ARCATA >> For the second time in as many games, the Crabs were knocking on the door with the aspirations of completing a second straight comeback bid.But just as the case was all night, when a big hit needed to be present, it ended up being oh so elusive.The Crabs’ season-high 11-game winning streak came to an end Tuesday night in a 5-3 loss at the hands of the San Francisco Seals, as Humboldt could never full dig itself out of an early-game hole and make it back-to-back outings with a …
To a middle school student, science is a clear category; it’s a subject you take, along with history, language, or P.E. You have a science teacher; you read a science textbook. You learn about the scientific method. In the real world, though, categories are not always so clearly delineated. In fact, the leading science journal, Nature, seems to be asking some fundamental questions about the methods and materials of its very reason for being. This week, Nature presented a debate between two cancer researchers on whether scientific research should proceed “hypothesis first” or “data first.” The controversy has arisen, in part, by the technology available. Large-scale genomic surveys are now possible, and funds are being focused away from traditional methods toward obtaining vast databases of genetic information. Robert Weinberg is alarmed at the trend; he argued that mere data collection without understanding is pointless and that the funding shifts are discouraging small research projects from which major insights have been traditionally been made.1 Todd Golub argued that patterns in complex phenomena become apparent only when there is sufficient data available.2 It takes a lot of data to separate signal from noise; therefore data collection is essential before new hypotheses can be generated. The interesting thing about these articles is not who won the debate, but that a question so basic about the scientific method needs to be asked nearly 400 years after Francis Bacon. To what extent is the question a consequence of the sheer volume of data that can be accumulated and stored? The scientific method was devised when data was written with a quill on parchment. Peer review is another focal point of dispute. Last week, Nature applauded a British research council that is cracking down on the practice of flooding review agencies with grant applications.3 Because the odds of winning a grant are low, “low success rates lead researchers to submit more applications in the hope of securing at least some funding, overburdening peer reviewers,” the editors explained. “The system ends up rewarding safe, short-term research proposals that meet everyone’s approval, at the cost of the innovative suggestions it should be supporting.” The council now says that if you don’t secure funding, you are limited to one application the following year. They feel the council’s new “‘blacklisting’ rule is a radical, unpopular but courageous effort to address a crisis in the peer-review system.” But will the cure be worse than the disease?The consequences of the revised policy are uncertain. Thanks to other peer-review changes, applications have already been cut by about a third since last year, and success rates are up. But the new policy’s threat of exclusion may further discourage adventurous funding bids. The EPSRC also runs the risk of alienating its community, making it harder to find peer reviewers – who are in increasingly scarce supply.The rule has already generated inequities and complaints. Nature still thinks it was a good move that requires fine-tuning. No one is sure at this point what will happen. Could luck play a role in who gets in the game? “Other scientists have worried that an application is marked ‘unsuccessful’ if it falls below the halfway point on a list of proposals ranked by panels of peer reviewers � a criterion that not only seems arbitrary, but also risks taking out good researchers who are simply unlucky.” Imagine if the loser in this process had been a young new Isaac Newton. The editors left it open if the council’s “gutsy gamble” will work, and noted that other councils are watching what happens. Letters to the editor are often interesting to read. Three biologists from three widely respected scientific institutions wrote Nature last week in a huff, challenging the editors’ definition of science. As a follow-up to the Human Genome Project, now 10 years old, Nature’s editors had written that it is “Time for the epigenome” project.4 The three scientists were “astonished” at that editorial,5 claiming that it seemed to “disregard principles of gene regulation and of evolutionary and developmental biology that have been established during the past 50 years.” Their complaint was not just about disagreements on traditional practices, but about Nature’s acceptance of the idea that the epigenome has a “scientific basis” at all. Undoubtedly the editors would take umbrage at challenges to their ability to judge what constitutes science. The internet age is shifting the dynamics of scientific practice. However comfortable the world was with the peer-reviewed publishing paradigm, times have changed. Instant internet access is democratizing science in many ways. Nature has read the tea leaves and is adjusting. In a dramatic move, Nature’s editors are opening up their once-impregnable