SA capture Polocrosse World Cup

first_imgWinning the World Cup is a “great opportunity” for South African polocrosse, he said. “People are excited and interest in the game is on the up. People who were doubters about South African polocrosse are now on board. 21 July 2011 Jan Albert Steenkamp was in excellent form for South Africa in the title-decider and was later named the best male player of the tournament. The women’s award went to Kelly Redfearn of Zimbabwe. South Africa had earned their place in the final with an excellent 25-11 victory over Australia in the semi-finals. Zimbabwe reached the title-decider with a 24-10 win over the USA. Zimbabwean expectationsMuch was expected of the Zimbabweans this time around, after they defeated a South African team full of capped internationals three-nil in a series in Johannesburg in early June. It was not, however, South Africa’s World Cup team. South Africa captured the Polocrosse World Cup title for the first time when they defeated neighbours Zimbabwe in the final at the Onley Grounds Equestrian Centre near Rugby in the United Kingdom on Sunday. ‘After four chukkas, it was over’“In the first two chukkas, our girls went down 3-0, but then pulled it back to 3-3. Our men then won their first chukka 5-0. After four chukkas, it was over, Australia weren’t going to come back from being so far down.” Heavy rains in the final created some muddy patches on the field, but South Africa adjusted especially well to them to run out convincing 29-18 winners after eight exciting chukkas. For the record, South Africa’s World Cup winners were Gavin Cocker, Jossie Spilsbury, Graham MacLarty, Nikki Crook, Jan Albert Steenkamp, Celicia Jacobs, Nico Van Wyk, and Julie Royden-Turner. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Playing in the United Kingdom proved to be a test for the two southern African nations, who are used to dry conditions. Both teams were undefeated heading into the final and both had beaten Australia, who had previously never lost a game at the World Cup, which was held Down Under in the first two editions in 2003 and 2007. It was in the game against the highly-fancied Australians that a huge turning point occurred, said Cocker. Australia dominated the USA in the clash for third place, romping to a 31-8 win, while New Zealand held on for a 20-19 victory over the UK in thee battle for fifth. Zimbabwe had earlier downed the Australians 21-12 in pool play. They also edged New Zealand 17-15 and saw off Zambia 22-10. Stellar defenceQuestioned about South Africa’s stellar defensive showing throughout the tournament – the 18 goals they gave up to Zimbabwe was by five the most they conceded in any game – Cocker again put it down to game planning for each side they faced. South Africa had finished third in both the 2003 and 2007 events, while Zimbabwe had finished fifth in 2007 and fourth in 2003. “We got the horses into the right positions for the right riders and we were lucky that the horses suited our playing style.” “It’s also good for Zimbabwe,” he said about the all-Southern African World Cup final and what it means for polocrosse in the region. South Africa won their first two pool matches 19-9 over Ireland and 18-7 over the USA before sneaking past the UK 14-13 on a last-gasp goal by Graham MacLarty. At a World Cup, for health and safety reasons, players use borrowed horses which are put into pools and draws are then made for them. Adjusting to the horses is vital and this, too, was part of the South African team’s preparation, Cocker related. Visual skillsIt was a World Cup win a long time in the making, explained Cocker. Work on the South African challenge began some nine or 10 months before the tournament and visual skills’ work with world-renowned Doctor Sheryl Calder was “very helpful”, he enthused. For those not in the know, polocrosse is a combination of polo and lacrosse and the format features men and women playing alternate chukkas. It’s easy to understand and makes for a fantastic spectator sport. And with the next Polocrosse World Cup taking place in South Africa in 2015, the defending champions have plenty to look forward to, and to build towards. ‘Phenomenal’“It was phenomenal, especially for Southern Africa,” to be playing Zimbabwe in the final, South African captain Gavin Cocker told SAinfo. “And to win it was the ultimate, a special moment.” last_img read more

Photo library: People 15

first_imgBy accessing this photo library, you agree to the Media Club South Africa photo library terms and conditions of use.Click on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.PEOPLE: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 Johannesburg, Gauteng province: Schoolchildren learn science at the Scibono science museum in Newtown.» Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: Schoolchildren learn science at the Scibono science museum in Newtown.» Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: Schoolchildren learn science at the Scibono science museum in Newtown.» Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: Schoolchildren learn science at the Scibono science museum in Newtown.» Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: Schoolchildren learn science at the Scibono science museum in Newtown.» Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: Schoolchildren learn science at the Scibono science museum in Newtown.» Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: Schoolchildren learn science at the Scibono science museum in Newtown.» Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: Schoolchildren learn science at the Scibono science museum in Newtown.» Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: Schoolchildren learn science at the Scibono science museum in Newtown.» Download high-res image PEOPLE: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15Having trouble downloading high-resolution images? Queries about using the image library?Email Mary Alexander at read more

