COVID-19: With no intervention, Jakarta predicted to run out of hospital beds by December

first_imgJakarta Health Agency data previously showed that daily isolation bed occupancy rates in the city’s 67 referral hospital began to gradually increase to around 50 percent after July 20. University of Indonesia epidemiologist Tri Yunis Miko said separately that increasing the number of beds was not the solution, insisting that eliminating sources of transmission was actually the key.Jakarta, which started the implementation of strict large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in April to contain the virus spread, decided to ease the restrictions in June to restore the economy.The relaxation of curbs has been blamed for the city’s soaring case numbers in the past few weeks, with the emergence of dozens of new COVID-19 transmission clusters.  The Jakarta administration decided on Wednesday to reimpose stricter PSBB measures starting Monday, allowing only 11 essential sectors to operate while other businesses and offices will have to reimplement work-from-home policies. (vny)Topics : The Jakarta Health Agency has predicted that the capital city will run out of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients by December if cases continue to increase at the current pace and if no attempts are made increase hospital capacity. “Our existing hospital bed capacity will not be enough [to accommodate COVID-19 patients by December] if no interventions are made,” the agency’s head Widyastuti said on Wednesday. The agency, therefore, will intensify efforts to increase bed capacity and the number of medical workers for the COVID-19 response in the capital, Widyastuti added as reported by The Jakarta administration recently recruited some 1,174 health workers, most of whom came from other provinces in Java, Sumatra, Nusa Tenggara and Papua. The workers – comprising pulmonologists, internists, radiographers and nurses, among others – were selected from a total of 4,859 applicants. They will be deployed at number of health facilities spread across Jakarta, Widyastuti explained.Read also: Jakarta gears up for possible collapse of healthcare systemJakarta, the country’s epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, has so far recorded 49,397 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which is nearly a quarter of Indonesia’s total tally of 203,342 cases. On Wednesday alone, it saw a daily increase of 1,004 positive cases. last_img read more

Picking the next Dream Team is tough task for US men’s basketball

first_imgTORONTO — In another Olympic sport, the U.S. might be dreaming of a gold-silver-bronze medals sweep.But in basketball, countries only get one.“We could send over three teams, I think we’d be successful,” Golden State’s Klay Thompson said.The Americans are so loaded with talent that their biggest challenge this summer might not be the games themselves, but rather determining which 12 players get seats on the plane to Rio de Janeiro. “I’m sure it’s hard, but it’s a good problem to have,” Clippers star and two-time gold medalist Chris Paul said. “Other countries aren’t that fortunate to have a pool of this many great players to choose.” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo faced a different problem not long ago.“Someone made the point, ‘Look, you have so many players now, that’s a real problem,”’ Colangelo said. “I said, ‘No, it was a real problem when I started in ‘05 when we didn’t have players who wanted to play.’ We were looking for players and now we have a big-time problem because supposedly we have too many.”Colangelo said the selection of this team will “absolutely” be the toughest yet.The Americans list 31 Olympic finalists in their pool, including MVP winners Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and LeBron James,, though James has said he is undecided about playing. Many of the players were in Toronto for the All-Star Game, yet Colangelo said he isn’t looking for an All-Star team. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img “It’s not the 12 best players,” he said. “I’ll go back to where we started the whole thing is, it wasn’t going to be 12 All-Stars, it was going to be a team and we want complementary pieces on this team. So when we end up picking up our 12, it could be revealing to say look, we took this guy and that guy because that’s the best blend of talents.”Paul was there when it started, part of the U.S. team that won bronze in the 2006 world basketball championship after Colangelo had revamped USA Basketball following the Americans’ third-place flop in Athens two years earlier.Teammates he recalled included Kirk Hinrich and Brad Miller, solid NBA contributors who would have no chance of making the team the U.S. will field in Brazil.Curry and Paul are among the point guard choices that include Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, John Wall and Damian Lillard. For big men, there’s DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond and Anthony Davis.And imagine being in Thompson’s spot.He played well for the Americans when they dominated the 2014 Basketball World Cup, is a great shooter and defender, and his game and demeanor fit perfectly for Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski.Yet he figures to be competing with the likes of James, Durant, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Warriors teammate and NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala for a spot among the wings. And let’s not forget Paul George, an All-Star again and who has recovered from his broken leg in U.S. camp two years ago. He would seem to have a spot if he wants it. “It would be special for me. Olympics was always on my bucket list,” Thompson said. “Won’t be the end of the world if I don’t make it, but it would be a true honor because I love playing for the USA. It’s one of the most fulfilling things you can do.”The Americans have traditionally favored smaller, versatile teams, but switched things up two years ago when they carried Drummond as an extra big. Colangelo doesn’t know which way they’ll go now.“No, because we’re loaded at the smalls and wings, but we’re better at the bigs. We’re deeper at the bigs than we’ve been,” he said. “So again, that’s kind of a high-class problem.”He isn’t rushing into any decisions, knowing injuries and contract situations always knock out some players. He plans to announce the U.S. team around the NBA draft in late June and will be watching candidates all season. And after years of stressing the “equity” of those who have played before, Colangelo can’t take that into account this time. Too many players have been on winning U.S. teams to let that be an advantage.“Now it’s down to who do we feel would be the best 12,” he said, “the best makeup in terms of 12 players to help us win another gold medal.”last_img read more

