Flash sparks Charitycards.co.uk debate in Guardian

Mr Stevenson’s argument that the technology is out there so use it is not uncommon. However, charities sticking to it are likely to annoy donors and even more importantly potential donors. About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Flash sparks Charitycards.co.uk debate in Guardian  30 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Tagged with: Digital Technology Trading AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Howard Lake | 28 October 1999 | News Last week’s letter in The Guardian Online concerning charitycards.co.uk’s use of Flash technology on its Web site has spawned a reply on the supplement’s letters page. Gordon Stevenson retorted that “the original web designer of charitycards was correct to use Flash, since 69.78% of all web browsers now have Flash player installed.”Mr Stevenson wondered “and what about the other 30.22% of lost customers?” His answer – “why didn’t they simply install the free Flash player?”So, the customer is wrong and needs to get the right technology to buy a charity card online? That is hardly a customer- or indeed donor-focused approach. Advertisement read more

Exploring Tax Reform’s Impact on Housing Assistance

first_img Exploring Tax Reform’s Impact on Housing Assistance HOUSING mortgage Tax Reform 2018-01-04 Nicole Casperson Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Related Articles Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago  Print This Post The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Previous: The Industry Pulse Next: On the Radar: Legal Experts on the Cases Shaping the Industry About Author: Nicole Casperson Share Save The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agocenter_img The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Tagged with: HOUSING mortgage Tax Reform in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Market Studies, News Home / Daily Dose / Exploring Tax Reform’s Impact on Housing Assistance Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago A recently released report by the Urban Institute addresses what they believe are issues with Federal housing assistance programs under new proposals and the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—reporting only one in five renter households who qualify for housing assistance actually receive any.According to the research, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the administration’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget are expected to hinder access to housing assistance, which is a safety net for low-income households.  With millions of American households facing some type of housing instability, the report reveals that in 2015, 8.3 million renter households with low incomes lacked housing assistance and paid over 50 percent of their income for housing costs or lived in “severely inadequate” housing. In addition, 7 million people in low-income households were doubled up with family and friends—with another 1.5 million people experiencing homelessness.However, according to a recent report by Zillow, doubled up living can work in one’s favor. As rents have outpaced incomes, sharing a home with roommates or with adult parents can give working adults the option to afford to live in more desirable neighborhoods without shouldering the full cost alone. In fact, the share of adults living with roommates is higher than ever before—at 30 percent. Despite the concerns about new policies on housing assistance, DS News previously reported the Fed’s anticipation for economic boosts from the tax bill. According to the report, Fed officials expect the recent tax cuts passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump to boost both consumer and business spending, citing the tax changes as one reason the Committee boosted their forecast for 2018 GDP growth from 2.1 percent to 2.5 percent.“Most participants indicated that prospective changes in federal tax policy were a factor that led them to boost their projections of real GDP growth over the next couple of years,” the Fed explained.The Fed also noted, “broad equity price indexes rose over the intermeeting period, likely reflecting in part investors’ perceptions of increased odds for the passage of federal tax legislation and an associated potential boost to corporate earnings.”Additionally, leaders in the housing industry have previously addressed why they believe the new tax code will benefit Americans.Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Granger MacDonald previously expressed his support of the legislation and why it is good for housing. “This comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s tax code will help middle-class families, maintain the nation’s commitment to affordable housing and ensure that small businesses are treated fairly relative to large corporations,” MacDonald said. “Lower tax rates and a fair tax code will spur economic growth and increase competitiveness, and that is good for housing.”David H. Stevens, President and CEO of the MBA, also stated his optimism for the inclusion of important real estate provisions in the conference report for HR 1.”Specifically, we are grateful for the amendment to Section 13221 of the original Senate-passed bill offered by Senator Mike Rounds, to create an exception for any item of gross income in connection to a mortgage servicing contract.” Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago January 4, 2018 1,716 Views Sign up for DS News Daily Nicole Casperson is the Associate Editor of DS News and MReport. She graduated from Texas Tech University where she received her M.A. in Mass Communications and her B.A. in Journalism. Casperson previously worked as a graduate teaching instructor at Texas Tech’s College of Media and Communications. Her thesis will be published by the International Communication Association this fall. To contact Casperson, e-mail: [email protected] Subscribelast_img read more

