NA Technical Institute beating – Student claims he was bullied, suspended – Education Ministry

first_imgA snippet of the video which went viral, showing the student assaulting his colleagues…anti-bullying campaign launched as Police continue probeThe student of the New Amsterdam Technical Institute (NATI) who was caught on camera assaulting his classmates has been suspended, the Education Ministry said on Friday.Investigations revealed that the student who launched the attack on his colleagues claimed that he was being bullied. The teenager and his classmates who were assaulted are undergoing counselling.The video of the assault went viral on social media on March 26, 2019. The incident had occurred on the previous day, March 25, 2019. The student was seen cuffing his fellow classmates and beating them with a belt. The student was also seen slapping one of the other students in a classroom.Outrage ensued on social media when the video showing the beating went viral. This led to the Education Ministry launching a probe.An initial brief meeting was held with the administration of the Institute, senior officers of the Public Security Ministry’s Citizens’ Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP), some members of the Board of Governors of NATI, and the Assistant Chief Education Officer – Technical.An assembly was held with the entire student population to reiterate the Education Ministry’s non-tolerance for violence. The students were also reminded of their signed commitment, at the time of admission to the Institute, to obey the rules of the Institute by ensuring that matters are reported to the school, as against taking matters into one’s hands.According to the Education Ministry, a meeting was also held with the academic staff of the institution. The students involved in the incident were interviewed in the presence of their parents/guardians. A meeting was also held with the parents/guardians of all students of the NATI.The NATI and CSSP have been conducting welfare and counselling sessions with the CSSP students, including conflict management and anger control and management. These services have also been extended to NATI’s regular students.Among the recommended actions are that the frequency of assemblies at the institution must be increased, and sections of the rules and procedures must be discussed at these assemblies. At these assemblies, students will be encouraged to report incidents, and the procedure for doing so must be explained.The Ministry said on Friday that to further address the issue of bullying on a bigger scale, the Institute will be launching an anti-bullying campaign to ensure that students are sensitised on the negative effects of bullying. The Institute is to be declared a ‘No-Bullying’ Institution.Meanwhile, Commander of ‘B’ Division, Paul Langevine, told Guyana Times that the Police are still conducting their investigation into the matter of the assault.last_img read more

Minister Lekstrom says investor confidence is up

first_imgMeanwhile, he says he wants to remain positive about the fate of oil and gas prices. [asset|aid=1541|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=d58d2428269eb7414a4643c39f664de2-Lekstrom 2_1_Pub.mp3] The next sale is scheduled for July 15th. Lekstrom says he cannot speculate on if there will be another dramatic increase in sales again.For more information on the results of Wednesday’s Oil and Gas Land Rights Sales, Click HereAdvertisement The Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum says strong oil and gas land rights sales are proving investor confidence. More than 178 million dollars in bonus bids were made on Wednesday. That is more than two and a half times the 68 million dollar total for the five previous months. Lekstrom says it revolves around how much capital industry has freed up at any given time. – Advertisement -[asset|aid=1540|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=d58d2428269eb7414a4643c39f664de2-Lekstrom 1_2_Pub.mp3] He says British Columbia is the one of the most competitive jurisdictions in North America in which to do business. Lekstrom says when he sees these kinds of numbers, he knows that BC can continue investing in health care and education. Advertisementlast_img read more

Avalanche deposit removal north of the Pine Pass Summit.

first_imgPINE PASS, B.C. – Drivebc has posted Highway 97 in both directions will be affected by Avalanche deposit removal north of the Pine Pass Summit.Drivebc posted; Highway 97, in both directions. Avalanche deposit removal between Clearwater FSR and Willow Creek FSR for 7.6 km (22 to 30 km north of Pine Pass Summit). Until Thursday, January 9th, 2020 at 1:00 PM MST. Southbound lane closure. Northbound lane closure. Expect 15-minute delays.To view the post; CLICK HERE- Advertisement –last_img

Mission College picks interim president

first_imgAn Arizona community college official has been tapped to serve as the interim president of 7,600-student Mission College in Sylmar, officials said Thursday. Jose A. Leyba, 53, of Chandler, Ariz., who is provost of the Maricopa County Community College District’s downtown campus and extended programs, was named the interim president Wednesday by the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees. “It’s really an honor and a privilege to be selected,” Leyba said Thursday in a telephone interview. “I think the (LACCD) Chancellor (Darroch “Rocky” Young) has a great vision for the system and there are a lot of exciting things happening with the construction and growth of the campus. There’s a great family atmosphere to the campus.” Leyba will begin his new duties at Mission in December and will lead the campus while a nationwide search for a permanent president takes place. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Leyba succeeds Adriana Barrera, who was recently appointed senior vice chancellor for the nine-college district after serving as president of Mission College for five years. Barrera praised Leyba’s energy and enthusiasm, and said he impressed district officials by arriving a day early to talk to Mission employees and demonstrating a solid knowledge of the district. “I think he will be just what Mission College needs at this time,” she said. The Maricopa District has 10 campuses and approximately 123,865 students, compared with LACCD’s nine campuses and 119,000 students. Lisa M. Sodders, (818) 713-3663 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Darwinists Fight Over Niche Construction Theory

