first_img9 April 2013The latest attempt to counter the thriving crime of rhino poaching in South Africa comes in the form of a poisonous substance with which a game reserve is now treating its rhinos’ horns.Consumers of the “poisoned” rhino horn, generally found in Asia, risk becoming seriously ill from ingestion as it is contaminated with a non-lethal chemical package.Private game reserve Sabi Sand Wildtuin, at the southern end of the Kruger Park, is tired of watching an entire species vanish before its eyes.The reserve has resorted to taking matters into its own hands by injecting ectoparasiticides into the horns of 100 of its rhinos.Ectoparasiticides are not intended for consumption by humans; they are generally used for the control of ticks and parasites in animals. An ectoparasiticide is an antiparasitic drug used in the treatment of ectoparasitic infestations. It kills the parasites that live on the body surface.Toxic side-effectsAlthough not lethal in small quantities, they are toxic and symptoms of accidental ingestion may include severe nausea, vomiting and convulsions, among other side effects.Because of these side-effects, the treated rhino and their horns must be visibly identifiable, to avoid ingestion of treated horns by humans.Andrew Parker, the chief executive of Sabi Sand Wildtuin Association, says the reserve is leading this programme because it is located at the epicentre of the problem, at the southern end of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, where up to 70% of rhino killings occur.In addition to making whoever consumes the rhino horn very ill, the ectoparasiticides are accompanied by a pink dye that can be detected by airport scanners.“We realised that the treatment of the horns, along with an indelible dye, would go a long way towards helping us achieve our goal of protecting all rhinos in South Africa from poaching,” says Lorinda Hern of the Rhino Rescue Project.The dye is visible on an X-ray scanner even when ground to a fine powder. Airport security checkpoints are almost certain to pick up the presence of this dye in a treated horn regardless of whether the horn is intact or in powder form.“Testing is ongoing and comprehensive, to ensure that the animals have in no way been harmed by the administration of the treatment and, based on the research, it is believed that the treatment should remain effective for approximately three to four years, after which re-administration would be required,” says Hern.Diminishing the lucrative tradeThere is no doubt a solution to rhino poaching needs to be found. The number of rhinos lost to poaching in South Africa exceeded 300 in 2010 and over 400 in 2011.This week, the government said 203 rhinos had been killed by poachers so far this year, including 145 in Kruger Park.Rhino horn on the black market is worth an estimated R600 000 (US$66 000) a kilo for mature horns, which average four to 4.5kgs in weight when they are sawn or hacked off close to the animal’s skull.The poachers themselves receive a fraction of the R2.4-million to R2.7-million ($264 000 to $300 000) value of each horn from the syndicates that plan the raids and export the material.Logically, a permanent solution to poaching is to eliminate the demand for rhino horn altogether. Education will go a long way to teaching consumers that rhino horn contains no nutritional or medicinal value, however, education will not produce an immediate result – and results are needed urgently.The Sabi Sand game reserve hopes that these two tactics, implemented for the first time in South Africa, will put a dent in the lucrative rhino horn trade.“The media in South Africa and globally maintain a close watch on the shrinking herds of our rhino,” Parker says. “The same platform can expose exactly what the poachers are up against from now on.“They have had an easy ride so far, running a vast and brutal, hugely profitable trade under the noses of government authorities between here and Asia. Now we are forcing them to answer to their consumers about what they are passing off as medicine,” he adds.Sabi Sand has launched a widespread media campaign and posted signs on its fences to make poachers aware that its rhinos’ horns have been poisoned.First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

