Humboldt Crabs return home after seven-game road trip hoping to extend winning streak

first_imgARCATA >> While happy to dispense of the heat they dealt with in Redding, the Humboldt Crabs certainly hope that the team they saw to conclude their road trip is the one that comes back with them to the Arcata Ball Park.Having closed its eight-day, seven-game road trip with a bang against the Redding Colt 45s as the temperature went soaring past triple digits, Humboldt now returns home looking to extend its four-game winning streak when it opens a three-game weekend series against Top Speed …last_img

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Are AB’s ears burning? It might be Ben Roethlisberger discussing their split

first_imgRegrets? Ben Roethlisberger has a few, including one that concerns Antonio Brown.Big Ben and A.B. were Pittsburgh Steelers teammates for nine years. During the offseason, Brown was traded to the Raiders.It appears they parted the closest of enemies. Recently Roethlisberger sat down with NBC’s Michele Tafoya and explained how it all went wrong.Though the two had their occasional kerfuffles, the unraveling of one of the NFL’s great power duos began after Roethlisberger threw a late-game …last_img

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SA shines at world travel show

first_img2010 host city Cape Town and the other eight host cities featured prominently at the recent World Travel Market in London.(Image: MediaClubsouthafrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Ntsiki MpuloSouth Africa TourismTel: +44 20 8971 9350 or +44 0207 269 7219RELATED ARTICLES • Voluntourism: see SA, do good• British tourists turn to SA • Travelling by minibus taxi in SA • Tourism month kicks off in SAJanine ErasmusSouth Africa featured prominently at the recent World Travel Market in London, showcasing its diverse natural beauty and world-class facilities that will guarantee an unforgettable experience for visitors to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Some 135 exhibitors – ranging from tourism boards and safari companies, to the luxurious Rovos Rail and Blue Train – represented the country at the event, which ran from 9 to 12 November at the ExCel Centre.As the world’s biggest travel trade show, it attracted nearly 5 200 exhibitors and more than 200 travel and media agencies from Asia, Europe and the Americas.The South Africa Tourism stand, with UK country manager Lebohang Mokhesi at the helm, promoted each of the country’s nine host cities for the upcoming World Cup spectacular. Host city Polokwane, in Limpopo province, also had its own stand.With a little under seven months to go, the long-awaited football tournament, second only to the summer Olympic Games in scope, was one of the main themes of the South African exhibit, which aimed to build excitement and anticipation ahead of the 11 June kick-off.“In addition to some stunning, world-class football, visitors to South Africa can look forward to an unforgettable holiday in one of the world’s most culturally and geographically varied countries,” said Mokhesi.Fresh ideasThe exhibition is a trade-only event and is not open to the public, but welcomes travel-related professionals such as journalists, hospitality providers and tour operators.Various seminars, conferences and networking events provided opportunities to form business associations while staying up to date with the latest developments in the industry.The 2009 theme was “Sports Tourism Takes Poll Position” and travel agents were encouraged to visit the South African exhibit to get fresh ideas for their 2010 tour packages.The national pavilion featured a huge screen that enticed show-goers with sweeping scenes of wildlife and natural beauty. The 2010 mascot Zakumi, a spotted leopard with green hair, was there to welcome visitors to the stand.Delegates were also treated to demonstrations of the energetic Diski Dance with its football-inspired moves and infectious rhythm.South Africa is readyDeputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Sue van der Merwe attended the event, promoting the country as the first-ever African Fifa World Cup host.Van der Merwe is also an alternate director on the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and attended the travel exhibition in this capacity.The deputy minister spoke out strongly about South Africa’s readiness to host the world’s biggest football event, describing government’s extensive investment into infrastructure upgrades, safety and security and communication technology, as well as justice and accommodation.She addressed issues such as the steps taken to ensure airport security and prevent illegal immigration during the World Cup, and the legacy that the tournament will leave, not just for residents of South Africa, but for all African people.She also participated at a round table discussion hosted by the UK’s Financial Times.Van der Merwe was accompanied by LOC CEO Danny Jordaan and football star Lucas Radebe. Radebe is a former Bafana Bafana captain, but is popular amongst Britons because of his highly successful five-year stint as captain of Leeds United. He recently accepted the post of 2010 ambassador for South Africa Tourism.Jordaan and Radebe took part in the theme seminar, sharing the platform with Fifa’s executive director of competitions Jim Brown, and Mark Howell, who is Visit London’s 2012 director, among others.Other South African representatives included Dawie de Villiers, former Springbok rugby captain and currently chair of the International Task Force for the Protection of Children in Tourism, speaking at the seminar on advances in travel philanthropy.Heidi Keyser of the Cape Town branch of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism, and Roshene Singh, South Africa Tourism’s chief marketing officer, participated in other seminars.Showcasing the countryMany of South Africa’s biggest players in the tourism sector, as well as some smaller ones, were on show at the World Travel Market.Travel and safari companies promoted packages to suit every taste and take full advantage of South Africa’s diversity of landscapes, offering cycle tours and wellness retreats, white shark cage diving and gentle seaside locations.Many of the country’s most outstanding hotels were there to show off. They included Cathedral Peak in the Drakensberg mountains; the Twelve Apostles in Cape Town; the prestigious Relais et Châteaux group; the &Beyond group which operates lodges in several African countries as well as India; and the distinguished Oyster Box in Umhlanga, north of Durban.Provincial tourism authorities and regional airline operators – including Air Namibia, British Airways and Comair, and South African Airways – were also on hand to round off a comprehensive presentation of everything South Africa has to offer.last_img read more

