She said residents in the Monmouth Hills section have shown no interest in initiating a storm-water remediation project with Highlands and Middletown. Gonzales said another related issue is Jones Creek, a body of water that feeds into Raritan Bay and gets filled with three to four feet of silt from Monmouth Hills during those bad rain storms. Each time that happens, the borough has to pay Monmouth County $3,000 to $4,000 to clean out the creek and haul the material away, she said. Route 36, a state highway that is a critical artery for that part of the county, most recently had to be closed July 6, O’Neil said. Rerouted traffic through other parts of Highlands causes congestion, he said. “We have to figure something out,” Gonzales said. “And it’s a matter of public safety now. You have cars that (are) breaking down in this water that they’re going through because you would never think that there would just be this pool of water on the highway.” The problem has been happening for a while but has gotten worse lately, he said. Earlier this year, the state planted grass on a median at the top of Water witch Avenue, which retained the water to the eastbound side of Route 36, O’Neil said. That keeps the whole road from flooding. “And sometimes when the water can’t be taken by the storm drains on 36, it floods out and it covers the road with the mud and the dirt,” he said. “And then when the water finally drains, the sediment is left in the street and it’s too deep to drive through.” Highlands Mayor Rick O’Neil said the problem happens when the borough is hit with deluges of rain lasting 10 to 15 minutes. Along with the water, runoff from the Monmouth Hills section of Middletown leaves three or four inches of “muck,” he said. The flooding problem also impacts the local economy. “NJDOT is aware of the flooding that occurs on Route 36 in Highlands near Water witch Avenue,” said DOT spokesman Stephen Schapiro. “The Department is working with local officials from both Highlands and Middletown, as well as Monmouth County and the Department of Environmental Protection to explore possible solutions.” Monmouth Hills has state historic preservation protection. That means “there are certain things they cannot be told to do by their municipality or local government,” Highlands borough administrator Kim Gonzales said. Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone said he wants to see the DOT do a better job of repairing state roads in Monmouth. Last week the county repaired potholes on Sylvania Avenue, a state road in Neptune City, despite having contacted the state numerous times without action being taken, Arnone said. Local and state officials met last week on the flooding problem. “So this has been an issue ongoing for Highlands for many years,” said Gonzales. “Their storm system is not up to par. If it was a municipality taking care of it, they’d have to do improvements.” HIGHLANDS – Route 36 in Highlands has to be closed when fast-moving rainstorms bring flooding and runoff from a historic district in nearby Middletown, a problem that local and state officials are looking to address. By Philip Sean Curran “We actually have businesses that have to close because they flood out,” she said. ‘The water comes down so heavy and hard.” Gonzales said the borough has to call out the state Department of Transportation to clean out the highway to remove the debris. Three weeks ago, the Middletown Fire Department had to rescue a motorist and child from a stalled car that had gone into deep water in Middle- town. Gonzales said. “You just can’t even imagine until you see it,” she said of the volume of silt that goes into the creek. “We’re trying to figure out the best way to solve the issue,” said Assembly- woman Serena DiMaso (R-13), who represents Highlands. “From what I understand, the state DOT and DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) will be the ones who make the final decision.” Gonzales noted that Middletown has also had weather-related closures of Route 36. Middletown officials say they will attend a meeting with Highlands and state officials Aug. 8. “I was watching cars dangerously, dangerously go over these potholes there,” Arnone said. “It was alarmingly bad.” “But it keeps all the silt and the stone and the de- bris on the eastbound side,” he said. “It gets too deep to drive through at times.” Access Property Management, the property management firm for Monmouth Hills, had no comment July 15. He said he wants the DOT to cooperate better with county officials to review road concerns.
