Lands and Surveys Commission to develop code of ethics for surveyors

first_img– moves to improve relationships with regional administration in Region SixChief Executive Officer and Commissioner of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC), Trevor Benn announced the Commission is currently in the process of developing a code of ethics that will be used to guide and Police the work of land surveyors across Guyana.Benn made this announcement during a community meeting, held on February 26, 2018, in Corriverton as part of a three-day outreach from February 25-27, to Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).This code of ethics, Benn said, is being drafted into a bill and tabled in theA Berbice resident voices his concerns to Commissioner Trevor Benn during the Corriverton/ Springlands community meeting held at the Guyana Lands and Surveys office in Corriverton, Berbice. The meeting was held as part of a GLSC outreach to East Berbice-CorentyneNational Assembly.“People have been complaining about the way work has been done with surveying. So, we’re working on a bill that we hope to take to Cabinet and then to Parliament in relation to the work of surveyors; a new code of ethics that will govern the profession. At the moment, we don’t have any and so surveyors go out there and work without any real sanction for bad behaviour… We’re putting this bill in place to make sure that there is something we can go by and we don’t treat in an ad hoc manner the sanctioning of surveyors,” he said.The Commission has held one consultation with surveyors in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) and will continue consultations in all other administrative regions of Guyana. The consultation process is set to be completed at the end ofCommissioner Trevor Benn and the Guyana Lands and Surveys Region Six outreach team paid a courtesy call to Mayor of New Amsterdam, Winifred Haywood to discuss land issues in New AmsterdamMay, with the ultimate goal of completing the draft bill and presenting it to Cabinet in June 2018. Benn said the outreach was planned in response to an increasing number of land inquiries and complaints coming from Region Six.Accompanied by a 10-person team from the Georgetown GLSC office, the Commissioner was able to listen to the issues of over 60 residents from Kildonan, Fyrish, Springlands, Corriverton, New Amsterdam, and their surrounding villages.“At the Lands and Surveys Commission we take very seriously the work that we do and in order for us to be able to understand the issues affecting our work on a daily basis we have organised ourselves to do several outreaches across the country… We do these outreaches primarily because often the true picture of [what is] happening on the ground is unknown from the office. So, we come out with the staff to sit and air the views from the people themselves who live in the issues on a daily basis and who understand [them] better than we do… We can, together with them, find resolutions on the many issues,” the Lands Commissioner said during an interview at Dave’s Reception Hall, Chapel Street, New Amsterdam.With the hope of healing Commission-municipal relations that may have been strained in the past, Benn made courtesy calls on Mayor of New Amsterdam, Winifred Haywood and Regional Chairman of Region Six, David Armogan.We intend to do this wherever we do outreaches; to meet with the local authorities… to let them understand what… we are about, to let them understand the do’s and don’ts, and to let them understand how we can support them and vice versa… In the past, a lot of decisions were [made] without the involvement of these stakeholders… We believe [that] it was wrong, which is why I apologised to the Mayor and Town Council this morning and promised that in the future we will do better,” he said.Mayor Haywood expressed her appreciation for the GLSC outreach and said she is happy to work to improve New Amsterdam’s relationship with the Commission.As a result of the meetings, Commissioner Benn and a team from the Georgetown GLSC office will return to Berbice on March 10, to help conduct an occupational survey with the hope of solving land disputes in Kildonan. The Commissioner also met with GLSC branch offices in New Amsterdam and Corriverton and hosted a staff dinner in appreciation of their hard work.last_img read more

Driver in horrific Agricola accident to be charged

first_imgDanion Welcome, the driver of the truck in the horrific accident at Agricola Public Road, Greater Georgetown, that claimed the life of seven-year-old Ciara Benjamin back in June, will face the charge of death by dangerous driving.Dead: Ciara BenjaminGuyana Times was informed that after a long investigation, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack would have recommended for charges to be instated.As such, Welcome will make his court appearance in the new week.During that unfaithful Saturday afternoon, chaos broke loose at Agricola on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) when Benjamin was crushed to death by a truck, driven by Welcome.Based on reports received, the child was attempting to cross the road with her aunt, Samantha Barry, at about 16:45h in the vicinity of the Independence Arch at Agricola.During that time, a truck bearing registration number GWW 962 was heading to Georgetown when he allegedly swerved to avoid hitting a vehicle and ended up in the path of the pedestrians.Upon impact, the woman was flung some distance away while the truck remained fixed on the median with the child pinned underneath. A light pole was unearthed from the impact and collapsed on the roadway.Hundreds of people flocked the roadway and streets to witness the aftermath of the tragic incident. With the truck lodged in the middle of the roadway, Police officers made efforts to clear the streets to allow for the body to be removed.About one hour later, a forklift and crane were used to lift the vehicle and remove the child’s remains. Her body was completely severed in two.Welcome was, however, severely beaten by residents and then handed over to the Police.After the scene was cleared, another unexpected tragedy arose when the lorry was set alight, creating a towering inferno in the middle of the roadway.Laden with fuel, it burned for hours, blockading the flow of traffic.Pedestrians stood in disbelief as small explosions erupted from the fire. The Guyana Fire Service arrived sometime after and contained the blaze from spreading to nearby buildings.last_img read more