Ben Harper Announces Tour, New Album With Charlie Musselwhite

first_imgBen Harper and blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite have announced a follow up to their Grammy-winning 2013 collaborative album, Get Up!. The 10-track record, No Mercy In This Land, is due out on March 30th.Harper and Musselwhite have also announced an extensive series of North American and European tour dates in support of their new album. The run will kick off with a two-night album release run in San Francisco before the duo heads across the pond for all of April. Harper and Musselwhite will then return to the United States for a number of spring and summer dates, including two-night stands in Solana Beach, CA, Toronto, Cambridge, MA, and New York City.Fans can pre-order No Mercy In This Land here, and tickets for the tour are slated to go on sale Friday, January 26th. You can check out the trailer for the new album below.Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite Tour DatesMarch 30 San Francisco, CA—The FillmoreMarch 31 San Francisco, CA-—The FillmoreApril 3 Glasgow, UK—Oran MorApril 6 Manchester, UK—Academy 2April 7 London, UK—Shepherds Bush EmpireApril 9 Amsterdam,—ParadisoApril 10 Berlin—HuxleysApril 11 Cologne—Live Music HallApril 12 Luxembourg—Den AtelierApril 14 Brussels, Belgium- La MadeleineApril 23 Milan, Italy- FabriqueApril 25 Geneva—Salle des FetesApril 27 Barcelona—BartsApril 30 Lisbon—Aula MagnaMay 3 Madrid—La RiveriaMay 7 Los Angeles, CA—TroubadourMay 8 Los Angeles, CA—TroubadourMay 12 Solana Beach, CA—Belly UpMay 13 Solana Beach, CA—Belly UpMay 28 Toronto, ONT—Mod ClubMay 29 Toronto, ONT—Mod ClubJune 3 Cambridge, MA—The SinclairJune 4 Cambridge, MA—The SinclairJune 8 New York, NY—The Bowery BallroomJune 9 New York, NY—The Bowery BallroomJuly 29 Detroit, MI—St. Andrews HallJuly 30 Chicago, IL—Thalia HallAugust 1 Saint Paul, MN—Palace TheaterAugust 3 Denver, CO—Gothic TheaterAugust 27 Santa Cruz, CA—The Catalyst[Photo: Erik Kabik]last_img read more

The ruse of ‘fake news’