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Using theatre to educate

first_imgRob Murray and Lysander Barends star in Gumbo.(Image: FTH:K)  What does it mean to “listen with your eyes”?It may sound like a symptom of synaesthesia, the neurological condition in which input from different sensory organs gets confused. This, however, is no medical diagnosis. Instead, it’s an invigorating piece of advice from a unique group of theatre-makers to their prospective audiences.Unique in South Africa, From the Hip: Khulumakahle or FTH:K is a rare creative collaboration – a deaf/hearing theatre company.The brainchild of Tanya Surtees and Rob Murray, FTH:K was formed officially in 2005. The duo had previously studied drama together at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape province, and, after commencing their professional careers, they found that their respective theatrical ambitions merged.As Surtees explains, “Rob wanted to establish a company of clowns, emphasising physical theatre and comedy. I have always been passionate about working in the deaf community. It seemed natural that this should result in a performance style focusing on the visual rather than the aural.”Facilitating communicationThe company has a three-fold mission: communicate, educate, fascinate. Khuluma kahle is isiZulu for “speak well” – and FTH:K’s aim is to facilitate communication, both between and within deaf and hearing participants. They do this by fascinating their audiences, not just through visual pageantry but by telling enthralling stories involving enigmatic characters.The educational imperative is manifested in various projects. Tell-Tale Signs, a programme piloted at the Dominican School for the Deaf in Cape Town, has since been introduced elsewhere in the Western Cape province, notably at Noluthando School for the Deaf in the Cape Flats township of Khayelitsha and within the deaf community of Worcester, and further across the country.Current company members such as Marlon Snyders, Tomri Steyn and Christo Beukes gained their first theatre experience through the Tell-Tale Signs course.In addition to promoting literacy, theatre making and project management skills amongst deaf learners, FTH:K has also teamed up with sign language education and development organisation SLED. All hearing company members learn South African sign language.Attention to detailAmongst avid theatre-goers in Cape Town and at the annual National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, FTH:K has become known for its careful stage-craft and polished physical performance, paying acute attention to the nuances of gesture, mime and other forms of non-verbal communication, along with the inventive use of puppetry, masks and props.The company’s work to date has exhibited a range of narrative material, genre and tone, from endearing comedy to disturbing gothic visions.Pictures of You is a meditation on marriage, probing beneath the mundane surface of a quiet domestic life to expose the repressed jealousies, deceits and dreams that accumulate over the course of a life spent together. Gumbo is a love story of a different kind, one in which a young couple are brought together under unlikely and unhappy circumstances and make a daring escape.Quack! explores the dark heart of human ambition and the ways in which charismatic individuals can exploit their dominance over others – showing that modern-day doctors, scientists and politicians can also potentially fill the archetypal roles of quack healer, despot and alchemist.FTH:K’s latest production Womb Tide differs from these earlier shows as it is based on an existing script by playwright Lara Foot. When Womb Tide was first performed in 1996, it told the tale of an unconventional romance and a complicated family in a dysfunctional society set in South Africa in the mid- to late-twentieth century, through measured dialogue.The play has retained its memorable characters and setting but is now a predominantly visual piece of theatre starring Liezl de Kock – who appeared in Pictures of You, Gumbo and Quack! – and Daniel Buckland, fresh from a stint with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. Buckland is the son of local theatre veteran Andrew Buckland.Although advised to “listen with your eyes”, hearing audience members are able to enjoy a rich and evocative soundtrack designed by James Webb, who has produced haunting soundscapes for previous FTH:K works. The company has established numerous partnerships with South African artists such as Janni Younge, winner of the 2010 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for theatre, who produced masks and puppets for Quack! and Pictures of You.Womb Tide will open in November at Cape Town’s Baxter Theatre.Cultural exchangesIn 2011 FTH:K will perform at QuestFest, a visual theatre festival at Gallaudet University in Washington DC, and the Imbewu Contemporary South African Theatre Festival in New York. This is not the first time that the company has toured overseas – they have already travelled to Germany and Argentina – but it is a particularly exciting prospect because it forms part of a broader three-year project that will allow FTH:K to expand its interaction with other deaf/hearing partnerships internationally.“We believe that learning doesn’t only take place within the four walls of a classroom,” notes Surtees. “These cultural exchanges help those involved to understand not only the ways in which life experiences in various countries differ, but also how there are particular experiences that are specific to deaf people in different parts of the world.”Murray, De Kock, Emilie Starke and other FTH:K members have initiated a project dubbed A Conspiracy of Clowns, which they describe as “a flexible collective of professional theatre makers, clowns, directors, designers, physical performers and writers nationwide”.If they are conspiring, as FTH:K have done, to communicate, educate, and fascinate then South African and global audiences should welcome the conspiracy. In a country where deaf/hearing divisions add to language, race and other potential barriers to communication, theatre that privileges the visual and the physical offers a vital opportunity to achieve mutual understanding.last_img read more

