England internationals bid for Turkish title

first_img Three members of the England team that beat France earlier this month, Jack Hiluta (Chelmsford, Essex), Neil Raymond (Corhampton, Hampshire, IoW & CI) and Toby Tree (Worthing, Sussex), plus Ben Taylor (Walton Heath, Surrey), another international, will represent England Golf in the Turkish Open Amateur Championship at Antalya on 31st May – 3rd June. The 72-hole stroke play event is being played over two courses on the Turkish Riviera, at Antalya in Serik and over the Cornelia course in Belek. The event is normally staged in September but has been brought forward because the region’s courses will be the venue for this year’s World Golf Championships for the Eisenhower Trophy in October. Hiluta, (picture © Tom Ward) who will celebrate his 23rd birthday on 28th May, is the newly-crowned Spanish Amateur champion, having won the title at Alcanada in March. A graduate of the University of South Alabama, Hiluta made his full England debut against the French having been England boys’ captain in 2007. The former boy cap reached the quarter finals of the British Boys that year; in 2011 he finished tied third in the Berkshire Trophy. Raymond, 26, enjoyed a successful 2011 in which he won the Brabazon Trophy at Burnham & Berrow and became a full England international. He also played in the victorious Home Internationals team and followed up with inclusion in the European Nations Championship and against France recently. He was also successful in Australia over the winter, winning the New South Wales Medal in a playoff while enjoying several other high finishes. Taylor, 19, made his full England debut in last year’s Home Internationals and is a member of the current England squad. In 2010 he won the South East Junior Championship, the South of England Boys Championship and the Daily Telegraph Junior Championship. He also enjoyed a successful 2011, finishing second in the South East of England Links Championship, third in the Lagonda Trophy and reaching the last 16 of the English Amateur. He recently finished third in the Jones Cup in the United States when representing England Golf. Tree, who will turn 18 on 3rd June, is a former England under 14 and under 16 champion. He has also been capped at under 16 and boys levels before become the youngest member of England’s team against France. A consistent performer at national and international level, he won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters in 2011 and earlier this year won the Gauteng North Open in South Africa. He was also a member of England’s European Nations Championship squad. 21 May 2012 England internationals bid for Turkish title last_img read more

Questions Raised About Permanency of ‘Temporary Lights’ on Branch Avenue

first_imgBy John BurtonLITTLE SILVER – A Monmouth County plan to replace one of the bridges on Seven Bridges Road calls for the temporary installation of traffic lights at two Branch Avenue intersections. And that’s a problem for many who live in the immediate area.Monmouth County Engin­eer Joseph Ettore appeared at the Borough Council meeting Monday, May 7, to explain the $2.7 million project, expected to begin in July, and the need for the traffic lights during its six-month duration.While none of the residents disputed the need for the work on Seven Bridges Road, what worries them, many said, was what the new signals would mean for traffic in their neighborhood. They also questioned whether the signals would become permanent.One light will be located at Branch Avenue and White Road and the now blinking light at Branch Avenue and Rumson Road will be operated as a standard traffic signal.Molly Gearty said she and her family purchased their Branch Avenue home in 2008, “because we saw Little Silver as a good place to raise our family.“Now I’m going to be stuck with idling traffic,” Gearty said, noting that auto exhaust has been shown to be a contributor to such maladies as asthma and other conditions.“People move here for their children,” she said, “and I’m not happy with what’s going to happen to mine.”William Heine, Monmouth County public information officer, said last week, that County Bridge S-27 on Seven Bridges Road is an aging timber structure spanning Little Silver Creek, in the vicinity of Little Silver Point Road.Plans call for the old timber structure to be dismantled and a new concrete span to be erected there.The aging, existing bridge is “structurally deficient,” Heine said.“That doesn’t mean it’s going to fall,” he said. “It means it doesn’t meet current design standards.”The new bridge will be wider with 12-foot lanes, 3-foot shoulders and a 6-foot pedestrian walkway on the bridge’s westerly side.A pedestrian span will be available during construction, Heine said.County officials have awarded the $2.7 million project to Lucas Brothers, Inc. Marlboro, which has begun pre-construction work, includ­ing relocating utility poles and equipment.During construction some temporary lane closures are expected for the project, slated to begin following the July 4 holiday.Both signals will initially be blinking lights to allow drivers to become accustomed to them and then they will be switched to the standard red-yellow-green combination.The new lights, Ettore said during the council session, are intended for public safety and better traffic flow on busy Branch Avenue during the construction.The state Department of Transportation Trust Fund will be funding the project, according to Heine and Ettore.“I can live with a temporary light,” said Branch Avenue resident Jon Sisco, who then asked Ettore, “Where do we stand with its permanency?”Tod Sizer, who also lives on Branch, said, “There are two dozen families here today,” who share his concern. “The concern I have is the plans that you have been trying to ram down our throat for 25 years,” that of a multi-lane, lighted intersection.“This is a signal detour route,” Ettore responded, adding that there are no plans at this time to keep the lights past the project completion.The governing body would have a say as to whether the lights should remain when the construction ends. After that, the decision would be with the county Board of Freeholders, as Seven Bridges Road comes under county jurisdiction, Ettore said.Mayor Robert Neff Jr. told the audience the council has not had any discussion about keeping the signals. “We’re not going to try to slip anything passed anybody here. That I can assure you.”“My professional opinion,” Ettore said, is “a traffic signal is needed at Branch and Rumson. That has been my opinion for 20 years,” he said.Police Captain Gary LaBruno said the neighborhood is a high-traffic area and a problematic one for safety concerns. Branch Avenue serves as an alternative to state Highway 35, which runs parallel.“Those two lights were needed 10 years ago,” LaBruno said. “Those two intersections are not safe.”As many as 40,000 vehicles travel Branch Avenue during a given week, he said.LaBruno and Chief Daniel Shaffery stressed the department has not made a determination about whether the lights need to be kept. “We’re data driven,” Shaffery said, “and the data’s not in. No decision has been made.”The project first came up about six years ago with Ettore and other county and local officials conducting public input sessions, according to the engineer. The project was delayed because of state Department of Environ­men­tal Protection considerations that stalled approvals, LaBruno said.“This one seems like it’s been percolating for a while and snuck up on us,” with the recent announcement of a go-ahead, Councilman Daniel J. O’Hern Jr. said.“We understand this is an issue that’s not going to disappear,” Neff said. “And we’ll be looking at it over the next six months.”last_img read more