Care and communities at the heart of social cohesion

first_imgIf unity and pride is an outcome, the means to get there is by caring for one another and creating a sense of community, according to researchers at a Brand South Africa forum on social cohesion. Unity and national pride can be achieved if South Africans care more for each other and work together.(Image: Shamin Chibba)Shamin ChibbaBrand South Africa’s chief executive, Kingsley Makhubela, looked at the academics and researchers around the boardroom table and asked: “How do we build a caring nation brand?”Makhubela was addressing a roomful of researchers at the Brand South Africa research reference group discussion on social cohesion at its offices on Wednesday, 17 August.Attendees looked to define the term “social cohesion” and sought a way to integrate it into South African society.Vanessa Barolsky of the Human Sciences Research Council proposed a social cohesion strategy based on care and nation pride. She said the strategy should include, among other aspects, a new “ethic of care, an emphasis on ubuntu, respect for and unity in diversity, and shared values and norms”.Trying to incorporate social cohesion into policy was proving to be problematic, Barolsky said. One of the factors impeding it was South African society’s tussle between individualism and community structures.The definition of social cohesion in the National Development Plan (NDP) was described in “very circular terms”.The NDP states that for social cohesion to take place, the gap between rich and poor has to close and that it can be promoted across all races and classes.Pressure pointsMakhubela said there were a few “pressure points” that made social cohesion difficult to achieve in South Africa. One of them was race relations. “We carry a lot of baggage from the past and we have no system to deal with it.”For many years, he said, business had accused the state of being corrupt while the government had said business was not transformative. But it was after international ratings agencies had taken a closer look at South Africa earlier this year that both groups realised the country was built on shaky ground. “The foundation of our democracy has flopped. We’ve built it on divisive ground,” said Makhubela.He added that the colour of our skin and the language we spoke should not determine the way we related to each other and quality of service delivery we received, yet it still occurred.Women and social cohesionWith South Africa in the middle of Women’s Month, Makhubela pointed out that social cohesion was being set back by the shocking level of gender-based violence.He referred to six-year-old Kutlwano Garesape from Northern Cape who was killed recently while trying to protect his mother from being raped. The media was lauding the child as a hero, but this was a sign that something was very wrong with society, said Makhubela. “This means that a six-year-old is dealing with adult issues. So how can we say he is a hero? He shouldn’t have to deal with such things in the first place.”Role of heritageSouth Africa’s heritage also played a part in social cohesion, said Brand South Africa research manager Petrus de Kock. The country’s history went back over 2 million years with the hominid fossils found around Maropeng. He also referred to the ancient kingdoms of Mapungubwe, Magoeba and the Modjadji Rain Queen and even Afrikaans as a truly African language. “Afrikaans was a utilitarian vehicle for people on the fringes of colonial society.”Though Afrikaans was known to have roots in Dutch, German and French, the language had also absorbed elements of Malay and local languages. De Kock said less than 50% of Afrikaans speakers were white.Furthermore, people’s behaviour was just one of the soft factors that determined social cohesion. He referred to the Rhodes Must Fall campaign as a symbol of a colonial past that had not been dealt with and a soft factor affecting nation building.Barolskly spoke of the importance ethnography played in getting people to familiarise themselves with and embrace each other’s difference. “Ethnography is under-utilised in South Africa as it can capture the ‘way of life’ of groups of people.”One of these ways of life was how communities dealt with problems, noted Barolsky. In a community, the people came together to deal with a problem on their own, whereas a Western individual structure called for external intervention to find solutions.It was for this reason that attendees agreed social cohesion needed to adopt a national and communal point of view – that took into consideration smaller towns, rural areas and townships – as most discussions on the topic were centred on individual-orientated metropolitan areas.last_img read more

