Jon Gruden hopes to re-sign Raiders MVP Jared Cook in free agency

first_imgALAMEDA — Jon Gruden isn’t always transparent with the media, most recently claiming he was surprised by general manager Reggie McKenzie’s inevitable firing. Yet he left no room for interpretation when declaring his team’s best player after upsetting the Steelers.“Jared was awesome,” Gruden said of tight end Jared Cook. “He clearly is our MVP. In my opinion, he is phenomenal.”Cook caught seven passes for a team-high 116 yards in the Raiders’ 24-21 win over AFC North-leading Pittsburgh. He …last_img read more

Call of the wild in Sabi Sand

first_imgThe main building at Kirkman’s Kampis a fine example of the old colonial style.(Image: Chris Thurman)MEDIA CONTACTS • Valeri MoutonandBeyond PR+27 21 532 5861 or +27 21 532 5801Chris ThurmanIt happens to everyone who encounters animals in the African bushveld, from the most experienced game ranger to the first-timer “on safari”.We see a giraffe munching on leaves and think of a baseball player chewing gum. Lionesses with cubs look to us like any human mothers of triplets would – exhausted, exasperated, while their broods run playfully over and around them.Spotting an elephant stripping the bark off a broken branch by rotating it carefully in his mouth, we find ourselves stuck between similes: is he like a craftsman, turning a piece of wood in a lathe; or a guy watching rugby on TV, working away at a tough stick of biltong?A group of young male buffalo, separated from the herd, remind us of a gang of moody, testosterone-filled teenage boys. A lone leopard, knowing no territorial boundaries and roaming over hundreds of kilometres, is Clint Eastwood or James Dean – an outlaw, a rebel without a cause.Those who like long words call this anthropomorphism: seeing human characteristics in things that aren’t human.Anthropomorphism is also what makes us pity the poor dung beetle, not only because of the unpleasant raw material Mother Nature gave him to work with, but because we see his daily struggle in terms of human endeavour. He can spend hours pushing a dung ball ten times his size up a hill, only to see it tumble down again – like Sisyphus who, in Greek mythology, was condemned to perform a similarly hopeless task for eternity as a punishment for disobeying the gods.The male, presenting his carefully crafted ball to a potential mate, may have his proposal rejected: a failed suitor. Or the female might take up his offer, and join him in making a little dung-centred home: the perfect picture of husband and wife cooperating in domestic bliss.But then there are sights that make us realise how irreconcilably different wild animals are to us. A lion at an impala kill, licking the dead animal’s neck with its rough tongue – not in a gesture of tenderness, but to soften the hide before taking the head in its mouth and cracking open the skull. A pack of hyenas chasing a leopard from a two-day-old buffalo carcass, before ripping into the rotting flesh with bloody abandon.And there are stories about animal behaviour that seem to take the survival instinct, or the law of natural selection, to extremes: lions killing the offspring of competing males, or entire prides abandoning weak cubs to save their energy for nurturing offspring that are more likely to prosper.Common groundWe sometimes think that this is what separates us from animals – but as we know all too well from the evidence of human selfishness and violence, we have much in common with a natural world that is “red in tooth and claw”.And yet, paradoxically, if we want to maintain some form of relationship with the animal kingdom we must overcome our “animalistic” impulses to destroy and, instead, desire to conserve. In the process, we might also learn how to treat our fellow-humans better.That is, I think, what lies at the heart of our collective fascination with “the bush”, and what makes game viewing a mentally, emotionally and spiritually invigorating activity. It’s the reason that a stay in the bush is top priority for most tourists to South Africa and, for South Africans, it’s the reason that our pristine savannah is a source of national pride.I was reminded of this on a recent trip to Kirkman’s Kamp in the Sabi Sand private game reserve, which shares a fenceless border with the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga.How far we have come, as even a brief acquaintance with the human history of the Sabi-Kruger area reveals. Just over a century ago, my great-great-uncle Harry Wolhuter was a game ranger in the newly-formed Kruger Park. His conservation efforts were stymied by a close encounter with two rogue lions: he was attacked, knocked off his horse and dragged almost 100 metres, before managing to stab one of the lions and climb a tree to escape the other.Heroic stuff, indeed, and Uncle Harry’s legend has been proudly recounted by many of his successors over the years; but I’d prefer to watch a lion from the safety of a jeep, thank you.Lion countryA lion-killing Harry of an entirely different sort was Harry Kirkman. In the 1920s, Kirkman was given the job of managing a cattle ranch called Toulon Farm, owned by the foolhardy souls at the Transvaal Consolidated Land and Exploration Company.Yes, that’s right: they decided to farm cattle in an area with what was then one of the world’s highest concentrations of lions. Go figure. It was left to Mr Kirkman to deal with the leonine menace – a job he was alarmingly good at, killing over 500 lions during his six-year stay at Toulon.Fortunately, however, the land was subsequently sold to more environmentally-minded owners. Years later, the homestead once shared by Harry and his wife became the centre of Kirkman’s Kamp. This lends the lodge a “colonial” atmosphere, with large verandas and sweeping lawns offering a different aesthetic to other Sabi Sand lodges.Style and architectural charm are one thing; the socio-economic legacy of colonialism and apartheid another altogether.The “human ecology” in rural Mpumalanga – as throughout the country – remains fragile. Many people, desperate for food or some form of income, turn to poaching.For this reason andBeyond – the company that manages Kirkman’s Kamp and other lodges in the Sabi Sand area – is attempting to address community needs: turning former poachers into trackers and rangers; helping schools and families to tend their own vegetable gardens; planting trees to provide shade in which plants can grow; and, crucially, undertaking educational initiatives to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids.It seems, then, that humans and animals have more in common than we think – and protecting wilderness areas is a matter of mutual interest. So perhaps anthropomorphism isn’t such a bad thing: if we see ourselves in animals, and see animals in ourselves, we might just survive as a species after all.http://www.andbeyondafrica.com/luxury_safari/south_africa/sabi_sand_game_reserve/and_beyond_kirkmans/accommodation/and_beyond_kirkmans_kamplast_img read more

