With extraordinary political theater, Winter Olympics begin

first_imgNorth Korea’s Hwang Chung Gum and South Korea’s Won Yun-jong arrive during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — In an extraordinary show of unexpected unity, North and South Korea sat side by side Friday night under exploding fireworks that represented peace, not destruction, as the 2018 Winter Olympics opened on a Korean Peninsula riven by generations of anger, suspicion and bloodshed.The sister of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, shook hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in — and appeared genuinely pleased — while they watched an elaborate show of light, sound and human performance. Minutes later came a moment stunning in its optics and its implications: the United States, represented by Vice President Mike Pence, sitting a row ahead of Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, and the North’s nominal head of state, all watching the games begin — officials from two nations that many worry have been on the brink of nuclear conflict.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ LATEST STORIES Grizzlies coach Bickerstaff gets $25,000 fine from NBA On Saturday morning, the North’s official news agency, KCNA, issued a report about the Olympics opening that was notable in its lack of the loaded language it usually uses when writing about the South and the United States, which it characterizes as Seoul’s overlord.“The 23rd Winter Olympics opened in Phyongchang of south Korea,” KCNA wrote in English, using an alternate spelling for the Olympic city and, notably, the lower-case “south” — a style it uses to show it does not endorse the names “South Korea” and “North Korea.”On Friday night, a huge crowd gathered in the freezing Olympics Stadium as performances displayed the sweep of Korean history and culture. The march of athletes from the world’s many nations saw them girded against a frigid Korean night with temperatures that dipped below freezing and biting winds.One notable visual came with the appearance of the Russian delegation, which marched in unable to carry its flag because of doping-related sanctions by the International Olympic Committee. Normally dressed in blazing red, they paraded in wearing grey and white jackets and seemed — uncommonly for that delegation — quite sedate.Members of a delegation from North Korea, part of an Olympics partnership between the two Korean rivals, watched from high in the stadium a performance called “The Land of Peace” and as past South Korean athletes paraded a large southern flag. The North Koreans, dressed in identical garb, cheered in careful coordination.The North has sent nearly 500 people to the Pyeongchang Games including officials, athletes, artists and cheerleaders after the Koreas agreed to a series of conciliatory gestures to mark the games. More than 2,900 athletes from 92 countries will compete here, making it the biggest Winter Olympics to date.Pyeongchang was not supposed to share the spotlight with Pyongyang. This was not supposed to be, as some in Seoul grumble, the “Pyongyang Games,” a play on the North Korean capital’s phonetic similarity to Pyeongchang.After two failed Olympic bids that emphasized the high-sounding notion that the games could help make peace with North Korea, Pyeongchang finally sold its successful try in 2011 on the decidedly capitalistic goal of boosting winter sports tourism in Asia.But North Korea has a habit of not letting itself be ignored when it comes to its southern rival.Its agents blew up a South Korean airliner ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics in an attempt to dissuade visitors; then it boycotted its rival’s Olympic debut on the world stage. A few years later, the discovery of the huge progress Pyongyang had been surreptitiously making on its nuclear programs plunged the Korean Peninsula into crisis. It has only deepened over the years as the North closes in on the ability to field an arsenal of nukes that can hit U.S. cities. View comments OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increasescenter_img Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Not long after, North and South Korean athletes entered Olympic Stadium together, waving flags showing a unified Korea — the long-time dream, in theory at least, of many Koreans both North and South. It was the rivals’ first joint Olympic march since 2007. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach then handed the podium to Moon, who declared the Olympics officially open.The ceremony’s signature moment delivered another flash of unity and deft political stage-managing, too. Two athletes from the joint Koreas women’s hockey team climbed stairs to the cauldron with the Olympic torch. At the last moment, though, they handed off the flame to former Olympic champion figure skater Yuna Kim, arguably South Korea’s most famous person. She actually lit the cauldron as the home crowd roared.