Perry downs Oliver on last-second dagger to stays on top of City League

first_imgPerry’s Marcus Smith led all scores with 20 points and Harrington added 17. The leading scorer for Oliver was Phillip Ferguson with 16 points.The score was tied at 65-65 with 12 seconds left in the contest, after Perry came back from a double-digit deficit in the first quarter, being down by as many as 16. During a timeout, Perry’s head coach Marco Corona gathered his troops to put together an offensive sequence that would solidify its comeback efforts against its North Side rival.The Oliver defense keyed in on Smith, but the ball ended up going to Harrington who set up behind the arc and let go the game-winner that went straight through the nylon—swish.Also contributing for Perry was Bruce Grover with 14 points. Oliver’s Tawayne Steele and Delvon Murray each had 14 as well.The other factor that led to the three-way tie in the City was that Westinghouse dropped their first conference contest to Carrick that same night, 55-46. PENN HILLS FALLS TO UPPER ST. CLAIR IN WPIAL ACTION—Penn Hills guard Lamont Wright dribbles past Upper St. Clair’s Mike Worthy during the Indians’ 46-39 loss in the Penn Hills Rotary Classic Jan. 16. STANDINGS: Team Conf. Overall Perry 4-1 4-7 Allderdice 3-1 5-2 Westinghouse 3-1 5-3 Schenley 3-2 4-5 Langley 2-2 3-2 Carrick 2-3 2-6 Brashear 2-3 2-7 Oliver 1-3 1-7 Peabody 0-4 0-9Follow our continuing coverage and add your comments about City League basketball to our website at: Howze can be reached at: [email protected]). SCHEDULE: January 22 3:15 p.m., Allderdice at Peabody3:15 p.m., Brashear at Oliver3:15 p.m., Westinghouse at Perry7:30 p.m., Carrick at Langley STANDINGS: Team Conf. Overall Perry 5-0 8-1 Westinghouse 3-1 5-2 Oliver 3-1 5-3 Peabody 3-1 3-6 Allderdice 2-2 3-4 Schenley 2-3 4-6 Carrick 1-4 4-7 Brashear 1-4 1-9 Langley 0-4 0-9center_img Perry girls have league-high four winsJust like the boys team, the Perry girls (4-1, 4-7) are also on top of things in the City. They’ve taken care of Brashear, Langley, Carrick and Oliver to establish that they know how to win when it counts. Allderdice, Schenley and the defending champion Westinghouse have better overall marks at this point, but Perry still leads with each of those squads having only three wins in the conference. The Spartans are the only team out of that bunch with more than one conference loss. They currently stand 3-2 in the league. Results from games played Jan. 12:Allderdice 65, Brashear 45Carrick 57, Westinghouse 31Schenley 62, Langley 13Perry 68, Oliver 27 SCHEDULE: January 22 3:15 p.m., Langley at Carrick3:15 p.m., Oliver at Brashear3:15 p.m., Peabody at Allderdice7:30 p.m., Perry at Westinghouse It was a three-point shot by Daryl Harrington with four seconds left that took care of Oliver (3-1, 5-3) and their chances of taking sole possession of second place in the City League, going down to Perry (5-0, 8-1) 68-65, Jan. 12. This puts them in a three-way tie with Westinghouse and Peabody for the “next to best” spot in the league’s standings as they have matching 3-1 conference records. last_img read more