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California’s Green Code Approved, but Embraced Tepidly by Some

first_imgWith the California Building Standards Commission’s unanimous approval on Tuesday, the state took the green-code lead in the U.S. by adopting building standards that will require green practices in both commercial and residential construction.The mandatory, statewide standards – collectively known as CalGreen – are scheduled to take effect beginning January 2011. CalGreen features wide-ranging sustainability measures, including requirements for the installation of low-flow indoor plumbing (with the aim of reducing water use by 20%), separate metering for indoor and outdoor water use on commercial projects, recycling of at least 50% of construction waste, and use of low-VOC paints and flooring.As noted in stories posted by the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, the new code, which is expected to raise construction costs only slightly, was supported by most building industry associations, realty associations, and the California Chamber of Commerce. Meanwhile, some environmental groups, including Global Green, the Sierra Club, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, have argued that the code doesn’t go far enough, while objections from other quarters – including some contractors, architects, engineers, and two nonprofit certification specialists, the U.S. Green Building Council and Berkeley-based Build It Green – focus on a provision in the code that allows municipalities to adopt and enforce a more stringent code.Two tiers too confusing?A principal issue with the latter, Elizabeth Echols, director of USGBC’s Northern California chapter, told the Los Angeles Times, is that the two-tier labeling system accompanying the stricter measures will be open to conflicting interpretations and will be difficult for local building inspectors to enforce.“The tiers cause confusion in the marketplace and the potential for builders to label their buildings green without substantiating their claims,” while leaving inspections up to local officials who may not have the technical expertise to verify builders’ claims, Echols said.One cabinet official with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office countered that GBC resisted the two-tier provision because the group didn’t want its LEED rating system to face more competition in the certification realm, although Matthew Hargrove, a vice president with the California Business Properties Association, pointed out to the Chronicle that many jurisdictions near the coast, including San Francisco, likely will stay with LEED, while inland municipalities likely will lean more toward certification by local officials.Of course it’ll be a while before the effectiveness of various inspection regimens can be determined with some accuracy. Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, noted in the Chronicle post that the Building Standards Commission had tightened its proposal based on the board’s requests. She also acknowledged that even if local certification is not as rigorous as third-party systems, at the very least the state’s green code “is a heck of a lot better than anything we have now.”The full text of California’s new green building code is posted online here.last_img read more

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