From Emperors to Monarchs….

first_imgIf lion is king, and penguin is emperor, who would have thought a dainty insect would be monarch?  EurekAlert posted a story earlier this month too good to pass up: monarch butterflies follow the light – ultraviolet light – to their breeding grounds.  Scientists at Hebrew University, working with monarchs in a specially-designed flight simulator (see 05/09/2005, 07/09/2002), found that UV light was the key to keeping them on course.  But that’s not all: “Further probing revealed a key wiring connection between the light-detecting navigation sensors in the butterfly’s eye and its brain clock,” the article states.  “Thus, it was shown that input from two interconnected systems – UV light detection in the eye and the biological clock in the brain – together guide the butterflies ‘straight and true’ to their destination at the appointed times in their two-month migration over thousands of miles/kilometers” (emphasis added).  Think how tiny a butterfly brain is to store that kind of programming.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Nicholas Hlobo: art as dialogue

first_img10 November 2008Nicholas Hlobo, winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Arts 2009, is gaining an international reputation for his experimental use of materials to “create conversations” around issues of masculinity, gender, race and ethnicity.Hlobo is showcased on the Michael Stevenson Gallery website, where he explains his relationship with the material he uses: “I always find that the material tends to dominate the entire process. My ideas evolve in unexpected ways as the material helps me discover new things.“The start usually seems like trying to roll a rock as large as a double-decker bus, and by the completion of the work I go, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I went through that and came back sane’.”In 2007 Hlobo exhibited Umdodo at the Aardklop National Arts Festival in Potchefstroom. During the same year he took Umakadenethwa engenadyasi to the Galeria Extraspazio in Rome and idiom[s] to the Savannah College of Art Design in Georgia, USA.In 2008, he exhibited at the Boston ICA as part of the Momentum Series, and his work is included in the third Guangzhou Triennial in China, which runs until 9 November. His exhibition Flow was on at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, and Home Lands – Land Marks was on at Haunch of Venison in London. Kwatsityw’iziko was also on at the Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town.Hlobo has also exhibited with various other artists, some of his more recent group exhibitions being Skin-to-skin at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg and .za: giovane arte dal Sudafrica at the Palazzo delle Papesse in Siena, Italy.In 2006 he won the Tollman Award for Visual Art.Hlobo chooses his material strategically, and often challenges stereotypes of sexual identity through his work.In an interview with Sue Williamson, he explained: “Through my works I attempt to create conversations that explore certain issues within my culture as a South African.“The conversations become a way of questioning people’s perceptions around issues of masculinity, gender, race and ethnicity.”The annual Standard bank Young Artist Awards were started in 1981 by the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, with Standard Bank coming on board as a sponsor in 1984.The awards, seen as one of the most prestigious of their kind in the country, honour young South African artists who have not yet gained widespread national exposure or acclaim, but who are making a significant mark in their field.The awards recognize and actively promote the talent of these young artists, providing them with financial support and a platform for experimentation. Winners receive a cash prize and financial support for their participation on the main programme of the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown.Source: National Arts Festival, Grahamstownlast_img read more

Munaf Patel is spinning the ball these days: Roberts

first_imgWest Indian fast bowling legend Andy Roberts is baffled as to why young Indian pacers suddenly lose speed after showing early promise and start “spinning the ball”, pointing out Munaf Patel as the most recent example.India pacer Munaf Patel has lost speed according to legendry West Indian fast bowler Andy Roberts. AP”When Munaf Patel came here in 2006, he had some pace,” said Roberts wryly, “Now he is spinning the ball.”Roberts was speaking from his experience of having worked with Irfan Pathan briefly during the 2006 tour by the Indians after the then coach Greg Chappell requested him to look at the left-arm seamer’s problems.”You have to remember this happens only once they make it to international stage. Maybe they are better off without these coaches.”These coaches turn you into line-and-length bowler. Not what you naturally are. These boys then lose their ability.”Roberts, who picked up 202 wickets from 47 Tests at 25.61 average, is hailed as the father of fearsome West Indian fast bowlers of 70s and 80s. He certainly is not impressed by the fast bowling in world cricket presently.”Shaun Tait throws his arm. Dale Steyn, whom I like, also occasionally throws his arm. Less said about the West Indian pacemen the better. The likes of Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor and Fidel Edwards are not running in fast enough at the batsmen,” he said.”They saw Curtly Ambrose run in smoothly and ping the ball. But he could do it because he was so very strong. Others must run in hard in their run-ups.advertisement”There are two ways to bowl fast. Either you steam in or you have a lot of strength to bowl even if you are relaxed in your run-up,” Roberts explained.Roberts is dismissive of the notion that today’s cricketers play a great volume of cricket.”Too much cricket? They play mostly Twenty20s and one-dayers. It’s 4 or 10 overs a match.”He also sought to correct the notion that reverse swing almost exclusively was the preserve of the Pakistani bowlers in the 90s.”We began the reverse swing. When Pakistanis came here in 1977 they were surprised to see us do it. It’s no rocket science, you keep the ball polished on one side and it would reverse swing. For it to happen, the other side must have a bit of moisture on it.Inevitably, Roberts is asked to compare who he thought was better between Sachin Tendulkar and Sunny Gavaskar.”Sachin is one of the game’s greats. No questions about it. However, you judge a batsman on how he handled the best of pacemen and best of spinners of his era.”In the 70s, West Indies had the quick ones. England had a very good spinner in Derek Underwood. And Sunny always did well against them.”Nobody was said to have a more deceptive bouncer than Roberts in the game. Gavaskar has mentioned he had two bouncers — one a slower one with which he set a batsman up and the other a quicker one which a batter could only see as a blur.”You can’t bowl 95 mph all the time and hope a batsman would surrender. They get used to it after a while. You need to vary the pace, the angle, the seam or swing,” Roberts said.”I could bowl everything: seam, swing, pace, slower one, bouncer, cutters, everything.”Asked to pick the favourite batsman and fast bowlers of his era, Roberts said, “Viv Richards to me was the best player of short-pitched bowling ever.”I liked Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson, Malcolm Marshall. Imran (Khan) was a great bowler but he wasn’t an out-and-out fast bowler. Same was the case with Richard Hadlee.”Like most of his era, Roberts can’t see the revival of West Indian cricket any soon.”The top brass needs a kick in the back side. Presently our cricket is flat on its back. The board at one time had 18 directors.”I was once told by a director that I could become a coach if I had a level 2 or 3 coaching certificate. The same man asked me to come to Trinidad and give a lecture on fast bowling in his academy. The knowledge is with me. But I can’t be going around asking for work,” he said.- With inputs from PTIlast_img read more