’s official journals of record in which statutory notices are required to be published. Originally called the Oxford Gazette, it was first published in 1665, making it the oldest surviving English newspaper and the oldest continuously published newspaper in the United Kingdom.

***

QUOTE of the day: My definition [of a philosopher] is of a man up in a balloon, with his family and friends holding the ropes which confine him to earth and trying to haul him down. – Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

***

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The National, Friday November 6th, 2015

 WOW!!! Indeed something positive for the country that UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham started his world tour with the first stop in PNG or more precisely Mt Hagen.

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SOME might be wondering why we are excited and here is why. David Beckham is the English footballer whose stardom extends beyond the field and into international celebrity. David Beckham was already a crowd-pleasing star for Manchester United when he married Spice Girls star Victoria Adams (then known as “Posh Spice”) in July of 1999; the combination of the two heartthrobs proved irresistible to the press and public, and they became one of Britain’s most famous couples. 

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BECKHAM’S fashion-forward haircuts, tattoos and snappy suits were closely observed in the British press. As a player, Beckham became known best for his pinpoint free kicks, slick passing, and spectacular long-range shots (including a famous goal from midfield against Wimbledon in 1996). 

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BECKHAM was disqualified from the 1998 World Cup for a rough foul in England’s loss to Argentina, but returned to play in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups; he was injured before the 2010 event. He was captain of the English national team from 2000 until 2006, when he stepped down from the role after a loss to Portugal in the World Cup quarterfinals. 

***

IN 1325, Ibn Battuta embarked on an extraordinary 75,000-mile (120,675-km) journey via Mecca to Egypt, East Africa, India, and China. He set out at age 21 and returned home some 30 years later. No other medieval traveller is known to have journeyed so extensively. The details of his travels are recorded in a narrative titled The Adventures of Ibn Battuta. 

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COFOUNDER of one of Japan’s first political parties, Hara served as prime minister of Japan from 1918 to 1921, becoming the first commoner to be appointed to that office. During that time, he suppressed labour organisation while extending suffrage to small landholders by lowering the property qualifications for voting. 

***

THE idea of letting children have a “lawless night” originated in England, and was often celebrated on May Day Eve (April 30) or on Halloween. But in the mid-17th century, when Guy Fawkes Day (Nov 5) became a national holiday, Guy Fawkes Eve became the most popular night for mischief in England, Australia, and New Zealand.

***

QUOTE of the day: The offhand decision of some commonplace mind high in office at a critical moment influences the course of events for a hundred years. – Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

***

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The National, Thursday November 5th, 2015

 WALKED past a vehicle with a Government registration plate and a sticker on the windscreen that caught our attention was a vehicle pass for a popular night club in Port Moresby. We would not have made a mention if it was pasted on a private vehicle. That particular vehicle is allocated to a certain officer but at the end of the day it belongs to no one but the Government of PNG.

***

AND one still spots government plated vehicles dressed in tints on the streets.

***

A PULSE is caused by the alternate expansion and contraction of artery walls as heart action varies blood volume within the arteries. The arteries become distended during systole, or heart contraction, and their walls contract during diastole, when the heart relaxes. The pulse, measured in beats per minute, can be felt at a number of points throughout the human body, but is most commonly palpated at the wrist or neck.

***

SEABISCUIT was a famous thoroughbred racehorse. As a colt, he was undersized, knobby kneed, and given to sleeping and eating. He failed to win any of his first races and became the butt of stable jokes. In the midst of the Great Depression, however, he began to win a number of prestigious and unlikely races, becoming a symbol of hope to many Americans.

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OFTEN classified as the first modern American writer, Crane was among the first to introduce realism into American literature. He achieved international fame with his masterwork, The Red Badge of Courage, which depicts the psychological turmoil of a young Civil War soldier. While traveling as a war correspondent, Crane survived a shipwreck and ended up adrift in a dinghy. This ordeal inspired him to write the acclaimed story The Open Boat.

***

THE fossil of a small primate with ‘goggle’ eyes that strode atop tree branches, snagging snacks of fruit, suggests the last common ancestor of all apes might have been less like humans’ closest living relatives than often thought, researchers say.

This discovery could shed light on what the last common ancestor of all apes and humans might have been like, scientists added.

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FOR instance, the newfound species was a small-bodied ape that would have weighed about 8.8 to 11 lbs. (4 to 5 kilograms), making it similar in size to the smallest living gibbons.

***

QUOTE of the day: Opportunities flit by while we sit regretting the chances we have lost, and the happiness that comes to us we heed not, because of the happiness that is gone. – Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

***

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The National, Wednesday November 4th, 2015

 IT sure was a disappointment for a good number of punters yesterday as Prince Of Penzance pulled off a Melbourne Cup boil over at Flemington, with jockey Michelle Payne becoming the first female to salute in Australia’s biggest race much to their disappointment.

***

AND we are not sure how many of you took note of our tip yesterday. We tipped Prince Of Penzance 

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The only public holiday in the world dedicated to a horse race, Melbourne Cup Day has been observed in Melbourne, Australia, since the first Cup race was held there in 1867. For those who attend, it is a particularly glamorous event: the champagne flows, huge sums of money are wagered, and the women wear lavish hats while the men turn out in grey top hats and dark morning suits. A six-week festival, known as the Spring Racing Carnival, leads up to the big day and lasts well into November.

***

THE Tootsie Roll chocolatey chew has a long history that begins in New York City in 1896. Leo Hirshfield invented the candy as a non-melting, economical alternative to traditional chocolates. Tootsie Rolls were so hardy, in fact, that they were added to soldiers’ rations during WWII. 

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AS of 2003, Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc. was producing 60 million Tootsie Rolls and 20 million Tootsie Pops, lollipops with a Tootsie Roll filling, every day.

***

IN 1571, a novel triangular gallows allowing for the hanging of several people at once was erected in the English village of Tyburn, which became so famous for its executions that thousands of paying spectators would turn out for hangings. During a 1649 mass execution, 24 prisoners were hanged there. The site became synonymous with capital punishment

***

BELLINI was an Italian composer who was born into a musical family and began composing in his childhood. He wrote his first opera at age 24 and went on to complete nine more before his death at age 33. His most celebrated works, which rely strongly on beautiful vocal melody and include the operas Norma and La Sonnambula – Italian for “The Sleepwalker” – greatly influenced the work of Giuseppe Verdi.

***

QUOTE of the day: Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run. – Mark Twain (1835-1910)

***

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The National, Tuesday November 3rd, 2015

 THE race that stops almost all workforces around 2pm every year is here – yep it’s the Melbourne Cup. Lucky punters will be smiling while others will curse under their breath for their choice. So good luck and remember gamble wisely.  

***

SOME who hardly punt or read about the four-legged animals started the research last week. We will place a bet on Prince of Penzance, in honour of Ballarat strapper Steven Payne, who has Down syndrome and is employed by trainer Darren Weir. 

