Dr. Byron Tarr Hailed as “Great Economist”

first_imgImmediate family members of the late Dr. Byron Tarr including (from left): his daughter Aimee, son Bruce and widow Vera her sister, at the removal ceremonyDignitaries Overwhelm Zondo Town, Grand Bassa County to Bid Their Last FarewellZondo Town in District #4, Grand Bassa County, witnessed what might be considered its largest crowd ever, as Liberians trooped in their numbers on Saturday, October 21, to pay their last respects to the late eminent Liberian political economist and scholar, Dr. S. Byron Tarr.The vicinity of Zondo was soon beclouded by mourning and sorrow as the huge number of vehicles conveying many dignitaries including former and current senior government officials, friends and family members, converged for the funeral rites.It was a triumphant home-going for the late Dr. Tarr, which had the people of Grand Bassa County, especially those along the main route, standing amazed and agape as the cortege accompanying his remains for interment to his native Zondo passed them by. After all, this was what he demanded on his dying bed, “I want to be buried in my home town in a low profile ceremony void of flowers,” family sources quoted him as saying.Liberians awoke the early morning of Sunday, October 8, 2017 to the sad news of the death of Dr. Tarr, who died at 8:30 p.m. the previous evening at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital.The widow of the deceased, Mrs. Vera Gibson Tarr, and two of his children, son Bruce and daughter Aimee, who traveled  from the United States to attend the funeral, wept throughout the ceremony.Among many eminent Liberians who attended the ceremony were the Chairman of the Governance Commission (GC), Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, during whose leadership as Chairman of the Interim Government for National Unity (IGNU) Dr. Tarr served as Finance Minister; Grand Bassa Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence; River-Gee Senator Conmany Wesseh; Health Minister Bernice Dahn; Deputy Transport Minister Juanita Traub Bropleh, a very close friend of the widow; veteran politician Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh; and former Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Managing Director, John T. Woods.Mr. Woods worked with the late Dr. Tarr at the Ministry of Finance when Stephen A. Tolbert was Minister in the early 1970s. Woods, in 1982, also joined Dr. Tarr in the formation of the consulting firm, Development Consultants.Also gracing the funeral were the political leader of the Liberty Party (LP), Cllr. and Mrs Charles Walker Brumskine, and many top members of the party. Also present was human rights activist Samuel Kofi Woods.The traditional people of the district, as well as youth, many of whose lives their late kinsman had tremendously impacted, were also present to pay their last respects. Also present was the most eminent citizen of Grand Bassa, Rev. Dr. Abba Karnga, father of Grand Bassa Senator Karnga Lawrence.Dr. Tarr was an eminent son of Grand Bassa; however, his influence went far beyond his native county and is deeply rooted in national and international affairs, where most of his ingenuous works are reverberating.He was born in the village of Kparaduah, in the vicinity of Zondo, in 1943. The township also plays hosts to the historic and famous Zondo Mission School, where many of the educated people of the county began their educational sojourn. In fact, it was in the hall of the school that Dr. Tarr’s funeral service was held. This is also where his grave is located.Dr. Abba Karnga, uncle of Dr. Byron Tarr, in remarks at the funeral, told the audience, “We are not here to make history but to tell history.” Dr. Karnga described his late nephew as a peculiar and sensitive man who love his people and his home. “Byron was simple, fair and sensitive in character. These are the attributes that propelled him to the top of the world,” Rev. Karnga asserted.According to Rev. Karnga, Dr. Tarr was and is still the first citizen of District #4 to obtain a terminal degree (PhD). “Zondo is a place of history and Dr. Tarr stands at the pinnacle of that history. Byron was a great man representing a great place. Byron was always in defense of his people. He along with other prominent citizens defended the rights of his people, especially against the Liberia Agricultural Company (LAC) who was encroaching on their lands,” added the elderly kinsman.Dr. Sawyer described his fallen colleague as an authority on political economy, someone who understood the political economy of the country. “This is one of first persons I met that had so much insight about our economy. Byron was passionate about Liberia and its people,” Dr. Sawyer stated.The deceased was also a genuine intellectual who was always ready for a contestation of ideas, Dr. Sawyer recalled, adding: “He was a man who had love for the people of Liberia and his native Bassa.”Continuing, the former Interim Chair of the Government of National Unity said Dr. Tarr was honest and forthright in his expressions and was “never, never a man of pretense. Byron said exactly what was on his mind,” the GC head recalled.He described his fallen colleague as indeed a glaring example of a true humble beginning because the deceased didn’t complete secondary school but did some correspondence courses and went on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree from Cuttington University College (now Cuttington University) and a PhD degree from the University of Illinois. “This was a man who was truly focused, dedicated and humble. And so we want our young people, especially those in the rural areas, to emulate his fine examples,” he said.Cllr. Brumskine said the deceased was a no-nonsense and the most principle-minded man he had ever met. “This was a man who I collaborated with on several projects and I got to know who he truly was,” he said.The LP political leader disclosed that the late Dr. Tarr was the one who wrote the first policy paper for the party.Rev. Garmondeh Karnga of the Worldwide Mission Church, in a very brief eulogy, said God, as a way of protecting the kindhearted men, takes them away sooner from the face of the earth. Rev. Karnga described his late kinsman as a man who truly cared for his people.Preaching from the text of Isaiah 57:1-2, Rev. Karnga said, “The more you try to do good for people, the more you are hated. Merciful men are taken away from the surface of the earth too soon,” he said, “God permits early death of the righteous as a way of escaping calamities.”The prelate, however, noted that “there are assurances from God that though we die, we shall live again.”In his tribute, the son of the deceased, Bruce Tarr, said he wished he had paid more attention to all of the advice that his father used to give. “My only regret in my dad’s death is I wish I had listened to him more,” Bruce said. “I knew he meant well for me. My dad was a good man who always struggled for the best for his family. He was a man who loved the people of this town. His heart was always there for Liberia and its people.”The deceased served as: Finance Minister in the IGNU, 1990-1992; Deputy Minister of Finance for Revenue, 1972-75; Transnational Corporation Affairs Officer at the United Nations, 1975-77; Controller General for Public Corporations, 1977-80; and founding partner, Development Consultants. Wreath and flag laid over Dr. Tarr's casket by the Government of Liberia Wreath and flag laid over Dr. Tarr’s casket by the Government of Liberia Friends of the late Dr. Tarr at the removal from left): Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh; Kenneth Y. Best and Cllr. Winston A. Tubman. Friends of the late Dr. Tarr at the removal from left): Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh; Kenneth Y. Best and Cllr. Winston A. Tubman. Immediate family members of the late Dr. Byron Tarr including (from left): his daughter Aimee, son Bruce and widow Vera her sister, at the removal ceremony Immediate family members of the late Dr. Byron Tarr including (from left): his daughter Aimee, son Bruce and widow Vera her sister, at the removal ceremony Funeral service was held in the hall of the in Zondo Mission School, Zondo Town Funeral service was held in the hall of the in Zondo Mission School, Zondo Town The tomb The tomb Friends of the late Dr. Tarr at the burial site Friends of the late Dr. Tarr at the burial site According to the Liberian Official Gazette, Dr. Tarr left his private business, Development Consultants, to serve as Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs in the People’s Redemption Council government, from September 1981 to June 1982.He is the author of numerous economic and financial publications, including a UN study titled “Taxation of Transnational Corporations: the Liberian Experience (1979).”A 1966 graduate of Cuttington College and Divinity School (now Cuttington University), Dr. Tarr also took the PhD degree from the University of Illinois, United States, in 1972, where he had obtained his MA in Economics in 1970. He joined Dr. D. Elwood Dunn and others to produce an edition of the Historical Dictionary of Liberia.His professional and government engagements included administrative assistant to the Special Commission on Government Operations (1967-68).He leaves to mourn his loss his widow, Mrs. Vera Gibson Tarr, who, having taken personal and loving care of her husband during the entire period of his illness, was at his bedside when he passed.Other survivors also include children: two sons, Stanley and S. Bruce, and daughter Aimee; their mother, Anna Tarr; five grandchildren: Yahaira, Henry, Yasmine, Noah and Oliver; and other relatives and friends in Liberia and abroad.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Inaugural El Dorado Champions golf tourney tees off

