Church of Scotland votes on gay ministers

first_img Tweet 54 Views   no discussions Share Share Sharing is caring!center_img FaithLifestyle Church of Scotland votes on gay ministers by: – May 23, 2011 Share The appointment of the Reverend Scott Rennie divided the churchThe Church of Scotland has voted to allow the possible selection of gay and lesbian ministers in the future.The controversial issue was being debated at the Kirk’s General Assembly.A theological commission will now be set up and will report in 2013 before a final decision on the issue of gay ordination is taken.Earlier the Assembly voted to accept gay and lesbian clergy provided they had declared their sexuality and were ordained before 2009.Two years ago, the Reverend Scott Rennie’s appointment to Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen threatened to split the Church.At the General Assembly, commissioners were being asked whether to continue an indefinite ban on the ordination of gay ministers until a report next year or lift the ban and await a separate report which would be published in two years.One in five members of Kirk sessions have said they would leave if it was agreed that gay ministers can be ordained, while one in 10 have said they would leave if the Kirk ruled they could not be ordained.Stonewall Scotland welcomed the General Assembly’s decision to allow gay and lesbian ministers.Carl Watt, director of the charity, said: “We hope today’s decision signals the start of the Kirk demonstrating a commitment to fairness, equality and dignity on this issue.“Our research has shown that people of faith are no more likely to be prejudiced towards gay people and same-sex relationships than anyone else.“Reverend Scott Rennie was inducted as the first openly gay minister in the Church of Scotland two years ago in the face of strong opposition from some quarters – yet supported by his own Aberdeen congregation.He added: “Although we await further decisions from the assembly and details on the next steps, we hope that in 30 years’ time this will be regarded as a storm in a teacup.”The subject of gay ministers hit the headlines two years ago as traditionalist members attempted to block Mr Rennie’s appointment.Following a lengthy debate, the Assembly ultimately voted in support of the Aberdeen-based minister but called for a commission to study the general issue “for the sake of the peace and unity of the church”.BBC Newslast_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_imgUpdate on the latest sports Sale to start season on injured listUNDATED (AP) — Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale will start the season on the injured list. Manager Ron Roenicke (REHN’-ih-kee) says Sale will be placed on the 15-day injured list and will remain in Fort Myers, Florida, for extended spring training when the team breaks camp. Sale reported to camp with pneumonia and is behind schedule.Sale ended last season on the injured list with elbow inflammation, making his last appearance Aug. 13 at Cleveland, where he gave up five runs with 12 strikeouts in 6 ⅔ innings. Roenicke emphasized this trip to the injured list is not related to Sale’s elbow.Sale went 6-11 last season with a 4.40 ERA in 25 starts, the fewest in his career for a full season since 2012.In other MLB news: Zach Johnson shares second with J.T. Poston, Brian Stuard, Cameron Tringale (trihn-GAH’-lee) and Lee Westwood, who also made the field on a sponsor exemption.KOBE BRYANT-AUCTIONKobe Bryant handprints, other memorabilia up for auctionNEW YORK (AP) — Some key Kobe Bryant memorabilia, including two of his Los Angeles Lakers uniforms and cement handprints from his induction into the Grauman’s Chinese Theater hall of fame gallery, are going up for sale in April.Julien’s Auctions aid Thursday that the items would be up for sale on April 30 as part of its annual sports auction that also includes a silver medal from the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and a 2002 FIFA World Cup gold winner’s medal. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNBA-SCHEDULESixers win without Embiid, SimmonsUNDATED (AP) — No Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’). No Ben Simmons. No problem for the Philadelphia 76ers as they improved to an NBA-best 28-2 at home. Slater Koekkoek (KOO’-koo) scored his first goal of the season and Brandon Saad (sahd) added his 20th as Chicago beat the Lightning for the first time in regulation since Dec. 13, 2009.Elsewhere on NHL ice:— Colton Parayko’s wraparound goal in overtime capped the Blues’ comeback in a 3-2 win against the Islanders. Vince Dunn tied it with 1:44 left in regulation before Parayko sent St. Louis to its sixth straight win and a five-point lead over Colorado atop the Central Division. Jean-Gabriel Pageau (pa-ZHOH’) and Jordan Eberle had first-period goals for the Isles, who are two points ahead of Columbus for the first Eastern Conference wild card.