24 December 2009In less than six months, the event that has focused South Africa’s energy for over five years will kick off, and the country will find itself in the global spotlight as never before. It was with this in mind that South African Tourism set out to capture the nation’s spirit in a dance. And so the Diski Dance was born.‘Our own township football style’“Diski” is common South African slang for the game of football, and the Diski Dance is a uniform routine that showcases the country’s passion for the sport. The dance is based on what Wendy Ramokgadi, the choreographer of the Diski Dance, calls “our own township football style”.“The whole idea was that we needed to come up with something that is truly South African,” says Ramokgadi. “Our country’s football is rhythmic, and so all the moves that we use in the dance are those same moves that are used on the South African football pitch, moves you can only find in our country.“The Diski Dance is one of the things I am most proud of, I really am excited about it,” says Ramokgadi. ‘When these people come to our country, let them come and feel the rhythm of Africa. We must just work, wear, eat, sleep the Diski Dance.”Getting the country dancingFor Sugen Pillay of South African Tourism, the Diski Dance is about preparing to host the world next year.“The concept of the Diski Dance is to show our welcoming spirit as a nation,” said Pillay.The aim is to mobilise the country through the dance, from corporate organisations and schools to government and the general public.The Diski Dance featured large at Football Fridays’ launch in Tshwane/Pretoria on 30 Oct 2009. Lesego Madumo chats to choreographer Wendy Ramokgadi about South Africa’s signature 2010 dance – watches the Deputy President try out the moves – then gets on the other end of the camera!During the friendly international between Bafana Bafana, the South African national football team, and Jamaica in Mangaung/Bloemfontein in November, the Diski Dance was taught to the whole stadium during half time.Bafana Bafana have learnt the dance, Cabinet ministers have learnt the dance and, most recently, one of South Africa’s most popular musical acts, Goldfish, performed the Diski.Goldfish; viral advertisingThe live electronica act, incorporating Dominic Peters and David Poole, have opened for stars like Fatboy Slim, Mr Scruff and Stereo MCs, and hence are no strangers to the best of dancefloor culture.“We travel the world, excite and unite millions, but for us the biggest fish of all is showcasing South Africa, its people and its dynamism,” says Peters. “We challenge all SA to learn the Diski Dance, showcase their pride and shout to the world ‘bring it on’”.Through a viral advertising campaign, the Diski Dance has sparked a revolution, as people from all over the country are starting learning to do the Diski – and are finding the experience intoxicating.“It rocks,” says Colleen Dacruz, an advertising sales executive. “It captures the essence of Africa, and gets deep into its spirit and soul.”Chantal Lourens, who works in real estate, thinks the dance is fantastic. “When I first saw the Diski Dance, it made me very proud. It’s very contagious, l can see people trying to do it all over.”Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committee
The lone loss in Ohio State’s 2014 national championship season came in Week 2 against Virginia Tech. The Buckeyes fell to the Hokies, 35-21. Redemption is expected on Sept. 7. Ohio State will open its national championship-defending season in Blacksburg, Va., against Virginia Tech on Labor Day. A blowout victory is predicted for Urban Meyer’s squad. The sportsbook 5Dimes released its initial odds for Week 1 and Ohio State is a huge favorite. Ohio State #Buckeyes will open the season favored by 19-points over the Virginia Tech Hokies. #OSU #OhioSt #OhioState (via 5Dimes)— Johnny Detroit (@Johnny_Detroit) February 12, 2015Ohio State and Virginia Tech’s kickoff time has yet to be released, but with the game occurring on Labor Day, a night game at Lane Stadium is probable.
