AVB – A Vacation Beckons?

first_imgIn these trying times as my kids look forward to a satsuma and a few monkey nuts in their Christmas stocking, what I wouldn’t give to be the manager of Chelsea.The blueprint appears to be: Impress the owner by tearing up trees in Europe, force him to stump up a large sum of money to secure your services on a lengthy contract and then nark him off to earn a hefty pay-off before your name-plate has dried on the revolving door. What’s not to like?AVB (A Vacation Beckons?) is up against it after the last-gasp Champions League defeat by Bayer Leverkusen made it four defeats from seven, as the Red Tops moved in for the kill.“I just can’t warm to Villas-Boas with his apparent lack of humour, revolutionary beard and graduation with honours from the Gerry Francis school of avoiding the gaze of the camera.”‘Villas Goas!’ bellowed The Sun from Friday’s back page, quoting a mysterious ‘dressing room insider’ who pondered: “Perhaps the club are wondering if they made a mistake.”Blues fans on the Shed End messageboard were a little more sympathetic, suggesting Roman Abramovich should for once put his itchy trigger finger away and leave the gaffer to build his own team.‘Six Times’ offered a ray of hope when he said: “I think we can all agree, if we get our defence sorted out then we really have something good on our hands.”To which ‘Mod’ replied: “Well yeah, that and the midfield and the forwards.”Defender (and I use the term loosely) David Luiz has come in for particular criticism, with Sky pundit Gary Neville claiming: “He looks like he is being controlled by a 10-year-old on a PlayStation.”The Brazilian responded by tweeting: “Gary Neville – I love u!” – that’s got to be the first time those five words have appeared in the same sentence.As a QPR fan, I was never comfortable with the fact I was quite fond of Jose Mourinho, Big Phil Scolari and Carlo Ancelotti – whose errant eyebrow must have disappeared into orbit as he wonders how on earth he managed to get the old tin tack.But I just can’t warm to Villas-Boas with his apparent lack of humour, revolutionary beard and graduation with honours from the Gerry Francis school of avoiding the gaze of the camera.To be fair, in management terms he’s still a baby (despite doing a brilliant job at Porto) and maybe, to quote The Specials, the Chelsea project is just Too Much Too Young.Neil rings his best mate Tony Pulis.None of which bothered a large section of the QPR faithful – eager to tell anyone who would listen that it was Rangers who started the rot after their tempestuous win at Loftus Road last month – in the same manner that Manchester United crumbled in ‘92 following their 4-1 New Year’s Day routing by the R’s.QPR are up to ninth thanks to an unlikely 3-2 win at Stoke. The game will forever be known as ‘Towelgate’ after QPR boss Neil Warnock insisted his side be afforded the same privilege as their opponents by drying the ball before each throw-in.It was a master stroke by the wily old fox which left his opposite number – and sworn enemy – Tony Pulis looking like he was about to self-combust on the touchline.Warnock was like Mr Shakey Hands Man at the end as he offered his palm to every Stoke player, although curiously Pulis was nowhere to be seen.If that had been Arsene Wenger it would have been headline news, although to be fair to the Potters boss, he was probably just stopping himself from shaking his nemesis warmly by the throat.While Warnock triumphed in the psychological battle, born-again Heidar Helguson – a full 56 days older than Mr Villas-Boas – bagged his fourth and fifth goals of the season.The 34-year-old Icelander might be getting on a bit but he has the face fuzz of an adolescent after gamely joining in the QPR Movember effort.While Shaun Derry looks like the offspring of infamous Aussies Merv Hughes and Chopper (top film – Google it) Heidar has the sort of lip caterpillar the cat could lick off.Derry before adopting the Merv lookIndeed the photo of him parading his bumfluff at Stoke in the Sunday Mirror under the headline ‘Tache And Grab Raid’ is worthy of investigation by the Press Complaints Commission.Joey Barton is unsurprisingly orchestrating the Movember campaign and once again found himself in the news at the Britannia Stadium.The skipper looked fortunate to get away with at least one penalty claim and the home supporters showed him their affection by showering the midfielder with coins.He tweeted afterwards: “Thanks to all the Stoke fans who threw money at me while I was on corner duties. It’s much appreciated – I’ll pass it on to charity.”He added: “First time I’ve ever played that well that the other fans have tipped me!”Meanwhile team-mate Jay Bothroyd has revealed his young son persuaded him to come to Loftus Road after the eight-year-old signed up for QPR’s under 9’s team.The striker said: “I might occasionally give some advice after training and matches but he criticises me. He said to me after the Manchester City game ‘You should have scored that header – I would have scored it!’”Incidentally, Bothroyd junior is named Mace which is a bit of a weird one – although not quite as bad as Peterborough defender Gabriel Zakuani, who called his newborn son Trendy after Twitter’s trending topics feature.Elsewhere on the manor, Fulham held Sunderland to a 0-0 draw on Wearside. Since stuffing QPR 6-0 they’ve only managed four goals in five league games.I wonder if fans would have settled for a 1-0 win in the west London derby and spread the other five around to get a few more points on the board? I know I would.And finally we come to Brentford, who were unlucky to be beaten by League One leaders Charlton at Griffin Park.Bradley Wright-Phillips got the only goal and must have been a little surprised to see the headline ‘Shaun Wright On Time’ in the Sunday Mirror the following day.Fans on Brentford’s Griffin Park Grapevine forum were discussing the ballboy who got his marching orders for throwing the ball at a time-wasting Charlton player.When asked what his punishment was, ‘Wanderer Paul’ replied: “Banned for life and given a season ticket to Fulham!” Boom boom.Follow Chris on Twitterlast_img read more