LANCASTER– Sheriff’s homicide investigators are trying to determine who killed an African American man early this morning. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department received a call at 3 a.m. today about a dead body on 1400 block of West Jackman Street, according to Deputy Maribel Rizo. Deputies found the man and he was pronounced dead at the scene shortly thereafter. Homicide investigators are currently on scene, trying to determine what happened. For more information on local cops and crime news, check out It’s a Crime. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Much as astrobiologists would like to see the birth of a new planet, the ones we observe seem to be dying, not being born.“Newly found planet may turn into dust,” reads a headline on NASA’s Astrobiology Net. This does not bode well for any inhabitants the astrobiologists would like to meet. Echoing a press release from MIT, the article described how a planet around a star 1,500 light-years away appears to have a comet-like tail, evidence of a cloud of dust following the planet as it disintegrates. The press release includes a 40-second animation of how the “doomed world” is shedding its material, and ends with this statement:“This might be another way in which planets are eventually doomed,” says Fabrycky, who was not involved in the research. “A lot of research has come to the conclusion that planets are not eternal objects, they can die extraordinary deaths, and this might be a case where the planet might evaporate entirely in the future.”PhysOrg today described another place where planets are doomed. Too remote to be observed directly, this system’s dust disk appears to be tugged at by a black hole at the galactic center. No need to worry about the inhabitants there; there aren’t any. “Yet, even if planets do form, living near a supermassive black hole is still not a hospitable place for life,” the article said. “The extreme amounts of UV radiation emitted as the black hole devours gas and dust is likely to sterilize the region.”As referenced in the May 14 entry, New Scientist warned that dust disks around stars can no longer be assumed as planet maternity wards. “Dust rings not ‘smoking gun’ for planets after all,” wrote Maggie McKee. (Sorry for the unfortunate mixed metaphors; the thought of a smoking gun in a maternity ward may be disturbing – unless nothing was being born there in the first place.) The dust surrounding a star can form sharply-defined rings without congealing into a paradise for aliens.Astrobiologists and planet hunters have a new worry announced in Nature today:1 “Startling superflares.” Bradley Schaefer, referencing a study done by the Kepler Spacecraft team published in the same issue of Nature,2 said, “Stars that are just like our Sun have flares more than a million times more energetic than the biggest flare ever seen on the Sun.” A couple of minutes of exposure to one of these flares would doom the Earth, but some of these flares from other sun-like stars can last for half a day or several days. The astronomers found no correlation of superflares with hot Jupiters or with rotation rates, leaving them clueless about the causes of the flares.Statistically, superflares are not common on sun-like stars. Nevertheless, our sun is special, as Schaefer explained:The possibility that the Sun has superflares is not realized. Historical and geophysical records show that the Sun has not had any superflares in the past two millennia, and no superflares with more than roughly 1036 erg for perhaps a billion years. Maehara et al. show that only 0.2% of Sun-like stars have superflares, so it is unlikely that the Sun has such events. With their average rate of occurrence (once every 100 days for 1035-erg flares) and their observed size distribution (with a power-law index of roughly −2.0), the expected frequency of 1032-erg flares on all superflare stars should be very high. In stark contrast to this, the Sun has one 1032-erg event roughly every 450 years and so is completely different from superflare stars.While recognizing the deadly force of a superflare, Schaefer exercised a vivid imagination by thinking of ways they might be good for evolution:Superflares have implications far beyond being just a challenge for stellar physics. If a superflare’s energy is linked to the orbital energy of a hot Jupiter, then three events a year on the star would make its planetary companion spiral in towards it on a timescale of a billion years. The huge energy output of superflares could make any planets around the star uninhabitable for far-future human colonization, and astrobiologists will have to consider the effect of the superflares on possible alien life. Superflares might provide the high-energy radiation required to create organic molecules, so perhaps superflare systems are a good place to look for alien life that has evolved to avoid the effects of the huge flares.1. Bradley Schaefer, “Startling superflares,” Nature 485 (24 May 2012), pp. 456–457, doi:10.1038/nature11194.2. Maehera et al., “Superflares on solar-type stars,” Nature 485 (24 May 2012), doi:10.1038/nature11063.Preach it, Bradley; Darwin comes to the rescue to create aliens that evolve the ability to avoid being fried to a crisp. Why not test your idea by looking for imaginary friends on Venus or the Sun?The findings do not support the bottom-up view that everything emerges from nothing. Instead, they are consistent with the top-down view of the universe: the universe, stars and planets were created perfect and are degenerating under entropy. Planets and stars are not being formed now; they are disrupting and getting fried. Were it not for providential design of our star and planet, it could happen to us, too.The findings are also consistent with the Privileged Planet hypothesis of Jay Richards and Guillermo Gonzalez, that our planet was designed for life and for scientific discovery. The only place in the universe we know about where sentient beings can observe distant stars and see that they have superflares is Earth. Those same beings can notice that our sun is remarkably stable and life-sustaining.Intelligent design, of course, is not at all surprising to Biblical creationists who read the words of Isaiah, revealing God’s purpose in making the Earth:For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:18)With great privilege comes great responsibility, as the Lord, speaking through Isaiah, continued in the next verses (referring back to Genesis 1 as His revelation):Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. (Isaiah 45:21-24) (Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