Some 2,000 fisher folk from six parishes have benefitted from the donation of safety gear, as part of the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI). The beneficiaries will also receive training under the initiative which is spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. An additional 400 fish vendors will receive igloos and training in food safety and sanitation, under the Jamaica Fishermen Co-operative Enhancement of Fish Cold Chain Supply and Safety Equipment Project. Speaking at the handing over ceremony held at the Old Harbour Bay fishing beach in St. Catherine on February 21, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Roger Clarke, said the programme will not only improve the personal safety of local fishers, but will also improve the quality of the seafood that Jamaicans consume. The project has received funding support of some $21.6 million from the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and the World Bank. It is geared at increasing awareness among local fishers to practise safety at sea, thereby reducing the incidences of being lost at sea or losing their lives, as well as improving the quality assurance of local seafood. Under the project, fisher folk from the fishing communities of Old Harbour Bay in St. Catherine; Savannah-La-Mar , Belmont and Whitehouse in Westmoreland; Annotto Bay and Pagee in St. Mary; Manchioneal in Portland; Discovery Bay in St. Ann; and Rocky Point in Clarendon received life jackets and marine distress flares to be used while at sea. They will also benefit from training in several areas, including safety at sea, basic seamanship and navigation skills, safe and proper use of the life jackets and other safety equipment. In the meantime, the Minister lauded the JSIF for its part in implementing the programme, which he said represents a significant contribution to the fisheries sector. “We should all be concerned that it is not only the lives of fishers at sea which is important, but also the quality of the fish we are consuming. Everything that can be done must be done to ensure that the fish we eat is wholesome, fresh and safe,” Mr. Clarke emphasised. He implored the fishers to follow the necessary safety guidelines provided by the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard and the Fisheries Division, to protect themselves while at sea. The Minister said each year, the Coast Guard responds to more than 30 search and rescue cases at sea, noting that fishing vessels accounted for 65 per cent of these cases. For her part, Managing Director at JSIF, Scarlette Gillings, said the project is directly connected to the Government’s aim to improve food safety and create a modern and enabling business environment as part of the Vision 2030 goals. Vision 2030 Jamaica is the country’s first long-term national development plan, which aims at enabling Jamaica to achieve developed country status by 2030. Mrs. Gillings said the programme also aims to promote sustainability of the fishing industry and will complement work being done under the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) project.The IICA project will see the upgrading of the physical infrastructure at six fishing beaches islandwide.She said there will be further collaboration under the JSIF’s Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) for the provision of organisational strengthening and training to the fishermen’s co-operatives.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Firefighters were called to a brush fire that turned out to be a child’s wagon set on fire.Monday, September 30th, 2019 at 11:34 pm the Fort St. John attended a call and extinguished a child’s wagon that was set on fire on 93rd Street. The image was posted to a local FB group, showing the Fire Department on the scene with the wagon extinguished.To view the post; CLICK HERE
Singapore has developed from being a water-scarce developing nation into a world leader in water management within a few decades. Since independence in 1965, one of the main concerns of the government has been to provide clean water for the growing domestic and non-domestic sectors. In 1965, Singapore was dependent on the state of Johor, Malaysia, for water resources under two agreements: one signed in 1961 and a second one signed in 1962. In view of this dependence, long-term security of water became an essential consideration for the city-state. As a result, the country developed and executed plans to enhance water security and self-sufficiency. Innovations covered aspects of policy, planning, management, institutional development, finances, technology, and most recently, societal behaviour. Also Read – A special kind of bondThe main reason for Singapore’s success in managing its water resources is its parallel emphasis on supply and demand management, including conventional and non-conventional sources of water — reused water and desalinated water. Singapore’s entire water cycle is managed by Public Utilities Board (PUB) that collects, treats and reuses used water on an extensive scale, a step that very few countries have taken. The supply of water has been further expanded by reducing water that’s unaccounted for, which is defined as actual water loss due to leaks, plus apparent water losses arising from meter inaccuracies. Also Read – Insider threat managementAlso, Singapore does not have illegal connections and all water connections are metered. The unaccounted-for water has decreased from about 9.5 per cent in 1990 to about 5 per cent in recent years, one of the lowest rates in the world. Water conservation is encouraged in the domestic sector and mandated in the non-domestic sector too. These include efficiency measures, both engineering solutions and human behaviour, such as appliances within PUB’s efficiency ratings. What has made Singapore different and possess the best water management practices in the world? The answer is government support, long-term planning, and realisation that clean and reliable water resources are essential for overall socio-development. Following the policy paradigm of “think ahead, think again and think across”, Singapore has looked for every opportunity to collect, treat, reuse and produce the necessary water resources not only at present but in a horizon that spans several decades. The city-state water resources planning, governance, and practices hold lessons for every other developed and developing city. It is worth studying.(The author is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Water Resources Development. The views expressed are strictly personal)