first_imgRelated Posts curt hopkins Tags:#E-Books#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… The definitive dictionary of the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary, may well never see the light of day again, only the light of a monitor. Nigel Portwood, chief executive of Oxford University Press, which publishes the OED, told the London Sunday Times that dictionaries sales have been falling off at a rate greater than 10% a year for the last few years. So the next edition may be online only. Such a move might be financially reasonable. After all, the current online edition gets two million hits monthly at $400 per user, and more people are favoring compact, universally-retrievable sources of information. But is finance all we should consider? Over at GigaOm, Matthew Ingram asks if we should care. His response, if I’m reading him right, is yes. I yearned for an opportunity to disagree, dramatically, just pro forma. But I can’t. I’ll go into a bit more detail on why a “hardcopy” of the dictionary (I favor the neo-logism, “book”) is still desirable. The idea of small, lightweight, online, retrievable sources of reference materials is fantastic. I use Dictionary.com more than I use my Websters. (Though Websters gets money either way.) So why not the OED? After all, the twenty-volume mega-book is, at almost $1,600 hellishly expensive and, if you’re sub-Ferrigno, immovable. Because while some books are repositories of information, others are experiences. Although the OED is not a narrative, not scripture, not poetry, it is, nonetheless, transportive. The idea of flipping from one entry to another, following a line of inquiry (especially etymological inquiry) from one page to another, even one volume to another, is a sensual experience. I don’t mean it’s sexy (it is), but rather that it’s an experience that encompasses sight, sound and touch and even hearing (the rustle of pages, the thump of the volume hitting the desk) to create the context for comprehension. I agree with Matthew that it doesn’t need to be a commercial production, with loads of books run out and sent by plane and truck to book stores. It may become something of a bespoke tradition – created at user request. Although the Oxford University Press said it hadn’t made a hard-and-fast decision as to whether they’d print again (the next edition probably won’t be ready for a decade), they should make a hard-and-fast decision never to stop printing, even if they have to change the way they print. If scifi has been in some way a guide to our future, let’s remember that Picard read manifests on a PADD but Shakespeare in a book; and further, each new technology does not push all previous technologies out. Nor should it. So come on, Nigel. Make a commitment. Give us that sweet must of a real book when we need the experience of language, not just the data. What do you think? Does the Book matter, or is it only a vehicle for the experience of reading? For more discussion of the online reading experience, read Richard MacManus’s posts where he examines the pros and cons; and mine, where I ask whether e-books are the new paperbacks. last_img read more

first_imgIn the backdrop of growing outrage over Dow Chemicals’ sponsorship of the London Games, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has decided to convey the concerns of the 1984 Bhopal Gas disaster victims to the world body.In a letter to acting IOA president Vijay Kumar Malhotra, the sports ministry has asked him to take up the matter with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which has entered into a 10-year agreement with Dow Chemicals.Dow has bought Union Carbide, considered to be responsible for the loss of thousands of lives due to the leakage of toxic gas in their Bhopal plant.While Malhotra said they will convey the concerns to the IOC, he admitted that the IOA is still undecided about its stand if the world body refuses to heed their requests.”On December 15 we have a meeting with all the IOA officials and we will decide what exactly has to be asked for,” Malhotra told Mail Today.”As of now what has been decided is that IOA will make IOC aware of the feelings of the people in India with regard to Dow Chemicals’ involvement. In the IOA meeting, we”ll decide on the other options as well.”In its letter, the ministry also states that Dow’s agreement is not only with the IOC but also with other National Olympic Committees (NOC), including the IOA.”Under the agreement between Dow and IOC, Dow will partner IOC and National Olympic Committees around the world, including India. We would advice the Indian Olympic Association to raise this matter immediately with the IOC, while keeping the government informed,” read the letter from joint secretary (sports) Rahul Bhatnagar.advertisement”You are also aware that the matter of Dow’s liability, in respect of the Bhopal Gas tragedy victims, is sub judice and that the government of India has itself filed a suit against the company. Strong public sentiment exists in this matter and a number of eminent Olympians have also raised concerns.”Many Olympians have come out in protest of Dow’s agreement with the IOC. Malhotra, however, stuck to his stand and reiterated that India will not boycott the Games.He admitted that the deal signed by the IOC with the sponsors automatically brings into it the National Olympic Committees although he claimed that the agreement was till the 2016 Olympics.”The National Olympic Committees automatically fall under the agreement because they are also involved in profit sharing with the IOC for the event.” Organisers of the London Olympics have entered into a sponsorship deal with Dow Chemicals for an $ 11million artistic wrap around the Olympic Stadium.last_img read more

