WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Giants have already made a number of pitchers most fans haven’t heard of look like All-Stars this season.In Tuesday’s 7-3 win over the Washington Nationals, the Giants made a pitcher nearly everyone has heard of appear merely average.Three-time All-Star and former No. 1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg surrendered three home runs for just the third time in his 10-year major league career as third baseman Evan Longoria, right fielder Steven Duggar and first baseman …
SAN FRANCISCO — When Mauricio Dubón left Honduras as a 15-year-old teenager, he brought a love of baseball and a dream of one day playing in the major leagues.Ten years later, Dubón’s love for the game is stronger than ever. His dream has been realized and now, the rest is what he makes of it.If Thursday’s performance is any indication of what’s to come, Dubón is going to make more than just memories. In the midst of dark night for the Giants (65-68) in a 5-3 loss to the Padres, Dubón was an …
The heart of the SKA, consisting of a phased array which will be able to observe the whole sky, surrounded by a compact arrangement of small dishes. (Image: Jodrell Bank Astrophysics Centre) Small receiving dishes with solid surfaces. (Image: SKA website) The SKA will unlock some of the long-held secrets of the origin of the universe. (Image: NASA archives)Janine ErasmusSouth Africa and Australia are the only two countries left on the shortlist to develop the most sensitive and advanced telescope in the world – the Square Kilometre Array, or SKA. Further studies of the two contending sites are currently underway and a decision on the project, which will cost about R20-billion, is likely to come in 2008.Once the host country has been named, it is expected that construction on the first stage of the telescope will take place between 2011 and 2014. The SKA will be ready for full operation by 2022.South Africa’s preparations are gathering pace. In March 2008 the team took possession of 14 000 ha of land in the Karoo, Northern Cape, for the proposed location of the core of the array. Further developments include the imminent signing into law of the Astronomy Geographic Advantage Bill, which has received final approval from the National Assembly in Parliament. Once passed the bill allows the minister of science and technology to declare a 12.5-million ha portion of the Northern Cape province as a reserve that is radio frequency-free across all wavelengths.By January 2009 it is anticipated that an on-site facility here will be up and running, followed shortly by the installation of power and fibre optic networks. The main control centre, located in Cape Town, will go live in December 2009.Bringing African partners togetherA conference held in Johannesburg in April 2008 saw engineers and scientists from all over Africa coming together to give further impetus to the bid, which will be a scientific boost not only for South Africa but for the entire continent. This follows a conference in Australia earlier in the month, where the preparatory stage of the SKA project, known as PrepSKA, was launched. South Africa presented a report on its bid progress, which was reportedly well received by delegates, among them representatives from international funding agencies as well as government officials, industrialists and scientific professionals.South Africa has also conducted talks with neighbouring countries to bring them in as hosting partners on the SKA project, at the same time giving them the opportunity to initiate relevant science programmes at home. At the recent Johannesburg conference the countries agreed in principle to enter into bilateral programmes relating to SKA with South Africa, including the mutual development of skills and technology.Meanwhile the international scientific community is gearing up to collaborate in the development of the mega-scope, which will consist of more than 3 000 individual dishes with a total receiving area of approximately one million square metres, or one square kilometre. Analysis of all the data pouring in will require powerful computing and super-fast data networks.SKA is expected to help astronomers understand the Dark Ages, the period during the universe’s formation when only gaseous forms existed, before stars and galaxies took shape. The Dark Ages existed from about 300 000 to one billion years after the so-called Big Bang, and it was only towards the end of this period that young galaxies began to form. What happened in between remains a scientific mystery.Current technology struggles to pick up the radio signals emitted during this time because they are so faint. The SKA, with its highly sensitive antennae and receiving area that is one hundred times more extensive than the largest receiving surface in existence at the moment, is designed to answer these scientific questions. By studying the properties of the first luminous objects in the universe SKA will be able to provide hitherto unknown details about them.Project leader Dr Bernie Fanaroff described the SKA as having the capability to provide an image of the universe as it was 14 billion years ago. “SKA is the world’s biggest ICT project,” he said.A southern hemisphere location for SKASouth Africa’s bid is one of four submitted in December 2005. The other three came from Australia, China, and Argentina/Brazil, and were evaluated by the International SKA Steering Committee (ISSC). Physics professor Justin Jonas of Rhodes University is South Africa’s representative on the panel.South Africa came in as a late bidder but, says Science and Technology Minister Mosibudi Mangena, the country has excelled itself in becoming one of the two shortlisted candidates. The location for the central core of the array will be in the Northern Cape province, with outer stations extending away from it in a spiral pattern. “If the SKA is built in South Africa, the face of the Northern Cape will be transformed, and the province will have the opportunity to become a centre of high-tech expertise,” says Mangena.According to SKA South Africa, the country is in a strong position to secure the bid for a number