The bad fruits of Social Darwinism are well known. Less well known are ongoing negative influences of modern Darwinian ideas on human behavior.How Do You Correct Behavior Based on Fake Science?Have you been led to believe that men are naturally more promiscuous because sperm cells are cheap? that women are more choosy because eggs are costly? It’s all bunk. Phys.org just published the following headline: “Data should smash the biological myth of promiscuous males and sexually coy females.” That’s strong wording: smash, myth. New findings are teaching the opposite: men can be coy, and women promiscuous. But both ideas, being based on Darwinian ideas that people are just animals, can have unspeakably horrible consequences for marriage, family, and civilization.The article is merciless in its attack on this myth:These ideas, which are pervasive in Western culture, also have served as the cornerstone for the evolutionary study of sexual selection, sex differences and sex roles among animals. Only recently have some scientists – fortified with modern data – begun to question their underlying assumptions and the resulting paradigm.If Thomas Kuhn were still living, he would have here a great new illustration of his theory of paradigm shifts and scientific revolutions. The article fingers Charles Darwin himself as the mastermind of this fake science. His disciples took it and ran with it.These simple assumptions are based, in part, on the differences in size and presumed energy cost of producing sperm versus eggs – a contrast that we biologists call anisogamy. Charles Darwin was the first to allude to anisogamy as a possible explanation for male-female differences in sexual behavior.His brief mention was ultimately expanded by others into the idea that because males produce millions of cheap sperm, they can mate with many different females without incurring a biological cost. Conversely, females produce relatively few “expensive,” nutrient-containing eggs; they should be highly selective and mate only with one “best male.” He, of course, would provide more than enough sperm to fertilize all a female’s eggs.Surely this notion was tested, right? The article explains how Angus Bateman, a botanist, ran some experiments one time in 1948 on fruit flies (not human fly-by-nighters). Telling a whopper from this miniscule test, he alleged that the promiscuous-male-choosy-female scenario “was a near-universal characteristic of all sexually reproducing species.” In 1972, Robert Trivers amplified on the idea, talking about males’ “cheap investment” in sperm. Read the following quote, and think about what sexually active guys in dorm rooms are supposed to think about normal behavior after evolutionary biology class:In other words, females evolved to choose males prudently and mate with only one superior male; males evolved to mate indiscriminately with as many females as possible. Trivers believed that this pattern is true for the great majority of sexual species.The problem is, it isn’t true! The article explains many counter-examples. Men have just as much reason to be careful about their sex cells. It’s not the number; it’s the biological cost, the article explains. Semen contains many compounds that are expensive to produce. Men can run out of sperm. Consequently, males have every reason to be “choosy” about mating, too. Think of the consequences of poorly-tested bad ideas:The problem is, modern data simply don’t support most of Bateman’s and Trivers’ predictions and assumptions. But that didn’t stop “Bateman’s Principle” from influencing evolutionary thought for decades.Now get this: the article—still founded on evolutionary notions that people are just animals—makes matters even worse. Based on the latest Darwinian notions about sex, the article claims that females tend to be just as promiscuous as males. Think about how that will influence college students!If you think nobody teaches “Bateman’s Principle” any more these days, look at another post on Phys.org that came about the same time, like two ships passing in the night. Steiner Branslet writes about “One night stand regrets.” Another study supposedly shows that women have more regrets than men about casual sex. Look what it’s based on:“Women and men differ fundamentally in their sexual psychology,” says Professor Buss. “A key limitation on men’s reproductive success, historically, has been sexual access to fertile women. These evolutionary selection pressures have created a male sexual mind that is attentive to sexual opportunities.“The quality of one’s sexual partner in short-term relationships plays a lesser role biologically for men. Assuming women did not avoid having sex with them, men who ran from woman to woman and got them pregnant would have scored best in the evolutionary race.Sounds like Bateman’s Principle, right? Sure. Men just act the way evolution makes them act. “Female choice—deciding when, where, and with whom to have sex— is perhaps the most fundamental principle of women’s sexual psychology,” says one of the evolutionists in the article, referring implicitly to the views of Darwin, Bateman and Trivers. How about the guys? “These evolutionary selection pressures have created a male sexual mind that is attentive to sexual opportunities.”Take these quotes and apply them to the dormitory. Think of all the blessed effects on marriage and family down the line; after all, “Culture does not change biology,” this article admonishes. We can’t fight natural selection. Nor should we.An overall explanation presumably lies