6 Jan

Sheffield Wednesday sign Manchester United defender

first_img Marnick Vermijl Manchester United have sold defender Marnick Vermijl to Sheffield Wednesday for an undisclosed fee.The highly-rated Belgian arrived at Old Trafford from Standard Liege back in 2010 and has gone on to make two first-team appearances for the club.He spent last season on loan at NEC Nijmegen but has failed to establish himself as part of United’s first-team picture since his return.So the 23-year-old has now completed a permanent move to Wednesday, where he has penned a three-and-a-half-year deal.Primarily a right-back, versatile Vermijl can operate anywhere across the back line. 1last_img read more

21 Dec

Local Roundup: HSU’s Barker helps Team USA win gold at Maccabiah Games

first_imgArcata >> “Breathtaking” is how Humboldt State third baseman Rachel Barker described her experience in the Maccabiah Games.Barker was recently invited to play in the Maccabiah Games in Israel, a competition sponsored by the Maccabi World Union. According to its website, the Union is “the largest and longest running Jewish sports organization spanning over five continents, more than 60 countries, 450 clubs, and 400,000 members” which “utilizes sports as a means to bring Jewish people of all …last_img read more

19 Dec

SA items in World Digital Library

first_imgA San rock painting from the Bethlehem area in the Free State province, depicting an antelope with a bleeding nose lying on its back. The upside-down posture indicates death. This is the oldest item to date in the World Digital Library. (Image: World Digital Library) The World Digital Library currently holds over one thousand historically important items, many of which are priceless. (Image: stock.xchng)Janine ErasmusAn 8 000-year-old South African rock painting of an injured antelope is the oldest item in the archives of the World Digital Library, (WDL) which goes live on 21 April 2009. The library is to be launched at a ceremony at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) in Paris, France.Completely free of charge, and available in seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish), the WDL presents significant cultural and historical materials from societies around the world.Its main aim, it says, is to foster international and inter-cultural understanding and awareness, as well as to provide resources to teachers, students and the general public around the world, expand non-English and non-western content on the internet, and contribute to academic research.In addition, through capacity-building initiatives in partner countries, the WDL hopes to close the digital divide within and between developed and developing countries.Partnering with Unesco is America’s Library of Congress, which developed the WDL, and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina of Alexandria, Egypt, which provided technical assistance.So far 26 libraries and cultural institutions in 19 countries have contributed their precious resources and expertise to this important internet project.Historically importantOver 1 100 historically important treasures have been digitised for the project. These include manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, architectural drawings, and other cultural materials.The idea of an online digital library, which encompasses all the cultures of the world, was first mooted by US Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, who envisioned a resource with the broadest possible access.Speaking to the US National Commission for Unesco in June 2005, Billington remarked that such a library could “bring people together by celebrating the depth and uniqueness of different cultures in a single global undertaking”.Development of the former history professor’s remarkable proposal began four years ago with a US$3-million (R27.4-million) donation from Google, Inc., the first to come on board.Google co-founder and president of technology Sergey Brin said at the time that “Google supports the World Digital Library because we share a common mission of making the world’s information universally accessible and useful. To create a global digital library is a historic opportunity.”For everyoneBillington commented recently that the WDL is expected to become a useful tool in stimulating people to ponder the interaction between cultures over the years. “We hope it will increase international understanding and also increase the curiosity of the world we live in about cultural achievements of humanity.”And, he added, “the beauty of this whole system is that it doesn’t prejudge who it’s for. It’s for everyone.”Rich African historyThe collection can be searched in a number of ways – by time frame, contributing institution, name of collection, geographical region, country, topic, type of media, and more.To date there are 122 items from Africa, giving interested audiences a fascinating glimpse of the rich history of the continent. These range from a late 18th century Spanish map depicting Port Louis in Mauritius; a treatise on numeric calculation in astronomy from the Timbuktu Manuscript collection; to a late 19th century photograph of Zimbabwe’s spectacular Victoria Falls.Other international works are Arabic scientific manuscripts from the National Library and Archives of Egypt; the 11th century Tale of Genji, written by Japanese imperial lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shibuku and recognised as one of the world’s oldest novels; and Sweden’s famous 13th century Codex Gigas (Giant Book) or Devil’s Bible, the largest medieval manuscript in the world. It is known as the Devil’s Bible because inside is a full-page illustration of that malevolent entity.These examples are a fraction of the educational wealth on offer, and it is just the beginning as Billington plans to expand the content as much as possible with the ongoing help of more partners and funding.He explained that since the site functions independently of politics and economics, and is therefore untouched by the controversy that often accompanies the two topics, he hopes that it will become a “truly international project”.South African contributionThe country with the most contributions is the US with 118, followed by the Russian Federation with 93.There are 17 South African items. The University of Pretoria contributed 11 items from its library, featuring six San rock paintings and five photographs of early Pretoria.The rock paintings are held in Pretoria University’s Woodhouse Rock Art Collection, which features over 23 000 items in various media such as slides and tracings. Rock art researcher Herbert Woodhouse, whose life’s work makes up the collection, received the National Order of Ikhamanga (bronze) in 2006 for his contribution to South Africa’s archaeological and cultural heritage.The early Pretoria photos come from the university’s Van der Waal Collection, which was put together by architectural historian Dr Gerhard-Mark van der Waal and focuses on architecture in South Africa.The Library of Congress and the Central Library of the Qatar Foundation have donated six old-time maps and images, including an early 20th century photo of uncut diamonds in Kimberley, a 1770 Spanish map of the Cape of Good Hope, and an 1895 photo of a Zulu chief.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesThe history of South AfricaThe African Activist ArchiveSA present at Timbuktu unveilingUseful linksWorld Digital LibraryUnescoUniversity of PretoriaPretoria University Department of Library ServicesPretoria University Department of Library Services on FacebookInternational Federation of Library Associationslast_img read more

