• Home
  • Tag: 上海419论坛

Ceremony marks official opening of Dauterive Hall

first_imgThe university held a grand opening ceremony for the new Dr. Verna and Peter Dauterive Hall for Social Sciences on Wednesday. The $30 million, 98,000-square foot building first broke ground two years ago and opened for classes at the beginning of the semester.It’s official · Members of the Trojan Marching Band play at the grand opening of Dauterive Hall on Wednesday. The building has hosted classes for multiple disciplines and departments since the first day of the fall semester. – Min Haeng Cho | Daily TrojanThe building houses several programs that aim to utilize multidisciplinary approaches for problem solving. Among the programs are the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy, the Center for Economic and Social Research, the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation and the USC Dornsife Mind and Society Center.More than 500 people attended the ceremony, which was hosted in the open-air courtyard of the new building.Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Elizabeth Garrett began the ceremony by acknowledging some prominent attendees, including former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, USC Trustee Dr. Verna Dauterive and USC President C.L. Max Nikias and his wife Niki. Also in attendance were the deans of several USC schools and leaders from the construction and administrative teams.President Nikias introduced Dauterive, who received her master’s and doctoral degrees in education from USC’s Rossier School of Education in 1949 and 1966, respectively, and commended her unprecedented contributions to the university.“Today, we are celebrating one of education’s unique builders,” Nikias said. “Our USC Trustee Verna Dauterive breathes life into education. Her historic gift to this building was the largest by an African American in the history of American higher education.”President Nikias also acknowledged Dauterive’s husband, the late Peter Dauterive. Dauterive’s $30 million donation in 2008 was in his memory. Peter Dauterive graduated near the top of his class from the Marshall School of Business and went on to become the founding president and CEO of Founders Savings & Loan Association.“Peter never forgot his alma mater, supporting the Rossier School, Marshall School and the Norris Cancer Center,” Nikias said. “Peter and Verna shared a great commitment to each other but also to USC. Verna committed this building in memory of Peter. In many ways, Verna intended Dauterive Hall to be a love letter to her late husband.”In her speech, Dauterive credited President Nikias and Provost Garrett for deciding the building’s Romanesque style and design, which was structured in a way to optimize collaborative spaces.One of the building’s features is a sculpture titled “Ascending Thoughts” that changes color as the sun shines on it at different times of the day.“I think it’s good to have a building that incorporates multiple levels of subjects,” said Ioan Trayanov, an undeclared junior. “Whether or not you have classes with these other people, you’re still going to see them and run into them. And they’re not just people in your major — it’s people who have different thoughts and leads to a new type of diversity.”President Nikias hopes that the new building will help increase USC’s engagement with the world.“Interdisciplinary research has been one of the strengths of USC,” Nikias said. “With this new beautiful building and what goes inside, it makes a big statement and brings all the research to the next level. It will really make it possible for different social science researchers and students to come together to do the work that hopefully benefits the city and the world.”last_img read more

NBA playoffs 2019: Raptors’ Nick Nurse praises Kawhi Leonard’s ‘big-time’ performance

first_imgLeonard stated that the victory was all that mattered to him. “This individual stuff, it’s not big for me,” Leonard said. “To reach these goals, it’s great when you do it and you could win. “But our focus is every game trying to win the ballgame. That’s why we’re playing this game. We’re not playing so I could score 50 or get 40 points; we’re all on this team trying to say, ‘Raptors win’ at the end of the day.” Clinical [email protected] Game HighlightsWatch: https://t.co/uW1LkoBdLv pic.twitter.com/bAvfNwtQ7U— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 28, 2019″A big-time performance at both ends,” he told reporters. “I just like the force he’s playing with at both ends, but especially when he’s getting the ball. “He’s pushing it up the floor. He’s punching the gaps with force. He’s determined to get to spaces. I guess I should not be surprised, but that was pretty cool to watch.”  NBA playoffs 2019: Spurs coach Gregg Popovich ‘surprised people stayed’ for ‘odd’ Game 7 Nick Nurse saluted a “big-time performance at both ends” from Kawhi Leonard after he inspired the Toronto Raptors to a 108-95 victory in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Philadelphia 76ers. Leonard scored a career playoff high 45 points and claimed 11 rebounds as the Raptors won at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday. center_img NBA playoffs wrap 2019: Raptors cruise to win; Nuggets outlast Spurs in Game 7 The Raptors superstar also became only the sixth player in NBA history to pour in at least 45 points, grab 11 rebounds and make three or more three-pointers. Raptors head coach Nurse praised the contribution that the outstanding forward made both in attack and defense.  Related Newslast_img read more

