This week’s warm and sunny weather forecast in most parts of the state likely has many digging out their garden gloves and playing in the dirt. But before you head to a big-box store to purchase your seeds and plants, the state’s land conservancies and family farms hope you’ll consider heirloom varieties.Nancy Long and her husband, Harold, of Long Family Farms and Gallery, exclusively plant vegetables on their farm in Cherokee County that was passed down from the Eastern Band of Cherokee.“There’s the ability to share with others by sharing the seeds and the stories and the memories,” she says. “Like, it might be, ‘Oh, these were grandpa’s butter beans or grandma’s favorite tomato.’ All these seeds have so many different stories and the memories that go along with it.”Harold Long, a member of the Cherokee, recently traveled to Oklahoma to retrieve Cherokee tan pumpkin seeds, once thought lost but found on a farm there. They’ve since shared the seeds through an outreach program. The Mainspring Conservation Trust has conservation easements on four farms in Cherokee and Clay counties to help preserve farms such as the Longs’.Land conservancies are able to preserve farmland through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Farm Bill, currently up for renewal in Congress.Sara Posey is the Hiwassee Programs Manager for the Mainspring Conservation Trust and says beyond the importance of preserving horticulture history, maintaining a variety helps protect the food supply.“When we’re in a monoculture, we are susceptible to insect blights, and if we only have one strain of a plant, then it’s gone and that’s the resurgence with heirloom,” she explains. “They are all genetically different.”Long says people who have heirloom plants and vegetables on their own land can help secure the long-term history of varieties for generations to come.“If more people would take an interest and have seed exchanges, more of the seeds would be able to get into other people’s hands, so really in order to save a seed, you have to share them,” Long adds.Recently, the University of North Carolina-Asheville hosted a seed exchange. The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association has a similar program.
Share This!There’s something about the magic of a Disney vacation–that extra little pixie dust that makes a trip go from good to great. The idea behind Adventures by Disney is what if you could take that vacation experience that you have when visiting the parks and take it with you as you travel to destinations around the world. Of course all magic comes with a price, dearie. Adventures by Disney trips typically cost more than similar trips offered by other tour group companies, and far more than planning a budget-conscious trip on your own. The marketing for these trips does make them look impressive, and I’ve rarely heard anyone have anything negative to say about the actual trip. Is it something that many people have done, however? Last week, we asked you:Have you ever taken an Adventures by Disney trip?Here’s your results:Yes (55 votes, 5%)The variety of Adventures by Disney trips is impressive. The activities you can do on them are amazing. You can cruise down the major rivers of Europe, or go dog sledding in Wyoming. You can look for wildlife while hiking in the Galapagos Islands, or on safari in South Africa, or snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s coast. You can take a vacation without a Disney park experience, or you can set up your vacation to make a stop at Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, Shanghai Disneyland, Walt Disney World, or Disneyland Paris. While the trips are more expensive than if you booked events on your own, Disney often adds little extras to make the trips memorable. The guides on the trips come with a wealth of knowledge that you may not get with another tour company or on your own. Even better, these trips tend to have minimal outside costs. The price you see, aside from transportation to the start of your trip and home at the end, includes most of your activities, meals, and lodging. Many people who responded yes to this question mentioned that they’ve been on more than one Adventures by Disney trip. It may require eating instant noodles when you get home and rolling pennies for the next one, but people seem to want to keep coming back for more.No (1,031 votes, 95%)At the end of the day, no amount of marketing and hype can hide the fact that these trips are expensive. Even a short, three-night Disneyland Adventures by Disney trip will set you back more than $2,000 per person. Different trips can run $5,000 or more per person–the one to China that I’ve been dreaming of is more than $9,000. (And that doesn’t include the airfare to get to and from your destination.) Some people mentioned that this is a Bucket List or Powerball dream–if the money appeared, they’d go in a heartbeat. Others have a hard time justifying the price even if money was no object. In the end, it takes a lot to make the leap to plunk down the money on this. It is no surprise that most people who responded haven’t taken one. (You can count me in the number of people who haven’t been parted with my money for this trip yet. Maybe when I’m an empty nester?)So there you have it–this week’s results. Next week’s question is live on Twitter and on the blog here. In the meantime, if you were given one wish from Genie, but you had to use it to take an Adventures by Disney trip, which one would you wish for?
