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Wales squad for 2018 summer tour

first_imgWith the 2019 World Cup on the horizon, Wales coach Warren Gatland has omitted most of his star names for the summer Tests against South Africa and Argentina Hewitt, Aaron Wainwright and Rhodri Jones were called into the squad as replacements for Adams, Francis and Charteris.Josh Navidi has also been ruled out of the squad after dislocating his shoulder in Cardiff Blues’ European Challenge Cup win over Gloucester.Cardiff Blues scrum-half Tomos Williams had been the only uncapped player in the 31-man Wales squad for their three-Test summer tour, but Wainwright’s addition doubles that tally.Dragons lock Cory Hill and Blues flanker Ellis Jenkins have been named co-captains for the trip, which sees Wales face the Springboks in Washington DC on 2 June, followed by Tests against Argentina on 9 June (San Juan) and 16 June (Santa Fe) on the subsequent Saturdays. “This summer is a great opportunity for this squad to build on their experience, get Test-match game time under their belt and face Rugby Championship opposition,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland. UPDATED: Wales squad for 2018 summer tour Wait over: Scarlets wing Tom Prydie is picked five years after he last won a Wales cap (CameraSport) “We’ve picked a squad of 31 to try to give players as much game time as possible. It shows the depth we have built in recent years that we have just one uncapped player in the squad in Tomos, but he has been in a number of squads so knows the environment well.“We’ve picked Cory and Ellis as co-captains; they are both leaders and have experience captaining at regional level, so this is an opportunity for them to build on that. This summer is another step on our 2019 RWC path and a great opportunity to build on recent campaigns.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Moriarty and North, who have both missed significant game time because of injuries, are the only players named who went on last summer’s Lions tour to New Zealand. The absence of experienced regulars such as Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Biggar, Ken Owens and Taulupe Faletau means Wales will be hard pressed to build on a largely successful Six Nations championship in which they finished runners-up to Ireland.But Gatland is rightly resting key personnel ahead of next year’s World Cup and the tour will provide crucial further evidence on such issues as who should wear Wales’ No 10 shirt in bigger battles ahead and whether Scarlets flanker James Davies can force his way into the reckoning after a promising Test debut. Wales have called up Worcester wing Josh Adams and Exeter prop Tomas Francis for the Argentina leg of the tour.The pair were originally selected in the squad but were withdrawn when Premiership Rugby refused to release them – and Bath lock Luke Charteris – for the South Africa match because it fell outside the international window.Adams comes in for Steff Evans, who suffered a knee injury in the 22-20 win over the Springboks, and Francis has been called up as cover for Samson Lee, who is receiving treatment for a lower back injury.Related: Five things we learnt from Wales v South AfricaThese aren’t the first injuries to affect the Wales squad. Cardiff Blues back-row Josh Turnbull was called up last week after Aaron Shingler was injured in the Scarlets’ Guinness Pro14 final defeat by Leinster.Ashton Hewitt, who was brought into the squad earlier in the month, has also been ruled out of the tour after suffering a shoulder injury in training. Golden ticket: Blues flanker Ellis Jenkins goes as co-captain despite having started only one Test (Getty) Leading role: Cory Hill will share captaincy duties on the three-Test tour of the Americas (CameraSport) Taking a rest: Alun Wyn Jones gets a break one year on from his part in a drawn Lions series (Getty) Gatland’s side have won their last two outings against South Africa, both in Cardiff, but a neutral venue in the US capital awaits for the opening tour clash.Wales have won five out of the last six meetings against Argentina, all of which were at the Principality Stadium.  On home soil, the Rugby Championship side have won three of the last four Tests against Wales (in 2004 and 2006) and the visitors’ last tour series win against the Pumas came in 1999 with the side captained by Rob Howley and featuring Neil Jenkins as his half-back partner.Tickets for all three Tests are available online.  For more information visit www.wru.co.uk/eng/news/40766.phpWales squad for 2018 summer tourForwardsRob EvansWyn JonesNicky SmithElliot DeeRyan EliasTomas FrancisRhodri JonesSamson LeeDillon LewisAdam BeardBradley DaviesSeb DaviesCory Hill (co-captain)James DaviesEllis Jenkins (co-captain)Ross MoriartyJosh TurnbullAaron WainwrightBacksJosh AdamsAled DaviesGareth DaviesTomos WilliamsGareth AnscombeRhys PatchellHadleigh ParkesOwen WatkinScott WilliamsHallam AmosSteff EvansGeorge NorthTom Prydielast_img read more

