Bulldogs Post Strong Performances on First Day Of Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational

first_imgAnother PR and prelim win for Deonne Witherspoon 6.76 in the 60 dash pic.twitter.com/RxFTSWjZnV— Drake TF & XC (@Drake_TFXC) February 3, 2018 The men’s team’s evening was capped by Malik Metivier (Toronto, Ont.) finishing 10th overall in the 400 meters with a big personal best of 49.15. 60-Meter Hurdles (Prelims)3. Mary Young, 8.4723. Bryce Lang, 10.09 Print Friendly Version The Bulldogs’ marks came against a tough field that featured some of the top team in the nation. The women’s team first day at Nebraska was highlighted by senior Mary Young (Urbandale, Iowa) winning her qualifying heat of the 60-meter hurdles in 8.47. Her time was the third fastest time of the evening to advance her to Saturday’s finals. Mary Young wins her prelim section in 8.47 #Drake_TFXC pic.twitter.com/1wlGwcFSKg— Drake TF & XC (@Drake_TFXC) February 3, 2018 The bulk of the team competes Saturday with action starting at 11:30 a.m. for the Bulldogs. 400 Meters10. Malik Metivier, 49.15 PR Malik Metivier 49.15 in the 400… competing very well pic.twitter.com/txHR3grWj9— Drake TF & XC (@Drake_TFXC) February 3, 2018 LINCOLN, Neb. – The Drake University track and field teams unleashed three personal bests in seven events on the first day of the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational hosted by the University of Nebraska.center_img Frank Sevigne Husker InvitationalFeb. 2, 2018 – Lincoln, Neb.Drake Individual Men’s Results60 Meters (Prelims)2.Deonne Witherspoon, 6.76 PR 3rd14 .Aaron Chier, 6.98 60-Meter Hurdles (Prelims)19. Dominic Lombardi, 8.55 Drake Individual Women’s Results60 Meters (Prelims)27. Mariah Crawford, 7.8728. Sophia Jackson, 7.88 Story Links 400 Meters22. Rai Ahmed-Green, 57.7132. Victoria Coombe, 58.35 Friday Results Deonne Witherspoon (South Bend, Ind.) highlighted the evening by winning his preliminary heat of the 60 meters is 6.76. His time dropped his previous best by 0.02 and improved his standing as the third fastest in the event in Drake history. His qualifying time was the second fastest of the day and advances him to tomorrow’s finals. Weight Throw27. Peter Read, 48-8.75 (14.85m)last_img read more

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Softball Drops Pair of Games Saturday to Nationally Ranked Opponents

first_imgStory Links TUCSON, Ariz. – The Drake University softball team lost a pair of games to nationally ranked teams on the second-to-last day of the Wildcat Invitational in Tucson. Drake (10-9) fell to No. 19 James Madison, 8-0, in five innings and No. 23 Minnesota, 4-1.   James Madison (6-2) hit three home runs and Megan Good pitched a one-hitter in the five-inning win. Good hit a three-run home run in the third inning. PDF Box Score Minnesota Kennedy Frank (Chesterfield, Mo.) and Mandi Roemmich (West Des Moines, Iowa) each had one hit off Fiser. Fiser allowed one run on three hits with 13 strikeouts and four walks in a complete game. Nicole Newman (Madison, Wis.) pitched six innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Newman’s record moved to 4-4 on the season. Live Stats vs. Kent State 3/3/2019 – 10 a.m. Roemmich had the only hit off Good while Macy Johnson (Winterset, Iowa) and Newman were the only other Bulldogs to reach base, both came via walks. PDF Box Score James Madison center_img Preview Drake ends the Wildcat Invitational Sunday morning with a 10 a.m. game against Kent State. Print Friendly Version Full Schedule Roster Flosoftball Next Game: Watch Live Minnesota (10-5) scored two runs in the second inning and it stayed that score until the fifth inning when Taryn Pena (Columbia, Ill.) launched a leadoff home run to cut the Gophers’ lead to 2-1. Minnesota though scored two more runs in the bottom of the frame to lead 4-1. Amber Fiser, who one-hit the Bulldogs in the first game Friday, allowed just one walk the rest of the way as Minnesota earned its second-straight win over Drake. Nicole Timmons (Davenport, Iowa) allowed five runs on five with two walks and five strikeouts. Timmons’ record dropped to 6-5 with the loss. Hannah Pals (Des Moines, Iowa) pitched 1.1 innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits.last_img read more

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Volleyball Returns Home to Host Illinois State And Bradley

first_imgPrint Friendly Version Drake Match Notes Live Stats Story Links ESPN3 – vs. Bradley center_img ESPN+ -vs ISU The Drake University volleyball team returns home this weekend for a two-match homestand against Missouri Valley Conference rivals.The homestand begins Friday evening at 6 p.m. against Illinois State and continues Saturday at 5 p.m. when Bradley visits. The Bulldogs return to the Knapp Center aiming to end their current four-match skid, the program’s longest against MVC competition in nearly two seasons. The team recently completed a tough three-match road trip that saw the Bulldogs drop a trio of four-set matches.Drake is 3-2 at home this season including an MVC win over Indiana State that saw Gillian Gergen record a career-high 11 blocks as Drake had 14 team blocks. Gergen leads the MVC in blocks this season with 1.16 per set. In just 18 matches this season, she has already surpassed her block total from last year. As a result, Drake is fifth in the league in blocks with Gergen accounting for more than half of those blocks.Bradley begins the week in third place in the league standings at 3-1 while Illinois State is 2-2 following a strong non-conference schedule. The Bulldogs are 1-4 and aiming the move into the middle of the league standings.Drake has won eight of the last nine meetings with the Braves and last season Drake and Bradley split the season series before Drake took a 3-2 win over the Braves in the MVC Tournament.The Bulldogs are 3-12 at the Knapp Center against the Redbirds and has won two of the last three matches in Des Moines.Following this weekend’s matches, the team travels to UNI next Friday for a 6 p.m. match. Buy Tickets last_img read more

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Men’s Basketball Migrates South For the Week

first_imgThe men’s basketball team begins the week Monday, Nov. 25, with a 12:30 p.m. CST game against Miami University at Hertz Arena in Estero, Fla. The women’s team joins the men midweek for three games starting Nov. 29. Live Stats The Drake University men’s and women’s teams travel south this week for six days of games on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico at the Gulf Coast Showcase. Story Links Drake Game Notes Drake travels to Southwest Florida with a 4-1 record after handling Lehigh, 75-58, Thursday evening behind 18 points from standout newcomer Roman Penn. Penn is also one of the national leaders in assists with 7.4 assists per game to rank seventh nationally. He showed his ability to score and pass in the Lehigh win as he either scored or assisted on 13-straight points in a three-minute span to help the Bulldogs pull away. Watch Live ($) Live Audio The week will be a homecoming of sort for Bulldogs D.J. Wilkins, Tremell Murphy and Anthony Murphy who all played at nearly Florida SouthWestern State College before transferring to Drake. There, they were coached by current Drake assistant coach Marty Richter. Miami is 3-1 this season and is led by Nike Sibande’s 16.5 points per game. The Bulldogs and RedHawks have met just once in their history with Drake earning a 62-44 win in 1986.  Print Friendly Version Monday’s contest will be the first of three for the Bulldogs as they take on either Northeastern or South Alabama Nov. 26 followed by a final game against either Wright State, Murray State, Weber State or LaSalle Nov. 27. All games will be streamed on FloHoops.com and broadcast via radio on ESPN Des Moines 1350-AM.last_img read more

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BREAKING NEWS: DONEGAL GARDAI SMASH TWO DRUGS GANGS AFTER RAIDS

first_imgEXCLUSIVE: GARDAI in County Donegal have smashed two separate drugs rings after raids today.Officers seized cannabis with an estimated value of €120,000 in the townland of Leitir, Kilmcrennan.More than 150 plants were found in two grow houses after the raid which was led by local detectives investigating organised crime gangs. In a separate investigation officers seized €20,000 worth of cannabis from a house in Milford.The estimated value of the drugs is subject to examination.Donegal Daily understands the seizure in Milford – at a property at Aras Ui Domhnaill – came after a nationwide crackdown on drugs gangs using rural counties to grow cannabis.Sources in Sligo say today’s raids are linked to a seizure there. One man and one woman have been arrested and a quantity of cannabis herb has been seized following a stop and search of a vehicle in Ballymote last night.Gardaí stopped a car on the N4, Castlebaldwin, Ballymote, said a spokesman.When the car was searched Gardaí recovered 4 Kg of cannabis resin with an estimated street value of €80,000 subject to analysis.The two occupants of the car, a man in his mid 30s and a woman in her mid 20s, were arrested at the scene. They are currently detained at Ballymote Garda station under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996 and can be detained for up to seven days.Following today’s raids one man has been detained by Gardai and is being questioned in Letterkenny. BREAKING NEWS: DONEGAL GARDAI SMASH TWO DRUGS GANGS AFTER RAIDS was last modified: September 10th, 2013 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:drugs seizedGarda successkilmacrennanMilfordlast_img read more

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DONEGAL GARDA TRAFFIC BOSS ‘HAPPIER’ AFTER EASTER CRACK DOWN ON DRINK DRIVERS

first_imgInspector HarrisonTHE HEAD of the Garda Traffic Corps in County Donegal says he is ‘happier’ with safer driving on our roads, but warned: “Our operations are continuing.”Inspector Michael Harrison was speaking as he revealed that all 368 people breath-tested at mandatory checkpoints in Donegal over the weekend passed the tests.However four other motorists were separately caught drinking and driving by other Gardaí on patrol in the county. The number of people caught drinking and driving in the three months until the end of March in Donegal was up 6.4% on the same three months of 2013.Inspector Harrison said he was ‘happier’ with the safer driving over the Easter weekend with no fatal or serious injury road collisions.Gardaí attended the scene of just three traffic accidents. No-one was seriously hurt in any of them.A number of people were caught driving whilst using mobile phones. “We didn’t have any loss of life or serious injury over the bank holiday weekend and I am always happy when this is the case, especially with the good weather and the increased traffic volumes,” Insp Harrison said today.“We are hoping that the message on drinking and driving is getting through, with everyone stopped during the special operation in Donegal Town giving clear results from breath tests.“I am mindful that the number of people detected drinking and driving is up on last year and four motorists were arrested since last Friday for suspected drink-driving.“Our operations involving both traffic corps gardaí and regular gardaí are continuing across Donegal this week.“I want to thank all those who have been driving safely and urge them to continue to do so during the rest of Easter and on into the future. I’m happier with what we have seen this weekend but we will continue our work to make Donegal’s roads safer for everyone who uses them.” DONEGAL GARDA TRAFFIC BOSS ‘HAPPIER’ AFTER EASTER CRACK DOWN ON DRINK DRIVERS was last modified: April 23rd, 2014 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:Donegal Traffic Corpsdrink driversGardaInspector Michael Harrisonroad trafficlast_img read more

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FROM DONEGAL TO BERKELEY – SPUNOUT FOUND RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS AWARD

first_imgFormer Ballyshannon resident Ruairí McKiernan has been selected for a prestigious Fulbright TechImpact Award.Award winner Ruairi. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.The award recognises Ruairí’s exceptional leadership and ingenuity in using technology for social change.It provides him with a scholarship to undertake cutting edge research at the pioneering Citizen Engagement Laboratory in Berkeley, California, where he will explore the latest developments in how the internet can be used to improve community engagement, democracy and political decision making. Ruairí, who in 2011 was appointed to the Council of State by President Michael D. Higgins, is no stranger to this area of work, having set up the multi-award winning SpunOut.ie youth organisation ten years ago in Ballyshannon.He currently work as an independent campaigner and consultant, helping individuals, non-profits and companies reach their full potential. Part of this work involves helping co-found Uplift, a new organisation that seeks to become a force for people powered campaigning.Speaking after a reception at the U.S Ambassador’s residence, Ruairí said it is a great honour to have been selected for the award.“The Fulbright award offers me invaluable support to continue my work in advancing the cause of people power and in forging international links. “I am really humbled to have been chosen as a Fulbright Scholar and to be able to spend time in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is a global hub for progressive innovation and ideas. Ireland is at huge a turning point in history and we need all the new ideas we can get.“I’m really excited to spend time with global leaders in technology and social change and to make connections with those who might be able to support some of my work here in Ireland. In particular I’m looking forward to connecting with Irish America and to see how we can better engage Irish people around the world.” FROM DONEGAL TO BERKELEY – SPUNOUT FOUND RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS AWARD was last modified: May 23rd, 2014 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:awardBallyshannondonegalRuairi McKiernanSpunout.ielast_img read more

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BREAKING NEWS: GARDAÍ ARREST TWO MEN IN CONVOY ARSON INVESTIGATION

first_imgThe scene of the arson attack in the early hours of FridayBREAKING NEWS: Two men have been arrested by detectives investigating the double arson attacks in Convoy, Donegal Daily can reveal.The men were detained at separate addresses in east Donegal following an intensive Garda investigation since the attacks on an Orange Hall and Presbyterian Church in the early hours of last Friday.It’s understood a number of searches have also taken place as a result of the fast-moving Garda inquiries. The Orange Hall was destroyed in the arsonists’ attack.A bible was set alight at the nearby Presbyterian Church but thankfully the fire there did not take hold.There has been widespread condemnation of the October 3rd incidents which have sickened the community in Convoy.Church leaders from all sides have come together to say those behind the incidents will not be allowed to divide the community. The Convoy attacks came just three weeks after an Orange Hall in Newtowncunningham was also destroyed in an arson incident.It’s understood the two men arrested in east Donegal will also be questioned about that incident. BREAKING NEWS: GARDAÍ ARREST TWO MEN IN CONVOY ARSON INVESTIGATION was last modified: October 7th, 2014 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:arrestsarsonattacksconvoyOrange Hallsectarianlast_img read more

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EURO 2016 QUALIFIER: COLEMAN, AND MCGEADY START BUT ROBBIE KEANE LEFT OUT

first_imgSeamus Coleman has been named in Martin O’Neil’s starting XI to face Scotland at Celtic Park tonight.Coleman missed Ireland’s double-header against Gibraltar and Germany last month through injury, but the talented Killybegs right-back has been brought straight back into the team.He’ll face his Everton teammate Steven Naismith who earlier this week described Coleman as the best right-back in Europe. Aiden McGeady who will run a gauntlet of hate tonight has also been named to start.McGeady qualifies to represent Ireland through his Donegal heritage, his grandfather hails from Gweedore.However, McGeady’s decision to choose Ireland ahead of Scotland prompted him to become a hate figure during his time at Celtic FC.The big surprise was O’Neil’s decision to drop talisman Robbie Keane from the starting line-up. EURO 2016 QUALIFIER: COLEMAN, AND MCGEADY START BUT ROBBIE KEANE LEFT OUT was last modified: November 14th, 2014 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:celtic parkEuro 2016Home-page SportIrelandnewsScotlandlast_img read more

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TWIN TOWNS BOXER DONNA SCOOPS GOLD IN INTERMEDIATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

first_imgTwin Towns boxer Donna Barr has won an Irish Intermediate boxing championships in the National Stadium Dublin.Donna after she won her Intermediate titleDonna, who boxes at 50kg, defeated K. McCarthy of Golden Cobra B.C. Dublin by unanimous decision. The scores outpointed her opponent 40-36, 40-36, 39-37.She dominated all four rounds by working on the back foot and landing clean singular lefts and rights and every time her opponent came forward she picked her off. This is Donna’s third Irish National title for the Twin Towns Boxing Club.Her club mate Paul Kelly was also in action on Saturday in the semi-finals boxing at middle weight where he also won.He now boxes in the finals next Friday night in the National Stadium with the championships being televised live on TG4 next Friday night.TWIN TOWNS BOXER DONNA SCOOPS GOLD IN INTERMEDIATE CHAMPIONSHIPS was last modified: November 30th, 2014 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:boxingdonegalDonna BarrTown Townslast_img read more

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HUGE CHINESE VESSEL DOCKS IN KILLYBEGS – WITH CONSIGNMENT OF WIND TURBINES!

first_imgA massive Chinese Vessel carrying a huge consignment of wind turbines has docked in Killybegs following a 36-day voyage.The vessel which is called MV Rui Ming 6 left Taicang, China on the 17th of December with the consignment.It’s believed that the ship is one of the largest Bulk Wood Chips Carrier vessels to ever dock in Killybegs. However, the objective of this marathon voyage was to successfully unload the cargo of wind turbines.The erection of wind turbines has been controversial topic in Donegal, especially among some residents in Glenties.They have raised the alarm over the safety of turbines after a number were brought crashing down during some adverse weather.Although it is not yet known where the wind turbines will be distributed to. However, Artic Ship agents were delighted the vessel docked in Killybegs and said they had worked for over five months to secure the contract.A spokesman for Artic Ship agents said, “We have been working on securing this project for the last five months and are very pleased to now finally see the vessel in Killybegs.“This would not have been possible without the co-operation and assistance of a  number of companies and people who were central in securing the contract.“Special thanks must go to the Killybegs Harbour Master and his team, Atlantic Towage and Marine for providing Tugs and Pilot and EK Marine for providing cranes.“Celtic Shipping, and Killybegs Stevedores also deserve praise because without their expertise and experience this project would never have got off the ground. “Going forward this is a step up for the Port of Killybegs to show that we can handle vessel’s of this size and we’re confident that we will attract more similar projects and vessels using Killybegs Port in the future.“This will also help secure future employment and will have knock-on effects to service providers and the entire town.HUGE CHINESE VESSEL DOCKS IN KILLYBEGS – WITH CONSIGNMENT OF WIND TURBINES! was last modified: January 22nd, 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:Featuresnewslast_img read more

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DONEGAL FARMERS LOOKING SHEEPISH OUTSIDE THE DAIL!

first_imgThis sheep had a close shave after hearing he could have been on the menu in the Dail restaurant.There’s not a lot of people can pull the wool over the eyes of Donegal farmers.And it certainly didn’t happen outside Dail Eireann yesterday either.George Graham of the National Sheep Shearing Association shears a sheep outside Dáil Éireann while agriculture minister Simon Coveney and Gaeltacht minister Joe Mc Hugh look on. Also included are Feargal Friel, Cllr. John Ryan and Yvonne Harkin of the An Grianan Sheep Shearing Association.This photo was taken for the national launch of the Sheep Shearing Championships which take place on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31May on the Grianan Estate, BurtDONEGAL FARMERS LOOKING SHEEPISH OUTSIDE THE DAIL! was last modified: May 8th, 2015 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:An Grianan EstateDail Eireanndonegalsheep shearinglast_img read more

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GAA PUNDIT PAT SPILLANE VOICES SUPPORT FOR ARRANMORE ISLAND FISHERMAN

first_imgFormer Kerry GAA star and RTE pundit Pat Spillane has publicly voiced his support for the plight of Arranmore Island fishermen.Spillane appeared on The Late Late Show and gave an in-depth interview to host Ryan Turbidy. One of the issues Spillane discussed passionately was his fears regarding widespread rural decline all over Ireland.He pointed to the TV3 programme ‘Islanders’ as an example of how areas and Islands could be potentially wiped out due to severe draconian measures taken by powerbrokers in Brussels.He used Arranmore Island fisherman Neilie Kavanagh as an example of everything that is wrong with the current system.Simply click play on the video above to listen to what Spillane had to say. GAA PUNDIT PAT SPILLANE VOICES SUPPORT FOR ARRANMORE ISLAND FISHERMAN was last modified: May 10th, 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:Arranmore IslandFeaturesnewsPat Spillanelast_img read more

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DD Pets: Adding a second dog to a home – with LK Pets

first_imgIf you are thinking on adding a dog to your house with an existing dog there is a few things you should take into consideration. Firstly ask yourself are you getting a second dog for the right reasons? Lots of people get second dogs in hope that their dog will stop its destructive behaviour, nuisance barking or their separation anxiety.by Ray Breslin of the K9 Academy, Letterkenny. Sometimes this can help but more often than not you will end up with two noisy destructive dogs as dogs quickly learn from other dogs.Often people get a second dog as they feel guilty for not spending enough time with their existing dog and just want a friend to keep their dog company. Although the thought is nice and well intended its not a good reason to get a second dog as you will then have two dogs craving their humans companionship.So you have decided that none of the above are applicable to you and you just love dogs and want another, what do you need to know and do before getting another?If you have an elderly dog that just likes a small walk and to relax inside with its humans you should look into rescuing a dog of similar energy. Adding a puppy would only make life stressful for an older dog and both could end up with behavioural issues. Although most of the time same gender dogs get along just fine for novice dog owners it is best to get the opposite gender to what you already have in the house.Adding a big dog to a house with a small dog and vice versa. This is completely fine as long as your existing dog does not mind big/small dogs. Usually after a month or two they will get along just fine.If you are getting a puppy or adding any new dog into your house it is important to give your existing dog lots of attention as often the new arrival gets all the attention and this can stress out your existing dog and create conflict between the two.Your existing dog may act suspicious for awhile if you see them being extra watchful of the new member of the family be careful as often a dog fight can follow. So set up a management system and keep all interactions outside until your dog has accepted the new member.Do not let your existing dog “put the new dog in his place” this is a ranking system and dogs do not follow a ranking system. If you allow this to happen there can be possible conflict throughout their lives together. Ask a professional for help choosing the right dog or puppy to bring into your house.Always introduce the two dogs away from the home in a neutral area this will help ease the transition of the new dog into the house.DD Pets: Adding a second dog to a home – with LK Pets was last modified: October 10th, 2016 by Ray BreslinShare 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

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Sales of homes in Donegal on the decrease

first_imgProperty sales in Donegal have fallen by up to 100 this year, according to a new analysis of the Property Price Register.568 homes were sold in Donegal in the first six months of 2017, which is a 14.5% decrease on 664 sold this time last year. Residential sales in Donegal reached a total of €67,785,830 in the first six months of 2017, down 7.4% from €73,213,397 in 2016.These figures have emerged from a new study based on an analysis of the Property Price Register by property website MyHome.ie.MyHome.ie found that there were 23,148 homes sold nationwide in the first half of 2017. A total of €5.8 billion was spent, up 15% on the €5.1 billion in the first half of 2016.Donegal and Clare were the only counties where residential property prices did not increase. The amount spent on homes in Donegal fell by 7%.Sales figures rose in 20 counties and fell in six, but the amount spent in each county was up in all with the exception of Donegal and Clare. Sales in Dublin rose by 11% to 7,455 in the surveyed time span. Over €3billion of the national spend was in the capital.Sales of homes in Donegal on the decrease was last modified: September 11th, 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:donegalHOUSE PRICESmyhome.iepropertylast_img read more

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Historic day as plaque unveiled to Donegal war hero

first_imgAn official plaque has been unveiled to commemorate the late James Duffy, VC in Letterkenny.The unveiling of the plaque, organised by the Ulster History Circle, was performed by James Duffy’s daughter, Mrs. Nellie O’Donnell.James Duffy was born at Crolly in West Donegal on 17th November 1889 to parents Peter and Kate Duffy, and as a young baby was brought to Bonagee, Letterkenny where he lived most of his life. When the Great War broke out James joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in Glasgow, and it was for his heroic actions in Palestine that he was awarded the Victoria Cross.Private James Duffy Reg. No. 6/17978 with the 6th Batt. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (10th Division) was cited – ‛For most conspicuous bravery at Kereina Peak, Palestine on 27th December 1917, displayed whilst his company was holding a very exposed position.Private Duffy (a stretcher bearer) and another stretcher-bearer went out to bring in a seriously wounded comrade. When the stretcher-bearer was wounded, James returned again to get another man. Both men went forward into the line of fire and the relief stretcher bearer was killed.Private Duffy then went forward alone, and under heavy fire, succeeded in getting both wounded men under cover and attended to their injuries. His gallantry undoubtedly saved both men’s lives, and throughout he showed an utter disregard of danger under heavy fire.’ He was 28 years of age. His citation appeared in the London Gazette 4th supplement on 27th February 1918. He died on 7th April 1969 at Drumany and is buried in the Conwal Cemetery, Letterkenny, and his VC is in the collection of the Inniskilling Museum at Enniskillen Castle, Co. Fermanagh.Chris Spurr, Chairman of the Ulster History Circle comments, ‛James Duffy made a long journey from his birthplace among the hills of west Donegal to the mountains of Palestine, and it was there that his valour brought him lasting honour. One hundred years after Private Duffy won the Victoria Cross, the Ulster History Circle is delighted to commemorate this heroic soldier with a blue plaque in Letterkenny.The Circle thanked the Ulster-Scots Agency for their financial support towards the plaque, and Donegal County Museum for their assistance.’All pictures by kind permission of Brian McDaid.Historic day as plaque unveiled to Donegal war hero was last modified: November 14th, 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:james duffyletterkennyplaquelast_img read more

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New Youthreach Coordinator appointed to Donegal ETB’s Gortahork Youthreach Centre

first_imgDonegal ETB has appointed a new Coordinator to its Gortahork Youthreach Centre. Caitriona Cullen has been appointed following the former Coordinator’s move to a new post.Gortahork Youthreach is based in Donegal ETB’s Gortahork Adult Education and Training Centre. Caitriona has been working as the Acting Coordinator of the Leixlip Youthreach centre on a number of occasions and as a full-time teaching staff member (resource) for the previous eighteen years.A native of Kilmacrennan, she’s delighted to have found an opportunity to move back home to the county and to continue working in Youthreach.Speaking about her new appointment, Caitriona said she was delighted to be taking over the management of one of Donegal ETB’s six Youthreach centres around the county.“Youthreach is a fantastic education programme for young people aged 16-20 years who may have struggled with the former education system previous to joining the programme. I’m really looking forward to building on the good work and strong relationships created by the two previous Coordinators.” Youthreach is the Department of Education and Skills official education, training and work experience programme for young people aged 16–20 years who have left school early or for whom the formal education system has proved difficult. It offers young people the opportunity to gain qualifications and identify options for progression within their lives.Speaking about Caitriona’s appointment, Donegal ETB’s Director of Education Cróna Gallagher said, “ Tá lúchair orainn fáilte a chur roimh Chaitríona agus í ag dul i mbun a cuid oibre i gCumasóige i nGortachoirce. Tá ceangal mhór idir an chlár agus an pobal sa cheantair agus tá mé cinnte go leanfar ar aghaidh le seo.“Youthreach is just one of our many Further Education and Training (FET) programmes across the county and the Gortahork centre has an important contribution to make to our FET service delivery.”Caitriona took up her appointment on 06 November. Gortahork Youthreach can be contacted on 074 91 35218 or through the Donegal Youthreach Programme’s Facebook and Twitter accounts @DonegalYR.New Youthreach Coordinator appointed to Donegal ETB’s Gortahork Youthreach Centre was last modified: November 11th, 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:Caitriona CullendonegalgortahorkYOUTHREACHlast_img read more

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Donegal celebrates Tidy Towns success after scooping huge amount of awards

first_imgDonegal was very well represented in the final of the SuperValu Tidy Towns competition, with towns from across the county being commended for their hard work.In the North West and West Region, 83 towns and villages competed to be named Ireland’s tidiest town, an accolade awarded to Westport in Mayo.Buncrana and Letterkenny scooped gold medals, Glenties and Malin secured silver medals, and Carrigart and Raphoe nabbed bronze medals! In the county awards, Letterkenny was titled the County Winner! Glenties was given a Highly Commended award, and Buncrana was also Commended. Kerrykeel achieved the Endeavour award for a remarkable improvement in score since 2016.Buncrana scooped the Let’s Get Buzzing Pollinator Award – sponsored by Local Authorities, and Culdaff won the Waters & Communities Award (Highly Commended) sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland, Waterways Ireland and the Local Authority Waters & Communities Office.Carrigart was also given the Waste Prevention Award (Highly Commended) sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, and was the joint winner of the Gaeltacht Award Winner sponsored by Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, sharing the prize with Béal an Mhuirthead in Mayo.The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, presented the awards to the towns at a prize-giving ceremony last night. Minister Ring also announced a grant scheme for Tidy Towns committees that will enable each committee to apply for a grant of between €1000 and €4000 in recognition of the competition’s 60th anniversary next year.Minister Ring said: “It is fantastic to have the opportunity this evening to meet TidyTowns groups from across the North West and Western region.“These awards are just a small recognition for the efforts of so many volunteers who take pride in their home town and work tirelessly to make it a better place now and for future generations. This selfless effort and the generosity displayed by these volunteers makes a huge difference in our communities.“We also recognise all the other TidyTowns groups, not here today, who are also committed to improving their community’s year on year but have yet to achieve formal recognition in the competition.“I must make special mention of Westport, the overall regional winners and national winners of the Tidiest Large Town. Everyone in the town is proud of what they have achieved. Congratulations to them as well as all of today’s other prize-winners. “2018 sees the 60th Anniversary of Tidy Towns and I am delighted to announce a €1.4 million grant scheme from my Department to Tidy Towns groups around the country.“The Tidy Towns competition sponsored by SuperValu has made our country a better place to live in and to visit. The work is carried out on a voluntary basis and we all benefit from it. This investment by the Government will further enhance our towns and villages and represents great value for money.”The Minister also thanked TidyTowns’ main sponsor SuperValu: “For 26 years SuperValu has been involved in this competition at local and national level and they have helped it to flourish and grow and continue to demonstrate a real commitment to supporting local communities. They have worked closely with Department officials to help make it the success it is today.”Richard Lennon, SuperValu Regional Manager said: “At SuperValu we believe in building vibrant local communities and the SuperValu TidyTowns competition goes to the heart of what community is all about. The incredible dedication shown by the volunteers involved is truly admirable and continues to amaze us year after year. “Their relentless commitment to working to build better local communities is what makes this competition the success it is today. As Ireland’s leading grocery retailer, with 219 stores across Ireland and retailers embedded in communities around the country, SuperValu is extremely proud to have sponsored TidyTowns for the past 26 years, one of the longest running sponsorships in Ireland.“I am delighted to recognise the dedication of TidyTowns committees in the North West and West who are at the heart of their local communities, working tirelessly behind the scenes throughout the year to enhance their locality.”Interest in the TidyTowns competition sponsored by SuperValu has been stronger than ever in recent years and with a record 870 communities entering the competition in 2017.The competition has been running since 1958 and is organised by the Department of Rural and Community Development. The competition has been sponsored by SuperValu since 1992.Featured image by Brian McDaid.Caption: 16/5/17: Cllr James Pat Mc Daid with Brendan Mc Glynn from the Quiet Moment, and members of the Letterkenny Tidy Towns including Denis Doyle, Neily McDaid, Anne Mc Gowan (Chairperson) and Neil Blockley and from Letterkenny Tidy Towns pictured at this years launch of Paint your Town Beautiful in association with Anne Blake and Clare McDonough from La Maison Interior Design. Photo Brian McDaidDonegal celebrates Tidy Towns success after scooping huge amount of awards was last modified: September 30th, 2019 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:awardsbuncranadonegalletterkennyMichael Ringtidy townslast_img read more