editorial fortress and letting the peasants in. “Nature’s new online commenting facility opens up the entire magazine for discussion,” the Editorial announced this week.6 They have some concerns about signal to noise; comments will be vetted and monitored to weed out libel, obscenity or unjustified accusations – but not trivia. They will review their approach after a few months. Nevertheless, the popularity of internet blogs has not been lost on Nature and they are seeing the value of interesting and lively dialogue. It appears from the comments to this editorial that many think it’s a great idea. Perhaps the best way to evaluate good science is with some form of measurement. Alas, another paper in Nature pointed out serious failings in that regard. In an Opinion piece last week,7 Julia Lane proposed, “Let’s make science metrics more scientific.” She wasn’t discussing better ohmmeters or ammeters – the subtitle explained, “To capture the essence of good science, stakeholders must combine forces to create an open, sound and consistent system for measuring all the activities that make up academic productivity, says Julia Lane” She described the problem in stark reality:Measuring and assessing academic performance is now a fact of scientific life. Decisions ranging from tenure to the ranking and funding of universities depend on metrics. Yet current systems of measurement are inadequate. Widely used metrics, from the newly-fashionable Hirsch index to the 50-year-old citation index, are of limited use. Their well-known flaws include favouring older researchers, capturing few aspects of scientists’ jobs and lumping together verified and discredited science. Many funding agencies use these metrics to evaluate institutional performance, compounding the problems. Existing metrics do not capture the full range of activities that support and transmit scientific ideas, which can be as varied as mentoring, blogging or creating industrial prototypes. The dangers of poor metrics are well known – and science should learn lessons from the experiences of other fields, such as business. The management literature is rich in sad examples of rewards tied to ill-conceived measures, resulting in perverse outcomes. When the Heinz food company rewarded employees for divisional earnings increases, for instance, managers played the system by manipulating the timing of shipments and pre-payments. Similarly, narrow or biased measures of scientific achievement can lead to narrow and biased science.Whether Lane’s suggestions will solve these is another question. The fact that she opened them up for discussion in Nature should be enough to raise eyebrows among those who think of science as an unbiased enterprise. Lane’s paper did more to elaborate on the problems than to solve them. Moreover, her solutions sound like an internet-age Web 3.0 pipe dream:How can we best bring all this theory and practice together? An international data platform supported by funding agencies could include a virtual ‘collaboratory’, in which ideas and potential solutions can be posited and discussed. This would bring social scientists together with working natural scientists to develop metrics and test their validity through wikis, blogs and discussion groups, thus building a community of practice. Such a discussion should be open to all ideas and theories and not restricted to traditional bibliometric approaches.Something “should” be done, she ended: “Some fifty years after the first quantitative attempts at citation indexing, it should be feasible to create more reliable, more transparent and more flexible metrics of scientific performance.” She claimed “The foundations have been laid” but it’s evident that little is being done yet. That means all the problems she listed are today’s risks and realities. Someday, over the rainbow, “Far-sighted action can ensure that metrics goes beyond identifying ‘star’ researchers, nations or ideas, to capturing the essence of what it means to be a good scientist.” It’s clear that science is evolving, as it always has. But what is it evolving from, and what is it evolving toward? If science itself is not stable, has it ever been – or will it ever be – a reliable method of gaining understanding?8 1. Robert Weinberg, “Point: Hypotheses first,” Nature 464, 678 (1 April 2010) | doi:10.1038/464678a; Published online 31 March 2010.2. Todd Golub, “Counterpoint: Data first,” Nature 464, 679 (1 April 2010) | doi:10.1038/464679a; Published online 31 March 2010.3. Editorial, “Tough love,” Nature 464, 465 (25 March 2010) | doi:10.1038/464465a; Published online 24 March 2010.4. Editorial, “Time for the epigenome,” Nature 463, 587 (4 February 2010) | doi:10.1038/463587a; Published online 3 February 2010.5. Ptashne, Hobert and Davidson, “Questions over the scientific basis of epigenome project,” Nature 464, 487 (25 March 2010) | doi:10.1038/464487c.6. Editorial, “Content rules,” Nature 464, 466 (25 March 2010) | doi:10.1038/464466a; Published online 24 March 2010.7. Julia Lane, “Let’s make science metrics more scientific,” Nature 464, 488-489 (25 March 2010) | doi:10.1038/464488a; Published online 24 March 2010.8. “Understanding” is not the same thing as explanation, prediction, and control. Scientific theories can provide those things and still be wrong or lacking in understanding of