***

THE Melbourne Cup is Australia’s most prestigious Thoroughbred horse race. Marketed as “the race that stops a nation”, it is a 3,200 metre race for three-year-olds and over. It is the richest “two-mile” handicap in the world, and one of the richest turf races. Conducted annually by the Victoria Racing Club on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria, the event starts at 3pm (daylight saving time) on the first Tuesday in November.

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THE first Melbourne Cup was held in 1861 and Archer, the winning horse, collected £170 and gold watch for his efforts. Legend has it that Archer walked all the way to Melbourne from his stables in Nowra, NSW – about 800km. By comparison, the winner of the 2011 Melbourne Cup will take home $3.6 million, and approximately half the horses will have flown here from overseas. 

***

KIDNEY stones are small, hard masses of minerals and organic matter that form in the kidneys. Small stones may be eliminated with the normal passage of urine, but larger stones can obstruct the urinary system, causing severe pain and infection. Because most kidney stones are composed of calcium salts, it was thought that a diet high in calcium encouraged their development. However, there is evidence suggesting that the opposite holds true. Better to go for a checkup if unsure. 

***

DÍA de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a national holiday in Mexico and is observed in Hispanic communities throughout the US Long before sunrise, people stream into the cemeteries laden with candles, flowers, and food that is often shaped and decorated to resemble the symbols of death. Children eat tiny chocolate hearses, sugar funeral wreaths, and candy skulls and coffins. But the atmosphere is festive. In many homes, people set up ofrendas, or altars, to the departed. These are decked with candles, special foods, and whatever the dead enjoyed when they were alive.

***

QUOTE of the day: As long as learning is connected with earning, as long as certain jobs can only be reached through exams, so long must we take this examination system seriously. If another ladder to employment was contrived, much so-called education would disappear, and no one would be a penny the stupider. – E. M. Forster (1879-1970)

***

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The National, Monday November 2nd, 2015

 WHY go to the extreme of having a drinking party after sitting your final examinations. It is just one chapter of your life closed while another has just opened that really does not guarantee such extraordinary celebrations. A nice kaikai at home with the family is the best way to celebrate.

***

OKAY, the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary is serious about discipline and is committed to taking action against undisciplined, abusive and corrupt policemen and policewomen. 

***

THEY need our help to identify such rogue elements. Should you come across police personnel who are acting illegally or being abusive you: Identify the policeman. Members of the Constabulary would normally have a name tag on their uniforms. 

***

TAKE note of the registration of the vehicle they are driving. Note the make, model, colour and other features. If you can take a picture of their vehicle then please do so as well.

***

DRINK driving is a contributing factor to road accidents in the country. Authorities responsible for conducting random road checks on drivers and vehicles should hang their head in shame for not carrying out their task diligently. Imagine what it would be like if police officers had breathalysers and it was compulsory that any driver pulled take the test. 

***

THE failure by law enforcing agencies in enforcing penalties is allowing law and order to be an issue in the country. We remember last year, our good prime minister saying PNG has very strong laws but the enforcement of that is not happening. 

***

In 1980, a group of radical environmental activists formed the group Earth First!, pledging “No Compromise in Defense of Mother Earth!” In 1985, the group held its first “tree sit,” in which members sat in and around trees to prevent logging. From about 1987 on, the group turned to direct action tactics and attracted many new members. Though the organization has its roots in the US, chapters have developed in countries spanning the globe.

***

IN 2000, natural gas and electricity trading giant Enron was the seventh largest corporation in the US. In 2001, it became the largest bankruptcy and stock collapse in US history at the time, devastating the pensions of some 20,000 employees. Fastow, Enron’s chief financial officer, was one of more than 20 people who were ultimately convicted of or pleaded guilty to fraud, conspiracy, and other crimes related to deceptive accounting practices

***

QUOTE of the day: If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. – Mother Teresa

***

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The National, Friday October 30th, 2015

 YOU find yourself in a traffic queue and as it moves, you see the light blue uniform and know straight away, there is a road check put up by the team from National Road Safety Authority. Not sure what they are checking for; vehicle registration, safety sticker, driver’s license, signal indicators or tyres. Most times you will see taxis being pulled aside while the rest of the vehicles are waved to proceed. 

***

WHILE most teachers have been committed to the noble profession, a few rotten apples have tarnished the outstanding reputation the profession has borne over the years, thus now the call for teachers to be committed and to change their attitude.

***

OFTEN said students are the mirror of a teacher. Students like to copy teachers so teachers are their role model. They say a student’s behaviour is a reflection of his or her teacher and that of the parents. 

***

SALVADOR Dalí remains one of the most important painters of both the surrealist movement and the 20th century. Influenced by Freud’s psychoanalytic theories and dream studies, he developed a repertoire of striking, dreamlike, distorted images in a style he termed “hand-painted dream photographs.” Completed in 1931, The Persistence of Memory is Dalí’s most famous work. It depicts four soft, melting pocket watches.

***

BEFORE the advent of the Internet, stock quotes were printed by telegraph machines on continuous paper ribbon known as ticker tape. In 1886, New Yorkers became the first to use the tape as confetti during an impromptu celebration of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, inventing what would come to be known as a “ticker-tape parade.” Since then, ticker-tape parades have been used to greet dignitaries, honor war heroes, and fete sports teams.

***

JAMES Boswell was a Scottish lawyer and author who is best known for his biography of English literary scholar and critic Samuel Johnson, a noted wit. Boswell’s record of Johnson’s pithy remarks earned The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. recognition as one of the greatest biographies of Western literature. So skillful was his work that Johnson is perhaps better remembered for his sayings in the biography than for his own writings.

***

THE celebration of former King Norodom Sihanouk’s birthday on October 31 has been combined with the October 29 anniversary of the coronation of his son, King Norodom Sihamoni. Sihanouk abdicated in favor of his son in 2004. The three-day celebration is centered in Phnom Penh, around the Royal Palace. 

***

QUTOE of the day: There is never jealousy where there is not strong regard. -Washington Irving (1783-1859) 

***

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The National, Thursday October 29th, 2015

 WE have said this already and will keep at it until something is done. Can the PMV Board or Land Transport Board or whichever PMV licence regulating body issuing PMV licences see that the buses are serving the said route as per their license.

***

ROUTE 9 buses, which run all the way from 4-Mile to Gerehu, are not completing the full route. Every morning Route 9 buses going to Gerehu like to go to town and not come towards Waigani and 4-Mile and that makes a lot of commuters stranded at the bus stop and even arriving late at work or school.

***

IT seems those tasked to enforce certain laws in relation to road safety are sleeping on their jobs or their management really does not care about the roles and responsibility.

***

WE still have vehicles with broken headlines and tail-lights, plastered windscreen, baldy tyres, etc on the road. Very simply, these vehicles are hazardous to other road users. Road checks provide the opportunity for them to act correctly, but this does not seem to be happening.

