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Kurtenbach: The unfair, unsavory truth of Kevin Durant’s injury

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos or videos on a mobile deviceTORONTO — You want to blame someone. I get it.You need to be able to explain why one of the greatest players of all time — perhaps the greatest scorer in the history of the NBA — is going to be robbed of perhaps a full year of his prime, and perhaps of the full capacity of his superpowers.A finger must be pointed — this is a travesty and there are dots sitting out there that are too easy to connect. …last_img read more

Honouring Mandela around the world

first_img4 July 2013 It’s not only South Africa that has a penchant for naming things after Nelson Mandela – there are numerous streets, bridges, educational institutions, buildings, organisms, flowers, statues and monuments around the world that bear his name. With the help of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, we bring you a far from exhaustive list of some of the places where Mandela’s name can be found. In South Africa citizens are used to driving down Nelson Mandela Boulevard in Tshwane, wandering through Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, crossing the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg, attending the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, living in the Nelson Mandela residential hall at Rhodes University, visiting the Nelson Mandela Museum in the Eastern Cape, trekking the Madiba heritage trail in the Eastern Cape, or holidaying at the swanky Mandela Rhodes Place in Cape Town. But in Purmerend, Zoetermeer and Arnhem, all in the Netherlands, residents there have their own Mandela Bridges, as do the people of Utrecht, Belgium.A road by any other name And just as Bloemfontein residents have their Nelson Mandela Drive, so do the people of Castries, St Lucia, in the Caribbean. In Paris, France, pedestrians can stroll along the Avenue du President Nelson Mandela in Arcueil, located in the city’s southern suburbs, while there is a Nelson Mandela Boulevard in Caracas, Venezuela. Dakar in Senegal boasts the Avenue Nelson Mandela, and there are more Mandela Avenues in Glamorgan, Harlow and Falkirk, UK; Georgetown, Guyana; and Schrijndel, Netherlands, as well as a Mandela Road in Culemborg, Netherlands, and Uyo, Nigeria. The UK has several versions of Mandela Close and Mandela Way respectively, and there is a Mandela Highway leading into Kingston, Jamaica. Not to be outdone, the authorities in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, have established the grandly-designated Nelson Mandela Highway Road, and there are Mandela roads, places, paths, parkways, interchanges, links, courts and streets all around the world. In Italy, there is a municipality or comune named Mandela, situated in the province of Rome, about 40km northeast of the Italian capital. A few cities have named stadiums after Mandela – besides the Nelson Mandela Multipurpose Stadium in Port Elizabeth, there’s one in Port Louis, Mauritius; in Kampala, Uganda; and in Torrevieja, Spain.Following in his footsteps For those who want to do their own long walk while remembering the elder statesman, the Madiba hiking trail in the Eastern Cape passes through his home town of Qunu. The Mandela Garden in Leeds, UK, as well as the Nelson Mandela ornamental garden in Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorkshire, UK, the Nelson Mandela Park in Montreal, Canada, and Mandela Park in Hoorn, Netherlands, offer a chance for peaceful contemplation. You can even wine and dine in his presence by proxy, at the Cafe Mandela in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Mandela Bar at Bristol University, or Madiba Restaurant in New York, which has served up peace and love since 1999. Mandela’s former wife Winnie has not been left out – in 1983, the New York City square in front of South Africa’s UN mission became the Nelson and Winnie Mandela Plaza. Port Louis, Mauritius; New Delhi, India; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; The Hague, Netherlands; Tunis, Tunisia – it seems unlikely that any other world icon has so many tributes in so many places.Education in Mandela’s name Mandela’s passionate belief in education is reflected in a long list of schools, scholarships, programmes, awards, libraries, centres, chairs, bursaries and funds – not just in South Africa or even the continent, but far beyond. A few of them are the Ecole Nelson Mandela, in Bamako, Mali, the Mandela Children’s Learning School in Compton, US, and the Mandela Institute for Human Rights in the Palestinian National Authority Area, Jerusalem, Israel. Students at the Nelson Mandela Educational Centre in A Lama, Spain, the Nelson Mandela State International School in Berlin, Germany, the Mandela Supplementary School in London, UK, and the Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution in New Delhi, India, study under the gaze of one of the world’s most ardent champions for the education of youth. The Australian High Commission in South Africa awards 20 Australia Mandela scholarships annually, given to academic staff who wish to study for their masters’ degrees at Australian institutions. At the University of Michigan, the Dubois-Mandela-Rodney postdoctoral fellowship is given to scholars studying Africa or the African diaspora. A Mandela scholarship fund administered by Leiden University in the Netherlands offers African postgraduate students the chance to study for a year at the university. The Mandela Rhodes Foundation supports the development of leadership capacity in Africa.Building on the legacy Needless to say, Mandela himself has been the recipient of numerous awards, honorary degrees, life memberships, civic honours, freedoms of towns and cities, and various other accolades. According to the Mandela Centre of Memory, the statesman has collected more than 1 100 of these honours over the years. They include the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, which he won jointly with then-president FW de Klerk, and an honorary doctorate in liberal arts from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, in 1997. He can also add the Civil Order of the First Class from the Sultanate of Oman (1999), the Order of the Lion of Malawi (2001), the freedom of the city and county of Cardiff, Wales (1998), and honorary citizenship of Canada (2001) – the first time in history that the honour was given to a living person – to his list, as well as hundreds more. There are a host of living creatures, organisms and plants named after the former president, such as Protea cynaroides Mandela, which was revealed in 1988 as an 80th birthday present; Triacanthella madiba, a species of springtail named by scientists at Stellenbosch University; Australopicus nelsonmandelai, an extinct species of woodpecker named in 2012; an indigenous species of African orb- weaver spider named Singafrotypa Mandela in 2002; the Paravanda Nelson Mandela orchid, named in 1997; and the beautiful Strelitzia reginae Mandela’s Gold, named in 1996. Some unusual offerings include a landfill site in Georgetown, Guyana, an apartment block in the long-running British television sitcom Only Fools and Horses, called Nelson Mandela House, and a fundamental nuclear particle discovered at Leeds University in 1973 and named the Mandela Particle. Then there is the nudibranch, or sea slug, Mandelia Micocornata, named in 1999. However, this gesture was eclipsed by the naming of an entire family and genus of sea slugs after him – family Mandeliidae, genus Mandelia. Poems, stamps, aircraft, racehorses, trees, gold coins and medallions named after him or bearing his likeness – there is seemingly no end to the respectful tributes bestowed on this symbol of reconciliation and forgiveness. First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

