Major grudge match for Garbrandt, Dillashaw tops UFC 227

first_imgNadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Their rematch at Staples Center on Saturday night is the main event of UFC 227. It’s also the chance for a particularly personal victory for both men, who declined to shake hands at their ceremonial faceoff Thursday in downtown Los Angeles.“I prefer to be respectful,” Dillashaw said Thursday. “I prefer to be a martial artist, so I like a respect level, but I don’t mind the drama, either. I’m going to use it to my advantage.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Garbrandt (11-1) and Dillashaw (15-3) actually have plenty in common. They’re both well-conditioned, gifted strikers who became elite competitors at Team Alpha Male, Urijah Faber’s famed gym in Sacramento. They’ve also both become first-time fathers in the nine months since their last bout.But they simply haven’t gotten along ever since Dillashaw won the bantamweight title and also left Alpha Male in 2014. To make an epic story short, Dillashaw says he was thrown out because he wouldn’t break ties with coach Duane Ludwig, who had just split acrimoniously from Faber. Several Alpha Male fighters, including Garbrandt, say Dillashaw turned his back on them. “Let him say what he wants, but that motivates me,” Garbrandt said. “If you say you’re going to ruin my career and basically take food out of my child’s mouth, that’s fine. I didn’t need any more motivation with my new son, and while I’m coming off my first loss, I’ve been more motivated than I ever have out of any win.”Any viewer of the pay-per-view show can’t miss the clear contrast between Garbrandt, the rural Ohio product with prominent neck tattoos, and Dillashaw, the clean-cut college graduate with a California surfer look. But the rematch primarily is a collision of two fighters with legitimate reason to think they’re the best in the 135-pound division.Garbrandt rocketed to the top of the class, winning the belt less than two years after entering the UFC. He lost his title in equally stunning fashion last November to Dillashaw, who reclaimed the strap he had lost to Dominick Cruz nearly two years earlier.During his ascent, Garbrandt appeared to be the archetype of the most compelling lighter-weight fighters. He was slick, athletic, stylistically well-rounded and powerful enough to generate knockouts — and he looked the part of a mixed martial arts star, right down to those tattoos that spread down his resplendently multicolored arms. Garbrandt’s neck is covered by large wings flanking a diamond, with the words “SELF MADE” atop his sternum.He seemed ticketed for superstardom — until Dillashaw, the former Cal State Fullerton wrestler whose only losses in the last six years were on debatable split decisions, wrecked the narrative with his fists.ADVERTISEMENT Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew English football great Terry Butcher quits as Azkals coach before first game Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal FILE – In this Dec. 30, 2016, file photo, Cody Garbrandt, left, tries to kick Dominick Cruz during a bantamweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 207 in Las Vegas. Garbrandt rocketed to the top of the UFC’s bantamweight division and then lost his title in equally stunning fashion to T.J. Dillshaw. After becoming a father and learning new lessons about resilience, he’s back for a rematch with Dillashaw at UFC 227 on Saturday in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)LOS ANGELES — Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw have one of the UFC’s most compelling feuds of recent years. This beef is rooted in betrayal and tribalism, and it led to the demolition of a once-cordial relationship between training partners.The feud persisted even after Dillashaw knocked out Garbrandt and took his bantamweight title belt last year, following months of verbal sparring and pre-fight scuffling.ADVERTISEMENT In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Peza offers relief to ecozone firms ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Immediately after their bout at Madison Square Garden, Garbrandt claims he tried to quash their grudge, but Dillashaw rejected him. Dillashaw says he isn’t to blame for not wanting Garbrandt around him.“You’ve got me by the throat before, and that pushed me overboard,” Dillashaw said, recalling a past scuffle between the two. “What’s changed now? Just because I slapped you upside your face, what’s different? Why have you got to be fake?”While Garbrandt doesn’t accept the blame for this state of affairs, he insists he has grown and changed since his wife, Danny, gave birth in March to their first child, a son named Kai. But Garbrandt also angrily declined to apologize this week for a series of racially insensitive tweets from his early 20s.“I’ve never felt entitled to anything in my life,” Garbrandt said. “I feel like everything happens for a reason. I’ve been given second chances my whole entire life. … T.J. is a tough adversary. He’s skilled. He’s a good competitor. He doesn’t like to lose either. That’s what’s great about this rivalry.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

