Forget gold and buy-to-let! I’d buy cheap UK shares in an ISA today

first_img I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Forget gold and buy-to-let! I’d buy cheap UK shares in an ISA today See all posts by Peter Stephens “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Peter Stephens | Friday, 9th October, 2020 I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Image source: Getty Images. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Enter Your Email Address The stock market crash means a number of UK shares now trade at cheap prices. Over the long run, they could offer significant capital return potential as their valuations move towards their historic averages.At the same time, popular assets such as gold and buy-to-let property may struggle to keep pace with indexes such as the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250. Their high prices may mean they lack a margin of safety.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…As such, now could be the right time to buy a range of undervalued British stocks in an ISA. Doing so could lead to impressive returns in the coming years.Cheap UK sharesWhile some UK shares have rebounded after the recent market crash, many others continue to trade at low prices relative to their historic averages. Over time, this situation is likely to change. Investor sentiment towards riskier assets, such as equities, is likely to improve as global GDP growth returns to levels more similar to their long-term averages. This could lift valuations across the stock market and allow today’s cheap stocks to experience upward reratings.Furthermore, the financial performances of many businesses are likely to improve. This year, they have faced hugely challenging operating conditions in many cases. While more pain could yet be ahead, the reality is that a more benign operating environment is likely to emerge. This is due to factors such as fiscal and monetary policy stimulus impact on the economic outlook. This could allow today’s cheap UK shares to merit higher valuations as their profitability gradually improves.High prices for gold and buy-to-let propertyWhile many UK shares are currently cheap, other assets such as gold and buy-to-let property appear to lack margins of safety. For example, gold’s price has hit a record high this year due to a weak economic outlook and low interest rates. However, investor sentiment towards the precious metal could moderate over time, as an uncertain economic future gives way to a more prosperous outlook.Meanwhile, high house prices mean investors in buy-to-let property may struggle to obtain a worthwhile long-term return. Factors such as the stamp duty holiday may provide temporary growth for the industry that masks underlying affordability challenges. However, with many first-time buyers struggling to get on the property ladder, a slower pace of house price growth may come into existence further down the line.As such, on a relative basis, owning a portfolio of UK shares could prove to be a profitable move in the long run. Their track record of recovery and current low prices indicate that now may be the right time to start buying them in a tax-efficient account such as an ISA. They could have a more positive impact on your financial situation than gold or buy-to-let property.last_img read more

Fighting racial barriers with fire

first_imgAnd that racism is what led to Reynaldo Lopez’s picture appearing on the front page of the now-defunct Daily Mirror newspaper. As the lone African-American firefighter at Station46 on Vernon Avenue, Lopez was the sole target of his company’s racism. “Why didn’t you guys tell me you had put fertilizer on the grass?” a firefighter newly assigned to the station once asked in his presence. “I thought it was the n—– I smelled?” The abuse spurred Lopez to write Chief John H. Alderson a four-page complaint, which he also leaked to the Daily Mirror, along with a photo of Lopez in front of a “White Adults” sign his co-workers placed on the kitchen door to keep him out. Local media were soon buzzing about a “Jim Crow” scandal brewing in liberal Los Angeles. “What the fellows wanted me to do was not fight back – to do our job and keep working and not use violence that the chief could use to show we couldn’t do the job,” said Lopez, who is now 80 and living in California’s Sun City. “I was fighting back by just doing the job, following orders, showing up for work every day.” His vigilance paid off. Though an African-American firefighter wouldn’t join the top ranks of the department for 13 more years – or become chief until last year – Lopez helped jump-start a reformation. Today, about 11percent of the department’s 3,600 uniformed firefighters are African-American, said Armando Hogan, president of the Stentorians, the department’s black firefighters association. Amid the upper ranks, the LAFD has 13 African-American chiefs, including Douglas Barry, the interim chief of the entire department. “In my 20 years, there was not one black chief,” said Arnett Hartsfield, a lawyer and fire historian who retired from LAFD in 1961. “There are 60 captains now. Not one of them is confined to a black crew.” Tensions remain Although the situation has improved dramatically, racial tensions remain. Last year, City Controller Laura Chick released a scathing audit that documented low morale among minorities in the department. In November, the city was split along old racial lines when the City Council authorized a $2.7million settlement to a veteran African-American firefighter who was tricked into eating dog food. Those involved have said the action against Tennie Pierce was a prank among brothers, not a malicious act of racism. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa decided the settlement was too large and vetoed it. The council failed to override his veto, moving the case toward a trial set for Sept.24. Racism status quo But 50 years ago, racism wasn’t alleged or ambiguous. It was status quo. “I’m talking about Los Angeles – not Mississippi or Alabama or Georgia,” said Hartsfield, 88, of Inglewood. “This is Los Angeles.” The Los Angeles Fire Department went into service Feb.1, 1886. Six years later, Sam Haskins became its first black employee. Born a slave in Virginia, Haskins was hired as a part-time “fire callman.” But on Nov. 19, 1895, Haskins was standing on the back of the hook-and-ladder truck barreling down First Street toward Main. The road was bumpy, and Haskins lost his balance. “CRUSHED AND BURNED,” the Los Angeles Times reported with a front-page headline the next day. “HORRIBLE DEATH OF FIREMAN SAM HASKINS – The Colored Callman Fell Between the Wheel and Boiler of His Engine and Was Mangled and Roasted.” And just like that, Haskins vanished into unrecorded history. It wasn’t until a sheriff’s crime analyst stumbled across the old news articles five years ago that the department realized it had been honoring the wrong pioneer. The man everyone thought was the department’s first black was George W. Bright, who joined in 1897, two years after Haskins’ death. Bright is remembered because in 1902 he was promoted to lieutenant, presenting the Fire Department with a problem it wasn’t ready to deal with: how to subordinate white firefighters to a ranking black man. The solution was segregation. African-Americans were assigned to Hose Company4 at 137Belmont Ave. Later, stations14 and 30, both of which were on South Central Avenue, were dedicated as black firehouses. Fire Station No. 30 now is the home of the African American Firefighter Museum. Even after the department began integrating in 1955, African-Americans often grew so tired of being overlooked for promotions that many just retired, Hartsfield said. Take for instance William Hall, a captain at Station 30. “He passed the battalion chief test in 1931,” Hartsfield said. “Only to be told, ‘Hall, it’s a shame you’re not a white man.”‘ [email protected] (818) 713-3634 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The headline could have referred to last year’s problems in the Los Angeles Fire Department: “Racial Ruckus in Fire Dept.” But the year was 1955. Brown v. Board of Education was barely on the books, and fire stations in Los Angeles were being integrated. No longer would African-American firefighters toil on the lower rungs of the department. No longer would they be confined to two stations on South Central Avenue. In reality, though, rank-and-file whites weren’t ready to consider blacks their equals, poignantly demonstrated when some fliers were circulated around the stations comparing black people to apes. last_img read more

