first_imgCOMPETITION: Management at the newly re-named Mulroy Woods Hotel formerly The Milford Inn are giving away an amazing FREE wedding package!Following on from their recent official launch of the Hotel we are really excited about launching our new all-inclusive Wedding Packages. With our fabulous tranquil setting, luxury Banqueting Suites, delicious food and great value offerings  we have the perfect setting to host your very special day.Catering for small and intimate to larger Wedding Receptions it will be your wedding, your way.The Glashagh Suite caters for up to 400 guests and the Mulroy Suite for up to 250 guests.To celebrate the launch of our new Wedding Packages we are giving away a Wedding Reception to one lucky couple! The free giveaway incorporates an all-inclusive Wedding Package including Champagne Reception on arrival for Bridal Party, overnight stay in Honeymoon Suite, Wedding Banquet with Wine, Evening Buffet, an invitation to return for your First Anniversary Dinner and much more!In addition to our free giveaway some of Donegal’s Top Wedding Suppliers have teamed up with us to give you even more!*Wedding video by Arthur Lynch Wedding Videos, Rathmullan *Elegant Suits from Evolve Menswear, Letterkenny *Bridal Car from Mc Laughlin Wedding Car Hire, Rathmullan *€500 Wedding Dress Voucher from Elite Brides, Letterkenny *Elegant Room Décor by Eventful, Ramelton *Bridal Bouquet from Ballyofey FloristOur Wedding Fayre takes place on Sunday November 01st in association with Donegal Event Management and the Winning Couple of this amazing prize will be announced on the Day!The couple who win on the day must be present in person to claim the prize so once you enter the competition put the Wedding Fayre date in your Diary!Email your entry to freewedding@mulrowoodshotel. com stating name’s of couple, address, mobile contact number and state the reason why you would like WIN A FREE WEDDING at the Mulroy Woods Hotel!!! We look forward to receiving all your entries over the coming weeks, the closing date for receipt of entry is Friday October 30th at 5.00pm.For further information on our Wedding Giveaway or to arrange an appointment to come and view our facilities and meet the team, contact Siobhán on 074 9153313 or by email to freewedding@mulroywoodshotel. comIt will be our pleasure to welcome you, come visit soon.WIN THE FREE WEDDING RECEPTION OF YOUR DREAMS WITH MULROY WOODS HOTEL! was last modified: October 1st, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:BusinessFeaturesMulroy Woods Hotelnewslast_img read more

first_imgICOS welcomes Budget 2016 as targeted, balanced and fair for the agri-food sectorThe Irish Co-operative Organisation Society Ltd today welcomed the budget announcement by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin.ICOS represents over 130 co-operatives in Ireland – including the Irish dairy processing co-operatives and livestock marts – whose associated businesses have a combined turnover in the region of €14 billion, with some 150,000 individual members, employing 12,000 people in Ireland, and a further 24,000 people overseas. The ICOS President, Martin Keane welcomed the overall budgetary package for the farming community as “targeted, balanced and fair”.Mr. Keane stated that changes to income tax including the ‘Earned Income Tax Credit’ for the self-employed is a very welcome initiative. According to Mr. Keane, “the Earned Income Tax Credit to the value of €550 is a welcome initial first step by the Government to ensure equity and fairness in the income tax system.”ICOS also welcomed initiatives in today’s budget to extend stock relief measures for a further three years and actions to support farm succession.Mr. Keane added “Budgetary supports related to farm succession are extremely welcome as targeted agri taxation measures can assist with succession planning and improving the age profile of the farming sector, which is a critical challenge facing the entire agri-food sector. “The agri-food sector stands to benefit from the Knowledge Development Box proposal with a reduced rate of corporation tax for R&D spend. This is a positive measure which will enable the entire food industry to develop new products, add value and compete internationally, which ultimately will deliver the best possible return for farmers.“ICOS also welcomes the announcement by Minister Howlin to allocate additional funding to support agri-environmental and capital investment schemes under the Rural Development Programme. In addition, funding for a range of new schemes under the Seafood Development Programme is also welcome.”However, Mr. Keane expressed disappointment at the exclusion of an income deferral scheme in this year’s budget.Mr. Keane stated,  “We believe that an opportunity was missed to provide for measures to help farmers to manage volatility in this year’s budget.  A suite of volatility measures including taxation initiatives will be required to help farmers cope with fluctuations in milk price. ICOS urges the government to give greater consideration to the possibility of an income deferral scheme and we will continue to engage with government on this matter.” BUDGET 2016: CO-OP GROUPS WELCOME BUDGET was last modified: October 13th, 2015 by John2Share 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:budget 2016co-op groupslast_img read more

first_imgDDTV: Click on the video above to watch the fascinating insight into the training preparations currently being conducted by Joseph Duffy ahead of his headline fight in Dublin later this month.Duffy faces Dustin Poirier in an eagerly anticipated fight which takes place when the UFC rolls into Dublin on October 24th. Duffy trains at the one of the most famous training stables in the UFC – The Tristar Gym which is based in Montreal, Canada. In the video above it shows Duffy participating in ‘Shark Tanks’ which involves the Donegal man continuously sparring different opponents for 43 minutes.Duffy spars with one opponent for one minute – this process is repeated for 43 gruelling minutes.Duffy then shows viewers his living quarters and explains what life is like living in one of these dorms.To view the interesting video – simply click play on the video above.  DDTV: BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK AT JOSEPH DUFFY’S PREPARATION FOR UFC DUBLIN was last modified: October 15th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:DDTVnewsSportlast_img read more

first_imgFREE shots in this popular bar tonight if Manchester United lose to CSKA Moscow.A popular Donegal bar are giving away FREE shots if Manchester United lose their Champions League match against CSKA Moscow tonight.Management at Casadh An TSúgáin are offering patrons a FREE shot if Manchester United lose against their Russian opponents in tonight’s crunch clash in Moscow.Casadh An TSúgáin is located in the heart of Loughanure and is renowned for its fantastic coverage of all sports – and is usually packed for Champions League matches. However, a few more may put their head through the door tonight – especially if Manchester United are hurtling towards defeat against CSKA Moscow.The man responsible for the promotional offer Ruairí White – who is a massive Liverpool fan told Donegal Daily, “We giving all patrons a FREE shot if Manchester United lose tonight.“If tonight’s defeat resulted in their exit from the competition – we would give customers a FREE pint and a FREE shot.“However, it’s too early for that yet, but that offer WILL be available later in either the group stages, or the KO stages of the Champions League! It’s safe to say the owners of the bar and employees aren’t fond of Louis Van Gaal’s side.Supporters of Manchester United in the locality may avoid the bar tonight!The bar is owned by former Donegal player Stephen Cassidy, who is the elder brother of  two-time All-Star Kevin Cassidy.Both are massive Celtic supporters and we doubt a similar offer will be available tomorrow night if Celtic fail to beat Molde FC in Norway in the Europa League!Ruairí also quipped, “There’s no point in running the same promotional offer for Liverpool’s Europa League match tomorrow – as Liverpool will win with ease in Jurgen Klopp’s first game at Anfield!” PUNTERS IN ONE DONEGAL BAR ARE PRAYING FOR A MANCHESTER UNITED DEFEAT! was last modified: October 21st, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:FeaturesnewsSportlast_img read more

first_img Tags: World Cup 1966 The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 to 30 July. England was chosen as host of the 1966 World Cup in Rome, Italy on 22 August 1960, over rival bids from West Germany and Spain.Thirty-one African nations boycotted the tournament to protest a 1964 FIFA ruling that required the three second-round winners from the African zone to enter a play-off round against the winners of the Asian zone in order to qualify for the World Cup, as they felt winning their zone was enough in itself to merit qualification. They also protested against the readmission of South Africa to FIFA in 1963, despite its expulsion from CAF due to the Apartheid Regime in 1958.South Africa was subsequently assigned to the Asia and Oceania qualifying group before being disqualified after being suspended again due to pressure from other African nations in October 1964. Despite this, after FIFA refused to change the qualifying format, the African teams decided anyway to pull out of the World Cup until at least one African team had a place assured in the World Cup, something which was put in place for the 1970 FIFA World Cup and all subsequent World Cup finals.England captain Bobby Moore lifts the World Cup in 1966The format of the 1966 competition remained the same as 1962: 16 qualified teams were divided into four groups of four. Each group played a round-robin format. Two points were awarded for a win and one point for a draw, with goal average used to separate teams equal on points. The top two teams in each group advanced to the knockout stage.In the knockout games, if the teams were tied after 90 minutes, 30 minutes of extra time were played. For any match other than the final, if the teams were still tied after extra time, lots would be drawn to determine the winner. The final would have been replayed if tied after extra time. In the event, no replays or drawing of lots was necessary.The 1966 World Cup had a rather unusual hero off the field, a dog called Pickles. In the build-up to the tournament, the Jules Rimet trophy was stolen from an exhibition display. A nationwide hunt for the icon ensued. It was later discovered wrapped in newspaper as the dog sniffed under some bushes in London. The FA commissioned a replica cup in case the original cup was not found in time. This replica is held at the English National Football Museum in Manchester, where it is on display.The draw for the final tournament, taking place on 6 January 1966 at the Royal Garden Hotel in London was the first ever to be televised, with England, West Germany, Brazil and Italy as seeds.The opening match took place on Monday 11 July. With the exception of the first tournament, which commenced on 13 July 1930, every other tournament (up to and including 2018) has commenced in May or June. The final took place on 30 July 1966, the 36th anniversary of the first final. This remains the latest date that any tournament has concluded. The reason for the unusually late scheduling of the tournament appears to lie with the outside broadcast commitments of the BBC, which also had commitments to cover Wimbledon (which ran between 20 June and 2 July) and the Open Golf Championship (6 to 9 July).First Round:1966 was a World Cup with few goals as the teams began to play much more tactically and defensively. This was exemplified by Alf Ramsey’s England as they finished top of Group 1 with only four goals, but having none scored against them. They also became the first World Cup winning team not to win its first game in the tournament. Uruguay were the other team to qualify from that group at the expense of both Mexico and France. All the group’s matches were played at Wembley Stadium apart from the match between Uruguay and France which took place at White City Stadium.In Group 2, West Germany and Argentina qualified with ease as they both finished the group with 5 points, Spain managed 2, while Switzerland left the competition after losing all three group matches. FIFA cautioned Argentina for its violent style in the group games, particularly in the scoreless draw with West Germany, which saw Argentinean Rafael get sent off and suspended for the next match.In the northwest of England, Old Trafford and Goodison Park played host to Group 3 which saw the two-time defending champions Brazil finish in third place behind Portugal and Hungary, and be eliminated along with Bulgaria. Brazil were defeated 3–1 by Hungary in a classic encounter before falling by the same score line to Portugal in a controversial game. Portugal appeared in the finals for the first time, and made quite an impact. They won all three of their games in the group stage, with a lot of help from their outstanding striker Eusebio, whose nine goals made him the tournament’s top scorer.Group 4, however, provided the biggest upset when North Korea beat Italy 1–0 at Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough and finished above them, thus earning qualification to the next round along with the Soviet Union. This was the first time that a nation from outside Europe or the Americas had progressed from the first stage of a World Cup: the next would be Morocco in 1986.Quarter-finals, semi-finals, and third-place match:The quarter-finals provided a controversial victory for West Germany as they cruised past Uruguay 4–0; the South Americans claimed that this occurred only after the referee (who was Jim Finney, from England) had not recognised a handball by Schnellinger on the goal line and then had sent off two players from Uruguay: Horacio Troche and Hector Silva. It appeared as though the surprise package North Korea would claim another major upset in their match against Portugal at Goodison Park, when after 22 minutes they led 3–0. It fell to one of the greatest stars of the tournament, Eusebio, to change that. He scored four goals in the game and Jose Augusto added a fifth in the 78th minute to earn Portugal a 5–3 win.Meanwhile, in the other two games, Ferenc Bene’s late goal for Hungary against the Soviet Union, who were led by Lev Yashin’s stellar goalkeeping, proved little more than a consolation as they crashed out 2–1, and the only goal between Argentina and England came courtesy of England’s Geoff Hurst. During that controversial game (for more details see Argentina and England football rivalry), Argentina’s Antonio Rattin became the first player to be sent off in a senior international football match at Wembley. Rattín at first refused to leave the field and eventually had to be escorted by several policemen. After 30 minutes England scored the only goal of the match. This game is called el robo del siglo (the robbery of the century) in Argentina.All semi-finalists were from Europe. The venue of the first semi-final between England and Portugal was changed from Goodison Park in Liverpool to Wembley, due to Wembley’s larger capacity. This larger capacity was particularly significant during a time when ticket revenue was of crucial importance. Bobby Charlton scored both goals in England’s win, with Portugal’s goal coming from a penalty in the 82nd minute after a handball by Jack Charlton on the goal line. The other semi-final also finished 2–1: Franz Beckenbauer scoring the winning goal with a left foot shot from the edge of the area for West Germany as they beat the Soviet Union.Portugal went on to beat the Soviet Union 2–1 to take third place. Portugal’s third place remains the best finish by a team making its World Cup debut since 1934. It was subsequently equaled by Croatia in the 1998 tournament.London’s Wembley Stadium was the venue for the final and 98,000 people attended. After 12 minutes 32 seconds Helmut Haller put West Germany ahead, but the score was leveled by Geoff Hurst four minutes later. Martin Peters put England in the lead in the 78th minute; England looked set to claim the title when the referee awarded a free kick to West Germany with one minute left. The ball was launched goal-ward and Wolfgang Weber scored, with England appealing in vain for handball as the ball came through the crowded penalty area.With the score level at 2–2 at the end of 90 minutes, the game went to extra time. In the 98th minute, Hurst found himself on the score-sheet again; his shot hit the crossbar, bounced down onto the goal line, and was awarded as a goal. Debate has long raged over whether the ball crossed the line, with the goal becoming part of World Cup history; Ian Reid and Andrew Zisserman claim to prove that the ball did not cross the line. England’s final goal was scored by Hurst again, as a celebratory pitch invasion began. This made Geoff Hurst the only player ever to have scored three times in a World Cup final. BBC commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme’s description of the match’s closing moments has gone down in history: “Some people are on the pitch. ‘They Think it’s all Over’ … [Hurst scores] It is now!”.England’s total of eleven goals scored in six games set a new record low for average goals per game scored by a World Cup winning team. The record stood until 1982, when it was surpassed by Italy’s twelve goals in seven games; in 2010 this record was lowered again by Spain, winning the Cup with eight goals in seven games. England’s total of three goals conceded also constituted a record low for average goals per game conceded by a World Cup winning team. That record stood until 1994, when it was surpassed by Brazil’s three goals in seven games. Spain again lowered the record to two goals by conceding them during the group stage and then shutting out its four knockout stage opponents by 1–0 scores.England received the recovered Jules Rimet trophy from Elizabeth II and were crowned World Cup winners for the first timeIn this World Cup edition, the national anthems were played only in the final. They were not played in the earlier matches because the organisers (Fifa and the FA) feared that North Korea’s presence – a socialist country that is not recognized by United Kingdom – in the World Cup would cause problems with South Korea. An office memo of the Foreign Office months before the finals stated that the solution would be “denying the visas to North Korean players”.With nine goals, Eusébio was the top scorer in the tournament. In total, 89 goals were scored by 47 different players, with two of them credited as own goals.Portugal’s Eusebio was the top scorer in 1966 World CupComments last_img read more

first_imgThe Donegal Branch of Diabetes Ireland along with Diabetes Ireland senior management have received several commitments from Minister for Health, Simon Harris after a productive meeting yesterday.The group’s representatives Paul Gillespie and Gerard Gallagher were supported by Dr Anna Clarke and Professor Hilary Hoey of Diabetes Ireland and had the backing of all Donegal Political representatives at Government buildings as they put forward their case for increased resources for Type 1 diabetes care in Letterkenny University Hospital.(Featured image: L-R, Paul Gillespie DDA, Dr Anna Clarke, Diabetes Ireland, Minister for Health Simon Harris, Dr Hilary Hoey, Diabetes Ireland, and Gerard Gallagher, DDA. Two main points highlighted by the association were the inadequate services for both adults and children with Type 1 diabetes.Minister Harris gave confirmation that a Centre of Excellence for Diabetes would be established in the North West.Paul Gillespie of the Donegal Diabetes Association told Donegal Daily that the group highlighted to Minister Harris that a suitable facility already exists at LUH to consider developing a Shared Centre of Excellence in LUH with Sligo“For Paediatrics, we discussed the fact that there was no Centre of Excellence anywhere north of the Dublin/Limerick line. Minister Harris gave a commitment that there are going to be two new Centres of Excellence – one in Galway in and one in the North West. “They are going to look at the feasibility of having a shared centre between Letterkenny and Sligo. We highlighted that in the catchment area there are more people with diabetes attending LUH.“The Gatehouse is a building at the entrance to the old casualty gate, which was completely repurposed for diabetes care. We argued that would be a good starting point for a Centre of Excellence in Letterkenny,” Mr Gillespie said.Donegal Diabetes Association and Diabetes Ireland with the Minister for Health, Simon Harris this evening to discuss the need to significantly increase resources at Letterkenny UH for diabetes care. Five Donegal TDs and Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn were in attendance.An issue facing Donegal’s youngest children with diabetes is the lack of a consultant paediatrician with a special interest in paediatric diabetes in Sligo after the post became vacant in April. As a result, insulin pump therapy is not available to newly presenting children under the age of five with diabetes. We welcome the announcement that the continuation of monthly pump therapy into Letterkenny had been secured ”“We welcome the announcement that the continuation of monthly pump therapy into Letterkenny had been secured ”“There are 18 children with Type 1 diabetes that should have started pump therapy, but that wasn’t available. “We got the commitment that an endocrinologist was coming to the north west to start the pump therapy for those children in both Sligo and Letterkenny,” Mr Gillespie said.The group were assured that a paediatrician with a special interest in paediatric diabetes would be reappointed as soon as possible, although it is possible it may not be until the end of the year until this happens.Mr Gillespie said two very concerning points were put before Minister Harris regarding adult diabetes care.Over 7,000 people in County Donegal have been diagnosed as having diabetes, of whom 700+ have type 1 diabetes. “There is an unacceptably long waiting list for a follow-up appointment for adults that is more than 24 months. According to HSE guidelines it should be four months.“The Minister was shocked and amazed the numbers were so bad. Again, he has committed to review this as much as they can,” Mr Gillespie said.Adult diabetes services at Letterkenny are provided by a consultant endocrinologist, supported by a locum consultant general physician.Mr Gillespie said “this was a very welcome step, but the appointment of a second consultant endocrinologist would have only minor improvements to clear the current waiting list, as support staff are also needed”.“Minister Harris said that 120 ANP (Advanced Nurse Practitioner) posts has been sanctioned nationwide so they could ensure at least one ANP in adult diabetes could be developed in LUH to specialise on adult care and support the endocrinologists”“They are now hoping to make the second endocrinologist a full-time position, but it would be almost a year before that position is filled,” Mr Gillespie said.The impact of this under-resourcing on young adults, in particular, was discussed yesterday.“We discussed the transition time for teenagers – like my daughter who just turned 18. Up to this, she was seen by a consultant paediatrician – now it’s going to be 24 months. This is detrimental to the health of children involved looking into adult services.”“We welcomed the news that an ANP specialist in diabetes pump therapy was to be added to paediatric care in LUH and that this ANP could work into the transition clinic until the adult ANP is developed ”Mr Gillespie welcomed the upcoming action to be taken to improve paediatric services in LUH, but said today’s meeting would have minimal improvement of the unacceptable waiting lists for adult appointments.“We are delighted that the Minister has listened to our points and that he has planned to take speedy action ahead of another meeting in September,” Mr Gillespie said.Donegal Diabetes Association secure solutions in diabetes care crisis was last modified: June 29th, 2017 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:diabetesDonegal Diabetes AssociationLetterkenny University HospitalSimon Harrislast_img read more

first_imgSports Fitness Academy is launching four exciting new courses in Stranorlar.L2 Fitness Instruction, L3 Personal Trainer, L3 Sports Massage Therapy and L4 Sports Massage Therapy are being introduced by the Sports Fitness Academy. They are also hosting an open day at the Base Enterprise Centre for prospective students between 11am and 7pm on August 24th. Tutors will be at hand to answer any questions about the upcoming courses.Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instruction – Gym basedThis Level 2 Gym Instructors Certification is the industry’s most popular entry-level fitness instruction qualification and is ideally suited to those with a passion for health and fitness.You will learn all the essential knowledge and skills to enable you to confidently plan, instruct and evaluate successful one-to-one gym programmes. If you would like to start a career within this industry, this is the course for you. It will provide you with the stepping stones to achieving a Personal Trainer Certificate as it provides the underpinning knowledge and skills in preparation for this future career. It also provides the first step to progress and complete other CPD courses such as Circuit training, Kettlebells or Indoor Studio Cycling.Level 3 Diploma in Personal TrainingThis qualification is aimed at students wishing to become a Personal Trainer, and already hold the pre-requisite of L2 fitness instruction.During this course you will acquire the skills, knowledge and competence required to offer one-to-one training, fitness assessment, nutritional advice and progressive programming which is specific to the individual needs of a client. This Personal Training Course will enable successful candidates to work with a wide range of customers from basic gym inductions through to professional athletes.You will learn how to design, manage and adapt a gym based personal training programme with a range of clients, how to communicate with clients effectively and motivate clients to adhere to exercise programmes and learn how to apply the principles of nutrition to support client goals as part of an exercise and physical activity programme.Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage TherapyWithin this qualification you will learn the skills and knowledge required to plan, provide and evaluate sports massage treatments for both sporting and non-sporting clients.You will learn to treat individuals suffering from a wide range of conditions, such as muscle fatigue, lumbago/non-specific low back pain, and repetitive strain/overuse, non-acute type injuries.Level 4 Diploma in Sports Massage TherapyThis qualification is designed to prepare you for a career as a sports massage practitioner working with injured clients. The units it contains cover all the skills and knowledge required for this role. Entry onto this qualification can be via previous attainment of a Level 3 qualification in sports massage therapy or equivalent. Specifically, this qualification will develop your knowledge and understanding of anatomy and physiology to work on post-acute injury and pre-existing conditions, dealing with musculoskeletal and para-tendon injuries.You will develop the skills to conduct subjective and objective assessments, which will cover active, passive and resisted range of movements, detailed postural analysis, functional testing and special tests. You will also develop the skills to work safely and effectively on muscle and para-tendon injuries using a variety of soft tissue techniques and will be able to advise on treatment modalities to support soft tissue repair.To check out their other courses see sportsfitnessacademy.ie or visit their Facebook page.Sports Fitness Academy launch personal training and sports massage therapy courses was last modified: August 20th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare 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:coursessports fitness academysports massage therapylast_img read more

first_imgDonegal Rose Amy Callaghan from Glenswilly has missed out on taking home the coveted crown tonight in the 58th International Rose of Tralee Festival.The 2017 title went to Offaly Rose Jennifer Byrne.Offaly Rose Jennifer ByrneThe past two nights have been filled with many memorable moments – both emotional and comedic. There have been many moving interviews and interesting performances which have affected the nation and viewers all over the world.Donegal Rose Amy made a major impact by being outspoken in her interview about mental health in young people. She told host Daithi O Se about her own struggles as a secondary school student.The 22-year-old gave an encouraging account of how she found help after enduring her own ‘blip’ as a teen:She made an important point about being glad she sought help with her mental health when she most needed it.Watch a snippet from Amy’s inspiring interview here: The young Donegal woman has earned much praise from mental health awareness groups all over the country for her bravery in breaking the stigma. She was applauded for using her time on stage in the Dome to address the importance of mental health in a relatable manner for people of all ages.There were signs that Amy was a front runner following her interview last night. Her bravery, as well as her proud party piece outfit being a Donegal jersey, certainly impressed the home audience.Party pieces from the 32 Roses were far reaching in diversity, from CPR demonstrations, cooking, puppeteering and the traditional music and dance pieces. Amy, a dance graduate, had a stand-out aerial performance while suspended from a Lyra hoop.Other Donegal links to this year’s show were Caoimhe Gallagher, the London Rose who was born in Donegal and grew up in Kerry. Caoimhe sang a modern medley of Irish songs as her party piece.London RosePlus, Buncrana man Daniel Mc Laughlin won the hearts of the crowd with his touch of Donegal humour – “Jeez I’m kilt hi!… it hasn’t been easy” was his take on his duties as an Escort for two Roses over the week. An entertaining and fascinating year for the festival comes to a close tonight as Jennifer Byrne dons the crown for the year. Well done to Amy, and all other local participants who did the county proud.Inspirational Donegal Rose misses out on Rose of Tralee title was last modified: August 22nd, 2017 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)last_img read more

first_imgTwo people’s lives were saved by a crew of unexpected heroes today off the coast of Rathmullan.The Lough Swilly Ferry took passengers on a detour from a routine crossing from Buncrana when a sailboat capsized and a man and woman went into the water.The uncle and niece from Co. Down were on holiday in Donegal when the accident occurred at 1.20pm. They were sailing off Kinnegar Beach when their small 10ft craft began to take in water and suddenly capsized. The pair were wearing buoyancy aids to keep them afloat but were in the water for between 20-30 minutes before being rescued. They tried to swim to shore but got caught in the current.The RNLI Lough Swilly lifeboat unit was dispatched to their rescue, but a much bigger help was at hand.Edward Sweeney, skipper of the Lough Swilly Ferry, told Donegal Daily it was ‘pure luck’ that his vessel was close by.“A 999 call was made to Malin Head Coast Guard, who contacted us to see if we could do anything. We could see a boat was in trouble and went to their aid. We put the door down and lifted them onto the ferry,” he said. “By pure luck, when we got the call we were only 200 metres away from them.”“We got them climbed onto to the ferry, but the man was in a bit of shock. By then, the lifeboat crew reached us and we brought them onboard too. We wrapped the man and woman in blankets, brought them inside and gave them hot drinks,” Edward said.Lough Swilly Ferry and Lough Swilly RNLI Rescue, 28th August 2017. Photo: Kevin Mc AteerA Letterkenny ambulance was waiting at the pier for the ferry’s arrival to check over the rescuees. Fortunately, they were not injured and are both well after their ordeal.The Lough Swilly Ferry service had to issue an apology to their customers this afternoon to say they were running 25 minutes late, although saving two lives at sea would make for a reasonable excuse for a short delay!Edward said he was delighted everything worked out well in the end, in a situation which could have been much worse. “Thankfully someone on the shore called 999. We normally keep an eye out for wee boats when we’re passing to see if any are in difficulty.“The main thing is these two people were alright. People should be aware of the current around Rathmullan and how strong the tide is. It’s amazing how strong the tide is around that beach,” he said.The rescue was a big joint effort from all sides, as another man also tried to paddle out on a surfboard to the pair’s aid.Lough Swilly Ferry crewmen Edward Boyle and Gearoid Collum, along with skipper Edward Sweeney were all part of the extraordinary rescue crew today, who helped the RNLI volunteers with their mission. Edward Sweeney, who has been navigating ferries around Donegal for 20 years, said a real disaster was avoided today.“It just goes to show you, the man did go into shock and was not well and that can go two ways. That’s where the danger point is and we were lucky to get to them in time,” he said.‘Pure luck’ as pair rescued from sea by Lough Swilly Ferry heroes was last modified: August 30th, 2017 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:beachlough swilly ferryRathmullanrescuernli lough swillylast_img read more

first_imgAre you looking to renovate your home or looking for that special piece of furniture?Then look no further than the Donegal Tile Centre in Letterkenny this weekend.In conjunction with Rossview Interiors, the Donegal Tile Centre is holding a massive Marquee Clearance Sale of discounted and display stock. They are launching a new range of products later this month and to make way for many new lines, they’re having a massive, once-off sale which is not to be missed.There is literally something for everyone including a huge range of both wall and floor tiles, all first quality and most at less than half price.If you are looking to renovate your bathroom then they have a huge range of accessories including shower doors from €50, Whirlpool baths and bathroom suites and bathroom furniture, all at low, low prices. If that wasn’t enough there is also a staggering 40% of a large range of light fittings as well as huge savings on a stunning range of dining tables, chairs as well as reclining suites.If you are looking for occasional furniture or something special for the bedroom, it’s all here this weekend.So if you are anywhere near the Polestar Roundabout, take ten minutes out and take a browse.The sale is on all day today, Friday, from 9am until 6pm and tomorrow, Saturday, from 9.30am until 5pm.Get there early to get the best of the bargains.Massive clearance sale at Donegal Tile Centre and Rossview Interiors has something for everyone was last modified: October 6th, 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:donegalDonegal Tile CentreRossview Interiorslast_img read more

first_imgLetterkenny Chamber recently met with Irish Water on a number of issues including water infrastructure development.Irish Water representatives, both national and local, met with the Chamber to outline the work they have achieved and planned in the area.Following the briefing, Chamber President Leonard Watson said, “the briefing enabled the Chamber to learn about the plans Irish Water has to improve and future proof the water and sewerage infrastructure. This was a timely meeting in terms of the extent of work that is planned for the wider Letterkenny area. We were pleased to open the lines of communication on a very direct basis with Irish Water.Those present listened to and addressed our issues and concerns and we feel they have taken these on board and will take them into consideration when work is being planned and carried out.” “We understand that Continued improvement to our water infrastructure is crucial in the coming years as we plan for growth in population and business.“The briefing offered us the opportunity to learn about the work currently being undertaken and about plans for the future. They will be keeping in direct contact with the Chamber as works progress allowing our members to be prepared in a timely fashion. ”Echoing this sentiment Darragh Murphy Irish Water Business Communications manager said,“This is a fantastic opportunity to update the Chamber on the investment in water services at a national and local level. It’s also an opportunity to connect with businesses to inform them of improvements to service and supply and the proposed regulatory changes in the sector.” Letterkenny Chamber meets with Irish Water on water infrastructure development was last modified: December 14th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare 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)last_img read more

first_imgRTE One have announced a brand new interview series and Majella O’Donnell is to be one of the first to star in the show.The series will be hosted by Cutting Edge’s Brendan O’Connor.The show, titled Brendan O’Connor’s Time Out, is a three-part series filmed in Ireland and the UK. It features in-depth, one-to-one interviews with interviewees who the broadcaster say “have lived full lives, have a story to tell and something to say about the world we live in”.Discussing the big moments that have turned out to be life-defining events for them, Majella is to reveal the moments in her life that changed her forever.Majella to star in RTE’s new television series was last modified: August 7th, 2018 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:Majella O’DonnellRTElast_img read more

first_imgMay 18 – Update: Jürgen has been found safe and well. The search is underway for a missing Donegal cat who is named after the Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp. Tom cat Jürgen (from Letterkenny) went missing on Friday 10th May, just days before his team lost out on the Premier League title.As expected, Jürgen’s owners are big Liverpool fans and are anxious to see him returned home safely. Preferably before the Champions League final, when Liverpool take on Tottenham Hotspur on 1st June.Jürgen – missing from Old Town LetterkennyJürgen the cat when missing from the Old Town area of Letterkenny last Friday night. He is one year old and was wearing a red tartan collar.If you have seen Jürgen or have any information, please call his owner on 0838823577. Jürgen – missing from Old Town Letterkenny Hopes high for Jürgen’s return before Champions League final was last modified: May 17th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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:letterkennymissing catold townlast_img read more