in the fundamental differences between men and women.The study results support theories of parental investment and sexual strategy: men and women have throughout generations invested differently in their relationships and any children that resulted.We’re talking evolution psychology here.Of course, if humans are more than mere animals, the whole conversation is fake science. We have comprehensive instructions from an all-wise Creator on how we are are to choose our sexual behaviors. But to the consensus, that doesn’t qualify as science. They feel we must derive our sexual ethics from the blind processes of natural selection, which couldn’t care a whit about morals.Other Darwin Fake Science with Evil FruitBateman’s Principle is not the only example of fake science that corrupts culture. Here are more interested readers can investigate:Social Darwinism in 2017. Can you get away with racism today? Evolutionists appear to have no qualms. In a PNAS paper entitled, “Selection against variants in the genome associated with educational attainment,” no less than 15 evolutionists claim that Icelanders with less education have more kids. “The rate of decrease is small per generation but marked on an evolutionary timescale,” they say. “Another important observation is that the association between the score and fertility remains highly significant after adjusting for the educational attainment of the individuals.” Figure this conundrum out: “This is thus a striking case where a variant associated with a phenotype typically regarded as unfavorable could nonetheless be also associated with increased ‘fitness’ in the evolutionary sense.” Well, if that’s the case, might as well go with the flow. Quit school and have more sex. Darwinism is as Darwinism does.Myth-busting Neanderthal narrative takes decades. A lengthy piece in the New York Times shows how long it has taken to overcome what CEH calls “historical racism,” the myth that fossil humans were “other” than human. That’s why we give them other species names, like Homo neanderthalensis. NY Times reporter Jon Mooallem interviews the work of Clive Finlayson at Gibraltar who shows many reasons why “Neanderthals were people, too.” He tells how Frenchman Marcellin Boule in 1911 propagated the Neanderthal myth of stoop-shouldered, beetle-browed imbeciles on their way to the cave cookout. “A lot of what he said was wrong,” Mooallem finds from Finlayson. “Still, Boule’s influence was long-lasting. Over the years, his ideologically tainted image of Neanderthals was often refracted through the lens of other ideologies, occasionally racist ones.”LGBT tales. The inverse influence of culture on science is a fascinating area of philosophy. Check for it in a book review in Science Magazine this week, where Sheri Berenbaum wrestles with the normality of deviant gender roles while reviewing Cordelia Fine’s new book, Testosterone Rex Myths of Sex, Science, and Society (Norton, 2017). Approach this quote like a qualified observer of social influences on science, paying attention to Berebaum’s use of culturally-popular buzzphrases as she plays the academic “On the one hand this, but on the other hand that” game:I welcome and applaud Fine’s efforts to ground policy in science and to spotlight the false reasoning and dichotomies that appear in popular books and some policies (such as single-sex education). I also recognize (and regret) the long history—and present—of using biology to justify inferior treatment of women. This no doubt contributes to resistance to evidence of biological differences among those seeking gender equality.The challenge is not to dismiss biological explanations of sex differences but to articulate clearly their implications. We can accept that biology contributes to behavioral sex differences and simultaneously argue that gender inequalities are not intractable. Rather than rejecting biological differences, we must seek to reveal the nonsense in the arguments that brain and behavioral sex differences justify discrimination, segregation, and differential treatment of the sexes.Shocking but true. At Live Science, Jonathan Sadowsky of Case Western Reserve University tells about “the wild history of electroconvulsive therapy.” Early shock treatments were horrifying to watch; modern ones are milder, he says. While not directly tied to Darwinian theory, this article assumes the brain is merely a physical organ, and that shocking it with electrical impulses can help with “mental illnesses” that are assumed to be mere biological abnormalities. While some forms of depression have biological causes, what about mental illnesses that have a spiritual root or stem from true guilt? The following quote shows how scientific thinking is often tied to the culture of the day. This example is from the 1950s. Are scientists today culpable of such “medicalizing behavior”?At that time, ECT was also used as a “treatment” for homosexuality, then considered by psychiatrists to be an illness. This was not a major part of ECT practice, but this is not a comfort to gay people who received the treatment, for whom it could be traumatizing. The psychiatrists who used ECT in this way sincerely believed they were trying to help sick people, which serves as a warning against “medicalizing” behavior, and assuming that this will reduce stigma. This use of ECT did not last, in part because there was no evidence it did alter anyone’s sexuality. But it survived in the social memory of the therapy.Punish nations with carbon penance. Nature‘s editorial this week says, “Base the social cost of carbon on the science.” The very title assumes that science can speak definitively on something as global as climate a hundred years from now, when we can’t even predict the weather 15 days out. New unknowns and revisions come out weekly, as we have reported (1/18/17); just today, Phys.org said that humans, not climate, caused the extinction of megafauna in Australia 45,000 Darwin years ago. While not tied to Darwinian evolution directly, this editorial shares the assumptions of scientism and millions of years. Nature‘s