Beavers Clean the Soil

first_imgWithout beaver dams, loss of nutrients from soil would increase, and pollutants from upstream erosion would afflict waterways.Scientists at the University of Exeter looked into the beneficial functions that beaver dams perform for soil and rivers. Look how much one family of beavers can do:The research, led by hydrologist Professor Richard Brazier, found that the work of a single family of beavers had removed high levels of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus from the water that flowed through their 2.5 hectare enclosure.The family of beavers, which have lived in fenced site at a secret location in West Devon since 2011, have built 13 dams, slowing the flow of water and creating a series of deep ponds along the course of what was once a small stream.One beaver dam can impound a lot of water, trapping sediments and reducing erosion. Photo by David Coppedge, Lundy Canyon.Soil from upstream managed lands had leached nitrogen and phosphorus into runoff. This runoff, 70% of which came from soil, became trapped in the beaver ponds. The scientists found that the beaver ponds trapped 100 tonnes of sediment in their ponds. Without them, the pollutants would cause harm to fish and humans, because high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus need to be removed in water treatment plants. Professor Richard Brazier saw the good news from beavers after the bad news from humans:Professor Brazier said: “It is of serious concern that we observe such high rates of soil loss from agricultural land, which are well in excess of soil formation rates. However, we are heartened to discover that beaver dams can go a long way to mitigate this soil loss and also trap pollutants which lead to the degradation of our water bodies. Were beaver dams to be commonplace in the landscape we would no doubt see these effects delivering multiple benefits across whole ecosystems, as they do elsewhere around the world.”Beaver pond with beaver house reached by underwater entrance. Photo by David Coppedge, McGee Canyon.Previously trapped for their fur, or killed as pests, the studies show that beaver play an important role in the world. Insects, fish, other mammals, birds and plants all benefit from the deep ponds impounded by these busy animals who make large dams and protected dens one branch at a time. They are best left alone to do what they instinctively know how to do.The old IMAX film “Beavers” is a gem that deserves to be watched by families. How such medium-size rodents do what they do is really quite astonishing. Their fur, their noses, their teeth, their webbed feet, their tails—everything about them is just right for their job. Bringing Darwin into this story would be like blasting a vuvuzela during a Bach symphony. (Visited 350 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Brazilian claims Quiksilver Pro Durban