What’s the Definition of an ‘R-20 Wall’?

first_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Builders often talk about the R-value of their walls. But if a builder claims to have an R-20 wall, what does that mean?Building codes commonly include a table listing the minimum prescriptive R-values for walls and ceilings in different climate zones. For example, Table R402.1.1 in the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) informs builders that the minimum prescriptive R-value for walls in Climate Zones 3, 4, and 5 is “20 or 13+5.”This type of table raises many questions. For example, if a builder chooses to comply with the R-20 option, how is R-20 calculated? The code provides some guidance on the issue, but not much. According to a footnote at the bottom of the table, the “first value is cavity insulation, second is continuous insulation or insulated siding, so ‘13+5’ means R-13 cavity insulation plus R-5 continuous insulation or insulated siding.”The code language governing the prescriptive R-value requirements has changed in recent years. If you want to know the specific language that is enforced in your jurisdiction, you’ll have to consult your local code book. For example, the prescriptive requirements in the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) note (in section N1102.1.1), “Computed R-values shall not include an R-value for other building materials or air films.”A footnote to Table N1102.1 in the 2009 IRC — equivalent in most respects to the prescriptive table (Table R402.1.1) in the 2012 IECC — notes, “R-19 batts compressed in to nominal 2×6 framing cavity such that the R-value is reduced by R-1 or more shall be marked with the compressed batt R-value in addition to the full thickness R-value.” This footnote is confusing. Who should do the marking? Does this instruction mean that the builder has to mark the insulation in every stud bay? How do you mark an unfaced batt — with spray paint? Or is…… center_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.last_img read more

University of Michigan launches its own self-driving shuttle service

first_imgDavid Curry Tags:#Autonomous car#bus#Internet of Things#IoT#Mcity#Michigan#Navya Arma#shuttle#University of Michigan The University of Michigan is trialling its own self-driving shuttle service, taking students on a two-mile trip from the North Campus Research Complex to the Lurie Engineering Center.The Navya Arma shuttle will take 15 passengers at a time, and students ride for free. To start, the university is running two shuttles on the route, on regular business hours.See Also: Detroit passes Silicon Valley as center for self-driving researchMichigan has become a hotbed for self-driving development, thanks to the university’s heavy investment and the state’s legalization of self-driving cars without the need for a driver inside.Mcity, the university’s 32-acre simulated city project, will be in charge of the shuttle service.“The Arma at Mcity supports the university’s interrelated missions of research and education,” said S. Jack Hu, U-M vice president for research. “It also underscores the importance of international collaboration as we work with companies from around the world to help society realize the substantial benefits in safety and sustainability promised by automated vehicles.”The team in charge want to see how pedestrians and drivers react to the autonomous shuttle and will have cameras dotted all around the exterior of the vehicle. It will also be monitoring the amount of people that use the shuttle service, to see if it as popular as other transport services for students.The university is not the only actor in the self-driving scene in Michigan, General Motors, Ford, Honda, and Uber have all started tests in the state. A 311-acre test site being built on an old Ford WW2 bomber factory, is set to become the largest private environment for automakers to test self-driving systems. 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A…center_img For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Related Posts Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and…last_img read more

Premiumbeat’s Ultimate DSLR Giveaway Winner Announced!

