Man United ace ‘proof you should stick with young players’ – fans love the idea of Smalling being captain

first_img1 Man United v Man City is live on talkSPORT at 2pm on Sunday 25 October.Chris Smalling has had a good season so far.The man fans have christened ‘Mike’ after a slip of the tongue from manager Louis van Gaal has gone from a figure of fun to a mainstay in the United defence.And Van Gaal thinks 25-year-old Smalling has the potential to lead the team when current captain Wayne Rooney and vice skipper Michael Carrick are gone.Here, talkSPORT looks at what fans think about the idea of ‘captain Mike’. Chris Smalling to captain Man United in the future? last_img read more

It’s Not a Bird, It’s a Plane

first_imgLook to the birds of the air, and they will teach you aeronautics.  That’s what designers of the Robo-Swift did.  PhysOrg reported about a new plane that imitates a swift thing on the wing:RoboSwift is a micro airplane fitted with shape shifting wings, inspired by the common swift, one of nature’s most efficient flyers.  The micro airplane will have unprecedented wing characteristics; the wing geometry as well as the wing surface area can be adjusted continuously.  This makes RoboSwift more maneuverable and efficient.  Resembling the common swift, RoboSwift will be able to go undetected while using its three micro cameras to perform surveillance on vehicles and people on the ground.The article says that RoboSwift, designed by Dutch engineers, will also be able to fly along with swifts and study them up close.  One can only imagine what would be going through a swift’s bird brain upon seeing such a thing.  (See also the 04/29/2007 story on swifts.)    Scientists continue to learn more about bird flight.  Birds seem to break the rules of aerodynamics, reported MSNBC News.  But that can only mean that we don’t understand the rules very well yet.  Bird maneuverability vastly exceeds man’s aircraft.  PhysOrg explained that a new study of 138 bird species overturns “aerodynamic scaling rules that explain how flight varies according to weight and wing loading.” Their analysis reveals that the difference between the speed of small and large birds is not as great as expected; they suggest that this surprising result is likely to be the result of disadvantages associated with very slow speeds among smaller birds and with very fast speeds for larger birds.  They also show that the evolutionary history of the species helps explain much of the variation in flight speed: species of the same group tend to fly at similar characteristic speeds.  For example, birds of prey and herons had slow flight speeds, on average, given their mass and wing loading, whereas the average speed for songbirds and shorebirds was faster than would be predicted.Yet it would seem hard to claim knowledge of evolutionary history in the past when the article goes on to say that “there exists a diversity of cruising flight characteristics among birds that remain to be explored and understood” in the present, right under our noses.  David Tyler, writing for Access Research Network, has explored which paradigm – design or evolution – is more suited to the explosive rise in biomimetic engineering.Scientists should be swift to learn, slow to mythologize.  Evolutionists could not begin to explain how a lumbering dinosaur got the right combination of mutations to turn into a flying swift with aerodynamic engineering that is the envy of our smartest inventors.  Evolutionary claims are vacuous and useless.  Give us RoboSwifts and other useful inventions inspired by nature – as long as the government doesn’t use them to spy on honest citizens.    A reader wrote in about witnessing birds in flight:About two years ago I was privileged to watch two (presumably male) nighthawks performing in front of a third (presumably female) nighthawk that was sitting on a rock and incidentally performing for me, sitting on a tractor a few yards from the one on the rock.  One appeared to be chasing the other as they flew up the road, came back down through the orchard, dodging limbs in the tops of the cherry trees.  The tail of the first and the beak of the second were separated by about a foot, no more than 18 inches.  They flew at pursuit speed, much faster that when they are feeding hundreds of feet above the ground.  They matched wing strokes as they flew around and over limbs, trees, sagebrush and rock, usually no more than two or three feet from the obstacles.  Now and then the leader would perform some type of pull-up maneuver and the follower would become the leader.  I think this is what happened, but it was too swift for me to be sure.  In a word, it was awesome.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