Klopp calls for Liverpool focus after Euro spree

first_imgBut having seen his team crash 4-1 at Tottenham Hotspur after thrashing Maribor 7-0 earlier in the group phase, Klopp is desperate for his men not to ease up ahead of Sunday’s derby clash with Everton.“We showed tonight that we learnt from the mistake we made in Seville,” Klopp said, referring to Liverpool’s 3-3 draw against Sevilla on their previous Group E outing, when they had squandered a 3-0 lead.“Now we have to show that we learnt from the mistake we made after Maribor when we faced Tottenham. We will be ready again on Sunday and if the crowd are ready to help us, it would be nice again.”A brace from Coutinho, the first a penalty, and an opportunistic Firmino strike put Liverpool 3-0 up inside 18 minutes and they turned the screw after half-time.Mane and Coutinho struck in quick succession, the latter completing his first Liverpool hat-trick, before further neatly worked goals from Mane and Salah took the team’s goal tally to 32 in nine matches.Klopp could not disguise the extent to which he had enjoyed watching his team, saying they had scored “fantastic goals, unbelievably nice goals”, but there was an accompanying note of caution. – ‘Learn a lesson’ –As group winners, Liverpool should theoretically receive a kinder draw in the last 16, but with Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid among their potential opponents, Klopp does not expect any favours.“I think it’s really strange this year in the group phase,” said the German after Liverpool ended a nine-year wait to reach the knockout phase.“In the last 16 of the Champions League, they’re always strong sides, but this year it’s quite special.“I don’t think you can often face Bayern Munich and Real Madrid and Juventus in the last 16 if you win the group. And all the others. That’s quite interesting.“(Chelsea manager) Antonio Conte said it yesterday: there are no easy opponents.“I don’t think anybody will be happy when they get us in the draw, so we will not be happy when we see who we will face in the next round. But we will be ready, that’s for sure.”Spartak coach Massimo Carrera, whose team dropped into the Europa League, issued a scathing verdict on his side’s performance, saying his players had “almost played like they were afraid”.But he said playing in the Champions League had been a broadly positive experience.“If we forget today’s result, our campaign went pretty well,” said the Italian, whose team face city rivals CSKA Moscow this weekend.“We knew it would be a good result to go through to the Europa League and we achieved it.“We’ll try to forget this game for now, but we’ll try to learn a lesson from it.”Share on: WhatsApp “We should not think it will be like this from now on until the end of our entire lives,” he said.Emre Can received a booking that rules him out of the first leg of Liverpool’s last-16 tie and Klopp admitted an injury that forced left-back Alberto Moreno to limp off in tears had further dampened the mood.“We come to the little shadow tonight that Alberto Moreno needed to get substituted,” said Klopp.“It was a strange situation. He’s a tough guy and if he cannot continue the game, then we should consider it could be something serious.“In the treatment room he was a little bit more positive, so maybe we are lucky and it’s not too serious.”center_img Liverpool players celebrate . They crashed Spartak Moscow 7-0 to reach the last 16Liverpool, United Kingdom | AFP | Jurgen Klopp urged his Liverpool players not to succumb to the hype generated by their own scintillating performances after they crushed Spartak Moscow to reach the Champions League knockout rounds.Liverpool’s ‘Fab Four’ shone in a 7-0 trouncing of Spartak on Wednesday, with Philippe Coutinho scoring a hat-trick, Sadio Mane claiming a double and both Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah finding the net.last_img read more