first_imgMillions of Instagram users have had their photos, videos and locations secretly breached by strangers, it has been revealed. Worryingly, content downloaded included Instagram Stories – which are supposed to vanish after 24 hours.But marketing firm Hyp3r made copies of “millions of posts every month”, according to an investigation by Business Insider. The pics, clips and location data was all taken in violation of Instagram rules.Hyp3r is a marketing company that tracks your social posts tagged to locations.Customers can then use this data to target you with relevant ads.In a statement, Hyp3r CEO Carlos Garcia said: “Hyp3r is, and has always been, a company that enables authentic, delightful marketing that is compliant with consumer privacy regulations and social network Terms of Services.“We do not view any content or information that cannot be accessed publicly by anyone online.”Instagram breach exposes personal data of millions was last modified: August 10th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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)last_img read more

first_imgThe Irish Wheelchair Association Sport in conjunction with a number of Local Sports Partnerships and other local partners have come together to establish three new junior multi-sport Clubs for children, aged 5 – 15 years, with physical disabilities – including in Donegal.The Donegal Multi-Sport Club will launch on the September 10th and takes place every Tuesday from 6:30pm – 8:00pm at Crossroads and Killygordon Enterprise, Killygordon.Further multi-sport clubs will also launch in Meath and Laois/Offaly. Nicky Hamill, Irish Wheelchair Association’s Director of Sport, said: “This is an exciting time for IWA Sport and our partners.“The launch of these three junior multi-sport clubs will provide great opportunities for participation in a range of exciting sports and games in these counties and the surrounding regions.“We are delighted to work in partnership with the respective LSPs, local agencies and the many parents and volunteers who are supporting the establishment and ongoing running of the Clubs.“We’re very grateful to Sport Ireland and the Dormant Accounts Fund for supporting this exciting initiative”. For further details on the junior multi-sport club or how you could get involved, contact Therese Laverty on sidoactivedonegal@gmail.comNew sports clubs for children with physical disabilities set to launch in Donegal was last modified: August 24th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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)last_img read more

first_imgA young woman who stole two North Face jackets from McElhinney’s Stores in Ballybofey has been given the Probation Act. Sinead Browne appeared at Letterkenny District Court today charged with theft from the store in Ballybofey on May 5th, 2016. The court heard the 27-year-old woman entered the store, took the blue and black North Face jackets, valued at €280 in total, and left without paying.Security personnel at the store contacted the Gardai and having viewed CCTV footage, Ms Browne was tracked own and admitted to the offences.Neither of the jackets were ever recovered.The court was told that Ms Browne, of Milltown Court, Kilmacrennan, was a full-time carer for her partner.Judge Paul Kelly said he was told at a previous court sitting that Ms Browne may be able to compensate the store.However, the woman’s solicitor said she was surviving on her carer’s allowance and was not in a position to come up with any compensation.Judge Paul Kelly said that in the circumstances he would give Ms Browne the benefit of the Probation Act.Woman pleads guilty to stealing North Face jackets from McElhinneys was last modified: September 10th, 2019 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:courtdonegaljacketMCELHINNEYSNorth Facetheftlast_img read more

first_imgDonegal Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has raised the need for financial supports for Donegal’s tourism and retail sectors due to the impact of Brexit with the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys.Minister Humphreys was appearing before the Oireachtas Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation to outline the government’s supports for businesses in the context of Brexit.Senator Mac Lochlainn serves on this committee as his party’s Seanad Spokesperson on the portfolio. Senator Mac Lochlainn said: “The impact of Brexit has already been profound for Donegal’s tourism and retail sector with a big drop in cross border trade and from the British tourism market.Brexit has also led to a delay in investment plans across the county that is really hurting our local economy. I challenged Minister Humphreys on what supports her government has provided or will provide to these struggling businesses”.“One area that has caused real anger has been the same application of VAT increases across the entire State.“There is no comparison between a hotel in Donegal and a hotel in Dublin city or indeed with restaurants or other businesses, yet they are treated the same from a taxation perspective. “It is surely not beyond the wit of man or woman to find a solution to this unfair policy or to reimburse the Donegal businesses in some way.Donegal businesses are also under pressure from commercial rates and insurance increases.“While I welcome confirmation that Donegal businesses will finally see a rates review, the truth is that some businesses will gain, and some will lose from this review.“The Minister lives in and represents a border community herself, so she should know better than most the impact of Brexit on similar border communities in Donegal.“While she had sympathetic words in response to my representations at the committee, we need to see real actions and practical financial supports being rolled out as soon as possible”. Mac Lochlainn raises need for financial supports for Donegal tourism and retail was last modified: October 24th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare 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)last_img read more

first_imgDaniel O’Donnell is to be reunited with his sister Margo for Christmas.The singing sensation and his older sister had not spoken for several years after their mum Julia died in May, 2014.Margo revealed last year “I don’t see Daniel at all. Things are not good there. It is circumstantial. “It has now been four years in May since Mam passed. That’s how long it has been since we spoke. That’s the way it is.“But he is doing magnificently well and he is my brother and I love him dearly because he is a good man.“Sometimes when people come into your life they change things so. I pray for them.”However, it is understood that Daniel and Margo put their differences behind them earlier this year. And now they are to share a stage together as they first did when Daniel joined Margo’s band many decades agoThe pair will appear on TG4’s highest-rating country music show, Opry le Daniel, on Christmas Eve at 9.30pmThe pair recorded the show live recently in front of a packed house at the Millennium Stadium in Derry.Margo said she is really looking forward to reuniting with Daniel for the special Christmas show.She said “I’m delighted to be appearing on Opry le Daniel on TG4 television,  especially at Christmastime, with my ‘wee’ brother Daniel, at 9.30pm on Christmas Eve’. Daniel and Margo to be reunited for Christmas special was last modified: December 19th, 2019 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:DanieldonegalMARGOOprey le DanielReunitedlast_img read more

first_imgHarlesden’s James DeGale looks ahead to his 23 March clash with Pablo Farias of Argentina and believes he can put himself in the frame for a world title shot over the coming months. (Video courtesy of Hennessy Sports)See also:James DeGale talks about his recent win and future plansDeGale opts to give up European titleDeGale to defend title against FariasYTo4OntzOjk6IndpZGdldF9pZCI7czoyMDoid3lzaWphLW5sLTEzNTI0NjE4NjkiO3M6NToibGlzdHMiO2E6MTp7aTowO3M6MToiMyI7fXM6MTA6Imxpc3RzX25hbWUiO2E6MTp7aTozO3M6MjI6Ildlc3QgTG9uZG9uIFNwb3J0IGxpc3QiO31zOjEyOiJhdXRvcmVnaXN0ZXIiO3M6MTc6Im5vdF9hdXRvX3JlZ2lzdGVyIjtzOjEyOiJsYWJlbHN3aXRoaW4iO3M6MTM6ImxhYmVsc193aXRoaW4iO3M6Njoic3VibWl0IjtzOjMzOiJTdWJzY3JpYmUgdG8gb3VyIGRhaWx5IG5ld3NsZXR0ZXIiO3M6Nzoic3VjY2VzcyI7czoyODM6IlRoYW5rIHlvdSEgUGxlYXNlIGNoZWNrIHlvdXIgaW5ib3ggaW4gb3JkZXIgdG8gY29uZmlybSB5b3VyIHN1YnNjcmlwdGlvbi4gSWYgeW91IGRvbid0IHNlZSBhbiBlLW1haWwgZnJvbSB1cywgY2hlY2sgeW91ciBzcGFtIGZvbGRlci4gSWYgeW91IHN0aWxsIGhhdmVuJ3QgcmVjZWl2ZWQgYSBjb25maXJtYXRpb24gbWVzc2FnZSwgcGxlYXNlIGUtbWFpbCBmZWVkYmFja0B3ZXN0bG9uZG9uc3BvcnQuY29tIGFuZCB0ZWxsIHVzIHlvdSB3aXNoIHRvIHN1YnNjcmliZSB0byBvdXIgbmV3c2xldHRlci4iO3M6MTI6ImN1c3RvbWZpZWxkcyI7YToxOntzOjU6ImVtYWlsIjthOjE6e3M6NToibGFiZWwiO3M6NToiRW1haWwiO319fQ== Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

first_imgQPR midfielders Joey Barton and Leroy Fer and centre-back Richard Dunne return to the starting line-up against Crystal Palace.Clint Hill plays against his former club after being brought in to replace Armand Traore, who was criticised after Rangers’ Boxing Day defeat at Arsenal.Bobby Zamora also starts, while Nedum Onuoha, Jordon Mutch, Rio Ferdinand and Eduardo Vargas drop to the bench.Keith Millen, placed in caretaker charge at Palace following the sacking of Neil Warnock, makes one change, replacing Frazier Campbell with Wilfried Zaha. QPR: Green, Isla, Dunne, Caulker, Hill, Hoilett, Barton, Henry, Fer, Zamora, Austin.Subs: McCarthy, Ferdinand, Phillips, Wright-Phillips, Onuoha, Mutch, Vargas. Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Dann, Delaney, Ward, McArthur, Ledley, Jedinak, Bolasie, Puncheon, ZahaSubs: Hennessey, Hangeland, Kelly, Bannan, Thomas, Doyle, Campbell.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

first_imgGoals from Harry Kane and Son Heung-min put Tottenham in command in the derby at Stamford Bridge, where they must win in order to keep their slim title hopes alive.With the home fans desperate for their team to ensure their London rivals do not win the Premier League, Chelsea’s players responded with a high-tempo start.But they were undone 10 minutes before half-time when a neat Spurs move culminated in Erik Lamela cleverly threading the ball through to Kane, who rounded keeper Asmir Begovic before applying the finish.And after Branislav Ivanovic gave the ball away a minute before the interval, Christian Eriksen played in Son, who coolly steered the ball past Begovic.Chelsea had gone close to taking an early lead when Gary Cahill headed wide from Cesc Fabregas’ left-wing corner.Fabregas then had a chance but side-footed wide from the edge of the penalty area after being teed up by Diego Costa, who later had a powerful shot tipped over by keeper Hugo Lloris.At the other end, Danny Rose shot wide from 25 yards, Son sent a left-footed effort well wide, and Kane fired over with a long-range free-kick before eventually breaking the deadlock.There was controversy soon after Son’s goal. Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino broke up a scuffle between Willian and Rose near the touchline, and during a melee that followed Spurs’ Moussa Dembele appeared to poke Costa in the eye.Cahill and skipper John Terry returned to the heart of the Chelsea defence after recovering from injuries. Eden Hazard was dropped to the Blues benchChelsea: Begovic; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Pedro; Costa.Subs: Amelia, Baba, Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy, Oscar, Hazard, Traore.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

first_imgEmbed from Getty ImagesChelsea boss Antonio Conte was asked about a number of issues at a news conference on Friday ahead of this weekend’s derby against Tottenham. Here’s some of what the Italian had to say. On Cahill and Fabregas being suspendedEmbed from Getty Images“I know the situation. After these two red cards we are preparing very well for this game. We must be focused and try to do our best and don’t find an excuse, just focus on the game.“It can happen to receive two red cards. But a big club like Chelsea must be prepared for this situation. I am not worried about this.“For sure at this moment it is not simple. It is not easy. But we must be strong to face this situation. It is very important, don’t find excuses. It is important to continue to work and give 150% and then we can solve this situation.” On Eden HazardEmbed from Getty Images“He is improving but to be fully fit he needs time. We must have patience with him and try to do the best for him.” On Tiémoué BakayokoEmbed from Getty Images“Bakayoko is improving very well. He is not at the top physical condition but he could be in contention for the game because in this moment I don’t have other midfielders available.“This situation is not easy in this moment. The situation could force me to take a different decision. “ On Pedro’s injuryEmbed from Getty Images“Pedro today has trained with us and he felt pain in his ankle. I don’t know about Pedro, his situation is very difficult. I don’t know if he is available for the bench or not on Sunday.” On whether he regrets letting Chalobah and Loftus-Cheek leave“Another question please.” On Diego Costa publicly criticising ChelseaEmbed from Getty Images“I prefer to laugh. But I can tell you everyone who works in Chelsea knows very well what happened with him last season. I repeat, it is funny this interview. I am not interested to continue this issue.” On TottenhamEmbed from Getty Images“Tottenham is doing a great job. Pochettino is doing a great job and he created a good basis, a good foundation. We must do the same because we don’t have this foundation. We must work and improve to try to do the same.“I have a great respect for Tottenham. They are doing a fantastic job and for this reason they are challenging for the title. I want to help my club build the same solid foundation because now we don’t have this.” On revamping the squad“For this reason this season will be difficult for us. We started another process and lost a lot of strong players. I spoke about John Terry, Mikel and Ivanovic and Drogba. We lost a lot of players in the last few years.“Also it is right to know that we must have patience to build. We must work hard to improve our squad.“My task is to work with my players and work my team. This is my task and then I know that the club is working and trying to do their best in the transfer market. I have to focus on the pitch at the end of the transfer market we will see what happens. In both cases I will be very happy.” On whether David Luiz could play in midfieldEmbed from Getty Images“In the past he played in midfield. I prefer David to play like a central defender. But he is available to play in different positions and it is a pleasure to have a player like this.” On Chelsea’s current problems“I am not surprised because I knew very well that this season would be very difficult because last season we won the league and reached the final of the FA Cup and only 13 players played regularly. We were also lucky because we didn’t have injuries.“The club knows very well the situation. I was very clear. We are ready to fight with all our strength and not make excuses. We must work, work, work.” On Andreas ChristensenEmbed from Getty Images“I trust Christensen and I have already said that he is a player ready to play for Chelsea and I trust him. Last week he played a good game and showed a great personality. For sure he can improve a lot, he is a young player, but has a good prospect to be a Chelsea player.” On selecting youngsters“I used young players in different ways. Chalobah, Ake, Aina Loftus-Cheek. If I have players ready to play for Chelsea I am the first person to be happy. But young players have to grow in the right way otherwise you risk damage to the players and the club.”See also:Conte on Lampard’s future, Man City’s threat, Guardiola’s ‘mental strategy’ and ‘unlucky’ ArsenalConte on Burnley, his Italy trip, Man Utd’s title hopes, Hazard, Willian and ‘warrior’ LuizConte on Swansea, Llorente, playing Man Utd and why he’s happy to risk being sackedConte on his and Batshuayi’s future, Moses, Hazard’s injury and dealing with West HamConte on transfer policy, his future, facing Stoke City, Lukaku, and his ‘incredible’ Chelsea starConte on Hazard and Terry’s future, injury concerns and facing AllardyceConte on injuries, Costa’s future and why he’s not looking to keep players happyConte on his future, Chelsea’s two targets, possible exits and the captaincyConte on his future, Arsenal, Koscielny’s absence, Vialli’s comments and needing new signingsConte on Arsenal, futures of Hazard & Kenedy, Morata, Moses’ ban and wanting new signingsConte on Pedro, Morata, Wenger’s comments and Chelsea’s search for playersConte on Costa, youngsters, Stoke, Zouma and Chelsea’s ‘big challenge’Conte on Hazard, Guardiola, facing Man City and improving the ‘negative things’ in Bakayoko’s gameConte on Watford, Mourinho, Kante, Drinkwater and claims players are unhappy with his methods Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

first_imgARCATA >> When opposing defenses have had to game plan for Humboldt State the last two years, they have known that one of the biggest tasks they will have is to try and stop a record-setting running back and one of the best Division II has to offer.That will also be head coach Rob Smith, defensive coordinator Miles Kochevar and the Jacks’ task as well.An abnormal early-November non-conference game will not just serve as Humboldt’s final home game of the 2016 season. It will also be the place …last_img read more

first_imgThis recipe for bistro steak and Mediterranean potato medley is from www.BeefCookOff.org.2 well-trimmed boneless beef top loin (strip) steaks, cut 3/4 inch thick (6 to 8 ounces each)1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided3 teaspoons Greek seasoning blend, divided 2 large red potatoes, cut in 1/2 inch slices2 zucchini (about six inches) cut lengthwise in quarters1 cup red seedless grapes, halved1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley …last_img

first_imgLOS ANGELES – An argument flared up once again on the Warriors’ bench at the end of another game here.This time, it did not involve Kevin Durant and Draymond Green over a late-game play. This time, it was Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Jordan Bell over a late-game performance.With 4:50 remaining in the Warriors’ 130-111 victory over the Lakers on Monday, Kerr and Bell had a heated argument on the sideline. Bell declined to comment on the incident afterwards, while Kerr kept his explanation …last_img read more

first_imgFormer President Obama’s visiting Oakland for MBK Rising! — his foundation’s event devoted to helping young men of color achieve their dreams.The My Brother’s Keeper conference also features appearances by NBA star Steph Curry and music celebrity John Legend, so it’s no surprise that the group decamped Monday night to dine at International Smoke. That’s the San Francisco hot spot that Steph’s celeb wife, Ayesha, owns with restaurateur Michael Mina.“No greater privilege than to cook for this …last_img read more

first_img(CLICK HERE, if you are unable to view this photo gallery on your mobile device.) ALAMEDA — If you’re desperate for a silver lining on the Raiders’ defense, look to the secondary.The Raiders made a quick strike Monday, reportedly coming to terms with safety LaMarcus Joyner on a four-year, $42 million deal with $16.7 guaranteed that indicates the former Rams franchise player will have a major role in 2019.After finishing last in the NFL with only five interceptions in 2017, the Raiders …last_img read more

first_imgGoing forward Scott St. John said he wants to see his Panthers adopt a bit more of a “killer instinct” and put teams away early, especially when his ace Kyler Carr delivers a performance like he did on Tuesday night in McKinleyville High’s 9-0 win over visiting Del Norte in what was the Big 5 Conference opener for both teams.McKinleyville High’s Carr pitched a complete-game 2-hitter en route to a 9-0 victory, holding Del Norte at bay through four scoreless innings — and then his offense opened …last_img read more

first_imgSAN JOSE — Joe Pavelski meets with the Dallas Stars, who seem ready to take the next step after nearly beating the eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in the second round of the playoffs.Pavelski is then seen in Tampa Bay, looking comfortable as he talks with Lightning general manager Julien Brisebois and coach Jon Cooper, who, no doubt, want to find that missing ingredient after they were swept in the first round.The possibility of Pavelski leaving San Jose for another franchise …last_img read more

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — The A’s split this two-game start to the Bay Bridge series with a Matt Chapman-powered 9-5 win over the Giants on Wednesday afternoon.Homer Bailey had started two games on the road (against Houston and the Chicago Cubs) and allowed 16 runs between them. In three home starts he’d allowed just seven earned runs.Oracle Park provided a strange gray area, an away game with a unique kind of home-field feel. He certainly pitched like he had most home games with the A’s, holding the …last_img read more

first_imgIt was a fall day in Elk Grove, the suburban town 20 minutes of Sacramento, and Marquese Chriss was going long.The newest Warrior was in eighth grade and playing in a game for the middle school football team. He was a promising tight end. Fast but also long, gangly. Chriss ran a deep route, went up high and sprawled out for the catch but landed awkwardly on his shoulder. The x-ray evidence was not positive: fractured collarbone.Up until that day, all Chriss had wanted to do was play …last_img read more

first_imgA liger, that’s what.  No kidding: you get a big cat with a mane and faint stripes that likes to play in the water.  National Geographic News has a special article, with photos, about ligers.This is offered without much comment, just for those who want to learn about something unusual in the animal kingdom, and what it means about species, taxonomy, genetics, etc.  A mule is another example of this kind of thing.    Some of our readers pointed out a statement in the article that qualifies for nomination as Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week: “Lion-tiger mating occurs in captivity.  But it does not happen in the wild, probably for the same reason humans do not breed with gorillas or chimps.”  Don’t visualize that, now; is NG suggesting that bestiality is wrong only on pragmatic grounds?  Don’t tell the Koreans or they will want to experiment with this.  Pretty soon there will be debates about humilla rights.  Better keep certain people out of the primate cages in the San Francisco Zoo.  Aside from ethical amorality, NG seems to be assuming, without warrant, that such a thing is even biologically possible, or on the same level as liger or mule hybridization.  It makes an implicit Darwinistic assumption that the line between humans and chimps is blurry.    The next paragraph mentions a biological reason that is not helpful for Charlie’s little story: “‘Crossing the species line’ does not generally occur in the wild, because ‘it would result in diminished fitness of the offspring,’ said Ronald Tilson, director of conservation at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley.”  Well, there you have it.  Fitness is maintained by living things reproducing after their kind.  Even staunch creationists accept diversification within created kinds.  A liger represents a blending of pre-existing characteristics, not the origination of new ones.  Turn ligers loose in the wild and they would probably revert to the parent forms, or go extinct.  There is enough genetic variability within the Felidae, however, to account for a fair amount of the diversity seen in today’s cat populations since the creation.  Habitat differences can sort out characters, creationists agree.  They just deny that environments make cats “emerge” from mythological precats or protopussies.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgHow does an evolutionist explain the perception that (within their timeline), no multicellular animals emerged for two billion years after the origin of life?  Jonathan Wells has compared this to walking down a football field and encountering nothing but single cells till the 60 yard line, then boom! – all the animal phyla with their complex body plans suddenly appear in one step.  A new plot was “discovered” by researchers at UC Riverside: the microbes were waiting for shipments of oxygen and molybdenum to arrive.    Science Daily reported how Tim Lyons and his research buddies measured oxygen and molybdenum traces in black shales thought to correspond to the time before the Cambrian explosion.  The idea is that “Molybdenum is a key micronutrient for life and serves as a proxy for oceanic and atmospheric oxygen amounts.”    Measuring elements in rocks is one thing, but the authors assumed that the mere presence of these two elements in greater amounts was sufficient to supercharge evolution.  Here are some examples from the press release, titled “Reason For Almost Two Billion Year Delay In Animal Evolution On Earth Discovered.” One gets the distinct impression that they believe evolution was poised like a chained racehorse, held back by a deficiency of two elements; otherwise, it surely would have exploded into complex forms much earlier.  Is this what the original paper in Nature claimed?1  Yes, but with a lot less fanfare and confidence: 1.  Scott, Lyons et al, “Tracing the stepwise oxygenation of the Proterozoic ocean,” Nature 452, 456-459 (27 March 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature06811.Well, what do you know? (always a good question for a scientist).  They just found another building block of lie (03/19/2008).  Better check and see if Enceladus received its molybdenum shipment yet (03/26/2008 commentary).    You will understand science reporting about evolution these days when you memorize the Darwin Party M.O. (and that’s not the chemical symbol for molybdenum here, but modus operandi).  A review.• Step 1: Assume evolution.• Step 2: Observe a fact.• Step 3: Make up a story to show how the fact might fit in with the assumption of evolution.Tomorrow’s entry will describe another part of the process:• Step 4: Attack, ridicule, hate, persecute and destroy anyone who questions the Darwin Party orthodoxy.(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The oxidation state of the Proterozoic ocean between these two steps and the timing of deep-ocean oxygenation have important implications for the evolutionary course of life on Earth but remain poorly known.Subsequent expansion of sulphidic conditions after about 1,800 Myr ago maintained a mid-Proterozoic molybdenum reservoir below 20 per cent of the modern inventory, which in turn may have acted as a nutrient feedback limiting the spatiotemporal distribution of euxinic (sulphidic) bottom waters and perhaps the evolutionary and ecological expansion of eukaryotic organisms.These results and our estimates for the size of the oceanic reservoir are consistent with the hypothesis that the drawdown of Mo into sulphidic environments may have worked to restrict the occurrence and the evolutionary path of eukaryotes through the bioinorganic bridge linking Mo to N bioavailability.Our interpretation of Mo cycling in the Late Neoproterozoic suggests that modern redox and nutrient cycles were well established by 551 Myr, shortly after the initial oxidation of the deep ocean, and that the appearance of the first large animals followed not only the oxidation of the deep ocean but also the establishment of modern biogeochemical cycles. Suspecting that deficiencies in oxygen and molybdenum might explain this evolutionary lag…“These molybdenum depletions may have retarded the development of complex life such as animals for almost two billion years of Earth history,” Lyons said.  “The amount of molybdenum in the ocean probably played a major role in the development of early life.  As in the case of iron today, molybdenum can be thought of as a life-affirming micronutrient that regulates the biological cycling of nitrogen in the ocean.” “These steps in oxygenation are what gave rise ultimately to the first animals almost 600 million years ago — just the last tenth or so of Earth history.”For animal life to commence, survive and eventually expand on Earth, a threshold amount of oxygen — estimated to be on the order of 1 to 10 percent of present atmospheric levels of oxygen — was needed.“By tracking molybdenum in shales rich in organic matter, we found the deep ocean remained oxygen- and molybdenum-deficient after the first step.  This condition may have had a negative impact on the evolution of early eukaryotes, our single-celled ancestors. [Clinton Scott, grad student]“So one question is: Did this global glaciation [Snowball Earth] play a role in the increasing abundance of oxygen which, in turn, enabled the evolution of animals?” [Scott]last_img read more

