Archives: kkcykwsge

‘Reclaim the Economy by Becoming Entrepreneurs’

January 14, 2020 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: kkcykwsge.

first_imgMr. John B.S. Davies III, President of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), has told graduates of the University of Liberia (UL) College of Business and Public Administration to reclaim the Liberian economy by creating opportunities for themselves through entrepreneurship rather than simply relying on jobs, which he said are now in limited supply in the private sector. “Today we witness a different dynamic in time. Supply of men and women on the job market seems to quadruple the demand quite strangely,” said Mr. Davies when he delivered the commencement address at the college’s graduation yesterday. More than 1,000 students received bachelor degrees in economics, public administration, accounting and management. Mr. Davies spoke on the topic “Relevance of business education in the roll out of our post war reconstruction program as encapsulated in the agenda for transformation.” He said less than 10 percent of business graduates are business owners and self-employed with the capability to employ others. “This situation has to change if many more youth must be encouraged to embrace education as the path to what in the words of the late Professor Joe Weatu Elliot, former chairman of the [UL] management department, who said ‘critical thinking and analytical reasoning are the necessary ingredients for emancipation from mental slavery and intellectual decadence,”’ Mr. Davies said. He said that the college was founded to provide the necessary training that would be required to build the country’s succeeding generations of business leaders and entrepreneurs, to provide the springboard from which the economy will be well within the control of Liberians and to serve a catalytic role in the tedious task of wealth creation and labor employment for the capable young people of the nation who have shown to deserve a chance.Reflecting on his time at the university dating back seventeen years ago when he and more than 400 others graduated from the college, the guest speaker said it was not lost on them that the university was perceived as the institution with the three Ds—difficult to enter, difficult to pass through and difficult to exit successfully. “The attrition rate was more than 50%, but in fairness to our days, the assimilation rate in the job market was also higher than 50%,” he recollected. “The University was seen as that great beacon of hope. The hope that being a truck loader in the Free Port of Monrovia or a gasoline seller by jars along the streets of metropolitan city of Monrovia, or even a peanuts or cookies seller, as some of us in college managed to do as a means of getting by, were only temporary chores intended to keep you out of financial troubles while keeping your prime focus on your school work,” he added.Davies said those were the days when one’s ability to land the dream job of his/her expectations lay in his/her hands, adding, “The incentive to be better at every opportunity was far too appealing to spend time in needless idleness and indolence.”Mr. Davies proffered two recommendations, saying, “It is about time that we review our programs and products from the job market demands perspective rather than the academician perspective; we must find resources to strengthen the business intelligence and research arm of the College of Business.”Speaking earlier, the Dean of the College, Associate Professor Geegbae A. Geegbae said the university received a grant of US $400,000 from the World Bank for capacity building.“The main objective of the project was to upgrade the accountancy program of the department to meet international standards with the following deliverables satisfactorily met,” he said. He said the grant served the purpose of developing the college faculty through faculty visits to the University of Michigan to improve teaching by strengthening faculty capacity, revamped the undergraduate and graduate accounting degree curricula, setting up of a modern computer laboratory, the purchase of text books and the provision of foreign scholarships. For his part, the valedictorian of the graduating class, Genesis B. Kollie, reminded his fellow graduates to make use of their individual comparative advantage, stating, “Fellow graduates, let us know that everyone of us has comparative advantage that we can make efficient and effective use of.”“If you studied accounting, your comparative advantage is in accounting; if you studied economics, your comparative advantage is in economics; if you studied management, your comparative advantage is in management; and if you studied public administration, your comparative advantage is in public administration,” he urged. “By identifying our comparative advantages, we, the microcosm of our larger society, will identify our potential, and we would always have better outputs, qualitatively and quantitatively.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Tommy Lakes Forest Fire continues to grow

January 11, 2020 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: kkcykwsge.

first_imgRight now the fire is a modified response fire, which means it is being actively monitored but there are not firefighters currently working the fire. There is a structural protection unit has been setup to protect a nearby compressor station.The Peace River Regional District has issued an evacuation alter for the area.The PRRD says the Evacuation Alert is for anyone in the area following the Sikanni Chief River on the west, to PDR 73/Horn Road on the southwest across to the Braland Creek, east along Conroy Creek, north along Conroy Creek and across back to the Sikanni Chief River. The area is within the oil and gas fields of Tommy Lakes, Conroy Creek, Laprise Creek and Black Creek.- Advertisement -An Evacuation Alert has been issued to prepare you to evacuate your premises should it be found necessary.The PRRD says they’re trying to give as much advance notice as possible prior to evacuation, but you may receive limited notice due to changing condition.Any concerns should be directed to the Regional District at 250 784 3200.Advertisementlast_img read more