***

THE turn-off along Waigani Drive in front of Theodist should be closed as it is becoming a traffic hazard.  Drivers will just have to go all the way down to the Waigani Drive/Wards Road Traffic Lights intersection to turn if intending to into Theodist or along to Ahuia Street.

***

LET the traffic flow. There are some considerate drivers who allow fellow drivers to cross over at the same time holding up traffic while others really don’t care and the queue at the other side builds up.

***

JONAS Salk was an American physician and microbiologist renowned for his work in developing the first vaccine against polio. He began his groundbreaking studies on viruses and immunisation with the influenza virus. Later, while working with other scientists to classify the poliovirus, he confirmed earlier studies that identified three strains, and he showed that the killed virus of each strain could induce antibody formation without producing disease.

***

BECAUSE St. Jude is believed to have been martyred with St. Simon in Persia, where they had gone to preach Christianity, their feast is celebrated jointly on October 28, thought to be the date on which their relics were moved to old St. Peter’s basilica. Since St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes, the saint’s day is observed particularly by students. 

***

QUOTE of the day: Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God – the rest will be given. – Mother Teresa

***

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The National, Wednesday October 28th, 2015

 SAD to say some drivers in Port Moresby still need to be educated on the purpose of roundabouts. It is not a racing track. Roundabouts help regulate traffic at intersections. They increase safety by slowing the approach speed of all vehicles, thereby reducing the number and severity of crashes.  When driving around roundabouts one must keep left of the central island at all times. 

***

IF you intend to change lanes in a roundabout then you must signal your intention to do so. However, it is safer to position your vehicle in the correct lane before you enter a roundabout so that you do not have to change lanes.

***

AND pedestrians should cross roads away from roundabouts because traffic flow through roundabouts is usually continuous making it difficult for pedestrians to cross safely

***

SINGAPORE is a tiny island. It’s so small that one can hardly spot it on the world map. (Try it, if you don’t already know where Singapore is.) Because it is densely populated, consideration of others is especially important. A man wrote to his fiancée who was coming to Singapore for the first time: “Space is limited. Therefore, you must always have that sense of space around you. You should always step aside to ensure you are not blocking anyone. The key is to be considerate.”

***

NAURU is an island in the Pacific, about 2,200 miles northeast of Sydney, Australia, and 2,400 miles southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii. Over the past 100 years, the existence of Nauruans has been threatened a number of times—by tribal disputes in the 1870s and by an influenza epidemic in 1919. 

***

DURING World War II, two-thirds of the population were deported by the Japanese to the Caroline Islands to build airstrips. Angam (“hope”) Day on October 26 commemorates the various occasions when the Nauruan population has reached 1,500, considered the minimum number necessary for survival.

***

EASTER Island is perhaps best known for its mysterious, monolithic stone statues that have been the subject of countless investigations, but the ancient Polynesian people who populated the island are also a focus of study. Easter Island is separated from South America by 3700km of ocean, ostensibly leaving its population fairly isolated prior to the arrival of Westerners in 1722. 

***

QUOTE of the day: Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God – the rest will be given. – Mother Teresa

***

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The National, Tuesday October 27th, 2015

 THE appointing process of many jobs in the civil service and indeed in any other private company is very clear. There are set rules and procedures to be followed. That is why we are perplexed at the continuing infighting over jobs in many public service positions today.

***

ONCE these processes are abandoned or short cuts are taken or when the process does not get off the ground within a reasonable period that is when corruption of the system sets in. This is what we seem to be seeing at present.

***

THE Parliament of the World’s Religions of 1893 was the first attempt to open a dialogue between representatives of religions from around the globe. It was held in concert with Chicago’s World Columbian Exposition, an early world’s fair, and marked the first formal gathering of representatives of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions. Since then, a number of parliaments dedicated to interfaith dialogue have been held around the world.

***

DARK matter is a hypothetical form of matter that is believed to make up more than 90 per cent of the mass of the universe but is not readily visible because it neither emits nor absorbs light. Its existence could explain gravitational anomalies observed in the motion and distribution of galaxies. In 1993, astronomers identified part of the dark matter in the form of stray planets and brown dwarfs, and, possibly, stars that have failed to ignite.

***

AT its inception in 1860, the Pony Express operated between St. Joseph, Missouri – the western end of a telegraph line – and Sacramento, California. Changing horses at stations roughly 16-24 km apart, riders carried the mail a distance of 2900km in about eight days, often travelling through hostile Native American territory.

***

THE largest stock exchange in Canada, the Toronto Stock Exchange is the main Canadian exchange for trading large-cap equity securities. In 1997, the exchange moved from traditional floor trading to electronic trading. In 2000, it demutualised to become a for-profit corporation. It is a leader in the oil, gas, and mining industries, with more such companies trading on it than on any other exchange in the world.

***

SAFFRON, the world’s most expensive spice, is harvested from the stigmas of the autumn-flowering Crocus sativus. Much of the world’s saffron comes from Spain’s La Mancha region. The Saffron Rose Festival held in the town of Consuegra each year celebrates this exotic crop, which must be harvested by hand so that the valuable stigmas are not crumpled. 

***

QUOTE of the day: Never turn down a job because you think it’s too small, you don’t know where it can lead. – Julia Morgan

***

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The National, Monday October 26th, 2015

 WONDER who footed the bill for the helicopter ride, we say less than five minutes over the hills at 7-Mile to the rugby union field on Saturday? Definitely grand entrance for the passengers but hope it’s not at the tax payers cost?

***

CHRISTMAS decorations are already on the shelves bringing that celebration mode out early. Children are already talking about what to do for the Christmas holidays. Those flying out are all set looking forward to it.

***

SLEEP, for animals, can be a dicey proposition. While rest and renewal are necessary, snoozing 

can leave a creature vulnerable to threats. Some birds and aquatic mammals have adapted the 

ability to keep half their brain on alert while the other half slumbers, a phenomenon known as unihemispheric sleep – in essence, sleeping with one eye open.

***

A NEW study from researchers out of Australia’s La Trobe University and Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Ornithology shows that crocodiles may well be taking a page from that book.

***

BOGART, posthumously named the Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute, was an Academy Award-winning actor whose accomplishments in the film industry are recognised worldwide. Though Bogart began acting in theatre, he is best known for his work in films like The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. He became an international cult figure through his roles as a tough, romantic loner, appearing in 75 feature motion pictures.

***

DEDICATED in 1260 in the presence of King Louis IX, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Chartres is one of the most influential examples of High Gothic architecture. The main structure was built between 1194 and 1220 and replaced a 12th-century church – of which only the crypt, the base, and the western facade remain. Recognised by its imposing spires, the cathedral is known for its stained-glass windows and Renaissance choir screen. 

***

THE United Nations’ Disarmament Week, observed between October 24 and October 30, was established in 1978. It begins on October 24, the anniversary 

of the founding of the United Nations, now observed as United Nations Day. Observance revolves around raising public awareness of the dangers of the 

arms race and the need for international disarmament.