first_imgThe Lusignan Gold Club (LGC) and El Dorado Rums teed off their first ever El Dorado Champions golf invitational championships last Saturday afternoon.A large number of Guyana’s best golfers, including 8-time Open Champ Avinash Persaud, together with Clifford Reis, Pandit Ravi, Mike Mangal, Joaan Deo and Christine Sukhram, took to the Greens.LGC President, Aleem Hussain, opening the inaugural El Dorado Champions tournament with the official tee-offPrior to Saturday’s midday tee off, El Dorado Rum Brand Manager Maria Munro said her company as happy to host their inaugural event with the LGC. She said El Dorado was happy to be part of such a big event, which was well attended.Munro said she was in full support of golf, and hinted that the El Dorado brand was preparing to host at least three events per year, going forward.LGC President, Aleem Hussain, prior to leading the official tee-off ceremony, said he was grateful to the company for its support of golf, and thanked the company for being a part of such a big invitational.Hussain said he was looking to forge a stronger relationship with the El Dorado brand as golf prepares to enter its second half of the year in fine style. He added that more programmes, some of which will be targeting ladies and schools, will tee off in the near future.El Dorado provided samplings of gin and 15-year-old Rum at a Happy Hour following the tournament. Food and hampers, compliments of the company, were also featured.last_img read more