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkMoon, in a statement, said athletes from North and South will “work together for victory.” And Bach lauded the joint march of the two Koreas as a “powerful message.”“We are all touched by this wonderful gesture. We all join and support you in your message of peace,” Bach said. After years of frustration, billions of dollars and a nagging national debate about their worth, the opening ceremonies took place before a world watching the moment not only for its athletic significance and global spectacle, but for clues about what the peninsula’s political future could hold.There is a palpable excitement in this isolated, rugged mountain town, as one of the poorest, coldest and most disgruntled parts of an otherwise prosperous South Korea kicks off two weeks of winter sports, spectacle and, from the looks of things, some inter-Korean reconciliation.After a chaotic year of nuclear war threats and nuclear and missile tests from the North, the opening ceremony proved to be an evening of striking visual moments.The significance of Pence and the North Koreans sitting in the same box seemed to run counter to the mission he was supposed to undertake. He’d been dispatched from Washington for the Olympics in part, he said, to make sure the world didn’t forget that North Korea was a misbehaving and dangerous neighbor in the community of nations.What did seem clear was that, deliberately or not, the North Korean government had managed to edge its way onto center stage during the South’s biggest global moment in years.ADVERTISEMENT And so, with a little help from a liberal South Korean president eager to engage Pyongyang, the 2018 Pyeongchang Games open.They do so with as much focus on the North, which has zero real medal contenders, as the South, which in the three decades since its last Olympics has built a solid winter program as it went from economic backwater and military dictatorship to Asia’s fourth-biggest economy and a bulwark of liberal democracy.Could Pyeongchang’s initial pitch — that it could contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula — actually become reality? The opening ceremony offered at least some hints about that, and maybe more. What’s certain is that these Games, more so than any in recent memory, are about far more than sports.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Barca performance was my best, says Willian

first_img0Shares0000Willian opened the scoring after earlier striking the post twiceLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 21 – Chelsea forward Willian believes his performance against Barcelona was one of his best for the club.The Brazil international scored Chelsea’s goal in the 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, after hitting the post twice in the first half. Asked whether it was one of his best displays for the Blues, he told Sky Sports News: “I think so, it’s one of my best performances here. I almost had a hat-trick!“We were a bit unlucky but I think we must be proud of our performance because we played really well to play against Barcelona, it’s not easy and now we have to think about the other games.“We’re feeling well. We were good tonight and we played very well but I think we made a mistake and we suffered a goal.“But I think it’s okay – we can go to Barcelona and do a good job again.”Next for Chelsea is a trip to Manchester United on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, and the 29-year-old was bullish about his side’s chances against Jose Mourinho’s side.“We have confidence,” the former Shakhtar Donetsk man said. “We can go there and do a great job again against Manchester United.“I think it’s going to be a different game from this one here [against Barcelona] but I think we can go there and win this game.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


first_imgDeputy Pearse Doherty has called on education authorities to do more for students from border areas in order to provide equal access to third level education.Pearse Doherty TDDeputy Doherty made the comments as hundreds of students from across Donegal and other border areas remain ineligible for admission to third level institutes via the HEAR Programme; the third level admissions scheme for school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.The Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Finance said the Hear Programme gives students who come from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds – a group which traditionally is underrepresented at third level – the chance to benefit from higher education by offering college places on a reduced points quota. “However, while the programme is of huge benefit to the thousands of students from across Ireland whom participate in the scheme each year, the programme is unavailable to the many students in border areas who reside in the South and receive their schooling in the six counties because the programme does not recognise A Level Examinations.”