Weekend Pick: National Public Lands Day in the Pisgah National Forest

first_imgSaturday, September 28th marks the 20th Anniversary of National Public Lands Day.  This is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort that benefits public lands. More than 1,900 sites around the country have registered to participate and celebrate this coming weekend.One such site is in the Pisgah National Forest at the Cradle of Forestry. There will be three main work projects. Volunteers can help with weeding and mulching the Cradle’s Seeding Nursery, sanding and repainting the antique road graders along the Forest Festival Trail, or transplanting native wildflowers around the Cradle of Forestry site. The day will kick off at 9:30am and go until 1:00pm. If you are interested in helping with any of these three projects, please contact Devin Gentry for more details regarding how to sign up.Visitors will be given free admission to the Forest Discovery Center and historic trails throughout the forest. There will be guided walks and instruction on gardening with biodiversity. The weather is shaping up to be a beautiful fall day, one that will be perfect for giving back to the outdoors!View Larger MapLooking for something a little more North? Check out our other Weekend Pick, Running the Genworth Virginia 10 Miler!last_img read more

One-of-a-kind newly built home features lift access to four levels

first_img16 Oxley Tce, Corinda.More from newsDigital inspection tool proves a property boon for REA website3 Apr 2020The Camira homestead where kids roamed free28 May 2019The master bedroom is positioned towards the front of the house to capture the unbeatable river and mountain views, complete with lift access, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and ensuite. The ground level has a dual car garage with extra storage, and an additional room which could be used as a home gym or wine cellar. The next level has a fully self-contained level at the front of the home, with a kitchen, bedroom, balcony and bathroom. 16 Oxley Tce, Corinda.Panoramic mountain and river views at 16 Oxley Tce, Corinda, will never get boring.The five-bedroom, four-bathroom house is a new, architecturally designed home.Property developer Jumshied Kashkari, from HDK Capital, said the home was made of concrete panels compared to traditional homes that had wooden frames. 16 Oxley Tce, Corinda.Mr Kashkari said lift access to each of the four levels was available within the home.The top floor features four bedrooms all with spacious wardrobes, ducted airconditioning and ceiling fans. 16 Oxley Tce, Corinda.Mr Kashkari said he loved many features throughout the home including the luxurious independent living area with a balcony.He said family members could live or rent out the space for an income.With a swimming pool at one end of the home and an outdoor kitchen on the balcony at the other, Mr Kashkari said it was easy to enjoy the breathtaking views.“The sunset is amazing,” he said. 16 Oxley Tce, Corinda.Other features of this family-friendly property include polished timber floors throughout the living areas, a fully paved pool area and sola power system.Selling agent Carol Summerlin, from Harcourts Graceville, said the one-of-a-kind home was in a prestigious location.last_img read more

Prep Basketball Special Feature Part One: Triumph through Tribulations

first_imgArcata >> It’s not lost on any opposing coach they face — the Arcata High School backcourt tandem of Vanessa Holland and Ashley Quigley are exceptionally good. The senior co-captains can shoot, drive and play defense as good as any in the North Coast Section.They are consummate team-leaders whose will and determination never waver. You want to beat them you better bring not just your A game, but your A-plus game. This season the duo has led the Tigers to their fifth-straight Humboldt-Del …last_img

