Teodoro rises to Meneses challenge after disappointing opener

first_imgFilipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite EAC takes command with rout of St. Benilde OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ “I just doubled my effort,” he said, understanding where Meneses’ frustrations are coming from.“The veterans were disappointing in our first game. We didn’t play like we were veterans, so today, from the first quarter, I made it a point to be aggressive.”Though Meneses was elated that Teodoro stepped up to his challenge, the mentor told his ace sniper that it would take more from him to help JRU contend this year.And that means for the 23-year-old to share the ball to his fellow Heavy Bombers as Meneses expects Teodoro to hike up his assists average from his 1.4 dimes last season.“Before, he doesn’t have any assists, but today, he got three. I told him that every time he involves his teammates, they also gain confidence. That’s what I’m seeing from him right now. He’s one of our veterans and he knows how to play the game,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte’s ‘soft heart’ could save ABS-CBN, says election lawyer Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “There’s no heart and there’s no pride. Credit should also go to Lyceum because they played hard. But it’s not the JRU I’m expecting for this season,” said Meneses.READ: NCAA: Teodoro heats up as JRU nabs first winFEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’But on Friday, Tey Teodoro proved his coach wrong, leading JRU to a huge 68-54 bounce back win over Perpetual.The senior sharp-shooter showed that he heard Meneses’ message loud and clear, posting a season-high 26 points, on a 6-of-13 shooting from three, to go with seven rebounds and three assists. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. LIVE: Sinulog 2020 Grand Parade LATEST STORIEScenter_img IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Malacañang open to creating Taal Commission Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netJose Rizal University coach Vergel Meneses was frank with his players following what he felt was a lackluster effort in their humiliating 96-75 loss to Lyceum on Tuesday.The PBA legend chided the Heavy Bombers after they fired blanks and seemingly played out of sync against the Pirates, a complete 180-turn from their meeting in the pre-season.ADVERTISEMENT Missile-capable frigate BRP Jose Rizal inches closer to entering PH Navy’s fleet 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

Akon Expected In Liberia Soon

first_imgU.S. and African Award winning artist Akon will soon be in Liberia to promote his Akon Light Africa Project, which aims to provide a concrete response to Africa’s energy crisis as well as laying down a foundation for future developments.Launched in 2014 by the singer, Thione Niang and Samba Bathily, the project aims is to build an innovative solar-powered solution that will end Africa’s demand for energy by providing access to a clean and affordable source of electricity.According to a close source to Akon’s team on the ground, during his visit to Liberia he will be donating solar power materials to about ten schools in the country and also accessing the needs to expand the project in Liberia.“Materials that will be donated ranges from street lamps to domestic and individual kits among others and it is meant to easy the lack of electricity in Liberian schools. Also, Akon will be meeting with stakeholders from the Liberian business community to discuss wide range of issues as well as highlighting the importance for country to move to green energy,” our source said. Akon will be arriving in Liberia next week Wednesday.Since this is a developing story, we will keep you updated. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Adventurer Roger to scale new heights for latest challenge