150 new student places announced for LYIT

first_imgMinister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, has announced that almost 150 new student places are being provided on 13 courses in Letterkenny IT as part of a new Government fund.The additional opportunities for students are being created thanks to Government investment of €24 million across universities and colleges as part of the Human Capital Initiative.Minister McHugh said the Human Capital Initiative and Government investment will create more and better opportunities for students. “We know where the demands are for highly educated, qualified graduates and this investment is responding directly to that need.“We are trying to ensure the right support for colleges seeking to educate students with high priority enterprise skills such as science, engineering, ICT and professional construction.“There is a future focus to many of the courses.“Looking at Letterkenny IT’s focus, they are pushing for more students in engineering, metal trades, renewables, computing and digital forensics and healthcare. “It is great to see them plan for another 146 students to add to the more than 3,000 already studying there,” he said.For each extra place that is provided on target courses, Letterkenny IT will be allocated €2,500 in additional funding.The increased capacity at the college was approved after Letterkenny IT made bids for support under Pillar 2 of the Human Capital Initiative.Minister McHugh, said universities and colleges are answering the call to prepare students with better skills for a changing world of work.“This investment is a key part of the Government’s strategy under Future Jobs Ireland,” he added. The following courses at LYIT have been approved for support under the Human Capital InitiativeBSc ComputingBSc Security and Digital ForensicsBEng Electronic EngineeringBEng Mechanical Engineering – Mechanics and Metal TradesBEng Building Services and Renewable EnergyBEng in Civil EngineeringBSc Applied ComputingBSc Computer ScienceBSc Digital HealthcareBEng Electronics and Embedded SystemBEng Mechanical Engineering HonsBEng Fire Safety EngineeringBSc Data Science150 new student places announced for LYIT was last modified: December 16th, 2019 by Dionne MeehanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalGovernment Fundjoe mc hughletterkennyLYITlast_img read more

Brain Candy as Tiger Milk

first_imgObservation: the human brain appears able to use lactate as fuel instead of glucose during strenuous exercise (see Science Daily).  Deduction: From an evolutionary perspective, the result of this study is a no-brainer.  Imagine what could have or did happen to all of the organisms that lost their wits along with their glucose when running from predators.  They were obviously a light snack for the animals able to use lactate.This gem was from Gerald Weismann, editor of the FASEB journal in which the study was published.  Weissmann did not explain why humans didn’t evolve some means to circumvent this threat of becoming crunchy brain candy to tigers – a little hot sauce surprise in the cerebellum, perhaps.  But then, it would be tough for the victim possessing that innovation to pass on his genes.  Presumably one can only “imagine what could have or did happen” when one loses his wits.This is the same Gerald Weismann that won SEQOTW two months ago for updating Darwin with On the Origin of Tumors by Natural Selection (08/13/2008).  This time, Weissmann was absolutely right.  From an evolutionary perspective, it was a no-brainer.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Dark Matter Is Lost in Space