Take Your Flu Pill: Vitamin D

first_imgVitamin D may be a multi-purpose germ fighter.  An article by Janet Roloff in Science News1 gathered evidence from several research labs that strongly suggests this molecule triggers the formation of one of the body’s effective antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal agents: cathelicidin.  In its activated form, vitamin D binds to a short section of DNA called a “response element” that strongly increases activity of the cathelicidin gene.    Since vitamin D is produced in the skin with moderate exposure to UV rays in sunlight, a healthy body outdoors appears to have a built-in response system.  Mona Stahle (Karolinska Institute, Sweden) was studying vitamin D response in the skin when she heard about cathelicidin production by vitamin D.  She remarked, “It just came to me—an intuitive thought—that maybe the sun, through vitamin D production, might help regulate the skin’s antimicrobial response.”    By describing a convergence of independent research avenues, Loloff showed the linkage between this vitamin and the immune system via genetics.  Healthy vitamin-triggered cathelicidin pathways appear to be beneficial for the prevention of rickets, tuberculosis, and even the common flu.  Her story ends confirming an anecdotal observation in the first paragraph: prisoners treated for vitamin D deficiency in one facility developed almost no flu symptoms, while those in others had infection rates as high as 10%.1Janet Roloff, “The Antibiotic Vitamin,” Science News, Week of Nov. 11, 2006; Vol. 170, No. 20, p. 312.Loloff’s article reads like a detective story.  Several teams working independently put together pieces that appear to relate vitamin D to cathelicidin production, and that to disease prevention.  Cause-effect relationships in health are tricky to establish, but this one seems to make sense.  Of course, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.  Vitamin D overdose can be toxic – to say nothing of sunburn.    This article is another example of healthy science with no need for evolutionary theory.  The E word was absent in the article and would have been superfluous.  The observations support design: an integrated system of inputs and outputs, checks and balances, and parts that fit together.  It looks like another example of irreducible complexity.  Notice especially how the chemical response of vitamin D is finely tuned to the energy of UV rays, emitted by the sun, that are able to penetrate Earth’s atmosphere, which screens most UV radiation.  Not only that, but the molecules are positioned in skin to the depth where the radiation reaches.  In short, the whole system is tuned, from the molecular reaction, to the gene network, to the tissue structure of skin, to the whole body, to the environment on Earth’s surface, to the planetary atmosphere, to the type of star.    Science should seek to understand how things work for the end goal of improving health, safety and societal welfare.  The findings from these studies could directly benefit third-world countries with multitudes of poor people afflicted with unnecessary diseases.  A little applied knowledge discovered through scientific (e.g., systematic) investigation of nature’s designs could pay a big dividend in health and comfort for millions of people.  Shouldn’t that be the goal of science?    For your Thanksgiving meal, consider adding some good sources of vitamin D.  You don’t have to substitute cod liver oil for turkey, but a balanced diet should take this essential nutrient into account.  And instead of watching the football game inside this year, how about getting into a good game yourself in the healthful outdoor sunshine?(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Evolution for the Birds

first_imgBirds have not evolved as much as evolutionary theories about them have.Among the vast diversity of birds alive today, from ostriches to hummingbirds, only a few have been given detailed analysis by evolutionists. Those are Darwin’s finches. Is this indeed the case? Look what Cooney et al. say in Nature this week:Small clades such as Darwin’s finches demonstrate that natural selection is the driving force of adaptive radiations, but how microevolutionary processes scale up to shape the expansion of phenotypic diversity over much longer evolutionary timescales is unclear.While Darwin’s finches are the best-studied example (2/12/15), the only other “small clades” they refer to are Hawaiian honeycreepers  and Malagasy vangas. Even if they had more examples, though, their statement is problematic at several points. For one, natural selection is not a “driving force” (see 10/03/15). For another, “adaptive radiation” presupposes Darwinian evolution rather than demonstrating it (i.e., evolutionists typically find the tips of branches of phylogenetic trees, but not the nodes or branching points of ancestral lines). Third, the authors assume that microevolution can scale up to macroevolution, but they freely admit it is “unclear” how. That’s why they went to work to address the problem.Here we address this problem on a global scale by analysing a crowdsourced dataset of three-dimensional scanned bill morphology from more than 2,000 species. We find that bill diversity expanded early in extant avian evolutionary history, before transitioning to a phase