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Bush chooses tough judge to fill AG post

January 3, 2020 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: kkcykwsge.

first_imgMukasey had an interview with White House staff on Aug. 27, the day Gonzales announced his resignation, a senior administration official said. The president then met Mukasey on Sept. 1 and spent an hour with him. Bush on Monday called Mukasey a “tough but fair judge” and praised his reputation as a smart and strong manager. “Judge Mukasey is clear-eyed about the threat our nation faces,” Bush said. Senators who will vote on Mukasey’s confirmation stopped short of pledging to support him. But most agreed to try to begin quickly confirmation hearings to fill more than a half-dozen vacant senior positions at the scandal-scarred Justice Department. The department has been under siege for months over criticism it was too closely tied to politics under Gonzales’ reign. “I think that he’ll not only provide the president with first-rate legal counsel, but this nomination will go through Congress without much, if any, partisan politicking, and I think the country needs a break from another explosive, controversial nomination,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman, Ind-Conn., who knew Mukasey at Yale Law School in the mid-1960s. Even so, Bush’s pick did little to appease a simmering fight between the White House and Senate Democrats who want the administration to hand over data about its terrorist surveillance program. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., threatened to hold up Mukasey’s nomination until the White House gives up the information. “Our focus now will be on securing the relevant information we need so we can proceed to schedule fair and thorough hearings,” Leahy said. “Cooperation from the White House will be essential in determining that schedule.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Mukasey, the former chief U.S. district judge in the Manhattan courthouse just blocks from Ground Zero, will likely face a relatively smooth confirmation by a Democratic-led Senate that has demanded new Justice Department leadership for months. He replaces Alberto Gonzales, a Texan who announced his departure three weeks ago amid investigations that began with the firing of U.S. attorneys and mushroomed into doubts about his credibility. Appointed to the bench in 1987 by President Reagan, Mukasey also worked for four years as a trial prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York’s southern district – one of the Justice Department’s busiest and highest-profile offices in the country. “The department faces challenges vastly different from those it faced when I was an assistant U.S. attorney 35 years ago,” Mukasey, 66, said as he stood next to Bush on the White House lawn. “But the principles that guide the department remain the same: to pursue justice by enforcing the law with unswerving fidelity to the Constitution.” Mukasey said that, if confirmed, he hopes to give Justice employees “the support and the leadership they deserve.” Bush had a close personal relationship going back to Texas with Gonzales, whose resignation was effective Monday. He does not have such ties with Mukasey. POLITICS: Congress is expected to confirm the president’s nominee. By Lara Jakes Jordan THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON – Former federal judge Michael Mukasey, a tough-on-terrorism jurist with an independent streak, was tapped by President Bush on Monday to take over as attorney general and lead a Justice Department accused of being too close to White House politics. last_img read more

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Same-sex couples face double tax troubles

