first_imgWatch President Jacob Zuma’s fourth State of the Nation Address, given on Thursday, 9 February 2017. Final preparations being made at the Parliament precinct in Cape Town for the 2017 State of the Nation address by President Jacob Zuma on 9 February 2017. Taking inspiration from struggle stalwart OR Tambo, Zuma in his speech called on South Africans to unite and move the country forward. (Photo: GCIS)Brand South Africa reporterPresident Jacob Zuma gave his annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Thursday, 9 February at 7pm. The theme for Zuma’s fourth SONA was “The year of Oliver Reginald Tambo: unity in action together moving South Africa forward”.South African President looks at members of the South African Parliament during his 2017 State of the Nation address, given on 9 February 2017. (Image: GCIS)The address was Zuma’s fourth SONA to the joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament – National Assembly and National Council of Provinces – since he was re-elected in May 2014.WATCH a video of the President’s 2017 State of the Nation address below. Source: GCISlast_img read more


first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The turkey vulture has long been a common (if not always pleasant) sight throughout Ohio’s rural landscape, but in more recent years its nastier, more brazen cousin has been showing up in the state.Black vultures — like turkey vultures — are scavengers that feast on carrion, providing a valuable service. Black vultures, though, are known to take things one-step further by facilitating the animal’s death when it suits their purposes.“Over the better part of at least the past 15 years, Ohio livestock producers have increasingly experienced problems with black vultures. Unlike its red-headed cousin the turkey vulture that feeds only on the carcasses of dead animals, black vultures are an aggressive bird that will, on occasion, kill other animals for food,” said Stan Smith, program assistant in Ag and Natural Resources for Fairfield County Extension. “It’s not an uncommon occurrence for a black vulture to attack a cow in the pasture while in labor in an effort to prey on the newly-born calf even while still in the birth canal.”The black vulture’s range is throughout much of the southeastern United States down into Texas and Mexico, though the bird has been seen as far north as Maine. The predatory scavengers have been gradually moving northward into Ohio.“We gauge their population by the calls we get for complaints whether it be property damage or livestock losses and this year it has increased from last year,” said Jeff Pelc, U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services biologist and district supervisor for southern Ohio. “We had a livestock loss as far north as Summit County this year from the black vultures. That is the first time black vultures have been reported that far north in Ohio.”There are several ways to tell the difference between a turkey vulture and a black vulture that often can be found in groups together. At ground level they can be easily distinguished by the color of their heads. Turkey vultures have a red head and black vultures have black heads.The wings are also distinctly different while in flight.“On the undersides of turkey vulture wings, the primary and secondary flight feathers are white to gray on the bottom side as you are looking up at the bird. Black vultures have only have white primary feathers on tips on the wings,” Pelc said. “Plus, the black vulture tail is much shorter compared to a turkey vulture tail which is more elongated.”The generally disagreeable black vulture may be even more so due to the fact that it is a protected species. Addressing a black vulture problem in the back 40 with a shotgun is illegal and subject to federal penalties.“They are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which means you cannot harm injure or kill them without a permit,” Pelc said. “You can harass them without a permit.”Pelc suggests a number of strategies livestock operations can employ to protect the animals from problematic populations of black vultures.“You can use pyrotechnics, loud noises, lights, lasers, and some people let their dogs chase them,” he said. “Cultural methods to control them would be to compost carcasses and stillborn animals and afterbirth immediately. They are scavengers by nature and they have a really good olfactory sense. If there is food there they will set up shop. They will focus on those areas.“You can also make the area less hospitable for the vultures. If you have a large solitary tree in your pasture where 20 vultures perch every day, cut it down. Don’t let them get accustomed to your property.”The next step in controlling black vultures is to get a permit.“You can apply for a depredation permit to remove a few of these birds. The intention of the permit is just to reinforce harassment,” Pelc said. “They are very social and very wise birds. When you take one or two of them out they get the hint very quickly.”Pelc said that the process of getting a depredation permit for black vultures is very easy in Ohio.“Just call our office and fill out the application. Then there is a form we fill out for the producer. The fee is exempt for the first time — the Ohio Division of Wildlife pays for first time applicants who are livestock producers for black vultures. If they need it in subsequent years that fee will be their responsibility financially,” he said. “It is a very timely process — it just takes a few business days — and they do not have to show that they have had predation. If the threat is there we can get the permit issued.”With a permit, a black vulture or two can be killed and put on display, which has proven to be very effective at keeping other black vultures away.“USDA’s National Wildlife Research Center found if you hang a bird in an area where others can see it they will vacate the area,” Pelc said.USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services specialists recommend some key factors in hanging a black vulture effigy including:Finding locations with the highest bird activity or use, often indicated by an accumulation of feces and feathers; Visibility of the effigy to birds coming into the roost; Prominent branches or support structures; and Accessibility to the site.From “Guidelines For Using Effigies to Disperse Nuisance Vulture Roosts” from the USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services National Wildlife Research Center: “Once a bird has been acquired under a legal permit, it should be determined whether a long term or temporary placement is needed. If long-term placement or multiple usage is required, it is advised that the bird be prepared by a taxidermist and then treated with a spray on preservative, such as Scotch Guard for leather. The posture of the prepared bird should resemble that of a dead bird hung by its feet with one or both wings hanging down in an outstretched manner. For short- term placement (up to three months, depending on weather conditions) and if odor is not a concern, then an intact carcass can be used, under legal permit.”Pelc said that if there has been livestock predation from black vultures, it is important that it is reported.“The national statistic is that for every one animal that is reported lost to predators, whether it is from coyotes or black vultures, there are five that go unreported,” Pelc said. “For us to capture what kind of impact predators are having in Ohio it is really important that they give us a call. We can help with technical advice per individual. We have a few specialists that can give more guidance.”To initiate the permitting process, livestock producers experiencing problems with aggressive black vultures should call USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services office at 866-487-3297 or 614-993-3444.For more on effigy placementlast_img read more