dominated by packing of morphological space. However, this early phenotypic diversification is decoupled from temporal variation in evolutionary rate: rates of bill evolution vary among lineages but are comparatively stable through time. We find that rare, but major, discontinuities in phenotype emerge from rapid increases in rate along single branches, sometimes leading to depauperate clades with unusual bill morphologies. Despite these jumps between groups, the major axes of within-group bill-shape evolution are remarkably consistent across birds. We reveal that macroevolutionary processes underlying global-scale adaptive radiations support Darwinian and Simpsonian ideas of microevolution within adaptive zones and accelerated evolution between distinct adaptive peaks.One will look in vain for evidence of positive natural selection in this paper. While bill size and shape are important to a bird, they are certainly not as important as flight. By choosing this one lesser trait to focus on, the evolutionists make their work easier, like saying, ‘To understand the evolution of automobiles, we will study the macroevolution of radiator grills.’ Even so, their evidence for macroevolution (when Darwinian theory is not assumed) is questionable. It must be emphasized that to distinguish evolutionism from creationism, evolutionists need to demonstrate changes beyond what creationists already accept. The most conservative creationists already allow for significant amounts of variability in bird beak sizes and shapes. That’s why they say ‘ho-hum’ to studies about Darwin’s finches, honeycreepers and vangas. They want Darwin to prove a dinosaur can take off into the air with muscle-powered flapping wings by natural selection alone.Darwin’s ideas of microevolution are well known. These authors rely heavily on the ideas of a prominent 20th century Darwinist, George Gaylord Simpson. Cooney et al. explain Simpson’s ideas as they begin the paper, amplifying on what they said in the Abstract (above). First, however, they admit a major contradiction of predictions for macroevolution.The role of adaptive radiations as the source of much of the world’s biological diversity has been widely emphasized. Studies of small clades have provided insights into the role of natural selection as a diversifying force, but cannot illuminate the processes that shape the diversity and discontinuities of radiations over longer evolutionary time frames. Indeed, at large taxonomic scales, the diversification of clades and traits shows no evidence of the predicted slow-downs in evolutionary rates, despite there being numerous examples in small clades. This apparent paradox is potentially resolved by G. G. Simpson’s model, in which major jumps to new adaptive zones (‘quantum evolution’) can occur unpredictably throughout clade history. These jumps give rise to rapid lineage expansion into previously unoccupied niche space as sub-clades continue to radiate within distinct adaptive zones and subzones. Simpson’s models introduced the concept of ‘mega-evolution’—diversification over large temporal and spatial scales—unifying microevolution with other factors such as ecological opportunity and evolutionary constraints that shape the macroevolutionary trajectories of radiating lineages.It appears that Simpson discovered how flexible the Stuff Happens Law (SHL) can be as a theory rescue device. Isn’t that the plain meaning of this paragraph after it has been translated out of Darwinese? Simpson makes up a word, ‘mega-evolution,’ to cover up the lack of evidence for macroevolution. Darwin, though, had insisted that “Natural selection acts only by taking advantage of slight successive variations; she can never take a great and sudden leap, but must advance by short and sure, though slow steps” (Origin of Species, 1859). So when leaps and gaps become evident, one would think that would falsify Darwinism according to Charlie’s own standards. But Simpson turns that evidence into vindication for Charlie by applying the SHL. Some vindication, though! In his new book Darwin’s House of Cards, Tom Bethell points out the downside of Simpson’s rescue strategy:George Gaylord Simpson (1902-1984), the curator of paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History and later at Harvard, once drew attention to the all-embraching nature of Darwinism, but did so as though it were a point in its favor. Animals from different lines can either converge, or evolve in parallel, or diverge, he said. Whatever happens, it “usually has an adaptive basis.” [Simpson, The Major Features of Evolution (1953), p. 171]So evolution has all the bases covered. It is “opportunistic,” Simpson reassured us. What could possibly falsify such a theory?Incidentally, Bethell knew Karl Popper personally. The father of falsificationism as a criterion for science told Bethell the following after it was widely reported that Popper had recanted his criticisms of Darwinism as a scientific theory.I immediately brought up the issue of natural selection. He [Popper] told me that his opinion had not changed. He also said that he thought that natural selection had in fact been falsified “by Darwin’s own theory.” [Bethell, p. 15]Getting back to the issue at hand (macroevolution of bird bills), Cooney et al. continue their vain quest to vindicate Darwin.However, although phylogenetic studies involving thousands of species have demonstrated heterogeneity in rates of phenotypic evolution, it is unclear whether the processes outlined by Simpson have an important role in large-scale adaptive radiations. This is because previous studies have been unable to specifically assess the macroevolutionary dynamics of ecologically relevant traits. Here we study the evolution of an important ecological trait (bill shape) across an entire class of organisms (birds) to elucidate the processes shaping the accumulation of phenotypic diversity within a global-scale adaptive radiation.Here’s how it works: ‘Evolution happens fast, and it happens slow. It jumps unpredictably. Stuff happens.’ Evolutionists can ramp up the perhapsimaybecouldness index to handle any contingency:The disjunction between rates of evolution and the accumulation of bill-shape disparity suggests that temporal trends in evolutionary rate are not necessarily indicative of the underlying mode of niche filling. This decoupling could arise if some clades diverge rapidly within regions of morphospace that are occupied by other clades, but where the respective clades occur in allopatry….[Last sentence]: It is likely that the rise of modern birds from the late Cretaceous onwards occurred in a rapidly changing world, coinciding with extensive ecological opportunity. Our results imply that this dynamic adaptive landscape may have driven Simpsonian mega-evolution across adaptive zones, later giving way to smaller scale fine-tuning of the bill as avian diversity expanded across the globe.Translated from Darwinese, this means, ‘maybe stuff happens.’ Birds evolved fast except when they evolved slow (11/04/14). Cooney’s publicists in Nature (naturally) heap warm fuzzy praise for this glorious insight: “a large-scale study of bird beak evolution by Cooney et al., on page 344 highlights the importance of rare and even single events in the history of life,” writes Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar. Strangely, he destroys Cuvier only to resurrect him. Georges Cuvier’s “catastrophism theory ultimately fell before the intellectually nuanced Darwinian idea that changes in the make-up of Earth’s flora and fauna have been continuous and uniform.” My, how times change. Darwin’s idea is not intellectually nuanced any more.The researchers predicted that their data would be consistent with the concept of quantum evolution — the idea that an initial radiation involves rapid divergence into new forms and functions. For instance, such rapid divergence occurred during the Cambrian explosion of lineages of animals that have bodies showing bilateral symmetry, which began about 541 million years ago and lasted for 20 million to 25 million years. Under this model, rates of beak-shape diversification would be fastest during the initial avian radiation. Indeed, the authors found that most of the shape space filled rapidly during this initial burst. Coupled with a comprehensive study of avian relationships, which indicated that the radiation was associated with the catastrophic end-Cretaceous mass extinction 66 million years ago, these results support the idea that evolution is highly contingent on chance occurrences, marrying a Darwinian and a Cuvierian world view.Incidentally, Darwin was greatly troubled by the Cambrian explosion, hoping it would be resolved as more fossils came to light (it wasn’t). And no, it wasn’t 20-25 million years long, but more like 3-6 million, a ‘geological blink of an eye’ comparable to one minute in a 24-hour day, explains Stephen Meyer in Darwin’s Doubt. It’s amazing how Darwinians can turn falsification into vindication, then use it to vindicate Darwin against additional falsifications. The SHL ensures their web of belief (2/11/17) can wobble safely between catastrophism and gradualism and back again without damage.Some publicist Bhullar turns out to be. Look what he says about Cooney’s paper, then about the fossil evidence:As with any pioneering effort, Cooney and co-workers’ study raises questions and would benefit from refinement. Despite covering more than 70 million years of evolution, for instance, the authors did not analyse any fossils, and thus did not explicitly take into account the historical record of avian evolution. As they point out, though, most fossil bird beaks are crushed. Moreover, the fossil record, at least superficially, supports the idea that a diversity of beaks was present soon after the end-Cretaceous extinction.In other words, since bird beaks were already diverse when the assumed asteroid hit, the catastrophe might not have had anything to do with creating ‘ecological opportunity’ for natural selection to work its creative magic.If all this fake science (storytelling, confabulation) is getting you down, maybe a look at some actual living birds would help. At least it shows what Darwin’s theory is up against.Update 2/23/17: Just after this post was written, Nature published an article by paleontologist Stephen Brusatte about the evolution of birds from dinosaurs. In “A Mesozoic Aviary,” Brusatte destroys any scenario of dinosaurs evolving from birds in a straightforward Darwinian manner. His description fits the Stuff Happens Law. He calls that “interesting”—The attainment of powered flight—that is, active flapping that generates thrust—has been widely regarded, sometimes explicitly but often implicitly, as a long evolutionary march in which natural selection progressively refined one subgroup of dinosaurs into ever-better aerialists. However, recent fossil discoveries reveal a much more interesting story that is beginning to be corroborated by biomechanical studies. According to this story, the development of flight was chaotic, with different dinosaurs experimenting with different airborne behaviors using different airfoil and feather arrangements (see the figure), until ultimately only modern birds survived.One obvious comment: dinosaurs are not scientists. They do not run experiments. Brusatte claims that dinosaurs evolved wings and feathers “for nonflight reasons (such as display, egg brooding, or something else entirely) and that their early evolution was not shaped by selection for aerial flapping.” The catch-all phrase “or something else entirely” reveals he has no idea. Having abandoned scientific reasoning entirely for complete just-so confabulation, he continues:Only much later, it seems, did some paravians evolve the right combination of small body size, large wings, and other anatomical features