In London, voting for South Africa

first_img16 April 2009 Twenty-five years ago, the crowds that gathered in Trafalgar Square to protest and demonstrate against apartheid South Africa played a major role in galvanising international opinion against apartheid and hastening its downfall. Yesterday, South Africans gathered in their thousands in orderly queues to have their say in the future of the democratic South Africa in the same place that the demonstrators once stood. With 7&nbps;427 South African voters marking their crosses in 12 hours, the South African High Commision in London was not only the country’s largest voting station abroad, but was also nearly twice the size of the largest one in South Africa – Joubert Park in Johannesburg with between 3 000 to 4 000 voters, according to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). I have never seen such a large group of South Africans behaving in such a subdued manner. Perhaps it had something to do with being in the historic Trafalgar Square on an overcast – and sometimes wet – London spring day. Perhaps it had something to do with the the tiny figure of Lord Nelson on his towering column peering out over Parliament Square, where an animated statue of our own Nelson Mandela is flanked by the likes of Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and General Jan Smuts, the only other South African in the Square. Perhaps, it had to do with the fact that it was very early in the morning. But I suspect it had more to do with the reverence of voting – the universal way for ordinary citizens to have a say in their country and the future. They queued ten-deep across Trafalgar Square and the length of the facade of the iconic South Africa House. It was a day on which South Africans filed onto South African soil in unprecedented numbers thanks to a decision by the Constitutional Court – the cornerstone of South Africa’s democracy – which required government to extend voting facilities to all South Africans abroad who are on the voters roll. They waited quietly, patiently, reading the latest copy of The South African, chatting quietly about why they were in the UK, why they were voting, exchanging their memories, hopes and fears for their beloved country. It also took me back to 1994 when I had felt so priveleged to be part of the first election in which all South Africans were able to vote – most for the first time. The long queues snaked sometimes for kilometres and many South Africans got to know each other for the first time as they waited for hours to make their crosses. Back then it was both a deeply moving , humbling and empowering experience. And so it was again yesterday. This time, the voters were mainly young, mainly white and all were united by the decision to have a say in their country and in choosing the next government. It also took me back to the mid-1980s, when I served as a correspondent for the South African morning group of newspapers – including the Rand Daily Mail and the Cape Times – when I covered almost constant demonstrations and protests by South African exiles and large numbers of committed members of the British public who played such a crucial role in ending apartheid. Seldom in the history of freedom struggles has there been such a display of international solidarity by a nation as was the case with the British public’s involvement in the Anti-Apartheid Movement. Today photographic records of those protests are displayed on the walls of South African House and many famous faces are still recognisable – Thabo Mbeki, the late Harold Wilson, the late Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, Abdul Minty, Peter Hain, the alte Mike Terry and many more. As I stood waiting and chatting to fellow South Africans, I was humbled that we would not be standing there voting in a democratic election in South Africa had it not been for the suffering and sacrifice of thousands of South Africans in resisting apartheid for all those years . Many gave their lives, many sacrificed family members and friends. I was overcome by a deep humility tinged with pride. John Battersby is UK Country Manager of the International Marketing Council of South Africa and former editor of the Sunday Independent.last_img read more

R800m for South Africa’s Green Fund

first_img3 May 2012 The National Treasury has allocated R800-million over the next two years for South Africa’s Green Fund, which aims to provide finance for high-quality, high-impact, job-creating green economy projects around the country. Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa made the announcement in Cape Town on Wednesday ahead of her department’s budget vote in Parliament. Molewa said the money represented a critical mechanism for achieving a just transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient and job-creating green economy growth path in South Africa. “The primary objective of the Green Fund is to provide catalytic finance for high-quality, high-impact green economy projects and mainstreaming activities which would not have been implemented without fiscal support,” Molewa said.‘Myth’ that green management hinders development She said it was up to South Africans to debunk the myth that environmental management hindered development, by positioning the sector as a major contributor to job creation and the fight against poverty. “The transformation of our industries towards the building of a green economy has many facets; [it is mainly] about creating new labour-absorbing industries that also mitigate impacts on the environment. “This green economy offers substantial opportunities for job creation and development in the environmental goods and services sector, particularly in biodiversity, waste and natural resource management services.” Last year, the department committed to implementing a green economy plan through local and international partnerships with green investors, supported by funding from the Treasury’s Green Fund, as well as international funding through facilities such as the World Bank Clean Technology Fund and the newly established Green Climate Fund.Biodiversity jobs for 800 graduates, school-leavers Molewa also announced on Wednesday that up to 800 unemployed school leavers and graduates, mostly from rural areas, would be hired in biodiversity jobs for a period of two-and-a-half years. Molewa said the department would manage the placement of the candidates through the South African National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi). “Sanbi’s application to the jobs fund, titled ‘Catalysing access to employment and job creation in ecosystem management’, was approved by the Development Bank of Southern Africa to the tune of R300-million,” Molewa said. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Evans, George lift Joberg2c MTB title