first_imgLast year he cycled across America and now he’s back!Roger Holmes has more energy than a box of Duracell batteries and he will need of all of it if he is to complete his latest challenge.Here is the Letterkenny man’s latest challenge – in his own words! For my 2017 adventure challenge, I am going to do the ‘Lowest to Highest’ – a 135 mile hike with 14,787 feet of climbing over three mountain ridges, from Badwater in Death Valley to Mount Whitney, California.Badwater, at 282 feet below sea-level, is the lowest point in North America. It is also just a few miles from where the world’s highest ever temperature was recorded (134f). Mount Whitney rises to 14,505 feet, making it the highest peak in the contiguous United States. (The USA, excluding Hawaii and Alaska).Trans-Atlantic Cycle was very much about distance and endurance, and although I went through some very remote places, I was never too far from people/traffic/help. L2H offers a very different challenge. It is a solo test in the wilderness. The biggest challenges are self-motivation, sourcing water, dealing with the elements and steering clear of the more dangerous wildlife.Unless something crops up, I won’t be fundraising this time as it took up a lot of time and energy on Trans Atlantic Cycle. I will however continue to raise awareness of the PSA test.Trans Atlantic Cycle raised just over six thousand dollars, but up to fifty men in or around my age got in touch to say that they were inspired to ask their doctor about a PSA test. That was the most rewarding aspect. This all started out when a bad fall from a bicycle left me in a low place. Ive been turning that negative experience into positive outcomes ever since. I loved the adventure and sense of personal achievement on Trans Atlantic Cycle, and have been inspired to seek out new challenges ever since.I am doing L2H this year as it will be fairly short and cheap and that suits me right now. It does however offer enough of a challenge to test myself and push my boundaries regarding solo-exploring and adventuring; which is something I hope to build on year on year. I already know what my ultimate goal is, and this is another step along the way.Having to completely rely on yourself in the wilderness motivates you to know and trust yourself on a whole new level. In August 2014 I was left with a bad situation. Nobody but myself could have gotten me out of it. That taught me a valuable lesson: You simply have to look out for your own best interests or you will suffer. On L2H there will be no sherpas, no guides, no motivators and no fellow climbers/hikers to rely on. You have to take responsibility for your own wellbeing, be it physical or mental. That is the message I would like to carry on L2H. Bring it on!#L2H #SoloAdventure #Hiking #DeathValley #MountWhitney #PSAtest #Beatcancer #TheParisMethod #Meditation #NeverStopExploring #Negative2PositiveAdventurer Roger to scale new heights for latest challenge was last modified: January 4th, 2017 by StephenShare 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:challengeclimbcycleRoger Holmeslast_img read more

Watch: See how the Bank of Ireland Workbench is working well in Letterkenny

first_imgDid you know that there is a free space on Main Street Letterkenny for anyone to work, access free wifi and host business events?The Workbench in Bank of Ireland has been open for the past year, providing desks for anyone in the town to work, meet clients and connect.We met some of the people who use the Workbench to see how they make it work for them:  A mix of entrepreneurs, creatives and non-profit groups have been taking advantage of the facility, which is open to anyone.There’s no catch – it’s free, you don’t have to be a Bank of Ireland customer, and you don’t have to reserve a space. For people who work from home and need a change of scenery, need to meet a client, or if you are passing through Letterkenny and need a quiet area to focus, this is for you. The workbench community has become a key networking space for many businesspeople, where they can bounce ideas off each other or ask for inspiration. Business and banking advice are just a few steps away in the Bank of Ireland, but there are no obligations. Bank of Ireland Letterkenny Workbench. L-R: Amanda Clarke, Heather Peoples, Barry Gallagher – Head of Bank of Ireland Donegal, Susan Stevenson, Seán Ó​ Brógáin and Head of Operations Jimmy StaffordHead of Bank of Ireland Donegal Barry Gallagher and Head of Operations Jimmy Stafford are encouraging anyone to drop-in and see how the space can work for them.The Workbench is open Monday- Friday from 10am – 4pm. If you’d like to book an event or presentation, just ask.To find out more contact Jimmy Stafford on 0868540952 or Imelda Boyle +353 (87) 709 9715. Watch: See how the Bank of Ireland Workbench is working well in Letterkenny was last modified: November 8th, 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:Bank of Irelandworkbenchlast_img read more

