Chelsea are preparing a final offer of £7.5m for Wigan star Victor Moses, according to the Daily Mail.Wigan are believed to be holding out for £10m for the forward and have rejected a number of previous offers.The Mail also say Tottenham are considering a £7.5m bid for Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling.The 17-year-old from Harlesden has been linked with a loan move back to QPR, who lost him when he secured a transfer to Anfield in 2010.But it is claimed that Spurs are looking to sign him on a permanent basis.QPR want to sign Dimitar Berbatov from Manchester United, The Times report.It is suggested that Rangers are preparing a £5m bid for the Bulgarian, who has been widely tipped to leave Old Trafford this summer.This page is regularly updated. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
The 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 email@example.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 South
What do you do when a green product doesn’t live up to expectations? I want to see green building products succeed in the marketplace, and make it easy for professionals to find the best of the best in our GreenSpec guide.So I’ll say it up front: when I see a product being marketed as green that’s substandard, I think it’s important to point it out. This doesn’t mean the product has problems because it’s green. It means that I hold it to a higher standard: to win the mainstream over to sustainability, we have to deliver on promises of reduced environmental burdens along with superior performance.A little while back, I took Bonded Logic to task for flaws its Ultratouch cotton batt design and installation process. The real installation culprit: fiberglassTo be clear, I like cotton insulation for several reasons, including Bonded Logic’s recent move to post-consumer recycled jeans (previously it was pre-consumer denim), and the fact that it’s much less unpleasant than fiberglass to work with — although unlike the folks in their videos I would still wear a mask to protect from dust that comes off the product, particularly during cutting. Also, by focusing my ire on cotton I don’t intend to give a pass to what I see as the real culprit in batt insulation: fiberglass.Fiberglass batts have been poorly installed by so many people in so many buildings for so many years — to the extent that GBA’s own Green Curmudgeon called for it to be banned. It can even be argued that fiberglass is less tolerant of the kinds of questionable installation choices seen in its manufacturers’ videos (I’m referring to the questionable approach to ductwork and piping) because it is relatively air-permeable, so air has an easier time forming currents through gaps created during poor installation. See this guide on GBA for signs of a good batt install.All the more reason, though, that we need to do better in the green products community.What do you think? Please leave your comments below. Bonded Logic still doesn’t get itHowever, Bonded Logic still doesn’t seem to get it when it comes to installation quality. Whether you’re using fiberglass or cotton batts, exact fitting to cavity sizes is key. That means cutting insulation around electrical boxes, wiring, and also cutting it for the occasional cavity of a different dimension. What I’ve seen of this installation video is pretty good, but there’s a flub in the Bonded Logic video publicizing its new perforated batts. As the screen capture shows, the installer is placing a batt in a cavity with complete disregard for the unusual shape of the cavity. The installation will result in a classic poor batt installation — lack of complete contact with all six sides of the cavity. What kind of attention are they putting into other irregular cavities?I brought up this issue with the same Bonded Logic spokesperson in two successive emails, and did not receive a response. That was a couple months ago. The video is still up, so I’m taking Bonded Logic to task again. The problems with UltratouchThe worst flaw I found was that the product is too thin. After being compressed in bags for shipping from Ultratouch’s Arizona plant, the post-consumer-denim cotton batts never regain their “loft.” That means that insulation is going into wall and ceiling cavities with air spaces around it. Air that is completely stagnant insulates very well — at R-5, even better than Ultratouch’s R-3.7. But air in wall cavities moves around with convection, contributing to heat loss and crippling the nominal R-value of the insulation. (Read more here on How Insulation Works.)I also found that the batts were too wide for 16-inch-on-center KD 2x4s (standard lumberyard kiln-dried sticks), leading again to air spaces due to poorly fitting batts.Thirdly, I complained that the batts were really hard to cut. This was especially frustrating because the ill-fitting batts required a lot more cutting than a standard fiberglass batt.The good news is that Bonded Logic is now perforating its batts at standard widths so that they are easier to cut for proper fitting. They haven’t announced what those widths, are, however, and it seems like a tough problem. How standard are the sizes of the off-size stud cavities found in our buildings? Perhaps in new homes with designs optimized for manufactured material use they are standard, but in the retrofits and custom jobs that a lot of builders are doing today, I am not sure how useful these perforations will be.Another piece of good news, according to a spokesperson I heard from, is that Ultratouch will also soon be available in different widths according to whether you’re using wood or steel studs.
