Spotlight on Ronaldo as Juve hope to get money’s worth in Europe

first_imgIn between, there were the 17 goals he scored in every game but one en route to the trophy in 2014, the title-winning penalty against Atletico Madrid in 2016 and the hat-trick against the same opposition, this time in the last four, a year later. He would also score twice against Juventus in the final.It was to become the beneficiaries, rather than victims, of these match-winning moments, that Juve seemingly decided last summer the only way to win the Champions League before Ronaldo retires is to have Ronaldo on your team.They begin that assault on Wednesday, when the 33-year-old will kick a ball competitively in Spain for the first time since his dizzying 100 million-euro move from Madrid.Valencia are the obstacle at the Mestalla, where he scored twice, both penalties, for his former team last term.Many were shocked when Ronaldo drew a line under his time in the Spanish capital, with most believing his complaints to be the latest round of posturing aimed at those higher at the club. They were, but this time he meant it.Lionel Messi told Catalunya Radio earlier this month: “I was surprised, I didn’t imagine him leaving Madrid or that he would go to Juve.”There is merit and romance in Messi sticking with his boyhood Barcelona but even he must find it hard not to admire Ronaldo’s gumption.More trophies and records would inevitably have followed at Madrid but instead he started again, risking his reputation for somewhere new.– Psychological edge –There is risk too for Juventus, who have shelled out the first three-figure sum ever paid for a player in their thirties, and one that represents a very different model to the free-flowing forward that used to terrorise defences left, right and centre.The Ronaldo who Real Madrid decided could be sold is a predator, a throw-back number nine, that limits his exertions to the penalty box, with the caveat he can still run fast, jump high and shoot with both feet.His first Juve goal against Sassuolo on Sunday was a tap-in from a yard out, his second a driven left-footed shot into the corner. After three games without finding the net, even Ronaldo had been feeling the pressure.“I was a little tense with all the talk after my move from Real Madrid and not scoring,” he said afterwards. “I’m happy, I’m working hard and my teammates are really helping me to adapt to this league.”The real pressure, however, will come in Europe where Juventus’ investment will be judged.The club’s pursuit of a first Champions League success since 1996 has become an obsession and Ronaldo is supposed to be the last piece in the puzzle.Real Madrid may claim to be more of a team without him but so, perhaps, were Juve and it was only enough to reach two finals in four years, and lose them both.There is also perhaps a psychological edge to be gained.Madrid made a habit of prevailing last season without dominating games, owning the decisive moments rather than matches as a whole. A player like Ronaldo can quickly spread a winning mentality.Messi is in no doubt about the direction of credit. “Real Madrid are one of the best teams in the world and they have a great squad but it’s obvious the departure of Ronaldo makes them less strong while Juve have become a clear favourite for the Champions League,” he said.“They already had a good team and now they have Cristiano Ronaldo.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Juve seemingly decided last summer the only way to win the Champions League before Ronaldo retires is to have Ronaldo on your team © AFP/File / Miguel MEDINAVALENCIA, Spain, Sep 18 – No player owns as many Champions League titles as Cristiano Ronaldo but a sixth with Juventus would surely be his best of the lot.Ronaldo played the lead role in all of those five previous triumphs, from his towering header for Manchester United against Chelsea in 2008 to the tie-clinching, 97th-minute penalty against Juventus last season in the quarters.last_img read more

Timo Meier makes his country proud in Sharks win

first_imgSAN JOSE — Kevin Labanc celebrated his 200th NHL game the right way: scoring an overtime winner that propelled the Sharks into first place in the Western Conference.By completing their four-game homestand with a perfect record, the Sharks leapfrogged the Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division standings, erasing a seven-point deficit in just nine days. In the process, Joe Thornton moved into a tie with Stan Mikita for 14th place on the NHL’s all-time scoring list by potting his 1,467th career …last_img read more

Will Darwinian Law Protect the Unfit?

