Tag Archive: 上海水磨

Gold Coast project at Chevron Island is ticking all the boxes

first_imgTarcoola River Residences.The residences are also big on creature comforts with a range of opulent appointments and luxury fixtures, fittings and finishes.Residents will have access to a private rooftop terrace with stunning views, a wet edge pool and barbecue and entertainment area.The four-level building is one of Chevron Island’s first residential apartment offerings in almost eight years. Tarcoola River Residences.“Buyers have been drawn to Chevron Island for the cafes and restaurants and village lifestyle together, Mr Pancur said.“Also being walking distance to the new Gold Coast Cultural precinct has gained interest from buyers.”Construction is expected to be complete in September. Tarcoola River Residences is at 35-37 Tarcoola Cres. Tarcoola River Residences.“Five residences have sold to local Gold Coast buyers all seeking a boutique development with fewer apartments,” Queensland Sotheby’s International Realty director for projects Patrick Pancur said.“Our penthouse is currently under negotiation from an international buyer from the UK which will become a second holiday home from their prime residence.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa19 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“ The buyers see the Gold Coast as a lifestyle and sea change.Priced from $579,000, features are set to include high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, bi-fold doors and balconies.center_img Tarcoola River Residences.DOWNSIZING Gold Coast buyers have snapped up five apartments at new Chevron Island development, Tarcoola River Residences. Designed locally by Burleigh Design architects the project is being developed by Four Bro Developments Pty Ltd.The $13 million development will house three two-bedroom apartments, 12 two-bedroom plus study apartments and two three-bedroom apartments with their own large rooftop areas.last_img read more

New film competition to link arts and sciences

first_imgUSC is launching its first science filmmaking competition today to promote student collaboration across disciplines and to communicate complex science concepts through different means.Clifford Johnson, a professor of physics and astronomy, began developing a plan to hold the competition in 2008 after receiving a National Science Foundation grant. He wants students to develop creative methods for explaining complicated science topics through interdisciplinary collaboration.“The idea was to involve students in making films and training the future scientists, writers, journalists, filmmakers and people from other fields to appreciate how better to communicate science ideas,” he said.The project also aims to give students the opportunity to learn from each other through the process.“Through this competition, people can understand each other’s craft better,” Johnson said.Johnson said there are significant problems with how science is communicated and perceived, and creating films with students from different disciplines can help bridge that gap.“The point is getting people from different departments — whether you’re a film major, science major, English major or business major — to work with each other when they otherwise wouldn’t have,” Johnson said. “It’s all about cross-collaboration, creating more openness in the future and better communication.”Johnson, who has co-written a play about scientists, co-produced educational videos and is currently working on a physics-related graphic novel, said conveying information through different media is an important skill.“The key thing is that the film communicates a science idea, principle or concept, and it can be done in any way that’s a good film,” Johnson said. “It could be a music video, or a standard documentary, a drama, or even an animation.”Film entries will be posted to the competition’s YouTube page and a jury of USC faculty and outside experts will select winners.Teams must include at least one student from a science department, the Viterbi School of Engineering or the Keck School of Medicine, and at least one from the USC School of Cinematic Arts or Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.Students majoring in science-related fields said they appreciate the chance to share their knowledge. Tammy Bui, a senior majoring in biology, said she thought the program would be very successful.“Many [science students] love nothing more than sharing what we care about to the surrounding community,” Bui said. “This opportunity will not only allow us to do what we are passionate about but it will, more importantly, allow us to bring awareness to others.”Some film students, including Brian Lam, a senior majoring in film production, believe there is  little incentive for film students to participate in the competition because of the specialization of the content.“I personally wouldn’t be interested in a competition like that, because people usually don’t produce films specifically for one festival,” Lam said. “It’s a better investment of time and resources to make a film that can be submitted to multiple festivals or competitions.”Susan Lee, a senior majoring in health promotion and disease prevention studies, said she would feel challenged to find people outside her major.“It makes it much more difficult to find team members outside of one’s immediate major,” Lee said. “However, this could very well be a challenge that encourages some to enter, as they look for opportunities to network with new people.”Prizes for the best three films, including a $2,500 first-place prize, will be funded through the Anton Burg Foundation, named in honor of the founder of the USC chemistry department.“The prize is not as important as exploring and making a film that you would never have made before, and hopefully there will be a lot of films that people will enjoy,” Johnson said. “Reach out, and go outside of your comfort zone. The kinds of friendships you make doing these kinds of collaborative projects last a long time throughout your career.”The deadline for competition registration is Oct. 8 and the final submission deadline is Jan. 11.last_img read more

