Dog days are a good thing for A’s Triple-A team and its four-legged bat boy

first_imgDuring their colorful history, the A’s have enlisted a mule as a mascot. They have employed a mechanical rabbit to pop out of the ground to deliver baseballs to the home plate umpire. During their short stay in Kansas City, they allowed sheep to graze beyond the right field fence and goats to wander the outfield. (No, not during the game. That would be weird).One time they endeavored to have a real elephant throw the ceremonial first pitch before a game in Oakland. With its trunk. If memory …last_img

Cannes triumph for South African films

first_imgA scene from Forerunners, which was theonly film to receive a special jury mentionat the Cannes Pan-African InternationalFilm Festival.(Image: Forerunners)Skoonheid director Oliver Hermanus,holding the Queer Palm award, celebrateswith members of the cast and crew.(Image: Queer Palm)MEDIA CONTACTS • Joy Sapieka & AssociatesFilm publicist+27 73 212 5492• Naomi Mokhele: Media queries,National Film and Video Foundation+27 11 483 0880Janine ErasmusThe South African film industry had a strong presence at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, with 24 films and documentaries on show and a handful of awards and commendations to bring home.The National Film and Video Foundation was instrumental in arranging the local representation.Even before his film Skoonheid (Afrikaans, meaning “beauty”) was honoured by the Cannes jury, local director and London Film School graduate Oliver Hermanus had achieved what nobody else had before, as this was the first Afrikaans language film to make it into competition at the festival.It’s also the first film to arise out of the South Africa-France coproduction agreement, which was signed in Cannes in 2010 by French culture minister Frédéric Mittérand and Lulama Xingwana, South Africa’s arts and culture minister at the time. This agreement was set up to allow films coproduced by the two countries to take advantage of each other’s film-related incentive schemes.Skoonheid slotted into the Un Certain Regard (A Certain Outlook) section, which features innovative and different works. Un Certain Regard and the main competition are the two sections that make up the Cannes official selection. To date, only four other local films have been selected for competition at Cannes.The film didn’t win in its category, but went on to scoop the Queer Palm award, given to the entry that best deals with issues relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual community.The Queer Palm is a parallel honour that’s sanctioned by the festival organisers, much like the Teddy Award at the Berlin Film Festival. This year’s Teddy also went to a South African, the provocative and always-entertaining Pieter-Dirk Uys.Skoonheid revolves around conservative Bloemfontein resident François van Heerden, married with a family, who encounters the son of an old friend at his (Van Heerden’s) daughter’s wedding, and unexpectedly falls in love.Resigned to his life, middle-aged Van Heerden has all but given up on happiness, until he meets the 23-year-old. Now he faces a struggle to accept this newly unleashed and unexplored side of himself.“We were struck by this film about self-hate, homophobia and racism. Skoonheid is a disturbing, radical film, real cinema,” said French journalist and jury president Elisabeth Quin.Skoonheid was produced by Moonlighting Films and stars Deon Lotz as Van Heerden and Charlie Keegan as Christian, the love interest.Hermanus expressed his gratitude to the organisers and jury. “When we made this film we were challenging some radical issues in South Africa,” he said. “We want to show it in South Africa, but we know it will be a challenging film for the audience because it deals with someone who refuses to accept his sexuality which is, I think, happening around the world.”Watch the trailer on YouTube.Rainbow Nation on filmVeteran actor and jury president Robert de Niro presided over this year’s festival, the 64th edition.Other local films that showed at Cannes in 2011 include Roepman, an Afrikaans drama that takes place in a Durban railway community in 1966; Otelo Burning, set in the troubled townships of 1989 and featuring a youngster who discovers a passion for surfing and a way out of his situation; The Whale Caller, based on renowned author Zakes Mda’s book; Spoon, a supernatural thriller produced by Sharlto Copley of District 9 fame; and Surfing Soweto, which involves surfing of a more dangerous kind, on the roofs of trains.Currenty on circuit in South Africa, Roepman is directed by actor Paul Eilers. The film is set in the turbulent apartheid years, and is a coming-of-age story told from the perspective of an 11-year-old boy. Watch the trailer.A 52-minute documentary about four young middle-class black South Africans, titled Forerunners, won the Dikalo award at the Cannes Pan-African International Film Festival. It was one of just four films honoured with the coveted jury prize, and was the only entry to earn a special jury mention.“This documentary brings us a lot of hope,” said festival director Basile Ngangue Ebelle. “When one watches it, one cannot remain indifferent. The film is a beautiful aperture through which to see life.”“Forerunners uses the transition of the black middle class as a framework to tell a universal story,” said debutante director Simon Wood, “and allows us all to consider where we have come from, what we have lost and what we have gained.”Local audiences can look forward to the film’s appearance on the big screen at the 13th Encounters International Documentary Film Festival in Cape Town and Johannesburg this June, as well as the Durban International Film Festival towards the end of July. In the meantime, watch the trailer here.A musical titled Makeba, which follows the life of the late South African songstress from her exile to her return to her homeland, also attracted attention at Cannes.last_img read more