18 Dec

NFU urging positive steps on addressing climate change

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson urged Congress and international leaders to take meaningful steps to mitigate climate change and pledge themselves to provide adequate risk management tools for America’s family farmers and ranchers, who are charged with ensuring the nation’s food security and have been dealing with a changing climate for decades.“Earth’s climate is changing — temperatures are rising, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, and precipitation patterns are shifting. The nation’s family farmers and ranchers have been in the trenches, working through that reality for years,” Johnson said. “Farmers and ranchers need access to both robust risk management tools and resources to help them cope with this new reality, or global food security is at risk.”Johnson noted that average temperatures have risen across the contiguous 48 states since 1901, with an increased rate of warming over the past 30 years.  And the most recent 50 years likely have been the warmest worldwide in at least the last 1,300 years.  This increase in temperature not only threatens grain production, but meat production as well.“Grain yields decline about 5% for every one degree of temperature increase,” Johnson said.  “Livestock production systems are vulnerable to temperature stresses as well, leading to reduced productivity per animal and thus higher costs for farmers and ranchers.”“This presents a real challenge for family farmers and ranchers who will be tasked with greatly increasing their productivity per acre to meet the needs of the world’s quickly expanding population,” he added. “Thankfully, there are means for adaptation and mitigation through strong, smart public policy that focuses on reduced emissions and increased sequestration.”Johnson noted that NFU has long supported sundry conservation measures including no-till, the planting of cover crops, Conservation Reserve Program participation, and the use of high-efficiency machinery and equipment. “These practices are common among our membership, and with continued education can become more commonplace across our nation.”The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has noted, “evidence exists that the U.S. is already experiencing an increased incidence of extreme weather events,” has suggested several steps that farmers and ranchers can take to either reduce emissions, increase sequestration, or both.“We appreciate the administration’s efforts to increase development of renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as USDA’s work engaging farmers in climate mitigation through existing conservation programs. Their work educating farmers on how climate will affect their operations through the regional Climate Hubs is also, and will continue to be, essential to maintaining high productivity and food security,” Johnson said. “But it is past time for Congress to step up.”Johnson urged America’s farmers and ranchers to make clear to Congress that it needs to ensure that public policy initiatives that mitigate climate change are fully implemented and that risk management tools for farmers remain fully funded.“The nation has already adopted important public policy steps, like the Renewable Fuel Standard, that must be fully implemented to be effective,” he said.  “At the same time, Congress needs to resist pressure for further cuts to the 2014 Farm Bill and crop insurance, two important policy tools that have greatly helped farmers manage the extreme weather fluctuations they’re already experiencing.”Johnson pointed out that the nation’s farmers and ranchers are responsible stewards of the land, and combined with strong public policy initiatives, will continue to lead the nation in its efforts to mitigate climate change.“Time and again, the nation’s farmers and ranchers have shown that their love for the land and untouchable work ethic, combined with good public policy, are a force to be reckoned with,” he said.last_img read more