first_img Town halls, without the screaming or scripting Catching criminals through their relatives’ DNA Panelists ponder the future of journalism in a click-happy, unsourced world Fake news is giving reality a run for its money Related The Boston Globe To ensure that false content isn’t amplified across platforms, the study called on companies to do a better job of policing the use of software bots that control fake accounts — studies have estimated that anywhere from 9 to 15 percent of active Twitter accounts are bots, and that there may be as many as 60 million bots on Facebook — and identify and remove false content.“Generally, the platforms should avoid accidentally amplifying low-quality content when detecting what is trending,” Lazer said. “That seems like a no-brainer.”Though major companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have taken steps to counteract fake news, with Twitter moving to block accounts linked to Russian misinformation and Facebook announcing plans to shift its algorithm to account for “quality” in its content curation, the authors said the platforms have not provided enough detail about those steps for the research community to evaluate them properly.The authors outline two primary strategies to stem the flow and influence of fake news: empowering individuals to better evaluate the credibility of news and news sources they encounter, and making structural changes to prevent exposure to fake news in the first place.Though neither goal will be easy, Baum and Lazer admit, both could, over time, help restore citizen trust and credibility in news and information sources.“Our call here is to promote interdisciplinary research with the objective of reducing the spread of fake news and of addressing the underlying pathologies it has revealed,” the authors wrote. “More broadly, we must answer a fundamental question: How can we create a news ecosystem and culture that values and promotes truth?”This research was supported with funding from the Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School and the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks at Northeastern University. Finding genetic needles in database haystacks As Americans increasingly turn to social media as their primary source for news and information, the dangers posed by the phenomenon of “fake news” are growing.Reports of foreign influence on the 2016 U.S. presidential election are only the most high-profile example of how the infusion of misinformation into social media can influence democratic institutions. Determining how to measure and counter untruths in the digital age, however, is still in its early stages.In a recent study described in the journal Science, lead authors Matthew Baum, the Marvin Kalb Professor of Global Communications, David Lazer, a professor at Northeastern University and an associate of the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and more than a dozen co-authors argue that a multidisciplinary effort is needed to understand better how the internet spreads content and how readers process the news and information they consume. Such broad-based efforts are necessary, the authors said, “to reduce the spread of fake news and to address the underlying pathologies it has revealed.”“There needs to be some regular auditing of what the platforms are doing and how much this information is spreading,” Lazer added, “because there is a collective interest in the quality of the information ecosystem that we all live in.”In addition to Baum and Lazer, the paper was co-authored by Yochai Benkler, Adam J. Berinsky, Kelly M. Greenhill, Filippo Menczer, Miriam J. Metzger, Brendan Nyhan, Gordon Pennycook, David Rothschild, Michael Schudson, Steven A. Sloman, Cass R. Sunstein, Emily A. Thorson, Duncan J. Watts, and Jonathan L. Zittrain.The rise of fake news, the authors said, can be chalked up in part to two opposing trends in American society. Recent Gallup polls have found a growing mistrust of U.S. media, and studies have also said that nearly half of Americans “often or sometimes” get their news from social media, with Facebook being the dominant source.While those platforms have enabled new information sources and voices to emerge, they have also made it far easier for people to engage only with homogeneous social networks and take in only information that affirms their own views, thereby exacerbating the ideological divides in the country.“The internet has reduced many [previously enforced] constraints on dissemination of news. This allows outlets that do not embody these norms to compete online with those that do on a relatively more equal footing than was possible offline,” the authors argued in the paper. “This has contributed to the abandonment of traditional news sources that had long enjoyed high levels of public trust and credibility.”In some cases, Baum and Lazer said, social networks have unwittingly become complicit in amplifying fake news.As an example, they point to Twitter’s trending mechanism. When the platform notices a surge in tweets about a particular topic — such as a celebrity’s birthday or an approaching nor’easter — Twitter may list the topic as trending. But studies have repeatedly shown that the process can be manipulated. In one case journalists found that for as little as $200, a company in Saudi Arabia would deploy an army of bots to make any hashtag trend for a few hours.last_img read more