Palmdale soldier’s loss felt

first_imgPALMDALE – Richard and Kellie Allen remember their son John as a daredevil who loved the outdoors, a musician who taught himself to play the piano and an artist whose work graces the walls of their home. Sgt. John E. Allen, a 1999 Palmdale High School graduate who married his high school sweetheart in July, died in combat Saturday in Baghdad, Iraq. “His favorite thing to do was to go to Littlerock Dam and jump off the cliffs. He was a daredevil,” Kellie Allen said. “He loved to snowboard; he scuba-dived, sky-dived. He wouldn’t say no to anything the first time.” Richard Allen said his son thoroughly enjoyed life and was not one to waste it doing nothing. “He was just a very outgoing person, active, very much living his life. He was not one to sit around watching television. He was out and about all the time, and he liked the outdoors,” Richard Allen said. John Allen, 25, and three other soldiers died when a roadside bomb detonated near their vehicle. All four soldiers were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, in Fort Bliss, Texas. Allen was a health care specialist who joined the Army in July2005 and was doing his first tour in Iraq. In addition to his parents, he is survived by his wife, Aspen; a twin sister, Amanda; and a younger brother, Adam, who is in the Air Force and is stationed in Anchorage, Alaska. Allen will be buried Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery, where his grandfather, an Army master sergeant with whom Allen shares his name, is buried. Allen’s parents said their son went into the Navy right after high school and served from 1999 to 2003 and then enlisted in the Army in 2005. Kellie Allen, who works along with her husband for Anheuser-Busch in Van Nuys, said her son was talented musically and artistically. “He was totally self-taught (on the piano), but he was awesome,” she said. “He drew. We have artwork on the walls that he did over the years from high school.” John Allen had just gotten a new computer and had told his father that he was drawing a picture of his wife, she said. Kellie Allen said she last talked to her son March5 when he called and told her he was going on a mission and would be incommunicado for three weeks. She said her son e-mailed his wife several days before he was killed. Kellie Allen said she would like to thank the community for the support it has shown. Sheriff’s deputies came to their home to offer condolences, and the Palmdale City Council at Wednesday’s meeting discussed how it could show support for the family. Allen’s military awards and decorations include a Navy Unit Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and a Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Army officials said. Allen and the other three soldiers were posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Fort Bliss will be holding a memorial service for the four soldiers April21. The soldiers were deployed overseas in late October to provide stability and security operations, Army officials said. karen.maeshiro@dailynews.com (661) 267-5744last_img read more

Fit again, Timbe dreams of AFCON success

first_imgFit again, the Chinese based winger hopes he can make up for time lost with a robust display at the Cup of Nations which kick off on June 21 in Cairo, Egypt.“I am thankful to be back. It was a tough period but I had a good team behind me. I have been working hard for the past few months and I am delighted to be back and playing. I had planned the surgery well to ensure that I would be back for AFCON and I have been working on my fitness for the last two months now,” Timbe told Capital Sport.“It was tough not only for me but my family and the national team as well. For a player it is agonizing being out for such a period of time but that is now behind me and I am focused now to bring in good results for the team,” he further added.Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne explains a point as winger Ayub Timbe listens in during a training session in Marcoussis, Paris on June 6, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluTimbe is working with head coach Sebastien Migne for the first time and the Frenchman’s work ethic, belief and confidence in him has already rubbed in well.“I have enjoyed so far because I have been here for like three days. He is a very good coach who insists on discipline and hard work and it has not been tough getting along with him because we believe in the same things,” Timbe noted.His focus is solely on the Cup of Nations where Kenya hopes to make it into the round of 16 at least and Timbe believes with the current group of players, it is possible to achieve the feat.“I believe that everything is possible. Our motto now is ‘yes we can’ and if we believe in ourselves, go there and show mentality we can achieve anything. Everyone is giving their best and everyone is focused,”Harambee Stars winger Ayub Timbe watches on during a training session at the National Rugby Centre in Marcoussis, Paris on June 6, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“We are all looking forward to it because the coaches have done their job on the group that we are in and the players as well have shown that they want to do this. I believe getting out of the group to the knockout round is something we can achieve,” he added further.Stars will be boosted with is return especially in attack, an area that Migne has time and again stated he would want improvement.0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Harambee Stars winger Ayub Timbe gestures during a training session at the National Rugby Centre in Marcoussis, Paris on June 6, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluPARIS, France, Jun 7, 2019 – Ayub Timbe played only one of Harambee Stars’ 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification matches, the 2-1 loss against Sierra Leone in Free Town on Match Day One, but he has returned to the team with a dream of playing a pivotal role in its success.Timbe was suspended for three matches following his sending off in that game, but just before he was eligible to return, picked up an injury that sidelined him for six months after surgery.last_img read more

