Atlantic Travel Agency named one of the best in Ireland and UK

first_imgIf you’re thinking about booking summer holidays, then you don’t have far to look for quality service as a travel agency in Letterkenny has been officially named as one of the best in Ireland the UK. Atlantic Travel has earned a place on the Top 50 power-list of agencies by industry bible the Travel Trade Gazette. Atlantic Travel was one of only three agencies in the Republic of Ireland category to earn a place in this prestigious list. More than 500 travel agencies and branches put themselves forward for consideration for TTG’s Top 50 Travel Agencies 2019 – in association with Kuoni – from which a shortlist of 100 finalists across 20 categories was devised. The TTG Top 50 Travel Agencies list was revealed in a glittering ceremony in Birmingham on Thursday night after an extensive judging process, which saw agents rated by tour operators and other suppliers, and then assessed by travel trade journalists. TTG group editor Pippa Jacks said: “Now in its fourth year, our Top 50 Travel Agencies initiative has seen us tour the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland to uncover its most dedicated and innovative travel agency businesses. “Our winners demonstrate that travel retailing in 2019 is a vibrant and successful business sector, and that experienced travel professionals continue to add value through their expertise and by delivering extraordinary service to their customers.” “Each agency that earned a place in our Top 50 list this year worked hard to impress our judges and should feel incredibly proud of what they have achieved.”Mary T. Toye and Caroline Kerr looking after a customer at Atlantic Travel Worldchoice, LetterkennyEmma McHugh who is a partner and the Manager of Atlantic Travel said “We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this accolade by TTG. Our passion and dedication to travel is always at the heart of what we do and we are so proud of this recognition.”The shortlisting stage was undertaken by a panel of 60 travel suppliers including airlines, tour operators and car hire providers, who rated hopeful agencies according to their business performance, customer service and expertise. To decide which shortlisted agencies made it into the Top 50 list, a TTG journalist visited or interviewed each shortlisted agency to carry out an assessment. Find the full Top 50 shortlist and more information on the process at Atlantic Travel Agency named one of the best in Ireland and UK was last modified: April 29th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:atlantic travelholidaystravel agentlast_img read more

Archer Fish Learns the Laws of Optics

first_imgImagine you’re a kid in a swimming pool, underwater with a squirt gun.  Lurking under the surface, you detect the wavy, distorted image of your big brother standing on the deck.  You sneak up, fire from below– and miss, because you didn’t know how to correct for refraction and distance through the air-water interface.  There’s a fish that would put you to shame; it squirts jets of water precisely at its prey, bugs crawling above water on leaves and stems.  Scientists have been intrigued for many years at the accuracy of the aptly named “archer fish”  (see 09/30/2002 headline, an article by Taylor Reeves on Apologetics Press and footage of the fish in action in the film Wonders of God’s Creation).    A new paper about the aquatic sharpshooters has been published in the Sept. 7 issue of Current Biology.1  The title says it all:  “Archer fish learn to compensate for complex optical distortions to determine the absolute size of their aerial prey.”  Researchers gave the fish target practice with colored disks.  A summary in EurekAlert explains the result: “Although naïve fish often selected disks that would be too large to be swallowed, all could eventually learn to judge absolute size with great precision; in doing so, they perfectly accounted for the complex optical situation posed by their underwater viewpoint” (emphasis added in all quotes).  What’s even more amazing, EurekAlert continues, is that this was not just a conditioned response.  The fish learned physics:In a series of experiments, the researchers showed that the fish do not learn this by remembering which combinations of spatial configurations and the corresponding images were rewarding in the past.  Rather, the fish extracted the underlying law that connects spatial configuration and apparent size.  This remarkable cognitive ability allows the fish to readily judge a target’s objective size from underwater views they have never encountered before.—and all this “in a world of distortion” caused by refraction and a moving surface.  The researchers, Schuster et al. in Germany, seemed pretty amazed, because “the deviations between real and apparent horizontal size are substantial” due to distortion.  But the fish took this all in stride:Moreover, the strong viewpoint dependency can even cause changes in the size relations among the disks.  For instance, if the fish makes its selection while close to a large disk, the apparent size of a more-distant small disk can be larger than that of the close large disk.  In principle, the fish could overcome these problems by scanning the targets and taking a view of each target from the same horizontal distance.  However, this is clearly not what the fish did; as soon as the objects were shown, the fish swam straight to their shooting position and fired.The original paper describes some of the clever experiments the researchers devised to test whether the fish were actually learning optical principles.  They wanted to know if the fish could learn to adjust for optical distortion, so they trained four fish to shoot at 6mm disks at various horizontal and vertical distances.  Successful target shooting within 10 seconds was rewarded with a fly.  After 4-8 weeks of training, the winners in the school of fish archery all passed: “All four fish mastered the task and selected the correct size at any height.”  This was a hard task for any fish, but the archer fish achieved “impressive precision,” able to hit a 1mm bull’s-eye from 800mm.    Additional experiments led the researchers to conclude that the fish did not just memorize the shots that worked.  They actually had to learn how to correct for distortion.  Think about all that is involved in this skill:In learning the objective size of their targets, the archer fish thus had not simply learned combinations that were rewarded in the past but went beyond to acquire a concept of objective size that they later could readily apply to the novel views.  This ability is remarkable in several respects.  First, the optical effects require rather precise knowledge of spatial configuration….  The question of how the fish’s visual system is able to provide this information is presently wide open.  When fish aim their shots, for which precise distance information is also required, monocular cues suffice and binocular distance cues are not required.  Whether stereo vision is also unnecessary for size constant vision cannot, however, be said at present.  Second, the fish apparently is able to combine such spatial knowledge in a yet-unknown way with apparent size (or apparent locomotion-induced image transformations) to deduce a concept of objective size.  Whatever sensory representation it uses, the fish evidently is able to form a concept of size that is tailored to the complex optics at the water-air interface.  Because this situation poses particularly rigorous requirements on the relation the animal must make between target localization and the apparent image, the fish is an attractive model to explore how animals learn to form concepts to bring order into their sensory experiences.Kind of makes you hope the little champs don’t get targeted by the optical targeting apparatus of a diving cormorant (see 05/24/2004 headline).1Schuster et al., “Archer Fish Learn to Compensate for Complex Optical Distortions to Determine the Absolute Size of Their Aerial Prey,” Current Biology, Volume 14, Issue 17, 7 September 2004, Pages 1565-1568, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2004.08.050.Stories like this are such wonderful relief from the incessant storytelling of Darwinists.  There was no mention of evolution in this article, and if there had been, it wouldn’t be worth a spit.  Here evolutionists cannot even find a clear beneficial mutation (see next headline), and they want us to believe this and thousands of other wonders of creation are the result of accidents?  Shoot.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Get the guide to going home