“I have raised the matter with the Minister twice now and she has informed me that access to third level rests exclusively with colleges and universities and she has stated that she has no intention of intervening in college admissions – this is simply unbelievable.”“While I understand that Third Level Institutions are self-regulated, the Minister has a responsibility to promote equal access to education; I cannot understand how a huge section of Irish society – one which is already largely underrepresented in higher education as things stand – can simply be ignored and forgotten like this.”He added that in an effort to resolve this scandalous inequity, he has written to the various institutions which participate in the HEAR Programme asking that they give this matter their urgent attention so that students from border regions are no longer discriminated against in the sector. “Additionally, I have also written to the Higher Education Authority in relation to this issue and I have since received a response from the body in which it states that it is currently following up on this matter with the HEAR Unit within the Irish Universities Association and the HEA has said that it will keep me updated regarding this matter also.”“I feel that this situation is grossly unfair to the many A Level students, many of whom live in Donegal, as it is widely felt that they are being denied equal access to education simply because of where they reside.”“Naturally, I hope that through these lobbying efforts this matter can ultimately be resolved and that students here can be treated with the fairness and equality which they rightly deserve.”‘STUDENTS FROM BORDER AREAS DESERVE EQUAL ACCESS TO EDUCATION’ – DOHERTY was last modified: March 17th, 2015 by StephenShare 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)last_img read more

Classic night at Thunder on Lot

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Local and Los Angeles bands will perform on two stages. The bike show stage features rock ‘n’ roll music and the car show stage will feature oldies and classic rock music. On the bike show stage, Rukus performs at 10 a.m., Joe Wallat 11:30 a.m. and Roadogz at 1 p.m. Blues/rock band Shari Puorto and Flatfoot perform at 2:30 p.m. and MLC at 4 p.m. On the car show stage, Steppin’ Out plays at 9:30 a.m., followed by Flathead Phil & the Roadsters at 11:30 a.m. and Rocksville at 1 p.m. Funds raised by the show will go to 22 local charities that help children. Last year’s show raised more than $215,000. Since its inception, Thunder on the Lot has raised more than $1.2 million for children’s charities. For a $100 donation, people can enter a drawing for a 2006 Harley-Davidson StreetGlide with custom paint by Little Design. PALMDALE – Classic and custom cars and motorcycles and live music will highlight the 12th annual Thunder on the Lot charity car show. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday with a car show, live entertainment and contests until 9 p.m., and the main event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at McAdam Park, on 30th Street East at Avenue R. Features include a poker run starting at the Lancaster Harley-Davidson dealership, a custom motorcycle show, custom, classic and import car shows, a custom motorcycle show, children’s activities including games, craft activities, balloon bounces and face painting, karaoke music and rock climbing. Additionally, radio station 100.1 FM, “The Edge,” will host a “Freak Factor” competition to include crazy stunts similar to the “Fear Factor” television series. Other major prizes include a Harley-Davidson pool table, a custom Honda painted by Squirty’s, a softub from Ideal Spas, a seven-day Mexican Riviera Cruise, and original biker art by Chris DeRubeis. To purchase an opportunity drawing ticket, contact Robertson Palmdale Honda, 455 Auto Vista Drive, or Antelope Valley Harley-Davidson, 1759 W. Ave. J-12, Lancaster. For more information about Thunder or to buy tickets online, visit www.thunderonthelot.com or call Ron Emard at (661) 265-6000.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Athletes of the Week