ANTIQUES AND COLLECTABLES FAIR AT RADISSON BLU, LETTERKENNY THIS SUNDAY

first_imgThe Letterkenny Antiques and Collectables Fair takes place in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Letterkenny this Sunday, March 1st.The Radisson Blu, LetterkennyIf you have ever wondered exactly how much that old piece of jewellery or old chair was worth, then now is your chance.Free valuations will be given o the day while scrap gold and silver will also be bought. The Fair takes place from 11am until 5pm and admission is €3 or two for €5 with children getting in free.We’ll see you all there.ANTIQUES AND COLLECTABLES FAIR AT RADISSON BLU, LETTERKENNY THIS SUNDAY was last modified: March 1st, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ANTIQUESFairletterkennyRadisson Blulast_img read more

Trafficking in Human Parts Nothing New

first_imgShocking videos of abortionists selling baby body parts is only the latest in a long line of Darwinian ethical barbarities.It always starts with good intentions. Biomedical researchers just want to help people. That’s how eugenics began; it’s embedded in the name, “good” genes. But by most people’s moral standards, it’s not right to do wrong to get a chance to do right. You wouldn’t murder a person to take his kidneys to heal a person dying of kidney disease, for instance. Does it really matter if the person is really young, or not even born yet?The videos from the Center for Medical Progress are shocking the nation right now, but if history is any guide, the furor will quiet down in short order. Nobody will be prosecuted for breaking the law, no fines will be paid, and taxpayer money will continue to flow uninterrupted to Planned Parenthood (see this Medical Xpress article for how it will likely play out politically). In fact, if anyone gets in trouble, it will likely be CMP for going under cover to expose the gory truth. Why is this? History is our guide. Does anyone remember “Silent Scream”? Does anyone remember the bags of aborted babies in trash cans, the horrors of Kermit Gosnell’s clinic, the wars over partial-birth abortion, or the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood workers conspiring with sex traffickers and advising young girls on how to practice sado-masochism?Planned Parenthood will likely survive this latest scandal. There’s big money involved, for one thing. And since Darwin rules the centers of power, the courts, media and academia will turn a blind eye to any outrage that smacks of “religious” ethics. The Medical Xpress piece shows the power of the secular science media to frame issues in terms of “women’s health,” concern about “the poor,” and “medical research”  while downplaying the gruesomeness of the videos and the amoral nonchalance of the perpetrators. A few Republican politicians will mollify outraged voters with impassioned do-nothing speeches, then will likely move on to other pressing issues, like getting re-elected. Meanwhile, the president’s director of Health and Human Services has not watched the videos and is not making any plans to launch an investigation.Update 8/03/15: Senate Democrats filibustered a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, and succeeded in defeating it (Life News). Only one Republican present voted against it.Embryonic Stem CellsWe’ve reported scientists affirming that ethically clean iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells derived from adult tissues) work just as well as embryonic stem cells (see 5/23/11, 9/11/11,  and a recent example on Science Daily). Nevertheless, research with human embryos continues—even though papers and articles reporting the work admit that there are ethical issues with their use.  Are not human embryos just a few weeks younger than the fetuses being cut up by Planned Parenthood for sale? Even if not implanted, an embryo has the same genome as the fetus (baby), and is programmed with the same developmental pathway.To be sure, some embryonic stem cell research is conducted using mouse embryos, like this example in Nature. But why research embryos for regenerative medicine at all, if the goal is not to eventually use the same findings and techniques on human embryos? Another article in Nature from the very same day discusses research using mouse and human embryos to grow organs in a Petri dish. Indeed, the title of Cassandra Willyard’s article gives away the trend: “The boom in mini stomachs, brains, breasts, kidneys and more.” She mentions human tissues 17 times, with the goal of clinical trials looming down the road.Gene EditingAs we shared on 6/05/15, the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technique has opened a Pandora’s Box of ethical issues. Recently, Jeff Bessen wrote at The Conversation that the “CRISPR/Cas gene-editing technique holds great promise, but research moratorium makes sense pending further study.” He is realistic, though, about scientists’ priorities when money and fame are involved:The gene editing technique also raises concerns. Could the new tools allow parents to order “designer babies”? Could premature use in patients lead to unforeseen and potentially dangerous consequences? This potential for abuse or misuse led prominent scientists to call for a halt on some types of new research until ethical issues can be discussed – a voluntary ban that was swiftly ignored in some quarters.And now, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Hollywood has reported another gene editing method: “Using Low-Dose Irradiation, Researchers Can Now Edit Human Genes: Effectiveness of Gene Editing in Human Stem Cells Improves Tenfold Using New Technique.” The purpose is honorable enough; fixing muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease and other serious genetic disorders. But if it works on a patient’s adult stem cells, what’s to stop a rogue nation or ambitious scientist from trying it on human embryos?Ethical ApathyPerhaps most concerning in recent bioethics news is the lack of concern. This was seen in two recent “science news” articles. In Medical Xpress #1, reporters announced nonchalantly that Canada has joined 60 other nations in approving RU-486, the controversial pill that induces abortion up to 7 weeks after pregnancy. This is the very pill that has alarmed some American businesses (e.g., pharmacies; see FRC) to the point of facing the loss of their licenses in order to maintain their sincerely held belief that life begins at conception. But here’s the nonchalant attitude of the reporter:“The approval of mifepristone [RU-486] is great news for women in Canada,” the group’s president Vicki Saporta said.  “It’s long overdue that Canadian women also have access to the gold standard for medical abortion care.“It should be emphasized that this is not about access to the pill. It’s about whether Canadian taxpayers should be coerced to pay for it. The reporter apparently was oblivious to the concerns of those who find this morally reprehensible, or else considered their concerns not worth even mentioning. The health of the baby is obviously lost in the fog of euphemism about “great news for women.” It’s certainly not great news for female unborn children.In Medical Xpress article #2, readers were treated to a history of “Human fetal tissue” that has been “long used for [a] variety of medical studies.” Malcolm Ritter seems to ask, What’s the fuss about cutting up baby body parts? Scientists have been doing it for decades. Ritter begins with a photo from 1954 of a Nobel prize scientist developing a polio vaccine with the help of fetal tissue. The end justifies the means, apparently; he doesn’t ask if that was the only way to produce the vaccine. The fetus (baby) sure had no say in the matter.Ritter drops some hints that Planned Parenthood might have stepped over the line (e.g., women are supposed to give their consent), but the word “ethics” never appears in the article. Ritter’s timing is directly aimed at justifying Planned Parenthood against the recent allegations of barbarism. “Controversy over a leading U.S. reproductive health group supplying fetal tissue for research has focused attention on a little-discussed aspect of science,” he says euphemistically (“science” not “barbarism”), before launching into his Q&A about fetal tissue research. His account sounds like Planned Parenthood talking points, making America’s leading abortion provider look white as snow.Just don’t get the baby parts in a “crunchy” way. More wine, doctor?This is Darwin’s House of Horrors, people. Creationists are not the ones advocating fetal tissue research, eugenical gene editing, and embryonic stem cells. It’s only coming from those who treat humans as material animals no more special than mice. And with Darwin-drunk lawyers, the media, academia and a leftist administration in power, don’t expect their critics to get any better treatment than a yawn.Suggested video: Listen to Brit Hume’s response to the CMP videos and what it says about our culture. (Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Mapping new views of Africa