Dwyane Wade leads key spurt as Heat hold off Celtics

first_imgWill you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives to the basket against Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)MIAMI  — Dwyane Wade knew the Boston Celtics would make a run.He also decided when it should end.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil LATEST STORIES Wade scored eight of his 19 points in a third-quarter spurt that saved Miami from what was starting to look like a freefall, and the Heat went on to defeat the Celtics 115-99 on Thursday night. Miami led by as many as 26 shortly after halftime, then saw the Celtics peel off 16 unanswered points before Wade helped quickly restore order.“I’ve been on this train with him for a long time,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He has a way of making all of us look a lot better. … Sometimes this league is just about having great players in those important moments, swing moments during the course of a game.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissJosh Richardson scored 18 points for Miami, which set season highs with 18 3-pointers and 33 assists. Derrick Jones Jr. scored 14, and Justise Winslow scored 13 points and added a career-high 11 assists for the Heat.“We’re trying to move up. We’re trying to continue to get better,” said Wade, who helped the Heat even their record at 20-20. “You want to be able to win some of these games against the top teams.” Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebracenter_img Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 22 on 10-for-19 shooting for the Celtics, who scored a season-high 135 points one night earlier in a win over Indiana — but were held under 100 for only the fourth time all season, the first since Nov. 17.Irving went to the Heat practice court immediately after the game, shooting for about 30 minutes.“Just good to get some shots up, just release some stress a little bit after a tough loss,” Irving said.Marcus Smart scored 18, and Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris each had 17 for the Celtics.Miami outscored Boston 17-4 in the final 3:07 of the first half and took a 61-43 lead into the break — the largest halftime edge for the Heat since November. And an 11-3 run to start the third pushed the lead out to 72-46, which would seem to indicate that Miami was in complete control.ADVERTISEMENT The game’s first free throw came more than 17 minutes after tip-off, when Winslow got to the line for Miami. Boston didn’t take a free throw until 10:31 remained in the third quarter.UP NEXTCeltics: Visit Orlando on Saturday. Boston is 7-2 in its last nine games against Orlando.Heat: Host Memphis on Saturday. It’ll be the 41st game — the midpoint — of Miami’s season.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Las Vegas police seeking Cristiano Ronaldo’s DNA in rape case Looks were deceiving.Boston scored the next 16 points, with Tatum getting six of them and the Celtics were right back in the game. Wade made a 3-pointer to stop the run, and scored eight points in the final 3:47 of the quarter as the Heat took an 83-72 lead into the final 12 minutes.Tyler Johnson got a pair of 3s to fall in a 67-second span early in the fourth, and just like that Miami was back up 95-76.“They really, really shot it and made big ones when we came back in the second half to stymie that,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “But that’s a result of being comfortable all night.”TIP-INSCeltics: Boston trailed for 4:04 in its last four games, combined. It trailed for 4:14 in the first quarter alone Thursday. … Boston has now lost three straight to Miami, the first time that’s happened since 2012.Heat: It was Miami’s 400th consecutive home sellout. … Winslow wore “RIP Sammy Farkas” on his sneakers, a tribute to a Miami Beach teen who died in a fall earlier this week. … Jones made a 40-footer to end the first half, and had a 60-footer to end the third quarter hit the rim and bounce off. … James Johnson got rave reviews from teammates for dunking on Irving in the opening minutes. “Definitely nice,” Tyler Johnson said.HELLO, AGAINBoston and Miami didn’t play each other in 2018 — the last meeting between the clubs, before Thursday, came on Dec. 20, 2017. The Celtics played every other NBA team at least once in 2018; the Heat played every team besides Boston and Golden State, who they last faced on Dec. 3, 2017 and won’t see for the first time this year until Feb. 10 in Oakland.NOTHING EASY MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

Missing Dog: Have you seen a Border Collie in Donegal Town?

first_img*Update: The dog has been found*A black and white Border Collie (pictured above) went missing last night (Thurs) between 7pm and 8pm in the Lough Eske area of Donegal Town.Its owners are anxious for the dog’s return. Please contact 087 6180880 if you have any information.Missing Dog: Have you seen a Border Collie in Donegal Town? was last modified: August 2nd, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Convergence Crams Uncooperative Fossils into Darwinism

