The Easter weekend is a crucial time for most clubs but for our local non-League teams it presents them with some of the biggest matches of the season.Last Saturday, relegation threatened Hayes & Yeading United pulled off one of the shock results of the weekend when they grabbed a last-minute goal to win 2-1 at high-flying Southport.Nas Bashir’s struggling side have now won three of their last six games and look like being the only team currently in the Blue Square Bet Premier bottom four who could escape.However, with only five games to bridge a four-point gap the task is still a tough one.The challenge begins with a home game on Saturday against Cambridge United. The U’s are currently 11th and realistically have little to play for at this stage of the season.On Monday United face a far harder opponent in Luton Town, who are still scrapping for points to ensure a place in the play-offs. They currently lie three points outside the top five but have two games in hand so will want the win just as much as the visitors.Hampton & Richmond Borough continue their fight to avoid relegation from the Blue Square Bet South against Farnborough on Saturday.The Beavers’ recent resurgence has lifted them out of the bottom three but they suffered their first defeat in seven on Monday night at Boreham Wood as they used up one of their two games in hand.Given their overall improved form, manager Mark Harper will be disappointed if his side do not pick up three points as Farnborough are on a poor run which has seen them lose four of their last five games.Arguably the match of the weekend for our local sides will take place at Uxbridge’s Honeycroft ground on Monday night when Hampton then take on Wealdstone in the Middlesex Senior Cup final.This game provides both clubs with the chance of winning a decent bit of silverware and it is quite hard to call who will win.Although the Stones play a division below in the Ryman League, they have had a generally far more positive season than their opponents and with 42-goal striker Richard Jolly (pictured above) in their team should provide decent opposition.It is not just about the cup though for Gordon Bartlett’s team, who also have a very real chance of stealing into the play-offs right at the death.Despite a lengthy fixture backlog, brought on by their cup commitments, they are still winning and are now just five points off fifth place with seven games to go.A win on Saturday at home to Kingstonian, a side who by their own manager’s admission have only just relinquished their promotion ambitions, would really lift them.However, for many Stones fans the match of the week is on Wednesday night when they travel the short distance to Earlsmead for the derby against Harrow Borough.The rivalry between these two is probably as intense as it gets between any non-League clubs in the West London Sport area. The last time they met, on Boxing Day, Boro were crushed 4-0 in front of a crowd of nearly 900 – almost double the Stones’ average attendance.With it being midweek and QPR also playing at home it’s unlikely to reach that level this time, but with Harrow also chasing every point to avoid the drop, the crowd should be substantial.An away win would appear to be the likely outcome but Dave Anderson’s Boro side are really unpredictable at the moment.Back-to-back defeats against Aveley and Canvey Island plunged them back into the relegation zone but on Tuesday they picked up a resounding 3-0 win at East Thurrock, which saw them jump three places back up the table.A victory at fifth-placed Cray Wanderers, who recently lost at home to struggling Leatherhead, on Saturday could see them end the day six points above the relegation places with just four matches to play.One side who would really profit from a Harrow win would be Hendon, who are still just one point behind Cray.The Greens, who play in Wembley, have a very agreeable looking Easter fixture list with matches against mid-table Margate and north London rivals Wingate & Finchley.Although both these sides could mathematically still be promoted or relegated it is very unlikely either will happen, meaning they will have little other than pride to play for.Given how close the battle for fifth place in the Ryman Premier currently is, two wins appear almost essential if Hendon are to keep up.All Premier and Football League season-ticket holders get half-price admission to all our local non-league sides’ home league matches. Check their websites for details.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
5 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.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest FBNews, the online/digital newsletter of the American Farm Bureau Federation, began posting responses from the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees on a range of issues that concern farmers and ranchers the most. AFBF asked Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump the same questions. Both candidates explained their positions on biotechnology, trade, immigration reform, regulatory reform, food safety and more.“The fact that the candidates took the time in the middle of this very competitive election season to go into such detail in their responses says a lot about the importance of these issues and the farmers and ranchers who care about them,” said Zippy Duvall, AFBF president. “Each of these issues touches our members at the farm and ranch level. Being able to provide information about the candidates’ platforms on issues that are important to agriculture is something we do every presidential election cycle.”The candidates’ responses have been posted on:The farm bill, biotechnology, food safety – http://fbnews.fb.org/Templates/Article.aspx?id=40444The Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act –http://fbnews.fb.org/Templates/Article.aspx?id=40438Regulatory Reform – http://fbnews.fb.org/Templates/Article.aspx?id=40434 Additional responses will be posted at http://fbnews.fb.org/ in the following order:Sept. 27 – ImmigrationSept. 28 – International Trade and TPPSept. 29 – EnergySept. 30 – Full List of IssuesWhile AFBF cannot endorse or support a political candidate, the organization is providing the candidates’ positions to inform Farm Bureau members and others. FBNews signup is free at http://bit.ly/fbnewssubscribe.
