Mandela statue to grace Union Buildings

first_img3 September 2013 South Africa will honour former president Nelson Mandela by unveiling a golden statue of him as the country marks the 100th anniversary of the Union Buildings in Pretoria in December. Making the announcement at a business briefing in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said that work on the statue was at an advanced stage. Mandela was discharged from hospital in Pretoria on Sunday morning in order to continue receiving treatment for a respiratory illness at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg. The Presidency said that the 95-year-old former statesman’s condition “remains critical and is at times unstable”, but that his team of doctors were convinced that he would receive the same level of intensive care at his home that he had been receiving in hospital. “We take this opportunity once again to wish Tata Madiba well as he recovers from home,” Mashatile said on Tuesday. “Even in sickness, Tata Madiba continues to unite our nation and remains an enjoining symbol of our freedom and democracy.” The imposing Union Buildings, part of the official seat of the South African government, are located at the northern end of Arcadia in Pretoria. Designed by British architect Sir Herbert Baker in 1908, construction of the Union Buildings began in 1909 and was completed almost three years later, in 1913. Approximately 1 265 artisans, workmen and labourers were involved in building the structure, using around 14-million bricks for the interior office walls, half-a-million cubic feet of freestone, 74 000 cubic yards of concrete, 40 000 bags of cement and 20 000 cubic feet of granite. On 10 May 1994, Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected president, and his deputy presidents were inaugurated at the Union Buildings, after the country’s first free elections, heralding the beginning of a new era in South Africa’s history. Source: read more

Soil testing — It doesn’t cost, it pays!

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest John Leif, Field Agronomy Manager for AgroLiquidIn today’s agricultural economy it is tempting to take a few shortcuts and not purchase inputs or services that were utilized in the past. Growers need to make the best use of their financial resources, but care must be taken not to cut inputs that can make money. As growers consider their crop nutrition needs it is tempting to forgo something as basic, but important, as soil testing.Soil testing allows the grower to determine the current condition of the soil, including imbalances, deficiencies, and excesses. It also helps identify how much nutrition is already available in the soil so that fertilizer applications can be optimized. A multi-year testing program allows the grower to monitor changes in the soil over time.Planning a soil sampling program requires the grower to know the field. A good starting point for planning a sampling plan is a soil survey map that identifies different soil types in that field. The grower also needs to identify areas of the field that are unique, such as a sandy knoll or wet depression that the soil survey map doesn’t identify. A soil sample should be representative of a similar section of the field, and any unique areas should be sampled separately. The number of acres represented by a soil sample will vary by field but should generally not exceed 20 acres per sample.  The soil test report is only as good as the sample that is sent to the lab.The soil test report can be used to develop a complete nutrient management program for a field, including soil amendments to adjust nutrient imbalances as well as determine the fertilizer application needs for the crop. Using products that can be mixed to address the needs of a field will provide the best opportunity for economic return.Yes, soil testing does cost money — around $25 per sample for a complete test that includes soil characteristics, nutrient levels and base saturation. If, for example, one soil sample represents 20 acres in a field and the field is sampled every three years, the cost of soil sampling averages out to be about $0.41 per acre per year. The information gained from that $0.41 can guide a grower in making crop nutrition decisions that will address the needs of the crop and avoid excesses or deficiencies.If you are not familiar with proper soil sampling procedures, the Responsible Nutrient Management Foundation offers a Soil Sampler Field Certification — kind of a soil sampling 101. Certification will provide soil samplers with the knowledge to provide consistent samples to their labs, maximizing the value of results. Check it out at, don’t overlook your resources. Companies have whole divisions with people specifically trained, educated, and experienced to help you make the best decision based on your farm’s soil data. The time has come to boldly ask us to earn our pay and put our skills to use on your farm. Sound agronomic advice combined with our trusted crop nutrients can provide a balanced fertilizer program that gives your crop a chance to keep you profitable.last_img read more