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Caution urged as further snow-ice warning issued

first_imgThere is no let up to the cold snap as Met Éireann has issued a new nationwide snow-ice warning as more wintry showers are forecast for tomorrow night.Scattered snow showers are expected tomorrow night and into Friday morning, with accumulations of less than 3cm possible.They warn of slippery paths and roads due to the accumulation of ice on untreated surfaces. The warning comes into effect tomorrow evening at 9pm, and will remain in place until 12 noon on Friday.The regional forecast suggests that tomorrow will be mostly mild with the risk of thundery showers before temperatures dip in the evening.“Some of the showers in the west will turn heavy and possibly thundery during the afternoon and evening. Highs of 5 to 8 Celsius in light to moderate southwest breezes, which will increase fresh to strong near the west coast,” Met Éireann says.The heavy snowfall across Donegal last night rendered the roads treacherous, with emergency services attended the scene of an accident N13 road at Drumkeen on the Letterkenny to Ballybofey Road. There were several reports of cars slipping off roads across the county, with a Letterkenny motorist colliding with a stop sign yesterday evening and a Toyota Avensis sliding into a ditch on the road between Fintown and Meenaroy this morning. A car slipped into a ditch on the road between Fintown and Meenaroy in the early hours of this morning. Picture by Tomo Pattison.Picture by Tomo Pattison.Gardaí are asking road users to exercise caution and to keep up to date with weather alerts and traffic conditions during the cold snap.They urge motorists to reduce their speed and increase braking distances, use dipped headlights at all times, give extra space to vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.Gardaí also advise cyclists and motorcyclists to consider alternative transport where necessary and ask pedestrians to walk on the right hand side of the road facing traffic if there are no footpaths.You can keep up to date on gritting information by following Donegal County Council on Twitter @RoadsDCC or @DonegalCouncil or on their Donegal County Council Facebook page.Caution urged as further snow-ice warning issued was last modified: February 9th, 2018 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:Met Eireannsnow ice warningweatherlast_img read more

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Finn Harps pair detained by Gardai after public order incident

first_imgFinn Harps have said that they are ‘aware of a situation’ after two players were reported to have been detained by Gardai following an alleged incident in Dundalk.The alleged incident happened in the early hours of Monday morning on Park Street in Dundalk.The two players, brothers Michael and Ciaran O’Connor, who featured in Saturday night’s 2-0 win over Cobh Ramblers, will be available for Harps’ game against Wexford Youths on Friday night in Ballybofey, the club has said. Michael O’Connor is on loan at Harps from Shamrock Rovers, while Ciaran O’Connor is in his second spell at Harps having previously been at the club last season.Gardai have confirmed that two males were detained for public order offences and were held for a number of hours.Harps have held their own internal enquiries.“The club is aware of a situation but cannot make any further comment,” a club spokesman said. Harps manager Ollie Horgan was questioned on the matter at a press briefing in Letterkenny ahead of the Wexford clash, but declined to comment.A Garda statement about the incident said: “While on patrol in Dundalk on Monday, March 19, at approximately 3.25am, Gardai observed a male, 19, was damaging cars.“Members attempted to arrest the male but the suspect’s brother, 21, impeded. Gardai called for ­assistance.“While suspect was being placed into patrol car he became free and made his escape.“Gardai caught the male and placed him in a patrol car.” A video clip emerged yesterday, purporting to show the pair being detained by Gardai, and has been widely circulated this morning. Finn Harps pair detained by Gardai after public order incident was last modified: March 22nd, 2018 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)Tags:Ciaran O’ConnorDundalkfinn harpsGardaiMichael O’Connorlast_img read more

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Toilets welcomed for island but more facilities needed – Cllr

first_imgThe placing of a portable toilet on Gola Island off the Donegal coast has been welcomed.However, Cllr Micheal Mac Giolla Easbuig said a huge amount of work still needs to be done for Donegal’s islands.He said “It’s encouraging to see toilets made available on Gola island for locals and the visitors. It’s very important that the proper infrastructure is there for all our islands.” However, he added the Government must continue to add to the infrastructure of isolated areas to attract tourism.He said “The state continues to talk about the importance of the Wild Atlantic Way and tourism.“But here in West Donegal on our islands they’re failing to provide the proper infrastructure that is needed for both locals and for tourists in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.“There is work being done in relation to a few of the smaller islands to put toilet facilities and I recognise that and it certainly is encouraging. “But far more work has to be done to promote our islands in the interest of the Islanders and tourism.”Toilets welcomed for island but more facilities needed – Cllr was last modified: May 25th, 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:donegalgola islandTOILETlast_img read more

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Getting a mortgage? What you need to know and prepare for with Advice First

first_imgIn this month’s column with Pascal Curran, financial advisor and founder of advicefirst.ie, we gain a jargon-free guide to understanding the process of planning for a mortgage:At Advice First, as Mortgage Brokers we’ve done all of the research and know the market inside out, meaning that we can talk it through with you in simple terms, and let you know the best available option for you, unbiased, informed (and zero jargon!!)Pascal’s tips for getting Mortgage Ready:Are you ready to take a leap into home ownership (congratulations!) and unsure of the steps to take, and how to ready yourself for this journey? We’ll break some of it down to simplify the process, it’s good to do your homework so that you can be armed with knowledge before you’re bombarded with info (…and a sales pitch!) and luckily, we’ve done this homework for you, and can help you in a personalised way when you call in to us. Income:Lenders looking closely at your basic income; make sure you have three months payslips at the ready, last year’s P60 and a salary cert completed by your employer (you can obtain a salary cert from your Mortgage Broker or lender).Permanency:To obtain a mortgage you must have completed your probationary period and you should have at least six months (but preferably twelve months) in continuous employment. Lenders want to see consistency and long-term ability to repay.Costs:Having saved for this beforehand, is sensible. For example, do you have enough money set aside for the deposit, valuation and legal fees, and for furnishing the property? You will be required to have lender evidence on paper – e.g. bank statements and gift confirmation (if any) of this deposit prior to the loan offer being issued. Please note: You should also consider the additional costs incurred in taking a mortgage, including the cost of the valuation and the cost of the solicitor. Shop around and find out what the average cost will be, you should never instruct a valuation or solicitor until you get advice from your Mortgage Broker.Savings:Lenders will require evidence of savings. Not only is this showing that you can live within your means, it also demonstrates good financial planning and an ability to make repayments.Paperwork:When you go to your Broker or lender you should bring the following bits and pieces:3 months’ recent payslips (some lenders require less)6 months’ bank account statements (for all bank accounts)6 months’ saving bank account/Credit Union statements12 months’ loan account statements, for all existing loans including existing mortgagesRecent P60Keep an eye on:Check that you have not had any unpaid direct debits or standing orders on your statements (these are sometimes denoted by referral fees). If there are unpaid direct debits or standing orders, check why this occurred and explain this to your Mortgage Broker/Lender. Doing this can save a lot of time later in the process.Ability to repay:Can you show ability to repay i.e. paying rent? You can demonstrate an ability to repay by showing a strong savings history and strong payment history, i.e. ability to pay a specified rent each month. It is important that the rent and savings transactions can be seen on your bank account statements. Loans which have recently been paid off are also useful to show ability to repay.Deep in the O/D:Do you live within your means, avoiding overdrafts? If you have an overdraft, check your six months bank statements and ensure you are not continually falling into the overdraft. If you do not have an overdraft, ensure that you have never overspent and initiated an unauthorised overdraft. Check also that you have not been “living from one pay cheque to another”. If this is the case, very strong savings records may help.Credit history:Don’t forget – if you are unsure about your credit history or if you missed payments in the past, log on to www.icb.ie and pay a small fee to get your credit report sent directly to you. You should show this to your Financial Broker/lender when applying for a loan.In this column each month Pascal will provide financial advice on the most frequently asked topics – here on Donegal Daily and is looking forward to further breaking down the barriers around financial advice in his renowned experienced and jargon-free way!If you would like to book a no obligations consultation with Pascal, click here to visit advicefirst.ie or simply call +353 74 910 39 38 to talk to us today. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram  Advice First Financial Services Ltd trading as Advice First Financial is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.Catch up on Pascal’s first Financial Advice column here:Meet Pascal Curran – Donegal Daily’s new financial advice columnist!Getting a mortgage? What you need to know and prepare for with Advice First was last modified: March 29th, 2019 by Pascal CurranShare 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:advice firstMortgagePascal Curranlast_img read more

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Nightly water restrictions planned to save for busy Easter period

first_imgIrish Water is to issue nightly water restrictions from tomorrow (Mon) night in the Rossnowlagh and Ballyshannon areas. The company said it is preparing for increased demand for water during the Easter bank holiday weekend and is putting plans in place to safeguard supply for homes, businesses and tourists during this busy period.The issue was raised at this week’s meeting of the local municipal authority by Cllr Michael Naughton. Irish Water will need to restrict water supply at nighttime over the coming weeks to fill treated water storage reservoirs.Beginning tomorrow water supply will be restricted each night from 11pm to 7am for customers supplied from the Ballyshannon Public Water Supply Scheme in the Rossnowlagh area during the Easter Holiday season.Tankers will be available to assist in maintaining reservoir levels. The use of tankers is not a sustainable option and Irish Water is appealing to residents, businesses and visitors to reduce their usage to ensure a consistent supply of water for all.Kevin Love Irish water stated “We are managing water supply at the minute but when activity increases due to increased demand over the Easter holidays we will start to run out. “Irish Water, is upgrading the pumping system supplying water to the Rossnowlagh area to cater for the increased demand for high quality drinking water in Rossnowlagh during the holiday season. Irish Water is also urging residents, businesses and visitors in Rossnowlagh to conserve water to help prevent any supply shortages later in the summer.“However it would be very helpful if customers started to conserve water now before demand increases. Customers on higher ground may experience more interrupted supply and we are urging those customers to contact the Irish Water call centre where they experience prolonged outages on 1850 278 278.”The company is replacing 4.1km of problematic water main on R-231 at Corker, Ballyshannon at the end of April 2019 which should help with securing a constant water supply at Rossnowlagh.It is expected that works will last for approximately five weeks.This will result in an improved level of service for consumers being served from this watermain and a reduction in leakage.There will be traffic management in place during these works and Irish Water is working to minimise disruption to consumers and the travelling public during these essential works. To help conserve water customers are also being asked to report any leaks they see on the public network and to repair any private side leaks in their homes and businesses to help restore water levels in the network. Customers can report any public side leaks online at www.water.ie or by calling the customer care helpline 24/7 on 1850 278 278.Irish Water and Donegal County Council have apologised for any inconvenience caused and would like to thank the public in advance for their co-operation.Updates will be issued on the water storage levels at the reservoirs and consumers will be advised when they can return to normal usage.Nightly water restrictions planned to save for busy Easter period was last modified: April 14th, 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:EasterIrish WaterRossnowlaghlast_img read more

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Burt gardener earns national recognition with viewers’ choice award

first_imgAn Inishowen gardener said he was ‘delighted’ to collect the viewers’ choice award last week when he took part in RTE’s Super Garden. Paddy McDermott, 35, who recently showcased his ‘Family Togetherness’ design on the RTÉ show gained the most votes to be crowned Super Garden Viewers’ Choice Award winner.Paddy McDermott with his wife Lynn and daughter FiannaThe Burt man recently featured on the gardening show when he created a ‘Family Togetherness’ design for Kieran and Olivia Kelly from Letterkenny. McDermott competed against four other gardeners designers on the show but missed out on seeing his garden showcased at the Bloom 2019 garden festival in Dublin.Paddy McDermott (middle) competed against four other gardeners designers on the showSpeaking after collecting the award, McDermott said: “I know the support from all around Donegal and beyond has been amazing.“It is an honour to know that people chose my garden, I’m delighted.”This is what the Kelly’s garden looked like before McDermott’s transformation: Credit: RTÉThe garden is now completely transformed with a chill-out space with coloured beanbags for children with potted Bamboo for privacy.He also has a place for the adults with a raised patio under a wooden pergola with a nest seat to swing out under the lavender bed underneath. Paddy also brought in a Japanese Acer as his centrepiece that is surrounded by Japanese forest grass. A water feature is also positioned behind a glass panel on the back wall and spills into a stream running under the patio and can be seen through a reinforced glass panel in the patio floor.Credit: RTÉCredit: RTÉIt wasn’t all plain sailing for Paddy as in the weeks he had to complete the garden transformation he had bad weather including rain, snow and hail to contend with. He got there in the end and produced an amazing garden that has a little something for everyone.Burt gardener earns national recognition with viewers’ choice award was last modified: June 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

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Man dragged partner along ground of local shopping centre

first_imgA Letterkenny man who dragged his partner along the ground in a local shopping centre in front of children has escaped with a warning.John Joyce pleaded guilty to the charge before Judge Paul Kelly arising from an incident at Letterkenny Shopping Centre on March 15. Sgt Jim Collins Letterkenny District Court that gardai received reports of a male “roaring and shouting abuse” shortly after 6pm.He said that the defendant was dragging the female along the ground and was shouting obscenities.He added that there were a number of people present while this was happening, including young children.The court also heard that Joyce did not appear to be under the influence of any substance or alcohol. He said that the female did not wish to give a statement.Barrister, Ms Laura Byrne, representing the defendant, told the court that her client was aged eighteen and wished to apologise to the gardai, the security staff and patrons of Letterkenny Shopping Centre.She added: “This should never have happened. He went down the wrong path and has no excuse for his behaviour. He has indicated his remorse and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.”Ms Byrne also told the court that Joyce had just become a father and has a one-month-old baby and “wants to be a good parent”.Judge Kelly asked if the young woman involved in the shopping centre incident was the mother of the defendant’s baby and he was told that she was.“This is not the sort of example you want to be setting for your child,” Judge Kelly told the defendant.He concluded by giving the defendant the benefit of the Probation Act, meaning a conviction will not be recorded against him and stated: “Hopefully he’s as good as his word”.Man dragged partner along ground of local shopping centre was last modified: June 17th, 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:courtdragJohn Joyceletterkennypartnerlast_img read more

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More than €100,000 spent safeguarding empty Donegal hotel

first_imgAn estimated €108,000 in State funding has been spent since January on security services at an empty hotel in Co Donegal earmarked to open as a direct-provision centre.The Department of Justice funded 24-hour security services at the Caiseal Mara Hotel in the village of Moville on the Inishowen peninsula which was set to open as a direct-provision centre earlier this year.The hotel, where about 100 asylum seekers are still due to be housed, was severely damaged in November 2018 following an arson attack. Invoices released to The Irish Times under Freedom of Information (FOI) Acts show the contractor selected to run the direct-provision centre requested payments of €36,614 over a 10-week period in early 2019.The fortnightly bills were between €7,169 and €7,749 each between late January and early April 2019. to cover the cost of employing 24-hour security staff.Invoices from Orbit Security in Letterkenny to the contractor Bridgestock Care Limited show the company charged about €3,616 per week.Emails released under FOI show the department agreed to reimburse Bridgestock up to €5,000 per week for the cost of securing the hotel. Correspondence dated December 2018 reveals Bridgestock chief executive Michael Gillen warned the amount of work needed on the hotel following the fire had caused “huge frustration and delays in trying to get things done”.Mr Gillen wrote that the owner of the hotel had requested that no works take place until the insurance claim assessment for the fire damage was completed.He noted that 12 staff had already been recruited and trained to work in the centre and warned of “everyday costs” that had arisen since December 4th.For full story see https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/state-spends-more-than-100-000-guarding-empty-donegal-hotel-1.3990185More than €100,000 spent safeguarding empty Donegal hotel was last modified: August 22nd, 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:000arsonattackCaiseal Maradonegalmoville€100last_img read more

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Lyme Disease warning signs to be erected in Letterkenny-Milford area

first_imgCouncillors of the Letterkenny-Milford area have passed a motion calling for signs to alert the public to the dangers of contracting Lyme Disease from ticks.The council will work with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to explore options for placing signage at Glenveagh National Park and local woodlands.The signs are expected to be proposed countywide after Letterkenny-Milford Municipal District Mayor John O’Donnell raised the matter with the local authority on Tuesday. Cllr O’Donnell said that many local Lyme Disease sufferers brought the issue to his attention.Lyme disease is a debilitating bacterial infection that is spread to humans by infected ticks. Not every tick carries Lyme, but it is estimated that 6-10% of the insects are carriers.Cllr O’Donnell said that awareness of the illness is growing as more people get diagnosed. However, those who can afford to Germany for specific diagnoses are facing significant challenges as their results are often not recognised by Irish doctors.Cllr O’Donnell welcomed the response from the council as they plan to contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service under the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.  Small area of Donegal seeing high incidence of Lyme Disease, says expertLyme Disease warning signs to be erected in Letterkenny-Milford area was last modified: September 12th, 2019 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:Cllr John O’Donnellletterkenny-milford municipal districtLyme Diseasetickslast_img read more

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Test your football knowledge in quiz to win some top prizes

first_imgA FOOTBALL-themed quiz is on in Letterkenny this Thursday night as part of the National Football Exhibition.Proceeds from the quiz, which takes place at 9pm in Area 7, will go to Cara House, Letterkenny. Register your team of four by clicking here – https://www.fai.ie/domestic/national-football-exhibition-donegal-table-quiz  – and payment can be made at the event.For individual registration, please email exhibition@fai.ie.Teams of four cost €35 or entry fee of €10 per person.Prizes include signed Ireland jersey, tickets for senior, U21 and women’s national team games The free Exhibition, on show at the Regional Cultural Centre, which has attractions for all ages, welcomed a wide variety of visitors to date and has proved a hit for school groups and family outings.Anyone who visits the exhibition and signs the online visitors book will be in with a chance of winning some top prizes.The National Football Exhibition App which is available to download from the App Store or Google Play Store has a supplementary audio guide available in English or Irish, which gives visitors an extended insight into some of the items on display.The exhibition features some superb items of local interest, as well as Irish football memorabilia and European Championships history. The exhibition is part of a celebration of Euro 2020 coming to Ireland in June of next year.Donegal is the fifth of seven venues outside of Dublin hosting the National Football Exhibition and the exhibition runs until Sunday.Test your football knowledge in quiz to win some top prizes was last modified: September 25th, 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

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Figures show just how popular the Donegal GAA jersey is

first_imgTHE DONEGAL jersey has rarely been more popular than in the last two of years.At the launch of the new Donegal kit on Monday, it was revealed that Donegal’s jersey sales have been second only to Dublin over the last 30 months.All-Ireland champions Dublin led the way for kit sales by manufacturers O’Neill’s Sportswear, but Donegal’s winning of the Ulster title in each of the last two summers has clearly had a big impact. Donegal County Board Chairman Mick McGrath told Monday’s launch that 20,000 jerseys had been sold in the last two years.“They have been sold all over the world and all over Ireland and the UK,” Mr McGrath said. “There is a huge fan base out there. There is a big fan base in Donegal we are progressing. There is a huge amount of work going on and there are exciting things happening in Donegal.”Donegal’s deal with O’Neill’s includes royalties off each item sold meaning the sales of jerseys and other official team wear has the potential to be a good money spinner. McGrath said that the building at the Donegal GAA Training Centre in Convoy is almost ready for opening while the County Board have embarked on a big fundraising drive that includes a €100 ticket draw that has the first prize of a house in Dublin.The new jerseys are again emblazoned with the logo of main sponsors KN Group and tier 2 sponsors, Abbey Hotel.O’Neill’s Sportswear’s Kieran Kennedy said: “We’re looking forward to working together in 2020. O’Neill’s have a tradition of employing skilled personnel from across the north-west and we are embedded in this area. We have 736 people employed in Strabane and 950 on the island of Ireland. Our motto is to think global and employ local.”Figures show just how popular the Donegal GAA jersey is was last modified: November 19th, 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) Tags:Declan Bonnerdonegal county boardDonegal GAAMick McGrathO’Neill’s Sportswearlast_img read more

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The Di Matteo quiz

first_imgSo it’s farewell to Roberto Di Matteo – Chelsea’s Champions League-winning manager. Test your knowledge of his eventful reign as  boss by seeing how many of these five questions you can answer correctly.[wp-simple-survey-49]Are Chelsea right to sack Di Matteo? Click here to vote 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Leeds United boss competing with former club to sign striker – report

first_imgLeeds United manager Neil Warnock is competing with his former club QPR for the signing of striker Habib Habibou, according to the Daily Mail.It is claimed that Rangers are interested in the 25-year-old Zulte Waregem target man and that Warnock is keen to take him to Elland Road.R’s boss Harry Redknapp suggested on Friday that he was unaware of Habibou and not looking to sign him.Rangers are again linked with West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie, with the Mail suggesting he is likely to cost £3.5m and the Daily Mirror claiming that Redknapp is preparing a £4m bid.Meanwhile, Chelsea want former Tottenham star Luka Modric to replace Frank Lampard, according to The Sun.It is claimed Blues owner Roman Abramovich plans to offer Real Madrid £22m for the Croatian playmaker in the summer – when Lampard’s contract ends.Modric, who has been linked with a number of European clubs, was a target for Chelsea prior to his move from Spurs to Real.There has been speculation that he is unhappy in Madrid and would welcome a return to the Premier League.This page is regularly updated.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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Tyson Fisher steps down as Humboldt Crabs manager, Robin Guiver to take over

first_imgAs Tyson Fisher was set to begin his first season as Humboldt Crabs manager in 2014, he also knew that his family was going to growing by one just a few months later.Three months before the 2016 season started, Fisher’s first-born, soon-to-be 2-year-old daughter Brynn, had a little brother, Beckston, to welcome to the family.As him and his wife Kacy’s children get bigger and bigger by the day, Fisher has decided to step away from the Crabs program he once played for and then coached. He …last_img read more

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Fishing the North Coast: Rain brings fresh kings to Smith, Chetco rivers

first_imgA series of rain storms moved across the North Coast earlier this week bringing sizable rises to the Chetco and Smith rivers on Tuesday. With off and on rain in the forecast, both rivers should fish well for the next few days. Prior to the rain, fishing was tough for the masses, but the guys who are out there every day were catching their share. With the increase in flows, the rivers should see a pretty good influx of new kings, and should push the older fish into their spawning grounds. We’ll …last_img read more

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Humboldt State softball beats Dixie State for second consecutive West Region title

first_imgArcata >> From the opening pitch of the 2017 season, the target on the Humboldt State softball team’s back was as big as ever. The Jacks were the defending West Region champions and finished just one victory shy of winning the program’s third national title, with a good chunk of that team back for another go at reaching the mountain top.The road was not always as smooth as it was 12 months earlier. But once postseason rolled around, the Jacks simply became the unbeatable force that helped them …last_img read more

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All square atop the Big 5 standings

first_imgThe performance was far from perfect, but the result was everything Del Norte could have hoped for, as the Warriors defeated the Tigers 7-2 in Big 5 softball action at Arcata High Tuesday afternoon.The win lifts the Del Norte girls into a tie with McKinleyville atop the Big 5 standings, with each team off to a perfect 3-0 start early in the campaign.The visitors broke open a tight game with four runs in the top of the third and took advantage of too many Arcata errors and some solid pitching …last_img read more

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How the Warriors made training camp practices more efficient

first_imgThe Warriors won’t proclaim themselves NBA champions already. But only one week into training camp, and Warriors coach Steve Kerr said “it’s the best camp we’ve had” since he began coaching them in the 2014-15 season.Those are telling words considering the Warriors have won three NBA titles in the past four years under Kerr. It helps that the Warriors still have their four All-Stars in Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. They added a fifth one last summer by …last_img read more

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49ers add a veteran quarterback to roster

first_imgThe 49ers added veteran quarterback Tom Savage to their roster Tuesday, less than 24 hours after a crushing 33-30 road loss to the Green Bay Packers.Savage is expected to serve as the No. 3 quarterback behind a healthy C.J. Beathard and backup Nick Mullens.“He’s got a strong arm. He’s a very tough player. Hangs in that pocket and plays position well,” Coach Kyle Shanahan said in a conference call. “I was a fan of him coming out of college. He’s gotten to play in a number of NFL games so he’s …last_img read more

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Sharks post-game video: DeBoer discusses call that flipped Game 2

first_imgAfter falling behind early, the San Jose Sharks rallied to tie Game 2 of their NHL Playoff series against the Vegas Golden Knights. Unfortunately, they still had two more periods to play.The Sharks were unable to answer two goals that was ultimately the difference in 5-3 contest. After the game, Sharks coach Pete DeBoer zeroed on a key call in the second period. The team thought that Brent Burns shot a goal, putting the team up 4-3, but the officials waved it off and assessed the Sharks a …last_img read more

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Live playoff updates: Sharks topple Avalanche in Game 1

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile device Get live NHL Stanley Cup playoff updates, news and analysis during Game 1 of the Sharks’ second-round series against the Colorado Avalanche Friday at 7 p.m. from SAP Center.[vemba-video id=”van/sc/2019/04/27/bang_2ee4e992-34c2-4470-aa47-65e34ab3a3ff”]The Sharks are coming off the most thrilling game in their 28-year history when they stunned the Golden Knights 5-4 in Game 7 on the strength of a four-goal …last_img read more

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DeMarcus Cousins active for Game 1 but how much might he play?

first_imgTORONTO — After initially anticipating that DeMarcus Cousins would miss the remainder of the NBA playoffs because of a torn left quadricep muscle, he will be active for Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday. Does Warriors coach Steve Kerr know how much Cousins will play, though?“Yeah I do,” Kerr said following morning shootaround on Thursday. “But I’m not going to tell you.”Cousins completed three scrimmages in the past week after receiving clearance to begin …last_img read more

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What Jerick McKinnon’s injury setback really means for the 49ers

first_imgNiners general manager John Lynch told KNBR on Wednesday that running back Jerick McKinnon, who missed all of last season after tearing his ACL, had a flare-up upon his return to practice Tuesday and that the scenario was “not encouraging”.“It’s a real bummer,” Lynch told KNBR’s Murph and Mac. “Particularly at his position, where you have to make hard cuts, you have to put your foot in the ground, and we did it a month ago and we did it a month ago and he kind of regressed and I would say …last_img read more

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Report: Antonio Brown files grievance seeking $40 million from Raiders, Patriots

first_imgAntonio Brown won’t be suiting up for any team any time soon but the former Raiders receiver has made a big play to recoup some money he feels he’s owed.The NFL Network reported Sunday that Brown, through his representatives, quietly filed a pair of grievances against both the Raiders and Patriots on Friday. Brown, who was released by both teams for off-field issues, is asking an arbitrator for nearly $40 million, most of it guaranteed money both Oakland and New England voided because they …last_img read more

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‘Woods women’s basketball wins opener

first_imgAshley Quigley, in her first organized game since playing for Arcata High in the 2016-17 season, led all scorers with 26 points as College of the Redwoods women’s basketball defended home-court on opening night, downing visiting Simpson University 77-71 Tuesday evening.“Everything felt very good tonight,” Redwoods head coach Jain Tuey, now in her third season at the helm, said. “We were feeling very comfortable on the court. We talked before the game about bringing out the excitement and …last_img read more

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The other shoe drops for former A’s prospect Jharel Cotton

first_imgJharel Cotton, once a shiny piece in a big A’s trade, was sent to the Chicago Cubs on Saturday for “cash considerations.”The right-hander had been designated for assignment last Wednesday to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for pitching prospect Daulton Jefferies.Cotton, 27, was one of three pitchers the A’s got in trade from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Josh Reddick and Rich Hill on Aug. 1, 2016. The others — Frankie Montas and Grant Holmes — remain on the Oakland’s 40-man roster. Montas was …last_img read more

