Giants part ways with Hunter Strickland, Gorkys Hernandez

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO–It was a quiet first month on the job for Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, but there’s plenty of time left for the new front office executive to make noise this offseason.The process of creating a buzz began in earnest Friday at Major League Baseball’s non-tender deadline as Zaidi elected to non-tender reliever Hunter Strickland and outfielder Gorkys Hernández, making the duo free agents.The Giants also agreed to terms with second baseman Joe Panik and …last_img read more

Maties in motion

first_imgMatie students tackling the gruellingCape Argus tour.(Image: Stellenbosch University) The Matie bike was imported from theNetherlands, where cycling is a majorpastime and a way of life.(Image: SU blog) MEDIA CONTACTS • Martin Viljoen  Stellenbosch University media liaison  +27 21 808 4921 RELATED ARTICLES • Stellenbosch on a bicycle • Cape Town’s transport system lauded • Exploring bicycle culture in South Africa • Wine route celebrates 40 years • SA’s first hydrogen bike rolled outEmily van RijswijckThe University of Stellenbosch (SU) in the Western Cape has launched a cycling project to promote greener, more sustainable living on campus and, at the same time, resolve some of the university’s traffic problems.The cycling initiative was launched during SU’s Sustainability Day celebrations on 15 March, when 400 Matie bikes were made available for university students and staff to rent.To promote the initiative a cycle relay was held on the day, with teams of four and at least one member on a Matie bike.“Matie” is the nickname for the institution’s students, former students and staff. There are various theories as to its origin – some claim that it stems from the Afrikaans word “tamatie”, or tomato, a reference to the university’s maroon colours.However, the Afrikaans word “matie” is a version of the diminutive “maatjie”, meaning “friend”, and this is the more likely explanation.Towards sustainabilityThe scheme was announced by SU’s rector and vice-chancellor, Prof Russel Botman, who said the Matie bike project is part of the university’s contribution to a greener environment.“Worldwide, a mind shift has occurred. Humankind has realised that our natural resources are limited and that we cannot continue polluting our planet like we have been doing,” he said.The initiative is part of the HOPE Project, a university-wide campaign to create sustainable projects on campus. It also fits in with SU’s mobility plan, aimed at reducing the growing traffic and parking problems at the university.As part of these sustainability efforts, the university recently introduced a shuttle service, with park-and-ride facilities available at two sites and two bus routes doing service from 7.30am to 5pm each day.Students also play an active role in the HOPE Project.Every year the Student Representative Council manages the Eskom Energy Challenge, in which hostels compete against each other to see who can conserve the most energy and recycle the most waste. There is also an EcoMaties student organisation that promotes sustainability on campus through various awareness campaigns.SU has a Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, which offers a post-graduate qualification in the field, as well as a number of short courses.Cycling routes“The overarching aim [of the cycling initiative] is to reduce motor vehicle traffic on campus and in the rest of Stellenbosch and to contribute to sustainability in this way,” says Martin Viljoen of the SU media liaison office.“The idea is to declare the whole campus cycle and pedestrian friendly.”Safe cycling routes will soon be part of the campus architecture, taking the SU back to the time when it was mostly a cycle and pedestrian campus. The first cycle route will be created in Victoria Street, with future campus routes linking up with similar routes that the municipality is planning for the rest of the town.A bicycle shed is available at the well-known campus cafeteria, Neelsie, and others will be erected elsewhere in the future.The Matie bikes come from the Netherlands, where they were used in a rent-a-bike scheme for train commuters. The two-wheelers were imported into South Africa by the Bicycling Empowerment Network South Africa (BEN), with the assistance of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.BEN, a countrywide initiative started in Cape Town in 2002, promotes the use of bicycles as a sustainable form of transport, especially in poorer communities. It imports used bicycles from abroad and helps cities to plan for and facilitate their use as part of urban management.The bikes can be rented from SU at R1 000 (US$131) a year, of which R600 ($79) will be refunded if they are returned in good working order.For more information, visit or email or follow the effort on Twitter: #matiebike.Matie bikes tackle Argus To promote the cycling initiative before the formal launch a Matie bike team took part in the 2012 Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, the largest timed cycling event in the world, on what they jokingly referred to as a “mission impossible”.The 110 km route runs along the Cape Peninsula and, apart from the many smaller uphills, has four extremely strenuous climbs which, on occasions, have to be tackled in the face of a gale-force south-easterly wind.Taking part in a race known as much for its high degree of difficulty because of its many climbs as for its breathtaking beauty, the eight-member Matie team, which included the Matie mascot Pokkel, challenged the notorious 169m Chapman’s Peak and the final Suikerbossie hill.Amidst the thousands of sleek, hi-tech machines, their success on their heavy, single-speed commuter bicycles, equipped with fat tyres and no gears, has been captured on YouTube. A student city The university is an integral part of the city of Stellenbosch, so traffic congestion and parking are city-wide problems, especially when the academic year is in full swing and the 18 000 students return to the campus.For its part, the City of Oaks, as Stellenbosch is also fondly known, is considered to be the heart of South Africa’s wine industry.Every year thousands of tourists converge on the quaint village-like town, with its majestic oak trees and Cape Dutch architecture, to savour some of the excellent wine and food produced by more than 200 establishments.The Stellenbosch wine route, the oldest in South Africa, celebrated its 40th birthday in 2011.last_img read more