ARC County looking forward: Making county of payment choice for 2016-2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Farmers with the administration of their farms consolidated at one FSA office may want to examine their ARC-CO projected payments for 2016 to 2018. If no decision to change is made, ARC-CO payments will be calculated on the average yields for the administrative FSA office county, regardless of where the land is physically located. Earlier in the year, FSA announced that farmers could elect to have the 2014 and/or the 2015 ARC-CO payments calculated on the county in which the land is physically located. For some farms this was financially beneficial. However, do not expect 2016 to be like previous years since the high yields that reduced payments in a few locations (Defiance County 2014, and Ross County 2015) are now included in the formula to determine the payment.Visual maps for farmers to reference for the 2016 to 2018 payment projections have been created. With the assumption that corn and soybean yields will average 5% above the county Olympic average for 2016 and wheat yields will average 10% above the county Olympic average for 2016. The Market Year Average (MYA) price is currently estimated by USDA to be $3.50 for corn, $9.50 for soybeans, and $4 for wheat. Lower prices and/or lower yields could improve the ARC-County payment while higher prices or higher yields could erode the projected payment.These maps give a quick visual for ARC-CO corn, soybean, and wheat payments by county with payments rounded to the nearest dollar. The maximum potential payment for each county is listed followed by (in parenthesis) the expected payment based on the above assumptions. Farmers can quickly look to see if the land in a neighboring county, that is not their administrative county, had a significantly different payment. Based on this information, they can decide if they want to elect to be paid based on the farmland’s county or keep it in their current county of administration. Check with FSA to determine the process you will need to follow to make any changes.Farmers may also want to consider potential payments for 2017 and 2018 into this decision. Using the assumption that we will have average yields and the same MYA prices as used for 2016, there will not be ARC-County payments for corn and soybeans those years. Most of this is due to a significantly lower revenue guarantee as the high price years of 2012 and 2013 are no longer in the Olympic average or are thrown out as the high year in calculating the Olympic average. Significantly lower actual prices or yields could generate some level of payment, but the maximum will be reduced by 50% from 2016 projections. Wheat is the only crop that which may make some payments, but they will be smaller with the 2017 and 2018 payments combined running in the $30 to $45 range per base acre with an estimated two-thirds paid for 2017 and the other third paid for 2018.The prices listed on the maps are the best guess estimate of the actual payment rate per acre. However, if farmers want to estimate ARC-CO payments for their farm, they would need to make two adjustments. First the program pays on 85% of the base acres, one would need to multiply the amount by 85% to adjust for this reduction. Secondly there would need to be an adjustment if Congress creates a sequestration deduction.Farmers with land in more than one county have until Aug. 1to make the permanent decisions for 2016 through 2018’s ARC-CO payments. This does not affect farms enrolled in ARC-Individual or the PLC program. The 2016 and beyond estimates are based on current best information provided by Farm Services Agency and the National Agricultural Statistics Service. These numbers can change in thecoming months and are provided as a guide only. Please use your own judgement and assumptions when making the determination for the 2016 ARC-CO payment county decision.last_img read more

Chinese government wants country to be AI leader by 2030

first_imgDavid Curry AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img The Chinese government has released a three-step blueprint, showing how it intends to become the leader in artificial intelligence development and deployment by 2030.The State Council, the chief administrative authority in China, published the plan last week.See Also: WeChat’s director of user growth talks up new features for overseas clientsChina will look to “keep pace” with all other leading countries in AI by 2020. This means an AI industry worth $22 billion and $150 billion in related fields, such as self-driving.From there, the Chinese government will work to have all regulatory and legal framework set by 2025. This will allow operators to understand the rules and better market AI to customers and enterprises, both inside and outside of China.China is expected to be more complacent about AI development than the U.S. or Europe, where regulators are likely to block AI that could harm citizens. A Forbes report already shows how the government can use facial recognition and AI to track potential “criminals,” seen in the West as a massive breach of privacy.An innovation center by 2030?By 2030, the Chinese government hopes to be an innovation center for AI. In the plan, the State Council estimated $150 billion in value for the AI sector and $1.5 trillion for related fields.Major Chinese companies, like Alibaba, Tencent, and Lenovo, have already set up divisions for AI exploration and development. Baidu, the most popular search engine in China, has launched a personal assistant and is working on self-driving cars.It is hard to calculate what country is in front in the AI race, especially since nobody knows where it will end. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who also founded an AI research startup, has said that the development of general purpose artificial intelligence is an existential threat to humanity, and has said governments should halt development until regulations are in place. Tags:#AI#artificial intelligence#Baidu#China#featured#spying#top AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Themlast_img read more