Brothers charged for assaulting Police Officer

first_imgEighteen-year-old Fernando Marcelo Razak of Lot 20 Punt Trench, Albouystown, Georgetown, on Friday found himself before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts slapped with charges of resisting arrest, disorderly behaviour and assault.The first charge alleged that on October 8, 2018, at Punt Trench, Albouystown, he resisted Lance Corporal Nikelson’s attempt to arrest him while the rank was performing his duties.Another charge read that on October 8, 2018, at the Ruimveldt Police Station, he behaved in a disorderly manner. In addition, Razak was accused of unlawfully assaulting Lance Corporal Nikelson.Razak pleaded not guilty to the charges after it was read to him.Attorney Latchmie Rahamat who represented Razak, in an application for bail told the court that her client was physically attacked by Lance Corporal Nikelson. After seeing this, the defendant’s brother tried to rescue him.The Police prosecutor made no objections to bail and Magistrate McLennan granted same in the sum of $7000, before adjourning the case to October 17.Meanwhile, the defendant’s brother, 19-year-old Ronaldo Razak, was also charged with assault, threatening behaviour and obstruction to performing duties.The charges against Ronaldo Razak read that on October 8, 2018, at Punt Trench, Albouystown, he unlawfully assaulted Lance Corporal Nikelson; that on the said date and location, he made use of threatening behaviour towards Lance Corporal Nikelson, along with obstructing him from performing his duties.He also denied all the allegations made out against him. Razak was also represented by Attorney Latchmie Rahamat, who in an application for bail told the court that he was trying to rescue his younger brother from being beaten by the Police rank.The Police prosecutor made no objections to bail and Magistrate McLennan granted the older Razak bail in the sum of $7000, also adjourning his case until October 17.last_img read more

Woman appears in court on €68,488 social welfare fraud

first_imgA woman has appeared in court charged in connection with a €68,488 social welfare scam.Shauna Tynan, from Letterkenny, appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court where she was arraigned on a number of sample charges. Tynan, of Slieve Sneacht, pleaded guilty to ten separate sample charges.The thefts from the Department of Social Protection, concerned monies taken from both Glencar Post Office and the Permanent TSB on Main Street in Letterkenny.The individual sums ranged from €204 to €1,579 on the ten different occasions.Prosecuting barrister Ms Patricia McLaughlin said the overall sum involved was €68,488 and the plea was accepted on all the fact being given on sentence.Barrister for Ms Tynan, Ms Patricia McCallum said her client has suffered from a number of difficulties and would benefit from a psychological report.Judge John Aylmer adjourned the sentencing to the next sitting of the circuit in November.Woman appears in court on €68,488 social welfare fraud was last modified: July 22nd, 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:cashcourtfraudletterkennyShauna Tynansocial welfarelast_img read more

Who’s In Control: Your Brain or You?