Joy for Bees chairman after council approve new stadium plans

first_imgBrentford chairman Cliff Crown reacts after Hounslow Council give the club the green light to build a new 20,000-capacity stadium at Lionel Road.See also:The moment Brentford’s Lionel Road plans were given the green light Brentford get green light for Lionel RoadFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

Divining Darwin’s Tree Is a Never-Ending Task

first_imgSome scientific papers brag that Darwin’s universal tree of life is coming into sharper focus, but as the data increase, so do the problems.Evolutionary TopiaryCase in point: Maximilan Telford in Science Magazine presumed to write about “The Animal Tree of Life” as if one such tree exists, but ended up showing that results of tree-building are highly dependent on the methods used.  He spoke of a “strengthening consensus” emerging 150 years after Darwin moaned to Huxley that he would not live to see his tree of life established.The earlier disagreements derived from varying interpretations of the morphological and embryological characteristics of animals. Many of these characters have evolved repeatedly in unrelated lineages as adaptations to similar selective pressures or have been lost from certain groups through disuse. Today’s strengthening consensus is almost entirely thanks to the use of molecular genetic data in reconstructing trees. Heritable changes in nucleotides and amino acids are abundant and generally much less prone to the problems of convergent evolution and loss than are morphological characters.Some morphologists may disagree with that assessment, but Telford basically confessed long-standing disputes between the morphologists and the molecular evolutionists, despite his apparent favoritism for the latter.  A distant view appears to show a tree, but the devil is in the details.  He digressed into various “surprises” and taxonomic tricks to get the trees to match up:If we consider a summary of the trees produced from these data…, we find some familiar groups (arthropods, chordates, and echinoderms), as well as some surprises. For example, almost all premolecular phylogenies supposed a close link between the brachiopods (lamp shells) and the deuterostomes (chordates and echinoderms). Yet in Field et al.‘s tree, the brachiopods are placed far from the deuterostomes in the Lophotrochozoa, which include annelids and mollusks. This major rearrangement suggests that certain “deuterostomian” characters of brachiopods may have evolved more than once….Other surprises in the tree were less welcome. Probably the most striking result, and the one that provoked the strongest reaction at the time, was the conclusion that the multicellular animals evolved on two separate occasions from unicellular relatives…. It quickly became clear that this conclusion was incorrect and that it resulted from the cnidarians being misplaced in the tree. A second error—the placement of the flatworm Dugesia (Platyhelminthes) as a branch outside of the main groups of animals… took longer to resolve. We know now that its correct place is within the lophotrochozoans…. Both errors arose because the 18S rRNA genes of the misplaced groups evolve at an unusually high rate, resulting in “long branch attraction,” whereby rapidly evolving species are incorrectly placed close to the long branch leading to the species used to root the tree….In other words, the resolution of the tree depended on human choices made in forcing the data to match expectations.  It’s like the tree was in the mind, and the methods had to be adjusted to force “surprises” to cooperate.  A gardener can trim a bush to look like a giraffe (an artform called topiary); that doesn’t mean the plant would grow that way naturally.Telford went on to describe newer fit-forcing methods, such as “probabilistic methods that can accommodate the systematic biases present in real sequences, such as unequal rates of evolution.”  Who could know, though, the rates of evolution without already having in mind a picture of how the evolutionary saga was supposed to unfold?Skeptics might complain that tree-building exercises like this do not “carve nature at its joints” but rather confirm a preconceived bias.  They might also point out that confirming that bias required radical reorganizations of earlier visions of the tree, casting doubt on the lasting credibility of version 2013 that relies more heavily on molecular data than how the animals actually look:These studies have led to a widely accepted phylogeny of all animal phyla that has radically changed our views of animal evolution. Premolecular phylogenies generally envisaged a gradual increase in complexity from the earliest animals without a body cavity or coelom (acoelomate flatworms) via pseudocoelomate worms (such as nematodes and rotifers) to coelomate protostomes (annelids, arthropods, and mollusks) and deuterostomes (echinoderms and chordates) with a sophisticated mesoderm-lined coelomic body cavity.In contrast, today’s tree divides bilaterally symmetrical animals into protostomes and deuterostomes…. Within the deuterostomes, the simple urochordates (sea squirts) are closer relatives of the vertebrates than the more fishlike cephalochordates (amphioxus); a third phylum of deuterostomes, the hemichordates (acorn worms), are the sister group of echinoderms and not of the chordates.A view that “radically changed our views of animal evolution” does not indicate scientific progress.  