USC hits the road to take on Saint Mary’s

first_imgThe USC women’s basketball team looks to build on recent success this weekend as the squad travels to Moraga, California, to take on Saint Mary’s on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 5:30 p.m.Air Jordan · Redshirt sophomore guard Jordan Adams is averaging 10.3 points per game through USC’s first six contests this season. Adams started 24 times last season, averaging 2.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. – Brian Ji | Daily TrojanThe Women of Troy (5-1) are in the midst of a five-game winning streak and are coming off winning the SMU Thanksgiving Classic in Dallas, Texas, last weekend. USC picked up an 88-67 win over Sam Houston State, with freshman guard McKenzie Calvert leading the team with 19 points. The Women of Troy then overcame a slow start and five-point halftime deficit against SMU to pull out a 64-57 win in the championship game.Standout senior forward Alexyz Vaioletama was named the tournament’s MVP, tallying a combined 20 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists over the two games.“For me, it’s not necessarily a winning streak,” head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke said. “We take one game at a time, and we’ve been playing hard. We’ve been playing defense … and when you put those two together, I think you can come away with the win on anyone’s court. Our defense has been good; our rebounding, which has allowed us to get out on our fast-break; and last game against SMU our halfcourt execution was really impressive. Every game has been somewhat stepping it up, and I think we’re starting to come together as a team.”Vaioletama leads a balanced USC offense — which features five double-digit scorers — with 11.8 points per game. She is also second on the team with 5.5 rebounds per game and is tied for the team lead in blocks with four on the season. Sophomore guard Courtney Jaco is averaging 10.5 points per game, redshirt sophomore guard Jordan Adams has 10.3, junior guard Brianna Barrett has 10.2, and Calvert is averaging 10 per game. Adams also leads the team in assists with 5.3 per game, while Barrett leads the team with 2.8 steals per game.“I think our team has bought into the concept of spreading the ball around and really making each player an offensive threat, which is much more difficult to defend,” Cooper-Dyke said. “You have to stop the team as opposed to one player. We’re leaning on each other, relying on each other and having each other’s back on offense and defense, but we’re playing great basketball.”The Gaels (4-1), who are coming off a 67-63 win over Iowa State, will host Cal State Northridge (6-0) before their match against the Women of Troy. Saint Mary’s, led by Lauren Nicholson’s 16.5 points per game, will counter with a balanced scoring attack of their own, with four players averaging 12 points or more per game. The Gaels are coming off of a 23-10 season and an 11-7 record in the WCC.The only previous meeting between the two teams was a 71-55 Saint Mary’s victory last season at the Galen Center. Cassie Harberts finished with a double-double in the game (17 points, 12 rebounds) but was the only USC player to finish with double-digit points. Because Harberts has since departed for the WNBA, the Women of Troy will have to rely on another player to step up in Moraga.“We’re going out knowing what we want to do, and execute more,” senior forward Kaneisha Horn said. “We still have a lot of work to do, we’ve just been able to get victories, and we want to continue on that path.”After the game against Saint Mary’s, USC will spend the next month at the Galen Center. They’ll start their home-stand against Cal State Northridge (6-0) on Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m., followed by Sacramento State (1-5) on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 2 p.m. The homestand will take them into Pac-12 play, which will begin on Tuesday, Dec. 30, at 6 p.m. against UCLA (1-4).Quick HitsThe 2013 Gaels advanced to the second round of the Women’s NIT, while the Women of Troy fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.Vaioletema was named the  USC Credit Union Female Student-Athlete of the Week for her performance against SMU. She is the second basketball player to win the award this season, after Adams last week.South Carolina, the only team to defeat the Women of Troy this season, remains the top-ranked team in the AP Poll. Stanford, Cal and Oregon State are the only ranked Pac-12 teams, at No. 8, No. 10 and No. 17, respectively.last_img read more