first_img28 April 2009Brazilian Jadson Andre seized the 2009 Quiksilver Pro Durban title at Ansteys Beach on Sunday, putting on an amazing display of backhand power surfing to beat Australian ripper Owen Wright in the final.Andre walked away with $20 000 in prize money and 3 500 World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings points for the win. With a heat score of 18.00 out of a possible 20, the highest score of the entire event, he put his stamp on the event as a deserved winner.In clean four-foot conditions and a pushing tide, the Brazilian goofy-footer was in incredible form, blasting some inverted backhand vertical moves on his way to victory.After two early waves, Andre showed his intentions when he logged a 7.00 to take an early lead. Wright quickly answered back with a 5.00, but as Andre arrived back in the lineup he found himself sitting directly in the path of a heaving right.Near perfectFlying off the bottom, the Brazilian squared up and went vertically up the face to smash a huge re-entry, sending spray flying into the air. Racing down the line, he then backed up his initial cracker with two additional turns to secure a near perfect 9.33 out of a possible 10 and leave Wright needing a combination of scores to take the lead.Not one to lie down, the plucky Australian paddled into a solid left-hander that walled up perfectly for him as he boosted a beautiful aerial move to pick up an 8.33 and close his required score down to 8.10.With just nine minutes to go Wright found a similar looking left and again boosted a huge 360 aerial, but unfortunately he came unstuck on his second move, a vicious forehand layback, and scored only a 6.83.In the 32nd minute of the 35-minute final, Andre put the nail in Wright’s coffin as he paddled into a big left and smashed two powerful forehand turns as the crowd on the beach showed their appreciation. The judges awarded him an 8.67 to effectively end Wright’s hopes of taking home the title.‘Really happy’“I’m really happy to have won this event,” said the elated victor, after spraying the crowd with champagne, “and I’d just like to thank all my friends and everyone who was on the beach today supporting me.“When I was out in the water I just concentrated on surfing as well as I could, and I am really happy to have won such a prestigious event.”Andre’s form throughout the event was excellent and he eliminated a host of big name surfers on his way to the final, among them World Tour stalwart Victor Ribas (Brazil), superbly talented Kirk Flintoff (Australia) and Bluff local Rudy Palmboom.“I’ve had a great time here in Durban,” said runner-up Wright at the prize-giving, “and I’m super stoked to have made the final. This is the second final I’ve surfed against Jadson, so I guess now it’s one-all buddy!”Semi-finalsBoth semi-finals were closely contested affairs, with each of the winners only sneaking through on the siren.In the first semi-final new school standout Julian Wilson took on compatriot Wright. Starting off slowly, Wilson was behind for most of the heat until a huge forehand 360 aerial saw the judges award him an 8.00 to push him into the lead.Needing a low six to take back the lead, Wright found a meaty looking left right on the siren, milking it all the way to the beach where he finished with his own 360 air to post a 6.33 and knock his 21-year-old compatriot out of contention.In the second semi-final, Australian Matt Wilkinson found himself having to contend with an in-form Andre who had put on a phenomenal display of aerial surfing in the quarter finals to eliminate Ireland’s Glenn Hall.Changed tacticsAs the tide pushed in, Andre changed tactics and began using his rail as he carved some beautiful turns. However, he had a terrible start to the heat, breaking his board on his opening wave and losing time as he had to swim in and get a back-up of the beach. Meanwhile, Wilkinson went to work and began to build a lead over the unfortunate Brazilian.Andre fought back hard, but in the dying seconds he found himself in second place and facing elimination.Needing a low score, he paddled into a medium size left-hander and carved it up all the way to the beach, ending in the shore-break before stepping off his board and running on to the sand.When the commentator announced his wave score, a 5.23, enough for him to advance to the final, an elated Andre punched the air with his board.Durban favouriteDurban’ favourite Travis Logie bowed out of contention in the quarter finals of the event as Australian surfers came to the fore and dominated the round. Fresh off a win in the Mark Richards Pro in Newcastle, Australia, Logie went down to Owen Wright and was clearly disappointed at the defeat after showing great form throughout the event.Nevertheless, a fifth-place finish saw the 29-year-old pocket $2 950 in prize money and 2 275 points for his efforts, a substantial boost to his 2009 WQS campaign.In the quarter-finals, despite starting with a classic tube ride, Logie came unstuck on several of his follow-up waves and was unable to answer Wright’s heat score of 15.57.Quiksilver Pro JuniorThe final of the Quiksilver Pro Junior preceded the main event and featured Umhlanga Rocks’ surfer Kyle Lane against Hawaii’s Kiron Jabour.Lane was quickly out of the starting blocks, finding himself in his element in the running four footers to take an early lead.His backhand attack proved too much for the Jabour and when the siren sounded the Hawaiian found himself short of the South African’s 14.83. Lane’s win saw him walk away with $2 500 in prize money.“It’s been a nerve-wracking week waiting to surf the final,” he said after leaving the water, “so I just surfed and trained as much as I could, and I guess it paid off in the end, and I’m really stoked.”The Quiksilver Pro Durban was contested by some of the world’s best surfers and carried the highest possible WQS rating and $145 000 in prize money.RESULTSQuarter-finalsHeat 1:1. Owen Wright (15.57) 2. Travis Logie (12.83) Heat 2:1. Julian Wilson (11.17) 2. Daniel Ross (7.77) Heat 3:1. Jadson Andre (12.84) 2. Glenn Hall (4.56) Heat 4:1. Matt Wilkinson (8.44) 2. Marco Polo (8.40) Semi-finalsHeat 1:1. Owen Wright (12.16) 2. Julian Wilson (11.84) Heat 2:1. Jadson Andre (10.03) 2. Matt Wilkinson (9.16) Final 1. Jadson Andre (18.00) 2. Owen Wright (15.16) SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Chef cooks up a way out of trouble