Dr Christine Steenkamp is hailed asa pioneer in her field.(Image: SAASTA) Stellenbosch University’s Laser ResearchInstitute is renowned for its world-class scientific work.(Image: Stellenbosch University)MEDIA CONTACTS • Dr Christine SteenkampLaser Research Institute+27 21 808 3374 or +27 83 709 6482RELATED ARTICLES• SA scientist lauded for polar work• SA hosts world science meet• SA scientists win AU awards• Unesco fellowship for SA scientisJanine ErasmusLaser physicist Dr Christine Steenkamp is one of three African women scientists, out of a group of 12, who recently received international recognition for excellence in research.Steenkamp and her colleagues, from the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Africa, were honoured at the fourth General Assembly and international conference of the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSDW), formerly the Third World Organisation for Women in Science.This year’s OWSDW conference took place in June 2010 under the theme Women Scientists in a Changing World. The conference and General Assembly had a number of joint aims, among them to promote interaction and exchange between women scientists in the South; to boost awareness of OWSDW activities; and to increase assistance from national and international organisations for research projects carried out by women scientists.The awards were presented by funding organisation The Elsevier Foundation, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World and OWSDW, and are each worth US$5 000 (about R38 000).The 12 laureates are Zeng Fanyi, Ilkay Orhan and Priya Mahadevan from Asia; Uchechi Ekweny, Ndidiamaka Ezejiofor and Christine Steenkamp from Africa; Ghada Abdel-Salam, Lilyan Alsaka and Sakina Adam Ali from the Arab bloc; and Myriam Amezcua-Allieri, Aramis Rivera and Aimé Pelaíz-Barranco from Latin America and the Caribbean.Through a grant made as part of The Elsevier Foundation New Scholar’s programme, three disciplines in each region – biology, chemistry, and mathematics/physics – were recognised. The winners received their prizes from Chinese vice president Xi Jinping at a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Tianenmen Square, Beijing.“Encouraging the work of promising scientists in the developing world helps to promote wider participation and excellence in science. This is a key objective of The Elsevier Foundation’s New Scholars programme,” said the foundation’s executive director David Ruth.Submissions were reviewed by the relevant regional OWSDW committee, and shortlisted candidates went under rigorous scrutiny from OWSDW regional vice-presidents as well as the current president Kaiser Jamil, before receiving a grading.“The recognition that this provides will undoubtedly provide an invaluable boost to the promising careers of these young women scientists,” said Jamil.Innovation in physicsSteenkamp took the mathematics/physics prize for Africa for her excellent contribution to science, particularly her pioneering work in the field of vacuum ultraviolet laser spectroscopy. She delivered a lecture at the conference on this highly specialised field of research.Steenkamp obtained her BSc in physics and chemistry from Stellenbosch in 1996 and completed her MSc and PhD in laser physics at the same institution.She is now a senior physics lecturer at her alma mater, and conducts her research at the university’s Laser Research Institute, where the small academic staff complement and postgraduate students carry out fundamental and applied research in laser science and technology, and related applications.She attributes her choice of career to her father, also a physicist, who specialised in wood science. She has worked at the Max Planck Institute in Jena, Germany, and spent time doing research at the University of Colorado in the US – at the personal invitation of distinguished Nobel physics laureate Prof Carl Wieman.Her research interests range from laser cooling and trapping of atoms, to chlorophyll fluorescence and nonlinear optics.Steenkamp’s consistently high-quality output is all the more remarkable, said her OWSDW citation, because when she started her career in experimental physics there was very little research infrastructure available. Since then she herself has developed much of the equipment used in her work, and most of it is still not commercially available.For instance, her design of a vacuum ultraviolet laser source is scientifically important, because the device is not only used to investigate the properties of super-cooled carbon monoxide (CO) molecules, but can also be used to measure spectra of CO isotopomers in a lab – something which has not been possible before.Laser sources that provide light in the vacuum ultraviolet region of the spectrum are very limited, said Steenkamp in her TWOWS lecture, with only a few in existence worldwide.Isotopomers are isomers – molecules with the same chemical formula, but different structural formula – that contain isotopic atoms. The latter are atoms of the same chemical element but with differing numbers of neutrons – they are found in the same numbers but in different positions on the molecule.CO isotopomers are important because their spectra are implicated in the interpretation of results of interstellar space scans obtained by space stations. The astrophysics community, therefore, is keenly interested in Steenkamp’s innovation. She has published two papers on this work, one in the Astrophysical Journal and the other in the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy.This is not Steenkamp’s first award. In 1997 she received the Stellenbosch University Chancellor’s Award, given to the top final year student at the university. In 2003 she was one of three recipients of the Department of Science and Technology’s Women in Science fellowships, and in 2009 she took the Silver Jubilee Medal of the South African Institute of Physics.Steenkamp has also published in well-established peer-reviewd journals, and has presented papers at a number of local and international conferences.