Creation vs Evolution: The Bombardier Beetle Challenge

first_imgBombardier beetles made the news again this week. Creation scientists have long used them to challenge evolutionary theory. Can the Darwinians fight back?Credit: Shinji SugiuraWatch a funny video on National Geographic of a barfing toad. The toad made the mistake of sneaking up on a bombardier beetle and snatching it with its tongue before the beetle could fire its weapons. It’s not hard to imagine what happened inside the toad’s stomach, because a few minutes later, the toad gags and vomits out the beetle, practically turning its stomach inside out to get rid of the pest which, though sticky with gastric juices, is none the worse for wear and crawls away.The amazing bombardier beetle is the “dinner date from hell,” the article quips. New Scientist says these beetles can survive for almost two hours before being spit out by any predator unlucky enough to gulp them down. Japanese scientists proved it was the bug’s cannons that forced the vomit response, because beetles that had already fired their weapons were not regurgitated.Creationists have long used the bombardier beetle as a challenge to evolution since the days of Duane Gish and Robert Kofahl in the 1960s and 1970s. Jobe Martin talked about them in his films, Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution. How could such a system evolve by a Darwinian process? Unless the entire mechanism were in place, the bug would blow itself to bits. The secular articles admit that it’s a remarkable “shock and awe” defense mechanism. National Geographic explains,Bombardier beetles aren’t especially rare; more than 500 species live on every continent except Antarctica, and all of them create a toxic brew of chemicals in a special chamber at the bottom of their abdomen.The molecules are mixed together at the last minute and react to form hydrogen peroxide and another class of compounds called benzoquinones, along with huge amounts of heat and pressure. Both chemicals are irritants and can damage skin and lungs.Thanks to the shape of the chamber, this boiling foul mixture is ejected with a huge force.Luc Bussiere at The Conversation is similarly intrigued by these bugs. He includes slow-motion video of the beetle firing its weapons. You can see that the eruption comes out well-aimed and in spurts. The explosion actually creates smoke. Could this evolve?In Spacecraft Earth, Dr Henry Richter describes the creation challenge presented by the bombardier beetle, which he calls one of his favorite examples of creatures that defy evolution.This amazing insect uses two separate chambers in its abdomen, one for the explosive (hydrogen peroxide) and one for the detonator (hydroquinone). These chemicals must be kept separate and in a deactivated state. When they are mixed in the combustion chamber, they must be activated at just the right time, in the right amounts, and in the right way, or else the bug will be a victim of its own weapon, unable to reproduce. How could such a system evolve? Everything had to work right from the beginning, or no offspring would see the light of day to pass along the lucky discovery.He quotes Lyell Rader’s 1998 book for additional details:Bombardier beetle (Wikimedia Commons)All of these systems have to be in flawless working conditions for the beetle to survive. The cannons without the explosives would be meaningless. One chemical without the other would not explode. Both chemicals, without the inhibitor, would blow the beetle to bits. Without the anti-inhibitor, the beetle would be unable to trigger the explosion at all. Without the storage chambers, it wouldn’t have the chemicals on hand when needed. Without strongly reinforced, heat-proof combustion  tubes and cannons, the heat generated by the explosion would cook the beetle.But most amazing of all is the hair trigger communications system. The beetle identifies a potential enemy; waits until the enemy gets its mouth open; pulls the anti-inhibitor like a firing pin on a rifle; aims its cannons; and sends a scalding blast of noxious gas from its tail into the mouth of the aggressor, curbing its appetite for any more beetles. These five functions must be perfectly timed to a fraction of a second.Richter adds more detail illustrating the irreducible complexity of this creature:There’s more to this story. High speed cameras have shown that the beetle fires a rapid series of shots rather than one explosive burst. This gives the bug finer control over the explosion, preventing the recoil that would send it flying. The beetle can also aim its heat weapon precisely over a wide range of angles. All these controls require additional ‘brain software’ for their use.It’s no wonder, Richter says (pp 79-80), that creationists have enjoyed pointing to the bombardier beetle as a challenge to evolution. (As for the evolutionist quibble that the chemicals are not explosive, see Gish’s response quoted here.)The Darwinian ResponseEvolutionists must certainly be aware that creationists have long used the bombardier beetle as evidence against evolution. Let’s look in the three pro-evolution articles for their comeback arguments:National Geographic: “bombardier beetle species may have evolved the ability to survive toads’ digestive system…”New Scientist: “In another experiment, the researchers found bombardier beetles are more likely to survive after 20 minutes in a toad stomach than 14 other beetle species. This suggests they have evolved a tolerance for toad digestive juices.”The Conversation: “The diverse getaway tactics of animals are a testament to the fascinating creativity of evolution…. we should be mindful that evolutionary innovation can produce remarkable adaptations.“That’s it. Readers may now submit their votes for the winners of this debate. (Visited 2,352 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Hope through hockey in Diepsloot