first_imgFor the soccer moms, sports fans and teen girls with cell phones glued to their ears who think Darwinism is just an egghead scientific thing, a press release from Vanderbilt University connects evolutionary ideas to legal policies that could affect individual finances, private property rights, political correctness, social conventions, use of resources and public safety.    Scholars from Vanderbilt and Yale argue that understanding the biological foundation of human behavior (i.e., human evolution) is critical to improving laws, yet they seem a tinge apologetic about past abuses.  Owen Jones and Timothy Goldsmith, publishing in the March issue of the Columbia Law Review, deny that “acknowledging biological causes of behavior somehow denigrates human free will or minimizes the importance of social and cultural conditions,” the article states.  Jones and Goldsmith also assure readers that proper understanding of biological causes can prevent misunderstandings and fear in the public mind:“It may follow from demonstrably false dichotomies, such as ‘nature versus nurture,’ taking misleading hold in the public mind,” he [Jones] said.  “It may also follow from a variety of misunderstandings about how genes, environments and evolutionary processes interact with implications for behavior.  And it certainly has something to do with fears about what the political implications – for racism, sexism, genetic determinism and other evils – might be, based on the use or misuse of biological information.”   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Apparently the authors refer to the old Social Darwinism that simply ranked people as fit or unfit.  The new “evolutionary analysis in law” (a term coined by Jones in 1995), however, seeks only “to help inform the fields of law, economics and other social sciences with the latest scientific findings about human behavior.”  In what areas might “the biology of thinking” (e.g., behavioral biology, neurology, cognitive psychology) inform the law?  The article gives these examples:Such an approach might enhance understanding why some penalties are more effective than others, how people make choices in areas such as environmental protection and retirement savings, and what the underlying causes of aggression are and how they help explain why young men are sometimes willing – even in the face of the severest penalties – to kill in reaction to threats to their status.How could this evolutionary biological analysis affect lawmaking?In the article, Jones and Goldsmith explore how an understanding of current behavioral biology research could improve the effectiveness of laws by – among other things – identifying behavior patterns that would be useful to understand when developing laws; revealing conflicts that exist between innate human behavior and public policy written to regulate that behavior; improving the cost-benefit analyses that are often used in developing laws; exposing unwarranted assumptions; assessing the effectiveness of legal strategies; and outlining deep patterns [i.e., biological patterns from evolutionary history] in the legal architecture.The Dean of Academic Affairs at Vanderbilt is pleased that this paper, published in a prestigious journal, “indicates that the field of law and behavioral biology has momentum in legal scholarship.”  Though it is a “small but growing field,” evolutionary law will probably get a boost from this paper, and will foster “greater synthesis of life science and social science perspectives.”  Owen Jones has joint appointments in Vanderbilt’s law school and biology departments.  He founded the Society for Evolutionary Analysis in Law in 1997. Be afraid – be very afraid – when the Darwin Party writes the law.  Why?  Because they are biological determinists, moral relativists and elitists.  They do not believe that morals or responsibility exist except as phantom artifacts of mutations and natural selection acting over millions of years.  Jones and Goldsmith spout enough placating words to sound harmless, as if they have the best of intentions to merely prevent social evils (please define evil in evolutionary terms) like racism and sexism.  They just want to help the law be more effective, right?  But look down the road if consistent Darwinian theory were to be applied to the very areas they listed:Effective penalties:  effective for whom?  The communists were experts in the development of “effective” penalties.  If the penal code becomes oriented for effectiveness instead of justice, be very, very afraid, because effectiveness becomes defined in terms of the goals of the ones in power, rather in terms of intrinsic right or wrong, justice, and mercy.  Such terms are undefined in the Darwin Dictionary.  Brainwashing and psychology can be very “effective.”  And what is a penalty, if not a deserved punishment for a sin?  It becomes a tool in the hands of a Pavlov, a force an elitist wields to elicit the response he wants from the human dog.  One of the scariest parts of the novel 1984 by George Orwell was when the inquisitor was able to get Winston, under torture, to lie about how many fingers he was holding up: and not just to lie, but to believe the lie.  Truth became whatever the powermonger wanted it to be.  By contrast, American law and English common law were built on the assumptions of natural rights from our Creator, and the existence of truth and absolute moral standards derived from the Judeo-Christian scriptures.Environmental protection:  It is undeniable that evolutionary biologists, who are 100% Democrats (see 12/02/2004 entry), tend to view man as the villain in the ecology.  People will get the shaft in evolutionary law if the Elite Oligarchy, based on input from the Darwin Party soothsayers, determines that a certain gnat needs protection.Retirement savings:  Here, the Darwinists view human vagaries between the desire for immediate gratification vs. long term planning as evolutionary artifacts of ape in our ancestry.  Since people are unwitting subjects of the evolutionary forces of the jungle, they cannot be expected to make sound choices on their own; they need the Elitists to help them.  And you thought that evolutionary theory had nothing to do with the current debate over Social Security.Causes of aggression:  Carl Sagan used to talk about human tendencies toward aggression and territoriality as stemming from the “reptilian” part of our brain, another throwback to Haeckel’s recapitulation theory (see 03/08/2005 entry).  Darwinists cannot fathom a concept such as righteous anger or an axis of evil because these moral judgments are disallowed from “biological thinking” by definition.  Aggression is just a biological observation with no moral overtones, no different than a dog barking or a lizard hissing when threatened.  Humans are incapable of having moral motivations for aggression or for resistance to aggression, because such categories do not exist.  What happens in this line of reasoning?  