first_imgAccording to the Sacramento Bee last week, Roseville teachers who rejected the “Quality Science Education Policy” (see 06/04/2004 headline) did so because “there are no scientifically valid arguments against the theory of evolution.”  They must not be reading Nature.    In the current June 10 issue,1 three scientists say there has long been “vigorous debate” about basic evolutionary theory.  Laland, Odling-Smee and Feldman do not dispute whether evolution occurred, but their “niche construction” approach has touched off “strong and polarized responses” from evolutionists.  Though they consider this “fuss” a comparatively mild “spat” compared to earlier rows over lamarckism, punctuated equilibria and group selection, the theory of niche construction was heretical enough for Darwinist champion Richard Dawkins to term it “pernicious.”  (For more on niche construction, see 10/23/2003 headline fourth item, 03/17/2003 headline, or see its promoters’ website,  The basic idea behind niche construction is that adaptation is a two-way street:At the heart of the controversy lies the nature of causality in evolution.  Adaptation is conventionally seen as a process by which natural selection shapes organisms to fit pre-established environmental ‘templates’.  The causal arrow points in one direction only: it is environments, the source of selection, that determine the features of living creatures.    Yet it is also obvious that organisms bring about changes in environments.  Numerous animals manufacture nests, burrows, holes, webs and pupal cases.  Plants change the levels of atmospheric gases and modify nutrient cycles.  Fungi decompose organic matter, and bacteria engage in decomposition and nutrient fixation.  The standard view of evolution does not deny this, but treats niche construction as no more than the product of selection.    Conversely, from the niche-construction perspective, evolution is based on networks of causation and feedback.  Organisms drive environmental change and organism-modified environments subsequently select organisms.  The argument that niche construction does not play a causal role in evolution because it is partly a product of natural selection, makes no more sense than would the counter-proposal that natural selection can be disregarded because it is partly a product of niche construction.It is this robbing of natural selection of some of its power that seems to anger the conventional Darwinists.  Yet the niche constructionists provide a couple of examples that show how the modified environment must be taken into account when deciding how natural selection operates:“When a beaver builds a dam it not only affects the propagation of dam-building genes, but it must also transform the selection acting on a host of other beaver traits.”“Contemporary earthworms are adapting to a soil environment largely constructed by their ancestors.”First proposed in the 1980s by Richard Lewontin, niche construction was at first largely ignored.  Now, these authors feel it is “a fact of life.”  It is not just man that adapts himself, as Theodosius Dobzhansky used to claim.  All organisms modify the environment that selects their traits; this is a ubiquitous process, and can no longer be disputed.    It seems intuitively obvious.  Why the controversy, then?  Perhaps because niche construction “changes the evolutionary dynamic” and can actually put the brakes on natural selection:Niche construction can create new equilibria, affect the stability of others, generate unusual phenomena, such as momentum effects (where populations continue to evolve in the same direction after selection has stopped or reversed) and inertia effects (a delayed evolutionary response to selection), as well as opposite and catastrophic responses to selection.Such realizations might raise a host of new questions.  Nevertheless, the authors are optimistic, and suggest some fruitful lines of research.  A number of evolutionists are jumping on this bandwagon.  This “alternative panorama” may prove to be a “fleeting fad”; but if not, David Hull’s ominous prophecy may be fulfilled: “the result should be a massive reorientation of evolutionary theory.”1Kevin N. Laland, John Odling-Smee, and Marcus W. Feldman, “Causing a commotion: Niche construction: do the changes that organisms make to their habitats transform evolution and influence natural selection?” Nature 429, 609 (10 June 2004); doi:10.1038/429609a.To be fair before discussing this “spat” among evolutionists, it must be clarified that the parties on both sides are committed naturalists who affirm that unguided, unplanned, purposeless natural processes created humpback whales and hippo sunscreen out of bacteria.  All the combatants would have risen up in holy horror at Roseville to protest the insertion of any doubts about evolution into the biology curriculum.  That being understood, think about this controversy.  What damage does niche construction do to evolutionary theory?  Why would Dawkins call the reasoning “pernicious”?  What do the ongoing intramural battles tell us about the “fact” of evolution?    Each of these internal controversies – whether lamarckism, punctuated equilibria, group selection or niche construction – has questioned the core belief of Darwinists, that Charlie’s mechanism, a simple process so intuitively obvious it elevated bacteria-to-man evolution to the status of accepted truth, is perfectly capable of explaining everything.  Remember, it was the discovery of a plausible mechanism of evolution that made Charlie famous.  Apparently, quite a few evolutionists do not consider it all that plausible.  The fundamentalist Darwinists insist Charlie’s original dogma must be kept sacrosanct (see 05/31/2004 headline).  Yet ever since Darwin, heretical views have threatened the integrity of the myth.  Lamarckism is pretty much dead, falsified by experiment (even though Darwin himself became more Lamarckian in his old age—see February 2004 bio of Kelvin).  The radical view called punctuated equilibria arose because the fossil record, with its systematic gaps, did not support Darwinian gradualism.  Group selection was a sect that cast doubt on Darwin’s orthodoxy of individual selection.  We could add to the list the heresies of sympatric speciation and neo-Gaia.  Now, the cult of niche construction tends to complicate Dawkins’ life by telling him that the vectors of natural selection and the environment interact in complex ways, often opposing each other (see 03/17/2003 headline).    Whichever you think is the best storytelling plot, let’s ask some serious questions about this article and its relevance to the heated arguments occurring at school board meetings all around America, both in big cities and small towns, about the teaching of evolution.  Do you feel that any of the Darwin Party storytellers has a real, defensible, comprehensive account of how bacteria evolved into humans?  If so, why is it controversial to other evolutionists?  Why are the controversies heated enough for them to call each other names and question each others’ motives?  Has any of them provided a detailed account, with all the transitions that would be required, to explain the emergence of a single complex organ?  (See 08/20/2003 headline.)  Have the newly-acquired genomes of dozens of different organisms fulfilled what Darwinists predicted?  (See 06/09/2004 and 01/02/2003 headlines.)  Has the fossil record filled in the gaps that Darwin himself acknowledged were a major problem for his theory?  (See 06/02/2004 headline.)  Is there any reason why the eyes and ears of high school students should be shielded from these controversies and failings of Darwin’s theory?  Do these controversies have anything to do with Christianity or any other religion?  If not, why is the mantra “separation of church and state” invoked to subvert proposals for honest discussion about problems with evolutionary theory?  Can you think of any other reason, other than a sincere desire to educate students honestly, that the ACLU, the National Center for Science Education, and other Darwinist front groups are so adamant that no scientific criticisms of Darwinism are permissible in the schools?  If you engaged in these mental exercises, you just committed the very crime the Darwin-only side is trying to prevent.  You utilized critical thinking skills.(Visited 55 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa: world champions!