SU marching band prepares for unpredictable season, navigating COVID-19

first_img“The biggest challenge for the band in general will be keeping up momentum and enthusiasm when the basketball season is so up in the air,” she said. The band will have Zoom meetings and socially-distanced activities to foster community growth and welcome new members. Band members have found themselves more united now than ever, Arndt added. If fall sports are canceled, the marching band will still practice. Diem said the plan for no sports consists of learning to play different music, like songs from Stevie Wonder, and familiarizing band members with various instruments and equipment. They will also record their work to share with the SU community.If there is extended time without sports, Diem said, the band will explore different marching bands throughout the world, work on team dynamics and improve as musicians. Subscribe to the D.O. Sports NewsletterWant the latest in Syracuse sports delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to the D.O. Sports newsletter to read our best sports articles, sent to you every Friday morning.* indicates requiredEmail Address * Published on September 1, 2020 at 10:49 pm [email protected] The Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.Adopting social distancing measures has been a challenge for the Syracuse marching band, which includes about 180 members. To safely practice, the band is following the COVID-19 protocols set by the National Federation of State High School Associations, which include at least six feet of distance and required performance activity masks. So far, the band has reported one case of COVID-19, but Timothy Diem, the band’s director, said he is confident the measures in place provide the best way forward. In the days following the positive test result, the band transitioned to virtual practices as the university did contact tracing. They have since returned to in-person practices, doubling down on their original protocols.“We feel our protocols are solid and we will continue to be diligent on and off the field about following them so that we all have a safe and productive semester,” Diem said.To begin the semester, Diem and other leaders split the band into five separate groups to allow for social distancing. Instead of practicing as a single unit, there are three groups of winds, one group of drumline and another of color guard. During each practice, members will be six to eight feet apart, compared to the usual grid where members are two to four feet apart. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBand members typically congregate at the Carrier Dome or on the steps outside Hendricks Chapel for practices. With construction at the Dome and the difficulties of social distancing at Hendricks, the band now rehearses at Skytop athletic field. Still, the nature of marching bands makes social distancing difficult, Diem said.“These are your colleagues, your closest friends. From the time you begin marching in high school, drill sets of shoulder-to-shoulder or two-step intervals (are) normal,” he said. “Concert arcs in close quarters, also the norm. In the stands and around the field, being shoulder to shoulder and interacting in tight groups is typical. Now we need to be cognizant of spacing.”Practicing outdoors isn’t the same as in the Carrier Dome, SU marching band secretary Josh Arndt said, because of how the sound floats away instead of lingering in the air. Courtesy of Heide OttleyJosh Arndt, the marching band’s secretary, said the increased space between members could be both a positive and a negative for the band. As the band has grown, members have envisioned a more spacious environment, he said, but now that they are spread out, they are realizing the challenges of having additional room.Because there are smaller groups, the “wall of sound” that the SU community has become accustomed to at Hendricks Chapel won’t be there, Diem said. Arndt said band members may take time to get used to the new environment.“Our sound will be a lot less loud, that’s for sure. Overall, though, I think it’ll be alright,” Arndt said. “We have enough of every instrument where we can still have a balanced band with only a third of our members. It’ll be closer to pep band than marching band in terms of sound.”When the band plays inside the Dome, the sound is much louder and echoes for a few seconds. Hearing the sound linger is rewarding, Arndt said. Practicing in more open environments takes those vibrations away. The sound floats into the air during outdoor practices, seemingly evaporating. With unpredictable and potentially wet weather in the future, an inconsistent practice schedule could be a storyline for the season, he said.However, Diem said these safety measures create a safe environment for practice. The band has also shortened practice times to a maximum of 90 minutes and lowered the temperature for indoor practices with small groups. Keeping the musicians from sweating has been a key focus in planning, Diem said. When people sweat, they are tempted to touch their faces, which can spread COVID-19. The band has also eliminated its traditional orange and blue wool uniforms to keep body temperatures lower.Margaret Strehle, one of the band’s music directors, said the band will need additional motivation from time-to-time. center_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Swine flu: ‘don’t over-react’