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Historic, Glorious Remembrances at Cuttington

first_imgHistory, we have learnt from elementary school, is the written record of past events.Why do we revisit this academic meaning of history? Because what happened at Cuttington University last weekend was an extraordinary reminder of the university’s history and many of those who made it happen.Foremost among those who were memorialized was Cuttington’s founder, the Rt. Rev. Samuel David Ferguson and the first black person to be elected and consecrated bishop of the Episcopal Church.All 76 of the other bishops had been white men. He built not only Cuttington (1889), Liberia’s second institution of higher learning, but also Bromley, the Episcopal school for girls, in Clay Ashland, Montserrado County. He also introduced to Liberia the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).To memorialize this great churchman, patriot and educator, Cuttington named the Graduation Hall, which is also the main place of assembly on campus, in memory of Bishop Ferguson. Representing the Ferguson family were two of his great grandchildren, Counselor Seward M. Cooper, one of Liberia’s outstanding lawyers, and Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, President of the University of Liberia.The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences was named in honor of Doctors John and Judy Gay, who for more than a decade taught at Cuttington and helped raise its academic standard. Dr. Gay, at 89, and his wife, 85, said they are too old to travel now and asked Kenneth and Mae Gene Best, two of their former students at Cuttington, to represent them.In his remarks thanking Cuttington for this great honor bestowed on Dr. and Mrs. Gay, Mr. Best, publisher of the Daily Observer newspaper, said the Gays’ contribution to Cuttington went far beyond outstanding academic training. Mrs. Gay had helped spearhead the founding of Cuttington’s esteemed creative magazine, the Cuttington Review.It was that magazine that led Kenneth into Journalism, he told his audience last Friday. Dr. John Gay was also a musician, who led the Cuttington Choir in the performance of many classics, including Handel’s Messiah; Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, The Pirates of Pensanze.The Gays taught many Cuttington students from Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, Southern Africa, some of whom held prominent positions upon return home.The College of Allied Health Sciences was named for Cuttington Reverend Herbert and his wife Mrs. Marion Donovan, who served as Episcopal missionaries in Liberia 95 years ago. Representing them were two of their grandchildren, Herbert A. Donovan III, Assistant Professor at Rikkyo University, College of Business, Tokyo, Japan, and his sister Jane Elizabeth Donovan, a professional engineer.The College of Natural Sciences was named for one of Cuttington’s preeminent graduates, Dr. Emmet Dennis, Class of 1961, who recently retired as President of the University of Liberia.Dr. Dennis took his doctorate in Parasitology from the University of Connecticut. He has served in several high level positions at Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey. He was also the founding Director of the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research (LIBR), with research and control programs in major tropical diseases.Also honored at Cuttington last weekend was Dr. Evelyn Kandakai, former Education Minister of Liberia and former Acting President of Cuttington University. A 1970 graduate of Biology at the then Cuttington College and Divinity School, she took the Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction & Tests Measurement from the University of Pennsylvania and her Doctorate in Education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.She has served in numerous other top educational positions. The Cuttington Botanical Garden was named in honor of Dr. Kandakai. Cuttington also honored Dr. D. Elwood Dunn, Class of 1964, by naming the Department of History and International Relations for him.After taking his PhD degree from American University in Washington, D.C., Dr. Dunn returned home and served, among other things, as Minister of State for Presidential Affairs under President William R. Tolbert, Jr.One of Liberia’s renowned scholars, Dr. Dunn is the author of several books, including the two-volume Historical Dictionary of Liberia, along with other authors; the History of the Episcopal Diocese of Liberia; and the three-volume Annual Messages of Presidents of Liberia, J.J. Roberts (1848) to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2011).Cuttington also honored Dr. Joseph Saye Guannu by naming the university’s Institute of Peace in his honor. After taking his Doctorate in Political Science from Fordham University, Dr. Guannu returned home and served in many government positions, including Liberian Ambassador to the United States.He has taught at Cuttington for many years and heads the Institute of Peace. The main thoroughfare on the Cuttington campus was named for another eminent Cuttingtonian, the C. Gyude Bryant, Jr., and former Chairman of the National Transitional Council of Liberia (NTGL).This thoroughfare is being paved for the first time, through the instrumentality of Chairman Bryant’s family. Two of Chairman Bryant’s relatives, Messrs. Anthony Deline and Vivian Jones, received the honor on behalf of the family. Another major development at Cuttington last weekend was the visit of the Vice President of Liberia, Madam Jewel Howard Taylor, also a Cuttington Alumna.But this was not just a visit. The university is in dire financial straits at this time, owing partly to the failure on the part of the previous government of Liberia to meet its financial obligations to Cuttington.Vice President Taylor generously donated 8,000 gallons of petroleum and a purse of US$2000 to Cuttington. She promised to return with more goodies for her beloved alma mater and pledged that the administration of President George Weah will strive to meet the government’s obligations not only to Cuttington, but also to the University of Liberia and other educational institutions.Cuttington’s President Herman Browne, the entire faculty, student body and the Alumni Association, which was well represented at last weekend’s events, gave glowing thanks and praise to Vice President Taylor for her generosity.It was indeed a glorious weekend at Cuttington, for which all Cuttingtonians were exceedingly grateful. Cuttingtonians in the United States were also ably represented.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Technology in tourism inevitable – Minister Hughes