Dairy Margin Coverage program signup deadline extended

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The National Milk Producers Federation is urging farmers to take advantage of a one-week extension in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program signup deadline to Sept. 27, announced by USDA.“Dairy farmers have much to gain by signing up for this program, and another week to take advantage of this benefit can be nothing but helpful for them,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “We urge producers to take advantage of this added opportunity to sign up.”The USDA said more than 21,000 dairy farms have signed up for the new program, the main risk-protection tool for dairy farmers enacted in the 2018 Farm Bill, nearing the level that participated last year in the Margin Protection Program, which DMC replaced. DMC is guaranteed to pay all producers enrolled at the maximum $9.50/cwt. coverage level for every month of production through July, according to USDA data. DMC improvements from the MPP include: • Affordable higher coverage levels that permit all dairy producers to insure margins up to $9.50/cwt. on their Tier 1 (first five million pounds) production history, a higher level than previous programs. • A 25% premium discount for farmers who lock in coverage for the full five years of the program. • Affordable $5.00 coverage that lowers premium costs by roughly 88 percent. This creates more meaningful catastrophic-type coverage at a reasonable cost for larger producers without distorting the market signals needed to balance supply with demand. • An improved feed-cost formula to better reflect the true cost of feeding dairy cows.NMPF has a resource page on its new website with more information about the DMC.last_img read more