first_img23 September 2005Gatvol? Bored? Curious? Homesick? You’re not the only one.Every year an estimated 300 000 South Africans return home – some for a holiday, others to get married, start a business, find work or start a family.South Africa’s future has never looked brighter: the economy is booming, lives are improving, our sports stars are winning and we’ll even have our first underground in a few years. Serious food for thought for South Africans living abroad.The Going Home Resource Guide, published by the London-based SA Times, is the next step for anyone considering returning home. It’s a detailed, informative and practical guide to relocating from north to south.Including everything from hot jobs and investment opportunities to buying property and shipping your car back, the Going Home Resource Guide is an indispensable aid to any would-be homecomer.It even includes the legal lowdown on getting married in South Africa and returning to the UK, as well as a comprehensive service directory and emigration checklist.Every person’s reason for returning home home is different, and the guide doesn’t presume to tell you everything you already know. It just aims to make the process a little easier and a little simpler.Your journey home starts here.South Africans living in the UK can get the guide by texting their name and address to the SA Times. Text SAT, your name and postal address to 60999. The text costs £2 and the cost of a normal text and covers postage costs.Source: SA Timeslast_img read more

Sowetan Dialogues focus on the Bill of Rights

first_imgBotho Masigo; Folusho Mvubu; Advocate Pansy Tlakula; Lorraine Mofokeng from Sowetan; Advocate Lawrence Mushwana; Tiseke Kasambala; and Onke Dumeko from Brand SA (Image: Ray Maota)Brand South Africa, along with the Sowetan, hosted the Sowetan Dialogues in Mafikeng in the North West Province on 26 March 2014 at the Mmabatho Civic Centre.The Celebrating Human Rights Day: Does the Bill of Rights work for you? public dialogue was one in a six-part series aimed at promoting the pillars of South Africa’s National Development Plan, and promoting civic pride.The discussion was facilitated by Mafikeng FM radio personality, Botho Masigo, and the panel included: Lawrence Mushwana, a Supreme Court of South Africa advocate; Tiseke Kasambala, southern Africa director of Human Rights Watch; Advocate Pansy Tlakula, chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission; and Folusho Mvubu, director of service delivery improvement support at the Department of Public Service and Administration.The discussion focused on how human rights, South Africa’s Bill of Rights, and traditional practices intersect.Human rights are moral principles that set out certain standards of human behaviour, and are regularly protected as legal rights in national and international law.The Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of South Africa’s democracy, enshrining the rights of all people in the country and affirming the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.RIGHTS MEET TRADITIONTlakula began her talk mentioning a case she dealt with in the late 1990s.“In the early days of democracy I was confronted with a case of a minor who was married off by her family from KwaZulu-Natal when she was 16 years old. She lived with the husband in Katlehong in the east of Johannesburg. We arrested the husband as well as the father of the girl and successfully prosecuted them,” said Tlakula.She cited the case to show how universal human rights would sometimes be at odds with traditional practices that have been practised for years, and described how this could have a negative impact on the person being protected.Tlakula said: “I was happy that we successfully protected a minor but this had a negative impact on her, as, when she turned 18 years old and could leave the place of protection we had kept her at, she had no place to go as she was ostracised from her village for getting her father arrested for a practice that had been going on for years.”Tlakula said that in trying to protect her human rights at all costs, they had displaced a young girl.SA AT THE FOREFRONT OF HUMAN RIGHTSKasambala said that through her work with Human Rights Watch, it was safe to say that South Africa was leading in human rights in Africa, but that it “should not relax”.“There are issues that need to be highlighted, for example police brutality, verbal attacks on media, attacks on differences of sexuality, as well as xenophobia,” she said.Kasambala said that to see if rights are being respected, one should look at local government for a start. She referred to a Human Rights Watch statement saying that “Despite South Africa’s strong constitutional protections for human rights and its relative success at providing basic services, the government is struggling to meet demands for economic and social rights. Financial mismanagement and corruption – especially at the local government level – have contributed to this issue.The killing of 34 miners at the Lonmin Platinum Mine in Marikana, North West Province, in August of 2012 shocked South Africans and highlighted increasing concerns over police brutality and underlying grievances over the government’s failure to fulfil basic economic and social rights. Bills have been proposed that, if enacted, would negatively affect media freedom and access to justice.”GET FAMILIAR WITH BILL OF RIGHTSMushwana said that citizens need to familiarise themselves with the Bill of Rights so they know exactly what to complain about; he talked about an incident in the rural town he comes from in Polokwane.