Just because something is “widely accepted” (by whom?) does not make it scientifically valid, either.  Alchemy was widely accepted for centuries.  An explanation that requires believing that features as important as the coelomic body cavity has been “gained and lost multiple times” should raise eyebrows.In conclusion, Telford appealed to the “future research” escape clause to clean up today’s messes:Although much of the animal tree is now resolved, a number of problems remain. These problems tend to involve relationships either of taxa with extreme systematic biases or among groups that seem to have originated in a rapid radiation, resulting in a lack of signal supporting individual nodes. Future progress will depend on increasing useful signal with larger “phylogenomic” data sets from the widest possible taxonomic sample and on continued improvement in the correspondence between real data and the models used when reconstructing trees.Thus Telford confessed a lack of correspondence between models and the real data.  Are the “extreme systematic biases” in the data or in the scientists’ world views?Evolutionary TrackingIn “Following the footprints of positive selection,” a press release from the Broad Institute of MIT promised to showcase examples of real evolutionary progress: “genetic changes [that] have conferred an evolutionary advantage” if such an oxymoronic phrase has any meaning (i.e., only a rational mind can determine what is advantageous).Surprisingly, it took another radical rethinking to figure out how to find positive selection.  The article calls it a “turning point” and a “shift” to try this new method: “the genome itself can be used as a starting point to guide scientists to important genetic locations, leading to hypotheses about human health and disease.”As much as this might sound like following the evidence without bias, in fact, nothing has been accomplished yet.  The press release merely states that researchers are “poised” to make great discoveries with their chosen tools and datasets.  Some candidate high-level findings were put forth: “Several important categories of pathways emerged from the team’s analysis, including pathways tied to metabolism, skin pigmentation, and the immune system.”  Only the last one got any elaboration.  Alas, the elaboration only mentioned suggestions and possibilities for counter-intuitive observations, like the fact that “The particular variant that the researchers uncovered makes the immune system respond less dramatically to invaders, which, paradoxically, seems to help in the fight against them.”  How is that evidence of positive selection?  With imagination, the data can be made to fit the theory:We were thinking, ‘Why would decreasing the signal be important?’” Grossman recalls. “One possibility involves the role of TLR5 in facilitating certain bacterial infections. It turns out that in order for these bacteria to enter the host organism, they have to invade activated immune cells and hitch a ride to the lymph nodes. If the receptors are never activated, the bacteria have much more difficulty infecting the host.”It would be hard to defend a loss of function as evidence of positive selection.  Even so, this represents only “one possibility” to explain a conundrum – not a signal of positive selection that jumps out of the data.  The article concluded with more promissory notes.  “With this new data, we – and others – can examine numerous mutations and search for biologically meaningful outcomes,” one researcher hoped.  No clear-cut example came from this hunt intended on “Following the footprints of positive selection.”Squeaky AnswersElizabeth Pennisi’s article in Science Magazine, “How Did Humans Evolve? Ask a Mouse” is another example of a headline that fails to deliver.  She discussed a Harvard study celebrated by the previously-cited press release about positive selection: a mouse study at Harvard that focused on a gene for hair and sweat glands:Mice carrying human disease genes have proved valuable for learning what goes awry in people. Now, researchers have tapped the rodents to understand human evolution. Mice with a human version of a gene called EDAR have more sweat glands than normal, providing clues to how East Asians adapted to a humid environment 30,000 years ago.Certain people groups, such as Native Americans and East Asians, have thicker hair, Pennisi said, but it should be obvious that there’s a lot of difference between living members of ethnic groups that do not necessarily tell anything about “human evolution” from mice.  