It’s all about power, not about right and wrong.  The Darwinian Soothsayers tell the Elitist Oligarchy how mysterious Charlie Forces can help them win in the international pecking order, and what drugs to give the aggressive inmate to calm him down so that he is easier to control.  Being in control – that is the new righteousness.  It separates the elitists from the pawns.Murder:  To a Darwinist, young men full of testosterone and ape in their brains are incapable of thinking rationally or make responsible choices.  So on the one hand, we cannot penalize them when they do what their biology makes them do (see 03/08/2005 entry again), and on the other hand, for the convenience of society, it might become necessary to sedate troublemakers to keep them compliant. Owen Jones looks like a gentleman in his suit and tie, a calm and erudite man of peace, but his ideas are deadly and fallacious: fallacious, because if he just looked in the mirror he would see biology so complex just in his eyes that defy evolutionary explanation; deadly, because it is the utter absence of moral categories that makes “Evolutionary Analysis in Law” a prospect more fearful than communist psychopolitics.  Such beliefs feed right into an elitist mindset.If Jones were right that we were just evolutionary products from an animal past, we would have to live with that eventuality and make the best of it.  But he isn’t right and he could not be right.  For proof he isn’t right, look at nearly five years of reporting from of the scientific literature right here in these pages – there is hardly any category of evidence, from fossils to genes, that does not challenge evolutionary theory at every level.  And he could not be right, because his arguments are self-refuting.  If mind and intellect are products of mutations acting on molecules, then truth and values have no ultimate validity.  It is therefore disingenuous for Jones to use words with moral connotations (like evil, false, misleading, misuse, improve, effective) or even to make truth claims about what exists.  He cannot escape the Judeo-Christian assumptions that we live in a rational universe, and that as souls possessing the divine image, we can make use of universal laws of logic to discuss issues on an intellectual and moral level.  Even evolutionists act as if truth matters and has eternal validity, external to our transient biology; otherwise, they could not even claim evolution is true.    Does a creation basis rule out all behavioral study and consideration of human biological influences when devising law?  Of course not; if God created man as an eternal soul inhabiting an animal-like body, coexisting with other animals in the same world, it is to be expected that we will share certain behavioral attributes with animals, such as fight vs. flight responses (notice how adrenaline kicks in), imitation, fear, mob psychology, authority and submission, sexual and food desires, and other behaviors influenced by hormones and other biological factors.  Evolutionary reductionism focuses on the biology but ignores the reality of the soul, which is able to make a man or woman subjugate the biological urges and contemplate truth, good, beauty, purpose and destiny.  Humans are unique among physical inhabitants of earth: we communicate in language, we think abstract thoughts, we exercise true altruism (see 03/16/2005 entry), we use logic, and we contemplate our place in the grand scheme of things.  These distinctively human activities are all mediated through and modulated by our bodily faculties.    Creation-based law can and should take biological influences under consideration; Solomon, for example, remarked that no one despises a thief who steals bread because he is hungry.  But only humans make laws, and most laws presuppose that the moral categories of right and wrong are self-existent, not biologically determined.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” the American founders wrote, “that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  And to the protection of these rights they pledged their biology, their retirement savings, and (something evolutionists cannot fathom) their sacred honor.Jones and Goldsmith would probably denounce, in the most vociferous terms, any association with Nazi and Stalinist ideologies or the nightmare scenarios of 1984.  But where is any essential difference in foundational concepts?  The worst mass murderers of the 20th century believed that the law needed to be informed not by absolute standards of right and wrong, but by evolutionary thinking.  These modern intellectuals, looking innocent in their academic gowns, might want to distance themselves from the atrocities committed under those regimes, but since the evolutionary assumptions are the same, they must be held accountable to what new horrors would follow from application of their misguided counsel.    The law needs evolution like a shopping mall needs a terrorist.  Before the bloodbaths of communism and Nazism stained the 20th century as the worst mass-murder period in history, Christian scholar J. Gresham Machen warned of the deadly fallout of bad ideas, and advised thinking men of their priorities: “What is today a matter of academic speculation begins tomorrow to move armies and pull down empires,” he said.  “In that second stage, it has gone too far to be combatted; the time to stop it was when it was still a matter of impassionate debate” (Christianity and Culture, 1912, italics added).To make an effective impassioned debate against evolutionary lawyers, one must be informed and skilled in strategic argumentation.  Sadly, many well-meaning creationists enter the fray naked and unarmed in both knowledge and tactics.  Evolutionists dismiss religious based arguments out of hand; such approaches put them into patronizing mode.  They need to be knocked off their paper ivory towers.  Challenge them, instead, with the scientific fallacies evolutionary theory and the logical fallacies of evolutionary philosophy: i.e., don’t let them make truth claims or give advice inconsistent with their own assumptions, or let them get away with borrowing Judeo-Christian values and terms.  Challenge also their attempts to exempt themselves from the consequences of their own worldview.  They are not allowed to act as intellectuals detached from the rest of the pawns of evolutionary forces.  Such tactics trip them up in their own nets, turn their bluffing arguments into hot air, and make them fall on their own sword.  Learn the art and science of intellectual engagement: master the Baloney Detector and keep up to date on the news right here.If you want to take part in the most impassioned debate of our time – if you want a cause worth fighting for – now, before the armies march, before the empires are pulled down, is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their worldview.  Let Creation-Evolution Headlines be part of your daily basic training, and help recruit others.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