A little hope goes a long way

first_imgSarah and her team cultivating land for the food garden. (Image: Sarah Bergs Facebook)An initiative in Hoedspruit, in Limpopo is uplifting local communities, promoting social responsibility and encouraging environmental education.Nourish is a non-profit organisation founded by Sarah Bergs, who grew up at Motswari Game Lodge, in Hoedspruit. She wanted to combine her love for conservation and her humanitarianism with the fight against poverty and poaching when she started Nourish just over four years ago.Bergs told the Sunday Times newspaper she could remember as a child seeing tourists from all over the world spending a lot of money at the reserve, yet the local community never benefited.“I wanted to play Robin Hood and help the community,” she said. “This is my community. You see people with so much money come in and out, and international people coming to see the heritage and wildlife.“Then you drive 20 kilometres away and see a community completely unaffected by the wealth. These guests are throwing away more money than what these people have.”Bergs credits her caregiver, Minah Mathebula, for teaching her to speak Xitsonga, to weave grass mats and be “bush-wise”, when she was growing up.THE WORK OF NOURISHNourish is a community upliftment project that provides after-school facilities for children from the area. It has a library and a vegetable garden worked by the community for their own benefit, and a small plantation where they grow moringa trees to sell to mining companies. Mines use the moringa trees to mitigate the effects of acid mine drainage, among other uses.“Initially it was a food security garden but then we figured out that in this area there was a secondary need – a big, big need for education and entrepreneurship, so then we decided to build a library,” Bergs said.RECYCLINGAlthough Nourish aims to improve entrepreneurial skills in the local community, recycling is also are high on its agenda.“We don’t want to hard-sell recycling. We just want people to walk in here and think a little bit; go home and see things a little differently. Maybe see waste as a resource, maybe see the conservation area as something precious.“You learn so much by trial and error, but I’m hoping to duplicate what we do here in other communities.”THE LIBRARY AND HOW YOU CAN HELPLaunched in 2015, the library is still in need of books and educational toys for children. Bergs also hopes to turn it into a skills training centre for the older people and adults in the region.“Since the launch of the library and helping the kids with English, I’ve had feedback that their confidence has improved a lot. That’s something very tangible. It makes me feel like I’m doing something important.“Life’s not boring at all when you’re involved in something like this.”The children have also started doing yoga.You can help her do her work better at Nourish by donating English books and educational toys for the library, and by buying one or more moringa trees for the plantation. There are also problems with electricity connections at the premises. Bergs can be contacted on 071 909 7261.Are you playing your part in transforming South Africa? If so, submit your story or video and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