to begin powered flight. It was at that point that selection was able to mold these animals into more effective flying machines.Having ratcheted up the perhapsimaybecoudlness index, he ends with the rescue device of futureware: “But much work remains to be done to better understand this heady period of evolution.” See Phys.org‘s summary of Brusatte’s commentary.Update 2/24/17: The fossil of a giant penguin has been found “much earlier than previously thought,” reports Science Daily. Dating to 61 million Darwin Years, it means that penguins were already well diversified when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The previous record for oldest penguin was about 45 million Darwin Years. Were penguins swimming with ichthyosaurs? It’s hard to think of a bird more different from a land-based theropod dinosaur growing feathers trying to become airborne, than a flightless bird that swims underwater! How many mutations did that take? Another surprise is that this was a giant found in New Zealand, measuring 150 centimeters (5 feet), is as large as the biggest fossil penguin previously known. “This shows that penguins reached an enormous size quite early in their evolutionary history, around 60 million years ago,” the discoverer said.“The discoveries show that penguin diversity in the early Paleocene was clearly higher than we previously assumed,” says Mayr, and he adds, “In turn, this diversity indicates that the first representatives of penguins already arose during the age of dinosaurs, more than 65 million years ago.”Real Live BirdsKeas Perform Similarly to Chimpanzees and Elephants when Solving Collaborative Tasks (PLoS One). There’s a reason the cute but noisy parrots of New Zealand are so mischievous: they’re smart. In fact, one kea showed a preference for working with others instead of alone, a trait “present in humans but absent in chimpanzees.” How can the authors rescue Darwin from this conundrum of ranking bird intelligence with ape intelligence, despite their vast separation in Darwin Years? “This raises the possibility that aspects of the cooperative cognition seen in the primate lineage have evolved convergently in birds.” The authors did it by applying the Stuff Happens Law and raising the perhapsimaybecouldness index.Wintering ducks connect isolated wetlands by dispersing plant seeds (Phys.org). About 34% of seeds that mallard ducks eat are passed through unharmed. “Surprisingly, they have very high site fidelity and return to the same sites almost every night,” the press officer from Utrecht University reports. This provides an ecological service for wetland communities. “Given the large numbers of seeds mallards ingest on a daily basis, they are likely to greatly contribute to plant dispersal and the connection between otherwise isolated plant populations across a wide range of landscapes.”Emergence and development of gut motility in the chicken embryo (PLoS One). Illustra Media’s documentary Flight: The Genius of Birds animates the amazing 21-day process of embryonic development from egg to chick. This new paper discusses the complexity of one specific stage: when the intestinal tract begins to pulsate in the movements called peristalsis that will be essential for the developing chick when it hatches and eats its first food.Departure of migratory birds from stopover sites is hormone-controlled (Phys.org). “Every year, billions of migratory birds make their way back to Europe from their wintering quarters,” this article says. “Since their energy reserves are not enough for a non-stop flight, they put in stopovers along the way to rest and replenish their fat stores. That migratory birds must stop on their long journey is clear. But how long they rest and what signals tell the birds to continue on their way has so far been unclear.” European scientists identified levels of one hormone, ghrelin, that appears implicated in appetite of warblers and their urge to migrate. Most likely, as in mammals, “a network of hormomes” regulates these functions.Did complex flight feathers ’emerge’? (Evolution News & Views). This intelligent-design-based article critiques the propensity of evolutionists to concoct Darwin Flubber when evidence fails. The word “emergence” becomes their emergency rescue device when faced with explaining complex structures like flight feathers – and powered flight itself.We need more translators of Darwinese into common-sense English. Are you getting good at it by reading CEH? Once you master the terms in Jargonwocky, you begin to see the SHL everywhere. You see evolutionists ratcheting up the perhapsimaybecouldness index. You know the difference between explanation and confabulation. You smell the vaporware of Darwin Flubber cooking in the lab. You no longer fear the DODO heads mumbling incomprehensible sophoxymorons, the moyboys spinning mythoids about Darwin Years as safety nets for Charlie, the DOPE heads in the schools imposing Darwin Sharia. (If any of these terms seem unfamiliar, see the Darwin Dictionary.)(Visited 253 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Mountain biking in South Africa