Since mice and humans already have sweat glands and hair, what’s the point, Darwinly speaking?Then we find that the Harvard team cheated: they used intelligent design to insert the human EDAR gene into mice.  Then they bred the resulting mice for several generations:The mice had thicker hairs in their fur, as expected. But they also had more sweat glands, denser mammary glands, and smaller fat pads around those mammary glands. “This study was able to show there are other, more subtle effects” beyond hair thickness, says Joshua Akey, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Washington, Seattle, who was not involved with the work.But why would this be surprising?  They were grown with a human variant of a gene.  This only provides a mouse model of a possible evolutionary change that might have helped certain people in certain habitats.  Pennisi boasted that the study “pushes the field in novel ways,” but no matter the wishful thinking among the evolutionary biologists, she confessed at the end that the implications of this study are not at all clear:The group’s analyses and computer simulations looking at how 370A arose and spread indicate that the mutation creating the variant gene happened more than 30,000 years ago in central China. China had been relatively warm and humid between 40,000 and 32,000 years ago and then got cooler and drier. But Kamberov thinks that summer and winter monsoons still created high enough humidity that those people who were able to cool their bodies with extra sweat glands would have done better. Alternatively, or in addition, the increased branching in the mammary glands could have provided an advantage for raising infants. “It’s not clear which one of those [traits] resulted in differences” in survival and reproductive ability, Akey says.Surely easterners know from experience that more sweat glands do not help in areas of high humidity; and if the rest of the year were drier and cooler, the people would have had other worries on their minds than sweating.  If “increased branching in the mammary glands” could have provided an advantage, why do infants survive outside China?  Why didn’t the genes revert after the climate change?  At best, these “evolutionary advantages” are of a very meager sort, considering the major overhauls Darwinism requires to get from mouse to human.The requirements of natural selection are very stringent.  Only what promotes immediate survival counts.  The advantage has to be so great that all the other members of the population must die so that the favored variant proliferates — this is called the “cost of selection.”  This issue was not addressed in the article.  Instead, Pennisi ended with a quote that says evolutionary theory can never solve it:The work “pushes the field in novel ways, Akey adds, as very few studies have pinned down the functional consequences of genetic changes that have been selected for. Although “the mouse model brings you closer” to understanding how modern humans have changed through time, Enard says, “without a time machine we will never get all the relevant data.“One might expect then, that to “ask a mouse” how humans evolved, the only answer would be, “Squeak, squeak.”We can dub this last story (the tale of a tail) the “Mighty Mouse Theory of Evolution” – not because the mouse is mighty (it’s only hairy and sweaty) – but because it Might help bring evolutionists closer to their coveted “understanding” of how humans evolved.  But even if evolutionists think with all their might about their mighty mice, they might, instead, never understand anything about evolution, because it’s not a mouse with a human gene injected into it they need, but a time machine.The next best thing to a time machine is an Eyewitness who was there who can tell us how mice and humans “emerged” (and it wasn’t by a blind, unguided process of natural selection).We hope these three articles expose to the world the shenanigans of the Darwin Party: imagination, suggestion, and empty promises.  Find one clear evidence supporting molecules-to-man evolution (or even a clear-cut case of “positive selection”) in any of these studies or models, or any any of the hundreds of other examples we have reported since fall of 2000.  Time’s up.  If this is the best the Darwiniacs can put forward after over 150 years of hunting for a magic tree that emerges by chance, they lose.  Let them get out of the way of the researchers who have the resources to understand the origin of “complex things that appear to have been designed for a purpose,” as Dawkins described life. 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Design Language Works in Biology