first_imgAstronomers are spending millions on their biggest gamble yet: looking for something that may not exist.Are physicists, astronomers and cosmologists hunting for ghosts?  The lure of being first to discover something big is prompting countries around the globe to spend millions of dollars on expensive detectors deep underground, at the poles, or in space — for what? Particles they can’t describe, have never been detected, and may not even exist. The stakes are high: whoever finds dark matter will gain international prestige. If everyone loses, it will have been an expensive snipe hunt with nothing to show for it. Even worse, cosmologists will have to revise their fundamental theories in major ways.New results from world’s most sensitive dark matter detector (PhysOrg): The results are in from the most sensitive dark-matter detector to date: the LUX (Large Underground Xenon) Detector in the Black Hills of South Dakota. And the answer is: nothing.ESA’s Euclid dark universe mission ready to take shape (PhysOrg): A space-based detector is being built by the European Space Agency, set for launch in 2020. Its method will be to monitor shapes, positions and movements of two million galaxies over time.Monkey King: China’s dark-matter satellite launches era of space science (Nature): China beat the Europeans by launching Wukong (“Monkey King”), a dark matter orbiting observatory. The Chinese think dark matter will be detected by high-energy cosmic rays, but the Europeans aren’t so sure: “We don’t know if this is a better way to search for dark matter, because dark matter has not yet been found.” Science Magazine explains that the search is based on WIMP theory (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles). If they exist and annihilate, they should give off characteristic rays.MACHOs or WIMPs? (PhysOrg): This article lists the five leading candidates for dark matter, including MACHOs (Massive Compact Halo Objects) and the aforesaid WIMPs. May the strongest survive! Other candidates are axions, Kaluza-Klein particles, or gravitinos. Nobody knows what any of these are.XXL hunt for galaxy clusters: Observations from ESO telescopes provide crucial third dimension in probe of Universe’s dark side (Science Daily): Over 100 astronomers are on a hunt for X-rays from large clusters of galaxies. They think the clusters are influenced by the “Universe’s notoriously strange components — dark matter and dark energy.”Did ‘dark matter’ or a star called Nemesis kill the dinosaurs? (The Conversation): This article gives you two occult phenomena for the price of one: destroyers in the form of dark matter or in a hidden star or planet for which there is no evidence. Konstantinos Dimopoulos keeps both options alive while admitting throughout his article there is no evidence for either of them.If they don’t find this dark stuff soon, there’s going to be hell to pay. Someone should count up the millions of dollars spent so far and tell Senator Jeff Flake to promote it to #1 spot in his Wastebook and get it into the talk radio circuit. If they find it, good; we will learn something. But how much time do you give them to look? Till after we’re all dead? What, then, if future astronomers determine it never existed? That would be scandalous! We can’t throw tax dollars down a dark hole forever. Those who are paying should get the results in a reasonable time, or call it off. If astronomers want to continue looking after an agreed-on deadline, let them raise their own money on GoFundMe or something, or find a Russian millionaire willing to throw his own money at it, like the guy did for SETI (7/22/15). But this endless quest for mystical occult stuff is not the taxpayers’ responsibility.(Visited 61 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa’s 2008 sports highlights