World Cup T20: England beat New Zealand by 6 wickets

first_imgEngland cruised home against New Zealand in a World Twenty20 Super Eight tie at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Sri Lanka on Saturday.New Zealand suffered their second successive defeat of the Super Eights by six wickets as English batsman Luke Wright smashed a 43-ball 76, including five sixes and five boundaries, to take England home.Electing to bat first, the Black Caps kept losing wickets at regular intervals right from the start which halted them from putting together partnerships, from where they could never recover.English pacer Steven Finn wrecked havoc for the Kiwi top order taking three wickets for 16 runs from his four overs.Off-spinner Graeme Swann also played an important role in restricting New Zealand to a sub-150 total, chipping in the wicket of Rob Nicol and giving away 20 runs from his four.The only batsman who provided some fireworks was James Franklin who scored a 50 of 33 balls before being run out. His innings included four boundaries and two sixes.New Zealand captain Ross Taylor and Nathan McCullum chipped in with 22 and 16, respectively, in the end to take the Black Caps to 148.During the England innings, after losing openers Craig Kieswetter (4) and Alex Hales (22) early, Wright and Eoin Morgan (30) put up a 89-run partnership which literally took the game away from Ross Taylor led side.Morgan provided support to Wright chipping in with ones and twos throughout his 31-ball innings. While Wright’s brilliant hitting and strokeplay earned him the Man-of-the-match award.Both teams play there next must-win ties here Monday. New Zealand take on West Indies while defending champions England take on hosts Sri Lanka.advertisementToss: New Zealand captain Ross Taylor won the toss and elected to bat against England in their Super Eight match of the World Twenty20.Teams:England: Craig Kieswetter, Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad (c), Graeme Swann, Danny Briggs, Steven Finn.New Zealand: Martin Guptill, James Franklin, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor (c), Rob Nicol, Daniel Vettori, Doug Bracewell, Kane Williamson, Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills.last_img read more

18 days agoMount: Chelsea’s England selection big for club

first_imgMount: Chelsea’s England selection big for clubby Paul Vegas18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveMason Mount says Chelsea’s strong contingent in the England squad is big for the club.Mount will be joined by Blues teammates Ross Barkley, Tammy Abraham and Fiyako Tomori in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.Speaking to the club’s website, the 20-year-old said: “It is a massive honour to get called up to your country and to have four Chelsea boys in there is brilliant for the club.”There are a lot of young boys around us that we have played with for a very long time and now making that step into the senior team so I am so happy for Tammy and for Fik [Fikayo Tomori], and Ross as well, us four getting into the England squad is a massive achievement so I am looking forward to the international break.”The last international break, the game before it we drew 2-2 and it was not a good feeling going into it but now we have the good feeling of winning three points.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

14 days agoWolves chairman Jeff Shi confirms they’re seeking new investment

first_imgWolves chairman Jeff Shi confirms they’re seeking new investmentby Paul Vegas14 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveWolves chairman Jeff Shi says the club are seeking money from investors.Chinese group, Fosun International, bought Wolves in 2016 for £45m and have invested huge funds to take the club from the Championship to the Premier League.After qualifying for the Europa League this season, Shi says Wolves want to continue improving.”We welcome any new partnership, new funding, new sponsorship to help us, to grow together with us,” he told China Global Television Network.”And to push the club to a high level in the future.”Shi added that Wolves that the club hope to redevelop Molineux over the next three to four years in order to expand the capacity to 46,000. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Singapore to Be LNG BunkerReady as Early as 2020

first_imgzoom Singapore is on the path to become liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker-ready in line with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) decision to limit global sulphur emissions to 0.5% from 2020.Speaking at Pavilion Energy’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering launch ceremony, Koh Poh Koon, senior minister of state at Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, said that LNG bunkering is poised to grow in line with international developments in the maritime industry.“As the world’s largest bunkering port, Singapore remains committed to ensuring that the maritime industry has access to cleaner marine fuels. We plan to be LNG bunker-ready as early as 2020, and today is an important milestone in this journey,” Koh Poh Koon said.The Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has a programme to co-fund up to SGD 2 million (USD 1.43 million) for LNG-fuelled harbour craft. Five such harbour craft, which include tug boats and bunker tankers, will be coming on stream from 2018 onwards,  Koh Poh Koon said.Additionally, through the Port Focus Group which Singapore is a member of, “we will also keep abreast of developments in LNG bunkering, learn best practices from other members, and participate in building a network of LNG bunker-ready ports for vessels plying the Far-East Europe and Transpacific routes.”Following the award of LNG bunkering licences to Pavilion and FueLNG in 2016, the MPA will embark on a three-year LNG bunkering pilot program this year. The program would test operational protocols, gain operational experience and improve Singapore’s capabilities to ensure that LNG bunkering is carried out safely, efficiently, and reliably.last_img read more