first_img14 January 2004The Parliamentary Millennium Project brings together an astonishing collection of ancient maps and artefacts, contrasting Western representations with earlier Eastern ones, and with African forms of social and cultural mapping, to shed new light on the history of “the dark continent”.Post-apartheid South Africa remains divided when it comes to the perspectives people have of society. Based on the premise that our polarised views emanate from our very different experiences of history, the Parliamentary Millennium Project explores different historical perspectives of Africa, with the aim of building a common understanding among South Africans.“Parliament’s Millennium Project provides an opportunity to explore our different ideas and perspectives in order to enrich our society, rather than to allow them to divide us”, says Frene Ginwala, speaker of the National Assembly in Parliament, on the project’s impressive website.The project, comprising exhibitions in Parliament, the website, a lecture series and a schools project, uses ancient maps to illustrate different perspectives on Africa. Says Ginwala: “A rare map from the East, for example, shows Asia’s awareness of Africa years before Western explorers thought they had discovered the southern part of our continent.“Others show the Western experience of Africa – of slavery, colonial exploitation and European perceptions of Africans. This contrasts with what our people know of Africa – of, for example, gold mining, trade and a rich cultural heritage long before Europeans landed here.”Unknown Africa. Only the ports, peninsulas and a few cities in the north of the continent are marked on this map from 16th century Italy. Southern Africa is almost completely blank inside of the coast-line. The line of text in the centre reads: Hec Aphricae Antiquioribus Mansit Incognita (This part of Africa remained unknown to the ancients).Naledi Pandor, chair of the National Council of Provinces, says the project “will place the diversity of South Africa and Africa directly before our people, and will encourage them to begin discussions about South Africa and Africa from new and currently unexplored perspectives”.Asians encountered Africa firstOne such unexplored perspective on Africa is the Asian one. Contrary to popular belief, it was the Asians who first encountered Africa. A rare 15th Century map from the East, the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu, provides evidence of contact between Africa and China well before the European voyages of discovery.Many believe the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu – the Amalgamated Map of the Great Ming Empire – is the oldest in existence to show the correct shape of Africa. Painted on silk hundreds of years ago, the 3.86m x 4.56m map is stored in dry-room conditions in the First Historical Archive in Beijing. The Chinese government gave Parliament the go-ahead to reproduce the map, which has never been displayed in public before, for its exhibition.The defeat of the Yuan Dynasty in 1368 blocked access for China’s new Ming rulers to the “silk route” from Asia to Europe, prompting an ambitious period of exploration of the “Western Sea” to find new trade routes. A shipyard and a school for foreign languages were established, and several maps were drawn to prepare for these voyages.China’s technological advances – including blast furnaces for casting iron, the water clock and sophisticated textile weaving equipment – allowed for the building of huge ships, some like floating farms, where vegetables were grown and livestock kept to feed the crew.Parliament’s exhibition includes pictures of these ships, and brings to life the travels of remarkable seafarer Admirial Zheng He, whose search for alternative trade routes for China took him to more than 30 countries in South East Asia, the Middle East and along the east coast of Africa.China’s great era of exploration finally came to an end when Emperor Hong Xi took power, destroying ships and maps and beginning China’s isolation from the rest of the world.Many rare maps from Parliament’s Mendelssohn’s collection, bequethed by the late Sydney Mendelssohn, are also on display at the exhibition – and reproduced on the project’s website – showing the Western experience of Africa as one dominated by slavery and colonisation.How Africans mapped their spaceContrasted with these outside views of the continent are Africans’ own social and cultural forms of mapping. While Western cartographers experimented with representing the outer shape of Africa – producing maps that were in the main about power, economic advantage and the claiming of territory – Africans defined their territory in fundamentally different ways.Consider the demarcation of geographic and social space using Lukasas, hand-sized memory boards made of wood and studded with beads and pins or covered with carved geometric designs. In Luba society, these memory devices were used in rituals to induct new rulers into office, teaching them about clan migrations, genealogies, codes of kingship, navigation routes and journeys of kings.While Western maps speak of the African interior as “the land of the unknown”, archeological finds such as the Lydenburg head, San pottery, the Golden rhino and trade beads – all part of the Millennium Project – reveal Africa’s rich cultural, social and economic life prior to the European conquests. While the seven ceramic heads found near Lydenburg in Limpopo Province remain mysterious – we still know little about the community that made them – they provide evidence that people have been making art, engaging in social activities and practising rituals for over 1 500 years in this part of the world.Similarly, the rhinoceros made from gold plating, found at Mapungubwe in 1932 and dating back 800 years, debunks the view that gold was first discovered and mined in South Africa in 1886, while Ming pottery and glass beads excavated from the same site provide proof of trade and diplomatic relations between Southern Africa and Asia well before Europeans rounded the Cape to trade in spices. Mapungubwe: SA’s lost city of gold Ginwala, introducing the project to Parliament at the time of its launch in 2002, quoted from a leading cataloguer of maps of Africa published in South Africa, explaining the absence of formal maps originating in Africa: “Perhaps we have not yet recognised among the surviving artefacts of past societies in Africa what are, in the broadest sense, maps.”Parliament’s Millennium Project, Ginwala said, aimed to illustrate “the degree to which different ways in which we experienced the past are still being reflected in the way we see and understand our current problems and policy options. It is about ways of seeing.“The exhibition as a whole will, we hope, develop a greater understanding of what makes us South African.”SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Women of the Black Mambas take on poachers