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House 1957 / Brugnoli Asociados Arquitectos

first_img 2012 Projects Year:  House 1957 / Brugnoli Asociados Arquitectos Chile 2012 ArchDaily ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/577669/house-1957-brugnoli-asociados-arquitectos Clipboard “COPY” Area:  230 m² Area:  230 m² Year Completion year of this architecture project ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/577669/house-1957-brugnoli-asociados-arquitectos Clipboard “COPY” Year:  CopyHouses, Renovation•Providencia, Chile photographs:  Juan Dúran Sierralta Photographs:  Juan Dúran Sierralta Architectural Drawings:José AcostaModels:Fernanda OrósticaStructural Engineer:Ulises SalazasBuilders:Gregorio Brugnoli – Domingo ApablazaArchitect In Charge:Gregorio Brugnoli Errázuriz, Macarena Cortés DarrigrandeCity:ProvidenciaCountry:ChileMore SpecsLess SpecsSave this picture!© Juan Dúran SierraltaText description provided by the architects. The refurbishment project – House 1957- began acknowledging the values of the existing house, build in reinforced masonry, that had a right relationship between rooms, orientation and location, all determined by the immediacy of San Cristobal Hill in Santiago. These pre-existing conditions provide a range of perceptual and formal definitions, allowing configure the project´s premises that can be summarized in two main aspects:Save this picture!Exploded Isometric1. Zoning:the existing program orderwas maintained, butalteringtheir relationships, reorganizing and redesigningsomeothers tocreatedifferent spacesinformalterms.Save this picture!© Juan Dúran SierraltaThus, a common area was define for all members of the family, which aims to have full spatial integration, without further boundaries than those established by different areas (living, dining, kitchen and patio-pool). At the same time, two distinct areas for each age-segments of the family were configured; bedrooms, game-room and garden for children at ground level; and main-bedroom, studio and roof-terrace for parents on the second floor.Save this picture!Floor Plan2. Spatiality: A range of distinctive elements with capacity of altering the space from the existing geometry and improve light penetration -given its location on the southern slopes of the hill- were designed . The aim was to capture the surrounding landscape but diluting neighbors walls to generate perspectives and built a visual tension with the context.Save this picture!© Juan Dúran SierraltaThe position of these elements – skylights- was decide in orden to give formal clarity to each space. Also, connector elements stair and bridge acquired a formal singularity to strengthen its identity.Save this picture!SectionThe outcome is a rational box with the all necessary openings, which are located in each room, from floor to ceiling. This order is interfered by skylights, which seek to be a necessary counterpoint to caracterize the space where are situated. In this way, a relation emerge that stress inside and outside, proposing a dialogue with the domestic condition, inherent to the projetc.Save this picture!© Juan Dúran SierraltaProject gallerySee allShow lessM-House / TOFUSelected ProjectsPalacio de Hierro Antea Façade / Sordo Madaleno ArquitectosSelected Projects Share House 1957 / Brugnoli Asociados ArquitectosSave this projectSaveHouse 1957 / Brugnoli Asociados Arquitectos Photographs Architects: Brugnoli Asociados Arquitectos Area Area of this architecture project Save this picture!© Juan Dúran Sierralta+ 28 Share Houses CopyAbout this officeBrugnoli Asociados ArquitectosOfficeFollowProductsWoodBrick#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesRefurbishmentRenovationProvidenciaHousesRefurbishmentRenovationChilePublished on December 16, 2014Cite: “House 1957 / Brugnoli Asociados Arquitectos” 16 Dec 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Browse the CatalogFaucetshansgroheKitchen Mixers – Aquno Select M81Vinyl Walls3MVinyl Finishes in HealthPartners Regions HospitalPartitionsSkyfoldWhere to Increase Flexibility in SchoolsCoffee tablesBoConceptMadrid Coffee Table AD19SkylightsLAMILUXFlat Roof Exit Comfort DuoMetallicsTrimoMetal Panels for Roofs – Trimoterm SNVSkylightsVELUX CommercialModular Skylights in Atelier Zimmerlistrasse OfficeStonesNeolithSintered Stone – Iron Moss – Iron CollectionCeramicsTerrealTerracotta Facade in Manchester HospitalWoodBlumer LehmannConsulting and Engineering in Wood ProjectsGlassBendheimLuminous Mirrored GlassWire MeshTwentinoxMetal Mesh – Golf Romeo 7More products »Save世界上最受欢迎的建筑网站现已推出你的母语版本!想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my streamlast_img read more