first_imgDo you have a self that controls your brain, or is thought a secretion of the brain, as Darwin claimed?  Do you use your brain, or does your brain operate you?  Who is in charge?  These are deep philosophical questions with a long history, that some people prefer to avoid, as in the common joke:What is matter?  Never mind.What is mind?  No matter.The answer is probably not an either-or proposition, because we know that physical changes in the brain, whether by drugs and injury, can have profound affects on the self – if there is one.  But there is also ample evidence that people can affect their physical brains through choice and will – just as a person can order her arm to rise against the pull of gravity.  Some recent findings suggest that opinions of neuroscientists (for a long time those most tending to physicalism) seem to be shifting back to belief in the existence of a determinative self.Memory flexibility:  Rats have brains, too, and while humans may not appreciate being compared to them, we might learn some things from the physical aspects of a rat brain.  For one thing, how the brain stores memory is a lot more complicated than the old computer storage model.  Science Daily reported on work at University of Minnesota that shows that “the phenomenon of memory replay is much more [sic] complex, cognitive process that may help an animal maintain its internal representation of the world, or its cognitive map.”    The hippocampus has long been known to be involved in memory recall.  Rather than just playing back a memory verbatim, the hippocampus provides flexible playback.  “It gives animals the ability to plan novel paths within their environment,” said A. David Redish of the U of Minnesota Medical School.  “This replay process may be an animal’s way of learning how the world is interconnected, so it can plan new routes or paths.”  That almost sounds like the rat is in the driver’s seat, not its brain.  The article spoke plainly about the rat’s “decision-making process.”  The brain was not just playing back a tape recording: “The rats were not just reviewing recent experience to move it to long-term memory,” Science Daily said.  “This is important because brain cognition and the human decision-making process are poorly understood.”  Someone might argue that computers have a decision-making process, too.  Yes—but those processes were programmed by intelligent design.  To claim that animals are capable of decision making while being physical products of evolution would beg the question about physicalism.Multisensory perception:  If physicalists want to say humans are only animals, they can’t say they are less equipped.  PhysOrg posted an interesting story that said psychologists are finding amazing perceptual abilities in humans thought to be mastered by animals alone.  The article begins with examples:Blind mountain bikers use echolocation to hear rocks in the trail.  A connoisseur sniffs out the world’s most expensive cup of coffee.  An artist whose sight disappeared as a young man paints and chooses his colors by touch.    New research in perceptual psychology and brain science is revealing that our senses pick up information about the world that we thought was only available to other species, Lawrence Rosenblum, professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, writes in a new book, “See What I’m Saying: The Extraordinary Powers of Our Five Senses” (Norton, 2010), published this month.Rosenblum has amassed many examples of people who have compensated for the loss of one sense by developing heightened sensitivity from the other senses, both singly and in combination.  “Brain-imaging and other tools have enabled researchers in the last decade to discover that the human brain is capable of changing its structure and organization – a process called neuroplasticity – as it is influenced by experience.”  Don’t be down on yourself.  You are highly skilled, Rosenblum says: “We all have an onboard sonar system and a type of absolute pitch; and we all can perceive speech from seeing and even touching faces,” he said.  Those abilities can be brought to sharpness by practice.Forget to remember?  Science Daily delved into the question of why we can remember some things instantly when exposed to a triggering sense, like a smell, but can’t remember other things when we try.  “Science still does not fully understand why” this happens.  Experiments by Kristina Kompus, a Swedish scientist seem to suggest that the instant recall and the slow search-and-retrieval mechanisms are controlled by different regions of the brain.  Her studies “also reveal that our long-term memory is more flexible that was previously believed.  There is not just one single neurological signaling path for reliving old memories but rather several paths that are anatomically separate.”Hormone assist:  PhysOrg added more thought to the story about testosterone (see 12/09/2009).  Subjects involved in a trading game were actually more rational and fair when they did not know they were given testosterone.  Since women given the hormone without knowledge behaved differently than those who knew, the effects of hormones are more complex than previously thought.    This raises questions about the uniqueness of the human mind.  How could such an experiment be done on animals?  How would they know what they were given?  How would they have certain expectations that a hormone would produce a certain kind of behavior?  The authors of an article in Nature noted, “biology seems to exert less control over human behavior [than in other animals].”Self-controlled rehab:  A man in Texas has had difficulties in work because of several traumatic brain injuries, like concussions from falling off a horse when he was young.  He felt discouraged about his prospects for work and living a normal life, PhysOrg said, till he realized at age 42 that he was not a prisoner of his brain injuries.  He heard about “brain plasticity – the concept that the brain can heal and learn at all ages.”  He realized that abilities he thought were gone could be re-learned.  “It was a relief,” he said.  “It helped me regain my self-esteem and self-confidence.  It gave me hope.”  The article then noted, “Neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to adapt and change through life, is gaining increased traction in medical circles.”  The author of a book on the subject, Dr. Norman Doidge, calls this “the most important change in our understanding of the brain in four hundred years.” “For the longest time our best and brightest neuroscientists thought of the brain as like a machine, with parts, each performing a single mental function in a single location,” he wrote in an e-mail from the University of Toronto (he also teaches at Columbia University).  “We thought its circuits were genetically hardwired, and formed, and finalized in childhood.”    