A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Google#NYT#web Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting jolie odell It’s official: Google is ditching its homegrown Gears offline web app API in favor of backing HTML5 for the win.Now that the Chrome browser is becoming available for Mac, and the Snow Leopard OS doesn’t play nicely with Gears, a Google rep confirmed the company has decided to trash the whole works and wait for HTML5, even though the spec isn’t yet ready and isn’t supported by commercially available browsers. Oh, the humanity… or rather, the machinery.In the mists of time, back when Gears first launched, we wrote, “We’ve written many times before about the need for offline web app access… And guess who is most at risk with this announcement? Yes, Microsoft. Google after all has many of the top ‘best of breed’ web apps now.” This was before Google’s Chrome browser had hit the scene, and the Gears project was a collaborative effort between Google, Opera, and Mozilla.But in our coverage of last year’s Google I/O conference, we wrote of Gears, “We question whether offline access is even necessary. After all… in today’s world, you’re never too far from an internet connection. We concluded that offline access is important now, but less important with each passing day.”Not only could Gears be used to take online data offline, Google had more in store for Gears users.A few short months later, Google announced a geolocation API for mobile devices running Gears. We wrote, “We think that location-aware software is going to be one of the most interesting markets to watch in the near future and as location-aware devices become more ubiquitous, we will hopefully see a lot of new and innovative services make use of them.”But the party ended with Snow Leopard’s release. Changes in the newest Mac OS and Safari 4 prevent Gears from running on some newer Mac computers. Whether or not the relationship is one of causation or mere correlation, Google is now abandoning Gears.As one Google rep told the L.A. Times, “We are excited that much of the technology in Gears, including offline support and geolocation APIs, are being incorporated into the HTML5 spec as an open standard supported across browsers, and see that as the logical next step for developers looking to include these features in their websites.”Believe us Google, no one is looking forward to the cross-browser, cross-OS implementation of HTML5 as much as we are.UPDATE: According to blogger Mark Milian‘s unnamed sources at Google, Gears will continue to be supported for sites that already use it. However, the rep continued, “We expect developers to use HTML5 for these features moving forward as it’s a standards-based approach that will be available across all browsers.”Still, this statement marks Gears’ graceful and gradual retreat to obsolescence as HTML5 is coached for its center stage place. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Heavy rains and release of water from Gangapur dam into the Godavari river caused a flood-like situation in some areas of Maharashtra’s Nashik district on August 4. More than 20,000 cusecs (cubic foot per second) of water was released from the Gangapur dam on August 4 morning, which led to the Godavari river flowing above the danger mark, an official at the district collectorate said. This also caused water-logging around some temples located on the banks of the river, he said, adding that the water reached up to the neck of the Dutondya Maruti, a statue of Lord Hanuman on the river bed, and was just a few feet below the Ram Setu bridge. Heavy rains continued to lash the city and tribal- dominated tehsils of Igatpuri, Trimbakeshwar, Peint, Surgana, Nashik and Dindori on August 4, he said. In the 24 hours that ended at 8 am on August 4, the Trimbakeshwar tehsil received 315 mm rain, followed by Igatpuri-220 mm, Peint-200 mm, Surgana-180 mm, Nashik-84 mm, Dindori-68 mm, Niphad-25.3 mm and Kalwan-27 mm, as per data provided by the collector’s office. At 8 am, around 26,150 cusecs of water was also released from Darna dam into the river following the heavy showers, according to the data. Around 60 people from Saykheda village were shifted to a safer place, as the river Godavari was in spate in the area, a district administration official said.