first_imgMalele is currently a level-one coach and his goal is to reach level six, the highest grading. He also hopes to send some of the older players on umpiring and coaching courses. A chance meeting with University of Johannesburg (UJ) Sport’s Siobhan Brown at a counselling course in 2008 saw the tertiary institution take up his cause. “Thanks to media reports about violence, people don’t want to set foot in Diepsloot, but the UJ people came,” said Malele. “I thank God for everything. He’s the only one keeping my projects going.” Two of his biggest success stories are Shirley Machaba and Kabelo Motsatsi, who have both qualified for the Southern Gauteng under-18 sides on a number of occasions. Motsatsi now plays for the Beaulieu College men’s side and is coached by former Olympic hockey player Allistar Fredericks. He believes it helps them avoid the peer pressures and socio-economic pitfalls plaguing his impoverished community. Starting with half a dozen youngsters in 2001, the unemployed Johannesburg resident now has over 150 players in nine teams. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Academic support programmes The Silver Stars project was also the runner-up in last year’s Murray & Roberts Jack Cheetham Memorial Award for development teams. The financial windfall from this prize has helped to pay for development clinics, transport and other expenditures. Where many see a future as barren as the dusty ground on which his teams practise, Diepsloot hockey coach Silver Malele sees hope. They were and interest grew steadily. “On Saturdays, we play round-robin tournaments and the older teams have league fixtures,” he said. “Sometimes I’m out at 6am and only get home at midnight.” Malele’s Silver Stars development project in the Johannesburg township, on the northern fringes of affluent Sandton, is giving youngsters from the ages of seven to 17 something positive to focus their energies on. He said that he has seen significant changes in the children who come from far-flung areas. “They are often in different schools, but, when they are together at Silver Stars, they have the opportunity to make friends and teach and support each other. UJ Hockey’s Elize le Roux said the university helped with equipment and clinics, assisted in Malele’s development and also with applications for sponsorships, government grants and national lottery funding. But the deep-seated love of the game returned decades later when he decided to do something positive for his community. “As Africans we are just focused on soccer,” he said. “So I thought let me do something different and see if the kids would be interested.” The 42-year-old Malele’s passion for hockey started in the late seventies, when he learned the game at Witkoppen School in the Fourways area of Johannesburg. After leaving school, he quit the sport on principle. “In those days there was no good treatment,” he said. “We need to attend more clinics so that we can move forward,” he said. According to Le Roux, UJ is busy developing academic support programmes to assist Malele’s younger players in qualifying for university acceptance in the future. 23 September 2011 Malele has applied for various jobs over the years, but fears that finding permanent employment will mean the end of Silver Stars. “I do this out of love,” he said. Dedicated hockey academy “That’s what I like to see,” he said. Malele’s ultimate goal is to have a dedicated academy in Diepsloot, and is a little closer to achieving this thanks to the University of Johannesburg’s hockey club. He hopes that every child who has been isolated from sport will be able to one day join a team and get a sporting chance. “Playing in tournaments gets them away from all the cruel things that just traumatise and stress them,” he said. Malele also runs a community food garden and counselling and support groups for HIV/Aids patients and their families at the Diepsloot South Clinic. “We don’t have an astroturf or even grass, just bare ground,” said Malele, who was named Volunteer of the Year at the recent South African Sports Awards. “The fact that boys and girls have been developed to provincial level on that rocky piece of land, you just wouldn’t believe it.”last_img read more