100 days: Joburg shows its 2010 spirit

first_img2 March 2010Johannesburg residents took a break from their busy schedules, donned their Bafana Bafana jerseys and kicked back with the rest of the country on Tuesday to celebrate the 100 days countdown to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.BuaNews spoke to some of the South Africans who gathered at the 100 days countdown celebration on Maude Street, Sandton, on Tuesday.Thami Makhaya, wearing his Bafana jersey and sporting a vuvuzela, spoke of the long road to 2010, beginning with the country winning the bid in 2004 to host the World Cup.“This World Cup will unite this country,” Makhaya said. “I think once people realise just how big this event is, they will look beyond the differences and unite as South Africans to show the world what we can offer as a nation.“We have travelled a long journey as a country, and this is an opportunity to take yet another step forward.”The Khan family of four, who where dressed up for the occasion, said they came to Maude Street to support their country.“It is important for us be part of this historic occasion … All of Africa is supporting South Africa,” said Suraya Khan. “The World Cup is already a success, because it has shown that Africa is capable.”2010 will undoubtedly go down in the history books as one of the country’s most memorable moments, she said.For Josef Mkhabinde, the World Cup is about the legacy it will leave behind. “It’s what Africa has been dreaming about … I approach the tournament with confidence. Our stadiums are ready, our transport and security plans have been fine-tuned.“I can assure you we will not disappoint,” Mkhabinde said, “because we are a loving nation.”The world will descend on South African shores on 11 June – more than six years after the country was chosen as hosts – to witness the world’s greatest sporting event being held on African soil for the first time.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Nurturing the children