— Winnipeg’s three-game skid is over after Connor Hellebuyck (HEH’-leh-buhk) stopped 34 shots in a 3-0 shutout of the Capitals. Kyle Connor and Mark Schiefele (SHY’-flee) each had a goal and an assist to support Hellebuyck’s fifth shutout of the season and 19th of his career. Washington’s lead in the Metropolitan Division remains four points over the Penguins, who have two games in hand.— William Nylander (NEE’-lan-dur) snapped a 3-3 tie with 11 minutes left in the Maple Leafs’ 5-3 victory over the Panthers. Auston Matthews, Kasperi Kapanen (kas-PEHR’-ee KAP’-eh-nehn), Mark Hyman and Justin Holl also scored and Frederik Andersen stopped 24 shots in Toronto’s third win in four games. Bryant’s items were already being planned for auction when he, his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.SUN YANG APPEALOlympic champion Sun Yang banned for 8 years in doping caseGENEVA (AP) — Chinese swimmer Sun Yang has been banned for eight years for breaking anti-doping rules and will miss the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.The Court of Arbitration for Sport has found the three-time Olympic champion guilty of refusing to cooperate with sample collectors during a visit to his home in September 2018 that turned confrontational. February 28, 2020 Tobias Harris scored 34 points to lead the short-handed Sixers to a 115-106 victory over the Knicks. Harris had 23 points in the opening half to help Philadelphia to a 61-46 lead at the break.Shake Milton scored 19 points and Al Horford added 15 as the 76ers handed New York its sixth straight loss.Embiid sat out with a shoulder injury and Simmons missed his third straight game with a back ailment that will keep him off the court for at least two weeks. The Sixers will have more information concerning Embiid’s injury on Friday.The win puts the 76ers in a tie with Miami for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.Checking out Thursday’s other NBA action: — Former Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz is selling some baseball memorabilia and plenty of household items at a weekend estate sale. The baseball-related items for sale include framed jerseys, bobbleheads, commemorative Coca-Cola bottles, signed Red Sox photographs, and a Boston Bruins jersey with the name Ortiz and his No. 34 on the back.PGA-HONDA CLASSICLewis, English share Honda leadPALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Tom Lewis and Harris English each fired 4-under 66s to take a one-shot lead in the first of the PGA’s Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens.Lewis and English each made the field on sponsor exemptions after failing to qualify for the event. NHL-CANUCKS-MARKSTROMMarkstrom out after ‘minor’ procedureVANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom had a “minor lower body procedure” and will be reevaluated in two weeks.Markstrom was hurt during a 9-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday, causing Vancouver to acquire veteran Louis Domingue (doh-MIHNG’) from New Jersey. Markstrom is 23-16-4 with a 2.75 goals-against average, a career-high .918 save percentage and two shutouts this season.MLB-NEWScenter_img — Ryan Strome’s (strohmz) two goals and one assist carried the Rangers to their fifth consecutive win, 5-2 at Montreal. Phillip Di Giuseppe, Adam Fox and Mika Zibanejad (MEE’-kah zih-BAN’-eh-jad) also tallied after New York fell behind, 2-0.— Mikael Granlund provided the tying and winning goals in the Predators’ 4-3 overtime victory against the Flames. Granlund knotted the score with less than a second left in regulation and ended it at 1:20 of OT to give Nashville its third straight win.— Bobby Ryan returned from a three-month injury absence and recorded a hat trick in the Senators’ 5-2 verdict over the Canucks. Ryan tallied twice in the final 2:08 for his fifth hat trick and first since December 2014.— Matt Dumba had two goals and an assist as the Wild blew out the Red Wings, 7-1 for their fourth win in five games. Kevin Fiala (fee-AH’-lah) also had a three-point night with a goal and two assists.