first_imgPublic Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes on Sunday told local drone operators that their participation in the tourism industry was pivotal to both the sector and the development of Guyana.Some of the exhibitors at the expoAddressing the opening of an expo highlighting the use of drones in tourism at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, Minister Hughes said the partnership between the tourism industry and technology has long been a “foregone conclusion”. According to her, in any part of the world where tourism is either developed or developing, technology is used.“Technology in tourism is inevitable. Drones and tourism marketing in today’s hi-tech world … in this digital era, you cannot have one without the other.”As a former Tourism Minister, Hughes said Guyana has been using drone technology for a number of years in tourism, agriculture, housing, and other sectors.Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes“Our tourism industry is benefiting from drone-assisted photography and videography that provides a bird’s eye view, beckoning all our citizens and visitors alike to come and enjoy, discover this beautiful country,” she told the expo.According to a report by the Department of Public Information (DPI), the Guyana Drone Operator Association was established to provide key information to local drone operators. Association President Lancelot Khan said drone technology has been growing rapidly over the years.Khan said Guyana has embraced the use of drones and while there was the need for protocols to protect all, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has been working with the Drone Association to create a glitch-free environment for operators.Drone Association in Guyana President Lancelot KhanGCAA Director General Lieutenant Colonel (ret’d) Egbert Field noted that “drones are here to stay”.“The drone technology entered into the aviation industry and is not just to be used as a toy, but also for commercial activities.”Field said drone technology has advanced so much, it has been immersed in the aviation industry. According to the Director General, there is enough room for drone technology to boost tourism in Guyana.“Let us concentrate on what we can do with drones in a productive and commercial fashion.”He too called on the “technologically savvy” youth to make the industry into something worthwhile.The drone and tourism expo forms part of activities to celebrate Tourism Awareness Month, which is observed in the month of November.last_img read more

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Monday Letters to the Editor

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson– JUDY PANG Palos Verdes Estates Legislators not above law How stupid do you government people think we are? Government people are, thanks to their own legislation, above the laws they make in many ways, and they authorize themselves pay raises every two years, regardless of how well their job performance is (and it is atrocious, even by the worst public standards). The question is, how long do they, and the repugnant heathens occupying the executive offices in Washington, D.C., think we will acquiesce and let them run roughshod over our rights? Pick paper, not plastic It’s good to hear that Ralph’s grocery stores participated in Thursday’s “A Day Without a Bag” by offering double rebates for bags that shoppers bring with them and free cloth bags with a certain purchase price or on a first-come, first-served basis. Ralph’s spokesman Terry O’Neil was quoted in Wednesday’s article as saying, “At this point, we’re promoting environmental education, conservation, recycling.” That is the exact opposite of my experience over the past few weeks, however, as I have noticed that baggers no longer ask, “Paper or plastic?” but instead say, “Is plastic OK?” or don’t ask at all and just use plastic. I bring paper grocery bags with me when shopping, and find that I can reuse them many times before they end up in my recycling bin. Plastic bags, on the other hand, are hard to reuse. They are produced from petroleum, not usually recycled and frequently end up as trash on the streets and waterways. I hope that Ralph’s and other retailers used this day as a springboard to offer reminders and incentives for customers to bring their own bags, do without a bag if buying only one or two items and use paper whenever possible. I’m fed up, and I believe most of us are. I pray God gives them a conscience and provides an unquestionable path they must walk to correct the malice they have done to our Constitution, our Bill of Rights and the morality of our country. They were elected to be leaders, but not to lead us into the decimation of our American way of life. It is not too late to make a stand for our values, no matter how small a stand it may be. I do wish them strength and success in this, but to their legislation cited above, I do not. – RICHARD DOOLEY Lawndale Freeways getting worse Scandalous: Driving from Chinatown in the rain in the dark is like driving with your eyes closed. No street lane markings. Then it got worse. On the southbound Harbor Freeway, the lane markings were barely visible. Pretty scary driving. The newer 105 freeway was better. The 405 is another nightmare. Where is all the gas tax money going – especially now that the government coffers must be overflowing with gas tax money from increased oil prices? – KARL SIMON Manhattan Beach U.S. lags in climate crisis This is regarding Jay Ambrose’s column, (“Al Gore is full of hot air,” Comment page, Friday). to hear Ambrose tell it, the United States is leading the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and will avert climate change by our bold leadership. The truth is that the United States is currently running neck and neck with China as the leading emitter of carbon dioxide; and the world’s efforts are currently insufficient to prevent serious consequences. We have recently seen larger-than-ever rain storms in the Northwest and larger than ever ice storms in the Midwest as a result of increased moisture and energy transferred to the atmosphere by a warmer Pacific Ocean. Unless we can collectively reduce these emissions, worse weather is yet to come. At the Bali Conference, Kevin Conrad, the Harvard-educated representative of tiny Papua New Guinea, pleaded with James Connaughton, leader of the U.S. delegation: “If you are not willing to lead, then get out of the way.” The U.S. Delegation subsequently agreed to join the consensus of nations on the road ahead. In particular, contrary to Ambrose’s implied assertion, the United States is not doing so well. In the Germanwatch’s Climate Change Performance Index 2008, the top three countries are, respectively: Sweden, Germany and Iceland with scores above 60, and the bottom four are: Canada, Australia, United States and Saudi Arabia, with scores below 38. The point is that each of us in the world needs to do much better if we are to avoid more severe storms, floods, droughts and fires. If we do not, current civilizations will be simultaneously threatened, causing worldwide political strains. For those who think that our activities cannot significantly affect the Earth’s climate, I would point out that it has been observed that the grounding of airplane flights on Sept. 12, 2001, caused a temporary measurable rise in the diurnal temperature differences, attributed to the absence of jet vapor trails on that day. On normal days these trails reflect a portion of the sun’s radiation back into space before it impacts the ground, resulting in a slightly cooler day. We not only can affect climate (and weather), we are. We need to tone it down. – ROBERT PALMER Redondo Beach160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Vinatieri leads Whittier race