first_img21 October 2007It wasn’t pretty – finals seldom are – but, after a committed and controlled team effort, South Africa’s Springboks defeated England 15-6 at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday night to win the Rugby World Cup final, and lay claim to the William Webb Ellis Trophy for the second time.Wearing a Springbok tracksuit top, President Thabo Mbeki joined Bok captain John Smit in hoisting the trophy, while back in South Africa the country enthusiastically celebrated a popular victory with a massive outpouring of joy and happiness. It was the culmination of a four-year journey under Jake White, who took over as coach after a disastrous Springbok campaign at the 2003 Rugby World Cup, which was rocked by accusations of racism and the infamous “Kamp Staaldraad” before the players had even reached Australia.‘He’s no liar’In his first speech to the players back in 2004, he told them they were going to win the World Cup in 2007. Reflecting back on that speech on Saturday evening, SA skipper John Smit said: “he’s no liar”.To a man, listening to the players trying to put into words their feelings after reaching the pinnacle of rugby success in winning the World Cup, they all mentioned how it had been four years of hard work. It was clear that each and every member of the squad had bought into the coach’s mindset and it showed throughout the tournament.Where other teams were asked on-field questions during their campaigns and lost their composure as they failed to find an answer, the Springboks almost always seemed to be in control of their emotions and playing to a well-constructed plan.A defining momentOn one of those occasions when a tough question was asked – against Fiji in the quarterfinals – the Fijians came oh so close to taking the lead when lock Ifereimi Rawaqa crossed the South African tryline for what looked to be a certain try. JP Pietersen, however, somehow managed to tackle and twist the big man over the sideline, without him having grounded the ball.It is those kind of moments that define a team’s successes or failures, and for South Africa it was the lasting memories of successes that the side was left with.For other teams, such as New Zealand, France, and Australia, when matters did not go according to the book, they couldn’t find a way to change things, and thus it was that the playoffs saw a number of upsets, including England disposing of Australia and France.In the final, too, there would be another critical moment when South Africa did just enough to prevent England getting back into the game, and taking over the momentum.Unsing heroesThe performances of some of the players captured the spotlight during the tournament, but there were a good number of unsung heroes too. While players such as Fourie du Preez, Bryan Habana and Victor Matfield confirmed their status as among the best, if not the best, players at their positions, other, such as Butch James, even John Smit, rebuffed any suggestions that they might be not be up to scratch with solid contributions.On that point of standout players, it would be fair and accurate to say that South Africa won the World Cup because they performed as one, a team effort, and not because of a few outstandings performers.In a tournament that saw so many of the favourites shocked, the valuable and inspirational leadership of John Smit was clear for all to see.Together with the senior players in the most experienced South African team of all time, he set an example for the exciting young talent in the side to follow and emulate, and it resulted in a cohesive unit that played at a highly-focused and efficient level throughout the tournament.Credit Jake WhiteCoach Jake White, who so nearly lost his post at the end of 2006, when he was summoned back home during South Africa’s end of season European tour, deserves a lot of credit for identifying what the Springboks needed to win and then sticking to his guns.When he took over, he wanted a dominant loosehead prop and persuaded Os du Randt to end his retirement from the international game. He identified fullback as a potential weakness and approached Percy Montgomery, then playing his rugby in Wales, to return to the Springbok team. He also appointed John Smit captain of the team.Along the way to the final in Paris, over the course of four years, all three players and White faced criticism.CriticismDu Randt, it was said, was too old and wasn’t up to the punishing nature of the game today. Montgomery had for many years had his detractors who called him too soft, criticised his defence, and ridiculed his kicking, and Smit, some contended, wasn’t the best hooker in South African rugby, maybe not even in the top two.Yet, on Saturday evening at the Stade de France, Du Randt, in the final match of his illustrious career, played the entire game, performing strongly in the scrums and around the field, while Montgomery converted all four penalty attempts he had on goal and fielded a huge number of up-and-unders with distinction. Smit was spot-on with his lineout throwing as South Africa dominated that aspect of the contest. He scrummed well, and he led from the front.Du Randt, who played the majority of his tests after White coaxed him back to the international game, now retires from rugby as one of only four men to win two World Cup titles, and he will no doubt be remembered as one of the all time greats with the passing of the years.Nurturing young talentWhite also excelled in bringing young talent into the Springbok ranks, players such as Bryan Habana, JP Pietersen, and Francois Steyn.Habana, arguably the most talked about player at the tournament, finished