first_imgShortest stageThe shortest of the nine stages commenced at a furious pace as the teams left Jolivet Farm in the Highflats region. MacDonald and Woolcock rode hard up front to force an early break on the single track, which the riders hit after 5 kilometres. “I’m sure it will become an important race for our team from now on.” The Nedbank 360Life duo, who won the African leader jersey at the recent Absa Cape Epic, completed the 910km journey from Heidelberg in Gauteng to Scottburgh in 32 hours 27 minutes and 39 seconds, which left them 17 minutes clear of defending champions Neil MacDonald and Waylon Woolcock of RE:CM, who recorded a total time of 32:44:43. Wheelchairs donatedThey donated a wheelchair per stage win to the Cycling for Mobility initiative and an additional 14 from the proceeds of the auction of their African leader jersey. ‘It’s one of the top races’“They said it’s all about the riders and certainly the trails are testament to that. It’s one of the top races I’ve done…definitely in this country.” He said the two standout stages had been day four, when the riders dropped down the escarpment from Sterkfontein Dam into KwaZulu-Natal, and the penultimate stage through the Umkomaas River Valley. MacDonald and Woolcock continued to drive the pace up Heart Rate Hill, with Evans and George sitting comfortably just behind them. The Nedbank 360Life rider said he and George had gotten a lot out of the event, but had also been proud to give something back. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material 7 May 2012 Itec Connect-Vodacom’s David Morison and Louis-Bresler Knipe finished two minutes off the pace in 2:30:06 to take third on the day and the final step on the podium overall in 33:27:09. RESULTS Women1. Ischen Stopforth, Catherine Williamson (bizhub-fcf) 38:33:272. Sarah van Heerden, Jackie Church (Itec Connect-Vodacom Ladies) 40:34:313. Michelle van der Westhuizen, Jo Mackenzie (Cycling for Mobility 2) 54:38:04 MixedErik Kleinhans, Ariane Kleinhans (Contego 28E) 36:08:58Johan Labuschagne, Yolande de Villiers (Cycle Lab KTM) 37:12:12Carel Bosman, Leana de Jager (PeptroPro-bizhub) 39:15:23 Only Evans and George, Morison and Knipe, and the Transact pair of Paul Cordes and Arno du Toit, were able to stay with them. “Once the break was there, it was just a matter of consolidating to the end,” said Evans. Contego 28E’s powerhouse couple, Erik and Ariane Kleinhans, also added the mixed category medal to their recent Epic title, completing the nine days of riding in 36:08:58. SAinfo reporter Men1. Kevin Evans, David George (Nedbank 360Life) 32:27:392. Waylon Woolcock, Neil MacDonald (RE:CM) 32:44:433. David Morison, Louis-Bresler Knipe (Itec Connect-Vodacom) 33:27:09 “We’re spoilt to be able to come back and do this twice in the space of two weeks. We’ve checked out the tracks and I think we know where we’re going to make the racing.” The final day’s racing over 71 kilometres ended in a dramatic sprint across the beach, with RE:CM cementing their runner-up spot in the overall standings with a second stage win in 2:27:59. Nedbank 360Life followed them over the line just seven seconds later. ‘An easier way to end the tour’“It played out pretty much as we thought,” said Evans. “RE:CM wanted to win one more stage, so we had a free ride and just got to sit on. It was actually nice because it’s an easier way to end the tour.” Evans said afterwards that the event had exceeded his every expectations and that he and George had thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the 550-odd riders in the community-run race villages. Ischen Stopforth and Catherine Williamson of bizhub-FCF took line honours in 2:57:17 to seal an almost uncontested victory in the women’s race in 38:33:27. Evans said they were now looking forward to their next big goal, the BOE Sani2c, which traces the last three days of the Old Mutual joBerg2c. Top South African mountain biking stars Kevin Evans and David George debuted in spectacular fashion at the 2012 Old Mutual joBerg2c, taking five stage wins en route to overall victory at Scottburgh on the Kwazulu-Natal south coast on Saturday. The hills towards the first water point, after 33 kilometres, split the front group and the two top teams in this year’s race, RE:CM and Nedbank 360Life, were able to open up a gap of 1:20 on Itec-Connect Vodacom and Transact.last_img read more