“People need to familiarise themselves with the Bill of Rights because you cannot protect what you do not know,” Mushwana said.“For example, a town I come from in Polokwane called Lorraine had people protesting recently for them to get a mall. To tell the truth the town has less than 3000 people and not all have the buying power to make big business want to build a mall there.”Mushwana also talked about violent service delivery protests taking place in South Africa.“Those protesting need to protect the credibility of their protest by protecting it from external forces that sometimes join protests so they can commit crimes,” he said.Mushwana concluded, saying it was in the hands of every individual to make sure the Bill of Rights is adhered to and that no one’s rights are violated.last_img read more

Ohio Cattlemen’s Conference helps young cattlemen develop industry leadership skills

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The 2016 Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC) hosted 18 cattlemen and women for a 3-day leadership development program in Columbus and the central Ohio areas, Aug. 18-20. The conference was made possible by Farm Credit Mid-America and the Ohio Soybean Council.YCC kicked off Thursday evening at the Crowne Plaza North in Columbus with a beef dinner and participants were present for the 2016 Ohio State Fair Commercial Cattle Show carcass contest awards presentation. Guest speaker, Justin Sexten, Ph.D., Director of Supply Development for the Certified Angus Beef Brand, discussed the challenges and opportunities currently facing the beef industry.Conference attendees also participated in a spokesperson training program by Daren Williams, Senior Executive Director of Communications. Williams lead participants through a media training session that strengthened their communication skills, taught attendees how to tell their beef production story, and become a more effective cattle industry leader.Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) staff discussed the value of membership and the role OCA plays in representing the interests of beef producers on legislative and regulatory issues. The Ohio Beef Council staff presented an overview of checkoff funded beef promotions designed to increase consumer demand for beef.Participants had the opportunity to have lunch at Cameron Mitchell’s The Pearl restaurant in Columbus to learn about the checkoff’s partnership with the restaurant chain built around beef promotions. Following lunch, participants traveled to the Ohio State House where they met with Senator Bob Peterson (District 17). Senator Peterson, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, spoke about current Ohio legislation affecting the beef cattle industry and answered questions from the group.The group was able to attend a Columbus Clippers baseball game, where they gained firsthand experience in telling their beef story to game attendees, while promoting beef at the ballpark.The final day included a session with Dr. Lyda Garcia, Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences, for a Mini-BEEF 509 class. Dr. Garcia provided hands-on learning on how meat is graded, fabrication of wholesale and retail cuts, and other issues that can affect beef quality and pricing. Participants also viewed champion carcasses from the 2016 Ohio State Fair. Participants also heard from Hank LeVan, OSU’s recent addition to the Animal Sciences staff. LeVan is also serving as the Livestock Judging Team coach and provided goals set for the upcoming teams and avenues provided to achieve them.A special tour of the Ohio State University Woody Hayes Athletic Center was a highlight of the program thanks to a continuing relationship between OCA and the OSU football team. OCA annually prepares and serves beef for the Champions Dinner and other team events. Participants learned about the history of OSU football and toured the training and practice facilities.The purpose of the YCC is to offer emerging Ohio beef industry leaders and young producers the opportunity to build their own leadership skills as they network with beef industry leaders, government officials, businesses and media. Young beef producers interested in attending the 2017 YCC should contact the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation at 614-873-6736 or email [email protected]last_img read more

