Exploring the world of biodiversity

first_imgWhether you’re looking for information on a seaslug named after Nelson Mandela or advice on how to deal with fig tree-eating beetles, Museum Online South Africa’s Biodiversity Explorer will answer all your questions – and a lot more.The information-packed website, hosted by Iziko Museums of Cape Town, gives fascinating details about new or little-known species, recent discoveries in the field of biodiversity and today’s threats like anthrax and the HIV/Aids virus.It has a “Spotlight On” section, listing interesting developments on the biodiversity front and a “Shadow Falls On” section about the latest bugs or pests and how to deal with them.The site has a comprehensive search facility with an extensive database on fauna and flora, not necessarily specific to southern Africa.On the Mandelia microcornata seaslug, named after Nelson Mandela by two marine biologists who discovered it, Angel Valdes and Terry Gosliner, Biodiversity Explorer says: “It is regarded as something of an honour to have a species of organism named after you.“To have a genus named after you is even more of an honour because new genera are less often named than new species. However, an even greater honour is to have a family named after you because new families are rarely created.”In why they named the seaslug after Mandela, the two said: “This South African genus is named Mandelia to honour Nelson Mandela, who led the struggle for a multiracial government in South Africa.”The specific name is taken from the Latin word mirus (meaning odd) and cornus (meaning horn), “referring to the particular shape of the rhinophores of this species”. Mandelia microcornata has only been found along the Cape Peninsula coastline.The Biodiversity Explorer has plenty of useful information on how to tackle common pests like head lice and cat fleas in an environmentally sound way and how to distinguish between poisonous and non-poisonous spiders and scorpions.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Complexity and Contradiction at the NAHB

first_imgThe National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is actively fighting the American Clean Energy Security Act, arguing that additional energy savings beyond 30% will be impossible.The NAHB has just announced a dual certification partnership with the Department of Energy’s Builders Challenge, which certifies buildings that perform in excess of 30% better than code.I’m trying to work this out. Is 30% improvement impossible, or is it just part of our program?I’m joking, of course; 30% to 50% improvement in energy performance is proven, practical, and affordable.And I think I understand the NAHB’s thinking, too. It’s hoping to use its program to encourage green building through education and market development while holding off mandated improvements to the building code,etc. that would negatively affect NAHB members who don’t get on the green building train. Does this make them “pro-choice”?This weekend, in Charleston, S.C., for the Atlantic Green Conference, I stayed with a builder who does historic preservation in the area. He has restored some old beach houses to create a delightful bed-and-breakfast. He told me, “In this town, green building means you have two Dumpsters in the front yard, one for wood and one for trash.” He was hopping mad at rampant “greenwashing” and ready to do something about it. But at the same time, he’s driving a Hummer with peace sign decals stuck to it. I know we all pull tool trailers and trash trailers on a daily basis, so a big truck is just part of the deal but…it’s a complicated world.The NAHB is seeking comment for the next iteration of the National Green Building Standard. Let them know what you think about duct blaster and blower door testing and PLEASE, PLEASE run your renovation projects through the online scoring tool and give feedback on how to make it more user-friendly.last_img read more

The NRL Rookie

first_imgMissed our appearance on the NRL Rookie last week? You can watch the episode on the NRL Rookie website! Six of our Australian athletes travelled to New Zealand late last year to battle it out against the NRL Rookie contestants in a game of Beach Touch. Touch Football Australia and BLK Ambassadors Sam Brisby, Samantha Rodgers, husband and wife team of Dylan and Emily Hennessey, Peter Norman and Kylie Hilder all featured on the episode, showcasing their skills against the remaining NRL Rookie contestants. The NRL Rookie is the new reality show on Channel Nine/Gem offering a guaranteed NRL contract to the lucky amateur player who can prove to the respective judges he has what it takes to perform at the highest level and secure a lucrative contract.After starting with 28 players in late-May, the team was then halved to 14 in Episode One, with just a handful of players remaining in episode five. After a big game against the Warriors under 20’s Academy earlier in the episode, the Rookies head to Piha Beach for what they think is recovery. Enter the Australian athletes, for a recovery session with a difference! To watch the episode, please click here – http://nrlrookie.com/episodes/season-1-episode-5last_img read more

