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Career Guidance with Rory White: The potential of the PLC

first_imgCareer Guidance Counsellor Rory White’s column series continues with a student guide to understanding the potential of the PLC option.What are PLC courses?Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses are usually full-time, one year long, QQI courses comprised of eight modules.  They are generally at Level 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications, though some may progress onto a second year for a Level 6.  They provide learners with a qualification for entry level employment or progression to further study.  Where can I study a PLC course?In Donegal there are several options run by Donegal ETB. Errigal College in Letterkenny offers eight courses in the areas of Business, Childcare, Sport, Art, Youthwork and Health Service Skills. Finn Valley College in Stranorlar offers three options- Business, Childcare and Sport, while St Catherine’s Vocational School in Killybegs runs PLC courses in Childcare and Nursing Studies.  There are also PLC colleges in Sligo, Cavan and Monaghan, while some private institutions also have courses on offer. St. Catherine’s Vocational School, KillybegsErrigal College, LetterkennyFinn Valley College, StranorlarHow do I apply? As PLC courses are not part of CAO, points are not required.  Applications are free and can often be made directly with the school or college.  More information can be obtained from any of the three schools, from Donegal ETB’s website and www.fetchcourses.ie.Are there any costs involved?PLC courses provided by Donegal ETB are subject to a €100 registration fee which covers the cost of books, photocopying and insurance. There is also a government levy of €200 and a QQI examination fee of €50. Medical card holders, SUSI grant eligible students and Back to Education applicants are exempt from the latter two costs.  SUSI will continue to pay eligible students the grant if and when they continue on to college after the PLC course, providing the student is progressing up the framework ladder (i.e. from Level 5 onto a Level 6/7/8)Why should I consider doing a PLC? Some students may not feel ready to progress to college due to age or not being fully sure what they want to do.  The Leaving Certificate may not have worked out for some students and very often PLC is a much better option than repeating. Some students might like to sample a career area before committing to a four year degree or are looking for a qualification that can lead into employment.What are the benefits of studying a PLC?PLC courses are excellent preparation for college as the modules operate in much the same way, a mix of assignments and exams, while ICT skills are also greatly improved. In the Communications module, common to all PLC courses, students learn presentation and interview skills which are excellent skills transferable to both college and the workplace. Finally, a key element of PLC courses is the built-in work experience which must be undertaken in a related work environment. (E.g. A Business Admin student will work in an office setting) Work experience is usually one day per week however, some may take the form of block release. What are my progression options after doing a PLC?There are a huge variety of options for progressing after completing a PLC course.  The Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS) helps PLC graduates gain places in Higher education providers throughout the country by ‘ring-fencing’ places specifically for PLC applicants. For students looking to progress locally, LYIT has done great work in recent times by creating many more PLC pathways onto their degree courses. Another excellent option available to students which many people are not aware of is that there are up to 100 places set aside in the Arts degree at NUI Galway and Maynooth University for students who have completed certain PLC courses. Some very high demand degree courses, for example Nursing, only accept specific PLC courses related to nursing, however there are well over 1,200 courses (and counting!) nationwide that will accept any PLC course for entry. Anywhere I can get further information?Again, as there are so many course-specific variations of pathways and requirements, your school Guidance Counsellor is the best person to talk to about the options open to you. www.qualifax.ie and www.careersportal.ie are two excellent websites where students can learn more about progression routes from PLC.Rory has been a Guidance Counsellor at Finn Valley College for the past 10 years and is a member of the Donegal Branch of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors. Applying for college or changing careers is one of the most important and exciting decisions someone can make, and Rory will be here to offer advice and top tips on the many options that are available.Career Guidance with Rory White: The potential of the PLC was last modified: November 19th, 2019 by Rory WhiteShare 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:career guidanceeducationPLCRory Whitelast_img read more