***

A WOMAN is more considerate in affairs of love than a man; because love is more the study and business of her life. – Washington Irving (1783-1859)

***

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The National, Friday October 23rd, 2015

 SOMETHING the National Government should consider is to send rogue soldiers and policemen to Israel to learn discipline and, might we add, respect for others based on the famous Bible quote from Matthew 7:12 – Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. 

***

AND if you did not know, most Israelis are drafted into the military at the age of 18. Men serve three years and women two to three years. Following mandatory service, Israeli men join the reserve forces and usually do up to several weeks of reserve duty every year until their forties. Most women are exempt from reserve duty.

***

IT is sad that many people find it hard to cope with the pressures of modern living.  They say every day, a quarter of a million people miss work because of stress, with 75 per cent of all illnesses thought to be stress-related. And when times are hard, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

***

A VALID point by our good friend Dr. Uma Ambi is to allow our mind to be free and not to get caught up in a situation that bears little importance to your life; Keep life simple and do enjoy the simple things of life. 

 

Mental health is about the way you think and feel and your ability to deal with ups and downs. 

***

WITH the attitude of some drivers these days especially in Port Moresby, the traffic registries need to start up-holding higher standards when passing individuals fit to acquire driving licenses.

***

ANYWAY with Christmas just round the corner, they say a true Christmas present is not found in a shopping, on a credit card or in a box. It is found deep down inside your heart. 

***

NOW, read this …. Researchers from the University of Leipzig reveal that every successive child has a lower IQ than the last, according to The Telegragh. The study’s findings show that younger siblings are usually given more freedom to do what they want, while the eldest child feels pressured to succeed. 

***

“While the firstborn gets full parental attention, at least for some months or years, late-borns will have to share from the beginning,” Julie Rohrer, the study’s co-author, told The Telegraph.

***

QUOTE of the day: We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty. – Mother Teresa

***

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The National, Thursday October 22nd, 2015

 THERE are markets and there are markets in Port Moresby city. Those markets, road side or in properly designated places, where garden produce is sold are special. They bring to each suburban home hygienic food in garden produce and vegetables. It is the stalls for selling store goods that are an eyesore.

***

TIME the Vagrancy Act was put to use and places of residency designated for selected people in each suburb in towns and cities. In allowing settlements to grow unchecked, the Government has allowed the growth of one ethnic group in one area – to the extent that now they pose a threat to surrounding areas by tribal or mob rule.

***

WE were counting on the guards at the new Waigani Central and Vision to make sure the public do not make themselves comfortable and start sitting in front of the steps and footpaths leading to the doors. It is an ugly site and it only encourages littering in front of these shops. Unfortunately, it’s becoming an eye sore already. 

***

NOT good to read and hear that many Papua New Guineans will die before they reach the age of 65, the life expectancy of an average Papua New Guinean.

***

AND that is being blamed on the eating habits of Papua New Guineans that has greatly changed in recent times. Many people have resorted to eating fast food that is readily available on the streets.

***

IN Japanese, kamikaze means “divine wind,” a reference to the typhoon that foiled the Mongol invasion of Japan in 1281. In World War II, the term was used for Japanese pilots who made deliberate suicidal crashes into enemy targets. Such attacks sank 34 ships and damaged hundreds, killing thousands. In the lead up to the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Australia became perhaps the first ship damaged by a kamikaze.

***

A CHINESE holiday, Chung Yeung is the second family-remembrance day of the year. It’s customary, as on the festival of Qing Ming, for families to visit the graves of ancestors, tend their gravestones, and make offerings of food, which are eaten after the ceremonies are completed. It’s also traditional on this day for people to go to the hills for picnics and kite-flying, which stems from traditional lore that holds that kites can convey bad luck up into the sky. It is a public holiday in some places, including Hong Kong and Macau.

***

QUOTE of the day: Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. – 

Mother Teresa

***

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The National, Wednesday October 21st, 2015

 WONDER what is so hard about motorist following simple traffic rules by following the signs. Traffic or road signs are signs erected at the side of or above roads to provide information to road users. 

***

AS if crossing a busy road is not enough, pedestrians have to manoeuvre between parked vehicles on footpaths meant for them to use. 

***

IT is either drivers are being ignorant or do not know the difference on which path they are to use when driving their vehicles. Spend at least 10 minutes and you will see drivers forcing their vehicles onto footpaths to park and most times toot their horns expecting pedestrians to give them way. 

***

And it’s a shame that parking on footpaths is done by well-educated Papua New Guineans who you would expect to know the difference between a footpath and road.

***

THE free education policy that the government embarked on in 2012 is a relief for many parents, and especially for those whose children may have been sent home previously because of the failure to pay schools fees.

***

BUT remember parents have the responsibility of providing for the different needs of the child as they develop into responsible citizens. 

***

THIS responsibility goes a long way in supporting the child’s social growth as he or she develops further through school. The home is the first place of learning that is likely to have impact on the learning child.

***

PANKRATION, as practiced in the ancient world, combined the techniques of boxing and wrestling in a no holds barred fighting sport. According to Greek mythology, the sport was created by Hercules and Theseus. It was introduced into the Greek Olympic Games in 648 BCE, and a similar form of the sport, called mixed martial arts, is still practiced today. 

***

TEETH from a cave in China suggest that modern humans lived in Asia much earlier than previously thought, and tens of thousands of years before they reached Europe, researchers say. This discovery yields new information about the dispersal of modern humans from Africa to the rest of the world and could shed light on how modern humans and Neanderthals interacted.

***

QUOTE of the day: Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. – Mother Teresa

***

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The National, Tuesday October 20th, 2015

 WONDER if those driving the big NCDC buses in Port Moresby ever undertook defensive driving? For crying out loud, that is a big vehicle you are driving and even if you applied your brakes the momentum will take the bus crashing into other vehicles at the current speed and zigzagging you are using the roads. 

***

AN accident involving one of those buses is looming with the attitude these drivers have. Driving like they are the king of the road. Hope something is done by the city hall management before it is too late.

***

HAVE you ever wondered who the discoverers of the Pacific region were? When did they come? Where did they come from and how did they get there?

***

IT is impossible to give definite answers to these questions. Historians can suggest the theories based on evidence, but as the search continues and new evidence is found their theories may have to change.

***

DISCOVERED by Galileo Galilei in 1610, Io is Jupiter’s closest and third largest moon. It played a significant role in the first measurement of the speed of light, calculated by 17th-century Danish astronomer Ole Rømer. The most geologically active of Jupiter’s moons, Io has 30 active volcanoes that are probably energised by the tidal effects of Jupiter’s enormous mass. 

***

REMEMBER this, marcasite looks like and even has the same chemical formula as pyrite, or “fool’s gold,” but it is a separate and much less common mineral. Marcasite is paler in colour, becomes darker upon oxidation, and is more apt to crumble than pyrite. Its tendency to break down makes it a poor choice for use in jewellery, so pyrite is actually used in its stead but is referred to as “marcasite” in this context.

