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December 18, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgThe Buffalo Volunteer Rifles celebrates its 135th anniversary in 2011.(Image: Shamin Chibba) South Africa is a country not only built on gold and diamonds, but on the blood of many who strove to claim the land as theirs. Sadly, many relics from these battles are lost. However, there are a few people who have made it their purpose to preserve the precious artifacts that survived, and make them accessible to the public.One such place is the Buffalo Volunteer Rifles (BVR) Military Museum in East London. The museum is the city’s hidden gem; unknown to many yet containing a treasure trove of history.According to curator Major Anthony Step, the museum serves as a depository of war history that is preserved for future generations.“We house military memorabilia pertaining to those who served in all branches in all wars,” he said.For Step, the museum, located at BVR headquarters on Fleet Street, is a true representative of internal conflict in the country. It contains items from as far back as the Cape Frontier Wars, which started in the 18th century, to the liberation struggle of the latter 1900s.The museum is divided into four themes – the armed struggle, military artifacts, BVR regimental memorabilia and a depository of the commander units which were closed down in 2006.The museum houses old artillery, medals, guns, uniforms and photographs. However, Step did acknowledge that not everything could be salvaged.“This is the sad thing about conflict. Some things get lost and stolen – that is why it is important to have a museum,” he said.The East London Museum is currently assisting the BVR centre with items related to the armed struggle during apartheid. Though the headquarters are running out of space to house all these goods, Step said there is another base they would utilise in the future.Cherished relicsOne of Step’s prized items is a document containing the minutes of BVR meetings in 1876, its first year of existence. He also treasures the kilted uniform of the BVR’s Scottish Highland Company.Any visitor, though, would be startled at a well preserved letter sent to a Nazi officer, congratulating him on his efforts. It was signed by Adolf Hitler.Step has had to search for artifacts throughout the Eastern Cape to fill the museum.One such item is the cannon that greets visitors at the entrance to the headquarters. It was used by the British during the Napoleonic War before being brought to South Africa for the British campaign in 1834. The cannon was later found standing outside the Civic Centre in the small town of Keiskammahoek in the Eastern Cape province.The museum also has the two cannons that were previously displayed outside the East London City Hall. The BVR took them before they could be discarded by city officials. However, they are disintegrating slowly.“They need immediate restoration or they will be lost to rust and corrosion. The regiment does not have the funds to do so,” said Step.A consummate storytellerIt is not only the items themselves that inspire awe, but also the astounding knowledge that Step displays when he shows visitors around the room. He is a consummate storyteller, providing tidbits of information on almost every item in the complex.Step believes the value of an item is measured by the tales it can tell. “Every piece in a museum must tell a story,” he said.Looking at a battlefield illustration, drawn during the Anglo-Boer War, he chuckled while pointing out that at the very same spot a soldier, who was sitting passively, was shot in the head. Before he collapsed, the soldier cried, “Who threw that stone at me?”About the Buffalo Volunteer Rifles•    An infantry regiment of the South African army, the Buffalo Volunteer Rifles is in its 135th year of existence. It was established as the Buffalo Mounted Rifles in 1876 by Edward Yord Brabant.•    The regiment changed its name four times. In 1879 it was known as the Cape Mounted Yeomanry before changing to the Kaffrarian Rifles in the 1890s. It became known as the Buffalo Volunteer Rifles in 1999.•    One of the more controversial figures was Rowland Bettington, who commanded the regiment in the 1890s and gained notoriety when he partook in the Jameson Raid.•    In 1927 the BVR officially affiliated itself with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps.•    The BVR boasts a Victorian Cross hero in Gerrard Ross “Toys” Norton. He received the accolade after his efforts in the Second World War. He is only one of three South Africans to have received the medal, which is displayed at the BVR Museum alongside a photo of the war veteran.•    Among the BVR’s latest members are former soldiers of the liberation struggle who fought against the apartheid regime.last_img read more