A New Commercial Ontology from Hakia

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Note the number of traces required in a conventional ontology approach compared to the sequence approach. The sequence approach requires a lot of data storage space (which is dirt cheap), whereas the conventional ontology approach requires a lot of CPU for a simple mapping task (which is expensive). But the bad news does not stop there. The trace routes in conventional ontology require manual work (impossible to automate), whereas sequence-based ontology can be easily built via automation.Perhaps not everyone will understand the second point above. Nevertheless, the scalability and performance of the end product will speak for themselves when Hakia puts the testing platform online.Usage of the Commercial OntologyThe immediate use of the CO is for search queries, or document characterizations, not tied to any advertising in conventional systems. This unrecognized domain of search queries and characterizations means loss of revenue. Hakia’s CO is designed to fill in this gap. For example, if the search query or page characterization is “beat generation,” the CO can map it to “literature” on the fly. As a result, systems using the CO will have a much deeper understanding of the incoming terms, and thus will be able to recognize the underlying intent beyond the face value of the words. The same capability can be used in a number of places other than advertising with the same effect.Stay tuned for the release of the first version of Hakia‘s commercial ontology. Tags:#Sponsors#web Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market rww sponsor 1 A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Editor’s note: we offer our long-term sponsors the opportunity to write ‘Sponsor Posts’ and tell their story. These posts are clearly marked as written by sponsors, but we also want them to be useful and interesting to our readers. We hope you like the posts and we encourage you to support our sponsors by trying out their products.We at Hakia are proud to announce our upcoming commercial ontology, perhaps the world’s first. What is a commercial ontology? If you’re asking this question you have just touched on an important distinction: fantasy versus reality. In the context of the Web, a commercial ontology is a realistic version of an ontology, as we explain below.Realities of the WebHakia has accomplished two important innovations in building its commercial ontology (CO): first, the development of concepts and lexicons that follow strict guidelines on the realities of Web operations. What are these realities? Most search queries on the Web reflect a single dimension of intent, almost exclusively relevant to commercial topics. “Commercial topics” here must be taken in the broadest sense possible. For example, if you were looking for “the benefits of foot massage” or “the director of the movie Last Emperor,” your queries would fall into a commercial pattern. One particular distinction of the commercial pattern is that they come in short packages, including a name (onomasticon) or referring to something sold, bought, watched, heard, etc.In contrast, many (if not all) ontologies that have been built to date (or claimed to exist) are focused on the use of language in the general sense, but not in the sense of commercial patterns on the Web. Therefore, their usefulness when tackling Web search queries is greatly compromised, sometimes to the point of absolute failure. If such an ontology could disambiguate a dozen different senses of the word “kill,” it would be sad news if the last 100,000 queries in the search logs did not include a single occurrence of the word “kill.” Like drowning in two-inch-deep water, such ontologies do not use their disambiguation capacities for nearly 80% of queries because the queries include nothing but onomasticons or are too short (under-articulated).The Sequence ApproachThe second innovation used in the CO is the use of sequences instead of single words. A single word, like “kill,” is the most ambiguous state of information and is hardly used in human communication without a strong implied context. As a result, building natural-language processing (NLP) systems by taking individual words as units of computation is an invitation for disaster.In contrast, word sequences (two or more words) are inherently safe and highly descriptive. Take “road kill,” for example. This sequence describes the corpse of an animal killed on the road by a passing vehicle. If a language processing system takes the sequence of words as a unit of computation, 99% of the ambiguity problem vanishes. There is no need to process the words “kill” and “road” separately, trace their senses, and locate convergence to identify the meaning of “road kill” if you can just take the sequence “road kill” itself as your unit of computation for mapping. This is depicted below:last_img read more