One of the most difficult things for a sportsperson to deal with is an injury. As Zaheer Khan walked off the ground at Lord’s in the first Test on Thursday, it was agony for cricket fans.A day later, watching skipper MS Dhoni bowl and Rahul Dravid keep wickets, what stood out was the desperation on part of the Indian skipper.Indian hockey team’s goalie Baljit Singh lost sight after a golf ball hit one of his eyes during practice. He recovered vision, but not enough to play for India.While it may be too early to read much into this in the four- Test series against England, the recall and rejection of hockey goalkeeper Baljit Singh was an episode which could easily have been avoided.When Baljit was hit in the eye two years ago at the national camp in Pune while testing his reflexes with a golf ball, it was big news.He almost went blind in that eye and was then treated in India and in the United States. He got his vision back, played domestic hockey and hopes were raised that he would be back in the India squad.And even as the sports ministry was trying to broker a peace deal between Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation, trials for the national team were on in Bangalore.A day before the actual trial was to begin, India’s Australian coach Michael Nobbs decided in all his wisdom to get Baljit’e vision tested.Much to the chagrin and devastation of the goalkeeper, Nobbs told him his peripheral vision was poor and he could forget playing for India again.advertisementBaljit held a press conference in Bangalore and lambasted the new coach as he felt injustice had been done to him. For the reporters, it made great copy as an emotional player attempting a national comeback had been ruled out purely on medical grounds.This is the baptism by fire which Nobbs would have never expected as he attempts putting Indian hockey back on the rails after the disaster at the Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia.My heart goes out to Baljit as to be told that your vision is not a 100 per cent is distressing. Perhaps, had Baljit lived abroad, he may have been counselled better. But this is India, where despite huge medical advancement sportspersons still prefer to travel abroad for treatment.I would like to explain what exactly loss of peripheral vision means as I have interacted myself with eye specialists.While Baljit may have no problem at all spotting the hockey ball when it comes flying towards him straight on, he would not know what loss of peripheral vision is.It is about how well one is able to see from the corners of the eyes. For checking how good a person’s peripheral vision is, there are enough techniques now available, with the Humphreys’ field test used most commonly.It is unnerving for anyone to undergo that test for the first time, as a doctor checks the peripheral vision with the help of a machine.In the case of Baljit, in the first place, he is indeed lucky he got his vision back and can lead a normal life.As one who has devoted him- self to Indian hockey, it is hard to accept he may never get to play for India again. Then again, after such a major eye injury, for Baljit to make a comeback is indeed a brave effort.My advice to Baljit is not to take this to heart and lambast the coach but see how he can still help Indian hockey. He was apparently offered an advisory position as goalkeeping coach.This is not the first instance where an Indian sportsperson has suffered because of a serious injury. Rewind to the days of Nari Contractor and you will get to know how the left- handed opener was lucky to survive after he was struck on the back of his head by West Indian Charlie Griffith’s bouncer.Contractor made a miraculous recovery after being in coma for almost a week but never got to play for India again.Even in interviews a couple of years ago, the Mumbaikar lamented how he did not get to play even one Test after that incident.Yet, when one talks of injuries and handicaps and how Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi still led India superbly despite losing an eye in a car accident in England, it’s an unbelievable story.Pataudi has told people that when he was fielding, he actually could see two cricket balls. How he went for the right red ball and fielded with such aplomb is well known to every fan.advertisementThere again, if Pataudi was lucky, it was quite the opposite with wicketkeeper Saba Karim.Having been struck in the eye by an Anil Kumble delivery in a freak incident, Karim knew after some months he could not play again and in 2001 retired from international as well as domestic cricket.Fitness worries and injuries can happen to any sportsperson.Sadly in Baljit’s case, nobody seems to have given him proper advice as to how risky it is being a goalkeeper.Even with perfect vision, spotting the ball which comes at such fast speeds and different angles is tricky.To not play again for India will hurt Baljit but still it’s not as bad as being unable to see with one eye.