Gaming in the Cloud: OnLive Launches Tomorrow

first_imgOnLive, the cloud-based gaming service founded by Apple alum Steve Perlman launches tomorrow. The service hopes to mark a monumental shift in the way gaming works: no more downloads, no more patches, no more discs. Instead of running a video game locally, players on OnLive connect via broadband to a gaming system that runs and stores not just their data, but the entire game itself. OnLive enables video games to be played on Mac or PC and, using their “micro console device” on your TV.In a world where “lag” – latency due to Internet or graphics hiccups – means “death,” there have been a lot of obstacles to overcome in order to make cloud-based gaming feasible. Some eight years in development, OnLive’s vision of instant-access, on-demand gaming has necessitated huge tech developments in both the servers’ and in the broadband capabilities. The machines required to run these games, for example, have to have graphics capabilities not typically associated with servers. According to Venture Beat, the service will limit players’ access, depending on their location from a server and the processing power of their computer, in order to ensure gameplay that’s, well, playable.According to CEO Perlman, the launch marks “the first step toward a future where video game content is increasingly free from the restrictions of device and location, while showcasing the ability to instantly play the latest, most advanced games at the touch of a button.”OnLive promises over twenty games available at launch, including Prince of Persia, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, and Mass Effect 2. For a limited time, founding subscribers are being offered their first year of OnLive membership for free in a program sponsored by AT&T. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… audrey watters Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts center_img Tags:#Announcements#cloud Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Where Do Startup Ideas Really Come From?