reality. See the 3/17/2010 commentary.Science is mediated through fallible human beings. It is not “out there” in the world, to be retrieved in some unbiased way. Human beings have to figure out not only what nature is showing us – they have to figure out what nature is, and what science is. At every step there are decisions to be made by creatures who don’t know everything and who weren’t there at the beginning. We must divest our minds of the notion that science is an unbiased method that obtains incontrovertible truth. That is certainly not the case to an evolutionist. If blind processes produced human beings, we have no necessary or certain access to external reality. Some philosophers have tried to defend “evolutionary epistemology” – a notion that if evolution had not put us in touch with reality, we would not have survived. That’s a self-referential fallacy that assumes reality is real and that evolution is capable of addressing philosophical questions. Science is supposed to be a systematic attempt to discern and understand the natural world, but all attempts to define science in ways that keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out have failed. Take any definition of science and you will find examples: is science methodologically rigorous? So is astrology. Is science restricted to repeatable observation? Better not talk about dark energy or black holes. Does it make predictions? Some sportscasters score better than the 5% confidence level considered statistically significant in scientific experiments. Is it the consensus of the learned? Astrology, alchemy and Ptolemaic astronomy had long and established credentials. Is it restricted to explanations based on natural law? So much for chaos theory, probability and any explanation invoking contingency, like evolution. Is it restricted to natural explanations for natural phenomena? Read creationist journals and you will find much of this, yet the scientific establishment routinely excludes their views. Consistent philosophers of science have had to agree that by any normal definition, creation science is scientific – or else you wind up excluding other approaches the establishment doesn’t want to give up. No two philosophers of science agree completely on what science is, let alone what scientists should be doing. Philosophers differ wildly on the nature of scientific discovery, the nature of scientific evidence, and the nature and propriety of scientific explanation. The whole field is riddled with deep and unresolved questions. If you resort to an operational definition, it becomes circular: What is science? Science is what scientists do. What do scientists do? Science. In practice, “science” is often defined as whatever those in power take it to mean. As shown by the letter to Nature above, they sometimes can’t agree among themselves. The practice of science has changed considerably over the centuries. In the early 18th century, interested amateurs like James Joule worked independently and discussed their findings at local scientific societies that were little more than clubs. Today there is rapid, instantaneous conversation via the internet – some good, some bad, some ugly. Science has become a human social phenomenon wielding immense political and economic power. Many individual scientists do their work honestly; they really want to figure out the truth about some phenomenon, find a cure, bring clarity to a question about nature, organize our accumulating data in a useful way. At every level, though, human frailty is an intrinsic factor. Consider these very practical issues that each require decisions based on fallible human opinions:Who gets funding.How one increases the odds of getting funding.How much funding is needed (meat over gravy).How much one has to go along to get along.What school one goes to, and how it affects prestige.How one’s work is perceived by one’s peers.The availability of peer reviewers.Whether the peer reviewers are unbiased or potential rivals.How many peer reviewers are enough.Whether a glass ceiling exists for women researchers.Whether the good-old-boys club keeps out young or female entrants.Whether a consensus represents confidence or inertia.To what extent a consensus muscles out the mavericks.Whether a maverick has a view worth hearing (who decides?)The effect of tenure or the lack of it on objectivity.Whether corporate funding biases the findings.Whether government funding biases the findings.Whether individual hubris biases the findings (think Mesmer).The influence of one or more strong personalities in a field (think Freud).Whether quantity of research activity correlates with significance.Whether number of published papers correlates with understanding.Whether volume of writing on a subject correlates with its value.The extent to which references reinforce dogma (see 03/17/2006).How long it takes for new knowledge, or falsified theories, to become generally known (01/15/2010).Whether public comments provide signal or noise.Whether an expensive project provides value.How a project’s perceived value is to be measured.How the quality of scientific activity or results is to be measured.At what point a project outlives its usefulness.Whether the issue being investigated is a scientific question.These and other issues raise an interesting thought: is a kid