Obama and Romney Should Quit Worrying About China And Start Worrying About Education

first_imgIn the presidential debates both candidates focused much of their energy on job creation and the future of America. They missed the third part of that equation, namely, the role immigrant entrepreneurs play in economic growth—and why the exodus of these highly-educated workers is a cause for alarm. (I covered this topic in my book The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent.) But even beyond the obvious, Obama and Romney are missing a number of larger trends that need to be understood in order to plan effective policies. China Is Not The Real IssueFirst, they both have seemed to be focused on nailing China up as a currency manipulator. This may have been an issue in the past, but is going to become decreasingly important. That’s because China is well down the path to Japanification. The central government has bet the farm on last-generation technologies in solar, transportation, and batteries.Beijing has flooded the economy with infrastructure projects and financing for construction. Now this is coming home to roost with rampant inflation and soaring wages. Already factory jobs are leaving China for cheaper locales like Vietnam and Bangladesh. So Mitt and Barack, please forget about China. That’s the wrong target.Instead, focus on our education system. The U.S. education system is actually quite underrated. The university system remains, despite all the cutbacks, the envy of the world. And our public education system, for all its faults, continues to turn out high quality graduates.But we are in the midst of a revolution in education. Technology has eliminated the need for students to sit and listen to teachers deliver subject matter. Lectures and exercises can be pursued at home, on tablets or PCs, at a student’s own pace. Instead, class time will be used for Socratic study, with teachers answering questions and serving as guides and consultants. Rebooting EducationThis is a far more efficient way to learn, and numerous startups are jumping on this bandwagon. The question is, how long will it take the U.S. government to get a clue and push down reforms around these new self-paced, Socractic learning methods—replacing the now archaic and largely failed “No Child Left Behind” policies which have shackled schools to arbitrary testing regimes that largely measure rote memorization.Simultaneously, the rise of the “DIY” and Maker generation will allow students to delve deeper and deeper into functional problem solving as part of education. Yes, chemistry kits have always been available as have model rockets. But today an ambitious high schooler can download Arduino, code up some novel software, and have a unique UAV, or a remote controlled robotic vacuum cleaner. Supporting and encouraging functional, creative learning will help secure our national future.A New Kind Of ManufacturingThis also ties into another trend that the candidates have missed — micro and regional manufacturing. Rapid improvements in 3D printing are shrinking the factory to the size of a desktop, blowing up the old advantages of economies of scale. By removing labor from the equation and enabling assembly of small complex objects from CAD files, 3D printing will enable an explosion of boutique manufacturing and unprecedented creativity. What’s more, 3D printing will actually fuel the ongoing revival of big-ticket manufacturing in America.One of the reasons that Apple builds in China is because all the key fabrication shops and parts suppliers are now over there after the U.S. manufacturing sector hollowed out in Silicon Valley and other technology centers. But when Johnny Ive wants a new enclosure mockup and he can get it from his own desktop or from a high-end 3D printer at a custom fabrication facility, then all of a sudden the benefits of having the people who makes screws and touch screens in the same city goes away because those items can quickly and easily be fabbed anywhere.Beyond old-line products, these printers will be used for genetic material manufacturing and personalized medicine, medical device manufacturing, micro-solar arrays, and even home building, to name a few. What does this have to do with Romney and Obama? 3D Printers, 2D RegulationsThis new style of manufacturing will demand a new, lightweight set of regulations. Just as small farmers have struggled to meet food safety guidelines that larger foodcos can easily digest, small manufacturers using super-clean 3D printing technology could struggle with regulatory burdens born by large factories.Neither Romney nor Obama seems to have given much thought to the future of manufacturing and that’s not a good thing because the U.S. Federal Government should start crafting economic policies (not subsidies but regulatory changes) designed to suit next generation pint-sized, high-powered factories. Granted, our two candidates have a lot to talk about in other areas. But the truth is, nothing else matters if the U.S. economy continues to sputter and growth remains stunted. In that same vein, nothing else matters if our education system fails to produce world-beating graduates (and attract the world-beating immigrant scholars) that have made America the reigning global hegemon.Focusing scarce energy and political capital on the ghost of China past does not serve our future nor does it provide a viable economic solution to our current woes. America has always won by focusing on the future and clearly seeing where the ball is bouncing, not where it was on the last play. Let’s hope our candidates can refocus forward in time to make the shifts required to keep growing our economy and pay for our profligate past while securing the future for our children and their children. Vivek Wadhwa is a Fellow at Stanford Law School and VP of Innovation and Research at Singularity University. Follow him on Twitter: @wadhwa.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … vivek wadhwa Tags:#China#education#manufacturing Related Posts center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloudlast_img read more