first_imgA group of South African women who are part of an anti-poaching unit are not afraid to man-up in a nature reserve. The Black Mambas are well-trained bobbies on the beat in the Olifants West Nature Reserve, and their success can be seen in the massive drop in snaring. The Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit keep an eye on the wildlife in Balule Nature Reserve. (Image: Supplied/ Transfrontier Africa)• South Africa’s sniffer elephants learn to track explosives • Rare elephant twins born at Pongola Game Reserve • Voodoo Funk: Ambassador of Afrobeat • Global travellers rate South Africa tops in Condé Nast awards • Rhino care on wheels Melissa JavanA group of 26 South African women is on a mission: to stop poaching so that their children and grandchildren are able to see Africa’s Big 5 in the wild.Known as the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit (APU) of Transfrontier Africa, they protect the Olifants West Nature Reserve. It forms part of the Balule Nature Reserve, near Kruger National Park. It is not an easy job for them, because they work in a male-dominated environment.Amy Clark, the project administrator at Transfrontier Africa, says the women have to endure the judgement of others while trying to prove themselves on the job. “Since the majority of our Mambas are mothers, they also have to leave their families behind for extended periods of time while on duty in the reserve.“Former soldiers and old-school conservationists had doubts that the Mambas could effectively protect wildlife, but the success of our female mambas has triumphed over the scepticism,” she adds.“I want my baby to see a rhino, that’s why I am protecting it,” one of the women, who is pregnant, told Grind TV.Clark says the Mambas are fully qualified to carry out arrests. “Since the deployment of our first team in April 2013, we have, to date, assisted in the arrest of six poachers. However, our mission is not to catch poachers, but to prevent poaching altogether by early detection and visual policing.“We do not measure our success on the number of poachers caught, but on the number of weeks free of any poaching-related incidents.”There has been a 76% drop in snaring since April 2013, Clark points out. “We have located and destroyed over 350 snares, 13 fishing traps, five poachers’ camps and two bush meat kitchens.” There is a drop in amount of poaching incidents since the Black Mambas are on patrol. (Image: Supplied/ Transfrontier Africa )Her Mambas are “bobbies on the beat”, she says, referring to the traditional British police officers who patrol on foot to keep an eye on things. The women’s duties vary between sweeping an area for snares, fence patrols looking for tracks of either people breaking in or animals breaking out, manning observation posts during the day and night, and being aware of suspicious activity.Most rhino poaching happens during full moon, prompting patrols to be doubled on these nights.Members of the Mambas have had paramilitary training, as well as in the legal issues around anti-poaching. “All Mambas are qualified Grade E security and have been fully trained in weapons handling. However, the Mambas gather intelligence and are constantly on the lookout for anything suspicious,” explains Clark. “We have armed units that take the lead once the Mambas have picked up the trail.”The Black Mamba APU was founded by Craig Spencer, the managing director of the non-profit conservation and research organisation, Transfrontier Africa. Putting an end to poaching is no easy task, with multiple issues to be considered. Locals around game reserves, for example, are scornful of wealthy park operators, according to The Guardian newspaper. They are protective of their own, making the fight against rhino poaching much more difficult.“The problem really is that there is this perception that has developed in the communities outside the park – they see a uniformed official and think we are the sheriff of Nottingham, [and] they see the poachers as Robin Hood,” Spencer says.With this in mind, he decided to take a more creative approach and work with those communities. He began to hire young women, unemployed high-school graduates, to form the patrols. They came to be known as the Black Mambas and the original team of six women grew to cover the entire Balule area within a year of starting work. The Black Mambas work hard, because they want their babies to see a rhino or an elephant someday. (Image: Supplied/ Transfrontier Africa )The idea of involving local residents was supported by Fundisile Mketeni, the chief executive of South African National Parks, who said communities should help to protect our national heritage and their economic future. “I would like to appeal to you as the communities who are reliant on our natural world as a means of survival – economically and socially – to stand up and declare that no rhino, no wild species of plant or animal – be it a pangolin, a lizard, a cycad or a tree – will be destroyed on your watch,” he said on World Wildlife Day, on 3 March.Clark says a local non-profitable organisation called Nourish also benefits from the Mambas work. They women planted a community vegetable garden and helped to install an irrigation system to water the garden.The war against rhino poaching will not be won with bullets, she adds. “If awareness among the community rises and positions like the Black Mambas continue to be respected higher than those of the poachers, then through education within their families, this will be a great step in the right direction for rhino conservation.”last_img read more