Hammerhead Sharks Have 360-degree Stereo Vision

first_imgScientists at Florida Atlantic University have found that the strange heads of hammerhead sharks give them exceptional binocular vision.  This has long been debated.  By placing electrodes in the eyes of three hammerhead species, and comparing the visual overlap they obtain compared to other sharks, the scientists confirmed that there is a “massive 32-degree overlap” in their forward vision, providing stereoscopic acuity, even though the eyes are seemingly pointed in opposite directions.  The researchers concluded, “They have a full 360-degree view of the world.”  The story was reported by Live Science, National Geographic, BBC News, and New Scientist.    Live Science and National Geographic did not mention evolution.  The BBC article mentioned it in passing.  Dr. Michelle Macomb, one of the researchers from Florida Atlantic University, was quoted as saying that “This study has confirmed that vision may have played a role in the evolution of one of the ocean’s most bizarre inhabitants.”  This statement, of course, offers no insight into how that might have occurred.  In the New Scientist article, by contrast, Shanta Barley started right off on a Darwinian foot, mentioning evolution in each of the first three sentences:It’s one of evolution’s most eccentric creations: a head shaped like a hammer.  Now, a study suggests that the hammerhead shark may have evolved its oddly shaped snout to boost the animal’s vision and hunting prowess.    For over a century, scientists have speculated why hammerheads evolved such an odd shape and whether having eyes so far apart would enhance their vision….In the second sentence, Barley made it sound like the shark actively evolved its vision for a purpose – a very un-Darwinian notion.  Her choice of title suggests the explanation is, instead, Kiplingian: “Why the hammerhead shark got its hammer.”    On a related subject, New Scientist and the BBC News reported on research by marine ecologist Andrea Marshall, “queen of the manta rays.”  The shark relatives she studies enjoy a remarkable mutualistic symbiosis with other fish that groom and clean them in “beauty parlors”.  Marshall told New Scientist,Cleaning stations are pretty well known in the marine environment, but for manta rays it’s an extraordinary event.  Because they are so large, “cleaner fish” partition up the ray and clean different parts of the animal.  It looks so co-operative and gentlemanly.  The mantas have to eat 14 per cent of their body weight a week in plankton, so any time taken out from feeding has to be invested in something important.  As they can spend up to 8 hours having parasites removed and shark bite marks cleaned, it must be detrimental if they’re not groomed.Evolution was only mentioned briefly in the BBC article to say that a “vestigial sting” in the manta suggests it evolved from the sting ray.  Both articles contain video clips of manta rays in action.  In the New Scientist clip, Marshall said that when she saw one of the giant rays swim over her head in the waters off Mozambique, she was “awestruck by its beauty.” Who gave hammerheads 360-degree stereo vision?  Did they think it up on their own and “evolve” their heads and eyes on purpose?  That would be oxymoronic.  There’s nothing evolutionary about this.  In the manta ray “beauty parlors” we see cooperation among creatures – not competition and survival of the fittest.  The cleaner fish act like mechanics on fighter jets that keep the craft in good repair while earning gainful employment.    Whether or not mantas have vestigial stingers should be critiqued.  If so, it might only suggest a divergence within the ray “kind” (baramin) that represents devolution, not evolution.  Design scientists would approach the structure to see if it has a function.  That approach has many times proved more fruitful than the vestigial organ story (08/21/2009).    Evolution itself is a vestigial organ of explanation.  It will vanish by intelligently designed thought processes.  We should focus instead on the design of these creatures and enjoy learning more about them.  Proper thinking will result in awe.(Visited 49 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA fares well for women in business

first_img8 March 2012 South African companies compare favourably to the rest of the world with 28% of senior management positions held by women – compared to a global average of 21% – but more innovation is needed to make significant progress in this field, says consultancy Grant Thornton. The figures are contained in the 2012 Grant Thornton International Business Report, which surveys trends in privately held businesses in 40 economies in the world. According to the survey, Botswana is the African country with the highest proportion of women in senior management, at 39%.SA slightly ahead of BRICS average South Africa’s figure of 28% is slightly ahead of the 26% average for the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA. Russia was the overall standout, however, and is now the surveyed economy with the highest proportion of women in senior positions, at 46% – an improvement of 10 percentage points over the previous survey. The G7 countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US – lagged the global average, with only 18% of women in senior management positions. Italy was the exception, showing the biggest improvement in women holding senior positions, climbing by 14 percentage points to 36% and 6th position overall. SA’s figure flat for last 5 years “The fact that South Africa’s women are strongly represented in senior management relative to many other parts of the world says a lot about the progress the country has made in promoting gender equality,” Jeanette Hern, head of corporate finance at Grant Thornton Johannesburg, said in a statement on Tuesday. “However, the fact that this figure has changed very little in the past five years, indicates that we need more innovative solutions in order to make a significant dent in the number of women still excluded from senior management.” South Africa’s figure stood at 29% in 2007, dropping to 28% in 2009 and 27% in 2011.More accommodating workplaces Such solutions, according to Hern, could include finding more creative ways to accommodate women in the workplace. “Only 39% of the women surveyed in South Africa indicated that their businesses offer flexible working conditions such as flexible hours and alternative locations to work from.” Hern also believes business need to consider women for a greater spectrum of management roles. The research shows the majority of women in senior management in South Africa are either human resource directors or finance directors (20% each). Of those companies surveyed, 8% had women chief executive officers (CEOs) and 9% women chief operating officers (COOs), compared to a global average of 9% and 12% respectively. “Although there is still a way to go to make significant inroads, this is encouraging and a marked improvement from last year, when [South African] women held 3% of these positions,” said Hern. “There has definitely been a commendable increase in women holding senior positions in South Africa, but there is no room for complacency and still much room for growth. “The country has come a long way in promoting gender equality, but the numbers should reflect this. It should be recognised that women can make important contributions, and not only in the fields of human resources or finance.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Soybean rust develops rolling epidemics as spores travel north