first_imgIf the brain evolved, wouldn’t anything the mind does be determined by forces beyond one’s control?Choose to disbelieve in determinism: “Humans are wired for prejudice but that doesn’t have to be the end of the story,” Caitlin Millett writes in The Conversation.  A neuroscientist doctoral candidate at Penn State, Millett begins by telling her readers that their brains evolved:Humans are highly social creatures. Our brains have evolved to allow us to survive and thrive in complex social environments. Accordingly, the behaviors and emotions that help us navigate our social sphere are entrenched in networks of neurons within our brains.Yet at the end of her article, she preaches that we need to overcome our evolution by the power of free will:In today’s world people are more connected than ever – from social media to Skype, to the never-ending news cycle – people are exposed to increasing diversity. Due to these advances, we as a global community are also faced with the knowledge that prejudice-based discrimination and violence still exist. It’s become a human imperative to transcend divisive impulses which no longer serve our survival. Neuroscience has started to educate us about innate human drives. It’s now up to all of us how to use this information.This implies that we have an imperative (a command) to fight our evolution, and choose how to use the information that evolutionary neuroscience has revealed. Does it make sense to fight one’s own evolution? How does a being under the power of natural selection transcend one’s impulses?Fight your bias: Conservatives might be glad to finally find one admission that bias applies to both sides of the political aisle, but Science Daily assumes everyone is capable of recognizing their bias and overcoming it. “Demonizing whole groups of people, saying that they are inherently incapable of understanding science, is not only false, it is not an effective communication strategy,” R. Kelly Garrett, a communications professor at Ohio State, said. “Everyone can be biased. Calling people names is not a solution.” This indicates how differently professors in the humanities and the sciences can view the mind, responsibility, and free will.Convince, don’t fight: Along the same lines, Bliuc and McGarty in The Conversation advise global-warming believers (like themselves) not to bash global-warming skeptics.  Their headline, “Overcoming the social barriers to climate consensus,” reveals that they support the human-caused global warming position. Yet the authors preach peace. “It can be tempting to think that people who disagree with you are mad, bad or simply stupid,” they say. “However, not only are such judgements usually wrong, but telling people that they are stupid is unlikely to convince them of the merit of your own view.” Their emphasis on social solutions to the political divide presupposes free will.The downside of political coercion: The bitter fruit of treating a populace like robots to be manipulated can be seen in China’s backtracking on their decades-long “one-child policy.” Seeing that they have created a gender imbalance that threatens social unrest and other unintended consequences, they are now attempting to fix it by mandating a “two-child policy.” But it’s generating more unrest, Medical Xpress reports. A whole generation has grown up looking down on parents with more than one child, and seeing them severely punished; can they switch gears so easily? Outsiders are warning the leaders that a two-child policy cannot be forced on Chinese parents. In an op-ed for a leading Communist Party newspaper, Liu Zhun advised, “It is better to carry forward the new policy through encouragement and incentives, which will be more easily accepted by the people.”That last story is tragic, but it illustrates the stark contrast between an evolution-based communist society and a creation-based free society. Communists built their system on Darwinian biology. Accordingly, they treated their people as animals to be manipulated. The document that launched America’s free society rests its propositions on the self-evident truth that we are endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights. Rights imply responsibilities, and responsibilities imply free will. A government that mandates a “one-child policy” runs roughshod over the rights of their people; is anyone surprised when “unintended consequences” follow?John Stossel’s weekly TV program this week focuses on the differences between communism and capitalism. Stossel, a libertarian who believes in evolution, nevertheless argues for freedom on pragmatic grounds; freedom is good because it works. Government coercion brings waste, low quality and suffering. This shows that he really doesn’t believe in evolution; else why create a show trying to convince people to think and use reason?All of these articles presuppose free will. If they didn’t why would a neuroscientist choose to write about the brain and tell readers how they should overcome prejudice? Why would  supporters of a political persuasion choose to write about how to convince (not coerce or manipulate) others of the correctness of their views? Why should a communist write an op-ed to encourage leaders to switch from mandates to incentives?These articles show that determinism is self-refuting. We all know our own consciousness. We all know the influences that tempt us, but understand that we have the freedom to choose against temptation and do the right thing.(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgHow will big bang theorists deal with the latest news?First there was the Great Wall. Then there was the Sloan Great Wall, and a supercluster system dubbed Laniakea. “But the newly spotted BOSS Great Wall, with a total mass perhaps 10,000 times as great as the Milky Way, is two-thirds bigger again than either of them,” New Scientist reports today about a billion-light-year galactic “wall” that may be the largest object observed in the cosmos so far.Galaxy superclusters also have competition for the “biggest known object” crown. Some distant light sources like quasars or gamma ray bursts seem to be clustered together in certain regions of the sky. If they are truly connected, they belong to structures so large that current cosmological theories can’t explain them.To be fair, the classification is subjective. Some astronomers think the material in the structures are not physically linked. If nothing else, though, they illustrate the lumpiness problem in cosmology. The universe is not a smooth sea of particles as theory would predict. Instead, “On the grandest scales, the universe resembles a cosmic web of matter surrounding empty voids – and these walls are the thickest threads.”Far OutPeering deep into space, a new “cosmic distance record” was set by the Hubble Space Telescope, reports the BBC News. A galaxy with redshift z=11.1 has been observed. It’s called GN-z11. Its high redshift would put its origin 13.4 billion years before the present in standard cosmology, a mere 400 million years after the big bang. The very first stars might become observable. “They are probably another 200 million light-years beyond even GN-z11.”Dr Oesch and colleagues say GN-z11 is one-25th the size of the Milky Way with just 1% of our galaxy’s mass in stars.“The surprising thing is how bright it is (for what it represents), and it’s growing really fast, producing stars at a much faster rate,” said the Yale astronomer.“So, it’s challenging some of our models, but it’s showing galaxy build-up was well under way early on in the Universe, and it’s a great preview for [the] James Webb [Space Telescope], which will be pushing even deeper to see the progenitors of this galaxy.”The James Webb Telescope may be able to see redshifts between 15 and 30, indicating objects only 100 to 250 million years after the big bang. Science Daily explains where GN-z11 needs to fit in current theory:“The previous record-holder was seen in the middle of the epoch when starlight from primordial galaxies was beginning to heat and lift a fog of cold, hydrogen gas,” explains co-author Rychard Bouwens from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. “This transitional period is known as the reionisation era. GN-z11 is observed 150 million years earlier, near the very beginning of this transition in the evolution of the Universe.”A galaxy of stars this mature so close to the beginning of the universe was not predicted by big bangers, Space.com says:However, the discovery also raises many new questions as the existence of such a bright and large galaxy is not predicted by theory. “It’s amazing that a galaxy so massive existed only 200 million to 300 million years after the very first stars started to form. It takes really fast growth, producing stars at a huge rate, to have formed a galaxy that is a billion solar masses so soon,” explains Garth Illingworth of the University of California, Santa Cruz.Marijn Franx, a member of the team from the University of Leiden highlights: “The discovery of GN-z11 was a great surprise to us, as our earlier work had suggested that such bright galaxies should not exist so early in the Universe.” His colleague Ivo Labbe adds: “The discovery of GN-z11 showed us that our knowledge about the early Universe is still very restricted. How GN-z11 was created remains somewhat of a mystery for now. Probably we are seeing the first generations of stars forming around black holes.”If this trend continues, the James Webb telescope may push theory to the breaking point after it launches in 2018.A piece on PhysOrg states, “The early universe consisted almost entirely of hydrogen atoms, but at some point – probably about 500 million years after the Big Bang – the first stars formed.” Something is dreadfully wrong here. One cannot have a galaxy turning up 100 million years earlier than the first stars. Maybe the new physics theory announced by PhysOrg will rewrite the textbooks. Readers may wish to see why a Caltech astronomer found something “frustrating, but interesting” about the first galaxies. “For a while we were convinced that we were missing something important,” he said on PhysOrg, but then he and his colleagues were “shocked” when theory matched his prediction. It must be a rare occurrence.Other cosmologists, like those on Science Daily, will continue to speak glibly about the leading theory that posits “a region of space the size of a single proton vastly expanded to form the beginnings of our universe” in a fraction of a second. Somehow, the article says, the universe learned how to make French onion soup from that sudden explosive beginning.Let’s recap. The big bangers did not predict this galaxy or the BOSS Great Wall. They were amazed. It was a great surprise. The GN-z11 galaxy should not exist, but it does. The big bangers admit that their knowledge about the early Universe is still very restricted, after decades of research. Such objects are a mystery to them. Their cosmological theories cannot explain them. And yet they get to keep their jobs? Sounds like government workers. (Visited 102 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgIt’s hard to say this delicately, but if left-leaning evolutionists really believe these things, they are certifiably wacko.You know something is nutty when it cannot possibly be true. Any statement that is self-refuting, for instance, is forever false by simple logic. No amount of evidence or argument can change that. Another example is believing contradictory things. Paranoid delusions are a third example of insanity. Finally, rabid hate is a clue something is mentally off. In the following news reports, we won’t claim the believers are stupid; they are obviously not, and some have PhDs. But look at the claims and decide for yourself whether they can hold up to logic or sound evidence.Episode 1: The MatrixDo Brexit and Trump show that we’re living in a computer simulation? (The Conversation). Michael Frazer lists himself as a “Lecturer in Political and Social Theory, University of East Anglia.” In this piece on the popular science dialogue website, he is so incredulous over Trump’s victory and the Brexit vote, he appears to have lost his rational coherence. To him, this is evidence the universe is not real, but a simulation being run by space aliens. He even thinks he knows their moral sense:Recent political events have turned the world upside down. The UK voting for Brexit and the US electing Donald Trump as president were unthinkable 18 months ago. In fact, they’re so extraordinary that some have questioned whether they might not be an indication that we’re actually living in some kind of computer simulation or alien experiment.These unexpected events could be experiments to see how our political systems cope under stress. Or they could be cruel jokes made at our expense by our alien zookeepers. Or maybe they’re just glitches in the system that were never meant to happen. Perhaps the recent mix-up at the Oscars or the unlikely victories of Leicester City in the English Premier League or the New England Patriots in the Superbowl are similar glitches.The problem with using these difficult political events as evidence that our world is a simulation is how unethical such a scenario would be. If there really were a robot or alien power that was intelligent enough to control all our lives in this way, there’s a good chance they’d have developed the moral sense not to do so.Could he possibly know any of this? Some might defend Frazer on the grounds that he is only exploring possibilities. But he could save himself a lot of work by recognizing that the whole idea of arguing for a simulation is self-refuting. If we’re in a simulation, everything is determined. The program would be making him write his opinion on The Conversation. Why not save a step and become a solipsist? The aliens might have his brain in a vat, with electrodes controlling everything he thinks is happening. Reality is unreal. The only way Frazer could step outside of the trap would be to takeon the Yoda Complex, a form of mental self-delusion. It appears that his own left-leaning proclivities are driving him mad at the “unthinkable” political outcomes of recent days. Why are they so unthinkable? Why are they stressful? Why are they a cruel joke? These are marks of a disturbed mind, perhaps a mind accustomed to living in an echo chamber and having to step outside for the first time.Episode II: Intelligent Design is Pseudoscience, but Scientifically UsefulBy anyone’s estimation, the Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb, PhD, is a smart guy. He’s also willing to think outside the box— which is good (see Evolution News 11/04/16, for Loeb’s thoughtful musings on the non-exceptionalism of modern science). His latest outside-the-box venture was published with his Harvard colleague Manasvi Lingam in the Astrophysical Journal, where the two speculate that the fast radio bursts that have baffled astronomers recently (see 2/28/17) might have a non-physical explanation: they might be intentional works of space aliens driving solar-sail spacecraft with energy. SETI, of course, is nothing new, but we will see strange contradictions about this in a moment. His thesis on the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics website explains:The search for extraterrestrial intelligence has looked for many different signs of alien life, from radio broadcasts to laser flashes, without success. However, newly published research suggests that mysterious phenomena called fast radio bursts could be evidence of advanced alien technology. Specifically, these bursts might be leakage from planet-sized transmitters powering interstellar probes in distant galaxies.“Fast radio bursts are exceedingly bright given their short duration and origin at great distances, and we haven’t identified a possible natural source with any confidence,” said theorist Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “An artificial origin is worth contemplating and checking.”What he and his colleague Manasvi Lingam are saying, essentially, is that a design inference might be justified in this case; at least, it’s worth considering. The Discovery Institute, naturally, latched onto this as a welcome development. Like most secular astronomers these days, Loeb probably shuns intelligent design. But here, he is finding a type of design filter useful. That’s the crazy part: holding to opposite viewpoints simultaneously. And he’s not alone: the news media, sharing the same secular worldview, thought his reasoning was perfectly legitimate. None of them found the contradiction in their worldview:Could Mysterious Cosmic Light Flashes Be Powering Alien Spacecraft? (Mike Wall on Space.com)Could fast radio bursts really be powering alien space ships? (New Scientist)Mike Wall writes thoughtfully,Lingam and Loeb acknowledge the speculative nature of the study. They aren’t claiming that FRBs are indeed caused byaliens; rather, they’re saying that this hypothesis is worthy of consideration.“Science isn’t a matter of belief; it’s a matter of evidence,” Loeb said. “Deciding what’s likely ahead of time limits the possibilities. It’s worth putting ideas out there and letting the data be the judge.”Such lines could have been written by Paul Nelson or any other ID advocate. So that’s the rub; to secularists, intelligent design theory is dangerous and pseudoscientific, except when it’s not.Episode III: Nothing Is SomethingStephen Hawking is smart, right? Sure; he holds the chair of mathematics at Cambridge that Isaac Newton held. But in a case of trying to lift oneself up into the air by one’s own bootstraps, Dr. Hawking teaches that the universe created itself from nothing – and since he is smart, many in Big Media repeat it, and think it’s a profound discovery.  A widely-repeated quote from Hawking’s new book The Grand Design (which is about anything but a designer, since Hawking is an atheist), states: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” On ID the Future, host Jay Richards recalls a quote from the LA Times review of the book where the reporter says, “This is something that must be believed but not understood.” Dr. John Lennox from Oxford replies with a chuckle, “I think I would put it more strongly than that; it can’t be understood because it is self-contradictory.”Lennox points out at least three self-contradictory propositions in Hawking’s ideas. The first and obvious one is that gravity is not nothing; “a law of gravity without gravity would be meaningless.” Next is Hawking’s claim that the universe made itself from nothing (also proposed by Caltech astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss in his book, A Universe from Nothing). The phrase “X created Y” makes sense, Lennox explains, because it implies the pre-existence of X to explain the existence of Y. But to say “X created X” is irrational, because it presupposes the existence X to explain the existence of X. So if you set X equal to “the universe,” Lennox quips, it shows that “nonsense remains nonsense even if  famous scientists talk it.”The third contradiction is Hawking’s page-one claim that “Philosophy is dead.” But then, Hawking proceeds to write a book on philosophy! Lennox jokes that Hawking and his co-author Leonard Mlodinow “prove that as far they’re concerned, philosophy very much is dead.” In a rhetorical coup, Lennox sheds some heavenly light on the hellish insanity of holding to contradictory ideas. Hawking had ridiculed religion in an interview for The Guardian, saying, “Heaven is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” Lennox was asked to respond in The Daily Mail, “Well, if you want a one-liner at that level,” he told the reporter, “atheism is a fairy story for people afraid of the light.”Richards notes that the average person reading Hawking’s statement about the universe creating itself would think, ‘that doesn’t make any sense.’ But there’s something about the stature or the aura around Stephen Hawking, he says, that reasonable people give him a free pass.Brains and reputation cannot rescue nonsense. If something is self-contradictory, there is no hope for it, no matter who says it.We’ll have examples of contradictory evolutionary opinions in a future post – statements that are ridiculously implausible, or that violate evolutionary theory’s own fundamental principles.We should all strive to have coherent belief systems. We should listen to those who disagree with us, and consider their views fairly. We should follow the evidence where it leads. Not doing so is crazy.(Visited 168 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgStressed? Depressed? Take a forest bath. Another major study shows that outdoor exposure is good for the body and mind.A meta-study (a study of studies) involving 290 million people in 20 countries has concluded that “Living close to nature and spending time outside has significant and wide-ranging health benefits.” Science Daily announces, “It’s official — spending time outside is good for you.”Researchers at the University of East Anglia found strong confirmation in 140 studies of what is intuitively obvious: we feel better when we can see trees and sky. The benefits go deeper than intuition:A new report published today reveals that exposure to greenspace reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure….‘Green space’ was defined as open, undeveloped land with natural vegetation as well as urban greenspaces, which included urban parks and street greenery.The team analysed how the health of people with little access to green spaces compared to that of people with the highest amounts of exposure.“We found that spending time in, or living close to, natural green spaces is associated with diverse and significant health benefits. It reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and preterm birth, and increases sleep duration.“People living closer to nature also had reduced diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and stress. In fact, one of the really interesting things we found is that exposure to greenspace significantly reduces people’s levels of salivary cortisol — a physiological marker of stress.Considering how much work time is lost due to stress, depression and anxiety, time outside could be just what the doctor ordered. The Japanese, once again, seem to be ahead of the Europeans on this point.“Forest bathing is already really popular as a therapy in Japan — with participants spending time in the forest either sitting or lying down, or just walking around. Our study shows that perhaps they have the right idea!”But what causes the benefits? Is it physical activity? Is it socializing? It’s probably those, and more: it gives helpful bacteria a chance to hitch a ride on you! Those, in turn, get your immune system something to practice on.Meanwhile, exposure to a diverse variety of bacteria present in natural areas may also have benefits for the immune system and reduce inflammation.“Much of the research from Japan suggests that phytoncides — organic compounds with antibacterial properties — released by trees could explain the health-boosting properties of forest bathing.”The findings reinforce the idea that human beings were made for outdoor life. We obviously shouldn’t be outside in pouring rain, or on smoky, smoggy days. But life in front of unnatural computer screens in an office cubicle with processed air can take its toll. Wise managers, healthcare professionals and city planners should take this human need for outdoor exposure into account.The research team hope that their findings will prompt doctors and other healthcare professionals to recommend that patients spend more time in greenspace and natural areas.Twohig-Bennett said: “We hope that this research will inspire people to get outside more and feel the health benefits for themselves. Hopefully our results will encourage policymakers and town planners to invest in the creation, regeneration, and maintenance of parks and greenspaces, particularly in urban residential areas and deprived communities that could benefit the most.“This ought to be one subject both creationists and evolutionists can agree on.Creationists can get a laugh over atheist Carl Sagan’s lapse into worship when he said, “It makes sense for us to revere the trees, for we are their children.” OK, Carl; plant an acorn and see if a baby grows from it. Instead, the Bible teaches that God put our first parents not in a city, but in a garden. The future city of God will have lots of open greenspace: rivers, too:Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. This is the real, original created Tree of Life, not Darwin’s fake. Do you see a hint that both Eden and the future New Earth will allow humans to take risks? Why would God make provision for healing with leaves of trees? This suggests that heaven will be adventurous! Don’t think God wants his creatures to be bored, when He outfitted us with all kinds of physical capabilities and minds that soar with high aspirations. The apostle John is watching this vision from a “high mountain,” he says in (21:10). Can’t you envision it festooned with forests and all kinds of living creatures? Who will be first to the top? The gates of the New Jerusalem are open day and night, so we can enjoy all kinds of amazing environments on an unfallen Earth.Our sister site CreationSafaris.com includes many resources to help you get some AWE in your life: Adventure, Worship and Education in the great outdoors! (Visited 295 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgA new documentary from the Discovery Institute exposes what evolutionists are trying to cover up: “scientific racism” by Darwinians.The documentary “Human Zoos,” written and directed by Dr John West of the Discovery Institute, is now available on Amazon Prime for viewing. See the trailer here.In his new book Evolution’s Blunders Frauds and Forgeries, Jerry Bergman debunks the fraudulent belief that facial angle was an indicator of intelligence.The film speaks for itself, but perhaps the most important message is how practically the entire scientific establishment, including leading anthropologists from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, the University of Ohio, the Smithsonian were behind “scientific racism.” They  supported not only eugenics, but also rationalized the public display of non-white humans in zoos. The story of Ota Benga, an African pygmy, is given prominent coverage.Displays of human “missing links” were not only PT-Barnum-style stunts, but serious attempts by leading scientists to help the public “understand” human evolution. Now, these same institutions, including the Bronx Zoo and the American Museum of Natural History, are trying to whitewash what happened there. They refused to be interviewed for this film or even answer questions, and no indication of their misdeeds can be found in their public facade. A traveling display about Darwin from the museum, in fact, mentions nothing about scientific racism, except to call “social Darwinism” a corruption of Darwin’s ideas. And yet almost all the leading evolutionary scientists of the day in the early 1900’s were guilty of advancing eugenics and racism.To show how important this issue remains, the film gives examples of school boards refusing to allow curricula to even mention the dark side of Darwinism, including scientific racism and eugenics. They want a sanitized Darwin with a halo, so that evolution gets the distinction of being the only scientific view recognized by today’s “consensus.”The film shows how Christians were the primary ones denouncing these atrocities, arguing that all men are created equal and made in the image of God.Watch Human Zoos now, and get others to watch it. Maybe the Darwinian history of racism will be its undoing. If this history is forgotten, the evil root of Darwinism, which ranks people by their “fitness” to society, will rear its ugly head in other, more pernicious ways. Some would argue that it already has (see October 9 entry).Darwinians had a long history of ‘scientific racism’ and white supremacy.For more on Ota Benga and the racism of the 20th century Darwinists, read Jerry Bergman’s alarmingi book, The Darwin Effect. (Visited 913 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgFor those trained to think in millions of years, these geological processes should sound surprising.Why should geological change take a long time? We know from experience that some things don’t change during our lifetimes: mountain ranges we’ve seen that look the same since we grew up, beaches we have visited for decades, national parks and the like. Some earth formations have not changed since ancient times, we know from ruins and from written documents. This does not mean that the formation of these structures had to be slow and gradual. Every once in awhile, scientists report processes that are extremely rapid—some occurring within a day. Other processes are hard to imagine taking millions of years. Take a look at these examples:UNDERWATER VOLCANOVast ‘pumice raft’ found drifting through Pacific Ocean (BBC News). Watch the video clip in this article. A couple sailing their boat from Australia to Fiji found themselves surrounded by rocks: floating pumice, enough to cover 20,000 football fields. They couldn’t even see the water. It “rocked” their boat, making a grinding sound. What happened? A volcano had erupted on the sea floor, releasing vast quantities of the stuff. It looked like the whole sea surface had turned to land. It didn’t, of course; the pumice will eventually disperse and sink.On the bright side, if the pumice raft floats in the right direction, it might resupply the Great Barrier Reef with surface material on which new algae and coral can grow, Live Science says. Over the last 3 years, the famous reef has suffered the most catastrophic “bleaching” ever seen. Since pumice can carry barnacles and corals, it could “restock” the reef, scientists say.Pumice rafts are formed when an underwater volcano erupts, releasing large chunks of lava that are full of holes and cavities,  making it easy for the raft to float, according to the Earth Observatory…Pumice rafts are often teeming with sea life, such as new barnacles and corals, Scott Bryan, a professor of geology and geochemistry at Queensland University of Technology, told CNN. Bryan reported in a 2012 study that these rocky rafts can be a way to redistribute life across the ocean.If Bryan is correct with this recent idea, sea life could be distributed worldwide in short order. It would not take millions of years, because underwater volcanoes are not that rare. A particularly large eruption was detected in 2018 (see 17 Jan 2018).The Dead Sea has been shrinking about a meter per year. The shores now have deep gullies and sinkholes. Photo: DFCTHE DEAD SEAWhy Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea? (Live Science). Salt crystals are precipitating at a rapid rate in the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth (1,300 feet below sea level), and collecting on the bottom. Geologists have figured out what makes the salt “snow” downward in the vast salt lake. It’s a process unique to the Dead Sea. Mindy Waisberger explains:A mysterious underwater “snowfall” of salt is falling and accumulating far below the surface of the Dead Sea.For decades the already-salty Dead Sea has been slowly getting saltier as its fresh water steadily evaporates. And the behavior of some of this excess salt seems to defy the laws of physics. As expected, plenty of salt collects near the sea’s surface, buoyed up by cooler water below. But a steady supply of salt also inexplicably travels steadily downward, piling up at the sea bottom. Recently, scientists cracked this long-standing mystery. They found that almost undetectable disturbances in the upper layers of water create so-called salt fingers that extend into the cool water, carrying salt deeper than it would normally be expected to go.One has to ask how long this process could go on. The Dead Sea has “been around for thousands of years,” the article mentions (interestingly, not “millions”). With evaporation increasing, why is it not a dry hard pan of salt by now?“Together these small fingers generate a tremendous amount of salt flux,” lead study author Raphael Ouillon, a UCSB mechanical engineer, said in a statement.Over decades, the salty snow in the Dead Sea has accumulated significantly, Meiburg said.“These deposits are about 4 meters [13 feet] thick today, and their thickness is growing at a rate of about 10 centimeters [4 inches] per year,” he said in the email to Live Science.A simple calculation shows the current salt layer could accumulate in just 400 years, although the rate of accumulation might not be linear. But even if it were 100 times slower, it would fall short of one million years, let alone billions. The article claims that other very thick salt deposits on earth might have been built this way. But without being able to observe those forming, that’s only a guess. Other hypotheses can explain vast salt deposits by different, more rapid processes than evaporation.GEOTHERMAL REVISIONSYellowstone’s newest thermal area: An up-close and personal visit! (USGS). Geologists found a new thermal area emerging within one year. The backcountry thermal area killed trees and bleached the soil white. Some parts became so hot they turned the bottoms of fallen trees into charcoal.There was no water discharging from the new thermal area, but there was an arch-shaped core of warm ground, 70-80°C at the surface, that was covered in fallen trees. This zone was surrounded by cooler ground that was also littered with recently fallen trees. Within the warmest area, there were steam emissions from several points, and sulfur crystals lined some of the steaming areas. The ground temperature in these fumaroles was 92°C (198°F)—the boiling temperature at that elevation (about 8000 feet or 2500 meters). Throughout this zone, just 5-10 cm below the surface, the temperatures were consistently boiling.While the Yellowstone caldera is known for its dynamic changes, the scientists were a bit surprised: “These observations raise many questions about the formation and evolution of the thermal area,” they say. Some features, like the large geyser cones, were once thought to take tens of thousands of years or more to form. T. Scott Bryan, author of The Geysers of Yellowstone (4th ed. 2008), shows how a correction to that dating became necessary. Discussing Castle Geyser, which has one of the largest cones, he says,Sign at Giant Geyser with its 12-foot cone says thousands of years, not millions. Photo by DFC, 2015.Castle’s large cone suggests a great age, but that appearance might be deceiving. Age dating of the broad geyserite mound beneath the cone, using a dating process only recently developed in New Zealand, implies that the cone itself formed in not more than 10,400 years and likely in less than 8,800 years. (page 59)That’s stated as an upper limit. It is certainly conceivable that the cone is actually younger. Heightened splashing activity after the last eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano could  be expected to have built the cone faster. That could also be true of the other large cones, like White Dome and Lone Star, which splash water above their rims frequently. One might even ask why there are so many frequently-erupting geysers with small cones if they have existed for tens or hundreds of thousands of years.ROCKFALLHiker captures massive rockfall that injured three in Zion (KSTU, Salt Lake City). Last Saturday, a huge rockfall in Zion National Park was caught on video by someone a safe distance away. It injured three, almost covered a bus, and carpeted much of the valley with dust and sand. We reported another big one in Zion just three years ago (8 Nov 2016). Could the canyon walls endure hundreds of millions of years?OTHER RAPID PROCESSESIn addition to those listed above, which surprised researchers, consider rapid changes that can occur through:EarthquakesVolcanoesTsunamisFloodsMeteorsKimberlites (see 19 Sept 2012)Tectonic rifts (see 9 Dec 2005)Indeed, the question of age could be inverted: given how quickly some formations have been observed to change, how could other formations be as old as claimed?Don Batten at Creation Ministries International has put together a handy list, “Age of the earth: 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe” at the convenient address, creation.com/age-of-the-earth. Scan over this list and be amazed at how much evidence, from fields as diverse as astronomy, geology, biology, genetics, and anthropology dispute the moyboy mindset. If even a tenth of those 101 evidences were proved indisputable by skeptics, it would bring Darwin’s long ages crashing down, along with the evolutionary story that needs the time. Batten sources each one with previous CMI articles that are referenced with mostly secular sources. People need some deprogramming from the myths evolutionists have taught in schools and national parks. (Visited 665 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_img23 May 2003Housing Minister Brigitte Mabandla announced during the department’s budget speech in Parliament this week that the government has raised the subsidy levels for people who qualify for low-cost houses.“We have decided to adjust the subsidy grant on an annual basis to ensure that the subsidy is not eroded by the effects of inflation,” said Mabandla.The minister said the government subsidy for people earning up to R1 500 per month would be increased 13.8% or R2 800, from R20 300 to R23 100.Those earning from R1 501 to R2 500 will see their subsidies increased by 11.8%, from R12 700 to R14 200.Mabandla said there would also be an R800 increase from R7 000 to R7 800 for people who fell within the income bracket of R2 501 to R3 500.She said the indigent, who included the aged, disabled and the infirm, would have their subsidy increased from R22 800 to R25 580, provided they earned no more than R800 per month.The consolidation subsidy for those earning up to R1 500 rises from R10 900 to R12 521 and for indigents from R13 400 to R15 000, representing increases of 14.8% and 11.9% respectively.Mabandla added that her department was investigating a possible raising of the income limit for the highest subsidy amount, from R1 500 per month to R1 794.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

first_img19 August 2004Roland Schoeman won a second medal for South Africa in the swimming pool at the Athens Olympics, picking up silver in the men’s 100 metres freestyle. It was oh so close too, as Dutch star Pieter van den Hoogenband successfully defended his title in 48.17 seconds to Schoeman’s 48.23.It was a sensational performance from the South African star, previously regarded as a 50 metres specialist. He was well backed up by close friend Ryk Neethling, who swam 48.63 to finish just outside of the medals in fourth spot, with Australia’s Ian Thorpe adding a bronze to his already sizeable collection of Olympic medals. The second and fourth place finishes for the two South Africans underlined the country’s strength in the event – clear for all to see in Sunday’s world record performance in the four-by-100 freestyle relay.“You spend your whole life dreaming of getting to the Olympics, let alone winning gold and silver”, Schoeman said after the race. “Some people may say I lost gold, but I won silver.” SA swimmers stun the world Parkin misses outTerence Parkin won silver in the 200 metres breaststroke at the Sydney Games, but he won’t have a shot at repeating that result in Athens. Swimming in the semi-finals, Parkin managed only a seventh-place finish in his heat, in a time of 2:14.12. His silver medal winning time four years ago was 2:12.50.Gerhard Zandberg swam in the semi-finals of the men’s 100 metres backstroke, but failed to progress to the final. That result is not a train smash, though, as Zandberg is a 50 metres specialist.Rowing medal hopesThere are still strong hopes that rowers Donovan Cech and Ramon Di Clemente can come through with a medal winning performance in the men’s 1 500-metre pairs. After beating the Croatian World Championship silver medalists in the heats, the SA pair scraped into the final in a very tough semi-final heat.It was neck-and-neck with the Canadians for the third place necessary to qualify for the final when the two crews touched oars. The Canadians were found to have infringed by crossing into the South Africans, and Cech and Di Clemente were awarded third spot. As bronze medal winners at the World Championships, they will be keen to add an Olympic medal to their collection.Gareth Blanckenberg, sailing in blustery conditions in the laser class, struggled to make his mark. Ranked fifth in the world, he managed twenty-second place in the first race, sixteenth in the second, thirty-first in third, and thirteenth in the fourth. That was good enough for nineteenth position overall.Lewis eliminated in last sixteenArcher Kirsten Lewis advanced to the last sixteen in the women’s 70 metre competition after edging India’s Sharma Sumangala 157-153 in the round of 32. However, the fifty-second ranked Lewis had a tremendous run cut short in the quarterfinals by China’s Ying He, who triumphed 156-142.Hockey heartbreakThe men’s hockey team, like Lewis, also faced Indian competition on Tuesday, and just 12 minutes into the game Craig Jackson and company were flying high. Goals by Greg Nicol and Craig Fulton had them two-up.At half time South Africa was still in charge at two-one ahead, but after the break India started dominating territory and possession, although South Africa made some incisive counter-attacks without making any count.The Indian dominance was eventually made to count as they leveled at two-all. And then, heartbreak in the final 90 seconds as Indian netted twice to steal a 4-2 victory, a scoreline that was ultimately very misleading.More hockey disappointmentThe SA women’s hockey team’s disappointing run continued with another sound defeat, this time to South Korea. After losses by 6-2 to The Netherlands and 3-0 to Australia, Susan Webber and company were in need of a good result, if only for a boost to the spirits, but it wasn’t to be.The Koreans dominated the game and secured a deserved 3-0 victory as South Africa were curiously toothless up front. Where they really disappointed was in the effeciency of their penalty corner, which lacked accuracy in an area so vital to success in the international game.Badminton: steep learning curveAthens 2004 has proved to be a harsh learning experience for South Africa’s badminton players, who played in the Thomas and Uber Cups (World Championships) for the first time this year.Chris Dednam and Antoinette Uys bowed out of the mixed doubles in the round of 32, losing 15-3, 15-9 to Taipei, while Michelle Edwards lost 11-6, 11-3 to India’s Aparna Popat.The rest of the team’s results were even bigger losses. Dednam won only one point as he succumbed to Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana in the men’s singles, Michelle Edwards and Chantal Botts were whitewashed 15-0, 15-0 by Germany in the women’s doubles, and Dorian James and Stewart Carson won only five points against the USA in the men’s doubles.Competition on the beachSouth Africa’s beach volleyball players have put in a good showing, and proved to be nicely competitive.The men’s combination of Gershon Rorich and Colin Pocock beat Greece’s Pavlos Beligratis and Athanasios Michalopoulos 21-16, 24-26, 15-10 in a classic tussle, then fell to Argentina’s Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde 21-14, 21-15.In women’s action, Leigh-Ann Naidoo and Julia Willand went down 21-7, 21-10 to second-seeds Behar and Bede of Brazil. They then turned in a great performance against highly-rated Cubans Tamara Peraza and Dalixia Grasset, losing 21-19, 21-16.Boxers: so close yet so farSouth Africa’s boxers disappointed, although middleweight Khotso Mutau’s disappointment was that he didn’t close out a victory over World Championship silver medal winner Oleg Mashkin of Ukraine.Mutau started strongly and enjoyed a four-point lead heading into the final round at 19-15. Mashkin, however, came on strong at the end as Mutau tired to take a 25-22 win.Lightweight Bongani “Wonderboy” Mahlangu came up short against Rovshan Huseynow, losing 22-14 on points, while featherweight Ludumo Galada, lost to Shahin Imranov when the referee stopped the fight in the third round.Cyclists, fencers struggleCyclist Ryan Cox did well to finish in sixty-ninth place in the men’s road race, facing a field littered with top-class athletes, many of whom featured prominently in the recent Tour de France. There was disappointment for Tiaan Kannemeyer and Robbie Hunter, though, as neither finished the event.South Africa’s sole female cycling representative, Anriette Schoeman, struggled with the heat and managed only fifty-fifth place.South Africa’s fencers also struggled, with all three – Rachel Barlow, Kelly Wilson and Natalie Tychler – losing in the round of 64 in the Epee competition.Gymnast Zandre Labuschagne managed sixtieth in qualification for the women’s all round competition.last_img read more