All Ministries Must Have Customer Service Improvement Plans by April

first_img The plans are a priority of the Service Excellence Programme (SEP), which falls under the ambit of Thematic Area 1 of the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Programme, entitled ‘Trade and Investment Facilitation and Service Excellence’. All ministries must have customer service improvement plans in place by the end of April 2018 as mandated by the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Programme. Modernisation Specialist in the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Division (PSTMD), Office of the Cabinet, Michele Gordon-Somers, tells JIS News that the plans are a critical part of the Service Excellence Policy being developed by the Cabinet Office. Story Highlights All ministries must have customer service improvement plans in place by the end of April 2018 as mandated by the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Programme.The aim is to reduce waste, save money and make the public institutions more efficient and effective for those who need them.The plans are a priority of the Service Excellence Programme (SEP), which falls under the ambit of Thematic Area 1 of the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Programme, entitled ‘Trade and Investment Facilitation and Service Excellence’.This is also one of the goals of Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan, which calls for professionalism and efficient service delivery in all public-sector institutions.Modernisation Specialist in the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Division (PSTMD), Office of the Cabinet, Michele Gordon-Somers, tells JIS News that the plans are a critical part of the Service Excellence Policy being developed by the Cabinet Office.“All ministries must conduct customer service assessments, they must speak with their customers, they must have plans developed and they must report their achievements against their plans,” she emphasises.The proposed policy will set out the core principles, values, standards, strategies, accountability mechanism, continuous improvement frameworks and service delivery options that will promote and institutionalise service excellence to facilitate consistency in service quality across government.Last year, the PSTMD engaged technocrats in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as from civil society and the private sector at Service Excellence Visioning Workshops, aimed at identifying strategies and actions to get to the supreme form of service excellence in the public sector.Recently, the Cabinet Office and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) signed a Memorandum of Understanding signalling the commencement of a partnership between the two organisations to promote service excellence in the public and private sectors and increase awareness of customer service issues nationally.Mrs. Gordon-Somers says that some ministries have named customer service improvement teams and are conducting customer service readiness assessments, which will guide the development of customer service improvement plans.“The information that comes out of the assessments will be used to feed into developing customer service improvement plans, and it is expected that the whole area of customer service will be looked at in a comprehensive way, and then these plans will be implemented with short-, medium- and long-term measures incorporated within those plans,” she explains.Mrs. Gordon-Somers notes that the PSTMD has been conducting workshops with service improvement teams “to sensitise them about the Service Excellence Programme”.The Modernisation Specialist says ministries will develop their plans before focusing on their respective agencies and departments.“So, all the agencies and departments under their portfolios, they will assist them through the same process, in terms of developing their service-improvement plans and reporting on their achievements against those plans on a quarterly basis,” she tells JIS News.Mrs. Gordon-Somers says that in the past, ministries only focused on frontline customers regarding customer-service improvement, adding that other areas should be addressed, such as business processes, engagement of customers, the handling of complaints, customer feedback and “ensuring that service improvement planning is a critical part of general operational planning”.Another component of the SEP at ministries is the development of citizens’ charters.According to Mrs. Gordon-Somers, a citizen’s charter is a contract between ministries and their customers, which outlines the strategies to improve customer service at the entities.“We expect all ministries will have a citizen’s charter, or those who already have will update their document,” she says.Mrs. Gordon-Somers stresses that charters that are posted on the websites of ministries should also be displayed in the lobby areas and hard copies made available for customers who may request them.Meanwhile, Senior Director, Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Sandra Senior Brown, tells JIS News that a citizen’s charter/customer service improvement team is in place at the super ministry.She said the entity is looking at various technological initiatives, “to enable our internal customers to be better able to carry out their functions”.The Ministry, which was created in March 2016 and charged with the responsibility for seven critical portfolios – land, environment, climate change, investment, water and wastewater, housing and works – has oversight for 48 agencies.“We at the Ministry see it as a critical need to have this customer service improvement programme implemented, based on our mandate of ensuring that we meet the business needs of Jamaica as well as the needs of our internal stakeholders,” she says.Mrs. Brown, who is overseeing the implementation of the Ministry’s modernisation initiatives, says “customers are demanding more and they want better quality and a higher standard of service”.“We want to ensure that customers are able to access certain services and there is ease in doing so. Our website will be instrumental in that regard,” she tells JIS News.“We have over 46 agencies, so we definitely want to be one of the front runners where implementation of this Service Excellence Programme is concerned,” she adds.last_img read more