first_imgIs the big city life getting to you? Can’t wait to get away from it all? Simply Bangalore has caught the travel bug too this month so give in to temptation before the good weather runs out and take the first road out. Get set and read on as we,Is the big city life getting to you? Can’t wait to get away from it all? Simply Bangalore has caught the travel bug too this month so give in to temptation before the good weather runs out and take the first road out.Get set and read on as we scrounge through popular travel hubs and adventure hotspots as well as carefully hidden secrets to bring you the best weekend getaway options.Nature’s lapChikmagalur: This coffee town is no longer just a far-flung quaint hamlet, but has become a popular weekend spot for Bangaloreans. Located in the foothills of the Mulayanagiri range of hills, Chikmagalur is a nature lover’s paradise and there’s not much to do here except appreciate nature. A visit to this town will help get rid of your worldly worries and rejuvenate you with its natural beauty and fresh air. One can drive further down to Ayyanakere, barely 18 kms away from Chikmangalur, from where the view is breathtaking. Sit by the fresh water lake which is surrounded by seven hills. Another 56 km away is the picturesque hill station of Kemmanagundi-head there if you’re interested in trekking. Of late, Chikmagalur has seen considerable development in star hotel groups setting up properties here. One such notable project is The Serai, sprawling luxury resort nestled among verdant coffee estates. After a long day of sightseeing or trekking along one of the hills, this is an ideal place to unwind at. One can also opt for budget accommodations or homestays.Chikmagalur is about 3,400 ft. above sea level, making it relatively cooler than other parts of the state even in the summer. The town is about 220 km from Bangalore, where regular buses ply from.advertisement Fact fileGetting there: Take the NH 206.Distance: 250 km.Stay: The Serai.Call: 40012200; theserai.inCost: Rs 15,000 onward per nighSoul colourShravanabelagola: Between the Vindyagiri and Chadragiri hills is a snapshot of history. The largest monolithic statue in the world-58 feet tall and weighing about 80 tons stands here at Shravanabelagola. The sacred site for Jains, it’s close to Hassan and approximately 150 km from Bangalore. This peaceful place is mostly meant for prayer. There’s a Sanskrit Pathshala where one can study the language and shastras. There are some temples and other monuments close by that you can visit on foot but the statue of Bahubali is the most noteworthy. It really depends on whether you want to learn about history, take in nature or immerse yourself in the Jain culture. This is a great place for photography, so don’t forget to carry your camera. When here, indulge in the variety of south Indian and traditional Jain cuisine. Shravanabelagola is best accessed by road although there are no direct buses from Bangalore. Accomodation is plenty, there are many places to stay at. Fact fileGetting there: Take the NH 48.Distance: 150 km.Stay: Hotel Raghu.Call: 08176-25723.Cost: Rs 300 onward per nightSomething fishyCauvery Fishing Camp: No longer is fishing considered an American family bonding activity. More and more Bangaloreans are taking time out over the weekend to head out for fishing trips at one of the three locations along the banks of the Cauvery River at the Cauvery Fishing Camp. One can fish for Mahseer, but to support conservation of fish, you will have to return it to the river right after you catch it. Then you can also visit the Bheemeshwari Fishing and Nature Camp just 100 km from Bangalore, off the Kanakpura-Kollegal highway. Another 6 km further is The Doddamakali Nature Camp and just a short distance from there is the Galibore Nature and Fishing Camp. All these fishing camps are close to the city, making the trip stress-free and tireless. Keep your eyes peeled for animals like sambar, spotted deer, jackals, elephants and even leopards-apart from the 200 species of birds that flock to this region.The best season to visit is during the monsoons from June to August, when the river is swollen, teeming with fish, and the forest is lush.Accommodation is available at each of the camps. Options include log huts, tented cottages, and bamboo huts. In addition to fishing, one can take a guided trek through the surrounding dense forest area and even warm their toes at the evening campfire. Fact fileGetting there: Take the Kanakpura-Kollegal Highway.Distance: 100 km.Stay: At the Fishing Camps. Call: 40554055.Cost: Rs 4,000 to Rs 6,000 per night.Spice