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Durban ready for COP 17

first_img21 November 2011Durban is ready to welcome over 15 000 delegates and more than 10 000 observers from over 190 countries for the UN Climate Change Conference kicking off in exactly one week, says Durban/Ethekwini Mayor James Nxumalo.The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change takes place at Durban’s International Convention Centre from 28 November to 9 December.“As these delegates, observers and NGOs arrive, we must ensure that we are prepared to host them in the warmest way possible – warm people, warm food, warm beaches, warmth all around,” Nxumalo told journalists on Saturday.“But being the warmest place to be also signals to us that our earth is getting warmer, and we must do something about that!”Opportunity to showcase the cityThe city will ensure that when delegates leave the climate change talks, they will be well versed with Durban’s Greening Projects.Nxumalo said hosting COP 17 meant a massive boost for the city’s, and the province’s, economy.“We will be benefitting enormously through the huge international exposure and the many economic benefits. One example is our accommodation. I am sure that this will be fully booked for the event period, with over 160 000 bed-nights of accommodation being sold.”As the host city of COP 17, there is a golden opportunity for Durban to communicate its achievements to local and international media.“Durban’s bold response to the challenges of climate change has positioned the city as a global leader in the field of climate protection planning,” Nxumalo said.‘A truly African city’“It is a truly African city, a place of rich contrasts where sophisticated, first-world urban development and high density townships give way to undisturbed rural landscapes where people follow traditional African lifestyles.”During COP 17, the mayor will be sharing experiences and strategies to improve climate change mitigation and adaptation with mayors from around the world.Over 550 volunteers will be deployed throughout the city during the conference. The volunteers will wear an official, easily identifiable green-and-white COP 17 Volunteer uniform, and will be stationed throughout the city, at shuttle pick-up points and bicycle nodes.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

South African watersports in 2013

first_img18 December 2013South Africans sparkled in watersports in 2013, with the country’s swimmers, surfers, canoeists and paddle-skiers proving themselves once again to be among the best in the world.Fina World ChampionshipsChad le Clos, the SA Sportsman of the Year in 2012, followed up his gold and silver medal at the London Olympic Games with two gold medals at the Fina World Championships in Barcelona.He captured the 200 metres butterfly title, which he had also won at the Olympics, in 1:54.32, and then backed that up with a stunning victory in the 100 metres.Lying fifth after the first 50 metres, Le Clos, in typical fashion, flew home over the second 50m to take victory in a South African record of 51.06 seconds.“After winning the 200m, people were saying that the time was not fast. So I just wanted to prove to everyone that I could win the 100 and do a fast time,” Le Clos told Sapa after securing gold. “It was great to win the 200m, but the 100m race is very special to me. Ryan Lochte came in and he really wanted to win. That gave the race an extra flavour and I think it was one of the biggest races of the night.”Olympic champion in the 100 metres breaststroke, Cameron van der Burgh, claimed gold in the 50 metres in 26.77 seconds, despite suffering from flu, while his training partner Giulio Zorzi snatched bronze in a personal best time of 27.04 seconds.Fina World CupIn the Fina World Cup, Le Clos demonstrated his versatility and walked away with his second overall title in the series. His highlights included setting a world record of 1:49.04 in the 200m butterfly in Eindhoven.Roland Schoeman performed strongly and finished fourth in the overall standings. He was untouchable in the 50m breaststroke, going through the season undefeated in the event.Myles Brown, competing in middle to long distance freestyle events, made a big step up, finishing eighth in the overall standings. His results included a win over Tunisian great Oussama Melloui in the 1 500m, which Brown won in a South African record 