Wheat management for 2017

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Wheat helps reduce problems associated with the continuous planting of soybean and corn and provides an ideal time to apply fertilizer in July/August after harvest. With soybean harvest around the corner, we would like to remind farmers of a few management decisions that are important for a successful crop.1.) Optimum seeding rates are between 1.2 and 1.6 million seeds per acre. For drills with 7.5-inch row spacing this is about 18 to 24 seeds per foot of row with normal sized seed. When wheat is planted on time, actual seeding rate has little effect on yield, but high seeding rates (above 30 seeds per foot of row) increase lodging and the risk of severe powdery mildew development next spring.2.) Select high-yielding varieties with high test weight, good straw strength, and adequate disease resistance. Do not jeopardize your investment by planting anything but the best yielding varieties that also have resistance to the important diseases in your area. Depending on your area of the state, you may need good resistance to powdery mildew, Stagonospora leaf blotch, and/or leaf rust. Avoid varieties with susceptibility to Fusarium head scab. Plant seed that has been properly cleaned to remove shriveled kernels and treated with a fungicide seed treatment to control seed-borne diseases. The 2017 Ohio Wheat Performance Test results can be found at: http://oardc.osu.edu/wheattrials/3.) Plant after the Hessian Fly Safe Date for your county. This date varies between September 22 for northern counties and October 5 for southern-most counties. Planting before the Fly Safe Date, increases the risk of insect and diseases problems including Hessian Fly and aphids carrying Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus. The best time to plant is within 10 days after the Fly Safe Date (click here for fly safe map). Fall wheat growth is reduced when planting is delayed resulting in reduced winter hardiness.4.) Planting depth is critical for tiller development and winter survival. Plant seed 1.5 inches deep and make sure planting depth is uniform across the field. No-till wheat into soybean stubble is ideal, but make sure the soybean residue is uniformly spread over the surface of the ground. Shallow planting is the main cause of low tiller numbers and poor over-winter survival due to heaving and freezing injury. Remember, you cannot compensate for a poor planting job by planting more seeds; it just costs more money.5.) Apply 20 to 30 lb of actual nitrogen per acre at planting to promote fall tiller development. A soil test should be completed to determine phosphorus and potassium needs. Wheat requires more phosphorus than corn or soybean, and soil test levels should be maintained between 25-40 ppm for optimum production. If the soil test indicates less than 25 ppm, then apply 80 to 100 pounds of P2O5 at planting, depending on yield potential. Do not add any phosphorus if soil test levels are higher than 50 ppm. Soil potassium should be maintained at levels of 100, 120, and 140 ppm for soils with cation exchange capacities of 10, 20, or 30 meq, respectively. If potassium levels are low, apply 100-200 pounds of K2O at planting, depending on soil CEC and yield potential. In Ohio, limed soils usually have adequate calcium, magnesium, and sulfur for wheat. Soil pH should be between 6.3 and 7.0. The key to a successful wheat crop is adequate and timely management.last_img read more