it upCoorg: The monsoons around August bring the place to life but also make it quite messy with slushy mud, making it difficult to walk and drive. Leeches also pose a bit of a problem. So a good time to visit is in spring when the worst of winter has passed but summer hasn’t yet set in. Getting there by road is the best option.There are several ways to experience Coorg ranging from homestays to hotels and the higher end luxury resorts. And you can decide whether you want this to be an escape from crazy city life, an educational trip for the kids or an adventure-packed holiday.Tours of plantations are available if you just want to walk around extensive green grounds. Although the most common crop is coffee, spices like pepper, cardamom and vanilla are also grown and paddy fields cultivated. The Valanoor Fishing Camp is great during October through May where you can try hooking a mahseer, catfish or eel in the teeming backwaters of the Cauvery near Kushalnagar. Maybe even a crab or two. For the young at heart, there is river rafting, trekking and quad biking.If you’re lucky, you might be able to go home with some Civet Coffee. Not for the faint hearted, this delicacy is prepared from coffee beans that have passed through the Civet cat’s digestive tract. Infused with enzymes and amino acids, the beans sell at Rs 5,000 per kg.advertisementFact fileGetting there: Take the NH 17.Distance: 250 km.Stay: Orange County Resort.Call: 41911170; orangecounty.inCost: Rs 15,000 onward per night.On a heritage trailHampi: Once the seat of power of the Vijaynagar Empire, Hampi has since been christened a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its temple ruins. Pay a visit to the Vittala Temple, the jewel in Hampi’s extravagant architectural landscape and spend a few moments by the iconic stone chariot. Eating in Hampi can be enjoyable because of the sheer number of options available. For local fare, head to the area around Virupaksha Temple. Hampi Bazar is dotted with kiosks and restaurants serving idly, dosa and thali meals. But the most famous of all is Mango Tree restaurant, ironically nestled in a banana plantation. Once there, order their Nutella pancakes and banana dosas. Travel to Hampi between November and March, when you can avoid soaring temperatures, but don’t forget to carry sunscreen. Do watch out for stray monkeys that are known to grab purses or food. Fact fileGetting there: Take the train to Hospet or drive on NH 7.Distance: 350 km.Stay: Not many hotels in Hampi. Stay in Hospet, 13 km away.Cost: Rs 400 onward per night.Divine blissTirupati: A religious centre for many devout from across the world, Tirupati might be religious tourism at its best or worst, depending on how you look at it. Regardless, it is a must visit destination at least once, just to see the scale of it, if nothing else. The hill town of Tirumala near Tirupati is known globally for the Lord Venkateshwara Temple which is also the most visited place of worship in the world. A common practice here is to take a dip in the tank adjacent to the temple before the darshan as the waters are considered sacred. After your visit to the temple, check out the Chandragiri Fort, the last capital of the Vijaynagar Empire situated on the banks of the Swarnamukhi River, atop a huge rock. The sound and light show organised in the evenings here narrates the history of the fort and the glory of the Vijaynagar Empire with special attention to interesting details.-Mona Ramawatadvertisement Fact fileGetting there: Drive down NH 7 and turn at NH 18 to reach Tirupati.Distance: 525 km.Stay: Hotel Bliss.Call: 0877 2237773.Cost: Rs 3,000 onward per night.Down memory laneMysore: The city of Mysore, which is about 150 km away from Bangalore has many wonderful things to offer. Steeped in history dating back to the 16th century, it has played a pivotal role in the reigns of rulers like the Wodeyars and Tipu Sultan.Home to the glorious Mysore Palace of the Wodeyars, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions after the Taj Mahal. The building looks resplendent when illuminated with its 97,000 bulbs against an inky night sky. The galleries sporting life-size regal portraits, and other magnificent rooms like the Diwan e Khas and Public Darbar Hall are open to public on all days of the week at a nominal fee. Make time for a visit to the nearby Brindavan Gardens, where colourful fountains against the landscaped backdrop make for a lovely sight, particularly in the evening when the place is lit up. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, located close by is worth the effort for a leisurely boat ride where you can spot some of the varied species of migratory birds that make their home here for some part of the year. Mysore offers the conveniences of a city while retaining the charm of a smaller town. So, the roads are smaller, traffic is less and prices are lower than the booming metropolises! Don’t forget to buy exquisite silk sarees and sample some mouthwatering Mysore Pak that Mysore is known for. The weather is pleasant throughout the year and is easily accessible by rail or road-the new Bangalore-Mysore highway is a pleasure to drive on. Fact fileGetting there: Take the Bangalore-Mysore Highway.Distance: 150 km.Stay: Hotel Viceroy.Call: 0821 2424001.Cost: Rs 2,000 per night.Healthy holidays! Soukya: A little more than 20 kms from the city, close to Whitefield, is a holistic healing centre that allows you to relax and rejuvenate. An Ashoka tree lined driveway leads you to Soukya International Holistic Health Centre.Spread across 30 acres, this healing centre provides treatment to those suffering from various illnesses- from serious ailments like cancer and multiple sclerosis to those with conditions like arthritis and diabetes. The Center is also open to guests who may be fit but just want to improve the quality of their life. Depending on an individual’s diet, sleep patterns, personal history and emotional wellness, special health programmes are designed to suit each guest.It might sound a little like a hospital, but it’s actually a resort that is a holistic retreat. There are three categories of rooms to choose from but none have a television. Cable television is accessible only in the common room at specified hours. Yoga sessions are held throughout the day at the yoga centre. The food served here is only vegetarian and specially designed according to the guest’s diet plan. Although the lush green property looks beautiful during the rains, it is best to visit Soukya during drier months so that you can make the most of the beautiful landscaped outdoors with swimming and long walks. Indoor treatments include the luxurious Turkish bath and hydrotherapy. So, discover the joys of Soukya amid the sound of wind chimes and chirping birds. Fact fileGetting there: Drive down to Whitefield. Distance: 25 km.Stay: Soukya International Holistic Health Centre.Call: 28017000; soukya.comCost: Rs 10,000 onward per night.Coastal retreatPondicherry: Home to popular meditation centre and township, Auroville, this former French colony in Tamil Nadu is unlike any place around for miles. Located on the languorous Coramandel coast about 300 km from Bangalore, it is best reached by road. It is hot through most of the year although temperatures dip slightly in December, making that the most pleasant time to visit. Hotels for varying budgets as well as upmarket beach resorts are plenty, but rooms are limited so it is best to make reservations. Children below three years are not allowed in the ashram and photography as well as access to certain parts of the settlement is only allowed with prior permission from authorities.The 1.5 km stretch of lazy beach is the pride of the place. It is dotted with sights like the heritage town hall, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi and an old light house. There are five major shopping districts where most common purchases include cloth, pottery and aromatic non-toxic incense sticks. The hot sellers here are jams, jellies and preserves. While Indian food is available, we recommend you sample some of the European food that the region is known for. Treat yourself to some sweet and milky South Indian filter coffee after your meal.Fact fileGetting there: Take the NH 7.Distance: 300 km.Stay: Ginger Hotel.Call: 020 66292929; gingerhotels.comCost: Rs 1,000 onward per night.Valley of flowers Kodaikanal: One of the most popular holiday spots, Kodiakanal which is 450 km from Bangalore, witnesses a number of Bangalore and Chennai natives as well as tourists from other parts of the country. Given its elevation, it is much cooler than its neighboring cities. In fact, it was set up in 1845 as a place to recover from the tropical diseases that were rampant on the plains. The rolling hills are covered with blooming flowers, meadows and grasslands. Fruit trees share space with rhodendrons, magnolias and dahlias and the valleys are dotted with towering eucalyptus trees. Cyprus and acacia are also in plenty. Cascading streams make their way past enormous rocks and waterfalls gush forth. The Kodaikanal Lake is a popular attraction for all age groups and one can hire boats and bicycles here. At the local bazaar, woollen clothes are sold at affordable prices. Also on sale are flowers, fresh groceries, meat, snacks, handicrafts and medicinal herbs and oils.There are several hotels and restaurants here spanning a range of budgets. If you’re planning to travel during peak season between April and June, make hotel reservations well in advance and prepare for crowds because the place gets quite packed. Fact fileGetting there: Take the NH 7.Distance: 450 km.Stay: Carlton Hotel.Call: 022 26051821; krahejahospitality.comCost: Rs 8,000 onward per person.last_img read more