West dominates East in All-Star celebrity game

first_imgCELEBS HOOP–Common, second from right, looks for a shot between, from left, Ryen Russillo, Josh Hutcherson and Ne-Yo (3) during the second half of the NBA All-Star celebrity basketball game Feb. 15, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) by Kristie RiekenAP Sports WriterHOUSTON (AP) — Usain Bolt joined the East team in the All-Star celebrity game to have a little fun.He had no idea the West team would take the game so seriously.Five-foot-2 comedian Kevin Hart took most valuable player honors in leading the West to a 58-38 victory over the Bolt and the East on Friday night.Afterward the Jamaican sprinter said he was surprised by the intensity of the West team coached by Houston All-Star James Harden“We got beat bad, but their team was much more serious,” Bolt said.Bolt did show his athleticism a few times, most notably on a two-handed dunk in the first half.Hart challenged Bolt to a race during a timeout where the pair each had to dribble and make two layups, and shocked the crowd by winning.“Kevin Hart is a pleasure,” said Bolt, who used a limited edition Gatorade squeeze bottle during the game. “I watch all of his standup comedy shows, so for me it was a great honor to get to do that with him.”He acknowledged before the game that he could dunk well, but that his other basketball skills were lacking. He said he’d like to play a different sport when his track career is done.“I’m more of a better soccer player than a basketball player, so I definitely want to try soccer,” he said.Bolt said he was most impressed with Hart, who stole the show with his antics and won MVP for the second straight year, despite being the smallest player on either team.Hart, the star of BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood, talked a ton of trash before the game, and continued running his mouth and mocking the opposition throughout the game. He even took a shot at East coach and Oklahoma City All-Star Russell Westbrook’s camouflage pants.“I could have went the NBA route, let’s just get that out of the way,” Hart joked before the game. “I chose to do comedy just because it’s fun. I didn’t want to play basketball. But if I want to I can easily do the same thing these guys do on a daily basis. It’s not that serious.”The game also featured a number of former NBA stars including Dikembe Mutombo, Clyde Drexler, Bruce Bowen and Sean Elliot. Drexler and Elliot got tangled up going for a rebound and Elliot crashed to the ground, causing someone to yell: “calm down guys, this isn’t 1982.”Mutombo blocked a shot and did the finger wave he made famous during his illustrious career. The entire West bench, led by Harden, jumped up cheering and waving their fingers after the play.Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who played professional basketball in Australia, was a strong player for the West, crashing the boards and grabbing rebounds over the former NBA players.Josh Hutcherson, the star of “The Hunger Games” who is almost as short as Hart, wowed the crowd by hitting a 3-pointer early in the game.last_img read more


first_imgIn last year’s Guide, five of the six experts correctly identified California Chrome as the ‘horse to beat’ in Baltimore, with Jon White ($109.20) and Steve Byk ($114) each turning a profit on their recommended wagers.  Don’t forget to check back on Thursday, May 14 to access Xpressbet’s updated Preakness Stakes Wager Guide, complete with post-draw thoughts and analysis from the team. May 8, 2015 (Washington, PA) – Leading online wagering provider, Xpressbet, is pleased to announce its 2015 Preakness Stakes Handicapping Headquarters is now open and stocked with the information you need to Bet the Preakness Like a Pro.  Visit to download Xpressbet’s free Preakness Stakes Wager Guide, watch Xpressbet’s exclusive Video Handicapping Series and more. About XpressbetXpressbet provides legal and secure online wagering services to horseplayers in the United States.  It is the industry’s most comprehensive and user-friendly wagering site, allowing customers to wager on more than 300 of the world’s best racetracks from their computer, phone or mobile device.  Xpressbet operates XB SELECT, the industry’s premier destination for high-volume wagering, and XB Net, which connects bet shops and wagering sites from around the world to North American racing.  Xpressbet is a Stronach Group company, which also owns and operates Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness Stakes.  The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, the award-winning Adena Springs operation, AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology, and Monarch Content Management, horse racing’s leading simulcast purchase and sales agent. Download a Free Wager Guide, Watch Exclusive Videos and More! “As the title sponsor of the Preakness Stakes, we’re doing everything we can to ensure horseplayers have the information they need before betting the Preakness,” said Kerry Carlson, Xpressbet’s Senior Vice President of Marketing.  “We’re excited to once again offer free access to our Wager Guide and Video Handicapping Series.  We hope readers and viewers find these resources valuable when playing the Preakness Stakes.”center_img Plus, be sure to check out Xpressbet’s new Video Handicapping Series, in which expert handicappers, Jeff Siegel and Aaron Vercruysse, handicap the weekend’s races, analyze the Preakness contenders and interview the biggest names in horse racing. For the last decade, Xpressbet’s Preakness Stakes Wager Guide has brought the opinions and wagering savvy of expert handicappers to readers in this free tool.  This year’s team includes Bob Neumeier, Mike Battaglia, Jeff Siegel, Jon White, Dick Jerardi and Steve Byk.  Plus, Xpressbet’s own, John ‘Johnny D.’ DeSantis, and Horse Player NOW’s Jeremy Plonk return to contribute contender profiles and stats and trends to help you identify horses ready to run big at Pimlico. While you’re at, open an online wagering account and earn a $125 Welcome Bonus.  It takes just minutes to open and deposit money into your account.  Xpressbet customers can wager on more than 300 of the world’s top racetracks, including Pimlico, the home of the Preakness Stakes.  Use promo code TC2015 at Sign Up to claim your $125 Welcome Bonus.last_img read more