— Logan Couture scored 38 seconds into overtime to complete the Sharks’ 3-2 win against the Devils. San Jose trailed 2-0 in the second until Mario Ferraro beat Mackenzie Blackwood and Marcus Sorenson added a short-handed goal late in the period. — Anthony Davis had 23 points and six rebounds in three quarters of the Lakers’ 116-86 thrashing of the Warriors. Rajon Rondo (RAH’-zhahn RAHN’-doh) started in place of LeBron James and contributed 12 points with six assists as Los Angeles earned its seventh straight win and league-record 18th in a row on the road against the Western Conference. James sat out because of recurring soreness in his troublesome left groin.— Danilo Gallinari scored 24 points and the Thunder rallied from 19 down in the third quarter to beat the Kings, 112-108. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander contributed 20 points and Chris Paul added 17 as Oklahoma City won its fifth in a row and 14th in its last 17 games.— Domantas Sabonis (doh-MAHN’-tahs sah-BOH’-nihs) had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Pacers to their fourth win in five games, 106-100 versus the Trail Blazers. Malcolm Brogdon had 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds, while T.J. Warren and Victor Oladipo (oh-lah-DEE’-poh) scored 15 points each for Indiana.T25 MEN’S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULEGonzaga hammers San Diego — D’Mitrik Trice hit his first five shots and scored 28 points as Wisconsin topped No. 19 Michigan, 81-74. Aleem Ford and Micah Potter each had 18 points to help the Badgers improve to 18-9 overall and 11-6 in the Big Ten. Zavier Simpson scored a career-high 32 points for the Wolverines, who were without guard Eli Brooks because of a broken nose.— Matt Bradley matched his career highs of five 3-pointers and 26 points in leading California’s 76-62 upset of 21st-ranked Colorado. Kareem South had 19 points and Paris Austin added 12 as the Golden Bears beat the Buffaloes for the first time in six tries.— Kaleb Wesson scored 16 points and had a career-high 18 rebounds in No. 23 Ohio State’s 75-54 thumping of Nebraska. Duane Washington Jr. made three straight 3s to open the game and finished with 14 points for the Buckeyes, who led 26-12 after hitting nine of their first 11 shots.NHL-SCHEDULEB’s win, Bolts fall UNDATED (AP) — Third-ranked Gonzaga has nailed down its eighth consecutive West Coast Conference regular-season title.Filip Petrusev (peh-TROO’-shehv) had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Bulldogs in a 94-59 dismantling of San Diego. Corey Kispert scored 16 points and Ryan Woolridge had 15 for the 28-2 Zags, who rebounded from Saturday’s loss at BYU.Gonzaga has won 38 consecutive home games, the longest streak in the country. The Bulldogs are also seeking to play the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Spokane.In other top-25 finals:— Payton Pritchard had 23 points and 14th-ranked Oregon extended its home winning streak to 15 games by topping Oregon State, 69-54. Will Richardson had 15 points for the Ducks, who avenged their Feb. 8 loss to the Beavers. Oregon is 22-7 overall and 11-5 in the Pac-12. UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Bruins have widened their lead in the NHL’s Atlantic Division.David Pastrnak’s (PAHS’-tur-nahks) 46th goal of the season was the eventual game-winner as the Bruins topped the Stars, 4-3. The game was deadlocked, 1-1 until Brad Marchand and Nick Ritchie tallied 77 seconds apart late in the second period.Jaroslav Halak (YAH’-roh-slahv hah-LAHK’) turned back 31 shots to help Boston end its first two-game losing streak in over a month.The Bruins now pace the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division races by seven points over Tampa Bay.The Lightning dropped their fourth straight since a team-record, 11-game winning streak. Dominik Kubalik (koo-BAH’-lihk) recorded his first career hat trick with three goals in the third period of the Blackhawks’ 5-2 victory at Tampa. The Blackhawks trailed 2-0 before scoring three times in the final period, including three in a 5:20 span. Associated Press — Indians reliever Emmanuel Clase (klah-say) is expected to be out 8-12 weeks with a strained back muscle. Clase has a 100 mph fastball and was the centerpiece of an offseason trade that sent two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to Texas.— Cubs reliever Brad Wieck has had surgery for an abnormal heart flutter and is out indefinitely. The team says an irregular heartbeat was discovered during the 28-year-old left-hander’s spring training physical.— Freddie Freeman hopes to return to the Atlanta Braves lineup next week after his surgically repaired right elbow swelled and forced him out of action a few days ago. The four-time All-Star had three loose bodies removed from his elbow in October to address years-long pain that caused an ill-timed slump last season.