19 Jan

Pasaol ready for ‘unli rice’ after torching UST

first_imgREAD: Mbala lauds Pasaol for record-setting career game“I’m really comfortable with my body because I’m a stretch four and I can also bang underneath,” said Pasaol who averaged 40.5 points and 10 rebounds in his past two games.And of the 32 points Pasaol scored against UST, none were bigger than the two that came with only 22.7 seconds left when he gave UE a 94-91 lead en route to the win.ADVERTISEMENT Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAlvin Pasaol sat down on his padded chair inside the pressroom of Mall of Asia Arena with sweat dripping from his shoulders as he wiped off his wet forehead.The chunky forward just put up a game-high 32 points days after dropping 49 to pace the Red Warriors to their 96-91 win over hapless University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament.ADVERTISEMENT Fans fill up Philippine Arena for SEA Games opening PLAY LIST 01:02Fans fill up Philippine Arena for SEA Games opening02:10SEA Games 2019: Didal collects 2nd skateboard gold00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene How to help the Taal evacuees DAY6 is for everybody Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacsoncenter_img Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up And with a performance to remember, since this came in UE’s lone win in the first round, Pasaol got the green light to indulge on something his coach Derrick Pumaren stopped him from enjoying since the start of the tournament.READ: Alvin unleashed: After scoring 49, Pasaol hopes for 50 next timeFEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“Manong [Pumaren] gave me a reward today and that is I get to eat an unli [unlimited] rice meal,” said Pasaol in Filipino Saturday. “He won’t stop me now and he really didn’t allow to eat that much because I bulk up easily.”Pasaol’s walking, and playing, weight usually dances between 80 and 90 kilograms but the high-scoring forward doesn’t mind the heft he carries during games. Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed MOST READ It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide Sablan: UST will be one of the top teams next season LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