first_imgMatthew Moir successfully defended his longboard title at the ISA World Surfing Games in Portugal, while Travis Logie made it all the way to the final of the Mr Price Pro in Durban before he was stopped by Australia’s Chris Davidson. After looking back at the top South African sporting performances, achievements, and results of the year that was 2008, two South African athletes stand out above all others: Natalie du Toit and Trevor Immelman. Earlier in the year he had demonstrated his ability to beat the best when he won the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Valencia, Spain. Flag bearerIn Beijing, she became the first disabled person to the Olympic flag of her country. She later became the first person to carry her country’s flag at both the Olympics and Paralympics. By comparison, later in the year, world number one Australia lost their four-test series in India 2-0, with the Indians’ victories coming by 320 runs and 172 runs. Du Toit proved to be one of the outstanding athletes of the Paralympics, winning five gold medals, to lead South Africa’s challenge. The South African Sevens team finished second in the 2007/08 IRB Sevens World Series behind a dominant New Zealand team. Their season included ending the Kiwis’ 47-match unbeaten run in the final of the Adelaide Sevens. Tiger Woods’ threatImmelman maintained his challenge in the third round, posting a 69, which was bettered by only three players. Ominously, one of those players was world number one Tiger Woods, a four-time winner of the Masters, who was expected to make a final round charge. Immelman’s tumourGolfer Trevor Immelman enjoyed a strong finish to 2007 when he won the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Shortly afterwards, competing in the SAA Open at Pearl Valley, he was forced to pull out of the tournament after he struggled with his breathing and experienced pain around his ribcage. Tests revealed a tumour about the size of a golf ball. 100 test capsOn an individual level, Percy Montgomery made history by becoming the first South African to win 100 test caps. He retired with 102 caps to his name and a number of important SA records, including the most points (893) and the most points in a test (35 versus Namibia). In the eight PGA Tour events preceding the year’s first major, the US Masters, Immelman failed to make the cut four times. His best finish was a tie for 17th. His next best result was a tie for 40th in the World Golf Championships-CA Championship. In the last tournament before the Masters, the Shell Houston Open, he missed the cut. Although her swim didn’t go as well as she would have liked – she finished 16th – Du Toit’s participation, along with that of Polish table tennis player Natalia Partyka (whose right arm ends just below the elbow, but who plays left-handed), was the first by an amputee in the Olympics in over a century. Bafana BafanaOn the football front, Bafana Bafana suffered a slump following the shock resignation of coach Carlos Alberto Parreira. His replacement Joel Santana took over slap bang in the middle of African Cup of Nations qualifying and when South Africa failed to earn a place for the 2010 competition in Angola it came as little surprise. He moved into the sole lead after two rounds on eight-under-par 136 after a second successive 68. Only Steve Flesch with a five-under 67 bettered Immelman’s second round effort, while Brandt Snedeker matched it to trail by just one shot. Four South Africans, after good years in 2008, have qualified to compete on the prestigious ASP World Tour in 2009: David Weare, Greg Emslie and Jordy Smith will be part of the men’s tour, while Rosy Hodge will take part on the women’s tour. The South African team was outstanding, capturing 21 gold, three silver and six bronze medals to finish sixth in the final medal standings. And as much as their achievements impressed, their collective attitude exceeded even those achievements. SA cricket team shinesThe South African cricket team enjoyed a very good year in 2008. The series highlight was a victory over England in England, while the Proteas’ first test win over Australia in Perth in December was a record-breaking achievement that many feel was SA’s best ever test result. Breaststroke world record holderCameron van der Burgh, however, set two short course world records in the breaststroke and they remained not only unbroken but unchallenged. He became the first swimmer to crack 26 seconds for the 50 metres and 57 seconds for the 100 metres. Also on the water, South Africa’s canoe marathon competitors showed their mettle at the World Championships in the Czech Republic where Ant Stott and Cam Schoeman won the men’s gold. The year 2008 was a big one on the world’s sporting calendar with Beijing garnering the spotlight as it hosted the Olympic Games and the Paralympics. The two events contrasted sharply in terms of South African success. Fast bowler Dale Steyn’s exceptional achievements were recognised by the ICC when he was named Test Player of the Year. In 14 tests, he captured 86 wickets at an average of 18.10 – 28 wickets more than the next highest wicket taker, Brett Lee of Australia. The rest of the year, Immelman’s result were far from outstanding – he admitted he had been ill-prepared for the demands that came with winning the Masters – but for four glorious days he ruled the world of golf at Augusta. Olympic GamesFor SA sports’ fans, the Olympics unfolded with a sense of disbelief as medal hopeful after medal hopeful came up short of the mark. The Games began on 8 August and it took until 18 August for relief to be provided as South Africa faced the ignominy of finishing the Olympics without a medal. Requiring 414 for victory, Graeme Smith and company made it look easy. He and AB de Villiers scored centuries, while Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy weighed-in with fifties to take South Africa to a six-wicket victory. It was the second highest successful run chase in test history. Kathryn Meaklim also excelled by finishing third in the women’s standings; she won 18 races and added six silver medals and two bronzes to finish with more medals than any other woman. Paralympic Team SA was clearly a happy collection of athletes and the joy they exhibited while competing in Beijing was contagious. It made the Rainbow Nation very proud while, at the same time, restoring the faith of the country’s fans in its athletes. SwimmingThe SA swimming team deserves honourable mention despite not being able to win a single medal. They established numerous African and South African records, but the rate at which world records were broken and improved upon in the pool was unprecedented in the history of the sport. Immelman had the tumour removed; it was, thankfully, benign, but it sidelined him for some time. As a result of this, the 2006 PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year struggled with his form. Richard Sterne, in the co-sanctioned European and Sunshine Tours’ Joburg Open, Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and South African OpenHennie Otto, in the European Tour’s Italian OpenErnie Els, in the PGA Tour’s Honda ClassicRetief Goosen in the Asian Tour’s Johor OpenCharl Schwartzel in the European Tour’s Madrid MastersTim Clark in the Australian PGA’s Australian Open By the end of the year, however, it appeared as if Bafana might have started to turn the corner under Santana. They won four matches in succession – beating Malawi 3-0, Equatorial Guinea 1-0, Ghana 2-1, Cameroon 3-2 – to provide the team’s fans with reason to be optimistic ahead of the 2009 Confederations Cup, which South Africa will host in June. A three-test series against India in India finished in a 1-1 draw only after the hosts had prepared a third test pitch in Kanpur that drew an official warning from the International Cricket Council (ICC) because it was substandard. It helped the Indians level the series in three days as their spinners profited from a surface that resulted in deliveries keeping low and kicking. Equestrian winsPhillipa Johnson won two gold medals in equestrian events and Ernst van Dyk captured gold in the men’s hand cycling individual road race. His victory made him only the second South African to win the prestigious Masters title, emulating his