anti-Trumpism comes out again in the article, accusing the new US president and his appointees of “disregard for science” even though the Editors acknowledge, “There is, of course, plenty of room for debate.”Fake science and false certainty. In closing, we should consider the views of a Worldview op-ed column in Nature: “Anita Makri argues that the form of science communicated in popular media leaves the public vulnerable to false certainty.” Yet she argues that scientists should “Give the public the tools to trust scientists.” Mouthing Pontius Pilate, she begins, “What is truth?” Of the two groups she works in that are concerned with truth (scientists and journalists), she believes that journalists are doing a good job (despite all the evidence for fake news in the mainstream media, complained about by conservatives, like Breitbart News; see also Breitbart’s report on BBC’s admission they’ve been biased; meanwhile, New Scientist is overtly publishing a very biased and unscientific series, “Resisting Trump”). But “Scientists need to catch up, or they risk further marginalization in a society that is increasingly weighing evidence and making decisions without them.” Science is “losing its relevance as a source of truth,” she worries.Yet further reading reveals her faith in scientism. The only purveyors of fake news are the conservatives, she suggests with a link to another Nature story accusing Breitbart News of that. To Makri, scientists don’t tell lies; they just don’t have all the facts yet. Scientists may have gaps in their knowledge, but it will eventually catch up to the truth, because in scientism, science works as a truth generator in due time—the most reliable truth generator in the world. “Current debates about truth are far from trivial,” she ends. “More scientists and communicators of science need to get involved, update practices and reposition themselves in a way that gets with the times and shows that science matters — while it still does.” In other words, scientists don’t have a truth problem; just a talking points problem (echoed in Nature‘s interviews with three scientists about how to solve “post-truth predicaments”). One wonders what would be these “experts”‘ responses to the paradigms above about promiscuity, Neanderthals, electroshock therapy, racism and the other matters that have really hurt real people under the guise of “scientific truth.”After the historical and current examples we listed above, do you trust scientists when it comes to their pronouncements about how people should live and behave? Jesus said it succinctly with timeless wisdom: “You will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15-20). A species puts out what is in its genes.One scientist wrote a letter to Nature that bears quoting. “Beware of scientists wielding red pens,” he titles his comment about censorship.By inviting scientists to take their ‘red pens to the Internet’ and grade online sources of science reporting, Phil Williamson implies that science is the primary and final voice in public discussion (Nature 540, 171; 2016). This disregards other ways in which people make sense of their lives through political debate, social context, personal connections or beliefs (see also D. Sarewitz Nature 522, 413–414; 2015). It stems from the naive myth of science as a disinterested producer of neutral truths.Science has a delicate relationship with society. Both have the right to speak and both shape one another — for better or worse. Governance and government rely increasingly on a science that is embedded in socio-political arenas populated by scientists, policymakers and citizens, among others. Not every expertise is equally credible, but a democratic society should allow each one to have a voice.To discredit them online may feel like defending the honour and public status of science, but it is a form of censorship. Science cannot impose its truths through power play — it must convince through symmetrical and open conversation. Whoa! Did you get that?In that second link, Sarewitz had said this:Scientists are not elected. They cannot represent the cultural values, politics and interests of citizens — not least because their values may differ significantly from those of people in other walks of life. A 2007 study on the social implications of nanotechnology, for instance, showed that nanoscientists had little concern about such technologies eliminating jobs, whereas the public was greatly concerned (see ‘A matter of perspective’). Each group was being rational. Nanoscientists have good reason to be optimistic about the opportunities created by technological frontiers; citizens can be justifiably worried that such frontiers will wreak havoc on labour markets. Unfortunately, such voices of reason are often drowned out by Big Scientism.(Visited 133 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
State hospitals are severely under-staffed due to the strike, which broke out in mid-August 2010.(Image: Institute for International Medicine) Industrial washers seemed to groan and belch from the heavy load of blankets. After being washed, the sheets were fed through giant rollers. (Images: Nicky Rehbock) MEDIA CONTACTS • National Department of Health +27 12 312 0546 RELATED ARTICLES • Soweto to get a second state hospital • US mission helps out in rural KZN • Rural health gets R9m boost • Healthcare in South AfricaNicky RehbockI’ve always been fascinated by state hospitals in South Africa – those not-so-glamorous places where not-so-well-paid doctors, nurses and support staff work tirelessly to treat the millions who cannot afford private healthcare.These places are a sort of microcosm of the country: dedication and altruism existing alongside poverty, desperation and inequality. But in between all this, most of the time, the system chugs along.It’s not ideal, and we still have a long way to go, but what must be acknowledged is that South Africa is still very much an evolving democracy and it might take a generation or two for the wrongs of the prejudiced apartheid system to be fully corrected. Quality, affordable