18 Dec

South Africa’s wildlife wonders

first_imgCities have grown, much land has been given over to farming, hunting has wiped out entire herds, and the times when a herd of springbok could take days to pass through a Karoo town are long past.A pair of cheetahs in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. (Image: South African Tourism)Brand South Africa reporterThanks to the foresight of conservationists past and present, South Africa remains blessed with abundant wildlife.The Big FiveThe big catsLesser known wildlifeOver 200 mammal speciesMarine mammals and fishThe crocodile … and other reptilesBirdlifeThe Big FiveBest known are the mammals, and the best known of these are the famous Big Five: elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo. Not that giraffe, hippo or whale are small …South Africa’s bushveld and savannah regions are still home to large numbers of the mammals universally associated with Africa.The Kruger National Park alone has well over 10 000 elephants and 20 000 buffaloes – in 1920 there were an estimated 120 elephants left in the whole of South Africa.The white rhino has also been brought back from the brink of extinction and now flourishes both in the Kruger National Park and the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal. Attention now is on protecting the black rhino.Both these parks are home to all of the Big Five, as are other major reserves in South Africa – such as Pilanesberg in North West province – and numerous smaller reserves and private game lodges.The big catsAside from occupying the top rung of the predation ladder, the lion also tops the glamour stakes. Sadly, it does have one formidable enemy in humankind, which has expelled it from most of the country so that it now remains almost exclusively in conservation areas.The beautiful leopard survives in a larger area, including much of the southern Cape and far north of the country, although numbers are small in some places.The cheetah is the speed champ, capable of dashes of almost 100 kilometres an hour. Its population is comparatively small and confined mostly to the far north (including the Kruger National Park), the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Northern Cape, and reserves in KwaZulu-Natal and North West province.Lesser known wildlifeOther quintessentially African large animals are the hippo, giraffe, kudu, wildebeest (the famous gnu) and zebra, all frequently seen in South Africa’s conservation areas.Heightened awareness, however, has created an increased appreciation of lesser known animals. A sighting of the rare tsessebe (a relative of the wildebeest) may cause as much excitement as the sight of a pride of lion. And while one can hardly miss a nearby elephant, spotting the shy little forest-dwelling suni (Livingstone’s antelope) is cause for self-congratulation.On the really small scale, one could tackle the challenge of ticking off each of South Africa’s seven species of elephant shrew – a task that would take one all over the country and, probably, a long time to accomplish.Over 200 mammal speciesWith well over 200 species, a short survey of South Africa’s indigenous mammals is a contradiction in terms. A few examples will help to indicate the range.In terms of appeal, primates rate highly. In South Africa they include the nocturnal bushbabies, vervet and samango monkeys, and chacma baboons which – encouraged by irresponsible feeding and under pressure through loss of habitat – have become unpopular as raiders of homes on the Cape Peninsula.Dassies (hyraxes, residents of rocky habitats) and meerkats (suricates, familiar from their alert upright stance) have tremendous charm, although the dassie can be an agricultural problem.The secretive nocturnal aardvark (which eats ants and is the only member of the order Tubulidentata) and the aardwolf (which eats termites and is related to the hyaena) are two more appealing creatures, and both are found over virtually the whole country.And for those who like their terrestrial mammals damp, there is the widely distributed Cape clawless otter, which swims in both fresh and sea water. The spotted-necked otter has a more limited territory. Both are rare, however, and difficult to spot.One mammal whose charm is recently acquired is the wild dog or Cape hunting dog, one of Africa’s most endangered mammals. Once erroneously reviled as indiscriminate killers but now appreciated both for their ecological value and their remarkably caring family behaviour, wild dog packs require vast territories.They are found in small numbers in the Kruger National Park and environs, northern KwaZulu-Natal (including the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park), the Kalahari, and the Madikwe reserve in North West province.More common canine carnivores are the hyaena, jackal and bat-eared fox. Feline carnivores – besides the big cats mentioned above – include the caracal with its characteristic tufted ears, the African wild cat and the rare black-footed cat. Other flesh eaters include the civet, genet and several kinds of mongoose.The plant eaters are well represented by various antelope, from the little duiker to the large kudu and superbly handsome sable antelope, which is found only in the most northerly regions.Mammals take to the air, too: South Africa is well endowed with bat species.Marine mammals and fishAnd they take to the sea. The largest mammal of all – in South Africa and the world – is the blue whale, which can grow to 33 metres in length.But of the eight whale species found in South African waters (including the dramatic black-and-white killer whale), the most frequently seen by humans is the southern right whale. This imposing creature comes into coastal bays to calve, allowing for superb land-based viewing.The southern right whale represents one of conservation’s success stories. Once considered the “right” whale to hunt, its population became so depleted that it was designated a protected species. With the greater familiarity that their return to the coastal bays has produced, they are now as well loved as the many dolphins in our coastal waters.South Africa’s seas are rich in fish species. Perhaps the most awesome of these is the great white shark, but this is only one of more than 2 000 species, comprising 16% of the world’s total. Various line fish, rock lobster and abalone are of particular interest to gourmets, while pelagic fish (sardines and pilchards) and hake have large- scale commercial value.The crocodile … and other reptilesLess generously endowed with freshwater fish – 112 named species, a mere 1.3% of the world total – South Africa nonetheless has one river-dweller that is, as much as any of the Big Five, a symbol of Africa. The crocodile still rules some stretches of river and estuary, lakes and pools, exacting an occasional toll in human life.Other aquatic reptiles of note are the sea-roaming loggerhead and leatherback turtles, the focus of a major community conservation effort at their nesting grounds on the northern KwaZulu-Natal shoreline.South Africa’s land reptiles include rare tortoises and the fascinating chameleon. There are well over 100 species of snake. While about half of them, including the python, are non-venomous, others – such as the puffadder, green and black mamba, boomslang and rinkhals – are decidedly so.The country’s comparative dryness accounts for its fairly low amphibian count – 84 species. To make up for that, however, South Africa boasts over 77 000 species of invertebrates.BirdlifeBirders from around the world come to South Africa to experience the country’s great variety of typically African birds, migrants, and endemics (those birds found only in South Africa).Of the 850 or so species that have been recorded in South Africa, about 725 are resident or annual visitors, and about 50 of these are endemic or near-endemic.Apart from the resident birds, South Africa hosts a number of intra-African migrants such as cuckoos and kingfishers, as well as birds from the Arctic, Europe, Central Asia, China and Antarctica during the year.South Africa’s birdlife ranges from the ostrich – farmed in the Oudtshoorn district of the Western Cape, but seen in the wild mostly in the north of the country – through such striking species as the hornbills to the ubiquitous LBJs (“Little Brown Jobs”).One small area alone, around the town of Vryheid in northern KwaZulu-Natal, offers wetlands, grasslands, thornveld and both montane and riverine forest, and around 380 species have been recorded there.A birder need not move out of a typical Johannesburg garden to spot grey loeries, mousebirds, hoopoes, hadeda ibises, crested and black-collared barbets, Cape whiteyes, olive thrushes … or a lone Burchell’s coucal poking clumsily around a tree. And that would by no means complete the list.Among the most spectacular birds of South Africa are the cranes, most easily spotted in wetlands – although the wattled crane is a lucky find as it is extremely uncommon. The beautiful blue crane is South Africa’s national bird, while the crowned crane is probably the flashiest of the three with its unmistakable prominent crest.Among its larger bird species, South Africa also has several eagles and vultures. Among its most colourful are kingfishers, bee-eaters, sunbirds, the exquisite lilacbreasted roller, and the Knysna and purple-crested louries.Reviewed December 2016.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