first_img – Sport: Football – Year: Senior – Favorite food: Mom’s cheesecake – Numbers: Winbush continued his impressive season by rushing for 267 yards on 29 carries in the Huskies’ 40-20 win over Rowland last Friday. He scored four touchdowns in the game and also had two receptions for 26 yards. Gabby Oleta – School: Gladstone – Sport: Tennis – Year: Senior – Age: 17 – Hobby: Playing the guitar – Favorite movie: Bad Royal – Favorite musical artist: Saves the Day – Favorite athlete: Kobe Bryant – Favorite food: Macaroni – Numbers: Oleta, the Gladiators’ top singles player, was 6-0 in Gladstone wins over Azusa and Workman that kept the Gladiators at the top of the Montview League standings. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!,Marquies Winbush – School: South Hills – Favorite food: Mom’s cheesecake – Numbers: Winbush continued his impressive season by rushing for 267 yards on 29 carries in the Huskies’ 40-20 win over Rowland last Friday. He scored four touchdowns in the game and also had two receptions for 26 yards. Gabby Oleta – School: Gladstone – Sport: Tennis – Year: Senior – Age: 17 – Hobby: Playing the guitar – Favorite movie: Bad Royal – Favorite musical artist: Saves the Day – Favorite athlete: Kobe Bryant – Favorite food: Macaroni – Numbers: Oleta, the Gladiators’ top singles player, was 6-0 in Gladstone wins over Azusa and Workman that kept the Gladiators at the top of the Montview League standings. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!,Marquies Winbush – School: South Hills – Sport: Football – Year: Senior – Age: 17 – Hobby: Hanging with friends – Favorite movie: The Last Dragon – Favorite musical artist: The Diplomats – Favorite athlete: Barry Sanders Marquies Winbush – School: South Hills center_img – Age: 17 – Hobby: Hanging with friends – Favorite movie: The Last Dragon – Favorite musical artist: The Diplomats – Favorite athlete: Barry Sanders AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week – Age: 17 – Hobby: Hanging with friends – Favorite movie: The Last Dragon – Favorite musical artist: The Diplomats – Favorite athlete: Barry Sanders – Sport: Football – Year: Senior – Favorite food: Mom’s cheesecake – Numbers: Winbush continued his impressive season by rushing for 267 yards on 29 carries in the Huskies’ 40-20 win over Rowland last Friday. He scored four touchdowns in the game and also had two receptions for 26 yards. Gabby Oleta – School: Gladstone – Sport: Tennis – Year: Senior – Age: 17 – Hobby: Playing the guitar – Favorite movie: Bad Royal – Favorite musical artist: Saves the Day – Favorite athlete: Kobe Bryant – Favorite food: Macaroni – Numbers: Oleta, the Gladiators’ top singles player, was 6-0 in Gladstone wins over Azusa and Workman that kept the Gladiators at the top of the Montview League standings. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgNational Heritage Week takes place Saturday, August 22 to Sunday, August 30, 2015 with Donegal hosting a huge number of events.The aims of Heritage Week are to raise awareness of our heritage and to encourage its preservation, conservation and promotion.County Donegal is the county with the most events taking place outside of Dublin and Cork. Events include heritage open days, guided walks, fieldtrips, exhibitions, conferences, illustrated talks, historical re-enactments, birds of prey, whale watching, garden tours, traditional skills demonstrations, craft fairs, skills training, launch events, film screenings, storytelling, traditional music and children’s activities.The County Donegal Heritage Week Event Guide is compiled by the County Donegal Heritage Office, Donegal County Council and is a free, pocket-size guide with details of 105 Heritage Week events taking place across County Donegal and most of them are free. The County Donegal Heritage Week Event Guide will be launched by Dr. Lochlann McGill, President of the Donegal Historical Society, in the County Museum, Letterkenny next Tuesday, August 11 at 12 noon. Everyone is welcome to attend. RSVP to County Museum at HYPERLINK “mailto:museum@donegalcoco.ie” museum@donegalcoco.ie or by telephone on (074) 912 4613.HUGE NUMBER OF EVENTS TO TAKE PLACE DURING DONEGAL HERITAGE WEEK was last modified: August 5th, 2015 by StephenShare 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:Donegal Heritage Weeklast_img read more

Liverpool stars dominate PML Daily Premier league team of the week

first_imgAlex Oxlade Chamberlain was brilliant as Liverpool defeated Man City. Courtesy photo.FOOTBALL–Liverpool deserve to be named the team of the week after ending City’s unbeaten start to the 2017/18 season but some other players stood out on a weekend that Arsenal and Chelsea fails to win again.Here are the eleven players that stood out as picked by PML Daily correspondent Shaban Lubega.The team.1. Lukas Fabianski – Swansea City.On a weekend when the few goalkeepers who made clean sheets didn’t impress me at all, i had to go with the tall Polish man.Despite the fact that Fabianski didn’t keep a clean sheet and his side took home only a point away to Newcastle, his two saves to deny Ayoze Perez and Dwight Gyle where impressive enough to get him a spot in goal.2. Serge Aurier.The troubled Ivorian had a sheaky started to life at Wembley but has started showing that he was worth the loads of money that Spurs splashed out on him in the summer.Against Everton on the