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Video: South Africa goes to the polls

first_imgSouth Africans eager to cast their vote in the country’s fourth democratic elections brave the early morning cold in hopes of avoiding long queues.Click arrow to play video.Posted on SouthAfrica.info on 22 April 2009.last_img

Hydrogen powers South African schools

first_img15 June 2015Hydrogen fuel cell technology is being used successfully to provide standby power in some schools in Eastern Cape. The power generated by the fuel cells is used to support basic energy requirements, for example, charging stations for tablets, fax machines and computers.It is part of a pilot project led by the Department of Science and Technology, which has partnered with the private sector to use hydrogen fuel cell technology in three schools in Cofimvaba, namely Arthur Mfebe Senior Secondary School, St Marks Junior Secondary School and Mvuzo Junior Secondary School.Anglo American Platinum sponsored three platinum-based fuel cell systems, including installation and ongoing maintenance and operations. Air Products is supplying the hydrogen fuel requirements, while Clean Energy Investments, a South African company co-owned by the department and Anglo American Platinum, commissioned the fuel cells to bring standby power to the schools.Air Products conducted feasibility assessments and erected hydrogen storage facilities according to international standards to supply the fuel cells at the three schools. All the fuel cell power systems have been operating since September 2014.Public-private partnershipsThe official launch, however, was on 12 June. Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor noted that the Cofimvaba initiative demonstrated that collaboration between the public and private sectors was essential to improving living conditions.“Success stories from other countries, like Japan, indicate that active public-private partnerships are critical in supporting the uptake of emerging technologies. The knowledge and experience gained from the Cofimvaba pilot project and others taking place throughout the country will not only promote awareness of the technology, but will assist in creating a market for technologies that are being developed through the Hydrogen South Africa [HySA] programme,” Pandor said at the event.HySA focuses on the development of high-value hydrogen fuel cell technology products that promote the beneficiation of the platinum group metals and has three centres of competence, focusing on catalysis, infrastructure and systems integration.Anglo Platinum, together with the Young Engineers and Scientists of Africa (Yesa) group and the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (Saasta), has developed an educational programme that has been rolled out to schools in the area, teaching pupils about the science of fuel cells. To date, 3 500 schoolchildren from Grade R to Grade 12 at 26 schools in the region have benefited from this programme.Improved teaching and learningAndrew Hinkly, the executive head of marketing of Anglo American Platinum, said: “This collaboration provides the opportunity to demonstrate not only the technical ability of platinum-based fuel cells to power rural schools, but also contributes to the improvement of the quality of teaching and learning in a rural context.“The education initiative has been an inspiration to learners, enhancing their aspirations for vocations in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation. These skills are key to creating a knowledge base to support fuel cell deployment and, ultimately, a new, high-tech fuel cell industry in South Africa.”Gavin Coetzer, the chief executive of Clean Energy Investments, added: “As technology is incorporated into the education environment, power stability at schools is essential. Fuel cell standby power solutions are efficient, reliable, safe and, most importantly, quiet, ensuring a non-intrusive standby and – potentially – primary power solution.”Tech4RedThis year, the department, through the Tech4Red (Technology for Rural Education Development) project, will install two solar systems and a biogas system, as well as provide portable rechargeable batteries to pupils in the region who have no electricity in their homes.The project is part of the energy working group of Tech4Red that the department is piloting in the Nciba Circuit in Cofimvaba as a research initiative to assess how technology can contribute to the improvement of education in the area.Other components of Tech4Red involve information and communication technology (ICT), elearning, science and technology, nutrition and agri-teaching, water and sanitation and health. The ICT component involves providing tablets to teachers and pupils and ascertaining how this intervention can contribute to improving mathematics and science learning.Source: Department of Science and Technologylast_img read more

Corn results unveiled at Beck’s Hybrids Insight Meetings

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest At a recent Beck’s Hybrids PFR Insight Meeting, Ohio Team Lead Alex Johnson pointed out some of the findings for corn planting dates, nitrogen rates and fungicide application timing from Beck’s Practical Farm Research trials. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins has more.last_img