first_img2 August 2005Two 190-million-year-old dinosaur embryos from a group of seven eggs have been identified as the oldest dinosaur embryos yet found. Discovered in South Africa, they are also the oldest known embryos for any terrestrial vertebrate – and the oldest evidence that dinosaurs were caring parents.The embryos are of an Early Jurassic prosauropod dinosaur, according to Dr Mike Raath of the Wits Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research (BPI). Raath is one of five authors who describe the embryos in the 29 July 2005 isssue of leading international journal Science.“The embryos belong to the early sauropodomorph dinosaur Massospondylus carinatus,” he says. “These skeletons are quite common in South Africa and range in size from small juveniles to full adults, up to about five metres in length. This identification is a major coup, because embryos are often difficult to identify to species.”The late Professor James Kitching of the BPI discovered the cluster of eggs and their the embryos at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park in the northeastern Free State in 1977.These are the oldest known dinosaur embryos. Two were exposed in the group of seven eggs. One of them is almost complete, and appears to be trapped in the act of hatching.The embryos are the oldest known for any terrestrial vertebrate, and so the oldest embryos in an amniote egg known from anywhere in the world.Since their discovery the eggs sat on a shelf in Wits University’s fossil store, awaiting someone with the necessary skill to prepare the fossil eggs for detailed study. The tiny embryonic bones are extremely delicate, and intricately curled up in the eggs.“In January 2000, Professor Robert Reisz of the University of Toronto at Mississauga in Canada was on a research visit to South Africa, and borrowed the fossil eggs to take back to Canada,” says Raath. “There Diane Scott of his lab carried out the detailed and difficult preparation under high magnification using a special microscope and achieved spectacular results.”Robert Reisz (left) with James Kitching, who discovered the fossilised dinosaur embryos in 1977 (Photo: Wits University)The growing dinosaurThe embryos provide significant insights into the growth and development of this early dinosaur. Raath explains that this discovery allowed the team to reconstruct in detail the growth trajectory of Massospondylus, from pre-hatchling to full adult – a first for any dinosaur.Reisz, the project leader, points out that adults and juveniles of other types of dinosaur are known, but they are usually either recovered from bone beds, where the skeletons are broken up, disarticulated and scattered, or the rare articulated skeletons are not sufficient to reflect a growth series.The growth trajectory of Massospondylus shows that this dinosaur started out as an awkward-looking little quadruped with had a relatively short tail, a horizontally held neck, long forelimbs and a huge head.As the animal grew, the neck grew faster than the rest of the body, but the forelimb and head grew much more slowly than the rest of the body, so the body proportions changed dramatically as the animal grew.Weird-looking animalThis means that Massospondylus changed from a tiny quadruped into a weird-looking large animal with a long neck (still held horizontally), a thick, massive tail, a very small head, short forelimbs, and long hind limbs.The result is an adult animal very different from the embryo, and probably at least partly bipedal. In other cases where embryos and adults are known, as in the hadrosaurs or duck-billed dinosaurs, such dramatic changes in body proportions are not shown.The embryos also provide clues about the origin of the quadrupedal gait of the giant sauropods (the brontosaurs) of later times, which are descendants of the prosauropods.The embryo of Massospondylus looks like a tiny sauropod with massive limbs walking on all fours. This means the quadrupedal gait of sauropods may have evolved through paedomorphosis – the retention of embryonic and juvenile features in the adult.“Some people think that humans too are products of paedomorphosis,” says Raath.Caring parentsThe absence of well-developed teeth in the two preserved embryos, which were clearly on the point of hatching, and the overall awkward body proportions suggest that the hatchlings required parental care of some kind for some time after emerging from the egg.If this interpretation is correct, it constitutes the oldest known indication of parental care in the fossil record.The embryos are about 190-million years old, from the Early Jurassic Period. Most other known dinosaur embryos are at least 100-million years younger, from the Cretaceous period of 80- to 65-million years ago.The five co-authers of the Science paper are Professor Robert Reisz, Diane Scott, David Evans, Dr Hans-Dieter Sues, and Dr Mike Raath.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_img16 February 2009The Department of Trade and Industry and the South African National Accreditation System have awarded certificates to the country’s first 11 black economic empowerment (BEE) verification agencies.The ceremony in Pretoria last week marked the start of a fundamental change in the history of BEE verification.Instilling confidenceAccording to the department, the overall aim of accreditation is to instil confidence in entities that subject themselves to empowerment verification, and establish a measurement of excellence against which agencies should strive, in terms of compliance with empowerment criteria.DTI empowerment chief director Nomonde Mesatywa added that the awarding of certificates was a milestone in the evolution of BEE, as 11 companies were part of the first group of verification agencies to have fulfilled all the accreditation requirements.Empowerment accreditation statusThe agencies that have acquired empowerment accreditation status are: BEE Empowered, BEE Matrix, BEE Verification Agency, DRGSiyaya, Emex Trust, Empowerdex, Empwerlogic, Honeycomb, National Empowerment Rating Agency (Nera) Gauteng, Nera KwaZulu-Natal, and Nera Western Cape.“We congratulate those companies and trust that this will give credence to the verification process,” Mesatywa said.“This represents the beginning of a phase in empowerment that will be marked by credibility, reliability, impartiality and the harmonisation of policies, procedures, guidelines, and standards, thus creating a credible and regulated environment for measuring, monitoring and evaluating broad-based empowerment.”She added that this was an ongoing process, which would be refined in order to ensure that accreditation of other agencies was expedited.Equal opportunityEmex trustee Mella Msiza said her company had leant a great deal from the process as a BEE scorecard and supplier verification agency: “As a new company, we are excited that we were afforded an equal opportunity to acquire skills that would enable us to make a livelihood and also empower our communities, by transferring this skill to them.“And we are now more competitive, as opposed to when we started – we now meet the standards set by the South African National Accreditation System.”SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_imgSome 65 countries have already signalled they will take part in the voluntary phase of an historic industry carbon offset accord to be phased in next decade.The International Civil Aviation Organisation’s 191 member states on Thursday agreed to implement the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) at the UN-organisation’s 39th Assembly.The world’s first global industry pollution agreement will start as a voluntary scheme from 2021 to 2026 but will then become mandatory across the aviation.Airlines will have to buy carbon credits to offset growth in emissions, a move that is expected to account for less than 2 per cent of revenues but has raised concerns in some states about costs.The scheme will include provisions to deal with special circumstances such as those of fast-growing airlines and airlines which have made significant investments to improve environmental performance already.Aviation accounts for about 2 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions but the size of the aircraft fleet is expected to double over the next two decades.While the industry has been working to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through improved technology, more efficient operations and better flight planning, it needs the offset scheme to achieve its goal of carbon neutral growth from 2020.Parties that have indicated they will sign up for the voluntary scheme include Singapore, the Uhnited Arab Emirates, the US, European States and some smaller nations. However, Russia and India are among those who have said they will not participate in the first phase.“It has taken a great deal of effort and understanding to reach this stage, and I want to applaud the spirit of consensus and compromise demonstrated by our Member States, industry and civil society,” said  ICAO Council rresident Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu.  “We now have practical agreement and consensus on this issue backed by a large number of States who will voluntarily participate in the global market-based measure (GMBM) – and from its outset.“This will permit the CORSIA to serve as a positive and sustainable contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions reduction.”Airlines hailed the agreement as historic and an effective solution for airlines to manage their carbon footprint.“This agreement ensures that the aviation industry’s economic and social contributions are matched with cutting-edge efforts on sustainability,’’ International Air Transport Association director general  Alexandre de Juniac. “With CORSIA, aviation remains at the forefront of industries in combatting climate change.’’De Juniac described the enthusiasm and commitment of states in the voluntary period as impressive.“Even states that would normally not be required to participate—small island nations and developing economies—have shown their commitment by signing up,’’ he said. “The list of states volunteering for the first phase now numbers 65, giving CORSIA which we estimate will cover more than 80 per cent of growth post 2020. And we continue to encourage more states to join.’’US aircraft manufacturer Boeing said the move complemented an earlier agreement by ICAO to establish CO2 standards for aircraft emissions.”The market-based carbon-offset system and CO2 standard are integral to the four-pillar approach the industry is taking to stop the growth of emissions by 2020 and cut them in half by 2050 relative to 2005 levels,’’ Boeing said.  “These efforts also include: investing in new, more efficient aircraft; improving operational performance of the in-service fleet; improving the efficiency of air traffic management and other infrastructure; and scaling up the use of sustainable alternative fuels.’’However, some environmental groups have criticised the deal as inadequate.last_img read more

first_imgPhoto: Qantas Qantas will sharpen its focus on attracting lucrative Chinese business travellers as it heads back into Beijing with daily A330-200 services as part of its  strategy to boost its presence in Asia.The new service from Sydney marks the airline’s return to the competitive Beijing market since leaving in 2009 because it couldn’t make it work and comes as travel between Australia and China is burgeoning. It will capitalise on the Qantas alliance with China Eastern, which will codeshare on the flights from the expected start date of January 25.A strengthening of the China Eastern alliance will also see the addition of three international codeshare routes between Australia and China: Sydney-Hangzhou, Sydney-Kunming and Brisbane-Shanghai.The China Eastern partnership and a second with China Southern allows Qantas  to offer more than 130 return services a week  between Australia and China, connecting to a further 256 codeshare services a week on intra-China domestic routes.  Low-cost brand Jetstar offers an addtional 20 return services a week into six Chinese cities from Singapore and Vietnam.Beijing will be the Australian carrier’s third destination in greater China, building on its existing daily services to Shanghai and 28 return flights a week to Hong Kong. The new route represents an 18 per cent increase in Qantas’ total capacity into Greater China and a seven per cent increase in its total capacity into Asia.The airline group said about half of Qantas and Jetstar international capacity is now dedicated to the Asia region, up from 30 per cent a decade ago, and it had  added flights to Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia in the past year.The expansion comes as rival Virgin Australia has indicated it is also looking at services to Hong Kong or mainland China.Two major Chinese groups, HNA and Nanshan, now own about 40 per cent  of Virgin,  and are moving to put representatives on the Virgin’s board.  The election of HNA representative Nang Qi and Nanshan’s Dr Chien-tsung Lu will be put to shareholders at the airline’s annual meeting on November 16.China is becoming  Australia’s biggest source of visitors after New Zealand and Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the additional 3300 seats would help the airline take advantage of surging demand.“Australia is now at the top of the wish list for Chinese travellers thinking about where they want to go next,’’ Mr Joyce said.  “There are 21 million people in Beijing alone and from the start of next year they will be just one Qantas flight away. The potential is tremendous.“We’re seeing strong loads on our existing Shanghai and Hong Kong services, and on this new Beijing route we’ll have the advantage of China Eastern marketing the Qantas flight as part of their own network.“We’ll be ramping up the work we’re already doing with the state tourism bodies and Tourism Australia on marketing campaigns in China to make sure we make the most of this potential.   Our pitch is that if you want to experience the best of Australia, your trip should start with the national carrier. “The business travel market is another key focus for this route, particularly off the back of the free trade agreement with China, which is increasing the amount of freight we’re carrying.”The flying kangaroo has been on the hunt for new pilots as it brings in new Boeing 787 aircraft and looks to expand its presence in Asia and North America.The airline said Thursday it had received more than 500 applications from Australian and overseas pilots for  170 new jobs it announced earlier this year.  The jobs announcement marked the first time Qantas had sought to bring in pilots from outside the group since 2009.last_img read more

first_imgPhoto: JetBlue. US carriers are increasingly looking at biometric security as a way of ferreting out the bad guys without annoying customers.The latest such passenger-friendly set-up is slated to be rolled out progressively by US low-cost carrier JetBlue this June.Tests start at Boston Logan International, on JetBlue’s nonstop to Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International. JetBlue contends this is the first initiative of its kind for a U.S. airline.Here’s how it works. Passengers who opt in look into a camera that’s connected to a United States Customs and Border Protection (CPB) database.Then the image is matched to their passport, visa or immigration photograph.There’s no need for a boarding pass and, in theory, the security layer gets stronger and while the inconvenience diminishes.“We hope to learn how we can further reduce friction points in the airport experience,” says Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s executive vice president of customer experience. The boarding pass piece of the security is “one of the hardest to solve. Self-boarding eliminates boarding pass scanning and manual passport checks.”This is very much a test, not something that you can expect next week at the airfield near you.But its potential clearly has security officials excited about the possibilities.“By transforming current business operations,” says CPB Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner John Wagner.  “Airlines and airports will have the opportunity to use verified biometrics to ensure a seamless and consistent process for travelers.”“Seamless” is one of the most overused terms in the travel industry today, but if information technology provider SITA’s system lives up to the prospect of truly “seamless” boarding then this small step in Boston will bring huge benefits for flyers and airlines alike.Also using biometrics is a new Delta Air Line initiative that will allow passengers to use fingerprints to check bags, enter a lounge and board an aircraft.The testing ground in this instance is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and phase one allows Delta SkyMiles members to forego a paper or mobile boarding pass and hard copy ID in favor of using fingerprints to enter the Delta Sky Club.A second phase will expand that the bag check-in and boarding a flight.“We’re rapidly moving toward a day when your fingerprint, iris or face will become the only ID you’ll need for any number of transactions throughout a given day,” says Delta chief operating officer Gil West.Delta is working with CLEAR systems on the project and hopes ultimately to have fingerprint readers at all boarding gates.last_img read more

first_imgThe report, released in Johannesburg on Wednesday, compared the NSC certificate with the Cambridge International Examinations and the International Baccalaureate Organisation as well as the Namibian Senior Certificate. “Our findings are that this qualification [NSC] is pitched at the correct level. It has got the necessary requirements of a robust qualification .the learners who pass this certificate can compete favourably with learners from other education systems,” Umalusi CEO Rakometsi Mafu said at the release of the report. Equitable admissions policy Hesa manager Cobus Lotter said the research compared the NSC to the Cambridge International Examinations because it had a footprint in South Africa. Data indicates that it has more than 40 centres in the country and over 150 worldwide. 12 August 2010 Source: BuaNews “The South African public can be reassured that the NSC is a good, solid, robust qualification,” said Burroughs. ‘Good, solid qualification’center_img She added that one of the recommendations of the report was to highlight the importance of good teacher training “so that we maintain our credibility in the international education landscape”. Based on these findings, Hesa will then formulate an equitable policy that will lead to consistency in admission decisions. Hesa’s criticisms do, however, hint that there is a clear need for well-qualified teachers in South Africa. Liz Burroughs, a senior manager at Umalusi, said the main aim of the study was to establish the continuity of standards between the old and new qualifications. The NSC replaced the Senior Certificate in 2008. Already, South Africa was the eighth most favourable university destination in the world, he said. The report will further assist in determining the minimum requirements for admission to degree, diploma and higher certificate admission status in the country. A new report issued by education quality assuror Umalusi and Higher Education South Africa (Hesa) finds that the National Senior Certificate (NSC) and its curriculum are on par with international standards, and are favourable when compared to other international qualifications.last_img read more

first_imgFrom left, artists Noah Mdluli, Phuzu Mtshali, Shadruck Masuku and Jiggs Thorne in a screen grab from the House on Fire website. House on Fire was carved out of local materials in all kinds of shapes, figures and towers. It is a castle where colourful mosaics line the walls, impressive sculptures hang from the ceiling and sprout from the ground, and detail is infused in every inch. (Images: House on Fire) MEDIA CONTACTS • House on Fire +268 528 2110 info@house-on-fire.com RELATED ARTICLES • Showy and subversive: Holy Afro! • SA’s ‘zef’ trio thrash music scene • South African art • SA art snapped up at UK auction • Mines, headgear and the mindFour men are changing the global image of Swaziland one artwork at a time, as the group running the whimsical art-filled castle that is House on Fire work to turn their country, one of the smallest in Africa, into the most happening place on the continent.House on Fire is the brainchild of Jiggs Thorne, a formally trained Swazi artist. Where others saw tourist craft markets Thorne saw undiscovered artists, untapped potential, and partners – in the form of Noah Mdluli, Phuzu Mtshali, and Shadruck Masuku – for his new venture. Concerned about how many talented young people in his country struggled to make a living and had no vehicle to display their work, Thorne took action.“I started to work with road-side carvers that had a lot of humour and it played to my senses,” he said. “At some point I realised that we needed to come together under the same roof. We needed to build a platform to inspire the arts in Swaziland and that was really the inspiration for designing the space.“Our history is really from roadside to gallery.”The gallery in which the group work and collaborate is an art-filled castle of impressive proportions, what resident artists call their “fantasy-scape” and one that has steadily become a national point of reference.The space was carved out of local materials in all kinds of shapes, figures and towers. It is a castle where colourful mosaics line the walls, impressive sculptures hang from the ceiling and sprout from the ground, and detail is infused in every inch. It is a magical marriage between Gaudi’s architecture, Picasso’s distorted shapes, and Southern African carving; surreal and comfortable, it also includes a stage and garden.A far cry from traditional development projects, House on Fire is a local artist’s alliance.“We are a collaborative team in a real relationship because we need each other to succeed,” Thorne said. “We absolutely could not make it without each other.” He said art buyers were sometimes confused by their inability to attribute a single author to their pieces. “But we cannot, because we work in synergy.”The group’s work expands beyond running their fantasy gallery. Aside from creating sculpture, carving, and installation art, they promote events and music performances, and are involved in community action. House on Fire is open day and night to both locals and visitors.“A really exiting part of this is the idea of a cultural meeting point,” said Thorne. “We call that the ‘juncture of hum’.”Part of what the space does, by virtue of its location in rural Swaziland, is challenge stereotypes. “You can be an artist in Swaziland, and artists can share their stories and create a new language that has relevance,” Thorne said.The Swazi landscape is dominated by sugarcane plantations, plain fields, natural reserves, and small towns. Driving past the capital, Mbabane, it is hard to imagine that a gallery and cultural space of spectacular proportions hides at the next roadside exit.The national economy is supported by tourism and agriculture, but poverty remains calamitous. Swaziland is one of the poorest countries in the world and faces increased challenges due to the HIV/Aids pandemic. The country has the highest HIV prevalence rate worldwide and the United Nations estimates life expectancy to be 32.5 years of age, the lowest on the planet.Not discouraged by the statistics and challenges, House on Fire and its artists became involved in artfully fighting poverty. “We already had House on Fire and the idea was to let that fire spread though the walls and into a wider space. We set our sites high,” said Thorne.“Our work is about accepting that you have a story to tell and a mandate to carry on your own message. House on Fire is a conscious platform; we recognise the need to develop the local arts, but we also act on the concerns that affect us all as Swazis.”With this in mind, House on Fire created Bushfire, a music festival that brings musicians from all over Africa to Swaziland and raises funds to fight local poverty. The 2010 edition of the Bushfire Festival had more than 19 000 visitors over three days of concerts.Profits benefit Young Heroes of Swaziland, an independent organisation that supports local Aids orphans. The issue is pressing in a country of 1.5-million, where an estimated 80 000 children have been left parentless due to the pandemic.For critics who have difficulty imagining art as important in developing Swaziland, Thorne said: “The idea of creation for creation’s sake is not very well understood here. But we have made this conscious decision to start specialising and cultivating a special language and sense of identity through our work.”The numbers back up Thorne and the House on Fire group. The conservative estimate is that this year’s Bushfire Festival injected R6-million (US$830 000) into Swaziland’s economy.The next Bushfire Festival is planned for 27 to 29 May 2011. In the meantime, the House on Fire foursome have an upcoming art project: carving whimsical armours and dressing their bodies as a league of Swazi Knights. Nothing could seem more appropriate.Source: MediaGloballast_img read more

first_img13 October 2010 These are great days to be a South Africa-based multinational company. If nothing else, the 2010 Fifa World Cup shone a light on our ability to host a successful world-class sporting event – and demonstrated the achievements made in 16 years of democracy. I have lived and worked out of Johannesburg for the last three years, after 30 years’ business experience across 25 countries and five continents. This allows me to appreciate what those who haven’t had the opportunity to work in South Africa cannot, and what some local business leaders also find difficult to grasp.Legacy of apartheid Yes, South Africa has problems. With its history, how could it be otherwise? Most citizens are concerned about crime, even though it seems to be on the decrease. But in my experience people are even more concerned about our future direction, particularly opportunities for their children. A system built during apartheid for the support of a 10% minority will invariably struggle as it gears to provide for the majority, without depriving the previously advantaged. This is both a herculean and sensitive pathway for us to navigate. Undoing the apartheid legacy is still a subject of debate. The solution must be in repairing the damage in a way that supports relatively strong economic growth, so as to eradicate widespread race-based poverty, the ultimate consequence of apartheid. Growth strategies require complex trade-offs and value judgments.Passionate debate The remarkable thing is how South Africans have gone about grappling with these difficult questions. No country debates its policy issues more passionately. So, for example, when the ruling African National Congress’s youth league calls for the nationalisation of mines, the response from their seniors is cool, considered and rational, while also conscious that sensible solutions to deep, racially-based economic inequalities are needed. Indeed, the mining industry itself is encouraged to participate in these debates, even though it is seen as having colluded in the apartheid system. Much of 2010 has seen rigorous engagement between the government, the established mining sector, organised labour and emerging black mining businesses seeking better paths to transformation while recognising their common interest in the sector’s profitability and growth. That process is not complete, but there are signs that a balance will be found, continuing the country’s happy culture of constructive internal engagement developed in the 20 years since political parties were unbanned and political prisoners such as Nelson Mandela released.Political support The political support for the mining industry is as good as anything I have seen anywhere. Contrast, for example, the South African government’s decision to delay a new mining royalty regime because of the global financial crisis, with the punitive tax laws passed by the Australian government. Similarly, political support for mining in the US is somewhat more fragmented than in South Africa. Yes, the government is taking an increasingly tough line on safety and the environment. But that is their job, and these are areas where the industry has work to do. There have been one or two worrying regulatory decisions on mineral rights, but we are not unlike many jurisdictions where those with the best lawyer benefit from weaknesses in legislation. The key is that we recognise and correct our weaknesses – this has been our history. The nature of conversations between business and trade unions is also refreshing. While unions sound uncompromising to the unfamiliar ear, the focus is invariably on finding solutions to issues in which we have common interests, such as occupational safety. Even wage negotiations, while tough, are aimed at finding mutually acceptable solutions. These conversations are far more difficult in “developed” jurisdictions. South Africa is remarkable in its ability to innovate from within. It is the only country to successfully stage three major global sporting events – the cricket, rugby and soccer world cups. To be so consistently successful points to more than luck. Mark Cutifani is CEO of the multinational AngloGold Ashanti mining company. This article was first published in South Africa Now, a six-page supplement to the Washington Post produced on behalf of Brand South Africa. Download South Africa Now (PDF, 2.12 MB).last_img read more

first_imgLocal athletes can now differentiate between banned and unbanned substances, thanks to a new mobile phone app. (Image: Sports and Recreation) Athletes without iPhones can access information through a mobisite. (Image: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Khalid Galant CEO Institute for Drug Free Sport +27 21 761 8034  RELATED ARTICLES • Drive to stamp out doping in SA sport • Lean times for drug traffickers • Mobile technology for Africa • Top medical team for 2010Bongani NkosiA new mobile phone application is making it easier for South African athletes to differentiate between banned and unbanned substances in sport.The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) has announced the new mobisite and an innovative iPhone app, which brings sportsmen and -women the most up-to-date drug information.It’s aimed at ensuring the country’s athletes avoid using banned substances unwittingly.“The app will benefit our athletes. They can download the app for free and get quick access to the list of banned and permitted substances in sport,” said SAIDS CEO Khalid Galant.“Now they can check the status of medication anytime, anywhere and can see, at the touch of a button, which drugs are approved and which ones are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency,” Galant added.More than 5 000 professional athletes will benefit from the educational initiative, as well as scores of up-and-coming amateurs.Doctors are advised to use the app to access the latest information on banned drugs, as negligent subscription may risk athletes’ careers.“Medical doctors who treat athletes will be able to use the app to ascertain whether the drugs they wish to prescribe to their patients are banned or permitted,” said Gallant.The initiative is about making anti-doping education material “accessible to an even wider audience”, SAIDS said.The institute launched a major campaign to raise awareness about illegal performance-enhancing substances in June 2011. The “I Play Fair, Say No to Doping” drive aims to curb doping among local athletes.The Cape Town-based public organisation conceded that a number of athletes in the country were inadvertently taking banned drugs. The doping problem was compounded by lack of broad knowledge on banned supplements in local athletics, SAIDS said. The mobisite will come in handy for athletes who do not have iPhones. “Those who don’t have iPhones can access the info via the new Drug-Free Sport mobisite,” said Galant.“We will monitor how these audiences utilise the tool and will look at extending the app to include Blackberry and Android in the future.”Liability for banned substances Athletes have been urged to be more cautious when taking any form of supplement, as the individual bears the brunt for doping. Testing positive for anabolic steroids could lead to at least two years banned from sport.“For athletes concerned with testing positive as the result of taking prescribed medications, it is important for them to understand that strict liability applies, and that if they choose to take banned substances, they do so at their own risk.”SAIDS wants the government to introduce regulation policies for the supplements manufacturing and distribution sector, which it believes it was infiltrated by unscrupulous dealers. It blames the lack of regulation for the prevalence of banned drugs like anabolic and prohormones stimulants in athletics.The organisation is determined to root out general accessibility to banned steroids. It recently launched an intelligence unit that investigates syndicates selling illegal performance-enhancing drugs.Innovative international trendThe SAIDS app follows latest international trends, and the organisation prides itself in being one of the earliest agencies to adopt it.Swiss and German anti-doping agencies also launched their versions of the mobile phone application in August 2011. “We are the third anti-doping agency worldwide to do one,” according to Gallant.last_img read more

first_img11 May 2012Some of the most expensive properties in South Africa have been bought by foreigners, it’s true. It is also true that the Western Cape especially is home to small colonies of Germans, French and British expats. You can even buy proper Austrian meatloaf and German magazines in Constantia in Cape Town.Currently there is a small, but notable, trend establishing itself: British retirees are increasingly looking to South Africa in their golden years. It turns out that it’s not just due to the fantastic climate or amazing scenery – it’s about saving their pensions.‘Solvency-II for pensions’Due to the worldwide economic crisis, there have recently been a number of proposals – dubbed the “Solvency-II for pensions” – made by the EU that directly affect pensioner’s pockets. The Telegraph reports that the country’s biggest companies (6 850 companies with final salary pension schemes) could see their liabilities skyrocketing to more than double what they are now, and analysts warn that this could force them to close.The bad news continues; according to the Alexander Forbs National Pension Index, retirement incomes in the UK have fallen by £13 000 since 2000. Richard Evans illustrates the real term implications of this in The Telegraph with the analogy that a 30-year-old could expect two-thirds of his or her final salary in 2000. That number has gone down to 39 percent.SA one of seven ‘places to retire’What does any of this have to do with the South African property market?Quite a bit in fact; due to the weak local currency, a British retiree can live well in South Africa – even on a diminished pension. Shelter Offshore, an international expatriate advisory website, indicates that South Africa is currently rated among the seven places to retire for an affordable lifestyle, along with Argentina, Northern Cyprus and Slovenia.Importantly, foreign pensions are not taxed here, whereas a tax-free income limit of £9 205 only will apply as of 2013, after which a tax of 20 percent to 45 percent will take effect in the UK.Craig Featherby, Cape Town-based regional manager of deVere Group, a UK financial advisory firm, recently revealed that “over-55s have lost faith in the UK’s economy, tax and pension system; last year 252 000 people left the UK, and 24 000 of them came to SA.“Certain fears may remain as far as currency fluctuations are concerned, but retiring here must be an attractive option, I think interest might well increase,” believes Jan le Roux, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.It is safe to assume that many of these retirees will invest in the local property market in their favoured areas: Cape Town, the KwaZulu-Natal coast and, occasionally, in Sandton, Johannesburg.Local market to benefitIt is true that foreign investment makes a small contribution to the local property market.According to the FNB Property Barometer, the impact remains unchanged at four percent. The report does look back at the heydays of 2008, where these investments comprised 20 percent of the market. It is safe to say that such peaks will not soon be repeated.“That being said, four percent may sound low but, one must keep the domino effect in mind; today’s sellers are often tomorrow’s buyers,” says le Roux.As such, South Africa isn’t set to become another Mallorca, where over 60 percent of properties are not owned by local Spaniards but by other nationalities. But it does seem that the local property market could benefit from British pensioners moving here.Sapalast_img read more

first_imgSuspected pirates keep their hands in the air as directed by the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf as the visit, board, search and seizure team prepares to apprehend them. Vella Gulf is the flagship for Combined Task Force 151, a multi-national task force conducting counterpiracy operations to detect and deter piracy in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Red Sea.(Image: Jason R Zalasky, US Navy) MEDIA CONTACTS • Obinna Anyadike  Editor-in-Chief, Irin  +254 20 7622 1343 RELATED ARTICLES • Co-operating to cut down piracy • Maritime piracy under the spotlight • Eye in the sky benefits society • SA women marine pilots make history • SA Agulhas in historic polar tripSource: Irin NewsRusting hulks of capsized boats decorate the waters around Berbera, a port city in the self-declared republic of Somaliland. Further down Somalia’s coast, pirates raid freighters in the Gulf of Aden. But efforts are under way to help Somalis make better use of their 3 300km coastline – the longest on the African continent – by increasing fishing and seafood exports to lucrative markets in the Middle East and Europe.In 2013, the EU will spend US$6.5-million (R57-million) to help Somaliland pursue its long-term goal of netting 120 000 tons of seafood each year, the sale of which could generate $1.2 billion (R10.5-billion) in foreign currency.“In Somalia, people have lived for a long time with their backs to the sea,” says Isabel Faria de Almedia, the EU development chief for Somalia. “It’s a country of agro-pastoralists with a strong nomadic tradition. We think there is a huge potential for the consumption and export of fish.”Until the second half of the 20th century, few Somalis outside fishing communities consumed fish and the sector was entirely artisanal in nature. This began to change in the 1970s with the development of better cold-storage facilities and the creation, with Soviet help, of an industrial fleet.But for want of spare parts and maintenance, these vessels quickly fell into disuse. See here for a detailed, if slightly dated, overview of the Somali fishing industry. Luring pirates away from piracyIn the middle of the last decade, Somali fishermen complained they were being forced into piracy by foreign trawlers operating illegally in waters claimed by Somalia.Coastal Somalis recount as a “eureka” moment the time self-appointed coastguards impounded a foreign trawler and levied a fine on its owners; they quickly realized seizing vessels was more lucrative than competing with commercial vessels for dwindling fish stocks.Amina Farah Arshe, who employs 40 fishermen aboard 11 vessels from Berbera, the main port of Somaliland, says fishing revenues could provide an alternative to raiding freighters far into the Indian Ocean.“We can stop it by empowering the people. We can stop it by giving jobs to the youth. People would make money, the government would collect tax revenues, and piracy would diminish,” she said. “But we need support. We need training, boats, fishing gear and cold storage.”For years, the UN has said that tackling Somali piracy should involve creating work for the jobless young Somalis who board skiffs, armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, to hunt vessels on the high seas.But only now has the security situation made this a realistic possibility. Somalia has recently selected its most viable president and government in years. Somali and AU forces have driven Al-Shabab insurgents from major cities.Out at sea, foreign warships and on-deck private security guards deter piracy. Only 70 raids took place in the first nine months of 2012, compared to 199 in the same period last year, according to the International Maritime Bureau. Logistical challengeSomalia’s new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, says he wants to “increase local food production to end poverty forever”. Some 2.1-million people in the country are faced with hunger, particularly in the turbulent south.The future of large-scale fishing in Somali waters is tied up in a legal dispute over how far these waters extend from the country’s coastline.While the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which Somalia ratified in 1989, establishes 12 nautical miles from shore as an international norm for states’ territorial waters, Somalia has asserted sovereignty over seas up to 200 nautical miles from the coast. Mogadishu has resisted international pressure to declare these outer waters an exclusive economic zone, a designation that confers numerous rights to the country but falls short of full sovereignty.Alan Cole, who runs anti-piracy operations for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, says Somaliland’s Berbera and Puntland’s Bosaso have real potential. But exporting fresh fish from the remote central coast – site of many pirate bases – offers a “logistical challenge”, he said.The UN agency spends $40-million (R351-million) each year tackling piracy, helping prosecute sea-borne raiders, training and equipping coastguards, creating jobs, and providing refrigerated trucks and storerooms to the fishing industry.“We need to get the fishing fleets of Somalia back to sea,” Cole said. “One of the challenges for fisherman is that the pirates will steal your fish. So you come back to the same issue of needing wider maritime security for Somalia so that the fishermen can safely make their living at sea.”last_img read more