first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We are off to a rough start again. I saw the pictures on Facebook of replanting.  So I thought I should chime in here about how precious this seed is and what a seed treatment can and cannot do.  In this Eastern Soybean Belt we have a lot of poorly drained soil.  More importantly, we also have a lot of inoculum and a great diversity of watermolds, Pythium and Phytophthora, that can infect both corn and soybeans.  When soils are saturated (like this week), these watermolds will form swimming spores that are attracted to the young seeds and seedlings. Based on the past 10 years of research we only see a benefit of the seed treatments when there is soil saturation, typically 2 inches of rain within 2 weeks of planting.  Sometimes it only takes an inch of rain if the soils are “just fit” and it rains again immediately after planting.Where we don’t see a benefit, well drained and less than 1 inch of rain, enough to get the seed out of the ground or if there is more than 5 inches of rain.  In these cases, submergence and flooding will suffocate the seed and it will die from abiotic injury.  The soil will smell from all of the organisms that were killed.In the lab, we routinely recover watermolds from soil using soybean or corn as baits.  We saturate the soil and let it incubate for 1 to 3 weeks at cool or warm temperatures; plant it with our favorite bait, saturate it again overnight and then watch all of the soybean seedlings damp-off.  From most Ohio soils, we can always recover a watermold. The fields in Ohio this spring are in the same condition as our soil baiting, the watermolds are primed and ready to go.  If we get a good dry spell, then it requires another round of incubation.So while the snow, sleet, and rain fall this week remember:  your seed is much safer in the storage. You spent a lot of money and it is the best germplasm your seed company had to offer.  If you have to replant you are going to end up getting the third or fourth best, and as we have learned in the past, possibly a variety that is not really suited to Ohio. Often these are susceptible to our resident pathogens that are not found in other parts of the north central region.Finally, don’t look at the calendar.  There are several research teams here that have moved to phenology (https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/gdd/ ), which correlates flowering and growing degree days as the basis for when crops should be monitored for pests — perhaps we should revisit this for planting guidelines. Ultimately, the less time it takes for the seed to germinate, grow vigorously means that watermolds can have less of an impact.last_img read more


first_imgOne of the key ingredients of a good video is great sound. Here’s how you can get pristine audio on a variety of budgets.Cover image via guruXOX.There’s an old adage in the film industry that goes like this: Great sound quality can save bad footage, but great footage will never save bad sound. There’s just something that ruins your immersion when you notice terrible audio. Take The Blair Witch Project for example (the original, of course). The filmmakers used a cheap handheld camera, but you still became immersed into the film because of quality sound. I’ve seen countless films that were cinematically excellent, but bad sound completely kicked me out.You may think that you don’t have enough money in your budget for quality sound-recording devices, but I promise you, you do. A good audio kit includes a shotgun mic, a lavalier mic, and a portable audio recorder. In this article, we’ll explore three options for three different budgets.The Beginner Budget: Under $100If you are just starting out in the film and video world, and you want to make a short film, or you just plain don’t have the money (it’s okay, we’re called starving artists for a reason), then this is the option for you.Audio-Technica ATR-6550 Condenser Shotgun Microphone — $60 Image via Audio-Technica.This shotgun mic is the cheapest you can get, but you will still get consistent quality out of it, compared to in-camera audio. (Pro-tip: if you don’t have a boom attachment, you can attach the mic to a painter’s pole that you can buy for less than $20.)Audio-Technica ATR3350iS Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone — $30If you’re doing interview-style work, it’s important to have a lavalier mic to get consistent audio of your subject. This lav is wired, and it can connect directly to a smart phone for recording.Yes, a smart phone. You can use your own as a personal audio recorder. This lav can plug directly into the phone, and you can use your phone’s native sound-recording program. If you don’t have a native recording app, try using Audio Recorder from the Play Store. (Note that you most likely won’t be able to monitor audio while recording.)You can connect either of these to the camera as well, so you can record audio using these external devices instead of your camera’s sub-par onboard mic.The Intermediate Budget: $350For those getting a little more serious about their filmmaking careers, take a look at these options.Zoom H4nSP 4-Channel Handy Recorder — $159Having this “Handy” recorder is, in fact, pretty handy. You can hook up both conventional audio jacks and XLRs. Recording on a personal audio recorder is essential when running audio, since it has dials you can use to adjust levels on the fly — along with a headphone jack so you can listen to your audio in real time.Rode VideoMic Shotgun Condenser Microphone w/ Boom Pole, 10′ Extension Cable, and Adaptor — $159Image via RØDE.RØDE is a pretty big player in the industry, and every filmmaker usually gets one as their first pro mic. You can find sets online that include the microphone, boom, cable, and adapter set for around $150USD.Fifine 20-Channel UHF Wireless Lavalier Lapel Microphone — $35Image via Fifine.This wireless lav kit will complement your audio recorder well, and it will also give your subject the freedom to walk around.The Professional Build — $1,000When you want to get serious about contracting your services as an audio recorder, you’ll need the equipment to do the job.Zoom H6 Handy Recorder — $400 Image via Zoom.This has been my go-to recorder for a while. It has a very simple user interface, four channels, and an easy layout. Simply press the channel button to record on each one. I usually attach it to my belt so I can monitor audio while running boom at the same time.Sennheiser MKE-600 Shotgun Mic — $670center_img Image via Sennheiser.Sennheiser is probably the best you’re going to get with audio devices, and their reputation definitely precedes them. This shotgun mic will last you ages — and deliver consistent, quality sound.Sennheiser ew 112-p G3 Camera-Mount Wireless Microphone System — $629Sennheiser also makes some of the best lav mics in the business. These guys have great transmitters that will capture true sound on any set. They come with a hefty price tag, but that’s what you pay for perfection.Looking for some more gear recommendations? Check out these write-ups.The Comprehensive Guide To Building Your Own Video Editing PCHands-On Review: The Hasselblad X1D Digital Medium FormatVideo Gear: Quick and Easy 3-Point Lighting BundlesDIY Filmmaking: How to Build Your Own Dolly for $50Sony Announces the a7 III 4K Camera for Under $2000last_img read more