Can Darwin Help Your Doctor?

first_imgAre you sick? Should you rely on Darwinism or Science?by Jerry Bergman, PhDUnder the headline “Darwin can help your doctor,” a press release from the University of Groningen claimed that “Evolution and ecology inspire clinical research in infections and antimicrobial resistance”[1]. The editors explain: “Taking an evolutionary view can inspire new ideas in clinical microbiology. For example, evolutionary studies can reveal why some antimicrobial dosing regimens are better than others in preventing the development of drug resistance.”As I read the review, it soon became apparent that the word evolution was tacked onto the report for no good reason except to give obeisance to Darwinism. The approach described in the report had nothing to do with Darwinism but was rather an example of the classic empirical experimental approach. This approach requires scientists to evaluate the proposed “antimicrobial dosing regimens” on patients and then study the outcome. For example, a sample of affected patients would be randomized into 5 treatment groups of 20 patients each, then the outcome of each group is compared. If statistical differences are found at the alpha 0.05 level or better (such as alpha 0.01) to insure the difference between the two is very unlikely due to chance, this lends evidence to the conclusion that the protocol found most effective is actually, as a whole, more effective. The report then added:Looking at microbial communities, rather than just the pathogenic micro-organisms, can also lead to new insights. That is why clinicians, bioinformaticians analysing pathogens and evolutionary biologists should all work together. These are the conclusions of a diverse group of scientists led by University of Groningen microbiologist Marjon de Vos, in a short review published by The Lancet Infectious Diseases on 30 April.[2]Again, this is an example of an obvious truism. Of course, “clinicians, bioinformaticians analysing pathogens and evolutionary biologists should all work together.” I have to wonder what evolutionary biologists could possibly contribute. MicrobiologistDe Vos studies urinary tract infections. She realized that a lot could be gained by collaborating with different specialists … For example, …  bacteria involved communicate with each other and can form a stable ecosystem, which affects their susceptibility to antibiotics.’ This realization led to an interdisciplinary workshop in 2017, which in turn resulted in the review paper now published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.[3]Still no answer as what this research has to do with evolution. So I read on.The consensus can be wrong, and has been wrong numerous times, when it comes to evoluition.The article then discussed cystic fibrosisThe review mentioned bioinformatics, which is an analysis of “the vast amount of genetic data collected on infectious diseases.” This also has nothing to do with evolution unless one is searching for long-term, millions of years, evolutionary trends. In this case, the bioinformatics technique is a fishing expedition looking for trends in gene expression patterns that may relate to the medical condition of concern. The doctors explain that cyclic antibiotic treatments in cystic fibrosis patients are used to treat chronic lung infections which are common in this condition. To minimize the development of drug resistance, treatment alternates with two different drugs.[4] If the pathogens become resistant to one drug, ideally, the other will be effective. Obviously, this approach could result in multi-drug resistance.This is the claim I was expecting, which has nothing to do with evolution. I will cover the most common claim, that is antibiotic resistance due to mutations which create bacteria incorrectly termed “superbugs.”How do bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics?Although bacteria can become resistant due to mutations, all these mutations studied so far are either loss mutations, or damage-to-gene-expression mutations that damage the system that speeds up the removal of, or the inactivation of, antibiotics. None of these effects are the result of new cellular innovations, but are caused merely by damaging something in the bacteria.One type of mutation can alter the shape of the antibiotic binding site. The antibiotic works by fitting into the antibiotic binding site and, like a lock and key, if the keyhole is damaged, the key will no longer fit into the lock. Likewise, if the antibiotic binding site is distorted as a result of damage caused by mutations, the antibiotic will no longer fit into the antibiotic binding site, protecting the bacteria from the antibiotic.A side effect is the mutation can degrade or destroy the function for which the bacteria binding site was designed. For example, a neutral mutation in one amino acid that prevents the required antibody-enzyme interaction alters the binding site on the 4-quinolone antibiotic which disables the DNA gyrase enzyme in bacteria. The gyrase enzyme is an essential bacterial enzyme that catalyzes the ATP-dependent negative super-coiling of double-stranded closed-circular DNA. It reduces the twisting strain occurring while double-stranded DNA is being unwound by elongating RNA-polymerase.The classic example of mutations in the antibiotic mechanism which causes the bacteria to become immune to the antibiotic is ribosome point mutations that renders streptomycin and other mycin antibiotics ineffective.[5]  Mycin antibiotics function by attaching to specific receptor sites on the bacteria’s ribosomes which are required to produce protein to keep the bacteria alive. The result is this antibiotic action interferes with the bacteria protein-manufacturing process.  The proteins the bacteria produce are, as a result of the mutation, either non-functional, or are not even produced. The result is the bacteria cannot grow and divide, or propagate.Bacterial mutations cause the bacteria to become streptomycin-resistant if the ribosome site, where the streptomycin attaches, is altered by mutations. As a result, the streptomycin no longer can bind on the host ribosome, and therefore it no longer can interfere with the ribosomal function of producing protein. Mutation-caused changes that enable the bacteria to become mycin-resistant can occur in several different locations on the ribosome.