This 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. Author: Jim Langcuster
Panaji: Accusing the Congress of misusing the Article 365 of the Constitution time and again to topple State governments during its rule, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah on Saturday said the BJP did not commit Constitutional impropriety while forming a coalition government in Goa.Mr. Shah was speaking at a rally organised by the State BJP, where he and Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar were felicitated for their roles in government formation after the Assembly elections, in which the party came second to the Congress with 13 MLAs in the 40-member Goa Assembly. The Congress had emerged as the single largest party in the polls with 17 MLAs. Seven Ministers had lost their seats from the erstwhile coalition government, including the then Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.The BJP national president also criticised the All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary in-charge of Goa, Digvijay Singh, for failing to swiftly elect a legislative party leader, a key step in government formation post-results.“I want to ask Digvijayji, when BJP leaders with [Union Minister] Nitin Gadkari went to meet the [Goa] Governor, were you even able to elect CLP leader by then? [Congress] were not even able to choose their legislative leader,” he said.The Union Minister for Roads Transport and Highways and Shipping, Mr. Gadkari, credited Mr. Shah as being the architect of the government formation. He also denied any illegality in the process. He revealed some of the behind-the-scenes aggressive manoeuvring done by Mr. Shah, who worked with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and key members of the BJP’s parliamentary board, to effect the party’s victory in the State.The BJP had received the support of three MLAs from Goa Forward Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, and three Independent MLAs, which cleared the way for formation of a coalition government. The Congress had alleged that Constitutional provisions were violated by the BJP in the process.Mr. Gadkari said, “We did not do anything wrong. In the history of India, in the Lok Sabha and the legislative Assembly elections, those who have a majority are invited to form the government.”He added, “The real architect of Goa victory is Amit Shah. My mood was that we may not form a government, so we should give up. But he called me to his home and told me to go to Goa and that a government should be formed in any condition.”Congress a ‘rare species’Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said the Congress would soon become a “rare species” on the canvas of Indian politics. He also said the BJP could come to power in Goa only because of the party’s Central leadership and the Congress leadership’s inability to act swiftly to form a government.“We have to think as to why we dropped from 21 to 13 [MLAs]. We were lucky that the party’s Central leadership was behind us. They gave us full support and to our luck, the person who the Congress had sent here [referring to Digvijaya Singh] was more interested in being a tourist,” Mr. Parrikar said.Mr. Parrikar also said the Congress would also lose the Karnataka Assembly polls scheduled next year.“Congress is like an extinct species. Like the wildlife species which a forest department tracks down when it is on its way to becoming extinct. It is there in Karnataka, but next year it will disappear from there too,” Mr. Parrikar said.Speaking about his government’s plans, Mr. Parrikar said, “One thing I learned in Delhi is to speak less and work more. This time [as a Chief Minister] I have decided to speak less. Whatever work we do, people will see for themselves.”
Not many people in the sports world can bring Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer toghether, but Dick Vitale is one of them. The legendary college basketball analyst hosted his annual V Foundation gala last night, and many top figures in the college sports world turned out, including the rival Michigan and Ohio State coaches. Harbaugh and Meyer actually teamed up on stage to announce the winner of a raffle for a 2016 Mercedes Benz, and later took a selfie with ESPN’s Chris Fowler.Yes @OhioStateFB Urban Meyer & @umichfootball Jim Harbaugh are on stage together @DickieV gala @TheVFoundation pic.twitter.com/dp3bKQ8TRt— Josh Krulewitz (@jksports) May 14, 2016OK, this Harbaugh/Meyer selfie is focused better. So I’ll also share it for posterity, never to be recreated! pic.twitter.com/siZZt5LXaF— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) May 14, 2016 That is quite the photo. At the end of the night, Vitale announced that the gala, which honored the late Chad Carr, had raised an estimated $2.8 million for pediatric cancer research. A wonderful job by Dickie V, and everyone else involved with the gala this year.