the World Cup with eight tries, equalling the record held by Jonah Lomu, while Pietersen grew in stature throughout the duration of the event. Steyn, after replacing the injured Jean de Villiers at inside centre, provided spark and flare outside of James at flyhalf.Some of the Boks’ success could also be attributed to the work of consultant Eddie Jones. The former Wallabies’ coach was well-received by the players and his impact lauded; again, it was Jake White that had the foresight to bring Jones into the South African camp.So, congratulations must go to White in what is undoubtedly the hottest seat in South African coaching.The effect of victorySouth Africans remember the incredible effect of the Springboks first World Cup victory in 1995, which brought together black and white in a magical manner just one year after the country had become a democracy. One wonders what effect the success of the Bok class of 2007 will be.One effect was already evident before the final as shops around South Africa sold out of Springbok jerseys, in a huge outpouring of support for the national team.Coach White, always focused on the game, says the victory is a massive opportunity for South African rugby to build on the achievement of his side and become the first nation to win the Webb Ellis Trophy back-to-back.He says England, after winning the World Cup in 2003, did not do justice to their status of world champions, and he hopes the Springboks will learn from the English experience and make sure South Africa be seen as world champions around the rugby world.Celebrating with the nationOne effect of the World Cup triumph is that there is still plenty of celebrating to take place and President Mbeki has urged the entire country to be a part of it.The Springboks will return to South Africa on Monday, touching down in Johannesburg very early on Tuesday morning, at 07:00. Never mind the early hour, they are sure to be greeted by a massive and adoring throng of fans.Then, on Friday, 26 October, the world champions will be hosted by President Mbeki in Pretoria before going on an open bus tour that will take them through the city, as well as Johannesburg and Soweto.Visits to Bloemfontein, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town will follow, with the parade through the Mother City concluding matters on 29 October.On the fieldAt the Stade de France, the final was a hugely physical affair, dominated by two powerful packs of forwards intent on overpowering their opposition. In the lead-up to the game, England had been expected to shade the scrums behind loosehead prop Andrew Sheridan, while South Africa was expected to put pressure on the English in the lineouts.As it turned out, the scrums proved to be evenly contested, but in the lineouts the Springboks reigned supreme, winning all of their throw-ins while stealing seven of England’s throw-ins. It made a crucial difference.England lost their first two lineouts and that must have immediately put doubts into the minds of Phil Vickery’s side. Springbok supporters, on the other hand, must have been worried when England drove them back at the first scrum, but that would prove to be the defending champions’ best effort at scrum time the entire evening.The English showed their hand early on, pumping high-up-and-unders onto the Springboks and giving chase in the hope of putting the South Africans under pressure, but throughout the contest they were to find very little return on that tactic. It was their most common form of attack.A chance to scoreWith seven minutes played, the Boks had an opportunity to take the lead when Matthew Tait, probably England’s best player on the night, slipped on the counter-attack and was swamped by South African forwards. He failed to release the ball while on the ground and Percy Montgomery was given an easy shot at goal.The fullback struck his kick cleanly down the middle of the uprights to put the Springboks into a 3-0 lead.England showed some enterprise when their backs had a run for the first time after 11 minutes, but South Africa’s defence ably marshaled the opposition to the sideline where Bryan Habana made a telling tackle on his opposite number Paul Sackey. Habana, though, then went over the ball and off his feet and England were awarded a penalty.England levelFrom near the touchline, Jonny Wilkinson struck his attempt beautifully to steer it between the posts and level the scores at 3-3.Three minutes later, Lewis Moody needlessly stuck out a foot as Butch James chased a kick ahead. It was a slight, but deliberate movement and referee Alain Rolland picked it up. Once more Montgomery had a chance to put more points on the board.Again, his kick never looked like missing and the Springboks moved into a 6-3 lead.Shortly afterwards, Wilkinson tried to level matters for his team with a dropped goal, but his attempt was wide.Slightly wideWith 22 minutes played, the Boks had an opportunity to increase their advantage when England were penalised for going over the top at a ruck. The long-range attempt was handed to Francois Steyn, but his kick, although it easily had the legs, was slightly wide of the mark.A clever chip and re-gather by James on the counter-attack nearly prised open the English defence, but Jason Robinson, in his last test, managed to knock the flyhalf off balance. After a few rucks, South Africa infringed and the resulting penalty allowed England to move out of their territory.As the half headed towards its conclusion, the Springboks turned up the heat on the English, pinning the defending champs deep inside their 22-metre area. Desperate English defence then held out a number of Bok