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Although Midwestern soybean growers have yet to experience the brunt of soybean rust, growers in the southern United States are very familiar with the disease. Every year, the fungus slowly moves northward from its winter home in southern Florida and the Gulf Coast states, and eventually reaches midwestern soybean fields—often just before harvest.Research shows there is a possibility the disease could jump much longer distances and reach the Midwestern soybean crop earlier in the growing season. Studies suggest that air masses moving from the south could sweep up rust spores from infected plants (kudzu or soybean) and transport them hundreds of miles north earlier in the season, potentially endangering the Midwestern soybean crop.This could be happening right now as the storm system that created Hurricane Harvey moves north, according to Glen Hartman, a USDA Agricultural Research Service plant pathologist and professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. After all, hurricanes have been responsible for long-distance movement of rust spores in the past; scientists think Hurricane Ivan brought soybean rust to the United States from Colombia in 2004.Although long-distance movement can and does happen, short-distance spore movement has been responsible for most of the annual northward spread of the disease since 2005. Hartman thinks this short-distance movement has been occurring as usual this season and, barring any unusual fallout from Hurricane Harvey, he expects to see rust showing up in Midwestern soybean fields late in the 2017 season.It is this short-distance movement that intrigues Hartman; he says predictions of long-distance spread haven’t taken real-world spore movement into account. Without knowing the number of rust spores that actually escape from the canopy and the conditions that favor spore dispersal, long-distance spread models could be inaccurate. So, in a recent study, Hartman and his colleagues placed two kinds of spore-collecting traps in, around, and above rust-infected soybean fields in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. The team also measured environmental data, including air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, precipitation, and leaf wetness.The majority of spores stayed within the canopy, but a proportion (one-third to one-half) floated above. Spores moved laterally away from the field, too, but most stayed within 50 feet, with about half as many moving out to 200 feet.These numbers explain how short-distance spread of this disease typically works. Rust might spread within a field, then jump to a nearby patch of its alternative host, kudzu. Considering how much kudzu is spread around the south, it’s a good bet another soybean field is within a couple hundred feet. From there, it jumps again, moving incrementally to the north. In an average summer, soybean rust rolls up from the south at a rate of about 30 miles a day.Hartman’s study also identifies environmental factors that favor or impede short-distance movement of rust spores. Using a statistical approach known as machine learning, the team found that spores went farther in hot and windy conditions, and stayed closer to the canopy in humid, wet conditions.“What really drives local infection is humidity and moisture,” Hartman said. “Those are good conditions for fungal infection and production of spores. When it rains, it washes the spores out of the leaf lesions, so they’re not available for long-distance transport. But then the fungus just forms new spores that are ready for transport on a dry and windy day.”The study explains short-distance transport, but how do the results inform predictions of long-distance movement?“I think the study gives a good idea of rust spore counts in the atmosphere in and above the soybean canopy and a distance away from an infected field. There is a lot of variation in the number of spores in that air space,” Hartman said. “If you think of the airspace beyond the field, the dilution factor is huge.”In other words, the chances of spores making it out of the canopy and picked up by updrafts for long-distance movement might be lower than assumed. And the chances are lower still if you consider what it’s like for spores to survive in high-elevation air currents.“Spores in these high-elevation air masses are exposed to temperature extremes and to UV radiation. Not many spores survive that, although those that are darkly pigmented may have a better chance. Soybean rust spores have very little pigment, and lightly pigmented spores are very susceptible to UV,” Hartman said.New models will need to incorporate Hartman’s findings to better predict the chances of long-distance movement of soybean rust throughout the U.S. and other parts of the world.For further information regarding soybean rust, Hartman suggests the soybean rust website, http://sbr.ipmpipe.org. He also encourages Midwestern soybean growers to contact their local Extension office if they see symptoms of rust developing earlier than usual.last_img read more

