Click here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.PITTSBURGH — After rain washed away the final four innings at PNC Park on Saturday, Sunday was all about a drought.With a 407-foot, three-run home run in the top of the fifth, Giants catcher Buster Posey ended the longest homer-less streak of his career in a 3-2 comeback victory.Posey had gone 237 at-bats without homering, but his go-ahead shot off Pirates starter Chris Archer broke a drought that dated back to June …
Need some good news for a change? Some Afghan farmers are finding better profits growing roses than growing opium poppies.Damask roses are endemic to Afghanistan, reports Phys.org, but the country is better known for an export that fuels violence and death: opium.Opium is big business in Afghanistan, where Nangarhar is the sixth biggest poppy-producing province.Poppy cultivation hit a new record last year, with opium production soaring 87 percent to an estimated 9,000 tonnes, official figures show.Sales of opium poppies create many well-known evil effects downstream. Drug trafficking, though illegal in the country, engenders gang violence and international conflicts, and fuels much of the economic ties of violent countries to other violent countries. The illegal traffic in opioids, derived from poppies, has created a crisis in western countries through a tangled web of supply, addiction, and dependence. This “export” from Afghan farmers—many of whom are just trying to make a living for their poor families—fuels war and death on a massive scale.But what if the poor farmers could be convinced to grow something good instead? Something beautiful, useful, and in high demand? What if they could make a better living growing roses?The farmers who are trying it, according to the article, are finding these benefits in switching:The roses used by the farmers are native to the country.Roses are easier to grow than poppies. They don’t require as much water, fertilizer or care.Roses provide a variety of useful products: rose water, essential oils, perfumes and bouquets.Rose farming is more profitable. Other countries have customers willing to pay high prices for the products.Growing roses is perfectly legal and beneficial, unlike opium poppies.“Rose trees are also more durable, lasting 30 to 50 years, compared with poppies, which must be planted every season.”The task of picking the rose petals gives other Afghans worthy employment in harvesting. It takes a lot of petals to produce a small amount of oil, and they have to be distilled quickly. Europeans love the stuff. One company supplies European vanity:Its rose oil now supplies several European companies, including German organic cosmetics brand Dr. Hauschka—whose products are priced well out of reach of ordinary Afghans.“They make very expensive creams with our roses,” says Mohmand [owner of Afghan Roses Ltd.].The motto is “Make perfume, not war” for those trying out the switch. Farmers are saying they are “better than poppies” and are making them more money than they used to grow in the illegal opium trade. One farmer named Mohammed din Sapai is very happy with his first harvest of flowers.Sapai is one of more than 800 farmers in the province bordering Pakistan benefiting from the “Roses for Nangarhar” project, a joint Afghan-German initiative set up in 2007 to encourage poppy growers to switch to a legal, money-making flower.“They provided us with the plants, the tools and even paid us for the first year when we had no harvest,” Sapai, 50, explains….He makes enough money to support his family, and insists roses have fewer costs and take less effort. After the rose season, which ends in May, he switches to growing vegetables.The idea could spread to African countries as well.Orzala exports its rose oil to Canadian company The 7 Virtues, which also sources essential oils from Haiti, the Middle East and Rwanda under the slogan “Make perfume, not war”.A peace initiative like this could pay international dividends and maybe even prevent another war, in addition to giving growers a beneficial way to care for their families.God made roses and poppies, so what are we to make of this story? Genesis says that thorns arose after the Fall when sin entered the world, as part of the curse. And yet “He did not leave Himself without witness,” Paul told the men of Lystra, “in that He good, providing you with fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14). Because God is just, Earth became a world of dangers and death after the Fall (requiring, ultimately, Christ’s sacrifice), but because God is good, earth also retained much of its incredible beauty and provision, too. Poppies are beautiful flowers that many westerners cultivate in their gardens. They don’t have to be grown for substance abuse. Roses are famous for bouquets and beneficial products, but they could also scratch and injure people if someone were to use the branches as whips.So often, cultures get stuck in a rut. The problem in Afghanistan is not with poor farmers who need to support their families, but with drug traffickers who take advantage of discoveries that substances in the crop, when