idol, Gary Player, who had previously won the event in 1961, 1974, and 1978. Sonia Pinter was runner-up in the 40-44 age group after a tight five-game battle against Australia’s Sarah Nelson and Lisa O’Grady finished second in the 50-54 age group. Hilton Langenhoven also claimed three titles – in the long jump, 200 metres, and pentathlon. Fanie van der Merwe did the 100/200 double in the men’s T37 class, while Ilse Hayes won the women’s F13 long jump. Paralympic teamAfter the disappointment of the Olympics, South African sports’ fans were disillusioned and, generally, lowered their hopes about what the Paralympic team might achieve. They need not have worried as the South African team shone, providing the Games with some of its outstanding stars. SpringboksIn 2007 the Springboks were crowned the Rugby World Cup winners. Not surprisingly, 2008 failed to live up to the standards set the year before, but there were some exceptional results along the way. Just a day before capturing the world title, Stott had finished third in the individual race. In November, Du Toit received the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) Youth Leadership Award at the European Parliament in Brussels. The prestigious honour recognises young leaders with an astonishing track record of performance and/or social responsibility. On the boxing front, Cassius Baloyi made history when he beat Mzonka Fana on points to win the IBF junior-lightweight title. It was his sixth world title, a feat unmatched by any other South African boxer. Masters squashSouth Africa’s Masters Squash team, as they have many times previously, proved themselves to be a world power at the Eighth World Masters Squash Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand. Besides the series win in England, there was a continuous roll of success for South Africa during 2008. After beating Pakistan in Pakistan towards the end of 2007, there were test series wins over the West Indies (2-1), Bangladesh in Bangladesh (2-0), and Bangladesh in SA (2-0). SA golf victoriesSouth African golfers continued to excel on tours around the world. Apart from Trevor Immelman’s victory in the US Masters, a good number of other player won tournaments in other parts of the world. They included: Joining Natalie du Toit at the forefront of South Africa’s gold medal winning achievements was “The Blade Runner”, Oscar Pistorius, who completed the triple of the 100 metres, 200m, and 400m in the men’s T44 class. She was also awarded the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award, which is presented at every Paralympic Games to one male and one female who best exemplifies the spirit of the Games and inspires and excites the world. International Boxing Hall of FamerBrian Mitchell was never a six-time world champion, but then he never needed to be as he retired as an undefeated world champion. His brilliance was recognised early in December when he was elected to enter the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Immelman’s lead was two shots with one round to play. The best was yet to come when, at the end of the year, in the first two events of the 2008/09 season, Paul Treu’s charges went unbeaten as they captured the Dubai Sevens and then, for the first time, the George Sevens. The victory on home soil was especially sweet for the team and the loyal George fans. Van der Burgh dominance of the FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup, during which he set the world records, was reflected in his winning of the overall title. Downhill MTB world champGreg Minnaar won the Mountain Bike World Cup downhill title for the third time in 2008, following on previous titles in 2001 and 2005. Woods managed to make up three shots by posting a 72 to the South African’s 75 over the last 18 holes, and while he moved up to take second place, he still finished three shots behind Immelman’s final total of eight-under-par 280. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Surf-skiing superpowerSouth Africa also proved itself the strongest surf-skiiing nation in the world when SA paddlers claimed the top five places in the men’s event at the Durban Surf Ski World Cup. Besides Natalie du Toit, three other swimmers won gold in the swimming pool: Shireen Sapiro in the women’s S10 100 metres backstroke, Kevin Paul in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB9, and Charl Bouwer in the men’s 400m freestyle S13. Surfing starsSouth African surfers made their mark and it was the older generation which stood out most. Team South Africa won the ISA World Masters Surfing Championships in Peru, with individual gold medals going to Heather Clark (Masters Women), Marc Wright (Kahunas) and Chris Knutsen (Grand Kahunas). Playing under the first black coach in Springbok history, Peter de Villiers, the Boks achieved their first ever win over the All Blacks in Dunedin – by 30 points to 28 – to bring to an end a five-year unbeaten run on home soil for the New Zealanders. Long jumper Khotso Mokoena finally ended the drought by capturing silver with a best leap of 8.24 metres. Sadly for the majority of South Africans, his medal winning performance was greeted by relief more than by joy, but it was a highlight nonetheless. Motocross world championTyla Rattray became the third South African to win a motocross world title when he clinched the MX2 title in September at the Italian Grand Prix in Faenza. Previously Greg Albertyn and Grant Langston had won world titles. Du Toit, an inspirational paraplegic swimming star whose left leg was amputated just below the knee after a motorcycling accident in 2001, made history when she qualified for the Beijing Olympic Games in the open water swimming event. She booked her place by finishing fourth in the 10-kilometre race at the World Open Water Swimming Championships in Seville. Outplayed the bestSomehow, however, over the course of four wonderful days it all came together for the South African star as outplayed the best players in the world to capture the Masters title at Augusta, the only permanent home to a major event. 24 December 2008 Later in the year, sprint ace Roland Schoeman went on to set a world record in the short course 50 metres freestyle. It was subsequently broken by France’s Amaury Leveaux. Later in the year they recorded record victories over three of the rugby world’s leading rugby powers. At Ellis Park, the Springboks crushed Argentina 63-9. At the same venue, they drilled Australia 53-8. Then, on their end of year tour of the United Kingdom, they handed England their worst ever loss at Twickenham, triumphing 42-6. Mitchell’s career record 46 wins, one loss and two draws. He successfully defended his WBA junior lightweight title 12 times and also won the IBF title. He was a world champion from 1986 to 1991. But back to Beijing. Trevor Wilkinson won the men’s 45-49 title, Michael Bester topped the 55-59 age group, and John Irving won the 75-plus category. Pierre Roodt was runner-up in the 50-54 category. Immelman took the first round lead with Johannesburg-born Justin Rose – the man he had out-duelled for the Nedbank Challenge title, with a four-under-par 68. He won three times on the seven-stop series, taking victories at Fort William, Mont Saint Anne and Canberra. Jean Grainger won the women’s 65-69 title, beating fellow South African Antoinette Morris 9-0, 9-3, 9-1 to win the title, while Averil Heath won the 70-plus category. Hank McGregor won the men’s title for the second time, while Alexa Cole won the women’s title as SA claimed four of the top five women’s places. Highly regarded as both a cricketer and a person, in May, Pollock was voted onto the MCC World Cricket Committee, a prestigious group of 18 former cricketers, whose goal it is to safeguard the values of cricket, including aspects relating to the laws or spirit of the game. During 2008, Rattray recorded 13 podium finishes out of a possible 15 and also won four grands prix. Shaun Pollock retiresAt the beginning of the year, Shaun Pollock retired after the tour by the West Indies. He completed his test career with 3 781 runs and 421 wickets, the most wickets ever by a South African and the eighth most in the history of cricket. Pollock also scored 3 519 runs and claimed 393 wickets in one-day internationals.last_img read more