first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 21, 2017)–In his final work in preparation for next Saturday’s $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park and an epic rematch with legendary California Chrome, Bob Baffert’s Santa Anita-based Arrogate went an easy six furlongs in 1:12.13 prior to today’s first race at about 11:45 a.m. Santa Anita Timer Dane Nelson had Arrogate through splits of 24.82 (while well off the rail), 48.87 and 1:01.02. Nelson had the grey or roan colt by Unbridled’s Song galloping out seven furlongs in 1:24.37 and a mile in 1:38.32–on a main track that was listed by Track Superintendent Dennis Moore as “wet-fast.”As he has done the past two weekends, Arrogate, idle since defeating California Chrome by a half length in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic here on Nov. 5, entered Santa Anita’s main track via the quarter mile chute and galloped straight off through the stretch under jockey Martin Garcia.With Baffert, wife Jill and longtime friend George Jacobs, who is the owner of workmate Uninvited, watching the drill from a private suite atop the track’s box seat area, Arrogate was set down for business coming to the three quarter pole, about 10 links behind Uninvited. He then closed the gap to about four lengths at the quarter pole, prevailing by a measured neck at the wire as Garcia stayed down into the Club House turn.“What a relief that was,” said Baffert. “I’ve been on pins and needles watching this severe weather pattern. If I’d known we were going to get this much rain, I might’ve gone to Florida for his last work. I love the way he’s training…Last time (Jan. 15), he went a little too quick (early). Today, Martin went off slow with him and he just kept him underneath him.“He’s fit but we have to wait another week and we’ll need some racing luck. Dennis Moore’s done a great job with this track and I couldn’t be happier. He’ll leave early Tuesday.”According to Baffert, Arrogate is scheduled to be flown early Tuesday morning to south Florida, where he’ll then be vanned to Gulfstream.Owned by Juddmonte Farms, Arrogate, who was also a record setting winner of the prestigious Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga two starts back on Aug. 27, has five wins from six starts and has earnings of $4,084,600. He’ll be ridden for the third consecutive time next Saturday by Mike Smith.For more information on next Saturday’s $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational and to make Pegasus seating and dining reservations at Santa Anita, please visit or call (626) 574-RACE. STAGE SET FOR EPIC REMATCH WITH LEGENDARY CALIFORNIA CHROME AT GULFSTREAM PARKlast_img read more