first_imgThe Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust ended Children’s Month with a picnic at the site which will host the hospital in 2014. Trustees of the hospital showed their support and commitment to children by attending the picnic.(Images: Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital) MEDIA CONTACTS • Vuyo Lutseke   Media & Communications Officer,  Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital   +27 73 269 0815 RELATED ARTICLES • Town teams up for Mandela statue • Giving children a sense of pride • Putting children’s rights first • Madiba’s life captured in art • The simple palate of Nelson MandelaCadine PillayNelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust ended Children’s Month, observed in the month of November, by hosting a picnic for youngsters from Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Forest Town School for Cerebral Palsy, Choc (Childhood Cancer Foundation) and Thingo Kids Pre-Primary, among other schools.About 50 children joined Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Lebo M and the chief executive of the trust, Sibongile Mkhabela, at the site where the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital will be built in Parktown, Johannesburg for a day of fun in the sun on Friday, 30 November.Madiba’s dreamThe land for the hospital, which will be built by 2014, was donated by Wits University in 2009. Once completed, the hospital will be a academic hospital with 200 beds. Construction is estimated to be R1-billion and to date just over R200-million has been raised.Building is expected to begin in February 2013 and will fulfil the dream of Nelson Mandela for world-class health care to be available to all children. “We are here today to honour what your great-grandfather Nelson Mandela promised you,” Mkhabela said to the kids. “If we love you, we will build a hospital for your needs.”Mkhabela also called on members of the public, young and old, to donate towards the cost of building the hospital.The chief executive of Ronald McDonald House Charities, Reggie Skhosana, said McDonald’s, the fast food franchise, would build the accommodation for the parents and families of the children who were being treated at the hospital.“Our research has shown that when a child is sick he or she tends to heal faster when the parents are there,” Skhosana said. “That is why this hospital will have accommodation. We are going to house families whose children are very sick. A hospital on its own is too clinical; a home has warmth.”Specialised facility for childrenMkhabela has a personal interest in a children’s hospital. Her son, Lindokuhle, died when he was only five years old, and she experienced the sorrows and frustrations of having her child treated in an adult ward. “I realised that nursing a child needs a particular character and specific training,” she said.At the children’s hospital, she said, the needs of children would be prioritised in a way that was not demonstrated at regular hospitals, while bringing South Africa and the continent a little closer to meeting its increasing health care demands. Children’s health care needs were fundamentally different from those of adults and having a dedicated facility for children up to the age of 14 meant the hospital would be child-friendly.Makhabela emphasised that patients would have access to world-class health care through collaboration with other local and international medical institutions.At the site unveiling in 2009, Mandela stressed that a specialised, dedicated children’s hospital would be a credible demonstration of the commitments of African leaders to place the rights of children at the forefront. “Nothing less would be enough,” he said.No child turned awayThe hospital, as a not-for-profit organisation, will be a critical resource that will service not only South Africa but the rest of southern Africa as well. The hospital will run on the principle that no child will be turned away because his or her parents cannot pay.“We are extremely pleased with the progress of the project so far,” said the chair of the hospital’s fundraising committee, Tito Mboweni. “We have a strong vision for Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and believe that it will not only save young lives but give children the right to be cared for and to receive medical treatment irrespective of their social or economic status.”The facility will have hi-tech equipment, will be easily accessible by public transport or air, will be environmentally friendly and will have accommodation for the families of children who travel from far.Addressing the issuesUnicef’s 2012 Child Mortality Report, which was released in September, showed that southern Africa was lagging other areas in paediatric medicine. The report found that poor children were 17 times more likely to experience hunger and three times less likely to complete school than children from wealthier backgrounds.“One in five of our children have complex health conditions,” Mkhabela said.There is a dearth of children’s hospitals in Africa; the only one at present – until the Mandela facility is completed – is the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. Canada, Germany and Australia have no less than 19 each.It will be only the fourth dedicated paediatric hospital in Africa, for about 447 million children. Private funding will cover construction and staff costs, while the government will pay the operational costs.“There is no better opportunity for our leaders and the health fraternity to stand united in demonstrating the urgency of putting children first,” she said.The hospital trust launched a campaign to raise R300-million for the construction – a project that has already taken six years of planning. Mkhabela added a number of contributors continued to subscribe, making financial and in-kind contributions.“A whole series of activities will soon be announced to give as many people as possible an opportunity to know how they can be part of Madiba’s legacy … We remain open to receive expressions of interest, including naming rights.”The future of paediatrics in SAMore paediatric medical staff will be produced in South Africa through the hospital, where nurses will play a critical, central role in operations. “This hospital will fill a huge gap in the country’s health care system and complement other paediatric hospitals,” Mkhabela said.The trust plans to create a regional training platform that will drive specialised paediatric care all over South Africa.last_img read more