IDC secures $50m Chinese loan

first_img20 May 2009 “We see our facility with the IDC as a milestone for our mutually beneficial relationship, and look forward to further enhancing our cooperation in the near future.” Last week, the IDC secured a €60-million (about R690.9-million) credit line from the European Investment Bank to finance viable projects by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the industrial, resources and services sectors. CCB-Johannesburg GM Yimin He said he believed it was important for the local CCB branch to play a support role for business in South Africa, in light of the negative impacts of the global economic downturn. “Over the past year, our units have been receiving an unprecedented amount of applications, so we have seen it fit to also go out and source funding so that we can increase our capacity to lend,” Qhena said in a statement this week. ‘Long-lasting relationship’ While this is the first facility the IDC has had with the China Construction Bank, which has a local office in Johannesburg, Qhena said it was a first step towards establishing a long-lasting relationship with the Chinese lender. “We also have an export loan book, which we believe this CCB loan will assist in recapitalising, since the demand for export funding has also increased from our front.” South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation has received a US$50-million (about R422.2-million) loan from the China Construction Bank (CCB), which it will use to increase its general lending capacity and recapitalise its export finance book. IDC chief executive Geoffrey Qhena said demand for lending had increased tremendously due to the global economic downturn, prompting the state-owned lender to source funding from the international market. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