Microsoft Rolls Out Office Web Apps

first_imgIT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Tags:#enterprise#news#Products Microsoft rolled out Microsoft Office Web Apps on Skydrive to users in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Ireland yesterday. Users can login with their free Live accounts and create and edit Word 2010, PowerPoint 2010, OneNote 2010 and Excel 2010 documents in their browsers, and store them in the cloud. Users don’t need an Office 2010 desktop license to use the apps, but the Skydrive version integrates with desktop versions of Office 2007 and 2010. There is also a beta version of Office Web Apps that can be deployed on-premise as part of Sharepoint. Related Posts Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… klint finley Features include:Drag and drop uploading from desktop to browserReal-time, multiuser collaborative document editingVersion historySearching across documents, including documents shared by other usersRead-only access from mobile phonesThe Register reports Microsoft is not officially supporting Google’s Chrome browser. However, we found that we were able to create and save documents from Chrome on a Windows 7 desktop.This offering will doubtlessly bring comparisons with Google Docs. Office Web Apps feels quite similar, and is at least as functional as Google Apps but is lacking in major functionality, such as the ability to create charts and graphs in Excel (see comments below).The on-premise option, desktop integration, and the familiar features and interface of Microsoft Office, makes Office Web Apps a strong competitor against Google’s Google Apps and ZoHo as they market their office in the cloud solutions to the enterprise.Last month, Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry writing for Business Insider, called on Google to buy Salesforce.com to improve their enterprise penetration. “Google Docs just can’t compete with Microsoft Office on features, and while it’s better at collaboration, that advantage will vanish as Microsoft moves these features to the cloud,” he wrote.Many other analysts disagreed, citing Google and Salesforce’s radically different corporate cultures. But it’s precisely these culture differences that Google could potentially benefit from if it really wants to step up its game against Microsoft in the enterprise. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…last_img read more

Rape, murder of minor in Kathua an unimaginable brutality, says Rahul Gandhi

first_imgCharge sheet reveals Kathua horror Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday described the rape and killing of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua in January last as “unimaginable brutality” that cannot go unpunished, and wondered how anybody can seek to protect the culprits.On January 10, the minor, who belonged to the nomadic Bakerwal Muslim community, disappeared from a spot near her house close to Rasana village in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir. A week later, her body was found in the same area.Also Read A special investigation team formed to probe the incident arrested eight people, including two Special Police Officers (SPOs) and a head constable, who was charged with destroying evidence.Jammu has been on tenterhooks since the rape and murder. The city’s bar association has opposed action against the accused and alleged that minority Dogras were being targeted. While the local local bar association held a bandh, the Valley saw protests demanding justice for the victim.Mr. Gandhi alleged that politics was being played over the crime. “How can anyone protect the culprits of such evil,” he asked, adding that the violence against the child was a crime against humanity. “It cannot go unpunished,” he said on Twitter. “What have we become if we allow politics to interfere with such unimaginable brutality perpetrated on an innocent child,” he said.last_img read more