— Kerwin Danley has been named the majors’ first African American umpire crew chief. The 58-year-old Danley has worked two World Series and been on the field for 10 other postseason rounds, including the AL Championship Series last year. MLB also says Alfonso Marquez is being elevated to the first Hispanic crew chief born outside the United States.— Members of Congress have sent a letter to the Baseball Hall of Fame asking that former major league outfielder Curt Flood be elected in December by the next golden era committee. The recognition would coincide with the 50-year anniversary of Flood’s defiant letter to baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn in which he wrote, “I do not feel that I am a piece of property to be bought and sold irrespective of my wishes.” Flood was traded by St. Louis to Philadelphia after the 1969 season and refused to report to the Phillies, instead sitting out the 1970 campaign and challenging the reserve clause. The 28-year-old Sun cannot defend his 200-meter freestyle title in Tokyo and has been banned until February 2028.The World Anti-Doping Agency went to CAS after a FINA tribunal only warned Sun.last_img read more

Angels’ Matt Shoemaker awaits more tests for injured forearm

first_img Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter In two games against the Cleveland Indians earlier this week, Ohtani had five hits in his nine at-bats, including a pair of home runs. He added a third – a 449-foot blast to center field – in his first at-bat Friday night.The Japanese two-way standout, who will take the mound again Sunday, has been in the lineup as the designated hitter and batted eighth in all three games this week.So, considering the early success, would the Angels move him up higher in the batting order?Scioscia did not rule out the possibility noting “there’s always opportunities to adjust our lineup.”“We’re still seven games into this,” Scioscia said, speaking with reporters in the dugout before Friday’s game against Oakland. “We’ll evaluate things as we start to get underway, but with the way he’s swinging the bat and where he’s hitting, that just shows we have a good plan and that’s what he’ll need.”ALSOSecond baseman Ian Kinsler, on the 10-day disabled list with a groin injury, has resumed baseball activities, but Scioscia did not say if a rehab assignment was near. “He’s got some things to do before he’s ready for a rehab game, so we’re going to take everything one step at a time.”UP NEXTA’s (RHP Andrew Triggs, 0-0, 1.80 ERA) at Angels (RHP JC Ramirez, 0-1, 7.71), Saturday, 6 p.m., Fox Sports West, 830 AM Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Shoemaker was 6-3 with a 4.52 ERA prior in 2017 before the setback. His previous season ended early as well because of a fractured skull when a 105 mph line drive off the bat of Seattle Mariners’ Kyle Seager hit the right side of his head.Andrew Heaney, who was making a rehabilitation start for Class-A Inland Empire on Friday night, has also been on the disabled list with arm soreness.Parker Bridwell started in place of Shoemaker on Friday night. Last season, the Angels’ pitching rotation, snake-bitten by injuries, was forced to use 13 starters.Manager Mike Scioscia said Friday the club was awaiting additional information about Shoemaker’s health status and potential nerve issue.“We’re still trying to wrap our heads around exactly what’s happening,” Scioscia said.UP IN THE ORDER?Shohei Ohtani’s hitting debut at Angel Stadium has made an impression.Related Articles Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield center_img Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone “I don’t know, because I think we’re trying to figure out what news is what,” said Shoemaker, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier this week. “I think this test is going to help us narrow it down. It’s good the MRI has come back clean, that’s awesome.”Before becoming the Angels’ second starter to begin this season on the disabled list, Shoemaker made his first regular-season start since June last Saturday at Oakland, where he allowed three runs and four hits in 5-2/3 innings. But toward the end of the start, Shoemaker described feeling pain in his arm.Shoemaker missed the second half of last season after surgery to release the radial nerve in his right forearm, and he reiterated Friday his injured forearm felt similar.He underwent the season-ending surgery last year following an EMG test.