18 Dec

SA calls for peaceful resolution in Ukraine

first_img3 March 2014 The South African government has called for a peaceful resolution to the escalating international political crisis in Ukraine. “South Africa urges the protagonists in the stand-off to settle the crisis through dialogue,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said on Sunday, adding: “We will continue to monitor the situation and encourage international diplomatic efforts meant to produce a lasting peaceful solution.” The Russian parliament on the weekend approved the deployment of more soldiers to the Crimean peninsula, while Andriy Parubiy, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, announced on Sunday that the Ukrainian Defense Ministry had orders to assemble all soldiers. The new Ukrainian government in Kiev had already put its army on alert on Friday. Since then, Russian forces have effectively occupied the Crimean peninsula. The United Nations announced on Sunday that Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson would travel to Ukraine to get an understanding of the situation on the ground. This followed a UN Security Council meeting on the growing crisis in Ukraine on Saturday, the second meeting in two days held by the 15-member body. “Following the Security Council’s consultations and given the developments on the ground in Ukraine, the secretary-general is dispatching Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson to the country this evening,” a spokesperson for UN chief Ban Ki-moon said. “While in Ukraine, the deputy secretary-general will be personally apprised of the facts on the ground and will subsequently brief the secretary-general on the next steps the United Nations could take to support the de-escalation of the situation.” Eliasson, as well as Ban, his senior adviser Robert Serry, and the Security Council have all called for calm and direct dialogue between all concerned to avoid a further escalation of the crisis. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

15 Dec

A new era of airline Darwinism, with AI accelerating natural selection

first_imgAI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Them Stephen Pratt Tags:#AI#airlines#Artifical intelligence#Internet of Things#IoT Related Posts center_img China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Noodle.ai, a San Francisco based AI software applications company, recently developed the Noodle AI Index for Airlines.  The index shows evidence that airlines that learn best, broaden their view externally, and use algorithms to better predict the future, outperform those that focus their gaze internally and look only to the past. How the index worksThe Noodle AI Index examines AI adoption (X-axis) vs. the growth in value of the airline (Y-axis).  AI adoption is quantified through analysis of skills, focus, and public commitment to the three pillars of AI: learning algorithms, supercomputing technology, and data engineering.  Stock performance is calculated as the five-year change of stock price vs. the airline industry average.What does this tell us about Airline Darwinism?Airlines are operationally-intensive data-rich environments that traditionally have been managed looking largely at internal historical data analyzed by static algorithms. This approach limits the capacity to manage critical forecast-intensive operations like revenue management, fleet maintenance, inventory management, route planning, and customer loyalty offers. Enterprise AI is an opportunity to scale human expertise and find patterns beyond human capability. See also: How to use emotion AI for all the right reasons Learning algorithms flourish when combining large amounts of internal, external, structured and unstructured data. The effects of AI on airlines steadily will increase.  Channeling Darwin, AI entering airline operations is more likely to be a natural selection process for the industry rather than a sudden Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.  Nonetheless, the battle to be the most adaptable is amping up. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