They came, they fought, they stayed

first_imgEnter the CIADhondup was a member of the only modern insurgent group of Tibet, the Dhokham Chushi Gangdruk (DCG). The DCG was formed on June 16, 1958 in Tibet by a charismatic nobleman, Andrup Gonpo Tashi. For some time the group carried out ambushes against the Chinese forces as Beijing tried to consolidate its gains in Tibet. Dhondup, then in his twenties, was one of the early recruits in this movement and was trained in sabotage and the use of arms.“During the struggle, we used basic weapons like the old rifles that fired one bullet at a time,” he says, explaining that the movement expanded rapidly from the Kham region of Tibet despite shortage of weapons and ammunition.The DCG became known worldwide for being the secret force of the CIA, which sent trainers and equipment to Tibet to support the rebels. Dhondup recalls how the Americans sent high-flying cargo jets into the Tibetan airspace for his group that consisted of 600 volunteers.  The war of 1971 was not the first Dhondup and his compatriots in Lama Camp experienced. Their war began 20 years earlier in the 1950s, when they fought a guerrilla battle against the Chinese forces in Tibet supported by weapons and trainers from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which wanted to dislodge China from Tibet.As we catch up with Dhondup, he is soaking in the celebrations of Losar, the Tibetan New Year which began in the last week of February. Losar to the Tibetans means crushed corn which is sprinkled on guests and meant for auspicious occasions, good food, drinks and a time to recollect the past. His kitchen is stocked with savouries and drinks. This is the Year of the Firebird which, like the phoenix, stands for resurrection and the burning away of wasteful deeds. Keeping with the spirit of the new year, Dhondup wants to relive the war of his youth.“We had inadequate weapons and ammunition but we wanted to fight the Chinese who forced us to build roads and bridges,” he says in a mix of Hindi and Tibetan that was interpreted by his son Tsering. The guerrillas fought with .303 rifles of World War II vintage, receiving better weapons only in the later phase.Dhondup and five other veterans are the remaining few from the hundreds of unknown foot soldiers of a liberation war, unlamented and unsung. These former soldiers were of fighting age; in exile now, time is ticking away. Many have passed away. One of their comrades, who rose to run a movie theatre in the neighbourhood, passed away earlier this year. They were the pioneers of a resistance movement that took to violence before the Dalai Lama weaned them away to non-violent means. The last of Tibet’s guerrilla fighters | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar “The war of 1971 was not the first Dhondup and his compatriots experienced”. Dhondup Palden and his wife Sonam at their residence in Lama Camp.  One of the key assignments of the DCG was to guard the Dalai Lama as he planned to go into India. A little distance away from Dhondup’s Tezu home lives one of the former DCG fighters who accompanied the Dalai Lama during that momentous journey. “The journey of 1959 was arduous. Yaks and horses were used to cross the snowy mountain. We ensured safety for the Dalai Lama with one group travelling with him and another providing support at Lhasa,” says Zolpa Sibu, the ex-DCG fighter.Sibu is nostalgic about his DCG days. “We did not have the best of weapons to fight. Many of our comrades died in bombing and counter-insurgency operations carried out by the Chinese forces,” he says, recounting that even the force’s founder was brought to India with injuries he sustained in a blast. He remembers how grim the situation in Tibet had become. “We were evicted from our homes. Families broke up — the Chinese employed women and men separately for forced labour projects that would go on for months. Social and religious gatherings became impossible as the police questioned all such gatherings.”The DCG put up a strong resistance, but the end was inevitable. Sibu was arrested but released after months of detention. As was Dhondup. “I was kept in prison for two months and for weeks my hands were tied up,” he says, showing his permanently scarred hands.The DCG’s fighters decided to escape into India through the mountain passes in eastern Arunachal district of Upper Dibang Valley and the western district of Tawang via Bomdila. The journey was difficult; many perished but the likes of Dhondup, Sibu and their families survived the trek.The war for BangladeshSoon after coming into India, these fighters were asked to settle in Tezu but within a year they had to move as India-China hostilities intensified in the run-up to the 1962 war. As the border districts of the North East Frontier Agency, as Arunachal Pradesh was then known, were evacuated, the fighters were resettled in Dibrugarh and Guwahati in Assam. They returned to Tezu after the war ended, and soon found themselves recruited by Indian military officers who had by now realised their potential as trained guerrillas and intelligence-gatherers. “The military instructors tested our firing skills, asked us to take physical fitness tests. Most of us passed the test and joined the Indian military as we were eager to go back to Tibet and fight the Chinese forces again,” says Dhondup.The fighters boarded a train at Guwahati and were taken to Chakrata in Uttarakhand (then in Uttar Pradesh) where a rigorous training programme began to equip them for special military operations. “We were trained to handle mortar fire, automatic weapons, rocket launchers. I was specially recruited into a team of paratroopers in the SFF,” says Dhondup, explaining that the Tibetans were expected to go back into their country for special operations. As first-generation exiles, the men did not always understand the detailed discussions held among Indian military officers, but carried out the assigned duties nevertheless.Havildar Sangey was also among the ex-DCG SFF recruits. He counts himself as lucky, having been taken as part of a three-member