December 18, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgMore than 50,000 Hippo Rollers have been distributed in more than 29 countries, changing the lives of millions of people, according to Play Your Part ambassador Darren Smith.The Hippo Roller is the recipient of the Frost & Sullivan’s 2016 African Rural Portable Water Solutions Product Leadership Award. (Images: The Hippo Roller Project)Melissa JavanIn a conversation with a teenage girl, Grant Gibbs, executive director of the Hippo Roller Project, realised that the basic human need for dignity could be easily overlooked. He describes the conversation with this girl as one of his highlights of the project.“In South Sudan, where I interviewed a teenage girl, I asked why she liked the Hippo Roller so much and she responded without hesitation: ‘Because now I can look like a city girl.’She explained that she could not braid her hair to look attractive when carrying heavy buckets of water on her head,” he says.Hippo Roller, a South African-made drum to transport water, allows users to transport five times as much water as a 20-litre bucket. Instead of carrying the standard 20-litre bucket on your head, the Hippo Roller is rolled on the ground. They have been distributed in more than 29 countries.The project was established in 1994 to tackle the lack of access to water, a challenge in rural communities in South Africa.Darren Smith, who handles the donor and media engagement for Hippo Roller, is a Play Your Part ambassador. Play Your Part is a national movement by Brand South Africa to encourage active citizenship and social cohesion.Darren Smith of the Hippo Roller Project says the initiative leverages its relationships with sponsors, corporate partners and NGOs to provide African communities with an immediate and winning water solution.Brand South Africa writer Melissa Javan talked to Smith and Gibbs about the Hippo Roller Project.Melissa Javan: Why did you get involved in this project?Grant Gibbs: I was employed as a technician and sales executive at Infotech from 1987 to 1998, and during that period I became a part-time distributor of the Hippo Roller.Infotech persuaded me to pursue this option with them, and together we formed Infotech’s reconstruction and development programme department in 1994. A little later the Hippo Water Roller Trust was formed. Though Infotech decided to close the department (and trust) in 1998, I chose to continue and have been managing the Hippo Roller in my personal capacity ever since.Darren Smith: I have followed Grant’s journey with the Hippo Roller almost since its inception more than 20 years ago. When the opportunity arose to join the team, I jumped at it. Personally and professionally the whole reason to be of the Hippo Roller energised me. “Simple ideas. Changing lives.” This is our “why”. This gets us up in the mornings.MJ: Who are the beneficiaries?DS: Millions of women and children struggle daily to collect water. It is for this group that the Hippo Roller has an immediate and profound impact. It significantly improves their ability to collect more water, more efficiently, and empowers them to spend more time on education and other important tasks in the home and community.Grant Gibbs is a Play Your Part ambassador.MJ: How old is the Hippo Roller?DS: The Hippo Roller itself was conceptualised in 1991 by Pettie Petzer and Johan Jonker, two South Africans who grew up on farms and experienced the national water crisis first-hand. They saw people carrying heavy buckets of water on their heads for kilometres every day.With roots in these water-dependent, resource-poor environments, Petzer and Jonker were familiar with the struggle to access water that millions of Africans experience daily.Jonker noticed that workers on his father’s farm collected empty 20-litre plastic containers to use to fetch water. These containers are typically of poor quality and not very durable. He thought there had to be a better way.As co-inventor Petzer describes it, the original idea was based on a wheelbarrow including a moulded tank for a low centre of gravity. In trying to get their concept going, one of the first problems they encountered was the price of the wheel itself. It was the most expensive component.Petzer thought: “Let’s put the water inside the wheel!” And so, the Hippo Water Roller was born. Initially branded the Aqua Roller, it received its first design award in 1992.MJ: How does it work?DS: The Hippo Roller is made from UV stabilised linear low-density polyethylene and is designed to cope with the rough surfaces found in rural areas. The drum’s volume is 90 litres and it has a large opening (135mm) for easy filling and cleaning, yet it is also small enough to prevent toddlers from falling inside.MJ: How do you choose beneficiaries?DS: Our experience has been that it remains important for the community leaders and the community itself to be fully consulted and engaged in the process of introducing the Hippo Roller.There are seldom enough to go around in any given community, and so they are diligently allocated and distributed to the neediest first (women, child-headed homes, the elderly or frail) by the local community leaders.We have discovered too, that a Hippo Roller is never idle. Often it is shared widely, and works hard, each Hippo Roller potentially meeting the needs of dozens of people. In a recent project in Mozambique, for example, 30 Hippo Rollers are serving the needs of nearly 4,000 people.Residents in Malawi using the Hippo Roller.MJ: How do they benefit?DS: Time is our most precious resource. By addressing the difficulty of retrieving water, the Hippo Roller simply buys more time. In turn, that time can be put to more productive use for education, social development and local entrepreneurship.MJ: What do you mean when you call Hippo Roller “a social enterprise”?DS: As a social enterprise, the Hippo Roller is a for-profit business that seeks to be sustainable. It works closely with NGOs, corporate social investment