14:36.19, lopping almost three seconds off the previous mark, which Ryk Neethling had set in 2000.MBE for NatalieFormer Paralympic star Natalie du Toit was honoured by the Queen of England, receiving an honorary MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for her services to Paralympic sport.Midmar MileThe Midmar Mile continued to set the bar as the world’s largest open water swimming event. Race organiser Wayne Riddin was nominated for the World Open Water Swimming Association’s Man of the Year Award, while Lorna Cochran, who completed her 15th Midmar Mile at the age of 89, was nominated for the Woman of the Year Award.Chad Ho, who missed out on a medal in the 5k open water swim at the Fina World Championships by just one place, won the Midmar Mile for a record fourth time in succession.Swimming BritainSean Conway, meanwhile, became the first ever person to swim the length of Great Britain, undertaking and completing a challenge that some had suggested would lead to his death.“My supposedly two-month swim took me four-and-a-half months as I battled 12 degree water, jellyfish stings in the face and 20-foot waves,” he said in an e-mail to SAinfo after completing the challenge.Canoe Marathon World ChampionshipsSouth African paddlers starred at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Copenhagen, with Hank McGregor winning the men’s K1 title for a third time, while Andy Birkett won the under-23 men’s race, edging out fellow South African Brandon van der Walt for the gold medal.Marion Young won a K1 gold medal at the Masters World Championship and then teamed with Angela Scruby to claim K2 gold in her age group. Len Jenkins senior also won K1 gold, and Hank McGregor’s father, Lee McGregor, teamed with Allan Hold for an age group victory in K2 competition.Dusi Canoe MarathonHistory was made in the Dusi Canoe Marathon when Lance Kime claimed the men’s title and his sister Robyn won the women’s race. Andy Birkett and Sbonelo Zondi, meanwhile, took over 17 minutes off of the Non-Stop Dusi record.Hank McGregor and Grant van der Walt claimed a fourth successive K2 victory in the Fish River Canoe Marathon.McGregor showed his class as an all-round paddler by teaming with Jasper Mocke to win the Vaal Canoe Marathon, which served as the South African River Championships. He and Mocke followed that up with a victory in the Ozzie Gladwin, South Africa’s premier one-day canoe race, and McGregor then travelled to Hong Kong, turning his hand to surf ski racing, where he won the Dragon Run.Ocean Racing World ChampionshipsSouth Africa also shone at the first ever Ocean Racing (surf ski) World Championships. Sean Rice claimed the men’s title and Michele Eray the women’s honours. There were six South Africans in the top 10 of the men’s race, while Michelle Burn and Nikki Mocke completed an all-South African podium in the women’s event.Grant van der Walt was the first under-23 finisher, Kenny Rice the first junior, and Kirsten Flanagan first among the junior women.SurfingJordy Smith and Bianca Buitendag led the way among South African surfers.Smith’s year was highlighted by a victory in the Billabong Pro Rio, his third victory on the World Championship Tour, but his first outside of South Africa.“This win feels unbelievable,” Smith said after claiming the title. “It’s another dream come true. I knew I could win a World Tour event, but I had to prove to myself that I could do it away from South Africa.”In her first year on the World Championship Tour, Buitendag showed she belonged by finishing the year ranked eighth in the world, with a best result of third in the Colgate Plax Girls Rio Pro at Barra da Tijuca Beach in Rio de Janeiro in May.The strength and depth of South African surfing was further shown in a number of international team competitions.Team successesTeam South Africa were crowned the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Team champions and captain Shaun Joubert won the men’s title at the ISA World Surfing Games in Panama in May.South Africa also placed second at the ISA World Masters Surfing Championships in Montanita, Ecuador, where Greg Emslie and Chris Knutsen won gold medals, and Andre Malherbe and Heather Clark silver medals.At the ISA World Longboard Surfing Championships in Huanchaco, Peru, Simone Robb was crowned women’s world champion, while South Africa finished second behind France in the team competition.last_img read more