Gallery: The untamed Northern Cape

first_imgIt’s the largest and hottest province in South Africa, taking up a full third of the country’s land area. But the Northern Cape is also wild and empty, mostly desert and semi-desert. Under 2% of South Africa’s people live there.The 60-metre Augrabies Falls on the Orange River. The original Khoikhoi inhabitants named the falls “Ankoerebis”, or “place of big noises”. Later Afrikaner settlers then derived the name “Augrabies”. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Mary AlexanderIt’s September. It’s spring in South Africa – and Tourism Month, celebrated this year with the theme “Tourism for All”.To inspire your next road trip we bring you nine galleries, one for each province, showcasing our country’s remarkable beauty and diversity.A thriving tourism industry means South Africa is closer to achieving its National Development Plan goals of skills development and creating decent employment through inclusive economic growth.The vast wilderness of the Nortern Cape holds weird lunar landscapes, exotic plants and animals, the Richtersveld World Heritage site and the Big Hole diamond mine, possibly the largest hand-dug excavation in the world.In early spring the barren Namaqualand sees a sudden, brief and brilliant bloom of flowers carpeting the landscape. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Sister Januar outside the Catholic Cathedral in the Northern Cape town of Pella. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Arri Raats, a member of the Khomani San Bushmen, at Boesmansrus camp in the Kalahari. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Canoeing on the Orange River at sunset in Vioolsdrift, in the Richtersveld region of the Northern Cape. The Orange is the longest river in South Africa, rising in the Drakensberg mountains in Lesotho and flowing westwards to empty in the Atlantic Ocean. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Brilliantly coloured Augrabies flat lizards are endemic to the Northern Cape, and common on the granite walls of Augrabies Falls National Park. In summer they delight tourists with their acrobatic leaps to catch black flies swarming near the falls. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)A seal colony on the rocky shores of the Namaqua National Park. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Crafts for sale at a tourist market in Pofadder, Northern Cape. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Donkey cart drivers in Andriesvale in the Kalahari. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Arnie Braam in Klein Pella, Northern Cape. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Desert dunes in Witsand – “white sands” – Nature Reserve near Postmasburg in the Northern Cape. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)A farm in Vioolsdrift. Irrigation from the great Orange River and from groundwater allows farmers to produce crops in the desert. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Quiver trees – kokerboom in Afrikaans – in the Kalahari. San Bushman hunter-gatherers used the trees to make quivers for their arrows. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)The Sutherland Observatory on a starry night. There is little light pollution in the remote Northern Cape, making the province ideal for major international astronomy initiatives such as the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) and the Square Kilometre Array, or SKA. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Meerkats in the desert of the Kalahari Red Dune Route in the Northern Cape. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)An old shipwreck rusts into the shore of the Namaqua National Park on the West Coast. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Inside the McGregor Museum, an important cultural and natural history research institute, in Kimberley, the capital of the Northern Cape. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Palm trees against the late afternoon sun in Klein Pella, on the banks of the Orange River. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)The mountainous desert landscape of the Richtersveld. The region is the only arid biodiversity hotspot on earth, with an amazing variety of plant, bird and animal life. The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape is a Unesco World Heritage site. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)The Big Hole in Kimberley, the capital of the Northern Cape, is thought to be the largest hand-dug excavation in the world. Once an open-pit diamond mine, some three metric tons of diamonds were extracted from the hole – displacing 22-million tons of earth – between 1872 and 1914. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)A massive communal sociable weaver bird’s nest envelops an acacia tree in the Kgalakgadi Transfrontier Park in the north of the Northern Cape. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Steenbok amid indigenous desert vegetation in the Namaqua National Park. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)The local maritime museum in the West Coast town of Port Nolloth. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)A dog sits with its driver as they make their way through Vioolsdrift in the Richtersveld. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)last_img read more

