13 February 2015President Jacob Zuma dedicated much of his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on 12 February to explain plans that are in motion to deal with the country’s electricity challenges.Delivering the 2015 Sona in the National Assembly in Cape Town, Zuma unveiled a battle plan aimed at resolving short- and long-term energy challenges. He was speaking as Eskom’s power grid remained constrained, with the power utility being forced to implement load shedding.“We have developed a plan which involves short-, medium- and long-term responses. The short- and medium-term plan involves improved maintenance of Eskom power stations, enhancing the electricity generation capacity and managing the electricity demand,” said Zuma.“The long-term plan involves finalising our long-term energy security master plan. As a priority we are going to stabilise Eskom’s finances to enable the utility to manage the current period. In this regard, [the] government will honour its commitment to give Eskom around R23-billion in the next fiscal year.”Energy constraints hindered economic growth and were a major inconvenience to economic growth.Short- and medium-term energy planThe president made a plea to all individuals, households, industries and government departments to play their part by saving electricity to avoid load shedding. An instruction had been issued to all government-owned buildings, through the Department of Public Works, to be energy efficient.Zuma said the short- and medium-term plans involved improving the maintenance of Eskom power stations, enhancing the electricity generation capacity and managing the electricity demand.“Given the high cost of diesel, Eskom has been directed to switch from diesel to gas as a source of energy for the utility’s generators. Households are also being encouraged to switch from electricity to gas for cooking, heating and other uses.”He said the construction of three power stations – Kusile, Medupi and Ingula – would add 10 000MW of power to the national grid. The government was also pursuing alternative energy sources.To date, it had procured 4 000MW from independent power producers (IPPs) using renewable sources.“The first three bid windows of the renewable energy procurement process attracted more than R140-billion from private investors. A total of 3 900MW of renewable energy has also been sourced, with 32 projects with a capacity of just over 1 500MW completed and connected to the grid,” Zuma said.“Eskom itself has completed the construction of the Sere Wind Farm, which is already delivering 100MW to the grid, well ahead of its intended launch in March this year.”Some of the measures taken to get additional power on to the grid include procuring 2 400MW of new coal-fired power generation capacity from IPPs in December 2014.The procurement process for 2 400MW of new gas-fired generation would begin in the first quarter of the new financial year (2015/16) and a total of 2 600MW megawatts of hydro-electric capacity would be sourced from the Southern African Development Community.The long-term energy planThe president said the government would pursue gas, petroleum, nuclear, hydropower and other sources as part of the energy mix. South Africa was surrounded by gas-rich countries, while shale gas deposits had been discovered in the Karoo.“The Operation Phakisa Ocean Economy initiative, launched last year, also promises to unveil more oil and gas resources, which will be a game-changer for our country and region. [The] government is also exploring the procurement of the 9 600MW nuclear build programme as approved in the Integrated Resource Plan 2010-2030.”Zuma added that the government had signed inter-governmental agreements and carried out vendor parade workshops in which the US, South Korea, Russia, France and China came to present their proposals on nuclear power.“All these countries will be engaged in a fair, transparent and competitive procurement process to select a strategic partner or partners to undertake the nuclear build programme. Our target is to connect the first unit to the grid by 2023, just in time for Eskom to retire part of its ageing power plants.“With regards to hydro power, the Grand Inga Hydro-electrical Project partnership with the Democratic Republic of Congo will generate over 48 000MW of clean hydro- electricity. South Africa will have access to over 15 000MW,” he said.Source: SAnews.gov
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Ten tips to help you maintain your geocaching streak Let’s talk about geocaching streaks. A streak is when you log a geocache or attend an Event Cache every day for an extended period of time. Some geocachers have maintained them for a month, a year, or even longer — several streak freaks have even maintained them for YEARS.You can track your streak on your profile statistics. But what if the weather is terrible? What about that thing called “your life?” What if you just want to binge watch movies from your couch with your four cats and a pint of ice cream?These ten tips will help you plan ahead, stay motivated, and become a streak freak!*1. Know when to hold ’emReserve low difficulty/terrain caches located close to your home or work for busy and/or extreme weather days.2. Know when to fold ’emDo not zoom around at 60 miles an hour to grab a cache by 11:59 PM, endangering others and yourself. It’s a hobby, folks.3. Have reservationsWhen meeting with friends, suggest restaurants or places near caches you need to find. They’ll never know.4. Midnight MadnessFind a cache at 11:30 PM and then find another one at 12:00 AM the next day. Clever!5. Elementary, my dear Watson!Pre-solve coordinates for Mystery/Puzzle caches.6. Hostess with the mostestConsider hosting a monthly Event Cache or CITO. (Keep in mind that creating daily events just to bulk your statistics is frowned upon.)7. Get physicalIncorporate geocaching into your fitness plan and bike, jog, or walk to caches. As your streak continues, your distance will increase and your waistline will (hopefully) decrease.8. Au-tumn is au-someStart a 365-Day Challenge in the fall to get the worst weather out of the way while you’re still “fresh”. The flip side? You’ll end your streak in the most glorious of weather! And don’t forget about the existence of Leap Day — the next one is February 29th, 2020.9. Ice ice babyIn the winter, make sure caches have the “Available during winter” attribute.10. First is the worstLeave the First to Find (FTF) bragging rights to others during your streak. You gotta stay focused!One last thing…If your streak unexpectedly ends for any reason (one of our employees gave birth to her third child just two days before completing her 365 streak), chin up. You can always swap out a streak for a 365 grid. Plus, now you’re set up for a new personal benchmark to beat!