first_imgWhen unrelated fossils have similar traits, evolutionary paleontologists twist, shove and stuff them into Darwin’s theory with an all-purpose tool called convergence.It wasn’t supposed to work this way. Animals were supposed to diverge as they evolved. Branches on real trees do that. In neo-Darwinism, the branch tips in Darwin’s image of a branching tree should get farther apart the more they evolve, because neither branch knows what the other one is doing. But the real world is full of counter-examples, where unrelated animals end up becoming very similar. Even more often, fossils exhibit “mosaics” of traits from different branches, or from “stem” (early) or “crown” (mature) members of a single branch. It’s all very confusing to Mr. Darwin, so his disciples invented a trick to keep from getting their story falsified. It’s called convergence, and here’s how it works. (Note: Not being Darwinians, we will dispute inclusion in the occasional first-person plural pronouns.)The Weird FishColin Barras at New Scientist introduces his fossil with a warning: “Weird fish fossil changes the story of how we moved onto land” [Who’s we, Paleface?]. If you thought the story of tetrapod evolution from fishy ancestors was all wrapped up, the wrapping just came off.The evolutionary story we have written [Who’s we, Paleface?] to explain our ancestors’ move from sea to land may need a rethink. A fossil fish from this era has been discovered with several of the features of land animals – yet it was only distantly related to them.Roughly 360 million years ago, one group of lobe-finned fish began evolving into four-legged, land-living animals that resulted in reptiles, amphibians and mammals like us. [Who’s us, Paleface?]Notice first that he calls it an evolutionary “story” – not a scientific discovery. The long-stable account of how lobe-finned fish moved onto land just got unstabilized by a Chinese fossil given the name Hongyu chowi.But when the researchers tried to fit H. chowi into the existing evolutionary tree, it didn’t fit easily.That’s because in some respects, H. chowi looks like an ancient predatory fish called rhizodonts. These are thought to have branched off from lobe-finned fish long before the group gave rise to four-legged land animals.Very well, then. Time to bring in the all-purpose tool called convergence. It works like a vise, cramming the fossil into Darwin’s box whether it wants to fit or not. (Jargonwocky note: Sometimes this is called “independent evolution” or “parallel evolution”).This implies one of two things, the researchers say. The first possibility is that H. chowi is some sort of rhizodont that independently evolved the shoulders and gill cover supports of a four-legged animal.Alternatively, the rhizodonts may be more closely related to the four-legged animals and the elpistostegids than we thought. But this would also imply a certain amount of independent evolution of similar features, because the rhizodonts would then sit between two groups that have many features in common – features the two groups would have had to evolve independently.It implies no such thing, but in Darwinland, everything must fit.The Flying Jurassic Early SquirrelEvolutionists found another misfit: a Jurassic flying squirrel. Trouble is, it’s in the wrong group. It’s not a therian (placental) mammal, and it’s not a marsupial mammal either (that’s another severe case of convergent evolution). This is a “stem mammal” called an eleutherodontid, that is supposed to be earlier than both later groups and not as evolved, but behold: it already was a glider! Plus, it had tooth rows “convergent” with bats, and other specialized traits that weren’t supposed to evolve till later. Writing in Nature, the authors from University of Chicago and University of Beijing seem surprised: “Here we report a new Jurassic eleutherodontid mammaliaform with an unusual mosaic of highly specialized characteristics,” they say, yet they continue to claim they have “New evidence for mammaliaform ear evolution and feeding adaptation in a Jurassic ecosystem.” Whatever it was, it evolved!The inferred dietary adaptation of eleutherodontid gliders represents a remarkable evolutionary convergence with herbivorous gliders in Theria. These Jurassic fossils represent volant [flying], herbivorous [plant-eating] stem