Snowflakes in the Valley: What Happens When 40 Nordic Entrepreneurs Visit Silicon Valley

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… ramine darabiha During the holidays, the Web becomes an even more significant part of our lives, connecting us to our relatives and friends around the world. The Internet might be truly global then, but the world of startups still revolves much around Silicon Valley. Together with 40 Nordic entrepreneurs, we decided to take a trip to the startup mecca, looking for opportunities and lessons to learn. To my surprise, the ideas and technology behind that startups were not superior to the ones we have in Finland. The incubators and co-working spaces are on par with what we have. The business environment, however, is vastly different: Schools such as Stanford facilitate and encourage entrepreneurship. The market is larger, less fragmented, the consumers are earlier adopters. Startups are keen on business development and will seek partnerships. There are probably 10 events equivalent or larger than Le Web throughout the year, as well as smaller events every day. We regularly ran into Robert Scoble and other major blogs, and they were very keen on listening to us. Local event organizers were even eager to help make a Finnish Angry Birds event happen and to introduce us to hundreds of people! Readjustment of ExpectationsThese elements fit with each other and form the ground for growth business to happen. The old continent often looks up to the Valley as a sort of Eldorado of IT. Countries such as the UK, Russia and Finland are trying to replicate its ecosystem, to stimulate their local industries. Silicon Valley is a hub. Its value lies in two generations of people with unique know-how that are given all the tools necessary to create growth. No amount of EU or taxpayer money is going to recreate this perfect storm. Not Businessmen, EntrepreneursWe Europeans think of entrepreneurs as businessmen. This might be valid for lifestyle, predictable businesses, but the job of a startup entrepreneur is different: to test assumptions, to learn, and to create something new. A trader on Wall St. can make money circulate without ever creating anything of value. In contrast with a startup such as Kiva, the drive to fix real problems, make and impact and give to the community makes traditional business feel vain, and startups all the more inspiring. Down to Earth Hearing and meeting thought leaders such as Eric Schmidt, Paul Buchheit or Steve Blank gave me a lot of food for thought. I have yet to see a Nokia executive at a startup event; these people on the other hand were approachable, down to earth, and relaxed. The pursuit of quality people makes this a meritocracy. Quite the contrast with our local successes who tend to behave like suits. Talent takes precedence over nationality or title, which would explain why Loic Le Meur and Om Malik are so well integrated, and Carol Bartz isn’t. Cultural EdgeWe received better customer service from Taco Bell and the police department than from Stockmann, the top tier department store in Finland! One time, a bus driver was more comfortable at speaking than most startups I’ve heard pitching. It seems they are more comfortable with small talk with the customer.This tendency to be more outspoken could also be seen in networking and pitching, where there was much less awkwardness than with Europeans. Though it rarely feels genuine, it certainly is more effective. Bigger is BetterMore events, money and startups, means more competition, making it all the more necessary to stand out by hiring outstanding people, being more ambitious, more risk-taking. Unsurprisingly, this seems to weed out the less passionate people, while encouraging others to put in sweat equity in their own ideas.This is something I feel we Europeans aren’t very good at. It’s compelling to start in your home country rather than aiming big, because it feels safer. The last thing you want when you launch is to tailor to several languages, cultural differences, distribution channels and small blogs and other media. You can easily get complacent when you succeed in your own country, but if we mitigate risk, we place the odds against us from the start. Access to Finance The most striking difference was to see a fully fleshed out capital market, where hobbyist and professional angels, superangels, top tier VCs and smaller firms compete for the more attractive deals. This makes for a more fluid deal flow, with more standardized and competitive terms, with more contacts and experience on top. It wouldn’t surprise me if there were more angels and VCs in the region than on the entire European continent. In 2009, business angels invested 160 times more than their counterparts in continental Europe. It is also unclear whether we have any superangels (e.g. we don’t). Like our startups, our VCs tend to aim locally or regionally. Many of them aren’t reviewed on TheFunded, so there is little track record to refer to. With major exits being few and far between, the amounts of money reinvested as well at the experience offered is less.Still InsularAt times, the Valley feels like a bubble, its inhabitants sheltered from the real world. Foreign markets seem to be an afterthought, space for local startups and copycats. It is unclear whether foreign companies can realistically raise money from where they’re at: though Accel invested in the Lithuanian company GetJar, and more recently Esther Dyson invested in Finnish Valkee, I was also told that some VCs would only invest in startups within a short drive.U.S. legislation is not on the foreign entrepreneur’s side. For some odd reason, it is easier to get a visa by being hired, than by establishing a U.S. company and creating jobs. Hopefully, the Startup Visa can correct this in the near future. This process should be streamlined, as I believe many European startups have a lot to offer. 3 Choices Silicon Valley is an unfair advantage for startups. Its ecosystem serves as an accelerator for world-class growth business. In comparison with Europe, lesser teams with lesser technology have access to more resources and will get further, faster. Ambitious European entrepreneurs face three choices: should we aim smaller and within our comfort zone, take greater risks in the Valley, or try the hard way in the old continent? Photo by luigig Tags:#Analysis#start center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts last_img read more