SA film industry adds R3.5bn to GDP

first_img14 May 2013 The South African film industry contributes R3.5-billion annually to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), while providing employment for more than 25 000 people, according to a new impact study on the industry. Releasing study in Pretoria on Friday, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said the government would use the study to strengthen the work being done to provide increased and sustained support for the industry. The minister said the government was in the process of converting the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) into a full-fledged National Film Commission and establishing a National Film Fund. He said the impact study would help the government to create a sustainable funding model for the industry, build partnerships with the private sector, facilitate skills development, and expand access to new markets for South African film makers. “It will also strengthen our ability to advocate for more favourable incentives for the sector so as to attract investment,” Mashatile said. South African films and actors continue to receive acclaim across the globe. Florence Masebe recently won the award for best actress in a lead role for the film Elelwani during the 2013 African Movie Academy Awards. The film also won the best production design award, while a number of other South African productions were nominated and received awards at the event. Earlier this year, the film Layla Fourie received a jury special mention award at the Berlinale International Film Festival, while local comedy Fanie Fourie’s Lobola won the audience choice award for best comedy at the 19th Sedona International Film Festival in Arizona, US in March. In the same month, South African film Otelo Burning added to a long list of accolades, picking up a hat-trick of awards – for best film, best dramatic feature and best surf film – at Australia’s Byron Bay International Film Festival The film gained international recognition and a slew of awards following its release in 2012, including official selection at London’s BFI Film Festival, France’s Lille Film Festival, India’s Chennai Film Festival and the Seattle Film Festival, as well as a nomination for the Golden Needle Award at the Seattle Film Festival. It also won best cinematography and best child actor at the 2012 African Movie Academy Awards. Mashatile said these successes showed that the world wanted to hear the South African story – a story of the triumph of the human spirit. “I wish to assure all those involved in the local film sector that your good work has not gone unnoticed. You have the full support of this government.” “We are emboldened by the fact that the study vindicates the view we have always held, that the local film industry, as part of the broader creative industries, is a major driver of economic growth, job creation and the building of sustainable livelihoods.” SAnews.gov.za, with additional reporting by SAinfolast_img read more

River Valley FFA officer retreat

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest On the 14th and 15th of July, the 2019-2020 River Valley FFA officer team went to Indian lake for their annual Officer Retreat. Not only did we plan for the upcoming year, we also discussed our future goals for the chapter, followed with a great dinner and swimming in the lake. We had a great time getting to know each other, doing some team bonding activities and getting some group pictures. As an officer team, we are ready to serve our chapter to the best of our ability and can’t wait to see what the future year of the River Valley FFA chapter holds.last_img