first_imgKelvin Joel (far right) and his group of student chefs at the food garden at the Westbury Youth Center. (Image: Johannesburg Culinary and Pastry School) There is nothing like someone who has done wrong and then turns his life around and does something right to make sure future generations do not walk he path he walked.Such a person is Kelvin Joel, pastry chef, co-owner of the Johannesburg Culinary and Pastry School, and recipient of the South African Chefs Association’s 2010 Achievement Award.A youngster with no guidance, Joel got mixed up in drugs in his youth. But he is now making sure the youngsters in his home suburb of Westbury, in western Johannesburg, do not get enticed by the allure of selling drugs to escape poverty.“Everyone who lived there had challenges at home and school,” he said, “even the community itself. I got an opportunity to change my life.”Joel started his Chefs Project in 2013 to give these and other troubled youth an opportunity to change their lives through cooking, if they wanted to do so. “Basically, cheffing changed my life. There are youngsters out there who would also like to do it, but don’t have the opportunity. So we want to create the opportunity for them to excel.“We just try to guide them to make it easier for them to understand. In the fast-paced industry everyone just works to get their job done, and interns don’t get a chance to ask questions. Now they can see if they really want to be a chef, acquire a skill and then have something to sell.”Watch Joel at explain his childhood and the origins of the Johannesburg Culinary and Pastry School :Are you playing your part in transforming South Africa? If so, submit your story or video and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

Worn clothes can make a difference

first_imgLightly worn clothing donated by the public, up-cycled and resold will benefit girls from disadvantaged backgrounds as the proceeds from the sales will go to an educational fund.The founders of For Black Girls Fashion Trade, Hlumisa Mbanga, Nasiphi Fazi and Kuhle Dumeduze at the launch, with the co-founders of Black Creatives Forum, Jamiel Soeker and Rashied Rahbeeni.Ray MaotaAn education fund will be set up from the proceeds of the sales of lightly worn clothing donated by the public. A non-profit organisation that trades fashion for education, For Black Girls Fashion Trade, is behind the initiative.Launched at the end of 2016, For Black Girls Fashion Trade collects lightly worn clothing donated by the public, up-cycles the items with the input of up-and-coming fashion designers, and resells the clothing for a profit. This profit is then invested in an education fund that is used to help black girls from disadvantaged backgrounds with school fees, school books, school uniforms, school shoes, sanitary products, mentorship, and career and life guidance.For Black Girls Fashion Trade is a coming together of young, black women who want to give back to black communities, especially young girls.These women are: founder, marketing and communications director Nasiphi Fazi, digital marketing director Hlumisa Mbanga, and financial director Kuhle Dumeduze.Their initiative was well received by the media; so much so in fact, that before the trio had even launched the organisation, Fazi was being interviewed on national TV.“I polished up a press release that had sat on my desktop and mailed it to TV shows and radio stations and then a national TV breakfast show called that same day,” she said.She added: “We had to buckle up. So we started Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. We bought a domain and launched the website.”The public can arrange a donation by visiting For Black Girls Fashion Trade or emailing [email protected] the organisationGiven the flurry of interviews and interest, the partners had to launch the organisation quickly.The launch took place on 4 November 2016 at the GSB MTN Solution Space in Philippi, in Western Cape.Fazi said: “We just had to hustle. We got Shoprite Checkers to cater for the event and Cape Town College of Fashion Design came on board for the upcycling of the clothes. A friend who works with fibreglass brought us mannequins, and we got GSB MTN Solutions Space to let us use their venue in Philippi.”At the intimate evening, attended by close friends and family, as well as business partners and sponsors, the 50 guests could make their first donation, learn more about the organisation and bid for an item of clothing. The proceeds were donated to the cause.The reception the initiative received means the team now has to juggle their careers as well as the organisation, while trying to make sense of their own lives.“The publicity got us to a place where we had to pull our socks up because we’re in the public eye, and that’s what I like – it motivates me and gets me going,” said Fazi.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