mammaliaforms associated with pre-angiosperm plants that appear long before the later, iterative associations between angiosperm plants and volant herbivores in various therian clades.How can this be? Well, the Bearded Buddha was experimenting.The unique mosaic of characters related to tooth replacements and the middle ear of eleutherodonts adds to growing evidence of complex transformations of mammalian characteristics. Their complex dentitions and occlusal patterns are probably adapted for omnivory and herbivory, showing that the volant and herbivorous lifestyle, previously known only in therian gliders, was also part of mammaliaform evolutionary experimentation during the Jurassic.Shameless Plug for ConvergenceBaleen whales are champions of filter feeding with baleen instead of teeth. Long before they appeared on the evolutionary timeline, though, a marine reptile, unrelated to mammals, already had come up with a similar feeding strategy. Phys.org‘s coverage of a plesiosaur that evolved filter feeding puts convergence right in the headline: “Plesiosaur fossil found 33 years ago yields new convergent evolution findings.” All other marine reptiles used their teeth for biting, but Morturneria had interdigitating teeth that allowed them to catch krill, much like baleen whales do. So how did that happen? Bring out the all-purpose Darwin rescue tool:The identification of Morturneria’s whale-like filter feeding is a startling case of convergent evolution between reptiles and mammals. Plesiosaurs and whales shared many of the intervening steps in the evolution of this feeding style and their extreme morphologies are similar despite arising from different ancestors.[Sankar] Chatterjee stresses convergent evolution does not imply Morturneria was in any way related to today’s baleen whales; it just means they both evolved the same way.“They had adopted similar lifestyle and feeding,” he said. “For example, birds and bats fly, but birds are now considered dinosaurs [according to whom, Paleface?] and bats are mammals. These superficial similarities of lifestyles and behavior are called ‘convergent evolution.’” [by whom, Paleface?]Giving something a name is not the same as explaining it. Physicist Lee Spetner spoke about “convergent evolution” for ID the Future, commenting that “convergent evolution is even more improbable than evolution itself” (see Evolution News). Spetner presents an alternative, the Non-Random Evolutionary Hypothesis, which proposes “evidently purposeful evolution as a response to environmental and other stresses.” But then, if it is non-random, such adaptability must have been pre-programmed into organisms—i.e., intelligently designed.Convergence is an essential ingredient in Darwin Flubber. Don’t let the Darwin Party get away it. “Convergent evolution” is simply an empty phrase, a cover for ignorance, a rescue device to avoid falsification. Multiple independent similar adaptations are not proof of evolution in action: they are the opposite of what Darwin predicted. Some convergences in nature are so precise, it takes an expert to identify them (see the “Convergence Concoction” page by Brett Miller).If the Creator pre-programmed organisms with the ability to respond to environmental changes, or to use similar strategies for similar needs, that’s a design feature, not luck. The former is the kind of programming that goes into fault-tolerant systems. It represents intelligent design at a high level. The latter is an example of modular design (see Living Waters for examples of multiple unrelated animals that use magnetic navigation, for instance). Darwinians, by contrast, would rather believe animals won the lottery multiple times when they see finely-tuned, successful creatures with similar designs than to reject their Buddha’s teachings. What better proof of design could there be than similarities between unrelated organisms? What better disproof of blind, unguided evolution could there be than convergence everywhere? Don’t be fooled. Evolutionists get away with this in the media because they are totalitarian bigots, not allowing any criticism or debate. They know that once legitimate debate is allowed, they would be laughed off the stage in disgrace. Bring it on.(Visited 514 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Hiking the dragon’s back