first_imgSouth Africa is a treasure trove of exciting routes, discovered and waiting to be uncovered, with weather allowing for cycling at any time of the year.The sport is growing so fast that there are now a number of mountain biking schools to teach you the skills to get the best out of your equipment – and the terrain you move through. (Image: South African Tourism)Brand South Africa ReporterMTB heaven! South Africa is a treasure trove of exciting routes, discovered and waiting to be uncovered, with weather allowing for cycling at any time of the year, all day and just about every day.Around Cape Town there are some great single-track routes on the mountain and in the pine plantations. There are escorted trips on the mountain, around the winelands and in the Cape Point section of the Cape Peninsula National Park.The scenic De Hoop National Park near Swellendam, up the east coast from Cape Town, has dedicated, easy trails. There are a few hardcore trails near Swellendam, and then onto the Garden Route, which is just fantastic.There are four superb, laid-out circular tracks in the Harkerville Forest, ranging from mellow to a hectic red route. And nearby are two long, quite strenuous linear trails, Homtini and Petrus se Brand. Locals and international visitors alike agree that the last 6km of Petrus se Brand is the most fun single track ever.Port Elizabeth also has dedicated trails, including one traversing a green belt which cuts right through the middle of the city. An annual MTB race on the Wild Coast set a precedent for pedaling this fantastic area.KwaZulu-Natal has its share of routes, with many great ones in the Drakensberg and the Midlands.Pietermaritzburg, especially, is blessed with superb options. It hosted the opening round of the UCI Nissan Mountain Bike World Cup in April 2009 and will host an MTB World Cup event for another three years after the success of 2009.The Free State is home to some seriously strenuous trails, and often has competitions. There’s one called the Two Mountains Race, which should give you an idea of what you’d be in for.And Johannesburg has a huge active MTB population, so there are a lot of trails nearby. Many of these urbanites head out to the wonderful trails in Mpumalanga, where you’ll find lots of opportunity to get down and dirty.MOUNTAIN BIKING OPERATORS Active Escapes specialise in providing personalised mountain bike and cycling holidays, to accommodate all level of riders. The offerings range from fully- supported and professionally guided tours to tours in which cyclists are left to themselves, but provided with detailed route information, while logistics, such as accommodation bookings, airport and end-point vehicle transfers are taken care of. Active Escapes offers cycling holidays in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, on the Wild Coast, and in the Drakensberg. Beach and Bush presents short trails at Oribi Gorge on the KwaZulu- Natal south coast, as well as a tour of Durban, which takes participants to the city’s most happening venues.Bendito Ranch is a game farm with self-catering accommodation, situated in Mkopane (Potgietersrus), a malaria free part of Limpopo, with four scenic mountain bike trails and hiking trails totalling a distance of 60km. Fishing, photography safaris, game drives, birdwatching, hunting (in season) and barbeques and breakfast in the bush are also available.Bicycling Magazine has sections on mountain biking and, very usefully, on rides. Explore the rides’ archive for a nice list of possibilities from around South Africa.Cape Mountain Biking Tours features a strong team that provides tours in the Eastern and Western Cape, varying in length from one day to the 11 day tour from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. Places of interest and interesting experiences are included along the way. A two-day self-ride tour of the Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope is also available.Clearwater Trails, located near Port Edward in Kwazulu-Natal, offer a marvellous mix of terrain and memorable sightseeing with four custom-built and carefully marked MTB trails which have something to suit all levels and tastes with riding on single and double tracks. All the trail options are set against the alluring backdrop of the Indian Ocean with the longer trails passing through Beaver Creek Coffee Estate and Crags View Wild Care Centre before ending at Clearwater Trail Centre.Cycle Lab is one of South Africa’s leading bicycle shops, with in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape and Limpopo. The Cycle Lab website offers plenty of information on events. The newsletters’archive is a very useful and wide-ranging source of information.Day Trippers is based in Cape Town. They offer a nice variety of escorted, vehicle-supported rides, including day tours, which take in the Cape Peninsula, the Winelands, Table Mountain, whale watching at Hermanus, and township tours; extended tours, ranging from five to 150 people, and from five days to 28 days; Epic trippers allows cyclists access to parts of the Cape Epic route, while training rides for the epic itself are on offer. Other destinations avalable include the Cedarberg, the Garden Route and the Karoo.The Dirtopia website includes a section on the Dirtopia Trail Centre, which is based on Delvera farm (R44 between Stellenbosch & the N1). It was created to provide active travellers with hiking and mountain bike trail information as well as serve as a base for permit sales for a range of trails in the Klapmutskop Conservancy. There is also a section for the Dirtopia MTB Festival, as well as other events.Downhill Adventures offer sandboarding, kiteboarding, surfing, and mountain biking. The MTB rides include in and around Cape Town, the Winelands, the Tokai Forest, the Table Mountain, and the Cape Point Nature Reserve. There are over 100 bikes for rent, including hi-spec 27-gear Giants.Drifters offers overland tours in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya, Malawi, Zanzibar, Kenya, and Uganda. They also offer a six-day, five-night hiking and cycling holiday on the Wild Coast, which starts from Port St Johns.Eastern Cape Mountain Biking is a website that covers the Eastern Cape’s mountain bike options impeccably. It features nicely-detailed accounts of many routes, training rides, and many other articles of interest that ensure comprehensive coverage of the region and the sport. Encounter South Africa offers some suggestions on MTB routes to try around South Africa.Escape Cycle Tours offers tours throughout South Africa, including in the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site, a six-day pre-Argus Tour, cycling in the Magaliesberg, Lesotho MTB rides, the KZN Midlands Meander