[6]Mammalian ribosomes do not contain the specific site where myosin drugs attach, and for this reason the drug does not interfere with mammal ribosome function. Consequently, mycin drugs adversely affect bacterial growth without harming the host. Because fundamental differences exist between prokaryotic (bacterial) and eukaryotic ribosomes, these variations often are exploited in order to produce antibiotics to kill bacteria without harming the host. Actually, many antibiotics used are produced by fungi or other bacteria to protect them from enemy bacteria. Humans obtain them to protect them from the same pathogenic bacteria.Another example of a mutation-caused resistance is, in Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, an enzyme in the bacteria that changes the antibiotic called isoniazid into its active form that kills the bacteria. If a mutation damages the enzyme that converts the antibiotic into its active form, the antibiotic remains in its inactive and harmless conformation. As a result, this mutation confers antibiotic resistance to the mutant bacteria.[7] The mutation that damages the enzyme which prevents the antibiotic from killing the bacteria also cripples the bacteria, an effect called the fitness cost.When bacteria become resistant to antibiotics as a result of mutations, all the mutations studied so far are either loss mutations, or gene-expression mutations that result in speeding up the systems that removes or inactivates antibiotics. None are the result of new cellular innovations but are caused merely by altering the regulation control.all the mutations studied so far are either loss mutations, or gene-expression mutationsEvolution by retreatIn short, this brief discussion illustrates the fact that all known examples of antibiotic resistance are due to inbuilt systems designed to achieve symbiosis, or damage to some system in the host or pathogen that prevents it from properly defending itself. In short, so-called super bacteria are actually damaged bacteria that have an advantage in an environment loaded with antibiotics, such as in a hospital.Conversely, mutations that add new systems, such as a new regulatory system, energy-generating system, or transport system, have never been documented. Mutations increasing certain enzyme affinity may be beneficial, but often occur rapidly, indicating that design is involved. For example, mutations effecting hemoglobin-oxygen affinity help the host to acclimatize to a high altitude, but the same mutation can also cause polycythemia. This response is not evolution, but rather designed adaptation.Mutations that alter a protein which results in antibiotic resistance are also likely to weaken the organism. Mutations that both confer resistance, and allow the bacteria to survive, do not improve the bacteria fitness in its normal environment. The bacteria actually render them less able to survive in an antibiotic-free environment.[8]  Thus, when the bacteria becomes resistant to a drug, it is likely to become less fit in other ways.[9]  This is called the cost of resistance, or the fitness cost.[10] Often the cost is very high and the mutation renders the resistant stain poorly able to survive in a non-antibiotic environment.[11]The last claim covered in the The Lancet Infectious Diseases article was resistance plasmids. Resistance plasmids are small circular DNA that confers resistance to bacteria that can easily be exchanged between bacteria. The Lancet review admits “we still don’t know how changes in genes lead to the different characteristics of these pathogens. We need experiments by evolutionary biologists in order to understand the link between the genotype, the DNA sequence and the phenotype – for instance, the level of resistance.”[12]Empty boastsThe 11-page Lancet article contained the word evolution 103 times and, after analyzing each example, the same problem was found as I have documented in this paper.[13] Of interest is the article’s list of examples of the successes of microbial evolutionary medicine, including the exploitation of the alleged bacterial evolutionary molecular clock to trace transmission events over time in hospitals and continents in spite of the fact that the molecular clock has been a dismal failure, at least for long periods of time.[14][1] “Darwin can help your doctor.” Science Daily. 30 April 2019. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190430103424.htm.[2] “Darwin can help your doctor.” Science Daily. 30 April 2019. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190430103424.htm.[3]  Sandra B Andersen, et al. Microbial evolutionary medicine: from theory to clinical practice. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(19)30045-3[4] Sandra B Andersen, et al. Microbial evolutionary medicine: from theory to clinical practice. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(19)30045-3[5] Davies, A. P., et al., 2000. “Comparison of Fitness of Two Isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, One of which had developed Multi-Drug Resistance during the Course of Treatment.”  Journal of Infection, 41(2):184-187, Sept.; Davies, J. and M. Nomura,  1972. “The Genetics of Bacterial Ribosomes.”  Annual Review of Genetics,  6:203-234.[6] Didier, E. S., D. C. Bertucci, and L. Leblanc,  1999. “Inhibition of Microsporidia Growth in vitro.”  Abstracts of the General Meeting American Society Microbiology,  99:11[7] Wieland, Carl, 1994. “Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria.”  Cen Tech J., 8(1):5-6, p. 5.[8] Wieland, 1994, p. 6.[9]Spetner, Lee, 1997. Not by Chance. Brooklyn, NY: The Judaica Press, p. 144.[10]Lenski, Richard E., 2002. “Cost of Resistance” in Encyclopedia of Evolution.  Volume 2, pp. 1008-1010.  New York, NY: Oxford University Press.  Mark Pagel (editor), p. 1009.[11]Baquero, Fernando,  2002. “Antibiotic Resistance:  Origins, Mechanisms, and Extent of Resistance” in Encyclopedia of Evolution.  Volume 1, pp. 50-54.  New York, NY: Oxford University Press.  Mark Pagel (editor). p. 51.[12] “Darwin can help your doctor.” Science Daily, 30 April 2019. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190430103424.htm.[13] Andersen, Sandra B., 2019. Evolutionary medicine: from theory to clinical practice. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, online 30 April 2019. https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S1473-3099%2819%2930045-3.[14] Jeffrey Tomkins and Jerry Bergman, 2015. “Evolutionary Molecular Genetic Clocks–A Perpetual Exercise in Futility and Failure.” Journal of Creation, 29(2):26-35. Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology at several colleges and universities including for over 40 years at Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored, are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.(Visited 301 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