group for a special training programme in Europe. “I even trained with some American officials abroad,” he says, reliving his days as a paratrooper.The hostility between India and Pakistan gave the SFF fighters a new chance to test their fighting skills. “During the 1971 war, many of our friends died fighting,” says Dhondup, recounting that the war had left him injured and he was admitted in the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune. “Generals and [Prime Minister] Indira Gandhi came to see us in hospital. We got a transistor radio as reward,” he adds, his eyes lighting up as he recounts the heady days.By the time the Bangladesh war ended, most of the soldiers had acquired family and had young kids at home. But newer assignments beckoned, including reconnaissance missions in Ladakh and in the high Himalayas. “We wanted to fight in Tibet because the SFF [training] taught us lot more than we knew in the DCG days, but that fight never came,” rues Sangey. “We had all the necessary advanced weapons. We would not have left Tibet if we had these weapons and training at that time.”Renewed rumble in the eastcenter_img  The amphitheatre of much of the 1962 war, the epic face-offs of yesteryear still linger in the air of the Arunachal Himalayas, especially the mountains from Tezu to Anjaw district which were the scene of the bloodbath of Namti where an unknown number of Indian and Chinese soldiers died.Having spent their youth in the midst of guerrilla warfare and tectonic political churn, the elderly denizens of Lama Camp find themselves still engulfed by geopolitics thanks to the evolving importance of the Eastern Himalayas. In recent years, the U.S. and India have begun to work on salvaging the remains of aviators who crashed in the mountains near Tezu during World War II. The discovery of a Chinese citizen in the region in 2010 stirred up matters between India and China. Guang Liang spent months in a prison in Arunachal Pradesh before the Chinese reportedly took him back. In addition, barely a dozen kilometres from the neighbourhood of these former guerrillas is the brand-new easternmost airport of India at Tezu which can also host heavy bombers and cargo carriers. Recent reports about an impending visit by the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh have again stirred up the pioneers of DCG.While the region remains the locus of power games, the exploits of the octogenarians of Lama Camp slowly recedes into oblivion. In the sunset of their lives, they wish to bequeath their saga of resistance in Tibet to posterity. “Most of us did not get a chance to lead a normal life. We were deprived of the education that would have trained us to record and write our experience as soldiers,” says Sibu.The legacy and the futureIn recent years there have been some attempts to recognise their signal contribution. The Central Tibetan Administration has set up offices in Delhi and Dharamsala for addressing the needs of these senior community members. On the 50th anniversary of the founding of DCG in 2008, special commemorative events were organised by the Tibetan community in India to honour them and recognise the armed struggle that they executed against China.Young Tibetans also drop in once in a while to seek blessing of these elders. The Tibetan diaspora has also shown interest in chronicling the story of DCG and a number of websites provide information about the violent movement which faded out with the exile of Tibetans to India. However most of the literature focusses on the CIA’s role in fuelling the war in the Cold War period and is inadequate in recording the narratives of the men who fought the war not just for the CIA but also for India. “Our lives were disrupted. At the time of DCG, we did not foresee our exile and that is why we did not bother to photograph our homes and our struggles,” says Sibu, urging better documentation of the scattered photographs and other records of the movement in Tibet.Despite their advancing years, the DCG fighters do not receive any additional financial support from the Government of India — the SFF gave a comprehensive settlement package, a one-time lump-sum amount at the time of retirement.While the passage of time has dimmed Dhondup, Sibu and Sangay’s hopes of returning to their homeland, the fire still burns. “Even now I dream of fighting in the streets of Tibet with a gun,” says Dhondup. The DCG, incidentally, still exists in exile, espousing an independent Tibet. Dreams don’t die. On December 16, 1971, the India-Pakistan war ended with the liberation of Bangladesh. The war was short — it had raged for all of 13 days — but India had mobilised its entire land forces, including a secretive unit of soldiers from the Special Frontier Force (SFF), a group raised for trans-Himalayan combat. Some of the SFF recruits were not Indians. They were from Tibet and had come into India on forced exile, in waves and participated in the ground battles and the combing operations that followed with minimal knowledge of South Asian languages and the people they encountered. They had hoped that after the war India would send them home to fight the Chinese forces in Tibet as a reward — but that was not to be.Dhondup Palden, now in his 80s, a resident of Lama Camp in Tezu, Arunachal Pradesh, was one of the Tibetans who despite their Buddhist faith took up arms. Sitting at the porch of his home-on-stilts that is painted blue and decorated with Buddhist prayer flags, he reminisces about the war and how he had ventured into unfamiliar territory. “We killed many enemies in that war. For 15 days, we moved across the country rounding up Pakistani soldiers and pro-Pakistan agents.” The war stood out as it was the first time that the Tibetans, a mountain people, had to negotiate with the riverine landscape of Bangladesh. “We walked on muddy riverbeds, and went from village to village looking for enemies. The experience was unusual for us Tibetan soldiers,” he says. Zolpa Sibu Lama (left) and Adrouk with their certificates | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar last_img read more