Why There’s Nothing to Fear in Social Search

first_imgTags:#Social Web#web Socialsearch was in the news this past week when Google and Bing announced that they would be getting access to the Twitter fire hose. A flurry of subsequentposts speculated on what this “social search” would entail, and some expressed concerns over privacy and spam.But social search is not something to be afraid of. It’s really just an extension of behaviors that we’re used to in the real world, brought online, thanks to the advent of real-time social computing.This guest post was written by Brynn Evans.First, people have sought help from others for search problems and information-seeking tasks for a long time. Prior to the Internet, this was our primary way of getting information. We either asked a librarian to help us find something or, prior to that, we spoke to each other to spread information and seek help. We can reasonably treat this current trend in social search as a return to that familiar state.Secondly, social search is no scarier than the Web itself. Social search will not make you easier to find. If you’re the type of person whose social network data appears in search results, then you’re already incredibly findable on the Web. Your tweets may reach more people than you want, but this also means that your ideas will be exposed to a wider audience, extending your reach and influence and presumably improving your brand. As before, if your tweets are currently open to the public, you’re already reaching more people than you know.The very real issue of relevance, though, comes up when dealing with social search. Noise, false information and spam could dilute a set of search results and distract users from their quest. But spam is context-sensitive. Well-targeted ads aren’t regarded as spam; in fact, many people don’t even know the difference between Google ads and the main set of results. Same with search. A Twitter post linking to an article on diet supplements may be perfectly relevant in a query on “dieting tips and tricks” on Bing. In any case, finding spammers on Twitter should be relatively easy judging by the follower-following ratio or similarity of tweets.Social search is also not a fad. It’s an improvement on limited algorithms that only index static pages. Chris Messina and Jyri Engeströmremind us that we’re in a transitional state from a Web of documents (in which algorithms were sufficient for surfacing relevant data) to a Web of people (in which PageRank no longer captures what’s happening right now or happening among your group of friends). Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg reiterated this at the Web 2.0 Summit, saying that there is a “shift going on from an information economy to a social economy.”Social search is one mechanism for leveraging the value in this shift.So, as you get used to how companies like Google and Bing implement social search, think about how your community of Facebook friends, distant acquaintances in your Google contacts, nearby friends from location-based services and publicly bookmarked items might help you search better.Guest author: Brynn Evans is a PhD student in Cognitive Science at UC San Diego who uses digital anthropology to study and better understand social search. Related Posts A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…center_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos guest author 1last_img read more

Raining, Dripping, Crying Duct Boots

first_imgGallons of accumulating waterBack to the condensation problem, though: When enough of it starts collecting on an uninsulated boot like the one shown above, the water starts dripping down. The coaster in this case is the duct insulation, which is eager to absorb all the water that drips its way.Once I went into a crawl space that had a couple of gallons of water in the duct insulation liner. Wow!Those duct insulation liners are watertight…to a degree. When enough water sits in there long enough, the stress is too much. You can see the result in the second photo below. It may look wet in the photo, but it was totally dry when I was there. The blowout had happened sometime before I ever visited that house.When this happens in a crawl space, it rarely gets discovered or recognized. Who cares if water drips down onto the already wet ground, right? Well, your duct system cares. Your bank account cares. The tadpoles care! Behold the mighty duct bootIf you have a central air conditioning system with a duct system in your home, you’ve probably got a lot of boots. Go take a look at them and see if they’re insulated. If they look like the first one you see below, where all that bare sheet metal is exposed, they’re not insulated. When cold air moves through them on the inside and humid air is sitting there on the outside, you’ve got all the ingredients for condensation.Notice also in that photo that the wood around the uninsulated boot is discolored. That’s because the whole area stays colder. The cold boot not only attracts water vapor, it also attracts those lusty BTUs of heat, which attack the cold boot, warming the air inside it and cooling the air outside. When the wood gets colder, it absorbs water from the air. Then it starts growing nasty stuff. The science is pretty easy to understand. The principle is well known. And yet, I frequently see this problem of water vapor condensing where it’s not wanted. I’ve seen it over and over: The central air conditioner’s ceiling registers raining down onto the floor. The insulation liner on the duct in the crawl space holding a gallon or two of water. The office that has spots appearing on the ceiling. Such problems are not at all uncommon, although they should be.Water loves cold, you know. Cold surfaces are almost like magnets to water in its vapor form. Just think how blissfully the water vapor was floating around that one time, minding its own business, and then you sat down and put your nice cold glass of gin and tonic (or whatever cold beverage you prefer) on the table (on a coaster, of course). Within seconds, it seemed, water droplets appeared on the outside of the glass. In my part of the world (the Southeastern U.S.), it doesn’t take much longer for those droplets to become driplets.Another place where that same phenomenon happens is on your boots. No, no, not those boots. I’m talking about your other boots, the ones you rarely look at because they’re hidden behind the registers and diffusers in your home. The ceiling is drippingUninsulated supply boots in a ceiling, however, usually do get noticed, at least in humid climates. Sometimes people don’t know what causes it or what to do about it, but they do notice that they’ve suddenly got spots on their ceiling where they didn’t have spots before.The moral of this story is to insulate your boots. It’ll save you money on your energy bills and repair costs. It’ll reduce the likelihood of nasty stuff growing in your home. Moisture problems in homes are suspected to be a leading cause of asthma. It’ll make your home more comfortable, too, because the air coming out of those vents will be as cold or as warm as it’s supposed to be.One very important detail to get right is to make sure that you use the proper materials and seal them up. If you insulate with fiberglass, it’s got to be covered with a Class I vapor retarder (i.e., a vapor barrier) to prevent water vapor from diffusing through to the cold surface. It also needs to be air-sealed to prevent humid air from leaking in and finding the cold surface.Go on now — go look to see if your boots are insulated. You shouldn’t be able to see any sheet metal if it’s done properly, as shown in the last photo here. Unwanted condensationHere’s how it goes down. Air with water vapor in it can be described by several important quantities (vapor pressure, relative humidity, humidity ratio, relative fugacity…), but the one we’re interested in here is dew point.When humid air finds a surface, such as a cold duct boot, at a temperature below the dew point, the water vapor just can’t help itself. Those water vapor molecules hurl themselves at the below-dew-point surface and stick there. RELATED ARTICLES Duct Leakage TestingSealing Ducts: What’s Better, Tape or Mastic?How to Track Down Leaks in Forced-Air DuctworkVideo: Duct Sealing and Leak TestingShould Flex Duct Be Banned?How to Install Flex Duct ProperlyWhy Don’t More HVAC Contractors Own Duct Leakage Testers?Thou Shalt Commission Thy Ducts!Pinpointing Leaks With a Fog MachineKeeping Ducts Indoors Fine Homebuilding: Testing and Sealing Ductwork Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a RESNET-accredited energy consultant, trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard blog.last_img read more