first_img19 August 2009South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has discouraged the overuse of testing and the use of the drug Tamiflu by people with symptoms of H1N1 influenza, known as swine flu.NICD deputy director Dr Lucille Bloomberg says most confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza are mild cases that do not call for laboratory testing or the intake of Tamiflu. This is only called for, she said, in severe cases, as well as among people in the high-risk group.“This pandemic is regarded as moderate, not severe, and not everyone with H1N1 influenza needs the laboratory tests,” Bloomberg told BuaNews this week. “We can diagnose people without testing and treat them accordingly.”“The majority of people have mild cases of H1N1 and don’t need any treatment but a rest at home. Don’t do any exercise, and take sufficient amount of fluids,” Bloomberg said, warning that excessive use of Tamiflu could encourage resistance.People with mild cases could expect to recover after about seven days, she added.Swine flu hotlineSouth Africa has set up a hotline, as well as a dedicated e-mail address, for public queries about H1N1 influenza, or swine flu. The hotline number is 0861 364 232 (or 0861 DOH CDC)  The e-mail address is: [email protected] The hotline is operated by trained personnel on communicable diseases, supported by experts from the Department of Health.As of 19 August 2009, South Africa had over 3 400 confirmed cases of swine flu, while the number of deaths in the country related to the pandemic stood at six.What is swine flu?According to the Department of Health, swine flu is an airborne disease that spreads in the same way as seasonal flu, through coughing and sneezing. It cannot be caught by eating pork.Transmission can be avoided by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or hanky; by washing one’s hands regularly; and by avoiding crowded areas, especially if people have symptoms of the flu.It is treatable with antiviral medication, which is available in South Africa but may only be used under a medical doctor’s direction.Symptoms can be divided into “mild”, “moderate” and “severe”. Mild symptoms include a runny or blocked nose, fever, muscular aches and pains, a general feeling of unwellness and coughing.Moderate symptoms include mild symptoms as well as shortness of breath, chest pain, persistent vomiting and diarrhoea and signs of dehydration.Severe symptoms include mild and moderate symptoms as well as signs of respiratory distress, blue lips and other parts of the body, and severe drowsiness and loss of consciousness.People who are suffering from the symptoms should see their doctor.“The overwhelming majority of people have mild symptoms and will not need any specialised medical care, and we believe nothing should happen to them,” Health Minister Motsoaledi said last week. “Such symptoms should be treated as with other influenza-like symptoms.”However, people with chronic heart or lung disease, pregnant women, or people living with HIV/Aids, should seek medical care immediately if they develop even mild symptoms.Anyone with moderate or severe symptoms should also seek medical attention immediately.Risk factorsThe World Health Organisation (WHO) says illnesses such as existing cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes and cancer are considered risk factors for swine flu.“Asthma and other forms of respiratory disease have been consistently reported as underlying conditions associated with an augmented risk of severe pandemic disease in several countries,” the WHO said in a recent statement.According to the WHO, recent reports suggest obesity may be another risk factor for severe H1N1 infection. Pregnant women also seem to be at higher risk of contracting the disease.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Centre for the protection of penguins

first_imgRescued penguins at the Samrec centreoutside Port Elizabeth line up to be fed.(Image: Emily van Rijswijck) Pengiuns at the Boulders colony inCape Town live in prefabricated igloos.(Image: Janine Erasmus)MEDIA CONTACTS • Libby SharwoodSamrec+27 41 583 1830Emily van RijswijckHis name is Jay and he is a born and bred African. Originally from the biggest colony of African penguins on the continent, St Croix Island in Algoa Bay, Jay now lives the good life at the South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre (Samrec) at Cape Recife Nature Reserve in Port Elizabeth.After two attempts to release him back into the wild – without success, perhaps because Jay believes he is not yet ready – volunteers at the centre have adopted him as a permanent fixture and fellow volunteer.“Clearly Jay finds the rehabilitated life more agreeable, so we have decided that he can stay and become our mascot,” says Samrec volunteer Libby Sharwood.Sharwood has been involved with the rescue and rehabilitation of African penguins since 2000 when she started work as a volunteer at Bay World, the Port Elizabeth natural and cultural museum.With Bay World facilities running at capacity and stray birds putting the healthy penguin population there at risk, Sharwood decided to move the rescue facility to her house – a daunting task if one considers the smell and noise factor that comes with the little creatures.Finally, in 2009, with the help of funding from the National Lottery, the Samrec centre finally opened at its new facilities in Cape Recife, a headland at the southwestern tip of Algoa Bay.The centre works on the principles of the four Rs: rescue, rehabilitate, research and release with a strong emphasis on education. Over 2 000 schoolchildren visit every year, as well as the general public.The programme also has a school adoption component. The latest beneficiary is the Lonwabi Primary school, which caters for disabled children at an informal settlement outside Port Elizabeth.“Some of these kids have never seen a shell, let alone a penguin,” says Eddy Molekoa, educational manager.Saving the African penguin Jay is one of about 120 African penguins which make it to the centre yearly, thanks for the most part to the help of caring individuals who pick up stray animals on their daily beach walks.“The public is amazing,” admits Sharwood.Jay first washed up at Pollok Beach in 2010, “a very cold, underweight baby,” recalls Sharwood. With his many quirks, he has since stolen the hearts of volunteers, especially when he tries to catch dragonflies and mosquitoes.Recently, the centre released 23 penguins at Port Elizabeth’s Hobie Beach. Says animal manager Jared Harding: “We are not a zoo. We try to release the penguins back into the wild as soon as they are healthy. Keeping them at the centre is actually stressful to them.”But their rescue efforts remain a drop in the ocean.“For the extinction rate to be halted, we need to save about 1 000 animals a year.” Sharwood likens the severity of the situation to the similar fate facing rhinos.“In 2000, we were told that if nothing is done, in 30 years no more African penguins would exist. The situation is now worse, with extinction looming within five years,” she says.This month has been a particularly busy one for Samrec as the breeding season kicked off early and with fish numbers dwindling and penguin parents having to venture further off, a number of stray chicks have been found on the beaches, some still kitted-out in their fluffy coats.Like other facilities in Cape Town, Mosselbay, Jeffreys and Tenikwa, Samrec is constantly challenged to find enough fish for the centre, as well as meet the monthly vet’s bill, especially during breeding time.Ocean temperaturesHuman interference and global warming are the biggest risk factors for these vulnerable birds. With water temperatures rising, sea currents are moving further offshore, and this is where the schools of sardines and pilchards are found.Having to swim further for food has a severe impact on the amount of food the chick receives when the parent returns from hunting, and on the population in general.St Croix and Bird islands are where the two biggest colonies gather, with a healthy population also thriving at Boulders Beach in Cape Town. The latter colony is a fine example of how man and beast have learnt to live together in peaceful harmony.It is estimated that there are about 6 000 African penguins left.last_img read more