first_imgPremiumbeat would like to congratulate Peter Vandenbelt, the winner of the Canon 5D Mark III.Our Canon 5D Mark III Camera Kit Giveaway has come to a close, with the announcement of the lucky random winner:Peter Vandenbelt from Mercer Island, WashingtonPeter is currently a third year student at the University of California Santa Barbara where he is studying environmental science and film.  The Canon 5D will be beneficial in his current job as a staff photographer for the UCSB Family Vacation Center.Peter learned about the contest through our partnership wtih LearningDSLRVideo.com.  “I check out Dave Dugdale’s blog nearly everyday and I’m ecstatic I was drawn” he said.  “I was planning on working this summer to buy a Canon 5D Mark III.  This is a dream come true!”Big thanks to all who entered, and to our partners LearningDSLRVideo.com and B&H Photo Video Pro Audio.  Their partnership made this giveaway a great success.Keep your eye on the Premiumbeat blog for future giveaways.  For more info on this giveaway see the original contest page.last_img read more

In peak shape, Seema Antil hopes to grab the spotlight at the Olympics

first_imgKrishna Poonia versus Seema Antil is not as hyped as many other rivalries in Indian sport. Yet, as D-day nears for the London Olympics opening ceremony, the tall Seema is looking confident.Almost shying away from the media at a party on Monday night, Seema is playing the quiet game. “Talk to my coach please,” she said when a couple of mediapersons approached her.”Insi miliye, yee mere husband hain,” she said again, trying to deflect the attention. However, after the pleasantries, it was time for Seema to talk.Having spent almost 10 months training in California, Seema says she has got stronger and is ready for the big day. The drug spectre has haunted her for long and now she knows it’s all about competing fair and square in the unpredictable weather of London.The small, light-red tilak on her forehead did suggest she has been praying hard and hopes to do well. But at an event as big as the Olympics, nothing is because of chance.”The time has come and I am ready. Nobody can now offer any excuse,” says Seema, looking quite relaxed.Having been through her share of lows as well, when she first tested positive for drugs, Seema is aware what it will be like in London.Seema looked surprised when she was asked how she was feeling.”I am feeling good sir,” said a shy Seema, almost refusing to move away from her husband who stood at attention. “I am in peak shape and no fitness worries,” she added as she again tried to engage her coach to be involved in the conversation.More questions followed, as she was asked if the focus on Krishna Poonia was upsetting her. “People probably don’t know me well but I’m happy to be away from limelight and recently threw 62.30 metres in a competition in UK,” she said.At the same time, Krishna had thrown just close to 61 metres.Seema’s own expectations are that on current form she is hoping to make the final. At this point, finally, coach Tony Ciarelly stepped in.Looking rugged and ready to talk, Ciarelly spoke of how Seema had worked hard. “Yeah, she has worked with me now for almost a year though it could have been longer,” he said.”In my view, the strongest thing about Seema is she works hard. I have been able to work on her technique and tact and she is able to hurl the discus freely. The weather in London may be unpredictable but if it gets slippery, I am confident Seema will still do well,” said coach Ciarelly.”Her fitness is good and she is fully aware of her body which any athlete should be,” he adds.So what is Seema capable of? “Let’s be honest, I’m looking at the finals. At least 4-5 girls are better than the two Indian girls Seema and Krishna who I saw for the first time last week.”It’s bright and sunny now but if the weather changes, count Seema in. She is capable of 64-65m… so you never know,” he said.Seema won bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. This time, she is aware nothing can be left to chance.advertisementlast_img read more

Jamaica Committed To Disaster Risk Management – McKenzie

first_img He pointed out that Jamaica’s efforts are in recognition of the important link between reducing disaster risks and achieving the development objectives. Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says Jamaica will adhere to the guidelines of the United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Management. The key objective of the framework is to achieve a substantial reduction of disaster risks and loss of lives, livelihood and health as well as preserving the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries. Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says Jamaica will adhere to the guidelines of the United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Management.He made the commitment while speaking at the three-day Sixth Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas conference, held in Cartagena, Colombia, from June 19 to 21.“Jamaica is serious about the business of disaster risk management and the strengthening of the partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to build greater levels of resilience as a nation,” said Mr. McKenzie.He pointed out that Jamaica’s efforts are in recognition of the important link between reducing disaster risks and achieving the development objectives.The three-day conference was organised to allow government, non-governmental and private organisations to share their experiences and chart the way forward as they work together to implement the Sendai Framework approved in 2015.The Framework is a 15-year voluntary agreement (2015-2030) that recognises that respective states have the primary responsibility to reduce disaster risks, but that responsibility should also be shared with other stakeholders, including local government and the private sector.The key objective of the framework is to achieve a substantial reduction of disaster risks and loss of lives, livelihood and health as well as preserving the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries. Story Highlightslast_img read more