3 Dec

Amit Shah to visit Tripura

first_imgTriumph in recently held assembly elections including that of Manipur boosted the BJP’s central leadership to give a push to party organisation in Tripura. Assembly election in the left bastion state is due in early 2018. BJP’s national president Amit Shah would arrive in the state on May 7 on a two day visit to oversee organisation activities in the state. Party’s state Prabhari Sunil Deodhar detailed Shah’s tour schedule to newsmen on Tuesday. Mr. Deodhar announced the party leadership attaches importance to Tripura and Meghalaya states to wrest power from CPI(M) and Congress respectively.  BJP has been in power Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Prsadesh, running a coalition in Nagaland while Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya stand outside of its victory map.  He however said a final itinerary on visit of Amit Shah would be announced after a consultation between party offices of Delhi and Agartala. MR. Sunil Deodhar is leaving for Delhi on Wednesday to hold talks with central leaders.last_img read more

26 Nov

France detains Russian fans as PM Valls vows expulsions

first_imgPrime Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday some football fans will be deported from France after violent clashes marred the start of the Euro 2016 soccer tournament, and a group of Russian fans was detained near Cannes on the French Riviera.Scenes of rival fans wielding metal bars and hurling beer bottles in street clashes in Marseille, as well as incidents in Nice, Lille and Paris, have turned attention away from events on the pitch.There are fears the violence could spread at a time when French security forces are already stretched, as highlighted on Monday when a suspected Islamist attacker stabbed a French police commander and his partner to death at their home.”People will be deported after they have been sentenced as there are people who cannot remain because they are not wanted on our national territory due to their behaviour,” Valls told reporters. He did not specify the nationality of those that could face expulsion.Several hundred English, Russian and French fans squared off for three days in Marseille, hurling beer bottles and chairs and drawing volleys of tear gas from riot police who struggled to contain the skirmishes in the city’s narrow central streets.On Saturday, in scenes that drew sanctions from European soccer’s governing body, UEFA, Russian supporters charged their English counterparts inside the Stade Velodrome moments after the final whistle in their teams’ 1-1 draw.Fifteen fans were arrested at the time. Five England fans have so far been sentenced to jail terms of between one and three months, while a Frenchman received a two-year term.advertisementNo Russians were arrested, although Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said on Monday about 150 Russians were in fact well-organised hooligans.UEFA on Tuesday handed the Russian national football team a suspended disqualification from Euro 2016 and a 150,000 euro fine over the stadium incident and warned that a repeat would see the team thrown out of the tournament. (ALSO READ: UEFA fines Russia, face disqualification in more fan violence)It has also warned the Russian and English federations that they could be disqualified if there is more violence in cities.RUSSIANS DETAINEDWith authorities worried that English and Russian fans could face each other again when their teams play in the northern French cities of Lille and Lens later this week, French riot police surrounded a bus of Russian supporters on Tuesday as it left Cannes for Lille.Alexander Shprygin, the head of a Russian supporters group, told Reuters by telephone that French authorities had drawn up 29 deportation orders. He said none of the fans in the bus had taken part in the violence in Marseille.On his Twitter account, he posted pictures from the inside of a bus showing French police on the outside, writing that “some people” were being “put in a car and taken somewhere”.Anti-racism groups have accused Shprygin, a self-described nationalist who was photographed as a young man making what looked like a Nazi salute, of having links to Russia’s shadowy far-right movement. He has shrugged off the allegations.Adolphe Colrat, the local police chief, told reporters there were 43 people on the bus, 35 of whom had refused to get off until the Russian consul arrived. Six were sent to regional detention centres and are in police custody claiming to belong to the Russian sports ministry.”There are clear signs that some of them took part in unacceptable violence in Marseille,” Colrat said.Speaking on condition of anonymity, a French official confirmed there would be deportations for “radical” supporters.Xavier Lauch, chief of staff for the Alpes Maritimes department’s police commissioner, said authorities had identified 29 Russian supporters suspected of involvement in the worst of Saturday’s fighting and had decided to swoop as part of an “anti-hooligan” operation.The Kremlin said on Tuesday Russian sporting officials and groups should use all their influence to ensure Russian soccer fans behave themselves at the Euro 2016 tournament.Russia was fined and given a suspended six-point deduction during its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign after fans assaulted stadium security staff and displayed illicit banners at the 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine.last_img read more