doing a science project she loves, or a citizen scientist pursuing a question out of his own interest and curiosity, closer to the pure scientific ideal? But if so, how would they ever afford to build a Large Hadron Collider? The expense of large scientific research programs has created a monstrosity of institutions, political processes and issues about what it is science is trying to do and why. It might be compared to how San Francisco became a boom town to support the gold miners. A lot of ancillary activity emerged (including crime and saloons) whose relevance to the activity of mining was questionable. Nevertheless, we’re stuck with Big Science. Whether more openness to public visibility via the internet will keep it honest (or make it honest) remains to be seen.Exercise: Add to our list of non-epistemic factors that must be considered in evaluating the nature and results of science.(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
There’s been a lot of talk about branding lately – branding of countries and even of continents. The recent visit to Ghana by US President Barack Obama set off another debate about how Africa is perceived, both within and outside the continent, and whether Brand Africa can ever be repositioned.In the same way witnesses to the same event all have their own version of the facts, our individual experiences have an impact on how we perceive a brand, and different eyes see different things. Do we, as Africans, have a kinder view of Africa or are we all the more critical for being so? Are we so used to seeing the wide disparity between the have and have-nots in our home countries that we fail to understand just how others from more developed lands might view this?By the same token, are we so aware of all the positive things in our societies of origin, that we despair of visitors who come only to reinforce their negative perceptions?The Sum of Our ExperienceMy experience of flying British Airways will colour my perception of that brand, while the quality of a product I purchase from L’Oreal might make me question if it (or I) is ‘worth it’.Having recently returned from a visit to South Africa organised by South Africa’s brand manager, the International Marketing Council, (we’ll be sharing more from the trip in future issues) I am incredibly inspired by the energy and determination of South Africans. With a World Cup to run, everything seems to be in the process of being built or rebuilt – a visible renaissance in a nation that has been so recently reborn from its painful past.Managing Brand Africa is the responsibility of all of us, because that brand colours all of us.Yet, as I read articles in the British and international press about Africa, I have to wonder. If the essence of branding is the sum of how we feel about our experience of a product, it begs the question of how so many people who have never experienced a part of Africa have no qualms about contributing their views.Branding AfricaSome media, never letting facts get in the way of a good story, start with a presumption of guilt, leaving the burden on the falsely accused to protest, rebut, and finally claim a victory long after the buzz generated by the issue has died down.The African continent is a classic example of an easy target and what you are told will depend on who you ask – or don’t. For some, Africa represents a continent of hope and opportunity; for others, a place of despair and hopelessness.Good news stories are rarely allowed to emerge from Africa and that plays strongly into the perception of the continent’s brand. Distorted reports, clarified too little and too late, continue to build a picture of crime ridden, corrupt and venal countries governed by tyrants and despots. Progress is often either grudgingly noted or swiftly dismissed when compared to ‘the bigger picture’; while external spokesmen are given more credibility than those who know the continent to make or break the case for Africa.Knocking away StereotypesSo what role can we, as Africans overseas, play in changing some of the assumptions and presumptions about Brand Africa?Well, we can make a start by challenging false assumptions and knocking away negative stereotypes. Challenging ignorance, not by strident insults, but by gentle explanation and factual discourse; remembering the saying that ‘raising your voice doesn’t increase the power of your argument’.People’s experience of us as proud Africans will colour their perception of Brand Africa. Africans can’t achieve? Africans are limited? Perhaps, then, striving for excellence – right where we are – is the best way to rebut assumptions about the capabilities of people from Africa.A New BrandManaging Brand Africa is the responsibility of all of us, because that brand colours all of us. In many areas, Brand Africa has never had more good news to shout about but has also never been more in need of ambassadors to make its case.In the words of the late King of Pop, it’s time to make that change. South Africa has made a decision to protect its brand; isn’t it time the rest of Africa did the same?In This IssueKeeping with tradition, our August issue is made up of my picks from the issues of ReConnect Africa published throughout the past year. We hope that those of you who started subscribing recently will enjoy the articles you may have missed, while