December 30, 2019 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: kkcykwsge.
first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.But critics charge that the Internal Revenue Service largely has remained silent about how registered partners should sort through a raft of confounding inconsistencies. They say the IRS has refused to provide private letter rulings and has not issued any guidance about how the agency is likely to interpret sticky issues. Now, with less than three months left to plan and adjust their finances in 2007, registered partners find themselves in uncharted territory when weighing the tax implications of donating to charity, saving for retirement, buying or selling homes, managing investments – basically, issue after issue that heterosexual married couples can take for granted. For example, Shannon Schwartz and Calvin Kuan of Mountain View must puzzle through the tax ramifications every time they write a check for the mortgage, property taxes and other routine bills. Simply deciding which partner pays the mortgage involves projecting who will get the bigger benefit from the interest deduction on his separate federal return. Other transactions that would be routine nontaxable events between married couples – such as splitting a partner’s income under California’s community property laws – could trigger gift taxes between domestic partners. “So we have to pretend, `Is it my money or his money?’ – when in reality, it’s our money,” Schwartz said. “I guess the IRS doesn’t care about that reality.” Conversely, Patrice Reid says she and her partner maintain separate finances and have structured their investments to minimize their taxes as single taxpayers. That’s likely to cost them state taxes because their incomes will be combined on their California return, but it would be more costly to unwind her portfolio at this stage. “We’re really being treated as second-class citizens on the federal level,” the 42-year-old Campbell resident said. “I think California is trying to be progressive, but the federal government is lagging.” The problem has been building for years. In 1999, California became the first state to create a registry for domestic partners, which comprises both same-sex couples and heterosexual couples with at least one partner older than age 62. Later laws gave registered partners many of the rights and responsibilities of married couples, but through 2006 they were treated as single on their state and federal tax returns. That will change under a state law signed in 2006. Though state Proposition 22 defines marriage as a union only of a man and a woman, starting with their 2007 state returns the law will require registered partners to file their California taxes as married couples, either on a joint return or by filing separately. They no longer may file as single or head-of-household taxpayers. Debate about the bill triggered shouting matches in the Legislature. At one point, Assemblyman Jay La Suer, a Republican, called the measure “part of the homosexual agenda,” causing Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, a Democrat, to claim offense, saying he was “castigating me and mine.” The law was a symbolic breakthrough for domestic partners, but it created a raft of practical problems because the IRS maintains that they cannot file as married couples on their federal returns. Beyond that, however, the IRS has remained virtually silent, critics say. “I consider it discrimination in the form of legal complexity,” said Frederick Hertz, an Oakland attorney and co-author of “A Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples.” “It is really cruel to ask people to make decisions about their lives when the law is so uncertain and so complex. For the IRS to say, `We don’t make rulings, let the courts work this out,’ is not very helpful because people can’t wait five to seven years to make life decisions.” Some tax pros are encouraging registered partners to hire the same preparer to ensure the returns mirror one another. Lynn Freer, editor of Spidell’s California Taxletter, advises registered partners to consider filing extensions to buy time for tax issues to be resolved. Kris Hill, a tax professional and a registered partner who lives in Berkeley, said she tries to think of such headaches as an inevitable “political price you pay when things begin to change.” Still, she can’t hide her impatience. The gulf between state and federal tax rules reminds her of Jim Crow laws in the South that prohibited blacks from sipping at water fountains reserved for whites. “You have rights one place, and then you go someplace else and don’t have rights any more. We don’t have progress everywhere and at the same rate.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN JOSE – As if filling out your federal tax forms isn’t bad enough, imagine how you’d feel having to do it twice. That’s essentially what California’s 90,000 registered domestic partners face April15 next year because state and federal tax laws are on a head-on collision course. A landmark state law will require them to file their taxes as married couples for the first time – but federal tax laws don’t recognize such unions. “I can’t remember anything that has created so much confusion and so many land mines,” said Lynn Freer, owner of Spidell Publishing, which released a 35-page planning guide geared for tax professionals last month. “The unknown is the worst.” After months of studying the mess in consultation with tax professionals, attorneys and tax-software experts, California’s Franchise Tax Board recently released the first draft of an instruction booklet to help partners work through their state returns. The agency also is seeking a legal ruling from the state attorney general that could clarify the tax impact on nonresident gays and lesbians who have financial ties to the state. last_img

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Video: Firefighters tackle large blaze at historic Fort Dunree

December 21, 2019 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: kkcykwsge.

first_imgThere were dramatic scenes at Fort Dunree in Inishowen this morning after a fire broke out at the military museum. The alarm was raised at 9.45am, when staff at the museum noticed smoke coming from one of the outbuildings. Large flames soon emerged under the windy conditions.The Buncrana Fire Service arrived quickly on the scene and had the situation under control within minutes. Video via Fort Dunree Military MuseumThe building, which was a former Officers’ Mess, was unoccupied at the time and there were no injuries from this morning’s incident.Firefighters have cordoned off the area and the Fort Dunree museum is open to the public as normal.The abandoned outhouse is one of many buildings which have been preserved from an immensely important time in Donegal’s history. The Fort Dunree military museum is a popular tourist destination on the Wild Atlantic Way, with many military memorabilia and artefacts on site. A spokesperson at the museum expressed their thanks to Buncrana Fire Service for extinguishing the fire.“A big thank you to the fire brigade, we really appreciate them coming so quick.”Video: Firefighters tackle large blaze at historic Fort Dunree was last modified: July 3rd, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:fireFORT DUNREEInishowenlast_img read more