Joe Roe This oven was used to make bread—thousands of years before agriculture Alexis Pantos Archaeologists measure the dimensions of a stone hut that once stood at the Shubayqa 1 site in Jordan. Researchers use a technique known as flotation, which uses water to recover minuscule plant remains from soil. Alexis Pantos Archaeologists grind a starchy tuber called club-rush to see whether it works as a bread ingredient. Alexis Pantos By Michael PriceJul. 16, 2018 , 3:00 PM Alexis Pantos Hunter-gatherers from the Natufian culture baked an early form of bread in this 14,000-year-old fireplace in northeastern Jordan. Thousands of years before the advent of agriculture, people were already making bread. That’s the surprising conclusion of a new study based on a curious find in northeastern Jordan.At its most basic, bread is the combination of processed cereal grains and water that have been baked, fried, or steamed. The process leaves behind telltale chemical and structural properties that researchers can use to identify the staple food. And that’s just what archaeologists found when they investigated a 14,000-year-old site known as Shubayqa 1 in Jordan’s Black Desert. The inhabitants, who were hunter-gatherers, left their home in a hurry, with the contents of their most recent meal still smoldering in two sunken fireplaces (one pictured).With the help of a scanning electron microscope, which uses a beam of electrons to return incredibly intricate zoomed-in images, the researchers identified 24 pieces of char that were decidedly breadlike. Though the bread’s exact grain remains unknown, its cellular structure resembles cereal grain species such as wild einkorn, rye, or millet, and it was likely an unleavened, flatbread. 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The discovery suggests knowing how to grow grains isn’t essential to making bread from them, which could help researchers better understand how ancient cultures met their nutritional needs. Jordanian volunteer Ali Shokaiteer (left) and lead author of the study Amaia Arranz-Otaegui (right) take samples from local cereal grains. Hunter-gatherers from the Natufian culture baked an early form of bread in this 14,000-year-old fireplace in northeastern Jordan. Alexis Pantos ‹› Archaeologists measure the dimensions of a stone hut that once stood at the Shubayqa 1 site in Jordan. Alexis Pantos
Home grown manufacturer iBall has officiallyannounced the availability of its first octa-core tablet offering: the SlideOcta A41. The iBall Slide Octa A41 3G voice-calling tablet is now up for grabsat a price tag of Rs.14,999. The company had earlier listed the tablet on itsofficial website without pricing and availability details.The iBall Slide Octa A41 features a 7-inch IPSfull-HD display with a 1920×1080 pixels resolution. It is powered by a 1.7GHzocta-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. It comes with 16GB ofinbuilt storage expandable up to 32GB via microSD card.The single-SIM voice-calling tablet runs Android 4.4KitKat out-of-the-box. It sports an 8MP rear autofocus camera with LED flashand a 5MP front-facing snapper. Connectivity options on the device include: Wi-Fi,3G, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, 3G and USB. It decks in a 3500mAh battery. Recently, the company introduced the Slide 3G Q7218tablet. The device is currently available at a best buy price of Rs. 6,499. The iBall Slide 3G Q7218 tablet features a 7-inchdisplay (480×800 p resolution) and has a 1.3GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 processor beatingunder the hood. It comes with 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage expandableup to 32GB via microSD card. It packs in a 2500mAh battery.