68 000 volunteer applications for 2010

first_img2 September 2009A total of 67 999 people from 170 countries have applied to become volunteers for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, with an average of 1 600 applications being received each day between 20 July and 31 August.2010 Fifa World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) CEO Danny Jordaan said the programme proved to be hugely popular: “We are honoured by the incredible response we have received from around the world,” he said.Strong foreign responseAccording to the LOC, there was a strong response from outside of South Africa, with Nigerians showing great interest with the highest number of applications (750) from outside of the host country.The United States followed with 554 applications, while Brazil was close behind with 489. Zimbabweans registered 449 applications, while Italy managed an impressive 414.Other African countries that responded were Cameroon with 375, the Democratic Republic of Congo with 109, and Lesotho with 106.Local applicationsLocally, with two World Cup stadiums, Johannesburg came in with the most applications, receiving a total of 16 280 applications for Soccer City and Ellis Park.Pretoria received 8 496 applications, followed by the Nelson Mandela Bay with 7 365, Cape Town with 5 998, and Nelspruit in Mpumalanga province and Rustenburg in North West province coming close behind with 5 781 and 5 558 applications respectively.eThekwini/Durban received 5 148 volunteer applications, followed by Polokwane in Limpopo province with 5 503, and Mangaung/Bloemfontein in Free State province with 4 371 applications.Administrative supportThe LOC said that most volunteers had applied to provide administrative support for the tournament, as well as hospitality and ushering services, fan park services, and information technology and telecommunications.In order to assist with hearing-impaired spectators, 83 volunteer hopefuls have applied to work in sign language support.The next step is for the applications to be screened, with the interview process beginning in December. Overseas volunteers will be interviewed by teleconference, while host city interviews will be conducted simultaneously at venues in each city.Once the final selections have been made, the volunteers will then be trained in their respective fields before the World Cup kicks off.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