10 months agoArsenal jump into mix for Chelsea target Nicolo Barella

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Arsenal jump into mix for Chelsea target Nicolo Barellaby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal are in the mix for Cagliari attacker Nicolo Barella.Barella is a target for Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, while it’s claimed Manchester United have tabled an offer.Sky Italia says Arsenal are also in contact with Cagliari for the youngster.Cagliari are seeking €50m to sell this month.The 21-year-old has said in the past that his style of football is suited to the Premier League, particularly an approach to tackling that is more rugged than many Serie A referees are happy with. last_img

24 days agoMan City manager Guardiola feels ‘so sorry’ for Foden

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Man City manager Guardiola feels ‘so sorry’ for Fodenby Freddie Taylor24 days agoSend to a friendShare the lovePep Guardiola feels sorry Phil Foden doesn’t play enough for Manchester City. City’s abundance of world-class talent has restricted the talented 19-year-old midfielder to just four appearances this season, three of them as a substitute.He came off the bench to score in Tuesday’s win over Dinamo Zagreb, and speaking after the game, Guardiola told BT Sport: “He [Foden] has incredible finishing and made an incredible step forward (tonight). “I’m so sorry for him, he deserves to play more minutes. “I’m sure he will contribute and help us more.” last_img

Pharmacare is on the table Will anyone make it happen

first_imgIn today’s Big Story podcast, it’s the missing piece of Canada’s health-care puzzle. Most actual “care” in this country is covered and never refused, but millions of people still struggle to afford the medicines they’re prescribed. A long-awaited set of recommendations suggests Canada fix that by adopting a national, single-payer pharmacare plan. But that’s easier said than done.What would it take to get prescription drugs covered in this country? How much would it cost? What kind of difference would the average Canadian see? And given that these recommendations come months before an election that seems destined to be about affordability, where do Canada’s political parties stand on pharmacare?GUEST: Cormac Mac Sweeney, Parliament Hill reporterAudio Playerhttps://media.blubrry.com/thebigstory/s/rogers-aod.leanstream.co/rogers/thebigstory_dai/tbs_06192019_dai.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and Spotify.You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.last_img read more

ATCO buys 40 per cent stake in South American port operator for

first_imgCALGARY – Calgary-based ATCO Ltd. says it will buy a 40-per-cent stake in South American port operator Neltume Ports for about $450 million.ATCO, which has interests in logistics, energy, and real estate, says the stake in the port operator and developer will further diversify its business.The deal adds to ATCO’s partnership with Parkland Fuel Corp. subsidiary Ultramar, which owns Neltume Ports.The two companies partnered in 2016 to form ATCO-Sabinco as a provider of container offices, workforce mining camps and other structures in Chile.Neltume Ports operates in 16 port facilities and three loading and unloading businesses primarily in Chile and Uruguay. ATCO says the company handles nearly 51 million tonnes of products and employs about 3,900 people.ATCO chief executive Nancy Southern says the company sees South America as an area poised for significant growth.Companies in this story: (TSX:PKI, TSX:ACO.X)last_img read more

Rose Valley investors can approach asset disposal committee for refund Official

first_imgKolkata: The Enforcement Directorate (ED), probing into the multi-crore Rose Valley ponzi scam case, has urged the duped investors to approach the asset disposal committee appointed by the Calcutta High Court to recover their dues. According to an ED official, the investors, who were promised high returns on their investments by the ponzi firm, are free to approach the committee which was set up following a high court suggestion in 2015. “In the Rose Valley ponzi scam case, so far the ED has attached properties worth Rs 4,600 crore,” an ED official, who did not wish to be named, told PTI. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers The enforcement agency attached Rese Valley properties worth Rs 2,300 crore in one go, including two dozen hotels and resorts, which till date is the single largest attachment in the case. The assets are to be sold off via public auction and the proceeds would be used to repay the investors. The ED had registered an FIR against the firm, its Chairman Gautam Kundu and others in 2014 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Kundu was arrested by the agency in Kolkata in 2015. Multiple charge sheets have been filed in the courts in Kolkata and Bhubaneswar by the ED in the case. The group had allegedly floated a total of 27 companies to run the chit fund operations, of which only 6 were active.last_img read more