One chance to save sharks

first_imgThe spotted ragged-tooth shark is also known as the grey nurse shark. (Image: Wikimedia) Grant Smith and his uncle Trevor Krull used to run a shark tourism operation in Protea Banks, KwaZulu-Natal, a few years ago.They regularly took local and international scuba divers out on deep sea shark dives and became well-acquainted with the Zambezi and spotted ragged-tooth sharks that lived among the rocky reefs, naming the regulars and welcoming the raggies back from their winter stay in the Eastern Cape.Diving with sharks brought a sense of close interaction with nature, which Smith likens to viewing a lion in a game park from the safety of a vehicle. It is “something very special” to see how animals approach each other under water or to have a large predator swimming straight up to you, he says.However, back on land he often had to witness fishermen cutting out the jaws of the sharks he knew so intimately. Appalled and distressed by this practice, Smith and Krull decided to start Sharklife, a not-for-profit organisation that actively addresses the exploitation of sharks and ocean fisheries in South African waters.Healthy and diverseSmith says there is little scientific data on the shark life in South African seas, but anecdotal evidence paints a healthy and diverse picture.However, he says there is no legislation in place to prevent the hunting to near extinction of unprotected shark species, such as the large ragged-tooth sharks and stocky Zambezi or bull sharks, as recreational fishing permits currently allow fishermen to kill up to 10 different sharks a day.He says the organisation would like to see legislation in place that prevents the same occurrence as in Australia where “everybody wanted to kill a raggie in the eighties”, leaving only a couple of hundred ragged-tooth sharks to live and breed in their national waters – a number too low to achieve any replacement of the tens of thousands that were lost.“You can’t make this mistake,” says Smith. “We only have one shot at saving them.”One of Sharklife’s most pressing projects is the protection of pregnant ragged-tooth sharks (Carcharias taurus) in KwaZulu-Natal’s Isimangaliso Wetland Park, formerly the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park. This famous area was South Africa’s first World Heritage Site, and here pregnant females relax in the warm water from December to March during their gestation period.Smith says the ragged-tooth sharks are at risk at this point as the killing of a female implies the killing of her pups too, while the birth of young raggies has to be sustained to ensure a stable shark population. The ragged-tooth shark is listed as vulnerable on the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.The protection of these sharks is also important for marine tourism in the area, which sees 66 000 to 100 000 deep sea dives per year in Sodwana Bay, located within Isimangaliso. Divers come here from all over the world to mingle with raggies and other sharks.Smith feels it is a “glaring oversight” that the pregnant raggies can legally be hunted in the bay at a rate of one shark per day, but he says the Isimangaliso Park Authority has recently committed to the drafting of new regulations to protect these animals.Sharklife will continue to canvass for the new regulations until they are signed into law.While there has been a massive increase in global awareness of sharks over the last five to six years, Sharklife also runs education programmes aimed mainly at divers, to raise their level of knowledge and understanding of sharks. Next year the organisation is planning to launch e-learning courses aimed at the overseas market.Shark diving in South AfricaSouth Africa has an established and successful shark diving industry. The country’s white shark diving is rated the best in the world, it is among the top three destinations for tiger shark diving, and ragged-tooth shark diving, available in the Cape as well as KwaZulu-Natal’s Aliwal Shoal, Protea Banks and Sodwana Bay, is among the best anywhere.Protea Banks is rated as one of the top shark dive sites in the world, especially for the serious adventure seeker, while Aliwal Shoal features in the top 10 general dive sites in the world and Sodwana Bay offers a large variety of marine life and ocean topography. South Africa’s coelacanth population, a fish species once feared extinct, is located off Sodwana Bay’s shore.Further south, approximately 100 000 white shark cage dives take place every year in locations around Gansbaai, a coastal resort near Hermanus in the Western Cape, and in False Bay near Cape Town. Divers pay R1 000 (US$145) for the thrill of one dive amongst the marine predators.White sharks are fully protected around the South African coast because of their high ecotourism value. Tiger sharks are protected in Aliwal Shoal and bring in R11-million ($1.6-million) a year for the tourism industry. Ragged-tooth and Zambezi sharks are only protected along seven kilometres of seas in Aliwal Shoal.Smith says there is growing interest in shark diving in South Africa from adventurers around the world. This is due to the country’s diverse shark life, its geographic accessibility, and the consistency of shark sightings in our national waters.Shark diving not only serves the tourism industry, but also contributes to conservation since it helps to teach people about sharks and their behaviour.As Smith says, “It changes people’s perceptions of sharks from ominous to magnificent.”Sharklife is supported by its members whose monthly membership fee of R25 ($3.6) helps with the organisation’s operations. More information, and the organisation’s bank details for potential donors, are available on the website.last_img read more