of reasons. It is still cost-effective for overseas companies to invest in South Africa, with its comparatively cheap electricity and affordable labour. There is a strong network of infrastructure such as roads and communication, much of which is already in place.The geographical location is ideal, with a dry climate, ample coverage of the sky and minimal interference from sources such as mobile phones and air traffic.South Africa’s academic resources to support the SKA are excellent, and with other important related sites such as the Southern African Large Telescope at Sutherland in the Karoo, and the HESS gamma ray telescope in Namibia, the region is making a name for itself as a player in the field of astronomy.With the SKA located in South Africa, high-level skills in this field will be needed. The Department of Science and Technology, from as far back as 2006, has made funding available for graduate study specifically centred on the SKA and its component, the Karoo Array Telescope (KAT), affectionately known as MeerKAT. A meerkat is a type of mongoose that belongs to the species Suricata suricatta. The name is Afrikaans and means marsh cat, although they are neither cats nor marsh-dwellers but rather live in dry regions of Southern Africa.South Africa will become a major centre for fundamental physics, astronomy and engineering, says Mangena, attracting the best scientists and engineers in the world. This will contribute more momentum to the development of skills and expertise in the field, giving South Africa the ability to contribute to the global knowledge market.Finding the best locationNot many countries are suited to host the SKA because the core of the array must be located in a suitably remote area so that transmissions from televisions and mobile phones, which fall into the same frequency band, won’t interfere with the reception – 100 km of radio signal-free space all around is the minimum requirement.In addition, the array cannot be situated between 25o N and 25o S. This excludes almost the entire area of the earth between the Tropic of Cancer, which lies at 23° 26′ 21″ N, and the Tropic of Capricorn which lies at 23° 26′ 21″ S. In this region, known as the tropics, the ionosphere – the uppermost part of the atmosphere – is particularly sensitive to variations in the sun’s light and electromagnetic radiation passing through it is more likely to be disrupted. This phenomenon is caused by the equatorial electrojet, a moving band of electric current that flows in an easterly direction around the equatorial region of the ionosphere during the day.The core also needs to be conveniently close to major centres. Finally, the array must be positioned away from the earth’s poles so that it can cover a large enough portion of the sky.The SKA South Africa array will cover most of Southern Africa. The core and its surrounding central sites will extend in a radius of 150 km around it, with remote sites situated further than 150 km. Some of these are as far afield as Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia, with one each in Kenya and Ghana.SKA is underwaySouth Africa has already embarked on the road to SKA with the construction of MeerKAT near Carnarvon in the Northern Cape. MeerKAT is a SKA prototype which cost almost R900-million to develop. Consisting initially of a single dish built at the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory in Gauteng, the second stage is now in development. This is the KAT-7 with seven 12 m dishes, and the final stage, likely to be commissioned in 2009, will consist of 80 such dishes when completed in 2012.MeerKAT will be developed into the SKA, should South Africa receive the green light for the project. The facility will boast cutting-edge technology which will enable it to explore such unknown factors as dark matter, and the evolution of galaxies.Related storiesAfrican eyes on the universeUseful linksSKA South AfricaSKA telescopeMeerKATHartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy ObservatoryDepartment of Science and TechnologySouth African space portalNational Research Foundation
Visitors put themselves to work cleaning kennels at the centre, bathing the dogs and puppies, and spending time with the staff responsible for the day-to-day running of the animal shelter. (Images: Mathiba Molefe)Volunteers converged on the Ark Animal Centre in northern Johannesburg on Sunday, 8 May, to join a Going the Extra Mile (GEM) initiative to get the tails of dogs wagging again.The visitors put themselves to work cleaning kennels at the centre, bathing the dogs and puppies, and spending time with the staff responsible for the day-to-day running of the animal shelter.Play Your Part, a Brand South Africa programme to promote active citizenship, has partnered with GEM in its events to uplift disadvantaged communities and improve the standards of living for all – animals included. GEM’s work is coordinated through an app that rewards people for doing good.Tracy Otto, the founder and manager of the Ark Animal Centre, said “I think spaces like GEM are fantastic because they’re actually building awareness. For us to get word of our work out there is difficult, but now there’s another outlet which is GEM.“It’s motivating people that wouldn’t normally come here for two or three hours. They see what we’re doing and they realise that there is a need and a way for them to help.”There were smiles all round as visitors got to share in some of the positive energy going around at the Ark Animal Center.ARK ANIMAL CENTREOtto said the main aim of the home is to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome puppies that had been abandoned or brought there by owners unable to care for them.“At the moment I’d say we’ve got about 80 puppies here. Two weeks ago we had about 140, so we’ve managed to home quite a lot since then.“It’s very hard to work here sometimes because you see a lot of things that you don’t want to see,” she said. So what makes it worthwhile? “It’s the end result: when you see a puppy that has come here from a terrible place and it leaves with the best family – and it’s healthy and happy. That’s what drives us, and you can’t walk away from that.”