Welcome home, Rolene

first_img19 December 2014A new South African hero was born as Rolene Strauss was crowned Miss World on Sunday, 14 December 2014 in London.The 22-year-old beat 120 international contestants each deemed not only the most beautiful in their home countries, but a shining example of what it meant to be a modern woman.Strauss will be arriving back home from London at 10am on Saturday, 20 December, at OR Tambo International Airport. Her triumph, as with many other proudly South African moments, is a critical element of our nation-building and social cohesion objectives.Strauss is the first Miss World to come out of South Africa since 1974, and the very first in the democratic dispensation and indeed she deserves a rousing welcome from all South Africans.Sun International and Cell C, in partnership with the Department of Sports and Recreation, Lead SA, Brand South Africa and OR Tambo airport invite the public to be a part of this historical moment, and calls on everyone to ensure a deserved hero’s welcome for Strauss.Bring posters, banners, South African flags and vuvuzelas to give her a proudly South African welcome at OR Tambo International Airport, International Arrivals terminal.The Gautrain is giving away 100 return tickets to the airport for 100 lucky winners to get to the welcome. Follow @lead_sa on Twitter for details on how to win.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Quora for Startups: Sprouter Pivots to Focus on Q&A for Entrepreneurs

first_imgThe Toronto-based social network for entrepreneurs Sprouter is announcing a redesign today that involves streamlining its services and pivoting to focus on Q&A. Sprouter launched its Q&A platform last year and it’s become quite a popular way to get advice from experts, investors and seasoned entrepreneurs. According to founder Sarah Prevette, “We’ve been blown away by the amazing people who have come forward to share their advice and by the rich content that continues to be generated.” Sprouter’s value here (in addition, of course to having provided a strong startup network) is that it carefully curates its guests, inviting them personally based on their experience in the startup ecosystem and their ability to contribute solid advice. There’s little need, then, to sift through answers to find the responses from experts.Sprouter has been offering Q&A in live sessions as well as soliciting questions for online responses, and the company says it sees “a lot of opportunity to expand on it.”The newly redesigned Sprouter will let users submit a startup related question – either on a general form to directed to a specific expert. You can also browse through the experts who’ve answered questions already and find those who you think will have the most relevant responses. There’s a place to leave comments as well as vote up and share answers.Sprouter will officially launch the new and improved site tomorrow with a live Q&A session with Cheezburger Network’s Ben Huh at 2pm EST on Tuesday, March 1. Tags:#start#tips audrey watters A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts last_img read more