route, the Cape Winelands, the Kruger National Park, the Mashatu Cycle Tour, a 12-day tour from Stellenbosch to Port Elizabeth, a tour from Knysna to Gordon’s Bay, a three-day Johannesburg to Durban trip, the Lindani tour, the Namaqualand Daisy tour, and Maluti Spring tour, as well as cycling in Soweto, and a combo cycling and surfing tour.EveryTrail in South Africa includes a nice list of races and routes, which take place throughout South Africa. The website includes a little info on every suggested route and race.Giba Gorge, near Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal, offers a number of superb trails for mountain bikers of various skills levels – from easy to expert. There is also a BMX track, free style dirt jumps, a Cyclelab bike shop, a coffee shop, conference centre, bar, and camping facilities.iRideAfrica offers both mountain bike holidays and road cycling tours. Their “Ride Shuttle” is also available for lifts to top jumps, downhill tracks or bike parks around Cape Town. There are a number of tour options and a Blog to keep up with the latest iRideAfrica happenings.The Johannesburg Mountain Biking Club does not have a home base, but through contact between its members, rides are undertaken on most Sundays at various locations around the city, with different lengths, difficulty and technical challenges offered. Visitors are welcome to join in JMBC rides at a cost of R20.Lebanon MTB Trails is located in the heart of the Elgin Valley in the Western Cape, an hour’s drive from Cape Town and 30 minutes from Hermanus. There are four well marked trails that meander through some stunning terrain and everyone from beginners to experienced riders is catered for, with the trails ranging from 5.8km to 25km in distance. Accommodation is available at Oak Lane Cottages, where the trails start and end.Linx Africa: Mountain Bike Trails in South Africa features a list of towns that have MTB trails. Click on a town and you’re taken to a description of trails in the area, with telephone, fax, and e-mail info for enquiries and bookings.Live2Ride offers rentals, trails, and guided tours. They operate in the Western Cape and visit among others, Langebaan, Fossil Park, Saldanha, Koringsberg, and Aurora. Tours include the West Coast Tour, the Garden Route Tour, and the Odyssey Tour, which takes place in Botswana.Makadas Adventures is a mountain bike event company based in the Western Cape. It offers challenging mountain bike events, mostly in the Klein Karoo area. The company’s stated goal is to bring back the fun and adventure to mountain biking, which it does by featuring a wide variety of events – from extreme to simple fun events. Their trails vary from year to year to keep things interesting and new routes are added as farmers open up their trails.Mankele Mountain Biking is located right in the heart of Mpumalanga and features tropical forests, open grass lands, rivers, dams, ravines, mountains and breathtaking views. It’s a superb venue for riders of all abilities, with numerous trails of varying lengths and technical tests. It also offers accommodation as well as other exciting activities.Mountain Biking Africa operates on the beautiful Garden Route. They offer from half- to 13-day tours. These include three different Outeniqua Mountain tours; the Ostrich Tour; the Knysna Experience; Steady Eddie’s Mountain Madness, which was originally designed as a Cape Epic training camp; Steady Eddie’s Buffalo Hills, a slightly easier version of Mountain Madness; and a 13-day tour of Botswana. Bikes are available for hire.Mountain Biking South Africa offer tailor-made mountain trips – with budgetary options of basic, medium, or exclusive – in the Eastern and Western Cape where there are countless breaktaking (literally and figuratively) routes to be explored. They operate out of the beautiful Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route.MTBiker is loaded with a wide variety of information, including on tracks all around the country, which are submitted by mountain bikers themselves. There is also a forum, a blog, events calendar, classifieds, general news and news on equipment.MTB Online features information on trails, races, clubs, shops, products, and holidays. There are reviews and information about maintenance, riding skills, and news. Trails may also be searched by province and links to cycling-related blogs are provided.MTBSA.CO.ZA features a race calendar; a list of MTB clubs; info on trails, which is available by clicking on towns, and other fun stuff. MTBROUTES.CO.ZA lists routes in the different provinces, with an overview, fast facts about each route, and the level of difficulty. It also lists events and has articles on other adventure sports too. The Oak Valley Mountain Biking Experience, located on the Oak Valley Wine Estate, offers three mountain bike routes, including the 14-kilometre Green Route for the family, a 21-kilometre Red Route for stronger riders, and the 25- kilometre Black Route for more advanced riders. The scenery is outstanding and the routes include a lot of singletrack.Olifants Camp – Kruger National Park trails are offered in the north of the world famous game reserve. Up to six people at a time can be accommodated , with two qualified and armed field guides leading the way. The Olifants Camp supplies mountain bikes, backpacks, water bottles, helmets and snacks. Three trail options are available. Outeniqua Biking Trails offer tailor-made tours and trails, ranging from half-a-day to multi-day tours on the picturesque Garden Route. Bikes are also available for hire. Groups of from four to six people, aged 18 to 55 years, are the norm. All guides are SATOUR registered and experienced cyclists.Paarl MTB presents rides in Franschoek and its surrounds. There are 24 choices of routes, ranging from 19 kilometres in length to 134 kilometres. Extensive information on each route is available, including maps and gradients.The