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Fast reaction: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s 69-65 loss to Duke

first_imgOMAHA, Neb. — It wasn’t like Syracuse’s previous three games. Normally, its opponents struggle to break its 2-3 zone and high-powered offenses were often left scrambling. But this time, when the potent zone limited Duke offensively, the Blue Devils were still able to find a way to down the Orange.In the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, No. 11 seed Syracuse’s (23-14, 8-10 Atlantic Coast) magic ran out to its conference rival and No. 2 seed Duke (29-7, 13-5) on Friday night at CenturyLink Center, falling to the Blue Devils, 69-65. The Syracuse zone held Duke’s shooters to an abysmal 19.2 percent mark from 3, but SU’s 16 turnovers and inability to stop Duke’s big men proved to be the difference maker.Here are three reactions from the Orange’s season-ending loss.Battle carries first-half loadOutside of Syracuse’s play-in game against Arizona State, Tyus Battle was a non-factor offensively in the first half of the Orange’s other two NCAA Tournament games. In the opening frame of SU’s wins against TCU and Michigan State, the guard combined for a 1-for-11 performance from the field with three points. Normally, he took over the game in the second half.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn Friday night against Duke, Battle hit his first 3 just two minutes in. He kept attacking, finishing the first half with a trio of 3s. Battle led all players with 11 points on 50 percent shooting and added an alley-oop to Paschal Chukwu in the first 20 minutes.Battle’s first-half performance was not replicated by his teammates, most notably Frank Howard and Oshae Brissett — Syracuse’s other two main scoring threats. The duo combined for a poor 1-of-12 shooting from the field, including two missed dunks from Brissett, and turned the ball over four times. Brissett did add six rebounds and Howard three assists, but they struggled to finish.Last week in the opening frame against MSU, Howard and Brissett had three baskets apiece. In the first half on Friday, they were nearly nonexistent.Syracuse’s errors prove fatalIn a close contest like Friday night, each possession is as crucial as the next. And as Duke turned up the offensive pressure and pushed in transition, Syracuse for the most part matched the Blue Devils. But going up against Duke’s 2-3 zone also led to multiple errors by the Orange. Seven different times SU attempted an alley-oop that ended in a missed target or SU just catching the ball and restarting its offense. Normally, it resulted in a Duke transition.After one missed alley-oop from Frank Howard to Paschal Chukwu, Duke’s Grayson Allen took possession and attacked the rim. As he drove into the paint, he kicked the ball out to Gary Trent Jr. in the corner, who swished the open 3.Pair that with Syracuse’s 16 total turnovers and Duke took advantage, scoring 18 points off turnovers to SU’s eight. With Syracuse down four and under seven minutes remaining, Bourama Sidibe bobbled a pass. He lost the ball and Duke retained possession. Seconds later, Marvin Bagley III hit a mid-range jumper to put Duke up six.On a night where Syracuse kept it close, turning the ball over and questionable alley-oop passes kept making the slim margin seem much larger than it was.Duke misses its 3s but Marvin Bagley III keeps game aliveIn Syracuse’s previous three tournament games, it had not surrendered more than 56 points. The Orange limited three teams that normally averaged over 80 points a game well under their averages. On Friday night, the zone worked again, as Duke shot an abysmal 19.2 percent from 3.Some of the time, Duke had open 3s, much like it did when the Blue Devils last played the Orange. But the collapsing zone and constant pressure threw off a Duke team that shoots 39 percent from beyond the arc. Grayson Allen and Gary Trent Jr., Duke’s two main sharpshooters, combined to shoot 5-for-22, unable to pull away from the Orange.But on a night where its shooters struggled, ACC Player and Rookie of the Year Marvin Bagley III stepped up and dominated. After a first half where Bagley did not have a single rebound, he attacked the rim in the latter frame. Of his eight total rebounds, seven of them came on the offensive glass. And those second-chance points often resulted in points for the freshman.Syracuse had no answer to stopping Bagley. He was much more physical than the Orange defenders. On multiple occasions, he caught the ball in the paint and backed his defender down into an easy lay-in or dunk. Other times, an alley-oop from near the 3-point line ended in a poster dunk from Bagley. One time, he slammed the ball over Chukwu, and another time came over Sidibe.The zone worked yet again for Syracuse, making Duke work around the arc. But when its shooters struggled, Bagley was there to keep the Blue Devils’ lead intact. Comments Published on March 24, 2018 at 12:23 am Contact Charlie: [email protected] | @charliedisturco Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Middletown Holds Groundbreaking for Nut Swamp School Fields