sponsors, government departments and other donor organisations and individuals.And on that note – of sustainability – we expect Hippo Roller’s business model to scale by an order of magnitude in the coming years.MJ: What has been your highlight so far?GG: There is not one “most rewarding” experience. Literally each recipient of a Hippo Roller glows with pride on receiving it. The Hippo Rollers are jealously guarded and highly prized possessions, which change the lives of their owners.That said, they are shared widely within the communities too, and it would be fair to say that a Hippo Roller rarely sits idle. While we don’t often get to see the results first hand, stories from all over the world reach us, and it is always incredibly humbling.DS: There is no single highlight that springs to mind. Quite simply, every time we engage with people in communities struggling with access to water, I am moved to action.MJ: How can people get involved?DS: Many current community development initiatives around the world, with a completely different focus from water, can be more effective in the communities they serve just by improving access to water.Even NGOs that install wells and boreholes could serve a wider territory by including Hippo Rollers from the same borehole. Water is something that most of us just don’t think about. But for millions, it’s all they think about, every single day.A first step then, would be to visit HippoRoller.org. Even if you can’t donate, sharing the knowledge and spreading the word goes a long way to keeping the visibility of the water crisis high.MJ: How do you use social media to spread your message?DS: Historically, the need has found us. Over the years, people working closely with rural communities have contacted us. Corporate social investment (CSI) professionals have contacted us.We’ve put the two groups in touch with each other, operating as an innovation partner and providing a conduit for sponsored Hippo Rollers to reach communities in need.Since the advent of the web, and more recently the social era, we’ve actively promoted the Hippo Roller via its web presence, a community newsletter, social media platforms and at events across the globe.The Hippo Roller has been covered by all manner of print, digital, broadcast and social media influencers, all of which have helped keep our profile reasonably high.This visibility is primarily aimed at the NGOs, CSI professionals, government departments and other donor organisations and individuals with whom we engage, rather than the communities or recipients themselves.MJ: Why should all South Africans play their part in their communities and be brand ambassadors of South Africa?DS: While Play Your Part’s objective is to lift the spirit of the nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, it is primarily by becoming involved and starting “to do” that we can all make a difference. And just as it is with water, every drop counts.Play your part, and let’s keep on rolling.Get involved with Hippo Roller, via its:Website: www.hipporoller.orgEmail: [email protected] on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin and TwitterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

December 16, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgA web of infinite information: does that sound like a scary problem of “just too much”? Venerable blogger Om Malik and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams agreed in an interview today that it is. Williams, as a founder first of Blogger.com and now of Twitter, is probably more responsible for the explosion of social data online than any other single person. Luckily, not everyone feels the same way about this historical moment. As the quantity of data produced and available thanks not just to blogging and social networks, but sensors, surveys and machine observation hockey sticks exponentially skyward – a growing number of people and institutions are embracing this change as an opportunity that could forever change the way we learn, communicate and understand the world. Hopefully the bloggers and social network creators of the world will participate with enthusiasm.To be fair, Williams himself recognizes the explosion of data on Twitter an an opportunity to deliver new and greater forms of value than his company does today. And Malik’s own company organizes a conference on big data called Structure. The language of “too much” and “scary problem” exists within a context, though. That context includes the Wall St. Journal’s fear-mongering series on social network data and advertising (“What They Know About You”), the stuggles between privacy and innovation (even in the US Federal government, where innovation is increasingly defended in the face of privacy concerns), the decline of sophisticated online tools like Delicious and RSS readers and the rise in polished, closed, proprietary systems of communication like Facebook. (“Grunt if you Like™ something or someone.”)