Marketing Your Film in the Digital Age

first_imgThe digital age is in full effect, and while the methods of marketing your film have changed, the principles have not.There are so many advantages to producing films in the digital age, such as new distribution models and an easier connection with your audience. However, with these new advantages and advancements, filmmakers are faced with a new challenge — how to market their work in this new age. Let’s take a look at how you can attract and engage your target audience.Quick Intro to MarketingThe ‘business school definition’ of marketing is the “identification, selection and development of a product.” In other words, it’s the format and strategy through which we sell our product or service. Format identifies the form of your marketing materials. Strategy dictates how those materials are implemented. However, before you can set your format and strategy, you need to face the two major challenges of branding and target audience. Even though we’re in the digital age, these two major challenges are still at the forefront of why a film succeeds or fails.The Challenge at HandWhenever you create your film property, you need to keep branding in mind. As Chris Jones points out in his article on titling a movie, the title and tagline are the first impressions your audience has of your content. This branding is going to be the foundation of your entire marketing strategy, so as John J. Lee states in his book, The Producer’s Business Handbook:Brand establishment is still the primary determiner between a picture’s success or failure.Once you’ve established your brand, another challenge awaits: identifying your target audience. While you can begin by breaking that audience down into aged demographics, this is still a broad assumption. What you should do first is find your niche audience. But don’t stop there. Build from this niche and begin adding additional audiences.Marketing Campaign: Paranormal Activity vs. District 9Two films from the last two decades that have benefited greatly from branding and target audience exploration are District 9 and Paranormal Activity. As John J. Lee presents in his book The Producer’s Business Handbook, both films utilized marketing strategies to perfection and this affected each film’s return on investment (ROI).District 9 cost $30 million to make, but thanks to solid branding (and a hugely popular viral campaign), the total box office return ended up being over $200 million. The film also garnered a much wider audience due to its viral campaign — an audience that included the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which nominated the film for Best Picture in 2010.Video via Sony Pictures EntertainmentWhile this was a great success, nothing has ever topped Paranormal Activity. Filmed on an initial budget of $15,000, the film was picked up by Paramount Pictures. Again, with a combination of solid branding, as well as a viral campaign that reached horror, thriller, and sci-fi fans, Paranormal Activity generated a total of $194 million at the box office — making it the film with the highest ROI in history.Video via BloombergBest Solutions for MarketingAs you can probably gather, the principles of marketing your film are the same: create a brand and build an audience. But unlike twenty years ago, your path to accomplishing this has changed. So, how do you market your film and find your desired audience? Let’s take a look at a few initial solutions.Social MediaSocial media is by far the best place for you to advertise and market your film. But there are some things you need to be aware of before you jump right into a campaign. For instance, don’t spam and make sure your audience feels engaged with your content. Get them involved. Utilize Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to find your audience. Present them with information and behind-the-scenes content.Be sure to include calls to action so your audience can feel like they’re a part of the filmmaking process. Also, utilize your branding in conjunction with hashtags. These are great ways to find new audience members.Streaming SourcesStreaming behind-the-scenes and viral content should be a big part of your marketing strategy, so you’ll want to generate a channel on YouTube or Vimeo if you don’t already have one. Utilize these two platforms specifically to house your videos and embed this content across your other social media platforms.Other Promising SolutionsBeyond the solutions above, be sure to look into additional solutions such as IMDb, Wikipedia, street marketing, press releases, and festival screenings. These additional options can easily get you on your way — just remember that they’ll rely heavily on branding and strategy.What branding and marketing techniques do you use most? Share your thoughts in the comments below!last_img read more