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Winged Migration Grows Up

first_imgScientists used to rely on metal bands on birds’ legs to find out how they got from here to there.  Now, they can glue tiny radio transmitters to their shoulders and follow them in real time.  What happened when Princeton scientists hijacked 30 white-crowned sparrows and took them from Seattle to New Jersey?  Age has its advantages, it turns out.  Read about it on PhysOrg and EurekAlert.    The adults soon realized they were 3,000 miles off course, and adjusted their bearing to fly southwest toward their winter quarters in Mexico.  The juveniles, who had never flown home before, flew directly south.  This indicates that the chicks are born with an innate compass that works OK the first time, but experience helps the adults develop a global map that can make corrections.    The white-crowned sparrow usually flies solo at night.  Upon release, all the birds seemed a little disoriented at first.  After a couple of days the adults converged on the correct orientation.    The article did not say if the scientists were able to bring the lost youngsters home, because the devices apparently did not have receivers to which they could send commercials, like “Fly Southwest.”  Hopefully they will enjoy Florida.Ongoing research into bird migration shows that it is a multi-faceted skill that employs magnetic fields, celestial navigation, smell, visual landmarks, and more.  How the chicks of the Pacific Golden Plover fly from Alaska to the tiny specks of the Hawaiian islands, alone, across open ocean, using only an innate compass, is one of those wonders of nature that defies evolution.  Time to enjoy Winged Migration again: a film whose photographic excellence and amazing content should adorn every home theater.  Looks great in HDTV.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Migrating Birds Measure Longitude

first_imgMigrating birds are able to get back on course, even when released 1000 km east of their normal migration path.  This shows that long-distance migrating birds are capable of true bicoordinate navigation: the ability to make course corrections both in latitude and longitude.  The results of experiments, published in Current Biology,1 left the researchers baffled: how do they do it?    Measuring latitude is easy: just judge the height of the sun in the sky.  Longitude (east-west orientation), however, is much more challenging because it requires accurate timekeeping.  The difficulties sailors throughout history had in determining longitude has been described in Dava Sobel’s historical novel Longitude.  Somehow, a team of Russian and German scientists found, birds know the trick.  A flock of migrating Eurasian reed warblers was flown 1000 km to the east of their usual take-off point.  They found their way to their normal nesting ground by shifting their bearing northwest instead of the usual northeast.  “This finding is surprising and presents a new intellectual challenge to bird migration researchers, namely, which cues enable birds to determine their east-west position,” they said.    However it is accomplished, the skill must be learned, because a previous study by Princeton scientists showed that juvenile birds did not correct for longitude when flown off course (see 11/05/2007).  Still, it is unclear how the birds in this new study pulled it off.  Do they read the stars?  Do they gauge the earth’s magnetic field?  Did they measure their jet lag?  “To show what cues the birds use to determine their east-west location,” they said, “will be a big challenge for researchers in this field in the years to come.”1.  Chernetsov, Kishkinev and Mouritzen, “A Long-Distance Avian Migrant Compensates for Longitudinal Displacement during Spring Migration,” Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 3, 12 February 2008, Pages 188-190.Many wonderful and intriguing science projects remain to be performed.  These scientists did not mention evolution and had no need of it.  They saw an amazing phenomenon in present-day, observable nature and sought to understand the design behind it.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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The Limits of Scientific Speculation

first_imgHow far can a scientist speculate and get a respectful hearing, just because he or she is a scientist?  One case to examine is a story on PhysOrg, “The Chance for Life on Io” (see also Astrobio.net).  Jupiter’s innermost large moon Io might be considered the last place to look for life.  It is the most volcanically active place in the solar system.  Its surface varies between scalding hot lava lakes 1649°C and frozen sulfur dioxide snowfields at -130°F.  Beside that, the surface is bathed in Jupiter’s deadly radiation – and there is no liquid water.  Yet astrobiologist Dirk Schulze-Makuch at Washington State University speculates that there could be life there.    In the article, Schulze-Makuch acknowledges that most other scientists generally dismiss Io as a habitat for life, but he thinks there might have been a time in its history when water ice was plentiful, and if ice was there, liquid water might have been there, too.  If liquid water was there, maybe life was there.  If life evolved, maybe some if it went underground and still survives below the surface.  He thinks that the possibility is enough to warrant a future mission to Io to look for signs of life.    The comments after this article were interesting.  Readers got into questions of creation and evolution, atheism and religion.  One called it sheer speculation, but no one seemed to ask whether it was a scientific practice to engage in this kind of evidence-free speculation.Some of the Darwiniac drive-by mudslingers who pass by this site call what happens here “science bashing.”  OK, please: where is the science in the above PhysOrg story?  If you will point it out, we will gladly respect it and honor it.  Why?  Because we love science here (e.g., 06/12/2010, 06/09/2010 and 650 more “Amazing Facts” entries).  But we deplore nonsense.  Is it OK to bash nonsense?  Would you Darwiniacs join with us in bashing nonsense?    This astrobiologist has asked for willing suspension of disbelief by taking the most unlikely body in the solar system for finding life and telling us it might be under the surface.  OK, let’s play that game.  It might be under the sun, too.  After all, the sun has the building blocks of life: protons and electrons.  The sun is not a very likely place for life now, but early in its history it was cooler.  You never know, maybe life arose in a form we cannot even imagine – and maybe it persists today!  We shouldn’t rule that out.  NASA should send a probe to the sun to search for life under the sun.  (No, we won’t add the old joke about doing it at night.)    That extreme example could be multiplied endlessly with milder examples throughout the solar system.  We could speculate endlessly and mindlessly about life on Mimas, or Ganymede, or Iapetus, Pluto, Venus, Miranda, Triton, whatever.  Lots of bodies have water ice.  Many of them might have liquid water deep down under the surface.  Why stop at the current astrobiology favorites of Mars, Titan and Europa?  As long as evidence isn’t required, speculate at will.  All that is necessary is (1) Be a “scientist” in the modern sense (i.e., have a degree, work at a university), which entails no obligation of being correct, and (2) have the Darwinians on your side.  Then you are guaranteed to have a lapdog press to propagandize your views without critical analysis, and an army of Darwin Dobermans who will viciously attack anyone who calls your nonsense speculations “nonsense” as engaging in “science bashing.”  Most of our readers are astute enough to see what is going on.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Biological Systems Provide Infinite Design Inspiration

first_imgIt’s not likely engineers and biologists will run out of inspiration from biology anytime soon.  The source is infinite.We start with a quote from a commentary in PNAS by Michael H. Bartl about work on “butterfly inspired photonics” that applies to all bio-inspired research.  The word “design” is key to the story:Biological systems have been an infinite reservoir of inspiration ever since humans started to develop tools and machinery. Just as early scientists and engineers attempted to mimic birds and fish in the development of flying machines and submarines, today, new technologies find their inspiration from biology, such as gecko feet, antireflective eye lenses, iridescent insects, and water-repellant surfaces. Incorporating biological systems and concepts into technological design can happen in several ways: inspiration, mimicking, and replication. In the latter, entire organisms or body parts are directly used, and their structural features are replicated into another compound. Examples include 3D photonic crystals from iridescent beetle scales or antireflective microlens arrays from insect eyes. In contrast, in bioinspiration and biomimicry, a biological function or activity—rather than the organism itself—is converted into an artificial, human-made material or device. In PNAS, England et al. report an optical micrograting array inspired by a photonic structure found in iridescently colored butterfly wings. The authors demonstrate a micrograting array that not only mimics the unique diffraction properties of the biological structure with reversed color-order sequence, but also can be designed to tune these optical properties.Here’s more news about some of the latest applications coming out of biomimetics research.  The first examples show that robotics is especially keen on biological solutions.Inchworm robot :  “Robot that moves like an inchworm could go places other robots can’t” (PhysOrg).  Made in South Korea, it’s “simple, lightweight, and quiet.”  It may be useful for “rescue and reconnaissance missions, but also as a potential material for smart structures and wearable devices.”Muscle bots : “‘Muscles’ Triggered by Electricity Could Power Tiny Robots” (Live Science). Fibers that expand and contract like muscles could lead to electronics that could automatically rewire themselves—even though the force in the  artificial material is 1,000 times weaker than the power of human muscle.Downhill gecko robots : “What Goes Up Must Come Down: Biologists at UC Riverside show that geckos alter foot orientation during downhill locomotion” (UC Riverside). No one has really figured out how geckos move downhill till these scientists studied it.  They found that the forelimbs act as brakes, the hind limbs as stabilizers.  “The research has applications in robotics, specifically in how robots can be designed to move up and down complicated surfaces.”  Incidentally, geckos on the Australasia side of the Wallace Line grow about twice as big, PhysOrg reports, but scientists as yet do not know why, other than differences in predators.Bird bots :  “Running robots of future may learn from world’s best two-legged runners: birds” (Oregon State U). “Although birds are designed primarily for flight, scientists have learned that species that predominately live on land and scurry around on the ground are also some of the most sophisticated runners of any two-legged land animals.”  They’re even better than humans at leaping over obstacles without losing their speed or focus.  “The running robots of the future are going to look a lot less robotic,” robotics expert Jonathan Hurst said. “They will be more fluid, like the biological systems in nature. We’re not necessarily trying to copy animals, but we do want to match their capabilities.”Sparkling silver fish LED reflectors :  “Mechanism behind nature’s sparkles revealed” (BBC News). The silvery colors seen in schools of sardines and herring are due to disordered arrays of nanoscopic crystals in the scales that exploit light.  This is also true in unrelated species, like beetles, butterfly wings and birds.  Dr. Nicholas Roberts likes looking at nature for ideas we  never thought of; this is why he finds science exciting.  “He added that the structures could be copied to produce highly reflective surfaces to, for example, manufacture reflectors to make LED lights more efficient.”Why sea turtles are plump : “Plump turtles swim better: First models of swimming animals” (University of Wisconsin-Madison).  Modeling a biological system often precedes application.  Engineers at U of Wisconsin were surprised to find that plump turtles swam better than lean ones.  “We can literally design animals now and ask how are they going to function, just like a car or a rocket ship,” researcher Warren Porter said.Bird feather anti-turbulence : “Feathers in flight inspire anti-turbulence technology” (RMIT University).  Inspiration from feathers has “great potential for all sizes of aircraft and could not only reduce the effects of turbulence on passengers but also reduce loads on plane wings, leading to lower fatigue and hence longer life.”Ant electronics : “Ant behavior might shed insight on problems facing electronics design” (PhysOrg). “The swarm-intelligent framework at the heart of [Michael] Hsiao’s approach [at Virginia Tech] is based on long-term research he has conducted using algorithms that simulate the methods used by ant colonies to find the most efficient route to food sources.”Beetle wing deployable structures : “Asymmetric hindwing foldings in rove beetles” (PNAS).  “Rove beetles are known to fold their wings in the most complicated and sophisticated ways that have right–left asymmetric patterns. This asymmetric folding can confer both high deployment capability and high storage efficiency, and therefore has a great deal of potential for engineering applications.”  Examples include “design possibilities for all deployable structures, from space structures to articles of daily use.”Beetle anti-counterfeit ink : “Longhorn beetle inspires ink to fight counterfeiting” (PhysOrg). The longhorn beetle can shift its color from red to black and back again.  Inspired by this feat, Chinese researchers have designed “responsive colloidal photonic crystals” into ink that would make money difficult to counterfeit.  And it’s not just for cash: designing controllable, responsive optical properties “is of great promise for developing advanced responsive … devices such as anticounterfeiting devices, multifunctional microchips, sensor arrays, or dynamic displays.”DNA cancer-fighting package : “Bio-inspired ‘nano-cocoons’ offer targeted drug delivery against cancer cells” (PhysOrg).  At U of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “Biomedical engineering researchers have developed a drug delivery system consisting of nanoscale “cocoons” made of DNA that target cancer cells and trick the cells into absorbing the cocoon before unleashing anticancer drugs.”Parakeet drones : “Bird brains may help drones fly and avoid crashing” (PhysOrg). Starlings fly in formation, but so do budgerigars or budgies (what American consumers call parakeets). “Birds have a remarkable ability to fly through complex environments with incredible speed, rarely colliding.” That inspired tests with budgies in tunnels to see how they avoided objects. The study “has the potential for helping the design of navigation and guidance systems for autonomous drones – especially when you have a flock of delivery drones” like those Google and FedEx want to use to deliver packages to customers.  The article includes the famous video clip of a peregrine falcon at high speed and a goshawk navigating rapidly and flawlessly between trees in the forest.Protein carbon capture : “Inspired by nature, scientists design protein-esque molecules to lock up carbon dioxide” (PhysOrg).  Seashells capture dissolved carbon dioxide in the water through the use of specialized proteins.  Engineers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are using rational design to make “peptoids” (highly stable protein-like molecules), then “are studying the ability of peptoids to assemble into porous materials and mimic protein membranes in filtering out desired targets, such as carbon dioxide.”A-peeling food storage : “The Elixir of Life for Produce: Reducing waste by extending the life of produce” (National Geographic).  The Apeel Corporation is taking cues from the peelings of fruits and vegetables that reduce spoilage.  Keeping produce fresh twice as long would appeal to anyone with food in the frig.  With their new products Apeel, Edipeel and Florapeel coming to market, “Who says bioengineering isn’t romantic?” the article quips.Dog bomb sniffers : “Billions Have Been Spent on Technology to Find IEDs, but Dogs Still Do It Better” (National Geographic). Here’s a nature feat that engineers have not been able to copy yet.  As you remember soldiers on Veteran’s Day, don’t forget their canine companions.  “These working dogs have saved countless soldiers’ lives—and helped prevent PTSD.”  (Note: PhysOrg reports that fruit flies are also good bomb sniffers.)These are things the “Bioneers” have a jump on (see 10/29/05).  You’re missing out because you didn’t think of it first.  But don’t be dismayed; if there is truly an “infinite reservoir of inspiration” in biological systems, you can start looking around your yard right now for a creature to learn about.  Then find out how it solved a real world problem, figure out the principles, create an invention, obtain a patent, start a company, and make a lot of money – while helping humanity.  Did Darwinism ever give you that kind of inspiration?  (Answer: no.  It inspired things like genocide and world wars.)  Design science is on a roll, improving the world.  Nowhere is the contrast between the good fruit of good science and the evil fruit of bad science more apparent than in the contrast between evolution and biomimetics.  “You will know them by their fruits” Francis Bacon said.  Guess where he got that proverb. 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Darwinism Produces Irrational Hate

first_img(Visited 409 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享26 Darwinism should be opposed simply on the grounds of what it does to people’s sensibilities and manners.On CEH’s Twitter feed @crevinfo, we occasionally have to block abusive responders. We give fair warning with the following notice:Each violation produces an additional warning, but this usually just makes the abusive person angrier until they blow off in a cloud of smoke. Invariably, the abusive tweets come from Darwinists who mock creation, using any or all the fallacies in the Baloney Detector. Judging from the language, some are probably uninformed scoffers living in their parents’ basement in their underwear with nothing better to do than mock creation, religion, or whatever else their subculture tells them to hate.Some, however, are working scientists. One might hope scientists would be experienced in the practice of civil discourse during disputes about observational evidence, but that skill must not be part of the curriculum of some. They may start with civility—as if wearing a Greek happy mask—but it usually doesn’t take long for the mask to come off and the reptilian parts of their brains to kick in (22 Jan 2019).A recent case in point is Ray Simpson, a student at Yale earning a PhD in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, who is also an illustrator of Fishes of the Western Atlantic. Illustrating beautifully-designed fish is a worthy enterprise, and it appears from his website and Twitter page that he does great work. Something in his background or education, however, triggers wrath when Darwinism is questioned. Here’s how he responded to our 9 November 2019 article, “Shoving Fossils onto Darwin’s Timeline,” which we tweeted as:CEH: Darwinists shove fossils onto the geologic column kicking and screaming. We show examples from dinosaurs and mammals. Because of the poor fit, the Darwinians have to make up just-so stories of elaborate credulity, like the “pecan pie period.”We backed up that tweet with specific examples in the article. Here is the Twitter dialogue that ensued:Simpson: Please identify the modern kinds of organism found in the Cambrian Explosion, or explain using the creation model why we find no modern kinds of marine organisms in this typical shallow water fauna. No fossil is “forced” in to the column. All Cambrian creatures are BASAL taxa!CEH: Did you read the article? The rules require addressing questions or comments to the contents of a specific article [rules posted]. Please read: [link to article].The article contains nothing about the Cambrian explosion, so his first tweet was not related to the article. There was also nothing about “kinds” as opposed to phyla. He smells a creationist. The mask starts coming off. He continued:Simpson: Maybe answer my question, which was nowhere in that pseudoscience article. WHAT kinds of life living today were alive in the Cambrian? Remember you don’t believe in evolution so kinds can’t be phylum!CEH: That article was not about the Cambrian explosion, but I’m not sure you, an evolutionist, want to go there! 20 phyla appearing suddenly w/o ancestors? I suppose you know about sponges, ctenophores, corals, tardigrades, annelids? Not to mention arthropods, mollusks and chordates.Simpson: They were PHYLA (not kind), and the STEM members of each phylum. Do you know what the stem member of Chordata looks like? It looks like a lancelet, which is a primitive chordate. I certainly DO want to go there, as the primitive life of the Cambrian fits perfectly into evolutionSimpson: Actually there are as many phyla originating in the Cambrian as there are after the Cambrian, and lots of phyla that originate in the Precambrian. There are many phyla that arise in the Cambrian and go extinct soon after. Not sure how this fits creationism???CEH: So you believe in miracles. Instant complex body plans with organs, systems, eyes, articulating limbs, digestive systems, central nervous systems. I don’t have enough faith to believe in your miracles. Neither did atheist Lee Strobel. [Link to episode from The Case for a Creator about the Cambrian explosion.]Simpson mischaracterized the Cambrian explosion, which world experts since Darwin still agree is a major problem for evolutionary theory. But all arguments about the facts of the Cambrian explosion are now fruitless. Simpson goes into attack mode against his hated foes, creationism and the Bible. In violation of the rules, he is way off topic from the original article, and is forcing the discussion toward his preferred direction (see Shifting the Burden of Proof). One clever propaganda ploy is to accuse your opponent of propaganda. Nothing in our tweets so far constitutes a Straw Man fallacy.Simpson: Strawman… none of those are miracles. None of those body plans were “instant”, nor just popped out of nowhere. You believe in lots of miracles, like how freshwater life survived your magic flood or how giant waves didn’t capsize a rudderless barge, or removing all the heatSimpson: You didn’t address my question AGAIN. Why are you creationists so quick to change the subject and post videos. Do your own talking you fraud. Can you please identify ANY modern KIND of organism in the Cambrian Explosion? Where are all the fish, crab, snails, whales, starfish?CEH: strike oneSimpson: No answer huh? You have no idea where all the fish, crabs, lobsters, clams, gastropods, and corals are in the Cambrian, because the Cambrian was 500 million years ago and those creatures didn’t exist yet! What’s your magic flood‘s explanation? Typical creationist threats to banHe has now broken all three rules for dialogue with CEH. He didn’t read the article; he didn’t mention anything from the article, and he calls his opponent a fraud. The mask is off, and the hate appears.CEH: strike two.Simpson: Strike 3, you’re a coward who knows nothing about evolution.We get that response often. When trying to mention facts that contradict Darwinism, mockers respond that we “know nothing about evolution” (see Ridicule, Generalities, Ad Hominem in the Baloney Detector). Since one cannot have a dialogue with a blowtorch, we have to block Mr. Simpson, wishing there had been an opportunity for civil discourse with an expert on Atlantic fish.CEH: Well, you were warned. I hope you can get some therapy for your irrational hatred. Jesus Christ said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Peace.This kind of Twitter interaction could be illustrated with many instances.We were able to print this thread because it did not contain the profanity often included in similar dead-end discussions. What is it that makes Darwinists so full of hate, pride and arrogance? Try as we might to have a respectful conversation about facts, many pro-Darwinism responders cannot abide by common rules of civility.Perhaps it is the nature of social media to make people write with more ferocity against faceless opponents. But we do give fair warning that only civil dialogue will be permitted. And it has to be about something specific in one of our articles. We try to hold them to the rules, asking sometimes repeatedly if they actually read the article under consideration. It’s often doubtful from their tweets that they did read it, and if they did, that they understood it. Their tweets, rather, show that pre-existent hatred was triggered by the mere existence of a voice skeptical of Darwin. Is it surprising that Darwinism produces irrational hate? How could a godless belief in an amoral, unguided process that celebrates ‘fitness’ do otherwise? Darwinism gives license to the worst instincts of man, because it appears to remove all responsibility to a just and moral Creator.Jesus said you would “know them by their fruits.”  The Apostle Paul listed the fruit of the Spirit as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Galatians 5:22-23). He contrasted these with with the works of the flesh, which include not only sexual sins, but also “enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions” which have roots in pride. He warned Timothy that in the last days, “people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” as well as sexually immoral (II Timothy 3:1-4).While it is not pleasant to face the ongoing wrath of Darwinists, in a way it is very satisfying. The righteous are known not only by the friends they keep, but also by those who hate them. Paul saw his persecutors as haters who would have been shouting “Crucify him!” at Jesus. He was grateful to God to take some blows in his stead, because of the greater good that God was accomplishing through him (Colossians 1:24ff):Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.last_img read more

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Egyptair black box recovered

first_imgEgypt has announced that it has recovered the cockpit voice recorder from the submerged wreckage of EgyptAir Flight MS804, just days before the Underwater Locator Beacon (ULB) was estimated to run out of battery.The announcement came a day after officials said they had found the wreckage of the Airbus A320 and are putting together a map of the debris on the seabed. The images will help prove the theory that the airplane broke up mid-air. The wreckage of the Paris-to-Cairo flight is believed to be at a depth of about 3,000 meters (9,800 feet). Previously, search crews found only small floating pieces of debris and some human remains.The cockpit voice recorder was recovered in “several stages” by the search vessel John Lethbridge, operated by the Deep Ocean Search and equipped with Remotely Operated Vehicle, the Egyptian Aircraft Accident Investigation Committee said.Although designed to survive a crash and fire, the recorder had sustained damage, and only its memory unit — “the most important in the recorder” — was recovered unharmed, it said.”This is a great achievement in a short period of time,” said Abdel-Fattah Kato, the former head of EgyptAir . “We are close to finding out what happened to the plane.”The device, which records the pilots’ conversations and other noises from the cockpit, has been taken to the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, where it will be turned over to investigators for analysis. Provided it is in reasonable condition it shoudl take approximately 48 hours to retrieve information from the recorder.Learn more about the Black Box’sIN news just in, search teams have also found the  second so-called “black box” — the aircraft’s flight data recorder, which carries such information as how a plane is functioning, including its altitude, airspeed, key system and the pilots’ inputs. The EgyptAir 180-seat Airbus A320, registration SU-GCC, was flying from Paris to Cairo when it disappeared. EgyptAir Flight MS804 left the French capital at midnight and its transponder signal stopped at 2.33am about 240km north-west of the Egyptian port city of Alexandria while flying at 37,000ft. Terrorism or catastrophic mechanical failure have been the main focus of investigators looking into the disappearance of the jet, which had 66 passengers and crew aboard but one analyst says pilot error cannot be ruled out.last_img read more

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Colourful Qantas kits showcase Aussie artists.

first_imgBreak out your Jerry Garcia ties — they won’t be out of place when Australian carrier Qantas hands out colourful new international business class amenity kits from the start of May.The Australian carrier has selected 16 works from some of Australia’s leading artists, photographers and digital influencers to give passengers collectible pieces to take home.  Amenity kits have a myriad of post-flight uses so it’s not unusual for passengers to take the bags with them.The sixteen amenity kits – eight each for men and women — feature names such as Fairy Bread, 7000 Ironbarks and Maaate.They include pop culture, photography, fine art, abstract landscape, Indigenous art and textile design.Two designs will launch every few months.“As the national carrier, we’re pleased to support talented Aussies telling uniquely Australian stories through their artwork and share them with a global audience,” Qantas group executive brand, marketing & corporate Affairs Olivia Wirth said.“Along with inflight pyjamas, we know amenity kits are an important part of the international Business class experience. Customers love the functionality of our kits and many use them after their flight as make-up bags, an evening clutch or to carry their mobile phones. So, the exposure is broad.”The airline’s support for the arts includes a joint acquisition program for contemporary Australian art with Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art and Tate in the UK as well as support for organisations such as the National Gallery of Australia, Opera Australia, Australian Ballet and Bangarra Dance Theatre.last_img read more

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Job losses ‘a call for action, investment’

first_imgZuma, who has a pending State visit to India next month, said businesses should not miss the opportunity to leverage a relationship with one of the world’s largest markets. Stronger partnership with business Meanwhile, Busa elected Futhi Mthoba as its new president. Mthoba, who received majority votes in her run against businessman Sandile Zungu, said her first priority will be to build unity among members. “We have been working well together as the partnership of business, government, labour and community sector, implementing the framework agreement for South Africa’s response to the international economic crisis,” Zuma said, adding that a range of interventions, including programmes to help firms avoid retrenchments, had been introduced. Zuma congratulated Mthoba saying government would continue to work for a stronger partnership with business. “We look forward to ongoing fruitful engagement with Busa, to tackle the serious socio-economic matters affecting our country,” he said. Source: BuaNews He said the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) had allocated R6.1-billion to support companies that were hard-hit by the economic crisis, and encouraged all employers who faced the prospects of layoffs to use facilities that the government had created in an effort to curb unemployment. The continued loss of jobs this year, including those recovered in the final quarter of 2009, is a cause for concern for the government and requires renewed action, says South African President Jacob Zuma. Zuma also called on business to explore the growing African market, adding that Sub-Saharan Africa was the third-fastest growing region in the world after China and India.center_img He said that, following his attendance at the World Economic Forum in Dar es Salaam, he had returned “encouraged about Africa’s prospects”. 12 May 2010 Close to one million jobs have been lost so far during the global economic recession. ‘Explore Africa’ Speaking at the Business Unity South Africa (Busa) annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Zuma said it was clear that some sectors of the economy were still suffering, even though overall, some were beginning to grow fairly well again. “I’ll help them build capacity and then reach out to small businesses and capacitate them as well so they can create jobs. A lot of work needs to be done but I am extremely excited and honoured to be appointed,” Mthoba said. “As we predicted, although the economy was turning positive, the impact of the recession might still lead to some job losses.last_img read more

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Football for Hope in Windhoek

first_img27 September 2010Katutura township, in the heart of Namibia’s capital of Windhoek, came alive on Saturday as locals gathered to witness the opening of the Katutura Football for Hope Centre – the third of 20 such centres being built across Africa as a legacy of the 2010 Fifa World Cup™.This is the second centre to be opened outside South Africa. The inaugural centre was opened in Khayelitsha township on the outskirts of Cape Town last year as part of the 20 Centres for 2010 campaign initiated ahead of the World Cup, followed by a second centre in Mathare in Nairobi earlier this month.The programme aims to build 20 centres around Africa to help address some of the challenges faced by the continent, including education and public health.Five more centres are due be completed over the next four to five months in Mali, Rwanda, Ghana, Lesotho, and Mokopane in South Africa.The Katutura Football for Hope Centre boasts an artificial football turf, a computer lab and a public health services area.Speaking at Saturday’s opening, Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke said the centre was part of Fifa’s commitment not only to leave a post-World Cup legacy for the continent, but help also to help Africa develop in different spheres.“We have to make sure that Africa does not only provide a pool of [football] talent,” Valcke said.Namibian Prime Minister Nahas Angula said he was happy that Namibia had also benefited from the hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in neighbouring South Africa.He appealed to the Special Olympics Namibia, the organisation hosting the centre, and the Namibian Football Association to engage other partners to ensure the sustainability of the centre. “We don’t want to see this centre as a white elephant in the future,” he said.Jan Coetzee, project manager at Streetfootballworld, a partner in the 20 Centres for 2010 campaign, said: “September has been a very exciting month for us. Two weeks ago, we were in one of the most disadvantaged areas in Nairobi, and today we are thrilled to be part of the opening of this centre here in Namibia.“This should be a platform for Special Olympics Namibia to perform their work. We look forward in working with them in the future.”Source: Fifa.comlast_img read more

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Centre tackles HIV/Aids among truckers

first_img12 May 2011A new Trucking Wellness Centre based along the busy truck route in Epping, Cape Town will provide HIV/Aids counselling, testing and condoms to truck drivers using the route. Such centres are planned for major trucking routes throughout South Africa.Services extended to womenSpeaking at the launch of the centre this week, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the services would also be extended to women and young girls who may be at risk of getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs).All services will be provided after hours in a confidential setting to secure the dignity of the user.Motsoaledi said the department was fully aware of the dangers that long-distance truck drivers were exposed to as a result of being away from their spouses for long periods, and that it was important to provide them with primary healthcare services including counselling to minimise the risks to themselves and their spouses.“I commend the South African Business Coalition on HIV/Aids and Mercedes-Benz SA for working with us in this regard,” Motsoaledi said.High-risk groupsLast year, Motsoaledi visited India to learn about integrating high-risk groups such as long-distance truck drivers into HIV/Aids prevention programmes.“What we saw in India forced us to think much more broadly in our fight against HIV/Aids and rolling out of primary healthcare services,” he said.Motsoaledi has since made a commitment to launch such wellness centres on major trucking routes throughout the country.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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Young people: own your destiny!