South Africa stable on Ibrahim Index of African Governance

first_imgSouth Africa kept its fourth position out of 54 countries in the 2015 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, released on Monday, and edged up in the safety and rule of law category. South Africa’s ranking on the 2015 Ibrahim Index of African Governance didn’t remains at fourth spot as last year. Slight improvements have been made to the country’s rule of law and rural sector. (Images: Brand South Africa) • Piketty’s focus on inequality may also set a blueprint for the study of economics • We look up to you: Ibrahim • Active citizenship in South Africa at a healthy level • South Africa rises 7 places in annual WEF Global Competitiveness Index • What South Africa can learn from Piketty about addressing inequality Shamin ChibbaSouth Africa has kept its fourth position out of 54 countries on the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), while gaining ground in the safety and rule of law category. According to the 2015 IIAG, released in London on Monday 5 October, the country’s overall score increased by 0.2 points from 72.8 in 2013 to 73 in 2014.This follows an improved performance in the 2015/16 World Economic Forum annual Global Competitiveness Index, released last week, which saw South Africa rise seven places from 56 to 49 of 140 countries.The Ibrahim Index ranks a country’s overall governance within the African context. It is organised into four distinct conceptual categories: economic opportunity, safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, and human development.The IIAG, produced annually since 2007, is one of the key initiatives the Mo Ibrahim Foundation – established by Sudanese-British mobile communications mogul Mo Ibrahim – uses to improve governance and leadership in Africa.Improved data this year allows South Sudan, Africa’s newest country, to be included in the index, together with its northern neighbour Sudan.South Africa’s law, safety improvingWithin the safety and rule of law category, South Africa’s increasing standards were reflected in the score, moving from 66.9 in 2013 to 68.4 in 2014.While the country’s business environment remains stable, its rural sector improved from 59.8 in the previous index to 62.3 this year.According to a statement from the Ibrahim Foundation, the gap in overall governance between the regions is widening, with Southern Africa still the best performing region with an average of 58.9. “[They are] followed by West Africa (52.4), North Africa (51.2) and East Africa (44.3). Central Africa is the lowest ranking region with an average score of 40.9, and is the only region to have deteriorated since 2011.”There has also been a marginal improvement in Africa’s overall governance. This is “underpinned by positive performances in only two categories, human development (+1.2) and participation and human Rights (+0.7)”. However, the index found both sustainable economic opportunity (-0.7) and safety and rule of law (-0.3) have deteriorated. Note that the ranking cannot be compared with previous years’ data. Annual refinements are made to the scores, and the entire IIAG dataset is revised retrospectively. Analysis above therefore draws comparisons between years based entirely on 2015 IIAG dataset. For more details on methodology, see themethodologysection of the IIAG website.last_img read more