Prince William Visits Charity Initiatives In East Yorkshire

first_imgPrince William was in East Yorkshire this week for a number of charity visits.Prince William’s trip included a visit to Goole High School to launch a new award for primary school children as Royal Patron of the charity SkillForce.SkillForce draws on the values and skills of ex-forces personnel to inspire young people to achieve at school.The Duke watched the youngsters take part in a team bridge-building exercise in the school yard which was inspired by the 70th anniversary of D-Day later this week.The Duke chatted about the SkillForce initiative with staff, pupils and representatives of the charity.The new SkillForce Junior Prince’s Award is aimed at nine and 10-year-olds, especially under-privileged children who do not have easy access to these kind of activities. It is particularly aimed as smoothing the transition for children between primary and secondary school.The award involves team-building and problem-solving challenges, team sports, outdoor pursuits including camping, first aid, navigation, observing remembrance and community projects.Goole High School has worked with a group of local primary schools to develop the new national award programme.Speaking before the visit, Peter Cross, Chief Executive of SkillForce, said: “The award is designed to engage younger learners in exciting lessons, challenges and community projects that prepare them for secondary education, a time when some students can begin to lose their way.“Our programme builds up the children’s confidence, resilience, team work and problem solving to give them a boost before the start of new adventures and encourage them to take a more active role in their town, city or village.“It’s SkillForce’s 10th birthday, and we are honoured that our Royal Patron has marked the occasion by lending his support to the Junior Prince’s Award for roll-out across the country.”Later, The Duke travelled to West Yorkshire where he visited the youth homeless charity Centrepoint’s base in Bradford and joined young people undergoing media training.His Royal Highness followed in his mother’s footsteps by taking on the patronage of Centrepoint as his first charity, influenced by memories of visiting the charity’s premises with his parents as a child.Source:DukeAndDuchessOfCambridge.orglast_img read more