Net Detox

first_imgLast month, on a trip to Mumbai I did my usual homage-giri to a dear, old, respected and cherished friend, Gulzar. The latest recipient of the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award, was his usual warm, witty, modest and engaging self. Unlike some before him, he accepted the honor with suitable grace and tongue-in-cheek eloquence (“As somebody who has dealt with words all his life, even converting it to a professional calling, for once I have to confess, I am speechless!”) and refused to be cynical and interpret the award as a send-off gesture, choosing instead to perceive it as a gracious acknowledgement of his endeavor across five decades in creativity.One of the rare breed of old timers who, while saluting the past continues to passionately embrace the present, Gulzarbhai is in the habit of cautioning the misty-eyed from getting carried away romanticizing the past and blinkering off the exciting challenges and opportunities offered by the here and now. While he remains totally bullish on the triumphant and relentless march of technology and social media, acknowledging their huge contribution in the area of communication across all frontiers, he however feels that somewhere a line has to be drawn between Facebook and face-to-face! Human contact — touch, feel, see, talk — after all has no substitute, because life, in the real sense, can never be lived by proxy. If human contact is ignored at the altar of technology, he anticipates problems.Bollywood’s Poet Laureate couldn’t have said it better or at a more appropriate time because, as we speak, The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences [NIMHANS] has opened a brand new Technology De-Addiction Clinic in Bangalore, the first of its kind in India! It will cater to anxious parents seeking treatment for their wi-fi’d kids’ unstoppable obsession for social networking, chatting, texting, mobile games, etc.Observations from the health professionals indicate two worrying parental concerns: a steep decline academics and their children’s determined plugging away from social interaction to luxuriate in their own private space where Smartphones and Facebook rule. The moment these are denied or embargoed, pouts of inexplicable loneliness, melancholy and boredom follow.“It’s as if the virtual world is their blissed-out reality and the real world, an intrusive, unwanted and uncomfortable domain,” complains a baffled mother of a 16-year-old net junkie. Mental health professionals admit that this is a very serious mental disorder akin to drugs or alcohol and needs to be urgently addressed on a war-footing at a time when tabs and smartphones are flying off the shelves across the land. A recent report of a 13-year-old girl in Bangalore hanging herself after her mother ordered her to delete her FB account, is, they warn, just the tip of the iceberg.Resurgent and hot-wired India seems to be a soft target for these lethally seductive techno-toys. Telecon giant Ericson reckons that the nation would have a whopping 500 million mobile and broadband users by 2020, a four-fold leap from the present level. The mobile-user base is predicted to grow to 1.14 billion by 2020, up from 795 billion in 2013. Facebook has already crossed 100 million.It is a widespread, rampaging and contagious disease, says Dr. Vivek Benegal, a reputed professor of psychiatry at the Centre for Addiction at NIMHANS, with younger and younger kids joining the party every day. Parents seem clueless, helpless and at sea against this techno onslaught and have begun to actively seek help from counselors and medical professionals. For this disturbing state of affairs, who is to blame — kids, fixated on these gizmos with their astonishing power to connect with anyone, anywhere, in the privacy of their bedroom — or parents, who are conditioned to old-fashioned methods of dealing with raising kids, oblivious to changing paradigms and the need to re-invent the art of engagement with new-age children of Marc Zuckerburg?As always, the views are polarized. Social networking fans insist that online families promote interaction with friends, offer the education community valuable access to funding and materials, facilitate social, cultural and political change and, most importantly, disseminate urgent and useful information at lightning speed.The other side laments that it discourages face-to-face communication, wastes time on frivolous activity, alters kids’ focus and behavioral patterns, exposes users to predators like pedophiles and burglars and spreads false and dangerous information.In her seminal bookAlone Together, MIT social psychologist Sherry Turkle offers a compelling narrative based on research and interviews with teens about how kids today, while more connected to each other than ever before in human history, have never been more lonely, isolated and distant in their unplugged lives, leading to emotional disconnect, mental fatigue and high levels of anxiety.One of the most dramatic change that social networking has had on society, she reckons, is the uncanny ability to be elsewhere at any point in time, to sidestep what is difficult and hard in personal reaction and go to another place where it does not have to be dealt with. “When teens tell me that they’d rather text than talk, they are expressing another aspect of this new psychological affordance of this new technology — the possibility of hiding from each other. A phone can reveal too much, they say.”Turkle also believes that while social networks can indeed help keep real friendship lively and updated, there is another disturbing trend where kids befriend friends, they don’t know, leading to problems. These superficial bondings can provide the comforting illusion of companionship without the demands, responsibilities and commitment of friendship. Turkle makes a telling point when she suggests that teens always complain about having to perform a character on social network, living multiple lives, leading often to performance anxiety. Between the performance, exhaustion and the sense that they never had their parents’ full attention, young people are subliminally nostalgic for something they’ve messed out. Turkle concludes by saying that she is gravely concerned about “kids losing touch with the kind of reality and solitude that refreshes and restores.She could well be speaking about the Indian scenario where to de-tox, the De-addiction clinic has arrived. Can this Frankenstein be tamed? Is the Bangalore clinic only the first volley in the drive to help harassed parents get their young net-junkies back on track? Will Social Network destroy innocence of childhood and adolescence, forever? Will Facebook alter the face of society? It’s a tough call. Related Itemslast_img read more