This meant that doctors assumed they could do little to help those with mental limitations or brain damage, he says — because machines don’t grow new parts.  The new thinking changes that: “It means that many disorders that we thought can’t be treated have to be revisited.”A doctor told of a patient who suffered a massive stroke.  In five weeks he went from coma to paralysis to walking out of the hospital.  “The brain has the amazing ability to reorganize itself by forming new connections between brain cells,” he said.    Dr. Sandra Chapman is founder of the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas.  She remarked, “Our brain is one of the most modifiable parts of our whole body.”  Think about that.  It means that intentional thought for the brain might just be as important as exercise for the body.  She advises taking a “neck-up checkup” to find areas needing improvement: such as learning how to focus, learning how to reason, learning how to create.  These skills can be improved with targeted exercises.  For those of us getting older (100% of humans), it also means we don’t have to look ahead to hopeless decline, but can actually maintain or improve mental skills as we age.  “People in their 80s and 90s can do incredible things,” Chapman said.  “They may do them a little bit slower, but they can do them at a much deeper level.”    The article said “It’s possible that the connections that the brain makes may become even more profound with age.”  If so, do they just result in more profound secretions of the brain, or do they provide a self with better tools?The scientific brain:  Some experiments done at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research seem to show that humans are hard-wired to think scientifically.  Our brains are comfortable with predictable outcomes, but strain at unpredictable ones.  PhysOrg said, “This suggests that the brain’s main job, alike [sic] that of a scientist, is to generate hypotheses about what is going on in the outside world.”  Do we all have a little scientist in our head?  “At present the idea of the scientific brain is rapidly spreading through the neuroscience community and provides a novel approach to resolving how the most complex organ of the human body works,” the article ended.Control your cortex:  Scientists can observe brain waves that predict how someone will feel days after a marital spat.  But do the brain waves determine this, or are the waves a product of the spouse’s control?  Science Daily reported on work at Harvard reported in Biological Psychiatry that seemed to show that “brain activity – specifically in the region called the lateral prefrontal cortex – is a far better indicator” than common wisdom about not going to bed angry “of how someone will feel in the days following a fight with his or her partner.”  The more neural activity seen in the lateral prefrontal cortex, the more forgiving the partner was likely to be.  But what does that mean?    Dr. Christine Hooker “also found that those who had more activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex and greater emotional regulation after a fight displayed more cognitive control in laboratory tests, indicating a link between emotion regulation and broader cognitive control skills.”  So while the brain waves might serve as a predictor of those most vulnerable to emotional stress after a fight, it doesn’t mean the subject is a victim of her or his brain waves.  It could mean the opposite – that the moral traits a person has learned can be observed in brain waves, just like the choices one makes in a diet are visible in the waistline.  “Scientists believe that what we are looking at in the scanner has relevance to daily life, but obviously we don’t live our lives in a scanner,” noted Hooker.  Relevance is a commutative property.  She could have said, “Our daily lives have relevance to what we see in the scanner.”Train your brain:  According to Science Daily, we can choose to remodel our brains.  Researchers at the University of Goldsmiths London observed neuroplastic changes as a result of brainwave training.  They “demonstrated that half an hour of voluntary control of brain rhythms is sufficient to induce a lasting shift in cortical excitability and intracortical function.”  The article continued, “Remarkably, these after-effects are comparable in magnitude to those observed following interventions with artificial forms of brain stimulation involving magnetic or electrical pulses.”  It means that painful and risky physical interventions (drugs, electric shock, etc.) could be replaced with a more “natural way” to modulate cerebral plasticity through “inner control of one’s own brain activity”.  The finding has “important implications for future non-pharmacological therapies of the brain and calls for a serious re-examination and stronger backing of research on neurofeedback,” the article said.  Inner control; is that the same thing as self control?Advocates of intelligent design are most often philosophical dualists – those who accept a mental (or spiritual) reality in addition to a physical reality.  It appears these studies and others like them are giving them fodder for their case.  Denyse O’Leary, co-author of The Spiritual Brain, discussed some of these findings in a podcast for ID the Future.  For more news about the brain, see the 02/21/2010 entry.It’s nice to see secular neuroscientists entertaining thoughts again about the actual existence of a self that can control the body.  But there’s a shortcut to tipping the debate in favor of dualism.  Ask them, when they are thinking about the question, who is doing the thinking?  To be consistent in their physicalism, they would have to deny their own selves.  This would be a self-refuting position that would give the dualist interlocutor opportunity to call the debate.  Like Dr. Greg Bahnsen used to taunt his opponent, merely showing up at the debate proved his point.    Each of the stories above makes sense in the light of creation, and only in the light of creation (the top-down approach that assumes intelligent design), on two grounds: (1) the alternative is self-refuting, and (2) our uniform experience shows that decision-making entities (robots, software) are products of a mind.  It may not answer all the mysteries we have about the mind-body problem (e.g., what happens to the self when an aging person shows dementia, the differences between animal and human mental states, the interactions of soul and brain, what happens during sleep, why do we recall things when not concentrating on them, etc.), but it is a self-consistent framework in which to provide useful employment to the little scientist in your head.  Otherwise, what’s the point of the sign over the businessman’s desk? – “THINK.”(Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA remittances help feed Africa