weekend, Aurier produced a strong performance on the right and cupped it up with an assist as his side ran out 4-0 winners.3. Andrew Robertson.Yes he was part of a defence that conceded three goals but looking back at the times he was required to either defend or take the team foward, the ex-Hull City left back did not disappoint against arguably the best players in the Premier league.I don’t know who will start at left back when Alberto Moreno comes back but Jurgen Kloop will surely have a decision to make that’s if the Robertson continues to play like he is playing at the moment.Serge Aurier is starting to justify his price tag at Spurs. Courtesy photo.4. Harry Maguire.The ‘big Harry Maguire’ like he has come to be known at the King Power has taken the league by storm since his move to Leicester City.Leicester can at least now defend and the fans are sure, in the big Englishman, they have a player who can shut out opposing strikers.Against Chelsea, his positioning and awareness suggested that he didn’t have a lot to do in terms of stopping Chelsea on route to keeping another cleansheet.5. Jonny Evans.Prior to the weekend, West Brom captain Jonny Evans had gone more than 300 days minus testing victory but his early header was a catalyst to changing that statistic.His goal suggested that Allan Pardew’s men settled into the game early and controlled proceedings although Brighton never troubled them a great deal.6. Wilfred Ndidi.The best players in the league for me this past weekend.The Nigerian is proving to be an able replacement for Ngolo Kante almost two years after the French man left King Power.Against Chelsea, the versatile player bearly put a foot wrong and in the process did pocket his predecessor and was the key catalyst to Leicester’s magnificent point earned at the Bridge.7. Manuel Lanzini.If West Ham is to survive this season and march up the table, Manuel Lanzini has to step up and perform like he did against Huddersfield Town.When Dimitri Payet left the Hammers, everyone singled out the little Argentine as the man to take up the responsibility left by the Frechman but he has so far failed.His two goals over the weekend and the mouth watering performance suggests that may be he can still live up to the expectations and erase the memory of Payet from Hammers’ fans.8. James Ward-Prowse.The one player who i belive deserved to have played for a team that won over the weekend.His biggest disappointment may be the fact that his beloved Saints team failed to get maximum points at the hands of a handball goal scored on the 90 minute mark but all that can not be used to down play his performance against Watford.Ward-Prowse got his first brace in the league since 2015 and clearly deserved to get into the finest eleven of the league over the weekend.9. Harry Kane.Surely i have run out of words to describe the English striker as he continues to impress me by the day.Against Everton, he scored two goals in a weekend where he was the only striker to manage a brace.The sky may be the limit for Harry but to win the trophies that his goals suggest he should, he may have to depart Spurs as soon as possible.10. Marko Arnoutovic.Had an inconsistent start to life at West Ham but no one has ever doubted the Austrian’s abilities.Against Huddersfield, he showed a glimpse of the Arnoutovic that so many Premier league fans fell in love when still at Stock City by assisting two and scoring one goal in the process.11. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain.If only Alex Oxlade Chamberlain could put out performances like the one he show cased against City on Sunday, his place in the starting team of England come June would be a certain and may be Liverpool fans would love him a little bit more.He set the tone for Liverpool’s 4-3 win against City by scoring the first goal and kept on pressing City high up the pitch.It sounds absurd to say that non of Liverpool fans missed Coutinho on Sunday and the feeling was all down to the Englishman.Coach of the Week. Jurgen Klopp.The Man who has defeated Pep Guardiola more than any other manager in world football did it again on Sunday.Yes Allan Pardew may have deserved the manager of the week award but with Klopp giving the league a win that it has craved for all season, it is only fitting for the German to get the nod.Commentslast_img read more

Uganda Cranes receive major boost as Museveni offers them chartered plane, 200 Million