Pedal Power Association is the largest cycling association in South Africa and includes over 16 000 paid members. Its website offers a section on mountain biking that includes news, a calendar, and a number of routes in the Western Cape, which is where the Pedal Power Association has its offices.The thehubsa.co.za is South Africa’s leading cycling forum. It is always busy with many visitors and it’s a place where social cyclists are able to interact with the country’s top pros. It’s also the place to go for breaking news in South African cycling.The Cycle Travel Company is located in Johannesburg and is proudly affiliated with South African Tour de France cyclist Robbir Hunter. They offer tours not only throughout South Africa, but throughout the world. Both mountain bikers and road cyclists are catered for. In addition, multi sport tour options, including horse riding and golf, are offered.Treadmag is a magazine that focuses exclusively on mountain biking, delivering content that is relevant to South Africa, as well as being entertaining and informative. Find out where to get it under the list of stockists on the website.Xcape Biking Tours provides guided one-day or multi-day cycle trips for MTB, downhill and road cyclists of reasonable fitness. They arrange travel, accomodation, meals and onwards journeys. They also host training camps.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Sensible Plumbing

first_img“We have very low pressure at the master-bathroom shower, and if any other plumbing is used, we literally have no water coming out of the showerhead.” The frustration in my new customer’s voice was palpable, and during the drive to his country estate, thoughts about the root causes of his home’s water-pressure woes ran through my head. I pulled into the driveway of what had to be a multimillion-dollar home. How could a house that looked this great be suffering so much internally?I saw the problem almost as soon as I descended the stairs to the basement: a single pair of ½-in. PEX lines—one hot and one cold—running 75 ft. along the ceiling, with T-fittings spliced in at intervals to serve fixtures on the three floors above. The master bath’s lines were last along this undersize flow-through system, and as you might guess, the master bath was on the third floor.What were they thinking? Simply put, they weren’t. Good plumbing isn’t rocket science; it’s applied science. Boil it down and you’ve got about 25% knowledge and 75% common sense. The problem is that most rough-plumbing jobs are won or lost by a bid process that emphasizes cost-cutting over performance. But doing things right and controlling costs are not mutually exclusive ideas. Both of them need to be engaged in designing and installing a plumbing system that makes sense.At its most basic, plumbing is simply the practical application of hydraulics and physics to bring clean, healthy water from a municipal water main or a well to the places in the house where it’s needed—and when we’re finished with it, to remove the waste via the sanitary-sewer system to the municipal… Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberscenter_img 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.last_img read more

Baahubali 2 box-office collection day 13: Dangal’s China release threatening to break Rajamouli’s records

first_imgWe already know that Baahubali 2: The Conclusion has crossed the Rs 1000-crore mark at the global box office. Made on a budget of Rs 250 crore, the mythological epic directed by SS Rajamouli has charmed audiences all across India and the world. In fact, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion has become the first Indian film to earn more than Rs 100 crore at the US box office.However, Dangal’s re-release in China and the stupendous response to the film in the country has suddenly propped up a new challenger to Baahubali 2: The Conclusion at the box office. Up until Tuesday, Dangal has earned Rs 121.73 crore at the global box office. This makes the global box-office collection of the Aamir Khan-starrer Rs 867 crore. Soon enough, the wrestling-based sports biopic will make Rs 900 crore worldwide.#Dangal is a TRENDSETTER in China. SUPERB word of mouth is translating into FAB biz… Tue $ 3.12 mn. Total: $ 18.82 million [? 121.73 cr].- taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) May 9, 2017With the excellent showing in #China, @aamir_khan ‘s #Dangal WW Gross moves up to ? 866 Crs.. Should enter the 900 Cr Club in couple of days- Ramesh Bala (@rameshlaus) May 9, 2017Meanwhile, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion has earned $ 17.2 million (Rs 111 crore) at the US box office up till now and it is no mood of stopping its box-office express. Back home, Baahubali 2 will soon cross the Rs 400-crore mark in net box-office collections.#Baahubali2 RECORDS: Fastest ? 50 cr… Fastest ? 100 cr… Fastest ? 150 cr… Fastest ? 200 cr… Fastest ? 250 cr… Fastest ? 300 cr…- taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) May 9, 2017Starring Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah, Ramya Krishnan and Sathyaraj in lead roles, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion is the sequel to the hit 2015 blockbuster Baahubali: The Beginning. Directed by SS Rajamouli, both the Baahubali films have been made on a collective budget of Rs 430 crore, the second most expensive film project in India after Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar-starrer 2.0.advertisementUpcoming big-ticket films in 2017 and 2018 such as Tubelight starring Salman Khan, 2.0, Salman Khan-starrer Tiger Zinda Hai and Aamir Khan’s Thugs of Hindostan are expected to give tough competition to Baahubali 2’s box-office records. Whether or not the SS Rajamouli epic holds on to its throne remains to be seen.ALSO READ: Baahubali 2 Tamil ReviewALSO READ: Baahubali 2 Hindi ReviewWATCH: Everything you need to know about Baahubalilast_img read more