our longer standing readers can revisit some that they enjoyed before.While the events of the global recession have also impacted on Africa, the continent still offers long-term growth and opportunity for investors. We start with a report on the Africa Investment and Finance Conference in Africa – The last Frontier.In considering Kenya’s – and Africa’s – ambitions as the outsourcing destination of choice, Selorm Adadevoh reflects on whether Africa should really aim to copy India in his report Outsourcing to Africa: Dream or Realistic Aspiration?Tanzania – ‘The Land of Limitless Opportunities’ – is not simply a land of natural beauty, but also a country that offers vast investment opportunities, as a recent conference in London highlighted.If you need the facts about just why Africa has so much to offer, there is no better place to turn than the beautiful new book that celebrates all that is positive about Africa. Learn more about ‘Africa – The Good News’ in this report.The role that Africa’s Diaspora can play in leading change and development within Africa is explained by Dr. K Y Amoako, Founder and President of the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) in ‘Transforming Africa’ and we look at how the ABE qualification is opening doors for African professionals globally in ‘Training Africa’s Managers’.CareersIn this tough job market, your networking skills will be crucial to finding and keeping a job. In ‘Think You Can’t Network?’ Jane Adshead-Grant offers some essential tips to help you transform the way you make contacts.Could you be happier in your life? What’s stopping you? In ‘Be Your Own Coach’, leading careers coach Robin Alcock takes a look at what prevents us from being more effective and what we can do about it.Also in our Careers section, we review a recent Summit on recruitment in the oil, gas and power sectors in ‘Future Talent for Oil and Gas’, offer some advice on interviews in ‘7 Ways to Excel at Job Interviews’ and hear from our Careers Coach on ‘Finding a Job at Fifty’.For those of you opting for self-employment, take a look at Steve Gardner’s advice in ‘Only the Lonely – The Hidden Side of Self-Employment’ to find out how to give yourself a boost during those tough days.African DiasporaIn ‘Transforming Ghana in Ireland’, we look at how the Association of Ghanaian Professionals in Ireland is helping instil patriotism and professionalism in Ghanaians in Ireland.We bring you a report of the launch of ‘Global South Africans’, a global network of South Africans and friends of South Africa, and its plans to bring skills and knowledge to the country. With a new government in place, we share, in ‘Voting South Africa’, the reflections of two South Africans in London on the significance of their vote on Election Day.Africans don’t come any more enterprising than Fred Quartey and, if you are looking for a taste of Africa in London, a visit to his restaurant, Just Freddie’s, is a must. Check out ‘A Taste of Talent’ to learn more about Fred’s story.Journalist and radio presenter, Uduak Amimo is our guest interviewee in my pick of ‘5 Minute Interview’ articles and she shares some of the sources of her inspiration and success.August is holiday month but there are nevertheless a number of exciting events taking place in the UK and overseas and our Events listing gives you details of what’s on this month.As ever, we report on news from the UK and around the world and bring you an overview of news from across the African continent.Share your comments about our articles or write into our Letters page and let us know what you think about ReConnect Africa.ReConnect Africa Members’ ForumWhat’s making you angry/thoughtful/happy? What would you like to share with other readers of ReConnect Africa? Post your comments or give some advice to other members on our free ReConnect Africa Forum.Thank you to those of you who have registered onto the Forum and posted your comments; if you haven’t yet joined, why don’t you do so today?Courtesy: Reconnect Africa
15 October 2010 South Africa’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) created over 190 000 job opportunities between April and June 2010, putting it well on track to achieve its target of 642 000 new jobs in the 2010/11 financial year. “This figure reflects an impressive 30 percent achievement against the set annual target of 642 000 new work opportunities in the 2010/11 financial year,” Public Works Minister Geoff Doidge told the inaugural EPWP Summit at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban this week. “There are still three more quarters to go to achieve 642 000 work opportunities.” The infrastructure sector created the most work opportunities, with KwaZulu-Natal leading the way, followed by the Eastern Cape and Gauteng provinces. The government’s Expanded Public Works Programme gives unskilled and unemployed people the opportunity to earn an income from short-term employment through labour-intensive projects. They are mainly employed in the infrastructure, economy, environment, cultural and social sectors. The programme is a key component in the government’s drive to halve unemployment in South Africa by creating 4.5-million new work opportunities by 2014. Doidge urged officials from the 283 municipalities participating in the summit to use the state’s resources to address social and infrastructure backlogs. “There is a need for local government to maximise their efforts during phase two in the implementation of the programme,” the minister said, adding that more funds would be committed to the programme. Source: BuaNews
