Eureka rides big 2nd inning to win

first_imgThe Eureka High softball team extended its winning streak to five games with an 8-5 win over visiting Fortuna, Wednesday afternoon at Eureka High in what was the first of a 3-game series between the two Big 5 Conference teams.Alexa Morehouse was the winning pitcher on Wednesday, getting the start for Eureka and lasting five innings during which the sophomore gave up two runs off five hits and five strikeouts. Salina Socha-wright recorded the save for her two innings of relief after relieving …last_img

Birds Excel in Distance, Harmony

first_imgBird feats are outstanding.  Two notable cases were announced this week:Air Marathon:  The longest animal migration in the animal kingdom is performed by the sooty shearwater, reported National Geographic News.  They migrate 40,000 miles a year from New Zealand to the North Pacific, in complex figure-eight patterns that touch the coasts of South America, California Alaska, Korea, Japan, New Zealand and almost to Antarctica.  When crossing the equator they can fly 640 miles in a single day.Choral Wrens:  National Geographic also reported that tropical “Plain-tailed wrens sing what is perhaps the most complex and coordinated birdsong known.”  Groups sing antiphonal renditions of a-b-c-d patterns with 15 variations per phrase.  The males and females alternate the parts.  Researchers found seven birds participating in one of the choruses.  They “are so precise that a casual listener wouldn’t realize there was more than one singer, experts say.” See a picture and description of the sooty shearwater at WhatBird.com.  The NG article on wrens includes a sound recording of their complex concerts.If birds kept natural history guides, would they publish amazing facts about human feats in airline flight and choral music?  If so, they might remark how wasteful and inefficient our jets are, or how dull and slow our singing is.  But they still might be impressed at how hard we try.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

What Is It About Africa?

first_imgWhat’s wrong with Africa? The answer is, of course, nothing – at least not with the continent itself. Africa is a bountiful land of incredible diversity and productive potential, boasting the largest mammals, the great apes, geological diversity, vast panoramas of beauty, and numerous spectacular plants and animals. What comes to mind to many westerners, though, is starvation, drought, disease, war, genocide, and a long history of slavery, exploitation and corruption. For decades the charities have assaulted our emotions with heart-wrenching images of starving children with distended stomachs and flimsy arms, covered in flies and mosquitoes. Is Africa to blame? No; these are mostly human-caused problems, offering hope of solutions. A diverse continent with vastly different political systems, Africa offers striking contrasts of riches and horrors.Take farming. According to Science Daily, parts of Africa have some of the most nutrient-depleted soils in the world (and this speaking of land south of the Sahara Desert). The BBC News said, “Researchers from the World Agroforestry Centre say poor soil fertility is one of the main obstacles to improving food production in Africa.” Here’s a simple solution: plant trees. The BBC News said that planting the right kind of trees can bring back the soil: “Fertiliser tree systems (FTS) … help boost food security and play a role in ‘climate proofing‘ the region’s arable land”. Can this help forestall some of the desertification that worries scientists?  According to the Science Daily article, some 400,000 farmers are now benefiting from this simple, elegant solution so economical it grows on trees. Readers may remember the amazing Moringa tree, a literal “tree of life” that provides food, fuel, clean water and soil fertilizer (see 3/09/2010).Take the desert. A BBC News nature feature reported that a rocky, arid part of Niger is a literal Noah’s Ark for migrating wildlife. The photo gallery affirms that this part of Africa is “one of the most inhospitable deserts,” and yet biologists are calling for its protection, because it is a “biodiversity hotspot.” Who would have thought? In America, deserts are no hindrance to booming, thriving cities (Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, and many others). Technologies are available to find and extract clean water, to derive energy, and to improve the standard of living for everyone – when there is the political will, the right principles, the right leadership and ability for the people to oust evil dictators.But the atrocities continue.  Recent news has called attention to America’s latest effort to help stop the misnamed “Lord’s Resistance Army” led by brutal bad guy Joseph Kony in Uganda, who sends children into villages to massacre everyone and tortures them if they don’t. South Sudan is trying to hold onto a flimsy new sovereignty after 15 years of civll war. Robert Mugabe destroyed once-productive Zimbabwe with his irrational, ego-driven policies. One of the worst sudden genocides happened in Rwanda just 17 years ago. Somalia remains a hotbed of death, piracy and terrorism. This is all recent history in “darkest Africa,” in spite of the fact that the old slave trade is gone, and the old colonial empires are gone. What’s wrong with Africa?Here’s what’s wrong: the widespread lack of Judeo-Christian values and principles, not just in Africa, but on every continent. Wherever godly people thrive, the land rejoices. Where they do not, the land mourns. Solomon said, “The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice” (Proverbs 13:23). Hosea described how injustice penetrates even the ecology: “There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens, and even the fish of the sea are taken away” (Hosea 4:1-3). America and Europe are coasting on the fumes of their Christian heritage, but are poised for horrors that have overtaken other nations that rejected God.You can plant all the Fertilizer Tree Systems you want, and the next Mugabe-like dictator will rip them out and make weapons out of them. You can bring in science and technology, and terrorists will use it destroy their neighbors. You can discover natural resources in abundance, but superstitious people will stick to their unhealthy ways out of fear. You can install clean water systems, but neighboring terrorists will destroy them. You can send everyone to school, and they will learn how to be more sophisticated crooks. You can install thousands of U.N. environmentalists, but poachers will continue to senselessly kill rare rhinos and elephants for their horns and tusks.That’s why missionary work is still the greatest gift that those living in freedom and plenty can give to any country besieged by poverty and injustice. Churches are mushrooming in parts of Africa. There’s no reason that Africa could not surpass the west in prosperity – even in sending out missionaries to call America back from its apostasy. Think what would happen if a vast majority of Africans really followed what Jesus taught: “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” From that world view, from that perspective, flows a cornucopia of food, healing, safety, security, sharing, help, community, prosperity and love.(Visited 75 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Total helps protect the leopard