first_imgUgandan artist Samuel Kalule Ssendowooza sells his and others’ work in Cape Town, South Africa, helping support his family back home. (Image: Jeffery Barbee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com)Khanyi MagubaneSouth Africa is the largest source of remittances sent by migrants back home to countries in the rest of Africa, helping pull families from the brink of poverty and ensure the next generation get an education. There are currently 2-million migrant workers in the country, sending about R6.1-billion to their families across the continent every year. The bulk of the money goes to Southern African Development Community countries.According to the Financial Mail magazine, global recorded remittances to developing countries are expected to have topped US$240-billion in 2007. Money sent by migrant workers back home to their families has been a critical means of financial support for generations.Remittances are recognised as one of the world’s largest poverty reduction efforts – by millions of individuals at a time. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad) reports that the flow of foreign currency to developing countries now reaches millions of households. Ifad estimates that, worldwide, 150-million migrants sent $300-billion to their families in 2006.In January 2007, researchers Yao Lu and Donald J Treiman from the University of California’s Centre for Population Research in the US, produced a paper entitled The Effect of Labour Migration and Remittances on Children’s Education among Blacks in South Africa.The paper found that in households where a parent is absent due to migration for work, the remittances received substantially increased the likelihood that children are in school, through three pathways: increased household educational spending, reduced child labour, and mitigation of the negative effect of parental absence due to out-migration.Migrant voicesBut what’s it like to be the sole breadwinner, but so far from home? An online survey of migrants, conducted by the BBC, sheds some light on the global phenomenon of remittances.“Sending money to relatives in Cameroon/Africa is more or less a noble deed and duty for most of us out of Africa,” Cameroonian Levei Babaya, who works in the US, told the BBC. “[T]hose friends and relatives who have received such remittances have for the most part put it to good use. There is no question that there are abuses. There is also no question that some of our relatives consider us bottomless pits.”According to Lawrence Bangura, a Sierra Leonean in Chester, England, his family’s gratitude is what makes migrant work worthwhile. “To me it is an obligation which I have to honour and my happiest moments are when my relatives say thank you to me after receiving what I have sent,” he said.“We have a saying in my tribe, Temne, that God chooses one or two people in a family and gives them all he would have given the entire family. Although some of them, especially my brothers and sisters, do not spend it wisely, I am always happy to send whatever I can afford.”Some see it as a means of not only helping their families, but also their countries. “The money I send home is seen as an investment,” says Faraieverett Magagula, a Zimbabwean working in Pretoria, South Africa. “The money I send to my family in Zimbabwe goes a long way to propping [up] the Zimbabwean economy.”Then there’s the view of “Mecano”, working in Canada: “Of course, that is what Africa’s life is about. ‘A sharing circle’.”Remittances made easyThe R6.1-billion disbursed through Africa in from South Africa is a conservative figure, as up to 60% percent of remittances reach their beneficiaries in informal ways. The official statistics are from money organs that deal in international transfers, and don’t account for money sent with relatives, friends and taxi drivers.High transaction fees are a major reason informal routes are preferred. In Africa, Moneygram and Western Union dominate the market. According to Nikki Spottiswoode, Moneygram’s international director for Africa, the amount charged on transactions depends on the amount of competition in the market. In the US, for instance, there is a flat fee of $10 charged for amounts up to $500 hundred. But Moneygram charges $20 for sending the same amount out of South Africa.Another reason migrants prefer informal routes is that they cannot meet the documentation requirements created by South Africa’s foreign exchange regulations, as well as other financial and immigration laws.As an alternative to the costly traditional money transfer operators, various new means are being developed across the world to reduce costs and improve the speed at which money is transferred between countries.Ikobo, a money-transfer company based in Atlanta, US, has a system in which the beneficiaries back in Africa are given a bank card, which can be used at Visa merchants and ATMs across the world. The migrant simply reloads the money every month using a simple online process, and the money is available immediately.Xoom, a company based in San Francisco, also uses a simple method for international money transfer. A sender can send money worldwide from any internet-enabled computer to friends, family and businesses in over 30 countries. Various methods can be used, including PayPal, major credit cards, or the withdrawal of funds directly from the senders US bank account to fund the money transfer.Useful linksSending Money HomeIkoboMoneygramEldis – developmental policy practice and research companyWestern UnionXoomInternational Fund for Agricultural Developmentlast_img read more