MONTEGO BAY – In a time when several schools are under pressure for not performing up to par, the Corinaldi Avenue Primary in St. James is making positive strides both locally and internationally.The school recently copped first and second places in the 2013 World Plumbing Day International Poster Competition which is staged by the United States based World Plumbing Council. The day is observed on March 11 annually.The 2013 staging of the Poster competition had entries from elementary/primary schools from around the world, including countries such as the United Kingdom, Scotland, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, the USA and Jamaica.In the end, Andrew Malcolm and Nakelia Humphrey, both 5th grade students at the Corinaldi Avenue Primary, took first and second place respectively, with Liana Ellis, a 4th grader at Dunross Primary School in St. James, Trinidad, taking the third place spot.For their winning pieces, Andrew Malcolm received US$100 for himself and US$1,000 for his school; while Nakelia Humphrey received US$50 for herself and US$500 for her school, which will receive in total US$1,500.The school’s participation in the competition came about when Grade Six Teacher Donette Salmon, saw the information on the Internet and along with Grade Three Teacher, Dane Julius, decided to have two students enter.“We have very talented students here at Corinaldi, and so we decided that Nakelia Humphrey and Andrew Malcolm would be good choices (to do entries), seeing that they have more experience in entering poster competitions and doing very well at it,” Ms Salmon told JIS News.Mr. Julius informed this is not the first poster competition that the school has won, and their achievements have spanned both international and local competitions over the years.Both teachers are overjoyed by the results in the World Plumbing Day International Poster Competition. “(It is) not only that we won, but we gained the two top places in the competition, which is a first for the competition itself, so we were overwhelmed by it,” Ms Salmon said.The students, Andrew and Nakelia, are equally excited at finishing in the top two.With a student population of approximately 1600, Principal, Cynthia Munroe, told JIS News, that she and the entire school population felt very excited to have outdone the many schools from around the world that entered the competition.“We had done it before and we knew that we could do it again,” she said, while praising the Art Teacher at the institution for the continued success of the students.An official function was held at the school to highlight the achievement of Andrew and Nakelia, at which they received both their World Plumbing Council prize, as well as special prizes from the school.Mrs. Munroe credits the continued high levels of achievement of the Corinaldi Avenue Primary School to a shared vision between principal and staff.“Our teachers are highly motivated and committed, and they transmit this commitment and motivation to our students; and so our students know that when they get out there they have to excel, they want to achieve at the highest,” she explains.She further reveals that this feeling and principle is applied throughout the school in all areas.
Advertisement Orange is launching the 2014 edition of the Orange African Social Venture Prize. A new category has been introduced for the fourth edition: the “Orange Partner” which award will recognize the best project that integrates an Orange application.The Orange African Social Venture Prize once again rewards entrepreneurs developing products or services that use ICT in an innovative way to meet the needs of Africans in fields such as health, agriculture, education, energy, industry or trade.Over the past three years, more than 1,500 projects have been submitted for the Orange African Social Venture Prize reflecting the dynamism of African entrepreneurs and the potential of the telecommunications sector. – Advertisement – Operating in 18 countries in Africa, Orange serves close to 100 million customers. Given the impact that digital services can have on peoples’ daily lives, this presence means that the Group plays an important role in the continent’s economy and its future development. As a result, one of Orange’s main priorities is to improve connectivity, particularly in rural areas, and to introduce innovative mobile-based services.Related Stories[related-posts]To achieve this, the Group supports entrepreneurs, small and middle-sized firms by facilitating access to finance, supporting structures for incubation and giving access to tools for digital development. Since 2010, Orange is a partner of the CTIC Dakar incubator, a reference in Western Africa in terms of ICT development. In April 2014, the CIPME Niger incubator, initiated by Orange, opened its doors to start-ups in the fields of ICT, renewable energy and the environment.The prize will recognize four projects: three projects with grants of 10,000 EUR, 15,000 EUR and 25,000 EUR, and a new special prize of 10,000 EUR will be awarded to the finalist who presents a project using an Orange API.In addition, the four winners will benefit from a six-month support package from entrepreneurship and ICT experts and, the first prize will be offered a patent submission in the country of the project’s deployment.Once again this year, internet users can vote online for their favorite project on Orange’s entertainment portal in Africa, http://www.starafrica.com. The winner of the “favorite project” will have its project submitted to the jury along with the others finalists shortlisted by the experts and will therefore have the maximum possible chance of being among the top four winners for 2014.Any entrepreneur (aged 21 or over) or legal entity that has been in existence for fewer than three years at the time of the competition may participate at no cost and with no restriction on nationality. Submitted projects must be designed to be deployed in at least one of the African countries in which Orange operates and must use information and communications technology in an innovative way to help improve the living conditions of the populations in these countries.Applications are accepted from 22 May to 19 September 2014 on Orange’s pan-African web portal.