bashes at the line before referee Rolland ruled SA had knocked on.Bigger leadThen, with time almost up, Danie Rossouw picked up off the back of a scrum and was stopped fractionally short of the tryline. England, though, conceded a penalty and Montgomery made them pay once more, landing the kick to increase South Africa’s lead to 9-3.The Springboks took that advantage into the break. In every previous World Cup final, it was the team that led at halftime that went on to lift the title.England captain Phil Vickery had required treatment on a few occasions in the opening stanza and didn’t return to the field for the second half, his place being taken by Matt Stevens, who had played rugby for South Africa at age group level.Three minutes into the second half, South Africa’s only clear defensive gaffe of the game presented England with a chance to score. Tait, near halfway, ducked under the tackles of Steyn and Jaque Fourie in the midfield and raced down the field. He easily evaded Montgomery, but was cut down just short of the tryline by Victor Matfield.TMO decisionEngland moved the ball to the left to Mark Cueto and he dived over the line to dot down, just as Rossouw made a desperate tackle to prevent the five-pointer. The English and their fans thought they had scored, but referee Rolland asked the television match official Stuart Dickinson to take a look at it.After viewing the incident from a number of angles and taking a good few minutes to deliberate on it, Dickinson decided that Cueto had touched the sideline with his boot before grounding the ball and the try was disallowed. South Africa had, however, strayed offsides and England was instead awarded a penalty.Wilkinson succeeded with his kick, reducing the points’ difference to three, with the Springboks 9-6 in front.Three minutes later, England lost their fullback Jason Robinson with a shoulder injury.Montgomery on songWith half-an-hour to play, South Africa moved further into the lead when Montgomery landed a fourth penalty goal after Martin Corry, captaining England in place of Vickery, was penalised for hands in at a ruck. 12-6.The English, still trying to play the game deep in South Africa’s half by employing the boot, tried a little variety on attack by bringing their backline into the game, but they seemed to lack confidence and were constantly shepherded to the sidelines or driven back in the tackle by SA’s ferocious defenders.There was a moment of concern for South Africa when Toby Flood, on for Mike Catt, chased a ball deep into the South African try area and gave Montgomery a hard shove which sent him careering into a television camera. The fullback didn’t have the ball at the time, but the referee chose not to penalise England.Long penalty kickTwo minutes later, after a kick deep into England’s half of the field, needless obstruction was penalised by the ref and Steyn was handed a second long kick at goal.This time his effort was straight and true, lifting the Boks more than a converted try clear at 15-6.England continued trying to pin Smit and company in their 22-metre area, but their kicks were returned with interest, and time after time the Springboks managed to turn the ball over, either in the rucks or the lineouts, after dealing efficiently with England’s robust but largely unimaginative attacking forays.With eight minutes to go, Wilkinson tried a drop from some distance with his less-favoured right foot, but it was a weak effort and never threatened to go over; it was, however, indicative of the desperation England must have been feeling as they struggled to find a way to score against a committed wall of green.No way throughAnd so it went inside the last 10 minutes. England driving the ball up, turning it over, and South Africa driving them back down the field. Not once, not twice, but three times as the minutes ticked by.Finally, with only seconds remaining on the clock, the Springboks kept the ball close to the pack to work the clock. Driving for only centimetres at a time, before going to ground and protecting the ball, South Africa maintained possession.Smit checked with the referee whether or not the 80-minute mark had been reached. It had. With that, Du Preez seized the ball and booted it over the sideline. The final whistle sounded and the celebrations began.Two-time winnersThe Springboks had joined Australia as the only two-time winners of the Rugby World Cup.Montgomery, who didn’t miss a kick in the semi-finals and final, finished the tournament as the highest points’ scorer, while Habana ended on top of the try-scoring table.The SA team that played the final, with 668 caps to their credit, was the most experienced Bok team ever to take the field and that experience, built up since coach White had taken charge, had carried South Africa to the title of world champions.‘It’s a wonderful feeling’“It’s a wonderful feeling, finishing here with the World Cup. It has been a long four years. There have been real highs and real lows and today we had a lot of support from the 45 million South Africans,” said John Smit.Echoing his skipper, man of the match Victor Matfield said: “This is awesome. We worked for four years for this. We knew we were going to have to take it to them.“The emotions are greater than I ever thought. I can’t wait to get back home. I can’t wait to see all the South Africans.”Prop Os du Randt, a winner of the World Cup as a 22-year-old, declared: “I don’t remember the first one, it’s too long ago, but I’m still enjoying this one. It’s definitely good to win.”“What do you say when you’ve won a World Cup? It’s an unbelievable experience,” said coach Jake White.last_img read more