SA prof best in invasion biology

first_imgSouth Africa’s lush indigenous vegetation,such as this forest in the Eastern Cape’sTsitsikamma National Park, is under threat from invasive plants. (Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library) Stellenbosch University’s Professor Dave Richardson. (Image: Stellenbosch University) MEDIA CONTACTS • Engela DuvenageSU Faculty of Science+27 21 808 2684 or +27 82 874 1291 RELATED ARTICLES • World honour for SA botanist • Protea hotspot under scrutiny • Kew shows Africa’s plant wealth • SA scientist lauded for polar workJanine ErasmusSouth African Professor David Richardson has been rated the world’s most influential and productive scientist on matters relating to invasion biology.This emerged after a bibliometric study conducted by scientists of the Laboratory of Biological Invasion and Adaptive Evolution of the Chinese Academy of Science.Bibliometrics refers to the measuring of texts and information using a defined set of methods. It has various uses, for instance in analysing frequency of citation, the impact of a researcher or group of researchers, or the impact of a particular paper.The principal investigator of the Chinese team was Professor Yi-Feng Chen. Chen and co-author Hao Qiu, also of the biological invasion laboratory, published their findings in the peer-reviewed journal Scientometrics in 2009.The study, wrote Chen and Qiu, was conducted using data from the Science Citation Index specifically dealing with biological invasions.These specialised papers, all published between 1991 and 2007, were further analysed using an indicator known as citation per publication, to understand the impact of articles, institutions and journals.The Science Citation Index was originally established by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) in 1960, and is now part of the ISI Web of Knowledge, owned by information provider Thomson Reuters. The online version of the index covers 6 650 scientific journals from around the world, spanning more than 150 disciplines.The team analysed 3 323 articles published in 521 journals by 7 261 authors from 1 905 institutions in 100 countries. Of all of these, it was found that Stellenbosch University’s Richardson was the most productive author, and the most influential, in his field.Research results showed that Richardson published 41 ISI-listed papers relating to biological invasions during the period of analysis, giving him a CPP rating of 10.9. At the same time he also co-authored another 18 papers.Richardson, a Canadian researcher and a third scientist from the Czech Republic are the only three non-Americans listed as most influential in this field. This does not imply that the most serious plant invasions occur in the US, wrote the authors, but rather reflects the amount of funding available.Stellenbosch University reported that Richardson was encouraged to see how influential the global scientific community viewed South African research in the field, but added that the country was still a very small player on the world stage in terms of the current number of researchers, and the amount of resources available.Since the Chinese study only covered publications between 1991 and 2007, much of the recent work done by the university’s DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (CIB) staff was overlooked.“If the study was repeated for the last five years, South African research would definitely feature even better,” said Richardson.Leader in his fieldRichardson, an ecology professor and pine tree specialist, is the deputy director for science strategy at the CIB.With 90 peer-reviewed journal articles, 18 peer-reviewed book chapters and three books to his name, Richardson is rightfully considered a leading expert in the field of invasion ecology, particularly with regard to alien tree invasions.Invasion biology, the study of biological invasions by alien plants and their impact on ecosystems, is a fast-growing scientific discipline whose importance has only been recognised in recent years, although its concepts were first put forward by Charles Darwin.Richardson is a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Specialist Groups on Invasive Organisms as well as Conifers.He is also editor-in-chief of the conservation journal Diversity and Distributions and sits on the editorial boards of Biological Invasions and Ecologia Mediterranea, as well as on several advisory panels and committees.Richardson’s work on tree invasions highlights the basic ecology of invading species and also discusses management issues.Much of his knowledge has been gleaned from the study of the genus Pinus, or pine trees. According to the professor, the 111 known species of pine serve as good examples of the ecology of plant invasions in general because many species occur outside their natural habitats, and have successfully adapted.Threat to indigenous speciesAccording to the Department of Water Affairs, invasive alien species are causing billions of rands’ worth of damage to South Africa’s economy every year. About 10-million hectares of the country is under siege from invaders, and they constitute the most serious threat to South Africa’s famed biodiversity.Most aliens are plants, although there are other fish, birds, mammals, insects and microbes that threaten to wipe out indigenous species if left unchecked. For instance, the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis), which is thought to have arrived in South Africa in the late 1970s, most likely attached to a ship’s hull, has eradicated a large percentage of South Africa’s indigenous molluscs along the country’s shoreline.The water affairs department reports that there are around 9 000 non-indigenous plants in South Africa – of these, 198 are classified as major invaders that interfere with the natural functioning of delicate indigenous ecosystems. A few of the most common plant invaders in South Africa are the black, silver and green wattles, the bluegum, the lantana, the syringa, and the popular jacaranda.Alien species inhibit productive use of land and exacerbate soil erosion. They consume vast quantities of water, a precious resource on the African continent, as indigenous species have adapted to dry conditions by using minimal qualtities of water.By clogging waterways and using up oxygen, alien aquatic plants such as the water hyacinth and salvinia water fern pose serious problems to fisheries and agriculture, leisure activities, and water supply.Various methods of control are available to biologists. These include mechanical removal, chemical destruction of aliens, and biological control with species-specific insects and diseases that target only the invader. An integrated approach produces the best results.South Africa’s water affairs department runs more than 300 projects in all nine provinces under its Working for Water (WFW) programme. Since it was established in 1992, WFW has overseen the clearing of more than a million hectares of previously overgrown land. Many of the workers, who receive on-the-job training and skills development, are previously unemployed, and 52% of them are women.WFW has stated that alien plant infestations will double within 15 years if nothing is done now to stop them.last_img read more