first_imgWHITTIER – Thanks to a 780-vote margin from absentee votes, Joe Vinatieri was holding a large lead over Alex Moisa in Tuesday’s election for a two-year seat on the Whittier City Council.Incumbents Bob Henderson and Greg Nordbak were re-elected in early returns over their only challenger, Joe Marsico, who ran surprisingly well in his 14th unsuccessful attempt to win a council seat. Henderson and Nordbak were seeking their seventh and fourth terms, respectively. Vinatieri and Moisa, both attorneys, also had another challenger in their race for the unexpired term of council member Doug Lopez. Arthur Rock, a church deacon, also ran for that seat but was out of the running in early returns. “The exciting thing for me is how many people came out and said, `I hear you’re running. I want to help you,’ without even being solicited.” Henderson and Nordbak also were happy about their apparent victories. “It just makes us feel good the public gave us the support to put us back for four more years,” Nordbak said. “We’re very grateful the people have returned us again,” Henderson said. “Let’s start working again for the City Council.” Combined, the candidates spent nearly $60,000, but nearly all of that was spent by Moisa and Vinatieri. During the last week, both purchased newspaper advertisements, sent mailers and called voters. They both had campaign signs posted throughout the city. Economic development was the main issue in the race, with Moisa and Vinatieri dueling over their visions. Moisa said he wanted to see Uptown become a destination for consumers, while Vinatieri focused on his slogan, “Live, work and shop in Whittier.” Rock discussed his 10-point plan, which included a market in Uptown Whittier. In the other race, Henderson and Nordbak said Whittier is moving in the right direction and that they can get things done. Marsico told the people he wants to provide a neighborhood trolley system. mike.sprague@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventMoisa came in second two years ago against then- incumbent Dave Butler, who resigned and moved to Texas. The council appointed Lopez to take Butler’s place in early 2005. Lopez chose not to run for the remainder of the unexpired term of Butler this time, citing pressures from his activities in the residential development business. “I’m humbled and I’m feeling relieved,” Vinatieri said of his apparent victory. “It’s been a long three months and it’s been a real exciting, tense, fun and difficult time.” Vinatieri said he received a lot of help from friends. last_img
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WIDOW OF DONEGAL BUILDER HITS OUT AT BRITISH PM

first_imgTHE widow of a Co Donegal builder who died in an accident in London has hit out at suggestions that health and safety red tape should be softened in the UK.Jennifer Deeney tells today’s Irish Independent that she was furious after hearing the suggestion from British PM David Cameron.Husband Kieron, from Rathmullan, died in the accident in 2004 when he stood on a rotting piece of plastic above a lift shaft and fell to his death. You can read the full article here:http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/kieron-lying-with-half-his-head-missing-thats-the-monster-3021651.html WIDOW OF DONEGAL BUILDER HITS OUT AT BRITISH PM was last modified: February 16th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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)last_img read more