first_img20 February 2013 The South African government says it is saddened by the acts of violence that erupted at Anglo American Platinum’s Siphumelele mine in Rustenburg, North West province on Monday. This comes after 13 people were injured in a conflict which is believed to have flared up because of rivalry between workers’ unions. “Every South African has the right to freedom of association which, amongst other things, entitles workers to form and join unions and/or federations of their choice in order to promote common interests,” Government Communications (GCIS) said in a statement on Tuesday. “Workers have common issues that require them to act in unison. Such acts of intolerance and violence can only serve to weaken them when taking up genuine issues against their employers.” Acting GCIS CEO Phumla Williams said that while the government acknowledged individuals’ right of association, it would not tolerate violent disputes. “We urge the union leadership to act decisively and play a proactive role in curbing acts of violence; importantly, in guiding their members towards the common goals that unite them.” Williams stressed that the government wanted all parties involved to engage in discussions and resolve issues in a “peaceful and amicable” manner, and for all South Africans to promote a violence-free society. Earlier on Tuesday, North West Premier Thandi Modise called for an urgent dispute resolution intervention to prevent further violence in the mining sector in the province. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

first_img25 March 2013London-based investment holding company Lonrho and British entrepreneur Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s investment business, the easyGroup, have joined forces to open their first African budget hotel in Johannesburg.Located on De Korte Street in Braamfontein – part of Johannesburg’s central business district – the easyHotel by Lonrho follows the easyGroup’s low-cost business model to allow access to a higher number of people.“South Africa is indisputably the largest entry point to the continent, with Johannesburg as the primary international gateway to the African hub,” the organisations said in a joint statement last week.“The country also remains very popular with the US, UK and German markets for both leisure and business travel, while over the last five years, arrivals from China and India have increased year-on-year.”Its location in the central business district was selected to ensure hotel guests have easy access to transport hubs such as the high-speed Gautrain, which connects Johannesburg’s central business district with OR Tambo international airport, Rosebank, Sandton and Pretoria.“EasyHotel is all about simple comfort and great value, so I’m delighted to open our first African hotel in Johannesburg,” said easyGroup chairperson, Sir Stelios Haji- Ioannou.“The city has a wealth of attractions for leisure and business visitors and this new easyHotel will allow them to enjoy the best of Johannesburg.”The opening of the new hotel heralds the roll-out of easyHotels by Lonrho throughout the rest of Africa to meet growing demand, according to Lonrho chief executive, Geoffrey White.“This will be the first of many hotels specifically designed to provide an international standard hotel room at a budget price starting from US$31 (R290) per room per night,” he said.Lonrho signed a long-term lease with property-owners South Point to acquire the property and adopt the existing Hotel Lamunu into its global network.“Opening its first ‘easyHotel by Lonrho’ at the heart of Johannesburg, the commercial capital of South Africa, demonstrates Lonrho Hotels’ corporate objective of operating hotels in Africa’s high demand, high growth destinations,” the organisations said.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

first_img21 April 2016Two CT Matrics have discovered low-cost ways to reduce the amount of mycotoxin in maize – they will save many lives! pic.twitter.com/jGlDI5Xtrd— Julia Joubert (@JulzJoubert) April 19, 2016Two matric learners from Khayelitsha, Kholiswa Ntshinga and Yolanda Nkala, have discovered a low-cost way to reduce the amount of mycotoxin-producing fungi in maize.Mycotoxin poisoning can damage the human nervous system as well as cause growth stunting in children and cancers, in particular liver and oesophageal.During their initial field research, studying the crops of subsistence farmers in rural Eastern Cape, the learners found that the maize, which is grown without the use of pesticides, showed dangerous levels of mycotoxins. They also found cases of oesophageal cancer in residents who drank traditional maize beer contaminated with the toxin. Maize is the staple food of residents in the area, as well as thousands of people across the country who grow their own crops.Using their research, the learners developed a preliminary process that theoretically could remove the toxins more easily and closer to the source of the food. While details of the process are still being verified by biologists, it has already drawn the attention of some of the country’s leading experts in the field.Wentzel Gelderblom, director of the Institute of Biomedical and Microbial Biotechnology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, said their research could definitely help save many lives.“These young girls are brilliant. They are now part of a global scientific community that is finding ways to eliminate human exposure to mycotoxins and we need more of that,” Gelderblom told TimesLive.In addition to winning two South Africa science prizes, the Expo for Young Scientists and Eskom’s International Science Fair, the two learners were also selected to submit their findings to the Beijing International Science Fair earlier this year, where they won silver medals in the medicines category and a special award for innovation in agriculture.Nkala was selected as one of Mail and Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans 2015 for her continuing work in agriculture science and app development. Ntshinga is currently studying program coding at Code4Africa.Source: South African Expo for Young Scientistslast_img read more

first_imgApril in South Africa is Freedom Month, to mark 27 April 1994, the day all citizens won the right to vote in democratic elections and choose their own leaders for the very first time. In 2016 we celebrate 22 years of this freedom. Study finds South Africans are proud and patriotic ahead of Freedom MonthComing ahead of the country’s annual commemoration of Freedom Month, Brand South Africa’s Domestic Perceptions Research shows that being South African is a significant element of individual and national identity. Over 80% of 2 536 respondents say they are extremely proud to be South African. READ MORE > South Africa’s Constitution: youth weigh inAlmost 100 young South Africans aged between 19 and 22 were asked by the Nelson Mandela Foundation how the Constitution and Bill of Rights affected their lives. Their answers are on display at the foundation in an exhibition entitled “My Constitution”. READ MORE > Quiz: 2016 local electionsWith the local election date officially announced as 3 August, South Africans will have the opportunity to vote for the leaders that will run their wards for the next five years. But how much do you know about local elections? Take our quiz and find out. READ MORE > Freedom is … your rights. A people’s guide to the Bill of RightsAs South Africa celebrates 22 years of democracy during Freedom Month, we bring you a plain language version of the country’s globally admired Bill of Rights – our guarantee of freedom. Get to know your rights, and protect the rights of others. READ MORE > 22 memories of martyrs for our freedomFreedom Month celebrates the time South Africans voted in the country’s first free elections. This April, with local elections to be held in a few months, it’s important for all South Africans to remember the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for our right to vote. READ MORE > Vuk’uzenzele! How to start your own small business in South AfricaYou have a great business idea, but how do you make it a reality? As part of our Vuk’uzenzele! series on economic freedom, we will look at how ordinary South Africans can play their part and use their entrepreneurial skills to not only better their lives, but also the lives of people around them. Our infographic guides you through the process of starting your own small business. READ MORE > 22 monuments for 22 years of freedomMonuments to peace and freedom are found across South Africa – not surprising, given our country’s long history of struggle against oppression. With April marking the 22nd anniversary of South Africa’s freedom, we showcase 22 monuments that pay homage to the heroes who made this country great. READ MORE > Joburg honours struggle iconsThe City of Joburg on Wednesday gave its highest honour, the Freedom of the City, to two struggle icons: George Bizos and Andrew Mlangeni. READ MORE > Freedom Park marks monuments daySouth Africa’s Freedom Park joined the world in commemorating International Day of Monuments and Sites on 18 April. READ MORE > South African local elections date setThe next local government elections will take place on 3 August 2016. The minister of cooperative governance and traditional affairs will follow the necessary legal procedure to proclaim the date and fulfil other requirements needed, the Presidency said yesterday in announcing the date. READ MORE >last_img read more

first_imgSouth Africans are resilient, innovative and diverse. The latest Brand South Africa advert showcases these traits succinctly.South Africans are united in their diversity. Brand South Africa calls on all of us to take pride in our nation, and believe in the strength of our people. (Images: Brand South Africa).Developed as marketing material to promote and enhance South Africa’s nation brand reputation and perception, this advert highlights our people as a strength of the nation brand. It aims to communicate and reinforce our positive attributes such as our resilience, innovation, unity in diversity, and our ambition.To South Africans: take pride in your nation, stand tall and believe in the strength of our people.last_img read more

first_imgAcclaimed South African actress Terry Pheto has won an award at the UK National Film Awards for her role in A United Kingdom.Terry Pheto wins the Best Supporting Actress award at the UK National Film Awards in London on 29 March 2017 for her role in A United Kingdom. (Image: Ana M Wiggins, Screengrab via Terry Pheto’s Instagram)Brand South Africa reporterSouth African actress Terry Pheto has added another accolade to her impressive acting career. Her latest win is the Best Supporting Actress award at the UK National Film Awards in London on 29 March 2017.Pheto won the award for her role as Naledi Khama in the movie, A United Kingdom.“Truly honoured and humbled by this incredible accolade,” the star wrote on her Instagram account. “Thank you #NationalFilmAwardsUK for the recognition.”Congrats to @TerryPheto voted #BestSupportingActress sponsored by @FIJIWater at the 3rd annual #NationalFilmAwardsUK pic.twitter.com/oKAazfRJjK— National Film Awards (@NATFilmAwards) April 3, 2017WINNER of #NationalFilmAwardsUK BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS award for #AUnitedKingdom @TerryPheto pic.twitter.com/STZcDu7x2j— Thula Sindi (@thulasindi) March 29, 2017A United KingdomThe movie, a biographical romantic drama, tells the story of the interracial marriage of Sir Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams Khama, played by David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, respectively.Watch:When the movie was released, Pheto told the Sowetan newspaper that it was an honour to work with such established actors.“To feature amongst the calibre of actors and actresses cast for this film and have my talent recognised by international casting agents and producers is humbling.“I’ve been an actor for 13 years now and every day I work on honing my craft and becoming a better actress and to get jobs such as this one definitely proves hard work pays off,” Terry said.Victory celebratedHer win was celebrated on social media platforms, with congratulatory messages flooding Pheto’s timeline.@thulasindi @TerryPheto Congratulations Ms Pheto!!??Continuously flying the SA black excellence flag high, thank you— Masechaba Mtolo (@uMaMoshoeshoe) March 29, 2017@TerryPheto waving the South African up high… Congratulations on your award sisi!!! You are making us proud ??? #Queen— Herman Radipabe (@RamsRaddy) March 29, 2017@TerryPheto Congratulations Terry. Well done. You deserve it all. ???— IG: Sibu_Nk (@Bozoom_Nk) March 29, 2017Congratulations @TerryPheto. As you let your star shine without limits you are permitting girls and young women in Africa to do the same. https://t.co/wnh0Vfxinb— Adv Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) March 30, 2017@TerryPheto congratulations on your big award. You had star quality since the very first time I met you.— Marianne Fassler (@Leopardfrock) March 30, 2017Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

first_img16 July 2013 South Africans from all walks of life are gearing up to celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day on Thursday, with President Jacob Zuma set to mark the day by handing over houses to the community of Danville in Pretoria. The Mandela Day campaign, in line with a UN declaration of Mandela’s birthday on 18 July as International Nelson Mandela Day, aims to inspire people to take action to change the world for the better and, in doing so, to build a global movement for good. Individuals are encouraged to dedicate 67 minutes of their time to uplifting their communities – one minute for each of the 67 years of his life that Mandela spent in active politics, fighting the injustices of the apartheid system in South Africa. In a statement on Monday, the Presidency said the Danville/Elandspoort project had been identified as a flagship project for the eradication of the Bethlehem (Hermanstad) informal settlement in Pretoria West, which was occupied by poor white families, families residing in Road Reserves in the Atteridgeville area, and other identified areas in the Pretoria Central and Pretoria West areas. “President Zuma first visited the informal settlement in the Hermanstad area … on the 24th of July 2008 and again on the 30th of March 2010 to witness first hand the difficulties experienced by the poor white households and to assist in finding solutions to their plight within the framework of existing government policies and programmes,” the Presidency said. Some of the concerns the group of white families raised with Zuma included the availability of social grants for children, the aged and the disabled, the need for land to build houses for the homeless, access to basic health care, public transport and the provision of electricity. The City of Tshwane has dedicated a mobile clinic to the households of the Hermanstad/Bethlehem informal settlement. The mobile clinic visits the households once a month. In terms of social grants, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is a regular visitor in the Hermanstad area for various services. In addition, one high mast light and 50 street lights have been installed in the vicinity of the settlement. The Presidency said the government had undertaken to promote non-racial settlements, and marking Mandela Day in this way would pay befitting tribute to Madiba, who laid the foundation for nation building and reconciliation in South Africa. Meanwhile, in Mandela’s home town of Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, various activities have been planned to mark Mandela Day. President Zuma will hand over the Inkosi Dalibhunga (Mandela’s clan name) bridge to the communities of Udondolo and Mvezo, where Mandela was born on 18 July 1918. On Wednesday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will launch the Mandela Park Primary school in Mthatha. And in the village of Qunu, the Nelson Mandela Museum will mark the day by organising coaching clinics for youngsters. Museum staff will also be cleaning the graves of struggle veteran,s while a fundraising lecture will also be held, with the proceeds to be donated to a charity organisation. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

first_imgThe South African team is preparing for the first one-day international against Sri Lanka, which takes place on Saturday, but felt it was important to share some “Madiba magic” with young cricket enthusiasts in Sri Lanka. South Africa’s touring Proteas played their part on Neslon Mandela International Day by hosting a coaching clinic for a group of under-17 cricketers in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Thursday. “We hope that he is peaceful on this special day of his, and that all South Africans celebrate in a way that would make him proud.” India will then tour South Africa from 18 November to 19 January, playing three tests, seven ODIs, three T20 internationals and three other games against the SA Invitation XI. “It was a great experience interacting with these up and coming cricketers, their enthusiasm and excitement for the game is humbling. I remember being at that age and being consumed by the game, I hope they learnt a lot.” The Proteas will play five one-day internationals and three T20 internationals before returning to South Africa in early August. ‘No words’“There are no words to describe the impact Madiba has made on us as cricketers and for sport in our country,” De Villiers said. 19 July 2013 The Indian tour will be followed by Australia’s from 5 February to 14 March. It will include three tests, three T20 internationals and a four-day warm-up game against an SA Invitation XI. LegacyAaron Phangiso said he hopes Mandela’s legacy lives on forever: “It’s a pity that Nelson Mandela Day only happens once a year. We should strive to lead the life that Madiba lived at every occasion. Proteas’ captain AB de Villiers led the birthday praise for the 95-year-old former statesman, saying: “It was wonderful to be able to contribute to the local community today in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of service to our country. “These are young aspiring cricketers and I have no doubt that they will carry this experience with them as motivation. They are really talented; I don’t know if that’s a good thing for South Africa, but Sri Lankan cricket is quite healthy. JP Duminy added: “Having this coaching clinic is a small contribution in the bigger context of what Nelson Mandela has done for South Africa. “Tata is an icon, and he deserves every bit of recognition and adoration that comes his way.” SAinfo reporter and Cricket South Africalast_img read more

first_imgSteve Andrews, CEO of SolarAid believes he is lucky to be leading this extraordinary NGO; bringing clean, renewable energy to the world’s poorest people. The pico-solar light makes clean, safe light accessible in remote rural areas. (Images: SolarAid) MEDIA CONTACTS • Elly White Communications Coordinator SolarAid elly.white@solar-aid.org RELATED ARTICLES • Light for Africa • Light shines for Team Emulsified • African sun could light world’s citiesWritten by Melissa Jane CookHundreds of millions of rural Africans have no access to electricity. Productive hours are lost and study time reduced because when the sun goes down, they must stop. But solar-powered lights are a safe, renewable, cost-efficient and effective answer.With the ambitious goal of eradicating the kerosene lamp by 2020, SolarAid, a charity based in London, is shipping its solar-powered lights to Africa. They not only protect the environment, says the charity, they also transform lives.Charged by the sun during the day, the small, hand-held solar lights offer a simple, economical solution for free light at night. They are dependable, reliable and early research shows, have had a remarkable impact on peoples’ lives. Already available in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Senegal and Zambia, the lamps have yet to land in South Africa.SolarAid’s philosophy is “One small light, one big idea”. According to Lighting Africa, a joint International Finance Corporation and World Bank programme set up to improve access to lighting in areas not yet connected to an electricity grid, nearly 600 million Africans have no access to electricity and many rely on toxic kerosene for lighting. “These brutal lamps emit noxious black smoke and burn up to 25% of the household income – locking millions into poverty. By contrast, solar lights cost as little as $10 (R98.75), pay for themselves after 12 weeks, and last for five years,” says SolarAid chief executive Steve Andrews.The goal of the charity is to make sure that by the end of the decade, every person who needs a light has one. “We are proud to be an international charity combatting both poverty and climate change with one simple piece of technology – the solar light.”The hard factsAs much as 91% of the rural population of sub-Saharan Africa does not have electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. “Energy is the thread that connects economic growth, increased social equity and sustainability,” says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. “But widespread energy poverty still condemns billions to darkness, ill health and missed opportunities for education and prosperity.”Each year, about $10.5-billion is spent on expensive, dangerous, toxic kerosene for lighting. The burning of this harmful hydrocarbon liquid contributes to indoor air pollution, causing respiratory diseases, eye infections and often fatal accidents. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, using kerosene has huge consequences for the environment, with a single kerosene lamp emitting up to one ton of carbon dioxide over five years.Elly White, the communications co-ordinator at SolarAid, explains that more than 290 million people in Africa use kerosene as their main source of lighting. “Each kerosene lamp emits over 2.5 kilograms of carbon dioxide per litre burned, as well as black carbon, or soot, which adds even more intensely to global warming.”The way forwardA step away from kerosene to the more positive lamps that are freely lit by the sun appears to be an obvious choice. Schoolchildren and students are able to study for longer at night and read books under safer conditions. Without light, opportunities for earning, learning and socialising are severely limited. The productive day is cut short so that children cannot study, parents cannot work and families have little time together.According to SolarAid, early research has found that on average, children in homes where solar lights have been installed are doing double the amount of homework every evening. In Malawi, two-thirds of head teachers said the performance of children with solar lights had improved; there had been increased attendance at school, and motivation and concentration in class.These solar lights increase available income in that less household money is used for power. The socio-economic benefits are numerous. The saved finances can be used to buy essential food and agricultural equipment, and fund children’s education, leading to an improvement in health and educational prospects. Andrews says that government grid expansion predominantly benefits a wealthier, urban population, and the micro solar market benefits poorer people in rural areas – those for whom grid access remains a pipedream, even with major investment in grid expansion.“Despite the name, SolarAid does not give ‘aid’ in the traditional sense of the word; we do something far more ground-breaking. We are driving forward a fair, sustainable market for solar technology through our social enterprise in Africa; making solar lights accessible to people living in the remotest corners of the continent,” he explains.White says that SolarAid works to get rural African families access to pico, or small, solar lights. “They do not require costly installation or maintenance and provide instant light in remote rural areas the electricity grid might never reach.” SolarAid has already made access to this safe, clean light a reality for over three million people.“Statistics show that in sub-Saharan Africa, indoor smoke causes around 400 000 deaths a year. In addition, the danger of fire from open flames and kerosene lamp explosions is substantial. Inhaling the fumes from just one kerosene lamp is the toxic equivalent to smoking 40 cigarettes a day,” she says.SolarAid’s research shows that seven in 10 solar light users have noticed an improvement in health since buying their solar light.“Poverty is not just about money; the dignity that comes from having choices and an improved standard of living gives families hope for a better future,” concludes Andrews.last_img read more

first_img2 December 2013South African motorcycle racing fans are in for a special treat next year with the World Superbike Championship set to return to the country after a break of three years.South Africa was included when the the official calendar for the 2014 FIM World Superbike Championship was released on Friday. The sole African round of the Championship will take place at the Phakisa Freeway in Welkom, Free State province on 19 October.Contracts signed“We have signed a terms of contract short-form agreement with Dorna, the WSBK Promoters, and will enter into a long-form agreement subject to certain conditions being met,” Anthony Lauter of GAS Sports, who are organising the South African event, said in a statement.“We already have the blessing of the Free State Tourism Authority to use the circuit they own just outside Welkom. We still need to secure the necessary financial guarantees required by Dorna, and the Phakisa Freeway must first pass an FIM circuit inspection,” he added.“We’re confident we will meet these conditions in good time and are excited to be bringing this immensely popular motorcycle racing series back to South Africa,” Lauter said.“The race weekend programme will also include a round of the World Supersport Championship and several top South African riders can be expected to be seen in action.”‘Congratulations’Adrian Scholtz, the CEO of operations for Motorsport South Africa (MSA), said: “MSA warmly welcomes the news that the FIM World Superbike Championship will be returning to South African shores in 2014 and extends its congratulations and appreciation to the promoter, GAS Sports, for securing the event.“It has been a few years since world championship motorsport was last seen on a South African race circuit and the event will be a welcome shot in the arm for local motorsport.”‘Delighted’World Superbike Championship (SBK) executive director Javier Alonso said he was excited that the championship was returning to South Africa: “We are delighted to come back to South Africa at Phakisa Freeway, where we had very good experiences in the past. We are therefore confident about the success of the event, bearing in mind the existing culture and passion for motorcycling in South Africa.“We are planning to visit the circuit in the following days together with the FIM representatives in order to move forward with the homologation, contractual and event preparation procedures.”Big name starsSince its introduction in 1988, the World Superbike Championship has produced some big name stars, including former champions Max Biaggi, Carlos Checa, Troy Bayliss, Troy Corser, Carl Fogarty and John Kocinsky.The 2013 championship was won by Englishman Tom Sykes on a Kawasaki, ahead of Aprilia riders Eugene Laverty of Northern Ireland and France’s Sylvain Guintoli.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

first_imgCatch advertising mogul, Odette van der Haar, at the 2017 Nation Brand Forum hosted by Brand South Africa. Odette van der Haar will be one of the speakers at this year’s Nation Brand Forum. A leading advertising executive, Van der Haar will be part of discussions around how nation branding can attract investment to the country. (Image: Adlip.com)Odette van der Haar is the CEO of the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) which is the recognised industry body of the advertising and communications profession in South Africa.She joined the ACA in October 2007 from Sentech Ltd where she headed the company’s advertising, events and sponsorships portfolio.Her experience and knowledge gained locally and abroad are as a result of having worked for leading companies such as African Technology Holdings Group of Companies, South African Post Office Limited, Siemens, BP Southern Africa, Mutual & Federal and Rentworks holding positions in marketing, business development and strategy.Odette currently serves on the boards of the ACA, AAA School of Advertising, the Media and Marketing Collection Agency (MAMCA), Centre for Communication Impact (CCI) – formerly Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa and the SACAP CSR (South African Council of Architectural Professionals Communications and Stakeholder Relations) committee. She also served a full term on the Board of the Brand Council ofShe also served a full term on the board of the Brand Council of South Africa, she was a custodian of the “Take a girl child to work” initiative and served on the MAPPP SETA board of directors. Odette is involved in various community projectsOdette is involved in various community projects and charities and is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network African chapter – African Leadership Initiative. She holds a Higher Diploma in BusinessShe holds a higher diploma in business management and has completed various courses in marketing and insuranceOdette is highly respected in the advertising and communications sector. Her opinionon industry matters is regularly sought and she is often profiled and quoted in themedia. She has been featured in publications such as the Financial Mail’s Little BlackBook, the Mail and Guardian’s Book of South African Women and The Annual to name a few. She is often called upon to serve as a judge on numerous prestigious industry award programs including but not limited to the APEX awards, AdFocus, AdReview and PICA awards.Recently, Odette was recognised for awards such as woman of the year, the mostinfluential women in business and government, and the most powerful women in South Africa in digital marketing.last_img read more

first_imgReally don’t know how thrilled you can get more than butterfly clips but there fantastic im clumsy and nevertheless haven’t damaged a single so that is a very good signal certainly.Unique colour to every person else at higher education. With hairclips normally going ‘missing’ i wished a colour that no one particular else on my study course experienced so i would know who experienced taken my kinds. Arrived on time and lots in the packet weren’t to highly-priced and are outstanding for what i have required them for.But i wish you could make a smaller pack then twelve as i have pretty wonderful hair and only have to have about 5 at the most. But i guess it was not a negative selling price for that numerous so i is not going to have to really feel guilt for not keeping all of them.Key specs for Professional Hairdresser’s Pink Butterfly Hair Clips (x12):Pack of 12Pink butterfly clampsMade from plastic8-cm wide and jaws open to about 5 cmAs used by professional hair stylistsComments from buyers“Different colour to everyone else at college!, Just like the hairdresser uses”Like these professional hairdresser crocodile clips. Sturdy good quality and well worth the price. Would unquestionably advocate to any person with any hair variety and the raspberry pink is a wonderful warm color and not way too vibrant.Good and robust great color and effortless to find just what i have to have amazing area clips use complete and sensible price.Just want i wanted to blow dry my hair. Brilliantwill be purchasing these yet again when i will need replacements.Adore the colour, great for placing my hair in sections and placing in extensions.Like them, likely to be applying them all of the time. Terrific buy and at ease.Fantastic worth for money, use them all the time. For the cost they are excellent high quality and a lot in there.Just like the hairdresser takes advantage of. Superior grip just the career for when i am straightening my hair. Can not uncover them in the shops so was pleased to uncover them at these kinds of a realistic price.last_img read more

