African Laser Centre

first_img16 January 2004Africa is preparing to play a major role in the use of lasers to advance science and technology on the continent with the launch of the African Laser Centre.Established in November 2003 by a group of African countries with an interest in laser applications, the African Laser Centre is destined to be a virtual centre that will serve as a central point for coordinating a network of excellence in laser research across the continent. The international office will be located in South Africa.The establishment of the Centre follows deliberations held during two continental workshops and various task team meetings over the last three years.Universities and research groups on the continent that are part of the ALC include:The National Laser Centre of South Africa, located within the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).The African Laser, Atomic, Molecular and Optical Sciences Network, based in Senegal.The National Institute of Laser Enhanced Science in Egypt.The Centre de Development des Technologies Avancees in Algeria.The Laser and Fibre Optics Centre in Ghana.Tunis el Manar University in Tunisia.The Centre will provide laser researchers and industrialists throughout Africa with research and training facilities. Given the isolation of many researchers in Africa, the Centre will maintain a database of laser researchers in the region and facilitate collaboration among them.Another important role for the Centre will be to transfer technology from research laboratories to the marketplace. The Centre will support research and educational programmes in laser technology and present conferences, workshops, and topical school programmes.It will also develop a research equipment programme to facilitate acquisition of and access to laser equipment.Speaking at the launch in November 2003, Arts, Culture, Science and Technology Minister Ben Ngubane said the African Laser Centre would be “truly continental in its dimension, and should provide Africa with the boost that it needs to propel its science and technology to the forefront of world competition.”Ngubane stressed that if the Centre provided a competitive knowledge base and attractive research and development facilities, it could contribute toward reversing the brain drain in the African laser field, and the facilities should become preferred research environments for the international community.He added that this network of excellence would also provide the required impetus for laser technology to benefit the people of the continent.Lasers have experienced success in cataract surgery, glaucoma and cancer treatment, as well as TB detection. In the agricultural field, lasers have an important role to play in monitoring plant stress levels to improve crop harvests.Environmental monitoring of pollutants by remote laser could contribute substantially to improved quality of life. And in the economic sector, lasers can contribute to improving competitiveness in the manufacturing and automotive sector specifically.“What we need to do now is integrate the expertise that exists in various parts of the continent so as to create a body of excellence in laser applications,” said Dr Phil Mjwara, interim chairman of the Centre and director of the National Laser Centre of SA.Source: Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Westwood goes back-to-back at Sun City

first_img6 December 2011After a brilliant course record 10-under-par 62 in the third round, Lee Westwood played it safe, carding a final round one-over 73 on his way to a two-stroke victory in the 2011 Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City, North West province on Sunday.With the win, he joined Seve Ballesteros (1983/84), David Frost (1989/90), Nick Price (1997/98), Ernie Els (1999,2000), and Jim Furyk (2005/06) as the only back-to-back winners in the 31-year history of the event.Interviewed on the 18th hole’s green after being presented with the winner’s trophy by South Africa’s Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Westwood said: “I’ve been coming here a long time, this is the ninth time, and it’s special every time I come.‘Probably the best round I’ve ever played’“I love playing this course, and yesterday was probably the best round I’ve ever played. It set me up to play conservatively today. It’s very satisfying.”Questioned about his journey from being one of the world’s top players to being an also-ran, and then returning to the top (he is currently world number three), Westwood said: “It’s all right when things go well and you are top of the rankings, but when you drop to 270 you find out more about the real person.“So to get invited back here and win back-to-back titles is a bit special.“Yesterday was very special,” Westwood added. “I drove well and made a few putts, which you’ve got to do round any course when you make 10-under.”Four rounds under 70Robert Karlsson was the only player who managed to break 70 in every round. He did it, just, with rounds of 69, 69, 69, and 68, the best round of the final day, to finish on 13-under-par 275, alone in second place. That left the big Swede with a cheque of $660 000 (approximately R5.32-million), not quite the territory of Westwood’s $1.25-million (approximately R10.07-million), but a serious Christmas present nonetheless.Jason Dufner, in his first appearance at the Nedbank Challenge, drove well, but struggled a little with a cold putter. Despite that, he finished in a share of third with Graeme McDowell, on 11-under-par 277.The Northern Irishman was up and down throughout the event, scoring some brilliant birdies, but also dropping plenty of shots along the way.Four successive rounds of 70KT Kim looked like he really enjoyed his first experience of the Gary Player Country Club course at Sun City. He was steady throughout, carding four successive rounds of 70 to finish alone in fifth, on eight-under-par 280.In contrast, Charl Schwartzel looked a little weary, and that was reflected in his play. He enjoyed good rounds of 68 in the first and third rounds, but a 74 in the second round and 72 on the last day meant he never challenged beyond the opening 18 holes.World number one Luke Donald never really managed to get going and failed to break into the sixties, carding rounds of 70, 71, 70, and 72.Poor final roundMartin Kaymer, along with Westwood and Donald, one of three men in the field to have reached the world number one ranking, was undone by a poor final round of four-over-par 76. That left him in eighth spot, on four-under 284.The bottom four – Simon Dyson, Anders Hansen, Francesco Molinari, and Darren Clarke – were all undone by at least one poor round: Dyson carded a 75 in the third round, Hansen closed with a 77, Molinari shot 77 in round two, and Clarke finished with rounds of 76 and 78.SeniorsAmerican Mark Calcavecchia claimed the seniors’ title, finishing on nine-under-par 207 after rounds of 71, 69, and 67.Bernhard Langer and Ian Woosnam shared second on 208, with David Frost and Nick Price tied for fourth, five shots further back, on three-under 213.They were followed by Tom Lehman (218), Jeff Sluman (218), and Mark O’Meara (221).Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Dream Riders cycle for kids