abused, create addiction in humans. The drug traffickers plot their evil, knowing that addicts will provide a secure market. Many of the Afghan farmers probably do not intend to hurt people. They’re just trying to survive. If farmers have always grown opium poppies as a habit, it may be the only thing they know. All it takes is a little convincing that they could live better growing legal products like roses, and word-of-mouth success could overturn the opium trade. Wouldn’t that be a blessing for the whole world!Use this story to think about our own environments. What useful products are within 100 feet of your home? Most of us probably have no idea of the wealth surrounding us. If we only knew about the potential in nearby natural resources, we might be rich. That’s why we like reporting stories on biomimetics and on research with applications to improve our lives. Remember all the beneficial uses of Moringa, the drumstick tree? (11 April 2017). Talk about acres of diamonds! Some of the poorest countries in the world may not even know the riches all around them. They don’t need foreign aid; they need to learn how to pick up and trade the diamonds at their feet. The people of Haiti could be rich if it weren’t for the corrupt leaders who rob them. So often, the problem of poverty comes from evil leaders, not from the lack of resources (Venezuela and Nicaragua being current examples). Even in this Afghanistan story, rose farmers have to take great care to avoid the Taliban’s bullets.God provides for the birds, but He doesn’t drop the food into the nest. He gave humans minds to discover and learn. Someone had to do scientific research to figure out that rose petals had oils that could be beneficial. If scientists would ditch the useless work on life in outer space and Darwinian evolution, and apply their minds to good for their fellow man, the world would prosper and be much more peaceful. Science cannot operate without morals. Science is not an end in itself. God intended us to use knowledge for good: to honor God and love our neighbors.Another virtue of this story is that roses, as plants, constitute a renewable resource that will not harm the environment or ruin the ecology. Even though some of the products satisfy vanity over need, this is different from the fur trade that nearly wiped out beaver in the 1840s to satisfy the vanity of European men wishing to appear stylish in beaver hats. And who knows? Perhaps demand will motivate further discovery for rose products, including medicines. (Roses are edible, and “rose hips” are known for their nutritious benefits.) We applaud the effort of this company to teach Afghan farmers how to live better by switching from the drug trade to the rose trade. We don’t know the motivations or beliefs of “The 7 Virtues” company or any of its affiliates, but without necessarily taking any instruction from the Bible, they illustrate how humans should use knowledge for good. This is a practical way of showing the image of God in man, and fulfilling Christ’s admonition, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Let those who follow Christ lead the way. (Visited 448 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
16 April 2008Fourteen years after South Africa’s transition to democracy, many children in the country still don’t get the chance to play certain sports – such as tennis – because of the cost of equipment and facilities.A former South African, now a tennis coach at the University of North Carolina Wesleyan in the United States, is spearheading an effort to create opportunities for South African children to play the game.Brian Modise’s initiative, Tennis Shoes 4 Africa, aims to “patch lives in South Africa – one pair of shoes at a time”.“Our goal is to make a difference in kids’ lives – to give them a chance that we already have had,” Modise says on the Tennis Shoes 4 Africa website. “Tennis is an expensive sport, and for a young African kid it is impossible to reach their goals without resources.”First-hand experienceModise speaks from first-hand experience. He grew up in Mmabatho in South Africa’s North West province in the days of apartheid.He remembers cutting up bicycle tyres to patch his tennis shoes, which he used until the toes were worn through. The balls he played with were threadbare, and the only time he ever saw new balls was in tournaments. Sometimes broken strings meant having to take an enforced break from the game.Despite the difficulties, Modise didn’t stop dreaming of bigger and brighter things in the tennis world.In 1994, at age 19, he left South Africa for the USA to take up a tennis scholarship. He played tennis for the University of Hawaii and went on to serve as an assistant coach at Colorado University, the University of New Orleans, and Nicholls State University.Dreams“I always dreamed of becoming a professional tennis player and/or playing college tennis,” says Modise. “Some people thought I was crazy but I followed my instinct and dreams. I remembered when I came to America on a tennis scholarship, it was surreal for me. I couldn’t believe that it was happening to me.”His decision to pursue his tennis dreams, says Modise, has enriched his life. “Tennis has done a lot for me and has opened doors I didn’t even know were there. I was able to earn a Bachelors degree in marketing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Masters degree in human performance from the University of New Orleans.