first_imgThere are many ways to explain design in nature without having to get religious about it.If “evolutionary” is a useless word in science (5 Dec 2019), then what should biologists replace it with? How about design language?Actually, that is already happening frequently in science reporting. The whole field of biomimetics uses the language of engineering, and speaks of “design principles” in biological traits. Cell biologists speak of “molecular machines” freely. Many writers don’t even use the e-word evolution at all. So if scientists are hesitant about infusing theology into science, no worries. Just take the useless Darwinism out of it, and let the facts speak for themselves.It’s even possible to wax eloquent about design in science writing. When biologists are accustomed to speaking in specialized jargon among themselves, appropriate metaphors about esoteric processes can aid understanding for lay readers. A prime example showed up in a press release from North Carolina State University about the stem cells in roots. Mick Kulikowski titled his article, “‘Conductor’ Gene Found in Plant Root Stem Cell ‘Orchestra’.” The question before researchers was, how do stem cells in the roots know when to differentiate, and what to become? They found a highly choreographed process.Like an orchestra with its various component instruments working together to create beautiful music, plant root stem cells work within various networks to perform various functions. TCX2 ensures that these local networks communicate with each other, similar to an orchestra conductor making sure that horns, for example, don’t drown out the violins.The interdisciplinary research included molecular biology experiments in Arabadopsis thaliana, or mustard weed, as well as mathematical modeling and machine learning approaches to narrow down some 3,000 candidate genes to learn about the causal relationships between different root stem cell networks.Science should deal in causal relationships. Causation implies law-like behavior, as opposed to the Stuff Happens Law. It is perfectly appropriate when conveying esoteric processes, therefore, to describe them in terms of other relationships readers understand. Analogies are useful teaching tools, the Baloney Detector explains:Analogies, humor, visualization, quotations by authorities, and statistics, for instance, are valid parts of rhetoric (persuasive speech), and can be legitimate and helpful teaching aids. These only err as fallacies or become propagandistic to the extent they dodge the issue, obscure the truth, mislead or take the lazy way out of a debate.What would be propagandistic in the press release above would be to mislead readers into thinking that this highly coordinated system evolved by chance, or just “happened” without foresight or plan: for instance, drawing an analogy between root stem cell behavior and a dictionary resulting from an explosion in a print shop. People can visualize a conductor shushing the horns and encouraging the violins. If stem cells are managing expression of parts in a complex performance, the orchestra analogy fits. Other analogies can help as well:To validate the network prediction and mathematical modeling, the researchers took an experimental approach. They both overexpressed and knocked out the TCX2 gene and found that the timing of plant root stem cell division suffered. Sozzani and Natalie Clark, the paper’s first author and a former NC State biomathematics graduate student, likened this to the principle behind the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears – the porridge was acceptable only when its temperature was “just right.”The word “design” itself should not be avoided in scientific writing over worries about religion, creationism, or the Intelligent Design Movement. Scientists design experiments; they know all about planned investigations that require foresight and planning. If they see animals or plants or cells acting in ways that look designed, so be it. Say so.Readers are free to make philosophical or theological inferences on their own, without scientists having to nudge them away from common sense to suppose that orchestras could have emerged by chance.(Visited 96 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