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SANTA GETS VIP TREATMENT FOR LIFFORD LIGHTS SWITCH – PICTURE SPECIAL

first_imgSANTA GETS VIP TREATMENT FOR LIFFORD LIGHTS SWITCH – PICTURE SPECIAL was last modified: December 4th, 2012 by StephenShare 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:Christmas lightsLiffordlast_img read more

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GET VOTING FOR DONEGAL GIRLS’ SUPERB JUNK KOUTURE DRESS

first_imgGet voting for CalypsoThis incredible entry into Junk Kouture from three students at Coáliste Ailigh in Letterkenny is already winning hundreds of online votes – but needs more for a chance to win in the grand final.The dress is the work of Kirsty Nic Giolla Bháin, Jessica Ní Ghallachóir and Aoibhinn Ní Mhuimhne.So don’t just sit there – get voting again for Calypso. Other entrants from around Ireland are sneaking ahead in the vote – so we need Donegal to get behind them. Voting closes at midnight, Friday 25th April, with the Grand Finals taking place in the O2 arena Dublin, Friday 2nd May 2014.Here’s how to vote:https://www.facebook.com/ERPIreland?v=app_1405174289738922&app_data=entry_id%3D54343643%26gaReferrerOverride%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.facebook.com%252F  GET VOTING FOR DONEGAL GIRLS’ SUPERB JUNK KOUTURE DRESS was last modified: April 22nd, 2014 by John2Share 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:CalypsoJunk Kouturelast_img read more

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Take a trip to Northern Cape