“It exposed me to great things and helped me to realize that anything is possible.“I do believe it is time for me to give back. I have helped a lot of kids to come to the United States on tennis scholarships, but there are kids who still need help to improve their lives.”After moving to UNC-Wesleyan in 2007, Modise started the Tennis Shoes 4 Africa programme in January this year.SupportOne of an increasing number of supporters of Modise’s drive is Gloucester County College in New Jersey. Captain of the Gloucester County Roadrunners, Sean McAvinue, says he and his team are taking the story to people in their area.McAvinue says it’s great to know they’re helping people on another continent and to see the work done by the students at UNC Wesleyan. Modise, he says, has been through some hard times and has an interesting story to tell.Gloucester County coach Brian Rowan explains: “We’ve been looking for some community service program we could use with our kids over the last couple of years. I thought, being an international program, that it would open (the players’) eyes to things that maybe (being) at a junior college they normally wouldn’t think about it.”South African visitModise is set to visit South Africa in May to pave the way for another visit in November, when he will deliver funds, racquets and, of course, tennis shoes.Ashley Ball, a member of the UNC Wesleyan tennis team, is hoping to accompany Modise in November. She is Tennis Shoes 4 Africa’s ambassador, and has been hugely impressed by Modise.“I have played tennis all three years that I have been here (at UNC Wesleyan),” Ball writes on the programme’s website. “We went through coaches and finally were blessed with Dominic Modise.“I was sincerely touched by his strength, not just with tennis but with life. He is a great coach, mentor and, above all, friend.“To hear about his youth in South Africa, how he never played with tennis shoes, and ended up coming here to America where he played and coached college tennis, really made me think,” Ball writes.“I am also an honours student here, and we have to write an honours thesis in order to graduate NCWC with honours. I am hoping to use your donations to go to South Africa with Coach Modise this summer and write my honours thesis about my experience there.”Equipment soughtTennis Shoes 4 Africa says shoes in any condition are acceptable for the programme; if they’re in poor shape, they will repair them. They’re also welcoming equipment besides shoes, racquets and balls, such as clothes and strings.The equipment will be shipped to Mmabatho, where Modise grew up. He believes it could make a big difference in the lives of young children.“I do believe that you can make an impact in the life of young people in Africa,” Modise writes. “You can make a difference by donating a pair of shoes. It doesn’t have to be a new pair, but any pair can help.“If you have old tennis balls or old tennis racquets, we will highly appreciate the donation. I urge you to look in your closet at the shoes you don’t wear anymore, or think about all of the dead balls that you throw out.“These simple donations can help brighten a child’s day in South Africa. It is time to make change and make an impact in the lives of young African kids.”Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
The Reserve Bank and the National Treasury form the monetary authority in South Africa. The Bank has a significant degree of autonomy in terms of SA’s Constitution, although it holds regular consultations with the minister of finance.The Reserve Bank has a significant degree of autonomy in terms of South Africa’s Constitution. (Image: SARB, via Flickr)Brand South Africa reporterThe South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and the National Treasury (the Ministry of Finance) together constitute the monetary authority in South Africa.South Africa’s central bank was established in 1921 in terms of a special Act of Parliament.FunctionsThe primary object of the South African Reserve Bank is to protect the value of the currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable economic growth in the Republic.The SARB acts as the central bank for the country and its banking institutions, is co- responsible for formulating South Africa’s monetary policy, and is largely responsible for implementing this policy.The Reserve Bank has a significant degree of autonomy in terms of South Africa’s Constitution and performs its functions independently, although it holds regular consultations with the minister of finance.The SARB sees it as essential that South Africa has a growing economy based on the principles of a market system, private and social initiative, effective competition, and social fairness. It recognises the need to pursue balanced economic policies that enhance both development