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 29: Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals reacts as he coaches against the Louisville Cardinals during the Midwest Region Semifinal round of the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Saturday’s fantastic Kentucky-Louisville game should have made headlines for the great game on the court, but an alleged gesture by Cardinals coach Rick Pitino as he exited the floor has captured the attention of the college basketball world. Following his team’s two point loss, a Kentucky fan tweeted a video of Pitino allegedly giving the middle finger to taunting Wildcats fans. It is hard to tell definitively what the gesture Pitino makes is, but a new video has come out that gives a slightly better angle.This video, posted to Facebook by Adam Joseph Gatzke, is still grainy, but it definitely looks like Pitino extends a finger, and it doesn’t look like it could be his index finger to make a “No. 1” gesture, as Pitino said was the case.Between this incident, and Pitino skipping his post-game press conference, and the looming questions surrounding his program due to the sex scandal that broke before the season, Pitino is having a very rough 2015. Fox Sports’ Aaron Torres has gone as far as to call him the “least likable” person in college sports. If he did, in fact, flip off a number of fans, even if they taunted him, it doesn’t help his case there.[Reddit]
From a young age, outside voices such as school dress codes and harsh comments from peer groups influence how girls feel about their appearance.Shonda Rhimes participated in a panel with powerful young womenWhile girls today are strong and resilient, these comments still have a negative impact on her self-esteem and make her less likely to participate in things like trying out for sports or raising her hand in class. It’s time for her to hear something different. Dove and Shonda Rhimes have teamed up to launch the Girl Collective, a multigenerational sisterhood created to build confidence and challenge beauty stereotypes through honest, authentic and practical conversations shared between women and girls. The Girl Collective is powered by the Dove Self Esteem Project which has been hosting self-esteem workshops in schools and providing at-home self-esteem materials and exercises since 2004. Now, with the Girl Collective, these self-esteem experiences from Dove can continue to spread and support girls and women everywhere.Inaugural members of the group include Shonda Rhimes, Musician SZA, Transgender Activist Jazz Jennings, intimate apparel brand Aerie, Viral Dance Group Syncopated Ladies, and many more powerful and inspiring voices.“Six in 10 girls believe that to do well in life they have to look a certain way and that just shouldn’t be,” says Shonda Rhimes who has been working with Dove for two years as Chief Storyteller in an effort to ensure every woman and girl sees herself represented in media and culture. “Last year I participated in my first-ever Dove Self-Esteem Workshop and I was inspired by the power of women and girls connecting to tackle issues that impact so many of us. I’m proud to be a part of this remarkable community which illustrates the magic we can unlock when we work together to inspire change and build confidence.”Dove marked the launch of Girl Collective with an electrifying super-event in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 6 – the largest convening of its kind in the brand’s history. Hundreds of women and girls attended a series of powerful social conversations inspiring everyone to take action to raise self-esteem, all powered by Dove Self-Esteem Project accredited curriculum. More Like Me: Chief Storyteller Shonda Rhimes participated in a stimulating panel with powerful young women about expanding representation. Shonda urged women and girls to remember they are the main character of their own story, encouraging them to claim their power and begin defining beauty for themselves. Skin Deep: Musician SZA and Dove Self-Esteem Educator Dre Brown explored the relationship our culture and ethnicity play in defining our beauty identities. SZA encouraged girls to create their own beauty standards rather than subscribe to someone else’s. Girl Redefined: Transgender Activist Jazz Jennings joined Sexuality & Relationship expert Dr. Logan Levkoff to challenge ideas of gender, beauty and femininity to create new appreciation for and acceptance of beauty that is fluid. Through examples of her own journey, Jazz’s helped the collective understand that they have the power to create their own reality. From “the Gram” to the Ground: With a shared mission of helping girls develop a positive relationship with the way they look, Aerie teamed up with Dove to join Girl Collective along with #AerieReal ambassador and former Fashion Editor Lauren Chan and provide actionable ways girls can be body positive champions in their schools and communities.Check out more inspiring highlights, including the full panel discussion, from the Dove Girl Collective event here.