first_imgMIDDLETOWN – The Middletown Board of Edu­cation and Township Com­mittee gathered last week at Nut Swamp Elementary School to break ground on the first of two new artificial turf fields.“This is a great day for Middletown Township, the school district and the local sports community,” Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger said. “This new field will be invaluable to our school children and many active athletic leagues.”The field, which is located at Nut Swamp Elementary School adjacent to Normandy Park, will be open to students and local athletic leagues for football, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse and other sports. Construction is slated to begin in early July and scheduled to be completed before school starts, the mayor said.The project is the first step in a recent shared-services agreement struck between Middletown Township and the public school district for joint maintenance and periodic upgrades of township and school athletic fields over the next decade.By collaborating on field upgrades and maintenance, township and the school district expect to save on personnel costs, purchase more materials in bulk and more efficiently maintain fields on a regular basis, Scharfenberger said.Under the agreement, the school district contributed $250,000 to the $1.16 million project at Nut Swamp School. The municipal share will be paid for with increases to recreation fees that were approved last year. The township will handle issuing permits to use the field, Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante said.The artificial turf will not need to be watered or cut, requiring less regular maintenance and less expense than traditional grass, Mercantante said.A second artificial turf field will be built on the north end of town, possibly at Thorne Middle School and Harmony Elementary School, which are adjacent to each other. That field is expected to be constructed in 2014, Mercantante said.last_img read more

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Winters rocks Valentine’s Spiel, captures A event at annual Nelson Curling Club mixed event

first_imgBarry Marsh of Nelson finished second in the B event while Brent Pihowich placed second in the C behind the Nando Salviulo rink of Nelson.Ken Haynes of Nelson, along with wife Sandi at third, Gary Meadows at lead and Maxine Meadows at lead won the D event. Jill Winters reached into her contact bag to pull out a provincial winner to help the Nelson skip capture the Valentines Mixed Bonspiel Sunday at the Nelson Curling Club.Winters, third Dean Horning, second Grant Davidson and lead Marcie Stefiuk, defeated Al May of Nelson in the A Final.Myron Nichol of Castlegar finished third in the A event with Curling Guru Fred Thomson of Nelson fourth.last_img read more