“When you see a puppy that has come here from a terrible place and it leaves with the best family – and it’s healthy and happy. That’s what drives us, and you can’t walk away from that.” Tracy Otto, founder and manager of the Ark Animal Center.GOING THE EXTRA MILEThe GEM social development drive aims to get the public to help NGOs. It also fosters a sense of community and makes a positive difference to people’s lives.GEM offers incentives for volunteers through its app. They earn “gems” for every good deed, which can be redeemed for airtime, prepaid electricity and even movie tickets.Volunteers also have the option of donating their gems to the cause of their choice, helping in the day-to-day running of organisations like the Ark Animal Centre.Lisa Wilkinson, one of the volunteers who heard about the Ark Animal Centre through GEM, said she first joined GEM’s activations when she helped raise money for Gift of the Givers during relief efforts after the 2014 xenophobic attacks.“From then on I’ve tried to do a GEM event every weekend that I am available,” she said. “I try and do as much work with GEM as possible because it’s an amazing initiative.”Kimberly Japp, another GEM volunteer at the animal shelter, said even the rewards could do good. “The best part is that you can donate your GEMs to the project that you’re working for, so it doesn’t have to go to you, it can go to them.”Kimberly Japp, another GEM volunteer at the animal shelter, said even the rewards could do good. “The best part is that you can donate your GEMs to the project that you’re working for, so it doesn’t have to go to you, it can go to them.”GET INVOLVED WITH GEMEncouraging active citizenship among South Africa’s people is one of Play Your Part’s key objectives. By partnering with GEM and other social initiatives, the campaign looks to increase its reach and drive more citizens to take action and offer their time, energy and resources to help wherever they can.For more information on how to get involved in your community and to keep track of the activities in and around your area, visit the GEM website or download the application from the Apple App store or the Google Play Store.Encouraging active citizenship among South Africa’s people is one of Play Your Part’s key objectives. By partnering with GEM and other social initiatives, the campaign looks to increase its reach and drive more citizens to take action.PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part to help improve the lives of those around you or the environment? Do you know of anyone who has gone out of their way to help improve South Africa and its people?If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.
With an active online shopping population of over 18 million racking up sales of R37.1 billion in 2017, South Africa’s e-commerce sector is on a massive upward trajectory.Proudly South African is looking to grow its members’ share of this burgeoning market and has launched its own online shopping site. Unambiguously Proudly South African, the site is populated exclusively with locally made goods and products, differentiating itself significantly from other sites and making a buy local choice simple for consumers.Together with RSAMade, Proudly South African have created an e-shopping site www.rsamade.co.za where anyone can make made in South Africa choices easily in the knowledge that every single item for sale on the site is made locally. Proudly South African vets and verifies local content and quality and that all the vendor companies adhere to labour and environmental legislation which is all part of the terms of Proudly South African membership.Said Eustace Mashimbye, CEO of Proudly South African, “We had been looking for some time at establishing a commercial site for our members, and RSA Made’s existing platform and content were a great match making it logical to extend their offering exclusively to Proudly South African members. It is important now that we are in the age of the 4th industrial revolution to tap into digital shopping habits and to ensure that more locally grown, produced and manufactured goods are available to local consumers. We know that China supplies US$15.5 billion of imports to this country and much of that is found on online shopping sites. Www.rsamade.co.za can claim to be the only truly local online shopping site for consumers. Of course, it is not restricted to SA only and we will be delighted if there is uptake from international shoppers!.”RSA Made’s CEO Karamba Jabbie added, “We feel that we have found a perfect partner in Proudly South African – our platform already concentrated exclusively on items made here in South Africa, and so it made complete sense to us to join together with the country’s buy local advocacy campaign, whose member companies are already quality controlled for sale on the platform. We are so excited to see the online shopping site being populated slowly but surely. We will take our time to ensure that all products are beautifully represented to provide consumers with a truly Proudly South African online shopping experience but users can subscribe to the site to receive regular notifications as new products and special offers come online, so we are encouraging everyone to register on the site.”The launch of the site also holds great importance for the growth and development of the country’s digital economy and push towards increased re-industrialisation and consumption of locally made products. Minister in the dti, Dr Rob Davies commented on the launch of the site and said, “Reindustrialization is a priority to growing job opportunities in the country and the accessibility of locally made products especially in this era where more and more consumers are buying their products on online platforms, this is a much needed solution. We also have to recognize changing employment patterns and the potential this sector has in creating new employment sources. Technology has the capacity to generate many new skilled jobs, and we must look at the commercialisation of innovations such as online shopping platforms. E-commerce represents a great opportunity and I am delighted that Proudly South African has seized the day and has created a site where increased localisation is the only goal.”The site works on the same basis as any other online shopping store, with a simple product selection and check out sequence, with door to door delivery within 48 hours within our borders. In addition, the site has a fully functioning ticketing system and local events are encouraged to use this platform for their online ticket sales.www.rsamade.co.za is the first site of its kind in South Africa, a platform created not just to assist small, medium and even large local businesses to sell more, but it was also built using only South African suppliers and service providers.For a Proudly South African online shopping experience visit www.rsamade.co.za