first_imgRay Maota The leopard is elusive in nature and isseen here feasting on a springbok. Sperm is collected from a wild leopardfor research purposes.(Images: The Leopard Conservation Project)MEDIA CONTACTS• Fred BerrangeLeopard Conservation Project: Founder+27 82 813 8013RELATED ARTICLES• Big Five cat moves into new reserve• Bringing a taste of Africa to London• Gallery: South Africa’s wildlife• Kruger’s animal populations growingSouth African conservationist Fred Berrange is on a mission to protect the endangered leopard, with the help of petroleum giant, Total.Berrange believes that leopard poaching is just as rife as rhino poaching but isn’t publicised as the latter.“The leopard is as much in danger of extinction as the rhino, but not enough people are aware of this fact,” said Berrange.Berrange, who founded the Leopard Conservation Project in 2000, has saved 19 leopards from traps, snares, illegal cage traps and gin traps, this year alone and has captured and released 75 since its inception.The projects main focus is protecting leopards from poaching, poisoning, trapping and over-hunting but in recent years there has also been an emphasis on the collection of data regarding population, territory, genetics and diversity.Total is sponsoring the project with fuel so that the team of conservationists can move within different regions of the country collecting data on population and territory size, as well as the genetic relatedness and diversity of leopards.“Total’s sponsorship of our fuel is a massive win for us as it means that we can get to where we need to be when we need to be there,” said Berrange, speaking from Gravelotte in Limpopo Province, where he is tracking a leopard in search of food for itself and its cubs.Total is also the supplier of fuel to South Africa’s SANParks body which manages national parks.Reina Cullinan, Total South Africa’s marketing manager, said: “As a responsible company we are passionate about environmental issues and about preserving the country’s wildlife.“We believe that the Leopard Conservation Project is doing vital work in improving the prospects for leopards which are under constant threat from a variety of man related pressures and actions.”The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism along with the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment and the Limpopo Economic Development Environment and Tourism have all accredited the project as a research organisation, enabling it to collect and process data that will expand the knowledge base of the elusive predators.The focus of the projectThe accreditation by the departments will help the project which covers a study area of 100 000km² in the Waterberg region of the Limpopo Province.The project has three areas of focus which are protection, research and education.Being a high-profile cat species, the leopard’s value in the tourism industry cannot be underestimated, so the LCP works closely with farmers, conservation bodies and other research organisations to protect its existence.As part of its research, the conservation project teamed up with the University of Johannesburg to “study the physiological, morphological, development and viability of the spermatozoa from the males of these untraditionally researched animals, which could lead to later success in assisted reproduction”, according to Berrange.This will entail the drawing of sperm from the male species to preserve and later use in assisted reproduction because “both tourist and local hunting activities of the leopard will result in a decrease of the ‘good’ gene pool within this species”.To research what motivates the leopards movement, how human habitation and development affects this movement, the leopards that are saved from traps or are sighted get collared to track their movement.The project uses GSM cell phone collars to monitor the collared leopard’s movements. In 2010, 10 leopards were collared.From the research, the population and territory sizes; photographic database of individual leopards; prey preference; infant growth and mortality rates, as well as male to female ratios in specific areas will be known.These findings will assist farmers better protect their livestock and will educate people on the issues facing the leopard due to us infringing on its territory.Helping outAlthough Total and other companies are aiding the project to fulfil its objectives, it is always in constant need of more help.“Some young leopards need to be hand reared and then released back into the wild, this process is costly. Please help the project through sponsoring equipment, services or by depositing into the LCP’s bank account directly,” said Berrange.Those that help out will have their companies logo displayed on the projects website, where they can also find the project’s banking details.last_img read more

Dhoni’s World Cup winning bat to go under the hammer today

first_imgIndia skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who hit the winning six in the ICC World Cup final on April 2 in Mumbai, would put his prized willow up for auction on Monday.India skipper MS Dhoni’s World Cup winning bat will go under the hammer in London on Monday.Dhoni’s bat is likely to generate massive interest among cricket enthusiasts as the winning runs of the title triumph came with a crunching six off it.The captain had promoted himself up the order in the title clash against Sri Lankans and played the knock of his life to help India lift the World Cup.The bat would go under the hammer for a noble cause as Dhoni aims to raise funds for wife Sakshi’s charitable organisation, Sakshi Foundation, to help under-privileged children.Dhoni would host a gala dinner at a five-star hotel in the city where the auction would take place. Besides his bat, it is learnt that most of Dhoni’s cricketing gear used in the World Cup finals would also be put up for auction.last_img read more

Report says Labrador hydro project better managed but still facing risks

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A new report says Newfoundland and Labrador’s Crown utility Nalcor is doing a better job of keeping track of the cost and the risks associated with its timetable for the $12.7 billion Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.However, the EY report released Thursday, also says the project still faces a high level of risk because of work complexity and the approach of the winter season.EY also says Nalcor has identified three risks not included in its June forecast, including significant protest unrest, vegetation and soil removal, and unforeseen directives from government.The report follows an interim report released in April 2016 that called for better oversight of a project that was significantly behind schedule and plagued by cost overruns.The hydro project, which is estimated to be about 78 per cent completed as of June, has ballooned in cost by about $5 billion since it was first approved five years ago.The EY report says changes made in planning and forecasting have improved the level of certainty around cost and the schedule to complete the project.Natural Resources Minister Siobhan Coady says the report demonstrates “significant progress” in managing Muskrat Falls.“Since coming to office our government has worked methodically and diligently to ensure the Muskrat Falls project is managed with greater accountability and transparency,” Coady said in a news release.last_img read more