President Zuma announces new Cabinet

first_imgMineral Resources – Ngoako Ramathlodi 26 May 2014 Cyril Ramaphosa was appointed Deputy President and Deputy Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene was promoted to minister of finance in President Jacob Zuma’s new Cabinet, announced on Sunday following his inauguration for a second term as President on Saturday. Zuma said the new executive – which includes new appointments in the minerals, energy, police and telecommunications portfolios – had been picked in order to drive economic transformation and restore foreign investor confidence by “ensur[ing] implementation and the impact of the National Development Plan (NDP)”. Ngoako Ramathlodi is promoted from deputy minister of correctional services to minister of mineral resources; Tina Joemat-Peterssen, previously minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, takes over as minister of energy; former department of labour director-general Nkosinathi Nhleko takes over as minister of police; and Siyabonga Cwele moves from being minister of state security to being minister of telecommunications. In another big announcement of the evening, President Zuma said Deputy Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene would be promoted to be the Finance Minister, replacing Minister Pravin Gordhan moves from the Treasury to head up the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs portfolio. His successor, Nhlanhla Nene, is South Africa’s first black finance minister. Nene was the chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on finance for a number of years before being appointed deputy minister of finance in 2008. His wealth of experience and track record is set to ensure continuity and maintain confidence in a portfolio that is key to the country’s economy.New and merged departments Besides appointing new personnel, Zuma also announced a number of changes and mergers to the departments in his executive. The Cabinet now includes a new Ministry for Telecommunications and Postal Services, Ministry of Water and Sanitation, and Ministry for Small Business Development. The National Planning Commission and the Ministry for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation has been combined into one Ministry in the Presidency in order to harmonise planning and monitoring. It will be headed by former justice minister, now minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe. A new Communications Ministry has also been established for overarching communication policy and strategy, information dissemination and publicity, and the branding of the country abroad, Zuma said, adding that improved marketing of the country would promote investment in the country. This department will include the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa), the public broadcaster, the SABC, the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Brand South Africa, and the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA). The Ministry of Women, Children and People with Disabilities has become the Ministry of Women, located in the Presidency, with functions related to the support of children and people with disabilities transferred to the Department of Social Development. And the Departments of Justice and Constitutional Development and Department of Correctional Services have been combined in the Department of Justice and Correctional Services.New Cabinet ministers: full list The ministers in President Zuma’s new Cabinet are as follows: Arts and Culture – Nathi Mthethwa Energy – Tina Joemat-Peterssen Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs – Pravin Gordhan Communications – Faith Muthambi Public Service and Administration – Collins Chabane Social Development – Bathabile Dlamini Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – Senzeni Zokwana Environmental Affairs – Edna Molewa International Relations and Cooperation – Maite Nkoana-Mashabane Rural Development and Land Reform – Gugile Nkwinti Public Enterprises – Lyn Brown Minister of Women in the Presidency – Susan Shabangu Human Settlements – Lindiwe Sisulu Home Affairs – Malusi Gigaba Small Business Development – Lindiwe Zulu Defence and Military Veterans – Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula Minister in the Presidency – Jeff Radebecenter_img Public Works – Thulas Nxesi Sport and Recreation – Fikile Mbalula State Security – David Mahlobo Telecommunications and Postal Services – Siyabonga Cwele Police – Nkosinathi Nhleko Health – Aaron Motsoaledi Source: SAnews.gov.za Labour – Mildred Oliphant Economic Development – Ebrahim Patel Science and Technology – Naledi Pandor Justice and Correctional Services – Michael Masutha Tourism – Derek Hanekom Higher Education and Training – Bonginkosi “Blade” Nzimande Trade and Industry – Rob Davies Transport – Dipuo Peters Water and Sanitation – Nomvula Mokonyane Basic Education – Angie Motshekgalast_img read more

Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission: Special meeting notice

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Notice is now given that a special meeting of the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission will be held on Aug. 30, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Auditorium, Bromfield Building, 8995 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg, Ohio, for the following purpose:The Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission, Western Lake Erie Basin Watershed In Distress task-force/subcommittee will meet to evaluate the recommendation for declaring eight watersheds within the Western Lake Erie Basin as watersheds in distress.The Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission is a seven-member commission which ensures Ohio counties are served by effectively administered and adequately supported soil and water conservation districts.The meeting is open to the public.last_img read more