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Helicopter crash kills student; one survives

first_imgCASTAIC – A helicopter crashed into a creek bed south of state Route 126 Saturday, killing a student pilot and injuring an instructor, county fire officials said. The two-seat Schweizer helicopter, operated by Van Nuys Airport-base Group 3 Aviation, clipped a power line, but it was not clear whether that caused the crash or if the helicopter cut the cable while coming down, officials said. “They do a lot of training out here,” Los Angeles County Fire Department battalion chief Joseph Lindaman said. “When you’re flying, (the wires) are hard to see. Helicopters often run into the wires.” It was not immediately known which of the helicopter’s occupants was piloting. The victims’ names were not immediately released, and the cause of the crash was under investigation. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant The crash was reported about 2:15 p.m. near 28200 Henry Mayo Drive, also known as Route 126, in the wash about three miles west of Interstate 5. Rescue workers arrived at the wreckage to find a 25-year-old man dead and the instructor critically injured. The instructor was airlifted to County/USC Medical Center. John Pinkerton, who was staying at an recreational vehicle park within a half mile from the crash site, recalled hearing a loud noise before his electricity went out. “I thought it was somebody slamming a garbage can,” said Pinkerton, 70, of Omaha, Neb. About 1,465 homes lost power. Power was mostly restored within several hours, Southern California Edison spokesman Gil Alexander said. The crash site is near the former Indian Dunes off-road park, where actor Vic Morrow died in a 1982 helicopter crash during production of “Twilight Zone: The Movie.” Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Giants expect Mark Melancon to close again, Will Smith to retain job for now

first_imgPITTSBURGH — The Giants’ return to Pittsburgh is a homecoming of sorts for reliever Mark Melancon, who recorded 130 career saves and posted a 1.80 ERA for the Pirates between 2013-2016.Melancon was considered one of the most dominant closers in baseball following the 2016 season, which is why the Giants signed him to a four-year, $62 million deal that temporarily made Melancon the highest-paid reliever in baseball history.Two-plus years into Melancon’s tenure in San Francisco, the …last_img read more

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Mondi expands Russian business

first_img10 December 2007South African-based paper producer Mondi is expanding its international presence following its listing on the JSE at the beginning of the month, announcing a €525-million (about R5.1-billion) project to modernise and expand its pulp and paper mill in Syktyvkar, Russia.“All main equipment contracts have been agreed and construction is to commence in April 2008, with completion scheduled by the end of 2010,” the company said in a statement last week. “The project will enhance Syktyvkar’s low-cost position, with the additional volume of uncoated fine paper and containerboard being supplied to the high-growth domestic Russian market.”Engineering News reported last month that the project involved the construction of new wood-handling facilities, a recovery boiler and turbine, a lime kiln and pulp dryer, as well as upgrades to two chemical pulp lines and improvements to machinery.Mondi chief executive David Hathorn told Engineering News that the project should slash operating costs and improve efficiencies, while also slightly increasing production by 190 000 tonnes per year, 60 000 tonnes of which will be sold into the pulp market, which is being driven by Chinese demand.He added that the modernisation of the plant was probably only the start of the group’s activities in the territory, which is arguably the only major unexploited softwood resource left in the world.“In fact, forests cover more than 70% of the territory, while swamps cover about 15%, making forestry activity attractive but difficult, given swarming mosquitoes and mud in the warmer periods,” Engineering News said. “This means that felling is generally confined to the icy winter months.”The company was spun-off from former parent Anglo American plc in July this year, and has looked at expansion to secure its position as an independent integrated paper and packaging group.Its main interests are in emerging markets, such as South Africa and in various locations in Eastern Europe.According to Mondi, Mondi Business Paper Syktyvkar, with an annual capacity of 580 000 tonnes of paper per year, is one of the largest producers in the Russian pulp and paper industry. In addition, the Syktyvkar mill controls 11 logging companies in the Komi Republic that supply the mill with wood.Mondi Packaging Paper, which operates within the same complex, has an annual capacity of more than 200 000 tonnes of packaging paper, delivering around 60% of the total white top paper market in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Absa launches HIV-testing drive