healthcare for all is but one of the priorities.So when I heard about how the nationwide public sector strike, which began in mid-August 2010, was crippling state hospitals, and how the absence of nurses, cleaners, cooks and admin staff had brought the system to a halt, I decided to step in, and do what little I could to get it chugging along again.This was after the government called for volunteers to help out at those facilities worst hit by the strike. Local radio stations and online news publications gave out the relevant details, and it didn’t seem very complicated: simply show up when you could and do your bit.I had visions of myself feeding hungry babies, changing nappies, checking drips, making beds, giving out medicine and soothing the sick and dying. That would be really altruistic, I thought – almost as impressive as being a state doctor or nurse myself!But it didn’t happen. Instead, I was dispatched to the hospital laundry, far, far away from the dramatic scenes I had in mind. I was so disappointed and almost felt let down by those who issued the call for help in the first place. I mean, a laundry of all things! If I had wanted to do washing I would have just stayed at home!But I couldn’t exactly show up to help and then refuse to do the job that needed to be done, so I trudged along to the washing room – a noisy, rather depressing-looking place with monstrous, groaning machines and a steaming press that looked like it came out of the Industrial Revolution.First, I was asked to fold vast piles of scratchy, moth-eaten blankets. Then I was sent to the dryers to take out the hundreds of sheets, which needed to be spread out on a table so they could be fed into the giant press. Next, I whipped around to the other end to catch and re-fold the steaming linen that had been squeezed through the rollers.What I later found out is that this laundry services at least four other state hospitals in Gauteng, so that’s why there were so many intimidating heaps scattered about. Under normal circumstances it has 30 staff members, but 27 of these seemed to be part of the stay-away. Our team was made up of three full-time employees and a handful of volunteers.The helpers didn’t fit any particular stereotype: women and men, middle-aged and in their teens, wealthy and not so wealthy, black and white. I was really struck by this – such a spread of South Africans who threw themselves into the kind of job that has no status, no glamour, no payback.And they did it with such energy, commitment and determination – I learnt a valuable lesson from this. As I sorted and folded and tugged and stacked, I also developed deep respect for the individuals who usually have to do this kind of thankless, back-breaking work every day of their lives.Often, as a society, we moan and grumble about all that is wrong and unjust on the outside, but hidden, in the most unlikely places, is a wealth of goodness – and that is what makes this country the special place it is.
23 January 2013A South African entrepreneur is providing residents from some of the country’s most impoverished areas with an opportunity to access the internet and learn about computers.Luvuyo Rani’s Silulo Ulutho Internet Cafe, which started out as a small business in Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats, is changing the lives of students and adults who would otherwise have no opportunity to become computer literate.Since 2004, when Rani first opened the business with his brother and a friend, the demand for Silulo Ulutho’s services has grown so much that he’s opened 18 stores in Khayelitsha and five in the Eastern Cape – in Queenstown, Butterworth, Mthatha and East London.Through these centres at least 10 000 students have been educated, right up to advanced computer literacy programmes.‘Thinking out of the boot’It all started eight years ago when Rani, who worked as a teacher in Khayelitsha for five years, started selling refurbished computers out of the boot of his car in the Western Cape township.Little did he know that his creative idea would grow to become a successful and award-winning business.“People told me I was crazy,” Rani says, who started the business without any funding.But he had a dream, and he was determined to make it work.“I always knew it would work because I saw then, and still see now, many opportunities in the ICT sector in the townships,” he says.“We are actually overwhelmed by the response. People are hungry to learn, and are hungry to access the internet.”A teacher turned social entrepreneur“At the time when I was teaching, the Department of Education was just starting to introduce Outcomes Based Education, and teachers needed computers,” he says. But soon after selling the computers, Rani found out that the teachers weren’t using them at all.“They were gathering dust and this bothered me,” he says. “The teachers had no skills to use them, and they didn’t have access to the internet.”This is what sparked his idea to start a business that would give people in Khayelitsha access to the internet and teach them how to use computers as well as how to access the information stored on the web.Within a year of starting up, he won best entrepreneur in the Western Cape. “And then it all grew very, very fast,” he recalls.Initially, his main goal was to use the facility as a computer skills training venue for teachers, but soon the business started to meet a major need for computer services in Khayelitsha.“People needed help. They could operate Facebook, but didn’t have the skills to type out their own CVs. People couldn’t differentiate between a fax and e-mail,” he says.The absence of computer skills, or the technology and facilities to learn, is a dilemma for many people living in townships and remote areas in South Africa.“If you don’t have computer skills, you are at a disadvantage in the job market,” says Rani.To add to this predicament, people often have to travel long distances to an internet cafe to distribute their CVs when searching for jobs.