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Western Film Genre

first_imgHow many of these films have you seen? What are your thoughts on Westerns? Love em, hate em? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. With new productions on the horizon, some say the once dead Western film genre seems to be making a slow comeback. Did it ever really go away?For many of the younger audience members of contemporary cinema, the idea of watching a western is pretty lame… or so I’ve been told. Decade after decade, many of us have heard that the Western was dead. In fact, this theory has been debated quite extensively in articles at Acculturated, Film.com and, to a more modest extent, Cinemablography.While it is true that the Western film genre isn’t as popular as it once was, it does still live on in a major way, whether we realize it or not. Plenty of films and television shows that you watch have their roots firmly planted in the Western film genre. With this said, let’s explore the evolution of the Western film genre from its classic days to present.Classic WesternThe classic era of the Western film genre spanned over 50 years, from 1903’s The Great Train Robbery to the standard clean cut westerns of the mid-1950s. Throughout its early existence, the genre was, as Patrick McGee stated in his book From Shane to Kill Bill, “a conservative film genre.” It was all about individualism, masculinity and American lore.During this era, director John Ford cemented the style in which westerns should be seen, in wide sprawling shots. John Wayne also became a legend during this era and the face of American masculinity. We were treated to classic films like The Virginian, Stagecoach, Red River and Rio Bravo. But underneath all of that muscle and sweat, something was changing.Video courtesy of MovieclipsThe Revisionist & Anti-WesternIn the 1950s, things began to change for the Western film genre. We began seeing the rise of the anti-hero and a move toward narrative philosophies started in Japanese films by Akira Kurosowa, like Seven Samurai and Yojimbo. With films like The Magnificent Seven, High Noon, Johnny Guitar, The Unforgiven and Shane, we began seeing the genre tackle subjects like class and racism. Meanwhile, the classic hero went from the clean-cut cowboy to a rough cowboy with a checkered past.This evolution of the western has lasted ever since. We still see it today on the big screen in films like Unforgiven, The Proposition, Django Unchained and The Revenant. We see it on the small screen with successful series like Deadwood, Hell on Wheels, and Texas Rising.But no director and actor team has contributed more to the anti-western than Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood. The “Dollar” trilogy changed the game for good. Now we want our cowboys to be dirty and gritty, like Blondie in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, who left his companion at the end of a rope staring at his half of the gold.Video courtesy of MovieclipsContemporary & Neo-WesternBecause of the advancements of the anti-western and the birth of the anti-hero, a new form of western began to take root in film known as the contemporary or neo-western. This new form of western wasn’t regulated to just the old west, though it did begin there with films like Hud and The Wild Bunch.By the 1970s, films like the The Getaway and Dirty Harry were just westerns playing out on modern streets. These characters were the same classic type of old west heroes, only now they lived in a time and society that rejected their idea of justice.Again, this form of the western is still in force today through films such as Desperado, Kill Bill and No Country For Old Men. Or even in your favorite television series like Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Justified and True Detective. In fact the final fight in Kill Bill, The Showdown at the House of Blue Leaves, shows the Bride and Orin ready to draw like two cowboys on a dusty road waiting for high noon.Video courtesy of MovieclipsFantasy & Space WesternWhat many people don’t know is that the western film genre’s reach is so much larger and broader than they realize. The western has firmly rooted itself in fantasy (for better or worse) with films like John Carter and The Lone Ranger or the upcoming adaptation of the best “Weird Western” of all time, The Dark Tower.Science fiction has probably felt the impact of the western film genre even more than fantasy with its roots going back to the 1930s with Buck Rodgers and Flash Gordon. John Scalzi even wrote a great piece for AMC about the fact that science fiction is essentially the western of old. You can see this clearly when looking at films like Cowboys and Aliens and Guardians of the Galaxy or television shows like Firefly and the animated series Cowboy Bebop.But as many of you know, no sci-fi film has benefited from the western as much as Star Wars. Han Solo and Boba Fett are pulled straight from the pages of the old westerns. The Mos Eisley Cantina scene alone is loaded with nods to old westerns, from a quick draw with a light saber to a hero found in a saloon to even the denial of service to the droids.Video courtesy of Marcelo ZunigaThe Current State of ThingsCurrently we are seeing an uptick in terms of production surrounding the western genre. Big name directors and actors are jumping on board productions such as Jane Got a Gun, The Revenant, The Hateful Eight, Slow West and remake of The Magnificent Seven. Now, will this sustain itself for a long haul? That question isn’t easy to answer.Television is playing a big part in the swing upward for westerns, with series like Hell on Wheels continuing to track well, alongside such recent mini-series as Hatfields & McCoys and Texas Rising. Networks such as History and American Heroes Channel are developing original programming based in the old west and the Civil War. This is a lesson I’ve learned firsthand while directing my latest documentary, a film based on events of the Civil War.If someone asks me if the western will ever rule the box office again, I’ll tell them probably not. Of course, the western was never a box office powerhouse to begin with. In fact, the genre was seen as a B-movie genre until John Wayne came along. But if someone asks me if the western is dead, I’ll emphatically say no. And I’m not the only one who thinks this. The western film genre isn’t ready to ride off into the sunset. Not just yet.ReferencesKitses, Jim. Horizons West: Directing the Western from John Ford to Clint Eastwood.British Film Institute; 2nd edition (September 1, 2007)McGee, Patrick. From Shane to Kill Bill: Rethinking the Western.Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (April 28, 2006)Rickman, Gregg. The Western Reader. Limelight Editions; 1st Limelight ed edition (August 1, 2004).last_img read more