first_imgRay Maota Brand South Africa held its Youth Summit on 12 June 2012. Joining the CEO of Brand South Africa, Miller Matola and Deputy Minister Obed Bapela, are Ngwanatheko Maserumule of South African Women Entrepreneurs Network (far left); Lucia Motloung the president of Junior Chamber South Africa and its secretary-general, Angel Kgokolo (far right) . Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Obed Bapela, said that the youth should understand that there is no menial job as everybody is needed for the country to run accordingly. Panellists that engaged with the delegates include: Ezra Ndwandwe of Dualpoint Holdings; Catherine Peter of One Young World; Lucia Motloung, president of Junior Chamber South Africa; and, Absa’s Sisa Ntshona.(Images: Ray Maota)MEDIA CONTACTS • Barry HilesBrand South AfricaDigital content manager+27 11 483-0122RELATED ARTICLES • SA is Africa’s top nation brand • Hold on to freedom, says Brand SA• Building a thriving African brand • Insights into doing business in SA Delegates from government, big business, civil society met with young entrepreneurs and students in Sandton, Johannesburg, for Brand South Africa’s Youth Summit on 12 June, where they discussed the social and economic problems facing young South Africans today, and how the youth can take charge of their own futures.Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola was there to give the agency’s view on youth development, while deputy minister in the Presidency for Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation Obed Bapela delivered a keynote address on the government’s role in youth development.About 100 young people, mostly entrepreneurs and students, got a chance to engage with business leaders and discuss active participation in the country and economy, building a competitive nation brand, and creating jobs for graduates.South Africa, like many other countries in Africa, has a growing population of young people and, according to Brand South Africa, the energy of the youth can be harnessed to build the economy. Different struggles, same fight June is Youth Month in South Africa, commemorating the June 16 1976 uprising led by young students from Soweto. This year the country pays tribute to the 36th anniversary of the event, and to the pupils and community members who lost their lives in that important milestone in the struggle against apartheid.“Youth Month is a time when we commemorate the youth of 1976 who died for their ideals of equality and freedom for all,” Matola said in his address.Although the efforts of 1976 were for a different cause, he said, the same level of dedication is needed by the youth of today to fight for a different cause – the fight for economic emancipation, which can only be won by tackling unemployment.“Today’s youth is liberated, but the level of unemployment among them is a social ill experienced throughout the world.“Addressing this issue is very important in realising government’s Vision 2030.”Vision 2030 is a programme to promote mass entrepreneurship in South Africa. In its proposals on the economy and employment, the plan predicts that small and expanding firms will produce 90% of the new jobs needed for full employment.Matola also discussed Brand South Africa’s role in nation branding, which he said is our promise of who we are to the world and a promise that we need to keep, like any other brand.“A nation’s brand is also a way to attract investment as the world no longer owes us anything.” According to Brand South Africa, if young people take part in the development of the country, they will be partners in the process of nation building and not passive observers.Speakers came from a range of organisations with a focus on youth issues, and included Catherine Peter of One Young World, Lucia Motloung of the South African chapter of Junior Chamber International and Flavio Bassi from social entrepreneur organisation Ashoka Southern Africa.Ezra Ndwandwe of Dualpoint Holdings spoke about entrepreneurship, while TV personality Pat Pillai represented Life College Group and Gavin Mageni was there on behalf of Absa Bank. Investment in youth Bapela quoted former Mozambique president Samora Machel, saying: “Youth is the age at which you become rich with education, or remain poor forever.”He also spoke about how investment in youngsters is needed and how the African Union should revisit the African Youth Charter if this is to be done properly in Africa and not only South Africa.The Youth Charter creates a legally binding framework for governments to develop supportive policies and programmes for young people, and serves to fast-track the implementation of these policies and programmes, such as investing in rapid skills development in youngsters.“The youth should understand that there is no menial job as everybody is needed for the country to run accordingly,” Bapela said.Using the example of two different professions, plumbers and doctors, Bapela cited how plumbers can earn higher hourly rates than doctors through their trade, but said young people tend to shun such skills.“The only difference is that most plumbers are not able to run their businesses properly; that is why they seem to be making less money than doctors,” he said. Entrepreneurship is the key Entrepreneurship is another way for young people to become self-sustainable and create jobs for others.“Entrepreneurship is vital, rather than promoting a culture of job seeking among youngsters,” said Bapela.Most delegates agreed, with Ndwandwe citing research findings that most start-up businesses fail because of lack of funding from state organs like the National Youth Development Agency and the banks.“Entrepreneurship is overused and least understood. It is about innovators and creators of solutions that fill a gap.” Entrepreneurship is not just sitting on a street corner selling stuff, he said.“It is about coming up with solutions to societal problems and ways to create employment for others.”Following the discussion session, delegates drew up recommendations on how to tackle youth unemployment, which will be compiled by Brand South Africa and presented to Bapela for him to take to provincial and national level.last_img read more

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Team SA profile: Ashleigh Moolman Pasio

first_img16 July 2012Ashleigh Moolman Pasio recently finished in the top 10 of the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, the toughest stage race in women’s road cycling. Another huge challenge awaits her at the 2012 London Olympic Games.She is one of three South African women selected to compete in road cycling at the Games. Her Olympic team-mates, Robyn de Groot and Joanna van de Winkel, are also members of the Momentum Toyota cycling team, and they competed together in the Giro for the Belgium-based Lotto Belisol team, so they know one another well.That’s an important point to make because cyclists seldom win without good support from their team-mates, and it will be no different in London. “Together, anything is possible and I look forward to the challenge come 29 July,” she wrote on her blog after learning of her selection for London 2012.‘Something special’The entry was entitled “A Dream come True: London 2012” and she expressed her thoughts on the magic of the four-yearly spectacle, saying: “As a young girl, I always marvelled at the thought of the Olympic Games. It has always been something special to me, an event that has captured my imagination.“I would watch the different athletes taking part in their respective sporting disciplines with admiration and respect. I have always dreamed of going the Olympics, but now it has become a reality!”She added: “When I think of the Olympic Games, I think of hard work, commitment, passion; people of all ages, genders and races coming together to share in their victories and defeats.”Love of cyclingMoolman Pasio discovered her love of cycling at Stellenbosch University where she met her husband Carl Pasio. He was a serious triathlete and through him Moolman Pasio discovered endurance sports.She gave triathlons and duathlons a go, but struggled with knee injuries. It was then that she decided to concentrate on cycling, a decision she says “I will never regret”.Despite her focus on cycling, Moolman Pasio did not allow it to get in the way of her studies. She achieved seven distinctions in matric and has become a qualified chemical engineer, but her current profession is that of a professional cyclist.Continuing improvementHer recent 10th place finish in the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile underlined a continuing improvement in her performances. Her previous participation in the race resulted in a 17th place finish in 2010 and 13th place in 2011.Last year, her results included winning the African Continental Road Cycling Championships in Eritrea and finishing second in the time trial.She placed sixth in the Emakumeen Bira Tour in Spain, an event that has attracted the world’s top talent over the years, and claimed the Queen of the Mountains’ polka dot jersey.DominanceMoolman Pasio dominated the domestic scene, picking up victories in the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge, the MTN OFM Classic and the Amashovashova Cycle Challenge. She also finished second in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour. This year she won the race.Her ambitions in 2012 are greater that last year’s, but as she wrote on her blog, the Olympic Spirit is best expressed in the Olympic Creed:“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Taking the Franschhoek Wine Tram

first_img30 January 2013Visitors to the South Africa’s Western Cape province can now experience the picturesque Franschhoek Wine Valley, the country’s premier culinary destination and one of its leading wine producing regions, in a unique way with the launch of the Franschhoek Wine Tram.The hop-on hop-off tour offers its passengers a leisurely way to see the Franschhoek Valley as they journey through rolling vineyards in a combination of open-side tram and open-air tram-bus, stopping in at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates.The combination allows passengers to experience the activities on offer at each stop – wine tasting, cellar tours, lunches, or simply a stroll through the vineyards – and to continue the tour when they are ready.The tour takes passengers into the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, with guided commentary and unparalleled views of the valley and vineyards.Wine tourism is one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative sectors of the global tourism market, and contributes in excess of R5-billion to South Africa’s tourism revenue.Benefits for the local community“This project is a success story,” Franschhoek Wine Tram general manager Duncan Gordon said in a statement on Monday. “The benefits to the local community are already being felt with the creation of 13 full-time jobs, with the expectation to further increase that number in the near future.“We believe the Franschhoek Wine Tram will give local tourism the boost it needs and create further opportunities in our own community.”According to Gordon, it took the developers several years to realise the goal of creating a world-class wine tourism experience.The newly constructed tram is modelled after the open-sided Brill Trams of circa 1890 and was built by Prof Engineering, a South African specialist engineering firm.Environmentally friendlyAs a green initiative, it uses the latest in bio-diesel engine technology to reduce greenhouse gases and other environmentally hazardous emissions. It seats 32 passengers on eight benches, with six of the benches having flip-over, tram-style seat-backs that allow passengers to enjoy the breathtaking view in both directions.The tram-bus design is based on the open-sided road trams commonly seen in the US which are used to transport tourists on sightseeing excursions.“Tourists are continually looking for new ways of experiencing a location, whether by foot, road or rail, and no other wine growing area in the world can boast its own rail and road based tram system giving tourists direct access to wine estates,” said Duncan.Tickets and pricesThe hop-on, hop-off tour departs from the Franschhoek Wine Tram ticket office, located in the centre of Franschhoek Village, and includes six stops: Grande Provence, Rickety Bridge, Dieu Donne, Haute Cabriere, Chamonix and the Huguenot Museum.A commentary guided tour, focusing on the history of Franschhoek and wine cultivation in the valley, and a complimentary wine tasting, are included.The Franschhoek Wine Tram operates daily from 10:00am to 3:20pm, with departures every 40 minutes.Tickets can be purchased at the Franschhoek Wine Tram ticket office at Bijoux Square, 60 Huguenot Road, Franschhoek (on the Franschhoek main road), or at www.winetram.co.za.Ticket prices are R130 for adults, R65 for children 5 to 17 years of age, and no charge for children four years of age and under.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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New Mineral Resources Minister to be sworn in today

first_img23 September 2015 The new minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane, will be sworn into office today at the Union Buildings.This comes after President Jacob Zuma announced a minor cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday evening.Ngoako Ramatlhodi will take the role of Public Service and Administration minister which became available after Minister Collins Chabane died in a motor accident in March.Zwane is a Member of Parliament who has previously served as MEC in the portfolios of Agriculture and Rural Development as well as Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in the Free State provincial government.It means that Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who had been the acting Minister for Public Service, will now step down as Ramatlhodi takes up the position.President Zuma thanked Mthethwa for temporarily filling the post and wished both Zwane and Ramathlodi well in their new portfolios.Mining in South AfricaAs minister of mineral resources, Zwane’s role will be central to keeping stability in an industry that increases South Africa’s global competiveness. The country produces the highest amount of manganese in the world, and South Africa remains the largest gold exporter on the continent.Mining plays a vital role in the country. According to business news website, Moneyweb: “Mining accounts for more than half of the nation’s exports and employs about 440 000 people.”Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

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Rescued lions find home in South Africa

first_img3 May 2016Iron, Zeus, and Rapunzel are part of the group of rescued lions that arrived in South Africa on 1 May. They are three of the 33 big cats saved by Animal Defenders International (ADI) from circuses in Peru and Columbia and rehomed at the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary in Limpopo.Iron’s release into the enclosure is the fairy-tale ending for 33 mistreated circus lions.“Iron is one of the Colombian 9, the first animals to be handed over after the country’s wild animal circus ban was passed,” wrote ADI on its Facebook page. “With his cage mate Ojiclaro, Iron was a pitiful sight, the years of suffering clearly visible on his face.”Iron is the first to be released! He’s enjoying a satisfying rub against a tree! #33lions https://t.co/saoaOdVjMh pic.twitter.com/nd0gAVkskv— ADI (@AnimalDefenders) May 1, 2016Hear the lions roar at the airport, as they are transported to the sanctuary:According to the ADI, this is the largest transfer of lions, a process which started 18 months ago. The cost per cat per transfer was $10 000 (approximately R142 000).Care neededThe animals are no longer able to function in the wild, and will need to be taken care of.“Almost all of the rescued lions have been mutilated to remove their claws, one has lost an eye, another is almost blind, and many have smashed and broken teeth so would not survive in the wild,” ADI said in a statement.Their new South African home is a large natural enclosures containing drinking pools, platforms and toys.“The lion habitats will be steadily expanded over the coming months as the lions become familiar with their new life and are introduced to each other.”ADI president, Jan Creamer, said this is the first time the animals are in their natural habitat. “It’s the best environment for them.They have been beaten, they have been starved, and they have been deprived of everything that makes life worth living for a lion. We have brought them back to paradise, where they belong.” South Africa.info reporterlast_img read more

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South Africa’s Dungeons surf spot unleashes world class waves

first_imgSituated at the foot of the Sentinel Mountain outside Hout Bay, Western Cape, the Dungeons has for years been a popular, but challenging surfing spot for both locals and globetrotting surfing adventurers.[Monday Mind Surf] Starving for the next swell? Fill up on this sweet Dungeonsslab- https://t.co/VJS5pZUnFo pic.twitter.com/OPMRJDnC8u—Zigzag – SA Surf Mag (@Zigzagsurf) August 29,2016Voted as one of the must-surf ‘big wave’ destinations by numerous international surfing experts, the Dungeons’ distinctive giant swells are few and far between, but always worth the wait.Thisis a barreling Dungeons set!! (Found at http://t.co/33qXyKVYEL) #surf #barrel #getLifted #surfing #surfingPhoto pic.twitter.com/2bs9RtTWwu—HomeGrownClone (@homegrownclone) August27, 2014The big waves usually occur more frequently during the South African winter, generated from Southern Hemisphere ocean storms known as the Roaring Forties. This year, the pinnacle of the Dungeons’ power was on 24 August with local and international surfers, some of whom wait months on the shoreline for the big wave season, fully prepared to take on the legendary wave.The Dungeons was first ridden in 1984 by Cape Town surfers Pierre de Villiers and Peter Button. Ten years later, the advancement of surfing equipment such as lighter boards and better wetsuits allowed others to tackle this mythical Cape of Storms beast.Wave swells of over 14m due to the combination of wind conditions and the reef layouts have been recorded at Dungeons.The more common 3m to 4m waves, however, are not for the fainthearted. Sportswriter Steve Barilotti calls the Dungeons “a deadly prima donna of a wave, not to mention a favourite feeding ground for Great White (sharks)”.Upclose and knarly Dungeons later today thanks Shaun Thompson for invite going tobe great the surf is huge pic.twitter.com/siTsbTBpQk—Wayne Roberts (@WaynoRoberts) April 23,2016Sharks attacks took place in the past when surfers swam through the dark and deep channel to get to the breaks, but these days they are safely towed using jet- skis to get to where the big waves are at their best.While the sharks still pose an obstacle, it is the waves themselves that has built a legendary and deadly status.Wipe-outs are common, even amongst the most seasoned surfers. Yet if negotiated successfully, the Dungeons’ payoff is said to be indescribable. Beginning with a harrowing near-vertical take-off atop of a swell, surfers can tackle one or more churning bowl sections, with rides lasting for up to 300m before tapering off into the deep-water channel.Untitled – Dungeons – Cape Town – South Africa, 2014 © Grier Fisher @GrierF #surf #sport #fotodelgiorno pic.twitter.com/v5neKPsBdf— Fotodel Giorno (@Foto_del_Giorno) September 21, 2015Masters of the Dungeons include South Africa’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker and Jeremy Johnson, who spend months preparing at other locations for a single session in the Dungeons. Despite the dangers, the spot proves inescapable for surfers keen to prove their mettle.American Greg Long, widely regarded as the best big wave surfer in the world, is the only surfer in history to score a perfect 10-pointer ride on the Dungeons at the Red Bull Big Wave Africa event in 2008.Source: EWN SouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

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Cape Town is open for business – De Lille

first_imgFor a region that has very little mining activity Cape Town has become rather fond of the Mining Indaba.This is understandable, as over its 20-year existence, the event aimed at generating interest in the African mining sector has grown into the world’s largest mining conference, resulting in it making a notable contribution to the City’s economy. The Indaba has generated R485-million in revenue and creating 3750 direct and indirect jobs between 2006 and 2013 for the local economy.Cape Town is adept at hosting large businesses conferences – it also hosts the annual Design Indaba and Africa Com events – but with 7800 delegates attending from 110 countries, the Mining Indaba is clearly one of the marquee business events for the City.“It remains one of our signature annual conferences, directly bringing in revenue and trade and indirectly creating goodwill and new partnerships,” said Cape Town Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille, opening this year’s Mining Indaba.Though the City has benefitted from hosting the Indaba over the past 20 years, it now wants to deepen its ties to the mining sector beyond the few days in which the conference takes place.During her speech, De Lille pitched the city as a possible base for foreign companies looking to set up shop on the continent.She argued that while there were “extremely limited mining activities” in the region, the city was still well placed to serve their needs because it had “sophisticated tertiary services, reliable infrastructure and advanced commercial and banking practices”.De Lille showed how serious she was about having the 2100 companies represented at the conference moving to the Cape by giving out her e-mail address – mayor.mayor@capetown.gov.za – and asked those interested to contact her directly about a possible move.Getting groups aligned to the mining industry to move to the Mother City is not that farfetched considering how the region has made strides in deepening its ties to the rest of continent over the past few years. The Western Cape’s trade promotion industry, Wesgro, said, for instance, the region’s trade with the rest of Africa was R51.4-billion in 2012.Businesses in the Western Cape have also backed 55 cross-border projects totalling R10.9-billion between January 2003 and May 2013.last_img read more

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Star-studded line-up for youth vote roadshows

first_img24 April 2014Generations star Patrick Shai, Rhythm City’s Mpho Molepo, Muvhango’s Nomsa Buthelezi and actress Maggie Williams will kick off roadshows at high schools and FET colleges across Gauteng province on Thursday to encourage young people to vote in South Africa’s 7 May elections.Zone 14 stars Kere Nyao and Thulani Didi will also grace the roadshows, as well as Scandal star Nthati Mosesh.The celebrities, in partnership with the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, will visit two high schools and one FET college per day to encourage young people to cast their vote.South Africans will head to the polls on 7 May. The roadshows, reflecting on the country’s 20 Years of Freedom and highlighting the achievements of the province, will through 6 May.“This year’s general elections are of significance because youth born in the year of democracy in 1994 will have an opportunity to vote for the first time,” MEC Lebogang Maile said on Wednesday.“As a department responsible for promoting democracy and civic duty citizenry, we hope working with these celebrated individuals will help us connect, especially with the youth.“We want them to go and vote but, before that, to understand the need and importance of voting. It is easy for them to ignore this because they were not there before 1994.”Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Read a Book Today

first_imgTebogo Ditshego, CEO of Ditshego Media and founder of the South African Reading Foundation, talking to students about success and the importance of readingAccording to a survey conducted by Stats SA in 2011, 7.1% of South Africa’s population could read and write, but this figure was based on the ability to read and write short sentences and fill in forms.This means that at the time of the survey, 2.643 million South African adults experienced difficulty reading, or could not read at all.Actress Nomzamo Mbatha talking to Wits students about the power of words (images: Bhekumuzi Mdakane)Understanding that reading and literacy can open doors to opportunity, Tebogo Ditshego, chief executive at Ditshego Media, started the South African Reading Foundation in early 2012 to address South Africa’s literacy problem.“We can become as great as we want to be, but it all starts with a book,” said Ditshego, speaking at the World Book Day Read a Book SA event at the University of the Witwatersrand on 23 April.Since 1997 World Book Day has celebrated authors, illustrators, and books, and more importantly, reading and its importance in education and literacy.Organised by the South African Reading Foundation through its Read a Book SA campaign, and in conjunction with Brand South Africa and Play Your Part, the event attracted local personalities to share their love of reading, and inspire a love of reading in others.Actors Nomzamo Mbatha and Masego “Maps” Maponyane; media personality, Pearl Modiadie; social entrepreneur and One Young World ambassador, Luvuyo Mandela; National Youth Development Agency executive chairperson, Yershen Pillay; and writer and entrepreneur, Kojo Baffoe all contributed their stories on how reading helped mould their intellects, and how important reading is to fulfilling South Africa’s potential.WHY READING IS IMPORTANT“Reading and literacy are critically important because they add value and credence to a knowledge economy,” says Brand South Africa’s director of strategic marketing, Wendy Tlou.Writer and entrepreneur Kojo Baffoe reads an extract from Paul Beatty’s novel “The White Boy Shuffle”“A reading nation is a nation that is informed; it is a nation that is curious; it is a nation that is opinionated; but it is also a nation that does, and moves away from just thinking but actually doing.“Through this event we aim to help more South Africans discover the joys of reading and further highlight the importance of reading”, she said, adding, “For me reading has been, and still is, the only journey I take when I want to transport myself to a different world.”At the event she concluded by urging students to “Welcome reading, use reading as a source of strength and a source of confidence, use written words to form and create your opinions because your opinion matters,” adding that “Our struggle is no longer one of political freedom; it’s a struggle for intellectual freedom.”To learn more about World Book Day and the Read a Book SA campaign, follow the South African Reading Foundation @ReadabookSA on twitter.last_img read more

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Daryl ‘Nightmare’ Naidu: scaring off Durban’s bullies

first_img“I don’t know if it’s my intimidating looks or the good work I do but kids look up to me,” says Daryl “Nightmare” Naidu. (Image: Daryl Naidu)Daryl “The Nightmare” Naidu is the blueprint of a wrestler – a ball of aggression with ripped legs and toned arms – but he blows away every pigeonholed idea you may have. At almost two metres tall and as broad as heaven’s expanse, the first impression Naidu creates is one of explosive anger. His ringside antics give you only a cursory glance into the chaotic world of a man who has earned renown as a wrestler and, more importantly, as a community youth worker.It’s not his intimidating demeanour that allows him to connect with the kids he helps. He welcomes anyone to his wrestling academy, based at the Chatsworth Youth Centre, and encourages kids to join him in volunteering at the other outreach projects at the centre. He is successful because he talks to kids in a language they understand. “Humour … humour … and making them laugh when I talk to them. Kids are looking for someone they can relate to and not some stern guy in a suit and tie.” “I am a walking billboard for everything I believe in,” Daryl Nightmare Naidu. (Image: Daryl Naidu)last_img read more

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South Africa resumes seafood exports to Russia

first_img12 November 2014South African will begin seafood exports to Russia after the Eurasian country granted twelve seafood companies licences to supply canned and frozen fish.This is the first since the late 1990s that South African fish will be exported to Russia on a commercial basis, said Felix Ratheb, chief executive of Cape Town-based Sea Harvest, one of the South African companies granted a licence.The other 11 companies granted rights to supply seafood are Abagold Ltd, Compass Challenger, GSA Trades Pty Ltd, Harvest Atlantic Peace, Irvin & Johnson Limited, Kaytrad Coldstore, LAVERNE, Marine Products, Pioneer Fishing Pty Ltd, Sea Vuna Fishing Company Pty Ltd and Viking Fishing Co Pty Ltd.Speaking to Reuters, Ratheb said Sea Harvest’s first exports to Russia were expected in early 2015 and would begin at about 500 tonnes a year, worth between R25-million to R40-million. South Africa’s total fish exports in 2012 were valued at R3.5-billion but this figure could increase if Russia becomes a major importer, according to Ratheb.According to the Russian Embassy website the legal platform for the Russian-South African relations in trade and economy was launched in 1993 with the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation.Other key treaties include the Agreement on Cooperation in Mining (1999), Agreement on Double Taxation Avoidance (2000) and Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (2000).South Africa is a leading Russian foreign trade partner in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Russian Embassy. Bilateral trade in the January to November 2013 period increased by 22.1% to US$998-million, compared to US$817-million from January to November 2012.Russia’s exports increased by 59.1% to US$260.5-million, from US$163.7-million in January to November 2012, and imports grew by 12.9% to US$737.5-million. Mutual investments between the two countries are also massive. Russian investments in South Africa reached over US$1-billion in the last year.Major Russian exports to South Africa comprise chemical and agro-industrial products, precious and base metals, coking coal, fertilisers, machinery, equipment, vehicles, tools, textiles, footwear and mineral products. On the other hand, South African exports to Russia are dominated by fruits, mineral products, machinery, equipment, vehicles, chemical products, precious and base metals, raw hides, textiles and footwear.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Buti Manamela addresses National Union of Mineworkers Youth Council

first_imgKeynote address by Deputy Minister Buti Manamela to the National Union of Mineworkers National Youth Council, Birchwood Hotel, EkurhuleniDeputy Minister in Presidency Buti ManamelaThe General Secretary, Comrade Frans BaleniSabelo Mgotshwa, National Secretary of NUM youth councilLeaders of the NUM and National Youth CouncilComrades and friendsIt is indeed a pleasure and a privilege to address the NUM National Youth Council meeting today. The General Secretary has requested me to speak about the National Youth Policy 2020. I am mindful that I am speaking to youth activists who have always championed a progressive youth development agenda.Before I speak about the NYP 2020, I would like to make a few comments on the attacks on foreign nationals that have been taking place recently.These images of violence and criminality directed at foreign nationals have been splattered over the front pages of our newspapers and our television screens. They have tugged at our hearts and sometimes brought tears to our eyes.We have seen young people at the forefront of these attacks often displaying the most brute and thuggish behaviour. There can be no justification for this. This is not the South Africa we know. The majority of South Africans are peace loving and want good relations with our brothers and sisters on the continent.We have also seen young South Africans stand up and boldly declare “NOT IN MY NAME”. These young people have courageously said that they will not be silent in the face of xenophobia and attacks on foreign nationals. They will not allow the name of South Africa to be associated with these dastardly acts committed by the few.As youth leaders gathered here today we have a responsibility to provide direction and education to our young people. We have to guide young people to live out the values within our Constitution and within the African Youth Charter.Without us providing leadership, our young people will be at the command of selfish populist voices that do not share in the values of our Constitution. These selfish populist voices will not be there when our young people have to face the consequences of their criminal actions.So I encourage you today, let’s take our responsibility as leaders of youth seriously. We must stand up and boldly declare that xenophobia and attacks on foreign nationals will not happen in my name. And we must mobilise our young people to stand up and clearly say: NOT IN MY NAME.I am reminded that it was in this very same venue on 29 and 30 March, the Presidency held a National Consultation with youth organisations and other stakeholders on the NYP 2020. We directly engaged youth in provincial, regional and local consultations across the nine provinces. We went to schools, shebeens, taxi ranks, bus stations and workplaces speaking with young people. We met with key youth formations from across our diverse youth sector. We received over 100 written submissions on the NYP 2020 from varied youth voices across the country.We could not meet all young people face to face. So we used social media platforms extensively. All NYP 2020 activities were put on the Facebook and Twitter accounts of The Presidency to ensure that young people were always kept abreast of the consultative meetings happening in their area.We reached about 100 000 young people with the # NYP 2020 campaign and got young people talking through the photos they took holding up boards and a message of what they want to see in the National Youth Policy 2020.We consulted extensively because we believe that the National Youth Policy 2020 is about the youth, for the youth and by the youth of South Africa. Nothing for us without us. Our consultations were rooted in the unwavering assurance that young men and women have a critical role to play in their own development. Their views matter and their voices must be heard.The draft NYP 2020 will shortly be submitted to the respective cabinet committee for review and subsequently be submitted to cabinet for approval. We expect the NYP2020 to be launched by the President in June 2015.The objectives of the NYP 2020 are clear. These objectives are to:• Consolidate and integrate youth development into the mainstream of government policies, programmes and the national budget• Strengthen the capacity of key youth development institutions and ensure integration and co-ordination in the delivery of youth services• Strengthen the capacity of young people to enable them to take charge of their own well-being through building their assets and ultimately realising their potential to the fullest• Strengthen a culture of patriotic citizenship among young people and to help them become responsible adults who care for their families and others• Foster a sense of national cohesion, while acknowledging the existence of diverse circumstances and inculcate the spirit of patriotism by encouraging visible and active participation in different youth initiatives or projects and nation-building activitiesOf course all these policy objectives must lead us to the desired policy outcome. This outcome is “to produce empowered young people who are able to realise their full potential and understand their roles and responsibilities in making a meaningful contribution to the development of a non-racial, equal, democratic and prosperous South Africa.”Through the initial research we have undertaken we identified five priorities for the NYP 2020.These five priorities are:• Enabling economic participation and transformation• Facilitating education, skills development and second chances (quality and access)• Health care and combating substance abuse• Facilitating nation building and social cohesion• Optimising youth machinery for effective delivery and responsivenessThere are many policy proposals in each of the 5 identified priorities. I encourage you to read the draft NYP 2020. However I want to outline some key policy proposals in each area.In the priority area of economic participation and transformation, the NYP 2020 calls for:• Improved public employment schemes leading to better exiting possibilities for youth. These include the Youth Brigades, Expanded Public Works Programme and Community Works Programme.• Better and faster implementation of the Youth Employment Accord including a vigorous and robust monitoring and evaluation framework that must support the implementation of this youth policy.• Development of the Youth in ICT Strategy.• An impact study to examine the effectiveness of the Employment Tax incentive in stimulating job creation for new entrants into the labour market.• Scaling up of public service internships to create 60,000 internship opportunities.• A National Jobs Fair drive to support the integration and coordination of public and private sector work placement services.• A National Campaign to place university students and graduates who need work experience into Technical and Vocational Education and Training as part of completing their studies.• A mass youth enterprise creation programme.• Training young people on skills relevant to agriculture and agro-processing.• Improving small scale and commercial agriculture through stimulating and supporting young farmers.In the priority area of education, skills and second chances, the NYP 2020 calls for:• The performance of schools should improve to ensure that the majority of learners achieve above 50% in all learning areas.• The existing incentives to attract young people into the teaching profession should be retained at least for the next 5 years and teacher salaries should be competitive.• All learners should learn an indigenous language with sign language being progressively introduced in schools.• After school programmes to support learning and life skills.• Scaling up of programmes that provide learners with a second chance to pass matric.• Expansion of TVET colleges to increase the participation rate to 25% and the graduation rate to 75%.• Progressive introduction of free education for poor learners until undergraduate level with increased funding options available to support students at post-secondary level.• An expansion of career guidance offerings at all levels of schooling.In the priority area of health care and combatting substance abuse, the NYP 2020 calls for:• Increasing the access and availability of social workers with particular reference to mental health promotion and prevention.• Enabling access to sexual and reproductive health and rights services.• Expanding recreational facilities and diversion programmes.• Expanding access to drug prevention, treatment and rehabilitation centres.• Breaking down barriers through innovative healthy lifestyle campaigns on key health care themes.In the priority area of nation-building and social cohesion, the NYP 2020 calls for:• Young people must know and understand the National symbols in fostering a common identity.• Confronting racism in all its forms utilising social media platforms and other innovative campaigns and programmes initiated by youth.• Supporting youth leadership develop for active citizenry.• Better implementation of the National Youth Service.• Broadening sport and recreation opportunities including compulsory schools sports.In the priority area of optimising the youth machinery for effective delivery and responsiveness, the NYP 2020 calls for:• The re-establishment of the Youth Presidential Working Group to provide political support for the implementation of the NYP 2020 and its integrated youth development strategy.• Establishment of youth desks at national, provincial and local levels with adequate, capable and competent personnel and resources.• The amendment of the NYDA Act to allow for a more focused and responsive NYDA.• Strengthening of the South African Youth Council to enable it to discharge its mandate effectively.• The revival of the Youth Development Forum to promote greater commitment from the private sector towards youth development.I have highlighted a few of the key policy proposals. There are many more proposals and interventions within the NYP 2020 and I encourage you to read the policy document.A policy document, irrespective of how well it is crafted and consulted on, is not worth the paper it is written on if the policy is not effectively implemented and monitored. Strong and effective implementation and monitoring will help us learn lessons so that we can do things better.I made the call at the National Consultation Forum and I will re-iterate it today. We cannot implement this policy without the co-operation and partnership of civil society organisations like you.You can cooperate and partner with us in many ways. Some of these may include:• Identifying a niche area in the policy that the NUM can contribute to and advance. This may be a particular programme or campaign that NUM can develop to address a priority area.• Popularising the NYP 2020 with stakeholders in your domain. This may include education sessions with young workers and private sector companies that you are in contact with.• Directing resources, both financial and human capital, towards a particular priority area within the NYP 2020.• Holding government accountable towards the effective implementation of the NYP 2020.You have participated in the consultation process leading towards the development of the NYP 2020.I invite you to partner with us in the implementation and monitoring of the NYP 2020.I want to conclude with some remarks that I made to delegates at the National Youth Policy Consultative Conference. I concluded my address at the conference by stating a concern that I have. It’s a concern that has been with me for a while now. We know young people to be a special type, with unique characteristics. They are vibrant. They are energetic. They are creative. They are robust. They are resourceful. They are imaginative. They are original.So my concern and my question is this: Why is it that our youth engagement and our youth programmes do not reflect these unique characteristics.Have we become boring and unimaginative• Have we resorted to the safe and sterile• Have we put too much emphasis on the tried and tested• When I look around I see youth engagements and youth programmes, both in government and civil society, lacking vibrancy, energy and creativity.It makes our youth development stale. This is not what we want because it does not reflect the unique characteristics of being young.So I challenge you, as I challenge myself – Lets re-imagine youth development. Let’s push the boundaries. Let’s put ourselves out there. Let’s embark on this journey towards re-imaging youth development.Let’s take youth development to that place where it encounters and fuses with the unique characteristics of being young. We want our youth development to be vibrant, energetic, creative, robust, resourceful, imaginative and original.Let’s re-imagine youth development together.Issued by: The PresidencyPretoriaWebsite: www.thepresidency.gov.zaOperation Phakisa: www.operationphakisa.gov.zalast_img read more