Indonesian parliament pushes for passage of palm oil legislation this year

first_imgArticle published by Hans Nicholas Jong Indonesian legislators have prioritized deliberations of a bill regulating the country’s palm oil industry, hoping to have it passed this year.The bill in its current form conflicts with the government’s own recently adopted measures to protect peatlands, a point that legislators have acknowledged must be addressed.While its proponents say the bill is needed to protect the industry, citing a Western conspiracy against Indonesian palm oil, environmental activists say it will do little to address the ills attributed to the industry. JAKARTA — Lawmakers in Indonesia are adamant about passing new legislation on the palm oil industry this year, amid concerns from activists and even the executive branch of government.Environmental groups warn that the bill, in its current form, favors large corporations at the expense of smallholders and rural and indigenous communities. A key criticism is that it advocates the clearing of peatlands  for plantations — a position at odds with the administration of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, which has rolled out measures to protect peat areas.Those measures, introduced following massive land fires in 2015 that blanketed much of the region in a choking haze for months, oblige companies with land concessions that overlap onto peatlands to conserve and restore those areas. The large-scale draining of carbon-rich peat swamps by oil palm and pulpwood planters renders the land highly combustible, and the annual burning has made Indonesia one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.Legislators backing the bill appear to acknowledge the issue, but insist that economic growth must be prioritized.“These are regions that have to be protected,” Hamdani, a legislator with the Nasdem Party, who serves on the parliamentary commission discussing the bill, said of peat areas. He added the proposed article implying that palm oil companies were entitled on plant on peatlands “has to be changed.”Nevertheless, Hamdani, whose constituency covers Central Kalimantan, a province that is home to vast expanses of oil palm plantations, said the legislation would promote economic growth. He said he hoped it could be passed before September 2019, when a new crop of lawmakers takes office.“This bill serves the public interest,” said Hamdhani, who like many Indonesians, goes by just one name.Senior administration officials, though, see things differently. Darmin Nasution, the coordinating minister for the economy, has questioned the need for the new legislation.“Based on a comprehensive study that we’ve done, and after consultation with stakeholders, the government concluded that the bill is not needed yet,” he told a parliamentary hearing in July last year.The palm oil bill has been included in parliament’s docket of priority legislation for 2018, after getting the same treatment last year. (The fact that it failed to pass in 2017 despite being a “priority” is not unusual; parliament typically achieves only a fraction of the legislative target that it sets itself every year.)That it’s been prioritized once again in light of the administration’s misgivings has left its critics “surprised and confused,” said Maryo Saputra, campaign head at Sawit Watch, an NGO that monitors the palm oil industry.One of the bill’s main backers, Firman Soebagyo of the Golkar Party, says it will help protect Indonesia’s palm oil industry from foreign intervention — the argument being that Western stakeholders are behind a smear campaign aimed at boosting their own soybean and rapeseed oil industries. It’s the same theme espoused by the Indonesian Palm Oil Association, known as GAPKI, which often speaks of a conspiracy by foreign vegetable oil interests to undermine Indonesia’s palm oil industry.United at the other end of the debate are Indonesia’s environmental NGOs, who caution that the bill will benefit the large firms that dominate the industry. They also say it will do little to address the real problems in the industry, including the grabbing of indigenous lands, or the widespread failure on the part of companies to provide local communities with smallholdings as required by law.Andi Muttaqien, deputy director of the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy, or ELSAM, says critical voices are being excluded from the public hearings on the bill, during which outside groups are supposed to be invited by legislators to have their say.“Each year, the bill is always included on the legislative priority list,” Andi said. “But whenever there’s a public hearing, the meeting doesn’t involve many stakeholders.”Public consultations are being carried out in some regions. But Andi said this in itself was problematic, because it would lend more weight to the views of businesses and local government officials — who have historically sided with the interests of palm oil companies — over those of ordinary citizens. It also undermines the work being done to “harmonize” the bill — a part of the legislative process to ensure the bill doesn’t overlap or conflict with existing laws, regulations or regional bylaws.“Even though the bill is in the harmonization period, the legislative body keeps conducting public consultations in some regions,” Andi said, adding it was important for the harmonization to be completed before regional consultations began.“We’re worried that when the bill enters the next stage, which is open hearings, it will have already gained lots of support from the regional level,” he said. Banner image: An oil palm plantation adjacent to tropical forest in Borneo. Photo by Rhett A. Butler. Agriculture, Environment, Environmental Law, Forestry, Forests, Governance, Indonesia, Law, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Peatlands, Plantations, Politics, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Corals thrive on remotest islands in the Galápagos