Gono Forums Sultan Mansur takes oath

first_imgJatiya Sangsad speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury administers the oath of Gano Forum`s MP-elect Sultan Mohammad Mansur as a member of the 11th Parliament on 7 March 2019. Photo: UNBGono Forum’s member of parliament-elect Sultan Mansur took oath as parliamentarian on Thursday.Sultan Mansur is the first MP of the opposition coalition, Jatiya Oikya Front, to join the 11th parliament, which the coalition boycotted and has been demanding for a fresh national election.Speaker Shirin Shamin Chowdhury administered the oath ceremony at her office at the parliament building around 11:00am in the morning.Sultan Mansur, also a leader of the Front’s leader Kamal Hossain-led Gono Forum, was elected as MP from Moulvibazar-2 constituency with symbol of ‘paddy sheaf’, an electoral symbol of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).Earlier on 13 October, the new alliance of four parties–BNP, Gono Forum, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rob) and Nagorik Oaky– was launched to mobilise public support in favour of the alliance’s seven-point demand, including holding the 11th parliamentary polls under a non-party administration.Another MP-elect of Gano Forum Mokabbir Khan also was scheduled to take oath today (Thursday). But a day earlier, on Wednesday, he told Prothom Alo that he won’t take oath now.“I’m not taking oath tomorrow (Thursday). At a meeting, Gono Forum’s presidium members unanimously took the decision about not to take oath (tomorrow) Thursday. A new date will be fixed soon.’Earlier on 3 March, the MP-elect sent a letter to the speaker requesting her to arrange the oath-taking ceremony on 7 March.last_img

2 cases filed over 4 killings in Cumilla

first_imgMap of CumillaTwo separate cases were filed on Thursday with Debidwar police station in connection with the killing of three people by a man who was subsequently killed in a mob beating in Debidwar uapzila on Wednesday, reports UNB.Zahirul Islam, officer-in-charge of Debidwar police station, said Rubel Hossain, brother of deceased Najma Begum, filed a case against Mokhlesur for killing three people including a child while Mokhlesur’s wife Rabeya Khatun filed another case against 1,500 unnamed people for killing her husband.Three people -Anwara Begum, 45, wife of Shah Alam, her son Abu Hanif, 12 and Nazma Begum, 40, wife of Nurul Islam were killed in an attack allegedly by Mokhlesur Rahman, 35, a rickshawpuller, at Radhanagar in the upazila on Wednesday.Later local people caught Mokhlesur and beat him to death.last_img read more