first_imgRetains slipping – i failed to realise that there were unique dimensions as don’t consider it is evident on the listing and the one particular that arrived was for medium / thick hair so it keeps slipping off, disgrace as like it.Excellent sturdy clip but like many others have reported it isn’t going to keep up untied hair so is additional attractive than a clip designed to hold hair securely. Nonetheless around a band, it stays in spot all working day in my wonderful hair.Linshell – Linziclip Midi – Tortoiseshell GlossRevolutionary patented claw clipUnique shape with hidden springsEasy-to-use & non-slipComfortable to wear, stylish & suitable for most hair typesMade from quality plasticDefinitely love this products. Definitely like this solution. On first search it seems challenging but it has 3 apparent recommendations and when you have tried it out it is quick. My hair is just growing so is not quite long enough to glimpse good up. Having said that this makes it possible for me to have a ponytail or messy up do. If any hair escapes it is so straightforward to pop it back again. I have worn it all working day and you do not get that headache you generally get with other hair accessories. I will definitely be shopping for additional of these.Actually pretty reward for my 14 yr previous daughter.Very good high-quality hair clip at a wonderful price.Linshell – Linziclip Midi – Tortoiseshell Gloss : Great clip, holds all my hair (below shoulder length) twisted up. Much smaller than the clips i’ve used in the past. Modest plenty of to not be recognizable, great.The ideal hair clips i have found. Arrived promptly, in best ailment. I like these clips a good deal: very good grip, size is just suitable for me (i also appreciate the ‘mini’ types), snug use, discrete with a ‘clean’ appear.Not for high-quality hair – slips out. Whilst this is a strong, sturdy clip, my hair is extremely fantastic and so it slips out. Would not recommend for high-quality hair. As a substitute i would propose a great octopus hair claw, they can hold in any hair variety or length.This is terrific i can pop my hair up in seconds. It so quick to use and stays up.Gorgeous merchandise having said that a single of the enamel broke off following only carrying it a few of moments.Bear in intellect they’re not incredibly sturdy – i’ve had 1 break in my luggage in the past. Acquired this one to switch it although, since the style is so neat even if the merchandise isn’t really extremely robust. I imagine it looks considerably more elegant and business enterprise-like than the common claw clips for the reason that you can not see the inner workings of it.I am very impressed with this. I place it in when it arrived this morning and has held my prolonged hair up all working day, with out sticking into the back again of my head like other clips with sprung tooth. I will be wanting for other colors.Introduced this for my spouse who has very thick shiny hair. She can not discover a decent high quality clip to maintain her hair again. However even however this is a excellent clip and she does like it, it can not cope with thick her.Love these cant are living with out these.These clips are so good – the only clips i will use.Relatively effortless to use even with arthritis.I was acquiring soo fed u with the escalating out phase of mid length quite thick hair. Have been wearing the midi clip today and so amazed ordered a different type. It’s possible i is not going to have it slash quick immediately after all.Functions perfectly, seems to be superior and is comfy. . So cozy to use and isn’t going to dig into the back again of your head like some other types do. Fits into pockets, purses, smaller areas in the console in the car or truck so it truly is easy to use or just take out any time you like. I might like yet another just one a very little little bit even bigger for a various type as my hair is pretty thick and solid. Will in all probability get a different one in a different color.Presently experienced a couple of these clips so was happy to come across a unique colour. I previously had a pair of these clips so was delighted to discover a diverse color. I like these clips for the reason that they maintain my hair up all day with no a problem (unless one particular of the little ones i get the job done with decides to release it, but which is yet another tale completely) i have incredibly good hair and normally locate that my hair slips out of clips but this 1 stays set.Owning lately acquired the maxi clip which i was impressed with i made a decision to obtain the midi clip for half up hair dos. It is really speedy, lasts all day, isn’t going to pull at the hair and appears to be rather with small exertion. I have very long thick hair and these clips are a godsend.A pleasant thought but it doesn’t seem to be to want to continue to be in my hair. The only matter i can use it for is as shown in the center graphic (keeping hair back in a conventional reduced ponytail) and even then it usually takes an dreadful good deal of messing all over to get all of my hair to go in correctly and it isn’t going to sense securely held. Also it can be not even close to accurate to the graphic colour – my clip is pretty much red, i surely wouldn’t contact it tortoiseshell.last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest When considering how to maximize the productivity of Ohio’s agricultural lands for generations to come, there are more farmers taking cues from the ultimate expert on the subject — Mother Nature.For eons, she took care of the soils and developed them into some of the richest the world has ever seen. Now, as modern stewards of the land face the perennial challenges associated with agricultural production, there are some simple and broad concepts that are just scratching the surface of a very complex science that is just beginning to be understood.“We are trying to educate people to have the right ecological context. We forgot to look at the soil as a living ecosystem. We were not taught to synergize with it,” said Ray Archuleta, a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service conservation agronomist to 300 listeners packed into David Brandt’s Fairfield County farm shop earlier this month. “We are taking a more holistic view through biomimicry. We are giving people a new way of looking at the soil by learning to mimic the mentor and stop fighting it.”Ray Archuleta on learning from natureArchuleta encouraged the listeners to think about how the soils they farm were originally formed.“The soil in the forest and prairie are covered 24/7 and they have animals in the system. They have diversity and they are never bare. We need to follow some of those principles and mimic nature on our farms,” he said. “Buffalo, for example, group very tightly because of predators. Now some of our graziers are grouping cattle very tightly using hotwire. That gives us better manure distribution and we are getting great responses from our pastures.”Mother Nature is also a very low input, low cost operator.“If you teach people how the soil functions, they use fewer inputs that can end up in the waterways and it is less costly for the farm,” Archuleta said. “If we can cover the soil, sequester those nutrients and use the right soil tests, we are using fewer inputs.”Cover crops, no-till, animal manure — not complicated concepts in a broad sense, but Archuleta acknowledges that the challenges and complexities are in the details. This is a management intensive system, though some farmers are making it work.“You are farming with a complex system. We want an easy pill. We have diminished our soils for hundreds of years and fixing things takes time,” Archuleta said. “We have producers now who have cut their inputs dramatically, but it is a commitment and it is a system. People who don’t want to take risks — don’t even try covers and no-till if you are not willing to change and learn. But, if you want to change, reduce inputs and pass the farm to the next generation, come and learn. If you’re not committed, don’t do this. Cover crops have to be just as important as your main crops.”David Brandt, of course, is known around the country for his work with cover crops and long-term no-till on his Fairfield County farm where he has dramatically reduced inputs. One example is with herbicide costs.“We have seen a reduction in herbicides by as much as 50%. As we use cover crops that don’t mat down we are not seeing marestail, giant ragweeds or winter annuals out there in the fields. We still have the opportunity to use post if we want to and we pull the trigger if we need to, but 90% of the time we don’t have to pull that trigger,” Brandt said. “We are trying to mimic Mother Nature. We want in our cover crops plants that are short in stature, medium in stature and taller, just like your woodlots are. We will have root growth anywhere from three inches down to five feet deep.”Brandt and others have been able to increase yields and make similar and significant cuts in inputs including nutrients, fungicides and pesticides with long-term cover crop use.In terms of cuts in commercial fertilizer, the reductions can only be successfully implemented after several years with carefully managed no-till and cover crops, Archuleta said. Then, as the soil health and quality improves, the fertilizer requirements decrease. The key to this, though, according to Archuleta, is using the right soil test — the “Haney test.”Traditional soil tests measure the amount of nitrate in the soil, but do not account for the contributions of soil microbes that mineralize organic nitrogen and phosphate. Because of this, traditional soil tests often direct farmers with healthier soils to apply more fertilizer than is really needed.“The problem is that conventional tools are not measuring the right soil characteristics. They test for inorganic nitrogen in the form of nitrate, but that’s just one form of nitrogen available to the plant,” said Richard Haney, the soil scientist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service Grassland, Soil, and Water Research Laboratory who developed the “Haney test.”The “Haney test” involves drying and rewetting soil and analyzing it for microbial activity to measure nitrate and ammonium, plus an organic form of nitrogen. It also measures organic carbon and other nutrients. The drying and rewetting process mimics what happens in the field before and after a rain.The soil test results include a spreadsheet that shows the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium available to plants along with measurements of water-soluble organic carbon, water-soluble organic nitrogen, and soil microbial activity. The results also provide a calculation of soil health and the ratio of carbon to nitrogen.The Haney test is available at laboratories around the country, including Brookside Laboratories in New Bremen. It adds to the time and costs for a soil test, but it saves on fertilizer costs. Brandt started using Haney’s system three years ago.“I estimate that it’s saved us at least 25% in nutrient costs,” Brandt said. “The readings were more accurate than other soil tests we had run, and we either maintained or increased our yields.”The road has been a little different for every farm success story Archuleta highlighted, but the basic concepts have proven themselves time and again for those who are willing to make the significant investment in the future of their soils.“First, expect failure. You will have failures. Expectations are everything,” Archuleta said. “Get organized have the right equipment and understand your cover crop varieties. Don’t do this alone. Build a soil health community you can rely on for advice. Incorporate diversity into your operation. Rotate animals and enterprise diversity so that farm becomes more resilient to ecological and economic stress. Be patient and try three to five years with covers and no-till.”last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As National Pork Month draws to a close, the Pork Checkoff is launching a new national awards program to recognize, inspire and connect the next generation of American pig farmers. Through Nov. 22, the National Pork Board is seeking applications from young producers to become one of the 2017 Pig Farmers of Tomorrow at www.pigfarmersoftomorrow.com.The new award will recognize future farm leaders, ages 18 to 29, who intend to make pig farming their life’s work and are committed to the U.S. pork industry and to raising pigs using the We Care ethical principles.“One of the National Pork Board’s primary responsibilities is to train and motivate future pork industry leaders,” said Jan Archer, National Pork Board President, a pig farmer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. “The award is designed to recognize and inspire youth who are investing their time and energy into responsible pig farming.”Up to three award recipients will be selected in the program’s inaugural year. Winners will be invited to speak at National Pork Board events, including the March 2017 National Pork Industry Forum in Atlanta. They also will be responsible for providing content via the pork industry’s social media program #RealPigFarming. To apply, applicants must be actively involved in raising pigs in the U.S. on a full- or part-time basis and be between the ages of 18 to 29 as of Jan. 1, 2017. Students currently enrolled in a college program also are encouraged to apply.Applicants must have a completed Common Industry Audit or be willing to have one conducted and paid for by the National Pork Board. Applicants also must submit social media content defining a “day in the life” on their farm and upload up to 10 photos with 140 character descriptions. The National Pork Board selection committee will name up to eight semi-finalists who will be interviewed by a panel of judges to select the finalists. Three winners will be chosen based on a combination of all application materials.“It is important for youth in our industry to make the right connections at the right time as they build a career in agriculture,” Archer said. “As the winners share their personal stories, the program will not only recognize these future leaders, but will introduce them to experienced producers and networking opportunities.”last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest DuPont Pioneer announced that it will offer North American growers 53 new top-yielding corn products as part of its expanded lineup for 2017 spring planting. The products range from 72 to 118 comparative relative maturity (CRM) and feature 29 new genetic platforms, all cultivated from the DuPont Pioneer global germplasm collection.“Investments in advanced breeding and research technologies, combined with multiple years of rigorous local testing, have enabled this exciting new class of Pioneer® brand corn products,” said Steve Reno, DuPont Pioneer vice president, business director — U.S. and Canada. “This class is unrivaled in the number of new products, yield potential, and overall agronomic performance. It’s elevating our already strong corn portfolio and expanding options for growers.”New product highlights include:A robust set of new Pioneer® brand Optimum® AQUAmax® products, thoroughly tested in targeted environments to perform rain or shineExpanded end-use options for yellow food corn, white corn, and conventional (non-GMO) marketsHigh-performance brown midrib (BMR) and silage corn products that deliver tonnage, starch, and high digestibility, along with strong agronomics“Adding these new advancements to the existing commercial lineup of Pioneer brand products means we now offer one of the broadest, most genetically diverse, and high-yielding corn lineups in our history,” said Matt Smalley, DuPont Pioneer research director, North America Maize Product Development.As part of the research and development process, Pioneer conducted nearly 1,100 corn IMPACT™ (Intensively Managed Product Advancement, Characterization and Testing) plot trials during the 2016 growing season to understand the right fit for new products across a wide range of geographies and growing conditions.“I’m proud that we develop our own inbreds and hybrids from elite Pioneer germplasm,” said Smalley.  “Our research and agronomy teams know our products from the start of research and development through commercialization, and they ensure the products are fully tested to perform in variable local environments.”Along with the new corn hybrids for 2017, DuPont Pioneer also announced the introduction of Pioneer® brand A-Series soybean varieties, the highest yielding line of soybeans in its history. These new soybean varieties are the result of innovative soybean research programs and the DuPont Pioneer proprietary Accelerated Yield Technology 4.0 (AYT 4.0).Available for 2017 planting, Pioneer is launching 54 new A-Series soybean varieties from maturity Groups 000 to 7 across North America. In 2016 on-farm Pioneer IMPACT™ plot tests, these varieties produced an average yield advantage of 2.3 bu/acre against 10,000 comparisons of elite competitors at 400 locations.1“This is a historic milestone for Pioneer,” said Steve Reno, vice president, business director – U.S. and Canada. “This new soybean line is producing unprecedented step-change improvements in yields. A-Series will help soybean growers achieve higher yields no matter what their yield goal.”The Pioneer brand A-Series lineup has a broad range of trait options to fit each grower’s unique needs. The North America soybean line consists of more than 30 varieties with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology, 11 Glyphosate Tolerant varieties, a Pioneer brand Plenish® high oleic soybean variety plus conventional, LibertyLink® and DuPont™ STS® varieties.  The letter “A” will be part of the Pioneer brand soybean variety names to help growers easily identify the new high-yielding lines.Pioneer brand A-Series soybeans are developed by the industry’s most extensive localized soybean breeding and testing network that is focused on developing high yielding varieties for local environments. Since 2011, Pioneer has increased its local research center network across North America by 30 percent to develop and rigorously test its experimental products in the areas where they will be grown.Pioneer announced in July 2016 it had deployed a new breeding technology called AYT 4.0 across its entire soybean breeding program. The technology has more than doubled the rate of genetic gain of its soybean pipeline and cut the time it takes to bring new products to market. The majority of the A-Series soybean varieties were developed with AYT 4.0.“The investments we have been making in research centers, soybean disease nurseries, innovative technologies and top-notch talent are paying off for growers in A-Series soybeans,” said Reno. “These varieties and new experimental products are being developed and rigorously tested right where they are to be grown by our customers so they have the traits and defensive characteristics needed for local conditions.”Learn more about DuPont Pioneer products and services at pioneer.com or contact your local Pioneer sales professional.last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest After a first half of September which was 5 to 10 degrees below average, the second half of September will average 5 to 10 degrees above average making September in the end a near average month but marked by significant differences in the month. Temperatures the week of September 19 through 25 will run 10 to 15 degrees above average with no risk of frost.Rainfall will remain limited in most areas for the rest of September as well. Some rainfall will occur Tuesday Sept. 19 through Wednesday Sept. 20. Rainfall will average less than a tenth of an inch in the southeast half of the state to 0.10 to 0.50 inches in the northwest half with isolated higher totals. After Sept. 20, the next chance for rain does not come up until around Sept. 26 or 27.October OutlookTemperatures are likely to relax closer to normal in October after the warm late September. Rainfall is also expected to increase some especially in the second half of October. We expected October rainfall to be near or slightly below average which is close to 2 inches for the month on average.Tropical OutlookTropical activity looks to stay east of Ohio in the coming weeks. In fact, with storms well east it is enhancing high pressure and drier conditions over the region locally. Historically, storms tend to shift into the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico once we get to October and November. We will have to wait and see if some of that moisture would make its way back into our region.Frost/Freeze OutlookThere is really no risk of frost and freeze conditions for the rest of September. At times we do see historically late September frosts in Ohio but none are expected this year.We have been talking in recent months that data suggest a normal to later than normal frost/freeze in Ohio and that looks still to be the case. Sometime in October we will likely see our first widespread frost and possible freeze and typically that arrives the first two or three weeks of October but chances are growing it will be in the middle to end of the month of October.La Nina Watch issued by NOAA Climate Prediction CenterConfidence is still low to moderate but the NOAA Climate Prediction Center has issued a La Nina watch for cooler equatorial Pacific Ocean water this winter.See: http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/This could lead to a winter and early next spring that is wetter than normal with temperatures starting winter warmer than normal and turning normal to colder than normal. It is too early to tell, but those are some of the early indications.Two week rainfall outlookThe outlook for the next two weeks is normal to below normal rainfall for early harvest in the eastern corn, soybean and wheat areas with much above normal rainfall in western areas as the NOAA/NWS/OHRFCgraphic shows.last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the dairy industry supports a two-step process to roll back the existing Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulation and generate a new policy that provides farmers greater certainty in the future.NMPF has supported efforts by the Trump Administration since January to restart the regulatory process behind the controversial 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. NMPF provided comments today to EPA in support of rescinding the 2015 rule so the agency can initiate a new regulatory process defining and regulating groundwater sources. The agency has been soliciting comments on the WOTUS revision process during the past two months.“A fresh start and a more reasonable approach that complies with past Supreme Court rulings will be in the best interests of the environment and dairy farmers,” said Jamie Jonker, NMPF vice president for sustainability and scientific affairs, in comments to EPA.  “We are committed to working with the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to find effective ways to protect America’s water supplies.”Rescinding the 2015 policy — which is currently not being enforced because an appeals court suspended it last year, pending the outcome of several lawsuits — is the first step in a two-part process. In the forthcoming second step, EPA will need to propose a new rule that conforms to the various Supreme Court cases impacting definitions for what is considered a water of the U.S.  In NMPF’s letter to EPA, Jonker said that EPA and the Army Corps will need to correct the ambiguity resulting from the 2015 rule’s lack of clarity on key terms and definitions, such as “adjacent,” “floodplain” and “significant nexus.”“The agencies’ new notice-and-comment rulemaking needs to provide dairy farmers with certainty as to what constitutes navigable waters of the United States by clearly complying with the Supreme Court decisions,” NMPF wrote. “We look forward to working with you in the future for the proper clarity that dairy farmers need on WOTUS to continue to meet our shared commitment to clean water,” NMPF wrote.last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A workshop on farm transition and succession will be held 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 30, 2019, at Romer’s Catering at Westlake, 1100 S. Main St., Celina.This event is designed to help families develop a succession plan for their farm business, learn ways to transfer management skills and the farm’s business assets from one generation to the next and learn how to have conversations about the future of one’s farm. Attendees are encouraged to bring members from each generation to the workshop.Featured speakers will include David Marrison, OSU associate professor; extension educator, attorney Robert Moore with Wright & Moore Law Co., Peggy Hall, OSU assistant professor and an attorney in agricultural law; and Denny Riethman, Mercer County OSU Extension educator. Registration is limited to the first 60 people. The cost is $20 per person and $30 per couple. The registration deadline is Jan. 23. Contact the Mercer County OSU Extension Office at 419-586-2179 to register.Topics covered during the workshop will include:• key questions to answer when planning for the future of the family farm business.• family communication in the farm-transition process.• analyzing the family farm business/keeping the business competitive into the future.• providing income for multiple generations.• developing the next generation of farm managers• farm succession with multiple offspring and family members: fair versus equal.• retirement strategies.• preparing for the unexpected.• strategies to get farm and family affairs in order.• analyzing risk in today’s world.• long-term health-care issues and costs.• farm business structures and their role in estate and transition planning.• estate and transfer strategies.• buy/sell agreements.• trusts and life insurance.• tax implications of estate and transition planning.• information needed by an attorneylast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Despite numerous challenges for most of 2018, sales of U.S. pork abroad remained relatively steady compared with 2017. For the year, U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports totaled 5.37 billion pounds, unchanged from 2017, and were valued at $6.392 billion, which was down 1% from 2017.“Without a doubt, 2018 was a difficult year for U.S. pork exports,” said Bill Luckey, chair of the Pork Checkoff International Marketing committee. “Market-access challenges were the main reason.”Pork exports accounted for 25.7% of total 2018 U.S. pork and pork variety meat production. Export value per head averaged $51.37, down 3.9% from 2017.Despite market access challenges for many markets, 2018 export growth was strong in a few countries, including tremendous growth in South Korea and Colombia. Pork and pork variety meat exports to Korea were up 40% in volume and 41% in value, while exports to Colombia were up 39% in volume and 32% in value.“With projections for increased pork production this year, the Pork Checkoff is committed to strengthening its partnership with its international customers,” Luckey said. “The National Pork Board increased Checkoff funding by 12.7% over 2018 to increase exports around the globe. In fact, since 2014, the Checkoff has increased international marketing funding by more than 30%.”During 2018, more than 100 countries imported U.S. pork.The top five U.S. pork export markets in total pounds were:  Mexico (1.71 billion pounds), Japan (869 million pounds), China/Hong Kong (775 million pounds), South Korea (534 million pounds) and Canada (453 million pounds).The top five U.S. pork export markets in total value were:  Japan ($1.62 billion), Mexico ($1.31 billion), China/Hong Kong ($851 million), Canada ($764 million) and South Korea ($670 million).last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jeremy Kappell, Ohio Ag Net MeteorologistIt’s shaping up to be a very nice Tuesday across the Buckeye State with abundant sunshine returning and relatively mild temps temps in the low to middle 60’s for most areas, a little cooler for areas downwind of Lake Erie.  The blue sky will be accompanied by a gusty northwest breeze on the order of 15 to 25 mph.We’ll start off Wednesday with seasonably cool lows down into the 30’s for most with more sunshine to start the day before clouds increase.  There will be a sizeable temperature gradient across the state with highs only in the low 40’s on the Erie Lake Shore, however, most will enjoy 60’s. Winds will be on the order of 5 to 10 mph out of the east and northeast.Meanwhile a strong late season storm system looks to develop across the Plains by late Wednesday and Wednesday night.  Ahead of this system, warming winds will arrive across the Buckeye State on Thursday with high temps warming through the 70’s in most areas despite considerable cloud cover.  The exception will be far northern Ohio which will be stuck on the wrong side of a stationary front allowing for much cooler conditions for Toledo and norwest sections of the state.A large area of rain with embedded rumbles of thunder will approach the state from the west by Friday morning.  This activity will work it’s way across the state and generally weaken to showers as it progresses to the east.  Rainfall on the order of a quarter to half inch appear likely at this time.  Expect seasonable highs in the 60’s for most of the state.Temps will cool behind a cold front as we slide into the weekend on a dry note.  High pressure looks to bring some quiet conditions Saturday.  Data suggest another low will form across the Lower Mississippi River Valley by late Saturday driving the potential for some heavier rainfall late Saturday night and into Sunday especially for southern parts of the state.Looking further out unsettled and chilly conditions appear likely early next week giving way to a drier stretch by midweek with gradually improving temperatures.  We’ll see another shot at some showers by late Wednesday/Thursday of next week.last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Chris ClaytonDTN Ag Policy EditorOMAHA (DTN) — The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association is asking the U.S. treasury secretary to conduct a review of Brazil’s Marfrig Global Foods increasing its stake in Kansas City, Missouri-based National Beef Packing.Marfrig announced in mid-November the company would buy the remaining 31% of National Beef, the fourth-largest meatpacker in the U.S. The shares in National Beef had been owned by the investment firm Jefferies Financial Group. Marfrig had already purchased 51% of National Beef from Jefferies and other shareholders in June 2018.National Beef operates two beef packing plants about 80 miles apart in Kansas. One is in Dodge City and the other is in Liberal. National Beef also owns a packing plant in Tama, Iowa, and operates other case-ready and further-processing plants in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Kansas, Ohio and Missouri.Marfrig announced the purchase of that 31% of shares from Jefferies is already final.USCA wrote Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday asking him to review the sale under the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as CFIUS. The committee is made up of members from several federal agencies, and it meets in closed settings to review foreign acquisitions in critical industries involving infrastructure, technology, manufacturing and mining. In recent years, CFIUS has examined multiple major acquisitions in agriculture, but the Treasury Department has not added a representative from USDA and FDA to join the committee for reviews, despite calls from members of Congress.In its letter, USCA cited work from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, highlighting that Brazilian meatpackers have benefitted from subsidized loans and other resources from the Brazilian National Development Bank. Marfrig had also settled an agreement with Brazilian prosecutors, paying $28.73 million to cover damages from an earlier bribery investigation.National Beef did not respond to an email seeking comment.Marfrig and one of its main Brazilian competitors, JBS S.A., are now two of four of the largest meatpackers in the United States with Cargill and Tyson Foods being the other two U.S.-based competitors.USCA President Kenny Graner warned of the growing influence of foreign ownership in U.S. agriculture. In an interview, Graner noted a large share of packing capacity is now controlled by Brazil.“You have these foreign owners buying up a large percentage of our kill capacity here in the U.S.,” Graner said. “What is it to them to give back to our rural communities when they just want to take the profits back to Brazil and utilize the exchange rate and become more profitable in their own countries?”Graner added that President Donald Trump has stressed “America first,” but that runs counter to increased foreign ownership, especially when Brazilian beef competes against the U.S. for global exports. “You’ve got political people in both parties working with these foreign investors, but it’s time to put our ag industry first,” Graner said. “Let’s not allow our industry to be sold off to foreign investors.”If CFIUS were to review the sale, the findings would likely remain undisclosed to the public. CFIUS seldom releases details of its reviews and often releases a single report of its work more than a year afterward.The chairman and ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee wrote Mnuchin in April 2018 to request a CFIUS review of Marfrig’s initial majority-stake purchase of National Beef. Three other senators signed the letter at the time. The senators cited earlier purchases of major agricultural companies, stating, “It has become increasingly clear that growing foreign investment in U.S. agriculture requires a thorough review process to safeguard the American food system.”The senators added in the 2018 letter that there were also issues over corruption scandals in Brazil “that revealed unacceptable safety and quality issues with Brazilian beef intended for the American market, including Marfrig.”Read the letter here: https://bit.ly/…Grassley said Tuesday he did not recall receiving any response from the Treasury Department regarding the letter. Responding to a question from DTN, Grassley also said he does not think CFIUS takes foreign investment in agriculture as seriously as other industries.“No, but that’s probably because the ignorance of agriculture inside the beltway mentality here,” Grassley said.In October, Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote Mnuchin also raising concerns about Brazilian meatpackers and their expansion in the U.S. Menendez and Rubio specifically asked CFIUS to investigate JBS S.A.’s acquisitions in the U.S.USCA stated the group “believes an investigation into the activities of Marfrig Global Foods is necessary to ensure the safe, affordable and abundant food supply that our nation currently enjoys.”Read the Menendez and Rubio letter here: https://bit.ly/…On Nov. 17, Marfrig’s board of directors unanimously voted to increase Marfrig’s ownership interest in National Beef. Marfrig recently announced its third quarter results showing its North American quarterly revenue at just under $2.25 billion and gross income at $374 million for the quarter. Marfrig also recently signed a partnership with ADM to produce more plant-based products.Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.comFollow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN(BAS/CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

first_imgEnjoying the view from the cache locationJoin us on an adventure to find the Geocache of the Week. Beautifully situated and high in elevation, Jonah’s Journey (GCJA3V) is a difficulty 5, terrain 5 cache.While finding the cache may be a physical challenge, and it requires a flashlight and a rope, the journey to get to the treasure is nothing short of an incredible experience.Located in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire, England, it’s a short walk from the nearby parking area to Froggatt Edge. Comprised of hard sandstone slopes, the Edge is frequently visited by rock climbers and hikers.leled placed this small, traditional cache in April of 2004, attracting fellow adventurers to experience a breath-taking journey to get to the hidden treasure.The view along the path and at the final destination is spectacular. Over 200 geocachers have logged a smiley. They have shared over 150 images in the cache’s photo gallery.Sunset at Froggatt EdgeThis remote cache has earned more than 60 Favorite Points and geocachers have logged notes like, “this one’s for the books,” or “aaaaaaaaaaaamasing!!”Should you decide to embark on this epic journey, the cache page provides a lot of clues. However, for those who prefer to experience the full challenge, we recommend holding off on reading the logs.Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Latitude 47 blog or view the Bookmark List on Geocaching.com.If you’d like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, send an email with your name, comments, the name of the geocache, and the GC code to pr@groundspeak.com.A climber near the cache locationShare with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedTop 10 Geocaches of the Week 2017December 27, 2017In “Geocache of the Week”Piz Palü 3901 m.ü.M. — Geocache of the WeekFebruary 1, 2017In “Community”Lamanai High (GC19505) – GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – January 10, 2013January 9, 2013In “Community”last_img read more

first_img SharePrint Related3 Tips for New Geocachers – Geocaching.com Weekly NewsletterSeptember 12, 2012In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”Three Quick Tips for Successful GeocachingSeptember 25, 2018In “News”Top Five Tips for Creating a World-Class GeocacheJuly 11, 2013In “Geocaching.com Videos” The Eternal Question: “Is it even here?”If you’ve geocached for any length of time, say 60 seconds, this question has run through your mind, “Is it even here?” You’ve checked the fence. You’ve checked under the bench. It’s not hanging from a branch on the tree. It’s not even close to your knee. It’s not there… And then you hear a whisper, “Or is it?” That haunting question is often a geocacher’s biggest fear. Here are a few tips to help increase your chances of knowing the answer.Start by re-reading the title. It’s often another hint to the location.Check recent logs on the geocache page. Find out if the geocache has been found in the last few days or weeks. What do the logs say? There might be a hint that helps direct you to the geocache location.Check the terrain and difficulty ratings. If it’s a terrain 1 and you’re looking on a hillside, go back to the sidewalk.Speaking of hints, geocaches often offer a real hint. Check that.Still stuck? Try looking at any photos. Clues might be hiding in the pictures others uploaded to the geocache page. Still unable to find the geocache? Don’t worry, you’re not out of options yet.You’re a social person. You’ve got friends. Maybe one of your friends has found the geocache that’s giving you issues. Try the old “Phone a Friend” or “PAF” as it’s known in geocaching circles.Finding the geocache might be a waiting game. Some geocaches are easier to find in the spring or fall.If all else fails, be sure to log your Did Not Find (or DNF). That lets others know they’re looking for a tough-to-find geocache.And sometimes they’re just really, really well hidden. For example, check out this geocache with 247 DNF’s and 1 Find. Share your tricks for finding well-hidden geocaches below in comments or on the Geocaching Facebook page.Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

first_img SharePrint Related Old Navy – Geocacher of the MonthA chorus of voices cheered this month’s Geocacher of the Month to victory. All the nominees represented dedicated geocachers across three continents. Each will receive special recognition for their contribution to the global adventure of geocaching.Before naming the Geocacher of the Month, Geocaching HQ  reviews community input and blog comments. Each comment is read. After tallying the sentiment and reading the comments, Old Navy. has been officially named the Geocacher of the Month for August 2013.One geocacher who commented wrote, “My vote is for Old Navy for Geocacher of the Month! He has done so much for the Geocaching community and goes above and beyond, whether it’s hiding quality caches or event planning as part of Northern New Jersey Cachers (NNJC) or working with local municipalities and parks to introduce geocaching to so many people. As Geocaching continues to grow in leaps and bounds over the years Old Navy has been there in Geo101 introduction classes to bring new people into the sport.”The earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month geocoin (sun flare optional)Old Navy will receive the earned, never for sale, collector’s edition Geocacher of the Month Geocoin, along with a Geocacher of the Month hat and a certificate acknowledging his contribution, signed by two of the founders of Geocaching.com. See a list of all the Geocachers of the Month here.If you know an outstanding geocacher who should be considered for the honor, send an email to geocacherofthemonth@geocaching.com. Every nomination must include the following items and abide by the following guidelines:Your name, the name of your nominee, their usernameA picture of the nomineeDescription (200 or more words) explaining why he or she deserves to be the Geocacher of the MonthPlease inform your nominee that you have submitted them for the award. Nominations for Geocacher of the Month are accepted at any time.Congratulations again to Old Navy for being recognized as the Geocacher of the Month for September. Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

first_img3. Fear of failure  We all know the feeling. You’re staring at the Geocaching map, viewing the perfect spot to place a geocache, and waiting for that light bulb moment of cache creativity…but it just doesn’t seem to come. You’ve hit a creative block.  Try anyway because nothing is a failure if you’ve learned from it. To not ever try means never learning or improving, which can end up damaging your creative juices. Even if your first idea (or tenth) doesn’t work, you’ll know more than you did when you started and you can create something new (and even better) with that gained knowledge. In the end, these lessons will only make your geocache hide better, stronger, and ready for those Favorite points! It’s a common scenario, and not exclusive to the geocaching world—but you don’t need to be defeated by it. In fact, you can use these barriers to inspiration as a tool to think outside the box (ammo can?) and create something new! Here are three common causes of creative blocks and how to overcome them. Have you experienced a creative block when trying to think of a new hide? Share how you overcame this barrier to create an awesome cache!Share with your Friends:More 2. Doubting yourselfcenter_img 1. Routine on repeat  Doing the same things day in, day out often means you end up thinking the same thoughts. So mix things up! Try finding cache types you don’t normally gravitate towards, try caching in a new area, or attend an Event to meet other geocache hiders and finders. You might just find inspiration for your geocache around the next smiley!  The best way to silence self-doubt is to overcome it with action. Go ahead and try your ideas out! It’s always a good idea to make sure your geocache is weather-proof and working properly and there’s no better way to find out how it performs than building it and testing it out. The more challenges you face, the more you’ll have to employ creative thinking to work your way around them, and the more creative you’ll be!  SharePrint RelatedGeocache Icon Run: find the most cache types in one dayApril 19, 2018In “Community”Padlocks, RFID chips, and secret briefcases: an interview with a geocaching maniacMarch 12, 2019In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”A geocacher’s secrets to making New Year’s resolutions stickDecember 22, 2016In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”last_img read more

first_imgRelated Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… jolie odell Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#start center_img In a recent post, we highlighted a few awesome resources for building websites, both personal and professional, without needing a lot of geekcore coding knowledge.We omitted many sites in this roundup of personal favorites, and one such startup contacted us directly to make a case for their site. We followed up, and what we found was one of the easiest tools we’ve seen for creating truly multimedia sites with photo galleries, audio players, slide shows, RSS feeds, and more. Read on to learn more about Jimdo.Jimdo’s origins lie in a farmhouse in Germany. The startup’s three young founders, Christian Springub, Fridtjof Detzner, and Matthias Henze, started working there together in 2004 on NorthClick, an enterprise-level site editing service. As more and more people asked the team for the same service for personal sites, the tech used in NorthClick became the backbone of Jimdo.This year, the 750,000th Jimdo-powered site went live.With the uniquely flexible nature of the content on Jimdo sites, “Athletes [can] report their latest success, bands publish tour dates, or parents upload the latest pictures of their children,” according to the company’s site.“Furthermore, any kind of widget can be integrated in the Jimdo page: weather, news ticker, music player – there is no limit for the users’ imagination.”Free pages are simple to create, regardless of the level of coding experience. Noobs can easily navigate through the slick GUI to add modular content elements, and CSS pros can drill down for the exact look and feel – and function – they require. And the new media junkies can channel information from all their feeds into the site. The free pages also allow for in-site blogging through a simple CMS, or users can import their existing blogs through RSS feeds or WordPress export files. We must note that blogging features are still in beta and haven’t worked perfectly for us yet.Pro accounts allow users their own domain names, email addresses, ad-free sites, and a healthy analytics package for $5 a month.We created a free page in a few minutes, but it’s ham-fisted compared to what other users have devised with the same tools. The use cases for Jimdo are definitely expanded because of the ease of pulling multimedia content into the pages.Take a look at the screenshots of Jimdo at work, and give the site a try! Let us know what you think in the comments. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