***

BORN Agnes Bojaxhiu, Mother Teresa was an Albanian Roman Catholic missionary famous for her work among the poor in India. She first went to India at 17, becoming a nun and teaching school in Calcutta. In 1948, she left the convent and founded the Missionaries of Charity, which now operates schools, hospitals, orphanages, and food centres worldwide. In 1979, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2003. 

***

HYPATIA Alexandra was an Alexandrian Neoplatonic philosopher and mathematician renowned for her learning, eloquence, and beauty. She became head of Alexandria’s Platonist school in about 400 CE, lecturing there on mathematics and philosophy. 

***

QUOTE of the day: Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do … but how much love we put in that action. – Mother Teresa

***

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The National, Monday October 19th, 2015

 THIS is true. Modern life’s sleep troubles – the chronic bleary-eyed state that many of us live in – have long been blamed on our industrial society. The city lights, long work hours, commutes, caffeine, the Internet. 

***

WHEN talking about the miserable state of our ability to get enough rest, sleep researchers have had a tendency to hark back to a simpler time when humans were able to fully recharge by sleeping and waking to the rhythms of the sun.

***

IT turns out that may not be quite right. In fact, it now appears that our ancestors may not have been getting the doctor-recommended eight hours of sleep, either. In an intriguing study published in Current Biology this week, researchers travelled to remote corners of the planet to scrutinise the sleep patterns of some of the world’s last remaining hunter-gatherers – the Hadza of Tanzania, the San of Namibia, and the Tsimane of Bolivia. 

***

PAUL Bunyan is a mythical lumberjack and American folk hero known for his incredible strength and massive size. His oversized companion, Babe the Blue Ox, reportedly measured 42 ax handles and a plug of tobacco between his horns. 

***

The first newspaper article about Bunyan was published in 1906, and later pamphlets by William Laughead popularised the Paul Bunyan story and added to the myth.

***

THE Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s Old City is venerated by most Christians as the site of Jesus’ burial chamber and has been an important destination of pilgrimage since the 4th century. Its destruction in 1009 by caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah is often viewed as a direct impetus for the Crusades, though the church was rebuilt prior to the Crusaders’ arrival. 

***

ALASKA Day commemorates the formal transfer of Alaska from Russia to the United States on Oct 18, 1867. The event, which took place at Sitka, was a sad one for the Russian colonists who had already made Alaska their home. After the transfer, Alaska was eventually organised as a territory and maintained this status until it became a state on January 3, 1959. 

***

TODAY, the lowering of the Russian flag and the raising of the Stars and Stripes is reenacted every year as part of this festival in Sitka. 

***

WE say good luck to the 23,200 Grade 12 students sitting their examination starting today. 

***

QUOTE of the day: A child miseducated is a child lost. – John F Kennedy (1917-1963)

***

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The National, Friday October 16th, 2015

 IT is World Food Day today and as well as being the 35th observance of World Food Day, 2015 will also see the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the formation of the United Nations and the FAO. 

***

THE FAO has made some important global progress in that time. 73 out of 129 countries monitored by FAO have achieved Millennium Development Goal 1, having halved the proportion of hungry people. 

***

YESTERDAY the world observed the 6th annual Global Hand Washing Day. The simple act of washing hands with soap is one of the most effective ways to save children’s lives. Washing hands before eating and after going to the toilet drastically reduces the spread of diarrhoeal diseases and has far reaching effects on the health and welfare of children and communities.

***

WHILE one group of vendors has been literally chased off the street, some of the ban enforcers patrolling the streets are smiling to the public with red-stained lips and teeth. 

***

HAVE you ever wondered who the discoverers of the Pacific region were? When did they come? Where did they come from and how did they get there?

***

IT is impossible to give definite answers to these questions. Historians can suggest the theories based on evidence, but as the search continues and new evidence is found their theories may have to change.

***

NOW the iconic symbol for an idea, the electric incandescent light bulb was independently produced in the late 1870s by Joseph Swan and Thomas Edison – and perhaps earlier by others. However, Edison has received the major credit for this invention because he  developed the power lines and other equipment needed for a lighting system. 

***

IN 1951, Lucille Ball became one of the first movie stars – and the first woman – to headline a television series. The prototypical situation comedy I Love Lucy became a spectacular success, showcasing Ball’s comic energy, flair for slapstick and chemistry with her co-star and real-life husband, Desi Arnaz. The programme is still syndicated today.

***

WHEN most of us think of DNA, we think of that iconic double helix shape. But when you zoom out, DNA gets a lot more complicated. “When Watson and Crick described the DNA double helix, they were looking at a tiny part of a real genome, only about one turn of the double helix,” University of Leeds researcher Sarah Harris says. 

***

QUOTE of the day: Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food. – William Hazlitt

***

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The National, Thursday October 15th, 2015

 WE will continue on this message despite having written about it. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women all over the world. 

***

LAST week, PNG and the rest of the world conducted activities to commemorate World Sight Day, which is an international day of awareness, held annually on the second Thursday of October to focus attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. 

***

SAD to see in PNG, eye health is not often seen as a priority area by individuals as well as health care providers. Yet there are hundreds of thousands of Papua New Guineans who are afflicted by eye conditions ranging from cataracts to a need for spectacles. And these are easily treatable. 

***

THE world’s largest annual trade show for the book publishing industry, held annually for five days in Frankfurt, Germany, attracts exhibitors from about 110 countries and is attended by more than 250,000 people. The book fair had been chiefly an event for German publishers before 1939, but it grew in a few years to be the world’s preeminent book fair. 

***

SOMETHING to keep in mind … A chemical burn occurs when living tissue is exposed to any of six types of chemical substance. Acids, bases, oxidizers, solvents, and reducing agents can all cause chemical burns without the presence of a heat source. Burns may occur right away, though they may not be immediately evident. Symptoms include itching, bleaching or darkening of the skin, burning sensations, trouble breathing, and tissue necrosis.

***

ROUNDHAY Garden Scene is an 1888 short film directed by French inventor Louis Le Prince, who is widely recognized as the world’s first filmmaker. Recorded at 12 frames per second, it is the earliest surviving film, predating efforts by Thomas Edison and the Lumière brothers. However, Le Prince was never able to capitalize on his innovation – he disappeared in 1890 while on his way to publicly exhibit the film.

***

MOBUTU Sese Seko was the president of Zaïre – now the Democratic Republic of the Congo – from 1965 to 1997. His repressive regime resulted in corruption and poverty, while he amassed one of the largest personal fortunes in the world. He was overthrown in 1997 and died in exile in Morocco. As part of his policies, he required Africanisation of all European names, changing the Congo’s name to Zaïre and his own name, Joseph Désiré Mobutu, to Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga,

***

QUTOE of the day: A fool’s wild speech confounds the wise. – Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

***

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The National, Wednesday October 14th, 2015

 THE police force in its effort to restore public trust and faith should always release statistics on all internal investigation in the media. 