Watch the trailer for GIFF 2019

first_imgNow, back to the sneak preview… SharePrint RelatedSneak preview: GIFF 2017October 10, 2017In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”Watch the trailer for GIFF 2018October 2, 2018In “News”Ready, Set…Plan Your GIFF Event!August 20, 2019In “Community” There are now 516 GIFF (Geocaching International Film Festival) Events (and counting!) in 42 countries featuring 16 films. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll earn a smiley, and the GIFF 2019 souvenir! GIFF 2019 is November 7 – 17. Learn how to attend or host a GIFF Event at www.geocachingfilmfestival.comShare with your Friends:More GIFF 2019 is November 7 – 17, 2019. Are you ready? Find a GIFF event near you and log your Will Attend! No events nearby? Try hosting! Just be sure to submit your events by October 24, 2019 so it has time to be published on Geocaching.com!last_img read more

Wolfram Alpha’s $50 iPhone App: Too Expensive or Worth the Extra Money for the Premium Experience?

first_imgfrederic lardinois When Wolfram Research released its iPhone app for Wolfram Alpha earlier this week, most of the attention quickly shifted away from the features of the app itself and towards the high price of the app. At $49.99, Wolfram Alpha is far more expensive than most apps in the App Store today, where only a small number of highly specialized apps sell for more than $9.99. Today, we got a chance to discuss Wolfram’s pricing strategy with Schoeller Porter, the product manager for Wolfram Alpha’s iPhone app.Early ReactionsOnTwitter and in the tech blogosphere, the reactions to the app’s price were anything but subtle. We called it “too expensive” ourselves, though others had strongerwords for it. MIT’s Technology Review called it a “a pricey online calculator for geeks” – a product that’s more like the expensive but immensely powerful Mathematica than Stephen Wolfram’s original idea for Alpha (“Wolfram|Alpha aims to bring expert-level knowledge and capabilities to the broadest possible range of people”). It is worth noting that the Wolfram Alpha app quickly appeared in the list of top 100 grossing apps in the iTunes App Store (iTunes link) and has been hovering at the lower end of the top 50 ever since. That doesn’t make it a breakout hit, but some people are clearly buying the app, even though only a small number of users have left reviews. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#mobile#Product Reviews#Trends#web Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement A Premium Price for a Premium ExperienceThere can be little doubt that the Wolfram Alpha team was expecting some backlash. As Porter told us today, the Wolfram Alpha team decided to price the app with the cost of a hardware graphing calculator in mind. At $50, the app costs roughly half of what a hardware calculator would cost. As Porter also stressed, the app offers a far superior range of features thanks to its connection to Wolfram’s server farm. The company thinks this price is justified because of the superior experience of using the app over the mobile website. After using the app for a few days, we definitely have to agree there. The dual-keyboard solution makes entering queries in the app much easier than using the mobile site and accessing Wolfram Alpha from the app is also much faster then using the mobile site. Porter noted that Wolfram is trying to set itself off from the mass of $0.99 apps that only get used once and are quickly forgotten. Instead, the company hopes that the app will become a regular companion for its users, whether they are using it for help with their homework in school or college, or in their professional life.At the end of the day, this is an app for specialists. While Schoeller Porter worded this more carefully in our interview today, the basic fact is that Wolfram is charging a premium price for a premium experience. Users who don’t need the app can continue to use the website, while those who are willing and able to spend $50 on the app will get a superior experience. For the time being, Wolfram doesn’t expect to bring the price of the app down and so far, according to Porter, the team has been happy and excited about how the app has been performing in the marketplace.The Price of iPhone AppsThis also leads into a broader discussion about the current pricing in the iPhone App Store, where even the most complex apps and games have to sell for under $10 to reach a wide audience. At the end of our discussion, Porter noted that the Wolfram app may lead to some changes here, though we have to wonder if anything is likely to change the current drift towards lower prices in the App Store. It is also worth pointing out, though, that a lower price point opens up the market for an app to a far wider audience – often to the point where the lower price brings in exponentially more users and more than offsets any potential losses from the lower price. What Do You Think?Is Wolfram’s price point for the iPhone app a bold move? Hubris? Or would you be happy to pay $50 for the superior experience and ergonomics of the app? What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more