At Saharanpur rally Adityanath terms Oppn candidate Azhar Masoods soninlaw

first_imgLucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday said “opposition parties offered biryani to terrorists” while the Modi government fed them bullets, and termed a rival candidate from the Saharanpur constituency “son-in-law of Azhar Masood”.Addressing a rally in Saharanpur, he said the “son-in-law of (Jaish-e-Mohammed chief) Azhar Masood” has entered the constituency and he speaks the language of the terror mastermind. Imran Masood is the Congress candidate from the constituency. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”You have to decide who wins from Saharanpur — a person who speaks the language of Azhar Masood or a soldier of Modiji,” he said, seeking votes for the BJP candidate from Saharanpur, Raghav Lakhanpal. Adityanath said Azhar would meet the same fate as Osama bin Laden. “You must have heard about Osama bin Laden. He was killed brutally. Azhar Masood will be killed in the same manner,” he said. The UP chief minister said the BJP is committed to nation building and will not allow “any traitor to dent India’s integrity”. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”Some parties offered biryani to terrorists, while the Modi government has only one medicine for terrorists – bullets and bombs,” he said. Taking a jibe at the SP-BSP alliance in the state, Adityanath said, “People who are contesting 37-38 seats are thinking of becoming prime minister.” Attacking Congress President Rahul Gandhi, he said, “You must have noticed that the Union finance minister had referred to an individual as ‘man without brains’. “Rahul Gandhi does not know Indian culture, so when he went to offer prayers at Kashi Vishwanath temple, he sat in a position as if he was offering namaaz.” Hitting out at Gandhi’s close aide Sam Pitroda, Adityanath said, “There is a ‘mahaguru’ in the Congress. He raises questions on the valour of our armed forces. When this is the condition of the ‘mahaguru’, you can imagine the condition of ‘mahachelas’.” Taking potshots at SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, Adityanath said, “When someone asked Akhilesh if Mulayam will be his leader, ‘my leader is Mayawati. I have already de-throned netaji’. Attacking rival parties, he said, “The presiding deity of the corrupt, the jewel of clan of goons and the torchbearer of ‘naamdaars’ want to plunder the resources of the country.”last_img read more

Football Offense in bloom after spring practice

OSU redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) scans the field after a snap during the 2017 spring game at Ohio Stadium on April 15. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorThe last time the Ohio State football team touched the field at Ohio Stadium, they were joined by thousands of fans who jumped from their seats in celebration of former H-back Curtis Samuel’s walk-off touchdown in double overtime against the Michigan Wolverines. Little did players or fans alike know that — thanks to a 31-0 shutout loss at the hands of the Clemson Tigers on Dec. 31 —  it would be the last Buckeye touchdown they would see in more than four months. However, at the 2017 spring game, it took just under four minutes for redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett to find redshirt sophomore tight end A.J. Alexander in the back of the endzone — the first sign of many in the afternoon that offseason changes might be paying dividends for the Scarlet and Gray offense. Co-offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, who joined the team in the offseason, said the improvements seen in Saturday’s game were a direct result of spring practice.“We kind of did a lot of things we’ve been practicing,” he said. “We didn’t necessarily try to hide things. We didn’t try to throw everything out there. I thought we’d had a solid spring, lot of areas need improving, I just wanted — because we’re playing enough young guys — that when we came into the arena, they didn’t make all the good things I’ve seen in practice bigger than it looks.”Wilson, formerly the head coach at Indiana, was described by Barrett as a “competitor” who is “always in attack mode” and has helped the Buckeye offense find its past rhythm.“I think the thing about the Ohio State offense is we’re always on the attack and at times, I think we got away from that,” Barrett said. “But now, (Wilson’s) main focus is to make sure that we’re always on attack and that we’re beating the guy across from us.”While in the spring game the “guy across” was a familiar face, both Team Scarlet and Team Gray had success beating their defensive counterparts. Scarlet posted 460 offensive yards while Gray totaled 385. The majority of yardage for both teams came from the passing game, which was a sore spot at times for the 2016 team. Redshirt junior wide receiver Johnnie Dixon, who was a highlight for Team Scarlet with 108 yards and two touchdowns, described the passing game as “wonderful” and noted that the receiving group is full of playmakers. “(The offense) feels a lot better,” Dixon said. “We’re doing different things, and we’re attacking situations different. Everything we’re doing is working.”Barrett said this is the best spring he’s had for accuracy, but was quick to add there is still work to be done to become “competitively excellent.” Those areas, he said, include pass protection, downfield passing and finishing plays.“We’ve got to come out pushing and striving to make sure that when it comes to game time, everybody is on the same page and we get those three things accomplished,” Barrett said. “I think we’re on the right path for that, but to say we’re competitively excellent on the game plan? Not yet, but we have time to that we’re not playing the ball.” read more