Showing at the Ohio State Fair is about the experience

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseBanners are nice. Success is great. But really, at the end of each Ohio State Fair, it is really about the experience, lessons learned and the people. Though Caroline Winter from Pickaway County has had some success in showmanship and breed shows, those are not the first things she shares about what she loves about the Ohio State Fair.“I have been showing since I could walk. I love hanging out with my friends who are also my competitors,” the 17-year-old said. “In the show ring we compete, but if my friend beats me, I don’t hold it against them. Whatever happens in the show ring, we go get ice cream or play a game of cards — a very competitive game of cards.“Spoons is my favorite card game at the State Fair. We’ll get a big game going and it is a lot of fun. And, for the ice cream, you have to go at the right time because if you don’t the line is wrapping around the building. I go after I show to get a nice treat, cool off and look at the butter cow.”The fun at the Ohio State Fair is the culmination of months of long hours and dedication — something many fairgoers do not always understand.“I love how there are all sorts of different people with all sorts of different backgrounds who come to watch the show. They ask questions and I love talking with them about the cattle,” Caroline said. “A lot of people look forward to seeing the animals and learning about them. I love to talk about the daily care that goes into the animals and what it takes to show them and how much food they actually eat. It is fun talking to them about the animals. I like explaining what I do and why I do it. And yes, they do poop and I do have to clean it up.”This year Caroline (with some help from her older sister Christina) will have three Angus heifers, a Shorthorn cow calf pair, a Shorthorn calf, an Angus steer, a ShorthornPlus steer, and a Maintainer steer at the Ohio State Fair. Many hours go into the care of the cattle leading up to the State Fair but Caroline also has a long set of duties on her family’s crop farm and she trains for fall cross-country in her spare time.“In the mornings in the summer I start with feeding the cattle and getting them in the barn. We rinse every day. When my dad gets home we help with hay, planting, working ground, and harvesting in the fall,” she said. “In the winter we clean the barn and feed a lot of hay. We have a corn-wheat-soybean rotation with another 80 acres of hay — small square bales and big round bales. I help with hay all summer and I am always working with the cattle.”There is plenty of work to be done with the cattle while they are at the State Fair, but in comparison to the normal summer schedule for Caroline, the event is like a vacation.“With the breeding show during the first part of the State Fair, we are in and out so quickly there is not much extra time. But I like the people there, especially in the Shorthorn Breeders Association. They are so nice and friendly. They love their card games and they give out popsicles,” Caroline said. “With the market show later in the Fair, I only have three animals so I can relax a little more. When we are up at the State Fair with the market steers, it is like a vacation away from home and I am able to hang out with my friends and relax. There is way less to take care of compared to the Pickaway County Fair where I had two market steers, a feeder calf, two market lambs, a breeding ewe, and a market hog. Then I went right from county fair to the Shorthorn Junior Nationals in Tennessee. At the county fair or when I’m at home, I have something going on every day.”Of all the species Caroline shows, the cattle are her favorite, which makes her State Fair experience even more special.“With the sheep or pigs, I only have a few months with them. With the cattle, I am working with them year round. You can really see the difference with them starting to trust you and you get this bond with them as they get used to you. Nugget is my Shorthorn cow I’m taking to State Fair. We have gone to many shows together,” Caroline said. “We did the BEST program and other state fairs. Before she had her baby we’d go out here in the lot and play tag. I’d sprint through the pasture and she’d run after me. In the stalls at shows I lay down beside her with my back at the front of the stall and she will lay her head right on me.”Her favorite part of competing with the cattle is showmanship.“I like showmanship. It doesn’t matter how good your animal is,” she said. “It is about how well you can present your animal. The judge is mainly focused on you and I like to show how well I can present my animal.”Caroline will have the unique opportunity to share her showmanship expertise and excitement for the fair this year as a part of the inaugural Dean’s Charity Steer Show on July 30 at 2:00 p.m. in the Voinovich Building. For the event, celebrity exhibitors — including some who never set foot in a show ring — will be paired with Ohio 4-H members to try their hand at showing a steer and vying for the judge’s eye. Donors can support each celebrity involved and proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio.Caroline will be assisting Matt Barnes, a Columbus News anchor for NBC4 Today, as he makes his initial trip into the show ring to wrangle a steer.“Bill Tom from the Ohio State Fair came to me and asked if I wanted to do this at Beef Expo because I have exhibited for so long. I wanted to do this to return the favor of everyone who has helped me. And I know it is going to a really good cause. I actually know some families who have used the Ronald McDonald House. And it sounded fun,” Caroline said. “I always like teaching people about showing cattle and this gives me another chance to do that. Matt Barnes came down to our county fair to watch me get the steers ready for the show and then watched me show them. He asked some questions about the steers and did a short interview. He has no background with steers. I told him, you have to just relax.Columbus morning television anchorman Matt Barnes came to the Winter farm to practice his showmanship skills before the Dean’s Charity Steer Show. Photo provided by the Winter family.“If you get worked up, the steer will get worked up, so you have to be comfortable with them. Once he gets comfortable we’ll lead the steer around some and get the feet set a few times to practice. Then we’ll work on some more of the details. Matt seems pretty excited about it. He asked me if I’ve ever taught someone in one day before. I think he seems very willing to try. If he tries and gives his best effort then he will do pretty well.”Caroline is really looking forward to the event and the Ohio State Fair as a whole. She is hoping to celebrate some State Fair success with some cold, chocolate ice cream from the dairy building. And, like every exhibitor at the fair, she would love a new banner to hang in the barn, but Caroline knows the experience, lessons learned and the people make every year a success at the Ohio State Fair no matter what the outcome in the show ring.To find out more about the Dean’s Charity Steer Show and make a donation today at cfaes.osu.edu/deanscharitysteershow.Long months of hard work are an important part of taking competitive cattle to show at the Ohio State Fair.last_img read more

Is Samsung Building Amazon’s Tablet?