first_imgThe Uganda Cranes pose for a picture with the President at State House, Entebbe on Tuesday (Photos by FUFA Media)2019 AFCON Qualifiers-Group L-Uganda Vs LesothoMandela National Stadium, NambooleSaturday 13th October 2018-Lesotho vs UgandaSetsoto Stadium, MaseruTuesday, 16-10-2018ENTEBBE – As part of celebrating the 56th Independence, HE the President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni hosted the National football team-Cranes at his residence, State House-Entebbe on Tuesday evening.This comes less than a week before the Cranes host Lesotho in their third Group L AFCON 2019 qualifiers at Mandela National Stadium in Namboole.In a jovial mood, the President discussed football matters with the contingent before he announced his offer of a chartered flight to fly the Cranes to Maseru for the reverse fixture against Lesotho to be played next Tuesday 16th October 2018.President Museveni also offered the Uganda Cranes contingent a financial boost of UGX 200M (Two Hundred Million Shillings) to help them in their preparations.This is not the first time the president is extending such support to the Cranes after doing likewise in 2015 as the team prepared to take on Togo in a double header for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.At the event on Tuesday, President Museveni congratulated the team for posting results that have kept the Cranes on top of the group in the campaign but urged them to work harder against Lesotho on Saturday.“I have been following you of recent and I thank you for the performance but we need to work harder for better results, said the President.“I have offered you a chartered plane to Lesotho and UGX 200M to help you get good results.Speaking on behalf of the players, team captain Denis Onyango appreciated the President and the First Lady Janet Museveni (Minister of Education and Sports) for the recent support towards the Cranes and football.Uganda Cranes Captain Denis Onyango (left) and head coach Sebastian Desabre (right), with President Museveni on TuesdayThe Uganda Cranes Technical team led by head coach Sebastien Desabre was also in attendance.The delegation to State House was led by FUFA 1st VP Justus Mugisha, accompanied by 2nd Vice President Darius Mugoye, FUFA CEO Edgar Watson and the FUFA Finance Director Decolas Kiiza.Mugisha noted the fact that support from the President and Ministry of Education and Sports is one of the reasons football has been picking good results.“The support from the President is a sign that he follows and loves sports, said Mugisha.“Football has been picking good results partly because of such support from the fountain of honour and office of Education and Sports.“This offer will help the team fly in time to Maseru for the game.The Cranes lead Group L with four points from two games having defeated Cape Verde 1-0 and then drawing 0-0 with Tanzania.For Lesotho, they are second on the log with two points from as many games.The other Group L fixture will see Cape Verde host Tanzania on Friday before both sides lock horns again on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam.Comments Tags: 2019 AFCON QualifiersPresident Musevenitoplast_img read more

That Spring in Your Step Is Semi-Automatic

first_imgCross-country runners know the challenge of running on uneven terrain.  What they may not know is that they are executing one of the most difficult operations for robot designers: how to make an upright, walking machine make rapid decisions on irregular surfaces without falling.    Monica Daley of the Royal Veterinary College wrote about this last week in Current Biology.1We know quite a lot about how humans and animals run over completely level, uniform surfaces – conditions that can be easily studied on a track or treadmill.  Yet, the real world is much more complex, requiring frequent stride-to-stride adjustments to deal with bumps, holes and obstacles in the road.  What strategies do runners use to keep moving forward when the going gets rough?  Only recently has biomechanics research begun to turn to this challenging question.  New research by Grimmer and colleagues reveals that the answer may be a lot simpler than you might think.She must have said “simpler” with tongue in cheek, because her next sentence said, “Running involves a cascade of systems working together, including the brain, spinal cord, sensory organs, muscles and bone.”  Earlier she had noted, “We often take our own impressive stability for granted, but if you watch a toddler learn to walk and run, you can see that it can be a challenging task.”    Scientists try to model running with images of a bouncing ball, where tension on landing is released like a spring on the way up.  “Similarly, by using springs in their legs, animals can passively cycle energy through spring recoil, reducing the need for muscle work,” she explained.  Seems simple so far.  But tendons, muscles and joints differ in their springiness.  Did you know that humans have exceptional spring in their step, comparable to horses and kangaroos?    The situation gets harder to model when the cross-country runner gets off the treadmill and onto the trail.  Rocks, ditches, bumps and other obstacles require constant monitoring and adjustment.  The speed of signals in the nerves, though, is finite from toe to brain.  