Week 2 NFL betting guide: Picks against the spread for every game, best totals, and more

first_img#Week 1, as it usually is, was a hot mess.But there was still money to be found — especially if you went in on the Bills trifecta.This week, we have a bit more clarity in the market, but overreactions to Week 1 can provide serious value to the bettor, especially when it comes to totals.Here are my Week 2 picks: Cardinals (+13) at RavensCardinals fell behind 24-6 against Detroit and only cleaned up against a prevent defense. I do think that Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury worked …last_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

GeoKu – Geocaching Haiku Contest

first_imgSignal crafting a HaikuAre you like this? When you’re not geocaching, you’re thinking about geocaching. Maybe when you’re off the geotrail, you’re planning your next geocache? Or maybe you’re exploring your thoughts on geocaching through the majesty of a Haiku.Yeah, you read that right, a geocaching Haiku. The geocaching Haiku is alive and well, and a great Haiku could win you serious geocaching swag.PodCacher podcast is sponsoring the “GeoKu – Geocaching Haiku Contest.” A geocaching Haiku looks like this.Green and lush landscapeRhythmic footsteps towards our goalWe seek adventureA Haiku is composed of three lines. The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables and final line is five syllables again. Interested in competing? Check out the contest and details here. The winner will be selected by a panel of Lackeys. You have until Friday, April 20 to enter. Good luck!Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedAnd Now… A Geocaching Limerick ContestMarch 28, 2014In “Community”Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – February 15, 2012February 14, 2012In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”Roadtrip? Just add Geocaching…June 7, 2010In “Community”last_img read more

Four Defining Traits of a Successfully Networked Professional

first_imgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. This article (Four Defining Traits of a Successfully Networked Professional) was originally published Thursday September 6, 2012, on the Military Families Learning Network blog, a part of eXtension. Many professionals who are struggling to master social media are still not getting the big picture — and make no mistake: there is a big picture.They equate social media success with developing a Facebook page or learning how to tweet. While that’s a big part of it, there’s more.There is an even bigger issue at stake: These applications and many others like them are changing all facets of life as we know it.Social media adoption involves more than just a working knowledge of a handful of apps. We’re being challenged to undergo a complete change of mindset — a new way of thinking that will transform how we will work in the 21st century.There are (at least) four defining traits of a successfully networked professional:Harnessing the Generative Capacity of Online MediaThis term, generative capacity, may sound complicated, but it isn’t. It simply means that the interactions taking place within online media are generating knowledge and insights at such rapid rates and in such volumes that we can no longer ignore them and remain viable in our jobs.For whatever reason, a lot of professionals think that applications such as Facebook and Twitter are simply add-ons to their work, much as e-mail was a generation ago. Many of us don’t understand that older ways of doing things simply can’t keep pace with these new media.The generative capacity of this new media demands that we see these new media for what they are: game changers — every bit as far-reaching as the printing press was in the 15th century. They are game changers because they are changing all facets of how we live and work.In building presences on Facebook, Twitter and other applications, we are taking the first steps toward engaging with our audiences in the places where most human exchanges will occur in the future. Here’s another way of looking at it: We are equipping ourselves to compete at the speed and in the volume that this new information order demands.We are fully harnessing the generative capacity of these new media.Network Participation and BuildingOnline media are also challenging all of us to be networked professionals. Yes, face-to-face communication as well as printed text will still be valuable ways to communicate in the 21st century. A handful of professionals will also have access to mass media, such as radio and television.The big difference now is that online media and the extended networks that have grown out of them have freed our clients to seek out information on their own. They are no longer the passive audiences they used to be. Knowledge is no longer being handed down to them from on high by information brokers.We are being called upon to engage our audiences where they are increasingly being found: in highly fluid networks.Fostering Creativity and Innovation through Network BuildingWe have got to understand that openness, creativity and innovation are the core values of this new information order and the reasons why online networking has become so valuable.Much of what passes as progress today is being driven by ordinary people operating in fluid, open environments — networks where ideas in the course of meeting and mating morph into new ones that enhance opportunities for further creation and innovation.Here’s another way of looking at it: Networks are providing us with greater opportunities than ever for moving our ideas from the drawing room to the assembly floor and, ultimately, to our end users.This change is calling on us to understand network building for what it is: new opportunities to share, discover, discuss, and build on ideas.Building Professional CredibilityOnline networks present us with enormous opportunities to build social capital with our clients. In the course of building this social capital we also enhance our standing as credible professionals.How do we build this social capital? By adding value to the insights and knowledge generated by this network interaction, often by showing people how to understand these insights in deeper and more enriched contexts.Yes, mastering social media takes time. In a way, it’s a lot like a capital investment. Like any investment, these efforts will pay dividends over time. You’ll know that you have passed a professional milestone when more of your tweets are retweeted — or when you’re thanked by a complete stranger at a regional or national conference for all the useful information and insights you provide.In time, you’ll also gain a deep appreciation for how exchanges with diverse audiences in social networks have deepened your understanding of your own profession.By learning to engage with your audiences — by providing interesting and useful knowledge products through your social media channels — you will be viewed as a professional on the cutting edge of your field, someone who is making a big difference in the lives of your audiences, whomever they happen to be.center_img Author: Jim Langcusterlast_img read more