Africa is becoming increasingly attractive to retailers

first_img27 November 2014African-focused trading firm CFAO Group has created a “club of brands” – a network of international brands – that will target the rising African middle class. The first members of the club are toy seller La Grande Recre (Ludendo), cosmetics brand L’Occitane en Provence, Beaumanoir’s fashion brands Cache Cache and Bonobo, and Kaporal. CFAO will operate the sales outlets of these new partners in Africa under exclusive agreements that include franchises, brand and distribution concessions, and distribution agreements. The club will ultimately include about 20 brands. The retailers will have outlets in CFAO’s shopping centres in eight African countries: Cameroon, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. L’Occitane won’t be available in Senegal. The launch of this club of brands coincides with the opening of CFAO’s first mall in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, in 2015. High growth market“CFAO acts as a catalyst for the development of international brands in Africa and as a springboard for brands that view the continent as a real growth lever. With our experience and our approach to consumption in Africa, we give them access to a high growth market,” said Xavier Desjobert, the chief executive of CFAO Retail. Jean-Michel Grunberg, president of Ludendo, said: “This franchise agreement bolsters La Grande Recre’s international presence. Our expertise in toys and the strength of our brand concept are key in satisfying Africa’s new consumption needs.”The African middle class is expanding rapidly on the back of strong economic growth. According to the International Monetary Fund, seven of the 10 countries that will experience the strongest growth between 2011 and 2015 are in Africa. In sectors related to services and consumption, revenue on the continent is expected to increase by between 4% and 5% per year by 2020, according to McKinsey, while the number of households bringing home annual revenue of more than $5 000 is likely to rise to 130-million compared with 85-million today. First five members La Grande Recre is a market-leading brand with 255 stores in France and elsewhere. Its concept is based on a quality range of toys and games. L’Occitane group has 2 715 sales outlets worldwide. It is a natural and organic ingredient cosmetics and well-being products manufacturer and retailer with roots in Provence, France. Beaumanoir group, which has more than 2 700 sales outlets worldwide, is pursuing its international development strategy through a “multistore concept” which sees several brands housed under one roof, such as fashion brands Cache Cache and Bonobo. Kaporal was created in 2004 in the home of Marseille denim. It is known for its daring and creative clothing range. CFAO, a subsidiary of Toyota Tshusho, the Toyota Group trading arm, is Africa’s biggest supplier of cars, trucks and pharmaceuticals. It has operations in 37 countries, including 34 in Africa. SAinfo reporter and CFAO Grouplast_img read more

Stay Away from Foil-Faced Bubble Wrap

first_imgMost brands of foil-faced bubble wrap are only 3/8 inch thick or less, and have an R-value of only 1.0 or 1.1. Since the product often costs more per square foot than 1-inch thick rigid foam rated at R-5, why would anyone use bubble wrap as insulation?The R-value of foil-faced bubble wrap is so low that it has few, if any, advantages over rigid foam. Of course, the product’s foil facing can be used as a radiant barrier — but if you want a radiant barrier, cheaper products are available. (The bubble wrap layer is unnecessary, since it adds cost to the material without adding any useful thermal performance.)Since the main benefit from foil-faced bubble wrap is due to its radiant-barrier facing, the product is basically worthless unless it faces an air space. A decade ago, when I was the editor of Energy Design Update, I noticed that many manufacturers of foil-faced bubble wrap were promoting their products for use under concrete slabs on grade. In this application, the shiny foil is clearly not facing an air space, so the exaggerated R-value claims made by bubble-wrap manufacturers were particularly outrageous. My article exposing the bubble-wrap scammers appeared in the September 2003 issue of EDU.In that article, I reported that one manufacturer, WE International, made absurd claims about a thin (5/16-inch) product called Concrete Barrier rFoil. The manufacturer’s website boasted, “Concrete Barrier can serve three purposes underneath concrete: R-10 insulation, a vapor barrier and a radon barrier. … How does it compare to 2-inch foam board? It works just as well.”Similarly, Insulation Solutions, the manufacturer of a 3/8-inch thick product called Insul-Tarp, claimed that the flexible tarp has an “R-value equivalent” rating of R-5 to R-10.After these lies were publicized, three manufacturers wrote letters to EDU apologizing for the “oversights”… This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