A worker cleans a mobile store of Reliance Communications Ltd, controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani, in Kolkata, India, September 10, 2016.Reuters fileThe National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Monday passed an order allowing the Aircel-Reliance Communications merger and also the Brookfield Towers sale to proceed, according to an IANS report on Monday.According to sources, the tribunal overruled objections of Bharti Infratel, GTL and Ericsson. Further, according to a CNBC-TV18 report, the deal will help the company reduce its debt by Rs 11,000 crore.NCLT also allowed Reliance Communications’ (RCom) tower arm to carry out a 51 per cent stake sale to Canada’s Brookfield for Rs 11,000 crore.Together, both the deals could reduce the telecom firm’s debt of nearly Rs 45,000 crore by as much as 60 per cent, ET reported last week.RCom was in the news recently after its debt situation raised questions. Bonds of the company have taken a hit on global exchanges, while back home, the shares also took a hit.RCom and Aircel had signed a definitive document for a proposed merger scheme of their respective wireless businesses on September 14, 2016.Subsequently, the two telecom operators moved all the relevant statutory and regulatory bodies for approval of the merger scheme. The Competition Commission of India gave its approval to the merger scheme in February 2017.Sources said the merger scheme before the NCLT-Mumbai Bench will see the final order being passed on September 13, 2017.The Anil Ambani-owned telco’s counsel had earlier said that it was running against time to complete the merger with Aircel and stake sale in its tower business. The beleaguered telecom company, which has defaulted on some repayment obligations, needs to complete the merger as well as the tower sale within the seven-month breather it has from lenders, which expires in December, ET had reported.The buzz of rejig plans, including asset monetisation plans, boosted the stock. The RCom stock touched an intraday high of Rs 24.20 and an intraday low of Rs 20.10 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Figure theatre or puppet theatre as it is commonly known in Europe has been quite popular in Japan as object theatre. This figure art is now coming to five major cities in India and is being brought by the Japan Foundation. The Noriyuki Sawa Puppet Theatre India Tour 2012 will showcase performances on Japanese folktales. Object theatre is a new form of theatre where people and puppets perform together on stage with equal stage presence. Noriyuki Sawa is a contemporary puppet theatre performer who studied figure theatre at the Czech national Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and continued to perform in collaboration with numerous leading theatres such as DRAK from his base in the Czech Republic. Some of the performances that will be enacted in the Capital includes The Legend of Forest, Star, Fish, Sky and seed. So we say its time for the Capital to gear up for a new kind of theatre.DETAILAt: Chinmaya Mission, Lodhi Road When: 10 and 11December Timings: 6.30 pm
Kolkata: Organ recipient Moumita Chakraborty died at SSKM hospital in the wee hours of Monday, three days after a kidney transplant. According to hospital sources, Chakraborty, a resident of Khardah, died at around 2.45 am after her body developed ‘transplant rejection’, a spokesperson from the state Health department said.The woman was kept in ventilation since August 17 after the kidney transplant and her condition gradually deteriorated. It may be mentioned that Chakraborty was one of the recipients of the organs donated by 15-year-old Mallika Majumder, who was declared brain-dead by the SSKM Hospital authorities on August 17. Majumder’s two kidneys and the liver were transplanted on three recipients. Among the three, Chakraborty had undergone a kidney transplant and was admitted to the hospital for her renal problems since the first week of August. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe second kidney and her liver were transplanted on two other patients on August 17-18. Sanjib Das of Sodepur in North 24-Parganas received the second kidney. He is presently normal but has been kept under observation. Though he has caught cold, necessary measures have been taken in this regard.”Ajay Nayek from Hyderabad, who has undergone a liver transplant at Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, is stable now,” the spokesperson maintained.Besides the three organs, Majumder’s cornea was implanted on a blind patient, while her skin was grafted and is being preserved at SSKM’s skin bank. Her heart was found to be clinically unfit for transplantation. Majumder was diagnosed with a space-occupying lesion in the brain after being admitted to the hospital on July 23 and slipped into a coma on August 14. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedState Tourism minister Goutam Deb visited Majumder’s residence to pay last respects and meet her family members. “This is indeed asad moment but she will be remembered by all for her heroic deed. I am here on behalf of our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to pay our last respects. We will always be there for her family and are proud of her,” stated Deb.Mallika’s father Manik, a driver at a courier service company, believes his daughter will continue to live in those who received her organs.