***

LAST year around this time, a report from the commissioners confirmed 491 police officers sacked between 2007 and last year because of serious disciplinary matters. Wonder what this year’s figure is!!!

***

WHITE Sunday is a holiday in Samoa and Tonga falling on the second Sunday in May and October. It is a day for parents and communities to acknowledge and celebrate childhood by hosting special programs during church services which include scriptural recitations. Each child dresses in white and wears a crown of white frangipani blossoms. 

***

GOING back to 1972 …. While carrying a Uruguayan rugby team to a match in Chile, Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed high in the Andes. Many passengers died in the crash or shortly after; several more were killed in an avalanche. Stranded in the remote mountainous border between Argentina and Chile, the survivors were forced to eat the dead to avoid starvation. 

***

THE Ming dynasty ruled over China from 1368-1644. The first Ming emperor, Chu Yüan-chang, had been a Buddhist monk before joining a rebellion, gaining control of it, and overthrowing the Mongol Yüan dynasty. Chu Yüan-chang effectively unified China, setting up a strong centralised government and instituting economic recovery programmes. 

***

PAUL Simon is an American singer and songwriter who first gained fame as half of the duo Simon and Garfunkel. Simon first met Art Garfunkel in sixth grade at their public school in Queens, New York. The two began performing together in the 1950s, using the name Tom and Jerry. After a break, they reunited in 1964 as Simon and Garfunkel but 

split again in 1970, not long after their highly successful album Bridge over Troubled Water was released.

***

WAMPANOAG Indians on Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, celebrate Cranberry Day, their most significant annual holiday, on the second Tuesday in October. In earlier times, this festival lasted several days as people harvested the cranberries and used them in festive dishes. These days, children get the day off from school to join the day’s activities, which include picking cranberries, a lunchtime bonfire during which stories of previous Cranberry Days.

***

QUOTE of the day: Loneliness is to endure the presence of one who does not understand understand.

***

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The National, Tuesday October 13th, 2015

 IT is around this time of the year that all parents should be alert of their school children’s movements at all times. With the Grade 10 examinations finishing on Friday, parents must warn students not to take part in illegal activities during after examination parties. 

***

POLICE we know will be on high alert and will come down hard on those who go overboard with their celebrations. Celebrations should be reserved when results come out.

***

PARENTS and teachers must also take the responsibility to inform students of the consequences of engaging in such illegal activities.  It is something that has been happening yearly and parents as well as teachers should remind students of their safety and the consequences of such parties. 

***

INTERESTING read … Coral reefs are suffering a severe underwater heat wave this year for the third time on record, including a mysterious warm patch in the Pacific known as “The Blob,” scientists said on Thursday. The bout of record high temperatures in parts of the oceans, stoked by climate change, is expected to kill more than 12,000 sq kms of reefs, or about five percent of the global total, they said.

***

Risk refers to the potential negative impact that may arise from some present or future event. In common usage, it has become synonymous with the probability of a loss or threat. There are different definitions of risk, and its measurement can be difficult, but industries that are risk-sensitive use the equation: Risk = (probability of the event) x (consequence). Thus, the harsher the loss and the more likely the event, the worse the risk! 

***

PETROGLYPHS are images created in rock by incising, pecking, carving, and abrading the rock surface. These rock carvings are found across the world and are often associated with prehistoric communities. The oldest known petroglyphs have been dated to about 12,000 years ago, and are thought to have been an early form of symbolic communication or perhaps a sort of “pre-writing.”

***

RAMSAY MacDonald was the first Labour Party prime minister of Britain, serving in 1924, from 1929 to 1931, and again as part of a coalition government from 1931 to 1935. He joined the precursor of the Labour Party in 1894 and served as its first secretary. MacDonald was elected to Parliament in 1906 and was leader of the Labour party there from 1911 to 1914, until he was forced to resign for opposing participation in WWI.

***

QUOTE of the day: If fun is good, truth is still better, and love best of all. – William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) 

***

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The National, Monday October 12th, 2015

 THEY say a country’s road system is an indicator of its development level? The increase in population meant that more towns and cities had to be built. What have you to say about PNG’s road system? 

***

ROAD transportation had played a crucial role in the early development of this nation and continues to chart an integral part in the development process. For the foreseeable future, road transportation will still have to be relied on, a basic factor for promoting and sustaining economic and social development.

***

TO the new NCD police boss, last year, drunkards in Port Moresby were warned that they could become statistics for the ‘Drunk Patrol Operation’ and that is for drinking alcohol in public places and in moving vehicles. We don’t know what happened to that operation. Our humble if you could revisit this operation and revive it!

***

COMPENSATION payment should not be used as a means for serious crime offenders to avoid facing the laws. And when it comes to land compensation; wonder what is more important – the one of payment or development? 

***

THE St Johns Blood Service is desperately in need of blood and is appealing to the public to donate. They have enough blood in the bank for a day but if there is a major disaster where a 100 people need blood, the bank will not be able to supply that. The public is advised to drop into the blood service centre at 3-Mile to donate blood.

***

BLOOD transfusion saves lives and improves health, but many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood. The need for blood transfusion may arise at any time in both urban and rural areas. The unavailability of blood has led to deaths and many patients suffering from ill-health.

***

IT is becoming a mad scramble for road space these days on the streets in Port Moresby. And the selfish PMV and taxi drivers in their poorly kept vehicles think they are clever by forcing their way in to the traffic by sheer weight of numbers. 

***

YOU may find the traffic flows quicker then but of course that would mean them having to behave with respect for others, something which does not happen as they are too busy being clever.

***

WE suggest you take the back streets to avoid clever people spoiling the free movement on the roads of those who earned their licenses the correct way, taking lessons and then a test to prove they have what it takes.

***

QUOTE of the day: To do nothing is also a good remedy. – Hippocrates

***

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The National, Friday October 9th, 2015

 YESTERDAY (Oct 8) was World Sight Day (WSD). World Sight Day is an important advocacy and communications opportunity for the eye health community. It is a great time to engage with a wider audience – a patient’s family, those who seldom get an eye exam, diabetics – and showcase why eye health needs everybody’s attention.

***

THIS year’s call to action is ‘Eye care for all’. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is urging all to focus on everybody who needs eye care services – everybody. Think of all the groups of people who need eye care – especially the most vulnerable or the ones most in need. 

***

WHAT can we do to bring eye care to them all? How can we ensure that access to eye care is not limited by gender or geographic location, or even financial status? Remember, “eye health” also includes rehabilitation and assistive services for those with irreversible vision loss.  

***

THIS World Sight Day, let’s do something that will draw attention to the great unmet need in eye care services.

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FOR those into sewing, on this day in 1855 Isaac Singer patented the sewing machine motor. Isaac Merritt Singer was an American inventor, actor, and entrepreneur. He made important improvements in the design of the sewing machine and was the founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company.