first_imgThe Kimberley tram, a popular tourist attraction, is South Africa’s only operational electric tram. Rock engravings at Wildebeest Kuil. The famous Big Hole is one of the largest hand-excavated open-cast mines in the world. South Africa’s national animal, the springbok, roams freely around the Northern Cape.(Images: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free images, visit the image library)MEDIA CONTACTS • Northern Cape Tourism authority+27 53 833 1434 / +27 53 832 2657RELATED ARTICLES• Khoisan couple home at last• SKA: who gets what• NC ideal for extreme sports• Bloodhound brings world focus to SA• Pecking order re-established in NCRomaana NaidooStepping into the Northern Cape is much like walking onto the set of an American western. There are the acres of arid land, mostly desolate landscape, and sparsely populated, far-flung, tiny, old towns. Indeed, this picturesque province is South Africa’s most unusual travel destination.The province is renowned for its breathtaking southern Kalahari scenery and Richtersveld mountain desert landscapes, and, of course, its diamonds. It is also the home of the world’s “first people” – the enigmatic San-Bushmen, as well as the Griqua, a subgroup of South Africa’s heterogeneous and multi-racial coloured people; and the Nama or Namaqua, an African ethnic group spread across South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Northern Cape is filled with uncanny surprises.It is a prime destination for adventuring outdoorsy types, and it should be at the top of the list for travellers curious about indigenous people and archaeology. Then there’s the interesting geology, diamonds, architecture and Anglo Boer War history, as well as cultural and liberation history. It is also home to two of the country’s biggest rivers, the Orange and the Vaal, and has the world’s largest wild flower display.Between July and September, Namakwa, the only arid hotspot in the world, sheds its dry and desolate facade and is covered by a duvet of wild flowers of every hue, drawing tourists from across the country and around the world. Namakwa is part of the Succulent Karoo biome and contains more than 6 000 plant species, 250 species of birds, 78 species of mammals, 132 species of reptiles and amphibians, and an unknown number of insects.With its capital in the old diamond-mining town of Kimberley, Northern Cape is 362 591.41km² in size, making it the largest province in South Africa. It has a population of approximately 1.058-million.Stepping into KimberleyKimberley, which was founded in 1871, is set against the backdrop of a flat landscape with no prominent topographic features in its urban limits.The sights and sounds of the original diamond rush – when up to 30 000 miners furiously worked some 3 600 claims using rudimentary equipment and living mostly in tents – have long gone, but memories of the town’s glory days linger. Many of the old buildings still stand, and museums lend a historic ambience to the modern city. There is also a reconstruction of the original town alongside the famous Big Hole.Located at the intersection of the N12 and N8 national roads, Kimberley, known as the “City that Sparkles” or the “Diamond City”, is a gateway to other Northern Cape destinations, including the Mokala National Park, nature reserves and numerous game farms and hunting lodges, as well as historic sites. Today, the town is the seat of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature and the Provincial Administration, and services the mining and agricultural sectors of the region.The city has considerable historical significance thanks to its diamond mining past and the siege during the Second Boer War. Notable personalities such as Cecil John Rhodes and Barney Barnato made their fortunes here, and the roots of the multinational De Beers Company can be traced to its early days.From humble beginningsIt all began in 1866, when Erasmus Jacobs found a small pebble on the banks of the Orange River on his father’s farm, De Kalk. The pebble was bought by Schalk van Niekerk, who later sold it. Not so much a pebble, this sparkling stone proved to be a 21.25 carat diamond, and became known as the Eureka. Three years later, Van Niekerk sold another diamond, also found in the De Kalk vicinity, the Star of South Africa for US$17 000 (R158 000). It was promptly resold on the London market for $38 000 (R353 000).Also in 1869, an even larger 83.50 carat diamond was found on the slopes of Colesberg Kopje on the farm Vooruitzigt, which belonged to the De Beers brothers. This resulted in the famous “New Rush”, which led to 800 claims within a month worked by two to three thousand men. The region was converted into a mine, and called the Kimberley Mine. As miners flocked to the area in their thousands, the hill disappeared and subsequently became known as the Big Hole.From mid-July 1871 to 1914, 50 000 miners dug the hole, yielding 2 722kg of diamonds. The Big Hole has a surface area of 17 hectares and is 463m wide. It was excavated to a depth of 240m, but was partially in-filled with debris, reducing its depth to about 215m; since then it has accumulated water to a depth of 40m, leaving a visible hole of 175m deep.The Big Hole however pales in comparison with the Cullinan Mine, the third biggest diamond producer in South Africa, which is situated some 40km northeast of Pretoria in Gauteng province. This mine goes down 760m by means of 560km of tunnels. It’s considerably bigger than the more famous Big Hole, measuring a kilometre across and half-a-kilometre wide, and leaving an excavation into the earth of 700m. It is continually widening, as 80 000 tons of rock fall into it every year.By 1873, Kimberley was the second largest town in South Africa, with a population of some 40 000. In 1998, the Kimberley Comprehensive Urban Plan estimated that Kimberley had 210 800 people in 46 207 households. A decade later, it was estimated there were some 250 000 inhabitants, comprising 46% black, 40% coloured and 13% white, speaking Afrikaans (49%), Tswana (33%), English (7.5%), Xhosa (5.6%) and Sotho (2.2%).In the late nineteenth century, Kimberley was the hub of development in South Africa, transforming the country’s agrarian economy into one more dependent on its mineral wealth. One of the key features of the new economic arrangement was migrant labour, drawing workers from across the subcontinent. The labour compound system developed in Kimberley in the 1880s was later replicated on the gold mines and elsewhere.The city also housed South Africa’s first stock exchange, the Kimberley Royal Stock Exchange, which opened on 2 February 1881. And on 2 September 1882, Kimberley became