Love is the greatest colour for Holi celebrations

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Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi lead Barca to 3-0 win over Eibar to keep lead

first_imgFC Barcelona’s Luis Suarez smiles during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Eibar at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)BARCELONA, Spain — Luis Suarez scored two goals and Lionel Messi added another to lead Barcelona to a 3-0 win over Eibar and stay five points ahead of Atletico Madrid as the Spanish league reached its midway point on Sunday.Messi scored his 400th league goal, and leads the competition this season with 17 through 19 rounds. Suarez is next with 14 goals.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View comments Goalkeeper Asier Riesgo did well to turn back attempts by Suarez and Messi. But he was left all alone against Suarez when Sergi Roberto caught the defense out of position with a quick throw-in directly to Suarez, who shot past Riesgo from a tight angle in the 59th.Eibar is 16th after a sixth consecutive round without a win.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the way, Bucks win Mike Budenholzer’s return SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LATEST STORIES LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Suarez opened the scoring at Camp Nou in the 19th minute. The Uruguay striker exchanged two quick passes with Philippe Coutinho to break down Eibar’s backline before he skillfully directed a shot into the far corner of the net while falling down.“I always do things the difficult way,” Suarez said. “But as a striker you have to have all different kinds of tricks.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsMessi doubled the advantage after Sergi Enrich had Eibar’s only scoring chance with a header that went wide.Coutinho also played a role in Messi’s goal in the 53rd, passing the ball to Suarez, who then found Messi, who cut around a defender and fired in a low, left-footed strike.last_img read more