SciPy 120 is out with a new optimization algorithm named shgo and

first_imgYesterday, the SciPy community released SciPy 1.2.0. This release contains many new features such as numerous bug-fixes, improved test coverage, and better documentation. This release also includes a number of deprecations and API changes. This release requires Python 2.7 or 3.4+ and NumPy 1.8.2 or greater. The functions hyp2f0, hyp1f2 and hyp3f0 in scipy.special have been deprecated. According to the community, “this will be the last SciPy release to support Python 2.7. Consequently, the 1.2.x series will be long term support (LTS) release; we will backport bug fixes until 1 Jan 2020”. Highlights of SciPy 1.2.0 This release has improvements in 1-D root finding with a new solver, toms748, and a new unified interface, root_scalar. SciPy 1.2.0 has new dual_annealing optimization method that combines stochastic and local deterministic searching. This release features a new optimization algorithm named ‘shgo (simplicial homologyglobal optimization)’ for derivative-free optimization problems. A new category of quaternion-based transformations are available in scipy.spatial.transform New improvements in SciPy 1.2.0 scipy.ndimage improvements Proper spline coefficient calculations have been added for the mirror, wrap, and reflect modes of scipy.ndimage.rotate scipy.fftpack improvements Scipy.fftpack now supports DCT-IV, DST-IV, DCT-I, and DST-I orthonormalization. scipy.interpolate improvements scipy.interpolate.pade now accepts a new argument for the order of the numerator. scipy.cluster improvements scipy.cluster.vq.kmeans2 has now gained a new initialization method known as kmeans++. scipy.special improvements The function softmax has been added to scipy.special. scipy.optimize improvements The one-dimensional nonlinear solvers have been given a unified interface scipy.optimize.root_scalar, similar to the scipy.optimize.root interface for multi-dimensional solvers. scipy.optimize.newton can now accept a scalar or an array. scipy.signal improvements Digital filter design functions now include a parameter to specify the sampling rate. Previously, digital filters could only be specified using normalized frequency, but different functions used different scales (e.g. 0 to 1 for butter vs 0 to π for freqz), leading to errors and confusion. scipy.sparse improvements The scipy.sparse.bsr_matrix.tocsr method is now implemented directly instead of converting via COO format, and the scipy.sparse.bsr_matrix.tocsc method is now also routed via CSR conversion instead of COO. The efficiency of both conversions is now improved. scipy.spatial improvements The function scipy.spatial.distance.jaccard has been modified to return 0 instead of np.nan when two all-zero vectors are compared. Support for the Jensen Shannon distance, the square-root of the divergence, has been added under scipy.spatial.distance.jensenshannon. A new category of quaternion-based transformations are available in scipy.spatial.transform, including spherical linear interpolation of rotations (Slerp), conversions to and from quaternions, Euler angles, and general rotation and inversion capabilities (spatial.transform.Rotation), and uniform random sampling of 3D rotations (spatial.transform.Rotation.random). scipy.stats improvements Levy Stable Parameter Estimation, PDF, and CDF calculations are now supported for scipy.stats.levy_stable. stats and mstats now have access to a new regression method, siegelslopes, a robust linear regression algorithm. The Brunner-Munzel test is now available as brunnermunzel in stats and mstats. scipy.linalg improvements scipy.linalg.lapack now exposes the LAPACK routines using the Rectangular Full Packed storage (RFP) for upper triangular, lower triangular, symmetric, or Hermitian matrices; the upper trapezoidal fat matrix RZ decomposition routines are now available as well. To know more about the SciPy 1.2.0 and the its backward incompatible changes, read the release notes on GitHub. Read Next Implementing matrix operations using SciPy and NumPy How to Compute Interpolation in SciPy How to compute Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) using SciPylast_img read more