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International Women’s Day: Brand South Africa calls on all to play their part for the development and empowerment of women

first_imgCountries that expand opportunities for women and girls in education and work achieve greater prosperity and social development, writes Chichi Maponya, chair of Brand South Africa, on International Women’s day.Chichi Maponya, chairperson on Brand South Africa. (Image: African Business)International Women’s Day, originally called International Working Women’s Day, is celebrated on March 8 every year, and in different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from a general celebration of respect, appreciation, and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political, and social achievements.• Download statement in PDFAcknowledged as architects of society, women are admired for their strength in building the family unit and homes, as well as their contributions to communities, societies and nations.One of the leading development strategies that is imperative for emerging markets such as South Africa – is the empowerment of its women, with a number of studies showing that countries that have expanded opportunities for women and girls in education and work in recent decades have largely achieved greater prosperity and social development.While pressing forward with strategic adjustments of economic structures and innovations of their sustainable growth models, South Africa is cognisant that equal participation in economic activities and equitable access to economic resources are the basic conditions for the well-being and development of women.In South Africa, women constitute a large proportion of the economically challenged, particularly in rural areas, and the National Development Plan (NDP) acknowledges this by taking gender – along with race and geographic location – into account by proposing a range of measures to advance women’s equality. The NDP proposes that the transformation of the economy should involve the active participation and empowerment of women, and that the role of women as leaders in all sectors of society should be actively supported.Worldwide, history and research has proven that women’s economic empowerment increases their access to economic resources and opportunities including jobs, financial services, property and other productive assets, skills development and market information.For South Africa this outlook has translated itself in vast areas of development where women are taking the reins and actively contributing to their countries development agenda. South Africa’s economic empowerment mechanisms for promoting the status of women, fully utilizing government resources and effectively mobilizing social resources, lays an important foundation for promoting gender equality and women’ s development.Over the past two decades, we have seen how the South African government has formulated and implemented laws, regulations and policy outlines to ensure that women enjoy equal political rights with men, which has resulted in a higher level of female participation in politics and a greater role played by women in decision making and management of state and social affairs.The influence of women and women’s organisations in the development of South Africa politics keeps growing, with the South African government availing opportunities of support and encouragement for women to take part in the management of state and social affairs by expanding the scope and channels for such participation.The 2015 South African Women in Leadership Census released in July last year draws on international benchmarks and cites South Africa as a top performer amongst BRICS countries with almost double the percentage of women Directors, within the BRICS grouping. The research also illustrated that the majority of medical school entrants are now women.It is therefore evident, that our shared commitment to supporting, growing, empowering and recognising women leaders not only promotes fairness but it also improves our performance. Empowered, inspired and developed women are critical to improving any country’s global competitiveness, and this is equally the legacy that will be bequeathed to future generations.Follow Ms Maponya on @ChichiMaponyalast_img read more

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Bread bags bring big benefits

first_imgDaycare runners enjoy prize giving day. (Image: BizCommunity) Sasko, the bakery, launched the Siyasizana Day-care Project for day cares in Tembisa, in Gauteng in late September 2015 – and the pre-school centres are already reaping the rewards.When the project was launched, there was a simple request made of day cares: collect used Sasko bread bags that would otherwise be thrown away, and redeem them for items such as mattresses, backpacks, basins, carpets, chairs and even fridges or stoves.Siyasizana is isiZulu for “we are helping each other”. The project mobilised Tembisa residents to work together to support of their local day cares by all collecting their plastic bags. In total, 300 000 bread bags were collected, exceeding the expectations of all involved.“We looked at the number of bread bags being discarded and the needs of the day cares in Tembisa,” Riaz Badroodeen, the brand manager of Sasko Bread, told SA Goodnews. “By collecting these bags to recycle, we are able to assist the mamas with the basic needs to make their day care environments more comfortable, ultimately benefiting the children in their care.“Collecting bags is a small gesture, with a large impact. With a tidy sum of 300 000 bags, participating day cares will now be able to refrigerate food, prepare cooked meals, provide blankets to keep children warm, and set up tables and chairs during activity and meal times.”THE PROJECT IS ON-GOINGThe success of the project now means it will be rolled out in other parts of the country.“Based on the success of the programme in Tembisa, we plan on rolling out the Sasko Siyasizana Day-care Project in other parts of South Africa. As the programme grows, we’ll continue to look at the needs of the participating day cares and how Sasko can assist,” Badroodeen said.Jane Mokgonyana of Tender Care Day Care was the ultimate winner after collecting 20 000 of the 300 000 packets. Runner-up Matema Mashilo from Bophelong Day Care collected 10 050 bags and was closely followed by Nanini Day Care, where Nomthandazo Mkhondwana collected a total of 9 550 bags.Seven other day cares in Tembisa also won something for their contribution to the project.Sasko Siyasizana Day-care Project is an ongoing programme hosted and implemented by Sasko Bread. For more information, visit Sasko’s website or call the company’s customer care line on 0800 022 000PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part to help improve the lives of the people around you or the environment? Do you know of anyone who has gone out of their way to help improve South Africa and its people?If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

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Africa’s 2016 Olympic winners

first_imgAfrica returns home from the Rio Olympics this week with an impressive medal tally, including 10 golds and 19 silvers.(Image: International Olympic Committee)Brand South Africa reporterApart from high profile wins by South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk and Caster Semenya, and outstanding track event performances by Kenya and Ethiopia, countries such as Niger, Côte d’Ivoire and Burundi also claimed medals.Here is an overview of Africans who won medals in their various sporting disciplines.South AfricaFlagbearers inside the Maracana Stadium with Caster Semenya proudly carrying ourflag #teamSArise pic.twitter.com/EHb9OQyU60—TeamSouthAfrica (@teamsa16) August 21, 2016While Wayde van Niekerk and Caster Semenya grabbed headlines with theiroutstanding gold medal wins (Van Niekerk also broke a world record and Semenyasilenced her critics with a breath-taking performance), South Africa also scoopedsix silver medals.Swimmers Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos picked up three silvers,with le Clos standing out with two silvers in the much-anticipated show-down withAmerican swimmer Michael Phelps in both the 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly.Van der Burgh won his medal in the 100m breaststroke.Sunette Viljoen won silver in the women’s javelin throw, improving on her 4thplace in London in 2012. Luvo Manyonga silver in long jump rounded out animpressive track and field performance by South Africa.Rowers Shaun Keeling and Lawrence Brittain won silver in the coxless double.South Africa’s two bronze medals were won by the rugby sevens team andtriathlete Henri Schoeman.KenyaAmazing performance! Congratulations Vivian Cheruiyot for winning 5kOlympics Gold and Hellen Obiri Silver. #Rio2016 pic.twitter.com/WEvFqMoo7J—AMB:Amina Mohamed (@AMB_A_Mohammed) August20, 2016As always Kenya shone on the track, where they collected 13 medals, includingVivian Cheruiyot’s gold and silver in the 5 000m and 10 000m respectively. EliudKipchoge won the men’s marathon, and Jemima Jelagat Sumgong won gold in thewomen’s marathon. Other gold medals included David Rudisha (men’s 800m) andFaith Kipyegon (women’s 1 500m).Kenya’s medal haul included six silvers and a single bronze for MargaretWambui who battled Caster Semenya in the women’s 800m final.EthiopiaWorld honouring Ethiopian Olympian Almaz Ayana for slashing astonishing14 seconds off 10,000m world record in Rio. pic.twitter.com/jrVlkkJ1MY—James Hall (@hallaboutafrica) August 13,2016Another outstanding track performance by the Ethiopians saw Almaz Ayana winthe women’s 10 000m and bronze in the women’s 5 000m. Genzebe Dibaba wonsilver (women’s 1 500m) and Feyisa Lilesa came second in the men’s marathon.Thecountry also won five bronze medals.Côte d’IvoireCheick Sallah Cisse becomes the first Athlete from Cote D’Ivoire winan Olympic Gold ever. #Rio2016 pic.twitter.com/xRgfEbbFuv—Zaman Alferoz (@ZamanX90) August 20,2016Côte d’Ivoire surprised in Rio with gold and one bronze in the Taekwondotournament.Cheick Sallah Cisse won the men’s 80kg final (the country’s first Olympic goldmedal) and Ruth Gbagbi won bronze in women’s 67kg division. Cisse beat worldnumber four Lutalo Muhammad from Great Britain with a dramatic last minutedouble reverse kick to win 8 points to 6.AlgeriaICYMI #ALGhad Taoufik Makhloufi pick up a silver medal in the Men’s 1500m race at #Rio2016 #AfricaRocks pic.twitter.com/JbpGBhfGCW—TransAfricaRadio (@TransAfrica872) August 21,2016Taoufik Makhloufi won double silver in both the men’s 1 500m and 800m.Other silver medalsCongrats to these inspirational women #CasterSemenya, #FrancineNiyonsaba #MargaretWambui #ItsPossible #Rio2016 pic.twitter.com/SWBF4IFqiy—Epyk Living (@Epykliving) August 21,2016Burundi won its first Olympic medal since 1996 with a silver for FrancineNiyonsaba in the women’s 800m behind South Africa’s Caster Semenya.Niger had not won an Olympic medal since 1972. Issoufou Abdoul Razak brokeNiger’s 46 year Olympic medal drought with a silver in the taekwondo men’s 80kgfinal, losing to Radik Isaev from Azerbaijan. Bronze medal winnersEgypt and Tunisia both won 3 bronze medals, while Morocco and Nigeria bothcome home with one bronze each.Egypt earned two weightlifting medals, Sara Ahmed in the women’s 69kgcategory and Mohamed Ihab in the men’s 77kg event. Hedaya Wahba won bronzefor taekwondo.Tunisia won bronze medals in wrestling, fencing and taekwondo. WrestlerMarwa Amri become the first African woman to win a wrestling medal.Marwa AMRI #TUN won Africa’s first-ever medal in women’s #wrestling, also first-ever medal for Tunisia in wrestling pic.twitter.com/rLljMVQwHT—World Wrestling (@wrestling) August 17,2016Morocco earned one bronze in the boxing tournament, while Nigeria, despitefielding a diverse array of Olympic sports including weightlifting, table tennis androwing, could only make the medal podium once, bronze in the men’s footballtournament, beating Honduras and losing out to Brazil (gold) and Germany (silver).Source: SascocWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Free sanitary pads for girls in KZN schools

first_imgThe KwaZulu-Natal education department has started to roll out free sanitary towels for girls in schools. This is to reduce absenteeism – as well as drop-out rates – of girls when they are menstruating.KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana hands out free sanitary pads at Lamontville High School on 3 February 2017. (Image: KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, Facebook)Brand South Africa reporterThe KwaZulu-Natal education department has begun to distribute free sanitary pads to schools in the province to curb the absenteeism and drop-out rate of girls.Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana visited Lamontville High School on 3 February 2017 to hand out feminine hygiene products.“As the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal we want to ensure that girl learners in KwaZulu-Natal will not have to miss school simply because they are menstruating,” said Dlungwana.The aim of the project is to:Reduce the number of girls dropping out of school because they do not have access to sanitary towels,Educate teenage girls about puberty, hygiene, menstruation and how to physically and psychologically handle this time in their lives,Sustain marginalised girls with annual packs of sanitary pads and to ensure periods do not get in their way of achieving an education, and,Eliminate through informing the myths, taboos and misinformation that people in certain communities have about girls during menstruation.A survey published by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) in 2013 shows that girls frequently stay away from school when they are menstruating. The organisation interviewed 99 girls between the ages of 13 and 20 in three rural high schools in eThekwini Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.“One third of 99 respondents reported missing school during menstruation, which was typically one day during a menstruation period,” the organisation said. “Fear of having an accident and/or showing blood during school was the primary reason for missing school, followed by physical pain and discomfort.“Tiredness, lack of sanitary products, and fear that others may suspect the student is menstruating were other factors noted by the respondents.”How it worksA circular on the department’s website indicated that sanitary pads would be given to “indigent girl learners quintile 1-4 schools in grade 4-12”.The school’s principal will be responsible for the distribution in each school.ReactionOn social media, the move has been warmly welcomed.“We salute you KZN Department of Education, job well done,” wrote Sebe Mzolo on the department’s Facebook page.@TimesLIVE good move…let’s thank government for once— sine (@Snehope308) February 1, 2017@TimesLIVE best news @kzngov ??— Nonto yamaLangeni (@gaselanonto) February 1, 2017Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Brand South Africa partners with Umalusi for the 12th (SAAEA) 2018 conference

first_imgTsabeng Nthite – Brand South Africa has partnered with Umalusi to contribute to the improvement of assessment methods and processes in the field of education. Umalusi is currently host to the 12th Southern Africa Association for Educational Assessment (SAAEA) Conference , in the city of Tshwane.Hosted under the theme “Local context in global context: encouraging diversity in assessment” – the conference aims to engage regional academic stakeholders from the African continent on the following focus areas: sustainable assessment practices and standards; innovative assessment opportunities and challenges; diversifying assessment; assessment and the development of critical thinking; as well as the impact of stake holding on effective assessment. Brand South Africa’s GM for Stakeholder Relations – Mpumi Mabuza said: “Assessment is an integral part of instruction in the field of education, as it determines whether or not the goals of education are being met. Assessment affects decisions about grades, placement, advancement, instructional needs, curriculum, and, in some cases, funding. “The ultimate goal, through a series of presentations and panel discussions at the SAAEA Conference is to collaborate on a way forward to solving challenges and identifying opportunities that will further encourage practices and standards in educational assessment.”The partnership is also aligned to South Africa’s National Development Plan which aims to ensure that by 2030 – all South Africans will be enriched by universal early childhood education, high-quality schooling, further education and training that allows them to fulfill their potential, and expanding higher education that accelerates the shift to a knowledge economy.last_img read more

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eLearning to address new challenges in controlled environment animal production

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The animal industries are facing challenges and need a trained workforce.Animal production is the largest sector of agriculture and plays an important role in the U.S. economy. Over the past decades, mechanization development and economic pressure have driven commercial animal production into large-scale and industrialized operations for high production efficiency. The large-scale animal production is facing significant challenges due to their environmental impact, climate change and variability, animal welfare issues, and increasing energy costs. Facility and environmental control technologies play a critical role in animal production and can potentially provide solutions to these emerging challenges. The animal industry needs a competent workforce of professionals who are trained with new knowledge in emerging technologies for animal facility and environmental control. This workforce will thus be able to address the challenges related to animal production and to transform the industries’ challenges into opportunities for sustainable operations.Existing trainings do not meet the new needs.A course in Environmental Control for Agricultural Structures is traditionally offered in many agricultural and biological engineering programs at land-grant universities to meet the animal industries’ needs for environmental control technologies. Unfortunately, fewer universities offer the course than in the past, which means many students do not have the opportunity to take such a course. Furthermore, the existing courses primarily focus on meeting thermal comfort needs of animals or plants through ventilation in conjunction with heating and/or cooling. The new challenges facing animal agriculture are not being addressed. OSU is developing new trainings on challenges in enrolled environment animal productionSignificant research developments have occurred in the past decade in areas of mitigation and adaptation to the climate change; effects of indoor environment on animal health and welfare, food safety, and farm biosecurity; energy efficiency analysis of animal buildings; and renewable energy use and production on farms. There is a critical need to capitalize on recent research findings to develop new teaching modules addressing current and future challenges. OSU is leading a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional team to address this critical need by advancing educational curriculum materials in controlled environment animal production (eCEAP).New eLearning educational modules are being developed in four emerging challenge areas related to animal production: climate change, sustainable energy, food safety, and animal health and welfare. Climate changeThe projected climate change will have significant impacts on animal production. Many scientists expect increases in heat-related morbidity and mortality. Sustainability of current animal production systems in a warming climate is a legitimate concern. Higher temperatures and humidity directly cause animal heat stress. Extreme weather conditions require more resilient livestock systems. Therefore, new designs and management of environmental control systems of animal production facilities are needed in consideration of the climate change factors. New indoor environmental control technology and strategies for both abatement and adaptation to global climate change and variability are needed. The associated educational materials are needed to prepare future workforce of the animal industry. The educational focuses of this module are strategies for cooling animal environments and the associate ventilation needs. Sustainable energyModern animal production systems raise animals in buildings with ventilation, heating, and/or cooling environmental control that uses large amounts of natural gas or electrical energy. As the energy prices increase, sustainability of modern farm operation comes into a question. On the other hand, farms have the resources to generate on-farm renewable energy, such as biogas, geothermal energy, and solar and wind energy. It is important to develop energy efficient facilities with renewable on-farm energy systems for future animal production. The educational focuses of the module are (1) methods and tools for comprehensive energy audits; (2) methods to reduce the use of energy and water, therefore reducing GHG emission; (3) on-farm renewable energy systems, and (4) new building and environmental control systems using renewable energy.Food safety issues have caused significant public health concerns. Salmonella and E-coli outbreak investigations have linked the pathogen sources to animal production. A collaborating research between researchers of OSU and Michigan State University has demonstrated thermal environment of animal facilities directly correlated with Salmonella prevalence and thermal environmental control is a cost effective pre-harvest intervention for Salmonella prevalence in swine Therefore, it is beneficial to address the food safety problem at the source using pre-harvest environmental control prevention during animal production. In addition, indoor air quality studies of housing facilities concluded that airborne microbial contaminations (i.e., bioaerosols) within buildings lead to animal and human exposures. Moreover, bioaerosols may transport off the farm sites, promoting disease propagation and outbreak. Ventilation directly affects bioaerosol concentration and distribution. The educational focuses of this module are sources, transport, and control of pathogens in animal facilities and outdoors in neighboring communities and the associated environmental control technologies for food safety and animal health.Animal welfare and health play a critical role in the sustainability, viability, and competitiveness of the U.S. animal industry. Enhancing animal welfare throughout the production chain remains a challenge. In animal grow-out cycles, environmental stresses compromise animal welfare and productivity. Enhanced or alternative housing designs are being implemented as solutions to improve animal welfare. The educational focuses of this module are the animal welfare issues, assessment tools and methods, and facilities and management practices for improvement.last_img read more

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Is organic worth it? It depends…

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest When someone asks me if buying organic is worth the extra cost, I tell them, “It depends.” To simply issue a blanket statement that organic production is better for the environment and better for you is simply inaccurate, though it is a message regularly touted as gospel by many in the organic industry. But, of course, we all know that “it depends” is a poor marketing ploy.The truth is, though, that “it depends” is a necessity of working with Mother Nature. Every factor of production on every farm (organic or not) has a wide range of complex components that make any claims or consumer-held beliefs that organic food is more nutritious, safer and better for the environment very misleading.Demand for organic production continues to grow. In recent years, organic food sales have risen by double digits annually and organic food revenue has tripled over the past decade to a record $36 billion in 2014. Organic sales are predicted to increase 12% to 15% annually for the next couple of years.With more options to choose from than ever before, which-food-label-is-better-for-my-family type questions are becoming increasingly prevalent. As the growing season starts to take off and the battle for consumer dollars in farmers markets and grocery stores heats up, there will be countless shoppers out there wondering while wandering the aisles: “Is organic really better and worth the extra cost?”Unfortunately it is hard for them to get a straight answer. At the farmers market, the guy selling the non-organic produce tells them his product is the best quality, and it is cheaper. At the next booth over, the organic guys says his is better for the environment and healthier. An Internet search will lead to more of the same. With such muddled facts at their disposal, concerned shoppers can be very tempted to err on the side of organic with the hope that their higher dollar purchase is really what is best for their family. After all, it costs more so it must be better, right?If shoppers are willing to pay more for their food and it benefits the farmer’s bottom line, then that is wonderful. The problem, however, is that amid the muddled information available to them, most consumers I have talked with do not really understand the realities of the differences between organic and non-organic food. They just don’t.How is it that in an era of the expectation of ever-increasing transparency in our food system, consumers (especially those paying more for their organic food) are more confused than ever? Most organic buyers I have talked with have the perception that organic food is more nutritious, safer and better for the environment. Is this true? Well, sort of, maybe, or a flat no depending on the specifics of the farm situation.Every farm I have visited (and I have been to more farms than most) is an intricate balance of working with the realities of Mother Nature and the realities of maintaining a profitable business. Without these two vital components, there is no viable farm. There are inevitable trade-offs between these two often-competing factors that vary widely based on the specifics. A great online resource for science-based answers to food-related questions is: www.bestfoodfacts.org.Weed control, for example, can be done with chemicals, tillage (cultivation), hand weeding or some combination of the three. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of the environment and the economic realities of the farm.Organic production tends to rely more upon tillage and hand weeding, while conventional production typically relies more on chemicals.Tillage leads to carbon release from the soil and dramatically increases the potential for soil erosion and decreases in soil health. Chemical control introduces something synthetic into the environment, but saves fuel consumption and reduces soil erosion from tillage. Hand weeding takes a huge amount of labor, which reduces the viability of the farm. The realities of weed control can be positive or negative for the environment, the farmer, and the consumer depending on the specifics of each individual operation.I have the unique and wonderful opportunity to work with all types of farms. And, honestly, some of my favorites through the years have been organic operations due to the ingenuity, incredible work ethic, dedication to the land, and success in terms of profitability of the operation. But I must say that I have met wonderful people with fantastic, environmentally sound operations of every type, size and scope. I have also seen failed attempts, mistakes and poorly run farms of every type, size and scope.I believe that anyone (organic or non-) who dedicates their life to combining seed and soil or harnessing the lifecycle of livestock to produce something deemed of value by society is participating in a miracle granted to mankind by God. I often get frustrated when we lose sight of this miracle while getting caught up in the mire of politics, marketing battles and opposing PR campaigns within agriculture.It is the responsibility of consumers to do the research (from reputable sources) to understand the details and, I believe, it is the responsibility of those in agriculture to transparently participate in that process. There are many ways to bring a high quality product to the marketplace and all of them have pros and cons. The various combinations of those pros and cons add up to a different value based upon the food purchasing goals of the consumer. So is organic worth the cost? It depends.last_img read more

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Photo highlights from the 2016 Junior Market Barrow Show

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest PHOTOS BY MEGHAN BRUNS Cassidy Lusk, 10, Clark Co. with her dark crossbred market barrow Cassidy Lusk, 10, Clark Co. drives her dark crossbred market barrow for the judge Junior fair exhibitors showing their market dark crossbred market barrows Lucas Buehler, 18, Shelby Co. shows his dark crossbred market barrow Diana Weimer, Waterville with her Grand Champion dark crossbred market barrow Madelyn Fearon, Greenville drives her Reserve Champion dark crossbred market barrow Lydia Henry, 14, Clark Co. shows her light crossbred market barrow Robert Scholl II, Marysville drives his light crossbred market barrow Lea Kimley, South Charleston drives her Reserve Champion light crossbred barrow Joel Cress, 14, Miami Co. shows his Duroc market barrow Junior fair exhibitors show their Yorkshire market hogs Duroc junior market exhibitors driving in the purebred market barrow show Junior fair exhibitors driving their Yorkshire market barrows Landrace exhibitors during the purebred market barrow show Micah Smock, Shelby Co shows his purebred market hog Lilly Rees, Bidwell, receives Grand Champion Chester White market barrow Two Hampshire market barrow exhibitors during the market barrow show Deanna Pence, New Carlisle drives her Berkshire market barrow Anne Thompson, Wilmington drives her Grand Champion Spotted market barrow Dustin Winner, Piqua shows his Hereford market barrow Saylor Moore, Washington Courthouse shows her Reserve Grand Champion Spotted market barrow Derek Barker, Edison drives his Hereford market barrow Elijah Keplinger, Clark Co. drives his Yorkshire market hog Junior fair exhibitors in the Yorkshire market barrow show Junior fair exhibitors show in the hampshire barrow show Kaci Way, West Salem shows her Reserve Grand Champion Yorkshire market barrow Champion drive Champion drive Champion drive Champion drive Champion drive Champion drive Champion drive Champion drive Champion drive Champion drive Champion drive2016 Junior Market Barrow results Dark CrossbredGrand Champion – Diana Weimer, Waterville-264 lbsReserve Champion – Madelyn Fearon, Greenville-258 lbsLight CrossbredGrand Champion – Ashton Frey, Upper Sandusky-262 lbsReserve Champion – Lea Kimley, South Charleston-262 lbsBerkshireGrand Champion – Paige Pence, New Carlisle- 264 lbsReserve Champion – Zander Ivey, Bloomingburg- 250 lbsChester WhiteGrand Champion – Lily Rees, Bidwell-253 lbsReserve Champion – Micah Smock, Jackson Center-256 lbsDurocGrand Champion – Jenna Siegel, Marion- 269 lbsReserve Champion – Ashton Frey, Upper Sandusky- 274 lbsHampshireGrand Champion – Kelsey Vollrath, South Charleston- 271 lbsReserve Champion – John Smock, Jackson Center-250 lbsHerefordGrand Champion – Dustin Winner, Piqua- 257 lbsReserve Champion – Kelli Kearney, Burbank- 280 lbsLandraceGrand Champion – Madelyn Harrison, Hamilton- 279 lbsReserve Champion – Tyler Warner, Clyde- 265 lbsPoland ChinaGrand Champion – Ansley Kozarec, Farmersville- 280 lbsReserve Champion – Aaron Rolfe, Sabina- 267 lbsSpotGrand Champion – Anne Thompson, Wilmington- 280 lbsReserve Champion – Saylor Moore, Washington Courthouse- 249 lbsTamworthGrand Champion – Kamree Frey, Upper Sandusky- 262 lbsReserve Champion – Ashton Frey, Upper Sandusky- 270 lbsYorkshireGrand Champion – Brilea Bishop, Jamestown-280 lbsReserve Champion – Kaci Way, West Salem- 246 lbslast_img read more

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Corn Harvest Cab Cam – 2016 Ohio State Nitrogen Trials

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest At the same time that farmers are taking off corn and soybean fields around the Buckeye State, researchers at The Ohio State University are working through their field trials to collect data that will assist farmers in making better operating decisions in the future. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins found Andrew Klopfenstein, Project Coordinator with Ohio State’s Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, as data was being collected from a nitrogen trial in a Pickaway County corn field.last_img read more