first_imgThe Zulu name for the Drakensberg, uKhahlamba, means “barrier of spears”. The precipitous basalt cliffs of the escarpment drop straight down from the flat plateau while tumbling waterfalls pitch onto the lower slopes, cutting out deep valleys separated by dramatic green ridges. (Images: Mary Alexander, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more freephotos, visit the image library.)Fiona McIntoshI’ve hiked many of the world’s best trails: the Annapurna Circuit and well-trodden path to Everest Base Camp, the Milford Track, the Inca Trail and the classic alpine Haute Route from Chamonix to Mont Blanc. But I rate the Drakensberg Traverse as one of the finest of them all.The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park has many marked trails on its lower slopes, but once up on the mountain you’re in the wilderness. And what a magnificent wilderness it is. The precipitous basalt cliffs of the escarpment drop straight down from the flat plateau while tumbling waterfalls pitch onto the lower slopes, cutting out deep valleys separated by dramatic green ridges.Hiking the length of the Berg, from the dramatic Sentinel Buttress in the north of the range to Bushman’s Nek in the south, is no mean undertaking. You need to strong, fit and well-prepared, but there are shorter options, one of the most popular being the five-day Sentinel to Cathedral Peak circuit.Apart from a few well-used steep passes that give access to the plateau, there are no paths and only a few difficult-to-locate caves as shelter, but if you’re an experienced hiker, or go with a guide, the Drakensberg Plateau is a pristine, rugged wonderland that you could spend weeks exploring.Most groups allow 10 or 11 days to complete the traverse, but as with so many hikes it’s a trade off – the more food you carry, the slower you go. When I did it we opted to go fast and light, taking only a week’s food.Not that we could go too light, given the altitude and the unpredictable Berg weather. Massive daily electrical storms are the norm in summer, and snow and blizzards happen throughout the year, so full wet/cold weather gear – including a lightweight four-season mountain tent and sleeping bag – are essential.The trailhead is the Sentinel car park, accessed by a good road from the Free State town of Qwa Qwa. Once you’ve signed the mountain register and paid a paltry sum for park entry you head out on the obvious trail up towards the great golden wall of the Sentinel.Other than by driving up the Sani Pass in the southern Berg, this is the only easy way up to the plateau.After contouring around the base of the sheer cliffs you find yourself in a gully, where two sets of chain ladders allow you to scale the impossibly steep rock band. They’re not for the vertically challenged, but if you steel your nerves and keep looking up you’ll be on the top in minutes.The summit of Mont aux Sources a couple of hours up the valley is a popular option with day trippers. It’s also the first peak you’ll bag on your journey, but before heading off take time to enjoy the incredible vistas. Hike to the edge of the Eastern Buttress for a bird’s-eye view of the famous Amphitheatre and follow the Thukela River to where it tumbles off the edge in a spectacular waterfall down to the valley a kilometre below.Once you’ve summitted Mont aux Sources – a somewhat anticlimactic event as the peak is really only a pimple on the raised plateau – head south to find a campsite. Take it easy – the air is thin at 3 000 metres and, until you acclimatise to the altitude and lack of oxygen, you’ll find any exertion, even sleeping, difficult.This northern section is the wildest, most spectacular part of the Berg – a hostile, jagged land of deep valleys and steep ridges. Often you’re above the clouds and the early morning mist rising from the plains below gives the mountains an eerie, isolated feel.The distinctive shapes of the free-standing peaks poke through the layer of white that obscures the valleys below – the Rockeries, Mweni Needles, Cathedral Peak, the Pyramid, Bell and Devil’s Tooth. The Zulu name for the Drakensberg, uKhahlamba, means “barrier of spears” – and from this vantage it’s easy to see why.You look down on soaring  bearded vultures, pick out splashes of colourful flowers in the grass and occasionally catch a glimpse of a buck disappearing up a rocky slope. If the weather holds, the evening skies are studded with stars. It’s a magical place.Most hikers are content to head down the Tseketseke Pass to the Cathedral Peak Hotel, but if you have the time and energy carry on, over Cleft Peak and on to the fortress-like outcrop of Mafadi, South Africa’s highest point, which straddles the border with Lesotho.The quickest way south from here is through Lesotho, where the landscape changes dramatically. For the first time you’ll see other people – shepherds wrapped in blankets minding their sheep. At night they return, with their flocks and dogs, to their kraals and stone huts; at dawn you hear the sound of bells again as they take the animals back out to pasture.The biggest shock is when you cross the road leading up from the top of Sani Pass and see houses, metal sheds and the odd car for the first time in a week, but once you’re over the road you’re back in the wilderness.The southern part of the Berg, with its carpets of pretty flowers, green rounded hills and herds of sheep and cattle, is more welcoming than the north, so by the time the hike is over and you’ve found the unmarked route down to Bushman’s Nek you’ve been gently reintegrated into lowland life.There are various other easily accessible peaks, such as Champagne Castle, Giants Castle and Thabana Ntleyana, the highest point in southern Africa, to bag along the way. I’d thoroughly recommend these short detours from the most direct route for the views and sheer exhilaration of standing on top of the magnificent peaks.A traverse of the Drakensberg is an adventure you’ll remember all your life. So savour the moment, smell the flowers, look at the dramatic rocks and explore the caves and overhangs for rock art. You’ll soon appreciate why the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg is a Unesco World Heritage Site, and will long to return.Peak High Mountaineering offer the full traverse of the Dragon’s Back and other guided hikes in the Drakensberg. Phone +27 33 343 3168, email [email protected] or visit www.peakhigh.co.za.Related articlesWorld heritage in South AfricaThe adventure starts here Walking for Eden, and elephants Slackpacking in the Cederberg Unforgettable SA hiking trails South Africa’s tourist highlights Life’s a beach in South Africa Useful linksPeak High Mountaineering Official Drakensberg tourism site Drakensberg Tourism Association Drakensberg Super Traverse Exploration Society of Southern Africalast_img read more