*No no no, not the fad from the ‘70s, we’re talking about geocache streaking, 😉Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedFrom the Desk of Moun10Bike: How to Keep Your Geocaching Streak Going in the SnowDecember 18, 2013In “Community”November Featured Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your CommentsNovember 9, 2012In “Community”A Journey of 1001 Days of GeocachingJune 28, 2010In “Community” read more
Julen Lopetegui is not a current option for the managerial vacancy at the Mexican national teamThe 52-year old coach is out of work following Monday’s dismissal from his post at Real Madrid after a poor start to the season.Reports in the Spanish press indicated that Lopetegui was being lined up for moves to Russian side Spartak Moscow and Mexico.But ESPN announced that the latter is definitely no option for Lopetegui at this stage after consulting the Mexican football federation (FMF).Furthermore, no contact has been made with Lopetegui whatsoever.Quiz: How much do you know about Hirving Lozano? Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 6, 2019 Time for you to tell us everything you can answer about Hirving Lozano. We will ask you 10 questions about the Mexican forward. Have…El Tri have been managerless following Juan Carlos Osorio’s departure at the end of the World Cup.Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti has since been in charge of the national side on an interim basis, until a permanent successor is found.Outgoing Atlanta United manager Gerardo “El Tata” Martino is the favourite to succeed Osorio in the dugout.Despite his ill-fated tenure at Real though, Lopetegui had a successful stint at international level with Spain.He was undefeated in all of his 20 games in charge, which 14 of them were won, before June’s shocking dismissal just days before the World Cup following his appointment as Real manager. read more
The utility of robotics to aid mankind is currently under study at Nagayo University in Japan. The combined efforts of the University’s Departments of Micro-Nano Engineering, Mechanical Science and Engineering of the Graduate School of Engineering has developed a wearable half-robot to aid carpenters. As initially reported by Digital World Tokyo, this wing of robotic engineering research and technology may not have the cuteness factor as Asimo has garnered. Nonetheless, the design and technology will give worker´s super human abilities in performing arduous tasks.Nagayo University scientists and engineers recently published their findings including a prototype of a half-robot. The study entitled Development of a “Wearable Robot for Assisting Carpentry Worker,” was published in Advanced Robotic Systems International. The research was conducted by Junpei Naito, Goro Nabinato, Atushi Nakayama, and Kazunori Hase preeminent researchers in robotics.The study was successful in proving the utility of the half-robot theme and design in lightening man´s load in the arduous task of fitting ceiling boards in place. This particular task takes extreme brute force. Often, the work requires not only great exertion of strength. The work is inherently counter-human physiognomy as it requires multiple over-the-head manual tasks. These combined factors create varying degrees of muscle fatigue in carpentry workers. The four phases of this type of carpentry work require the following tasks:1. Lifting up of the board2. Setting the board with both hands in the proper plane3. Support the board with one hand and fix the screws4. Leave the board and fix the screws with one hand The researchers found that steps 2 and 3 cause the most muscle fatigue in carpentry workers. This is because the work is repetitive and the physical act of holding heavy boards in place with hands overhead creates fatigue. In previous studies by other preeminent robotic scientists the aim was to assist patients with neuromuscular diseases with wheel chair robotic devices. These designs enabled severely impaired patients with to perform task utilizing the arm rest robotic device. Expanding on this research work with the severely disabled, the current research on aids for construction workers was developed.The scientists at Nagayo University developed the half-robot prototype and found through various phases of experimental study that the arm half-robot did reduce muscle output force and thereby reduced muscle fatigue in workers. The comfort and mobility of the worker was taken into account and design adjusts were made. In addition, the scientists acknowledge that the experiment is confined to the arm. In order to test for overall fatigue rate reduction, modifications to the prototype will be required.Further, the scientists acknowledge that the size, mass and low adjusting speed of the current prototype will require further modifications to make it practical for every day work use. The scientists are confident these modifications can be made. The next phase of the study involves the effective operation of the half-robot For further reading See: Development of a Wearable Robot for Assisting Carpentry Workers; Advanced Robotic Systems International, Nagayo University, Naito, Obinata, Nakayama, and Hase; ISSN-1729-8806-4404, (2008). This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Applied scientists and engineers at Nagayo University in Japan introduced a prototype wearable half-robotic device designed for carpentry workers. The study of carpentry workers utilizing the device in the task of fitting ceiling boards in place concludes marked reduction in muscle output force, thereby reducing arm fatigue. Further study is on going to reduce weight, size and low adjusting speed of the device. The next phase will test the overall effectiveness of the half-robot aid to workers. Prototype of Half-Robotic Device Citation: Wearable Robotics Aid Construction Workers (2008, February 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-02-wearable-robotics-aid-workers.html read more