first_imgNedbank Dream Catchers – riders who raised more than R15 000 in 2012 – from left to right: Bastiaan Smit, finance executive at Nedbank Retail; Veronique Breugelmans, a Reach For A Dream volunteer; Bronwyn du Preez, Business IT Strategist at Nedbank Retail; and, Louise Davies, from Nedbank Wealth.(Image: Nedbank Dream Riders)MEDIA CONTACTS• Nkosinathi MsizaNedbank: Communications+27 11 295 3560Ray MaotaOver 200 youngsters will benefit after a team of passionate and dedicated cyclists raised over R1-million for the Reach for a Dream Foundation, which helps youngsters with life-threatening ailments fulfil their life dreams. A growing teamA team of 488 cyclists took part in the 2012 94.7 Cycle Challenge in Johannesburg and collectively raised R1 050-million (US$118 801) for various projects. Dream Riders began in 2007 when eight employees at Nedbank, one of South Africa’s big four banks, collected sponsorships from friends and family for every kilometre of the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge they completed.By joining the team, each cyclist commits to raising at least R1 200 ($135) in sponsorships and donations, while riders can ride either the 40km, mountain bike or road race as a Dream Rider. The annual 94.7 Cycle Challenge is the world’s second-largest timed cycle race, after the Cape Argus Cycle Race, which takes place each year in Cape Town.Between 20 000 and 30 000 riders complete the challenging 94.7km course every year. The event’s main sponsors are radio station 94.7 Highveld Stereo and Momentum, the life insurance company. Volunteering to helpKone Gugushe, the divisional executive of corporate social responsibility at Nedbank, explains: “We encourage our employees and clients to volunteer in support of our corporate service initiatives objectives to develop and grow volunteerism in the workplace as a logical extension of our vision-led, values-driven ethos, as well as our deep green aspiration of being highly involved in the community and environment.”Nedbank’s staff members are encouraged to play their part in uplifting and empowering communities through volunteering for such initiatives. Some of those for which they volunteer are: the Local Hero Programme, which encourages and honours individuals who participate in volunteer work by supporting their projects financially; and the Team Challenge Programme, a 10-month staff volunteerism programme in which staff form teams that support various non-profit organisations. Reaching for the dreamGugushe said: “Reach for a Dream gives hope and fulfils dreams of over 200 children with life-threatening ailments in our society and we believe that this contribution will enable them to help more children … Additionally, through such initiatives, we are able to extend our reach and make a meaningful difference where we might not have been able to reach ourselves.”Bronwyn Feldwick-Davis, Reach for a Dream’s projects and marketing manager, said it was a landmark year for the foundation as the number of riders doubled, and together they raised R1-million ($113 147).“This makes the Dream Riders one of our biggest fundraising events of the year and enables us to distribute the funds to all of our seven branches. Nedbank once again sponsored all the costs for the team, for which we are so grateful,” she said. “This allows all the money raised by the cyclists to go directly to dreams and projects and not expenses.” How the money helpsReach for a Dream helps youngsters aged from three to 18. According to Dream Riders, to fulfil a dream for a child who has a life-threatening illness, on average costs R3 500. The diseases that the youngsters who benefit from this project have include cystic fibrosis, HIV/Aids, renal failure, type 1 diabetes, and leukaemia.They have varying wishes, among them going scuba diving, going shopping, going to the airport, going on a steam train ride, meeting the president, and going on a submarine ride.Reach for a Dream says that for children with life-threatening illnesses, the magic of childhood may be lost in the emotional, physical and financial strain of dealing with their disease. The foundation tries to alleviate some of this strain, which often affects the whole family, by creating a different environment for the child – one that is not focused on her or his illness.last_img read more