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Paddling for pins

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest You can now win FishOhio-style pins just for paddling popular Ohio waterways. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) new Paddle Ohio program rewards individuals with a commemorative pin each time they paddle four different Ohio wild, scenic and recreational rivers, water trails or select state park lakes. To participate in the program, all you have to do is submit information about your four paddling trips on the Paddle Ohio registration form at paddle.ohiodnr.gov and the agency will mail you a pin this fall.Pins are available for paddlers who paddle four, eight, 12, 16 and up to a maximum of 20 different segments of designated Paddle Ohio waters. Maps and more information on Ohio’s scenic rivers are available from the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft at watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/scenicrivers. Organized paddling events conductedAlthough folks are encouraged to paddle at their convenience to earn their pins, the ODNR is offering a series of Paddle Ohio canoe floats this summer to promote paddling on Ohio’s state-designated wild, scenic and recreational rivers, water trails and select state park lakes. Floats are planned on Stillwater/Greenville Creek, Little Miami, Maumee and Mohican state scenic rivers, which qualify for Paddle Ohio pins recognition.For more information about the events, including registration and possible time changes or float cancellations, visit paddle.ohiodnr.gov. Meanwhile, here is what’s coming up for the balance of the summer.Saturday and Sunday, July 22 and 23 “Lake Fest” at Cowan Lake State Park. Beginning Saturday at 1 p.m., visitors to Cowan Lake State Park will find a variety of opportunities for canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding. Overnight camping options are available. For more information, contact Sarah Blair at sarah.blair@dnr.state.oh.us.Saturday, Aug. 12, on the Maumee Scenic River. This “Canoeing with Crawfish” float runs from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Participants will meet at Otsego Park in Bowling Green. Enjoy a scenic float with ODNR staff who will share interesting river features, and investigate the critters who call the river home. To register, visit reservations.woodcountyparkdistrict.org/programs.Sunday, Sept. 3, on the Little Miami Scenic River. This canoe float runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Participants will meet at the Caesar Creek State Park campground and shuttle to the Little Miami River. An electrofishing demonstration will be included. To register, contact Melissa Clark at melissa.clark@dnr.state.oh.us.Wednesday, Sept. 20 on the Maumee Scenic River. This “Canoeing with Crawfish” float runs from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Participants will meet at Otsego Park in Bowling Green. Enjoy a scenic float with ODNR staff who will share interesting river features, and investigate the critters who call the river home. To register, visit reservations.woodcountyparkdistrict.org/programs.last_img read more

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USDA launches webpage highlighting resources to help rural communities address the opioid crisis

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today unveiled a new webpage featuring resources to help rural communities respond to the opioid crisis.“While no corner of the country has gone untouched by the opioid crisis, small towns and rural places have been particularly hard hit,” Hazlett said. “The challenge of opioid misuse is an issue of rural prosperity and will take all hands on deck to address. The webpage we are launching today will help rural leaders build a response that is tailored to meet the needs of their community.”The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that more than 63,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016. More than half of those deaths involved opioids, including prescription drugs and heroin.USDA is playing an important role to help rural communities address this national problem at the local level through program investment, strategic partnerships and best practice implementation.In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump, which included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America.In the area of quality of life, the Task Force included a recommendation to modernize health care access. The report highlighted the importance of telemedicine in enhancing access to primary care and specialty providers. The Task Force also found that improved access to mental and behavioral health care, particularly prevention, treatment and recovery resources, is vital to addressing the opioid crisis and other substance misuse in rural communities.last_img read more

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Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast — April 4, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest 180404_RyanMartinRains blew past expectations yesterday. We way undershot the level of moisture that ended up coming through. Rain is still trying to exit the state to the east this morning, and even though there was a lot more than we wanted or needed…it does not change the fact that bi-polar Mother Nature has decided she wants more winter.Cold air started to blast in to the far northwest part of the state early this morning, and will continue to sink south and east through the day. With this cold air arrival, we can’t rule out a little bit of light snow in NW Ohio this morning, and as the day wears on it can become a bigger part of the forecast in north central and northeast Ohio. Most of the snowflakes stay north of US 30, but we won’t rule it out completely in a few isolated areas farther south. In north central and northeast parts of the state, we can see lake enhancement bolster the snow chances this afternoon and evening.Clouds mix with some sun tomorrow and then another fast moving wave of moisture moves in over the northern third of the state overnight Thursday night. This likely brings light snow and flurries that can leave a coating to an inch from US 30 northward from midnight Thursday night to sunrise Friday morning. The rest of the state looks dry through the daytime hours Friday.Overnight Friday night through Saturday moisture pushes up over the southern half of the state. This will trigger mostly snow from I-70 southward, and the best accumulations will be from US 50 southward. Liquid equivalent precipitation will be from .25”-.6” meaning we can easily see several inches of snow in the south. Everything is done by Saturday midday.The Saturday and Sunday look to be mostly dry. High pressure moves across the state Saturday and we have some minor south winds in for Sunday. Still, cold air rules the weekend, and we see only minor moderation in temps for Sunday. South and southeast winds do develop Sunday afternoon ahead of our next system early next week, allowing temps to get back closer to normal.Moisture is back to start next week. Overnight Sunday night low pressure moves into the state. The system brings two waves of moisture, both triggering mostly wet snow. The first wave from midnight Sunday through Monday brings a coating to an inch or two to about 70% of the state. Then a second wave moves through Tuesday, with more intense precipitation .WE can see several inches of snow over 40% of the state, but there can be some rain mixing in, mostly over the southern third of the state. Still, temps are cold enough for mostly snow. Total liquid equivalent precipitation from the two waves Monday and Tuesday can be .25”-.7” with 80% coverage. We will hone on snow potential more at the end of the week.We finally put together about 36 hours of dry weather for the entire state from Wednesday through next Thursday midday. Next Thursday afternoon, precipitation is back, but with south winds, temps moderate just enough to be looking at all rain. Temps will not be above normal, but will not be quite so cold.So, to put it in blunt terms, we see no day over the next 10 with temps above normal, and 9 of them will be below to well below normal. This colder surge has caused us to have to talk up snow much more this morning, and lessen our thoughts of rain. Soil temps will stay in the 30s through mid-month…and there can be no talk what-so-ever on field work through mid-month either. It’s not what we want to hear, but it is the truth. The precipitation forecast may get tweaked, but make no mistake…the pattern is cold and damp. The maps below show total 10 day snow accumulations (now through next Friday) at top, and total 10 day liquid equivalent precipitation at bottom.last_img read more

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NaGeira’s Treasure – GC6EDE – GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – November 22, 2012

first_img SharePrint Related”Pirate’s Booty/Bonaire” GC19NBJ GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – October 24, 2011October 24, 2011In “Community”Geocache of the Week — Pirates of the Grand: The Legend of DKs TreasureAugust 3, 2017In “Community”Arrrrrrr you fan of Pirates? — Nashuan’s First Cache (GC1D56C) — Geocache of the WeekAugust 28, 2013In “Community” Share with your Friends:More Your adventure awaitsCoordinates to this kid-friendly geocache deliver you to a remote island off eastern Canada. Your thirst for adventure leads you to a mysterious door. The passage is carved into a sheer cliff. The salty sea air heightens your awareness. You’re near a hidden pirate treasure. The deserted beach, on a rocky shore will reveal a secret if you can only follow the clues.A pirate’s treasureNaGeira’s Treasure (GC6EDE) was hidden by Alastair Allan (aviex) & Sherilyn Beaton. It’s rested in a moss covered cove for ten years. The cache owners described the cache as, “an adventure for the kids and an interesting afternoon.”They weave a pirates tale with the cache description. “NaGeira’s treasure was wrested from the dastardly pirate Peter Easton by the people of Conception Bay and hidden underground on the Treasure Island. A recently discovered parchment… appears to give directions to the hiding place.”In search of treasureNearly 150 geocaching teams logged smileys on this cache since it was hidden July of 2002. The difficulty 2.5, terrain 3 traditional cache in Newfoundland and Labrador has accumulated more than 20 Favorite Points. Geocachers who find the cache say, “Well isn’t this what caching is all about! Seeking treasure in a memorable location that makes you almost forget what you planned to do for the rest of the day. That was certainly our experience: a lunch on the beach and exploring for the rest of the afternoon. Truly one of of our all-time favourites. The stuff ‘caching memories’ are made of ”Getting closer…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 would 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.last_img read more

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Geocaching Caption Contest 37 – Win a Barely Coveted Prize

first_imgCuriousGeorge59 was not happy to have missed the FTF (First to Find) by seconds.CuriousGeorge59 was not happy to have missed the FTF by seconds.Devise your most creative caption for this picture of these two geocachers and they’re unlikely companion. You could even win a ‘barely coveted prize’ in the 37th Geocaching.com Caption Contest. This picture was originally posted on the official Geocaching.com Facebook page. Share your pics there for a chance to have your image used in a future caption contest.One coveted, and one barely coveted prize. Win them both!Submit your best – most King Kong geocaching appropriate caption – by clicking on “Comments” below. Please include your Geocaching.com username in all entries. Then, explore the captions other geocachers have posted.Try to ‘influence’ the voting process (*nudge*nudge*). “Like” the caption that you believe should take home the barely coveted prize. If you think your caption should win, convince your fellow geocachers, your friends, and family to “like” your caption. Lackeys vote from the top finalists to decide the winner of the contest.Click on the image to see the winner of this caption contestThe winner receives this month’s ‘barely coveted prize.’ The prize consists of one coveted and one barely coveted prize. Up for grabs is a rare John Grisham Geocoin, and an seldom used office pen.Click on the image to your right to discover the winner of this Geocaching.com Caption Contest. Lackeys voted to award the winner of the 36th Geocaching.com Caption Contest a barely coveted prize. Click on the image to your right to read the winning caption of that contest.Explore all the winning captions by checking out all the Geocaching.com Caption Contests. If you have suggestions for Geocaching.com Caption Contest photos, send a message and the image to pr@groundspeak.com.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedGeocaching.com Caption Contest 34 – Win a Barely Coveted PrizeJune 10, 2012In “Lackeys”Geocaching.com Caption Contest 31 – Win a Barely Coveted PrizeFebruary 16, 2012In “Community”Geocaching.com Caption Contest 33 – Win a Barely Coveted PrizeMay 4, 2012In “Community”last_img read more

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CM: Number of Companies with CM Deployments Double

first_imgThe results of a 2006 survey by AIIM Europe of companies in the UK found that 29% of companies have an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system in place.  That number is nearly twice the number of companies using ECM in the 2005 survey.46% surveyed said their company plans to spend more or much more on ECM in 2007.  While only 13% of the respondents expected to spend less.Those numbers are now similar to that of the US.  Yet in the UK, only 16% rate their companies as very good or excellent in being able to manage, control and use electronic information.  The survey notes a strong correlation between a company’s business success with their ability to manage electronic data.  Those in the survey who rate their company high in data management are nearly twice as likely to score their company as being more profitable than their industry average.The most challenging aspect of bringing in a content management system is to be able to up-front justify the investment and to gain management buy-in.  27% found integrating change management capabilities into their systems to be the most challenging.last_img read more

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Finally a Good Use for Google Knol: Sharing Information About Flu Research

first_imgfrederic lardinois Tags:#Google#news#NYT#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Last year, Google Knollaunched to a lot of hype and skepticism. While, at first, it looked like a possible Wikipedia-challenger, in reality, it didn’t attract a lot of users or attention, even though some of the articles on the site are actually quite good and well written. Today, however, Google announced that the Public Library of Science (PLoS), a non-profit organization focused on providing free access to scientific and medical literature, will use Knol to give scientists a place to collaborate and share research on important topics, including influenza research.PLoS Currents, as this project is called, will first focus on influenza research and might later expand to other topics. In order to keep the standard of the submissions high, PLoS will be able to use a number of new moderation tools in Knol to vet submissions and comments. Any submission that is accepted for publication will immediately appear on PLoS Currents and will also be publicly archived at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). All articles are published under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which allows anybody to share and remix these papers (with attribution). Related Posts Overall, we think this is a great project. Knol is a good, easy-to-use platform for these kinds of publications, and given that the articles are also archived on other servers, this project also doesn’t rely on Google to keep Knol’s servers running indefinitely.PLoS, being a non-profit, is also the right organization to give this project a try. Commercial publishers are still wary of the Internet, and while the open access movement has been gathering some support over the last few years, a lot of research in most scientific fields will still be hidden behind paywalls for a long time. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Netflix on the iPhone? Yes, Please!

first_imgTags:#Apple#mobile#Multimedia#NYT#Video Services#web Recently, Netflix sent out a survey to select subscribers in order to determine interest in an iPhone application for streaming movies via mobile phones. According to the survey’s wording, the proposed app would be Wi-Fi only and would offer the same content that the Netflix “Watch Instantly” service provides. Currently, subscribers are able to stream movies and TV shows to their PCs and Macs as well as to game consoles like the Xbox 360 and certain set-top boxes like the Roku. However, plans for an iPhone application were far out on the company’s roadmap last anyone heard. This past September, for example, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told Reuters that an iPhone application would “come over time, but nothing in the short term.” Now insiders are wondering if something has changed the company’s mind. And could that something be the iPad?Netflix Asks Customers: How Do You Feel About the iPhone?A blog post on the Netflix news-tracking resource Hacking Netflix offers up the full text of the survey, which reads:Imagine that Netflix offers its subscribers the ability to instantly watch movies & TV episodes on their iPhone. The selection availability to instantly watch includes some new releases, lots of classics and TV episodes. There are no advertisements or trailers, and movies start in as little as 30 seconds. You can fast-forward, rewind, and pause or watch again. The movies & TV episodes you instantly watch are included in your Netflix membership for no additional fee.Whenever you want to instantly watch content on your iPhone, your iPhone must be connected to a Wi-Fi network (such as one you might have at home or at work, or in public places like coffee shops, book stores, hotels, airports, etc.)If this functionality were available, how likely would you or someone in your household be to instantly watch movies & TV episodes on your iPhone via a Wi-Fi network?”Although this is an unofficial source for the news, the official Netflix blog links to the Hacking Netflix site in their blog’s sidebar, which at least somewhat speaks to the legitimacy of the content posted there. If Netflix Supports iPhone, it Supports iPad Too So why is Netflix considering an iPhone application now? This renewed interest is intriguing, especially when it comes only six months after CEO Hastings told reporters that “we will get to mobile eventually, including the iPhone.” At the time, he stated the company’s interest was more focused on getting Netflix content onto video game consoles and TVs. With the new crop of Internet-connected television sets, there has been plenty to keep the company busy in that regard. A likely reason for the new direction may have to do with the impending launch of the Apple iPad. The thin, slate-like computer, sometimes described as “a big iPod Touch,” is predicted to do well according to numerous technology analysts. Already, major media publications are looking into iPad versions of their print and web content, with the hope that the device will help them tap into a new audience of content consumers. Perhaps Netflix wants to do the same. It’s worth noting that the iPad will run the same mobile operating system as Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch, so although the survey doesn’t specify this, an iPhone app could run on the iPad just as easily as it does on the iPhone.What’s Required to Make this WorkThe only question now is how will the company build it? The iPhone doesn’t support Adobe Flash, the technology that’s typically used on the web for streaming video. However, that’s no matter to Netflix. They opted to go with Microsoft’s Flash competitor, Silverlight, when they launched their web streaming “Watch Instantly” service for Mac (and, unofficially, some Linux) users back in October 2008. An interesting side note about Silverlight? It alreadyworks on the iPhone. In fact, in November 2009, Microsoft User Experience Platform Manager Brian Goldfarb demonstrated Silverlight streaming on the iPhone during a live presentation at Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference. Reports quoted him as saying that Microsoft “worked with Apple” to create this iPhone-ready server-side solution, much to the surprise of Apple-watchers everywhere. Goldfarb later clarified his statement, saying that he meant Microsoft did all the work on the technology, but he did add that they “made sure Apple was comfortable with it.” However, Silverlight is not yet enabled on the iPhone, so the true level of comfort Apple may or may not have is still undetermined. But then again, one never knows what Apple has in store for the future. Assuming Apple was to give the green light to Silverlight, Netflix wouldn’t have many code changes to make in order to transform their database of movies and TV shows into iPhone-ready content. Of course, without official acknowledgement from Netflix itself, their future plans for the iPhone are just speculation at this point. We’ve reached out to multiple company representatives but have yet to hear back by press time. If we receive word, we’ll update this post with details. Update: CEO Hastings did have this to say about the company’s plans for an iPhone/iPad app on January’s earnings call, which makes it sound like the company’s plans have not changed since September:“We haven’t yet done or submitted an iPhone application. We are optimistic that…it would be approved…Of course that application if it works on the iPhone, it would work on the iPad. It is not a huge priority for us because we are so focused on the larger screen. Until we get our TV ubiquity and our Blue-Ray ubiquity…we would next turn to the small screen…It is something we will get around to but it is not in the near-term.” Related Posts 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex…center_img sarah perez 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

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BidModo Takes the Pain Out of B2B Classifieds

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting If you’ve ever used Craigslist before (and who hasn’t?) then you know it can be amazingly useful for some things and a terrible waste of time for others. If you’re a small business looking for an accountant or the best and cheapest way to outsource your HR, for example, then Craigslist might be asking for trouble. Austin-based startup BidModo is launching a public beta today that hopes to simplify this process for small businesses and provide them with better information to make better decisions, instead of simply relying on word of mouth referrals.BidModo is a bit like the offspring of Yelp, the Better Business Bureau and Craigslist, but much shinier. In reality, comparing it to Craigslist is a bit of a disservice, as it offers so much more than text classified ads and email responses.Instead of just putting an ad out there and getting back simple replies, the responses come from registered companies and are organized on a dashboard. Each company has an on-site profile, containing contact information, a company history, provided services, previous clients, certificates and licenses, and a list of references. Each company also has a rating card, which shows how that business rates with its clients on ten different characteristics, from bid timeliness to industry knowledge. If you’ve ever used something like Craigslist, then you realize how hard, or even impossible, getting all of this information would be. You would practically need to hire a private investigator. For end users – those posting the job – the service is entirely free and provides the user with information about bidders, vendor ratings and a dashboard comparing bids. Vendors only pay for selected leads. A vendor dashboard provides information on ROI, monthly sales data, ratings feedback and industry stats. And part of BidModo’s focus is on local business, so service requests only come from the region, which is something we think people, wherever they are, will stand behind.“Prior to BidModo, I ran a video production company,” said founder Toby Schwartz in a press release. “I would regularly hear of companies in town turning to New York or San Francisco to hire for their video needs. And I can’t tell you how many times I’d meet people in Austin who would comment that they wished they knew I was here.”Currently, BidiModo is live nationally, with over 80 cities and connections in more than 100 different categories. Tags:#advertising#enterprise#web Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… mike melanson Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

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Planes, Parliament & Roadside Magic: The iPad is Everywhere

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Long gone are the days where magicians would invite viewers to participate in a global magic trick on their TV sets – the iPad is the new magicians friend, it seems. Online video sharing sites like YouTube have created a place for talented street magicians like David Blaine to share their amazing videos with the world. Perhaps the magician seen in this video will adopt his trick of pulling a sandwich out of a print advertisement for the iPad.Flying High With the iPadKim Heras of The Next Web reported today that budget airline Jetstar would be renting iPads to flyers aboard trips longer than 90 minutes. The devices, which can be rented for $10, will come preloaded with books, movies, TV shows and games for the passengers to enjoy while soaring at 30,000 feet. Not only is this an incentive for travelers to pick Jetstar, but it is great marketing for Apple which can put a device in your hand for a limited amount of time – just enough, perhaps, to convince you to buy one.Bluebox, the U.K.-based company providing the iPad service for Jetstar, should be rolling this out to other airlines in the near future, says Heras. Of course, this service would be greatly bolstered by the proliferation of in-flight WiFi, which is slowly migrating across airlines in the U.S. and internationally. Heras hits the nail on the head, however, stating that the real killer app is allowing passengers to stream the entertainment features straight to their own devices without the rental.Other iPad SightingsIt’s clear that the iPad has quickly become a iconic representation of cutting edge technology and wealthy early adopter geek toy. If you have other great examples of the iPad being used in new and interesting ways, send them our way or post a comment below. In the meantime, please enjoy this highly entertaining video about the marriage between two of America’s greatest inventions: the iPad and velcro. Photo by Veronica Belmont. Tags:#Apple#web Related Posts center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… As announced yesterday, Apple has sold 2 million iPads in its first 2 months of production. With that many iPads out in the world (and mostly in the U.S.), it’s no surprise that iPads are popping up everywhere. From the device’s first celebrity appearance with Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report to being spotted in the lap of Poker pro Andy Bloch at the World Series of Poker, the iPad has quickly become a fairly ubiquitous gadget. To explore just how popular the gadget is, here’s a few examples of the iPad in the wild that you may not have seen yet.European Parliament Hands Out iPads to All MembersLast month a Belgian newspaper reported that the European Union would be providing iPads to each member of the European Parliament. For those keeping score, that’s 736 people for a grand total of anywhere between €300,000 and €600,000 in iPad sales depending on the model. Additionally, the money is being taken from a taxpayer budget of €5 million and could represent as much as 12% of the budget spending.iPads in America, however, are still banned from the House and Senate floors where similar technologies, like laptops, have remained absent. The EU says they are passing out the iPads to parliament members to make them more accessible to their constituency, but shouldn’t that responsibility be up to the members themselves?The iPad Street MagicianThe iPad apparently isn’t just good for browsing the web and watching video in style. It can also bend spoons, and make books, birds and money appear out of thin air. At least that’s what one Japanese street magician wants you to believe. By combining some sleight of hand, camera trickery, rehearsed timing and a personalized iPad video, this magician, Shinya, proves that the iPad can be a useful tool for magicians. chris cameron 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Special Discount for Independents & Freelancers to the RWW Real-Time Web Summit

first_imgelyssa pallai 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting In the spirit of all things being not equal, ReadWriteWeb is offering a deep discount to independents, freelancers and individual consultants for the ReadWriteWeb Real-Time Web Summit, June 11 in New York City. Simply email independents@readwriteweb.com to take advantage of the discount. Richard MacManus is packing his bags in New Zealand as we speak in anticipation of meeting you in New York! As we plan our week in New York for the conference and Internet Week, we’re looking at the attributes of the real-time Web that independents – including entrepreneurs, consultants and freelancers – should know about. Here are five use cases for the real-time Web that demonstrate its relevance for independents like yourself. 1. Real-time technologies change the user experience As the Web goes real-time, the World Wide Wait just isn’t going to cut it. Users will come to expect everything right now, and served up via instant notification. It will be interesting to see how this impacts users’ desires to actually visit websites. Or will we become so used to instant transfer of knowledge and notifications that it will change the very nature of how we use the Web? 2. Real-time technology enhances collaboration and crowdsourcing Crowdsourcing will become possible on a mass scale. Instead of you and four other collaborators to get the job done, try thousands. Imagine Mechanical Turk on steroids and think of all the work you can get done, right now, with other people. 3. Customers provide feedback in real time This phenomenon is happening now. Launch a product online and immediately you will you have five DMs in your inbox with suggestions or reports of bugs. The world becomes your test market, and iteration of your product happens in real time. 4. Conventions for real-time design are being defined now Real-time experience conventions are being created as new real-time services pop up all over the Web. It’s important to make note of what is working and what isn’t and imagine ways we can improve the experience. 5. Real-Time technologies need to be in your development plans As users come to expect information in real-time, real-time technologies need to be on your development and enhancement register. Discussion needs to happen now so we can understand how real-time might change your service delivery experience. The Summit is an UnconferenceBecause it’s an unconference, you’re going to get tons of networking and business value from the summit. Along with the help of a professional moderator, you and your peers will make the agenda and sit alongside industry luminaries such as John Borthwick, Chris Dixon and Marshall Kirkpatrick to discuss, debate and shape what comes next for the real-time Web. It’s like your own private think-tank. That’s the nature of ReadWriteWeb summits – straight-talking, collegial settings where you get to create the future. Everyone learns. Everyone advances. You leave feeling energized and full of “next”!center_img Tags:#conferences#RWW Real-Time Web Summit, NYC 2010#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

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Visualizing a World of Facebook Connections

first_imgGuide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… audrey watters A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#Facebook#web center_img The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts How do you visualize Facebook? As Facebook engineering intern Paul Butler notes, when you have a social graph of 500 million people, there are numerous ways in which you can view the data. For his part, Butler has been interested in visualizing how our friendships are connected to geographic place. So he has created a visualization based on cities and the number of Facebook friendships between them. Using the open source statistical tool R, Butler has taken data from a sample of aboutu 10 million friendship pairs, plotted them to location, and counted the number of friends between pairs of cities. Here’s part of Butler’s explanation:“I defined weights for each pair of cities as a function of the Euclidean distance between them and the number of friends between them. Then I plotted lines between the pairs by weight, so that pairs of cities with the most friendships between them were drawn on top of the others. I used a color ramp from black to blue to white, with each line’s color depending on its weight. I also transformed some of the lines to wrap around the image, rather than spanning more than halfway around the world.”Butler says that when he shared the image with others at Facebook, “it resonated with many people. It’s not just a pretty picture, it’s a reaffirmation of the impact we have in connecting people, even across oceans and borders.” Indeed, it is a very powerful visualization of our world.(You can find a high resolution image here.)last_img read more

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NFC in 2011: U.S. Bank Testing NFC in 20 Different Markets

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces This post is part of a series on NFC here on ReadWriteMobile which will serve to get you up to speed on what NFC is, what notable developments are underway and what commercial programs using NFC will arrive this year. You can follow this series by clicking the tag (or bookmarking the tag) “NFC 2011.”This post assumes you are familiar with the term NFC as well as the technology’s use in mobile payments. If you’re just starting to learn about NFC, you should begin here with the first post in the series to get caught up.NFC-Enabled Mobile Banking Apps What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#mobile#Trends sarah perez Also involved in the pilot program is payments processing provider FIS and the payments specialist Monitise, which the bank credited with the development of the mobile banking application. Actually, there are two mobile apps involved – one written for BlackBerry smartphones, while the other is an iPhone app. Both offer similar functionality, Venturo says.Using the apps, customers can perform balance inquiries, pay their bills, see their transaction history, and even switch on or off the NFC functionality. The balance inquiry, specifically, is updated in real-time, reflecting the transactions that were just made at checkout.Ironically, the on/off switch is provided to address customers’ fears regarding this new technology’s security, despite the fact that NFC, in truth, provides more security than the mag stripe standard used on credit cards today. That feature may or may not arrive in the commercial product, if one is to launch.Once enabled, these mobile phones can be used anywhere Visa has its contactless payment terminals in place. Merchants accepting these transactions exist in locations that range from pharmacies to fast food restaurants and even some convenience stores.How the System WorksCustomers participating in the pilot program receive the microSD card or iPhone case in the mail at the same time as their new credit card arrives. Included in the package are instructions as to how to insert the chip into the phone (or use the case), plus how to enable and use the mobile application.At point-of-sale, customers can switch on the NFC functionality within the mobile application (if it was not on already), then simply wave their phone in front of the Visa payWave terminal in order to complete the transaction.So far, the testers have found the process easy. “We’re really happy with the pilot program’s progress,” Venturo told us in March, while noting that U.S. Bank continues to refine the overall experience.Commercial Plans?The pilot was set to wrap up by the end of March 2011, after which U.S. Bank will determine what plans it has for making the program more widely available to non-employee customers. As of yet, the company has not made any announcements about its commercial plans.While the pilot program itself may have performed well, Venturo believes that there needs to be more than mobile payments alone before NFC technology really takes off. There needs to be more of value driver, he said, where customers receive other items, like coupons or loyalty discounts, when they perform mobile transactions.Right now, NFC technology is only popular among a highly mobile group of early adopters – a group which is not necessarily the youth market, Venturo explained. Meanwhile, others, when offered the ability to make payments with their phone ask “why would I do that?” He also said that adoption of NFC by merchants will ramp up at different levels across the U.S., noting especially there’s a lot interest in certain spots on the East Coast and west of Colorado.Image credit: Mobilecrunchcenter_img The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology U.S. Bank has been testing an NFC-enabled mobile payments service in 20 different markets, spanning several U.S. states, according to Dominic Venturo, Chief Innovation Officer for U.S. Bank Payment Services. The program was being trialed by bank employees who were also bank customers. However, the company won’t disclose the exact number of personnel involved.Like similar services from Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase, U.S. Bank’s payment solution lets customers make purchases with their mobile phone simply by waving their phone at select payment terminals at the point-of-sale. The service debuted in November 2010 in partnership with Visa, whose payWave technology is being used in the new solution. Using hardware made by DeviceFidelity, customers can NFC-enable their smartphones either by inserting a microSD card into their device, or by using a specially designed iPhone case which also includes a microSD card slot. Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementlast_img read more

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Oases of Green Thinking in New Mexico

first_imgA homes tour in the Santa Fe area features properties certified under Build Green New Mexico and LEED for HomesThe Annual GreenBuilt Tour, now in its tenth year, features 25 homes in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, and surrounding areas. Scheduled for May 16 and 17, the tour is a good opportunity to inspect properties that not only earned Build Green New Mexico or LEED for Homes certification when they were completed, but have put their green amenities to the test over time.In other words, these homes are green theory, ingenuity, and materials hard at work.One of the stars of the tour, highlighted recently in the Santa Fe New Mexican, is a home completed in November 2007 in West Basin, a 944-acre conservation community of five homesites on the southwest edge of the Galisteo Basin Preserve.The preserve, a 13,522-acre development and conservation project operated by the nonprofit Commonweal Conservancy, includes other housing projects, one with 20 homesites and another, 300-acre site with 950 homes and mixed-used construction. The development projects are intended to help pay for the Commonweal’s purchase of the remaining 12,000, which will remain publicly accessible open space.The home at West Basin was the first preserve residence to be completed in the preserve, the New Mexican story notes, and it is among the most efficient, operating off the grid by virtue of its 33 PV panels and a 5.1 kW battery installation, as well as walls made with rammed earth and autoclaved aerated concrete blocks.The home includes windows made from fast-growing lyptus wood and vigas rafters harvested from standing dead timber. The building also is equipped with water-efficient appliances and fixtures, a water-permeable driveway to prevent runoff and erosion, and features a deep butterfly roof that channels rainwater into storage tanks.The owners worked with Signer Harris Architects, of Boston, and WoodMetalConcrete, of Santa Fe.last_img read more

