Welcome to Gort mart in Co Galway, a world of coded language, hand signals and few women, where the bidding is ferocious and no seller wants to go first.
The former mart at Gort in Co Galway used to be in the town centre, but it got too small. There’s now a supermarket where the old mart was, and the new one is located in countryside two miles outside the town.
On Wednesdays, the mart deals in sheep. On Thursdays it’s cattle. The Thursday cattle mart, which I attended, is at night, from 6pm to 11pm, depending on the number of stock due to be sold on any particular night. …
The Irish Times
Bumblebees and honeybees distribute fungi, bacteria, viruses while pollinating.
The survival of the struggling bee population could soon be doubly important to agriculture.
While bees pollinate crops, Canadian researchers have found they can also be used to control pest insects and manage disease by dropping off pest control agents while they work.
“We thought we can give added value to the bees by having them deliver microbial control agents,” said Les Shipp, a federal senior research scientist based in Harrow, Ont., outside Windsor. …
Armed with laser rangefinders, GPS technology and remote control robots, a group of speleologists is completing the first ever mapping of the aqueducts of ancient Rome on archaeology’s “final frontier”.
They abseil down access wells and clamber through crevices to access the 11 aqueducts that supplied Rome, which still run for hundreds of kilometres underground and along stunning viaducts.
The mission of these “speleo-archaeologists” is to update the last above-ground map of the network compiled at the beginning of the 20th century by British Roman archaeologist Thomas Ashby. …
Teachers are amongst the first to raise concerns that public education may suffer if parents start paying private firms to boost their child’s learning. Private teaching companies have seen their sales grow by tens of percentage points per year.
The Trade Union of Education in Finland (OAJ) sees danger in the commercialisation of learning. OAJ chair Olli Luukkainen, hopes that the phenomenon does not develop further.
“It would be a sign that public education is unable to offer sufficient services and educational support for children,” says Luukkainen.
It is a legal requirement that students who are lagging behind the rest of their primary school class be given academic support, but this issue is not given a lot of focus.
“Some parents aren’t able to buy it, some are not aware of it and they are not always interested in it,” says the OAJ chair. …
The ozone hole that forms each year in the stratosphere over Antarctica was slightly smaller in 2013 than average in recent decades, according to NASA satellite data. The ozone hole is a seasonal phenomenon that starts to form during the Antarctic spring (August and September). The September-October 2013 average size of the hole was 8.1 million square miles (21 million square kilometers).
For comparison, the average size measured since the mid-1990s when the annual maximum size stopped growing is 8.7 million square miles (22.5 million square kilometers). However, the size of the hole in any particular year is not enough information for scientists to determine whether a healing of the hole has begun. …
The Merco Press
New Zealand: A top place to be a woman
Survey shows we’re at No 1 for educational attainment but ‘unconscious bias’ in workplace still happens.
New Zealand is among the top 10 best places to be a woman, according to a worldwide report on gender equality.
It ranked seventh out of 136 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2013, with narrow gaps between the sexes in the health, education, economic and political sectors.
New Zealand was at number one – equal with several European countries – for educational attainment, which included literacy rates and enrolment in primary, secondary and tertiary education. …
New Zealand Herald
America’s powerful film industry lobby group says a market in Melbourne is among the world’s most notorious for selling pirated DVDs.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has released its latest report into movie copyright infringement.
It features what it calls a “detailed listing of the world’s most notorious marketplaces for the distribution of illegal film and television shows”.
High on the list of “notorious physical markets” are individual stallholders selling at Scoresby’s Caribbean Gardens and Markets.