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Michelle Bento-Jackson out to build new foundation for Humboldt State women’s basketball

December 21, 2019 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: kkcykwsge.

first_imgArcata >> It’s going to be an uphill climb for the Humboldt State women’s basketball team this coming season, and new HSU head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson knows it. “I can’t sit here and say we are going to go out and win a conference championship. I’m not going to say anything along those lines,” she said in an interview on Wednesday. “But certainly, that’s the goal and objective is for us to continue to grow and improve and get this program where it belongs, and I believe it belongs at the …last_img

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Complex Brain Wiring Unveiled in New Images

December 19, 2019 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: kkcykwsge.

first_imgSurely one of the great mysteries of human life is how a single fertilized egg cell grows to an adult, with a brain sporting hundreds of billions of functional connections supporting abstract thought.New Scientist discussed how researchers at Wayne State are using functional MRI to study fetal brains as they develop in the womb.  it’s difficult, because the unborn baby is “doing backflips as we scan it,” they said.  They implied that accurate wiring is essential, because miswiring can result in autism or schizophrenia, even if the baby survives till birth.BBC News reporter Pallab Ghosh submitted his brain to science – while it was still safely operating in his skull.  Inside one of the most powerful MRIs in the world at Massachusetts General Hospital, Ghosh sat still 45 minutes while the images were taken.  Processed and colorized images and a video within the article show the intricate wiring between lobes, as the magnets focused in on water droplets in the nerve fibers.  Then professor Van Weeden gave Ghosh a guided tour of his brain:He showed me the connection that helped me to see and another one that helped me understand speech. There were twin arcs that processed my emotions and a bundle that connected the left and right sides of my brain.Prof Wedeen used visualisation software that enabled him to fly around and through these pathways – even to zoom in to see intricate details.He and his team hope to learn how the human mind works and what happens when it goes wrong.By pointing out the things that can go wrong, Weeden implied that the wiring in a normal brain has a precise, functional order.Weeden erred by saying that the images will help him learn “how the human mind works”.  He equated the mind with the brain.  The brain is the hardware; studying a computer will never show you how the software works.  But if neither were designed, you would have mindless matter incapable of abstract thought (see philosopher Chalmers video on ENV, and ID the Future podcast with neuroscientist Jeffrey Schwartz).You have a mind and the hardware (a brain) to make it productive.  The mind is not just the seat of emotions and sensation, but of intellect and will.  With your mind you can evaluate evidence, like the sophisticated wiring of the brain.  With your mind you can weigh alternatives, such as the merits of evolution or creation.  With your mind you can make decisions.  Choose life.  (Deuteronomy 30; Romans 1-6). (Visited 32 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Big birds are big business

December 19, 2019 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: kkcykwsge.