first_img21 July 2011The government’s drive to test 15-million South Africans for HIV has received a boost from Absa bank’s new campaign, which is targeting 80% of its 35 000 employees in branches across the country.Absa’s new HIV Counselling and Testing and Disease Management campaign – unveiled at its headquarters in downtown Johannesburg on 20 July – was applauded by Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi, who addressed the launch.Besides promoting regular voluntary testing, the bank introduced the campaign to raise awareness about healthy living for employees who may test positive and for those who have already been diagnosed.The bank hopes the campaign will help them deal better with issues such as long-term absenteeism by staff living with HIV and discrimination against those who disclose their status.The campaign ties in with the virus’s “well-known” impact on companies, CEO Maria Ramos said. In reducing productivity in the workplace, HIV prevalence “has a negative impact on our country’s economic competitiveness”, she added.HIV/Aids is to blame for 30% of absenteeism in the workplace in South Africa, while tuberculosis, which is also a leading health problem in South Africa, accounts for 3.7%, according to Motsoaledi.Ramos said they want to reduce absenteeism, while also setting up support systems for employees. “As a responsible employer, the wellness of our people and their families is crucial,” she said.Voluntary testing at Absa’s 900 branches is expected to start in earnest by September when staff training on HIV/Aids concludes.Some executives and employees set the standard by getting tested at the launch. “I’ll be happy if you know that testing is not a once-off thing, you must do it every year,” Motsoaledi told Absa employees before entering the booth for his fifth test in 2011.Motsoaledi decried the fact that while the country makes up 0.7% of the world’s population, it accounts for as much as 17% of the total global HIV prevalence.More than 5-million South Africans are estimated to be living with HIV. “This is a serious crisis that we are facing as a country,” Motsoaledi said.The minister’s backing of the massive testing drive falls in line with his department’s HIV counselling and testing policy. The government believes that broad prevention can be achieved if more citizens know their status.“We have to join hands with the government to combat the disease,” Ramos said.Knowing your status is keyNewspaper columnist Lucky Mazibuko, who’s been living with HIV for more than 20 years, spoke of the importance of knowing one’s status at the Absa launch.The main reason he and other well-known HIV/Aids activists such as Constitutional Court judge Edwin Cameron, Treatment Action Campaign icon Zackie Achmat and Martin Vosloo have survived for so many years with the virus was because “we discovered our status as early as possible”, Mazibuko said.“It has become common knowledge that one can live with HIV productively, successfully and meaningfully,” the columnist added.“The virus prevails when ignorance is bliss,” but it “becomes disempowered” when people gain more knowledge about it.”Mazibuko also tested at the Absa launch. “Despite knowing my status, I will continue to lead by example,” he said. “It’s important that people living with HIV become agents of change.”He said his viral load was undetectable and his CD4 count was well over 500, and he largely attributes this to a healthy lifestyle.Plea to menAt least 13-million South Africans have tested for HIV since the government launched its testing campaign in April 2010.Sixty-five percent of those who’ve tested are women, and only 30% are men. It’s against this backdrop that Motsoaledi made an impassionate plea to South African men to get tested in numbers.“Please stand up, your country is burning. We can’t have this battle being carried by women alone,” Motsoaledi said.Absa’s executive Happy Ntshingila urged the bank’s male employees to lead the way in testing. “Men do not want to test. I challenge my [male] colleagues to do it today.”Other efforts to stem the tide of the pandemic include male circumcision, which is clinically proven to decrease chances of infection. The practice is becoming more and more prevalent in South Africa.The government also distributes at least 1-billion male condoms and about 6-million female condoms each year as part of its prevention efforts.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