and growth.The Bank is managed by a board of 14 directors representing commerce, finance, industry and agriculture. Seven directors are elected by the Bank’s shareholders. The President of South Africa appoints the governor, three deputy governors and three other directors to the board.The SARB’s management, powers and functions are governed by the South African Reserve Bank Act of 1989.Monetary policyThe Reserve Bank implements South Africa’s monetary policy and regulates the supply (availability) of money by influencing its cost.Monetary policy is set by the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee, which works within a flexible inflation-targeting framework.The Bank undertakes national and international transactions on behalf of the state, and acts for the government in transactions with the International Monetary Fund.The Bank is the custodian of the greater part of South Africa’s gold and other foreign exchange reserves.SubsidiariesThe Reserve Bank controls the South African Mint Company, and issues banknotes printed by the South African Bank Note Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank.Find out moreVisit the Reserve Bank’s website, where you will find information on legislation, the bank’s mandate, monetary policy, inflation targeting and reserves management.Also see our article on South Africa’s National Treasury, or visit the National Treasury’s website.Reviewed: 28 January 2013Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We are soggy, soggy, soggy — three soggies — and it’s cold. The little bit of sun has helped save what we’ve got planted.We had a little breeze and it was 34 degrees so we missed the frost last night, which is a good thing. I was concerned about the frost because we’ve had problems with that before in the wheat.We’re about half done with corn and about a third done on beans. Most of the corn we planted when we started on the 23rd is up and a couple inches tall. We didn’t plant anything two days prior to the four inches of rain we got. The first beans we planted are coming up. We just need some heat. I am sure we will have to go back and spot in some in the wet holes. The corn we planted on Wednesday is starting to spike through.Since April 1 we had 9.1 inches of rain and half of that has come here in the last couple of weeks. So far it is acting like 2011 when we had a lot of rain in April and May. Crops were good that year but they were late coming off and wet.The ground temperatures when we were planting were really warm. It was in the low 60s in the mornings and this morning it is down to 43 degrees. When we were planting everything was in good shape and that helped. If we had planted right up until the rain I would be concerned, but we stopped planting to get caught up on spraying.You want to have a little rain on the wheat while its flowering, but maybe not four inches. We had a plane fly our wheat insecticide and fungicide on because it has been so wet.
Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts Adobe just announced the launch of Flash Platform Services for Distribution. These new services will allow developers to make their applications more sharable on a variety of platforms, including a wide range of mobile devices. Adobe will give developers the ability to enable their users to embed applications on over 70 destination sites. In order to provide this service, Adobe has partnered with Gigya, a company that already has a lot of experience in giving publishers the ability to make their content sharable through social widgets.As the Adobe team behind this product told us in an interview last week, for a lot of companies, making their applications sharable is still a major challenge. For a large number of these companies, posting an application in an app store is also often the only mobile distribution strategy. The Flash Platform Services for Distribution, however, aims to make this easier for developers. Sharing Flash Apps on Mobile DevicesOn the mobile side, Adobe and Gigya will give users the ability to share content on a wide variety of phones, including Windows Mobile and Symbian phones. Users who want to install a sharable application on their mobile phones will simply receive an SMS message with a link to the application. The service will automatically detect the type of device and deliver the right version to the user. Developers can also give their users the ability to share iPhone versions of their applications – though obviously those have to be native iPhone applications, as the iPhone doesn’t support Flash. frederic lardinois Developers will be able to track the success of their applications through and Adobe AIR app that will allow them to measure distribution and customer usage. In partnership with Gigya, Adobe will also give developers the ability to assure installs through paid promotions and to monetize apps through cross-promotions.Coming Soon: Easier Integration with Social NetworksAdobe also announced that it will launch another Flash Platform Service later this year that will allow developers to easily connect Flash applications written on top of Adobe’s platforms with a number of social networks such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. Developers won’t have to worry about the idiosyncrasies of a service’s API, but will be able to write their applications on top of Adobe’s social platform instead. Tags:#news#web#Web Development Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…