‘La vita’ looks ‘bella’ for Debora Patta

first_imgFrom left to right, IWW award winnersFerdinando Pezzoli, Lara Mazzoni, DeboraPatta, Tiziana Grassi, Marco Folegani,and Elena Maria Teresa Calligaro.(Image: IWW) MEDIA CONTACTS • Michelle KirbyE.tv Head of Marketing+27 11 537 9300RELATED ARTICLES• Media awards for SA women• Rhodes hosts world journalism meet• The media and open justice• Jacob Zuma on press freedom• Turning up the media volumeFiona McRae“La vita”, it would appear, is pretty “bella” right now for South African television journalist and media personality Debora Patta.Not only did the Zimbabwe-born anchor and executive producer of e.tv’s hard-hitting investigative programme 3rd Degree add yet another award to her collection last month, but she seems to be revelling in a career decision of a year ago to free up some time so as to be able to concentrate more fully on her “two real passions”: journalism and her family. Happily married to her second husband, Patta is the mother of two young daughters.And it would seem that, like many women her age, the 40-something Patta is discovering the liberation and confidence that the years can bring.“The best thing about this age is no longer caring what other people think of you,” she is quoted as saying in a recent edition of a fashion chain’s club magazine. “I’ve learnt not to be so hung up on people who don’t like you.”The fact that the apparently always self-assured and assertive Patta has ever lacked confidence might well come as a surprise to 3rd Degree viewers who have seen her courageously and tenaciously hold those in positions of power and responsibility to account.Famous for her tough, no-nonsense approach she has had heads of state, politicians, business leaders and many others in the hot seat on the show in the decade that it has been in existence – but has also told the stories of the ordinary person in the street with compassion.Patta has featured high-profile figures such as African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema, the late political leader Eugene Terre’Blanche who, she says, is the only person to have walked out of an interview, businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, President Jacob Zuma, axed Ekurhuleni police chief Robert McBride, and former president Thabo Mbeki.Winning formula Patta’s unrelenting pursuit of not only answers but also excellence in a journalism career spanning two decades has garnered her respect and recognition stretching beyond the country’s borders. Already the winner of multiple accolades, including a 2010 South Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government category award and the 2009 Vodacom Women in the Media award, Patta was honoured by the Italian Women in the World (IWW) association last month when she received a Tricolor Globe Award at a ceremony held in Bologna, Italy.The IWW is a global networking association. Its awards recognise the achievements of men and women of Italian origins, or of Italians working abroad or in Italy for other countries, who have attained outstanding career success within “creative and innovative global industries” such as communication and events; art and design; performing arts; alternative energies and recyclable products; information and communication technologies; science, research, technology and engineering; and tourism.Six achievers from Asia, Africa, South America and Europe were recognised in this year’s awards. Patta was honoured for her “achievements, excellence and contribution to society in the communications field in Africa”.The main goal of the award, according to IWW founder and president Patrizia Angelini, “is to promote the important role of compatriots and other Italians who work abroad, through the spreading of personal success stories and highlighting the cultural and entrepreneurial effort.”Angelini, a television journalist for Italian broadcasting corporation RAI International, founded the association in 2007 after her work brought her into contact with the larger Italian community around the world and she conceived the idea of creating a network to facilitate their international communication.The awards project, which has the support of the Italian government, is active in promoting the “excellence, enterprise and beauty” of Italy and its culture and the Made in Italy brand internationally. This is done through on-line and television information and through events including seminars, international awards and intercultural exchanges.“It is a great honour to be recognised by my country of origin,” said Patta, who owes her Italian heritage to her Calabrian father. “I am extremely proud of my Italian roots, so this is very exciting.”Patta has previously said that while South Africa is where her heart is, Italy is indeed her second home. And like most good Italians, she loves cooking “fabulous Italian food” and relaxing with family, friends and a glass of fine wine.Team effortAlways mindful of the team effort required for the success of the current affairs show that draws close to 2-million viewers, she said: “It is also a great tribute to 3rd Degree and e.tv as they are regarded as making a significant contribution in Africa.”E.tv’s channel head Monde Twala paid tribute to Patta, saying that “Debora is a committed journalist and executive producer who continually aims to better and uplift society by exposing the truth and keeping the public informed. 3rd Degree has been successful for the past 10 years and e.tv congratulates Debora for her ongoing investigative success.”With a career of more than 20 years spanning radio, television and writing – she has co-authored two non-fiction books – Patta is one of the most prominent and respected journalists in South Africa, having reported fearlessly on virtually every major story in the country during that time. She became well known for her extensive coverage of Nelson Mandela from his release from prison to his election as South Africa’s first black head of state – the warm relationship they developed led to her being dubbed his favourite reporter.During her time with e.tv since its inception in 1998 Patta has trained, developed and mentored many budding young television journalists and news anchors. She also led the team that launched South Africa’s first 24-hour news service.Known for her no-holds-barred interviewing and for being unafraid to ask the tough questions, Patta maintains that she has never felt her achievements were limited because she is a woman. Indeed, in receiving the Vodacom Women in the Media award last year she had a strong message for young women: “Don’t just knock on the door, bash it down!”But she does acknowledge the sometimes harsh truth that “women are so often seen as aggressive while men doing the same thing are regarded as tough, assertive, uncompromising”.While Patta too has come under fire from those who feel her style of interviewing is too aggressive and not diplomatic enough, there is no doubt that she has brought many sinister cases to light, which might otherwise have continued to harm society.She admits that finding the balance between career and family can be a tough challenge – and one she handles better at some times than at others. She finds release from the pressures of her “adrenaline-all-the-way” job through “strong coping mechanisms, trying to stay healthy and a supportive family”. A year ago she resigned from the demanding position as editor-in-chief of eNews to be able to concentrate more fully on 3rd Degree and her two real loves, journalism and her family.“You can’t change the world, but you can make a difference to someone,” Patta has said. Over the years, the woman described as having “a unique front row in South Africa’s history” has done that many times over.last_img read more