Top 10 Mobile Products Of 2012

first_imgRelated Posts 7. Nuance – Dragon/SwypeNuance is a repeat offender on this list, mostly because it is very difficult to keep it off. Swype, the typing feature that allows users to input text by swiping letters across the keyboard without taking their fingers off the keyboard, is one of the most addictive features included in many Android devices. Nuance licenses Swype to many mobile manufacturers, such as Samsung.Nuance has built a neat little business licensing its technology (whether it was built by Nuance or acquired, like Swype was) to mobile manufacturers. Nuance also licenses its speech recognition service to smartphone makers and it is believed to be one of the technology suppliers for Apple’s Siri personal assistant app on the iPhone. 2013 will bring good things for Nuance as it works on its own voice-controlled personal assistant mobile systems and makes additions to its Swype and Dragon line of products. 6. GeoloqiWe normally do not like to add products on this list that have been acquired and are now a cog in a larger organization, but Geoloqi deserves its spot as one of the bright startups working to solve many of the problems associated with location services on smartphones and tablets. Portland, Ore.-based Geoloqi, which joined Esri this year, provides accurate and granular location services to app developers and manufacturers while still trying to preserve the battery life of a device. Essentially, Geoloqi provides developers with a software developer kit (SDK) that runs its location services in the background of any app in which it is included. The ability to run a data-gathering, persistent background location service without killing battery life cannot be understated. The use cases are vast, from government agencies using apps to track employee locations in the field to helping manage power consumption in your home through your location. Geoloqi is one of those companies that most mobile users will never really hear about. But, the old cliché applies, “good technology should be almost indistinguishable from magic.” Well, if you are ever using your phone and it performs and action that say to yourself, “how’d it do that?” There is a good chance a company like Geoloqi is behind it. 5. LookoutIf we saw anything in 2012, it was that the proliferation of mobile devices is changing the nature of computing on a vast, accelerating scale. Well, with any industry-changing event, the good comes with the bad. In this case, the bad is the pace and volume of mobile malware in the smartphone ecosystem looking to steal your data and cost you money. This is especially true for Android, but if you have an Internet connection with your cellphone, you are not immune from spam, scams and viruses. A variety of companies are working to tackle the mobile malware problem. Kaspersky Labs, Sophos, Bitdefender, Symantec and others are all on the forefront of research and defense against malicious hackers. But, for the second year in a row, we think that Lookout is one of the best companies working on preventing and detecting mobile malware. Lookout updated its Android app in September and added several new features. The app will scan all of your apps looking for vulnerabilities in your system. In and of itself, that is not really profound. Add Lookout’s ability to find your phone (even your iPhone) anywhere you may lose it, scan all your apps to determine what permissions they can use to share your personal information, institute Safe Browsing in Chrome for Android and backup just about every piece of data on your device, and you have one of the most comprehensive and powerful mobile security services available.4. Chrome for Android/iOSIf we have to pick just one mobile browser, it has to be Chrome. Dolphin, Opera and Firefox for Android are all worthy candidates, but the Chrome browser for iOS and Android from Google is the best of the best. Chrome for iOS and Android brings all the great features that you expect from Chrome on your PC. It is fast, remembers your history and has a robust bookmarking capability. The best feature is the ability to sign in to your Google account and sync your Chrome browser across all of your devices, remembering pages that you may have visited on your Android smartphone, iPad or PC. This cross-platform sync is not unique to Chrome, but now that you can tie your browser to your Google account across any type of computing platform you might use, the ease and benefit of using Chrome is apparent. 3. EvernoteWhen Evernote landed $50 million in funding in July 2011, the startup’s CEO Phil Libin said that he thinks his company can last for 100 years. We’re inclined to believe him. Evernote Toolbar Widget for AndroidIf you are an Android user, there is a pretty good likelihood that you have downloaded and installed the Evernote Toolbar Widget… and cannot live without it. If you are a copious note taker on your mobile device, Evernote is one of the best apps you can find to take photos, audio files, save articles or just jot down thoughts and sync it to the cloud. If we think of the factors driving new era of computing – mobile and cloud – Evernote is the undisputed thought leader in the personalized cloud productivity space. 2. SpotifyWhenever I ask people about apps they cannot live without, I get a fairly short list: Maps (usually Google’s variety), email, Twitter, Facebook, Zite/Flipboard, Instagram (or some type of photo app) and maybe something specialized to a person’s specific interest, like RunKeeper or Strava Cycling. Those who have been indoctrinated also add one app that may slip off a casual user’s list.Spotify.The cloud-based music streaming service engenders such loyalty among its users that many of them have trouble remembering a life before the ability to look up just about any song they want and stream it immediately, from anywhere. It also allows users to save files locally, has a Pandora-like radio streaming service, can be social or anti-social per the user’s preference and generally has any song you are looking for (yet, for some reason, a surprising paucity of Hootie And The Blowfish).Spotify WidgetSpotify and streaming services like Pandora, TuneIn, Rdio and the rest of its ilk are also causing a subtle shift in how people buy and manage their mobile phones. For instance, the Apple iPhone has long come in three storage sizes: 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. Apple has built a very robust business on this tiered-pricing model. But, as more people move to streaming services for audio and video, the need for extra storage for media purposes is lessened. The priority then falls on the amount of data and speed you can get from your carrier. These services are changing user spending behavior and Spotify is leading the charge. 