Over 35 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, so it’s just not feasible that YouTube review each video before it’s posted online. Instead, YouTube points to its community guidelines and lets its users flag those videos with inappropriate content for removal. And now, a new category will let you flag ones that “promote terrorism.”YouTube has come under increasing fire recently from governments that demand the company do more to pre-screen videos that may contain terrorist propaganda, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times today. In November, YouTube removed hundreds of videos featuring the American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki after the British and U.S. governments protested his appearance in more than 700 videos with over 3.5 million page views, claiming that the videos were linked to specific acts of violence. But even after YouTube’s official removal of the videos in question, other copies and related material remained. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#NYT#web#YouTube audrey watters Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Prior to this new flag, YouTube videos were already pegged for removal for containing hate speech and inciting dangerous acts. The community guidelines read that, “While it might not seem fair to say you can’t show something because of what viewers theoretically might do in response, we draw the line at content that’s intended to incite violence or encourage dangerous, illegal activities that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death. This means not posting videos on things like instructional bomb making, ninja assassin training, sniper attacks, videos that train terrorists, or tips on illegal street racing. Any depictions like these should be educational or documentary and shouldn’t be designed to help or encourage others to imitate them.” So YouTube has long forbade materials that incite others to commit violence, but this new category of “promoting terrorism” now makes it a more complicated judgment call. George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen says the new category is “potentially troubling” as it’s such a subjective interpretation. Removing al-Awlaki’s videos calling for the killing of Americans may be an easy decision to make, but drawing the line between free speech (particularly religious free speech) and terrorism might prove more difficult down the road. It’s up to users to flag which videos they think promote terrorism, but now YouTube is going to have to decide what “promoting terrorism” really means.Image via YouTube, Wired 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…
What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … With Honeycomb, Google has introduced a number of features designed just for slates, including new 3D homescreen customizations, new richer and interactive widgets, video chat via Google Talk, access to Google eBooks, tabbed Web browsing, bookmark syncing and private browsing capabilities and improved multi-tasking.Although the Xoom has not officially launched, it was name “Best in Show” by CNET and picked as the best, or among the best, tablets by Gizmodo, LaptopMag, PopSci, PCMag, BGR, Popular Mechanics, Techradar, Engadget and others. It’s pretty safe to say that this tablet won CES. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology At last week’s annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2011) in Las Vegas, if there was any obvious industry trend, it was this: Android is everywhere. From smartphones to tablets and even TVs, the mobile operating system was present in a number of the devices being showcased at this gadget-filled event. But which phones and tablets are really deserving of praise? Which ones stood out as moving the bar forward?We’ll take a look at some of our favorites from the show below.1. Best New Tablet: Motorola XoomThe Motorola Xoom, an Android tablet that will run Google’s new tablet-only version of Android called “Honeycomb” already bests the current iPad in terms of technical specifications. It has not one, but two cameras – one rear and one front-facing (5-megapixel and 2-megapixel respectively), and a large 10-inch screen with a higher resolution than iPad (1280×800 compared with iPad’s 1024×768). It also has a dual-core 1 GHz processor, HD support with an HDMI-out port, Wi-Fi and 3G support from Verizon Wireless, is upgradable to 4G LTE support in the future and supports Adobe Flash.As for that last one, you may or may not see it as a plus, depending on whether you think Flash is an outdated, buggy technology that deserves no place in our untethered, mobile Web future or a still-necessary tool for viewing a large amount of Web video. However, it’s hard to not give extra points to the Motorola Atrix 4G, just for thinking out of the box. Also a Tegra 2-powered phone, this AT&T/Bell Mobility/Orange UK device offers a 4-inch display with a 960×540 resolution, 1 GB of RAM, with support for up to 48 GB of storage, and a powerful 1930 mAh battery, like the Bionic. It also has dual cameras (one VGA, one 5-megapixel), 720p video capture, HD playback and a fingerprint reader. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Android#mobile#news Image credit: Engadget Alternately, you can plug your phone into the HD Multimedia Dock, which offers 3 USB ports and an HDMI port, which lets you use the Atrix connect to an HDTV, for example, or connect to a keyboard, mouse, speakers and HDMI-compatible monitor at your desk.3. Android TVForget Google TV, try Android TV! OK, maybe not. It’s far too early to call this the “best of CES” (oops, headline edit?), but it’s definitely interesting. While not ready for primetime, the 32-inch RCA RLC3291 TV runs a skinned version of Android (2.2), including a few apps like a weather widget and Picasa for now, though app icons for Facebook and YouTube were present as well. The TV supports Flash and offers remote-friendly navigation, too.Although still in development, RCA was telling press the TV would launch in April 2011. We’ll reserve judgement until then. What makes this device so unique, though, is its ability to run in “Webtop” mode where it connects via an HDMI cable to a 2.4-pound laptop computer that offers an 11.6-inch screen, trackpad, and real hardware keyboard. It’s a phone that’s also a notebook PC! Once attached, you can use your phone from your “computer” (really, it’s just a shell) to run apps (in a window), play games, make calls, send instant messages, surf the Web in a full-sized version of the Firefox browser and as a bonus, your phone will charge while plugged in. sarah perez Related Posts 2. Best New Android SmartphonesThis one was a lot tougher, because picking smartphones is a much more personal choice. Do you prefer a slide-out keyboard or an onscreen one, for example? Do you like the big screens found on many Android devices or do you want something smaller, that fits in your pocket?For practical purposes, Verizon’s new Motorola Droid Bionic is a solid choice. It’s one of Verizon’s new 4G (LTE) phones, announced alongside the HTC Thunderbolt, LG Revolution and Samsung 4G. Like the others, the Droid Bionic will run Android 2.2 (Froyo), has dual cameras (one front-facing VGA, 8-megapixel on rear), and a large capacitive touchscreen. But the Bionic’s 4.3-inch screen is a bit better: offering a 540×960 resolution, its CPU is a speedy 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, it has 512 MB of RAM, it lets you do Skype video chatting and has something called “mirror mode” which allows you to simultaneously stream video to the TV and on the device itself.
Can you be vulnerable enough to admit you’re not constantly busy? I’ll give it a try. Last night, I sat down in the basement noodling around on my ukulele while my 13 year-old son sat beside me playing video games. I have things on my to-do list that I could have been doing, but to paraphrase Bartleby the Scrivener, I preferred not to.So why does admitting that make me feel vulnerable? Why does being constantly busy make me feel important?Both keynote addresses at the Military Families Learning Network Virtual Conference got me thinking about this. Dr. Charles Figley talked about the importance of self-care. We all have people that we serve and support. If we want to be at our best for them, we need to take the time to take care of ourselves. Dionardo Pizana talked about connecting with yourself, your emotional intelligence and with others as a way of dealing with organizational change. Are you taking time to reflect, develop empathy and build relationships?Time is considered our most scarce resource. The time each of us has is finite. But in considering the scarcity of time, I’m reminded of something Devine Carama said at the 2017 NACDEP/CDS Conference, “We are arrogant to believe we will see the impact of our leadership while we are alive.”It is also arrogant to think of our time as scarce. It is a self-centered attitude. We do no work alone. Again, we do NO work alone.Our work today, this hour, this minute is part of the collective work many of us are doing to make military families ready and resilient, to improve people’s lives and communities, to build a more equitable, inclusive world. To focus only on our contributions or to complain about how little time we have is hubris. We have all the time in this world and the world to come. The time of our collaborators, known and unknown, those who live and work today and those who will live and work in the future.That does not mean that we should not take full advantage of the time we have. Instead it means we should do what we can with the time we have. We should take time to take care of ourselves. We should take time to connect with others to share our work. We should take the time to share space with someone we love. We should stop being “busy” and take full advantage of the time we share.