first_imgOstriches on a farm near Oudtshoorn inthe Western Cape. The town has longbeen the centre of South Africa’s ostrichindustry. Leather, decorated eggs and feathers …Along with low-fat red meat, the manyproducts made from ostriches.(Images: Rodger Bosch,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more freephotos, visit the image library.)Jennifer SternOstrich feathers have been a sought-after item for the adornment of soldiers and war horses, and generally as an integral motif in all areas of pageantry and public spectacle for hundreds, possibly thousands, of years. Through all that time the Middle East was the main supplier. That all changed with the European colonisation of the Cape.During the 1800s, ostrich feathers shook off their image of military pomp and circumstance, and moved from the tops of horses’ heads and the helmets of soldiers to the hats and shoulders of fashionable ladies. To feed this fashion, the ostrich farms of what was then the Cape Colony developed.There is some confusion about when and where the first commercial ostrich farm was set up. There are claims that the first farm in Little Karoo near Oudtshoorn was started in 1864, but the earliest records of intensive ostrich farming in the Cape is an article in the Illustrated London Times of March 30th 1878. In this the writer claims that a Mr A Douglass, who farmed near Grahamstown, was the first commercial ostrich producer.“Ten years ago, Mr. Douglass obtained three wild birds, and afterwards eight more,” the article reads.“As soon as he found they would lay in confinement, he began his experiments in artificial hatching. This attempt met with but little success for three years, till he invented the patent incubator, the success of which has become renowned.“By its means he has increased the eleven birds to 900, and these and others becoming dispersed throughout the colony have made ostrich farming, next to wool and diamonds, the most important industry of South Africa.”Fabulous fortunes founded on feathersImmense fortunes were built on the backs of these bizarre birds and the town of Oudtshoorn and surrounds are graced with beautiful homesteads, fancifully called “feather palaces” because they were financed entirely by the sale of these frivolous fashion items.Another beautiful building that owes its existence to this trade is the Feather Market in Port Elizabeth. This elaborate Victorian extravaganza was completed after much delay in 1855 at the immense cost of £54 000. No longer used to auction feathers, it is has been renovated, and is now used for conventions and functions.In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the birds were farmed almost exclusively for their feathers. As horrible as it sounds, the birds were plucked live, about twice a year. The leather was considered utilitarian at best, and the meat was not considered a delicacy at all, except when salted, spiced and air-dried to make biltong – South Africa’s ubiquitous savoury snack.As fashions changed, and the market for feathers declined, the farmers continued limping along until first the leather and then the meat became the new focus of interest. The leather is both hard-wearing and attractive, with its distinctive quill marks, from which the feathers have been plucked.“It’s not an easy leather to process,” says Anton Kruger, CEO of the South African Ostrich Business Chamber.“All the fat accumulates in the skin, and it’s a very complicated process to tan the skin properly to remove the fat and not damage the skin. We in South Africa have the expertise and experience, so South African ostrich leather is very sought after. We export more than 350 colours of ostrich leather.”It’s that peculiarity of the bird that makes the meat so sought-after as well. As all the fat accumulates in the skin, the meat, which is red like beef, not white like poultry, is almost completely fat- and cholesterol-free. So it’s the perfect choice for the health-conscious meat lover.“It’s a lifestyle product,” says Kruger, “and the demand, worldwide, is bigger than the supply.“South Africa produces more than 70% of the world’s ostrich meat, leather and feathers. And 75% of South Africa’s ostriches are in the South Western Cape.”Ostrich farming in South Africa brings in about R1.75-billion (US1.74-million) a year, about 90% of it in foreign exchange. These big birds are big business.All major stakeholders in the industry are affiliated to either the National Ostrich Processors of South Africa or the South African Ostrich Producers’ Organisation. Both organisations are members of the South African Ostrich Business Chamber, which  facilitates the sustainability and profitability of the local ostrich industry.The ostrich diasporaFor various reasons, the fledgling ostrich industry became consolidated in the Little Karoo, the area around Oudtshoorn, and it was illegal to export any breeding birds or eggs. But where there’s a will there’s a way and, in the early 1990s a number of people managed to get birds out of the country and start ostrich farms in locations as diverse as Botswana and Russia.“Most of these did not flourish,” says Kruger. “You need the right climate and the expertise.”Around that time people in other parts of South Africa decided to try their hand at ostrich farming. Gavin Kanigowski, the owner of the Cape Town Ostrich Ranch, says that the accepted belief was that you could only farm ostriches in the Little Karoo.