first_imgOur first reef community stop in the Reefscape project was the Galápagos Islands in December 2017.We found that ocean events such as El Niño can wipe out huge areas of reef, yet coral survival and regrowth remain evident.Our direct actions, be the destructive overfishing or constructive protection, have a huge impact on the future of coral reef ecosystems.One size does not fit all when it comes to coral reefs — even an archipelago hammered by coral-killing warm waters can harbor refugia for biodiversity. Adapted from Bing Maps.The Galápagos Islands are not widely known for their coral reefs. Most visitors to the islands’ waters seek big charismatic residents like sharks, manta rays, sea lions and whales, or unique creatures like marine iguanas. Dive shops in the Galápagos almost exclusively advertise the opportunity to see these large creatures, while few mention corals. Yet the archipelago is home to vibrant reefs, and we commenced the global Reefscape project there.Perhaps so little is mentioned about reefs in the Galápagos today because of a history of coral bleaching across the archipelago. The scientific literature reports ocean temperature spikes of up to 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) during the 1982-83 and 1997-98 El Niño events, and again to a much lesser degree in 2015. El Niño’s hot waters pushed many corals beyond their thermal tolerances, resulting in widespread reef-scale bleaching.last_img read more

Proud Nerds at your service

first_imgTamara O’ReillyMeeting the CEO of a company unashamedly called Dial-a-Nerd for the first time one half expects to find the ultimate nerd – complete with braces, chequered pants, goofy smile and spectacles. Instead Collin Thornton is suave, good looking with fine social skills and a business mind to match. At 29, Thornton oversees a miniature empire with a turnover of R22 million and a network of 15 000 customers. The company’s core business deals with technicians that travel to private homes to solve computer problems – from users who need help with switching them on, downloading music onto their iPods or advice on entertainment gadgets to the more technical aspects like repairs and removing viruses.Thornton’s love for computers began at an early age and he often found himself spending hours dismantling and inspecting them. “My poor father, he probably lost about three or four machines because of my fiddling,” says Thornton.Getting started His entrepreneurial streak first began to show while still at primary school when he began making and selling candles and, while at the University of Witwatersrand studying towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, he began fixing computers for friends and family for a mere $7 per hour. His time at university was short-lived though as he found he already knew what was being taught.“I found the course too theoretical and I grew very bored very quickly. The defining moment for me came when my mathematics lecturer chastised me for getting a poor mark on a test, and suggested I just drop out instead. That was the best advice I got at university,” says Thornton. “So I did what he said and in between working as a packer at a supermarket I decided to take my passion for computers and use it to my advantage.”Dial-a-Nerd originated in his father’s garage in 1998 with just one other technician to help out. A year later, as his client base grew, he realised that to ensure further growth he needed to work out of a presentable and more work-like environment so he rented a tiny office. Today he has branches in Cape Town and Johannesburg and says that other cities like Pretoria and Durban are firmly on the agenda.Client profileThe home user seemed to be the obvious target for Thornton as he found that many companies that deal with mending computers find them an irritation. He was happy to take on these customers as he projected that with computers becoming popular in households, it would only be a matter of time before this service was needed on a larger scale.It seems that whether computer sales increase or decline, Dial-a-Nerd will be in for some good times. With the interest rate increasing and the cost of living getting higher, people want to prolong the life of their existing computers which means regular maintenance is required.But the company is also taking on larger business clients. Thornton says during the early days he would often turn away corporate clients as he didn’t have the capacity to deal with them properly.“Corporate customers require fast response times and specific guarantees,” he tells iWeek, “and if I couldn’t deliver perfectly, then I didn’t want to deliver at all. As our existing customers grew, however, they started to require this type of service, and instead of turning them away, I created a division called Network Nerds, which is staffed by highly trained technicians and was specifically structured to meet these needs.”About 200 small and medium-sized enterprises and a handful of large corporates now make up his client portfolio, but he says Dial-a-Nerd will remain loyal to home users.Despite the name and the misconceptions that come with it, all their technicians have great people skills. The rapid growth of Dial-a-Nerd has shown that there’s a demand for properly trained technicians who are able to simplify computer-speak and be friendly at the same time.As they believe computers are the way of the future, Dial-a-Nerd is also involved with social responsibility initiatives that see old computers being refurbished and donated to police stations, schools and orphanages around the country. These users are also trained by the nerds to use the equipment.Thornton says one of the secrets of the business’s success is the talent that he surrounds himself with. “There’s a joke in my office that I’m the worst technician in this company – and that’s true. All our technicians are IT experts – computers are their life. If a guy comes in here for a job and he says he doesn’t play computer games then that’s a concern for us.”Useful linksDial-a-nerd IT Weblast_img read more