first_imgAs a former private equity investor for Goldman Sachs, I always hoped to someday be on the other side of the transaction as the entrepreneur. After four years at Goldman, I enrolled at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania without realizing that I would soon stumble upon a concept that formed the backbone of my business: VerbalizeIt.While traveling on a school trip to China, I became violently ill. Despite knowing exactly what medication I needed, I could not communicate with any pharmacist due to the language barrier. Despite having the latest machine translation solutions at my disposal, I was unable to properly communicate. A light bulb went off, and I have been building VerbalizeIt ever since to ensure that language is never a barrier. —Ryan Frankel, VerbalizeItMy Own Problem AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Them The idea for Markitors came at Coachella. For the first time, I visually could conceptualize what social media has the power to do, which is the power to move people. What I saw at Coachella was a DJ just killing it when it came to reacting in real time to the crowd. And because he was so on point with delivering what people wanted, the crowd collectively responded in a really positive way.So what I like to think we do at Markitors is inspire movement through real time social media marketing. Most agencies have clients for whom they pre-schedule content and then push it out every day at a certain time. We don’t think that inspires too many people. We like share client content according to what’s going on in the world at that day, minute and moment. —Brett Farmiloe, Digital Marketing AgencyLanguage Barriers My business teaches women to rediscover the fun of creative play—and empowers them with the web skills they need to bring their dreams to life, without having to hire anyone to help. After working with many women in a 1-on-1 capacity over the years as a branding expert and web designer/developer, it became clear to me that many of my clients were extremely creative and artistic—and I started to feel guilty that they had to come to ME to help them launch their new project, business, or movement.I knew they would be capable of it themselves, if only they had someone to give them the skills—and that deep down, they would love to be the ones in control of their brands and websites. I created The Girl’s Guide to Web Design and The Girl’s Guide to Graphic Design for them. —Amanda Aitken, The Girl’s Guide to Graphic DesignA Coachella DJ Related Posts I spend about two hours per day reading, and I’m picky about what I want. Selfishly, what I really wanted was a highly curated group of people/publications I trusted to give me only their best stuff. I dreamed about a product that could take a Twitter feed, analyze it for the best content, de-duplicate any identical posts, aggregate it with my other selected feeds and send it in a digest format to email.I searched for one and couldn’t find it. So I built it: it’s called Brook. While I never considered that Brook would be a publicly available product, it just evolved and is now available for anyone to use. One of the most common pieces of entrepreneurship advice is “solve your own problems.” Now I get it. —Brent Beshore, Adventur.esSaving Local Businesses Guest author Scott Gerber is the founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council.Ideas don’t grow on trees—especially the kind of ideas that lead to successful startups. So where do entrepreneurs turn for some good, old-fashion inspiration? Do they look for problems to solve, or run right into them and take the plunge?To find out, we asked 12 successful entrepreneurs from YEC what inspired them to found their current companies.Frustrated Women How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… How to Meet the Demands of the Socially Conscio… When I quit my job at a hedge fund in 2007, I decided to travel to China to challenge myself and learn Chinese. After a few months, I couldn’t help but notice the vast amount of business opportunities available. I felt like I was transported to the USA in the 1960s when our economy was booming and opportunities were plentiful.I fell in love with the people and the culture but also saw this great opportunity to start a business in a country that was ripe for development of educational services to foreigners. There was such a disconnect with customer service, and enhancing the China experience made us excited about the potential of our business model. We knew we could do a better job than a lot of our competitors, and so we started Next Step China in the fall of 2008. —Derek Capo, Next Step Chinacenter_img I was always intrigued by the gap between great features in software that developers would get all excited about and the disconnect with their customers who didn’t really know or understand them. We set about building a company that would help software companies train, support and help their customers be successful. Over the years, our company has evolved from being primarily a services business to being a software company ourselves, and we’re focused on not having the same thing happen. —Robert Castaneda, ServiceRocketA Lack Of Influence I have always had a heart and desire to serve local businesses. The Internet has made it more difficult for them to compete with the big boys. After helping over 1,500 auto dealerships nationwide get on the road to digital success, I believe that the system and thinking I developed could be translated into other verticals, such as the insurance industry.I always had a couple agents, but was unfamiliar with their businesses. I realized that this was the place to be. The local insurance agencies in our towns and cities are the backbone of America. These predominately family-owned businesses employ millions nationwide and needed help with embracing technology, marketing and training. Every day at Astonish, I wake up and look for better ways to serve them. —Adam DeGraide, AstonishShort Attention SpansI started my company a little over four years ago. It’s an infographic/data visualization company. I noticed that people (myself especially) just didn’t want to read long articles or text-heavy content anymore. Call it mass ADD or over-stimulation online, but whatever it was, people just didn’t seem to be reading as much as they used to.That’s when I first noticed something called an infographic. Whenever one website created one, a thousand other websites would link to it and feature it on their sites. It was like content gold, and it made sense; condense the important points into visual communication. No more reading 5,000-word articles. Slowly over time, I decided to build my own company specializing in that. —Justin Beegel, Infographic WorldA Book How to Cultivate the Skill of Being a Creative … Tags:#startups The inspiration for starting Influence & Co. came from the challenges that my co-founder and I faced as young entrepreneurs. Our age prevented us from obtaining potential partnerships, clients and opportunities. We then learned that credibility was a common problem—not just for entrepreneurs, but for a variety of business leaders. This pain point inspired us to build a company around naturally building credibility and influence through thought leadership content. —John Hall, Influence & Co.Riding The China Boom scott gerber When my parents first visited me in college, I realized they wanted to know all kinds of things about the community that I didn’t know: the best hotels, the nicest restaurants and fun things to do as a family. I had a totally different view of the community and wanted really different things. Students don’t stay in hotels, and I couldn’t afford any nice restaurants!They also had tons of questions about the college that I didn’t know the answers to, and when they searched the school site, it felt like a big black hole. This realization led me to launch UniversityParent, a guide that provides parents with everything they need to know about the school and local area in one, easy-to-use resource funded by the local businesses they wanted to know about anyway. —Sarah Schupp, UniversityParentThe Developer-Customer Gap I started Sonicbids after being inspired by a book that I was reading back in 1999 called Blur by Stan Davis and Christopher Meyer. I was a talent agent at the time, booking known artists for $30,000 or $50,000 a night around the world. But we had no way of taking on clients who made under $3K a night. How many artists do you know who can command those high fees?The book—which talked about a new era of speed and connectivity—got me thinking: why couldn’t a marketplace exist online, similar to eBay and without the need for brokers, that connected artists and bands of all kinds with music promoters? Once I got the idea, I just could not sleep, could not rest, could not eat—kind of like falling in love. So that’s when I decided to pursue it full time. —Panos Panay, SonicbidsA Party TrickLike all the best UK businesses, the concept for the company actually originated in the pub. Two of my co-founders, who were working together at the time, were messing around by augmenting one of their faces onto a five pound note.This evolved into a brilliant and bullish business vision for how this tech might be harnessed globally and become a new instinctive behavior within our everyday lives. Two years later, and this “party trick” has evolved into a mobile platform used by many of the world’s leading brands and is well on its way to achieving its behavioral ambition. —Jessica Butcher, BlipparMy Parentslast_img read more