Practicing Emotional First Aid: Maintaining Our Psychological Health

first_img Return to article. Long DescriptionPixabay[First Aid Box Tin Can by Alexa_Fotos on October 11, 2016, CCO]Many of us prioritize our physical health, especially this time of year as we go through flu season once again. We get the sniffles and the sneezes, with the soon to be congestion and fever. And if you didn’t get your flu shot, you soon wind up in your local doctor’s office or urgent care, hoping for some much needed meds, a doctor’s note, and some sick days.When we are physically sick or hurt, it’s a no-brainer to take care of ourselves. But what about our psychological health? Is it okay to take time off when we are anxious, depressed, or emotionally overwhelmed? Why is our physical health seemingly so much more important than our psychological health?This TED Talk features Dr. Guy Winch, a licensed psychologist who works with individuals, couples, and families. Dr. Winch proposes that we start prioritizing our mental health just as much as our physical health. And the way he says to do this is to practice emotional first aid. In his work with clients, he has emphasized the need to practice mental and emotional hygiene, stressing that it is equally as important as practicing physical and dental hygiene.Some key points he makes in his presentation are:• We are confronted with psychological injuries much more often than we are with physical ones. These are injuries such as failure, rejection, and loneliness.• To be aware of feelings of helplessness that arise.• We should pay attention to the emotional pain we experience and recognize this pain is trying to tell us something.• We are our own worse critic when faced with rejection or failure. He suggests treating yourself with the same compassion that you would expect from a truly good friend when they are trying to comfort and boost you up.• That we must protect our self-esteem by noticing these unhealthy psychological habits and explore what they are trying to tell us.• Also, that ruminating thoughts come and go. A two minute distraction is enough to break the urge to ruminate in any given moment.These issues are all ones we face on a daily basis and are common barriers for both civilians and military service members alike. For more on practicing emotional first aid, be sure to watch Dr. Winch’s full TED Talk here. And for more about mental health barriers in the military, be sure to catch the archived recording of our “Staying Strong by Seeking Help” webinar. CEUs are still available through April, 19, 2019.ReferencesWinch, G. (2014). Why We All Need to Practice Emotional First Aid. TED Talk. Retrieved from: post was written by Jason M. Jowers, MS, MFT, of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development concentration on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.  You can also listen to our Anchored. podcast series via iTunes and our website. Pixabay[First Aid Box Tin Can by Alexa_Fotos on October 11, 2016, CCO] By: Jason M. Jowers, MS, MFTlast_img read more

Sachin Tendulkar’s ODI 200 find place in Times magazine

first_imgIconic Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar’s record-breaking one-day International double century has found a place in the Times magazine’s top 10 sports moments of the year.”Certain sports milestones seem simply unreachable: In cricket, it’s the one-day double-hundred: no man had ever produced 200 runs for his team during a one-day international match,” ‘The Times’ said.”In February, however, India’s Sachin Tendulkar, the greatest run scorer of all-time, hit the magic milestone against a powerful South African squad.”Tendulkar smacked three “sixes” the cricket equivalent of a home run during his epic performance, and the build up to 200 was exhilarating.”When he reached 199, the home crowd in Gwalior waved Indian flags, and roared, knowing they were about to witness history. The diminutive Tendulkar, dubbed “The Little Master,” slapped a single past the South African fielders. The world’s 1.5 billion cricket fans had a moment they’d never forget,” it said.last_img read more

ICC World Twenty20: West Indies were better than us, says England skipper Eoin Morgan

first_imgCaptain Eoin Morgan said England were outplayed by the West Indies after his side’s heartbreaking loss in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.  Carlos Brathwaite struck four consecutive sixes in the last over to seal a dramatic four-wicket win for the West Indies, who were also aided by Marlon Samuels’ unbeaten 85.”Congratulations to the West Indies, they were better. Huge highs and lows for us. We were certainly in the game, put ourselves in a position to win the game,” Morgan said at the post-match presentation ceremony.West Indies needed 19 runs in the last over and Brathwaite (34 not out) smashed Ben Stokes for sixes off the first four balls.Morgan said England were never sure of a victory going in to the last over. “Never sure going into the final over.”Earlier, Brathwaite took 3 for 23 to help restrict England to 155 for 9 on a good batting surface. For the 2010 champions, Joe Root top scored with 54 off 36 balls.The England skipper said his team failed to put up enough runs on the board and were 30-40 runs short.”We didn’t have enough runs on the board, it was a really good batting surface, should have had 180-190 on the board. We showed an immense amount of character in the tournament, not quite done enough to win it,” he added.Morgan also refused to blame Stokes after the right-hand pacer was taken to the cleaners by Brathwaite in the 20th over.”It’s not his fault, we’re all in this together, we enjoy our wins – and the pain will be shared tonight,” he concluded.advertisementThe 2012 champion West Indies become the first team to lift the World T20 title twice. The West Indies women also defeated Australia earlier today to win the World T20 trophy at the same venue.last_img read more