How can the brain keep up with a flood of constantly changing data from the extremities in time to adjust?    Here’s where Grimmer’s theory comes into play: the brain may be ordering a basic bouncing pattern with slight modifications.  This way, decisions are not required for every motion – just minor adjustments as needed.  “This allows the body to keep moving in its simple bouncing pattern without a stumble or fall.”    If true, this means that most of the running motion occurs passively without active brain signaling.  An analogy from business might help:That is not to say that neural control is not required for running.  To change speed, direction, or switch from a run to a walk, active control and path planning is certainly involved.  However, tuning your leg to behave like a simple mass-spring system may allow the brain and spinal cord to worry only about this higher level control, leaving within stride adjustments to the mechanical system.  Think of it as the difference between a ‘micro-managing’ supervisor and one who delegates responsibility and checks in now and then.  Overall, the latter strategy is considered more effective, because it frees the manager to pay attention to the big picture.  However, for this approach to succeed, things must not fall apart when the supervisor is not looking.Notice that this strategy would not work without prior systems being in place.  Legs, muscles, tendons, bones and all the other components have to be able to run the strategy with minimal supervision.    Daley asked a question midway through her article that tempted one to ask a big-picture question: “So, is the spring-like behaviour of human and animal legs an accident of nature, or a strategy to simplify the job of the central nervous system?”  The remaining paragraphs, in which she described the benefits of the delegating-manager strategy, suggested the latter.  She did not, however, use the word evolution anywhere in the article.  If it is not an accident of nature, one can draw one’s own conclusions about where strategies come from.1.  Monica A. Daley, “Biomechanics: Running Over Uneven Terrain Is a No-Brainer,” Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 22, 25 November 2008, pp. R1064-R1066, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.09.050.Have you ever done rock-hopping in a river?  It’s fun and challenging, but the slightest mistake and you could be in for a dunk or broken leg.  Slippery rock, distracting currents, and uneven surfaces galore – did you think about how much calculus your brain has to do on the sensory inputs to do this?  Even a child can manage the task fairly well.  Dr. Daley did not extend her simplified analysis to this and other complex tasks humans perform (think balance beam).    The wonders of the human body should inspire awe and respect.  How could you mistreat your machine?  If you owned a Ferrari, would you not give it special care?  How much more should we care about the tremendous gift the Creator has given us in the body we inhabit.  For more on the unique human capabilities involved in running, read the memorable entry from 11/14/2004, “The Evolution of Marathon Man.”(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Garden Route’s new national park

first_imgThe beach at Nature’s Valley, with theTsitsikamma National Park in thebackground.(Image: Rodger Bosch,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more freephotos, visit the image library.)Fiona McIntoshFind out more about using MediaClubSouthAfrica.com materialSouth Africa’s Otter Trail, a 42km coastal hike set in the Garden Route of the Western Cape, is considered one of the finest hiking routes in the world, and so popular hikers have to book for it almost two years in advance. The famous five-day trail through the Tsitsikamma National Park is spectacular, but it’s not just the views that take your breath away. Make no mistake, the daily climbs and descents from the sea to the coastal plateau make the 42km Otter Trail a tough challenge.But unperturbed, some bright spark at premier event specialists Magnetic South noticed that the trail is exactly the distance of a full marathon – and so the idea of the Otter Run was born. In September this year some 200 trail runners will line up at the Storm’s River Mouth rest camp and race along the path to Nature’s Valley, with the winners expected to finish in a little over five hours.And some won’t leave it at that.  