ALGIERS- Algeria’s 76-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was on Saturday designated his party’s candidate in the 2014 presidential election, his National Liberation Front (FLN) said. Bouteflika, in power since 1999, had been largely unseen for months because of health problems before he presided over a cabinet meeting on September 29 for the first time this year.Since 2005 he has been honorary president of the FLN, which has 208 seats in the 462-seat national assembly. “The central committee has chosen the president of the party, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to be the FLN candidate in the next presidential election,” said a party statement issued after a meeting in the capital.“The choice was a natural one given the positive assessment” of his three terms as Algerian head of state, FLN head Amar Saidani said in a speech at Saturday’s meeting.Bouteflika returned home in July after nearly three months in France recovering from a mini-stroke, and critics have said his health concerns should rule out extending his time in office.But the president’s allies had indicated they would back him should he seek re-election next year.One of the few remaining veterans of the war of independence against France, Bouteflika came to power after helping to end the country’s civil war in the 1990s.But in addition to health concerns in recent years, his rule has also been dogged by corruption scandals implicating members of his inner circle.
To make the most of their abilities, young tennis players need training, coaching and good health. Then there’s another factor, also important and beyond their control: the luck of the draw.The careers of young Americans Ryan Harrison and Christina McHale show what a difference luck can make. When Harrison has been lucky in Grand Slam tournaments, he has been very good. But he’s usually been unlucky, drawing one of the tournament’s top players in the first round and losing. The latest Harrison conqueror was Grigor Dimitrov, the No. 13 player in the world, who straight-setted Harrison out of Wimbledon on opening day Monday in London. Harrison’s frequent early exits from Grand Slams have contributed to his fall out of the top 100.McHale, meanwhile, has been much more fortunate. She opens her Wimbledon campaign Tuesday against the 97th-ranked player in the world, Chanelle Scheepers. In the 17 Grand Slam tournaments where McHale could have faced a seeded player in the first round, she has done so just three times — and never had an opponent in the top 20.Along with the intended intrigue and variety, the random draw at tennis tournaments creates inequity. For the 128-player Grand Slam singles draws, this is, roughly, how the draw works: The best 25 percent of players are given seeds, and each of the 32 seeded players is slotted in a four-player pod in which the other three players are unseeded (kind of like our Burrito Bracket). In the first round, the seeded player plays one of the unseeded players in the same pod, and the other two unseeded players play each other. Drawing players randomly into these pods, rather than seeding all 128 of them, helps keep things interesting, creating tough sections of the draw and openings elsewhere.Every unseeded player has a one-third chance of drawing a seeded opponent in the first round, which is, generally, an unlucky draw. That’s not always the case: Sometimes the seeded opponent isn’t as tough as rankings suggest, because of weakness on the tournament’s surface or a recent injury. Drawing a weak seed near the bottom of the top 32 players can open up a player’s draw, since the next opponent wouldn’t be seeded.All else equal, though, if you’re unseeded, you don’t want to match up against a seeded player in the first round. Yet Harrison seems to be drawn inexorably toward seeded opponents by some as yet undiscovered magnetic field. In the 16 majors he’s entered as an unseeded player, he’s drawn seeded opponents nine times. By chance alone, he could have expected just five such tough matches. More than 98 percent of players with 16 opportunities to draw a seed in the first round should do so eight times or fewer, according to the binomial distribution. Harrison is in the unlucky 1 percent.Not so with McHale. About 13 percent of players who have played 17 majors as an unseeded entry, as she has, could expect to get three or fewer seeded opponents. She has also never drawn a top 10 opponent in the first round, something just 15 percent of players in her shoes could say.Against unseeded first-round opponents at majors, Harrison is a dominant force: He’s 5-2, including wins in his past five matches. Against seeded opponents, he’s 1-7; Harrison’s loss to Dimitrov Monday was his seventh straight against seeded opponents. All those first-round losses have contributed to Harrison’s drop in the rankings to 150 from 43 two years ago.Luck of the draw matters for non-Americans, too. I studied 18 young men and women at Wimbledon who have entered at least five majors without a seed. Together they have won half of first-round matches against unseeded opponents, but fewer than one-third of matches against seeded players.As hard as Harrison’s had it, he’s been blessed to avoid the fate of David Goffin. The 23-year-old Belgian has entered nine majors unseeded. Seven times he has drawn a seed in the first round, including four top 10 seeds. Of 1,000 players with his Grand Slam history, 999 could expect to have drawn fewer seeded first-round opponents, and fewer top 10 seeds.Goffin hasn’t won a Grand Slam match in two years, and his ranking fate has resembled Harrison’s: He’s dropped from No. 42 in the world to No. 105. His latest rough draw came against defending champion Andy Murray, the No. 3 seed at Wimbeldon. Murray dispatched Goffin in straight sets on Monday.