“But that’s not true,” he says. “Van Riebeek raised two young ostriches in 1652. We know for a fact that they kept ostriches in the Company Gardens. And Van Riebeek sent two ostrich chicks to the emperor of Japan in 1658.” Jan van Riebeeck led the first colonising party from Holland to the Cape in 1652.“I went into this in a great amount of detail because the ostrich farmers said that you could only raise ostriches within 50 miles [80 km] of Oudtshoorn. I bought 10 ostriches and brought them down here and they died in the first week.“But that was because the guy I bought them from told me to leave them outside.”Undaunted, Kanigowski tried again, selectively buying breeding pairs, and now he has 400 birds on his farm just outside Cape Town.Black, red, white and blueThe most commercially sought after ostrich, according to Kruger, is the South African Black. Other ostriches, like the Kenyan Red, and the Zimbabwean Blue, are bigger and more aggressive.“The black ostrich is easier to farm with, and was bred to produce better meat, leather and feathers,” says Kruger.Of course, the “black” only refers to the male ostrich, which is a deep black with contrasting white underfeathers, while the females are a dull, dusty brown. It is thought that this is a good adaptation as the male ostrich guards the eggs at night, when it is dark, and the well-camouflaged female guards them in the day.Kanigowski takes this one step further. Looking at old paintings of ostriches around Cape Town, he says they are much whiter than those found in the Little Karoo, and believes there should be another strain – the West Coast White.“On the West Coast we have sand dunes,” says Kanigowski, “and a black ostrich on a white sand dune is not camouflaged, even at night. So a white ostrich male is more well camouflaged. And the females are more white than grey. It’s quite logical. So I’ve started selectively breeding them up.”Weird and wonderfulOstriches have shown incredible resilience as an investment, with one or the other aspect taking over as another becomes unprofitable, and tourism seems to be the big money spinner for the farmers now.“Ostrich farms don’t make money,” says Kanigowski. “The tourist industry is the biggest income stream. Tourists are the mainstay of the industry. They buy in the shop and eat in the restaurant. We have 65 000 foreign tourists per year, mainly from the Far East, and about 25 000 local.”Of course, he has the great advantage of being close to Cape Town, so he has a constant stream of tour buses disgorging their passengers so they can tour the farm, have lunch and then have their photograph taken sitting on top of an ostrich with Table Mountain in the background.Kanigowski does not allow his ostriches to be ridden. The bird’s chest is supported while the tourist gets his or her 15 seconds of ostrich-top glory. Some other farms do allow riding but, claims Kanigowski, “While ostriches are incredibly strong, they’re built for speed not for carrying weight. They only have two legs, unlike a horse, and they have very thin ankles.”But riding and even sitting on an ostrich is a small part of the attraction. Ostrich show farms make money because ostriches are really weird birds.Everything about these birds is odd. Their size and appearance seem to support the theory that birds are descended from dinosaurs. They’re the biggest bird alive today with the males growing up to a maximum of about 2.5m high and weighing between 100kg and 150kg.  The females are a bit smaller.The ostrich is probably the only animal in the world whose brain is smaller than its toenail. Ostrich eggs are equal to about 24 hen’s eggs in weight and can support the weight of a person.One Johann Wilhelm Vogel, who visited the Cape in 1678, wrote of ostriches: “The bird has a wonderful nature, in that if iron or steel is thrown before it, it swallows it; and also digests it, since anyone who goes near them can hear how in the body or belly there is a boiling as if in a strong-heated pot, so that there must be a terrible heat or fire therein.“If anyone wishes to annoy this bird, especially an old one, it defends itself with its feet, kicking out behind it like a horse, and this with such strength that it can readily knock down and lay out anyone who is not careful.”That is stretching the truth a bit, but ostriches can kill a person with a kick, but they kick forwards. They do eat stones, but never digest them; instead, they use them for digestion. This leads to another interesting story, which is almost certainly apocryphal.Lawrence green, in his book Coast of Treasure, relates how a hunter shot an ostrich near Walvis Bay, and found 53 diamonds in its crop. This led, not surprisingly, to a veritable slaughter of the birds anywhere near the diamond areas. It’s a great story, and far more convincing than Vogel’s fanciful description, but has never been validated.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesBotswana revives ostrich farmingFresh market for SA leather tiles Ostrich eggs hatch art fad South Africa’s tourist highlights Useful linksSouth African Ostrich Business Chamber Cape Town Ostrich RanchKlein Karoo Ostrich and Seed Group National Ostrich Processors of South Africalast_img read more

