Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKINGSTON, Jamaica, October 19, 2016 – Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has urged Wisynco Group Ltd., the sole manufacturer of styrofoam in Jamaica, to consider the development of environmentally friendly alternatives to the product.Following a tour of Wisynco’s White Marl complex in St. Catherine today (October 19), Mr. Holness issued a challenge for the company to identify products within the Jamaican environment that could be creatively used to replace Styrofoam. He suggested the hemp plant could be utilized in creating a substitute for the product. “I am challenging you, the captains of industry to see what… can be used to propel innovation, to bring new products to market that create new streams of manufacturing, that employ new people (leading) to more sales, which drive growth,” he said.The Prime Minister’s tour of the facility follows the Senate’s recent approval of a private member’s motion proposing a ban on Styrofoam and plastic bags. The motion, brought by Government Senator, Matthew Samuda, noted that Styrofoam and plastics take an inordinately long period of time to break down in the environment, and create a major problem at landfills. He suggested the use of containers made from cardboard or other biodegradable materials.Mr. Holness, in stating that the Government is pushing for inclusive and sustainable growth, highlighted the problems brought on by inappropriate disposal of plastics and Styrofoam. He noted that while banning the products may not be the solution, the issue must be debated in keeping with the country’s democratic processes, adding that the discussion will serve to stimulate public discourse on the topic.The Prime Minister, in the meanwhile, commended the company on initiatives it has already taken to reduce the impact of its products on the environment, as well as the move to add a biodegradable component to its foam items, which will allow them to break down in about five years. “It is good for us to know that you have already started to use technology to ensure that your products are not harmful in the long term to the environment, and I think that should be included in the conversation about the potential ban on Styrofoam,” he said.Mr. Holness said the Government, in the short term, will have to look at ways to improve waste management. He reiterated the intention to pursue a waste-to-energy solution, which he believes will create an economic motive for persons to more adequately manage waste products.Chairman of Wisynco Group Ltd., William Mahfood, in highlighting the steps taken to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, noted that balancing human capital, the environment and business sustainability is important to the entity. He said it is crucial that a holistic look be taken of the impact that instituting the proposed ban on Styrofoam would have on consumers and the approximately 2,000 employees of the company. Wisynco Group has been producing Styrofoam for more than 35 years.
.Electoral irregularities in, and grievances created out of, the recent 11th parliamentary elections shall not be repeated, noted academic Syed Manzoorul Islam says of the young people’s expectations in the country.In an OpEd piece published in Prothom Alo on Tuesday, the former Dhaka University professor insisted that the government should allow the youth to engage themselves in ‘repairing of the state’, a slogan taken from last year’s student movement for safe roads.Referring to youngsters’ resentment over the allegedly tainted election, he noted, “Failing to cast their votes, many youth raised questions on the social media — why were they not allowed to exercise their voting rights? Was the election fair?”The author went on to say: “The people’s frustrated voice over the election reverberated on newspaper pages, at tea stall hangouts and other discussions.”He acknowledged that the electoral field was not even for the opposition parties from the very beginning. “Who will take the liability?” he asked, dwelling on the ruling grand alliance’s allegation that the Jatiya Oikya Front failed to mobilise the people.Advocating youth’s active participation in the state activities, he, however, expressed his views that strengthening democracy along with development is possible only through youth engagement.Syed Manzoorul Islam is also of the opinion that mending the country’s flawed democracy should be the first and foremost duty of the government.In the article, the academic called for repairing different organs of the state.“Is our administration effective and pro-people? Can justice be delivered with equity on our court premises? Do the poor get justice? Do the rich and powerful get punishment? Does our education enlighten our society? Is our healthcare sector itself healthy? Is the influence of the people who looted banks, amassed huge resources by means of corruption or drug trafficking are waning or rather growing bigger?”The professor added, “The poor have hardly had any access to healthcare as good treatment requires huge sums of money. The young generation wants change in this system. They cherish their freedom of expression, right to think freely.”Manzoorul Islam still pins his hopes on the relatively younger ministers and state ministers who are inducted into the current cabinet for addressing the resentment of the country’s youth and repairing of democracy.“There are many young ministers in the cabinet. Repairing democracy would be easier should those young ministers win the heart of the youth,” he said.And, he cautioned, “Failing to correct our democracy will only frustrate our youth and they would be aggrieved.”Manzoorul Islam further said the country’s youth want good governance, access to services, transparency and accountability in running the state.He said the Digital Security Act should be repealed as ‘freedom of expression is a prerequisite for transparency.’Manzoorul urged the government to practice tolerance and take criticism easily. “The ruling party must practice tolerance in their act and deeds as democracy means tolerance,” he said.The author penned, “Mending democracy is a cooperative job. The young generation is ready to cooperate. The people will join in if the government and state take the initiative.”* This piece, originally published as an article in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in story format by Galib Ashraf
2 min read After nailing a backflip last fall, Boston Dynamics’ humanoid robot Atlas has been learning some new tricks of the parkour variety.The Softbank-owned robotics company just posted a short YouTube video showing off Atlas’ newest feats. In the 30-second video, the robot hops over a large log before gracefully scaling three 15-inch offset platforms with ease.Check out the robot’s fast footing for yourself in the video below. Take note how it’s able to land on one foot, then transfer to the other.”The control software uses the whole body including legs, arms and torso, to marshal the energy and strength for jumping over the log and leaping up the steps without breaking its pace,” Boston Dynamics wrote in the video’s description. The robot uses computer vision technology to “locate itself with respect to visible markers on the approach to hit the terrain accurately.”Boston Dynamics calls Atlas “the world’s most dynamic humanoid.” The robot stands at 4 foot 9 inches, weighs 165 pounds, has 28 joints and can carry a payload up to 24 pounds. Outfitted with a myriad of stereo vision, range sensing and other sensors, Atlas can travel on rough terrain, keep its balance when shoved and get up if it falls. The robot is also capable of dong 180-degree jumps and landing a backflip with the take-off and landing platforms at different heights.Its athleticism is impressive, no doubt, and a bit unnerving.”Boston Dynamics are basically creating the robots that will one day eradicate human kind,” one commenter wrote.Another commenter summed up what most of us are probably thinking right now: “We’re all f**ked.” Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. October 12, 2018 Register Now » This story originally appeared on PCMag Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global