first_imgRelated Posts sarah perez Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Amazon#web According to Peter Rojas, former co-founer of Engadget and now co-founder of gdgt, the highly anticipated Amazon Android tablet may be coming from Samsung. Citing only “sources within the industry,” Rojas claims he’s “99% certain” that Amazon is having Samsung build its tablet computer for them and it’s expected to arrive no later than this summer.He also speculates about the possibility of the tablet running Android 3.0 Honeycomb (or not), as well as what type of content Amazon plans to sell on it. (Hint: more than apps!)How Credible the Rumor?Rojas has covered mobile devices and gadgets for a long time, not only at Engadget, which he helped start, but also at Gizmodo. Now his consumer-focused social networking, reviews and support site around gadgets, gdgt, keeps him directly plugged into industry moves and trends.In other words, this is no small-time blogger with a small-time scoop – it’s a rumor whose source is reputable and knowledgable. All that being said, it’s still just a rumor.Amazon Tablet: Honeycomb? Disruptive? Cheap?According to Rojas’ insider info and great big dollop of speculation, the Samsung/Amazon Android tablet should be out sometime soon, probably no later than summer 2011. And, he says, it will likely have something that substantially differentiates it from its competition.The most recently launched Android tablets, notably Motorola’s Xoom and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, have not performed as well as those companies would have liked thus far. This is due to not only the high cost of tablets tied to mobile carrier contracts, but the raw nature of the unpolished version of Google’s tablet-optimized mobile operating system (OS), also known as Honeycomb.With this in mind, it’s not surprising to hear Rojas speculate that Amazon’s tablet may not run Honeycomb as has been expected, but, like its top competitor, the Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color, it may use Android as the base for its tablet. It’s also entirely possible that Amazon will build “a totally customized experience that tightly integrates Amazon services,” Rojas said. By doing so, Amazon could reduce the initial cost of the tablet because it would serve as a vehicle that drove sales for the online retailer over time. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market That idea isn’t so different from how gaming console systems are generally subsidized today – the profit comes from selling games, not the console hardware. Similarly, on Amazon, the profit would come from not only the apps sold through Amazon’s new Appstore for Android, whose pricing has been the center of controversy as of late, but also music and video, and even physical goods, too.It’s not difficult to connect the dots between Amazon’s recent launches – the above-mentioned app store, the new web-baed streaming music and media service called Cloud Drive and the recent changes to Amazon’s online video service, Amazon Prime – and figure out that Amazon is up to something. Still, it’s good to see it confirmed, even if through anonymous sources like this.But the biggest question about the forthcoming tablet, and the one that remains unanswered, is the pricing. Rojas says that if Amazon’s smart, it will be aggressive here, not only beating the iPad, but matching or besting the Nook’s pricing, too. For a truly competitive 7-inch tablet, the price to beat is $250, says Rojas.$250, you say? Heck, for that price, we’ll take two! What about you? A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

This Heat Pump Problem Is a Surprisingly Common Cause for High Electricity Bills

first_img Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. The electric resistance element is on all summerHis next step was to turn off the breaker to the electric resistance heat (a.k.a. strip heat) in the HVAC system. This is basically a giant toaster inside the air handler. Heat pumps use it for supplemental heat. In some homes, it’s used as the primary heat source. It’s not cheap, though, especially considering that the same electricity going into a heat pump will yield two or three times more heat.Anyway, the utility investigator turned off the breaker to the strip heat and watched what happened to the meter. In the summer time, turning off the strip heat should have no effect at all on how fast the meter spins because it shouldn’t be running. Strip heat is for cold weather.In this case, the meter went from spinning fast enough to saw wood to moving as slow as a horned passalus (photo below) going for a walk in the woods.“Well, we found your problem, ma’am,” he told her. “Your heating and cooling system was doing both at the same time, making you spend a lot of money to stay uncomfortable.” She lives in a small, simple house in southern Mississippi. It’s only 1,700 square feet. Why then, she wondered, were her summer electricity bills running more than $600?The house didn’t have any energy-hog features like a swimming pool, and she didn’t do stupid things like leave all the doors and windows open while she ran the air conditioner. What could it be?She called her electric company, one of the co-ops in Mississippi, and they sent someone out to investigate. Utility companies get calls like this all the time, and they’ve learned from experience what most of the main causes of high bills are. When the utility investigator arrived at the house, he asked her to tell him anything she knew that might help him.“Well,” she said, “the air conditioner runs all the time, but the house won’t even cool down to 80 degrees.”“Ah, that helps to narrow it down a bit.” He went to work, and it didn’t take him long to find the problem. He measured the temperature drop across the air conditioner coil and found that the air on the ‘cool’ side wasn’t much lower than the air on the warm side. And both were much warmer than they should be.OK, that could be a disconnected duct in the attic, he thought. A look in the attic, however, showed that wasn’t the case here. Besides, a disconnected duct would increase the bill, but it almost certainly wouldn’t quadruple it.center_img Thermostat wiring errorsThis problem often results from a thermostat wired incorrectly so that the system kicks on the strip heat when it shouldn’t. Since anyone can go down to the home improvement store or the Interwebs and buy a thermostat, a good number of these problems result from DIY jobs.It seems crazy to think that someone wouldn’t notice that the heat is running in their home in summer, but they don’t feel heat coming out of the vents. That heat gets mixed with the cool air from the air conditioner. They cancel each other out, both using even more energy because they’re fighting each other.Got high electricity bills in summer that you don’t understand? Check your strip heat.last_img read more

MP: Bypoll underway in 2 Assembly seats; stone-pelting in Ater

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