Higher fuel costs contribute to 37m Q1 loss for Air Canada

first_imgWith file from The Canadian Press MONTREAL — Air Canada says a 16% increase in operating costs due to higher fuel prices and other items has resulted in a $37 million loss for the first quarter.The loss was equal to 14 cents per share and contrasted with a $101 million profit in last year’s first quarter.The Montreal-based airline says revenue was up $299 million from last year to $3.64 billion, but its operating expenses were up by $507 million.The airline says fuel prices were about 48% higher than in the first quarter of 2016, when global oil prices were near 13-year lows.In addition, Air Canada recorded a $30 million special item related to a fine imposed in March by the European Commission on several cargo carriers.“As the first quarter is traditionally one of our weakest, I am pleased to see system traffic up 14% and revenues up 8.9% year-over-year,” said Air Canada President and CEO Calin Rovinescu.More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’ns“We have a positive outlook on the year as we see improvements in the domestic Canada, U.S. transborder and Atlantic markets, with the Pacific market stabilizing towards the second half of the year.”This year represents the third year of planned significant capacity growth as Air Canada executes its international expansion strategy with the introduction of its new wide-body fleet and the continued deployment of Rouge to compete effectively in leisure markets, he said. “In the first quarter, we made a significant investment with the inauguration of our Boeing 787 Dreamliner daily service from Montreal to Shanghai, our first direct flight from that city to Asia. This week we announced our first direct flights to South America from Montreal with the introduction of Rouge service to Lima, and the expansion of Pacific services between Vancouver and Melbourne, both starting next winter.  Other new international and U.S. transborder services announced during the quarter include Montreal-Tel Aviv, Montreal and Toronto-Reykjavik, Iceland and Vancouver-Boston.”More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upCapacity growth, driven by the wide-body fleet expansion, will begin to slow in 2018 as the airline shifts its focus to its mainline narrow-body fleet replacement program starting with the introduction of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft later this year, followed by the Bombardier C-Series aircraft in late 2019, he added. Posted by Friday, May 5, 2017 Share Higher fuel costs contribute to $37m Q1 loss for Air Canada Travelweek Group Tags: Air Canada, Profit Report << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Princess Cruises Caribbean Sale on now until Dec 26

first_img Share Travelweek Group Posted by SANTA CLARITA — With winter in full swing, it’s time for Canadians to book the Caribbean, says Princess Cruises, which has just announced its ‘Exclusively Caribbean Sale’.Offering the “best fares of the season”, the sale applies to seven-, eight-, 10- and 14-day sailings departing February through April 2018. The sale is on now through Dec. 26.Rates start at US$99 per day/per guest, plus free gratuities, while third and fourth guest fares start at $15 per day. Fares are based on double occupancy on space-available basis at time of booking on select categories and sailings. Gratuities added to bar charges, dining room wine accounts or Lotus Spa services are not included.Princess Cruises was named ‘Best Cruise Line in the Caribbean’ by U.S. News & World Report in 2015. Its private beach in the Bahamas, Princess Cays, was ranked among the ‘Top Cruise Line Private Island Destinations’ by Cruise Critic in 2017. Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Sale on now until Dec. 26center_img Thursday, December 14, 2017 Tags: Princess Cruises << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Swoop to ramp up summer service with new WinnipegAbbotsford route

first_img Tuesday, April 17, 2018 Tags: New Routes, Swoop << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Sharecenter_img Travelweek Group CALGARY — For the peak summer season, Swoop is adding a new domestic regional route – Winnipeg-Abbotsford – beginning Aug. 16 and currently available for purchase.The news comes hot on the heels of Swoop’s recent announcement of a fourth aircraft being added for the summer. This new route will double the weekly frequency schedule in Winnipeg, and add seven flights to the Abbotsford weekly frequency schedule.“At Swoop our mission is to get more Canadians travelling by making air travel more accessible and affordable for all Canadians,” said Steven Greenway, President of Swoop. “We’ve been seeing strong sales and traveller demand in both Winnipeg and Abbotsford since the Swoop booking launch on Feb. 1. And we’re thrilled to be adding this route to offer a lower-cost option for travellers to get out and explore, visit family and friends and make some memories this summer.”Swoop service officially kicks off on June 20, 2018, with an initial network that includes Abbotsford, Hamilton, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Halifax. With the addition of the new Winnipeg-Abbotsford route, the airline will be operating 66 weekly flights as of Aug. 16.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemStarting today, Swoop is celebrating the latest route announcement with a system-wide seat sale that includes one-way prices starting at $38 if booked by April 24 for travel between June 20-27 and/or Aug. 16-Dec. 13, 2018. For more information go to FlySwoop.com. Swoop to ramp up summer service with new Winnipeg-Abbotsford routelast_img read more