A long drive, deep over the outfield wall … without a boost from performance-enhancing drugs.It’s an old-time ideal that Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers has played out over and over again. Earlier this week, he smashed two home runs, closing in on a relatively exclusive honor: membership in the 400 home run club. (Beltre needs one more dinger to become a card-carrying member.)In our view, and according to advanced stats, Beltre should be a Hall of Famer someday. But we worry that he won’t be because his conventional stats lack that Cooperstown shine.Why do we think Beltre should be enshrined alongside the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Bill Mazeroski (more on him in a minute)? Beltre is a rarity — a player who excels at both offense and defense. And in both cases, that excellence is best illustrated using sabermetric measurements.1His offensive bona fides are also clear from such traditional statistics as home runs, of course. Among third basemen, Beltre, with his nearly 400 long balls, ranks fifth all-time; three of the four ahead of him are either already in Cooperstown or are locks to make it someday (Chipper Jones).For instance, in terms of per-plate appearance rates, Beltre ranks in the 80th percentile of his peers2Qualified hitters (according to Fangraphs’ leaderboard) who played between 1998 and 2015. in isolated power, the 70th percentile in contact rate, the 50th percentile in speed and the 82nd percentile as an overall hitter. (His only real offensive weakness is a 27th-percentile walk rate.) And those are just the rate statistics; Beltre’s durability has also seen him notch the second-most at-bats of any active player and the 53rd-most of any player ever.That longevity is a big reason why Beltre ranks ninth all-time in offensive wins above replacement (oWAR) among third basemen. Only one non-Hall of Famer, the easily forgettable Toby Harrah, ranks higher, and Beltre should pass him (plus Home Run Baker) this season, assuming that Beltre’s 2015 oWAR resembles his yearly output over the past five seasons. In fact, based on projections from Baseball Prospectus, there’s a good chance that the only players ahead of Beltre in oWAR by the end of his career will be offensive juggernauts Wade Boggs, George Brett, Chipper Jones, Eddie Mathews and Mike Schmidt.And defensively, Beltre’s advanced numbers are among the best ever. Per defensive WAR (dWAR) and defensive runs saved above average (DRAA),3Defense is harder to measure than offense, and traditional measurements have a way of propping up horrible defenders (see Jeter, Derek). But advanced statistics such as dWAR and DRAA (which is based on video-tracking data for recent seasons and estimated “zone ratings” for years before that) seem to capture defensive skill well. All modern players in the top 10 for DRAA have won at least one Gold Glove, and all but two have won at least four. Beltre is the second-best defensive third baseman in baseball history. Only Brooks Robinson, whom Reds manager Sparky Anderson had nightmares about after Robinson’s unforgettable defensive performance in the 1970 World Series, ranks better. According to dWAR, only 19 other players (across all positions) in baseball history were more valuable defensively than Beltre has been.The defender most like Beltre at this point is Mazeroski, who made it to the Hall almost entirely on his defense. Beltre, by contrast, combines Mazeroski-like defense with vastly superior offensive stats and greater durability.Yet, we worry about Beltre’s fate because his traditional measurements lag behind his advanced ones. The case against Beltre starts by saying that his nearly 400 home runs may be somewhat devalued by the steroid era — more than half of the club’s 51 members hit the majority of their home runs in the 1990s or 2000s — even if Beltre has never been implicated for steroid use. And Beltre’s other impressive credentials (four Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers and four All-Star Game nods) are good, but not great. Eric Chavez, for example, will only see Cooperstown as a visitor, but he won six Gold Gloves at third base. In addition, Beltre is unlikely to hit above .290 for his career or win a most valuable player award, and he has never won a World Series (only playing in a single Fall Classic).Simply put, Beltre’s