“That’s what told us last year the way to fix this,” Shoemaker said. “I had something push down on my nerve previously. That’s why I required surgery to cut that off. Everything felt great. Now something is going on. It might be something similar, reoccurring. That’s what I’m trying to figure out.” ANAHEIM — The potential length of Matt Shoemaker’s absence with a strained right forearm remains unclear.Results of Shoemaker’s MRI returned clean, without showing acute elbow trauma, the club announced Thursday, but the right-hander is scheduled to undergo additional tests next week, including an electromyography and nerve condition study Monday in Los Angeles.“The tests will help us narrow down if we think it’s this, or we think it’s this,” Shoemaker said Friday. “And we got to find a way to treat it.”When asked if he thought the MRI represented good news or bad news, he wasn’t sure. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Noah’s Ark Goes Dutch

first_imgNoah’s ark has landed in the Netherlands.  Johan Huibers, a Dutch contractor built the model to showcase the Biblical story and renew interest in Christianity in a country that has lost its faith.  Fox News, USA Today, the BBC News, the Christian Post, CBN and many other news sources carried versions of the Associated Press story.    Visitors were stunned by the size of the model.  One visitor described it is “past comprehension.”  She said, “I knew the story of Noah, but I had no idea the boat would have been so big.”  She might be more stunned to learn that Huibers’ model is only one-half the original as described in Genesis (see ChristianAnswers.net for measurements and artists’ reconstructions).    The AP story quipped that this might help people concerned about rising sea levels from global warming.  Nowhere did the reports claim that Huibers expected his model to be seaworthy, though.  It’s more a museum.  It will have a 50-seat theater, “ancient tools and old-fashioned barrels, exotic stuffed animals, and a wax model of an exhausted Noah reclining on a chair in the forecastle.”  Huibers only looked half as exhausted.This is certainly better than the cartoony representations of Noah in a floating bathtub with elephant and giraffe heads sticking out the top.  The true Ark’s dimensions ranked with those of large ocean liners.  Anything that helps elucidate the actual story instead of mocking it like the BBC show in 2003 (03/10/2003) might help a jaded, secularized public think about Bible history more seriously.  Maybe this limited project will inspire someone to build a full-size model.  That would be a real stunner.  Better start soon; it might take 100 years. (Visited 12 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

Three New Books on Green Building

first_imgThree new books crossed my desk recently, each with a shiny cover and the promise of useful information for green builders. One turns out to be a gem, and the other two are clunkers.New Society Publishers has just released a book by Patricia Foreman called A Tiny Home to Call Your Own. Although it’s hard to tell by looking at the book, this is actually a new edition of a book that was first published in September 2004. (Mysteriously, the latest edition drops the name of one of the co-authors of the first edition, Andy Lee.)This book defines a tiny house as a “smaller house from about 350 square feet up to about 1,000 square feet.”Foreman’s book has a few virtues:The book provides a refreshing pep-talk on decluttering: “If downsizing seems daunting, keep in mind how encumbering it is to work just to pay for heated and air-conditioned housing and storage for your stuff. Then the stuff owns you and not the other way around.” The perspective is valuable, in spite of the fact that it isn’t particularly original. (In Walden, published in 1854, Henry David Thoreau expressed the same point: “And when the farmer has got his house, he may not be the richer but the poorer for it, and it be the house that has got him. … I am wont to think that men are not so much the keepers of herds as herds are the keepers of men, the former are so much the freer. Men and oxen exchange work; but if we consider necessary work only, the oxen will be seen to have greatly the advantage.”)If you’re interested in construction details, however, the book is sadly lacking. The book is silent on ventilation systems. There is no advice on insulating the floors… 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. This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberscenter_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

3 Ways Social Media Is Reshaping the Political Landscape