1. Google NowYou have heard of artificial intelligence. Chances are, you probably do not quite know what that means in its entirety. True artificial intelligence (robots that are as smart as humans and can think and behave on their own) may never become a reality, but Google is trying its darndest to give us the smartest kinds of computer intelligence, straight into our pockets. Google Now has the ability to know where you are, what you are doing and then give you help along the way. Leaving on your morning commute? Now will detect traffic and give you an alternate route, if desired. Its Card-based system can hold your boarding pass, local weather, reservations, events, appointments and meetings or the score of your favorite sports team. What makes Now special is that it has the machine learning Google is known for, the cloud to sync its information anytime, anywhere and the information intelligence that is unique to Google’s approach to the world. Now should just be getting started. Google ramped up its team in 2011 to work on Now, making it a priority within the company. In successive versions of Android, Now should become smarter, more intuitive and more able to serve your needs no matter what you are doing.  What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement When it comes to the mobile industry, we talk a lot about new devices and the virtues or detriments of each one. Is the iPhone 5 the best thing ever or does the Samsung Galaxy S 3 blow it out of the water? These questions, while pertinent and fun to talk about, really are ancillary to what makes the mobile industry run.Why do people buy smartphones and tablets? It is not because they have quad-core processors or super fast LTE connections. People buy mobile devices for what can be done on them. Apps, and the services that run them, are truly the backbone of the mobile industry.So, we present our top 10 mobile products of the year. To make this list, a product needed to be mobile-Web or -platform enabled. So, no devices (which we ranked earlier this month) or the platforms themselves. What made our top 10 in 2012? See the list below.10. InstagramNo company or service has had a bigger roller coaster year than Instagram. The social photo sharing app released an Android version, had a very public backlash against its Terms of Service and, oh yeah, was acquired by Facebook for nearly a billion dollars. Instagram also saw the type of exponential growth that startups can only dream about. It grew by tens of millions of users when it announced its Android app and then added tens of millions more when it was acquired by Facebook. Instagram in 2012 went from a popular iOS photo-sharing app with around 20-25 million registered users to a 100-million-user behemoth that has become synonymous with social photos. The elm trees of Central Park, New York City by Dan Rowinski9. LevelUpWhen it comes to mobile payments, we gave Square the No. 1 honor for mobile products in 2011. The dongle-based mobile payments system was truly deserving and we could very easily include it on this list this year. But we are taking this opportunity to highlight another mobile payments startup that is beginning to make waves in the industry and has a ceiling that could lead it to be a major player (or acquisition bait) in 2013 and beyond.Boston-based LevelUp is an app that uses QR codes to make payments at local merchants using the company’s system. LevelUp will provide retailers with Android smartphones to act as QR code scanners (or Near Field Communications later, if needed) and provides loyalty discounts to consumers. For instance, if you are at Four Burgers in Cambridge, Massachusetts and you pay for the first time with your smartphone on LevelUp, you get a $3 discount on your order. Come enough times and you can “level up” to greater discounts. LevelUp has two important factors working in its favor. First is what the company calls “interchange zero.” Interchange zero is the concept that merchants do not have to pay a fee for every transaction made on the system, such as the 2.75% or so that they have to pay through financial processors like Visa or American Express. LevelUp makes its money through the loyalty/advertising sector as opposed to interchange. The other prong in LevelUp’s attack is that it is making significant progress in getting its system into actual retail locations, something that larger companies are having trouble with (right now). As of the beginning of December, LevelUp had 500,000 registered users and had processed two million transactions. That is a drop in sea of the large payments industry, but the model LevelUp is using has significant disruptive potential.8. WazeSocial… driving. When we first heard of Waze, this seemed like a bad idea. A very bad idea. The last thing we want is for people to be on their phones while in the car. Yet, upon further inspection, Waze is much smarter than just an app that helps you tweet traffic alerts. Waze is a background location and turn-by-turn navigation app that works with your friends and the people around you to know where traffic is, where cops might be hiding or where the cheapest gas on your route is. Waze taps the collective consciousness to get you where you are going faster and smarter. Waze also saw huge growth in 2012. The Israeli-born, San Francisco-bred company scored a big win when it partnered with Apple as part of its iOS Maps system and has added many users through its expansion to various mobile operating systems. Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock.center_img dan rowinski Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#apps#Google#Mobile Payments#Nuance#Payments#security#Services#spotify The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more