Although the Otter Run can be entered as a separate one-day event, the real nutters, individual or relay participants in the Southern Storm, will continue along the coast for the next four days on a duathlon of trail running and mountain biking from the end of the run at Nature’s Valley, along the rugged coastline, up and down majestic peaks and steep ravines and through the indigenous forest and open grasslands of the Garden Route before crossing the finishing line in Wilderness National Park.Tsitsikamma and Wilderness, the two national parks that have been chosen to mark the start and end of the inaugural Southern Storm, will also be the eastern and western boundaries of the new Garden Route National Park (GRNP), which was gazetted in March 2009.The new park will comprise some 121 000 hectares, including the existing national parks of Wilderness and Tsitsikamma, the Knysna Lakes area and other land currently under the management of South African National Parks (SANParks), as well as about 52 500 hectares of newly proclaimed land. The areas that now form part of the Garden Route National Park.The GRNP will straddle the Eastern and Western Cape, two district municipalities, Eden and Cacadu, and four local municipalities, George, Knysna, Bitou and Koukamma. Cooperative governance will therefore be essential, as Marthinus van Schalkwyk, South Africa’s minister of environmental affairs and tourism, stressed at the launch of the park.“The new national park is unique, as its administrative and ecological boundaries vary considerably,” he said. “In this context, multi-stakeholder partnerships will be instrumental to successful conservation management.”Current programmes focus on specific areas, or corridors, which include the Western Knysna Heads, the Harkerville-Robberg coastal corridor and the Touw, Hoogekraal, Karatara and Knysna River corridors. But with at least 1 004 private landowners bordering the park the challenge will be coordinating the various stewardship programmes in the years to come.The idea is that residents of the Garden Route will do their bit to conserve the area’s natural heritage – there will be no additional fences and, for the immediate future, it will be business as usual. But the formation of the GRNP will facilitate the regional implementation of important programmes like fire management, alien clearance and land consolidation, while the sharing of resources and management experience, and the integration of current management units, will result in greater economies of scale.The tourism potential of this diverse and internationally renowned area is enormous. The Garden Route is the third most-preferred tourism destination in South Africa, and marketing the GRNP should ensure that visitors discover more that just the well-trodden routes to the premier visitor sites.Tourist facilities will be expanded to include a range of accommodation options such as chalets and forest camping decks while adventurers are spoilt for choice given the vast number of mountain biking, hiking and canoe trails, the superb snorkelling, diving and fishing, and the range of more extreme activities such as abseiling, kloofing and paragliding.The establishment of the consolidated park is part of a long-term strategy to expand South African natural areas under formal protection from 6% to 8% of the country’s total land area. That would increase protected regions from the current 75 000 square kilometres to about 100 000 square kilometres – an area roughly the size of South Korea.“As our parks are some of our most important conservation and tourism assets, we have been steadily increasing spending on parks,” said Van Schalkwyk. “We have invested R411-million [about US$50-million] in infrastructure development for the period 2006/07 to 2008/09 and a further R245-million [$30-million] is being earmarked for the next period. Other financial assistance has increased from R85.6-million [$10-million] in 2004/05 to R205-million [$25-million] in 2009/10.”SANParks is the second largest employer in the region and its chief operating officer, Sydney Soundy, said the Garden Route is one of the conservation body’s critical focus areas in South Africa.“The area plays host to the largest continuous complex of indigenous forest in the country, spanning approximately 60 500 hectares,” he said. “Its aquatic systems, the Knysna estuary and the Wilderness lake areas, are rated number one and number six respectively in the country. The fynbos falls within the Cape Floristic region, which is a designated global diversity hotspot.“To manage this unique combination of diverse biomes with strong tourism and developmental interest will be one of our biggest challenges as SANParks. Here the term ‘conservation without boundaries’ needs to become a way of life, not just for major stakeholders, but also for all residents in the areas surrounding the park.“The Garden Route is fortunate to be part of this process and I believe we will be coining a new conservation model for South Africa.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.comRelated articlesSouth Africa’s National ParksWalking for Eden, and elephants The Tour de Kruger – a wild ride Boulders penguins’ promised land Slackpacking in the Cederberg Useful linksSouth African National ParksGarden Route National ParkMagnetic Southlast_img read more