Showtime’s YouTube Gambit: Dexter And Homeland For Free

first_imgfruzsina eordogh Tags:#Internet TV#marketing#web The entire season 7 premiere of Dexter is on YouTube – and no, it’s not a pirated copy. Showtime posted the entire episode, as well as the season 2 premiere of Homeland. A capitulation to pirates? No, an effort to entice viewers to pay for premium television service.Bundled cable channels occasionally host episodes of their shows online, either through the video player on their site or through Hulu, but premium channels like HBO and Showtime have shied away from offering their content online. Until now. Showtime is not running ads with its YouTube content, indicating that the free online distribution is, indeed, a marketing ploy.Cable networks started experimenting with offering their content online last year. Fox led the charge in an unprecedented digital-first showing of Zooey Deschanel’s vehicle New Girl before the show aired on cable. The “sneak peak barrage” worked wonders for buzz, leading the network to try again this year with Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project. Fox’s success with digital premiers prompted NBC to try the same approach with Smash in January of this year, and again with its new fall shows Revolution and The New Normal. Showtime’s offering is available only to YouTube users in the U.S.This digital strategy seems to be successful at expanding the audience for new shows, but will it work for shows going into their 7th season?  So far, the answer appears to be a tentative yes. More than 40,000 people have tuned in since the Dexter episode was posted on the Showtime YouTube channel last night, meaning 40,000 people without Showtime didn’t pirate the episode. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Bus depot launch raises CM hope on pending projects

first_imgDelhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has said most Commonwealth Games projects have been completed and the remaining ones will be completed before the mega event.She appeared confident about achieving what seems impossible – several Games projects have missed deadlines many times over – while opening a bus depot for the Games.The depot, built opposite the Millennium Park on the Ring Road and claimed to be the largest of its kind in the world, can accommodate 1,000 buses.It has five workshop-cum-bus scanning centres, seven dormitories to accommodate up to 500 DTC officials, eight washing pits, four underground tanks for water to wash buses, two CNG filling stations and baggage scanning centre to be maintained by Delhi Police, a transport official said.Dikshit said constructing the depot was difficult because of the soil conditions existing in the area.”We have done this despite the bad weather. Our officials and labourers have worked hard so that the works can be completed,” the chief minister said.She also thanked the media for keeping her government on its toes by criticising the preparations for the Games.Four low-floor hybrid buses, which can run on compressed natural gas as well as electricity, were also launched at the function. They will form part of the government’s efforts to hold a green Games.Lockdown:Security forces will place a lockdown on the Commonwealth Games Village on Sunday. Other venues, including the Jawahar Lal Nehru (JLN) stadium, will be similarly closed by September 23.A government source said rehearsals for the opening ceremony alone will be allowed at the JLN stadium on September 28 and October 1. The source also rubbished reports that the Indian Mujahideen planned to target the Games venues.advertisementUp to 1,000 buses can be parked at the bus depot, touted as the world’s largest.last_img read more