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Editorial/Pilots of Caribbean/NASA/Spicy duck

Colin Wilsonweb

The Editor Speaks: Burglaries are commonplace

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) has been one of the fastest-growing government departments over the past two years.

In mid-2010 the RCIPS employed a total of 406 employees. In 2012, the figure had grown to 475 workers.

The prisons service had the exact same number of employees in June 2010 as it did in June 2012!

If one was to be facetious one could say it needs more police to investigate the crimes, especially, all the burglaries that are being committed in Cayman at present, but the actual convictions don’t’ require any more staff at the prison.

I mention burglaries because despite the lack of reporting by the media they are increasing.

The Caymanian Compass has just revealed that in the first six months of 2013, 262 burglaries were reported.


Reported by the persons being burgled to the RCIPS and presumably investigated but “very few of them made known to the media”.

The Compass editorial claims “burglaries have become so commonplace here that it is tempting to treat them as ‘every day minor offenses,’ such as jaywalking. They are nothing of the sort.”

I 100% agree with the Editorial.

Burglaries are indeed terrifying to the victims. I know. I faced a burglar in our home some years ago. He was in our bedroom and I can still see his beady eyes staring at me as he crouched down on the floor upon my awakening from sleep.

The rage I felt was indescribable and I sprang at him. He got away but he left behind his bag (actually a pillowcase) that he had filled with our personal items. He jumped over our balcony railing some12 ft above the ground with the dexterity of a cat and made his escape.

The burglary was not reported by the RCIPS to the media.

I fully understand that there are reasons why the media are not informed – “the release of information would prejudice an ongoing investigation or subsequent trial, the willingness of a victim to publicize the incident and the need to protect vulnerable witnesses, etc”. But this would not apply to ALL 262!

The horrendous break-in early Wednesday morning at the house in Savannah by four masked gunmen did get reported.

Even with ten occupants in the house they quite rightly did not ague with perpetrators with guns and did as they were told and laid down on the floor whilst they were robbed of money and jewellery.

However, if it had been just one robber who had invaded the house would it have been reported to the media by the police?

The media don’t just report crimes. We warn the public and we give out descriptions of robbers together with times and locations. We actually assist the police.

Even with the 253 CCTV cameras at 78 locations across Grand Cayman I have yet to be convinced they are more important than media coverage.

253 cameras equates to how many people actually viewing them?  Most wouldn’t be the public anyway. Whatever the number it comes nowhere near the number of persons reading the media reports.

With due respect I think Police Commissioner David Baines has a very narrow view with his comment “that his department is in the business of investigating crime, while the Compass is in the business of reporting it”.

To the person being burgled it is not commonplace.


v0_masterRAF Museum calls for personnel memories in Pilots of the Caribbean exhibition

By Culture24 Reporter

The Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum is appealing to black service personnel to offer their memories ahead of an exhibition honouring volunteers from Britain, the Caribbean and Africa who fought in the World Wars.

Pilots of the Caribbean will reflect on the part played by Afro-Caribbean men and women in the development of modern Britain.

“Although we have a wealth of archive materials to draw from, we would welcome stories and photographs from former and serving black Royal v0_master-1Air Force personnel and their families,” said Director General Peter Dye.

“From First World War pilot William Robinson Clarke to the young volunteers of today, Afro-Caribbean men and women have played an integral part in the development of the Royal Air Force.”

Email [email protected] to contribute. Pilots of the Caribbean : Volunteers of African Heritage in the Royal Air Force opens at the Royal Air Force Museum on November 1 2013.


Lilian Bader will be one of the RAF personnel featuring in a major winter exhibition at the Royal v0_master-2Air Force Museum

William Robinson Clarke






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earth20130827-cropNASA Imaging Technology Sheds Light on California’s Rim Fire

By Luisa Rollenhagen   From Mashable

As California’s giant Rim Fire continues to rage, new imaging techniques by NASA are providing a more comprehensive picture of what’s happening on the ground, all captured from miles above Earth.

earth20130827cThe blaze, which started on Aug. 17, has already consumed over 180,000 acres and is set to become the sixth largest in California’s history. NASA satellite imagery is helping to analyze the blaze as well as provide an incredibly accurate picture of its scope and trajectory while remaining at a safe distance.

For example, the image attached was taken by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer, or MISR. The device is located on NASA’s Terra spacecraft, which is currently orbiting the Earth.

According to NASA’s website, the MISR “on NASA’s Terra spacecraft views every scene it observes from nine different angles. This unique design allows it to measure the height of smoke plumes using stereoscopic techniques.”

As the video above explains, when the images are all compiled together, the result shows the highest point on the fire’s smoke plume. The smoke currently reaches some four miles above sea level.

Another one of NASA’s orbital photos that provides vital information is the one shown below, which comes courtesy of an Atmospheric Infrared Sounder device, or AIRS, and was compiled over three days.