first_imgKutch, India’s largest district, is in the grip of one of the worst droughts. The western and northern Banni areas of this Gujarat district have been without rain for the third continuous year.“Our data of over 12 years shows that during this drought the migration of the Maldhari tribal herders with their livestock has been very high,” says Ramesh Bhatti, programme director of Sahjivan Trust, Bhuj.“In their quest for water, people of Sheth Vandh in Banni get together, pray and start digging. Those in the surrounding villagers also join in,” says Abdul Rauf Mutwa, a local leader. Why has drought hit the Maldharis of Kutch so hard this year? Before Partition, the Maldharis used to migrate to Sindh during droughts, recalls Jumma Sama, a former sarpanch of Ratadia village.The drought has not spared Khadir island along the India-Pakistan border either.Jilubha Sodha of Dholavira in Khadir, who runs a cattle camp, says water from a branch canal of the Narmada project would be very valuable at such times, but it has not yet reached the area.(Images and text by Vijay Soneji)last_img read more


first_imgArsenal ‘Arsenal should hire Vieira to replace Wenger’ – Parlour Chris Burton 17:00 2/27/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Patrick Vieira Arsenal Getty Arsenal Arsène Wenger New York City Premier League MLS Pressure is mounting on the Gunners’ long-serving manager, with the club being urged to turn to a former talismanic captain to get them back on track Arsenal should turn to Patrick Vieira as pressure continues to mount on Arsene Wenger, says former Gunners star Ray Parlour.Serious questions are once again being against of a long-serving coach in north London, with a disappointing display in the Carabao Cup final sparking talk of an imminent change in the dugout.Similar suggestions were offered 12 months ago, only for FA Cup success to earn Wenger a reprieve and a new two-year contract. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player A 3-0 defeat to Manchester City at Wembley means that only the Europa League can offer another route to silverware, and Parlour believes that Arsenal should be sounding out potential managerial alternatives – with former captain Vieira an obvious choice to take the reins.The ex-Arsenal midfielder told Sky Sports: “The club need a plan behind the scenes now.”They may decide to go with an inexperienced person like Patrick Vieira or Thierry Henry.”Or do we want to go with someone who has Champions League experience like Diego Simeone?”Obviously then there’s Carlo Ancelotti, who has managed some of the biggest clubs in the world.”But the one I would take a gamble on, and I think he’d be given time, is Patrick Vieira.Patrick Vieira to Arsenal Ray Parlour“He’s managed in New York. He knows the club very well and he knows the history of the club.”I think he could attract big players and I think the fans would give him a chance as well.”Vieira moved into coaching after hanging up his boots in 2011, with an initial role taken up within Manchester City’s academy ranks.He then made a first foray into management when being appointed as the new boss at MLS side New York City in November 2015.Vieira has spent 74 games in that post, suffering just 24 defeats, and may be tempted to further his career by returning to England.A World Cup winner and three-time Premier League champion during his playing days, the Frenchman will have taken plenty from his time spent working under Wenger and would help to open an exciting new chapter at Emirates Stadium if he is offered a glamour post in Europe.last_img read more