“Revealing the hidden laws and processes underlying societies constitutes the most pressing scientific grand challenge of our century.” – Dr Helbing, of the Swiss Federal Institute of TechnologyTwitter is our open social graph. It’s our machine-accessible mega-river of links and social information. It’s very worrisome to hear the man in charge of the product say he “totally agrees” with the statement that there’s “just too much” information on the internet.He might recognize that his engineers need to process that information to make pretty packages for the millions of would-be users still living in the 20th century and intimidated by a fat stream of variably relevant information – but his engineers alone will never be able to bring as much to that challenge as a world of hackers can, as long as they have access to the data. For the leader to orient himself in this day and age away from showing outside parties the data is cause for concern. (This is something we’ve expressed concern about for at least the last 18 months, see How Twitter’s Staff Uses Twitter (And Why It Could Cause Problems).)What’s the other side of the coin? Free, open, available data as an incredible opportunity for improving the human experience probably saw its best articulation to date with the broadcast of the BBC’s new hour-long special The Joy of Stats, which you can view in full below.See also: R.I.P. Delicious, You Were So Beautiful to MeThe BBC also profiled this week a Swiss project dubbed the Living Earth Simulator (LES), a massive data project aiming to simulate as much natural and social activity on earth as possible. Those simulations, to be carried out on a scale inspired by the Large Hadron Collider, would aim to discover all kinds of patterns hidden in the mass of human and ecological data, including social network data.“Many problems we have today – including social and economic instabilities, wars, disease spreading – are related to human behaviour, but there is apparently a serious lack of understanding regarding how society and the economy work,” says to the BBC a Dr Helbing, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, who chairs the FuturICT project which aims to create the simulator. “Revealing the hidden laws and processes underlying societies constitutes the most pressing scientific grand challenge of our century.”Do “too much data” warblers want to sit that grand challenge out? Do they want to impede it by stoking a culture of fear, rather than of support for investigation?Skeptics, even data-loving skeptics, note that data enough is not alone. As ReadWriteWeb contributor and data scientist Pete Warden told the BBC about the Living Earth Simulator, “It’s not that we don’t know enough about a lot of the problems the world faces, from climate change to extreme poverty, it’s that we don’t take any action on the information we do have.”That may be true, but data driven knowledge will help illuminate problems, their finer points, possible solutions and opportunities to galvanize public support for taking action.Don’t take my word for it, check out the fabulous BBC special with Dr. Hans Rosling below. Statistics, Rosling says, is the sexiest field in the world right now. More than just glitz and glamour, the ability to analyze an explosion of data promises new opportunities to really make a difference in the world.Hopefully people who have helped build the instruments that enabled that explosion, through the inclusion of new voices from throughout society, will be excited about that and will participate whole heartedly.Title image by nasa1fan/MSFC A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… marshall kirkpatrick 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Data Services#Op-Ed#web center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

November 27, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgRashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyaan RMSA, a government of India project, Assam has invited online applications for Graduate Teachers and Staff in Model schools located in 14 educationally backward blocks of Assam. The appointment shall be on contractual basis, initially for a period of 11 months, which may be renewed depending on the satisfactory performance.Vacancies:Post Name    No of Posts    Graduate Teacher (English)    28    Graduate Teachers (Science)    14    Graduate Teachers (Math)    14    Graduate Teachers (Arts)    14    Graduate Teachers (Assamese)    14    Graduate Teachers (Hindi)    14    Graduate Teachers (Bengali)    03    Computer Teachers    14    Music Teachers    14    Librarian    14    Lab Attendant    14    ELIGIBILITYGraduate Teachers (English): Candidates should have a B.A or B.Sc in the relevant subject along a BT/B.Ed degree from any recognised university. Candidates should be TET qualifiedLibrarian: Graduation with one year Diploma in Library Science from a recognised institution.Lab Attendant: 12th standard passed with science stream from a recognised university or board.PAY SCALEGraduate Teachers/Hindi Teacher/Computer Teacher: Rs 5200 to 20200 (PB-2) + Grade Pay Rs 3300 Music Teacher: Rs 5200/- to 20200 (PB-2) + Grade Pay Rs 2700 Librarian: Rs 5200 to 20200 (PB-2) + Grade Pay Rs 2500 Lab Attendant:  Rs 15000 Age Limit: 38 Years of age as on July 01, 2014 (Relaxation of age will be applicable for SC/ST Applicants up to 5 years as per norms)Selection Procedure:The criteria for selection of Teachers shall be as follows:a) 100 marks on percentage of marks in B.A/B.Com/B.Sc Examination; (In case of Major/Hons, the marks obtained in Major/Hons, shall be taken into consideration);b) 100 marks on percentage of marks in H.S. Final Examination;c) 100 marks on percentage of marks in H.S.L.C Examination;d) 100 marks on percentage of marks in B.T/B.Ed Examination;e) 20 marks for achievement in fine Arts and Cultural Activities/Sports