Photon funnel could direct and regulate light into solar cells

first_img Journal information: Journal of the American Chemical Society It has often been said that solar cells are like artificial versions of the photosynthetic apparatuses found in plants, such as leaves, since both harvest sunlight. But nature’s leaves can do something that most solar cells cannot do: protect themselves against photochemical damage from overexposure to sunlight. Illustration of the light-harvesting funnel array that directs energy to a focal point along diverse routes, and then slowly off-loads the energy to a solar cell or other device. Credit: Raymond Ziessel, et al. ©2013 American Chemical Society More information: Raymond Ziessel, et al. “An Artificial Light-Harvesting Array Constructed from Multiple Bodipy Dyes.” Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI: 10.1021/ja4049306 Researchers recreate photosynthesis to power devices © 2013 All rights reserved.center_img Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Photon funnel could direct and regulate light into solar cells (2013, July 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from In an attempt to protect artificial light-harvesting devices from sun damage, chemists have designed a funnel-shaped molecular-scale array that harvests photons, spreads the energy around the array, and off-loads the energy at a relatively slow rate to a solar cell or other device. By regulating the amount of energy that enters the solar cell, the new array could extend the lifetime of the solar cell, which must function in harsh conditions associated with prolonged exposure to sunlight.The researchers, Raymond Ziessel, Gilles Ulrich, and Alexandre Haefele at the University of Strasbourg in France, along with Anthony Harriman at Newcastle University in the UK, have published their paper on their artificial light-harvesting array in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.”UV light is harmful to the cells and to the supporting structure,” Harriman told “Photons are lost by way of annihilation, and optimal performance requires a steady flux of photons. This is even more important for water-splitting devices, which is where we see our light harvester having real applications.”The new array consists of 21 Bodipy (“boron-dipyrromethene”) dyes, which are highly fluorescent dyes known for their good light absorption and emission. The Bodipy dyes are arranged in a funnel-like design that converges onto a focal point. When exposed to light, the array guides the excitation energy from incident photons through the funnel through a series of cascading energy transfer steps until the energy reaches the focal point. The most important feature of the design is its ability to self-regulate its energy. When the focal point is in an excited state, further energy transfer to the focal point is restricted. In order to increase the amount of energy that reaches the focal point, the topology of the array provides diverse travel routes for the energy to ensure different arrival times. The strategy involves redistributing excess energy within the array until the focal point is no longer “saturated.” This mechanism for protecting against overexposure to sunlight is not strictly based on the mechanisms used by plants. In nature, various different mechanisms have evolved for this purpose, although the details of these mechanisms are still under active debate.While the properties of the new array are intriguing, the scientists add that the actual synthesis is also state-of-the-art. Using Bodipy dyes as building blocks allows certainty about the emergent structure, unlike when using other molecules, such as dendrimers, where it is difficult to assure complete growth with each layer. In the future, the molecular-scale funnel could protect solar cells by functioning as a sensitizer; that is, transferring energy in a controlled way to the solar cells or other external devices. The array also provides a benefit in stability compared with using a mixture of compounds. And although the array restricts energy transfer, it does not decrease solar cell efficiency.”At present, the limiting efficiency is coupling together the two systems,” Harriman said. “In principle, there should be no decrease in efficiency. The real advantage will come from using a large-area collector and a small-area solar cell.”In the future, the researchers plan to improve the transfer of photons from the array to the solar cell.”We are trying to build systems where the photons move easily from cluster to cluster before being trapped by the solar cell,” Harriman said. “Also, we are looking into ways to push the photons towards the solar cell, rather than rely on random migrations. This kind of quantum coherence might be important in certain cases in nature but is way beyond the current capability of artificial systems. We have ideas on how to improve and we foresee rapid progress in this field.”last_img read more