Production Sound Checklist + Top Three Digital Recorders

first_imgIn film and video, the production sound mixer is responsible for obtaining the cleanest possible dialogue recording. In this post we’ll take a look at a few ways this is accomplished.The sound mixer for picture is head of the sound department and is responsible for all recording, monitoring, and leveling of the audio during production. Because the production sound mixer supervises the boom operator as well as any other audio assistants, he/she will typically make the decisions including microphone placement and the type of microphones used on-set. The sound mixer can also make critical mixing decisions by mixing down multiple audio signals in real time, based on what he/she thinks the sound designer, sound effects editors, or foley artist will need in post-production.Many production sound mixers believe that capturing the original performances for the director, with the highest possible quality, will yield the best results for the most natural performance. ADR can save a film, but consequently it can also hurt it. Since ADR often doesn’t begin until months after filming has ceased (minus the additional talent that was originally present in the scene) comic timing, subtle cues and mood changes are much more difficult to duplicate. If you plan to utilize ADR, check out our previous post: ADR: Automatic Dialogue Replacement Tips and Tricks.Most production sound mixers will stress the importance of using the same style of recording throughout the film. It is much easier to engage your audience – and  keep the audience engaged – with consistent dialogue tracks.The overall goal of the sound department is making the audience forget about the reality of the movie for just an hour or two; keeping the suspended belief alive. If the mixing style suddenly becomes inconsistent, your audience may be jolted back into reality. Maintaining a consistent style is a critical objective and the duty of the sound mixer is to maintain consistency regardless of the location.Production Sound Mixer ChecklistBefore production begins, there are a number of things the sound mixer needs to confirm with the director and other personnel in the production. Let’s look at a complete checklist for the production sound mixer…Pre-production:Review and get familiar with the script. Note any critical dialogue areas.Meet with the director; discuss any conceptual visions/technical requirements.Location Scouting – Visit all locations around the same time of day you will be filming for a more accurate assessment of NAT sound. Determine all technical requirements for recording dialogue.Asses and order any necessary equipment. Run full equipment tests to insure everything is operational.Assemble your department. Hire enough personnel including boom operator and utility.Ensure all equipment is properly loaded into transportation for safe arrival. Three Pro Level Audio Recorders1. Nagra VI Eight-Channel Portable Digital Audio RecorderA tried and true standard of cinema sound, Nagra’s VI eight-channel digital audio recorder exceeds every professional standard to deliver pristine audio. Featuring 4 mic inputs, 2 line and 2 mix inputs as well as 2 AES inputs, the Nagra VI records up to 192 kHz at 24-bit depth. In conjunction with a flash card option, a 120 GB internal hard drive is available for media storage options. With the SMPTE/EBU time code system, the Nagra VI is can be synced to any camera with timecode including 23.976 for HD formats. The Nagra VI retails at $9,900.2. Sound Devices 788T 8 Channel Portable HD RecorderSound Devices is a well respected company producing top-notch location audio products to audio professionals. The Sound Devices 788T 8 channel HD recorder provides 8 line level and microphone inputs as 4 XLR and 4 TA3-male connections. With 6 channels of balanced AES3 output for integration of AES3 mixers and digital cameras. The 788T retails at $6,395.3. Sound Devices 744T 4 Channel Audio Recorder with Time CodeThe Sound Devices 744T is much like it’s older sibling the 788T, with less channels. A more affordable option, the 788T retails at $4,195.Got tips and tricks for production sound mixer techniques?Share in the comments below. Production:Supervise and assist with equipment load-out and set-up.Decide the appropriate microphone to be used for talent. Wireless? Boom? Planted? Or a combination of all three?Eliminate any noisy appliances/objects.Direct the boom operator and utility sound operator. Instruct and supervise.Record, monitor, level, and mix multiple audio channels coming from the production.Provide monitor mixes for the producers, director, and script supervisor.Log all audio takes and notate quality of takes for the dialogue editor.Insure the director is aware of any quality concerns with dialogue takes.Insure all audio is backed-up on external mediaDeliver raw audio files on appropriate mediaEnsure all equipment is properly loaded into transportation for safe departure.Production sound mixer Nick Allen has some great suggestions on sound mixing for pictures. Check out the video below by Soundworks Collection:last_img read more