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South African scientists track the sun’s storms

first_imgThe South African National Space Agency have opened up a space weather centre in Hermanus that will track solar superstorms, which can be seen in the form of northern lights. (Image: Joshua Strang, U.S. Air Force)• SKA will change the way we listen to the universe• Time-travelling SKA to look back at the birth of stars• Massive funding injection for Square Kilometre Array• Bloemfontein becomes city of stars• Cosmic proof of comet strike on EarthShamin ChibbaEvery year thousands of tourists flock to the Arctic to view the psychedelic swirling skies of the aurora borealis, or northern lights. But few know that this beautiful display is actually a geomagnetic solar superstorm in our atmosphere.This general lack of knowledge of the sun’s effect on our atmosphere is why the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) is leading a research programme to create awareness of space weather in Africa. It is also investigating the impact solar superstorms have on technologies on Earth.According to Sansa, solar superstorms can seriously disrupt mobile phones, GPS systems, power grids, satellites, avionics and high-frequency radio communication. This is a huge risk to the world’s economy and society.The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, a joint operation between Nasa and the European Space Agency, describes space weather as conditions on the sun, and in the solar wind, magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere, that can influence the performance and reliability of both space- and ground-based technology, and endanger human life or health.A storm occurs when the sun discharges a large burst of gas containing magnetic properties, called a coronal mass ejection. These are sometimes associated with solar flares.Sansa’s Space Weather Regional Warning Centre in Hermanus monitors the sun daily and is able to pick up such events. It is one of 17 warning centres in the world that form part of the International Space Environment Service, providing information, early warnings and forecasts on space weather. The service is designed for communication and navigation systems in defence, aeronautics, navigation and communication.It has also set up a space weather website featuring the latest visuals of the sun, information on solar flares, geomagnetic conditions and solar wind speed – which can travel as fast as 480 kilometres an hour.Sansa’s managing director of space science, Lee-Anne McKinnell, said it has become vital to monitor space weather because of society’s growing dependency on technology. “Sansa aims to provide the right information, in the right format, at the right time, to the right people, to enable and facilitate the right decisions in regard to space weather-related issues.”Watch: Footage of northern lights Superstorms can disrupt economiesIn the UK solar storms are listed as the fourth most serious threat on the National Risk Register. They are seen to have the potential to seriously damage the UK’s critical national infrastructure. Many other countries are becoming aware of the dangers of superstorms and are including them in their national risk assessments.According to a risk report by Lloyds, a UK insurance group that takes on unusual and complex risks, severe space weather can disrupt business operations. Sansa agrees. “For example, a loss of power could lead to a cascade of operational failures that could leave society and the global economy severely disabled,” the organisation says on its website.Though space weather affects the whole planet, the impact can be regional, said McKinnell. This is because different countries and regions use different technologies, and have different economic sectors.She said it is best to be aware of, and avoid, the consequences of space weather by establishing efficient warning systems such as the centre in Hermanus.In September this year two flares, one of which Nasa categorised as “most intense”, produced northern lights that could be seen in the US Midwest.At the time experts said people on the ground need not to worry as the Earth’s atmosphere protected them. But astronauts in outer space are at risk. This picture of the sun, taken on 13 November 2014, shows low solar activity, according to SANSA even though several C-class x-ray solar flares have been detected 24 hours prior to this shot being taken. (Image: South African National Space Agency)The worst solar storms in historySolar storms have caused disruptions on Earth as far back as 1859, with what is known as the Carrington Event. According to Nasa, this was the first and largest documented solar storm in the last 500 years. On 1 September 1859 at 11:18 am, solar astronomer Richard Carrington witnessed the flare through his private observatory telescope. Northern lights could be seen as far south as the Caribbean. According to Nasa, it interrupted telegraph communications, gave operators electric shocks and even started fires when discharges from the lines ignited telegraph paper.A major flare on 4 August 1972 knocked out long-distance phone communications in some states of the northern US. It even forced telecoms giant AT&T to redesign its power system for transatlantic cables.The 21st century has already seen three major storms. The Bastille Day event on 14 July 2000 short-circuited satellites and caused radio blackouts across the world. A massive flare on 28 October 2003 overwhelmed the spacecraft sensor measuring it. It was one of nine major flares over a two-week period. And on 5 December 2006, a sun storm damaged the solar X-ray imager instrument on the GOES 13 satellite and disrupted satellite-to-ground communications and GPS navigation signals for some 10 minutes.last_img read more

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