How San Leandro is using IoT to transform itself

first_imgSmall Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Tags:#California#energy#Internet of Things#IoT#San Leandro#Smart Cities Related Posts Follow the Puckcenter_img David Curry San Leandro, a suburban city in California, plans to integrate a 10-gigabit fiber loop into public infrastructure and services, in a move to evolve the city from its industrial roots.The fiber loop is capable of connecting thousands of Internet of Things (IoT) devices together, sending all the data back to servers where it can be analyzed.See Also: California parking garage operator prepares for self-driving revolutionThe city’s LED streetlights and controlled irrigation are already connected to the IoT system. The LED lights are expected to save $8 million in the next 15 years and will reduce San Leandro’s dependence on nonrenewable energy.“Smart city and IoT technologies are important because they’re going to enable us to gather data about things we couldn’t know about in the past, which allows us to make better decisions,” said Debbie Acosta, the city’s chief information officer, to StateScoop.San Leandro is planning two new projects using the IoT system, a distributed energy network and an infrastructure project to connect all the city’s services.The energy network will connect the electric grid to hundreds of solar panels across the city. Connected devices assess how much energy is created and sorted in a building, and any excess can be redistributed to other buildings.Big energy boostsExcessive energy creation from solar panels has already caused the price of electricity to plummet in California. A way to distribute the energy more evenly could reduce the frequency of blackouts and potentially make San Leandro 100 percent renewable.San Leandro’s longer term plan, dubbed the ‘fiber master plan’, aims to integrate all sorts of applications and services into the IoT system. The massive collection of data could provide all sorts of advantages to the city.At the present time, the city is looking for guidance on how to design the fiber network, monetize it, and integrate IoT and wireless networks into it.The U.S. Economic Development Administration provided the $2.1 million grant to get the fiber loop built and the California Energy Commission is sending $1.5 million to the energy network. If all goes well, the city might receive an $8 million grant in 2018 to continue building out the network. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaceslast_img read more

Look Away! Practical Horror Effects in Classic Films

first_imgCelebrate the remake of Poltergeist with this ghastly collection of classic practical horror effects!The original Poltergeist scared (and scarred) a generation with its gruesome practical horror effects and chilling imagery. Frankly, it ruined me forever on demonic clowns, carnivorous trees, and Native American burial grounds. This week sees the release of the Poltergeist remake starring Sam Rockwell. We doubt that this new version will be as reliant on practical effects, and that’s fine… Because we’ll always have the classic gore of the 70s and 80s. Below, you’ll find ten grisly examples of a lost art: Practical horror effects, crafted by hand and designed to disturb. These legendary practical horror effects inspired many a filmmaker, especially considering that a lot of these practical horror effects could be replicated in a suburban garage after a trip to the hardware store.A word of warning before we begin…  This content is way more graphic than what we usually share here on PremiumBeat, but we feel like the creativity, ingenuity, and imagination that went into these scenes is second to none. These videos are not for the faint of heart. Squeamish readers are advised to proceed with caution! Enjoy!Poltergeist: That’s Gonna Leave a MarkThis scene is disgusting. It starts with a maggot-infested steak and ends with a guy tearing his own face off. It’s worth pointing out that the hands digging into actor Martin Casella’s flesh belong to none other than Steven Spielberg!Alien: Introducing the ChestbursterThis scene played a big part in Alien winning the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Ridley Scott shot this in one take using four cameras for coverage and for good reason. John Hurt’s artificial torso was filled with cow blood and guts — and legend has it that the actors were not informed as to how messy the scene would be. The result? Legit reactions of shock from the cast. Well played, Ridley Scott. Well played. An American Werewolf in London: The TransformationAn American Werewolf in London won Rick Baker the Oscar for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup. In fact, he was actually the first person to ever win the award. The following clip will show you why. The Fly: The Brundlefly Falls ApartSpecial effects wizard Chris Walas won the Oscar for turning Jeff Goldblum into a throbbing lump of insectoid gore. Some might consider that to be his greatest achievement, but I disagree. The reason: Walas created the Gremlins!John Carpenter’s The Thing: The Defibrillator SceneThe effects in this scene were created by Rob Bottin, who was mentored by Rick Baker. Clearly the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Bottin didn’t win the Oscar for his iconic work on The Thing. In fact, he wasn’t even nominated. Instead, the Academy gave the special effects award to the Daryl Hannah caveman film Quest for Fire.  Scanners: You’re Blowing My MindThis brief moment from David Cronenberg’s 1981 psychic horror film Scanners has lived on as a gif and a meme. To create the cranial catastrophe, special effects mastermind Dick Smith filled a fake head full of dog food and rabbit livers and then shot it with a shotgun. Which sounds like a pretty sweet way to spend an afternoon.Raiders of the Lost Ark: Melting NazisSure, technically Raiders of the Lost Ark isn’t a horror film. But try telling that to six-year-old me in 1981 after I saw this scene. I strongly encourage you to spend a few minutes reading this page, where the special effects team discusses the ins and outs of making Nazis melt.If you’re interested in more behind-the-scenes practical effects magic, be sure to check out the following articles on PremiumBeat:Top 10 Best and Worst Practical Effects in Movie HistoryThe Old School Practical Effects of the Star Wars UniverseCineFix Presents a Collection of the Best Visual EffectsWhat’s your favorite scary movie? What’s the most disgusting effect you’ve ever seen in a film? Share in the comments below!last_img read more