conventional résumé falls short of Cooperstown’s traditional benchmarks. While there is no generally accepted baseball equivalent of Basketball-Reference.com’s Hall of Fame probability metric, Bill James developed a few good ways to gauge a player’s traditional statistical portfolio: the Hall of Fame Standards and Monitor tests, as well as the Black Ink and Gray Ink tests. Together, those metrics measure how well a player met certain (admittedly arbitrary) benchmarks that, historically speaking, are strongly correlated with Hall of Fame induction.In the “Ink” tests — which measure how often a player led the league and finished among the top 10 in important statistical categories — Beltre sits well behind the typical Hall member. He does fare somewhat better in the other, benchmark-based calculations (though he still ranks below average in both the Standards and Monitor tests), and at just 36 years old, Beltre still has time to add to his totals. But overall, he may not even have a coin flip’s chance at the Hall of Fame, according to traditional gauges. A logistic regression between the James metrics and Hall of Fame enshrinement for the eligible players on Baseball-Reference.com’s leaderboards4With additional variables for a player’s era and whether a player was publicly linked to steroids. would assign Beltre a mere 18 percent chance of induction if he retired today.But our hope is that Hall of Fame voters are slowly moving past the older considerations. If they look instead at Beltre’s advanced numbers, they’ll see a Hall of Fame worthy outlier. Look at the Jaffe WAR Score system, or JAWS.5For those curious, the eponym behind the number is Sports Illustrated’s Jay Jaffe. Built on the foundation of WAR, JAWS attempts to strike a balance between players who compiled value over a long period of time (think Paul Molitor, whose JAWS was 57.5) and those who burned brightly for a shorter span of seasons (think Jackie Robinson, whose JAWS was 56.8). And the difference between Beltre’s actual JAWS and what we’d predict from his conventional credentials6As measured by a regression using the James metrics. is stark.Beltre is one of only 10 non-Hall of Famers7Among either eligible players who were not elected or those ineligible for induction. in major league history to produce a JAWS rating above that of the average Hall of Famer, despite a predicted JAWS below the average Hall of Famer.8Predicted JAWS is designed so that its average equals the average JAWS.How can there be such a big difference? It’s partly because predicted JAWS doesn’t take into account defense (because it’s using conventional stats) and actual JAWS does. As we noted previously, defense is very hard to measure in a conventional sense. That’s especially the case at third base, where people can’t even agree on the best skill set for the position. It used to be impossible to say what exactly a player’s defensive range was, for instance. That’s why James’s metrics don’t make much of an attempt at incorporating defense, with the exception of taking into account a player’s position and where it sits on the defensive spectrum.But now we can understand how valuable Beltre is defensively. And we know that his mixture of offensive and defensive production for a third baseman is very rare.The question left is whether Hall of Fame voters will see things that way, conventions be damned.
Double-doubles by Jantel Lavender and Samantha Prahlis fueled Ohio State past Minnesota as the Buckeyes torched the Gophers 81-58 Thursday night at the Schottenstein Center.A combined 43-point effort by the duo almost matched the Gophers point total on their own. The two also combined for 17 rebounds.Prahalis added 10 assists, including an array of impressive no-look or down-court passes that earned loud cheers from the crowd. The game was never close as OSU opened up the first half with a 10-point run, then added a 14-2 run four minutes later and never looked back.The victory answered many questions about OSU after it lost Monday night to Purdue, a team they were heavily favored against.The Buckeyes looked like the team of weeks past, shooting 10-21 from three-point range and grabbing 10 steals.The Prahalis-Lavender combo seems to be back in action and with those two hitting on all cylinders, the Buckeyes hope to avoid another surprising loss in conference play.