ArcelorMittal SA to buy Canadian miner

first_img9 November 2010The board of directors of Canada’s Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation has approved ArcelorMittal SA’s all-cash offer to take over the company, ArcelorMittal South Africa said on Monday.Baffinland is a Canadian junior mining company focused on the exploration and development of the iron ore deposits located on its 100 percent-owned Mary River property.The property has 365-million tonnes of proven and probable reserves grading 64.7 percent iron and 500-million tonnes of additional resources (52-million tonnes of measured and indicated resource grading 64.6 percent iron, and 448-million tonnes of inferred resource grading 65.5 percent iron), as reported by Baffinland.ArcelorMittal SA has offered to acquire all of Baffinland’s issued and outstanding common shares, and all outstanding common share purchase warrants governed by the warrant indenture dated 31 January 2007 by way of a take-over bid, it said in a statement.Under the offer, holders of common shares would receive CAN$1.10 in cash per share, and holders of 2007 warrants would receive CAN$0.10 in cash per 2007 warrant.The offer, which valued Baffinland’s equity at CAN$433-million on a fully-diluted basis, represented a premium of 15.8 percent to Baffinland’s closing share price of CAN$0.95 on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on 5 November 2010.“The board of directors of Baffinland has approved the offer and unanimously recommends that Baffinland’s shareholders and the holders of 2007 warrants tender their common shares and 2007 warrants to the offer,” ArcelorMittal SA said.In addition, each of the directors and officers of Baffinland had agreed to tender all common shares and 2007 warrants held by them to the offer pursuant to lock-up agreements with ArcelorMittal.Baffinland’s largest shareholder, Resource Capital Funds, had also entered into a lock-up agreement with ArcelorMittal pursuant to which it had agreed to tender all of its common shares and 2007 warrants, representing approximately 23 percent of the outstanding common shares, to the offer, ArcelorMittal said.Sapalast_img read more

SA named Africa’s top nation brand

first_img26 May 2011 South Africa has been awarded the title of most valuable nation brand on the continent, with its recent inclusion in the BRICS grouping and successful hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup contributing to strong positive perceptions both locally and abroad. Anitha Soni, chairperson of the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC), received the accolade from UK-based Brand Finance on behalf of the country at the launch of the Brand Finance African Nation Brand League in Sandton, Johannesburg on Wednesday. “This honour underlines the progress the country has made,” Soni said. The rating by Brand Finance’s Global Nation Brands League takes into account the GDP revenue that a country generates. Egypt is the second most valuable nation brand in Africa, while Nigeria takes third place and is followed by Morocco, Algeria, Angola, Tunisia, Ghana, Kenya and Libya. Brand Finance pointed out that the sophistication of infrastructure is what makes Africa’s best three nation brands some of the world’s serious competitors. Hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup helped South Africa set up some impressive facilities, from which it’s poised to benefit from in future. And the World Cup itself did wonders to enhance the country’s image. “The world saw us and saw what we can do,” said Soni. Joining the BRIC economic bloc – previously comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China – has come at the right time for the nation, which is bracing itself for further economic growth. With the inclusion of South Africa, the group is now referred to as BRICS. “BRICS is a powerful new platform for promoting economic growth throughout Africa. This is a further recognition of South Africa as an important emerging country in its own right,” Soni said. The IMC is now aiming to make the country one of the top 20 most valuable nation brands in the world. South Africa is currently in 41st position. According to Brand Finance’s Global Nation Brands League, the top three most valuable nation brands at the moment are the US, Germany and China respectively. Brazil and India are also in the top 10.Enhanced reputation driving tourism The positive perceptions of the country are also a driving force in the growth of the tourism sector. “South Africa has become one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the world,” said Oliver Schmidt, managing director at Brand Finance South Africa. But it’s not just tourism that’s benefiting from the country’s glowing brand – the entire private sector is scoring too. As Brand Finance CEO and founder David Haigh said: “There’s no doubt that nation-branding contributes to the perception of South Africa’s products.” The top three most recognised corporate brands on the continent are South African. MTN is number one, while leading banks Absa and Standard Bank are second and third respectively. MTN is the 199th most valuable brand in the world and the only African brand to be included in Brand Finance’s top 500 rankings. The telecommunications group has seen major growth since being established in South Africa 17 years ago. It now operates in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East, and its services connect over 120-million people. “It’s big thanks to my colleagues,” said Christian de Faria, the group’s senior vice-president for commercial and innovation. Brand Finance tips Standard Bank, which now ranks 510th, to break into the world’s best 500 in the coming years. “Standard Bank is one of the contenders”, Schmidt said. Brands of locally made goods are finding their place onto international markets, said Soni. “South African brands take their place in the global arena. We’ve taken ourselves into the international arena at every level.” All but one of the most valuable corporate brands ranked in the top 10 are from the US. The exception is UK-based Vodafone.Gateway to Africa South Africa has positioned itself as a gateway to the African continent for investors. The IMC’s aim is for South Africa to become a reflection of the continent. “Our role in Africa must contribute to the growth of the continent in entirety,” said Soni. In coming years “people will know that the African agenda is driven by Africa,” said Thebe Ikalafeng, founder of the Brand Leadership Group. “If South Africa does well, the whole continent does well as well,” Ikalafeng added. First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