Vettel fastest in Ferrari on cold 2nd day of F1 testing

first_imgCavaliers ban fan who aimed racial taunts at Spurs’ Mills Bottas was next at 0.303 seconds slower in his Mercedes.They were followed by McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne, who just edged Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for the third fastest time.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“In terms of general operation everything is really smooth. So it is good to come here and switch on the car and be able to run,” Vettel said. “Obviously the limiting factor was the weather. I think the next two days won’t be much better but I hope next week will be.”Cold and wet conditions, which reduce the tire’s grip on the tarmac, limited driving for a second straight day with only six more test days left before the season starts in Melbourne. Even with temperatures at their highest, both Vettel and Sauber rookie Charles Leclerc spun off the track and into the gravel.Kevin Magnussen had the biggest scare of the day. The Haas driver was about to crash when he managed to regain control and skirt just alongside the barrier until returning to the track.Vandoorne’s third-best time, however, came on a faster set of tires than Verstappen. Much more worrying was that his session was cut short by a problem with the car’s exhaust that the team said it was investigating.McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso had a wheel pop off on Monday, limiting his driving time as well.The hiccups don’t bode well for a team trying to rebound after three disappointing years with Honda by changing to Renault engines.Red Bull’s fortunes turned after Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest time and clocked the most laps on Monday.Verstappen had trouble getting his car out of the garage early because of a problem identified by the team as a “minor fuel leak.”Defending champion Lewis Hamilton was scheduled to relieve Bottas at midday. But Mercedes announced after the lunch break was cancelled that Bottas would continue behind the wheel “to maximize our mileage after the poor track conditions limited running this morning.”That means Hamilton has made 25 laps in the Mercedes so far.Vettel recorded the most laps for the session with 98, four more than Bottas. Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa View comments Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Vettel said that it was too early to size up Mercedes or the rest of the potential contenders.“For sure you look at the others and compare, but it’s very difficult. So I think we should not get into details too much because it is a bit pointless,” Vettel said. “First we try to understand the car. A lot of mileage, that is the key right now, and then later we focus on performance.”Robert Kubica, who hasn’t raced in F1 since 2010 after being badly injured in a rally crash, served as Williams’ reserve driver in the afternoon. He completed 48 laps and the seventh fastest time.Testing near Barcelona runs until Thursday. A second four-day session will be held from March 6-9.The season-opening Australian GP is on March 25. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during a Formula One pre-season testing session at the Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, outside Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)MONTMELO, Spain — Sebastian Vettel was faster than rival Valtteri Bottas on the second session of Formula One testing on Tuesday, as bad weather continued to complicate preparations for the upcoming season.Vettel set the pace with a lap of 1 minute, 19.673 seconds in the German’s first drive of the new Ferrari.ADVERTISEMENT A track temperature of 4 degrees (39 F) when the session started kept most drivers in the garages until things warmed up by noon.To make up some of the lost time, officials granted the teams’ request to cancel the one-hour lunch break.But light snow fell on the track as temperatures fell again with an hour remaining for the session.“It was very cold on track today. I don’t think I’ve ever driven in such cold conditions before in Formula One,” Bottas said. “The tires are just not made for these conditions. But we made the most out of the day.”More snow is forecast for Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMCcenter_img MOST READ Read Next AFP official booed out of forum Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIESlast_img read more