African film takes centre stage at Fespaco

first_imgFlags of African nations fly during theFespaco film festival’s opening ceremony. Showcasing the small West Africancountry’s finest talent, the ceremony sawmusicians, colourful dancers and giantpuppets creating a magnificent spectacleof African performance that had theaudience on its feet. A libation ceremony to honour the life oflegendary African filmmaker OusmaneSembène was held at the Place deCineastes, a monument in Ouagadougou. The Place de Cineastes.(Images: Khanyi Magubane)Khanyi MagubanePomp and ceremony was the order of the day as the 21st edition of the Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou – officially the Festival Panafricain du Cinéma et de la Télévision de Ouagadougou (Fespaco) – opened in the small city of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, on 28 February.Launched in 1969 and held every two years, Fespaco is regarded as the most prestigious gathering of African filmmakers both in Africa and the diaspora. The festival kicked off with an opening ceremony attended by some 45 000 people in Burkina Faso’s national stadium, the Stade du 4-Août.Showcasing the small West African country’s finest talent, the ceremony saw musicians, colourful dancers and giant puppets creating a magnificent spectacle of African performance that had the audience on its feet. And the buzz wasn’t only in the stadium.Outside, the city of Ouagadougou came alive as the festival attracts hundreds of vendors selling local cuisine, festival memorabilia, bottled cold water (temperatures average 40º during the day) and artefacts for tourists visiting the country to attend the week-long event.As most Burkinabe’s use motorbikes and scooters to speed through the densely populated city, the parking lot could have easily been mistaken as a motorbike show with thousands of cycles parked in a designated area.After the formal and entertainment programme, the sky exploded into a kaleidoscope of colour in a grand fireworks display, sending the locals into a frenzy of dancing and cheering.Later that evening the stadium festivities were followed by a gala dinner at Ouagadougou’s Hotel Independence, to celebrate 40 years of Fespaco.The dinner was sponsored by the South African delegation, which was led by Minister of Arts and Culture Pallo Jordan. The delegation included representatives from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), headed by its CEO Eddie Mbalo.Honouring Ousmane SembèneThe following day a libation ceremony to honour the life of legendary African filmmaker Ousmane Sembène was held at the Place de Cineastes, a monument in the city. The ritual involved delegates holding hands to circle the monument, after which a statue of Sembène was unveiled and the renamed Ousmane Sembène Street launched.Sembène was a Senegalese film director, producer and writer, often called the “father of African film”, and described by the Los Angeles Times as one of Africa’s greatest authors. From the early 1960s until his death in 2007, he worked to help lay the foundations for the development of Africa’s film industry.After launching a successful career as a novelist – he authored the classic God’s Bits of Wood – Sembène realised that his written work would only reach the privileged elite. So in 1963, at the age of 40, he turned to film to reach wider African audiences.In 1966 he produced his first feature film, La Noire de…, the first feature ever released by a sub-Saharan African director, which went on to win the French Prix Jean Vigo.His final film, the 2004 feature Moolaadé, which explores the controversial subject of female genital mutilation, won awards at the Cannes Film Festival and at Fespaco.Sembène was also a founding member and first secretary-general of the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (Fepaci), the continental body which launched Fespaco in 1969, and was its first secretary-general.The federation brings together African filmmakers, helping them network and keep abreast with activities within the industry across Africa and the diaspora. South Africa currently hosts the regional headquarters of Fepaci in Johannesburg.Under the leadership of South African filmmaker Seipati Bolane-Hopa, the organisation has been tasked with facilitating events that bring awareness about the film industry as a whole on the continent and in the South African region, working with the SABC, DAC and NFVF.Cinema de AfriqueDuring the 2009 Fespaco, 129 films from 74 countries will be in competition this year, with South Africa’s contribution including feature films, documentaries and television series.The features include veteran actor John Kani’s screen adaptation of his flagship theatre production Nothing but the Truth, and the gangster movie Jerusalema by producer Tendeka Matatu.Award-winning filmmaker Zola Maseko, whose film Drum won the prestigious Etalon de Yenenga for the best film at the 2007 Fespaco, will be showing his new work, The Manuscripts of Timbuktu. The television series Gugu no Andile will also be shown.Special highlights of the festival include the first congress of the Federation of African Film Critics, which is involved in the training of film journalists and critics on African film.For those interested in the business of buying and selling films, an exhibition at the MICA film market will be running throughout the festival, where stands by production companies, other film festivals and stakeholders can exhibit their products.Useful linksFespaco Fepaci South African Broadcasting Corporation Department of Arts and Culture National Film and Video Foundationlast_img read more