Brand South Africa CEO: ‘Successful brands should be authentic’

first_imgMelissa JavanA brand should behave and uphold the message it communicated, said Kingsley Makubela, chief executive officer of Brand South Africa, ahead of the South African Top 50 Brands announcement.The leading brands will be announced by Brand South Africa and Brand Finance Africa on Thursday, 15 September at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton, Johannesburg. This will be the fourth annual survey released on South Africa’s Top 50 BrandsHow the top brands are valuedThe Brand Finance approach to brand valuation involves valuing brands on three different levels, each reflecting the different definitions of brand commonly used in the marketplace, reads Brand South Africa’s site. “The levels include: brand business value, brand contribution and brand value.”South African commercial brands are a key component of a strong nation brand and how this is experienced by domestic and international audiences, it adds. “As such, commercial brands are key messengers in positioning the country competitively.”Brand Finance defines brand as the “trademark and associated IP (intellectual property) including the word mark and trademark iconography”.Last year, the five Most Valuable Brands in the country were MTN, Vodacom, Sasol, Standard Bank and First National Bank. Retail group Woolworths and First National Bank were the strongest brands in South Africa in 2014-15. The cellphone network MTN was the Top Valuable Brand in the country.The top 50 corporate brands in South Africa last year were valued at approximately R1.5-trillion, reported Media Club South Africa.News portal Business Tech reported that the Top 50 Brands survey was conducted by Brand Finance, which calculated brand value using the Royalty Relief approach. This approach involves estimating the likely future sales that are attributable to a brand and calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for the use of the brand.Characteristics of top brandsLast year, Thebe Ikalafeng, chief executive officer of Brand Finance Africa, said the key pillars of a brand’s success were its performance, its relationship with its customers, and the money it spent on equity.This week, Makhubela narrowed the characteristics of a successful brand down to authenticity. “This is an especially important principle in positioning the Nation Brand positively.”Authenticity, honesty, reliability and credibility are crucial to how a brand is able to weather crises that may impact on its reputation.”It was very important for a brand to be able to generate positive emotions to help it to enable the conversion of attention into loyalty, according to Makhubela.Why celebrate top brands?Commercial brands were important carriers of the South African brand and message, he said. “It conveys the story of a South Africa that is innovative, caring and entrepreneurial.”Commercial brands can also carry a message of a country that is grounded in the principles of good governance,” he said. “Behaviour to the contrary impacts negatively on the corporate entity as well as the nation brand.”In international markets, the corporate entity is sometimes a consumer’s first experience of a country. South Africa’s corporates are therefore very important in our work to position South Africa positively.”South Africa’s Most Valuable Brands of 2014 and 2015 are listed here.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more