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WONDER what the outcome is on the investigations involving the soldiers who rampaged through the UPNG Medical Faculty few years back. Are we waiting for Christmas, for Santa Claus to deliver justice? 

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IF Fiji water bottles can be on the store shelves overseas, why can’t we have PNG water out there as well? We see them in Singapore and we are told it’s out in Canada, New Zealand and Australia as well.

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IN the 1920s, filmmakers began experimenting with sound effects and music in films. With about 15 minutes of dialogue and songs. The Jazz Singer was the first feature-length film to have synchronised dialogue. 

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BASED on the earlier stage play, the film was a landmark in the history of motion pictures, and its release heralded the commercial ascendance of “talkies” and the decline of the silent film era. The first all-talking picture was released a year later.

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QUOTE of the day: You don’t get good applies from a bad tree. – Unknown

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The National, Thursday October 8th, 2015

 SCHOOL and street fights are springing up almost everywhere. We know of street fights in the nation’s capital all related to alcohol. The Waigani bus stop is becoming a battle ground for school fights. From past experience, one would expect more at the end of examinations.

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DID you know that PNG has a seismological monitoring agency, the Port Moresby Geophysical Observatory (PMGO), which was established in 1957?  PMGO conducts surveillance of earthquakes in the PNG region. The monitoring includes tsunamis of local origin and those generated outside the PNG region. 

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Just wondering out aloud, how much funding the observatory gets from the government to effectively carry out its functions?

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DID you know that the sun is our daytime star? It is a huge ball of spinning, churning gases that flare and burst into hundreds of atomic explosions that spurt flames way out into space. The sun is far away, but it’s not nearly as far away as the other stars that twinkle at night.

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OCTOBER 9 is the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which killed more than 250 people and destroyed more than 17,000 structures. Every year since 1925, the week in which Oct 9 falls has been observed nationwide as National Fire Prevention Week. 

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FOR those who love chewing gum, it has been around for millennia, making bubble gum a comparatively recent invention. The first bubble gum formulation—an unmarketable, sticky confection called Blibber-Blubber—was developed in 1906 by Frank Fleer.

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WE always enjoy the yellow rice cooked by West Papuan friends. And we know that the brilliant yellow spice turmeric does more than just add colour and flavour to food. Studies suggest that it possesses cancer-fighting properties and even the ability to boost the brain’s healing capacity. 

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RATS injected with aromatic-turmerone, a compound found in turmeric, had increased activity in areas of the brain involved in nerve cell growth, suggesting it may encourage the proliferation of brain cells. 

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ADDITIONALLY, bathing rodent neural stem cells in aromatic-turmerone extract appeared to boost the growth of these cells. The findings could have implications for the future treatment of strokes and Alzheimer’s disease.

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QUOTE of the day – There’s a saying among prospectors: Go out looking for one thing, and that’s all you’ll ever find. – Robert Flaherty

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The National, Wednesday October 7th, 2015

 LAST year we reported the Transport Secretary saying his department was going down the line and crack the whip on illegal operations in the transport sector. Wonder what became of it????

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WE had suggested for him to start with the bus and taxi drivers in Port Moresby. They should either comply or get them off the streets.

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BAUI ban was topic of discussion around this time last year. Earlier it was the ban for smoking in public places. Wonder what became of that also.  

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HOW many people have been slapped with hefty penalties for smoking in public places? The ban came into effect in July last year and to this date; we have had no news from the concerned authorities on the success of it.

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ANYWAY, who was supposed to enforce it? Was it the National Road Safety Council or Health Department?

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WE were going to suggest ban on consuming alcohol in public and causing public disturbances while under the influence of alcohol, but maybe it’s too much of a ask. 

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BASED on a belief in witchcraft, spirits, and demons, a superstition is the irrational idea that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome. A common superstition in the Middle Ages was that the devil could enter a person’s body during the unguarded moment when he was sneezing. Some believe that the practice of saying “God bless you” began for this reason.

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DURING the French Revolution, 6000 knife-wielding fishwives and their husbands marched to the Palace of Versailles, gleefully singing songs about killing Marie Antoinette, whom they blamed for recent bread shortages. They broke into the palace early the next morning and beheaded two royal guards. The queen, her children, and her attendants hid in the king’s bedchamber while a large crowd gathered in the courtyard outside, demanding an audience.

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ENORMOUSLY influential in shaping the rationalistic spirit of the 18th century, Diderot was a French encyclopedist, philosopher, novelist, dramatist, and art critic. After rejecting a career in law to pursue his own studies, he served as chief editor of the 35-volume Encyclopédie, one of the principal works of the Enlightenment, from 1745 to 1772. The controversial project was once the target of a seizure by government officials.

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QUOTE of the day: They say I’m old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast! ― Dr. Seuss

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The National, Tuesday October 6th, 2015

 WONDER how many posed for a moment yesterday to spare a thought of the people who contributed to why you and I are able write and read this column today. Yes, it was World Teachers Day yesterday, a day celebrated on Oct 5 since 1994 to commemorate teachers’ organisations worldwide.

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“EMPOWERING teachers, building sustainable societies” is the World Teachers’ Day slogan for 2015. The day is aimed to mobilise support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers. According to UNESCO, World Teachers’ Day represents a significant token of the awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development.

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OVER 100 countries observe World Teachers’ Day and PNG was no different, except it was a quite one. We hope the day next year will celebrated bigger and better given the Government’s policy on free education. The efforts of Education International and its 401 member organisations have contributed to this widely spread recognition.

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WE want a cleaner Port Moresby, no betelnut stains, no vendors standing around bus-stops with the green nuts but we detest the approach used by police and so-called rangers. The throwing of nuts, mustard and lime all over the place only contributes to a filthy place. After they leave, the vendors are back with their trade.

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THERE should be a consistent follow-up to stop the trading. Not only should the vendors be taken away and charged for defying orders but the chewer should also be penalised. Most people waste time standing around bus-stops chewing and telling stories.

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THERE has been many comments regarding the ban, both for and against, and we agree with this one. If every individual Papua New Guinean is a responsible citizen then we will not face problems like a dirty city full of betelnut spittle. Otherwise we have an attitude problem and it will take donkeys years to act like a normal human beings … it is better we take some tough measures to change people’s mindset.

***

A CLASSIC media moment to hear that crude oil can now be shipped out from West New Britain with the opening of the new wharf last week.  From the New Britain Palm Oil operations in Kimbe, we know of palm crude oil.

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QUOTE of the day: WE will ensure that teachers and educators are empowered, adequately recruited, well-trained, professionally qualified, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficient governed systems. – Incheon Declaration, WEF 2015

***

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The National, Friday October 2nd, 2015

 WONDER what became of the of the specialist visit from the Sevenhills Hospital in Mumbai, India, who visited PNG in July two years ago. A feedback on the visit would be enlightening.