Chesa Nyama to open restaurant in the US

first_img26 February 2016Chesa Nyama is going to America, but what exactly is chesa nyama, or shisa nyama?According to South Africa braai connoisseur Jan Braai, while “chesa nyama” might literally mean “to burn meat” in isiZulu, it is a lot more than that. It is an informal social event involving the traditional meat braai, where friends and even strangers gather to celebrate the great South Africa social culture of food and community. It is an opportunity to bring together people of all walks of life with good food and good music, to make great memories.Chesa Nyama heads to the US https://t.co/DwN95z0tN6 pic.twitter.com/Q4imsTmXgc— Eyewitness News (@ewnupdates) February 24, 2016Chesa Nyama is one of South Africa’s fastest growing national brands, a traditional braai restaurant franchise hugely popular with young people and people looking for an authentic taste of African braai cuisine.It has almost 300 franchises across South Africa and employs over 3 000 people. The brand’s rapid growth led to the listing of its owner company, Gold Brands, on the JSE at the beginning of 2016.Congratulations to our holding company Gold Brands for being the only fast food company to be listed on the JSE! pic.twitter.com/z5GLd5bcVr— Chesanyama (@Chesanyama_SA) February 19, 2016Gold Brands is now set to export the success of Chesa Nyama and South African braai culture to the United States, with plans to open its first restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee in October.Gold Brands announced on 23 February that the company had signed a memorandum of understanding for the expansion of the brand with private investors, the South African industrial holdings firm Red Hornbill, and the White Family Partnership, an American partner.#SouthAfrican born brands can achieve success. 3 year old #ChesaNyama franchise chain announced it opens in US this year #WednesdayWisdom— Commstrategis (@Commstrategis) February 24, 2016An area development agreement between these partners allows for the establishment of Chesa Nyama Holdings in the US, with Gold Brands as a partner in the joint venture. It will own 30% of the American company and Red Hornbill will own 40%; the remaining 30% percent will be held by the White Family Partnership.According to the deal, Red Hornbill and the White Family will cover the funding of the Nashville set up as well as establishment costs for the further roll out of the franchise in the US. While Gold Brands will not provide capital for the US venture, it will be responsible for logistical support in the development of the product lines, branding, menu costing and strategic support.Gold Brands’ chief executive, Stelio Nathanael, explained the origins of the expansion plans to CNBC Africa: “We have long had a dream of taking Chesa Nyama beyond the borders of Africa. The idea has always been to bring our iconic South African braai culture to America.”We can not blame the Americans for loving #Chesanyama! No one can resist the #Nyamalicious treats! #ProudlySA pic.twitter.com/dpj5MxEK2c— Chesanyama (@Chesanyama_SA) February 24, 2016“(While) we’ll have to teach (the Americans) how to say Chesa Nyama first,” Nathanael joked, “it’s more about a restaurant dining concept giving that African feel and what we as South Africans are about.”He attributes the success of the brand to South Africans who embrace the combination of tradition with the contemporary. “(Our customers) love the brand so much, love the vibe of the brand. (but) they (also) love the tradition of Chesa Nyama and bringing it from the township to the suburbs is the reason for its success.”He is confident the model will translate not only to a large African expatriate community in Nashville, but also to Americans looking to try something a little different.Source: ENCAlast_img read more

Startups Aim to Make Augmented Reality Easy & Cheap

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#biz#How To Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Disclosure: Alcatel-Lucent is a sponsor of ReadWriteWeb. If your business has considered the use of 3D visualizations super-imposed on top of the physical world, you may be interested in two new efforts to make the creation of what’s called augmented reality faster, cheaper and easier than it’s ever been before. ReadWriteWeb research found that more than 1,000 augmented reality projects went live last year, the majority of them created by big, expensive design firms that specialize in AR and charge tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars just to get started.That may be an opportunity for market disruption and two startups launched this week that think they can radically democratize the creation of AR. Daqri is a low-cost QR and AR publishing platform for businesses and consumers that was unveiled at the Launch conference this week in San Francisco. Even more ambitious is the Georgia Institute of Tech’s newly released iPhone app called Argon, an open standards based AR browser. (iTunes link)center_img Related Posts Argon’s creators call the service “the world’s first open standards-based mobile augmented reality browser.” The research institute that built it is funded by global telephony infrastructure company Alcatel-Lucent.Not based on open standards but also not born of the academic research world is Daqri, a very business-friendly, low-cost AR publishing platform built by veterans of the robotics and defense tech worlds. Judges at the Launch conference this week, where Daqri debuted, were confused by the open-ended nature of the platform and probably by the founders’ Middle American (not Silicon Valley slick) demeanor. The communication paradigm is new enough that use cases are challenging to come up with. That’s the optimistic way of putting it; many people believe that AR is all smoke and no sizzle, that it’s never going to go anywhere because it doesn’t deliver real, lasting value.In the video below, you can see a Daqri browser user looking at how a marble counter top would look if it were installed in their own kitchen. There are clearly some cases where super-imposed visual communication is useful and Daqri offers it as a turn-key service, with easy management over time, at commodity pricing. The company also offers QR to mobile landing page publishing. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