first_imgRelated Posts The recent political conventions underscored a few disconcerting trends. Our political leadership is not only out of touch with reality but also tends to distort the truth. How can social-media-based innovations address these challenges?Given that social media excel at connecting people with society’s leaders, there is no question social entrepreneurs can play a major role in the country’s future. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted in his company’s S-1 IPO filing that he viewed Facebook as a tool that could “bring a more honest and transparent dialogue around government that could lead to more direct empowerment of people.”While Zuckerberg believes that social media can more bring accountability to the political process and offer solutions to some of our biggest problems, how is this vision being realized? A number of startups are approaching the social engagement process in different ways. ClicktivismFounded in 2006 by two Stanford University undergrads, Change.org aims to overcome microcosmic challenges. The company lets citizens create online petitions. Its most famous win was “forcing” Bank of America to rescind its planned monthly $5 banking fee, a petition started by a 22-year-old nanny Molly Katchpole.Demonstrating the budding interest in online activism, often dubbed “clicktivism,” Change.org has signed up 17 million members and is adding 2-3 million clicktivists each month, according to Change.org Communications Manager Charlotte Hill.In August, Change.org helped three high-school students succeed: in getting a woman, CNN’s Candy Crowley, to moderate the presidential debates, something that hadn’t occurred since 1992. (Look here for other Change.org victoriesHill tells me that Change.org generates revenue by accepting advertisements from non-profits, basically “sponsored petitions.” The formula may be working because the company already has grown to 150 employees.Civic EngagementPOPVOX was born to address the problem of too much information. Founder and CEO Marci Harris worked as a legislative assistant in Washington and discovered that congressional staffers were drowning in too much noise, so the idea to create an online sentiment platform was born.POPVOX automates the process of constituent communications with their political representatives. The online platform makes it easy for citizens to follow proposed legislation and express support or opposition, which is then sent with a personalized note to involved representatives.Harris tells me that POPVOX relies on a freemium model. Politicians are welcome to place a free widget on their site but if they need analytics, the company is more than happy to oblige for a monthly subscription fee. michael tchong A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#Government#Non-Profits#social networks#web Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification POPVOX users are not required to be citizens or even registered voters. So users can keep civic logins separate from their Facebook or Twitter login. This feature lets members rely on anonymous screen names yet communicate with Congress using their real name.Voter EngagementVotizen takes a different approach. It spent a lot of money and time digitizing voter registration records for 200 million Americans. It took two years to capture the data, which was supplied by local registrars on floppy disks, magnetic tape and even spreadsheets.The resulting 1TB database was used to create a social-media-driven service that lets members discover who their social media connections like – or to find like-minded individuals. Votizen has raised $2.25 million from the likes of Napster co-founder Sean Parker and angel investor Ron Conway in addition to Twitter celebrity Ashton Kutcher.Votizen believes politicians and activists will pay to reach its members, selectable by affinity or geography. The service says it has so far attracted 1,549,231 members. Votizen co-founder and CEO David Binetti says the goal of the service is to reduce the role of money in politics by making “the size of a person’s network more important than the size of their wallet.”Clearly, social entrepreneurs have heeded the call to help reshape America’s political landscape, whether through clicktivism and heightened civic or voter engagement. I plan to look at the other challenge, realtime transparency and fact-checking, in an upcoming post.Soldier on America and do contribute your ideas to our Social Revolution ideation engine. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoslast_img read more