South African film wins at Tribeca

first_img(Image: www.nfvf.co.za)MEDIA CONTACTS• Naomi MokheleNational Film and Video Foundation+27 11 483 0880RELATED ARTICLES• New Afrikaans film a hit• New film tackles race with humour• Top honours for SA movie• Rebate boost for SA filmNosimilo RamelaNew York’s prestigious Tribeca Film Festival has named the South African film Father Christmas Doesn’t Come Here its best narrative short film in an indigenous language.Download the press kit (PDF)Funded by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) the film was chosen from 47 finalists as one of the Indigenous Language short film contest winners.The film was written by South African screenwriters Bongi Ndaba and Sibongile Nkosana, and directed by Bhekumuzi Sibiya.  This is Sibiya’s first short feature film, and he received great praise for his work.“The director consistently foregoes sentimentality in favour of subtle debunking of myths based on culture. His frames are urgently alive with telling details. This film announces a persuasive and deeply human directorial vision, one rich with authenticity and insight,” read a statement by the judges.The panel of judges who selected the film include Brooke Shields whose most recent film is Lipstick Jungle, Justin Bartha from the movie Hangover, Peter Facinelli, who stars in the Twilight movies, and Jack Dorsey, creator and chairperson of social site Twitter. They described the film as being exceptional and touching.“It is a film of resilience and hope. It is an assured, original, and profoundly moving film, which perfectly executes its aims and is buoyed by a remarkable performance by its lead actor,” the judges said.In 2009 the film won an award at the Tri-Continental Film Festival. It has also been included in the South African Line-Up event for the Cannes Film Festival this year.The film looks at the life of a naive teenage black girl who writes to Father Christmas requesting long straight hair as her Christmas gift. She has low self-esteem and hopes the hair will help her gain more confidence. Her hopes are shattered when a pessimistic man from her neighbourhood  tells her Father Christmas is not real. However, her grandmother is there to help her through her uncertainty, and teaches her to love herself.“I think this film hits home to all young black girls all over the world,’” said Mpho Setati, a film student at Afda film school in Johannesburg. “This is a great South Africa film that showcases the talent of our country, and the world is taking notice and rewarding our talent,” she said.The Tribeca Film Festival was held in Manhattan, New York, from 21 April to 2 May. Currently in its ninth year, it was launched by well-known Hollywood actor Robert de Niro, film producer Jane Rosenthal, and real estate investor Craig Hatkoff in 2002. The trio were motivated to start the festival after the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.“We hoped to use the festival to spur the economic and cultural revitalisation of the lower Manhattan district and to help filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience while promoting New York City as a major filmmaking center,” they said in a statement.The award for winning Best Narrative Short Film was R38 336 (US$5 000) in cash, film stock donated by Kodak, and an art award, “A Box of Smile, 1967/89”, by Yoko Ono.last_img read more