Zuma’s promise to Eldorado Park

first_img15 May 2013President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by several Cabinet ministers, took time out on Tuesday to visit the people of Eldorado Park and surrounding Kliptown, south of Johannesburg, where drugs, high levels of crime and violence have resulted in residents living in fear.President Zuma’s visit was prompted by a letter by Eldorado Park resident Dereleen James, in which she documents her struggle to get her 17-year-old son off crystal meth, the drug known locally as “tik”.James’s son, who is now in rehab, will be taken to a place of safety when he comes out to prevent him relapsing.Community’s letter from the heartHis mother’s letter has since gone viral, with community members adding their own stories to it, detailing how a wave of drugs has taken over their lives, with many having lost their children to it.“The term ‘future generation’ is non-existent, meaningless to us,” the letter reads. “Sending our children to school is like sending them to the lion’s den. Drug peddlers parade and sell daily to our kids … Our children in turn sell for them to get a free ‘gage’ or two. Our community is flooded with ‘Lolli lounges’.”The community pleaded with Zuma to set up a special court for drug-related crimes, to help build a rehab centre, to dismiss all corrupt police officers, to have compulsory drug testing at schools, and to develop recreation centres to keep youngsters busy.Amid a heavy police presence, Zuma first held a meeting with the families who wrote the letter, then proceeded to meet with the community.“Mr President, we need your help,” said an emotional James, appealing for action to be taken.Local community leader and pastor Xavier Hendricks said he was afraid that if action were not taken fast, people would take matters into their own hands.Drug-fuelled crime spiralOfficials from a local drug rehabilitation centre told Zuma that a lack of funding complicated the challenge of saving the drug-ridden community.Recovering drug addict, 20-year-old Kelly-Anne, shared her life story about how she used to prostitute herself for a fix, her time in jail for possession of drugs, her struggle as a teenage mother and dropping out of school. She pleaded with the young girls in the crowd not to go down the same route she did.Many children, according to the community, are addicted to nyaope, dagga, cat, tik and alcohol, which are easily available even at schools.A “hit” of nyaope – a mixture of heroine, dagga, battery acid, rat poison, ARVs and other dangerous ingredients – costs about R30. As a result, crime has spiralled as desperate youngsters will do anything to feed their habit.A community member, who only introduced herself as Fatima, told SAnews that it would be a long road before the community won the war against drugs, as police operations only saw individuals getting arrested, and did not get the drugs off the streets.“We know these drug dens but it is difficult to stop them because they are working with the police. It is well known that the syndicates pay the police officers a ‘protection fee’, and that is why they never get arrested,” she alleged.Another visibly frustrated resident said the addicts went to extremes to finance their habit, from stealing metal sheets, taps, copper, electric cables and aluminium, which they exchanged for cash at scrapyards.“They can steal anything – from household items, clothes, food and tormenting their parents and grandparents in the process.”The impassioned man said young girls were mostly found at “Lolli lounges” – rooms where men traded sex with addicts.Most of the community members refused to be on record, saying the dealers had ears all over.‘I will drive the programme myself’Zuma told the residents, some of whom were carrying posters expressing their anger against drug lords, that when he read the letter, he was overcome with shock.“Having listened to your pleas, we understand the situation and we now have to decide what to do with it.”Zuma said the situation called for drastic measures to be taken swiftly. He committed to lead the turnaround strategy for the community himself.He told the crowd that over the next few days, the government would meet with community members to decide on the actions they needed to take.“We won’t make promises and not act. We will act. I will drive the programme myself,” he said, adding that time-frames for the turnaround strategy would be announced soon.He vowed to close down the Lolli lounges, which he referred to as “rotten houses” that were destroying children’s innocence. He said they would work with young people in the community and support initiatives to create employment in the area.“We will work together to stop this rot … Government won’t be acting alone. We will act with the community to save this community.”Zuma was accompanied on his visit by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Maverick Awards give recognition to young SA entrepreneurs