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What Is the Building Code?

first_imgBuilding Codes were established a long time ago as a way to ensure a minimum level of safety and sanitation. Plumbing codes keep our houses sanitary. Electrical codes reduce the risk of accidental electrocution and our homes from burning down. General building codes help stop the spread of fire if they do burn, but they also dictate structural stability based on natural calamities such as hurricanes, earthquakes, wind, flooding or temperature conditions as well as man-made events such as fires. It also mitigates slow degradation that can lead to structural catastrophes, like rotting beams or deck ledgers — it seems like every year we hear about a second or third-story deck collapse.Perhaps the most important part of the safety and sanitation mission is dictating a minimum standard without unintentionally creating un-affordability. If no one can afford to buy a home, it doesn’t matter how safe or sanitary it is built.The International Code Council (ICC) publishes the International Building Code, International Plumbing Code, International Mechanical Code and the International Fuel Gas Code. These codes are the typical reference documents for a new commercial building. The ICC also publishes the International Residential Code (IRC) that is normally the reference document for new homes. The IRC includes architectural, structural, energy efficiency, plumbing, mechanical, fuel gas and electrical provisions all in one book, but for new construction. The International Property Maintenance Code sets out the minimum code requirements for existing buildings. This code establishes those conditions that are regarded as unsafe and allows an inspector to order repairs necessary to mitigate the unsafe condition. The International Energy Conservation Code goes farther than the IRC in energy efficiency measures and is more commonly used for commercial buildings.Uniformity and consistency across the nationBuilding Codes have been historically regulated at the local or state level in all 50 states. The need for more consistency has lead to model codes across large regions of the country. The result in the early twentieth century was three separate major codes developed by different associations — the Uniform Building Code (ICBO), the Southern Building Code (SBCCI), the BOCA Basic Building Code (BOCA) and the One and Two Family Dwelling Code (CABO). While this was an improvement, it still was cumbersome for the builders, architects or engineers working in more than one jurisdiction.Worse, the different standards meant that various parts of the United States had higher or lower standards for safety, sanitation and health. However, with the advent of the IRC in 2000, this improved dramatically. The IRC, now in its 4th edition, is adopted in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Now the country is more consistent in building code enforcement that ever before. While the model codes help establish uniformity across the continent, each jurisdiction amends the code to reflect local tradition, custom, or circumstances. Because of this, building codes still sometimes conflict across city, county or state boundaries. Over time, these boundary disputes will become fewer, but thanks to the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, they will always be present. Because of state autonomy guaranteed by the 10th amendment, there will never be a federally enforced building code across all 50 states. Hopefully, there will be more consistency as more states decrease local amendments.last_img read more

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Labor Day Thoughts on Unemployment and Weatherization

first_imgI’ve been thinking more than usual this Labor Day weekend about putting Americans to work while solving our energy crises. If our goals are to reduce unemployment, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and improve all the buildings that are bleeding energy into the night sky, we need a better way to sell and finance home energy weatherization contracts.The problem: how we sell weatherization workNeed-driven solar subsidies and PACE-type loan programs require the initiative to come from the client. But most people are not very motivated to save energy unless the improvements are free or “pay for themselves.” They aren’t likely to pick up the phone and call for an energy audit, let alone schedule the small improvements that would actually have decent payback.If, instead of a need-based subsidy, future tax credit, or any type of home-equity loan, we could sell $600 to $6,000 audit / weatherization packages as contract add-ons to the electrical connection, we could cut the paperwork and dramatically simplify the sales process. Instead of advertising to motivate customers to act, weatherization companies could target neighborhoods with door hangers and a deal where all you have to do is get a quick “energy nosebleed” audit, sign a contract agreeing to have the cost of the audit and repairs added to your monthly utility bill proportional to the anticipated cost savings, and give the utility permission to stop service for non-payment.I can’t believe what I’m seeingI’m talking about the little “I can’t believe what I’m seeing here” energy nosebleeds I see in middle-class homes and starter mansions: the disconnected, torn, or crushed AC supply ducts in the attic; the powered attic ventilators that are sucking conditioned air out of houses; the unsealed and uninsulated kitchen soffits; the inadequate attic ventilation; the tub drain cut-outs, HVAC chases, and skylight chases that are draining energy from homes. These problems don’t cost much to fix, and the payback for the repair work is decent compared with solar panels and new windows.The contract add-on would be similar to the way some cable TV and internet is sold, as an add-on to the phone bill. There would be no impact on home equity, no need for an additional credit check, as that is in place from the original utility connection. The preliminary audit would identify the “nosebleeds” that would have payback equivalent to the cost of the service during the time-frame of the agreement. Owner-occupied homes would be the logical target, but the pay-by-utility bill approach could work for rentals and light commercial properties as well.There would have to be language in the contract to cover payment or transfer at sale of the property as well as to cover situations where service cancellation due to non-payment could damage property or occupant health.The sales would be handled by weatherization contractors; all the utility would do is pass on the payment. Licensed energy auditors would find the nosebleeds as part of the sales team for the weatherization companies.Quality control would be managed through state energy office, with spot checks similar to termite-treatment companies. The same energy offices could manage the financial end, as middleman between investment firms selling green investment bonds and the weatherization companies signing on to sell and install large amounts of weatherization. Community colleges could train auditors, installers, and managers.This would allow weatherization companies to go door-to-door promoting a low-cost home energy tune-up with zero cash outlay, no impact on home equity, and minimal inconvenience to the occupants in the execution of the work — 100% financed by energy savings. This way, rather than waiting for the consumer to call and set up an appointment, a company can target whole neighborhoods and sign up a large percentage of the homes in a subdivision and reach some economies of scale and efficiencies of neighborhood implementation.Subsidized weatherization skews the value of for-profit weatherizationI’m opposed to subsidies for solar and weatherization, because I believe they skew the value of the work, creating the impression that it “isn’t worth it” unless subsidized. People will buy as much solar as the government will subsidize, and stop there. They like getting something for nothing, and if they can get up to a certain part of solar at half price, they wonder why they should pay full price for additional capacity.Even fully subsidized “free” weatherization for low-income families is problematical, because middle-class and wealthy people live and work in buildings that can save energy with modest weatherization improvements; since some people get this work for free, it sets the expectation that the work shouldn’t be expensive.I’m equally opposed to subsidies for the gas, nuclear, and coal industries. When gas goes over $3.50 a gallon, people sell gas-guzzlers and buy mopeds and hybrids, or they plan their driving so they can drive less. Once gas prices stabilize, we see new Mustangs and monster trucks on the highways.Rather than spending stimulus money on rebuilding roads, let’s just change the way we sell weatherization. We should invest in research and education to retrain our own people to reduce our need for energy through American ingenuity. We can put people to work at the same time that we reduce the deficit.Author’s note: These opinions are mine alone and don’t necessarily reflect those of others who contribute to or frequent this site.last_img read more

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A Net-Zero Campus in New York City

first_imgRoosevelt Island is technically part of the borough of Manhattan, but it has a distinct identity. Some of that has to do with its 19th-century history, when it was home to a lockup for convicts and institutions such as the Smallpox Hospital and New York City Lunatic Asylum.But in contemporary life, that identity is more about the island’s spectacular location on the East River, between Manhattan and Queens, its status as a residential community of about 13,000 people, and, more recently, as the potential home of Cornell University’s New York City Tech Campus, a 10-acre project that would include a 150,000-sq.-ft. core academic building designed and built to perform at net zero energy. Cornell is bidding against proposals being presented to the city by Columbia University, New York University, and Stanford University for the contract to build a tech campus in town, with, in Columbia’s case, an extension in nearby Westchester County. (Mayor Michael Bloomberg has indicated there might be more than one winner among the bidders.)In Cornell’s proposal, the main academic building would be one of the four largest NZE buildings in the U.S., the school says.“Forget the cliché ‘game-changer,’” Kent Kleinman, Cornell’s Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Architecture, Art and Planning, said in a news item about the proposal. “This New York City campus is more than that. It is the ideal plan for creating an educational environment to train future engineers and designers in the science of sustainability for decades to come. And it will make New York City home to one of the nation’s premier green buildings.”A living labAs currently envisioned, the campus residences, corporate facilities, and main building will sit just south of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, which passes over the island at Manhattan’s East 59th Street. (The island is a narrow stretch of turf that runs from East 46th Street to East 85th Street. Direct access to the island is provided via subway and tramway, rather than the bridge.) The main building will serve as a home for an academic partnership between Cornell and Technion / Israel Institute of Technology.Construction of campus structures other than the main building is expected to be to the LEED Silver or Gold standard and yield about 30% greater energy efficiency than comparably sized buildings built to code. The design-and-planning team, which includes architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and solar energy development specialist Distributed Sun, is aiming for LEED Platinum certification for the main building and the above-mentioned net-zero-energy performance goal, which would be achieved through a combination of photovoltaic, geothermal, and fuel-cell systems. The geothermal system, for example, is designed to include 400 wells spread out over four acres. Each well will be about 500 ft. deep. Peak generation by the Tech Campus photovoltaic system is expected to be 1.8 megawatts.The campus landscaping plan features rain gardens and bioswales, green walls and roofs, reforestation to create a small, new urban forest, and about 500,000 sq. ft. of open space overall.Other collaborators on the proposal include the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.last_img read more

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Net-Zero Homes Show Signs of Convergent Evolution

first_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in A few weeks ago, my wife and I went on a short hike with our college-age son. As the three of us drove to the trailhead in Norwich, Vermont, we passed a construction site. “Looks like a zero-energy house,” I observed. The sign out front read, “Prudent Living Homes.” I decided to get more information on the house and return later to try to talk with the builder.I called up Prudent Living Homes, and the owner of the company, Paul Biebel, agreed to meet me at the site. When I showed up a few days later, two carpenters, Gary Castellini and Maynard White, were working on exterior details.The house in Norwich is a custom three-bedroom home measuring 2,500 square feet. The home’s 13-kW photovoltaic (PV) array should produce enough electricity on an annual basis to more than meet the home’s electrical needs.The foundation consists of perimeter stemwalls surrounding a slab on grade. (The design originally called for a basement; however, once the excavator started digging the foundation hole, a natural spring bubbled up — one that no amount of drainage pipe was likely to defeat. The team decided to switch gears and build on a slab.) Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) from Nudura were used for the stemwalls; additional rigid foam installed on the exterior side of the ICFs increased the R-value of the walls to R-22. A 4-inch-thick horizontal layer XPS (rated at R-20) was installed under the slab. (See Image #2 at the bottom of the page.)The R-45 double-stud walls are 12 inches thick, and are insulated with dense-packed cellulose. (See Images #3 and #6 at the bottom of the page.) The roof is insulated to R-60.Paul Biebel, owner of Prudent Living Homes in Windsor, Vermont, has been building homes since 1976. “I’ve… center_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.last_img read more

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Siding and Interior Finish Work in New Hampshire

first_imgQuarter-sawn spruce clapboardsStarting in late July, we turned our attention to the exterior and specifically the siding. While we considered trying to tackle this ourselves, we hired Eric again. Besides his skill and experience, he also had staging and a siding nail gun. Eric took the lead on the entire siding project. I helped on and off the staging and Kyra (plus her dad) did tons of staining.We had already ordered the siding in 2013 and stored it over the winter. The siding was quarter-sawn spruce clapboards from Ward Clapboard Mill in Vermont. Although quarter-sawn clapboards are more expensive than plain-sawn, they are more stable and less prone to cupping. We were willing to pay for this high quality, and balanced it by choosing Ward’s cottage grade, which includes blemishes and knots. This area on the west side of the house shows a large awning window with stained spruce clapboards, stained pine corner boards, and pine window trim finished with Vermont Natural Coatings exterior wood finish.Kyra was concerned that the cottage grade might look junky, but we liked how it turned out on another house project we had been following online (“Building a super-insulated Vermont home”). We also saved enough by choosing cottage grade that we paid to have the clapboards pre-primed — a good call that meant huge time savings for us. We installed the clapboards rough side out, and it looks awesome.The other big decision was what to do about a rainscreen.The siding project went from early August until mid-September 2014. Kyra and I also built overhangs over the two large fixed south-facing windows.We knew this was an important feature to build into the exterior, but weren’t sure about what materials to use. We ruled out 1×4 furring strips because we thought they would push out the siding too much and complicate the window trim. Ripping plywood sheets into strips was an option, but we settled on products from Cor-A-Vent, partially because we had seen them used successfully at the Up Hill House. We used Sturdi-Strips and SV-3 Siding Vent to create a â…œ-inch rainscreen gap, vented at both the top and bottom of the wall. Editor’s note: This is Part 4 of a multi-part blog series on the construction of Brian and Kyra’s home in New Hampshire. Here is a link to Part 5: Finishing Touches for a Pretty Good House in New Hampshire. Keeping the waterline from freezingOur well contractor was scheduled to come back in September to install the submerged well pump and well tank, and to hook it all up. Before this could happen, I had to do some stressful research and decision-making about what kind of heat cable to get.Because the water line was already hooked into the well casing and backfilled, we would have to push the heat cable into the water line from the house. The water line ran about 175 feet from the house to the well with some sweeping turns around the house and back towards the well. We made the call to get a 120-foot in-pipe heat cable that would protect the most vulnerable part of the water line starting at the house. (The 50 feet + near the well was buried deeper.)Our well contractor suggested a certain heat cable product, but I wasn’t able to find enough information about the product to make me feel comfortable with the purchase. After some internet research, I came across a company based in Canada called Heat-Line. We went with the 120-volt version of their Retro-Line, 120 feet long. It cost almost $2,000, but we didn’t have other good options. Pushing the 120-foot heat cable into the water line was straightforward. After all the stress, the work was completed in mid-September. ARTICLES BY BRIAN POST Building a Small House in the White MountainsPouring the Slab and Framing the WallsWindows, Housewrap, and Roofing Underlayment Finishing Touches for a Pretty Good House in New Hampshire Kyra and her dad working on the trim for one of the big south facing windows. These are fixed windows.After this was done, I sealed up the rough window openings with canned spray foam and we started working on window trim. Kyra’s dad came for the first of many visits at this time, helping on various projects with his woodworking skills.We liked the look of simple pine trim and went with 12-inch pine boards for the jambs and 4-inch pine boards for the casing. The window trim work required a lot of shimming and other fitting work, but it came out well. Kyra working on the east door overhang.To protect the exterior doors and entrance areas, we also hired a friend, Ray, to help us build protective roofs. We used Douglas fir posts, 2x6s, tongue-and-groove pine boards, and pine trim. We also used some leftover synthetic roofing underlayment and small metal roofing panels. Exhaust-only ventilationBased on the recommendation of our foundation/shell contractor, we went with an exhaust ventilation setup consisting of Panasonic WhisperGreen bath fans with Panasonic passive air inlets. We eventually settled on a WhisperGreen model that could run on continuous levels as low as 30 cfm and then be boosted (for set time periods or until turned “off”) up to 80 cfm.One fan was installed in the full bath upstairs and one in the half bath downstairs. Before insulation and drywall, we installed 4-inch rigid duct through the walls in the fan locations and the needed plastic duct for two passive air inlets (one downstairs and one in the main bedroom). The Panasonic passive air inlets are rated for 12 to 18 cfm, so we figured it would be OK to start with two, giving us up to 36 cfm of makeup air.Later, when we first powered on the fans with our electrician, we figured out that the two passive air inlets were not providing enough makeup air. The house was getting depressurized even with one fan running at only 30 cfm. This was happening because the house is so tight and the passive air inlets don’t allow as much air as advertised. (One online review said they tested at 10 cfm). For various reasons, adjusting our ventilation setup would be an ongoing theme as time went on; more on this later. Cabinets and interior stairsWe made good (but slow) interior progress over the winter and into spring 2014. The snow bank on the north side of the house finally melted in early May 2014; we continued with interior work and turned some attention to outside.Cabinet material stacked in the kitchen and ready to assemble.We had ordered ready-to-assemble cabinets from Barker Cabinets and kept everything stacked in the kitchen. We decided on Barker rather than a local cabinet company because the cabinets were higher quality for the price and the online ordering process was also straightforward. Brian Post is a photographer and website builder. He lives in Jackson, New Hampshire with his wife, Kyra Salancy, and a fluffy black dog. When not working on their house, Brian and Kyra enjoy climbing and skiing in the White Mountains. Space heat is all electricWe scheduled the installation of the ductless minisplit for early June 2014. One of these on the first floor would be our main heat source for the entire house. As backup on extremely cold nights (or if the minisplit malfunctioned) we planned to install small Stiebel Eltron wall-mounted electric heaters in each bathroom and bedroom, as well as a couple more in the open downstairs area.We went back and forth about which size minisplit to get, but eventually decided on a Mitsubishi FH12NA. While our Energy Star HERS rater suggested we might be better going up one size, we thought the FH12NA would meet our needs. Fortunately, the installation was completed in time to take advantage of a $500 rebate from the state of New Hampshire. Soffits and small protective roofsWe rehired Eric, one of the workers who helped the foundation/shell contractor, to take the lead on finishing the soffit. We used 1×8 tongue-and-groove pine, treated with an exterior wood finish from Vermont Natural Coatings. It came out great, and we really liked the natural pine look. We used 1×8 tongue and groove pine for the soffit. The exterior unit of the ductless minisplit. We built the small roof to protect the unit from rain and snow coming off the north side of the main roof.I helped Ray build the first roof and he helped us get started on the second. We took it from there and would end up using the same concept for overhangs over our large south facing windows and the exterior unit of the ductless minisplit. Finishing joists and floorsKyra and I, with help from her dad, continued on various interior projects. I spent multiple days on a stepladder with a face mask and eye protection working on the rough-sawn hemlock floor joists. I used a wire brush to clean them up and did some light sanding. We installed two clear coats of Vermont Natural Coatings. We used Southern yellow pine for the stair treads. We’ll make sure to install the skirtboards first next time.Kyra and her dad also worked on the stairs. The kitchen floor after the application of concrete stain and sealer.In early November 2014, we started finishing our concrete first floor. We had narrowed down our options to hiring a professional to grind and polish the slab or staining and sealing ourselves. Kyra and I decided this would be a good job to take on ourselves and save several thousand dollars. From Eco Safety Products we purchased several concrete finishing products, including their etcher and cleaner, stain, and finish/sealer.The first step was to test colors. We did this in an area that would be hidden later; we decided on the “Black Granite” color for most of the floor area.We tackled the kitchen first so that we could install cabinets before moving on to another floor section. The work was very labor-intensive. The steps consisted of: scrape/sand, clean floor with Simple Green, use etching/cleaning product, let floor dry, install two coats of stain, let dry, and install five or more coats of the finish/sealer.This work also required a lot of vacuuming, taping, rinsing, and the somewhat impossible task of keeping random debris and dog hair off the floor. The work was tiring, but we were happy with how the floors were turning out. We finished the kitchen and saved the other floor areas for later. The rough-sawn 2×12 hemlock floor joists were cleaned with a wire brush, sanded lightly, and protected with a clear finish. The winter of 2013-2014 started without much snow, but progressed into an extended period of cold and snow from February through March. Normally, we’d take advantage of this on skis, but the house project was occupying most of our attention. Drywall, window trim, and interior doorsThe drywall crew completed hanging, taping, and mudding the drywall in early February 2014. We went with rounded corners and the crew did a great job. The interior minisplit unit is on an interior wall in the central part of the first floor. Behind the wall is a small mechanical area, which allowed for easy runs of the lines to the exterior. Septic system and spruce floorsAs spring turned into summer, the septic system was finally inspected, approved, and backfilled.We continued on various interior and exterior projects. I ripped the Vycor Plus flashing tape off the exterior doors, spray foamed any gaps in the rough openings, used Siga Wigluv tape on the exterior part of the rough openings, patched up the housewrap, and installed some pine trim. The first room we finished was the second bedroom.The 2×6 tongue-and-groove spruce used for the second-story floors had gotten pretty beat up during the main construction phase. We rented a commercial orbital floor sander and that (along with some hand-held orbital sander work) did a good job of cleaning up the floors. We used a product from Vermont Natural Coatings (Polywhey Floor Finish) to finish the spruce floors.Kyra and I decided to finish the second bedroom first so it could serve as an initial finished room. We installed some pine baseboard and Kyra tackled the painting.We started by installing horizontal lengths of SV-3 siding vent along the bottom of the wall. Then we stapled the vertical Sturdi-Strips over the 16-inch-on-center studs. The Sturdi-Strips were doubled up on the corners. We installed the pine corner boards before the siding. The goal: an occupancy permitOver the rest of November and December, we continued on interior projects that would help us get an occupancy permit:Kyra and her dad put together the cabinet parts that we would install and secure to the walls later.Kyra and I built simple open vanities for the bathrooms.We had recently hired contractors to tile the shower and bathroom floors, Kyra and her dad installed the shower door.Our plumbing contractor came back to install and hookup the toilets, sinks, and hot water heater.I used my climbing skills and equipment to replace the plumbing vent flashing on the roof as it had a slight leak from a poor install job.Speaking of hot water, we decided on a short 30-gallon Rheem electric-resistance water heater because it was cheap, would meet our needs, and would fit in the mechanical room under the stairs.At this point in the house project, we were working hard towards getting the certificate of occupancy (CO), which we thought we needed to move in. While we had an affordable rental situation with friends, I was really itching to move into the house so we could stop paying rent and not have to commute back and forth. Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of blogs chronicling the design and construction of a house owned by Brian Post and Kyra Salancy. The first blog in the series was titled Building a Small House in the White Mountains. RELATED ARTICLES Up Hill HousePretty Good, Not So Big Maine HouseThe Potwine Passivhaus in AmherstKicking the Tires on a Passivhaus ProjectThe Pretty Good HouseMartin’s Pretty Good House ManifestoGreen Building for Beginners There was no functioning kitchen, but the house had heat and functioning bathrooms (see Image #3, below). One day, I met with the Jackson building inspector about our remaining tasks and found out it was OK for us to move in without the CO. That was all I needed to hear.Kyra was worried that the house wouldn’t be comfortable to live in yet, but I convinced her to go for it. In a matter of days, we moved all our belongings up to the house and spent our first night on the floor of the guest bedroom. It was December 23, 2014. We had a long ways to go, but it felt great to be in the house. We were also focusing on the upstairs: painting, installing pine trim, and hanging interior doors. We were trying to keep costs down, but did get affordable solid pine wood doors. With finishing products, we went with no/low VOC and more natural products whenever we could. This included using Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey finish on all the pine trim. This Panasonic FV-08VKS3 WhisperGreen bath fan was installed in the upstairs bathroom. The exhaust duct has a short, straight run to the east wall. We installed this fan in a frame below the ceiling so we wouldn’t break our air barrier. 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Renewable Energy Provider Teams Up With Amazon

first_imgAmazon and renewable energy broker Arcadia Power have joined forces to offer homeowners a package that includes web-enabled devices designed to save energy plus a source of renewable energy. The two are partnering on the “Home Efficiency Bundle.”  The package of services includes the installation of smart devices, such as the Ecobee thermostat and the Amazon Echo Dot, and a switch to Arcadia Power’s source of clean energy. Customers pay nothing for the installation of the wi-fi gadgets by an Amazon tech. A monthly fee of $20 or $36, depending on which bundle of equipment they choose, is added to the the electricity bill from Arcadia for a term of 36 months.RELATED ARTICLESWind Energy Hits a High NoteUtilities Grapple with Rooftop Solar and the New Energy LandscapeWhen Will Rooftop Solar Be Cheaper Than the Grid?The Internet of Things Takes Center StageGet Ready for Smart Appliances In an article about the new offering, Business Insider described the arrangement as a way for Amazon to get its Alexa technology into more homes while heading off competition from rival Google. The basic package includes the Ecobee thermostat, three smart LED bulbs, an Amazon Dot, and four wi-fi connected electrical receptacles. The upgraded  bundle adds a Ring doorbell and swaps an Amazon Show for the Dot. The Echo Dot is a voice-controlled speaker that can play music, answer questions, or check the weather, according to Amazon’s website. The Echo Show is an upgraded version with a 10-inch screen for watching videos and TV shows. Ecobee can use local weather data to regulate home heating and cooling systems with potential savings of 23% a year, Arcadia claims. The thermostat also can send alerts in the event the HVAC system malfunctions. Wi-fi enabled plugs can be used to turn things on and off remotely. Tapping into the renewables market Kiran Bhatraju, who grew up in eastern Kentucky coal country, founded Arcadia Power in 2014 as a way of offering customers the best possible price on renewable energy, according to an article in Forbes earlier this year. Once customers are connected to Arcadia, they are assured of getting 50% of their electricity from renewable sources, mainly wind, with the option of signing up for a variety of other clean power sources, such as community solar or 100% wind energy. It took Arcadia years to build a system connecting the company with utilities around the country. It now has more than 80,000 members and deals with 100 utilities representing all 50 states. Last year, Arcadia reached the “tipping point” where it had enough of a customer base to negotiate lower prices for clean power, with rates often running 10% to 25% less than standard utility offerings, Forbes said. Bhatraju said that rising demand for clean power could stretch sources of renewable energy that are currently available, but at the same time would become an incentive for the addition of new clean energy sources. He told Forbes: “That’s when we become the market maker, with millions of customers leading the way, and making the decision on what kind of power plants to build being initiated by consumers rather than utilities and regulators.”last_img read more

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Microsoft Tries To Patent the Holodeck! (Well, Almost)

first_imgMicrosoft took a step toward creating – and owning – the Star Trek holodeck this week via a patent application that introduces the concept of a “peripheral display” that can project game scenes onto the walls, ceiling and floors of a room.The idea, according to patent application number 20120223885, is to improve the realism of the display, so that the player is immerse more thoroughly in the game world.Right Out Of Star TrekThat’s not too far away from the holodeck concept introduced in Encounter at Farpoint, the premiere episode of Star Trek: Next Generation where the crew members enjoy simulated experiences in a room where holographic projections layered on extruded force fields and replicated matter give the illusion of reality. (OK, maybe it israther far away, but one step at a time.)Microsoft already has produced one of the most immersive peripherals for a video game: Kinect, whose infrared “eyes” can detect a user’s skeleton, face and voice, recognizing him and placing him in a virtual world. Players can interact with virtual objects by kicking, punching, or grabbing them – although such interactions must by necessity take place within the two-dimensional frame of the TV screen.What Microsoft’s patent application proposes is a way to reduce the awareness that you’re sitting in front of that screen:Even when focused on the display, the user may perceive architectural and decorative features of the room the display is in via the user’s peripheral vision. Such features are typically out of context with respect to the displayed image, muting the entertainment potential of the media experience. Further, because some entertainment experiences engage the user’s situational awareness (e.g., in experiences like the video game scenario described above), the ability to perceive motion and identify objects in the peripheral environment (i.e., in a region outside of the high resolution display) may intensify the entertainment experience.” Related Posts What the patent application offers is the ability to go beyond that limitation, projecting “peripheral” images onto the walls, ceiling and floor of a player’s living room. The application suggests that the “depth camera” (the existing camera used by a Kinect or some next-generation device) could be placed next to an “environmental display” projector, so that the same unit could project images around the user. More sophisticated setups could use more than one RGP projector. Instead of “surround sound,” think of a “surround display.”Next Step? 3D!Microsoft even goes so far as to suggest that a properly placed arrangement of cameras could enable 3D “wiggle” stereoscopic images on the walls, improving the experience even further. The patent application also mentions that the projected images would account for the angles of the walls and other scenery – a feat that Intel accomplished in real life this week, and with a Kinect, to boot.As for a controller – who needs it? An improved Kinect-like device could also be used to track the player’s eyes or face, letting those serve as controls, the patent suggests.Of Course There’s A CatchOf course, there are a significant number of issues Microsoft doesn’t really account for, such as the number of projectors needed to create an actual image. Players may not be able to tromp through the living room hunting space aliens without tripping over a coffee table or couch. (But imagine the hilarity of a game that superimposed a virtual Covenant Hunter over your wedding photo!)There might also be problems with orientation; the patent application suggests that players could turn around and see a virtual enemy sneaking up behind them. If a game player was able to orient himself independently, he or she would end up interacting primarily with the display projected on the walls, not the HDTV. To think of this another way: if the HDTV always represented the north-facing view in the game, any time the player wanted to run south, or east, he or she would be facing the wall. And if the game rotated back to accommodate the player movement, there would really be no way to interact with an enemy behind you.Still, we can’t help but be excited about any progress toward creating the much-loved Holodeck.  9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#gaming#Microsoft#web 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… markhachman 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe Applast_img read more

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How To Make Online Video A Sustainable Business