Why dont electric cars look like the future

Consider aerodynamics. Without the need for an engine, theoretically you could do away with the bonnet and the “nose” of the car – think the classic electric milk floats that dutifully graced housing estates between the 1960s and the 1990s, when home milk deliveries fell out of fashion.Cars built along these lines would certainly stand out. But these milk floats were renowned for their lack of speed, designed instead to suit the constant stop/start nature of their role and the relatively short distances of their “milk-rounds”. They were well suited to this purpose – the quite hum of their electric motors ensured that they could be driven almost silently through housing estates when most of the residents were still asleep – but operating at low speeds meant that there was no need to consider aerodynamics to improve their efficiency.But aerodynamics and efficiency matter when designing a car. A great deal of investment is spent modelling the aerodynamics of a car through computer aided design software and scale clay models in a wind tunnel. The main idea is to reduce the air resistance of the vehicle when travelling at higher speeds, lowering its “drag coeeficient” and increasing its fuel efficiency. Thanks to years of extensive research, most hatchbacks and saloon cars for sale today have a very low drag coefficient – typically 0.23 to 0.36, although this figure is higher for SUVs and 4x4s. Electric cars – the Tesla model 3 at 0.23 and Tesla model X/S and Toyota Prius at 0.24 – currently have the lowest drag coefficients, but they still look like traditional cars rather than anything radically futuristic. To go completely back to the drawing board potentially would mean throwing away decades of advances. Norway seeks ‘Tesla tax’ on electric cars But there are also technical reasons for the lack of divergence between petrol and electric vehicles. Automotive companies have spent decades perfecting the existing form of the car, so that models are optimally aerodynamic, ergonomic and safe. To depart too radically from tried and tested designs would be a major commitment with expensive consequences in some or all of these areas. Beautiful. But is it revolutionary? Credit: Shutterstock Citation: Why don’t electric cars look like the future? (2018, January 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-dont-electric-cars-future.html Electric, yes. Aerodynamic, no. Credit: Tagishsimon, CC BY-SA Before they hit the market and became relatively mainstream, many imagined (or at least, hoped) that electric cars would resemble the Light Runner from Tron: Legacy. After all, without the need for an internal combustion engine, an exhaust system and a fuel tank, electric car designers should have the creative freedom to rip up the rule book and create some truly eye-catching vehicles. But this hasn’t really happened. Park a Renault Zoe next to a Renault Clio, for example, and compare the two. While there are subtle differences and styling cues that suggest the Zoe is electric and the Clio isn’t, the overall body form is strikingly similar. In fact, the Zoe is assembled on the same production line as the Clio and Nissan Micra. So what’s going on?One explanation could be economic; the initial cost outlay of using the Clio’s existing platform for the Zoe is far lower than developing a completely new design.But this absence of a radical departure in the design and styling of electric cars could also be market led, responding to customer expectations and perceptions. A new car is a significant investment and so consumers are typically conservative when choosing one. Manufacturers typically invest billions of pounds developing new models and they want to be sure that they will sell. Explore further Electric cars were supposed to be the future – or at least look like it. So now they’re here, why do they still look like ordinary petrol and diesel cars and not dazzling props from a science fiction film. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Fit for purpose?And then there’s ergonomics. This essentially is to do with how easy the car is to use: how easy it is to get in and out of, and whether the controls, the various knobs, dials, pedals and levers, are within reach and have a clear purpose. This effects the dimensions of any car. To accommodate an ageing population, manufacturers are now designing cars that are ever easier to access – which typically has increased their average height. It may be tempting to design a car that looks like nothing else before it, but you’re not going to sell many if drivers can’t get in without bumping their heads or struggle to reach the brake pedal.Ubiquitous Euro NCAP safety testing has also been instrumental in subtly changing the shape, form and size of cars developed over the past two decades. An increased focus on stronger structures and safety features (for both occupants and pedestrians) has typically made cars larger and heavier, but it has also shaped car design. To depart from this with radically different forms, would not only be an expensive development, but could be regressive to occupant and pedestrian safety.But other future technologies could change all this. Autonomous, self-driving cars could alter the focus on safety (perhaps the number of accidents will be vastly reduced, an outcome that insurers are already recognising and ergonomics (if the car’s driving itself, why sit in the driving seat?), allowing designers to play around with design in exciting new ways. And if that happens, perhaps cars will begin to look like the future after all. Provided by The Conversation This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more