Westford Building Science Symposium Raises Some Interesting Questions

first_imgMuch of the GBA team was in attendance at the 14th-annual Westford Building Science Symposium last week. More commonly known (and maybe more accurately described) as “Summer Camp,” this invitation-only, three-plus days long assembly of several hundred people involved in building science is a geek’s delight, featuring long days of lectures followed by dinner, drinks, and music until the wee hours. How we manage to get up and function each morning is one of the biggest mysteries at camp. If any Twitter fans are interested, look for #bscamp in tweets from this week to learn more.While the festivities sometimes overshadowed the daily talks, a lot of very serious business went on between 8:30 AM and 4 PM every day, much of which really made me think.On the first day, Bill Rose gave a great talk he called “12 Easy Pieces: Short Exercises in Building Science.” He moved through some of them so quickly that I was hard-pressed to take enough notes, but he really got us thinking.Probably my favorite point he made was about the separation of building and architecture. I was always aware that the two professions diverged in relatively recent history, but his analysis was that in 1672, Louis XIV’s finance minister, Colbert, gave architects privileges that undermined the builders’ guilds and syndicates developed in the Middle Ages. Architects were given powdered wigs and access to kings and to academies of fine arts. After this, builders kept their knowledge to themselves, refusing to teach architects about building, leading to many of the disconnects we have in construction today.Vapor barriers protect architects, not buildingsRose also spoke at length about vapor barriers and retarders, and the value of prescriptive measures in building codes. He pointed out that vapor barriers don’t protect buildings; rather, they protect architects.He also pointed out that when prescriptive measures are put into building codes, they usually develop constituencies and industries to support them. Businesses develop around these products and are financially invested in maintaining the requirement rather than assuring the highest-performing buildings.Many of these measures don’t ever accrue as benefits to the building owner; they primarily work to reduce liability to the professional who specifies them. I particularly liked Rose’s comment that there is an “on” button for most of our behavior (one recent example being taking our shoes off at airport security), but we rarely see an “off” button. That is, no one ever questions the value of the effort, and it just stays in place forever. This relates to building science and vapor barriers as much as airport security.Rose set some criteria to evaluate prescriptive requirements for buildings, which are good rules to live by:Is it critical?Is it necessary?Will the building perform badly without it?Is it sufficient?Will compliance result in satisfactory performance?Is it policed?Is there a mechanism in place to revisit the questions of criticality, necessity, and sufficiency?Challenges and questionsRose challenged us to find people who are willing to question prescriptive measures and help make them disappear when they are no longer appropriate. This last thought leads me to a question I am going to pose—at the risk of being skewered by some of the major building science geeks that populate this site, mostly from northern climates.Having worked in the mixed humid South for my entire career, I find the cold-climate bias of most building science a little frustrating. I don’t have any experience with most of the condensation issues that arise in severe cold, so I defer to those experts on most occasions. That said, it occurs to me that it might just be possible that the recommendation for vapor retarders in cold climates is more a response to the possibility that other things could go wrong, rather than a necessity in all conditions.Later during the symposium, there was a presentation on spray foam insulation, and during one side discussion, the subject of open-cell versus closed-cell roofline insulation came up. Being a geek from a mixed climate, where vapor retarders generally aren’t recommended, I lean toward open-cell foam—to which the cold-climate geeks say there has to be a vapor retarder to prevent vapor from flowing through the insulation and condensing on the cold underside of the roof deck. This was not the first time I have had this conversation. I was almost beaten to a bloody pulp by some angry builders in Montana for making similar comments.So my question is, if the moisture is adequately controlled inside a house in the winter, is the vapor retarder necessary, or is it just one of those things that is installed to protect architects and builders from liability? I hope that the cold-climate guys don’t put out a contract on my life for raising this question. I just want to start some discussion and see if my theory has any validity. I welcome your comments.last_img read more