Hollard commits to South African children

first_imgThe insurance group recently increased its annual contribution to the Hollard Foundation from R10-million to R15-million and more of its resources have been dedicated to supporting early childhood development (ECD) initiatives.South Africa’s infant mortality rate is 30 in every 1 000, and the private sector is ramping up its efforts to help realise the intention of the National Development Plan (NDP) to bring this number down.The NDP seeks to reduce the rate of infant mortality by a third, bringing it down to 20 in 1 000, by partnering with the private sector and bringing resources and skills to where they are needed most.In the wake of a donation by the Carte Blanche Making a Difference Trust of two state-of-the-art paediatric theatres to Frere Hospital in Eastern Cape, the number of children who are able to receive the treatment and care they need has increased dramatically.In bringing the facilities to this area and others like it countrywide, the trust has partnered with a number of organisations, such as the Hollard Foundation, an independent trust set up by the Hollard Insurance Group.“Hollard is committed to assisting government in achieving the goals set out in the National Development Plan”, said Nic Kohler, Hollard group chief executive. “We realise the importance for children and society of investing in a child’s foundation years – from birth to age nine – and so our (corporate social investment) focus is on the health, nutrition and education needs of children in this age group.“These children are now being afforded the chance of reaching their full potential in life – something Hollard is very passionate about.”The doors to the first dedicated paediatric facility in the region opened in October 2014; since then more than 300 children have received surgery. The waiting period for surgery has been cut by five months, and the chances of the children reaching adulthood have greatly increased.“These operating theatres not only allow us to save lives but also to improve the quality of the life of that child because we are intervening sooner,” said Frere Hospital chief executive Dr Rolene Wagner.COMMITMENT TO THE FUTUREThe insurance group recently increased its annual contribution to the Hollard Foundation from R10-million to R15-million and more of its resources have been dedicated to supporting early childhood development (ECD) initiatives.One such project is the Kago Ya Bana programme in Midvaal, the product of a partnership between the Midvaal Municipality and the Gauteng departments of social development and education.Kohler said his company hoped its efforts would help the government to serve its residents and fulfil its commitment to the terms of the Children’s Act. “In doing so, we hope to provide a blueprint for other municipalities to do the same, thereby leading to real, systemic change.“It is through public-private partnerships that we see the development of solutions to the challenges that our country faces… It is our mission to be a catalyst for positive and enduring change, using our influence to harness resources way beyond those which we directly control.”last_img read more