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… adam popescu Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting It was a packed house Tuesday night at Busby’s East in Los Angeles as online video heavyweights gathered to discuss the future of the medium. Tubefilter founder Drew Baldwin moderated a panel that featured Chill co-founder and chief-executive Brian Norgard, mainstream actor turned online director Michael Urie, and Dan Dobi, the filmmaker behind the YouTube documentary “Please Subscribe” (ironically, not available on YouTube).The forum was hosted by pay-to-play social video services Tubefilter and Chill. Last week, Chill debuted Chill Direct, a marketing tool inspired by comedian Louis C.K.‘s direct-to-consumer model, allowing creators to sell content direct to fans with a 70/30 profit share. (See Chill Direct: A Farm System For Video Distribution). The audience of 100 plus was treated to the panel’s insights on the current state and future of online video, and why creative control, community building and the changing economics of video will make the platform sustainable. Why It WorksWhile the studio system market for buying films is small, the market for people to pay for films is huge, said Norgard. But if supply is determined by demand, then something is wrong with the current mainstream distribution system, and by extension, this is one major reason there’s such a big market for online content. “You can’t just make an indie movie and get into a festival,” said Urie, who parlayed his success (and cash) from ABC’s Ugly Betty series to direct his own film, “Thank You For Judging.”  But Urie added that it’s no longer a failure to not sell your film to the studios. He knew his film wasn’t Sundance material and if he took it to a small festival, he wouldn’t get sales. So Urie chose to take his finished project straight to Chill Direct. As did Dobi, who says he doesn’t expect his YouTube doc to be on that platform for several years.Dobi, who described himself as a filmmaker who doesn’t go to the movies, says he watches more content on his computer than in theaters (and via BitTorrent and pirated software to boot). He thinks the affordable model of streaming video alongside of keeping people in the comfort of their homes, makes this platform attractive. “If something’s affordable, people are going to pay for it,” Dobi said.Both Urie and Dobi think smaller films have a better chance online than they would in mainstream channels. As consumers keep voting with views (and increasingly with dollars) moving away from mainstream media and demanding premium online video, Norgard said he expects this will help reorganize the current economics of the system. Unlike iTunes or other services difficult for regular people to get into, open platforms let creators bring along their own communities of followers and brand advocates, and let them quickly build new followings – depending on the quality of the content they release.Norgard added that this kind of content has a longer shelf-life than traditional media, which often quickly fade to obscurity if not seen in the right amount of theaters, or when they are sold to a television network after the theatrical release. Conversely, online content can be viewed and shared  for as long as the material is available online. And it can then be sold and distributed to major networks and content providers at any time. “The digital/social window could make the theatrical window look like a side car,” Norgard quipped. Straight From The Horse’s Mouth…Actresses turned YouTubers Kimmy Kim and Frutron have been making episodic short videos for the past year. They have a following, but said they’ve made enough money to buy a burger, blender and a cheese grater. The 20-something L.A. transplants attended the meetup not knowing what to expect, and left excited to get involved with new platforms.“We weren’t quite sure what it was all about and how sustainable it is and if its working for people,” said Kimmy Kim. But “people sounded really excited about the possibliies of it. There are even more options for us. It’s encouraging for us, because we can do that too.”The creators took to YouTube to create more personal material, but like many others their goal is to use their content as a springboard to television and feature films, Frutron said. They hope to use the pay-to-play format as a forum to try to do just that, and make some money along the way.  “We’re all experimenting,” Kimmy Kim said. “We’re still at the let’s see what sticks phase.”Photo courtesy of Brian Norgard.center_img Related Posts Tags:#online video 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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NSA, FBI Tapping Into Data Of Nine Major U.S. Internet Companies

first_imgServerless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Related Posts Leaked documents from the National Security Agency and the FBI have revealed a secret government program, code-named PRISM, that is “extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time,” according to the Washington Post.The data was pulled from the servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. Dropbox, the Post reported, is supposedly “coming soon.”The NSA does not monitor every piece of data, the story reports, only that belonging to targeted individuals. But the capability to monitor the target within all of the companies’ data is there, according to the slides obtained by the Post.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#now#spying center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting readwrite Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…last_img read more

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European Court Orders Google To “Forget” Old Search Results

first_imgA European court ruled that Google must delete “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” information from its search results when a user requests it. The ruling upholds the “right to be forgotten,” and allows people to cherry-pick their historical records and eliminate anything they don’t want other people to discover on the search engine.Google was hit with a “right to forget” lawsuit in Spain three years ago. The country’s Data Protection Agency ordered Google to remove search links on 90 people. The company refused to remove any data.See Also: How To Remove Yourself From The InternetAccording to the Guardian, in the first case of many against Google, Mario Costeja González from Spain wanted information relating to an auction for his repossessed home in 1998 erased from two pages on a newspaper’s website, and the European Court of justice ruled that under European Union data privacy laws, Google must remove the links that point to those pages.Google is the Internet’s encyclopedia, collecting and indexing public and historical information for people to find in the future. Allowing people to scrub history could also effectively let people rewrite it. If the ruling is upheld, people will be able to sanitize their background by erasing links to public information in one of the world’s largest information repositories.See also: Spain Asks Google For The Right To Be ForgottenEuropean citizens could now have greater control of their data, but questions remain on how people can enforce these rules, and even whether a “right to be forgotten” is a good idea in the first place. People should have a right to have their data protected online, and companies like Google and other social media companies have been slapped with lawsuits in the past for violating users’ rights. But there’s a big difference between private, personal data like information shared with friends on Facebook and public records that are published in a newspaper or other outlet online. In this case Google, as the collector of information around the Web, only has to remove the links that point to the information; it doesn’t have power to remove the information itself. The two pages are still live on the newspaper’s website, so a savvy user would eventually be able to find them, it would just take more than a cursory search.Lead image courtesy of Robert Scoble on Flickr 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market selena larson Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#European Union#Google#now#privacy#Right to be forgotten#Spain center_img Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

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Why do major American corporations struggle in China?

first_imgHow IoT Will Transform Cold Chain Logistics For… 5 Industries Destined for Technological Disruption The Ultimate Checklist on Ways to Prevent IoT D… Tags:#China#Industrial IoT#Internet of Things#IoT This introduction is our first installment of an eight-part series about the importance of cross-cultural design which will examine several attempts by large, well-known American corporations to expand their reach by marketing in mainland China.  As this series will show, many of these attempts have failed to achieve success even though China is the second largest economy in the world.  The key question we hope to answer is why they failed, and to attempt to draw lessons to help future American companies to successfully sell there.Many American companies are increasingly interested in capturing the absurdly large and ever more technologically advanced market of China. But with the potential of the great financial rewards associated with successfully operating in China comes a large risk of failure. To quote GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt, “China is big, but it is hard.”See Also: China planning massive innovation for state-operated companiesThis series of articles examines some attempts by major American companies to enter the Chinese market. Major companies provide the most telling examples because they have the most written about them. Further, they are instructive because, generally speaking, an inability or failure to commit sufficient funding to the attempt is not part of the analysis. Therefore, one can more easily see that disappointment or outright failure in the Chinese market by American companies is the result of one or more factors from four general categories:A lack of understanding about Chinese society and its realities;Misunderstanding the needs/desires of the consumer, especially how the population typically uses technology;Creation of political turmoil – this is mostly applicable to large corporations, especially those with a social media aspect; andA lack of key partnerships (guanxi) with homegrown Chinese businesses.In this series, I will explore several large American companies that have experienced a range of outcomes in China, from failure to lackluster success, even though these same companies were and are thriving in America, and sometimes in other large international markets as well. In addition to discussing what each company did wrong, I will suggest what each one could have done or should do in the future to better capitalize on their respective market opportunities.  I will also discuss a couple of companies which have learned enough to do things the right way and have enjoyed success as a result.See Also: Yinchuan is the smart city choice for ChinaThe author is Clayton “CJ” Jacobs, who is currently an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with, and the Head of Cross-Cultural Design at, ReadWrite. An area of focus for him is helping American companies understand and enter the Chinese market through taking a modern user-centric product design approach. You can contact him directly at clayton.michael.jacobs(at)gmail.com or find him on Twitter & LinkedIn.center_img Related Posts Clayton Jacobs Electronic Design is Utilizing AI-Enabled Solu…last_img read more

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30 Days of Savings is Here!

first_img This image was purchased by the MFLN from iStock.com on 11 January 2019 under member ID 18347305. By Molly HerndonJoin the Military Families Learning Network’s Personal Finance team this month in saving $100 in just 30 days. From February 1 through March 2, the MFLN Personal Finance team is supporting financial professionals in their efforts to encourage students and clients to save $100. Return to article. Long DescriptionIn sync with Military Saves’ message to “save for the unexpected” in the 2019 campaign our hope is that savers will use the $100 to supplement or start an emergency savings fund.The 30 Days of Savings Challenge takes the guesswork out of how to start a savings plan. Registered participants follow a daily savings chart that lists the amount needed to save daily throughout the 30 days to reach $100 by March 2.Need ideas of how to save these small daily amounts? Watch Dr. Michael Gutter deliver 30 ideas for how to save money from our last challenge in 2017.Registered participants of the challenge receive weekly emailed messages that give ideas, activities and events that support their saving efforts. We also encourage participants to join the conversation happening on Twitter by following and contributing to #30DaysofSaving on Twitter.Sign up and join us in saving $100!last_img read more

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Learn From the Pros: Reverse Engineer an After Effects Template

first_imgHow To Change the Frame Rate of an After Effects TemplateOne of the things you might want to change in your purchased template is the frame rate. Many templates are created at 29.97 frames per second, which is fine for US customers, but if you’re in Europe you might want to adjust them to the PAL 25pfps. An easy way to do this all in one go is to download and install a free script from redefinery.com, called rd_compsetter. This is actually one of 50 free scripts you can grab in this bundle.To install a script, simply drag and drop the rd_compsetter.jsx file into and restart After Effects if it’s already open.Mac = Applications > Adobe After Effects CC 2015 > ScriptsWindows = Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects CC 2015 \Support Files\ScriptsTo run the script, first select all of the folders in the project panel and then hit File > Script > rd_compsetterAdjust the frame rate to whatever you need it to be, and every composition in the project will be updated at once. If you have a template that also includes some video elements, and not just After Effects graphics animations, then you might want to use the interpret footage function as well. What You Can Learn Breaking Down an After Effects ProjectOne of the benefits of breaking down another motion graphic artist’s project file is that you can not only learn from what they have done, but the way in which they have done it.For example, they might have a shortcut to achieving an effect you’ve been taking the long way around with. You can also learn how to structure and organize your projects in a more professional manner, or at the very least you can learn to replicate specific techniques with ease.How to Reveal the Hidden MagicBefore we go any further you’ll want to make sure any investigation work you do – which might also involve messing things up by accident – is done in a duplicate of your project. So just make sure you save a copy of the original project file for safe keeping.One of the good things about RocketStock’s After Effects projects is that all the inner workings are normally hidden from view. So for simple use — update the logo, change the text, adjust the colours — it’s very straight forward. But for our purposes, we need to see what’s really happening under the hood.To do this you simply need to click on the ‘Shy Guy’ icon to reveal every layer that has been set to hidden by the creator. The image before shows the project as it is when you originally open it.As you can see, this reveals everything that’s going on to make this lower third function. Another useful keyboard shortcut to use is ‘U’ which reveals all of the animated parameters in a selected layer. Even more helpfully a quick double tap of ‘UU’ will reveal all animated layers in the composition. In the image below, you can see all the animated properties for the first layer. Understand the ConnectionsAnother useful thing to check out, in order to understand how all of the compositions are connected and working together, is to open up the ‘composition mini flow chart’ from the tool bar in the top of the timeline for a quick view, or click on the main flowchart panel via Window > Flowchart. Learning Point – Fonts Matter MostThe most obvious thing that you can learn from looking at someone else’s motion graphics work is that good design is a LOT about choosing a great font.In these lower third layouts in the lower thirds package Venue, you can see two fonts at work in the capitalized title and lower case subtitle; Monserrat and Myriad Pro. The take away here is that although there are two fonts at work, they actually look very similar, which helps to keep the design looking clean and the legibility high, making it easy to read.A good design principle is to have one font and vary the weighting (bold, italic, thin etc) to create visual contrast, rather than chucking in too many random fonts. Although sometimes you are simply lumbered with the clients terrible font and have to make do. If you’re after some free fonts for motion design, this previous PremiumBeat post is a good place to start.If you’re looking to learn more about what makes for good design – including font selection, layout, and much more, then I would highly recommend this series on lynda.com, which breaks down some simple design situations and unpacks the essential principles. Absolutely worth a watch.Ever reverse-engineered someone else’s After Effects work? Share your experience in the comments below! If you’re looking to improve your After Effects abilities, an easy way to learn is to break down an After Effects Template.Whether you are learning After Effects for the first time, or an experienced user trying to improve your skills, one way to learn from other professional motion graphics artists is to break down their work and see how they’re making the magic happen. Now, you can do this with a keen eye and a lot of experimentation as you try to mimic reference material — such as a cool trailer, title sequence or animation — but you still need to know what you’re doing in order to recreate their techniques.An easier way is to simply buy a copy of their work and open up their After Effects project file and see exactly how they did it. How can you do this? Through sites like RocketStock.com, where you can get free and paid After Effects templates like the one below.last_img read more

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The New DJI Phantom 4 Cuts Through the Sky on Its Own

first_imgThe DJI Phantom 4 (priced at $1399) has more built-in cameras and sensors, twice as many as the previous Phantom 3. Not only do these advanced electronics help avoid obstacles, they keep the Phantom 4 absolutely still when holding its position.The new magensium core makes the Phantom 4 a stronger, more rigid drone without compromising weight. The new shell is more aerodynamic, allowing you to cut through the sky. The weight and flight advancements have allowed DJI to increase the Phantom’s flight time to an average of 28 minutes. That’s 25% longer than the Phantom 3.The new Phantom 4 camera features 4K video up to 30fps and 1080p up to 120fps. The aspherical lens offers a 94-degree field of view, reduces distortion by 36% and chromatic aberration by 56% versus the Phantom 3. The shorter hyperfocal length will allow you to get closer to an object and keep them in focus.TapFlyImage via DJI The DJI Phantom 4 doesn’t even require the pilot to use the sticks on the radio controller anymore. In its simplest TapFly mode, you can just tap on your tablet and the Phantom 4 does everything for you.Want to fly between some trees, but you’re not confident in your piloting skills? Just open the live video feed, double tap a location on your tablet, and the Phantom 4 will start flying autonomously. The new Obstacle Sensing System will maneuver the Phantom 4 on its own, avoiding people, trees, buildings, etc. The new DJI Phantom 4 drone almost flies itself. Take a closer look at the the fastest and smartest Phantom yet.Top image via DJIThe leader in drone production, DJI, has packaged many of their best features (and those of competitors) into a new ultimate aircraft. If you are a beginner, this drone is perfect for you. If you are an advanced pilot, this drone still makes you want to reach for your wallet. Let’s take a look at the newest features. Image via DJIThe Verge got to talk to the DJI Phantom 4 development team about many of the latest features.It’s the first consumer unit that can see the world around it and adjust accordingly, the next big step towards a truly autonomous aircraft. Try and drive it into a wall, the Phantom 4 will put on the brakes. If you ask it to fly from your position to a spot across a river, and there is a bridge in between, it will make a judgement call: increase speed to clear the obstacle or, if that isn’t possible, stop and hover in place, awaiting your next command.The Phantom 4 accomplishes this feat with the help of five cameras: two on the front and two on the bottom, plus the main 4K camera that has always been onboard to capture video. The images captured by these cameras are run through computer vision software which constructs a 3D model of the world around it that the drone can intelligently navigate. Sport ModeSport Mode gives the Phantom 4 incredibly responsive controls. Using the controller, easily speed through the air and maneuver your craft with ease. The built-in gimbal and new battery are positioned near the aircraft’s center of gravity, offering more precise movements. The new raise motors increase torque, and offer a more reliable flight control and safer flight at high speeds.center_img ActiveTrackImage via DJIThe new ActiveTrack feature allows the Phantom 4 to track a subject automatically. With your tablet, trace around the subject you want to keep in frame. The onboard computer then builds a 3D model of the subject and begins following immediately.You can then use the remote controller to make small adjustments to the focus, framing, or camera settings. The Phantom 4 perfectly executes a 360-degree orbit with this new feature. Set the ActiveTrack border around your subject, and then just throttle the stick to the left or right. For more specs and more info, check out the Phantom 4 page on DJI’s website.last_img read more

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How to Make an Impromptu Shot Usable for Your Film

first_imgYou stumble across a scene that would work perfectly in your film or video project — but all you have is your camera. How do you capture an impromptu moment without a tripod or other support gear and still make it look pro?Top image via ShutterstockIt’s crazy to think that the compact camera you keep in your backpack to take pictures of your dog at the park might also be the camera responsible for capturing stunt footage in the latest billion-dollar grossing blockbuster. It’s crazy, yes. But, it’s also true, thanks to the ever-increasing speed of industry innovation.So, what steps should you take when something worth including in your next project suddenly appears during your day-to-day adventures? Obviously, you quickly grab the camera from your backpack, but you have zero of support gear  — no lights, no mics, etc. — so what next?The following steps can help you obtain good clips in an impromptu setting. Of course, this will not be a one-stop shop for all improvised settings — these steps will work best for establishing shots.Step 1: Dial in Your Camera SettingsVideo Playerhttps://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Original.mp4Media error: Format(s) not supported or source(s) not foundmejs.download-file: https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Original.mp4?_=100:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.I took the video above during a recent hike. The scenery was perfect for a project I was working, but, unfortunately, I only had my camera. No tripod in sight. Not only that, I was on an uneven surface with a slight wind blowing me off balance. Not the best situation to start with. As you can see, there’s a bit of camera shake, and it looks quite unprofessional.Before hitting record, I increased the resolution from 1080p to 4k. Even though the rest of my project was being delivered in 1080p, it was crucial to capture this spontaneous shot in the highest resolution possible.This approach will help greatly in post when it comes time to stabilize the footage. Additionally, this approach adds some wiggle room should you decide to include a pan or tilt. Lastly, take note — if you know there might be a chance of cropping your image, it’s always best to move back a little before you hit record.Step 2: Stabilize as Much as PossibleImage via ShutterstockYou could say that two of the core principles of a professional shot are stability and movement. A stable shot is going to look better than a clip that’s shaking too much. A moving shot, for the most part, will look better (or at least add more character) than a stable shot.It’s important to note that there’s a difference between camera shake and handheld cinematography. When you hold a camera with just your hands, every step, vibration, and movement is transferred directly to the camera itself. The lighter the camera, the more kinetic energy will be visible within the footage. There’s no absorption to counterbalance the movement.With larger cameras (or with cameras on a shoulder rig) you have several more points of connection with your body, and the energy of the movement is dispersed more evenly.Because you’ll be running your footage through a stabilizer in post-production, your shot needs to be as stable as possible. Leave pans and tilts for post, too, as those kinds of shots are almost impossible to pull off handheld.I would suggest resting your camera on your camera bag or the flattest surface possible. If you haven’t already, it’s always worth acquiring a camera beanbag. They fit in the average rucksack and are perfect for situations like this.Step 3: Make Post-Production TweaksAs discussed above, this kind of impromptu footage benefits greatly from stabilization. If you’re working with After Effects, here is an excellent guide offering several ways to do just that.When your shot is fixed, you need to change the composition size from 4k to 1080p, and scale down your footage (as you can see in the image above). Leave some over-trim on the side or top if you want to include a pan or tilt.To increase or decrease the scale of a shot/media file within After Effects, select a layer within your timeline and hit S on the keyboard. With the shot scaled down and selected, hit P on your keyboard to bring up the position control, and click the stopwatch to activate a key frame. Move your timeline cursor near the end of the clip, and then move the position of the shot according to if you are creating a pan or tilt.To make the movement look more legit, change the end keyframe to an Easy Ease by selecting the keyframe and pressing F9. This will slow the movement down toward the end, instead of abruptly coming to a stop.Finally, apply your color correction to match the sequence within your project, and you are good to go. Here’s the before and after:Video Playerhttps://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/720-Tilt.mp4Media error: Format(s) not supported or source(s) not foundmejs.download-file: https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/720-Tilt.mp4?_=200:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.As you can see, the shot has been transformed from something filmed spontaneously with no support gear into something that looks like it was shot on a tripod.If your DSLR doesn’t support 4k or a higher resolution than 1080p, you can still achieve the same effect by using a 1080p letterbox rather than scaling the footage down.So, to recap, take these steps to make impromptu footage look like it was planned all along:Film in the highest resolution possible.Find your framing, then step back a few paces.Stabilize the camera as much as possible before recording.Stabilize the footage in post-production.Convert the composition to a smaller resolution.Downscale the footage.Add a position keyframe, and then move the shot up, down, left or right.Apply your color grade.Celebrate a job well done. Got any additional tricks for making impromptu shots work in your film or video project? Share them in the comments below!last_img read more

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What I See When I Watch the Super Bowl

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Two teams compete.Both teams know how their competitor will play. They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They will attempt to play their game and prevent their opponent from playing theirs. They will not try to play their competitor’s game in order to win; they don’t want to play where they are weak and their competitor is strong.Both teams will have won and lost competitions. Both won competitions they were expected to lose, and lost competitions they were expected to win. Both will have learned as much or more from their losses than their victories. Each team will have studied and reviewed every contest immediately after its conclusion.Both teams will field their very best players in this must win competition. It won’t be political. No one will play favorites. The decision as to who competes is based on that individual’s ability to make a difference.Both teams will try to control the clock. Each team has an opportunity to play in a way that uses time to their advantage. The more time a team has on the playing field, the more likely they are to win. A team that is deprived of time will struggle to win.Each of the two teams has a process. They will each run their plays in an attempt to position themselves to advance their position. These plays have been thoughtfully designed to maximize the team’s advantages. Every play is designed to score. Neither team will throw caution to the wind and wing it. They will have prepared to execute each play to perfection.When errors are made by one team, the opposing team will attempt to capitalize on the opportunity it presents them. It’s not impossible to win the competition having made more serious errors than your competitor, but it is unlikely. The more cleanly a team executes their plays, the greater the likelihood of their winning the competition.Each team will have coaches helping them to make decisions. In some cases, these coaches will call the plays. When they have the ability to make a difference, they will insert themselves into the game.Both teams will play until the whistle blows. They will leave everything on the field. They know luck has a role in the contest. An error many be made. A lucky break may come their way.At some point, the clock will run out and one of these teams will be declared the winner. The other team will have lost the contest. But that loss won’t mean that the losing team isn’t an excellent team. It will only mean that the winning team won this contest.The season will end, and the next season will begin.last_img read more

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Stop Automating Human Interactions

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Because you can automate something doesn’t mean you should necessarily automate it. Because you can leverage technology to do something doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to do.Right now, you can automate some client interactions. You can set up a call tree, and you can give your clients or customers choices to “help” them to get to the person they need. You can also automate a greeting to remind them that their “business is very important to you,” and that “you appreciate” them.You can also automate your prospecting efforts. You can set up templates, customize those templates by stakeholder title and perceived interest, and email your prospects to request an appointment. You can even automate your nurturing efforts by setting up a workflow that automatically sends your prospect value-creating content without your ever making an ask.You can automate the collection of feedback from your clients after they make a purchase. This makes the collection of information easier and faster for both you and your client.In a world that is becoming more and more transactional, the drive for efficiency increasingly looks to technology to automate as much as possible.Automation drives down costs. It eliminates human errors, along with the humans that are prone to making them. It provides certainty that things will be scheduled, completed, monitored, and measured. And for some companies and some outcomes, this is going to be okay.But when you are playing at a higher level, creating and capturing more value, efficiency isn’t the goal.A human being helping connect you to the person you need to speak to creates greater value than a call tree that first requests your customers language, asks them to pay attention because their choices have changed, and then offers them 8 different choices in a voice that makes it difficult to pay attention.A human being showing a real interest in developing a relationship with you creates a very different experience than a slightly customized email with a clumsy ask at the end. A human being that has personally sent you ideas, in their own handwriting, with highlighted passages and personal notes, is different than an automation funnel.The salesperson who sold you something calling you to follow up to ensure you are 100% satisfied and that you are getting the outcome you bought and paid for is different than a survey link being sent my email. One says “I care about you” as a person, and as a client. The other says that your company is checking the box.You might be reading this list and saying to yourself, “But, Iannarino, these are now all very common business practices,” and you would be correct. But if you want to differentiate yourself, your company, and your offering, you need to be uncommon. If you want trusted relationships and clients-for-life, then you need to make things personal, not automate them.But “Stop automating human interactions,” is a bit hyperbolic. There are cases where it may be a good decision. But if you sell business-to-business, eliminating the human connection in your business in exchange for automation destroys customer intimacy. If you are an individual contributor, think deeply about what you are automating, and what you are making personal.last_img read more

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The Sales Improvement You Need Will Not Be Found in Tools

first_imgThere are people who believe that the choice of medium is the dominant factor for producing results when prospecting. They believe that the tools are what produces a better outcome, that some choice of medium is so much better than another that salespeople should shift their efforts to those tools. This group believes that the primary challenge for salespeople is that they lack the knowledge of how to use the relatively new tools, believing that the primary challenge in selling well today is a lack of training in using them. More still, they believe that single change worth noting as it pertains to sales results is the internet, when in fact, it is one of many, and not the most important.Like those who have tried to improve sales effectiveness in the past, they look for things that can easily be trained and employed. Like the sales manager that attempts to improve sales by demanding more activity because he is at a total loss as to how to help people become more effective, this group of people believes that shifting the focus to the use of new tools will increase the salesperson’s effectiveness. The tools, however, do not increase a salesperson’s effectiveness, even if they improve their efficiency.The tools do not create any value for the client to suggest that the salesperson using a certain tool is someone worth meeting with, someone with the business acumen or situational knowledge to improve their future results. If there is a challenge in prospecting now, it is a lack of value being traded for time, not the medium being used to make the ask.The tools offer nothing when it comes to controlling the process, gaining the commitments necessary to consult with clients and help them make the changes they need to make inside their own company. They offer even less when it comes to helping deal with a client’s internal conflicts, competing priorities, and a systemic resistance to change.The new tools do nothing to improve the intangibles that weigh heavily in a decision to buy from one person instead of another. They don’t make one a peer, provide executive presence, or create a preference to work with an individual or their company.The poor thinking here is that the tools are what is missing when it comes to producing better results. The tools themselves provide no insight. They produce no content; they only deliver the content. They are not a reason for a client to take a meeting or to decide to engage with a salesperson. Those who focus on tools inflate the value of them to a level they cannot possibly deliver.The tools available to you in sales are useful, but they are not enough to make you an effective salesperson. In most cases, they are a distraction from the real challenges of selling well, and your efforts are better spent working on the messenger and not the medium.last_img read more

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When it rained stones in Darjeeling

first_imgOne dead as violence escalates in Darjeeling It was a beautiful cloudy morning in Darjeeling with the occasional drizzle that makes the hills look even greener. With shops, commercial establishments and schools remaining closed on the third day of the indefinite shutdown called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha ( GJM), it seemed like a day of usual protests. There was no hint of that the situation would spiral out of control and blood would stain the streets of Darjeeling.When I reached the GJM headquarters at Singamari, I observed that there was a modest deployment of security forces. At about 11.15 a.m., a group of about 200 women emerged, carrying a huge national flag and shouting pro-Gorkhaland slogans. Soon another group of several hundred women protestors joined them. As the chants for Gorkhaland became louder, it became evident that the security forces were vastly out numbered.As the situation began to turn violent, the police resorted to a lathicharge and then tear gas to control the crowds. The protest broke up with people running in panic. A tear gas shell exploded very close to where I stood, forcing me to join the running protesters. I managed to find a small alley to escape. The doors of all the houses were shut. I was joined with another journalist from an English daily.And that is when I saw the hundreds of young men and women with their faces covered, who had taken position on the undulating hill road above the party office. Armed with stones and other projectiles, they were attacking the trapped police contingent below. Police once again resorted to tear gas shelling and lathi charge. As smoke filled the locality, I could neither breathe nor see. Sounds of bricks falling on vehicles and the bursting of tear gas shells filled the air.Also Read  No mercyThe protesters were in no mood to show any mercy to anyone who was not on their side; not even to journalists. When a few tried to threaten me with bricks, another protester intervened. “Our fight is not with you,” he said. “It is with Mamata.” But rescue from the mob was not easy. The young man knocked on several houses, before a door opened and we were quickly pulled in. The house owners, who offered paying guest accommodation to students, allowed both of us to stay till the violence raged outside.Later, when we stepped out, the entire stretch resembled a war zone. Stones and bricks lay all over; cars stood with shattered windscreens and windows.Three overturned vehicles were burning.Another protester asked me who I was, and offered to take to me to safe place. He convinced a house owner, a young gym instructor, to offer us shelter for a while.“Please give us good coverage. We are not terrorists, you know. ,” the protestor kept repeating. After staying put there for half an hour, the gym owner opened a gate. As we left, and he quickly shut the gates.last_img read more

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Gehlot calls Raje’s campaign ‘helicopter yatra’

first_imgAICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot on Monday asked Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje what account of herself was she giving by travelling in a helicopter for her ‘Gaurav Yatra’.“She should apologise to the people for not doing any work in these five years, even though they gave her a massive mandate,” he said. Mr. Gehlot arrived in Jodhpur on Monday, two days ahead of the ‘Sankalp Rally’ of the Congress which will be held in Pachpadra village of Barmer district. Calling Ms. Raje’s campaign a “helicopter yatra”, Mr. Gehlot asked “why was the Chief Minister scared of mingling with the common people of the State”.The former Chief Minister accused Ms. Raje of “spreading terror through her Gaurav Yatra and creating a curfew-like environment in the State by stopping protesters from raising black flags at the campaign venues”. Reportedly, people were barred from staying on roofs and balconies of their houses when Ms. Raje’s meetings were being held in the vicinity. Mr. Gehlot called it a“curfew-like environment”. “People wanted to see her, meet her. Why is she so scared? What kind of democracy is this,” Mr. Gehlot asked. He also held her responsible for “delaying the refinery project for four years in the name of reviewing it” and slammed her for relaying the foundation stone. “Today there is only a wall in the name of refinery construction. Had it not been delayed, the refinery would have taken full shape by now,” Mr. Gehlot said.last_img read more

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