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Opening bank accounts by mobile ‘app’

December 18, 2019 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: kkcykwsge.

first_img29 July 2011 The initial focus is not only on rural areas, but also includes testing the process in high foot-traffic areas like commuter points, shopping centres and at company premises, factories, and other workplace environments – where there are also opportunities to provide banking access to new customers. High foot-traffic areas Accounts become active once an initial deposit has been made at either an ATM or Point of Sale device. This remote account opening system replaces previous, cumbersome processes involving a bulky set of laptops, barcode scanners, thermal printers and card writers – as well as more than one interaction with the customer. The on-device “app” scans a prospective customer’s ID book to identify and verify details, captures all the relevant information and enables the imaging of supporting documents. It then interfaces with Absa’s systems to conduct the relevant screening processes and complete the opening of the account. Importantly, the app allows us to access and control key functionality on the device – to record the GPS coordinates that allows us to build customer and sales data, and access the camera and data encryption functionalities. “Research into the field of financial inclusion shows that an increase in the number of people interacting with the formal economy stimulates economic growth at a national level, and positively contributes to poverty reduction.” SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material “This innovative use of mobile technology allows us to extend our reach in many of South Africa’s most poorly serviced areas from a banking perspective, and enables greater numbers of our population to access the formal economy and all the associated benefits of having a bank account,” Absa Retail Bank CEO Gavin Opperman said in a statement last week. “The remote account opening facility is a crucial ingredient in our branchless banking strategy – where we seek to provide alternative delivery solutions to customers situated in areas where traditional banking infrastructure is not viable,” notes Opperman. Most appropriate strategy Developing a mobile app of this nature is the most appropriate strategy, adds Opperman, since android is regarded as one of the most dominant mobile operating systems and is used to power a number of different smartphone and tablet devices. The smartphone/tablet apps scales easily to cater for demand, since new devices can be acquired relatively easily and placed “in the field”, while its high-tech imaging and optimised communications technologies dramatically reduce the time it takes to serve the customer. Only one interaction with a client is required. South Africa’s Absa Bank has extended its service reach with the launch of an innovative application for Android-based smartphones and tablet devices that allows its sales consultants to open accounts and issue debit cards to new customers in under 10 minutes.last_img read more

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Cape fires are ‘right on time’ for fynbos, says UCT ecologist

December 18, 2019 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: kkcykwsge.

first_img5 March 2015As devastating as the ongoing fires around the Cape Peninsula have been to property and tracts of nature reserve, regular fires every 15 years are critical to the rebirth of fynbos-dominated ecosystems, says fynbos ecologist Dr Adam West.“In the fynbos, fire is essential for maintaining the ecosystem and 15 years is an optimum time for fynbos to burn. In a sense, these fires are right on time; early enough to regenerate the plants that bind the soil before the winter rains erode the land.”Fynbos habitats have been burning every 15 years for between 3- and 5-million years, as long as fynbos has been around, says West. “The native plants and animals from these systems are well adapted to these regular fires. If they couldn’t handle it, there wouldn’t be any left.”Without fire, these ecosystems slowly decay, negatively affecting the plants, birds and animals whose life cycles and food chains are inextricably bound to the fynbos. Ironically, it is the lack of fire that is the ultimate death sentence for fynbos ecosystems.Mitigating effectsAnd although the fires have razed some homes and buildings in the affected areas of Tokai, Noordhoek, Muizenberg and Hout Bay, West has commended the City of Cape Town’s urban planners for the strict regulations that curtail development in the higher reaches of the Peninsula’s mountains, which skirt some of the city’s largest tracts of conservation park.“Good urban planning can mitigate devastating fires like these. And Cape Town’s urban planners have done a good job by keeping development below the natural plant line. This gives firefighters a fixed line to defend.”Unfortunately, developments such as the luxury Tintswalo Atlantic lodge, which was razed to the ground below Chapman’s Peak, are “time bombs” in a region prone to fynbos fires, he says. “It’s like building below the flood line of a river.”Vineyards planted right up to the natural vegetation on the mountains also stand to be damaged by these fires. “Growing vineyards adjacent to a naturally fire-prone vegetation is inherently risky. We need to think longer term about this kind of encroachment.”Sporting psycheWest is intrigued that the age-old relationship between proteas and fire has entered even the national sporting psyche.The South African cricket team’s inspirational “Protea Fire” campaign was adopted ahead of World Cup cricket, currently under way in Australia and New Zealand. This is based on the knowledge that Protea flowers are adapted to survive ravaging veld fires, growing back stronger afterwards.“But we need to get this conservation message out to the public,” says West. “Though we want to save the tortoises and other small animals, they too ultimately need the fire for continued existence. Fire resets the ecosystem.”He strongly urges the public to get behind campaigns such as the Working for Water sustainability project, alien plant eradication programme, and enterprises that highlight the dangers of encroaching urban areas, all of which do far more to preserve our natural heritage in the long run.Controlled firesWest would also like to see more managed burns; where controlled fires burn tracts of fynbos, limiting potential damage to surrounding areas and property. But these are being used less and less because of legal implications and penalisation.“Now we’re relying on arson or lightning to create fires at inopportune times when there’s a heat wave and high winds. We must think about how we manage fires because they are critical.”This is an edited version of a story first published by UCT.last_img read more

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