the first town in the southern hemisphere to install electric street lighting. By 1896, the first South African mining school was opened, though it later relocated to Johannesburg and formed part of the University of the Witwatersrand.TransportSouth African aviation originated in Kimberley, remembered in the Pioneers of Aviation Museum. The town was also connected by rail to the cities along the Cape Colony coastline in 1872; however, the railway line from Cape Town to Kimberley was only completed in 1885. In the 1930s, Kimberley boasted the best night-landing facilities on the continent; today the Kimberley Airport has regular flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town.Passenger train services to and from Kimberley are also provided by national rail operator Spoornet’s Shosholoza Meyl, with connections south to Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and north to Johannesburg. Luxury railway travel is possible on the main north-south line by the Blue Train and Rovos Rail.ClimateNorthern Cape’s weather is typical of arid and semi-arid temperatures. The scant annual rainfall (50-400mm) in the province is unreliable and summer temperatures – from December to February – range between a scorching 33˚ and 36˚ Celsius. In winter, from June to August, days are warm but at the onset of night the temperature drops spectacularly: the average minimum is -6˚ Celsius, with snow blanketing the mountains.Around Kimberley itself, summers are hot and relatively wet, and winters are cold and dry. The infrequent summer rains tend to take the form of occasional severe thunderstorms rather than prolonged soft showers. It is not unusual for winter night-time temperatures to drop below freezing.Tourist attractionsAround the Big Hole, previously known as the Kimberley Mine Museum, is a recreated townscape and museum. It has a Big Hole viewing platform and other features, and houses a rich collection of artefacts and information from the early days of the city. One of the exhibits is Rhodes’ grand railway carriage that carried him as governor of the Cape of Good Hope to the Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) that he created. Also at the mine museum is the first house built in Kimberley, as well as the first church.At the McGregor Museum, visitors can explore major research collections as well as learn about the history and ecology of Northern Cape. It celebrated its centennial in 2007, reflected in displays at the museum’s headquarters at the Sanatorium in Belgravia and nine branch museums.Other places of interest in Kimberley include the William Humphreys Art Gallery, the Kimberley Africana Library, Dunluce and Rudd House museums, Pan Africanist Congress founder Robert Sobukwe’s law office, the Sol Plaatje Museum, the Transport Spoornet Museum, the Clyde N Terry Hall of Militaria, and the Freddie Tate Museum. The memorial cenotaph was erected originally to commemorate the fallen of World War I; plaques were added in memory of fallen Kimberley soldiers in World War II. There is also a memorial dedicated to the Kimberley Cape Coloured Corps who lost their lives in the Battle of Square Hill during World War I.The Concentration Camp Memorial remembers those who were interned in the Kimberley concentration camp during the Second Boer War, and is located in front of the Dutch Reformed Church. The Henrietta Stockdale statue, by Jack Penn, commemorates the Anglican nun, Sister Henrietta, who petitioned the Cape parliament to pass a law recognising nursing as a profession and requiring compulsory state registration of nurses – a first in the world.The Miners’ Memorial, also known as the Diggers’ Fountain, is located in the Oppenheimer Gardens and was designed by Herman Wald. It was built in honour of all the miners of Kimberley, and consists of five life-sized diggers lifting a diamond sieve. The Honoured Dead Memorial commemorates those who died defending the city during the Siege of Kimberley in the Anglo-Boer War.The Sol Plaatje statue, sculpted by Johan Moolman, is at the Civic Centre, formerly the Malay Camp, and situated approximately where Plaatje had his printing press in 1910 to 1913. Other memorials and statues in the historical town include the Burger Monument near Magersfontein Battlefield, the Cape Police Memorial, the Mayibuye Memorial, the Rhodes equestrian statue, and the Malay Camp Memorial.Rock artThroughout the Karoo one finds visually enticing examples of rock engravings left by the nomadic people that once frequented the area. Most of the images are found on low ridges of dolerite rock, the black boulder fields. Rock gongs (rocks that make echoing sounds when hit) can also be found on sites such as Keurfontein near Vosburg and Thomas’ Farm near Hopetown.A community-based public rock art project, the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre, stands on the outskirts of Kimberley. Indigenous San and Khoe people, with researchers and other relevant parties, are involved in conserving the engravings, of which there are more than 400, spread over a small sacred hill.In South Africa, there are some 15 000 recorded rock art sites, but there are many yet to be discovered. Most of the rock art in Southern Africa was made by Later Stone Age people, ancestors of the San, according to the McGregor Museum.This art occurs in two forms: engravings and paintings. Engravings are found on the country’s dry inland plateau, while paintings occur in mountainous areas such as the Drakensberg, and the Cederberg in the Western Cape.The Wildebeest Kuil engravings were made by the “pecking” technique, where the artist used a hard, pointed stone to chip away the outer crust of the rock and bring out the lighter colour underneath. The exposed portions gradually weather to again become as dark as the outer layer.The exact age of the engravings at Wildebeest Kuil is not known, but experts estimate their age at between 1 000 and 2 000 years. Older engraved stones have been found at Wonderwerk Cave near Kuruman in the Northern Cape, in excavated levels dating back 2 000 and 10 000 years, and rock paintings in southern Namibia have been dated to about 27 000 years ago.In a nutshell, Kimberley is a gateway to uncovering the treasures of Northern Cape, through what once was a shanty town born of an influx of miners trying to reap the wealth that lay beneath the soil. Today, it is a flourishing city boasting a mixture of Victorian buildings that complement the modern twists of the CBD. While, lacking the fast pace and hustle and bustle of South Africa’s larger urban hubs such as Johannesburg, it is still in some ways one of the country’s most innovative towns.last_img read more