For those of you who want a sneak peek into the Japanese culture, head to Lajpat Nagar. The Japan Foundation is back with two screenings. And this time, the focus is on the Samurais. To be screened are The Hidden Blade and After the Rain which take one back to the time when Samurais were all powerful. Based on a novel by Fujisawa Shuhei, The Hidden Blade is set in the 19th century when Japan was undergoing revolutionary changes. Directed by Yamada Yoji, the story deals with the fast-degrading Samurai class in the society. The protagonist Katagiri is forced to chose between happiness and duties. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The film is set in a period of social upheaval when the Samurai class is fast declining towards the late-Tokugawa period as the Japanese society opens its doors to the West. Seven years before the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Samurais and their families are thrown into financial turmoil as swords are replaced by guns. On the brink of extinction, the Samurais are rendered ineffective.Katagiri sees his family lose its fortune, position and land. His longing for happiness seems out of place. Ultimately he makes a decision which sets the course for his destiny. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAfter the Rain delineates the story of a group of travellers stranded in a country inn. Among them is a poor Samurai — Ihei Misawa — who in order to provide food for everyone, goes into the local castle town and bets with the masters of the fencing dojos. While he is a champion in prize fighting, he is clumsy when it comes to relationships. But that is something beneath a Samurai. When a fight breaks into the house, Ihei steps in to prevent a duel. Impressed by his skills, Shigeaki invites him back to the castle, and offers to make him fencing master. After a series of events, Shigeaki’s advisors learn of Ihei’s prize-fighting, and lhei is told he is not suitable for the position. Catch the drama.DETAILAt: The Japan Foundation, 5-A, Ring Road, Lajpat Nagar – IV When: 6, 15, 17 and 22 December Timings: 2 pm and 6.30 pmPhone: 26442967 read more
Imagine a world without money, where there is real self-expression, art, love, and total acceptance – sounds like utopia, doesn’t it? Well, that’s Tattva for you! The magic of Tattva, a three-day residential festival, is being created for the fourth time at Zorba the Buddha, New Delhi. The festival will begin with the celebration of Holi on March 6, resplendent with herbal colours, flowers, dhol and drums and will continue till March 8. Tattva –in Sanskrit means ‘reality’ or ‘truth’ – is a celebration of one’s true self without the embellishments of ego, money and social status. It is about going back to the basics – where the reality of our self exists in its pure, elemental form. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Ashwin Bharti, Director, Zorba the Buddha says, “This is a very special festival, which is co-created by everyone attending. Participants gift workshops like dance, theatre, art and craft, painting, pottery and more, they create coffee corners, food cooked in the community kitchen, art installations and a whole lot of love! There is no money involved for participation in the festival. Everyone only pays subsidised contribution for the stay and meals. In the spirit of creativity and madness, a lot of scholarships are given out to artists!” Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixPeople from different walks of life – home makers, artistes, musicians, office goers, expats, facilitators, diplomats – come together to celebrate the individual and the whole with music, dance, art, food, bonding and a whole array of workshops and activities and live together like one big happy family. This weekend festival is a joyful experience of self-exploration, where participants will be able to give free vent to their creativity in the field of their choice. Here, you will be spoilt for choices with two workshops running simultaneously. Participants/facilitators offer sessions of pottery-making, dancing, singing, meditation, yoga, Sufi-whirling, painting, cooking and much more. Participants may choose to volunteer for community care by sharing skills in artistic projects, cooking, food service, designing, gardening, cleaning, etc. Zorba the Buddha offers around 200 workshops, events and festivals in an year. Periodically, they also offer classes in painting, sculpture, pottery, yoga, ikebana, photography, creative writing, meditation, theatre, dance, tai chi, ayurveda and much more. Tattva Festival celebrates life in all its colours, accepting you for who you are. read more
Kolkata: State Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay released the music album of upcoming Bengali feature film Abar Basanta Bilap, on Wednesday. The film will be released on July 13. Chattopadhyay has both acted as well as sung a song in the film. The Power minister is quite popular among his friends as a Rabindra sangeet exponent.The cast of Abar Basanta Bilap includes industry veterans like Paran Bandyopadhyay, Kharaj Mukhopadhyay, Moon Moon Sen and Bishu Mukherjee.Basanta Bilap, a hugely successful comedy film and the upcoming film’s spiritual predecessor, was released in 1973. Directed by Dinen Gupta, the star-studded cast included Soumitra Chatterjee, Aparna Sen, Rabi Ghosh, Anup Kumar, Kajol Gupta, Sumitra Mukherjee and Chinmoy Roy.