The colors on the map show the concentration of carbon monoxide created by the fire. Darker yellows and reds mean a greater concentration, which allows researchers to more easily assess the situation on the ground in California. Carbon monoxide trails there have reportedly reached an altitude of 18,000 feet.

NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite is also being employed for the purpose of capturing nighttime images of the blaze over four days, illustrating the spread of the fire into Yosemite National Park.

According to the fire monitoring site InciWeb, 23% of the Rim Fire is contained, and the blaze has already destroyed more than 20 structures. Right now, roughly 4,500 buildings are under threat and more than 3,000 firefighters have been deployed.

Homepage images: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team

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Spicy Shredded DuckSpicy shredded duck with crackling

By Jane-Anne From Scrumptious South Africa

Here’s my latest MasterChef recipe, the fourth and last in a series of recipes I’ve written for Woolworths, food sponsors of the latest South African series.

Tender shredded duck with cucumber, spring onions and a

super-crispy topping of duck crackling.

This is a sneaky way to make 24 or more delicious canapés using just two duck breasts: first confit the breasts in their own fat, then toss the tender shredded meat with cucumber, spring onions and some sexy Asian flavours, and finally top each portion with golden shards of crunchy duck skin.

This dish is ideal for starting the day before, as the flavour of the duck breasts will improve overnight. I’ve used the five-spice powder sparingly, but feel free to add more if you’d like more perfume in the dish.

This is a great snack for a cocktail party, because you can prepare the duck

a day or two ahead, and put everything together at the last minute.

For more details about how to confit duck at home, have a look at my recipe for Easy Duck Rillettes.

Crispy Shredded Duck4Finally, this year, it’s not just bloggers getting the chance to get creative in the kitchen along with MasterChef and Woolies. Create a recipe with the same ingredients used each week by the Woolworths Masterchef Competition bloggers and you could win one of fourteen R1000 Woolies gift cards, or the (very!) grand prize of a R10 000 gift card. Head over to the Woolworths Masterchef Hub for more info and T&Cs.

My first recipe for Woolies/Masterchef:  Slow-Roasted Leg of Lamb with a Basil Walnut Sauce

My second recipe:  Peppercorn Chicken with Chilli and Mint

My third recipe:  Billowing Meringues with a Sunset Berry Coulis

Spicy Shredded Duck with Crackling

2 boneless duck breasts, skin on

80g spring onions

half a large cucumber

1 tsp (5 ml) Chinese five-spice powder

1 Tbsp (15 ml) Hoisin sauce

4 tsp (20 ml) rice vinegar, to taste

milled black pepper

Maldon sea salt

Heat the oven to 160 ºC. Place the duck breasts, skin side down, in a cold frying pan. Turn on the heat under the pan to its lowest setting, and heat the breasts very slowly and gently for 10 minutes, without disturbing them. This long heating process will help to render the fat.

Turn up the heat in the pan to medium high. Fry the duck breasts in their fat for another 4 minutes, or until the skin is a rich golden colour.  Place the breasts, skin-side up, in a small, shallow ceramic oven dish and pour over all the juices and fat from the frying pan. Sprinkle half a teaspoon (2.5ml) of five-spice powder into the juices, cover with a piece of foil or kitchen paper and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes at 160 ºC.

Now turn down the heat to 120 ºC and roast for 1½ to 2 hours, or until the duck is very soft and succulent.  At this point, you can refrigerate the duck overnight (see Cook’s Notes).

Half an hour before the duck is ready, cut the cucumber in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon. Cut into neat, small cubes.  Finely slice the spring onion (you’ll use only the purple, white and pale-green parts).

Remove the duck breasts from their cooking dish, peel off their skins and set both aside.  Skim the fat off the top of the remaining juices and reserve – you’ll use this to fry the crackling.

Pull the duck flesh into shreds and place these back into the dish in which you cooked them, tossing well so every shred is coated in juices.  Keep this mixture warm in the oven while you make the crackling.

Sprinkle the remaining half-teaspoon of five-spice powder over the duck skins, then slice them into very fine strips.  Heat the reserved duck fat in a small frying pan and fry the strips over a medium-high heat for a minute or two, or until they are golden brown and crisp. Drain well on kitchen paper and season generously with salt.

Remove the warm shredded duck from the oven and mix in the cucumber cubes and spring onion.  Stir in the hoisin sauce and rice vinegar – to taste – and season with salt and milled black pepper.

Divide this mixture between 24 or more small warmed spoons – or little bowls – and top with the crisp duck crackling. Serve immediately, garnished with baby leaves.

8 as a canapé

Cook’s Notes

If you’d like to prepare the duck the day before, follow the recipe until step 4, then tightly cover the dish containing the cooked breasts with foil and refrigerate it overnight. Gently warm the dish through in the oven before carrying on with the recipe.

The duck crackling carries on browning for a while when it comes out of the pan, so don’t let it get too dark when you’re frying it.

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