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NO one knows the real life situations behind the doors of the cancer wards except for those who have been there and their families. For most it’s the case of seeking medical help too late and all they do is wait the inevitable. Something no family ever dreams of. 

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FAMILIES pooling funds in Papua New Guinea (PNG) for cancer treatment overseas to save the lives of afflicted loved ones is now becoming a norm in a country with limited health facilities and lack of cancer specialists.

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FIGHTING cancer is quite a journey as experienced by those who have gone through the ordeal. We hope there are plans at Waigani for more cancer facilities in the country.

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YEAR in and year out, statistics released indicate an increase. It is sad to note PNG will never have the exact figures as the technologies used are not that up to date and that the majority of the cases do not reach the health care system.

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Every day, 800 women and 7700 newborns die from childbirth and pregnancy complications which are preventable; an alarming 7300 are simultaneously experiencing stillbirth – realities which should have every one of us aghast. 

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YOU all know why Police officers continue to abuse their powers and use force unnecessarily? It is because most or many of us aggrieved citizens do not stand up for our rights and seek justice. 

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THE royal constabulary has an avenue for criminal complaints against its officers. It is called the Internal Investigations Unit. The more cops go to jail for criminal abuse of Police Powers a general and more noticeable positive change will gradually come about in the way we deal with offenders and the public.

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THE University of Melbourne has again been named the top university in Australia according to the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Announced at the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit at the University of Melbourne, the rankings also place the University as second in the entire Asia-Pacific region, and number 33 in the world.  

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QUOTE of the day: Work is the grand clue of all the maladies and miseries that ever beset mankind. – Thomas Carlyle

***

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The National, Thursday October 1st, 2015

 PINCH and punch for the first day of October. Oct 1 is the 274th day of the year (275th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 91 days remaining until the end of the year.

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AS most of you already know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.

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BREAST cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries. In low- and middle-income countries the incidence has been rising up steadily in the last years due to increase in life expectancy, increase urbanisation and adoption of western lifestyles. 

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CURRENTLY there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer; therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control. When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured. If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option. In such cases, palliative care to relief the suffering of patients and their families is needed. 

***

THE drive-through system, developed in the US in the 1940s, has revolutionised business practices worldwide. Drive-through establishments provide service to customers who remain in their vehicles throughout the transactions. Typically, orders are taken over a speaker system and are picked up and paid for at a window. This speedy setup can be found at restaurants, banks, pharmacies, and liquor stores worldwide.

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BOTSWANA became independent from Great Britain on Sept 30, 1966. Since 1885, the region had been a British colony called the Bechuanaland Protectorate. The biggest Independence Day festivities are held in the capital city of Gaberone, and include the singing of the national anthem, “Fatshe La Rona” (Blessed Country).

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A GERMAN thermal engineer, Diesel invented the internal-combustion engine that bears his name, producing a series of increasingly successful models that culminated in his demonstration in 1897 of a 25-horsepower, four-stroke, single vertical cylinder compression engine. It was an immediate success and earned him a fortune. 

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QUOTE of the day: Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own; which is the chief reason for that kind of reception it meets in the world, and that so very few are offended with it. – Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

***

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The National, Thursday October 1st, 2015

 PINCH and punch for the first day of October. Oct 1 is the 274th day of the year (275th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 91 days remaining until the end of the year.

***

AS most of you already know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.

***

BREAST cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries. In low- and middle-income countries the incidence has been rising up steadily in the last years due to increase in life expectancy, increase urbanisation and adoption of western lifestyles. 

***

CURRENTLY there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer; therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control. When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured. If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option. In such cases, palliative care to relief the suffering of patients and their families is needed. 

***

THE drive-through system, developed in the US in the 1940s, has revolutionised business practices worldwide. Drive-through establishments provide service to customers who remain in their vehicles throughout the transactions. Typically, orders are taken over a speaker system and are picked up and paid for at a window. This speedy setup can be found at restaurants, banks, pharmacies, and liquor stores worldwide.

***

BOTSWANA became independent from Great Britain on Sept 30, 1966. Since 1885, the region had been a British colony called the Bechuanaland Protectorate. The biggest Independence Day festivities are held in the capital city of Gaberone, and include the singing of the national anthem, “Fatshe La Rona” (Blessed Country).

***

A GERMAN thermal engineer, Diesel invented the internal-combustion engine that bears his name, producing a series of increasingly successful models that culminated in his demonstration in 1897 of a 25-horsepower, four-stroke, single vertical cylinder compression engine. It was an immediate success and earned him a fortune. 

***

QUOTE of the day: Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own; which is the chief reason for that kind of reception it meets in the world, and that so very few are offended with it. – Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

***

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The National, Wednesday September 30th, 2015

INTERNATIONAL volunteering organisation VSO has released a video highlighting the high levels of domestic violence in Papua New Guinea. It tells the story of local woman Alyce, 32, who finally found the strength to leave her alcoholic, womanising husband after 12 years of abuse.  In it, she says, ‘I lived in a very unhappy home – it brings tears to my eyes. I lost everything, including my pride and confidence.’

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POSITIVE evidence concerning the life of the Chinese sage Confucius is sparse, and modern scholars base their accounts largely on the Analects, a collection of sayings and conversations apparently recorded by his disciples. Distressed by the constant warfare between the Chinese states and by the venality and tyranny of the rulers, Confucius urged a system of morality and government that would promote peace and stability.

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Turkish coffee is prepared in a special pot called a cezve and is made from finely ground coffee, cold water, and sometimes sugar. In Turkey, sugar content is determined based on a ranking system that includes 4 levels of sweetness. The coffee is served in small fincan similar to Italian espresso cups, and its sludgy grounds settle in a thick layer at the bottom.

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DURING his reign, the Good King Wenceslaus, as he was known, was noted for his piety and worked vigorously to strengthen Christianity in Bohemia. His religion and his friendly relations with King Henry I – with whom he had negotiated a peace when Henry invaded – caused discontent among the nobles, and Wenceslaus was assassinated by his brother Boleslav I, who succeeded him. 

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THE inhabitants of the Marshall Islands have long kept a tradition centred on the alele, a soft-sided basket handmade from the native pandanus plant. “Lutok Kobban Alele” is a week-long festival that honours the basket as a national symbol and celebrates Marshallese culture in general, concluding with an official ceremony on Manit Day, a public holiday observed on the last Friday of September. Activities take place in the capital Majuro and include performances by Marshallese singers and dancers, feasts, traditional storytelling, and demonstrations of basket weaving and cooking.

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A congenital heart defect (CHD) is a flaw in the structure of the heart and great vessels of a newborn. Most CHDs either obstruct blood flow to the heart or nearby vessels or cause blood to flow through the heart in an abnormal pattern. Though such defects occur in less than 1 per cent of the population, they are the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths. 

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QUOTE of the day: Children aren’t happy with nothing to ignore, and that’s what parents were created for. – Ogden Nash 

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