Charlotte Morritt-JacobsAPTN NewsSandra Noel finds herself sitting on her couch looking over old photographs more and more these days.Noel is a former ward of the state – taken from her parents in Inuvik and send south to Yellowknife.She couldn’t tell you how many social workers she had but she quickly shares how much she missed growing up in the high arctic community of Inuvik as a teenager.“Between moving around a lot it was confusing and scary,” she says. “It was hard having everything up in the air.”Now through records – she’s learning about her past.“I am anxious to get them and read them,” she said.Noel is collecting her social services records from the government of the Northwest Territories after spending a decade in foster care.She was adopted out at birth and her adoptive parents moved from Inuvik to Yellowknife. She was then put in a foster home at age 10.And she has questions.“The main questions were about my dad passing, my birth family,” she said. “My social workers were working on a family tree for me but I haven’t seen that in my records yet.”It’s been over a year now since she first started requesting her child welfare file.She finds it tedious and a long process.“Online it said I would have to pay to get my records. From there I went to social services to get my records. They referred me to someone else so I went there and saw someone I could talk to about it and the process of applying,” she said.The documents aren’t complete. Many have been redacted and some of the information hasn’t exactly enlightened her.“I guess in my mind I was expecting the deep dark stuff,” Noel said. “The first file I picked up was more of the social workers generic stuff, travel letters and what not.”Now Noel wants to put her strength and experience with the system to good use.She teamed up with a not for profit organization called Youth In Care Canada to help better advocate for better services.“Even if I help youth in care or from care that will be amazing and to help empower myself,” she said.Noel said it’s not easy being in care.“I know you feel unloved in care and voiceless,” she said. “I know I have so to know that there is people out there raising awareness who want to be an advocate, a voice for [email protected]@aptncharlotte
Shelby Lum / Photo editorRedshirt-freshman forward Morgan Wolcott (33) plays the ball forward during a game against Pittsburgh Aug. 28, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU won, 2-0.After winning its first three games at home to open to the season, the Ohio State women’s soccer team hits the road with matches in Massachusetts against Boston College and Northeastern. The No. 21 Buckeyes are currently riding a school-record 15 match unbeaten streak after playing to a scoreless tie with Arizona Sept. 1.While the Buckeyes are looking to extend their streak, freshman midfielder Alexis Degler said losing a game is not a part of team’s mindset.“We don’t really think about losing. It’s just one step forward in the right direction for us and we are excited to continue it,” Degler said.The Buckeyes were able to keep the unbeaten streak going against Arizona thanks to goalkeepers senior Rachel Middleman and sophomore Jillian McVicker, who kept the Wildcats from scoring as they split time in goal. Coach Lori Walker said McVicker has grown so far this season.“She’s done a nice job, her feet are very good as well, so she’s giving us good distance and range on her kicks,” Walker said.The strong start helped OSU move up three spots in the latest NCAA poll, but Walker still has things for her team to improve on.“You know you’re always just trying to get a little bit better and what we’ve got to be able to do is settle a game down to play against a team that’s not playing in the same way that we like to play,” Walker said.OSU’s first opponent on the road trip is Boston College. The Eagles are currently 2-2-0 on the season after dropping their last match at Connecticut 1-0. Junior forward Stephanie McCaffrey is leading Boston College offensively this season with two goals and five assists through four games. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Thursday.McVicker’s shutout last Sunday was her third appearance in goal so far this year without allowing a goal, and it was Middleman’s first. McVicker said splitting time with Middleman has been beneficial to the team.“Playing with (Middleman) is great. In training, we push each other all the time and we complement each other very well and push each other to our limits and strive to make each other better for the betterment of the team,” McVicker said.The Buckeyes defense has only given up three goals through the first four matches and have not allowed a goal in their last 269 minutes on the field.“It’s something that we pride ourselves on, and if we aren’t playing our best soccer we have to hustle,” senior midfielder Kristin Niederhaus said. “I think at the end of the day (defense) is what wins games for us.”After playing Boston College Thursday, the Buckeyes take on Northeastern Sunday, who is 0-3-1 in 2013. These two teams met last year on Aug. 24 when Ohio State defeated the Huskies 3-0 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
BIK&S has partnered with both the cities of Kenai and Soldotna to make marine grade aluminum bike racks to ensure bicyclists have a safe place to park wherever they choose to ride in town. This group envisions bike-friendly communities where bicycling is a convenient, routine, safe, and healthy transportation option that contributes to the high quality of life for Kenai Peninsula residents. Kaitlin Vadla with BIK&S: “So many people have done so many great things for our biking community over the many, many years. The momentum is really rolling together now and there is a really awesome bike rack program about to hit the streets really soon.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Biking in Kenai & Soldotna (BIK&S) is a community-led advocacy group working to promote safe bike travel within and between the cities of Kenai and Soldotna. Vadla: “There are two types; there is one that is an inverted U with the logo, and that is $160 dollars. There is also one that looks like a bike frame, and it’s $275. That’s much cheaper than you can get anywhere else and they are locally made.” BIK&S is currently working with the Department of Transportation on obtaining a grant to build the bike trail on Beaver Loop Road to the Kenai Spur Hwy along Bridge Access. If you are interested in purchasing a bike rack for your local business you can contact Vadla directly at [email protected]