How to throw an awesome New Year’s geocaching bash in 5 easy steps

first_imgNew Year’s is an opportunity to celebrate the end of one year and welcome the beginning of the next. While end-of-year traditions come in many shapes and sizes, celebrations around the world will all have one thing in common this year: geocaching.This year, we invite you to say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016 with two new geocaching souvenirs. Find a geocache or attend an event on December 31 to earn the Goodbye 2015 souvenir. Then, start your year off right with the Hello 2016 souvenir, which can also be earned by finding a geocache or attending an event on January 1.Without further ado, here are four easy steps to hosting a great New Year’s geocaching bash!Step 1: Pick a themeLike creating a new geocaching username, all great Event Caches start out with a theme. Here are a few examples to get your creative juices flowing:Host a “DNF Forgiveness” party. In Japan, New Year’s is considered a time for renewal — for forgetting the problems of the past and forgiving any grudges or misunderstandings. Make your event a safe space for geocachers to move on from those DNFs that have haunted them in 2015.Throw a muggle initiation party. Do you have friends who would love geocaching, but haven’t tried it out yet? Planning a New Year’s Event Cache can be the perfect way to get them started! Make the event both fun and educational, and invite your fellow geocachers to bring their non-geocaching friends too. Newbies can then get started by finding their first geocache the very next day.Keep things warm & cozy. Plan a daytime event on January 1 at a coffee shop or cafe so that geocachers can warm up (or cool down) with a tasty beverage after finding their first geocache(s) of the year.Step 2: Select the date, time, and location of your eventThis is an easy one: plan your event for December 31 or January 1 so that it qualifies for a souvenir. In picking a time, be sure to think about your guests. If you’re encouraging families to bring young kids, you may want to plan your event earlier in the evening on New Year’s Eve or even schedule a daytime event on January 1.Reminder: The geocaching guidelines prohibit event stacking. To avoid event stacking, Event Caches should be separated by time, organized by different geocachers, have a minimum duration of 30 minutes and take place at a different location than other events. Please check out the geocaching guidelines for more information about planning an Event Cache.You can host Event Caches anywhere available to the public — a restaurant, park or even your house. Be sure to find a place that has enough space for activities!Step 3: Plan fun and engaging activitiesA great way to make your event fun for all is to schedule activities to help your guests meet each other. Here are some ideas to get you started:Set up a photo booth. This can be as easy as finding an area with a simple background. Play the “geocaching predictions” game. Ask guests to write down their geocaching predictions for 2018 (e.g. “I will find my 25th T5 geocache” or “Moun10Bike will finally beat me to an FTF this year”) and throw them into a bucket. Take turns reading the predictions out loud.Play geocaching bingo. Create a bingo card based on geocaching achievements (e.g. “Earned a new country souvenir” or “Found more than 100 geocaches”). Guests will need to find other geocachers at the event who have completed the achievements in 2015 to fill in their board.Bake a lucky trackable into a cake. In Bolivia, coins are baked into sweets so that whoever finds the coin has good luck for the next year. Give your guests the gift of geocaching luck by hiding trackables in the dessert. Make sure to mention this to them before they take a bite!Step 4: Invite friends, new and old!Create a new event on to have your event listed on (This will also qualify your event for the Goodbye 2015 or Hello 2016 souvenir.) Remember, events must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event date. Once your event has been published, share the event listing with your local geocaching organization.Whether you’re already a well-established social butterfly or a first-time attendee, geocaching events are a great way to meet new people who share your love for geocaching. We hope these tips help you host a rockin’ New Year’s geocaching bash and we’d love to hear your ideas too! What tips do you have for throwing a great geocaching New Year’s event? Tell us in the comments below. SharePrint RelatedSay Hello to 2016 with Two New SouvenirsNovember 10, 2015In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”Guide to hosting an unforgettable Last/First New Year’s eventNovember 27, 2018In “Community”How to host the best New Year’s event for Last/FirstNovember 28, 2017In “Community” Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