first_imgThe awards were held in Edenvale, to the east of Johannesburg on 26 June, with 19 finalists vying for awards in 10 different categories, as well as for the overall Maverick of the Year AwardBevan Ducasse, the CEO of wiGroup walked away with the inaugural Maverick of the Year Award, which seeks to “recognise, acknowledge as well as celebrate the entrepreneurial genius and prowess displayed by young, hard-nosed entrepreneurs”.Ducasse also won the the Technology Innovation award for wiGroup, which is a platform provider the specialises in point-of-sale mobile transactions, that includes money transfers and payments, coupons and vouchers, and loyalty programmes.The awards were held in Edenvale, to the east of Johannesburg on 26 June, with 19 finalists vying for awards in 10 different categories, as well as for the overall Maverick of the Year Award. The Awards were hosted by Under 35 Mavericks, a 100% youth-owned specialist enterprise development consultancy focused on the sustainable development of young, innovative, high impact, high growth entrepreneurs throughout Africa. Sponsors included Brand South Africa, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Mercedes-Benz South Africa, South African Airways and others.The MC for the night was Sisa Ntshona, the former head of enterprise development at Absa, with the main speaker for the night being Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure and Development, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza. Other speakers included Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang; Mercedes-Benz SA group corporate affairs manager Mayur Bhana; Wits Business School’s Centre for Entrepreneurship director Chimene Chetty; and under 35 Mavericks founder Bokang Seritsane.Winners in the categories included:The Emerging Maverick (Entrepreneur) Award – Lize Fouche, founder of Number 1 Foods, a Port Elizabeth-based foodstuffs company that manufactures muesli.Employment Creation Award – Josh Cox, founder of Trade-Mark Trust, a non-profit organisation (registered as a Trust) that connects homeowners wanting to do renovations with the very best, handpicked artisans from the townships.People Planet Profit Award – Misha Teasdale, founder of Greenpop, a social business that plants trees and invites everyone to join the “treevolution”.Without Borders Award – Misha Teasdale, founder of Greenpop.Marketing Innovation Award – Gareth Moll, founder GroundUp Media, which provides photography and videography services to both small and large businesses.Service Innovation Award – Alex Fourie, founder of iFix, a South African company that specialises in repairing Apple devices and RiCharge, a designer and manufacturer of mobile charging solutions.Green Innovation Award – Brian Mpono, founder of Khwezi Oils, which refines waste cooking oil into biofuel.Technology Innovation Award – Bevan Ducasse, founder of wiGroupBlue Ocean Innovation Award – Murray Legg, founder of SA Cardiosynthetics, a venture financed business that is pursuing the commercialisation of a patented heart valve design.last_img read more

Grips, Gaffers, and Best Boys: The Grip and Electric Departments

first_imgTo achieve the best looking shot, a cinematographer not only relies on the camera department, but also the lighting technicians, electricians, and grips. But what do they all do on set?A Director of Photography is usually associated with the camera department, but the DP actually oversees the Electrical Department and Grips as well. Before the days of unions, there was not a differentiating line between members of these departments. As job titles have become more solidified, so have the departments.You may also hear the term Lighting Department, but it’s not accurate. Most of the time you will hear Grips and Electric called G&E. Here is a breakdown of the G&E Departments.The Electrical DepartmentThis department is in charge of all electrical needs on set. That covers everything from powering set lights to powering the coffee machine.GafferImage via FM Grip and LightingA gaffer is the head of the electrical department. They may also be referred to as the Chief Lighting Technician. The gaffer is responsible for designing and executing the lighting plan. They work directly with the Director of Photography to achieve the desired look. They will provide the power needed for for the lights, and work with the Key Grip to shape the light.Best BoyThe Best Boy in the Electric department is the head assistant to the gaffer. They are the second in charge, typically watching over the electric truck and rentals, while managing and scheduling the rest of the electricians and lighting technicians. Where the Gaffer remains on set with the Director of Photography, the Best Boy carries out and manages all other jobs in the Electrical Department.They may also be referred to as Best Boy Electric or Assistant Chief Lighting Technician. Before the different departments were established, the Gaffer would ask the Key Grip to borrow his “best boy” to assist in the electric department. It became a common term in both departments, which is why there are two different Best Boys. If a female holds this position, she is still referred to as the Best Boy.Electrical Lighting TechnicianImage via ShutterstockThey are responsible for getting power to the set. They are also called; ELT, Electrician, Set Lighting Technicians, Lamp Operator, Electric, Spark or Juicer. They not only get power to the lights, but also everywhere on set. This includes trailers, catering, offices, and more.Generator OperatorFor location shoots, films will use generators for power. Generators, commonly called a Genny, produce electricity from diesel fuel. The person in charge of a generator is called the Genny Operator.Lighting Board OperatorDepending on the size of the set, or the amount of lights, there may be a Lighting Board Operator. These are not common on small sets with a few fixed lights. They are really only used if the scene being shot requires dimmable lights. All the set lights will be run to a control panel that this person will use to adjust and dim the lights. This position is more common on television sets, especially those with a live studio audience.The Grip DepartmentThis department supports all non-electrical components on set. They set up any gear for the camera, like tripods or cranes.Key GripImage: Key Grip Robert Adams on set of Wild Safari via Fernbank Museum of Natural HistoryThe Key Grip, also called a Key for short, is the chief of the grip department. They work with the Director of Photography to achieve the correct lighting and blocking for shots. They diffuse and cut light on set. They are also in charge of the physical camera movement, covering everything from a dolly, to cranes, to vehicle mounts.Best BoyThe chief assistant to the Key Grip. Also knows as the Best Boy Grip. Just like the Best Boy Electric, they are in charge of the organizing and maintaining the grip truck and all other grips working on the project.GripImage via ShutterstockGrips are specialized as camera and lighting rigging technicians.  They work with the non-electrical components of light and camera setups. This includes setting up tripods, cranes, flagging, overheads, and bounces. They make any adjustments and perform maintenance on production equipments. They will cover all duties from camera movement, focusing lights, and any mechanical rigging like dolly tracks.Dolly GripImage via What If MovieThis grip is specifically in charge of working with the camera dolly. They lay and level the dolly track on set.  They will also push and pull the dolly during filming.Do you now know the difference between a Best Boy and a Best Boy? Want more articles like this? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Over 3 lakh ‘diya’ lit on banks of Sarayu river in new world record