‘Split may let Dow off the hook for Bhopal’

first_imgSurvivors and activists working with the victims of the 1984 Union Carbide gas accident in Bhopal have expressed dismay at the indifference of the State and central governments towards the imminent possibility of Dow Chemical, owner of Union Carbide, escaping criminal liability.The organisations noted on Saturday that Dow Chemical, owner of Union Carbide, after merging with another American multinational DuPont, has announced plans to split up in to three entities by June 2019. According to the victims of the gas tragedy, Union Carbide, which has evaded responsibility for the last 26 years, will cease to be criminally liable following the trifurcation. The organisations said they had written to the Prime Minister as well as various Ministries, asking them to take specific steps. The letters have not even been acknowledged. “We have sought the Prime Minister’s intervention in enlisting the support of U.S. agencies to ensure that Union Carbide and Dow Chemical abide by the orders of Indian courts. He is fully empowered by the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the two countries to do this but so far he has chosen not to use these powers.” said Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action.last_img read more

Madhya Pradesh’s Happiness Dept. to open Time Bank

first_imgWhether it’s a banker or a gardener, time progresses the same way for everyone, acting as an equaliser. So, the Madhya Pradesh government’s Happiness Department plans to set up a Time Bank that would lend currency to an hour, which could be exchanged to learn a new skill without the need for any paper money.Whenever a bank member needs a service or wants to acquire a skill, say gardening or playing a guitar, she could exchange a credit, worth an hour, with another member knowing the skill.“It is a new way to link untapped social capacity to unmet social needs,” said Akhilesh Argal, CEO of the State government department. “The core values are that we all are assets and driven by reciprocity.”50,000 volunteersAt the start, the 50,000 volunteers registered with the department through local networks will form community-level banks and list skills they could impart or services they could offer. An experienced volunteer will induct new members and keep a record of all the transactions.Striking a note of caution, Mr. Argal said,“Since there is persisting trust deficit in society, we’ll start by forming groups with people we know.” Whether you need someone to drive you to a supermarket, tend to an ailing grandmother or simply a jogging partner, it could all be sought at the bank.Conceived at the Cincinnati Time Store in 1827, the concept gained currency with the setting up of the first Time Bank in Japan in 1973, and later when Edgar Cahn, CEO of TimeBanks USA, popularised ‘Time Dollars’. Today, there are more than 500 such communities across 32 countries.In Madhya Pradesh, time banks will enable person-to-person, person-to-agency and agency-to-agency transactions. “Members will start with zero credits, which they could gradually acquire by imparting skills. Credits can even go in negative. And in case a skill becomes popular over time benefiting only a few members, other members will be compelled to do their mite with vigour to collect more credits,” said Mr. Argal.Common denominatorAs the bank would measure all kinds of skills and services through a common denominator — time, members would view them, and those offering it, as an equal, said Mr. Argal. “Networks are stronger than individuals. Heeding different voices will help promote equality and dignity of labour.” Those interested in becoming a Time Bank member could register on the department’s website as a volunteer.last_img read more

10 months agoPSG coach Tuchel: We can’t underestimate Man Utd

first_imgPSG coach Tuchel: We can’t underestimate Man Utdby Chris Beattie10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePSG coach Thomas Tuchel insists they won’t be underestimating Champions League opponents PSG.The two teams have been drawn for the round of 16 clash.Tuchel said: “I don’t think we are favourites.“It’s a challenge yet I have confidence in my side. We need to show respect to United — but we believe in ourselves.” About the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your saylast_img

25 days agoBayern Munich defender Niklas Sule admits Prem move close

first_imgBayern Munich defender Niklas Sule admits Prem move closeby Paul Vegas25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNiklas Sule has revealed he almost joined a Premier League club before deciding on a move to Bayern Munich in 2017.The 24-year-old added that he would love to play in the English top-flight one day.“It was a thought to go to the Premier League [in 2017],” the 24-year-old exclusively told Goal and DAZN.“This is one of the leagues in which I really want to play. At the time, however, I saw the change to Munich as the best step. And, as you can see, I am very happy at Bayern.“Not only because I got my way, but also because the fans and all the staff are great.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img