BuildingEnergy Conference in Boston This March

first_imgThe Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) opens BuildingEnergy 14, the largest conference of its kind in the region, for a three-day run on March 4 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.Last year’s conference attracted 3,000 professionals in the sustainable building industry. They represented 32 states and eight countries, according to NESEA, and included architects, builders, developers, building managers, installers and “anyone else who’s working toward a sustainable built environment.”Organizers also expect 150 exhibitors at the BE14 trade show on Wednesday and Thursday, March 5 and 6.Fine Homebuilding magazine and Green Building Advisor will have a booth and demonstration stage at the conference.On Tuesday, March 4, BE14 presents full- and half-day workshops on such topics as multi-family construction, the Living Building Challenge, Passivhaus design and construction, and the science behind high-performance buildings. Speakers include a number of familiar names, among them: Joseph Lstiburek of the Building Science Corp., architect Bruce Coldham, Peter Yost of BuildingGreen, Thomas O’Leary of the Passive House Academy, Marc Rosenbaum and John Abrams of the South Mountain Co. and Andy Shaprio of Energy Balance, Inc.Wednesday and Thursday are devoted to what NSEA calls “tracks,” which are presentations on particular topics related to renewable energy and high-performance buildings. Tracks cover broad topics such as “Homes,” “Multifamily” and “Awesome Mechanical Systems,” and are divided into a number of morning and afternoon sessions with different speakers. Most tracks span two days.The keynote speaker for the opening session on March 5 is Amanda Sturgeon, vice president and Living Building Challenge program director, from Seattle, Washington.On one of the trade show demo stages, Fine Homebuilding associate editor Patrick McCombe and GBA senior edtior Martin Holladay will once again match wits with the audience in a round of “Stump the Energy Nerd.”A full listing of workshops and tracks is available at the BE14 website. Win free tickets to the conferenceBoth Fine Homebuilding and Green Building Advisor are giving away tickets to the conference — two tickets at GBA’s website and two at FHB’s website.To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post (FHB readers will find a similar post at the magazine’s web site). Winners will be chosen at random.In order to be in the running, you’ll have to leave a comment no later than February 20. Student design competition and zero-net energy building awardTwo other highlights of the event are NESEA’s first-ever design competition for university and college students and the annual zero net energy building award.The design competition seeks student proposals for developing four different properties in Holyoke, Mass., an early industrial city on the Connecticut River. The competition covers new construction and renovation for both residential and commercial projects. NESEA said it expected between 10 and 25 submissions in each of the four divisions.The net-zero award winner, which is announced at the conference, takes home a $10,000 cash prize. There were 13 submissions for last year’s competition, won by the Borsarge Family Education Center at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine.Admission fees depend on how much of the conference you plan on attending. NESEA has posted BE14 pricing at its website.last_img read more

Keaton Jennings admits England are under pressure

first_imgUncapped opener Keaton Jennings conceded that England is under pressure after being 0-2 down in the five-Test series against India but said he is hopeful that his side will throw some punches back at the hosts in the fourth game starting in Mumbai on Thursday.”It’s pressure but I have always been taught that pressure is a privilege, sort of a thing my dad tried to infuse into me as a kid. I like to think that I bring positive energy and a smile to the group. I am generally quite a happy guy (person). But again, it’s 2-0 down and gets into a tougher position. So, hopefully we can throw a few jibes and throw some punches back,” said Jennings here ahead of the must-win game for England.Jennings, son of well-known coach Ray Jennings, is South Africa-born and has qualified to play for his adopted country following a four-year residence in England. He has replaced teenage opener Haseem Hameed, who is out of the remainder of the series with a finger fracture. (Pitched battles: India may have learnt lessons from Mumbai 2012)England are trailing India 0-2 after losing the second and third Tests in Visakhapatnam and Mohali respectively. The first Test was drawn at Rajkot.Asked how he would cope with the spin threat posed by India’s attack, Jennings said if he can come out on top of the Indian spinners it would be a humbling experience for him.”I leave that to you to answer in a couple of days of play. There is no better place to come and challenge yourself. If I can play and come out with some sort of success, that would be humbling,” the left-handed batsman said. (Parthiv Patel retained for Mumbai Test, Ishant Sharma released)advertisement”If I don’t play, then I will carry drinks, but I am looking forward to getting involved.”Having coached the Royal Challengers Banglore in the Indian Premier League, Jennings senior has good experience of the Indian conditions and he has given his son some tips ahead of the series.”I have got quite a good relationship with my dad (Ray Jennings), from the playing point of view, my dad asked me to enjoy the process and culture of India. I have been told to drink lot of water and to ensure that the bottle is closed,” Jennings said. (Chris Woakes suffers crack in right thumb)”Previously, in 2009-10, I came with my dad to the IPL, (more so) as a tourist, really enjoyed and I am coming back to the place which I loved,” he told reporters after the team’s practice session at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. (India release injured Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul from Test squad)”When I was 9-10 years old, we (me and my dad) were into the nets, we were kind of training and those where some of the days, when I decided not to listen. First ball I got out, second ball I got out, and he said one more time and you are going out, the third ball , I got out and he put his bag down and walked off,” he added.last_img read more