CALGARY – The mayor of Calgary says Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s plan to cut the number of Toronto city councillors and cancel votes for other municipal elections is “tinpot dictator stuff.”Ford said Friday his Progressive Conservative government will introduce legislation to cut the number of seats to 25 from 47 and cancel planned elections for regional chair positions in several Greater Toronto Area communities. Ford’s announcement came the day nominations for those seats were to close.“For you to say to those folks who put their lives on hold only because they want to do public service, ‘By the way, the job you’re running for doesn’t exist any more’ — that’s unconscionable,” Nenshi said.“That is a direct affront on democracy. That is tinpot dictator stuff.”Nenshi said Toronto city council may have its problems. But changing the rules on nomination day — especially when Ford made no mention of it during his own recent election campaign — is the wrong way to address them.“You don’t do that on nomination day. You don’t do that after you’ve just run an election in which you’ve never mentioned this.”Nenshi also pointed out that one of the cancelled elections was being contested by Patrick Brown, whose resignation as Ontario Progressive Conservative leader opened the door for Ford’s successful bid.“You don’t cancel elections where your political rival was running for an office.”Nenshi urged Toronto Mayor John Tory to fight the proposed legislation, because it could ultimately affect all Canadian mayors.“I would strongly suggest and support Mayor Tory in saying we’ve got to find a legal answer to what the limits of provincial authority are here.“It’s not just for Toronto. It’s for all of us.”(CHQR, The Canadian Press)
In a first of its kind program, GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter and actress Ashanti has released her newest single, “Let’s Go,” but needs fans’ help to bring it to life.Until fans hydrate the song with digital water by using the hashtag #DrinkUpAshanti on social media, the song is low-fi and the video is stripped down. The more donations, the better the sound and sharper the video, until it’s ready for everyone to download and enjoy.This collaboration is Ashanti’s latest work with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) and its Drink Up effort, which encourages everyone to drink more water more often.“With their hard work and creativity, groups like Drink Up have encouraged people across the country to drink more water, and they have helped increase demand for — and sales of — healthier products,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “From talking fountains to surfing competitions and now through partnerships with artists like Ashanti, Drink Up is proving that if we promote healthier options in fun and exciting ways, and make those options affordable and accessible for families, we can continue to make the healthy choice the easy choice.”By using the hashtag #DrinkUpAshanti, anyone can help replenish the single and music video, which are available at DrinkUpAshanti.com. The more often the hashtag appears on Instagram or Twitter, the more ‘hydrated’ the single becomes, until eventually the complete song is released.Simultaneously, the song’s video will transform from a black, white and gray color scheme to a gorgeous, richly colored palette that features flowers created by the aggregated tweets. Fans will also be able to go on DrinkUpAshanti.com and see which aspects of the video their tweets brought to life.“I love that my song is being used to encourage people to make a really easy choice: drinking more water every day,” Ashanti said. “It’s even more rewarding when it’s being done in a creative, positive way. Drinking water is in … it’s just cool and sexy. You are what you drink, so drink up. It’s also a pleasure to work with the First Lady again to help make the healthy choice the easy choice.”Previously, Ashanti lent her talents to Partnership for a Healthier America by participating in an album titled, Songs for a Healthier America released in 2014.Led by PHA, Drink Up was launched in 2013 to encourage people to drink more water more often. “Let’s Go” will be released in four phases, from dehydrated to hydrated. Each time someone uses the hashtag, they will be able to see and hear the results of their contribution. The song will fill in little by little, and once fully hydrated, it will be released for sale on iTunes.“This collaboration with Ashanti is a whole new way for a brand and an artist to work together, and we are looking forward to seeing how quickly Ashanti’s fans can make her newest single drop,” said Drew Nannis, PHA’s chief marketing officer.The #DrinkUpAshanti social campaign and music video have been created by ad agencies Y&R (Young & Rubicam) and VML New York.For more information about Ashanti, visit: ashantithisisme.com. For more information about Drink Up, visit www.YouAreWhatYouDrink.org