first_imgRelated Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement sarah perez Tags:#mobile#Product Reviews#web What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Since the application is designed to provide traffic alerts, one of its features allows users to contribute additional information like whether that’s a speed trap ahead or just a fender bender slowing things down. Users can upload photos, too, so other Waze drivers can actually see what’s causing the problem. This feature is a little disconcerting, though, since it does require the driver to interact with the phone while behind the wheel. However, Waze encourages the use of these features only when stopped, or even better, by having a passenger enter this info instead. (At least they disabled typing while the car is in motion. Whew!) Also new to Waze is turn-by-turn directions, now available for free within the application. That feature alone should encourage more users to give it a shot, especially those who haven’t purchased their own standalone GPS-based navigation device yet.Early adopters can download the free mobile application from the company’s homepage here. Just remember: this service only arrived in the U.S. this May so at this point, it may be more about helping build the map data than it is about using what’s already there. Waze is a free mobile navigation application which uses crowdsourcing to build its maps. Simply by having the application open and running, drivers using GPS-enabled smartphones can contribute map data to Waze where it then becomes part of the base map. Through passive tracking features which monitor speed, direction, and starts and stops, Waze can also identify traffic patterns to warn you of jams ahead. Drivers who want to take a more active roll in contributing content on hazards and accidents can do so from the app…although hopefully, not while driving. At this week’s DEMOfall 09 conference, Waze announced that their mobile application is now available on the Windows Mobile and Symbian platforms in addition to iPhone and Android. Blackberry, however, is still in the works. What’s most interesting about Waze is how it uses the power of the crowd to build its map database. Just by driving along with the application open, users are contributing data to Waze. Although this does make the service somewhat dependent on building critical mass in order to be successful, the company is confident they can do so. That’s because Waze originally launched in Israel and in less than a year’s time, they already have 91% of the country mapped. Here in the U.S., that process will obviously take longer, but Waze believes they’ll have at least one metropolitan area completed in the next three months – the San Francisco Bay area, of course. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#cloud Here’s a challenge. Make a video about what your enterprise software does. Show us a page with all sorts of ways we can learn what you are all about. If it really does explain what you do then that will deserve some mention here. Just leave a comment pointing to where we can see what you’ve done and we’ll get back to you. Promise.Update: We will wait a few more days for videos to come in. Thanks to all who have commented about the videos they have made. We will post next week. 🙂 We covered indicee yesterday. Why? We think their product looks pretty valuable. But you know what set them apart? They made a great video. It was compelling to watch. It made us laugh. We started to think about what they do. Pretty soon we were writing about them! alex williams Related Posts center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Almost three years ago, Lee and Sachi LeFever created their first video to explain RSS. They called the video RSS in Plain English. They used paper cut outs to explain the XML format. It became an instant hit. Tens of thousands of people watched it. Today their company, Common Craft, make all sorts of custom videos. They’ve built a business around explaining concepts.Their latest video explains cloud computing. “Cloud Computing in Plain English,” tells the story of a florist whose business grows. She learns about cloud computing and realizes that perhaps maybe she should not have to worry about fixing broken servers.videoCloud computing is one of those topics that confuses and confounds people. Larry Ellison loves to poke at it. It’s the hot topic so it is refreshing to see Lee once again explain the topic in simple terms that pretty much anyone can understand. It makes everyone’s job a bit simpler.Which takes us to the last point of the day. We get so many pitches from companies. The services are explained in terms that often need deciphering. What if more companies in the enterprise space spent more time explaining what they do? What if companies did something like what Common Craft did for Twitter or with Google to help explain Google Docs? 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

first_imgA month ago, Adam Duffy and Sean McCullough were diligently preparing for the acquisition of their Tulsa Oklahoma-based company Ping.fm. ReadWriteWeb covered the Seesmic deal in early January and since then the duo has moved to San Francisco to help get their product inline with the twitter client. ReadWriteWeb caught up with McCullough to find out what’s changed since the acquisition and what early-stage entrepreneurs can learn. Tell us about yourself and how you decided to start Ping. I started Ping on a lunch break 2 years ago. I really wanted a way to update my few social networks from one spot instead of wasting time posting the same message over and over. I didn’t ever plan to make it available to the public.  It wasn’t until a colleague at my job suggested it.Was your company built to flip or does Ping have a longer roadmap?I didn’t start it with the intention of flipping as soon as an offer came across the table.  I wanted to see where it could go.  The early model of the business had a lot of unknowns, but once user interest and integrations started to expand, a real business model had been established.  I planned on staying open as long as we could, providing a unique service to people who needed exactly what we were doing.In negotiating your company’s acquisition what points did you have to consider?One of the biggest internal decision to even consider an acquisition was who was making the offer.  I didn’t want to merge with a company who wouldn’t care about the product we’ve created. I’ve always liked Loic and Seesmic, so the decision was pretty easy once it was on the table.  We’ve had other offers, but the companies didn’t seem as into what we had going as Seesmic did.  Ultimately, you have to think about your users too.  How will this affect your users and what will they think about the whole deal?  Our users are what has kept us going since day one.  We’ve had a substantial number of requests to be integrated into Seesmic clients, and now that we are part of Seesmic, the future of integration is a no-brainer. What are some tips you can offer entrepreneurs to make the company merger/transition smoother?Get to know your new team.  Whether it’s by meeting them in person, or Skype chatting or just simply sending an e-mail.  You’re going to be working with these people on a pretty frequent basis.  I was fortunate enough to have spent a lot of time with the Seesmic team prior to our merge, so I was prepared on how it might be to work with them.How do you plan on monetizing Ping’s reach? (Obviously there’s a good opportunity for a social media-based advertising network similar to Sponsored Tweets) A few things have been up for discussion, and advertising has come up. Before, we had our own plans for monetization.  Premiums, partnerships etc. Since becoming part of Seesmic, we had to switch up our ideas to accomodate some potential models brought forth by the new team.  I guess time will tell on this one, there’s really nothing set in stone.How can Ping help startups?You could use our service to help build a community around your startup or idea. Target audiences that might be outside of the Twitter/Facebook land. There are tons of users that are just dying to try out what you have created.If you were to push out a message via Ping to help entrepreneurs like you, what would you say?When in doubt, don’t forfeit confidence…and it always helps to grow a beard and wear a hoodie. (Two pieces of advice that McCullough continues to observe religiously) A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Interviews#start#startups center_img dana oshiro Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting jolie odell A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Open Thread#web Today, Americans are celebrating a very somber but inspiring national holiday: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.As Twitter co-founder Biz Stone wrote in a blog post a few days ago, “People all over the United States are urged to honor Dr. King’s legacy by making this holiday a national day of service.” Stone reminded us of this wonderful quotation by King: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” But often in my sojourn through the social Web, I find myself with no decent answer for that question as I watch hordes of well-meaning people throw their supposed social capital at hashtags and fan pages without doing anything more meaningful than that. What do you think: Is your “whuffie” enough of a donation to a good cause?“What are you doing?” “What’s going on?” The questions most often asked of us by the social Web are essentially navel-gazing. In a recent post about a startup devoted to self-reference, I wrote, “Answering questions all about you, your preferences, your past, your thoughts, your wishes and hopes, your regrets, what you eat and where you live – nothing is more intoxicating to the average social media user. From our first LiveJournal entries to mid-2000s MySpace chain surveys to our latest tweets, we clearly love talking about ourselves.”If the visibility of humanitarian topics in social media is any indication of a trend, we clearly love aligning ourselves with good causes, as well. Sometimes, it seems to me that the latest global tragedy or incurable disease is used as simply another hue on the social Web’s palette – something we use to paint pictures of ourselves. For example, in 2009, I saw waves of green Twitter avatars and locations of “Tehran” as #iranelection peaked on Twitter’s trending topics. But what did any of us actually do to help the citizens on the ground there? The green pro-free Iran icons really did nothing to help the folks getting wounded and killed in Iran. And the new “censored” Twitter avatars we’re seeing? Well, since Twitter’s blocked in most countries that are aggressively censoring Web content, it does absolutely no good.As Kiva fellow and social media philanthropist Sloane Berrent told me a few months ago, “People are so fast to click a button, and that can be great. Retweeting, forwarding and Facebook walls are great engagements. But what’s more difficult is the donate button. That’s the big hurdle and disconnect.”In other words, from Haitians to humanitarians, they all wish we’d put our money where our mouths (or status updates) are.Our latest international disaster was Haiti’s earthquake last week. I’m sure many of the folks reading this post did a lot to help via donations to the Red Cross and other organizations, but how often can we say that our social media or other actions are truly doing something for others? And how often are those actions as ineffective as a lapel pin on a politician or as meaningless as a prayer on the lips of a hypocrite? In many cases, the social media user is doing nothing for others, but is instead highlighting his own awareness and sociopolitical “involvement.”There are some organizations such as SocialVibe (scroll to the last part of the post) or Drew Olanoff’s Blame Drew’s Cancer campaign that allow brands to foot the bill for fundraising as users simply point and click their way through Web interfaces to show their support. And there’s no doubt that social media tools have made it easier for struggling groups to communicate their needs for help. But by and large, I believe that our social media actions don’t do nearly as much for others as they do for us ourselves.Perhaps, before we fire off rant-replete blog posts or make our avatars into 50 x 50 pixel political statements, we should ask ourselves the question Dr. King posed so many years ago: “What does my action DO for others?” And on the flip side of that coin, “What does my action do for me?”If the answers to those questions embarrass you, take a step back, make a sizeable donation to a related humanitarian organization, then post away and tell others how much you donated and to whom, and create channels for others to do the same.What do you think? Am I completely wrong; is awareness and communication through social media the “new” currency for donating to a good cause? What points have I missed in my thought process? Let me know your opinions in the comments, and also share how you plan to make your actions count for others today.For another perspective on this topic, see Mashable editor Ben Parr’s column on CNN.com, or check out ReadWriteWeb’s Charity & Social Good archives.center_img Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

first_imgDo you plan to pick up any new languages next year? Or do you think your time would be better spent honing the skills you already have?JavaScript guru Douglas Crockford said during the Future of Programming Languages panel at the Strange Loop Conference that we’ve entered an experimental era of programming in which many new programming languages are being created and used. It’s also been long suggested that learning new languages will help programmers become better programmers, even if they don’t end up using the new languages they learn. Assembly and Lisp are frequently cited as examples of languages programmers should learn.On the other hand, the best way to get better at programming is to do it. Perhaps your time would be better spent actually coding? Tags:#hack#Tools klint finley How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzescenter_img 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Related Posts Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

first_imgRelated Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… If you’re a sports fan of any type, then it’s likely that you’ve become familiar with a cryptically-named, poorly designed site called ATDHE that lists video streams of nearly any and every sporting event on TV. It was totally awesome and totally legally questionable. And now, it’s totally taken down by Homeland Security.Of course, the story of ATDHE’s takedown and subsequent re-emergence is another example of the resilience of information online and the amusing game of Whac-A-Mole that is illegal information on the Internet.TechDirt’s Mike Masnick wrote about a spate of domain name seizures over Thanksgiving Weekend last November much like today’s. According to CrunchGear‘s Nicholas Deleon, ATDHE isn’t alone, with rojadirecta.org suffering a similar fate.As we saw with WikiLeaks, however, when people want something on the Internet to stay on the Internet badly enough, it’s only a matter of moments before a mirror pops up in another location. One tweet illustrated the situation, saying “RIP atdhe.net while celebrating the birth of atdhe.me.”The first tweets mentioning the disappearance of ATDHE started at around noon pacific. By two in the afternoon, tweets began mentioning ATDHE.me, the replacement site. In much the same way, the ATDHE Twitter account also quickly tweeted out the IP address to use until the site went back online under a different name. Another site taken down today first tweeted at 2:12 that it was down. At 2:17, it tweeted again to say that it could be found at an alternate domain name. As I said: Whac-A-Mole.What makes the whole thing even more interesting is that ATDHE.net didn’t host any illegal content. It was a list of links to homemade video streams on sites like Justin.tv. As we saw with content takedowns on Twitter last April, however, direct hosting of content may not be necessary to remove something – just linking may be enough. With ATDHE, streams consisted of someone literally pointing a camera on a tripod at their television and streaming that. Where does the illegality come into play here and is seizing the domain name the answer? There’s one thing for sure, it’s surely the ineffective answer on the part of the authorities, but I bet sports fans won’t be complaining.Update: TorrentFreak has a list of sites taken down in similar manner today. The article points out similar questions regarding the legality of not only the content, but the takedown:Similar to BitTorrent sites, Rojadirecta doesn’t host any copyrighted material. Instead, it indexes HTTP links to sports streams that can already be found on the Internet, and also carries links to .torrent files which are hosted on other sites.The site is owned by a Spanish company that pays its taxes and has been declared to operate legally in Spain. In addition, the site is not hosted in the US either. The only connection to the US is that the .org domain is maintained by a US company.This indirect connection to the US makes the seizure a dubious action, according to Rojadirecta’s owner. “In our opinion the US authorities are completely despising the Spanish justice system and sovereignty,” Seoane told TorrentFreak. mike melanson 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Tags:#Government#news#Video Services#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

first_imgGoogle and China are again at odds, this time with accusations by Google that China is interfering with Gmail. Internet users in China have reported difficulties with Gmail over the last few weeks, complaining that the email service is slow or unavailable.While it’s been made to look as though it’s a technical problem on Google’s end, the search engine giant says that the Chinese government is responsible. “There is no technical issue on our side. We have checked extensively,” says a Google spokesperson. “This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail.”The Guardian contends that the move by the Chinese government may be a response to the “Jasmine Revolution” – an online effort to spur pro-democracy efforts in China following the uprisings in the Middle East. Whatever the motivation, it isn’t the first time that Google and China have run into problems with each other. In January of last year, Google accused China of launching hacking attacks, an effort purportedly to gain access to the accounts of Chinese dissidents.The issues with Gmail make it the latest Google product that cannot be fully accessed in China, joining YouTube, Blogger, and Google Maps as banned or restricted services. Google has refused to comply with the Chinese governments censorship demands, and as a result has seen its search engine market share continue to drop in China. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market audrey watters A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Google#news#NYT#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

first_imgCognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Related Posts I did not think of the very obvious when writing a post yesterday about Jive Software’s new members to its board of directors.The men Jive chose are all talented, intelligent and well-respected people. They have risen to the top of their fields. But where are the women?Jive is not an uncommon example. But the lack of women board members does point to a problem that companies need to address. For the companies that do, there could be advantages that they never expected.Why It Makes Sense to Have More Women Board MembersFor reference, German companies have adopted a voluntary initiative due to the poor representation of women in board seats. In 2010 only 2.2% of executive board members at Germany’s 30 Dax companies were women, according to data from DIW, the German Institute for Economic Research, which the Financial Times refers to in its post about the German initiative. Women held about15% of board seats at Fortune 500 companiesin 2010, according to Catalyst, a nonprofit membership organization that expands opportunities for women in business.Is it an obvious question to ask why there are so few women board members? Perhaps it is more enlightening to ask why it makes sense to have women on the board.But first let’s consider some of the reasons why women are absent from board positions.Rachel Happe writes in a blog post that the the startup world’s go-go-go nature and the resemblance to frat boy culture is an environment where women do not necessarily want to lead. In the same post, Happe writes about the success of women who graduate from women’s colleges, which is evident in their spots on board of directors. The problem is there are so few women graduating from women’s colleges. That seems like it is part of the issue, too.Judy Rosener wrote a post two years ago that still rings true today. Most CEOs are men. And most do not seek out women for the job. They seek people like themselves. What they need to do is get out there and look. If they do that, you can bet there will be women in board-of-director roles.But what are some of the reasons to have women on your board? Rosener distills it down to this:Good business sense means taking into consideration the following: knowledge of the labor pool; knowledge of new and growing markets; interest in improving corporate governance; and the tracking of revenue and profit, i.e. attention to the bottom line.Let’s look at each of these reasons.Labor Pool: Women are more than half of the workforce. Doesn’t it make sense that they should be represented on the board of directors, too? To exclude women from the board can mean that the company may not be seen as a place that welcomes women at all. In turn, that has a direct effect on the company’s competitiveness.The Market: Women are decision makers. Women have a perspective that can alter the development of a product or a service. They manage the finances in the home. They make the purchases. Put women in executive roles and board positions and you can see how their perspectives may open new markets.Governance: A woman joining a board of directors can have an effect on the men. They will be less likely to make sexist remarks and jokes. But there is more to this. Rosener writes: I asked Shirley M. Hufstedler, an experienced corporate board member, how she thinks the presence of women changes a board. Hufstedler served for many years on both the Hewlett-Packard and US West boards, and currently sits on the Harman International Industries board. She said it is her observation that female board members usually understand, better than men, how to appeal to women as consumers and as employees. “Also, because women are acculturated differently from men, they tend to listen more and see problems and solutions differently from their male colleagues.” In many ways this expands and enhances board discussion and deliberation. Bottom Line: Companies with more women in executive positions tend to have higher profits. She writes:A study by Roy Adler, a professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, tracked 215 Fortune 500 companies, comparing their financial performance to industry medians. He found that “companies that smash the glass ceiling also enjoy higher profits.” In a recent Harvard Business Review article presenting his findings, Adler showed that “the companies with the highest percentages of female executives delivered earnings far in excess of the median for other large firms in their industries.” The Canadian Conference Board findings support those of Adler. It tracked the financial well being of firms with two or more women on their boards in 1995 to see where they stood six years later. It found that firms with women board members were much more likely than companies with all-male boards to be leaders when ranked by revenue or profit. While these two studies do not a theory make, they suggest there is a relationship between the presence of women on boards and financial performance.Considering that why would a company not have a women on its board? 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now alex williamscenter_img Tags:#Analysis#enterprise#NYT IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…last_img read more

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Facebook also says a free, downloadable guide for teachers, written by safety experts Linda Fogg Phillips, B.J. Fogg and Derek Barid will be available in the coming weeks.Social Reporting Tool Expanded to Rest of SiteAlso new today is the expansion of Facebook’s social reporting tool to more sections of the network, including Profiles, Pages and Groups. Introduced in March of this year as a way for users to report photos they don’t like, the same “report” link will now be found elsewhere on the network.Anyone can take advantage of the tool to report images, or, now, other content, that contains hate speech, violence, illegal activity, pornography, spam or scam content or personal attacks. However, the tool was pitched more as a way for younger Facebook users to get help from friends and other trusted adults. Today, Facebook announced the launch of several new tools aimed at making the social network a safer and more secure experience for everyone involved. Some of the tools, like the redesigned Family Safety Center and social reporting buttons, are designed to combat the ongoing issue of cyberbullying, which primarily affects the younger Facebook population. Meanwhile, other new tools will be helpful to everyone, like the option to enable an advanced security feature called Two Factor Authentication and the improvements to HTTPS.All of the new features are available now, says Facebook.Updated Family Safety CenterThe newly redesigned Family Safety Center was announced in March during President Obama’s White House Conference on Bullying Prevention. Originally called just “Safety Center” when launched in April 2010, this online portal offers educational information for users, with sections dedicated to parents, teens, teachers and law enforcement professionals. The new site sports a fresh look, with easy to navigate topics, helpful videos, how-to sections, and links to related Facebook pages.  The Center even links to relevant news articles off-site for additional information. For example, the Facebook Safety Tools page provides links recommended articles from The Washington Post, CNET, Huffington Post and others. “Safety and child psychology experts tell us that online issues are frequently a reflection of what is happening offline,” explained a company blog post from March. “By encouraging people to seek help from friends, we hope that many of these situations can be resolved face to face.” That same message was reiterated again today.The tool not only allows users to report offensive content to Facebook itself, it also directs users how to get help through “What You Can Do” screens, that offer suggestions on how to deal with their harasser, like “Send a message,” “Remove as friend,” or “Block.” Users can also check a box that lets them get help from a trusted friend, which can be anyone else they want to forward the message to. This option requires the entry of an email address, which would allow users to forward the information to people they aren’t friends with on Facebook, like adults, parents or teachers, for example. Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#Facebook#Real World#security#social networks#web sarah perez Two Factor Authentication and Improved HTTPSThe last set of new launches today involve tools that provide Facebook users with additional security features. An optional Two Factor Authentication setting will begin rolling out now, allowing users to have the option of entering a code anytime they log into Facebook from a new device. This code is entered in addition to the account password, adding an extra layer of protection.Facebook has also improved its HTTPS feature, which allows users to access to Facebook over a secure connection, so that the feature will switch back on after a user visits a non-HTTPS Facebook application. Many in the security community would like to see HTTPS made the default, of course, but there appears to still be issues with Facebook applications adopting the feature. This update provides a workaround for that problem by allowing users to play Facebook games and use Facebook apps via non-HTTPS connections, then returning to the secure connection when finished. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

first_imgHow do you know if your housewrap really works?In the good old days, we weatherlapped 3-ft. courses of building paper underneath our wall claddings, and that seemed to work just fine. But then along came all sorts of snazzy “gift wrappings” (a.k.a. housewraps) in handy, 9-ft. rolls. Some claimed to be both air barriers as well as water-resistive barriers; others claimed to be vapor permeable. Along the way, it got pretty confusing about just exactly what the housewrap’s job is in our walls. (For a practical and detailed perspective on housewraps, see “Making Sense of Housewrap”.) Benchtop version of the hydrohead test with gross crosswoven. The water started dripping through the gross crosswoven housewrap as soon as it was poured into the pipe. Benchtop version of the hydrohead test with SBPO. There is a full 22-in. column of water in the pipe, and the SBPO is not leaking (those drops of water you see is water getting around the fitting and clamp, not coming through the housewrap).center_img While we may well want our housewraps to do more than one thing for our walls, the International Residential Code (IRC) 2006 building code tells us what the primary job is:R703.2 Water-Resistive Barrier. One layer of No. 15 asphalt felt, free from holes and breaks, complying with ASTM D 226 for Type 1 felt or other approved water-resistive barrier shall be applied over studs or sheathing of all exterior walls.The housewrap has to resist water at least as well as traditional building paper. But the phrase “other approved water-resistive barrier” (WRB) is where everything heads south for builders and designers selecting housewrap. There are dozens of tests or test conditions that housewrap manufacturers invoke to claim approval.The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) is hard at work straightening out this mess (ASTM Task Group E06.55.07), but headway has been mighty slow. The current draft of the housewrap standard recognizes three tests for resistance to water (manufacturers must choose one):ASTM D779 – the “boat” test: Originally designed for just regular old paper, this test involves making a little folded-up boat from the test material, placing it in water, and timing how long it takes an indicator dye to show up. In the building industry, this is mostly used for building papers, but the perforated housewrap (e.g., Owens Corning PinkWrap) and gross crosswoven (e.g., Pactiv housewraps, except its UltraWrap) guys like this low- or no-pressure test.AATCC 1 127 – the hydrostatic pressure or “hydrohead” test: This test is from the plastic baggy guys and involves clamping the test material to the bottom of plastic pipe and then filling the pipe with water to a height of 20 in. or so, then waiting for the test material to leak three drops. This is the test that most of the spun-bonded polyolefin (SBPO) manufacturers like. It’s a high-pressure test— the full 22 in. is roughly equivalent to a hurricane-force wind of more than 200 mph.CCMC 2 water-ponding resistance test: In this test, 1 in. of water is placed in a bowl-shaped sample of the wrap. The water cannot pass through the bowl for at least two hours. This pressure in test is somewhere between the other two.The great thing about all three tests is that a work bench version of each is really easy to do. Paul Fisette, head of the Building Materials and Wood Technology Department at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, was the first to adjust the ASTM D779 “boat test” to mimic real building conditions (called the “modified boat test”). Just stick a paper towel as a blotter between the housewrap and sheathing and wood siding, and press these components together as they would be in a typical wall. Then take the “sandwich” apart and see if the paper-towel blotter got wet.See the pictures on the right for some benchtop non-ASTM versions of the modified boat and hydrohead tests. The non-perforated SBPO (translation: Tyvek or Typar) passed both tests, and the gross crosswoven housewrap (translation: Pactiv Raindrop) failed both. Building paper passed the modified boat test but is not really suited to the hydrohead test.Bottom line? I think you need to benchtop test your own housewraps until ASTM gives us a standard that separates the wheat from the chaff. These benchtop tests are easy to do, and you can see for yourself which WRB materials hold water, literally. In my experience and benchtop testing, perforated and gross crosswoven housewraps simply don’t pass muster.More on what else we might want housewraps to do in a subsequent blog.………………….1 This is the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC).2 This is the Canadian Construction Materials Center (CCMC).last_img read more

first_imgRELATED ARTICLESAll About Water HeatersImproving Water Heater EfficiencyHeat-Pump Water Heaters Come of AgeA New Efficiency Standard for Gas FurnacesRefrigerators Get New Efficiency Standards Water heaters larger than 55 gallons will see a much bigger jump in efficiency. The new standards for these larger water heaters can be met using electric heat pump and gas condensing technology. Heat-pump water heaters save at least 50 percent and condensing gas units about 25 percent compared to today’s conventional water heaters.Heat-pump water heaters (also known as hybrid water heaters) transfer heat from the surrounding air to the water. When hot water demand is very high or the ambient air temperature drops below a threshold level, the hybrids switch from heat pump mode to electric resistance mode.According to DOE’s analysis, a consumer purchasing these highly efficient units will save more than $600 over the life of the product compared to a water heater just meeting the current efficiency standards. While the upfront cost to purchase and install these products is higher, consumers will recoup the added cost in about six years on average through lower electricity bills. Consumer Reports tested heat-pump water heaters and found that “Those we tested provided annual savings of about 60 percent over electric-only models.”One key concern about heat-pump water heaters is low temperature operation. When the heat-pump water heater operates in electric resistance mode, it doesn’t save energy or money compared to a conventional unit. Research by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance showed that some early heat-pump water heater models were cutting over to electric resistance mode at relatively high ambient temperatures.Manufacturers have been working to lower the minimum temperature at which water heaters operate in heat pump mode. Recent models have made significant progress, ensuring heat pump operation down to ambient temperatures as low as 35 degrees. The vast majority of utility programs in the Northwest point to the Northern Climate Specification Qualified Products List to determine whether a heat-pump water heater qualifies for utility incentivesCondensing gas water heaters are not as common as heat-pump water heaters, but consumers have more choices today than they did just a few years ago. Conventional gas water heaters lose much of the energy burned up the flue. Condensing water heaters are designed to reclaim much of this escaping heat by cooling exhaust gases well below 140 degrees F, where water vapor in the exhaust condenses into water.Water heaters will get a little biggerA review of manufacturers’ web sites shows that the height and/or diameter of some conventional products will increase 1 to 2 inches (some less than an inch) due to added insulation.For many homes, particularly those with basement installations, the small increase in size will have little impact. Consumers with space constraints (e.g., water heaters in closets or crawl spaces) should consult manufacturers’ web sites or local installers for options. Consumers may find that a product from one manufacturer fits better in their tight space than a similar product from a different manufacturer.Manufacturers are offering webinars, online videos, and educational materials to guide consumers, contractors, and installers through the changes. Several web sites include cross-reference guides to help consumers compare current models to models meeting the new standards. You will find most of the educational materials on manufacturer websites under NAECA (National Appliance Energy Conservation Act), the legislation that authorized appliance efficiency standards.What about grid-enabled water heaters?Utilities represented by the National Rural Electric Cooperative (NRECA) and the American Public Power Association, along with PJM Interconnection (regional grid operator) raised concerns that demand-response programs for water heaters over 55 gallons would suffer if they were required to switch to heat-pump water heaters.In these programs, utilities control the use of grid-enabled (connected) water heaters to manage energy use at peak times, resulting in large savings. Though some stakeholders claim that heat-pump water heaters can provide the services that NRECA and others desire, not all stakeholders are convinced that they will work as well. A legislative fix to establish a class of water heaters for demand-response programs is pending in Congress. In addition, some manufacturers have petitioned for waivers for this application.Marianne DiMascio is the outreach director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. This blog was originally posted at ACEEE and is used here with permission of the author. From the rustic 1850s pump shower to the 1920s Humphrey automatic to today’s modern units, water heaters have made great strides in performance and efficiency. On April 16, water heaters will take the next great stride when manufacturers must comply with new Department of Energy (DOE) efficiency standards.The most common water heaters manufactured on and after this date will get a modest boost in efficiency, while units over 55 gallons will shift to next-generation technology, cutting utility bills by one-fourth to one-half depending on the technology.What’s coveredCompleted by DOE in 2010, the standards cover gas, oil, and electric residential tank water heaters, usually between 20 and 80 gallons. (DOE also upped the efficiency levels for instantaneous — tankless — gas water heaters, but most models already meet the new efficiency levels.)Water heating is on average the second largest household energy expense behind space heating, representing about 18 percent of total household energy consumption in the U.S. Consumers annually pay an average of about $170 (gas) and $300 (electric) to operate a water heater just meeting current efficiency standards. About 50 percent of U.S. households use natural gas water heaters, 41 percent electric, and the remainder propane or oil.DOE estimates that the new efficiency measures will save 2.6 quadrillion Btus (quads) of energy over 30 years and net consumers up to $8.7 billion in savings. Over the same period, the standards will reduce CO2 emissions by 154 million metric tons. To put these long-term savings in perspective, the savings are enough to meet the total energy needs of 13 million typical US homes for a year, and the CO2 savings are equivalent to taking 32 million passenger cars off the road for a year.Most storage water heaters to get a modest boost in efficiencyFor storage water heaters with volumes of 55 gallons and below (representing the vast majority of sales), the new standards will increase the efficiency of typical-sized units by 4 percent on average. Manufacturers plan to meet the efficiency levels with incremental improvements such as improved heat exchangers (gas) and more insulation. Water heaters that comply with the new standards are already on the market, including models from the three large domestic manufacturers (A.O. Smith, Bradford White, and Rheem) that make most water heaters sold in the United States.last_img read more

first_imgUPDATED on Nov. 10, 2015Officials in Boulder County, Colorado, are bringing more new houses into the net-zero energy fold.Beginning on January 1, houses of 5,000 square feet or more will be included in the county’s BuildSmart program. Originally put in place in 2008, the program is part of a broad initiative designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and already requires new dwellings of 6,000 square feet and larger to meet the net-zero requirement.The rule applies only to houses in unincorporated parts of the county, not to incorporated municipalities such as Boulder and Longmont.Ron Flax, the building sustainability examiner for the county, told GBA that in 2013, 2014, and the first half of 2015, there were 94 new homes built in the unincorporated part of the country, 36 of which were 5,000 square feet or larger and about a dozen of them with a HERS rating of zero or lower. The goal of land-use planning has been to push more residential construction to incorporated towns and cities, most of which have their own building departments. “It’s tough to guess what the future holds,” he said.Flax said by email that when the BuildSmart program began, all homes of 8,000 square feet or more were required to have a HERS score of zero (or below). Later, the threshold was lowered to 6,000 square feet.In this latest revision, commissioners had considered extending the requirement to houses of 4,000 square feet or more, but in the end settled on the 5,000-square-foot threshold.The county’s ultimate goal is to have all new homes be capable of producing as much energy as they consume on an annual basis by 2022. The requirement would not apply to existing houses or those being remodeled. Higher construction costs predictedThe average new home in Boulder County is about 4,000 square feet, with construction costs of roughly $200 per square foot. Without offering a breakdown, the Daily Camera said that adding renewables with enough capacity to power an average house would add about 15% to construction costs, or $120,000.The 15% estimate comes from local architects and builders and is the “generally accepted cost associated with net-zero builds,” the article said.Not so, Flax said.Net-zero energy homes can be built for market or near market prices and don’t require a premium approaching 15%, he said. But conventional designs with lots of glazing might indeed require very large renewable systems to meet the net-zero requirement.“We have put considerable efforts into understanding the cost implications of our regulations,” he said in an email. “What we have found is that when building large custom homes there is no simple relationship between construction costs and energy efficiency. It is important to know that we have almost no production home activity in Boulder County.“When people are building custom homes, if they are properly incorporating energy efficiency in their initial designs then the added cost for a HERS of zero is manageable,” he continued. “If the design team is ignoring energy efficiency and then trying to figure out how to hit a HERS zero after the major decision are already made, the costs can indeed become significant.”Flax added that the county is addressing energy conservation in other ways, including required offsets for big energy users like heated swimming pools, snow-melt systems, and hot tubs, and efforts to help the many cannabis growers in the area to adopt more efficient production methods.County Commissioner Elise Jones told the Longmont Times-Call it makes sense to apply the net-zero energy rule to larger homes because they’re bigger-than-average energy consumers. Commissioners believe that holding off on applying the standard to houses of 4,000 square feet or more represented a “balanced approach to creating homes that have minimal impact on the environment,” the report said.The Daily Camera said that Boulder County “may be the only government in the U.S.” to legally require all new homes meet the net-zero energy standard by 2022.“Nationally, there are communities and states with net zero goals,” Jim Meyers of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project told the paper. “But the plans do not specify to the level of detail that Boulder County has specified.” This post was updated to correct the year in which the BuildSmart program began, and to add comments by Ron Flax about the added costs of building net-zero houseslast_img read more