Yesterday, the Deliveroo engineering team shared their experience about how they migrated their Tier 1 service from Ruby to Rust without breaking production. Deliveroo is an online food delivery company based in the United Kingdom. Why Deliveroo decided to part ways from Ruby for the Dispatcher service? The Logistics team at Deliveroo uses a service called Dispatcher. This service optimally offers an order to the rider, and it does this with the help of a timeline for each rider. This timeline helps in predicting where riders will be at a certain point of time. Knowing this information allows to efficiently suggest a rider for an order. Building these timelines requires a lot of computation. Though these computations are quick, they are a lot in number. The Dispatcher service was first written in Ruby as it was the company’s preferred language in the beginning. Earlier, it was performing fine because the business was not as big it is now. With time, when Deliveroo started growing, the number of orders increased. This is why the Dispatch service started taking much longer than before. Why they chose Rust as the replacement for Ruby? Instead of writing the whole thing in Rust, the team decided to identify the bottlenecks that were slowing down the Dispatcher service and rewrite them in a different programming language (Rust). They concluded that it would be easier if they built some sort of native extension written in Rust and make it work with the current code written in Ruby. The team chose Rust because it provides high performance than C and is memory safe. Rust also allowed them to build dynamic libraries, which can be later loaded into Ruby. Additionally, some of their team members also had experience with Rust and one part of the Dispatcher was already in Rust. How they migrated from Ruby to Rust? There are two options using which you can call Rust from Ruby. One, by writing a dynamic library in Rust with extern “C” interface and calling it using FFI. Second, writing a dynamic library, but using the Ruby API to register methods, so that you can call them from Ruby directly, just like any other Ruby code. The Deliveroo team chose the second approach of using Ruby API, as there are many libraries available to make it easier for them, for instance, ruru, rutie, and Helix. The team decided to use Rutie, which is a recent fork of Ruru and is under active development. The team planned to gradually replace all parts of the Ruby Dispatcher with Rust. They began the migration by replacing with Rust classes which did not have any dependencies on other parts of the Dispatcher and adding feature flags. As the API of both Ruby and Rust classes implementation were quite similar, they were able to use the same tests. With the help of Rust, the overall dispatch time was reduced significantly. For instance, in one of their larger zones, it dropped from ~4 sec to 0.8 sec. Out of these 0.8 seconds, the Rust part only consumed 0.2 seconds. Read the post shared by Andrii Dmytrenko, a Software Engineer at Deliveroo, for more details. Read Next Introducing RustPython, a Python 3 interpreter written in Rust Rust 1.32 released with a print debugger and other changes How has Rust and WebAssembly evolved in 2018
Win a trip to Hong Kong with the Hong Kong Tourism Board Share TORONTO — To reward agents for their efforts in selling Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has launched a contest for all Hong Kong Specialists, offering a chance to win one of three 5-night trips to the city.Agents can win a chance to experience Hong Kong first-hand, increase their overall destination knowledge and see what brings their clients to one of the most exciting and dynamic cities in Asia. Winners will be part of a select group with participants from 14 other countries, including Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the UK and the U.S.Each prize includes:One return trip Economy Class air ticket to Hong Kong from YYZ or YVR on Cathay Pacific from Oct. 11 – 17, 2018Five nights’ accommodation in Hong Kong, from Oct. 12 – 17, 2018Return Airport Express ticketsTours provided as per itinerary from Oct. 12 – 15, 2018More news: Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portalBoth new and existing Hong Kong Specialist graduates qualify. Agents are asked to enter the contest with the e-mail address they used when registering for the Specialist program, located here.The contest closes on Thursday, June 21, 2018.Click here to enter. Travelweek Group Thursday, May 24, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Tags: Cathay Pacific, Contest, Hong Kong