“People have to do this at great expense and it takes a lot of time.”The Silulo Internet Cafe caters for both needs, and Rani has ensured that the pricing of his services are within reach of the majority of South Africans.An affordable service“What is central to my business model is affordability,” he says. “Our prices are low.” He believes that companies operating in emerging market economies should adjust their business models and profit expectations.“It is essential for entrepreneurs in these markets to be socially minded and not only profit-driven.”For just R6 (70 US cents), Rani’s customers can access the internet for one hour, whereas some internet cafes in the Eastern Cape charge as much as R30 ($3.38) an hour, R10 ($1.12) to send a fax and R3 (34 cents) for a photocopy.“This is simply unaffordable for most people,” he says. “Even if you just have R2 (23 cents), you can go onto the internet for 15 minutes,” he says.Silulo Ulutho operates in the Western and Eastern Cape, but in the future Rani would like to grow the business in other provinces, possibly through a franchise business model.“But the core must always remain that the business must benefit the community,” he says. “I am passionate about this.”In addition to internet cafe services, computer sales are still a core part of the business. Silulo offers IT support to assist customers with network connections, computer repairs, and maintenance, and software installation.As part of its computer sales division, Rani has entered into a partnership with mobile provider Vodacom. Customers who buy computers from Silulo can access prepaid internet services using a 3G connection from Vodacom, the dongle for which is part of the deal.More innovative thinkers for South AfricaRani believes there is nothing stopping more entrepreneurs from building successful businesses that can also impact society positively.“What we need is innovation. Young entrepreneurs must inspire and give hope to other young black people that they can do it if they work hard,” he says.He spoke out against entrepreneurs who want to achieve quick riches. “With transformation more people have been afforded opportunities, but this system is abused and people take shortcuts,” he says.He maintains the only way to grow a business is through hard work and commitment. “My advice to young entrepreneurs is to focus on your business and do it better than anyone else. Always maintain good business values, integrity and humility.”Thinking back on his childhood, Rani says he always had an interest in business. “My mother ran a tavern and I grew up in this environment which exposed me to entrepreneurship,” he says, remembering how he watched her run the business and interact with customers.“This shaped me more than anything.”First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.
Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#start#startups Related Posts dana oshiro 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… The folks at Boxee have certainly been busy. The streaming media software company celebrated a Windows release, a deal penned with Major League Baseball (complete with instant replay on games) and partnerships with Digg, Tumblr and Current TV. It was evident a year ago that this web TV company would see its share of success, but its greatest achievement is perhaps the product’s ability to rally an open-source developer community. This week Boxee announced its App Challenge winners in the video, music and photo categories. Below is a brief overview of the winning 3rd party applications. Video CategoryBBC Live (People’s Choice): Boxee-user Ian Tweedie was disappointed with the selection of Boxee applications available to those outside of the US. While UK-users could already access BBC’s iPlayer, Tweedie created BBC Live in just 10 hours to take the title as the first developer to bring live TV to European Boxee audiences. Says Tweedie, “I’m just a normal guy living in the UK trying my best to find a job whilst using my free time to learn and tryout fun new things… The dev challenge seemed the perfect excuse to dive in, because if TV isn’t electronic heaven, I don’t know what is.”OpenCourseWare (Judges’ Choice): Roshan Revankar created Boxee’s OpenCourseWare App to deliver MIT, Stanford and Berkeley open course video lectures to eager home learners. The app takes advantage of the plethora of course materials from universities with open license educational resources. As OCW has already been heralded as a great stride in the need for accessible education, it’s not surprising that Revankar’s Boxee app took the Judges’ Choice Award for video. Music CategoryDrop.io (People’s Choice):Drop.io and the Drop.io web applet Playlist.io are both well-known fixtures in the streaming music space. For this reason, Jon Steinberg saw a natural fit between the streaming music collaboration capabilities of Drop.io and the ease of Boxee. He hired developer Nick Perez to build DropBoxee and the duo won audience choice for an application that lets users share streaming music downloads in batches. We are Hunted (Judges’ Choice): Nick Dima built the We Are Hunted Boxee app as a way to bring the most popular songs from the web to Boxee audiences. Whereas HypeMachine streams music aggregated from top music blogs, We Are Hunted pulls from blogs as well as from Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and forums. Dima’s We Are Hunted app won accolades as a great tool for music discovery. Photo CategoryFacebook Photos (People’s and Judges’ Choice): UC Berkeley grad student Junda Liu scooped both the audience and judge’s choice for his Facebook Photos application. Says Liu, “I actually started the coding on Saturday afternoon and the app was almost done by Sunday night. Then on Monday, the Memorial Day, I polished the UI, took screen shots and wrote a brief readme.” The application allows users to view Facebook photos and albums as slide shows. Liu plans on further developing the application and asks that users test the app and vote on new features. All of the above applications are available in Boxee’s App Box. To download Boxee sign up on the home page and follow the instructions to install it.
Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Donald Wulfinghoff is an energy consultant who works in Maryland. In 2015, he published Super House, a 700-page book that explains how an ordinary person without architectural training can design a superinsulated home that (he claims) will use only 10% to 20% as much energy for heating and cooling as a conventional home.The book is lavishly illustrated and comprehensive. Right off the bat, the author shares his lack of respect for architects: on the first page, he writes, “Is it really possible for a person with no prior experience to design a home that is far ahead of contemporary residential architecture? It certainly is.”Even for readers who are put off by Wulfinghoff’s exaggerated energy savings predication or his architect-bashing, the book (at first glance) shows a lot of promise. Wulfinghoff is a big believer in superinsulation. Much of his advice aligns with recommendations from energy-efficiency researchers and experienced builders. For example:BOOK REVIEWS BY MARTIN HOLLADAYCarbon Emissions By the Construction IndustryHenry Gifford Publishes a BookIn Search of a DIY Guide to Rooftop PVBuilding Science Information for BuildersRural Construction Methods in Tropical CountriesBooks for Homeowners Interested in Saving EnergyNew Books on Green BuildingCarl and Abe Write a TextbookBooks on Insulation and Energy-Efficient BuildingThe Uncertain Future of Phoenix and Las VegasSo far, so good. The advice quoted above resembles advice from many experienced builders of high-performance homes.But once readers dig a little deeper into the book, they start to notice that much of Wulfinghoff’s advice is idiosyncratic. He’s like a cranky uncle with firmly held but arbitrary opinions:Some of these opinions are defensible, of course. But after a while, readers get the impression that Wulfinghoff’s personality is a little — how shall I put it? — inflexible.So… 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.
Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP Alab Pilipinas team for the 2017-2018 ABL Season. Photo from @alabpilipinas Twitter.Reggie Okosa, a 6-foot-10 center who has vast experience playing overseas, is Alab Pilipinas’ other import in the coming Asean Basketball League season.Okosa has had stints in Korea, China, Japan, Venezuela, Argentina and Mexico, but aside from his experience, new Alab coach Jimmy Alapag described Okosa as a versatile offensive player, who can score in variety of ways.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Alapag is banking on the two imports’ familiarity with each other to further build the team’s chemistry with the new season set on Nov. 17.Alab Pilipinas opens its campaign against defending champion Hong Kong on Nov. 19 at Mall of Asia Arena.The Philippines, which got swept by Singapore in last year’s semifinals, will also lean on the likes of reigning local MVP Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and former PBA veteran Dondon Hontiveros.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Michael Jordan scores again, this time with his Jumpman logo View comments Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:18Sangley airport to be operational in 7 days – Tugade03:46Lacson: PH lost about P161.5B tax revenue from big trading partners in 201701:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH READ: Hontiveros returns to action, joins Alab Pilipinas“He’s a veteran. He’s played all over the world from the CBA to the KBL to the Japanese league, he and Ivan actually competed with each other in the KBL a few seasons ago,” Alapag told INQUIRER.net, referring to his other reinforcement Ivan Johnson.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“He gives us another inside presence. A guy who’s capable of stepping outside and make shots but can also play with his back to the basket.”READ: Team owner: Alab PH poses biggest threat to Hong Kong 5 reign Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.