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Foursquare’s Google Moment: Recommendations Launch Tonight

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting The race between tech companies aiming to tell you what to do with your free time will heat up tonight with the midnight launch of version 3.0 of location-based social network Foursquare. According to the company, its long awaited recommendations feature will be included.It’s one thing for Amazon or Netflix to recommend movies or other products you might like (that’s a huge business), it’s another thing for an automated system to tell you where you should go when you walk out the door of your house, what real-world venues you should patronize. That’s something a whole lot of companies are going to try to tackle, including Google and Facebook. The Enormity of Real-World RecommendationsInside every “where should I go?” question there are other big questions, like: What should I eat? What should I buy? What should I do with my leisure time plus expendable income? What should I do with my life? Foursquare would love to be a service that regularly answers those questions for millions of people. It’s a very ambitious goal. It’s reminiscent of the question Google has answered, “What Web page should I look at for information about my interest?” As big as the Web is, though – the offline world is bigger, richer and can be more interesting. Win at recommendations offline and your Web application has really done something big.Real-world place recommendations are higher risk (in terms of expense to the user who makes a purchase, the effort required and maybe social cost) but also much higher reward (in terms of lived experience gained and potential commercial activity) than online shopping or media consumption are. Can Foursquare get recommendations right and capture some of this huge potential? What Foursquare Brings to the TableFoursquare first began talking publicly about experiments with recommendation technologies six months ago. Three months ago the company posted a job opening for a data scientist, believed by observers to be someone who would focus on building out the recommendation technology.Nearly two years after launching, the company now says it is fast approaching 7.5 million users and has recorded 500 million user check-ins. Foursquare doesn’t disclose the number of venues it has indexed but one estimate is about 10 million bars, restaurants, parks, stores and other places across the world. If that number is accurate, that would mean there’s been about 50 check-ins per venue on average. That sounds like a healthy little data set to analyze for recommendations.Here’s how the company said today that data will be put to use:The idea is pretty simple: tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll help you find something nearby. The suggestions are based on a little bit of everything – the places you’ve been, the places your friends have visited, your loyalty to your favorite places, the categories and types of places you gravitate towards, what’s popular with other users, the day of the week, places with great tips, the time of day, and so on. We’ll even tell you why we think you should visit a certain place (e.g. popular with friends, similar to your favorite spots). You’ll find it’s helpful for general things like “food”, “coffee”, “nightlife” (we built in quick access to these searches) and you’ll be surprised by what you get when searching for really specific things, like “80s music,” “fireplaces,” “pancakes,” “bratwurst,” and “romantic.” The more random you get, the more interesting the results get (though be patient with this first release… sometimes we can’t find every random thing).Factors Contributing to the New Foursquare Recommendations Your friends’ historyYour loyalty to your favorite placesYour favorite categoriesPopular places across all usersWhat day of the week it isThe time of day a request is madeThe quality of tips a place hasWhat topical experts have to say.And outside of the “Explore” tab, you’ll see some of this thinking starting to surface on the “Me” tab as well. As we started to tinker with our recommendations algorithms, we started to see “expertise” starting to emerge from the data – we’re seeing friends that have been to every karaoke place within 10 miles or tried every burger in Los Angeles. The new “Me” tab surfaces some of this, letting you seek guidance from your friends on the categories and places they explore most.Now, with over half a billion data points, and with every additional check-in and every tip, foursquare gets a little smarter for you, your friends, and the rest of the community. We’re already finding this can be just as helpful for finding a brunch spot in your neighborhood as it can be for helping you navigate a new city for the first time.That sounds great, but the proof will be in the pudding of course. It’s great to hear that this complicated problem is being approached with at least nine different factors taken into consideration. A Design ChallengeWith that many moving parts, there will be engineering challenges for Foursquare for sure – but the resulting experience is what will matter most. Users will be able to know right away if recommendations are for places they have been intrigued by or places they know already and dislike. It’s going to take some finesse to really be compelling.“Machine learning,” wrote Joseph Reisinger in a recent blog post titled Why Generic Machine Learning Fails, “is not undifferentiated heavy lifting, it’s not commoditizable like EC2, and closer to design than coding. The Netflix prize is a good example: the last 10% reduction in RMSE wasn’t due to more powerful generic algorithms, but rather due to some very clever thinking about the structure of the problem; observations like ‘people who rate a whole slew of movies at one time tend to be rating movies they saw a long time ago’ from BellKor.”Will the Foursquare team be able to look at all the diverse kinds of data it has and thread the needle of the mobile, location-based, game-like, social experience in a way that means users look to it for recommendations of places to go in the offline world? Is this the feature that makes the millions of people who’ve looked at Foursquare and asked “what’s the point?” reconsider their perception of an abscence of value? “I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions,” Google’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt said last summer. “They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.”Google is far from the only company that will aim to solve that problem.Foursquare 3.0 for iPhone and Android should be available for exploring starting late tonight. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… marshall kirkpatrick Tags:#Analysis#Location#NYT#Recommendation Engines#web center_img Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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