Brewing young farmers and ranchers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  Leave a CommentThe American Farm Bureau Fusion conference was held March 15-18 in Milwaukee and brought together leaders from Promotion & Education, Women’s Leadership and Young Farmers & Ranchers programs. The event provided educational tracks, networking opportunities and energized participants with new ideas and strategies to take back to their home state. This year, Ohio had 34 Young Ag Professionals members in attendance.Personally, I was one of the 10 Ohio Farm Bureau scholarship recipients, which covered both my registration and travel. Being gifted the amazing experience of this conference has become one of my greatest memories with Ohio Farm Bureau thus far.The conference kicked off on Saturday morning with all of Ohio cheering on our very own Collegiate Discussion Meet participant, Aryn Copeland. Then our first session included a limbo competition that I was so gracefully nominated to compete in and gave me an early push out of my comfort zone both socially and physically. Afterward, we heard from our first keynote speaker, Jim Morris, former MLB player and the reason behind the beloved Disney movie, “The Rookie.” Jim shared his personal story and expressed some of his most important life lessons: “The most important person is the person standing right in front of you,” and “If you set your sights too low, you don’t know where you can go.”Throughout the weekend we also heard from Redmond Ramos, a veteran, motivational speaker and a past Team USA Invictus Games athlete. Ramos spoke on the idea that sometimes our lives can be changed in a moment and that every obstacle in our way can be an opportunity to grow.  We also heard from AFBF Vice President Scott VanderWal about current events and what was the horizon for American Farm Bureau.During the afternoons, we had our educational tracks or breakout sessions. Being passionate about ag policy, I attended most of the advocacy sessions. The first one was AFBF’s strategic action plan where we heard how American Farm Bureau will be tackling priority issues like FDA labeling or the ratification of the USMCA (United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement). The second session was aimed at the 116th Congress, its mission statement and the best methods of advocating to our member of congress. I learned that face-to-face interactions with legislators have a 34 percent better success rate and the more we speak and share with them, the more they will seek us for accurate information and personal opinions. We should focus on relationship building and impact instead of just throwing stats and issues.Some of the other sessions I attended throughout the conference were focused on personal branding and hearing all the opportunities other state Farm Bureaus collegiate and young agriculturist programs have to offer. This allowed me to gather great insight and new ideas to bring back to Ohio.Additionally, we had the chance of experiencing Wisconsin agriculture first-hand, taking most of the day Monday either touring farm operations or agricultural related companies. For me, the day included a visit to PortFish, an aquaponics company and then to a local grain and dairy farm. At PortFish, we were exposed to the full cycle of aquaponics, from the seeds, the fish, the water system and even the harvest. At the farm, we saw the workings of a 21st century family farm, producing food and educating their local community. Even though these are two completely different components of agriculture they went together perfectly. The tour showed the diversity of agriculture even in just one state and that we must all begin to focus on including our community and consumers if we truly want to build a better tomorrow.Networking was a huge element of the conference. Many of the meals were designed with this intention dividing us by background, career interests or even by items designated on our conference lanyards. We had discussion tables, coffee hours and not to mention the amazing evening festivities. The first night we visited the Harley-Davidson Museum that had both karaoke and dueling pianos. We took some really cool motorcycle pictures and learned that singing the Ohio classic, “Hang on Sloopy” in front of 300 people not from Ohio may not always be the best idea. There was also a grand finale the last night with dancing, buffets and life-sized board games resulting in some much-needed reconnections and building my network of both new friends and colleagues.Reflecting back, the Fusion conference has been one of the greatest experiences I’ve had in the agricultural industry and I would truly recommend it to any college student or young professional looking to one day work in agriculture. As a student, I made connections to potential employers. As an advocate, I learned new strategies and what AFBF is doing on the frontlines of our industry. As an individual, I learned that “obstacles can be opportunities” and as a young ag professional, I learned that together American agriculture is “brewing up” an amazing future.  Leave a Commentlast_img read more