first_imgA new world record was set in the holy city of Ayodhya on the eve of Diwali on Tuesday with over three lakh “diya” or earthen lamps lit up simultaneously on the banks of the Sarayu river, officials said.Rishi Nath, official adjudicator of the Guinness World Records, made the announcement that the record was created at the Deepotsav event on the ghats here. “A total of 3,01,152 diya were lit up simultaneously for a period of five minutes, which is a new record,” Mr. Nath said in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and South Korean First Lady Kim Jung-sook.The target was to illuminate a total of 3.35 lakh diya on both sides of the ghats at Ram Ki Paidi here.“It beat the earlier record set in Haryana in 2016, where at an event 1,50,009 diya were lit,” Mr. Nath said and hailed the new record as “phenomenal”.last_img read more

Video: Watch Nick Saban Get Heated About Satellite Camps, Need For CFB Commissioner

first_imgNick Saban gets heated at the podium.Alabama head coach Nick Saban got a little heated during somewhat of a rant about satellite football camps and the need for a college football commissioner. Simply against the idea of satellite football camps, and with little belief in the positive narrative surrounding them, Saban let loose Tuesday afternoon in front of the media at the SEC Spring Meetings. As usual, AL.com was on the scene and posted the video to YouTube. AL.com did a terrific job describing the scene as Saban went off, and you can watch their video in its entirety here.last_img read more

Parents to Receive Critical Support

first_img Parents are to benefit from critical support to improve child-rearing under the Partnership for Improved Safety and Security in Schools project.The project, which aims to reduce violence among students and youth, is being undertaken by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information through US$3 million in grant funding over two years from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).The National Education Trust (NET) is the coordinating agency for the initiative.Parenting Coordinator for the project, Latoya Stewart-Singh, said that a media campaign geared towards educating parents in good child-rearing practices will commence shortly.“We want to establish six community-based parent hubs and reactivate 25 school-based parent places. We want to identify and train at least 30 parent mentors per parish. We also want to audit 50 school-based parent places and assist in the reactivation of those places, with specific focus on training parents in good parenting practices as well as entrepreneurial skills,” she noted.She was speaking at a regional parenting stakeholders meeting for Region IV held on Friday (February 16) at the Holiday Inn hotel in Montego Bay.A parent place or hub is a resource centre where parents can access relevant information on parenting and other family-related issues geared towards improving parenting skills and family life.Managing Director of the NET, Marcia Phillips Dawkins, informed that the community of Mount Salem in St. James will be the first beneficiary of a parent place.She indicated that NET is working to set up homework centres in some institutions as well as at youth information centres (YICs) in a number of townships across the island. Another key component of the project, she said, involves working with uniformed groups, to engage young people.The Partnership for Improved Safety and Security in Schools project is targeted at young people aged 10 to 29 years. A total of 981 primary schools and 50 communities across the island will benefit.Among the specific objectives are to reduce violence, antisocial behaviour and critical incidents among youth, engage parents and communities in the behaviour change process, increase student involvement in co-curricular activities in order for them to develop better social and life skills, and promote positive values and attitudes at both school and community levels.The project will also involve construction and repair of perimeter fencing, provision of security monitoring equipment, and increasing the number of security personnel in schools. Parenting Coordinator for the project, Latoya Stewart-Singh, said that a media campaign geared towards educating parents in good child-rearing practices will commence shortly. Parents are to benefit from critical support to improve child-rearing under the Partnership for Improved Safety and Security in Schools project. The project, which aims to reduce violence among students and youth, is being undertaken by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information through US$3 million in grant funding over two years from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Story Highlightslast_img read more