13 Sep

Members of New Yorks Congressional Delegation Oppose BRAC

first_imgTwo New York lawmakers said they will oppose a new round of base closures, partially to protect installations such as Fort Drum.“I take the threat of BRAC very seriously and will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure the stability of Fort Drum and all of our units,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D), who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told the Watertown Daily Times.“This base is also the single biggest economic driver in the region and the loss of jobs that would stem from BRAC would have devastating effects,” Gillibrand added.Rep. Elise Stefanik (R) echoed Gillibrand’s comments, telling the paper she would oppose a new BRAC round and work “against any push that would harm our military readiness.”“In the North Country, we saw firsthand the devastating effects that BRAC can have on the military and our local community when Plattsburgh Air Force Base was closed,” said Stefanik, “and I will continue to fight in Congress against another round of BRAC.” Stefanik serves on the House Armed Services Committee.The Obama administration’s fiscal 2017 budget request calls for a new BRAC in 2019. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

10 Sep

2019 Fiat 124 Spider Urbana Edition brings kindanew looks to New York

first_img 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon: Der überwagen See All • Apr 19 • Acura MDX PMC Edition is a hand-assembled SUV in brilliant red paint New York Auto Show 2019 Fiat 0 2017 Fiat 124 Spider: The Fiata is Fi-awesome May 29 • 2020 Ford Escape: Everything there is to know Fiat Apr 19 • Check out the gory details in Honda’s IIHS crash-tested HR-V Post a comment Apr 19 • Volkswagen’s US CEO says around $25,000 would be a smart price for a small pickup 72 Photoscenter_img 2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid second drive: The best of both worlds More From Roadshow 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Livin’ that Club life New York Auto Show 2019 Convertibles Sports Cars Tags Enlarge ImageNo, it’s not limited to dealerships in rural Illinois. Fiat Fiat Chrysler loves a nice, inexpensive aesthetic upgrade package. Look anywhere in the lineup, from Dodge to Jeep and back again, and you’ll find ’em. Now, FCA has a new package of that kind in store for the Fiat 124 Spider, and it’s headed to the 2019 New York Auto Show.Fiat announced on Friday that it will bring the new 2019 124 Spider Urbana Edition to the New York Auto Show next week. The Urbana Edition, which I’m relatively sure is not a shout-out to town in which the University of Illinois resides, is an inexpensive aesthetics package that boosts the looks of the Miata-based 124 without raising the window sticker by much.The Urbana Edition is based on the 124 Spider’s Classica trim. It gives the looks a boost by adding 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, performance tires, new exhaust tips and piano black exterior accents. There’s also a glossy black finish on the seatback pillar and mirror caps. Fiat also threw a set of fog lights into the mix.On the inside, there are some matte gray accents, in addition to a wrapped instrument panel and gauge-cluster hood. The Urbana Edition also picks up a set of seats wrapped in a combination of leather and microfiber.Otherwise, it’s the same Fiat 124 Spider as usual, bouncing around town with a 1.4-liter turbocharged I4 that puts out 164 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The Urbana Edition can be had with either a six-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. The Urbana Edition adds just $995 to the car’s bottom line — and for context, the 124 Spider Classica starts at $26,685, including $1,495 for destination. Alas, it’s not available for the peppier Abarth version. Share your voice More about 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica Convertible reading • 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Urbana Edition brings kinda-new looks to New York Preview • 2017 Fiat 124 Spider: The Fiata is Fi-awesomelast_img read more