Become Trackable on Geocaching.com – Tattoos to Travel Bugs

first_imgShare with your Friends:More Additional Trackable Stories:Click on the image for a 30% savings on orders of Travel Bugs (U.S. customers only)Check out a Travel Bug race with do-it-yourself tipsWatch a soldier receive a Travel Bug tattoo.Read about a Travel Bug Rescue program.Share your Trackable stories for a chance to win Trackables. Trackable Week presents a new story Monday through Friday this week about creative ways to experience Trackables. Geocaching.com Trackables allow people to tag and track an item from location to location. Trackables typically come in three varieties, Geocoins, Travel Bugs® or Promotional Trackables like the “Find the Gecko,” Geico campaign. (Watch a video on Travel Bugs)See the bottom of this article for a place a share your Trackable stories, links to other Trackable stories and a limited time special offer for 30% of individual orders of Travel Bugs this week only (US costumers only). Check out Tuesday’s installment for Trackable Week:BECOME TRACKABLE ON GEOCACHING.COM – TATTOOS TO TRAVEL BUGSWhether your decision is permanent or a passing phase, becoming trackable on Geocaching.com offers you a new way to interact with the world around you.  Some geocachers choose a Travel Bug tattoo. There’s even a special icon available on Geocaching.com for those with a trackable tattoo.Click the image to see the story behind this Travel Bug tattooOthers decide to add a Travel Bug decal to their car, put a Travel Bug on their dog’s collar, or even make themselves trackable. Every Lackey at Groundspeak is trackable. It’s easy. Other geocachers must discover you in person. They enter your unique tracking code on the Geocaching.com Trackables page. They then log their discovery and often leave fun and entertaining log entries.CSavvy recently made himself trackable. He discovered geocaching about two years ago. He’s an Australian sound technician and frequently travels to record natural sounds. He enjoys geocaching because he says, “I love being in the outdoors. I am very outgoing and love an adventure. Geocaching is the perfect sport for me as it’s exactly that – an adventure!!”CSavvy spoke with Geocaching.com about becoming trackable and sent in the video below. You can get clues about where CSavvy might be next on his Savvy The Trackable Sound Guy Travel Bug page.Geocaching.com: What inspired you to become a Travel Bug? SAVVY: ” I Thought it would be a great way to track my adventures while also meeting fellow geocachers and making new friends along the way. And because I work in television and always out recording sound at various locations for TV shows, it’s also a chance for my fellow geocachers to get a look “Behind the scenes” of TV production as not many people get to see that side of things.”Geocaching.com: Will there be any clues as to your next location? SAVVY: ” I can mainly be found around Adelaide in South Australia and also Mount Barker which is in the Adelaide Hills…..But I do travel around the country (Australia) sometimes, so I could pop up anywhere! To make it a bit more easy for people to locate me while I am out and about, I will be posting clues of my location on the TB page on Geocaching.com and I have also set up a Facebook Page where fellow Geocachers can follow me.”Geocaching.com: What advice do you have for those considering becoming a Travel Bug?SAVVY: “My advice would be…..get out into the great outdoors…..travel, see places and meet people, and make yourself easy to find. I am easy to spot, as I carry around a big fluffy microphone and also have a big audio bag strapped to my waist! I am also never too far away from a broadcast camera!!!”See CSavvy’s video here:center_img SharePrint RelatedNottingham to Nottingham Travel Bug RaceSeptember 12, 2011In “Community”The Center of the Trackable UniverseSeptember 15, 2011In “Community”Trackable Tattoos – Never LostSeptember 23, 2012In “Community”last_img read more

Klopp quiet on Coutinho transfer claims

first_imgTransfers Barcelona given Coutinho price? Liverpool boss Klopp quiet on January transfers Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 18:05 12/2/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Philippe Coutinho Liverpool 2017 Getty Images Transfers Liverpool Philippe Coutinho Barcelona Primera División Premier League The Reds coach has refused to be drawn into another debate regarding his Brazilian star and a possible switch to Camp Nou in the January window Jurgen Klopp has refused to be drawn on reports suggesting that Liverpool have named their price for Barcelona target Philippe Coutinho.Having seen their Brazilian star spend much of the summer being linked with a switch to Camp Nou, rumours have resurfaced ahead of the January window.Liverpool fought hard to keep Coutinho out of Barca’s clutches amid a flurry of bids from Catalunya, with the Reds reluctant to part with a key men tied to a long-term contract. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player That has, however, done little to curb the speculation and claims that the Premier League side have put an asking price on the 25-year-old’s head as they wait on renewed interest.Klopp told reporters when those stories were put to him: “Named a price? Interesting. There is absolutely nothing to say about this. Of course Phil is still essential for us.“Should we stop thinking about him in the moment just because there are more stories about him in the newspapers in Spain?”While reluctant to open another debate regarding Coutinho, Klopp is prepared to admit that there may be departures from Anfield in the New Year.He added: “I cannot give an answer for that now. A lot of things could happen.“Maybe one or two players will tell me they want to make a move and go somewhere else. If that happens then we would have to consider that and make our decisions.”CoutinhoIf Barcelona are intending to make a fresh approach for Coutinho in January, then they are keeping their plans close to their chest.Ernesto Valverde admits a summer-long saga was “damaging” to his club, so he will be making no comment on possible targets until deals are put in place.He told reporters when quizzed on the fresh Coutinho rumours: “The problem is we’ve been speaking about players for a long time who are not part of the club. There was a lot of talk during the close season.“Right now, we can’t sign anybody, so let’s concentrate on what we’ve got now. It’s damaging to us to discuss these things when the market is closed.“When we get to the market, I probably won’t want to discuss these things, either!“At the moment, Coutinho is not one of my players. I want to worry about my players and the game we have [against Celta Vigo on Saturday].” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more