representing the state officially at National Level/ NCC certificate/ participating in recognised sports at national level representing Assamf) Maximum 30 marks for teaching experience @ 2 marks per year of teaching experience in Higher Secondary School/High School having enrollment more than 100.j) 20 marks on Interview.advertisementFor viva-voice the candidate will be called in a ratio of 1:4Application Fee: Rs 200 at any branch of State Bank of India after second working day (48 hours) from the day of the application submit. Payment of application fee can be made at any branch of State Bank of India by cash only. System generated bank e-Challan is a must for depositing the fee. The last date for submission of application is 17/09/2014.How To Apply: Candidates need to apply online through official website Official website: www.rmsaassam.in from Important dates: Last date to apply is October 10, 2014last_img read more

November 27, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgDefinitionAn epidural steroid injection (ESI) is the delivery of powerful anti-inflammatory medicine directly into the space outside of the sac of fluid around your spinal cord. This area is called the epidural space.ESI is not the same as epidural anesthesia given just before childbirth or certain types of surgery.Alternative NamesESI; Spinal injection for back pain; Back pain injectionDescriptionYou will be asked to change into a gown.You will then lie face down on an x-ray table with a pillow under your stomach. If this position causes pain, you will be asked to either sit up or lie on your side in a curled position.The health care provider cleans the area of your back where the needle will be inserted. Medicine may be used to numb the area. You may be given medicine to help you relax.The doctor inserts a needle into your back. The doctor will likely use an x-ray machine that produces real-time pictures to help guide the needle to the correct spot in your lower back.A mixture of steroid and numbing medicines are injected into the area. This medicine decreases swelling and pressure on the larger nerves around your spine and helps relieve pain.You may feel some pressure during the injection, but most of the time the procedure is not painful. It is important not to move during the procedure because the injection needs to be very precise.You will be watched for 15 to 20 minutes after the injection before going home.advertisementWhy the Procedure Is PerformedYour doctor may recommend ESIif you have pain that spreads from the lower spine to the hips or down the leg (radicular low back pain). This pain is caused by pressure on a nerve as it leaves the spine, most often due to a bulging disc.ESI isused only when your pain has not improved with medicines, physical therapy, or other nonsurgical treatments.RisksESI is generally safe. Complications may include:Dizziness, headache, or feeling sick to your stomach. Most of the time they are mild.Nerve root damage with increase pain down your legInfection in or around your spine (meningitis or abscess)Allergic reaction to the medicine usedBleeding around the spinal column (hematoma)Talk to your doctor about your risk of complications.Having these injections too often may weaken the bones of your spine or nearby muscles. Receiving higher doses of the steroids in the injections may also cause these problems. Because of this, most doctors limit patients to two or three injections per year.Your doctor will most likely have ordered an MRI scan of the back before this procedure. This helps your doctor determine the area to be treated.Before You Have the ProcedureTell your doctor or nurse:If you are pregnant or might be pregnantWhat medicines you are taking, including herbs, supplements, and other drugs you bought without a prescriptionYou may be told to stop taking medicines that make it hard for your blood to clot for several days before the test. This may include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and heparin.After the ProcedureYou may feel some discomfort in the area where the needle was inserted. This should last only a few hours.You may be told to rest for the rest of the day.Your pain may become worse for 2 to 3 days after the injection before it begins to improve. The steroid usually takes 2 to 3 days to work.If you receive medicines to make you sleepy, you must arrange for someone to drive you home.Outlook (Prognosis) Epidural steroid injections provide short-term pain relief for at least half of the people who receive them. Symptoms may remain better for weeks to months, but rarely up to a year.The procedure does not cure the cause of your back pain. You will need to continue back exercises and other treatments.ReferencesChou R, Loeser JD, Owens DK, Rosenquist RW, et al; American Pain Society Low Back Pain Guideline Panel. Interventional therapies, surgery, and interdisciplinary rehabilitation for low back pain: an evidence-based clinical practice guideline from the American Pain Society. Spine. 2009;34(10):1066-77.Staal JB, de Bie RA, de Vet HC, et al. Injection therapy for subacute and chronic low back pain: an updated Cochrane review. Spine. 2009;34(1):49-59. Review.Jegede KA, Ndu A, Grauer JN. Contemporary management of symptomatic lumbar disc herniations. Orthop Clin North Am. 2010;41:217-24.Review Date:4/16/2013Reviewed By:C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.advertisementlast_img read more