first_imgtaylor hatmaker Second, RecipesChannels are the building blocks of IFTTT and recipes let you click them together, Lego-style. It’s that easy, and that’s a beautiful thing. You can fire up a recipe in IFTTT two ways, either by creating your own, or by choosing existing recipes. Any user can make a recipe, and these are all listed in IFTTT’s “browse” tab. A good starting place is to pick a curated option from the featured section, or to try out something from the list of the recipes that are hot right now. New channels are being added all the time, so checking back on this page often pays off.IFTTT’s possibilities are pretty much endless, so seeing what others come up with can be useful for inspiration too. For example, the New York Times just launched an IFTTT channel with some really cool options that go above and beyond what the super-flexible RSS channel makes possible. How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? IFTTT is best explored by diving right in. The site is clean, the set up is dead-simple and the result is remarkably powerful and infinitely customizable—especially if you get creative. And if you can’t get enough, there’s an IFTTT companion app for iOS (we hope an Android version isn’t too far behind).We all have different habits, and crafting good productivity rituals means harnessing the power of habit (after all, it’s what we’re already doing). IFTTT is the simplest, most powerful tool around to tap into those habits or hack them altogether. Streamline your workflow, supercharge it or build a new one from the ground up—you really can’t go wrong exploring IFTTT’s vast possibilities.  Related Posts Finally, Do It Yourself: TriggersThe real fun starts when you go rogue and build your own recipes—and really, thanks to the “If X the Y” structure of the service, it couldn’t be easier. To make your own recipe, you’ll want to point yourself toward the “create” portion of the site. You’ll then be prompted to choose a “this” for your personal formulation. The “this” is the prompting event, so pick your channel accordingly and then drill down to a specific “trigger” within the channel.Say you’re notoriously late on mailing a rent check and your normal calendar and reminders aren’t cutting it. Choose the “date and time” channel and choose the “Every month on the…” trigger. Plug in the trigger’s details with the date you need a rent due reminder.Now, you’ll select the “that” portion of the recipe. How do you want to be reminded? What’s a way you absolutely won’t ignore? If you’re better at checking your texts than checking your calendar, pick the SMS channel. Activate it and you’ll get a text every month reminding you to put the rent check in the mail. Still forgot to mail the check? Tweak your recipe to email you, instant message you or actually call your phone with a reminder. Remember, you can have as many recipes active as you’d like. Each channel has specific triggers, but they can work together in interesting ways once you start linking services through your own recipes. Some channels offer fewer triggers (i.e., prompting events) than others, but others, like RSS and email, become more flexible when you start tinkering around.  If This Then That, better known as IFTTT is an amazing tool, though one a bit tricky to explain—namely because it’s so versatile. Many things to many people, IFTTT offers a flexible, powerful platform for productivity that just about anyone can come to love. center_img 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Why You Love Online Quizzes Tags:#ifttt#productivity Want to get a text every time it’s supposed to rain? How about auto-archiving all of your Flickr photos to Evernote or Dropbox? At its core, IFTTT lets you connect the services, apps and accounts that you use the most. It’s a robust, API-powered platform for creative lifehacks, letting you effortlessly stitch together services that otherwise would never talk to each other. The result is as fun as it is useful, so let’s get started. First, ChannelsAt the time of writing, IFTTT boasts 71 “channels”. A channel is anything that plugs into IFTTT, literally any service that you can put in a side of the site’s “If x then y” formulation. To activate a channel, you’ll need to grant IFTTT permission to interact with it, which is a simple one-click process.You can start by browsing channels or by jumping right into recipes, which we’ll get to. What channels are available? Some of the most common include Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Google Calendar, SMS (your phone number), Evernote, any RSS feed, Google Drive, Flickr and well, you get the idea—IFTTT has just about everything a productivity lover could ask for. Check out the full channel list and start scheming. Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

first_imgRelated Posts Is Voice Search the Next Big Travel Technology … How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… Tags:#Curo#Healthcare#Internet of Things#IoT#KORE#Livongo#obamacare#OrganTracker FDA Extends Collaboration on Living Heart Proje… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting ‎Alex Brisbourne, CEO, KORE Wireless Group Inc.OrganTracker – safe, secure, and efficient organ deliveryThe issueAccording to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), there are over 100,000 people waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. Some patients wait up to five years to receive an organ donation, and because organs are viable for transplant for only four to 24 hours, it is absolutely critical that donations are transported quickly and safely to their recipients. Any logistical error or miscommunication during this process could not only result in a wasted donation but could also cost patients their lives.The solutionHaving already developed fleet and asset GPS tracking solutions for industries such as construction, insurance, and security; Novipod expanded beyond these traditional applications with a new product – OrganTracker. The OrganTracker solution combines hardware, communications’ technologies, and their software platform to transmit real-time data for organ donations.In addition to high precision GPS location powered by Position Logic, OrganTracker provides intelligence for other key variables in the organ transportation process including temperature, light, shock, humidity, and pressure – all delivered automatically to medical organizations via IoT.Key resultsEfficiently and securely transport organs from the donor to the recipientReduce instances of human error or miscommunicationIncreased success rate for organ transplantsAbility to make better-informed decisions regarding organ transplantsLivongo – simplifying diabetes managementThe issueIn 2012, there were 29.1 million Americans suffering from diabetes, with another 86 million people with an elevated risk of developing the disease. Aside from the potential complications and high costs associated with managing diabetes – the condition weighs a hefty toll on quality of life and creates significant personal implications for those who suffer from it.While automated, IoT-powered solutions have simplified and improved the delivery of care for many chronic diseases – there has unfortunately been little traction made to assist diabetics. Realizing this gap in the consumer medical device industry, Livongo set out as an early-adopter providing digital health solutions for the treatment of a number of illnesses, including diabetes.The solutionThe first of its kind – Livongo has developed a cellular, IoT-enabled connected meter that automatically uploads blood glucose readings to the cloud, making them accessible online by patients, physicians, as well as family and loved ones. Digital record storage eliminates the complexity associated with the traditional log books used by diabetics, simplifying the record-keeping process. In addition, Livongo’s application transforms the raw data into valuable information that can be used to improve patient care and provide personalized tips for managing diabetes effectively.Key resultsDigitally record and track blood glucose readings for easy accessGain real-time, personalized messages to improve diabetes managementAutomatically notify physicians or loved ones when blood glucose readings are out of rangeAbility to make better-informed decisions regarding your readings based on data analysisReal-time support from Certified Diabetes EducatorsThese are just three examples of how IoT technology is transforming healthcare. If you have a similar product or solution and are looking to get to market faster, consider speaking with an experienced cellular IoT provide.This article was produced in partnership with KORE.The author is CEO and KORE Wireless Group Inc. and has over 20 years of experience in the networking and telecommunications industry in companies all over the world, including in Europe, North America, and Asia. He has extensive experience in wireless, enterprise, and fixed-line services, and he sits on the Advisory Boards for a number of technology companies in the U.S. and Canada. In 2015, he served for a year as Chairman of the IoT M2M Council, the largest and fastest-growing IoT and M2M trade group. ReadWrite Sponsors The Internet of Things (IoT) has become known for its cool factor right now. From self-driving cars to smart homes filled with voice activated devices, the innovation of IoT’s connectivity never fails to impress. However, the world of IoT is doing more than making day-to-day tasks and business objectives easier to accomplish – oftentimes much more – such as saving lives.With each day, we’re seeing new IoT applications that are addressing healthcare issues head-on and, quite frankly, we could go on and on and only scratch the surface of the amazing work being done in this space. That said, here are three unique use cases that illustrate how IoT is transforming healthcare delivery.Curo – IoT is enabling seniors’ autonomyThe issueExponential advancements in the healthcare delivery field are directly, and positively, impacting life expectancy and contributing to our aging global population. Although it is true that people are now able to live longer, healthier lives – with old age comes increased probability of falling ill with chronic disease, decreased mobility, and greater risk of medical emergency. Traditionally these conditions would result in long-term hospitalizations or a move to an assisted care facility or nursing home.Today, because of innovative healthtech companies such as Curo, senior care can now be delivered in a more flexible and convenient manner via the KORE IoT cellular network, empowering elderly patients to continue to reside independently in their own homes.The solutionOriginally based in Melbourne, Australia, Curo recognized the need for an “aging in place” solution that would not only facilitate senior autonomy, but also ensure peace of mind to loved ones and enable caregivers to quickly and efficiently intervene in the case of a medical emergency.As a result, Curo has developed a SaaS-based IoT healthcare solution that leverages intelligence derived from sensors placed in a patient’s home to monitor the activity and well-being of older adults. Thousands of data points autonomously transmit information without requiring the older adult to wear any type of device or complete any physical task for the solution to function.Key resultsEnsure timely and necessary home visits for professional caregiversProvide information and peace of mind for family members or loved onesEmpower caregiving companies with access to more information, thus improving quality of careNoninvasive or bothersome to the older adultAllow for earlier and lower cost interventions in case of medical emergencylast_img read more

first_imgFor most of our history, regulation has been the cart pulled along behind the technological horse. It was a clear cause-and-effect relationship: New tech was developed and put into broad use, then came the rules about how and when to use (or not use) it.In other words: We have speed limits because of the automobile, not vice versa.However, in the 21st century, the speed and scope of technological advances have served to drive regulation in a more proactive manner. The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act mandated that healthcare providers shift to electronic medical records. Patients that are used to seeing doctors scribbling on pads or clipboards became accustomed to the sight of laptops and tablets in the exam room.And at the close of 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s proposed rules that would require equipping cars and light trucks with wireless communication technology that could help avoid potential collisions. Indeed, the DOT believes this can help prevent up to 80 percent of accidents.When we have turned to technology-driven regulation here in the United States, it has typically been because of the advantages offered, most notably in the areas of safety, mobility, and health. Now Germany has given us another reason to base regulation on new tech and it is, unsurprisingly, efficiency.By 2019, the German transport ministry has announced, all paper tickets for transit will be phased out in favor of electronic tickets. There are already 10 million Germans using smart transportation ticketing, but the federal agency has mandated that public transit services – whether buses, subways, or other modes – will be accessed by “a nationwide e-ticket.”Brian Zanghi, Chief Executive Officer, MasabiWhy follow Germany’s lead?There is good reason for public and private transportation agencies in the United States to take a close look at the reasons behind Germany’s action, because those conditions exist in transit systems across this country, as well.Reduced costs: By eliminating physical infrastructure related to selling and printing tickets, as well as processing cash payments, maintenance and operational expenses are reduced. Budget and staff will be freed up for higher-priority jobs.Reduce fraud and improve security: Lost or stolen e-tickets can be canceled and replaced, unlike paper tickets. Fraud is reduced, as is the need for drivers and conductors to handle cash, which is another security risk.Convenience: A single electronic ticket that works across an entire transit system makes travel easier for passengers, who no longer have to juggle different tickets during their trip.Eliminating lines: Frustrating waits can have wide-ranging impacts on travelers. With no paper tickets to buy, ticket kiosks and the long lines they create will disappear. This helps smooth the traveler’s journey.These are priorities common to any transportation agency – public or private – and any mode of transportation, be it below ground, on the surface, across water, or through the air. The fact that so many of them can be addressed through a single tech-driven regulation should encourage local government officials, public agencies, and private transportation agencies to give serious consideration to follow Germany’s lead.We are now on the flip side of the car/speed limit equation. In the era of the Internet of Things – where virtually every object that can be connected will, at some level, be connected – we can expect technology-driven regulations to quickly become the norm. State- or agency-level mandates should take the initiative, given the benefits they can reap through leveraging technology to address these priorities. Brian Zanghi IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Tags:#Internet of Things#IoT#Masabi#Smart Cities#smart city center_img Related Posts Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi…last_img read more

first_img5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… Testing self-driving software on public roads can be incredibly expensive, with the cost of the car, the hardware, the license, and insurance potentially reaching into the millions.AImotive, a self-driving software developer, has been looking for a unique way to cut the costs. Instead of spending money on the real thing, it attempted simulating the experience using Project Cars, a 2015 motorsport video game developed by Slightly Mad Studios.See Also: New York is the newest state to allow autonomous car testsThe team wanted to use Project Cars as a framework to build its own simulator, testing self-driving algorithms inside the video game to make it as close to the real experience as possible.Better for simulationIt is not the first time self-driving software has been programmed through a simulation, rather than real-world testing, but it is the first time a video game has been used as the foundation for the simulation.Project Cars outperforms most of the commercial car simulators available today, making it a viable option for any software developer that wants to test software.In the end, AImotive discovered Project Cars wasn’t robust enough for simulation requirements. But the studios behind the game may look to reuse AImotive’s self-driving software for Project Cars 2, expected late 2017, as a way of simulating real-life driving conditions while players race. IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… Related Posts David Currycenter_img For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Tags:#AImotive#Autonomous#Bandai Namco#driverless#featured#Project Cars#Self-Driving#Slightly Mad Studios#top#virtual reality Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and…last_img read more

first_imgLeveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T… Frank Landman In today’s world, it’s common for businesses to gather as much data on their customers as possible. Big data and related analyses have the potential to help companies develop new, better products for their customers and provide more unique experiences for those customers. And for financial institutions, those data are even more precious, since they have the power to tell them whether or not a person is trustworthy—i.e., whether they’re worthy of receiving a loan or a line of credit.For credit card companies especially, it’s important to keep track of customers’ and potential customers’ buying habits. And maybe their credit scores. And maybe even their relationships.So just what information does your credit card company have on you, and why is it so important?Why Credit Card Companies CareLet’s start by looking into why credit card companies care so much about you and your habits in the first place. Credit card companies have several goals, including attracting more customers, ensuring they can balance their own risks by lending credit at appropriate rates and with appropriate terms, and keeping valuable customers for as long as possible.For that, they need data to consider:Trustworthiness. When getting approved for a credit card, a credit card company needs to know how trustworthy you are. If you have a long history of making payments, and you always make your payments on time, they’re going to be more likely to grant you access to a new card, and they might toss you a better annual rate or a higher credit limit while you’re at it. “Trustworthiness” can come in many different forms, however, so your credit card company needs to know how you’ve historically performed in a number of different categories.Value. Credit card companies, like all businesses, are incentivized by profitability. They need to know which of their customers are most valuable, and which ones are less so. Valuable customers are ones who are both trustworthy and willing to use their card regularly, and credit cards will do whatever it takes to keep them happy.Preferences. It’s also important to learn about customer preferences, including which stores they shop at and how they like to spend money or collect rewards. This is crucial for designing new products and services for customers, and can help them win over new audiences.Patterns. Credit card companies also like to observe the patterns their customers participate in, and study when those patterns diverge. It helps them not only better understand their target demographics, but also helps them identify when something isn’t right—like when a credit card has been stolen or is being used inappropriately.Now, let’s turn our attention to some of the data your credit card companies can gather on you to accomplish these goals.Your Credit ScoreThis one should be obvious. One of the first things a new credit card company will check on a new credit card applicant is their credit score. This score, calculated and kept by the three major credit bureaus, is a relative measure of a person’s financial history and trustworthiness. It’s the sum total of your actions and habits in each of several categories, including how consistently you’ve made payments (on anything—not just credit cards), how much debt you’re using, and how long your oldest account has been open.Payment History and ReliabilityCredit card companies also care a lot about how you’re paying their bills, and how you’ve acted in the past. If you’ve historically always made the minimum payment, but keep a moderate balance on your credit cards, you’re practically the ideal customer; you’re paying off your debt consistently, but you’re always accumulating more interest, increasing the company’s profitability. This makes them incentivized to keep you, and may give you more negotiating power if you want to get a better rate. If you miss too many payments, don’t expect much sympathy or extra perks.Income and Debt RatiosYour income and debt ratios are also likely known by your credit card company. You may need to report your income when applying for a credit card, and they can use a credit check to see how much standing debt you have. From there, they can calculate all kinds of statistics, including your debt to income ratios, how much debt you’re utilizing, and other considering factors for whether or not to lend credit to you.Daily, Weekly, and Monthly HabitsYour credit card provider is also likely paying attention to your daily, weekly, and monthly habits. For example, it probably knows about your weekly trips to the grocery store and that you regularly go to the gym. These data are important for two big reasons. First, it gives them the chance to market specific products to you, such as coupons for your most commonly-frequented sporting goods store, or new credit card rewards that allow you to shop at your favorite places. Second, it lets them know something’s off if those patterns are broken.Vacation PatternsThey also keep track of how you take vacations—natural and recurring deviations from your spending patterns. For example, if you take a trip at the beginning of each June for a decade, it won’t raise any red flags when your credit card is being used across the country on June 3rd one year.Your Personal ResponsibilitySome credit card companies may also take note of the purchases you make related to your home, and living a responsible lifestyle. For example, if you make frequent trips to the home improvement store and invest in things like carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers, it shows that you’re a responsible homeowner—and an enlightened consumer. These purchases may increase your perceived trustworthiness as well as your reliability as a consumer.Your LocationThis piece is a bit trickier. Most credit cards don’t have a built-in feature that allows them to track your location, but if you’re using the credit card company’s signature app, you may be giving them more data than you realize. Merely having the app installed (with permissions granted) may be enough for your credit card company to track your travel and commute habits on a regular basis, which they can use to give you smarter, more personalized rewards.How You CommunicateChatbots haven’t completely taken over customer service (at least not yet), but your credit card company can still gather information about how you’ve spoken to customer service representatives in the past. When talking to another person, they usually have the ability to jot down notes about how you’re speaking—so if you start yelling and using profanities, they can take note for future interactions. Accordingly, it pays to be as kind and polite as possible; not only is it more respectful to the person at the other end, it will probably make you seem like a better overall customer, and get you better service when you need to make a change or request.The combination of big data and AI means that credit card companies have access to more data than ever before—and they’re using those data to their advantage. While at first you might be somewhat creeped out that your credit card company is following you so closely, there are actually many practical benefits for you as a consumer. For starters, you’ll have access to better financial products and more appropriate access to credit. You’ll get perks better-suited to your lifestyle and interest rates that reflect your previous habits. On top of that, when there’s a strong deviation in your typical habits, your credit card company will know—and they may be able to take action, like suspending credit card activity if it looks like your card was stolen.In any case, it pays to be aware of how you’re being tracked (and why you’re being tracked). The more knowledgeable you are about the modern world of consumer data, the better you can protect yourself—and the more you can tip the odds of financial success in your favor. How Data Analytics Can Save Lives What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Related Posts Frank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. last_img read more

first_imgBy Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, oneill@aesop.rutgers.eduSaving money is a frequent topic of conversation for service members during the month of February. Between the receipt of tax refunds by early filers, the America Saves and Military Saves campaigns run by the Consumer Federation of America, and the Save Your Refund contest, many people are promoting savings.The Military Families Learning Network is sponsoring a free webinar called Savings Strategies for Military Families on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. ET. The webinar will cover reasons for saving money, including peace of mind and to have cash available for emergencies and future financial goals.To calculate how much savings is required to achieve a financial goal, divide the amount needed by the time (e.g., number of months) available to save. For example, if you want to save $5,000 by next year, you’ll need to put aside $416.67 ($5,000 divided by 12) a month, or $96.15 ($5,000 divided by 52) a week. Use this worksheet to develop a savings plan.Many people say, “There’s no way I can save any money!” However, later, they find that they can save when they really put their minds to it. Below are seven saving strategies to get started:Pay Yourself First (PYF) – Make saving an “expense” in your spending plan, just like rent or loan payments. To make PYF easy, automate savings through an employer credit union or retirement savings plan or through monthly transfers from a checking account to a savings account or money market fund.Continue Paying A Loan – If you’re about to pay off a car loan or student loan, continue making the same monthly payment – to yourself! You are already used to making this payment so you won’t feel deprived.Bank A Windfall – Whenever you receive unexpected money – an inheritance, bingo winnings, retroactive pay, an insurance dividend, etc. – put at least part of it into savings.Save “Extra” Paychecks – If you are paid bi-weekly, in two months of each year you will receive three paychecks. Employees who are paid weekly will receive an “extra” check in four months of each year. The months vary with each year’s calendar and the day on which you are paid. Save at least part of this money.Save Coupon Money – Set aside the amount you “save” by using coupons at a supermarket or drugstore. Your cash register receipt will indicate the amount that was saved. If you save $20 a week using coupons, put the “savings” (the money you did not spend) into savings account. That’s over $1,000 over the course of a year!Collect Loose Change – Empty out your pockets and wallet and put loose change in a jar. Then periodically deposit the change into a savings account. Studies show that over three-quarters of Americans have a stash of loose change and over half of Americans add to it regularly.Break an Expensive Habit – Every time you don’t buy a donut at coffee break or spend money in a vending machine, save the money you didn’t spend. Ditto for fancy coffee, lottery tickets, and other money “nibblers.”Successful savers develop a spending plan (budget), include savings for emergencies and future financial goals as fixed “expenses,” and automate savings deposits so they don’t require ongoing self-control, Remember that small steps matter. If you want to save $1,000 in a year, pay attention to where nickels and dimes go every day. For more information about saving money, visit AmericaSaves.org.last_img read more

first_imgReflections on Todd & Peggy Podcast #1By Ellie McCann, Extension EducatorThe audio recording below is the first part of a conversation with Todd, a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy Nurse Corps, and his wife Peggy, an elementary school teacher. Peggy and Todd generously shared some of their experiences as a military family, to help those of us serving military families have a better understanding of what they go through. Below the recording you’ll find a blog post reflecting on this part of Todd and Peggy’s story. This is part 1 – Mixed Emotions.Audio Player/files/2016/02/MFLN-FT-Todd-and-Peggy-1.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Listen to Todd & Peggy’s story, Podcast #2  Mixed EmotionsBoth parents, Todd and Peggy, had different things to get ready before the deployment. Peggy’s preparation focus was on planning things for the family such as the details of the calendar of events to who would mow the lawn and shovel the snow. This was happening while the other parent, Todd – the service member – planned for his year away. Together, they upgraded their automobiles. Financial things were all in place and updated such as power of attorney, living will and other important documents. Peggy, who remained at home, began to feel that Todd was preparing for just one person and how unfair that was while she would be at home taking care of all the families’ responsibilities. As Peggy and Todd were doing their individual planning, they started to ‘get at each other’, which as Peggy reflects, may have been a way for them to prepare to be separated from each other. A mixture of emotions was felt by both during this preparation.As a parent myself, I associate these feelings with the summer before I launched my oldest child. She and I were at each other constantly during that summer. We were both nervous in our own way and were trying to take care of last minute things. Parents have different things to get ready than their child and both need to wrap their heads around individual parts. It was really an odd sense of losing control as a mom that I had never felt. The stress I felt about all the things I needed to make sure were in place came out and was part of our tense moments. Looking back now, I truly feel that what we experienced that summer was some sort of way for us to both prepare for being away from each other for the first time. I was ready to move her in when the time came and she was more than ready to begin her next life chapter. A mixture of emotions was felt by both during this preparation time.Todd and Peggy also shared that unexpected changes, like a change in deployment plans, can also add stress and create a mixture of emotions. When a family has done so much to prepare for a long deployment and orders get cancelled, one might think that there would immediately be feelings of relief. This isn’t always the case. This type of drastic change of plans can cause a mixture of emotions such as confusion, anxiety, misunderstanding, and/or worry because all of the preparation that had taken place for the family during the deployment was stripped from under them like a blanket of security they had built.These types of events that happen prior to deployment can cause a wide range of feelings for the service member and their family.Ellie McCann is a member of the Military Families Learning Network Family Transitions team and an Extension Educator with the University of Minnesota, Extension Center for Family Development. Ellie is also the parent of three adult daughters.last_img read more

first_imgIn this Adobe Premiere Pro tutorial, you’ll discover a handy trick for splitting two audio inputs that were married as a stereo pair in camera.If you’re recording two audio inputs to camera they may come into Premiere Pro as a single stereo track (such as 2 separate audio mics for your talent).  This can be entirely frustrating.  You need to break these married audio tracks into dual mono, but how?In this post, we’ll tackle how to convert an audio file into dual mono after it has already been imported into your Premiere Pro project.  Also, you’ll learn how to make it a default behavior to bring all stereo tracks in as dual mono in Premiere.However, a word of caution:  because of the way Premiere Pro is set up, once you make a change to your preferences or a clip in your project panel, generally speaking it won’t update in your timeline. So, if you already have clips in your timeline and you want to convert them to dual mono this isn’t the way to do it!  For that you will probably have to use a separate program such as Adobe Audition (a more time consuming process).Splitting Stereo into Dual MonoFirst step – you need to right click on the clip in the PROJECT panel.This will bring you to a menu.  As shown above you select Modify>Audio Channels.This brings up the Modify Clip box.  Go to the preset tab and change it from ‘Use File’ to ‘Mono’.Once you’ve selected this you will see that the output mapping for the 2 audio channels has changed to the following.  The Channel Format is now Mono and the stereo audio is now dual mono.I get the following warning dialogue box if I have already used the clip in a sequence in my project:This tells us that clips already in the timeline will not be changed.  This may seem annoying, but in reality the fact that clips are not updated means that you will not cause yourself potential problems every time you make a modification.  This could potentially screw up previously made edits in your timeline.As you can see, once the clip has been re-mapped in the Project Panel and added to a new sequence the audio is mapped as dual mono:Dual Mono as Default Behavior in PremiereOne last question I also get asked is if there is a way to make this the default behaviour in Premiere Pro.  In other words, can you make it so that every time you bring in a clip with stereo audio into Premiere it will be mapped to dual mono by default without having to do the process above?Well, the answer is ‘yes’ and it’s done through your preferences.Select your preference as follows:PC = Edit>Preferences>AudioMac = Premiere Pro>Preferences>AudioThen, in the middle of the panel you will fine the ‘Default Audio Tracks’ section and simply drop down the options beside ‘Stereo Media‘ and change it from ‘Use File‘ to ‘Mono‘.Preferences for Premiere audio filesNow, the default behavior is for Premiere Pro to treat stereo clips as dual mono.  Save yourself time (and headaches) with this handy Premiere Pro feature.last_img read more

first_imgUse different tools based on offsets in conjunction with the RGB Parade to quickly identify color casts and fix bad white balance!Offsets are a great way to fix a bad white balance or color cast, but not every software implements offsets in the same way, and there are several different types of controls that all use RGB offsets to perform corrections. They all function in pretty much the same way, but some applications have only one of these controls and some have them all. Knowing what they are called and how the controls work will let you quickly find the ones your chosen software has, and enable you to do quick, on-they-fly white balance corrections when used with the RGB parade.Using the RGB Parade to Identify Bad White BalanceOne of the best tools in a colorist’s arsenal on the first “correction” pass is the RGB Parade. You can find a more in-depth discussion of it in this article, but here’s a quick run-down: The RGB parade works very similar to the waveform monitor, but instead of showing total combined luminance for the image, it splits the luminance into the separate RGB channels that make up the image.You can use this to your advantage in finding color casts. There are exceptions for when the production design or content of a scene is primarily one color (a close up on a red hat, a shot of the sky, or a room that is vividly yellow with orange furniture, etc.) but in general, most shots will have a fairly even balance between the three channels overall, with small variations in one tonal range or another.If you look at a shot’s RGB Parade and see one color obviously out of line with the other two and it isn’t motivated by production design, you probably have bad white balance or a color cast on the shot that you’ll want to remove during the correction pass.Here’s a shot where the camera was accidentally set on tungsten white balance while outside in sunlight. You can see both in the parade and the image that there’s way too much blue. Using Printer Points to Fix White BalancePrinter points come from the early days of film color correction, where they would shine color filtered (RGB) lights with varying intensities through a negative print onto a positive print to make a color corrected version of the film. They aren’t the primary way that colorists in the DI age adjust color, but some color grading software includes these controls, and they can be a powerful way to remove color casts and fix bad white balance.Printer points affect the image as a whole instead of specific tonal ranges, so you can shift entire RGB channels on the RGB Parade. Printer points generally cover a 50 point range per channel, with the starting/neutral state at 25 points. Since Printer points affect the same channels you see in the Parade, just adjust the controls to add or remove each color and get the channels roughly lined up.Using the Channel/RGB Mixer to Fix White BalanceAnother control that works very similar to printer points is the Channel or RGB mixer. In most software, the RGB mixer lets you adjust the amount of red, green, and blue in each channel (yes, RGB control for R, G, and B channels!) It’s a little crazy – and you should definitely play around and experiment with it’s other uses – but if you only adjust the Red in the R channel, the Blue in the B channel, etc., then it works just like printer points. Use it in conjunction with the parade, get the channels close together, and remove that color cast.Using the Offset Controls to Fix White BalanceThe other main control that can help you quickly fix white balance is the offset control. It usually takes two forms: sliders and a hue/color wheel. The sliders function almost exactly like the printer points or the RGB mixer; bring the amount of R, G, or B up or down depending on what you do with the sliders. The hue offset wheel is a little different than the rest of the controls covered above. You’ve probably seen it before, called a “color corrector” (FCP), a “fast color corrector” (Premiere Pro) or just an “offset” wheel (Resolve). The concept is the same for all of these. Push the hue like with a traditional three-way color corrector, but shift the entire image to that hue instead of just specific tonal ranges.There are advantages and disadvantages to using this control with the RGB parade. If you can pick out what color cast your shot has, just push the wheel in the opposite direction, so it’s very intuitive. The problem comes when you can’t exactly put your finger on what color needs to be removed, and you start relying on the parade to make the adjustment. Because you don’t have separate RGB controls, the direction you push the wheel affects all three channels in different amount, so you may have to play with it to get the right combination of RGB on the parade.As you can see, all of these controls function in pretty much the same way, but knowing what variations there are on these controls will let you know what options your chosen NLE or color grading software has for you to work with. After removing the cast from the shot, you can see that the RGB channels roughly line up on the parade.last_img read more